p b center Who Makes You Feel

p Final Chapter

p i Song: Who Is It, sung by Bjork /i /center b

p .

p Kikyo turned. InuYasha held Kagome, and she knew that this was the last thing that sealed their love. She could go now. So she did. Her soul collectors whirled around her, settled their weight to support her, and lifted off. They flew her off over the ocean, her one last wish, and dipped.

p As she searched, her eyes skimming the waters, a whimper floated up to her waiting ears. Her eyes snapped to the source of the sound, and as she sank down to his level, Onigumo's eyes watered.

p His voice was scratchy. "I i did /i love you, you know." She smiled. Her hands reached down, met by his, and she leapt, into his arms and the waiting oblivion.

p .

p i His embrace, a fortress, /i

p .

p As one, Kagome and InuYasha looked up. Their gazes wandered to the ocean, where a light shone for their eyes alone. A smile, and a nod, but that was all she needed. InuYasha watched, content,as the light faded, then looked back at Kagome. Her eyes were closed, face lifted to the breeze, and she was beautiful.

p i It fuels me, and places /i

p "Kagome." At his husky voice she turned, eyes opening. His eyes were full. A smile pained his lips happy, and contagious as it was, she couldn't help but laugh and throw her arms around his neck.

p InuYasha toppled back, catching her and holding her tight. he returned her laughter, her smiles, and finally felt safe enough to say, "I love you, Kagome."

p i A skeleton of trust, right beneath us, /i

p He felt her freeze, but it was for a moment, because then she turned her head and caught his lips with her own. At first, all he could think was, i Huh? /i But then he caught on, closing his eyes.

p Watching them, Miroku chuckled. He had waited a long, long time to see that. Then he sighed. Here he was, elated that - that everything was right, now, and he had no one to share it with, like Kagome and InuYasha. Oh, well.

p i Bone by bone, stone by stone, /i

p "Finally, huh?" Sango settled next to him, glancing at the pair. She grinned. "Took 'em long enough." The bonfire of celebration flickered, casting elegant shadows over her features. The sea breeze swayed her long hair in its high tail, and she absently brushed a strand back. He looked melancholy still, despite the extreme victory awarded to them.

p Miroku sighed again. i This isn't working. /i "Sango, I . . ." He shook his head, wondering what he would do if she . . . didn't answer as he hoped she would.

p i If you ask yourself, patiently, and carefully, /i

p "Miroku." He looked at her in surprise. She had never taken such a tone of chastising with him before. Yet, he could tell she was concerned, and smiled a little, waiting for her question. "What is the matter?" He raised an eyebrow. i She can tell. /i "You're so sad still. Even though your hand is fine, and Naraku's gone. Please, tell me. What is on your mind?"

p i Who is it, who is it? /i

p She wasn't going to drop this, he knew. So, closing his eyes, he took a few moments to think. i She . . . no, I need to tell her. /i Again, he sighed. i This is the opportune moment. /i

p Opening his eyes, he turned to face her. Sango cocked her head, puzzled. Then he took her hand in both of his, breathing deep. Sango thought, i I've never seen him this nervous. /i He steeled himself, then slid off the log and balanced on his knee.

p i Who is it that never lets you down? /i

p Sango's thoughts, whirling, were frozen. They slowed to a stop, but her heart sped up. His eyes were locked on hers, and though they didn't know it, the entire camp of revelers was watching, including Kagome and InuYasha. Miroku took a breath. Sango prepared herself.

p "Sango, I love you. Will you marry me?"

p i Who is it that gave you back your crown? /i

p She gasped for air. "Oh, my god. Oh." SHe slipped into his arms just as he stood, catching her. Oh, her treacherous knees. Sango held Miroku like a vise. She sobbed into his shoulder, but quickly composed herself and pulled back.

p She place her hands on either side of his face, staring into his beautiful violet eyes, and her voice rang and she declared, "Miroku, I love you. I will marry you."

p A huge grin spread across his face, and he began to laugh. He picked her up, and her arms curled around his neck as he began to spin. She laughed, throwing her head back, and shouted, "And I'll bear your children too!"

p Shouts of laughter met her words, and cheers. Kagome wolf-whistled, then yelled, "Sango, you should've said that i forever /i ago!"

p She yelled back, "I know!" Miroku stopped twirling, then let her slide down to meet his gaze. "I know that now." Their lips met, their arms locked around each other. Happiness seemed to overflow their auras.

p i And the ornaments are, they're going around /i

p Sesshoumaru began to smile, watching his little brother and his friends, and went to find Kagura. He stalked out over the battlefield. The only evidence of fighting was the leftover aura sense. Evil, strong, they would stain this spot forever, but could easily be ignored. For some.

p i And they're handing it over, handing it over, handing it over /i

p Kagura, it seemed, couldn't ignore it that easily. She walked about the ground, threading through thick auras. When he caught sight of her eyes, she looked lost and liberated at the same time.

p "Kagura." She looked up, not startled, but annoyed. He seemed to be invading her private space.
p "What do you want, Lord of the Western Lands?" Her voice was raw and cold. Her shoulders were rigid, but her head was bowed, and he almost pitied her.

p "You look lost." His eyes narrowed. She had no trace of Naraku in her. In fact, she almost seemed . . .

p He gasped. Her head shot up, eyes slitted in suspicion. As he took an unconscious step forward, hand outstretched in amazement, she tensed. Then she relaxed when he moved no further.

p i Who is it, who is it? /i

p "You - you didn't." The whisper made her flinch. Her shoulders hunched. She knew that he had figured it out. "You - did you?"

p Her eyes met his. Pain and pride, and triumph shot through his skull. i Her /i triumph. This was i her /i victory. "It was all thanks to you."

