To Cherish and Protect Part Nine
InuYasha sat in a tall tree facing out to an open meadow, nothing to see as far as the eye could locate. A gentle breeze was moving the tall grass and the leaves of the old tree. It had been over a month and a half since he left. Ideas of running even farther kept going through his mind. When Miroku found him, he was lying in a hole created by the beads of subjugation. It was the word that bothered him. It was the smell and the look of claws. Dry blood coated his fingers, and it wasn’t blood of an enemy. The scent belonged to the young modern girl.
InuYasha cursed silently, clinching his hands and allowing his claws to dig into the palms. He couldn’t control his demon side. Even with the death grip on the Tetsusaiga, he still lost all control. That is why he decided to leave. Kagome was safe and better off without him. He had no idea when his control might slip once more, and the outcome could be far worse than before. She could be dead. No, this was the best decision. Leaving will keep her safe and protected.
Over the first few weeks, InuYasha approached the village cautiously. He stayed down wind to avoid being detected and watch as the monk and demon slayer went on with their days. He figured that during that first week he was away, the young miko was inside recovering from the wounds he inflicted on her. However, after one evening, he watched the demon slayer return from the direction of the well. She was shaking her head at the monk before both disappeared inside the old miko’s hut. That is when it hit him. Kagome was no longer in the past.
InuYasha thought about it multiple times to visit the girl and see how she was doing. At first, it was hard to stay away from the well. He missed her like breathing the air. She soothed his youki. He finally took the courage to see her one more time. The girl was with that silly human boy that she talked about. She had a graceful smile on her face. InuYasha watched as the boy kissed Kagome. She was still smiling as he disappeared down the shrine steps waving up at her.
InuYasha stayed a bit longer. He watched as Kagome pushed her ebony hair out of the way. She glanced around the shrine grounds, but never caught sight of him. He stayed hidden in the thick branches. When she went inside the family house, that is when InuYasha went back through the well and arrived where he was now. As much as it destroyed him to see the young miko with another boy, InuYasha at least knew the girl was safe.
The sun was bright and a warm breeze was dancing around the area. Kagome pushed herself over the lip of the well. Not much had change except for the grass being a bit taller than normal. She took her time walking back to the village. She first stopped at the Sacred Tree. She wasn’t expecting the hanyou to be sitting on one of the tall, thick branches, but she did have a small bit of hope. He wasn’t there, though. As she walked around the tree, tracing her fingers over the rough bark, it felt odd as if the guardian of the forest had been away for quite some time.
With a sigh, Kagome continued on her way to Kaeda’s village. She had to keep in mind why she was here. It wasn’t to return but to actually say goodbye and move on from the pain of the past. The village was the same. The children were running while the adults were working. The monk and demon slayer were sitting outside while the elder miko was sorting through a basket of herbs. It was Kirara that first noticed Kagome as walked over to the small group.
“Kagome, you’re back!” said Sango as she jumped up and ran over to the young woman. Miroku, however, stayed sitting on the ground. He was looking around the area as if he was expecting something or someone.
Kagome shook her head as a sad smile graced her face. “I’m not here to stay, Sango. I actually came back to wish you luck on finishing the quest and to stay goodbye.”
“Goodbye? Oh, Kagome, please. You can’t have it end like this.”
Kagome turned away, wrapping her arms around herself and closing her eyes. “I thought about it. There is just too much raw pain. I have scars that don’t heal and remind me of everything that has happened.”
“Do you still trust him?” It was Miroku’s voice. He was still sitting on the ground. Kagome quickly turned to see a stern look upon the monk’s face. “Do you still trust him,” he repeated.
Kagome swallowed hard, her breathing becoming rapid. “I… I…” She stumbled and swallowed again. “Yes, I do. I still trust him.”
Miroku leaned on his arm and pushed himself up. “Then follow your heart. Trust him on what he has been doing. I understand the pain you are going through, but believe me when I say this. He is just as destroyed by these events as much as you are.”
Kagome sighed, “I don’t know, though. It’s hard.”
Miroku walked over to the young woman and stood in front of her. “The night of the new moon was passion for you both. I won’t deny it. He took the protection a little too far, but I do see his point and the reasoning behind it. What happen at Sesshomaru’s castle, we were lucky when we arrived. There would have been no going back if we were a second too late. That part, however, had consequences even if the action was stopped. I wish he would have listen to me, but he told us to trust him and we did. No one knows the exact danger of his full demon side especially when he has been marking a potential mate unnoticed to him and almost lost her completely. However,” Miroku stopped to turn and walk. He came back and face Kagome once more, a firm look upon his face. “We still trust our hanyou friend. That is what matters the most.”
Kagome closed her eyes and sighed. She heard the sound of someone dropping from the trees behind her. She didn’t have to look to know who it was, but she did. Slowly turning and opening her eyes, she came face to face with the golden eyes of the hanyou. The gentle breeze blew his silver hair as he stared back at her with a strange look in his eyes. Kagome only swallowed hard as she returned the look.