There are some things that we're forced to forget. But when presented with the means to remember a love she wasn't aware she'd had, will Kagome brave the unknown or remain blissfully unaware? IYxFB
I drew the inspiration and lyrics from the song Erase by Mika. Good song, give it a listen while you read!
Kagome carefully trekked up the narrow walkway that led to the front door of her small home as she tried to balance her groceries and not slip on the puddles where the winter snow was beginning to melt. A few envelopes sticking out of the little mailbox mounted beside the door caught her eye, and she deftly reached out to grab them and stick them in her grocery bag before unlocking the door and ducking inside to warm herself up.
Setting her groceries down on the kitchen counter, she couldn’t help but smile as she saw one of the many pictures that littered her walls and shelves. “Hey guys, I made it home safe and sound yet again.”
The picture was of the closest group of friends she’d ever had. They were her second family even if they did fight a lot and she hadn’t seen them in a decade. Once the battle was won and the Jewel completed, Kagome had immediately been sent home without even having time to say her goodbyes or fulfill her promise to let Inuyasha make his wish. The best reason that she could come up with was that her duty was over and history couldn’t afford for her to be there any longer.
She had been distraught and inconsolable for weeks before her mother had told her that her friends would have wanted her to be happy and move on with her life. And it was that thought that had kept her going all of these years. But staying at the shrine for the rest of her life was out of the question. So to ease any burden from her family, Kagome got a job as a receptionist at a local hospital and maintained that job through high school. By the time she graduated she had saved up enough money to put a down payment on a small home in one of the smaller cities just outside of Tokyo.
Because she had been at the hospital for so long and made the right friends, Kagome had been able to land a small scholarship for nursing school. Upon obtaining her nursing license she was able to transfer to a hospital a little closer to her home for which she was grateful.
And the present found Kagome continuing her nursing work as she continued her education so that she could eventually become a pediatrician. She took great pleasure in helping the people around her. Of course, she hadn’t stopped practicing her control over her holy powers during all of this, because she was still the Jewel’s guardian after all. And who could blame her if she would occasionally give the extremely ill or injured patients a little boost with her healing powers?
She still talked to the images of her friends that she kept around her home and prayed every night that her words and blessings reached them five hundred years in the past.
Without noticing what she was doing, Kagome knocked one of her grocery bags over and paused as she caught an apple that was about to hit the floor. One of the envelopes wasn’t a bill or letter from her brother who was studying abroad, but those were usually the only things that came to her mailbox. Putting the apple in her little fruit basket, Kagome picked up the envelope to examine it.
It was addressed to her, so it hadn’t arrived there by mistake. Her address and the return address were handwritten in clearly masculine script. The return address listed the sender simply as “Sohma.”
‘Sohma, Sohma, Sohma…how do I know that name?’ she pondered as she reached for a knife to open the envelope with. ‘I wonder…it couldn’t be Dr. Sohma, could it??’
She blushed lightly as she remembered the handsome man that she’d met with only a handful of times. There had been a few occasions where the head of the hospital had asked her to run documents regarding medical seminars at the hospital or even a vaccine or two over to Dr. Sohma’s home. He was very quiet and seemed cold and distant, but Kagome knew a mask when she saw one. Of course, she’d never been rude enough to call him on it. It wasn’t any of her business even if she was positive that he would be so much more handsome with a smile lighting up his features.
Tearing along the top crease, Kagome lifted out a single piece of paper and began to read.
I shouldn’t have called so late last night, all insecure…out of my mind. I should have never left that message on your phone. I shouldn’t have said the things I said, looking for love we left for dead in a grave without a stone.
Kagome stopped reading there for a moment as she walked over to her answering machine. Sure enough, she had one new message. She hadn’t noticed it before now. How long had it been there?? Furrowing her brows, she continued reading the odd letter.
