Author's Notes: As soon as I got the idea of writing another chapter, I realized that I would need to revise the first part to Submission to allow me to do so. This, though, will be the last installment, before I go onto Blind Sight, which is, technically, a sequel to this, but can stand on its own. So think of this lovely two-part story as a Prequel of sorts only… not. Anyhow, onto the story!

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Inuyasha.

Mood: Benevolent. Or, in this case, not.

Blood Type: Salt Water

Warnings: Gore, Sango-centric, Sango-sufferitis

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Her dreams were her sanctuary.

They always coiled around her, freezing her – burning her, causing a wonderful warmth to spread from the back of her eyes to the tips of her toes, making her skin hot and flushed and sweaty. They allowed her to feel anger, happiness, and sorrow. They allowed her to live in fantasies that only her mind could come up with – that only she, as a young woman could fathom. She used to dream of flowers and the wind, and love. She would dream about being held – about being accepted, about being strong. She would dream about being wrapped up in the strength of her husband's arms, feeling his body warm against hers as he kissed her tenderly, telling her that he loved her. Approving as her position as a warrior. Loving the fact that she was strong and brave and honest. She dreamt of being able to feel. Of being able to look at everyone with happiness in her eyes, regardless of whether or not she was truly angry or mad. She dreamt of having the perfect life with her loving husband and child – getting angry with one another, and yet still loving one another all the same. She dreamt that her dreams would be able to come true – that her fantasies wouldn't be looked down upon and laughed at.

She dreamt of it all.

And it all made her happy.

And, even as a child, she knew that she loved being happy.

She loved to smile and play and learn about things that never made sense to her. She loved to ignore the horrid truth of the world. She loved to ignore the sadness that penetrated her heart whenever someone died, whenever someone was killed in cold blood because of the fact someone else had hated them.

And, she promised herself that she would never let the blood of another stain her hands, regardless of how much she hated them.

So she used to hide in her dreams, hoping that one day, they would come true. Hoping that every wonderful dream would be able to take precedence in her life, and she could live the way that she wanted to. She hoped that eventually, she would be able to live in peace – for everyone in her life to forget about the horrible ways of the world. To forget that it was their loved ones bathing in their own pools of icy cold blood. To forget that it was their pregnant wives feeling the hot, searing blades of knives penetrating their flesh – icy, frigid eyes filled with hatred pinning them to the spot with fear. She wanted them to be able to forget that they would lose everyone to the demons that crushed their bones in their hands, burned their flesh, fed off the raw skin and hot blood of their bodies. She wanted them to be able to forget the look of glee on their faces as blood dribbled down their enemies chins, thick chunks of raw purple flesh hanging from their sharp teeth. Wanted them to forget the way blood sprayed them as their loved ones were cut in half, their inside littering the floor in a thick pool of blood. She wanted them to forget it all, just as she wanted to forget.

She wanted them to be doused in light – warmed and calmed and happy, which was something she would never be. Because she was a warrior, and she had to protect people from those horrible visions that haunted her nightmares. That caused her to writhe and scream in pain as blood poured from the wounds on her body – as old scars reopened and bled pus and blood. As blinding tears spilled down her face from the loss of her family.

She didn't want them to lose the people they loved in the same way she lost her mother.

She didn't want them to see the images that haunted her nightmares – she didn't want them to see her mother clenched in the jaws of a demon, its thick poisonous saliva burning through her flesh, causing it to flow into a thick, disgusting puddle in the floor as she attempted to protect them. Her children. The ones that she loved.

She didn't want them to have to hear the bones of her mother crunching, splintering – piercing her flesh as her body began to expand and then explode, leaving her and her brother covered in entrails and blood and… tears. Filled with hate, pain and sorrow.

No.

She didn't want them to see it.

She didn't want anyone to see it.

She just wanted the darkness to take her.

She wanted to feel its icy grip piercing through her flesh, causing her to bleed – causing her to forget everything around her and fade to black. She wanted to feel its painful grip grasping her heart; she wanted to feel its claws sinking into her as it turned her blood to ice, and her heart to stone. She wanted to be able to feel his lips upon her flushed and feverish skin, smirking in satisfaction as she writhed beneath him – screams of pain stretching through the air – shattering whatever calm serenity that had once descended upon the earth. She wanted to be able to bleed. She wanted to be able to cry. She wanted to be able to feel her fingers curl around his neck, pushing into his tender flesh only to leave dark disgusting bruises marring the usually delicate surface. She wanted to be able to whisper his name in hate and loathing – wanted to be able to scream his name as she was cutting through his flesh – releasing the demons inside. She wanted to turn to ice. She wanted to accept it.

