The sounds of swords slicing the air, the battle cries piercing the night, bright flashes of pink light casting the scene of horror into stark relief are all Kagome can notice while everyone battles together. Miroku with Sango on top of Kirara, Shippo and Rin far away from the scene on top of the two headed dragon AhUn. Jaken with his staff of two heads burning any of the tentacles that dared come near the children.
Inuyasha swung his sword with a loud cry, unleashing it's Wind Scar across the ground, sending chunks of dirt and various body parts that had been chopped off of Naraku into the air. Sesshomaru off to the side, defending his own battle area with his own sword in his usual graceful manner. His face devoid of emotion save the slight red edging into the corners of his eyes while he dodged yet another attack.
Reaching back, Kagome snatched another arrow from her quiver and shot it directly at the nightmarish creature before them, making a big enough opening for one of the brothers to dive in and hack off yet another piece of him before darting away once more.
The battle had been going on for too long, everyone was beginning to show exhaustion, Miroku's face was pinched in pain while he clutched the wrist of his right hand, the wind tunnel had sucked in too many of the Samyiosho and already the skin of his arm was turning to a sickly purple.
Sango's arm was shaking from the effort of swinging her Hiraikotsu so often to battle away the minor demons threatening them and the fighters on the ground, Inuyasha's face was dripping sweat onto the packed earth below him, mixing with the blood spilt from various people during all of this. Even Kagome could feel her arm shaking violently from just clutching the bow in her hand in order to shoot off another purifying arrow.
Only Sesshomaru seemed unphased by the effort needed for all of this, of course to the trained eye, you would see the slight, tired lines just under his eyes, the small motion of his eyebrows pulling together. To everyone else, he looked the same, but to Kagome, she could see how tired the Inuyoukai was becoming.
'We need to finish this now, before everyone is too tired to even lift an arm.' Kagome panicked slightly, shooting off another arrow and wincing when it fell too far from it's mark to do any real damage to the beast. 'This needs to be finished.'
Reaching up, she clutched the small bottle containing her three fragments, the knuckles turning white from the strength she clutched it with. 'Only one thing. This is all I can do, it has to work. Because if I fail... We're all dead anyway.'
Working quickly, she shook the shards out into her palm, taking a moment to admire the purity shining from the small fragments resting against her dirty skin before carefully bonding them to the tip of one of her arrows. Straightening up, she notched it into her bow, her arm trembling from the exertion from drawing the string. Closing one of her eyes, she sighted along the shaft, aiming directly at the malignant light shining from the center of Naraku's form. 'Hit the mark!'
Letting the arrow fly, she felt the feathers cut her cheek from the force behind the arrow as it flew past her, bursting into a ball of purification energy, boosted by the shards bonded to it as it flew towards the demon in front of them. "Naraku! You wanted them, you can have them!" She shouted just as the arrow pierced his flesh, connecting with the jewel and sending out a wave of light from his body, following by an inhuman scream of pure agony.
Sensing the pure jewel complete itself, Kagome allowed her arm to drop and dangle by her side, her fingers refusing to clutch the bow any longer and letting it clatter to the dirt. Sending an exhausted smile over at the two brothers who turned to give her approving glances, she dropped to her knees and took a slow breath, her eyes closing as she let a wash of relief steal over her.
"Kagome, look out!" Inuyasha's voice made her eyes snap open again just in time to see a black tendril shoot out of the contorted body in front of them all. "If I die, you will come with me, Miko!" Naraku's slimy voice announced as his tentacle pierced the young girl straight through the stomach, tearing the organs in it's way to pieces. The look of shock that marred her face sent a small pang shooting through Sesshomaru's chest as she fell to the ground, her red blood seeping out into a ever-growing puddle under her.
Dropping his sword, he walked over to the girl numbly, Inuyasha beating him there and already kneeling beside her, lifting her head up from the ground gently with a sorrowful look on his face. Stopping beside him, Sesshomaru looked down at Kagome as she whispered to his brother, a dull pounding in his ears blocking out anything she said until her eyes turned to him, a familiar twinkle shining in their depths. "Sesshomaru, sorry I couldn't keep my promise to stay by your side." She smiled weakly, a pained grimace crossing her face then vanishing again as she smiled once more.
Sensing Inuyasha moving away, he knelt beside her, his hand reaching out on it's own accord to brush a strand of hair from her face, his own still a stoic mask save for the dangerous shine in his eyes. "Don't worry. I'll be fine, just promise not to kill Inuyasha while I'm gone, okay?" She even managed a weak laugh, all her life she went about trying to make others feel better without a care for how she felt.
It was what drew him to her in the first place. That, and her determination and loyalty. She shone with the purist of lights in his unending life of shadow. He refused to see it until only a month ago, when he finally admitted to himself he felt for her, what he felt, he couldn't be sure. But he did feel at least something for the young woman before him. For her, it was enough. And now he realized he should have done so much more for her.
"This Sesshomaru has Tenseiga." He managed to say stiffly, measuring the light in her eyes carefully, trying to determine just how much she had left. "Oh yea... Forgot about that." She gasped softly, a wide smile splitting her face. "Better hurry up and die then, huh? That way I can jump up and help you guys heal..."
"Don't say such things, Kagome." Miroku's voice broke through, alerting Sesshomaru of her three other friends kneeling by her side, sad looks on their faces. "Don't leave me, Kagome!" Shippo cried, clinging to her arm as he sobbed over his foster mother's steadily failing heartbeat.
