Holy shit on a stick.
It's been nearly a year since I updated this thing. And you know what. I've worked on it at least twice a month this entire time. The stupid ending just wouldn't finish. I've probably writing it a bajillion times now. This is the one I'm most satisfied with. I'm afraid it doesn't end very well but…, well, you'll see.
Enjoy your spectacularly LONG last chapter of Guardian Angel!
Chapter 50: Finale.
The storm blew heavily in the barren clearing, where all life had been burned away by the tremendous fights that had taken place there. The two tallest objects were the only living beings, facing each other as the wind and rain blew around them. Smoke from the previous fires smouldered and fogged the windswept area, yet the two beings seemed unaffected.
"So this is it, eh Naraku?" The shorter one raised a bloody arm to sweep the view of the clearing. "This is what we've come to! Two fucking years of fighting and it's just down to us. Is this what you wanted?!" A thunderclap pealed loudly through the area, a thin stroke of lightning silhouetting the wild-haired demon.
The taller, more slender of the pair surveyed the destroyed area coolly, giving off a casual shrug. "I somehow expected it to be less destroyed. Really Inu-Yasha, you ruined half my fun."
"Fun?! You're telling me this was all for fun?!" The shorter demon snarled. The taller smiled as if speaking to a young child who did not understand.
"Well, you didn't think I was getting paid for this, did you?"
The wild-haired demon spat into the wind, grimacing. "You've been leading us on for two years. You disappear and suddenly appear again and just when we start to defeat you, you decide to take the whole three fucking planes with you, because you're bored?!"
"Oh no, there is a master plan, you can be sure of that." Came the complacent reply.
Inu-Yasha's grip tightened on the hilt of the sword he held. "Well, we're at the end of the fight. Care to tell me the plan before one or both of us dies, you scheming bitch?"
Naraku's smile didn't even flicker at the insult. "If that's what you really want. And if you want to be happy, then I'll tell you right now that you're probably going to win. You'll kill me and everything will go back to normal." He swept his arms magnificently, looking for all the world like a speaker at a grand ceremony, rather then a demon at the end of space and time he brought about. Just as his hands came to rest in front of him, he paused. "Well, almost back to normal. No one's going to come back to life, are they?"
The look Inu-Yasha gave him was pure murder. Then one eyebrow raised and he sneered towards Naraku. "You seem mighty confident that it's me who's gonna be winning. This isn't some kinda trick, is it?"
"No." Naraku said calmly, the tips of his fingers touching delicately in front of him, as he stood across the burned out clearing like a priest on the eve of Doomsday. "No, you are probably going to win."
Inu-Yasha snorted. "Fuckin' right I'm gonna win. Then I won't have to deal with you ever again."
The smile Naraku returned was cold and bitter. "You don't follow history very well, do you half-breed? Oh, sorry, you're a threeblood now, thanks to your dear wife's contribution. Lovely, lovely angel, don't you think? Although her forehead wrinkled something awful when she was angry…"
"Would you quit the insults and get to the point?!" The threeblood growled through his teeth. "One minute you're telling me I'm gonna win, the next you're tellin' me I should know my history and you're actin' cocky all through it!"
"I would have expected one as barbaric as you to be superstitious Inu-Yasha." Naraku said, with a hint of amusement and exasperation. "So, pop-quiz! What's the most important number when it comes to space, time, the existences and the very fabric of everything?"
"Three." Inu-Yasha snorted. "Everyone who has half a brain knows that. Why?"
"Ah, that's where the history comes in, Inu-Yasha. Long, long, long, long, long ago, this very same fight happened."
The threeblood sniffed, but otherwise had no reaction. "So? The bad guy died then too."
Naraku smiled unpleasantly. "Three, Inu-Yasha. The First Strike happened long ago, separating the single plane into the three we have today. This," He gestured around him, "would be the Second Strike. I'm not quite sure what I've accomplished, but I'll probably find out by the time I'm reincarnated. Naturally, there's going to be a Third Strike, if we go by every superstitious connotation."
"And your point is?"
"My point is, my barbaric little opponent, that if you don't succeed in killing me, it destroys the balance and I destroy existence. If you do kill me, I'm just going to come back and since it'll be the last time around I'm guaranteed to win and existence is destroyed anyway. You really should just give up now, as you're just delaying the inevitable."
"Keh." The threeblood spat to the side, glaring at his opponent. "Even a few thousand year from now, my reincarnation's still gonna kill you!"
Naraku smiled wider. "Oh, don't even hold your breath to wait that long. Your most exact replica will be the one fighting my reincarnation. And you have a son whom after yourself you named, correct?"
The elder Inu-Yasha's nose wrinkled as the realisation dawned on him and, surprising even Naraku, he laughed.
"That just cliches it, pretty boy!" The threeblood shouted. "My own flesh and blood! And he's pure threeblood, so he's going to be even stronger then his father. He's gonna kick yer ass for sure!"
"We'll see." Was Naraku's composed reply. "Now we have a fight to complete, do we not?"
Inu-Yasha lifted a large, blood-coloured sword onto his shoulder and got into a fighting stance. "Aye, we do. So let's get this over with, eh?"
Naraku smiled villainously. "Of course."
Lightning forked through the air, followed almost immediately by a thunderous roar that reverberated through the entire rocky and watery plane. A small, bedraggled group was huddled underneath a large outcrop of rocks, which, along with a few well place spells, were protecting them from the harsh and bitter rain, which was beginning to come down so hard it was bruising.
