Author’s Note: This piece was the first oneshot I wrote. This is the original, very short but poignant, version. The rewrite is in the next “chapter”.
This was inspired by the art of chapter 310 of the manga, “Irritated Heart.” It is divergent from the storyline.
Disclaimer: The Inuyasha concept, story, and characters are copyright Rumiko Takahashi and Viz Media.
“Love Song” © 1989 Robert Smith (The Cure). The version that inspired this piece was the cover by 311, © 2004
“I hate you!”
That was the last thing she said to him before throwing herself down the well. The sound of those words rattled around in his mind, the image of her disappearing body accompanying in slow motion. He could still catch the faint scent of her anger and her tears.
Inuyasha sighed and leaned on the ledge of the well, laying his head on his arms and looking glumly into the distance.
I’m sorry, Kagome.
The others certainly worked him over for it. But he couldn’t stop himself; when he heard that Kikyo was alive, he had to chase after her, to see it for himself. He didn’t look back; he missed the stricken look on Kagome’s face and the angry glares of his friends.
But he couldn’t find her. Kikyo was gone.
And so he returned, dazed and confused, to the pool where Kagome still sat, shivering and upset. She had been murmuring with Sango and Miroku when she saw him. She twisted her mouth shut and turned away.
That’s when he realized just how much he’d hurt her.
Her scent overwhelmed him, troubled him. She smelled like anger and fear and hurt, tears threatening but never falling. At that moment, his mind was divorced from his body. He watched the scene as an outsider; they picked up and left the poisoned pool, Kagome in the lead and him bringing up the rear.
He remembered the group trooping back to Kaede’s village to regroup. Everyone was silent around him, their angry stares telling him more than words ever could. They felt protective of Kagome, and they knew how much he’d hurt her, maybe even realized it before he did.
What they didn’t know was that she fled in the middle of the night.
He followed her as she picked her way across the darkened forest. If she knew, she didn’t acknowledge it. When she came to the well, he was fast at her heels.
“Go away, Inuyasha! Leave me alone!” she cried, whipping around to face him. She sat on the edge of the well and swung her feet over the side. “I hate you!”
His friends didn’t speak to him when they awoke the next morning. They made their way to the well, where he was still sitting in shock, and gave him looks of pity and pain. Shippo looked down the well speculatively, but was silent.
He was happy when they left; he could hardly stand the strain in their scents and under their glares.
He was alone with his thoughts, and they were becoming torturous.
He sat up, opening his eyes with some reluctance. Standing before him, with only the well between them, was Kikyo.
She smiled at him. “There was no hesitation in that child’s touch,” she told him, putting her hand over her heart. “I can still feel the earnestness in her hand, where she healed me.”
Inuyasha just looked at her. She seemed strangely happy.
“Don’t you see, Inuyasha? Why else would she purify me, unless it was for you?” Kikyo rounded the well and sat next to him. “She will not come between us.”
He shrugged off her touch. “I think she already has,” he finally said, standing and jumping into the well.
Inuyasha stepped out of the well house at the Higurashi Shrine. It was dark on this side of time, and he was grateful for the coverage. He skipped through the courtyard and up to her second-story window, where he looked in at her.
She was sleeping in her pretty pink bed, curled into a ball against the wall. Quietly, he opened the screen and slipped into her room.
The scent hit him – her usual fragrance, bright and clean, and this new one, irritation and tears. The room was filled with the contrasting odors.
“Kagome,” he sighed, moving closer to her.
Whenever I’m alone with you, you make me feel like I am home again.
He gently touched her hair, brushing it lightly from her brow.
Whenever I’m alone with you, you make me feel like I am whole again.
She sighed in her sleep. He froze, his fingers inches from her face.
Whenever I’m alone with you, you make me feel like I am free again.
“Inuyasha,” she whispered, her eyes heavy with sleep, her breathing slow and regular.
He swallowed convulsively, rooted to his spot on the floor. Was she awake? Was she dreaming?
…however far away…
…however long I stay…
…whatever words I say…
“I will always love you.”