Don't Cry For Me, Inu-Yasha

"You won't get away demon!"

Inu-Yasha stared into the close face of his pursuer.  "Kagome?  No…Kikyo."

"Run fast, Inu-Yasha!  I will still kill you!"

"Wait!  Kikyo!  Don't!  It was Naraku!  He tricked us!!!"

"You are even more of a coward than I thought…blaming others for your vile deeds!"

Arrows shot, it seemed, from every direction towards the fleeing half-demon.  None of them hit their desired target.  Memories of the past flooded back to Inu-Yasha…

"No matter how much we fought, Kikyo never killed me, and I never killed her…why do you not strike the final blow?"  "Get out of here.  You're just a waste of arrows."

"Curse you, Naraku," Inu-Yasha muttered under his breath.  He turned around, pulling out the Tetsusaiga, therefore, shielding himself from another barrage of arrows.  Kikyo was coming closer and closer, but now…she seemed to have a sad face, yet a loving one.  Inu-Yasha stood frozen, paralyzed by his emotions.

"Why, Inu-Yasha?  Why did you betray me?" Kikyo screamed, throwing her arms around him.  "Why?"  Tears poured out of her pained storm-gray eyes.

"Kikyo…I didn't…Naraku…" Inu-Yasha's throat seemed to freeze between every few words as Kikyo held him closer and closer.

"Why, Inu-Yasha?"  Kikyo leaned close to the dog-demon's ear and whispered softly and lightly, "I…loved you…"

"Kikyo…I…" Inu-Yasha again felt his throat paralyze.

"But now…" Kikyo's face twisted with anger and hatred, "Now you must…DIE!"

"Kikyo!"  Inu-Yasha's eyes widened with fear.  Here he was, almost locked in the arms of a former priestess who was set on killing him.

Balls of energy formed in her hands.  "DIE INU-YASHA!"  The energy shot from her hands to Inu-Yasha's back (which wasn't very far because he was locked in her arms).  Inu-Yasha fell from her arms, badly wounded.  Kikyo leaned over the helpless youkai.  She leaned in close, as if to kiss him.  She got closer and closer, until she was close enough to feel her cold breath reflected off his face.

Kikyo murmured sweetly, "Inu-Yasha…Inu-Yasha…"

*gasp*  *heavy breathing*

Inu-Yasha woke with a start, breathing heavily and sweating bullets.  "Why does Kikyo haunt me like this?"  He was napping on the branch of a tall tree.  It was about noon and the sun was making its way through the thick, billowing clouds.  He thought that it would have rained, but it wasn't wet anywhere.  Inu-Yasha looked up again at the sky.  Earlier it had been a storm-gray color…like the color of Kikyo's eyes…but now, it was a pale blue.

"Kikyo," Inu-Yasha thought again.  Now the demon that caused their hatred was no more…he remembered the day when Naraku was destroyed.  That day, Naraku almost killed Kagome, taking her hostage and using her as a shield to all of Inu-Yasha's attacks.  Finally, when the spell over her was broken, Naraku had put his hand over her mouth in order to quiet her loud screams.  Inu-Yasha chuckled as he remembered that Kagome had bitten down hard on Naraku's fingers, making him yelp and jump up with pain.  At that moment, Inu-Yasha had taken out his Tetsusaiga and started the vicious battle, which lasted for hours.  In the end, Inu-Yasha ended up with many wounds, all of which were serious, even for the half-breed.  It had taken him at least a week to recover. 

In the course of that week, Kagome watched over him constantly and was always by his side.  She had told him a week before the encounter with Naraku that her exams were done, and she didn't need to go home to study anymore.  He had tried valiantly to cover up his happiness at this information, but failed terribly.  Shippo, he remembered, had jumped up and down for at least two hours straight, and then must have slept for at least two days straight.  Well, as I was saying, Kagome stayed by Inu-Yasha's side every day, every hour, every minute, and every second while he was recovering.  She fed him, washed him, and changed his bandages every single day, for a week at least.  Inu-Yasha loved to have her around him all the time, but her eternal care lasted only a week.  Now, Inu-Yasha was fully recovered, and she was by his side less often.

"Inu-Yasha!" Kagome called up to him.

"What?!" Inu-Yasha responded.  He hated when she called him…she always wanted something from him, and she usually got whatever she wanted.  She knew how to push all his buttons, manipulate him in any way she wanted.

"I'm going to go back now."

"D*mn!" he thought, she even knows how to get his attention.  He jumped down from his comfy branch.  "Why?" He demanded.