Shippo had lit a small, fuel-less fire to keep them warm and was now curled up beside it, along with Kirrara, clutching his bushy tail close to keep warm. Miroku sat nearby, watching as the blue and green flames danced in their small circle, giving off flickering shadows everywhere. Whenever the lighting bolts flashed outside, which was getting more and more frequent, the angels would twitch slightly in their sleep. When Shippo began to stir as if waking up, Miroku put a silent and gentle hand on his head, settling the young fox back into sleep. The latest time this happened Miroku let out a slight sigh, rubbing his guardian's bushy red hair. Shippo may be an ethereal being but he was still a kid; no kid should have to live through what he was living right now.
Something stirred against him and Miroku glanced down at the sleeping Sango. Ah, the irrepressible Sango, sleeping like an angel, curled up against his body for warmth. He smiled slightly, but sadly, as she clutched onto his arm and snuggled up closer to his bare chest in her tormented dreams. Miroku knew she was probably going to be forever scarred from the doppelganger that had impersonated her brother, nearly killed her and then was killed by Inu-Yasha. He stroked her hair softly and while her body remained tense her expression relaxed and Miroku couldn't help placing a small kiss on her forehead. She was all the more angelic when she was sleeping because she couldn't slap him at all.
Miroku glanced up at where Kagome was sitting, as close to the edge of the shield spell as she could, staring into the darkness of the volcano where Inu-Yasha had vanished. She hadn't said a word since he had gone into that mountain to fight a battle he probably wouldn't survive. When they led her here she had seated herself by the entrance and watched the volcano with dry eyes and a solemn expression. In fact, Miroku was sure she hadn't moved at all, and the bright forks of lightning and deafening thunder did nothing to even shake her.
"One hour." Miroku glanced over at Mizuki, who was lying against a rock with his arms crossed and eyes closed. The kappa demon opened one eye a slit and focused it on the mortal, speaking low again. "The threeblood's been gone for one hour. That's how long the broad's been sittin' there."
Miroku glanced back over at Kagome before looking back at Mizuki. "You demons are more learned in the Strike lore than mortals. How long do you expect him to be in there?"
Mizuki had closed his eyes again, with all the semblance of sleep but the movement under his eyebrows was indication that he was instead thinking. He opened his mouth to reply, but it was a different voice that interrupted him.
"Until the end, if things are to go properly." Kuro-michi's dark voice came from the shadows. A fork of lightning flashed, illuminating his features for a moment, until the trespasser elaborated on his answer. "It is to be expected that the threeblood should and will not return."
"Why is that?" Miroku asked, shifting his weight to be a little more comfortable, and trying to accommodate Sango. Kuro-michi turned his piercing, soulless red eyes on the mortal for a moment, then shifted back to watch the Reborn girl.
"Because it is the end. It is truly that simple. Whether the threeblood lives or dies is irrelevant; he will lose none the less."
"Why?" Miroku kept his voice quiet, but the hinting of anger was still there. He glanced sideways to see if Kagome was listening; no doubt she was so close to the edge any mention of a certain doggy-eared fellow's death would send her running into that volcano.
Kuro-michi's gaze found it's way back to Miroku. "You're as knowledgeable with the rule of thirds as anyone in this hole. Despite the threeblood's denial, this is indeed the Third Strike."
"So there's nothing we can do? It's the end of the world as we know it?" Miroku partly hissed. He refused to believe they went through all this for nothing.
"And I feel fine…" Mizuki murmured dozily, staring at the ceiling and chewing on an non-lit cigarette. Miroku gave him a slight glare and then sighed. "Then why are we here?" He asked the shadowy demon.
"Because," Kuro-michi glanced back at Kagome, "You're supposed to be."
"I seem to fail to understand." Miroku said as politely and sharply as possible.
Kuro-michi fell silent and only watched the silent girl by the edge of the stone covering, who in turn watched the rain falling down in a harsh and steady beat.
"You know the rule of thirds, don't you?" It was Netsuna who indirectly answered Miroku's question. "Beginning, middle, end? Well, this is the third; this is the end."
"Then why go through all this? Why put us all through this when we're just going to lose anyway?" Miroku's hand unconsciously gripped Sango and he glanced down at the two angels sleeping by the fire.
"Why?" Netsuna stretched from her position beside her brother, flickering her tail with a bit of amusement. "Why live when you will only die? Why should the sun rise, if it is only to set again? There's no point, Miroku, do a lot of things if you look at the big picture. But the details count too, and that's what we are. Details in the big painting that's the circle of life."
"That's quite the profound thing to say." Miroku replied, glancing over at Kagome. "All this just so the balance can be kept in order? All the suffering just for a bit of control?"
"Well, it's pretty fucked up anyway! I mean, you guys are still alive." Netsuna said gleefully. "So's Kagome. Really, the whole order's messed up anyway."
"And who's fault would that be, sister?" Kuro-michi turned his gaze to the catgirl beside him.
"You, actually." She said smugly.
"There's more to this then I'm being told, isn't there?" Miroku said, glancing between the two different trespassers.
"It's a bit complicated." Netsuna said, looking nervous. "And if I told you, I'd have to kill you."
"I'm dying anyway." Miroku said flatly.
"Oh yeah!" The catgirl realised. "Well, then I guess it's okay. You can handle a bit of mind ogy-bogy, right?"
"Mind ogy-bogy?" Miroku repeated.
"She likes to make up words as she goes along." Mizuki said flatly, his eyes closed. Netsuna stuck her tongue out at him.