As soon as you hear my voice, don’t hesitate to just put your finger on the button…
Erase my love. But I bet you can’t erase my touch…
Kagome’s earlier blush that had started to fade came back tenfold at what the quiet doctor’s words were insinuating. What was he saying?! His love? His touch?? She’d had a silent crush on him for a while, but he’d never even given her a second glance!
I see you around the city on dates with other men and all I can think is that you’re trying to replace a feeling without a name with somebody else’s face in your head!
All I can as of you is that you erase the message on your phone without listening to it and continue to live your life as you have been. I wish you nothing but happiness…
Kagome looked between the letter in her hand and the little red light that indicated a new message on her answering machine several times.
A man that she greatly respected and secretly loved had sent her an incredibly confusing letter. On one hand, he had asked very clearly and politely for her to erase his message without listening to it. On the other hand, the letter itself stirred something inside her stomach and now she was dying to know what he’d said.
So now the question was should she erase the message or not?
Slowly reaching out her hand and hesitating several times over the ‘play’ button and ‘delete’ button, Kagome made her decision.
Hatori tore through the wastebasket beside the desk he kept in his home office after making the fifth pass over his desk, the third through his bedroom, and the second through his living room. He had to find that letter!
Shigure and Ayame had come over to his house the night before with several bottles of sake. They said that it was their duty as his best friends to help him move on from his recently ended relationship with a certain raven haired nurse. And, according to them, getting as drunk as you can without killing yourself was the first step.
He may have been completely hammered the previous evening but he did remember making a call to Kagome’s home within the first few drinks. He also remembered writing out a letter to mail to her regarding the message he left after his cousin’s continued to tell him over and over again what a bad idea the phone call had been.
But now he couldn’t find the letter and even without the hangover headache he’d managed to get rid of he wasn’t able to think clearly enough to remember where he’d left it.
As one of the maids for the Sohma estate passed by the doorway to his office with clean sheets for his linen closet, she paused and called out to the frantic man, “Dr. Sohma, have you lost something? I just cleaned your office this morning. Maybe I could be of some help?”
“I’m looking for a letter. I’m almost positive that I left his on this desk, but it appears that I may have been mistaken,” Hatori explained as he smoothly stood to his full height and smoothed out his hair and clothes. He was a little frustrated and embarrassed that one of the maids had seen him rummaging through the trash, but he had bigger things to worry about at the moment.
He watched as the maid thought for a few seconds before her eyes lit up and she nodded, “Yes, sir! I remember now. I saw that it was addressed to that pretty young lady that you had been seeing. I gave the letter to the mailman this morning and asked him to make sure it got delivered today.”
Hatori suddenly felt as though he’d taken one of Yuki’s kicks directly to the stomach. All he could do was take a step back to sit in his office chair as he mumbled a dismissal for the maid who now looked very nervous.
The letter had already been mailed.
He had never meant for it to actually be read! He’d been planning to call her this evening when he knew she would be getting home from work and say that he had dialed the wrong number and left a private message meant for someone else. He was sure that she would laugh in the way she always did and oblige without thinking twice about the request. But he was sure that she would get suspicious after reading the letter. He had no idea what she might do now.
Her conscience might ensure her deleting the message as he requested in the letter, but she had always had a natural curiosity that was sometimes hard for her to suppress. He leaned back in his chair and stared at the ceiling as he thought that if there was any god in any heaven that had any compassion at all, they would have a dog chase the mailman carrying his letter and then have the dog tear the letter to shreds when he caught up to his prey.
Glancing at the clock, Hatori closed his eyes with a sigh and a frown. She would have been home by now. Maybe even if she heard the message she wouldn’t say anything…he had been fairly drunk.
But no matter how much alcohol Shigure and Ayame pumped into his system, his heart still clenched painfully at the thought of her smiling face. He had never thought that he would find love after Kana, but Kagome had proven him wrong as she would continue to show she had a knack for. She had just shown up on his doorstep one day with a packet of papers from the hospital and smiled at him. He knew now that it was that one small gesture that had started their relationship even if neither of them were aware of it at the time.
