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Every Moment by ironlotus

Every Moment

Every Moment

              Kagome closed the door of her apartment behind her and locked it. She glanced at her watch. Almost eleven now. Sighing, she headed into the kitchen to peer into her refrigerator. A small smile spread over her face when she saw a half-open cup of ramen noodles in the back of it. Ramen never stopped being Inuyasha's favorite food, she thought, pulling it from where it hid behind a carton of orange juice. Straight through to the day he died.

              She closed her eyes briefly, feeling the condensation on the cup start to drip over her fingertips. Holding in her breath, she set about the task of reheating the cup for a half-hearted attempt at dinner. It was always around this time of year that she remembered. Every moment... everything that she had been a part of, traversing through the lush forests of five-hundred years ago – everything – came back to her in rushes and spits of memories.

              The smell of the ramen drifted to her nose as she stirred it, and suddenly she was fifteen again, crouching by a pot over the fire and making dinner for all of her companions. She vaguely heard Sango's voice as she told Shippo a story before dinner while petting the purring Kirara. She listened in amusement at Miroku's murmuring tones as he teased Inuyasha over something insignificant.

              And she heard, echoing forever in her mind, his flustered reply:

              Feh!

              How long had it been since those days? It seemed centuries ago – as indeed it was – since she had listened to her friends' banter as they all sat around a small campfire, under the open stars, surrounded by earth and nature, free in spirit.

              But they had never really been free. Every second that they had spent together had been plagued by worries gnawing at their hearts, whether they showed it or not. Every moment had been shadowed by the pain and anguish of days past, and the terror of what awaited them. Never once were they free of these fears and concerns, though they hid them well. They had been the best group of actors the world could ever know.

              Kagome sat down on the ground of her kitchen, leaning against the oven and dipping into her bowl of reheated, lukewarm ramen and ate it slowly. She had skipped lunch and hadn't eaten all day – she was hungry.

              Her eyes drifted closed as she sipped the remainder of the cooling broth from the cup. Once she was through, she stood and moved to the sink to wash what she had dirtied up.

              Her hands immersed themselves in the water and she was back in Kaede's hut, heart fluttering at three times its normal pace as she wet the ripped sleeve of her school uniform and leaned over Inuyasha's body, frantically cleaning his wounds. "Inuyasha! Inuyasha, oh God, please, please, please, Inuyasha..." She was in the dimly lit room, struggling with the urge to cry as she tended to him, praying to the heavens that he would live.

              She toweled her hands dry and crept silently through the apartment, heading to the closest bathroom so she could take a quick shower. A cold one. Although she had enjoyed warm baths when she was younger, as the years went on, she had grown more and more acclimated to bathing in icy, cold water. It sprayed from the nozzle over her, droplets bouncing off of the ground around her like rain mist. As she soaped up a washcloth and started scrubbing herself clean, the sound of falling water filled her ears.

              Inuyasha wrapped a hand around her body from where he lay behind her in the shelter of the small cave.

              "Let's call her Ame," he had said, his hand resting on her stomach.

              She had cuddled into him, repeating the name as she stared out into the rain. "Ame...it's a beautiful name..." They had fallen asleep together, naked and warm in her sleeping bag, content and peaceful in the recesses of the cave.

              Kagome didn't know how he had known she would conceive – or how he had known that it would be a girl. As she thought about it now, standing in the shower, weeping and still, she realized it must have been foresight.

              The foresight of one who had resigned himself to his fate.

              It had been the next day that they had fought against Naraku in the final conflict. The next day, when Inuyasha sacrificed his life to end Naraku's. In one day, in one battle, in one moment, she had lost the person she cared for most in the world. In one moment in time, five hundred or so years ago, she had lost him forever. He had died in her arms. "Inuyasha! Inuyasha, oh God, please, please, please, Inuyasha..."

              She toweled herself off and changed into her pajamas. Clicking the door closed quietly behind her, she padded over to one of the bedrooms, peeking inside, satisfied to see that her child was sleeping. Silently, she made her way to the young girl's bedside and tenderly caressed her hair.

              "Let's call her Ame."

              Leaning down, Kagome kissed the little girl's forehead and snuck back out of the room. She shut the door and leaned against it, hand on her face and shoulders shaking.

              "You're back late," a voice from the end of the hall called softly. Her head snapped up, startled, but she relaxed when she saw who it was. "I wasn't expecting you back this late."

              "Got caught up in a meeting," she murmured, but she knew that he could hear. She stayed against the door, waiting for just one moment more before crossing the hall to meet him. "Waiting up for me?"

              A small ghost of a small graced his features, and it was all the answer she needed. "You've been crying."

              She looked surprised for a second but then smiled a little wryly. "I forgot who I was talking to for a moment."

              He took her hand and pulled her into the bedroom, bringing her into his warm embrace once the door was shut behind them. "Me too," he said, nuzzling her neck. "I have been remembering as well."

              She closed her eyes and was consumed by his warmth.

              "Let's go to bed," he murmured, tugging her gently towards the bed. She cuddled against him and let her eyes drift closed.

              "I love you, Kagome."

              "I love you too, Inuyasha..."

              He held her just a little closer, and sighed into her ear. "I love you," he whispered.

              "I love you too, Sesshoumaru," she replied, smiling as she fell into sleep.

              "Let's call her Ame," she heard Inuyasha's voice echo in the distant corners of her mind as a soft rain pattered against the window to the room she shared with Sesshoumaru.

              It was always at this time of the year that she remembered. Remembered every moment, painful and joyful alike. Cherished every memory, every moment of her past along Inuyasha's side... along all of their sides. And she was grateful.

              She was grateful for the memories.

              But with his arms around her like this, she could live her life in the present.

              She was happy.

              And nothing could take that away from her.

-+-

 

AN: This little one-shot, I wrote back in... Oh, 2004? Minimally reworked. 

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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