A/N: I don't care what anyone says, I like Good Charlotte's music. And as such, I really couldn't care less about what else they do. I pay no attention to the policies of singers and music groups. So no comments on my taste in bands, please. Besides, this song conjures brilliantly vivid pictures in my mind, and I have a tendency both to be a hopeless romantic and to fixate on the Inuyasha gang while listening to music. Thus, this songfic. It started with the last few lines, which formed the rather morbid image of Inuyasha falling from the jaws of an enemy, and Kagome trying to stop his fall. The very last lines—please don't leave—I can practically hear both Inuyasha and Kagome saying. At the risk of sounding cheesy, they're haunting. Those words express what neither Inuyasha or Kagome have been able to say out loud. (Damn angst.)

Disclaimer: All right, damn it, I'll say it. Bloody copyright Nazis. mutter mutter I don't own Inuyasha or anyone/thing associated with him; he belongs to Rumiko Takahashi, that lucky woman. And I don't own 'Say Anything,' by Good Charlotte.

Please Don't Leave

Here I am, on
The phone again and
Awkward silences
On the other end

Inuyasha sat on the edge of the well, in that slightly more comfortable, worn-in spot he'd become so accustomed to. Normally the music of the trees and their resident wildlife, the wind sighing across the tips of the long grass, were comforting, a lull of little noises that meant nothing was wrong. Normally, he would sit and wait for Kagome to come back with no more than his usual impatience.

He didn't know if she was coming back this time. He didn't know why she kept coming in the first place, but that didn't make it any less imperative that she come back. More the opposite, in fact. And so he sat here, wanting to go bring her back, as he'd done so often before—but for what? Another argument, a deeper, wider split, the return of the nameless, ceaseless ache that he couldn't begin to explain, much less ease? He didn't know if the cost was worth it.

'Maybe she'd be happier without all this…'

His entire thought process clenched involuntarily, even as his fingers spasmed deep into the old, rotting wood of the well's lip, gouging chunks from the boards. He was too distracted to feel the pain as his claws pricked through to stab his palms and his teeth drew blood from a bitten lip. What if she was happier without him? What if this time she really didn't want him to follow? His mind raced in circles, always asking the questions he was afraid to know the answers to.

I used to know the sound
Of a smile
In your voice

When had it turned into a battle? Not from the beginning, he did know that at least. She'd been able to laugh before. She'd been able to forget, for little bits at a time, that they were fighting for their lives and their futures in a match that was so rigged that the other guy hadn't even bothered to show up. She'd even let him make her laugh sometimes, he who could barely make himself laugh. And her smile…

Her smiles were treasured memories, to someone who didn't have much except memories. And they were fading… it had been so fucking long…

But right now
All I feel
Is the pain of the fighting
Starting up again

In place of those memories, there was the fighting. Not even against an enemy he could beat; he was fighting her, and they were both losing. They were throwing words that cut more brutally than any weapon Inuyasha had been impaled by. He'd never been good with words, but it didn't really matter at this point. No matter how clumsily or skillfully he defended himself, he ended up dragging himself away with wounds he couldn't lick or heal—worse, because he knew she would go off and do the same thing, and he hated himself for it.

His fangs had punctured his lip, and still he didn't notice. It was healing anyway. Was she healing?

Or was she repeating to herself what she'd said when she'd left?

All the things we talk about
You know they stay on my mind
On my mind

"I hate you…"

It would've been better if she'd screamed it. He could've yelled back, he could've defended himself against screaming. But she'd whispered it, and she'd sounded so sure… she'd sounded as if she believed it… she'd smelled as if she'd believed it…

He vaulted off the edge of the well before he'd even consciously made the decision. He couldn't let her think she'd had the last word, not after what she'd said. He wouldn't let her erase him like that. He wouldn't just leave her.

He knew the way from the well to her bedroom window better than the soles of his feet or the hilt of Tetsusaiga. No one was there when he slid the shutter up—wasn't sure how he felt about that—but he could still smell her. She'd been here no more than a minute or so ago, on her bed, even though one of those stupid 'text books' she complained about lay open to some mystifying diagram on her desk. She hadn't touched it.

She'd been crying.