She wanted to forget.

She wanted to forget more than anything.

But she knew that she wouldn't.

She wouldn't be able to because it was her blade that had cut through the delicate flesh of his body. It was her hand that held that blade – attempting to make it slice through another.

Yet it was his control that had caused her to lose him.

It was his decision that had caused her to leave him and now…

She could see his blood, pooling around his lithe body, soaking into his clothes as his skin turned alabaster white and cold. She could see the blood drenching his hair, dripping slowly from its wounds as the poisons seeping from his open wound deteriorated his skin, causing it to fall off in thick, disgusting chunks. She could see the blood flowing away from his body – towards his master – still seeking him, asking for direction.

Seeking the comfort only his master could give him.

And briefly, she could see her mother dying all over again; she could feel her blood dripping from her skin – burning it.

Burning trails of tears down her face.

And she hated herself for it.

She hated herself because she was supposed to be able to prevent that vision from entering her mind once again. She was supposed to be able to protect the ones she loved from being hurt yet again. And she hadn't. Her mother was dead. Her father was dead. And now – now the blood of her younger brother stained her hands and it was all her fault.

Because she didn't protect him.

Because she forgot that Naraku still had control over him and…

She was a fool.

"Kohaku," she whispered as a familiar feeling surged throughout her body, causing her eyes to sting and her throat to clench. She could feel herself slowly sinking, into the depths of darkness, as a feeling of deep, cutting pain curled around her heart, piercing into the thin vein covered flesh of it's surface. Breaking through her barriers. Causing a spike of pain so harsh and painful to rocket throughout her body, her body began to tremble with fierce convulsions and she looked into his fiery red eyes, not realizing that she was leaning towards him – seeking comfort.

And she could sense his confusion – his anger at the fact that she wasn't doing what he wanted, but she didn't care. She just needed someone to hang onto – someone to cry on, and he was just so close… just so close.

And her arms wrapped around his neck, her fingers digging into the blades of his shoulders as she clung to him, her tears like fire on his skin. For a moment, she could tell that he was shocked as she clung to him, crying at her loss, but then a sick and almost predatory grin spread across his face – his eyes sparkling dangerously and he gripped her shoulders, his fingers sinking into her flesh as poisons seeped from his pores.

She could feel it, slowly seeping into her body as he touched the tips of the scar burned into her back.

A sign of whom he belonged to.

But the pain of her loss, it was just too much.

Silently, she pulled away, his fingers still connected with her skin, and she watched him. She watched his eyes – the way that they glittered wickedly, daring her to look away. Daring her to try and move away from his grasp.

And she could feel his tentacles slowly loosening, scraping against the ground as they lashed at her brother's lifeless body – breaking it. Trying to consume what he desired most.

No.

She could feel it, slowly bubbling to the surface, threatening to consume her whole as he attempted to corrupt her. To own her once more.

She wouldn't let it. She couldn't let it.

Her heart was aching.

And he – he was smiling, realizing that she was on the brink of her control.

Hot.

She was so completely hot, and sweaty, and cold.

And she could feel it flowing sluggishly down her legs, causing involuntary shivers to run up and down her spine, and his glare became sharper and more painful.

She couldn't look away.

She couldn't breathe.

She couldn't feel.

There was blood, but it was cold and wet and hot.

"I hate you!" She screamed, her fists pounding into his flesh, her eyes glowing a deadly crimson as she tried to make him bleed. Her tears were hot and blinding, blurring her vision as they rolled down her cheeks, stinging her flesh raw. "I hate YOU!" She screamed, her voice cracking as she found herself clawing at his face, attempting to bruise every expanse of flesh that was displayed before her.

It hurt.

It just hurt so much.

"Yo – you took him away from me!" She cried, the anger and hate building inside of her at his sadistic smirk.

The winds blew against her back, blades tearing at her skin, but she didn't care.

Because he was in front of her. Smiling at her pain. Smiling at her loss.

Because it pleased him.

Because he had taken away the only thing that she ever loved. The only thing that he ever truly owned.

The only thing that didn't belong to her.

And now, it was gone.

And her fingers were sinking into the flesh of his neck, a smile spreading across her face as she watched tiny beads of blood pool at the tips of her fingers.

His blood was hot.

He was alive.

He should have been dead.

And then, his tentacles were wrapping around her wrists, squeezing tightly, causing her bones to crack – causing pain to swell up in her body, causing her to writhe and scream and plead through clenched teeth as tiny bone fragments pierced her skin, and blood began to drip from the tips of her fingers.

