A/n: So I'm going to try very hard not to mix this with random Japanese words. ._. pardon me if I slip up.

This story came about because I desired an Inuyasha story that would pick up where the series left off, and give a continuation of what might have happened years later. This will eventually be Inu/Sess, but I think most of it will be pre-slash. I'm going to take my time with it. I'm not sure when updates will be, but I'll do my best to get one out once a week... and for those of you holding out for Indigo Moon... keep holding on. I've been trying to get up the resolve to finish that story. It doesn't help that I never really planned out a solid ending... or middle... ._.

Anyway, hope you enjoy. Reviews are love. It's a little odd to do a story where humor isn't the main focus... I hope it turns out okay :x

Warnings: Final Act spoilers

Notes: This takes place after the series, and is in the regular universe. I'm in Japan studying abroad so please forgive me if I get behind. First chapter is short, the rest will be longer. I think this'll be about ten chapters.

Cold Morning


Inuyasha stared at the patch of earth with blank eyes. The wind picked up his silver hair and tousled it roughly around his face, but his body made not a single move, and his gaze did not change. No sound escaped him. His eyes were dry. That was fine- he'd cried all the moisture from his body the night before, and was not sure if there were any left. He had grieved. She would understand if he did not shed tears now.

The other villagers had long since left him alone, and for that he was grateful. It was hard enough to bear this, harder still with their prying eyes, at times pitying, but mostly curious. Everyone had known what she was to him, but only very few understood. He didn't care. He wouldn't be returning back to the village. The few possessions he had did not matter to him anymore, and what did he already had on him.

The Tetsaisga, the robe of the fire rat, and the rosary beads. They'd long since lost their power, but the familiar weight around his neck was a comfort and a memory of the years that had gone by, far, far too quickly. And though he was upset, it was not an unbearable burden. He'd known it would happen for some time, now. He'd prepared himself. She had prepared him. They'd spent every last moment that they could together. Even their fights lasted for hardly a moment before he would catch a glimpse of a graying hair, and quickly forget what he'd been mad about.

It was all right. He could accept it. He knew the consequences of falling in love with a human. Of living a life with one. He'd known how much it would hurt. But just because he had known didn't stop the ache that creeped up in his chest, threatened to suffocate him.

He was alone, now.

Sango and Miroku had long passed. Shippo was off training and though he could visit him as he pleased, the word would not stop ringing through his head.

Alone.

Alone.

Alone.

There was Myouga and Totosai, even Hachi and Kirara, but he could not stop the loneliness that would not have mercy and leave him be. Not even the thought of Sango and Miroku's children set him at ease.

Everything seemed meaningless without Kagome...

It was for that reason that when he noticed Sesshomaru's scent on the wind, he gave no visible reaction. Since the defeat of Naraku and Kagome's return, he had often seen his brother, under relatively mundane circumstances. He'd come to visit Rin frequently, given her gifts, until he'd taken her back with him. After that the visits were less, but not uncommon.

If there was anything he was surprised by, it was his timing.

"Will you not acknowledge my presence, Inuyasha?"

The hanyou's ears twitched when the other's voice met them, but he could not be bothered to turn around. However he was not so far in despair that he could not respond.

"Sesshomaru. You need something?" There was no bite, no fire in the tone. He was sure that his elder brother was aware of what had happened. If not, he only needed to smell the scent of the freshly buried ground to understand. He thought the other might spare him a penalty for his rudeness, this time. Then again, he never could tell just how much Sesshomaru understood of emotion. At times it seemed as if his elder brother felt nothing. Though after seeing him with Rin though, he knew that wasn't true.

His brother came closer, and he knew this only because the cold and slightly floral scent grew stronger in his nose. Sesshomaru's footfalls were silent against the grass. "I have come to pay my respects."

These words caused Inuyasha's ears to twitch faintly. The elder demon moved to stand beside him, in front of Kagome's grave that looked far too small and insignificant for the once vibrant life it contained. Somehow, it only made Inuyasha's sorrow deepen. He did not respond to the other, and for many moments they stood in complete silence, the only sound the wind tousling their matching silver manes.

Inuyasha quietly reflected on the years they'd spent together. He recalled her sweet smile, the way her eyes would sparkle when they met his, the twitch in her eyebrows when she was angered, the warmth of her embrace... Only once did he wonder over Sesshomaru's thoughts. Because surely he could not remember the miko in the same way. The way he'd treated her after Naraku's death spoke of tolerance and little else. Though, by Sesshomaru's standards tolerance was certainly nothing to scoff at.

After several minutes passed Sesshomaru reached into one of his long sleeves, pulling out a single flower. It was no longer strange to see his left arm once more as a complete part of his body. Leave it to Sesshomaru to regenerate a limb by simply becoming worthy. Youkai or not, there was something otherwordly about creating a sword through sheer force of will.

The older dog demon laid the flower upon the grave, and Inuyasha did not have to ponder who it came from.

"Rin sends her condolences. Forgive her for not accompanying me. She is not able to travel as she once was."

That was probably the most he'd heard his older brother speak in some time. His thoughts immediately went to the meaning in the words, they were not lost on him. Rin had not been that much younger than Kagome. Her time would come soon, too.

Inuyasha nodded.

Sesshomaru had never been one to mince words, and indeed after this he turned, leaving as silently as he came.

Inuyasha let him go without turning around. He would marvel over the fact that his brother had bothered showing up at another time. At this moment, he was still holding tightly onto the bond he and Kagome had shared. Even as he felt it unraveling.

He sank to his knees and bowed his head, finding that there were still a few tears left, after all.


A/N: So it begins. Any ideas on a better title?

Vixen: I can't believe you let me come back here...

Foxgirl: Behave yourself.

Vixen: Yea, yea. Review please!