"I don't need to go, I just wanted you to come down.  Anyways, I'm not going home now, but I'll need to go tomorrow."
"Why?" He demanded again.

"I need to go visit my family every two weeks at least.  I have a life of my own, too."

Luckily for Inu-Yasha, he knew how to push her buttons, too, just a little.  He put on his pouty puppy dog face, making his ears droop and his shoulders sag down.  Kagome started to feel bad for the big, cuddly puppy dog.

"Oh, Inu-Yasha, don't make that face, please, don't."  Kagome began to regret what she had said, "If you want, I'll stay here!"

Inu-Yasha's puppy face disappeared immediately, and he gave one of his rare smiles.  Kagome loved to see him smile…but she had to mess with him just a little bit.  She loved to do that, too.

"Okay, Inu-Yasha, but I have to go back there every three weeks, then."

Inu-Yasha again put on his sad face.  Kagome was ready this time; she filled her eyes with tears.  Inu-Yasha immediately took off his pouty face.

"Curse it!  I made her cry again…" he thought.

"DON'T YOU CARE ABOUT MY OWN LIFE?!"

"Here we go again," Inu-Yasha muttered.  "I hate making her cry…I never know if she's faking or not."  "Kagome…I…" he managed to say.

"NO!  You don't care!" She shouted, bursting into tears.  "I love to make him sorry," she thought.  She ran far into Inu-Yasha's Forest to the Bone-Eaters Well.  She was halfway through a jump into the well when Inu-Yasha grabbed her from the air and put her back down on the ground next to the well.

"I think I'll push him a little farther," Kagome thought.  She kept crying and tried to jump in the well again.  This time, when Inu-Yasha grabbed her in midair, he just held on to her.  While in his arms, Kagome stopped crying immediately and said, "I love to mess with you!"  Inu-Yasha looked down at her accusingly, trying to look angry, but Kagome's playful face pushed him into a smile.  He carried her about halfway back to his napping tree and frowned.  Inu-Yasha stopped suddenly, waking Kagome from her little nap.  The gentle rocking of Inu-Yasha's stride had lulled her into a peaceful slumber.

"You can go back home if you want…I'll take you back to the well…if you want," Inu-Yasha said, looking down apologetically at her.  He seemed to be saying it sincerely…

"Inu-Yasha!"  Kagome was fully awake now.  "Are you alright?  Do you want me to go back?  You seemed so sincere, you must be sick or something!"  She felt his forehead, checking his temperature.

"It's not that I want you to go, but if you have to, you can."  He turned around slowly and started walking back to the well.

"No, it's okay, Inu-Yasha.  I was planning to go back tomorrow anyways."  Kagome shifted her position in his arms so that she was facing Inu-Yasha.  "Turn around and go back to the tree," she said sleepily.

"But, I thought…"

Kagome put a finger on his lower lip to silence him.  "Just go back to the tree and wake me when we get there."

Inu-Yasha turned around and started back to the tree, his "nap tree."  As he was walking, Kagome again fell in a peaceful slumber.

When they arrived back at the tree, Inu-Yasha shook Kagome to wake her.  As she opened her storm-gray eyes, Inu-Yasha suddenly remembered his dream of an encounter with Kikyo.  He remembered the painful storm-gray eyes.  Inu-Yasha almost dropped Kagome in surprise, but caught her again and put her down in front of him.  Kagome gave a sleepy yawn and stretched her arms.  It was near dusk now, about time to eat and go to sleep.

"Oh!" Kagome exclaimed.

"What?"

"I wanted to give you something, I forget what it was…I think I left it by your tree."  Kagome searched around the base of Inu-Yasha's "nap tree" and found what she was looking for, Inu-Yasha's most favorite thing in the world.  "Here you go!" Kagome handed Inu-Yasha some Ramen.  His eyes lit up when she handed him the cup of instant noodles.  She smiled as he took it eagerly, eyes shining.  "Glad you like it!" She said, tipping her head and smiling brightly.  Inu-Yasha looked up at her like a little child at Christmas; he loved her smile.  "Okay," she said, "I guess I better get going."

"You're leaving already?  D-Do you have to?" Inu-Yasha's sad puppy dog face again took its toll on Kagome.

"No, silly," she explained, "I'm going to stay with Lady Kaede tonight.  She's been feeling a little under the weather lately.  So, is it okay if you stay here alone tonight?"

"Feh.  Of course!  Like I would need your company."

"Oh well, it was great while it lasted," Kagome thought.  "C'ya Inu-Yasha!"

