The more they change
There's an important, yet very simple, little fact that Inuyasha has never been made aware of.
People's scents change as they grow older and move from childhood to their adulthood.
Sure there is a common centre – but the mixture of pheromones, hormones... Not to mention the surrounding scents of the environment, such as shampoo, grave yard soil, flowers picked in morning light, change with time.
Maybe he would of realised it sooner; except he's never really stayed close to someone as they grew up... Myouga's been a constant, but Myouga was old when Inuyasha first met him, and hasn't aged a day since.
But Inuyasha knows this now and is kicking himself for not realising sooner.
Certainly he never would of let himself come close. Again.
Heck he hadn't even planned on coming close, even when he was unaware.
Just it was the way things happened. As it was in the past and probable future.
He'd been taken by surprise when he first realised that she carried a connection to his brother. It was something that he couldn't understand.
It made no sense; on either end. What would his brother see in a human? And what could a human see in his brother?
It was something small and ultimately unimportant but it meant this. She stuck in his mind. He would remember her.
They met a couple of times. Sometimes they spoke, sometimes they didn't. Though both their parties were united in a common goal, that didn't make them allies.
There were hostilities between his group and hers at times, but eventually they seemed to fade. They were all just people after all.
Boom. A loud voice echoes through the woods, causing Inuyasha to scramble from an uneasy sleep, Tessaiga in his hand, already removed from its sheath and at the ready.
From the east and through the woods, came flying a two headed dragon, perched upon its back a young, dark haired, human girl.
Following behind, was a monster, Inuyasha couldn't see it yet, that released a screeching sound and unleashed a blast.
The little girl was sent twisting, spiral through the air, flying from the shock wave of the blast.
The dragon was straining to right its own path and catch the girl before injury could befall her, but Inuyasha was faster, with a simple leap he easily caught her mid-air.
Her bright gaze saw flying locks of silver hair and a world righting itself.
Inuyasha easily set her on the ground, in a gruff voice he told her to be careful, then yelled something rapid and incompressible at Miroku before with another flying leap, he went forward to face the monster that appeared, a large scorpion like beast.
It was a few quick parries between his sword, "Kaze no Kizu" and the monsters attack, "Scrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeee" before the outcome was decided, Inuyasha's victory.
With a "keh", his sword sheathed once more, he returned just in time to see the girl fly off, her raven locks flying in the wind.
But every time he saw her after that, she would smile at him.
When the well closed with Kagome on one side, and himself on the other, Inuyasha didn't know what to do.
Sometimes he met up with Shippou and they would trade insults, information and blows, settling for the night by a common camp fire.
Sometimes he thought about going back to try the well again.
Sometimes he would met up with Miroku and Sango and for a short while be part of their piece of happiness.
Sometimes he thought about living through the centuries till they could meet again.
Sometimes he would run by Kouga and the insults would fly freely.
Sometimes he thought about dying right here, right now.
Sometimes he would meet up with Toutousai and Myouga and be told stories of the olden days.
Sometimes he thought about bringing someone knowledgeable and wise to see if they could help him break through time once again.
Sometimes he would see her, and they would exchange a few words here and there. A conversation, kept more on her side than his, laughter and he would remember; Kikyou for whom he still felt regret and Kagome for whom his heart still ached.
Sometimes he didn't think at all and just lived life.
He didn't realise he was falling for her; until one day when she was up in a tree and he still quite a few feet away.
The branch cracked, she shrieked.
And before he was even aware of what happened she was wrapped up in his arms and he breathed in deep.
"No.", he said.
Perhaps she heard something else, because all she said was, "Yes.", and then she kissed him.
Inuyasha wants to break the cycle. He is vain enough to hope that she will miss him. But she is beautiful and young. She can move on and love someone else.
He avoids all the places he once saw her.
Miroku and Sango wonder what is wrong with him.
Shippou accuses him of moping.
But while normally vocal, with a loud and brash voice, on this matter Inuyasha says nothing.
Inuyasha is tired. Tired of always being alone. He wishes Kagome was here, but she hasn't been here for a long time and won't be here for longer still.
One day he wakes and she is there, looking at him.
He can't stop looking back.
Inuyasha was wading in the stream, holding his hands out preparing to catch that nights dinner, when he became aware of a presence behind him.
He whirled around to see, his bastard of a brother, on solid ground staring at him.
Before Inuyasha could say anything, Sesshoumaru began to speak; "If you hurt her, I will kill you."
And with that he was gone.
Inuyasha didn't know what had prompted Sesshoumaru. But he did know this. It wasn't a warning. It was a promise.
When they meet again, he doesn't see her straight away. Instead he is trapped by his past, by the future that was here.
He is stunned, unable to move, he struggles for words to come to his mouth to voice what he is feeling.
The way that she looks at him, with a face that knows both of death and of joy.
"I know." She says.
"No. You don't.", and he struggles to explain.
When he finishes his tale, she smiles at him and tells him to "stop being so silly", in her clear, pure, matter of fact voice, that says that she can see right through him, always could and always will.
"Kikyou-sama was Kikyou-sama, Kagome-san was Kagome-san and Rin-chan is Rin-chan!" She explains with a toothy grin, even to this day she still hadn't outgrown that gap toothed smile, she perfected as a small child following in the wake of a mighty demon.
And Inuyasha knows he is in love all over again.