Increase Text Size Decrease Text Size Divider Print This Chapter Divider

Kinsukoroi by Avi

Chapter 1

To my two beautiful betas:

Yoru, who has been by my side for years, helped me through the bad times, fell in love with SessKag the moment I mentioned it, and gives some of the best hugs!

Ali, who has been amazingly supportive, considerate, and who fell in love with the concept of SessKag before she ever even watched InuYasha!

 

Kintsugi/Kinsukoroi

Golden Joinery/Golden Repair

The Japanese art of repairing broken pottery using a gold lacquer to hold the pieces together.

A method created around the 15th century used to signify the beauty of imperfection and flaws.

The skill takes time and careful precision. The artist must truly love and care for the piece to help it to become beautiful, again.

 

 

 

 

Once. Twice. The water rippled gently from the soft impact. It skewed the image that was being reflected in the cool spring. Perhaps it was for the better. This way she could not see herself or the shame that crossed her features.

Another tear slid softly down Kagome’s cheek, gliding over her chin and dropping with a light splash into the water, creating another ripple. A quiet sob escaped her throat. Clenching her eyes shut tightly, she slapped her reflection in the water, stirring and distorting it. Turning away she buried her face into the palms of her wet hands and wept.

“Ugly! I’m ugly! I could never be as pretty as her!” Each word was choked through a sob. “I lack her grace! I lack her power and strength! And I lack her beauty!”

This wasn’t the first time Kagome had sought solitude in the forest, away from the village and her friends. She never told them the truth about her solitary excursions. They believed her to be meditating. She always returned appearing just as cheery as when she had left. No one ever knew that these outings were used to lament in secrecy. 

Her reasons for grieving varied. Occasionally, it was to mourn for her family, unable to return to them. Wondering how mama, jiji and Souta were doing without her. Missing her little brother’s bothersome prattling and his charming smile. Yearning for her mother’s warm embrace and delectable cooking. She even longed to hear her jiji’s repetitious lectures on ancient Japan.

Other times she would isolate herself in her private spot to mourn the death of a villager, a failed attempt to heal someone or a birthing that ended tragically.

Sometimes she would even come here to surrender to her pent up emotions from the traumas she amassed during her quest in the past.

But most of the time, her ventures were to give in to her sorrows surrounding the insecurities that he inadvertently thrust upon her.

Following Naraku’s defeat, during the three years she spent in her time catching up on modern life, she had been able to contemplate on life in the Sengoku. Given the choice, would she return? Could she? What would be the advantages of returning? Would there be repercussions? 

What she forgot to consider was what would happen if they didn’t work.

And so, it would seem, they did not.

Puppy love. The irony of the idiom would almost be laughable had it not been so tragic. Yet that was all it had been. Puppy love. She had been young. Only fifteen. He was nothing more than a first crush. She once believed she had fallen in love with his charm and his heroism. Now she understood it was merely an infatuation with his exotic background and the whimsical perception of a real-life fairytale. She had been the princess, stolen from her kingdom, whisked away to a land of unknown. He was her knight in shining armor who would rescue her and give her a happily ever after.

But as fanciful and bizarre as her adventures and experiences were, they were still reality. And reality doesn’t always have a storybook happy ending.

The moment the magic of the Bone-eater’s Well had returned, Kagome returned to the Sengoku without hesitation. He was ecstatic to see her. She was enchanted by the reunion. He had been waiting for her by the well. She had been reunited with her friends who had become like a family during her year-long quest. It truly seemed like the perfect storybook ending.

Until reality sunk in.

She couldn’t say how it began. Small nitpicks. Judgemental comments. None meant with any indignation. And yet they poked. They pinched. They  stabbed. They cut. They ripped. Slowly, steadily, as the judgement continued, the pain grew larger.

And her self esteem shrunk smaller.

“You’re not holding the bow right.” He would tell her. “She used to hold it like this.”

“I like hearing you laugh. But I really miss her laugh.”

“This looks good on you, but she was gorgeous when she dressed this way.”

And his eyes. The way he would evaluate her every movement with an expression of disappointment. It was as though he were searching for something else within her.

Or someone else.

And she knew exactly what… who… he was hoping to find.

And she couldn’t blame him.

She was older now. Her return to Sengoku was just a little more than a year ago. She was no longer irrational and assuming. She knew he had never truly gotten closure with Kikyou. He had loved her. He had been ready and willing to change for her. Yet fate was cruel to them both and ripped them apart, violently, turning them against one another and forcing resentment upon them. She had been brutally murdered. He had been framed and laid comatose for fifty years. Cursed by the very woman he loved. He had never even known she was gone until he was reawakened. And then dark magic thrust her back into his life, fueled by rage and resentment. Neither had ever had a chance to reconcile. How difficult that must have been for him. How confusing. When they had finally understood the truth and made peace, her time with him was cut short once again.

And who was she to interfere?

Yet the scrutiny cut deep into Kagome’s heart. It started with a small prick of pain. Then a tiny fragment. Then a full piece. A chunk. Until Kagome’s heart was fully broken and her soul was crushed. He had never truly stopped comparing her to Kikyou, even if he hadn’t realized it. It was very clear that her feelings were not fully reciprocated. It appeared that, at one time, he wanted to try with her. Perhaps he, too, had grown during their three years apart and maturity had caused him to realize it was only an infatuation with a fantasy that created an illusion of romance. She was willing to accept this as a fact.

If he would just tell her.

She was perfectly content with remaining his friend and nothing more. Yet he always seemed to assess her as if trying to find a reason their relationship could work. The assessing always left him unsatisfied with what he found… or didn’t find. And this would leave her feeling broken. She would much rather be InuYasha’s friend, Kagome, than to be InuYasha’s wife, not Kikyou.

And because InuYasha would only appraise her as a potential wife and refuse to simply accept her as a friend, Kagome became more self-conscious. She could never equate to Kikyou. Perhaps not even as a friend.

She felt more out of place than ever before, only this time she was trapped with no escape. So she would continue doing the only thing she knew how to do when these situations would arise.

After spilling the remainder of her tears, she took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. Dipping her small hands into the spring, she wet her tear-stained face. She rubbed, gently, at the bottom of her red, swollen eyes before drying them. Glancing back at her reflection in the water, she forced a cheerful smile. Then, standing and wiping her knees of any dirt or debris, she collected herself, and returned to the village. Not a single indication that she had, moments ago, been in emotional anguish.

She would never have known that, during her private moment of grief, she was being observed from the shadows of the forest. Curiosity and empathy shining through silent, golden eyes.

AN: As I've mentioned in the past, I don't intend for any character bashing in my story. I don't want to perceive InuYasha as an abuser, but as an oblivious boy who is confused. Also, as a precautionary disclaimer, I have been tinkering with this story since June 25th and already have three chapters prepared. I have already talked to Sage McMae who mentioned she will be posting a similarly titled story for SessKag week. It's purely coincidental that we had similar ideas at the same time. But a very cool coincidence!

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
No money is being made from the creation or viewing of content on this site, which is strictly for personal, non-commercial use, in accordance with the copyright.