Part 1: Beginning of the End
I sat in the grass beside Inuyasha, my half-demon friend. Well, these days I wasn't exactly sure what we were. He glanced at me with his golden eyes, a thoughtful look on his face.
"Hey," I said, smiling.
"Teh," was all he could reply. I laughed and looked out at the beautiful scenery. It wasn't so green and lush in Tokyo. We sat on a hill that overlooked lavender mountains with snowy tops and jade forests that contained unknown treasures and dangers.
"What?" he asked, looking at me again. I shook my head.
"You. Me. Them. Us. The world. It's all so different here," I said, staring him in the eye, but only momentarily, for he shifted his gaze like he always does. "And yet, it's the same. I can't believe it."
He was strangely silent and thoughtful for a moment, staring at the distant mountains, where Koga lives. Then he finally spoke in a quiet voice that was very much unlike him. "Kagome, what's it really like in your world? I mean, I've never been there more than a few minutes," he asked timidly. I thought for a minute before answering.
"Inuyasha, I can't explain it any other way other than its home. It's so different here…" I began, feeling the tears well up. The thought of home choked me up these days, I don't know why though. He nodded.
"Inuyasha?" I said. "Can I ask you a question?" He shrugged.
"About… Kikyo?" I said carefully watching him. He seemed unfazed. He just shrugged again.
"Are you really, going to follow her in death once the jewel is gone? Are you going to follow her to Hell?" I kept my eyes on him the whole time. He looked down at the grass.
"I'm headed there anyway," was all he said. I nodded and he looked back up at me, finally meeting my eyes.
"Kagome… I," he began, like he wanted to change his answer. But I wouldn't have it. A strange feeling of calm anger fell over me like a blanket.
"No, no need to explain. I see how it is," I said, tears falling from my eyes from earlier. But they only added to the effect, I knew Inuyasha couldn't stand crying. "You're just going to leave Miroku, Shippo, Old Kaede, Sango, and me to fight the rest of the demons while you go to Hell with Kikyo. Fine," I finished with a hard blow, I could tell because he was staring at me with a shocked and hurt expression on his face, his jaw hung slack. I sighed.
"Kagome, I want to…" he began.
"Want to what Inuyasha? Is Hell so desirable to you? Well, I'm sorry that you must resort to such extremities for happiness. I'm even sorrier that I can't give you the happiness you want myself," I said, a sharp tone to my voice. He choked on his own tears. I never have seen him cry, it was a shock. I didn't think it was possible.
"Kagome! Don't do that! Don't say that! You know I want to stay but… but I can't," he whispered.
"Inuyasha, you can say no," I said. "I can't believe you'd just leave us all here without you. You're so…" I couldn't find the right word for a minute. "Selfish," I finally said. Before he could say anything else I stood, wrapping my arms around myself. I sighed shakily, looking out at the magnificent scenery.
"You know what's funny?" I said. "I want to go with you, if that's where you're going. But I can't because there just isn't any room between you and Kikyo for me," I was surprisingly calm, even though tears rapidly ran down my face like waterfalls. Inuyasha was silent but I could hear his sharp intake of breath at my last sentence. I smiled at the distant mountains.
"Inuyasha? I've decided something," I said to him, though I was looking elsewhere. Anywhere but his eyes. "I'm going to go see Koga for a week or so, to give you some time because I know you have a lot on your mind right now and I am but a burden to you. I'm just a human that happened to stumble into your life, unfortunately for you so, I'm going to go and just leave you alone," I spoke to the forest, not him. But then I turned and kneeled down in front of him, putting my hand on the side of his face. "Do me a favor, will you?"
He didn't do anything but stare at me with an open mouth. "Protect them," I nodded in the direction of our little family on the hill. It seemed like only yesterday it was just me and Inuyasha looking for fragments of the Sacred Jewel, but I knew that was almost over now. Naraku had almost all the fragments, and when he did collect them all, Kikyo would take them, kill him, and take Inuyasha with her to Hell. I dreaded that day. "And don't get yourself killed."
I stood, taking my hand from his face reluctantly. He shook his head and reached out to me with his clawed hand, but I turned on my heel and quickly walked away before I could convince myself to stay. Or he could convince me to stay.
"Sango!" I called to the tall, slender woman who had been through so much with us already. She was sitting next to Miroku, the monk that has been with us since nearly the beginning.
"What is it, Kagome?" she asked.
"May I borrow Kirara?"
"Where are you going, Kagome?" inquired Shippo, who'd been here before even Miroku.
"I'm going to go see Koga for a week," I said, and everyone looked at me funny.
"But why?" asked Miroku.
"Yeah, did you have another fight with Inuyasha?" said Sango. I shook my head and smiled at their worried faces.
"No, no. Don't worry about it. I think Inuyasha and I just need some time apart for awhile okay?" I said loud enough so that Inuyasha could hear. I turned to see if he had, but he was bent over in the grass, hands over his face. Had I hurt him that badly?
Miroku seemed to understand. He nodded. "Let her take Kirara and she can keep her there until she comes back," he said, looking at Sango. She sighed and nodded too. But Shippo was running towards me. I caught him up in my arms and held him fast to me.
"Oh, Kagome, come back soon please. I need you here. We need you here," he paused a minute and leaned towards my ear. "Inuyasha needs you here," he whispered. I smiled.
"I wish he did," I said, setting him on the ground and hopping on top of Kirara, who had my backpack in her mouth.
"Alright, Kirara, take good care of Kagome," called Sango. I grinned when Kirara growled her acknowledgement. All of a sudden, I felt my heart jerk a knot. I glanced at Inuyasha again, who was watching from between his fingers, ears twitching in anger. I waved at him, wiping the tears from my eyes as Kirara took off over the tops of the trees, gliding on her fiery paws in the direction of the mountain that was shared between the Birds of Paradise and the Wolf-Demon clan that belonged to Koga.