"Shh... I'll be fine. You heard Sesshomaru. Just wait, I'll be back better than ever." She soothed the small kit with a gentle smile, leaving Sesshomaru to marvel once again at her inner strength to be able to offer comfort and strength to her friends while she lay dying.
Her eyes drifted up to the sky above them, a peaceful look stealing over her face. "Ah... I can see it. The Color blue..." She whispered softly as her heart finally stopped, leaving the light in her eyes to wink then die out, leaving them dull and lifeless.
Waiting another moment to be sure her heart failed, Sesshomaru stood swiftly, motioning with a hand for her friends to move back before drawing Tensaiga and holding it in front of him, waiting for the familiar pulse that allowed him to see the gremlins that carried the souls of the dead.
Another moment passed, making his eyebrows draw together in frustration. 'Why do you not call? Allow this Sesshomaru to save this woman, now!' He mentally snapped at the sword only to receive response. "Lord Sesshomaru?" Miroku's hesitant voice sounded, making his amber eyes drag themselves from the blade and over to his face. "What happened?"
"Tensaiga refuses to respond." He explained curtly, turning his glare back to the useless blade in front of him, ignoring the outraged growl from his half brother standing off to the side. Allowing one more moment to pass, Sesshomaru forced himself to sheathe the blade and turn away from the renewed sobs coming from her friends. "This One... Is sorry." With that, he walked away, refusing to show the heart-wrenching emotion that tore at his chest with claws sharper than his own.
'This Sesshomaru has failed you, Kagome.' His mind whispered softly before he vanished into the darkness of the surrounding trees, leaving the small group of friends to mourn alone.
Amber eyes watched her bouncing from the house settled in the shrine, a small smile attempting to tug at the corner of his mouth as she waved energetically at her brother where he stood on the porch "Bye, Souta! Be good for mom and gramps!" She called, it had been so long since he last heard her voice. He had been tempted to seek her out before, but he couldn't, he knew he couldn't. He wouldn't risk changing the battle, even if it meant knowing she would die. Kagome wouldn't have wanted him to stop her if she knew it was her arrow alone that saved her time from utter destruction.
His sharp gaze followed her as she stepped into the well house, her slight form stopping for a moment so she could turn and cast a final gaze around the shine with a curious frown on her face. He knew she wouldn't see or sense him. He had five hundred years to perfect his ability to shield himself from anyone who could sense demonic presences. It was for the best, she would have wanted this, despite how much he longed to save her.
Clutching his fists tightly, Sesshomaru ignored the bite from his claws as they tore open the flesh on his palms, sending drops of his blood to fall from his fingers and down to the wood of the branch he stood on. He couldn't stop her, he wouldn't stop her, he had to let her leave. Repeating the mantra in his head, he forced back the pain shooting through his chest as she turned away and disappeared into the darkness of the small house holding the well.
Closing his eyes, he turned his head away, trying not to sense the energy coming from the portal as it opened up to allow the young woman through one last time. It would be the final time it would be used, for the next day would be the battle that would end her life. This would be the very final time he would see her face and take in her scent. The first and last time in five hundred years.
With the final tickle on the edge of his senses, the well fell dormant once again leaving him with only the faint traces of her scent that hovered around the shrine she lived in for sixteen years. Casting a careful eye around, he made his way over to the window of her bedroom, sliding it open just enough to step inside.
Taking a slow breath, he savored her scent once again, silently willing her soul to return her here where he knew her best. All the years of watching her grow and become the woman he had grown to love. Yes, he did love her, he only realized it too late to do anything about it. He should have said it, he should have acted on it. But no, she would die thinking he barely tolerated her presence even though she promised to be there for him.
Walking over to her desk, he let one hand trail lightly over the books she had stacked on top of it, papers haphazardly scattered over-top of them from where she last left them. 'Homework.' He realized faintly, his eyes picking out her careful handwriting detailing the meaning behind a story she had read for a class.
With a final deep breath, Sesshomaru turned and forced himself to leave her room. Within a month he would return to tell her mother what had happened, Inuyasha couldn't considering he had moved to America nearly a hundred years ago, determined to keep his mind off of Kagome and knowing she would be born sometime soon. He didn't want to see her on the street, the pain would have been too much to see his best friend and her not recognize him.
Walking away from the shrine, Sesshomaru stopped on a bridge, pausing to lean against the railing and gaze out over the gentle flowing water below the reflected the sun as it began to set. Turning his gaze skyward, he searched it once again in order to find what she had meant all those years ago only to see the orange and red of sunset. 'Blue wouldn't be in the setting sky, or even the rising. Blue would be in water...' Dropping his gaze down once again, he sucked in a startled breath. The memory of what she said coming to mind. 'I can see it, the Color blue...' He thought she had meant the sky, but even to his eyes he could see she meant something entirely different.
She didn't mean the blue of the sky, or even a light. She meant the blue of their sadness. She knew she wouldn't be able to be saved, she knew she wouldn't return to them. Reaching up with a slightly shaking hand, he brushed away the tear he failed to notice. Holding up the clear drop in front of him, he studied it with curiosity. "I can see it too, Kagome. The color Blue..."
Blinking his eyes, he shook the drop from his finger and turned away before seeing it drop to the water below, it's ripples spreading out over the calm waters like the ripples of a pure heart. A single smile creating a strong ripple that would spread until it was big enough to even take over Sesshomaru himself, and allow him to grieve for a human woman he first thought unimportant in his life.
He just never realized how much pain it would cause him to lie to himself like that.