So She Ran Faster

BY : Milady_Bellatrix_Black
Category: InuYasha > General
Dragon prints: 331
Disclaimer: I do not own the Inuyasha fandom by Rumiko Takahashi. I do not profit from this story in any way.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Kagome’s eyes fluttered open and she looked around confused, noting an IV in her hand. Her throat hurt. She took a deep breath and registered the reason for the steady beeping close to her ear. Where was she? This looked like the hospital and from nowhere Inuyasha ‘hmmm’ed in his dreams. His torso leaned against the wall, arms crossed in front of his body, as he sat on the floor next to her bed, hiding his ears under a baseball cap. Was this real? What happened?

She blinked a few more times and shook her head, trying to make sense of the situation, and when that didn’t seem to be an option, she tried to sit up. Pain shot up her back centering from a spot on her left side and all of a sudden, Kagome remembered everything she had done. Grief fell like a stone onto her chest and she sucked in a gasp.

“You’re awake.” Inuyasha woke and stood by her side in an instant, grabbing her fingers and squeezing—hard. “You’ve been out a couple of days. Are you okay? How do you feel?” His face looked so sad, mired in concern, and he kept rubbing his thumb over her fingers lightly.

“I…I…I’m okay? I think. I guess? Inuyas…” then the reality that Kikyo’s death lay on her hands crashed down and she gritted her teeth, gasping a sob, “No. I’m NOT okay! I’m not! I did this and I’m so sorry and I can’t take it back and I just couldn’t let her hurt you, but I didn’t mean to and I’m SORRY!” Her words quickly dissolved into manic tears and she wrenched her hand away from him, burying her face. Kagome felt clawed fingernails scraping on the sides of her neck as his warm hands wrapped gently around it and settled on her back, his thumbs on her collarbone. He set his forehead on hers and sat with her on the hospital bed.

He stayed there with her for what seemed like hours, letting her weep openly, knowing only that she had to feel this and understand the magnitude of her role in the situation before she could understand how to let herself heal from it. But he wanted to reassure her that what had happened couldn’t be blamed on anyone, certainly not her.

“Kagome.” He finally said, softly, “You did nothing wrong. Please believe me. I don’t blame you and neither did she. I heard what she said as she passed and you did nothing wrong. I’m the one who is sorry. I’m sorry I let this happen, I’m sorry I didn’t get to you in time, and I’m sorry she hurt you. I failed both of you…but I am never going to fail you again. On my life, I will protect you. I will never leave you again.”  He pulled away and drew the fingers of one hand down her jaw to her chin and tilted her face up towards him. “Kagome, will you look at me? Please? I need you to understand something.” Kagome slowly dropped her hands and forced her tear stained eyes to focus on his. Inuyasha swallowed hard, seeing her in such pain wounded him more than any demon ever could. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you and I am sorry that you never realized what I felt for you until now. You do now, right? Because I need you to know.” His husky voice made her aware that emotions he preferred not show were getting the better of him.

“Inuyasha, I…” she began, but her eyebrows furrowed. All that he had said in the moment… such lovely thoughts, the only thing she wanted—but that was before. Before she had…

“I love you. And I need you with me.”

Kagome shut her eyes tightly and replied bitterly, “After what I’ve done?”

Inuyasha shook his head gently before placing his lips on her forehead and murmuring, “I love you for what you’ve done. You saved me, Kagome. Not just from Kikyo’s arrow, but this whole time. It took me awhile to notice. All the things you do for me, say to me, all the times you put yourself in harm’s way because of me.” He paused and she could hear the shame in his next words, “It was your way of telling me you loved me and I didn’t listen. I didn’t understand. I didn’t want it…didn’t feel like I deserved it, to be honest. But you…you wanted to be with me for who I am…not in spite of it. And so I love you. And I’m sorry I didn’t say anything before now.”

He pulled back to look in her eyes, took a deep breath and continued, “You saved her, too. She had a body of bone and clay nothing else.” Here he bit his lip and looked away. “I was foolish to think that she had returned. It wasn’t her—it never was. And even if it had been her, she never accepted me the way you have. You have never tried to change me and make me what you wanted me to be, because I am enough for you. I can’t even begin to thank you for that.” He looked back at Kagome and smiled that rare smile that he only ever gave her. “And Kikyo is able to rest now knowing that you will finish her mission. You will continue to fight Naraku in her stead and when we beat him and he is finally gone, she can rest in peace knowing she helped in the end.” 