All the things we laugh about
Will bring us through it every time
After time, after time

Something in his gut twisted mercilessly, as it always did at the scent of her tears. Why couldn't she laugh, dammit, why couldn't her room smell cheerful… it wasn't right that she cry alone. It wasn't right for her to smell so broken.

'Shit… we can fix this, right?'


Don't say a word
I know you feel the same
Just give me a sign
Say anything, say anything

He turned to face her, standing in the doorway, and at the sight of the despair in her eyes—not even surprise, just dead dreams—he didn't even try to defend himself. He just blurted out exactly what was on his mind.

"Come back."

She closed her eyes, painfully, and it panicked him so much that he didn't give her a chance to speak. "It's been five days. Your school-thing can't be taking that long."

Please don't walk away
I know you wanna stay
Just give me a sign
Say anything, say anything

She didn't even get angry at his mention of school, just looked at him dully. "Inuyasha, why are you even here?"

"Because you need to come back, dammit!" he snapped, temper surfacing by way of frustration and a heavy dose of fear. "We—we can't travel without you, you know that."

"Yeah," she murmured quietly, hard, brittle edges in her voice. "'The shard detector.' I remember."

He bit his tone back from a full-voiced yell to a vehement growl. "Fuck, no! Stop that!"

"Stop what? Being honest?"

"Yes! No! FUCK! Just—" He ground his teeth helplessly, struggling to clamp down on his fear. "Just come back. We n—need you." Hell if he knew why the 'n' word was so difficult to say, but it was.

Her mouth opened a little, a soft, tiny breath of surprise. He almost sagged with relief as the apathy left her blue-grey eyes, even if it was replaced by incredulity. Anything to make her stop looking at him like that.

"'We' need me." Her tone was still hurting, but it held just enough hope to make him hold his breath. "Who's 'we,' Inuyasha?"

He knew he shouldn't, but he still looked at her as if she were in need of a straitjacket. "What the hell d'you mean, 'who's we'?"

Acid disappointment flooded her scent. "Forget it." She turned to walk away. Again…

He was across the room in the space of an eyeblink, having upset two chairs and a side table to do so. Despite the speed with which he grabbed her forearms, his grip was delicate, willing himself not to break her again.

"Please," he said hoarsely.

She stared at him again, and something broke in her eyes a second time. But this time she didn't pull away, didn't whisper venom; her entire scant weight sagged onto his hands gripping her arms, and he tentatively pulled her into a hug. 'It'll be all right…'

Some say that
Time changes
Best friends can
Become strangers
But I don't want that
No, not for you
If you just stay with me
We can make it through

They were back in the Sengoku Jidai, but that was the only thing that had changed. At first there had only been uncomfortable silence—that had kept up for a few days—but now they were taking each other apart again. It was ostensibly over Shippou this time, but that didn't really matter. It all came back to the same things. Inuyasha didn't even want to think about what 'the same things' were, damn it. Why couldn't they just stop?

"No, you ass, it's because you think everything can be solved with that stupid sword!" Kagome shouted.

"So I'm just incredibly stupid, is that it!" he yelled back.

"You wish you had that excuse! You're just a stubborn asshole!"

"Stubborn? That's a laugh, coming from you! You're worse than a bitch; at least bitches know when to let go!"

"Where do you get off saying that, you bastard?" If fury could have been translated into raw heat, the grass around her feet would have been blazing by now, but he was past caring. He knew which direction she would go for now… "You can't even let go of something that happened fifty years ago! You can't let go of—"

"Will you SHUT UP about KIKYOU!"

"NO!" she shrieked. "You never bring her up, so I might as well! Damn you, you can't even make a choice between life and death! The best you can look forward to from her is a cooler spot in Hell, and you still don't even put up a token fight when she calls you—"

"What makes you so much better?"

The instant the silence fell, he could have ripped out his tongue. 'ShitshitshitfuckingshitwhydidIsaythat…'

"I guess nothing." He wished for once that he'd been born with human hearing. His canine ears could feel every waver and break in her voice like a stab. She smelled like the shock before death.

"K… Kagome…"

"What, you didn't mean it?" she asked dully, not even looking at him anymore. "Then what did you mean, Inuyasha? Go on, tell me. It'd be nice to know."