Kagome started walking to Kaede's.  Turning around, she waved at Inu-Yasha, who was still watching her, and set off through the forest.

There had been something on Inu-Yasha's mind for the past hour (that's never happened before, here I thought he was just a mindless pet), and he needed to go find Kikyo and do something about her.  First of all, he would follow Kagome to make sure she got there all right.  Then, he would find Kikyo; he had a feeling that she was close by.  He needed to do something to rid himself of her wrath.  So, leaving his treasure on his favorite tree branch, Inu-Yasha sprang off silently to the tree branches to watch Kagome.  Finding her scent, he followed it to her and watched her until she made it to Kaede's house/hut/something-or-other.  "Now," he thought, "to find Kikyo."  He had a good idea of where she was.  Kaede had said that Kikyo had come to visit her a while ago, so he used his brain (I didn't know he had one either^_^) and went back to the dreaded tree that he had been pinned to for 50 years.  There, he found Kikyo sitting among the flowers that still bloomed in the area.

"Inu-Yasha," she said, looking up, "I've been waiting for you."

"Oh really…"

"I still remember when you rescued that girl," she hissed, "instead of staying with me.  Choose, Inu-Yasha!  Will it be her or me?  Tell me!"  Arrows shot in his direction and he fled in the direction of Kaede's house/hut/something-or-other.

"Maybe if I lead her to Kagome, her soul will return to Kagome…or might it be the other way around?"  Inu-Yasha paused momentarily, thinking the matter over.  "If Kagome's soul goes to Kikyo, Kikyo will remain the same, hating me, and Kagome will be a lifeless shell."  The thought sent shivers down his spine.  "However, if Kikyo's soul goes back to Kagome, Kikyo would be able to rest in peace, wouldn't she?"  An arrow hit Inu-Yasha's arm, making him yelp in agony.  He pulled the arrow out quickly.

"Why are you slowing down Inu-Yasha?  Run for your life!"

"I'll have to take the chance," Inu-Yasha thought hastily.  He wished silently to himself, "Please return to Kagome, Kikyo."

When they arrived at Kaede's house/hut/something-or-other, Kagome, sensing a presence, rushed outside to see what it was.

"Kikyo!" She gasped.

"Choose, Inu-Yasha!" Kikyo screamed at him.

"Choose?" Kagome said with confusion (she's confuzzled).

"Kagome!  Find some way to take your soul back!" Inu-Yasha yelled desperately.

"What?" Kikyo screeched.  "You dare choose her over me?"  Kikyo aimed an arrow straight at Kagome and fired, laughing hysterically.  The arrow went too fast for Inu-Yasha to block…

"Kagome!"

Kagome gasped as she saw the arrow speeding towards her, she seemed to freeze in place.  Then, just as the arrow was about to hit her, a shield seemed to block its path, and the arrow just fell to the ground.  Kagome stepped closer to Kikyo, making her back away.

"NO!  Get away from me!" Kikyo screamed out.  Her soul was being sucked away from her body made of earth and bones.  "NO!"

Kagome stepped closer and closer.  Her soul was returning to her.  Kikyo kept screaming…

"Inu-Yasha!"

Inu-Yasha watched painfully as the soul transfer took place.  When he heard his name, he put his hands over his ears.  "Restrain yourself!" he thought.  "It's for the best…"

"Inu-Yasha!  Don't let her kill me!"

Inu-Yasha closed off his ears tightly.  "It'll be over soon," Inu-Yasha reassured himself.  As the last of her soul was returning to Kagome, Kikyo managed to aim and shoot one last arrow at Inu-Yasha, "I told you," she said breathlessly, "I will not rest until you die as well!"  The arrow flew at him, sure and swift.

*GASP*

Kagome fell breathless, the arrow lodged in the center of her chest.  Inu-Yasha, right behind her, looked on in surprise.  The soul transfer had been completed in the last millisecond, and Kikyo was now lifeless.  Inu-Yasha knelt down at Kagome's side.  She was breathing heavily, trying to pull out the arrow impaled in her chest.

"You're so stupid!" Inu-Yasha said accusingly.  "I could've survived that!"

"What if I couldn't pull it out again?  What if it was worse than the other arrow she pinned you to the tree with?"

"Still…"

"Can you pull the arrow out?"

"Maybe…" Inu-Yasha pulled the arrow out and threw it aside.  "Don't die, Kagome.  You can't die, yet.  You're too stubborn to kill."