"You ready?" She asked Miroku. The mortal nodded. "Alright then, here goes…"
Inu-Yasha fiercely shook the rain out of his sopping hair, in a futile attempt to keep it out of his eyes. One would have thought that inside a volcano the rain wouldn't pour, but since the laws of reality were shifting anyway, it didn't seem to matter. A fork of lightning crashed near him, nearly blinding him and a peal of thunder followed split seconds afterwards, nearly deafening him. After he nearly cleaved his own head off with Tetsusaiga trying to cover his ears, he looked up to see Naraku calmly watching him, that ever smug smile resting upon his face.
"Somethin' funny?" The threeblood growled.
"Oh, nothing really." Naraku shrugged. "Just feeling a bit nostalgic. I recall this very same showdown with your father, a bit over 200 years ago."
"Oh yeah, fuckin' fantastic." Inu-Yasha muttered, swinging his large blade to rest on his shoulder. "It makes me all mushy inside. I came here to fight, not to talk about my dad!"
"Of course." Naraku bowed slightly. "I just thought that you'd like to hear a bit of history before your d– "
Inu-Yasha's blade dug deep into the ground Naraku had been standing on, as the threeblood flipped over it from the force of his swing, holding loosely onto the sword handle to guide his landing. He used the force of his landing to completely whip his shoulders forward and pull the blade out of the dirt. He turned around to see Naraku standing on a stone, brushing off his cloak where the blood-stained blade had nearly hit him.
"I told you," Inu-Yasha swung his sword heavily onto his shoulders and crouched to leap at his opponent. "I'm not here for a fuckin' tea party!" With that last incoherent snarl he leaped towards Naraku, twisting his body to accommodate for Tetsusaiga's weight. Naraku, not caught by surprise this time, easily avoided the clumsy swing and watched as the blood blade dug into the rock and Inu-Yasha had to use force to pull it out.
"You're only killing yourself." The demon critiqued. "That sword is far too heavy for you and you don't know how to use it."
"Shut up!" The threeblood snarled, trying to balance the sword on one arm. "I'll fight you with Tetsusaiga and I'll win!"
"Of course." Naraku said sardonically. Then his eyes narrowed and he smiled. "If that's the way you want it."
He gave a short bow and, before Inu-Yasha could attack, spread his arms out. The threeblood sniffed warily and squinted as Naraku's arms seem to grow longer. As Inu-Yasha watched in slight horror, Naraku's arms stretched out and branched, soon turning into long, brown tentacles, each arm nearly three times the length of the body and with about twenty thick tentacles each.
Inu-Yasha flattened his ears and snorted. "Great. Fight hundreds of demons and the final boss is a fucking tentacle monster. If this is anything like one of Shippo's video games, that kid's sick."
"Shall we begin?" Naraku smiled disdainfully and whipped at the rock Inu-Yasha was standing on before the threeblood could reply. Inu-Yasha rolled forward off the shattered stone and pushed himself up with his sword, only to have to move out of the way of another whipping tentacle.
"Fuck." Inu-Yasha swore as a stone shard cut through his leg. "He's too fast."
Naraku smiled. "I told you, didn't I? Now just be a good little threeblood and sit right where I can hit you!" His tentacles lashed out and Inu-Yasha barely avoided them by rolling.
"Fuckin hell!" The threeblood snarled, holding the sword above his head and taking a running leap at Naraku. "If I'm dying I'm taking you with me!"
"There are three of you?" Miroku asked, before glancing at Mizuki.
Netsuna shook her head. "No, there were. My brothers and I are here for the Strikes. We're…" She made some hand motions as she tried to place the word. "Balance keepers… sorta."
"Then how come there's only two of you?" The mortal asked, looking between them. To his surprise, Kuro-michi looked away when their eyes met.
"His fault." Netsuna said bluntly, jabbing a thumb towards her brother.
"Sister!" The other trespasser hissed at her words, but the cat just looked at him.
"Bro, it is. Face it." She twitched her nose as she glared unblinkingly at her brother, who turned his head away.
"What did he do?" Miroku asked, somehow getting more confused the more information he got.
"Saved my life." Netsuna shrugged, going once again straight to the point. "I'm supposed to be dead but my little brother flaked and saved me at the last minute."
Now Mizuki was sitting up and looking at Kuro-Michi, who was uncharacteristically staring at his nails. Netsuna elbowed him and he shot a glare at her, as if angry that she had blabbed a huge secret.
"You're supposed to be dead?" Miroku asked, hoping he could get as many answers as possible before a mini feud broke out.
Netsuna nodded. "One of us per Strike. We have a certain set of tasks to set out, and the very last one, obviously, is dying."
"What are the tasks?"
"Can't tell ya." The catgirl smiled. "But it doesn't really matter anyway."
"So you're supposed to be dead but you ain't because Broody 'ere did something nice?" Mizuki asked, earning a glare from Kuro-Michi.
"That's why he's so uptight." Netsuna smiled. "He's been trying to get this Strike perfect by keeping me out of trouble. But it didn't really work. I've seen the Second Strike, Hells, I helped create it. I didn't want to see that again. That's why I pushed everything faster, that's why I was working for Sesshoumaru, that's why I saved Kagome's life."
"And Blackie's been trying to stop you all along, eh?" Mizuki smirked.
Netsuna matched his grin. "Actually, he thought we were working together to make this Strike work."
Kuro-Michi snorted and looked away.
"So…" Miroku thought aloud, "if you've been trying so hard to stop the Third Strike, how come you're sitting here?"
Netsuna's smiled faded. "You know relativity, or whatever you guys call it? For every equal there's an opposite, balance, blah, blah, blah?"
Miroku and Mizuki nodded.
