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An Unexpected Life Journey by Midnighttomoscow

Part One: Chapter One

Part One: Death

Chapter One:

I smile as I’m thrusted drinks from already drunk hands. 

My boss has taken us all out for karaoke to thank us for all the hard work we’ve done, and I’ve never seen a grown man put this much tequila away before. 

We sit in a cramped private room, music blaring, microphones being passed around. Everyone’s laughing and drinking and here I am, sitting. 

It’s well past midnight and everyone seems to be just ramping up instead of cooling it down. 

“Wanna go outside for a second?” Hina catches my eyes, mouthing the words in an exaggerated way. I nod furiously, standing and making a beeline for the door. We file out down the hallway, passed all the doors, passed all the mismatched music.

The air hits me hard and it feels like I can breathe again, I take a big gulp, leaning against the wall. My feet hurt, my skirt is digging into my ribs and I’ve already undone a few buttons on my blouse. 

I’m not used to staying out this late anymore and it’s making me cranky.

“I don’t know how people can do this” Sliding down the wall I brush my bangs away from my face. Hina slumps down next to me, lighting a cigarette and offering it to me. They’re flavoured like black licorice and my absolute weakness. 

“Thank you” She lights one for herself, taking a long drag, holding it for a second before blowing it out her nose.

“How do people do what? Drink so much?” She says with a bit of a laugh, swaying slightly, no doubt feeling the shots she took earlier in the evening. Her feet wobble in their heels and I worry she’s going to break an ankle. 

“Stay out so late, drink so much, make fools of themselves, normal Friday night stuff apparently” I give a shrug, taking a drag from my cigarette and welcoming the licorice taste. Sesshoumaru always hates it when I smoke, no doubt he will smell it on me when I get home. I will accept his chastising looks, as long as I get to enjoy this.

She gives a shrug, placing her head against the wall gently. She turns her face to me grinning in a toothy tipsy way. 

“Not all of us are grandma’s Kagome” She teases me lightly. She takes another long drag, heaving a great sigh. 

“I’m not even that much older than you” I give her a light shove, smiling. 

Hina and I had worked together for a little over six months now, she came when the local University purchased a collection of artifacts. She was only supposed to stay for a few months as an educator, but the director loved her so much he hired her full time. 

Her and I became pretty fast friends and have remained close. Sesshoumaru even likes her. 

“Have you and Sesshoumaru ever talked about having kids?” I stare at her for a moment, her question taking me off guard. My gaze shifts across the street, have we ever talked about children? 

I can’t imagine him taking care of any other child but Rin.

Sesshoumaru and I have been together for awhile now, we’ve settled into a comfortable little existence. We go to work, go home, even cook together. 

Taking another drag I hold my breath, putting my head between my knees. 

“I don’t think we ever have.” I tell the asphalt in a hushed tone. She rubs my back slowly. 

She reminds me of Sango. I feel my breath catch in my throat, what’s the point of getting married if you can’t grow old together? 

“I’m surprised, he really loves you” 

xxx

There’s a shrill noise that wakes me. 

The phone rings downstairs and it takes me a moment to realize that’s what’s going on. I rub my eyes vigorously, throwing my arms out, I grope in the dark for Sesshoumaru. To my dismay, I am alone in bed.

With a groan I roll out of bed, the noise has stopped, Sesshoumaru must have answered the phone. I sit on the edge of the bed for a moment, placing my head in my hands. 

The night comes back to me slowly, Hina and I caught a cab together, she wanted to make sure I made it home alright. 

When I got home, Sesshoumaru was reading in the living room, I didn’t really feel like talking so I went straight up to bed, he must have never followed me. 

“Kagome…” His voice startles me in the darkness, sitting on the bed he places his arm around me. I know he has something to tell me, he’s formulating the best way to say it, I can see the gears move, the minute changes in his face tell me to prepare myself.

The light from the window filters in and I catch a glimpse of his eyes. Something sad was said on that phone call. 

“It’s Gramps isn’t it.” closing his eyes, he gives me a knowing nod. 

I just saw him, Souta came in from Osaka and we visited him together. He remembered us, he asked where mom was.

“Oh Gramps she-” Souta began to tell him, he reached across the table and touched his hand, wanting to comfort him before breaking the news.

“She’s with Sesshoumaru! They’re baking together, he’s teaching her about French pastry…” Souta stares at me and I see anger flash across his face briefly. 

I shouldn’t be lying to him, I just can’t bear to have to explain that mom is gone, again. 

We finish our visit soon after my lie, Souta huffs at me when I get into his car. 

“You shouldn’t lie to him. He’s senile, he doesn’t need his family to lie to him.” His voice is stern and barking, he stares at the steering wheel, fists clenching tightly before relaxing. 

I let my face fall, placing my head in my hands, my breath catches for a moment and I need to steady myself before I can speak. 

