To Cherish and Protect Part Eight
Miroku walked back to the village, his head held low. He wasn’t sure how everything was going to play out. The hanyou and the modern girl’s relationship was already fragile to begin with. It started to become worse because of the event that happen during the new moon. If only InuYasha wasn’t so persistent on keeping the girl protected, maybe none of aftermath would have happened. It didn’t matter now. The damage was done. Only time would tell if anything that was left could be saved and repaired.
Miroku walked into Kaeda’s hut. Both the elder miko and the demon slayer were sitting near the open fire sipping on cups of tea. The young miko, however, was nowhere to be seen. Kaeda handed the monk a cup of tea as he took a seat near Sango. “Where’s Kagome?” He asked.
“I tried to bring her to the hut, but she was so determined to make it to the well and return home. I followed her and watch her disappear. What happen out there, Miroku?” asked Sango as she turned towards the mon, a worry expression etched across her face.
Miroku took a sip of his tea before leaning back against the hut’s wall. “I believe InuYasha was taking Kagome to the stream to wash the scent of his brother away. They never made it.”
Sango gasped, “Those claw marks and blood?”
Miroku nodded, “Those were from InuYasha in his full demon state. Somehow, Kagome stopped him before anything got out of hand.”
“Is InuYasha alright?” asked Kaeda as she listen to the conversation between the monk and demon slayer. The old miko already knew what happen at the tai-youkai’s castle and why the hanyou and miko were in that dire situation. Sango updated her when she returned from the well without the young girl.
“I think in time, but who knows,” replied Miroku.
“Where is he? Did he go through the well to find Kagome?”
Miroku shrugged, “He didn’t go after her, and at the moment, I don’t know where he’s at. InuYasha ran off and told me not to find him. It might actually be sometime before our friend decides to return.”
Sango sighed as she glanced out the doorway, the sun starting to set in the distance. “I believe it will the same with Kagome. Only time will tell with both of them.”
Both Sango and Miroku were right about the time. It had been over a month and a half since the young miko from another time disappeared back down the well. Kagome was lucky for her family wasn’t at home when she arrived. She didn’t know how to explain all the claw marks and dry blood upon her body. When she walked inside the house, she quickly removed the white undershirt and took a warm shower cleaning herself of all the blood. Afterwards, she laid down upon her bed till the sound of her family returning home woke her. She gave her mother a lame excuse on why she was home and went on her way trying her best to ignore what she left five hundred years in the past.
Kagome returned to school the next day and quickly got back into her studies, catching up on everything she missed and staying focused each day out. Her friends were surprised to see her and always tried to question her about the days she missed. She was actually glad when Hojo stopped by to distract her friends, but it was also another excuse for her to forget the past and move on. The young boy was sweet and kind. He took her out on a couple of dates, and on their third date, Kagome finally allowed him to kiss her goodnight on her lips.
Kagome was currently walking home with Hojo. He surprised her at the library while she was studying with a picnic at the nearby park. The sky was clear, and it was a warm sunny day. As she laid on the blanket beside the boy, she saw how he smiled at her. She returned the same delicate smile, and that was the only hint Hojo needed. He kissed Kagome with a soft, passionate but gentle kiss. The wide smile was still on his face as he held hands with her on their walk back to the shrine. Hojo walked with her up the stairs and stopped at the front door of the house.
“Thank you for the picnic. It was nice,” said Kagome as she pushed a piece of ebony hair behind her ear.
“It was my pleasure. I’ll see you at school tomorrow.” Hojo leaned forward and kissed Kagome once more before leaving down the shrine steps.
Kagome walked inside the house. Her grandfather and little brother were in the living room watching television while her mother was in the kitchen. “Kagome, dear. Can you come in here, please?” Kagome walked over to her mother. It was there that she saw it: the white undershirt. “This isn’t yours, I take it. Who does it belong to?”
Kagome swallowed hard. “Inu…Yasha.” She swallowed hard once more. “The shirt belongs to InuYasha.” Kagome dropped her bag and ran up the stairs to her room. She threw herself upon the bed as tears started streaming down her face. The memories she was trying so hard to forget resurfaced like a dagger to the heart. Some wounds did not heal but left scars that she prayed would stop haunting her like nightmares.
Kagome cried herself to sleep and woke when the sun was barely visible over the horizon. Her mother walked in with a cup in tea in hand. She handed the cup to her daughter and took a seat upon the bed. “I won’t ask what happen, but I did see some blood stains upon the shirt. I only pray that your friend is okay, but by the look of it, something more happened. I won’t ask what. I trust that you will make the right decisions.” Kagome’s mother hugged her and laid a small kiss upon her daughter’s forehead before leaving the room.
Kagome sat the cup down and walked over to the window. A gentle breeze was swaying through the leaves of the Sacred Tree. She watched it for a while before glancing at the small wooden building that contained the hidden well. She swallowed hard as a few tears ran down her face. She made her decision. With all the events that have happened, Kagome was going to return to the past once more. This time it was to say goodbye.