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Time Changes All by Shastuhh

Chapter 1

It was a quiet night not even the bugs were singing the nights lullaby, Kagome was sitting on the edge of the well pondering when things grew so cold and distant between them. Earlier today they were out fishing for the group dinner that was planned for tonight. Everyone knew that it was the night of the new moon and that Inuyasha wouldn't be in the best of moods since tonight was his human night. However, there was no warning when he suddenly went off and then left them all staring at each other questioning what exactly happened. Ever since she came back to the feudal era after the Jewel was wished away, things between her and Inuyasha had felt like a rollercoaster at best. She was pretty sure she had emotional whiplash from this ride. Not even Sango or Miroku seemed to understand what was going on with Inuyasha.

Honestly, she wasn't even sure she wanted to understand anymore at this point she just wanted to let go. Just like she did to the future she let it go to come back to the feudal era where things were magical and she had so much fun traveling with her friends in the past and despite the bad that happened when she was here last time she honestly couldn't have been happier the day she came home from the movies with Hojo and felt a familiar call of magic to her from the good house. She didn't question why the well had reopened after 3 years she only knew she was ready to go down the "rabbit hole" again so to speak. 

After sending Hojo on his way home then rushing into the house to pack her bag she ran to the well and took a hopeful jump. Once she felt the embrace of the magic wrapping around her and pulling her to the past like a long lost friend she cried. After trying so many times and failing to get back to her friends, first love and kit she was forced to leave behind. She didn't feel like she was drowning anymore; it felt like the chains that held her under the waters of the past had finally been unlocked; she was floating back to where her heart was left.

She knew it would be hard to just pick up where she left off and she didn't expect to either she knew things would have changed. They would have changed, hell she wasn't the same girl she was when she was forced to leave. She had gone to college and was studying metaphysics and ethology. She tried to move on with her life and had a boyfriend here and there but they were short-lived experiences she honestly just wasn't that interested in trying to move forward she was more interested in going back that's why she chose the studies she did. Metaphysics was what she assumed was the equivalent to Miko training in the feudal era and Ethology the study of animal behavior enough said there that would be helpful with all manors of demons however she focused on the canine variety after all Inuyasha was half dog demon and Shippou was a kitsune. However, she was sitting by herself lost in thought on a moonless night wondering why things seemed so distant between Inuyasha and her.

The last time he was here was a week shy of 3 months. Things in the West had kept him busy so he stopped coming to visit as much once he saw that Rin was in capable hands with the older Miko. He was watching from a distance as she sat there not paying attention to her surroundings, he wasn't sure exactly when she came back it was her scent of mixed berries and mint that called to him as he was coming to check on his young ward. He wasn't sure he would ever see his brother Miko again; it was certainly a surprise to him when he caught her scent in the wind coming from near the well. Her hair was up this time and the clothing she wore had always been strange to him however this time she was more modestly covered than when he last saw her 3 years ago. Sesshomaru decided it was time to make his presence known and walked into the clearing. Keeping his eyes trained on her as he spoke.

"It has been a long time, Miko, Do you think it is wise to be out by yourself? "

Jolted out of her thoughts unexpectedly by a smooth baritone that brought a little fear and a lot of excitement to her heart

"Sesshomaru... I.. " what she thought to herself it has been 3 years and here he was with all his regal beauty with eyes so much like his brothers that she could just get lost in for hours or days. Honestly, she didn't know what her response to his question would be all she wanted to be just some time to mull things over was it wise? Probably not. What to say.. hmm, since we are questioning my judgment at this moment, maybe a joke?

"No, Lord Sesshomaru it's probably not wise, however, In the month and a half I have been back you are probably the most dangerous thing I have seen. I have done pretty well at staying under the radar lately. I haven't managed to get kidnapped once." Kagome smiled, knocked on the side of the well, and winked at him.

Sesshomaru found himself slightly surprised at the bold and flirtatious nature of Miko. A few things crossed his mind. Did she just wink at me? Why did she knock on the well? So she has been back a month and a half. Where is the whelp?