He would often see her do something or hear her say something that reminded him of his former assistant, but she would almost immediately remind him of how different the two women really were. Such as how they had each found out about his family’s curse…
While Kana had slipped and he had tried to catch her, she’d never made an aggressive move towards actually embracing him before he was ready. Kagome had practically tackled him. He’d invited her over to watch a movie on night and was coming back from the kitchen with some popcorn when she pounced on him as he rounded a corner. After the initial smoke had cleared, Kagome only sat and stared at his small seahorse form among the all the spilled popcorn for a moment before her eyes widened greatly and she scooped him up and ran to the kitchen sink. Quickly plugging it and filling it with water, she placed him inside and proceeded to cry as she apologized over and over again.
It was about ten minutes later, after she’d lain her head down on the counter next to the sink and been reduced to watery sniffles, when he transformed back. She’d stumbled back a few feet in surprise and immediately blushed a deep crimson upon realizing that he was naked. Until she took another look at the situation he was in. Hatori, a fully grown man, was sitting completely naked in one side of his kitchen sink which was now overflowing with the displaced water.
She was able to keep a straight face for about two seconds before she started losing her battle and he saw the corner of her mouth start to twitch. Hatori was fully aware of how ridiculous he must have looked, and he knew what was coming now even if it wasn’t what he had been expecting when he first transformed. He heard a small snort before her hand flew to her mouth in an attempt to keep some semblance of seriousness about her, but she soon lost her internal battle completely as she literally fell in the floor with laughter.
All Hatori could do was grab a dish towel and cover himself as he pulled himself out of the sink and went to get some fresh clothes. He was a little concerned when he came back to the kitchen to see Kagome still lying in the floor when all was quiet, but quickly frowned when he saw that she just couldn’t inhale due to laughing as hard as she was. Grabbing a glass from a nearby cabinet and scooping some now-cold water from the sink, Hatori poured the liquid over Kagome’s head to sober her up a little.
He couldn’t help but quirk a small grin as she shrieked around more laughter, “EW! Naked Hatori water!!”
Handing her a dry towel, Hatori bent down in front of her and quietly asked, “Aren’t you going to say anything? Call me a freak, ask what happened, run away and never look at me again?”
Kagome just gave him a look that he could only interpret as something between pity and understanding before answering, “No. This is just one more thing that makes you special.”
He had been surprised at the time, but Kagome had insisted that they finish their movie and then talk about it. And apparently he wasn’t the only one who had been keeping secrets. They had decided to be completely open about themselves and their pasts with one another.
Hatori looked down at the kitchen sink he’d walked over to stand in front of as he touched the cool metal. Kagome had always marveled at how tidy he kept his home. He’d been to her house and while it wasn’t in complete disarray, it was what one could call ‘organized chaos’. But it fit her well.
Walking down the hallway towards his bedroom, he just stood in the doorway and stared at his bed. The crisp, white sheets were starched and ironed to perfection. There wasn’t a single wrinkle or crease to be seen. But all he could see was the image his mind was superimposing on the area. Instead of the large, empty bed with smooth sheets, Hatori saw an arm and leg covered in porcelain skin sticking out from a tangled mass of white cotton that was contrasted greatly against the ebony hair that fanned across the pillows.
Hatori couldn’t even begin to count how many mornings he’d stood in the very same doorway with his coffee as he watched her sleep until she needed to be up for work. That bed held so many memories. It was where he had memorized every inch of every curve and crevice that made up her body. Sex was very possible for the zodiac members if they were careful. And he was glad too. He wasn’t sure if the family estate could handle the fits some of the men—such as Shigure—would throw if they were forced to remain virgins until they died.
But not all of the memories that his bedroom held were pleasant. One in particular stood out in his mind.