Netsuna looked to the entrance of their shelter, past Kagome to the sheet of rain, thunder and lightning. "All existences depend on a certain balance. Naraku and Inu-Yasha are the two that keep it that way. Any interference would result in chaos and destruction; exactly was Naraku wants.
"In the beginning, there was only one existence. One plane. There weren't mortals, demons or angels. Instead, there was only one group, all living together. Then came Naraku, and he began messing things up. By the time he was finished and the first Inu-Yasha, I think his name was actually Iikotoro, had defeated him, the existences were in total chaos. There were three, but they were so close to each other they overlapped, and you had things like people just disappearing in mid air because they stepped into a different plane. The confusion also changed how the people were starting to evolve, and they changed to live with the planes they chose to live on.
"Then came the Second Strike. It lasted two whole years, and resulted in a cataclysmic event that mashed together and separated the planes at the same times, putting them on different… levels would be the easiest word. Before then, angels, demons and mortals were different, but the same, changed by the environment they preferred, but all generally living together. After the Second Strike, angels and demons couldn't reach the mortals, until they discovered that after death, the mortal soul transferred back a degree, making it appear in the planes of the other two existences."
"So what happens after the Third Strike?" Miroku asked.
"The First Strike created the planes. The Second Strike separated the planes. It is only natural for the Third Strike to destroy them."
"But what would happen after that?" Miroku asked, eyebrow raised. As much as he hated all of this seemingly pointless destruction, he was still intrigued by all of it.
Netsuna gave a loose shrug. "I dunno. A new existence is created again?"
"So what 'bout me Net? I got any special part in this?" Mizuki asked, somewhat excitedly. Netsuna 'hmm'ed and looked him over.
"Nope. You're a reject we just picked up along the way." Mizuki pouted and slumped back, and went back to chewing his cigarette and counting cracks in the ceiling.
"Still…" Miroku sat back and sighed, looking at the sleeping Sango, Shippo and Kirrara. "I wish there was another way."
Netsuna smiled knowingly. "Oh, don't worry. Remember, things are a bit screwed up around here. We have something the past two Strikes didn't."
Miroku looked quizzically at her. "What's that."
Netsuna's smile only broadened as she pointed to the entrance of the cave. Miroku followed her finger to the end of the barrier, where the rain was thudding heavily on and a bit of water had splashed in an empty spot that had previously been filled.
Kagome was gone.
Inu-Yasha slammed into the wall of stone, falling to the waterlogged ground with stone pieces clattering around him. He groaned and tried to push himself up with one arm, straining himself as red rivers of rainwater and blood streamed onto the ground. As his chest heaved to breathe in the foul air it hitched in his throat and he began to cough violently, as his broken ribs flash with pain. The coughing grew so violent and the pain so intense he began to vomit, heaving in the thunder, the lightning and the constant downpour, heaving until he was vomiting nothing but blood and water and when he was done his whole body was shaking. He fell back against the stone and breathed raggedly and painfully. He was practically deaf from the thunder and rain, nearly blind from the constant lightning and the smell of his sickness was making him ill again, while his sense of touch was sending non-stop excruciating pain through his body. His heightened senses weren't helping him in the battle at all; they were killing him.
Naraku stepped delicately through the ankle-deep water, coming before Inu-Yasha to watch the threeblood gasp for breath in the waterlogged air. He leaned forward and spoke coolly, looking no worse for wear.
"Dead yet?" He asked. Inu-Yasha opened his only useful eye, as the other was caked in blood, and glared at Naraku through a blooded slit.
"N… not… yet…" Inu-Yasha growled softly through deep breathes. "I still… still got sa… some fight in me… Naraku…."
Naraku smiled almost sadly. "I'm a bit disappointed Inu-Yasha. I thought you'd be stronger than this, but it seems that I was mistaken. After becoming a threeblood you were supposed to be at least as strong as me and but it seems…" Naraku suddenly trailed off and stiffened. He let out a hissing noise and straightened up, looking over his shoulder. "The girl is still alive…"
Inu-Yasha made a rasping noise as blood was beginning to trickle into his lungs. Naraku gave him a sidelong glance. "You're barely alive, and not worth my time. Since that girl was kept living…" He trailed off, and then turned.
"Ka…" Inu-Yasha groaned. "Kagome… you're talking… about Ka... gome, aren't you?" Naraku paused and turned, a slight smile on his face.
"And if I was?"
"Then…" Inu-Yasha's chest convulsed and he hacked for a minute, spitting up a sticky globule of blood, which he spat out. "I'll have… to… to kill y-you…"
Naraku smiled. "You're not even in the state to kill that little fox angel, much less myself, Inu-Yasha. I have… bigger fish to fry, so to speak."
Inu-Yasha let out an undistinguishable snarl, as he pushed against the stone wall to try and push himself up. He could just barely feel Naraku's presence and was relying on the demon not moving to get his direction. He was standing on shaky legs now, aware fully of Naraku's interested gaze on him, his claws digging to the rock face behind him as he prepared to fling himself forward.
He pushed his body as forcefully as he could and raised his clawed hand to strike Naraku down when a blinding flash of lightning and deafening clap of thunder rang out at the same time. Inu-Yasha screwed his eye shut and slammed his hands over his ears, falling into fetal position on the ground as he screamed in pain.
Naraku smiled coldly. "No matter what the energy you have, Inu-Yasha, the very existences you are fighting for are no longer on your side. You are defeated, and in a moment everything will finally be mine."
Inu-Yasha made no reaction as though he had heard him. Naraku smiled and reached down, grabbing a fistful of hair and pulling the threeblood's head up sharply to meet his gaze.