So here we are again
The same old argument
And now I'm wondering
If things will ever change

His mind was buzzing like a caged thing, but was still more blank than it had been when Tetsusaiga hadn't been enough.

"If you didn't mean it, why did you say it?" she whispered, looking at him again. He wished she'd glare at him; it would've been easier to deal with than those devastated eyes. "Am I no better than a handful of memories? Some dead husk of what used to be good? Do I hurt you like she does?"

"No." Inuyasha dragged his voice out of its refuge and forced it to work. "You're wrong. How many times have I told you, you're nothing like—don't even tell me I've said that before, I know already. You've got to stop comparing yourself to Kikyou. It's stupid."

"Of course," she mumbled. "No comparison, is there?"

"Kagome—" His hands balled into fists tight enough to make his nails gouge deep into his palms. Once again, he didn't notice. He was tired of trying to shout her down. "Just—stop."

When will you laugh again
Laugh like you did back when
We'd make noise 'till three AM
And the neighbors would complain

"Why did you bring me back here?"

He forced himself not to lose control. His grip held, but only just. "I told you. We need you here." Hopefully a safe answer.

Wrong. "What do you need me for? All I'm good for is finding shards and trouble," she murmured harshly.

Snap went his control. "Do you like hurting yourself like this? What the hell do you say those things for?"

"They're true, aren't they?"

"Hell—" He bit off any further invective, wishing she would stop smelling so bitter that her scent burned his nose. "Dammit, no, you idiot."

"Oh, well, forgive me for assuming, Your Royal Benevolence," she shot back acidly. Then, in a much smaller voice, "Let's just stop."

He blinked. "Nani?"

"Just stop. All this." She gestured hopelessly around. "Let's just… not talk for a while."

He wanted to stop her as she walked away, but his coward body wouldn't let him. Swearing at his own idiocy and incompetence and cowardice and worthlessness, he stalked away in the other direction.

All the things we talk about
You know they stay on my mind
On my mind
All the things we laugh about
Will bring us through it every time
After time, after time

They still weren't talking in the evening. Shippou was silent; Miroku passed out dinner with forced conversation, but eventually gave up. Sango kept casting worried looks at Kagome, and even spared Inuyasha a few when she wasn't eyeing him as if trying to telepathically figure out what the hell he'd done.

'If I find out, I'll let you know,' he thought gloomily, picking disinterestedly at his ramen.

Their fight kept replaying in his mind—not really the shouting part, just that piece at the end when she'd practically given up. Not, of course, that that meant she'd let him win. How was it that she could make him feel so guilty by insulting herself? Guilt was supposed to be reserved for when you'd actually done something. It was as if she were blaming herself for his stupid fucking screw-ups…

His ramen was cold, and still barely touched. He abandoned it and his seat at the base of a tree and retreated to the upper branches. No one commented. After a while, he heard Kagome moving, heard her footsteps heading away from the fire until he had to strain to sense her at all. He didn't worry about it any more than usual, chalking it up to disgust on her part at the way he was so obviously hiding. She did come back when Sango tentatively expressed a need for sleep; they all bundled into the 'sleeping bags' she'd brought from her world, banking the fire and gradually dropping into fitful dreams. With the exception of Shippou, who slept like a sack of sand anyway, they were all faring poorly in their sleep. Inuyasha knew perfectly well that he wouldn't get any rest no matter how hard he tried, so he didn't. It wasn't as if he'd never sat up all night before.

Still, it had been a literal hell of a day…

He closed his eyes briefly in an effort to keep them from crossing in protest, and when he opened them again, the sky was several shades lighter and he couldn't hear a damned thing below him.

'Shit doubleshit.' He called himself various kinds of idiot as he dropped lightly from his perch, taking in a good whiff of the wind as he did so.

Don't say a word
I know you feel the same
Just give me a sign
Say anything, say anything

Shippou was balled up by a lightly snoring Sango's ear, as was Kirara. Miroku was sprawled unconcernedly a little distance away, just as still. Kagome's sleeping bag lay a little further off, pulled over a lumpy, huddled shape that Inuyasha winced at when he saw it. She was still mad.

Then his nose shrieked to get his attention. Sango: check. Miroku: check. Kitsune and neko-youkai: check check.

No Kagome.