He and Kagome had gotten into another argument. She was so passionate and excitable, but against his cool and calm attitude clashes were unavoidable sometimes. He’d said something blunt and insensitive again. It was almost funny in a twisted sort of way that he couldn’t even remember what it was that he’d said now. But she had thought that he was putting down something that she thought was important. And being proud, he hadn’t corrected her at the time. The argument had ended with her packing her things that she kept at his house and saying she was going to stay at her own house for a while. But what had hit him with more force than a train was what she said before she walked out the door.
She had turned to him with tears in her eyes and said in a cracked voice, “Sometimes…sometimes I think I could just save myself a lot of heartache by not getting involved with complicated men like you…”
Those words had pierced his heart and continued to haunt his mind for hours after she’d left. He turned them over and analyzed them again and again searching for what she’d really meant by them. And whether he was correct in the end or it was just his wounded heart at the time, Hatori had come to one conclusion: Kagome wasn’t happy with him and never truly would be.
And so, steeling his emotions and becoming like frozen snow once more, he made his way to Kagome’s small home late that night. She’d long ago given him a key, and he was easily able to let himself in before making his way down the dark hall that lead to her bedroom. He’d brought the rest of her possessions from his house in a small bag; when she awoke, she’d simply think that she’d gotten back from a trip and hadn’t unpacked yet…
She was already asleep and for that he was thankful. Sitting down on the edge of the bed caused it to dip slightly and the movement was enough to rouse Kagome from her slumber. “Hatori?” She asked drowsily. “What in the world are you doing here?? Do you know what time it is?”
“It’s okay, Kagome,” he answered solemnly as he lifted his hand to touch her cheek gently. “You won’t have to be bothered with me or my family’s burdens anymore.” His hand gradually slid up to cover her sleep-glazed eyes before he continued. “I hope you can find happiness with someone less complicated…”
“Hatori?” He heard her ask; she was still trying to wake up enough to figure out what was going on. But when he heard her gasp in realization, Hatori knew that he couldn’t hesitate any longer. “Hatori! Wait, don’t—!” But she was cut off with a bright flash of light as unconsciousness consumed her.
After that night, Hatori had tried to erase Kagome from his memory. It felt like a piece of him died each day that he had to go on knowing that she was out in the world somewhere none-the-wiser to what they had shared. He wanted to hate her for being able to forget. Maybe being angry would be an improvement over what he was currently feeling. But no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t fault her.
To him, she would always be the one person who could do no wrong.
Was he destined to spend the rest of his life alone? The past had clearly proven that it would simply repeat itself in one way or another…could his heart and mind handle falling in love again only to lose another?
At this point he didn’t know and really didn’t care to find out any time soon.
Still staring at his bed, Hatori pondered on whether or not he would ever be able to sleep soundly in it again now that he had to sleep alone. He could get a new bed, but the bed would still be in the same room. And the same room would still be in the same house. Would he have to move to a new house before he could get closure? If that was the case, he would have to get new furnishings as well. Almost everything in his current home had a memory attached to it.
Hatori was suddenly pulled out of his thoughts by a loud banging at his front door. His first thought was naturally that there was an emergency with Akito, and he already had his jacket half-way on when he flung the door open to ask what the symptoms were. But he stopped all movement when he was met with those familiar dark blue eyes.
Those eyes…they told him so much in that moment. They held confusion, hurt, anger, and another emotion that Hatori couldn’t quite place. “Kagome?” His deep voice rasped out as his throat had suddenly gone dry.
He didn’t know what he had been expecting, but it certainly wasn’t what happened. “You jerk!” She screamed at him as her small fist made contact with his chest. It stung a little, but he could tell that not all of her strength was put behind it. “What did you think you were doing?!” She shouted as she hit him again. He couldn’t bring himself to stop her punches, so he allowed her to beat on his chest as she told him off.