"Do you want me to put your out of your misery, boy?" He asked sneeringly.
"Fuck… you…" Inu-Yasha growled through gritted teeth. Naraku frowned and grabbed Inu-Yasha's shoulder, preparing to snap the dog-boy's neck.
Suddenly his nails dug into Inu-Yasha's skin before letting go completely, and Naraku stepped back before whirling around with a feral hiss, catching the arrow as it made it's flight towards his head. As Inu-Yasha watched, a tentacle grew out of Naraku's shoulder and snaked down his back, where it removed the first arrow protruding from there and tossed it away carelessly.
Naraku snapped the arrow he was holding in half, glaring into the inky blackness, trying to see the archer.
Another arrow shot through the darkness, glowing a pale pink and leaving a disappearing trail behind it. Naraku easily avoided it and watched it silently as it hit the water and the light died down. His gaze, very slowly, turned back to where the arrow had come from, flickering to meet Inu-Yasha's gaze for a brief second, before he began moving forward. Fear grabbed at Inu-Yasha and the threeblood pratically shoved his elbows into the rock, trying to gain leverage.
The darkness parted for another glowing arrow, but this time a tentacle rose from Naraku's back and flicked it aside. The arrow sparked before falling uselessly into the flood. Naraku smiled as he began to move slowly, enjoying this. "This is going to be even easier than the last two times combined; at least your mother wasn't stupid like this. And she didn't even give me the joy of a scream. I suspect this Reborn will scream rather loudly…"
Inu-Yasha's face contorted to a snarl and he dug his nails into the stony rock. If he missed this shot, it was all over. Bracing his shattered body against the wall, he brought his right arm forward and clenched his claws. Do or die, the time was now…
With a roar Inu-Yasha launched himself at Naraku with every last ounce of his strength, and probably his life energy. The demon turned abruptly to see the threeblood flying towards him, claws extended to their fullest, when suddenly the sharp pink line of light hit the attacker in the side. Inu-Yasha's cry transformed into a snarl of right out anguish, getting cut off by his body hitting the water with a splash. The arrow's bright pink glow faded and began pulsating, turning a dark red before fading out completely.
It was everything Naraku could do to not laugh, for he could here footsteps in the way.
"Inu-Yasha?" The voice was timid, frightened, but still clear and unwavering. "Inu-Yasha?! Are you okay? I think I got him... Inu-Yasha?"
"Kagome!" Kagome squinted to see her wild-haired angel stumbled towards her, holding his side painfully. "Kagome, you stupid bitch, what are you doing? It's dangerous! Get out of here!"
"No!" Kagome clutched her bow tightly to her chest. "I heard them talking! They acted like I couldn't hear but I did! You're going to die!"
Inu-Yasha grinned lopsidedly. "Like hell. You just wasted Naraku!"
Kagome's expression changed to a curious one. "Really?"
Inu-Yasha flickered a tatter ear, still grinning. "Ya. Didn't you notice?"
Kagome glanced off into the darkness, her expression now distant. "It just seems weird.. Since I wasn't aiming for him…"
Inu-Yasha blinked in confusion for a second, when his expression changed and he looked down to see an arrow pointed at his chest, the tip just touching the skin and hissing as it burned. He jerked his head up to look Kagome in the eyes, hissing. "What the fuck's wrong with you bitch? Why are you aiming at me?!"
Kagome only narrowed her eyes and drew the bowstring back as taunt as it would go.
Inu-Yasha growled and clenched his claws. "Don't make me be the bad guy here…"
"Funny, that's kind of what you were making yourself out to be."
Inu-Yasha whipped around to stare at himself, only this form was a bit more bloodied and battered. The second Inu-Yasha smirked, before balling his hand into a fist and punching the first right into a wall.
Naraku snarled much like the threeblood he was imitating as his skull hit the stone. As he tried to get up, a blur was upon him, clawed fingers got a tight grip around his neck and he was slammed into the stone wall once again.
"I win." Inu-Yasha growled pleasantly, digging his claws into Naraku's neck. "Pretending to be me? That's the oldest trick in the book. You forgot that Kagome can detect life forces."
Naraku frowned and then smiled, looking down at Inu-Yasha in amusement before he started laughing. The hollow, cold laughter echoed into the pouring rain, the empty cavern, the monotonous thunder and lightning that had merely become a backdrop for Inu-Yasha's determination. Kagome stepped forward a bit, her arrow still aimed at Naraku's heart, although her hands were obviously shaking.
"Stop it!" Inu-Yasha slammed Naraku's head against the wall. "Stop it!"
"Go ahead, kill me." Naraku hissed, his eyes still alight with evil amusement. "It's of no point now. I've already won. I was made for this role and there's nothing you can do to stop it now."
Inu-Yasha's chest rumbled as he growled. "Oh really?" Squeezing his grip as hard as he could, he brought his leg up and slammed it against Narkau's chest, balancing by pressing all his weight on the demon. "My mom, my dad, my stupid uncle, Sango's brother, that damn wolf, Kikyou, even that little brat Momiji; they all died because of your sick games. You've caused enough fucking problems and you're going to at least make them worthwhile."
With one calm movement, he dug his foot into Naraku's chest while ripping his arm upwards, quickly and messily tearing Naraku's head from his body with a sickening sound.
Inu-Yasha removed his foot from the body, letting it fall into the water with a muted splash. He looked dully at the head in his hand, sniffing at the blood that was overpowering the air, and then disgustedly threw it as far into the darkness as he could. His chest heaved as he tried to breathe in the thick mist; after all that exuberant movement, he was exhausted and all the wounds he had received in the battle were aching and demanding attention again. He slumped wearily into the knee-deep water, leaning his head against the wet rock and tried to obtain enough oxygen with each breath without stretching his shattered ribs too much.
