He had never fit in but he learned to live with it. Demons didn’t care for him, his blood tainted by the stench of human. Humans feared him, buried in their superstitions. They could only see his mother as a demon’s whore who had borne the spawn of evil. There was no home, no peace for him. His life was spent trying to fit, to find a place where he could just be. Instead, he learned early that the world was no place for a half-breed. His fate was to be shunned, battered and ridiculed.
He had made the mistake before of believing there could actually be a place for him in the world. Her name was Kikyou and she was the first to show him affection. Nevertheless, she, too, had stipulations. For them to be truly together, he had to be human. He was willing to let his demon side go for a place to belong. Betrayed, he slipped into darkness, bound by an unrelenting sleep.
She had always been perfect. She was pretty, smart and popular. Yet, Kagome never felt as if she truly belonged. As long she could remember, she felt the pull of something. As she got older, the feelings got stronger. Her friends didn’t understand. After all, they only wanted boyfriends, good grades and fun times. Kagome had always felt she was missing a vital part of psyche but she was clueless on how to find it.
On her fifteenth birthday, destiny found her.
The scent reached him first. He was not sure how long he had been out but he knew that scent anywhere. He had been awaiting his opportunity to deal with that deceitful bitch and, if not for that arrow in his chest, he would have sought out his revenge and not waited for her to return to the tree. Instead, he discovered it was only a mere slip of a girl. She possessed Kikyou’s face and her soul but she was no more Kikyou that he was.
He began to realize that she was something more. Her heart was open and she gave it to him. As time passed, he came to understand that with her, he no longer had to wonder where he belonged. He knew his place was at her side. She promised, no matter what that’s where she would stay because that’s where she wanted to be.
It angered him to hear the whispers. They called her a demon’s whore. They mocked at how she was a defiled priestess. Ignorance prevailed but Inuyasha would never tell Kagome the horrible things said behind her back. He knew the hateful words would damage her gentle heart. Instead, he vowed to never allow what happened to his mother happen to Kagome. He would protect her from everything, with his life, if necessary.
Kagome knew she was an oddity in the feudal era. Her dress and outspoken ways immediately marked her as “outsider”. The villagers expected a miko, a holy woman. Instead, they got a girl, full of insecurities about her abilities. She did the best she could but there were times when she understood she wasn’t needed or wanted. She was perceptive enough to know that others judged her because of Inuyasha but she didn’t care. She was going to be by his side and he never had to know about the harsh judgment of others. The only time she felt she truly belonged was when she by his side. She told him that she wanted to stay with him and be with him. Every word was sincere. Together, they formed a bond that would have to transcend time.
He went back to his solitary life. Around him, everyone was moving on. Families were created, people changed and grew. Once again, Inuyasha really didn’t fit in. He had those who loved him and looked after him but he still felt he was on the outside looking in. He spent more and more time away from people, resisting the urge to melt into the forest and disappear. He clung to the promise she made, that she would always be by his side. For her, he stayed around their friends and he tried to belong.
Suddenly, Kagome found herself at home. Life continued as normal. She went to high school, made excellent grades and even went out a few times with Hojo. Yet, with all the appearance of normalcy, Kagome knew this era was no longer for her. Her heart and soul had been left in the past. She didn’t know how and she didn’t know when but one day, she’d be back where she belonged. In the meantime, she’d struggle to fit in and find her place.
The dying fire dimly lighted the room in the hut. They lay on the futon, basking in the warmth of each other's presence. The time apart had been hard but now they both knew they had found where they belonged. They knew no matter what, she was there for him and he was there for her. The struggle to belong was over. They had both found the place where they fit perfectly, side by side.