AN: A one shot I thought up after reading happy endings. What happens when it's not a happy ending? After some thought, I've started on a follow-up. But this can stand alone as well.

Disclaimer: I don't own Inu-Yasha. That's why it's called fan fiction.

Prologue: One Wish

"He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong."

- W.H. Auden, 'Funeral Blues'

-- Sengoku Jidai --

She looked into the completed Shikon no Tama. One little pink stone. Had it been worth it? All their pains, troubles, losses. Why had they done this? Miroku and his revenge for his father and grandfather, to seal the hole in his hand that would someday swallow him.

- Flashback -

"Houshi-sama!" Sango cried.

Miroku strained as his kazaana grew wider, sucking in the horde of demons and wasps surrounding the pair. "Run, Sango. I don't want you to see this."

"I'm not leaving. Close the kazaana, I can fight them off."

"It's too late, Sango," he said. "Even if I closed it now, it would still swallow me. And I don't want it to take you as well."

Too late, all those words left unspoken, plans left unfinished.

Sango nodded, tears in her eyes. "Houshi-sama, I – "

"Don't say it, Sango. Promise me you'll find some other letch of a man who deserves you," he said, trying to smile.

"I make no promises I have no intention of keeping, Miroku." She kissed his cheek and ran. Behind her, demons screamed and then there was silence. She continued running, tears streaking freely down her face.

- End Flashback -

Miroku was gone now, finally swallowed by kazaana. He had lived each day as if it might be his last and that he wanted only the good to remember in the afterlife.

Was his death worth this stupid glowing ball in her hand? Was the ball worth everything they had gone through? The taijiya village destroyed, all its inhabitants slain, some later than others.

- Flashback -

"I smell blood," Inu-Yasha said as they ran through the forest towards the sound of battle. "It's not just demon blood either."

"Sango-chan was going after Kohaku!"

"Shit, when's she going to learn he's dead, only a puppet," he said, picking up his pace.

They ran silently, Inu-Yasha cursing in his head over the foolish taijiya, Kagome worried about her friend.

There were only two bodies at the battlefield. Sango lay on her side, torn up by her own brother's weapon and Kagura's wind attacks. Kohaku was a decaying body, the shard keeping him alive gone with the wind user.

"No!" Kagome screamed, running to the fallen taijiya, cradling the girl's head in her lap.

"It's too late, Kagome-chan," Sango's quiet voice said. "I should have listened to Inu-Yasha. My brother has been gone since the destruction of the village, and I was too blind to see that."

"Shush, Sango-chan, you need rest, you're going to get better," Kagome said, trying to wash the blood off the taijiya's body. Inu-Yasha grabbed her shoulder. She looked up into sad amber eyes. "She is!" she said angrily. "I'm not going to lose anybody else!"

"There's nothing you can do, Kagome-chan," Sango said, her voice weakening. "I've been dead since Naraku made Kohaku attack me the first-" the taijiya's voice trailed off. Kagome wept into the dying girl's chest.

- End Flashback -

It was because of this jewel that so many had been hurt, been killed. Such a tiny thing to bring out the best and worst in everybody.

If only she had never gone into the well house after Buyo, if she had never been attacked by that demon and dragged into the past, never run to the Goshinboku and found the boy. If only…

"Inu-Yasha," she whispered.

- Flashback -

Kagome raised her head painfully from where she had been thrown by the puppet. Inu-Yasha was wrapped in its many tentacles and screaming in pain. She slowly sat up, picking up her bow and drawing an arrow.

She pulled back and let the arrow fly. She drew another before it hit. There was no need to, the first arrow had pierced the baboon mask and broken the puppet. Inu-Yasha fell to the ground soundlessly.

"No." He had survived tougher battles than this; a puppet couldn't kill the powerful hanyou. She crawled over to him. "Inu-Yasha?"

He twitched, but said nothing. Blood and miasma covered him, his ears were shredded, it looked like every bone in his body was broken.

"Go home, Kagome," he said so faintly that she could barely hear him. "You're just going to get yourself killed like the rest of us."

"It's all my fault," she said in a voice choked up by tears. "If I had never come here with the Shikon no Tama none of this would ever had happened. Everything would still be fine, Sango, her village, Miroku, Shippo, his parents…" she started coughing.

He tried moving his hand, but it wouldn't obey him. "Then I never would have met you," he said, his amber eyes glazing with pain.


His eyes closed.


The slight movement of his breathing under her hands stopped.


- End Flashback -

"I never would have met you, either," she said. "But you still would have been alive at least."

But that wasn't right either, was it? Kikyo had bound him to the Goshinboku Tree until someone with enough power came along to release him. Those fifty years, he might as well have been dead.

Kikyo. Her previous incarnation, the woman who had wanted to drag the hanyou to hell with her, the miko who had had the duty of protecting the Shikon no Tama. "Some job she did of it," Kagome said bitterly.

- Flashback -

"So the copy has managed to get all her friends killed, no one left to protect her," the miko hissed to the girl bound to the tree by the soul stealers.

Kagome's face paled. "I didn't want any of this, I didn't want things to turn out this way – "

"I don't care what you want," Kikyo cut her off. "Because of you, all your friends lay dead. Repay them by helping me kill Naraku. Then I will kill you and you will no longer have the guilt of their deaths upon your head."

Kagome nodded. Death would end the pain.

- End Flashback -

But things hadn't worked out that way. The fight with Naraku that they had all pushed towards had brought no release to the hurt girl. The monster had destroyed what he thought was the greater threat- Kikyo- and left Kagome for his incarnations to kill. He hadn't counted on the lessons Kikyo had given the girl to harness and control her miko powers. It was a mistake he would not live to regret.

Kagome cried softly. "It's all your fault," she told the glittering jewel in her hands. "If you had just never shown up, they would still be alive, still have their families, be happy. But you ruined it all."

Or was it her? She was the one who had brought the jewel back to the past. She was the one who had broken it. She was the one who could detect the shards and led them into battles they weren't prepared for.

She looked at the jewel. One wish and everything would be fixed, Midoriko freed from her centuries long battle with the demons, the youkai left to their own devices without the aid of shards to kill, evil and good returned to their balance. One wish.

One wish and she could have her friends back as if they were never gone.

Or was that selfish?

It was all because of her coming to the past and bringing the jewel that they were dead.

She clasped the jewel to her chest, eyes closed, knowing what she had to do. How to make everything right.

"I wish I had never come to Sengoku Jidai."

And the world around her vanished.