He dashed to the sleeping bag and yanked it back. A bundle of rope and blankets rigged into a rough human shape elicited a string of blistering curses that woke the others with a start. The hanyou didn't bother to explain it to them; already he was away, trying to pinpoint her scent. Damn it, when had she gotten so good at fooling his nose? He couldn't smell her anywhere!

The scream that punctured the distance a second later, though, he heard with perfect clarity.

Please don't walk away
I know you wanna stay
Just give me a sign
Say anything, say anything

Miroku and Sango would tell him, later, that the speed of his passage ripped the ground apart in a meter-wide swath; all he knew, though, was that he was going too slowly, there hadn't been another scream, he was going to be too late.

He bellowed her name, trying to scent the danger before it could get to her, and put on another burst of speed when she screamed again. Tetsusaiga fairly leaped from its sheath as he bulled toward her voice—

I'm falling
I'm falling
I'm falling down

He shouted in surprise and dodged barely in time as a thick, shifting rope of flesh slammed into the place he'd been a breath ago. The appendage extended back to a wet, heavy mound of flesh with a long, snaky neck that swayed as it supported its barracudaesque head. Its snarl bared fangs as long as the hanyou's arm.

A sickeningly familiar voice rang through the air: "In the trees." Inuyasha roared in blood-rage as he tried futilely to pinpoint the voice's source, and Naraku laughed. The creature, though, evidently understood Naraku's directive. It shrilled and darted its bladelike head toward a small copse, obliterating the trees with one sweep.

Kagome stumbled backward in the newly bare space, screaming. The arrow she shot at the beast flew wide.

"Kill her," Naraku's voice commanded.

I'm falling
I'm falling
I'm falling down

Inuyasha screamed, lunging for the thing's throat with Tetsusaiga leading. In one blurred movement the creature sideslipped the thrust and spat at him. The saliva only grazed his hakama, but still the tough fire-rat cloth melted away like ice crust under hot water. The thing hissed at him, beetle-black eyes glittering.

"Kill her!"

The monster's gaze darted back toward Kagome, and Inuyasha leaped for its face, driving at its eye. The beast shrieked, shaking itself like a dog. It didn't dislodge Inuyasha, but it effectively mucked up his aim. Tetsusaiga snagged between the creature's teeth, jamming its mouth open. Growling, Inuyasha dug his claws into the thing's oily flesh, bracing himself to deliver a killing blow.

And the monster's tongue—barbed, spring-loaded, and drenched in corrosive saliva—shot from the back of its mouth and through Inuyasha's gut.


Burning, hurting, falling; a vague thought—'Fuck, that's bad.'


Kagome's enraged, panicked shriek. A blinding light that sailed past him. More screaming.


Kagome crying. Still falling. Waiting to hit the ground. Maybe the hurting would stop if he broke his neck. He didn't want to hurt…

Don't say a word
I know you feel the same
Just give me a sign
Say anything, say anything

Arms around him at the last second, a body deadening the pain of impact. He looked dazedly at Kagome, at tear-streaked cheeks and eyes that willed him not to go.

"Shit," he mumbled. "Don't cry."

She wasn't speaking in coherent sentences, but he did catch her orders to keep still and don't talk and please don't leave…

Please don't walk away
I know you wanna stay
Just give me a sign
Say anything, say anything

He felt her small hands on his wound, cooling the burn of the acid slightly where she touched. He wanted to tell her not to do that, because then she'd burn herself and they'd both be hurt and he didn't want her to be hurt—

"Shh, don't talk, I'm fixing you, you'll be okay, just don't go anywhere…" she whispered to him in a continuous stream, pressing down hard. It hurt, but somehow that was irrelevant. Where, for example, would he be going?

Please don't leave


"Don't, Inuyasha, just hold on, I need you here—heal, damn you, what use is magic if it doesn't fucking do anything?"

"Don' yell… Ka… Kagome…" He was hurting more, not less, and her face was clearer to him. Was that good?

Please don't leave…

Yes, it was, because it meant he wasn't going anywhere. He wasn't disappointing her. It didn't even strike him as ironic that she'd been the one to rescue him. It felt good. It meant she wasn't going to leave.

"Stay with me, Inuyasha… please, I need you to stay here with me…"

His fingers found hers, squeezed. "I will."