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Staring at the picture in her hands—it was difficult to imagine hard times.  They were smiling lovingly, gazing longingly, and embracing candidly.  She could still remember that day in the sun, when the worries of the real world had never touched them and they felt as though they were invincible. They were young and in love—inexperienced and naive.

She sighed. Such was life—InuYasha had made his choices and she had made her own. If nothing else they stayed true to themselves, if not to each other.

They day she had found him seated deeply with Kikyo had been the last straw for her.  It made her realize that there was truly nothing left to salvage between them.  He loved her—that much was obvious—and she would never be Kikyo.  Nothing could change that, though she had tried to reconstruct herself several times to prove differently.

That was a dark time in her life.  It’s always difficult to want something that you cannot have from someone who is unable to give. It’s even harder to want something of yourself that has never been within your makeup to be.  Life has a way of doing that to you though.  It gives you problems that you have to learn to adapt to because when you learn to adapt—to tweak and improve, yet never completely reconstruct—yourself, you learn how to truly live.

Leaving was one of the most painful things she had ever done.  It was as though she had left her heart, bloody and broken, in his hands after having ripped her body out of his grasp.  She had walked around as though zombified for damn near a month after leaving, but—eventually—she could feel her heart beating within her chest again.  She could appreciate life with both its good times and its bad.  She could smile and let it reach her eyes, laugh and let it lift her soul, and love so deeply that she could once more allow her heart to rest peacefully within another’s grasp.

Picking up a newer frame, she felt tears come to her eyes at the memory.  It was a picture of Sesshomaru and he was staring directly into the lens of the camera with a smile on his face. It was small—just a minute upturn of the mouth—but it was there.

And it was directed at her.

That was the day he had proposed their courting.

Exactly one year ago today. The day of their mating. 


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