Inuyasha sat in a cave that he had quickly become his sanctuary for when he needed time away. For the last month and a half, he found himself here often and his mind kept supplying memories of Kikyo in everything he did lately. He was so happy when Kagome had come back to him and thought that they would be able to continue to have a relationship so far that has not gone to plan. He knew in his heart that Kikyo was gone however every time he looked at Kagome all he could see was the resemblance to his first love. All that was different was the eyes, hair, and voice. It was enough for his heart to still picture Kikyo in everything they did together. He knew it was not fair to Kagome after all he loves her but the love he feels for Kagome pales in comparison to what he felt for Kikyo. He needs to end this now that he and Kagome could only be friends and nothing more he just wished he realized it sooner. This was going to hurt her. He sighed "All I ever wanted to do was protect her and all I have ever managed to do is hurt her. Except I have left marks that are not seen to the eye and those are the worst scars to have." 

The first rays of sunlight hit the floor in front of him finally he felt his demon blood break free from the barrier that hid it on the nights of the new moon. Slowly his eyes blurred and then readjusted after a few blinks. He felt his teeth ache as his fangs came back, his toes and fingers flexed a little as if each was being yanked on by an invisible force and then his claws came back. Lastly, the world around him went mute then shifted back into full sound as it came thundering back as his ears changed and the midnight hair changed back into moon soaked silver. Glad that this was behind him he decided that he needed to find Kagome. They needed to end this and he just said that the damage he would inflict on her heart would be able to be healed one day. He just couldn't lie to himself or to her anymore Kagome deserved better. With her being a reminder of the women he loved and who had been taken from him twice now. He just couldn't do it anymore and Kagome needed to know. Maybe we can still be friends, he wondered. Resigned to what needed to happen he left the cave and went to go find her. 

Coming to a clearing and picking up on her sent he headed to the spot along the river they shared when they wanted to have some privacy. This was the neutral ground they met after any arguments or when it felt like they just needed to reconnect with each other. She had her feet in the water and was staring off into the trees. 

"Good morning Inuyasha, I trust you are feeling better today?" 

He paused for a moment staring at her back and then walked over to sit beside her sitting cross-legged and facing her.

"oh, yes." was all she got as a response however she glanced over at him he was scratching his head and looked like he had more he wanted to say. They waited in silence for a few minutes and finally, Kagome decided to help him out. 

"What's troubling you Inuyasha? It seems like you have something you want to get off your chest."

He appeared to be ordering his thoughts so she waited and turned her gaze to the trees to watch the birds play in the morning light. After she heard a second sigh in as many minutes she pulled her feet from the water and turned to him mirroring his seated position. 

"Gome you know I love you right, and the last thing I want to do is to keep hurting you but I can't be in this relationship with you anymore. It pains me to say it but I can be your friend if you want to. I want to be honest with you though when you came back after those 3 years of being gone I was so happy and I wanted to do anything to make it work. In doing that we have been nothing but miserable in everything we do together with it's just like deja vu my mind is taken back 53 years ago when it was me and Kikyo fishing, walking through the forest, gathering herbs, me helping her with her everyday duties. It's just too much Kagome." He paused looking into those sapphires' eyes and seeing all the flickering emotions travel over her face and inhaled the air around them he could smell the bitter tang of hurt, the salty smell of unshed tears. He closed his eyes to shut out the pain he saw in those ocean eyes and forged on. "You deserve better than me Gome and I'm sorry it has taken me so long to realize this. Please say something." 

Kagome sat there for a long moment silently taking everything in and he just confessed to her as his heart was being torn by the invisible claws in her chest. The shackles returned to her ankles and she was being weighed down and drowning again in the waters of time just like before she came back. The only difference was she was where she wanted to be with the people she longed to be with. However just like before when she was jerked back to the modern era her heart was breaking with the loss of her first love again even though he was sitting in front of her within reach. She felt so much at this moment, too much she didn't trust herself to speak, instead she shut it all out. She just wanted to be numb right now and not feel. She adjusted to a position sitting on her knees and reached out to him. He watched her carefully surveying her movements. What was she going to do? What she did next floored him. She reached out to the Kotodama around his neck and removed them, stood up in silence and walked away. 

Of all the ways that could have ended somehow, he felt like this was the worst way possible. It felt like she was taking her friendship away. He felt the pain sear through his heart all the way down his stomach he felt like he should follow her however at the same time he knew she needed space and event though at this moment she wouldn't be able to "sit" him he felt like that is exactly what she did he was crashing through the ground with the force of the world on his back as she walked away silently.

 

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