I don't own the original setting or the Inu-Yasha folks. Obviously. ;D The story is mine, however.

Fragment of the Dream

A Dark Alternative for Inu-Yasha

By Mandy "Seifergrrl" Lever

Prologue

"All that blood, just for one lousy shard." His voice, conveying his irritation eloquently enough.

"It is one less shard that is capable of falling into the hands of Naraku, Inu-Yasha." The houshi's voice, a slight hint of reprimand.

"Na, na," again with the hanyou's voice, acknowledging the monk's statement, and letting the complaint go.

She would have to fast. They were coming to close. But she had to have him within range, to take them back and change time properly. The spell was already working; she'd diverted the flow of power, she's set her other self in the proper direction.

Onigumo would be free, and she would find love and peace in her hanyou's arms.

"What's that light?" A girl's voice, that girl's voice. She'd seen the energy before the others. This did not surprise her.

"I don't know," said the taijya.

"I do."

Of course Inu-Yasha would know better then anyone, she mused to herself. She wanted to call, 'Come running, Inu-Yasha, come running', but her tongue was stilled. She still had work to do. Timing was everything.

"It's not--" The houshi questions his judgment.

"It is," but he's firm. He knows she's here.

But they were all coming together. Damn them. The invasive energies were as one; his bright spiri, the girl's echo of her own soul. The taijya's strength, the houshi's indomitable will.

The eight-sided mirror before her rattled, an unfelt wind shaking it. She reached out to steady it, still focused on her desired result. Just a few moments more... if he got here before his companions did, she might still work to re-bind the red string of fate...

"I know it's her. I can smell her!"

"Her shin-dama-chu!"

"Ignore those soul-snatchers!"

Too much. Too much. Didn't he realize, it was his life she was trying to save? His life, with her? But he came with them! He came with them, and the spell was ruined.

The mirror shattered. Pieces flew outward; some penetrated her flesh, but she did not bleed nor feel pain. Others went elsewhere. She did not cry out until the energy she'd created around the Goshinboku flared uncontrollably; this she felt rip through her body to her tattered soul, flaying the remains.

Then she screamed.

Dimly, she heard him call his name, but sank into blackness before she saw his face.

When consciousness came, all she saw was him above her, his hands on her shoulders, shaking her ungently.

"Where are they?" he demanded, amber eyes bright. "Where are they! What did you do them, Kikyou? What did you do!?"