"I don't think I'll survive.  You know how frail mortal bodies are.  You've said that so many times…" Kagome's voice began to grow weak.  "I'll only last a couple more hours.  After all, it pierced my heart, I think.  You're supposed to last only…"

Inu-Yasha placed a finger on her lower lip to silence her.  "Don't waste your energy."

Blood was beginning to pour from the wound.  Inu-Yasha picked Kagome up and carried her into Kaede's house/hut/something-or-other.

"Kaede!"

"What do you want?" Kaede demanded.  Then, seeing Kagome, she understood.  "Oh dear God.  Where was she hit?"

"In her chest, through her heart."

"Oh no…"

"She won't live will she?"  Inu-Yasha looked away from Kaede.  A tear slid down his cheek and fell on Kagome's hand.  Kagome looked up to Inu-Yasha.  "Why so sad Inu-Yasha?  You'll probably meet my reincarnation in 50 years…can you wait that long?  Demons live long, don't they?"

"There's nothing we can do for her, Inu-Yasha…I'm sorry," Kaede uttered softly.  "I'm so, so sorry."

"I'm sorry, too, Inu-Yasha," Kagome whispered, "I'm sorry that I'm human, that I have to die like this."

"No…you won't die…I won't let you die."  Another tear slid from Inu-Yasha's cheek.  Kagome reached up and wiped his tear away.  "Don't cry, Inu-Yasha."

"Who says I'm crying?!" Inu-Yasha howled.

"Don't cry, Inu-Yasha," Kagome repeated, wiping away another tear.  "It'll make me sad, too…don't cry…that's not the tough guy I know."

"I DON'T CARE!" Inu-Yasha howled.

"Don't be sad, Inu-Yasha.  Show me your smile…I don't want to die looking up to a crying Inu-Yasha.  Show me your smile," she said gently.  Kagome smiled at him weakly.

"How can she smile like this?"  Inu-Yasha thought as he looked down in surprise.

"Hey!  We're back!" Shippo yelled out happily as he entered the door.  "Oh," he gasped, "What happened to Kagome?  Is Inu-Yasha crying?"

Miroku walked in just as Shippo was asking his questions.  "Lady Kagome!"  Miroku rushed over to where everyone was crowded around Kagome, who was still being held by Inu-Yasha.

"Kagome's been hit by an arrow from Kikyo," Kaede explained.

"Where was she hit?" Miroku asked.

"In the heart," Inu-Yasha replied.

"Why don't you take her back to her time?" Shippo suggested.  "They might be able to do something there!"

"That might work!" Inu-Yasha brightened.

"With one of Kikyo's arrows?" Kaede questioned.

"We have to try!" Inu-Yasha exclaimed.

"Don't touch me, Miroku," Kagome commanded.  *everyone turns to look at Miroku*

"What?"  *Miroku smiles innocently*

"I'll take her back to her own time," Inu-Yasha said as he turned to go.

"No," Kagome argued, "Let me stay here."

"DO YOU WANT TO DIE, GIRL?!" Inu-Yasha howled at her.

"If you take me home…my family will blame you for my injuries," Kagome debated weakly.

"SO?!  AT LEAST YOU WON'T DIE!"

"Please don't yell at me, don't be angry at me, please," Kagome whispered.

Inu-Yasha turned and left with Kagome in his arms.  He jumped from tree to tree, trying to make it to the Bone-Eater's well in time.

"Inu-Yasha…stop," Kagome pleaded.  "You know I won't live long enough for you to make it."

"We'll see…"

"I'm positive they can't do anything about this anyways.  You're wasting your energy."

"You really want to die, don't you?" Inu-Yasha said, stopping.

"There's nothing they can do about it," Kagome said sadly.

Inu-Yasha dropped to the ground and walked slowly in the direction of the well.

"Don't walk like that, Inu-Yasha," Kagome said, "You're going to make me fall asleep.  I want to stay awake and be with you."

Inu-Yasha looked down in surprise at her (he's been doing that a lot lately, hasn't he?) and stopped momentarily.  Then, he kept walking.

"Don't, Inu-Yasha," Kagome pleaded.  She lifted her arms up around his neck and pulled herself up.  Inu-Yasha stared into her eyes, her storm-gray eyes, as she got closer.  Her eyes closed as their lips touched.  Then, all too soon, their lips parted, and, in her last seconds of life, Kagome whispered softly, "Don't cry Inu-Yasha.  Let me see your smile…" Her body fell lifeless in Inu-Yasha's arms.

"KAGOME!  NO!  DON'T DIE!" Inu-Yasha howled into the evening light.  "KAGOME!"