"Inu-Yasha!" He squinted open his good eye to see Kagome run to his side and immediately begin to fuss over him. "How are you still alive like this?"
"I'm fuckin' unstoppable, that's why." He managed, wincing. Everything hurt a lot more now that he was paying attention to his wounds. Kagome ran a hand over his forehead, trying to wipe away the blood before turning her attention to the wounds on his chest. She conjured a cloth to try and soak up the blood, but the ongoing rainstorm wasn't helping, only serving to wash away his blood faster than it could coagulate.
"Oh, just stop trying." Inu-Yasha said, moving uncomfortably away from her, trying to keep the pain out of his voice. "They're not that bad."
"Not that bad!" Kagome put her hands on her hips. "If you were alive you'd be dead! Or… or… you know what I mean! I never got the physics of this anyway."
Inu-Yasha smiled painfully. "You're cute when you're angry."
Kagome flushed and wrung at the cloth in her hand before looking at it uselessly and throwing it away. "Come on, we have to get you out of here. Miroku, Sango, Shippo and the others are probably all worried about us." She picked up his arm and put it over her shoulder, trying to keep him stable as they waded through the water. Inu-Yasha grinned.
"Nah, they've given up on us, decided we're dead. To make up for the fact that they're all gonna die soon, Miroku and Sango had lots of sex, Shippo took over my uncle's job and that stupid kappa became a pop star."
Kagome smacked his chest, making sure she did it lightly and missed all the external wounds. "Just because you saved life, the universe and everything doesn't mean you can be prick about it."
"I'm not." Inu-Yasha said, poking her side in retaliation. "I'm always a prick."
"True enough." Kagome sighed, slowing her pace. Everything suddenly felt so slow and dragged out. How long had Naraku been dead? Five minutes? Two? Already it seemed like forever, and like just seconds before. All the fear, all the worry, all the anger that he had caused to build up in her had vanished, and now she felt empty and a bit lost. Ever since she had been told about destiny this and fate that… and now that Kikyou was dead for good maybe.. maybe if she survived all of this she wouldn't be just the Reborn. She'd be Kagome. Inu-Yasha's Kagome.
"So how'd you know?" Her angel's voice broke through her thoughts and she looked up at him quizzically. "How'd you know that shooting me with that arrow would let me whoop Naraku's butt?"
Kagome hung her head, smiling. "Well, I really didn't. I just remembered what I heard the others say about the Second Strike, about your mother and father and… I guess I just thought that it would work."
"You mean you shot me on a whim?" He looked at her in disbelief, stumbling a bit. Kagome giggled and patted his arm sympathetically.
"Don't worry about it, it's all okay now, isn't it?" She smiled sweetly at him, and he poked her side, grumbling.
"Stupid bitch doesn't even know what the hell she's doing, just go and try and get me killed, why don't ya, eh?"
Kagome shook her head, smiling, before slowing her pace and squinting in the darkness. It was still raining and thundering and lightening and hard to really get one's bearings…
"Kagome? Why'd we…" Inu-Yasha trailed off, looking at the inky blackness, which looked the same from all directions. "We're fucking lost, aren't we?"
"How do you get into this thing?" Sango braced her leg against the rock as she brought her Hiraikotsu back for another blow against the volcano's wall. Miroku chipped away at the rock with his staff,, but with just as little success.
"I supposed we'll just have to wait until Kagome-sama returns so we can ask her." The monk said, knocking away a small rock and staring at the wall in defeat. "By the time we get through here, the Third Strike will be over."
"Yeah, and by then it won't matter." Shippo scrunched up his nose as he scratched furiously at the stone. "But we have to save Kagome!"
"And Inu-Yasha." Miroku added. Shippo's nose scrunched up further. "Sure, him too." The mortal monk sighed and shook his head, hitting the rock face again with his staff.
"You can poke at it all you want, the rock is never going to move." Netsuna sighed, scratching the tip of her ear and causing all the rings on it to jingle.
Shippo shot her an angry glare before he resumed his scratching at the wall. "Unlike you, some of us have friends we care about!" A flash of lighting tore across the sky and Shippo's soaked bulb of a tail could be seen dashing under Miroku's tattered robes as the momentary blindness left by the flash dissipated. Netsuna leaned back on one arm, staring curiously at the black sky.
"Letting up, doncha think?" she hummed, twirling a piece of hair around one finger. Mizuki glanced up and nodded.
"Sounds like it anyway, and th' rain smells different. Although I still can't find my fuckin' fags. Are you sure you didn't take them?" He glared out of the corner of his eye at the smiling catgirl.
"Of course not!" She beamed at him, souring his mood.
"What's gotten into you?" Sango stood up straight, wiping water from her bangs. "A few minutes ago you were all doom and gloom and now you're acting like you're on a picnic." Netsuna studied a scratched nail for a second, before turning her bright smile to the other girl.
"Isn't it obvious dearie? I thought you were smart." She smiled, resting her chin on her hand as she then chipped away at the endless stone. Miroku paused in his work to turn and raise an eyebrow at the cat.
"Meaning…?" Netsuna beamed at him, before jumping down and twirling in a circle.
The silence that followed her statement was only broken by a rumbling thunder. Netsuna frowned.
"You could look happy about it, you know." She sniffed and leaned back against the rock. Miroku, Sango and Shippo all looked at each other in confusion before turning back to the cat demon.