Kagome put her hand on Inuyasha’s chest and pushed gently, to move him away from her. She bit her lip and looked down, replying, sullenly, “How can you feel that way when I killed the woman you loved? I’m a monster.”

“Keh!” Inuyasha barked, impatiently. “You defended yourself from something trying to kill you. What kind of monster would I be if I blamed you for that? Her fingers were around your throat and she tried her best to choke the life out of you! That thing wasn’t Kikyo and it certainly wasn’t the woman I loved. That woman has been dead for a long time and you were the person who made me realize that it’s okay to move on and love someone again. Please don’t take that away from me.” He suddenly looked very afraid and pressed both his hands to the one on his chest that kept him from her. “Please?”

She could feel his heart beating, making a steady thump that signaled his life force, and it sped up with his fear. Kagome’s face softened and she reached her IV’ed hand to his face, cupping his cheek in her hand. “Thank you. For coming for me. I love you, Inuyasha.” He sighed in relief and nuzzled into her, letting her smell calm his nerves. He had been so afraid in that instant that she would leave him and he would be alone again. He was going to help her through this and when she had accepted the situation and come to grips with what had had to be done, he knew that she would be okay. It may just take a little time and that was really all they had. He wasn’t going anywhere. “Inuyasha? How did I get here?”

“You tell me what happened up to when you can’t remember and then I will tell you the rest, okay?” Inuyasha scooted her forward, being careful of her wound, and moved to sit behind her. Kagome leaned into her hanyou and let him wrap his arms around her, shielding her body with his protection and warmth. She described the incident from waking to find Kikyo’s Shinidamachū floating over her, to meeting up with Kikyo, to running blindly through the forest while praying to get to the well to save her life. Inuyasha growled several times, a particularly angrily snarl, when she described feeling the penetration of the arrow and his hold on her tightened when she repeated how Kikyo had mocked Kagome about giving her life as a gift to him. When she began to describe the terrified thoughts running through her head while Kikyo squeezed the life from her body, Inuyasha drew in a deep, shaky breath and said sharply, “No more! I…I know the rest. I’m so so sorry, Kagome! Can you ever forgive me?”

Kagome’s arm reached up and she snaked her hand through his hair, knocking the hat off his head, until she reached the base of his left ear, which she gently scratched with her fingernails, “You have nothing to be forgiven for. You came to my rescue and I am so grateful!” She was beginning to heal. “Tell me. Tell me from there. I don’t remember anything else.”

Though her assault on his ear made his thoughts fuzzy, Inuyasha focused his thoughts enough to nip lightly at her wrist in warning, making her giggle softly and remove her hand from his hair. Kagome let it rest on the back of his neck as she sunk further into his body, letting him breathe her in before he spoke.

Inuyasha explained how he had been out scouting and he smelled her blood in the forest, making him panic. Tearing off in the direction his nose directed, he started to smell Kikyo’s scent, as well, and noted something must be wrong. Once he came into the clearing, he saw Kikyo holding her by the throat and knew he had to do something to save her. He used his attack to make Kikyo drop Kagome to the ground and confronted the golem woman with the face he had loved so long ago. He told her all about what he had said and Kikyo’s retorts to him.

“The next thing I know, I had turned to come pick you up and the look on your face read pure terror, your bow drawn. Then I launched headfirst into the dirt and could hear you begging for forgiveness. She spoke to you. Her words wanted you to know she forgave you…that she was giving you the gift of life so you could be with me. I didn’t have the power to move…I couldn’t get up…until I heard you scream. You had fallen to your knees, clutching an arrow pulsing with energy, but all you could do was claw through her clothes for her ashes and…” Inuyasha’s voice became thick with sorrow. He clutched her harder still, shaking with unfettered emotion, whispering into her hair, “Kami, Kagome. You broke me.”