“Why would you do something like that?!” Kagome was confused. She had listened to the message that Hatori had left on her answering machine, and it hadn’t made any sense at first. He’d told her that he missed her and still loved her and was sorry for how things ended. So she’d listened to it again despite a headache that was forming. There was something that she was missing. The harder she had thought about it, the more her head had hurt. And by the time the pain got to the point of making her nauseous, everything hit her at once. She remembered her relationship with Hatori, their fight, and his erasing her memories that night. But now the hypnosis was broken. It was broken and she was livid.
“Did what we have really mean so little to you that you were willing to throw it away over a stupid argument?! Who do you think you are?! You can’t just do that to people Hatori!! That isn’t how relationships work! You’re supposed to talk about things after fights. Everyone says things that they don’t mean!” She was starting to lose steam now and she knew it. But she wanted to be angry damn it! She wanted to beat him senseless for what he did. But she found all the sharp words she’d rehearsed in her head on the way to the Sohma estate taking a very different route.
“I didn’t mean what I said! You know I don’t always think before I speak.” Her punches had died down to half-hearted swats at this point as she drew closer to the still man in front of her, her eyes downcast. “I didn’t mean it…I swear……I’m sorry, Hatori! I’m so sorry…” That was all she was able to get out as her voice started to crack with the tears fighting their way to the surface.
The same small fists that had been out for blood when she arrived were now fisted in his white shirt as she cried into his chest and apologized over and over.
Hatori lowered them gently to the floor, making sure to avoid any contact that could trigger a transformation, and did his best to comfort the woman he loved so much.
“Kagome…I just wanted to give you your best chance for being happy. I’m a cold man—I know this—and I didn’t want your spirit to be destroyed by this family. If letting you go was the best way to ensure your happiness, then I was willing to do that,” he explained.
“You idiot…” Kagome mumbled. “Did think that I wasn’t happy with you??”
“That night…you said that you would be better off—” But he was cut off when she pressed a finger against his lips.
“I was angry. I said something stupid that I didn’t mean. Are you really going to take that one moment as a defining marker for our relationship?? What about all the happy times? Every couple fights, Hatori. It’s inevitable,” she smiled up at him as her tears finally started to stop. “But you can tell that a couple is meant to be together when they’re able to move past it and work through it.”
Hatori could only stare at the beautiful woman in front of him. Her hair was windblown and her cheeks were rosy from a combination of the cold wind outside and crying. Her eyes were the same deep ocean blue that he remembered. She acted like a little girl so often that he would sometimes forget that she was prone to very profound moments. She was wise and patient and passionate. Hatori couldn’t even hope to stop the soft smile that spread across his face at where his thoughts had ended.
“What??” Kagome asked thoroughly confused.
“You’ll make a very good mother someday,” he told her as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
Kagome instantly blushed before pushing away from him and averting her eyes. There was a moment of silence between them before she stood up and brushed herself off as she stared down at him. He looked like a little boy sitting there on the floor with his shirt wrinkled from her clutching it, coat half on, no shoes, and slightly mussed hair hanging over his left eye in his trademark fashion.
Giving a gentle laugh, Kagome extended her hand for him before saying, “You’re not allowed to talk about children until after you’ve proposed. But you have a lot of kissing up to do to make up for that memory erasing stunt you pulled, buddy! And you can start by getting me some aspirin…my head is still killing me from getting those memories back.”
He knew that he would probably be in trouble for a while, but as Kagome dragged him off towards the kitchen for a glass of water Hatori couldn’t have been happier. They would definitely sit down to discuss this at greater length later, but for now they were together again and he wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth, as they say.
To think that if Shigure and Ayame hadn’t gotten him completely smashed the night before, he’d still be wallowing in self-pity and depression right now. His cousins really were always there to watch his back.
But there wasn’t a chance in hell that he would ever tell them that they’d inadvertently saved the best relationship he’d ever had.
He would just have to find a way to thank them discreetly.
AN: So that was a little random, now that I really look at it. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoyed!!