"Naraku's been killed?"
"That was part of the winning package, yes." Netsuna commented dryly, before shrugging and leaning against the boulder she had been sitting on. She held out a hand, cupping it slightly as the rain pooled in her palm. "Feel it. The rain's warmer."
"Hmm?" Miroku and Sango held out their hands, trying to feel the change in the water's temperature. Shippo shook the water out of his hair and tail furiously, looking at Netsuna.
"Kagome and Inu-Yasha are okay, right?" He asked worriedly, rubbing his hands together. Netsuna's expression changed and she frowned slightly and shook her head. "That's something I can't tell ya kid." She shrugged helplessly. "I guess we'll know soon enough."
"Speaking 'o which, where'd that brother of yours go?" Mizuki interjected, bringing the attention to him. Netsuna blinked before looking around, seeing that her emotionally unbalanced sibling had been missing since they had left their shelter.
"He has been missing for a long time." Miroku noticed. Sango nodded, looking suspiciously at the cat demon. "Any idea where he might have gone?"
"Not a clue." The catgirl yawned, flickering her ring laden ear. "Probably banging his head against a wall, muttering about his failure to destroy everything."
"Au contraire, my dear sister."
Netsuna's head snapped up so quickly Sango and Miroku winced at the sound of bone popping. The cat demon leaped off of her rock, staring dumbly at her brother, who returned her stare with a smug smile.
His black shrouds soaked complete through and dripping rank-looking water, the second trespasser appeared from behind a scarred boulder, a smug look in his red eyes. "I went for a walk and found two lost little souls. Well, one lost threeblood and one lost soul."
"Kagome!" Shippo squealed, racing out from under Miroku's robes into the now light rain to run to the young girl's side. Kagome picked him up and hugged him tightly. "Shippo-chan, you're okay!"
"Kagome-chan!" Sango smiled, also running to her friend's side. Miroku opened his mouth to speak before coughing and choosing to walk up instead.
"Inu-Yasha." He nodded to the bruised and bleeding threeblood, who nodded back, trying to look dignified while leaning on a schoolgirl's shoulder for support.
"Kagome I'm so glad you're okay and I thought you were going to die and that the world would be destroyed but now everything looks like it's going to be good again!" Shippo squealed, hugging the girl as tightly as possible. Kagome smiled and hugged him back with one arm. "I think everything's going to be okay now, Shippo."
"So… is he.. is… is Na-"
"Is Naraku dead?" Inu-Yasha huskily filled in for Sango, who nodded. "I ripped his fucking head off, so he'd better be." He punctuated his remark with a snort. Kagome smiled and shook her head slowly.
"I found them wandering around the inside of that vast pit, looking as lost as camels in the arctic." Kuro-michi said with a smirk. "Naraku's body was not far away, so it was easy to find. He is, indeed, dead."
"We won!" Shippo shouted enthusiastically. "We'll never have to fight again! We can go back to our regular lives because we won!"
"Well of course we would." Sango smiled. "You didn't expect us to loose now, did you?" Shippo blushed and shook his head. Kagome giggled.
"So…. Now what?" Miroku asked as they seated themselves, Kagome still fussing over Inu-Yasha's wounds, while he growled at her but let her continue. The threeblood shrugged and made a face.
"Oi, that hurts." He hissed as Kagome. She frowned at him and continued to apply pressure to his shoulder. "I suppose you just want me to let you bleed to death, hmm?" She said.
"If it's less painful, then yes." Inu-Yasha grumbled. The rest of the company smiled, as Sango held out a hand, looking into the sky.
"I think the rain's almost stopped." She said quietly. Everyone looked up to see a very faint light highlighting the thinning clouds; the rain was just a small pit-pattering now. Shippo climbed higher onto one of the boulders and twirled around.
"I still can't believe it's over!" He squeaked, after falling down on his tail. Miroku smiled and yawned. "But now that it's over, what do we do?" He asked again, looking at everyone solemnly. "The planes are all but gone, and we have nowhere to go."
Silence greeted his statement as it sunk it. Kagome slumped dejectedly, absent-mindedly playing with Shippo's fur.
"What are we going to do?" Sango echoed Miroku's question. Shippo shook some water out of his hair and opened his mouth as if to say something, before closing is and sitting down. He put his chin on his hands and sighing heavily.
"Well just look at all of you." Netsuna tutted. "Just look at you. You save the world, fufill your destinies and now you're all just sittin' there looking like ducks with no water. Cheer up a little, couldn't ya?"
"What happened to the other planes?" Kagome asked the cat demon. Netsuna's ears jangled thoughtfully.
"What?" Inu-Yasha snarled, jumping up and ripping a bandage out of Kagome's hands.
"You didn't expect them to stay fine, or just snap back, did you?" Netsuna started flatly at him. "The Third Strike beat them up rather badly. I doubt they'll ever recover. This one also isn't going to last very long."
Inu-Yasha was fuming. "You mean we did all that, suffered through all that shit just for all of the planes to be destroy… Wait, this one too?"
The smile on the cat demon's face was not a pleasant one. "If I were you, I'd start running."
As if on cue, the ground began to tremble as smaller stones clattered on the ground. Frightened, Shippo ran up Kagome's arm and hid behind her hair as the girl jumped up.
"Kirrara!" Sango shouted frantically as the angel jumped down from a boulder, which had begun to rock, and transformed. As the group settled onto her, the large cat flew into the air, just as the ground began to crack.
"Oi, OI! What about me!" Mizuki shouted, side-stepping to avoid being pulled into the ground and just seconds later having to duck from a flying rock. "Don't just leave me he-ouch!" A large stone had clunked him in the back of the head.
