Disclaimer: All InuYasha characters are the property of author; Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan - Yomiuri TV - Sunrise.
A/N: Salutations to all. This is only the second time, I've ever shared any of my Inu fics. This story is currenlty being posted in Dokuga . I've also posted cover art for this story there as well. I have been an active reviewer in here for quite sometime. My good friend Stardust Miko, has encouraged me to share it with all of you here. She has been very supportive and for that I am deeply grateful. This story was inspired by Youkai Yume's doujinshi-Willow.
Elephant heart-plum tree: A native plum tree to Japan. It is also known as The "blood plum" because of it's dark-red flesh. The fruit is juicy, flavorful, firm as well as heart shaped.
Baka: Idiot, stupid, fool, silly
Shojo: Innocent young girl, teenager or litle girl, virgin
"Kikyo get me down," squealed Kagome. Kikyo help me!
Kikyo, simply grinned at her younger sister while shaking her head, in a gentle reprimand.
"Kagome, this is the fourth time this week you've managed to get yourself stuck in another blasted, elephant heart-plum tree. One would think you'd learn to climb down by now baka," she teased.
"Hey, you're the baka that taught me how to climb these trees in the first place! It's all your fault; I can't get enough of these mouth watering, red-fleshy heart shaped plums! It makes you responsible in helping me down so there," accused Kagome in a playful tone of voice.
"Eew, it does look like you're biting down into a bleeding heart. It's Kikyo to the rescue - again," sighed the older sibling, exaggerating her defeat in a poor attempt to mask the urge to chuckle.
Both girls quickly broke into fits of laughter as Kikyo, climbed up that blasted tree for the fifth time in a week.
Kagome smiled at the fond memory. It was one of the many she treasured.
'It was but a year ago, that I was causing mischief . Kikyo was always by my side, making certain to get me out of the troublesome situations I've always managed to place myself in. Now my beloved older sister and best friend, lays in a hospital bed, gasping and struggling to breathe. She'd cling to every ounce of air as if it where the very last of it in supply. It was only a matter of time now, before her own body would betray her. She was but a decrepit, shell of her former self rotting from the inside out. Her skin lost it's luster. It grew ghostly pale and pasty-brittle to the touch. Her eyes sunk deep into the sockets of her face. A layer of paper thin skin stretched itself to it's limit, desperately clutching to bone.
The thyroid cancer she'd been diagnosed with quickly spread throughout her body invading her lungs, filling them with fluid. She'd been placed on oxygen for months. She has now refused any of it and has accepted her fate. Her destiny, to slowly decay from the inside while she is still alive. Father and mother solemnly sit at her bedside, watching the battle between her lungs and the air gradually fail. Have you ever actually thought about it, you know breathing? We do it without thinking. We don't even realize we are doing so. We take it for granted. I've been sitting by Kikyo's beside holding my own breath, until my own lungs forsook me. I myself, must grasp for the very thing my poor sister is literally dying for.
Here I sit in the darkness of Kikyo's room, with an abundance of it offered freely to me. I can't take this guilt (why her?) it should be me. This is supposed to be her senior year in high-school. She is supposed to enjoy Bunkasai-the anual, Japanese Cultural Festival. She should be preparing for Kombasai-the festival held at the University of Tokyo. She'll never experience any of it. I'm only fifteen; I still have three years before any of that even matters. I doubt I'd even attend any of it. I'm not the social butterfly that my sister is. I dislike crowds, groups and events like those. It's not fair. This is so unfair.'
"Kagome sweetheart," called out her mother, tearing her away from her thoughts.
Kagome, turned her gaze to her mother and nodded in acknowledgement.
"Your father and I must speak with the head nurse. We'll return shortly."
She watched as both parents exited the room, then turning her attention back onto her dying sister. She took hold of one of her frail hands within her own, and began to speak.
"Kikyo , you can't die. You can't miss graduation. Mom and dad need you. You are their rock, the over achiever, the one with a bright future. You can't just fade away into nothingness. No, you can't just die! Kami why have you abandoned my sister? You have forsaken her and my family! Why not just take me? It should be me in this bed, not her! I'd give anything for Kikyo's life. Please I'd give anything, even if it means giving my life for hers. I'd do it this instance, if it meant you could live," sobbed Kagome into the night.
Unbeknownst to the teen, her desperate cry into the night did not fall upon def ears.
Someone-something had been listening, patiently waiting to answer her hopeless call to it.
"You wish to save your sibling shojo," questioned a smooth, baritoned voice from within the shadows, startling Kagome right out of her own skin. She was frightened for both her and Kikyo. She remained eerily still-listening for it to speak again.
"I must be hearing things," she thought out loud.
The voice cooed, "questioning your own sanity, little one?" It was both toying with and comforting her all at once.
"Leave us alone." Kagome, managed to say, barely above a whisper. "Go away."
"Such harsh words, for I... who has come to answer your call. If you wish me to leave you be; I'll do so. You may continue to watch your sister stripped of all dignity, right before she plummets into the void," purred the voice into the darkness.
"My call, y-you heard me?" Kagome's voice cracked, as she miserably failed to hide her shock, laced with fear.
"I will heal your sister. She will gradually recover from this illness. In return, you will surrender yourself to me. You have something imbedded within your walls of flesh that I will acquire, in fair trade for your precious sister's life," hissed the voice.
"Do you agree to these terms?" The faceless entity inquired.
"I agree, I'll give you anything you want! Please just save Kikyo! Please don't let her die such a miserable death! Please help her!" Upon immediately agreeing to meet the demands of this disembodied voice; Her blood suddenly ran cold. The unearthly chill crept it's way to her sternum, causing her to gasp and clutch her chest in pain.
'The sounds of her desperate pleas are sheer bliss. The manner in which her voice broke as she begged for my assistance, caressed my senses. It'll sound just as sweet, when she begs for mercy while on her knees, before me. This little onna has just sealed her own fate. She will beg for death, before I am prepared to take what it is I need from her.'
"It is done. Your life belongs to me. Look to the shadow- I will come for you, Ka-go-me." The voice teased in a now clearly, huskily masculine tone.
"Ka-go-me," she mimicked the way in which it, no... he said her name.
"Kagome dear?" Her mother questioned, jolting the young woman back into reality. "I thought I heard you shouting. Did you fall asleep and have another night tremor?"
'My parents are suddenly back in the hospital room. The lights are on and Kikyo is beginning to stir. Did I just dream this entire thing? Of course I did. Kikyo, is beyond saving. What a cruel dream. My baka mind is playing tricks on me. I would have given anything to have really been able to save my sister.'