Here, Kagome felt his clawed hand on the back of her head, pulling her hair back gently to raise her face to his. He bent down and pressed his lips to hers gently, in a heart rending kiss. As he did, she could feel tears that didn’t belong to her, sliding down her cheeks. She slid her arm up his neck and pressed him further into her, struggling to impart to him that she understood and that she would always be there for him. He pulled back and looked down at her sorrowfully for a few moments before rubbing the tip of his nose lightly on her forehead, breathing deeply to fill his lungs with her.

“Go on.” Kagome requested, letting him reposition her in his embrace, so that she could look up and see him better as he spoke.

“You passed out and that’s when I realized how much blood there was. I…I thought you were dying. I was so afraid, Kagome! So I rushed you to Kaede’s and she said she couldn’t do anything, you’d lost so much already. I panicked and she demanded I take you to your time, said that you told her about hos-petals. We made it to your house just in time, I think. Your mother got a large loud beast she called an “am-buul-ant” to take you here and I followed.” He shook his head, and his ears flattened on his head, “It’s really loud.”

Kagome laughed and then gasped, it made her side hurt. Inuyasha looked worried but she shrugged it off, asking, “And you’ve been here? With me?” She was surprised to find him here, honestly. This place must smell terrible to his super sensitive nose and she knew he had to be uncomfortable.

He blushed and looked away, nodding, “Most of the time. I went back for a few hours. I needed to get your things. And hers.” He looked thoroughly embarrassed, “I didn’t want anything to happen to her ashes. I thought that she wouldn’t be able to rest if she wasn’t reburied properly. So your mother let me borrowed her…suction thingie. You know? That thing she uses to clean?”

Kagome’s eyes widened, “You…you used a handheld vacuum…in the feudal era?... to suck up Kikyo’s ashes? That…” Kagome smiled and shook her head, “That was actually a really good idea, Inuyasha!”

Imuyasha smirked a little, “Keh, I thought so. I got everything together, her clothes and that arrow. It seemed important to you, so I have Sango and Miroku guarding it. I also found her bow…I thought Kaede might want it. Kaede and Miroku helped rebuild her shrine and we reburied her. They put seals on her grave so nothing can ever get to her again. She’s finally safe and at peace.” He looked down at her, “Thanks to you.” She brought her hand up to his cheek and stroked her thumb lightly across it. He closed his eyes and hummed with the gesture, then nuzzled into her palm. “And then I came back here and I’ve been here ever since. Your mother comes to check on you a lot and she brings me food. She’s really nice, your mother.” He sighed and drew her in close, tucking her head under his chin again, relishing the experience of her in his arms and finally feeling whole.

Kagome snuggled into the embrace and felt herself enveloped in his love—a feeling she had desired for so long and never realized was within reach. She yawned then said softly, “That arrow? I’m glad you retrieved it. She imbued it with what is left of her spiritual energy. She told me that that would be the weapon to defeat Naraku and that we could only beat him together, you and I. When can we go home, Inuyasha? Back to the Feudal Era?”

“When you’re out of danger, I guess. It shouldn’t be too long. Your mother says the doctors of your time are impressed by how fast you’re healing. You’re strong…strong and brave, and…Kagome?” He broke off and she heard a hitch in his breath, then Inuyasha crushed her to him, breaking down, “My beautiful Kagome.” He pressed his lips to her hair once and then a thousand times murmuring, “You scared me! I can’t begin to tell you how much you mean to me and I can’t lose you. I am never going to fail you again.”

Kagome turned her face to look more closely at him and saw that his eyes were cinched shut and moisture seeped into the corners again. “Inuyasha?” She said gently, reaching her fingers up to brush the tears that started to fall. “Inuyasha. You won’t lose me. Never. I’m right here. I’m alive and I’m in your arms. When you take me home, we are going to find Naraku and defeat him and the jewel shard with him. And once we do…I will still be right here—with you. Forever.” Tugging on his forelock, she waited until he opened his eyes to look at her and gave him a little smirk of her own, “So I can annoy you till your dying day.”  

His face lit with a genuine smile that warmed her through and the chuckle that sounded deep in his chest was pure magic in her ears as he replied, “Promise?” and not waiting for her reply, bent, and captured her lips in a soft kiss. “I love you, you idiot.”

“And I love you, too. My Inuyasha.”

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