Netsuna tutted again. "Beings."
Kagome let out a groan and rolled over, pulling the blanket over her eyes. She didn't want to get up just because the sun was. She didn't want to go to school. She wanted to stay in bed where it was nice, warm and free of stupid hassles and stress. She was exhausted and her body felt like it had been though the end of the world.
Then, with a shock, she remembered that it had.
In a flash she sat up. She was in a cave, with a small fire flickering in one end, wrapped up in a soft but worn and torn purple blanket – Miroku's robe. Shippo's small red head poked into the entrance and his face just lit up.
"Kagome! Ne, you're awake!" He scampered into the cave and threw himself into her arms, hugging her tightly.
"Shippo!" She hugged him tightly back, trying to piece it all together. They had been fighting Naraku, Inu-Yasha had killed him, then they were running for their lives – "Shippo, what happened? Where are we? What about the Third Strike?"
Shippo giggled and bounced out of Kagome's arms, grabbed her hand and pulling on it excitedly, like a kid at Christmas. "C'mon! C'mon! You have to see this! It's awesome!"
"What's awesome?" Kagome asked, letting herself be led out of the cave. She squinted as the bright sunlight obscured her vision, but she soon forgot about it, gasping in shock.
"See? It's awesome."
"It is, Shippo." Kagome said, almost dazed. "It really is."
A beautiful countryside was laid out before her. Rolling hills melted into a rich looking forest of an emerald green matched only by the perfect blueness of the sky. A small brook babble over the landscape and some birds twittered. It was like a little slice of paradise. Except…
"How? How did this happen?" Kagome wondered aloud.
"Technicalities." She turned around to see a heavily bandaged Miroku and Sango leaning against a moss-covered trunks in the sunlight. Sango seemed to be asleep – her eyes were closed and she was leaning peacefully on Miroku's shoulder. The monk winked at Kagome and leaned his head back. "Feel that?" She exclaimed. "Warmth, sunlight. Do you know what that means?"
Kagome shook her head.
The look on Miroku's face was beyond ecstatic. "We're real. Not just wisps on some ghost of a plain. We're alive again."
Kagome gasped. "Really?" She asked, as Shippo climbed onto her shoulder. "But.. but… how? Why? What technicalities are you talking about?"
"Kagome!" She turned to see Inu-Yasha, shirtless and carrying two trees, come through the forest. He dropped the trunks and ran to her in two steps, picking her up in a bear hug. She squealed as he spun her around and nearly dropped her there, leaving her dizzy.
"Look at this!" He said, almost as excited as Shippo. "Look at this! That stupid bitch was just being stupid! The three plains got destroyed and melded back into one! Look at this!"
"I'm looking." Kagome said, coughing to hide her smile. Miroku had also joined in the cough, leaving Inu-Yasha to look at them oddly. Kagome quickly continued on. "So what do you mean they melded back into one?"
"What are you, a retard?" Inu-Yasha snorted, causing Kagome to frown. "That's exactly what I mean! The three plains were destroyed, just like that stupid bitch said. Then they all turned into this one. She was just being a little too vague on the fucking prophecy."
"Oh, stop swearing you." Kagome hit him lightly on the arm. She looked around the area in a slight awe again. "So… this is our new home?"
"We're gonna build a cottage and live in it!" Shippo exclaimed excitedly. "It's gonna be great!"
Kagome laughed. "I'm sure it is, Shippo."
"Well it won't be if I don't get some help." Inu-Yasha grumbled, kicking Miroku's foot. "Oy! Get up and help me, instead of sitting on your lazy ass!"
"Inu-Yasha!" Miroku looked offended. "Can't you see that I'm wounded?"
"And it's gonna get worse if you don't get up." The threeblood snapped back. "Now up!"
Netsuna smiled as she watched the group of them arguing, talking and laughing, as Inu-Yasha grabbed Miroku by his hair and yanked him up, causing the rude awakening of an irate Sango. She chuckled and stood up, stretching before she fell back down on the cloud she was resting on.
"Ready to go?" She turned and looked over at her brother, who was idly watching the scene below. "They'll do good here, I think. It's turned out nicely."
"They do suit it well." Kuro-michi nodded, before glancing at his left. "So are we taking that one with us or leaving him here?"
Netsuna smiled warmly at the snoring Mizuki, half-splayed on his cloud. "He's cute. We should keep him, I think he'll make a good trespasser. Probably will have all sorts of ideas for the next First Strike."
"That won't be for a while though." The darker trespasser look as his sister. The cat demon smiled.
"Then he'll have a lot of time to learn."
THE EVER-LOVING END.
That wasn't so bad, was it? Cut off a bit, but I don't really know. If you want something a bit more satisfying, Inu-Yasha and Kagome get married, just like Sango and Miroku and they have their own little houses on the hill and they find out that a bunch of other people(angels, mortals and demons) survived the Third Strike and they create a fun and happy community and everything's happy. And they have a bajillion babies each.
Tell you what – you don't like it, think of something else that you may like. Write your own fanfic! (I am totally not serious).
I don't really know what else to put here other than thank you and I'm sorry. Thank you for staying true to the fanfic and loving it like you do. And I'm sorry that I had to make you wait for so long for this.
So what's happening in the world of Ama? Not fanfic any more, I can tell you that. I'm looking into maybe having Guardian Angel re-writing into it's own original story with original characters. It won't be the same of course, but along similar lines. Hopefully get it as a comic book. Because that would totally rock.
So that's it for me guys. It's been a helluva rockin' ride.