“You weren’t there last time.” I whisper after a few moments, raking my fingers through my hair momentarily. Turning, I meet Souta’s gaze. 

“Sis, I didn’t mean that, I’m sorry.” He reaches a hand out, touching my shoulder. I recoil at his touch, not wanting the sympathy from him right now. 

I should welcome the gesture, he dealt with mom’s sickness so well. I on the other hand, can barely keep up with taking care of Gramps and making sure his needs are met. 

“Last time, when Sesshoumaru and I came for a visit, he wouldn’t let him in. Gramps yelled and put up a fight for over an hour. He refused to talk to anyone but mom. He kept calling Sesshoumaru Inuyasha, he told me I was throwing my life away with someone who treats me so poorly.” His features soften, his lips part like he’s going to say something but he stops himself, pressing his lips together he speaks quietly.

“Kagome, you shouldn’t be dealing with this alone.” His voice is gentle, like if he speaks too loud he will scare me off.

“No. I can do this. You don’t have to come home because of this.” I sit up, meeting his eyes. He touches my hand softly, I let him do so.

“If you need me to come home, I will. I can leave my job, I’ve only been there for six months-”

“No, Souta.” He lets out a breath before starting the car. 

He drives me home in silence. 

xxx

“Humans are fragile” I hand Sesshoumaru the final dish to be dried, he stares at me for a moment, waiting for me to elaborate, before putting the plate away. 

“Yes they are” His voice has a hint of a question, he wants to know what I’m getting at. 

It’s been a few weeks since Gramps’ funeral. Souta and Ayumi have come and gone and Sesshoumaru and I deliver flowers to his grave daily. 

“I wonder what will happen when I get old” I mumble this, partially for Sesshoumaru’s answer, partially because I want to know. 

What happens when a demon’s human companion ages? What ever happened to Rin, how did she die? Did she live a full and happy life and die a little old woman with a toothy grin? 

“What are you thinking?” Sesshoumaru asks running his fingers through my hair and smoothing my brow. I place my hands on the counter, his face is close, I can feel his breath against my skin. 

“I’m getting old.” All expression falls from his face, he takes a breath, letting the air out of his nose. 

“You’re getting old?” I realize what I said and have to back track, he turns from me pinching the bridge of his nose. 

“You know what I mean, you may be old but no one knows how old you are. One day I’m going to be little and old and grey, or worse I’ll die young.”

“I thought you just said you were getting old?” He’s trying to diffuse this with humour. 

“Hina said something to me, a while ago, and I just haven’t been able to shake it.” I make my way over to the kitchen table, plopping onto a chair. He sits across from me, I can feel his unease more than I can see it. His back is a little too straight, shoulders a little too poised, he’s waiting for me to do something drastic. It’s almost like he’s waiting for me to run away. 

I think about all of the people in his life that have left or died and he has just continued. He just exists while others die. I don’t want to leave him, I wish I had never started this conversation. 

“I’m not going to leave you, I promise. I’m just not ready to talk about what she said yet.” I reach across the table and take hold of his hand. 

We settle in together on the couch, I watch TV while he reads. He seems to have dismissed my previous questions.

That night, I lie awake in bed and try to unpack what I’m feeling. 

I can’t let my ovaries rule my life. Is what I’m feeling a direct correlation to what Hina said? Had I ever thought about children before she said that? 

I roll onto my side, curling into a ball. Sesshoumaru lies next to me, on his back, hands folded over his stomach. His eyes are closed and I can just see the outline of his face in the moonlight. 

Closing my eyes, I try to imagine our family. What would it look like? Would we have a child that looks just like Inuyasha? If that happens will my heart be able to bear it? Could I wake up every morning and care for my child when they remind me of nothing but the past. 

I thought I got through this, I thought that I had forgiven myself but it isn’t always black and white. Sometimes forgiveness can be grey, especially when the person you’re forgiving is yourself. 

Sesshoumaru would be a great father, the only doubt I have is about myself. 

All I can think about is the little girl who followed him around so lovingly. My time with Rin was short but I loved being with her, she spoke so highly of Sesshoumaru and how he treated her. He was always bringing her gifts and checking in on her.

Sesshoumaru reaches a hand out, grazing my cheek. 

“What are you thinking about?” He whispers, not wanting to break the stillness. 

“What happened to Rin?” I feel his hand stiffen against my cheek. I reach up, grabbing his face between my hands, forcing him to look at me in the dull moonlight. 

“You don’t have to tell me if you’re not ready.” My voice is earnest and soft, I don’t want to scare him. He lets out a breath before brushing hair away from my face. 

“I have barely spoken of her since she died.” He lets out a breath, collecting his thoughts. Rolling onto his back he pulls me close.

“Rin deserves to be remembered.”

xxx

End of Chapter One

 
 

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