Family

By Starzki

-x-

Sango was confused. She stood in the chilly night next to the mound of dirt, yet did not feel the cool wind on her face or in her hair. In fact, she felt nothing. The area was familiar, but she couldn't place it. She felt like she should be remembering something, but it was elusive.

"Nice outfit, Sango-chan" said a bright voice to Sango's right, startling her. She turned and saw a young woman, about her age, wearing a kosode and apron as black as her hair. In stark contrast, her skin was as white as bleached bone.

When Sango saw the young woman's eyes, intricately lined with kohl, she recognized her.

"I'm dead," Sango said. Memories of her last minutes came over her in a wave. Kohaku turning on their group, killing their father, stabbing her, coming back to himself only to be shot down by the guards' arrows. Grief filled her heart.

"Yes. It's time to come with me," Death said. She gave Sango a cheerful smile, "You were an amazing fighter. I've never seen anything like it."

"Thank you," Sango said. She accepted her fate. "My father trained us, my brother and I. Are they already waiting for me?"

Death hesitated in reaching out for Sango. Her beautiful face looked sad, upset. "Your father is," she finally said.

"Kohaku survived?" Sango felt hope well up in her soul. It seemed impossible, but perhaps he was stronger than she thought.

Death frowned. It was an expression unsuited to her peaceful demeanor. "I'm afraid not, but there are powerful magics keeping him here." She again reached for Sango.

Sango recoiled. Death's words refused to sink in. "He's trapped here?"

"Yes. His soul is tied to the Shikon Jewel. I have no way of reaching it. Kohaku will remain in this world as long as the demon who wields that jewel wants."

Though Sango wasn't really standing there, though she had no breath, no real presence in this cool moonlit night, she felt her chest heave. She had never known a sorrow more complete and divine as she felt in that moment. And then she began to panic.

"Sango-chan," Death said again, "Let's go."

"No! It isn't right!" She sank to her knees, beseeching. "I can't leave him here like this!" Sango knew Death was merciful, so she took her by the hand and let her see her pain. "You have to leave me be! If there's any way, I have to help my brother!"

"You should come with me, Sango-chan. Where we're going, you won't feel pain..."

"Of course I will. And regret. And anguish. I'll promise you anything. It's not right to leave Kohaku here." Sango bargained with tears streaming down her face, "I promise that if he truly does belong to you, I'll deliver him myself and follow right away."

Death considered Sango carefully. Her own eyes brimmed with tears to see Sango's grief. She finally said, "There is a way. I need no promises. When you get back, your life will be your own to do with as you decide. But the path is hard. It will be the hardest thing you'll ever do."

"I'll do anything."

"I know, Sango-chan. I still don't think you should."

"Please," she said, dreadful hope straining her voice.

Death stepped back and motioned toward the South. There stood a short, fat, naked woman. Her eyes were gray, her face as ugly as Death's was beautiful. Her skin was pallid, sickly and her hair greasy and sparse.

"This is my sister," Death said. "You'll go with her for now."

Sango felt suddenly shy, unsure. The squat woman turned and began walking. Sango was to follow, but felt dread well up in her throat. But Despair already had her and Sango knew what she must do. She wouldn't leave Kohaku behind.

Already, she tasted the dirt of her grave in her mouth.

-x-

Death frowned again as Sango and Despair disappeared into the ether, worried for the young warrior. Sango had been such a cheery girl and Death knew that Despair would change her forever.

But Sango was strong. She truly had been amazing in battle. She would be amazing once again, Death could feel it.

Her mood turned light as she considered visiting her older brother to find out Sango's fate. She suspected she would not be Despair's very long. Death smiled and thought of her younger brother, Dream.

Sango was just his type.

Death nodded. She didn't need to look into Destiny's book to know that Sango would probably never belong to her, but one day live forever in Dream's kingdom.

END.


Author's Note: This is kind of a prequel to Endless Sleep. I still love the idea of Sango interacting with the Endless and I think Death and Sango could have been great friends. I always appreciate feedback.