"You are mistaken taijiya," he whispered against her temple, a wicked smile passing across his face when she shivered from the contact. "It was you who killed him. It is your blade that cut the fragment from his back. It is your blade that is stained with his blood. Your hands that held that blade. Remember that, Sango."

Her eyes were brimming with tears, and her heart was frozen.

Because it wasn't supposed to be like that.

She was supposed to be happy and smiling and chasing butterflies. She was supposed to be watching her family grow and expand, and she was supposed to have children. She was supposed to be able to taste her husband on her tongue, and smile whenever her father showed how much he approved of her marriage. She was supposed to see her brother's children running – frolicking, with her own, calling each other cousins and saying I love you.

She was supposed to have dreams.

Have goals.

She was supposed to –

Get Kohaku back.

And, he had slipped away from her.

Because of her anger. Because of her hate.

Because she didn't have the part of him that she wanted.

Because she didn't have all of him.

And yet…

She still felt so empty.

"No," She whispered, feeling the poisons in her body growing as his fingers danced along her spine, burning her scar, causing it pulse and pain to shoot throughout her body. She could feel her nerves, pinching and pulling, trying to get her to scream – to admit to the pain and darkness flowing throughout her body. But she wouldn't. Because she remembered him, and he used to say that she was the best. He used to say that she was his sister and he loved her… he loved her so much.

And yet…

She knew that it was wrong.

It was wrong because he didn't love her.

It was wrong because he hated her for being the best; he hated her for being able to wrap her thin, elegant yet callused fingers around his heart, and etch her name in it – telling him that she would forever be part of him. That no matter what, she would own him.

Because she loved him.

Because she was his sister, and she wanted nothing more than for him to be.

Because he was always comforting her and she was selfish.

"I- you – you took him away from me," she whispered, her hands and body trembling with shock as her skin turned white, sweat dripping from her brow, as blood seeped from her dried cracked lips, "you – you're his master. You owned him. And – and he didn't have a choice."

His chuckle resonated throughout her mind, slowly grasping hold of the thin, frayed tendrils of her thoughts, bringing her momentarily out of the darkness and into the light. And he was wrapping around her, his cool, frigid gaze locking with hers as his words spread like a burning fire across her skin – dousing the icy coldness that was threatening to spill through her barriers – threatening to consume her until she submitted to the prickling darkness of oblivion.

"Remember taijiya," his lips hot against her freezing temples, " his heart was always yours."

And yet…

"No," she whispered, her body slumping completely as his tentacles wrapped around her lithe form tightly, smiling maliciously as she gave up. As she gave in. "It was yours," and she glanced up at him, a sickening silence causing her ears to ring as the darkness continued to descend upon her. As her lungs burned and her heart ached and she burned.

"You win."

And, the darkness was settling around her, her throat tight as the icy flames danced across her skin, causing it to become raw, and her body to ache.

And she was drenched in sweat, chills running up and down her spine, but she could feel him.

She could feel him wrapping his lithe body around hers and comforting her. Telling her that she was the best and that he loved her.

"You'll chase butterflies," he said, brushing her sweaty locks from her face, his hands rubbing soothing circles on her back, "We'll have children, and they'll be able to say 'I love you'. Because you'll be the best at everything. You are the best at everything… Aneue."

"Kohaku?" She asked, wrapping her arms around his small body, tears streaming down her face. And she wanted to embrace him like this forever. She wanted to know that he would always be there, feeling her warmth slowly seeping into his body. Showing him that she loved him more than anything. Being happy with her. Being sad with her. Living with her. Living in…

Her shadow.

And his skin was hot and slick and sweaty as he pulled away, his scream piercing through the air, causing her barriers to shatter and her heart to ache.

Because…

There was blood, and it was cold and wet and hot.

And he hated her.

She could feel the metal, cold and thick, wrapping around her neck, digging into her flesh – protecting him once again.

She cried.

She cried because she was lonely. Because she would always be lonely. She cried because she wouldn't be able to chase butterflies, because she wouldn't be able to grow old and have children, and know that not too far away he would be there, smiling at his wife. Smiling at his children. Knowing that he had nieces and nephews of his own, and his past wasn't filled pain and sorrow, and he didn't kill. She cried because he wasn't supposed to be owned by anyone – she cried because he was his own person and he knew it. She cried because she had given up, because she had given in. She cried because she didn't fight to keep his heart beating just a little bit longer – she cried be she had finally accepted the truth.

She cried because even in death, he wasn't hers.

I win.

 "Remember, taijiya," he whispered, running his fingers across the burning scar on her back, "you're mine."

You win.

Always.