p His voice was so quiet, she almost didn't hear. She felt uncomfortable with Sesshoumaru normally, but this - this i soft-spoken /i version was strange. He seemed beside himself with awe, and yet she felt unworthy. She i had /i been the enemy, after all. She was just . . . paying her debt.

p i Who is it that never lets you down? /i

p Then he fell to his knees, hands on the ground, supporting him. Kagura jumped, frightened. He was staring at her. His brow was creased, and his gaze followed her as she knelt hesitantly in front of him. She cleared her throat, muttering, "Uh . . . Sesshoumaru?"

p "Do they i know /i ?" She looked away. "Have you i told /i them?" Kagura shook her head. Sesshoumaru's brows nearly met his hairline. His voice dropped. "Are you going to?" She brought her head up, pained. i No. /i

p i Who is it that gave you back your crown? /i

p He sighed, never taking his eyes off her. "You should."

p "How can I?" The wind sorceress's voice cracked. "Do you really think they'd want me to take their victory?"

p "Take their i victory /i ? Take i their /i victory?" The demon's tone was incredulous. "Do i you /i really think they'd i care /i that you had a huge hand in this victory?" She sat, quiet and still. "Kagura, this is your victory too. They know that you helped them, a great deal, but they don't know the extent of your sacrifice."

p i And the ornaments are, they're going around /i

p "Fine." She stood. She wasn't happy, but she didn't feel like being chastised right now. "I'll tell them. But-"

p Sesshoumaru got to his feet. "Yes?"

p Kagura fidgeted for a moment, pink eyes looking everywhere but him. "Ah . . ." She cleared her throat. "Would - would you . . . come with me?"

p The lord suppressed a smile. "Oh, is that all?" Deadpanning at her glare, he said, "Of course I'll come with you." He offered her his arm. i Very western, /i he thought, enjoying her flustered look. Taking her hand, he almost chuckled at her surprised face, then tucked her fingers through the crook of his arm and began to walk back toward the bonfire.

p And they're handing - handing it over /i

p i Just like that, /i Kagura thought, i He regained his composure. One minute he's completely disarmed, the next he's got me flustered as a child. /i She glared at him, just for good measure.

p InuYasha looked up as they approached. A smile shot across his lips, and he yelled, "Good gods, we've got another one!"

p Kagome looked up, caught sight of Sesshoumaru and Kagura, and began to laugh. Soon Miroku, Sango, and the revelers joined in, noting the discomfort on the pair's faces.

p Sesshoumaru's eyebrow twitched. Kagura's fingers had tightened on his arm. "InuYasha." His tone was dark and forbidding, and he felt Kagura shift next to him. InuYasha looked duly subdued, but Sesshoumaru knew his little brother was unruly in the best of situations. He'd have to watch him in this. "Kagura has something she'd like to tell you all."

p i He demands our closeness /i

p To his surprise, the dog-demon felt Kagura begin to tremble beside him. He led her to a log that had been dragged in for a bench. When she sat, he stood behind her, hands on her shoulders, and bent to whisper, "They i won't /i be angry. That I can easily promise." He chuckled lightly. "I'm sure Kagome will be concerned." Straightening, he watched as they gathered round and sat.

p When the only sounds were the crackling of the bonfire and the wash of the waves, Kagura began. "I'm sure some of you know already what I brought to the miko." She gestured to Kagome. "For those of you that don't, it was part of Naraku's center miasma. It was part of his innermost essence."

p i We all have earned a lightness /i

p Gasps rose up. Eyes stared hard at her, and she began to tremble again. Sesshoumaru's hands tightened on her shoulders, and she reached one of her own up for comfort. Kagura stared at the ground before her. "Last night, while Naraku was out going over his demons, I snuck back into his own room to fetch those little somethings that I knew would be able to stop this war. There they were, glimmering horribly in the darkness, sitting atop a shelf. They were where they always were."

p The fire snapped. "I knew that my sister hated her life, too, and would rather die than live, even if Naraku was dead. I felt no remorse . . ." She couldn't meet their eyes. "But I still miss her."

p i Carry my joy on the left /i

p Then she looked up, meeting as many eyes as she could. "Those something were hearts. i Our /i hearts, Kanna's and mine." She froze, looking at the ground again. "That's what I gave Kagome."

p The silence was so opressive. Kagura felt so scared, right now. These were people she had been forced to hurt, and now she was confessing something horribly immoral she had done to help them. Her ruby eyes began to tear.

p Sesshoumaru quickly skirted the log and sat next to the wind sorceress, putting his arms around her as she began to cry. "Hush. It's all right." Her head dropped to his shoulder. "You're safe."

p i Carry my pain on the right /i

p Someone cleared her throat. Kagome stepped forward, placing a hand on Kagura's knee as she settled down in front of her. "Kagura." The miko's voice was gentle. "That was so brave."

p Kagura looked up at her, face tearstained and open. "Wh-what?"

p Kagome smiled. "I don't think I could have done something like that. I mean, you gave me your heart to manipulate. I wouldn't have handled it very well, and I definitely wouldn't have been able to do what you've done now." Her eyes shone. "Thank you."

p i If you ask yourself, now carefully, and patiently, /i

p "Exactly." InuYasha had spoken from where he sat. "But what I want to know is how come you're still alive, while Kanna's dead?"

p Sniffing, Kagura shrugged. "I really have no idea." She turned to ask Sesshoumaru, then realized that he still held her. His hand on her shoulder stayed where it was, even though he met her eyes clearly.

p "Where were you when she did it?"

p i Who is it? /i

p Her eyes widened. How dare he be so damned perceptive! "Aah . . ." She really didn't want to live through that again. "I was . . ." She gulped, eyes going distant. "In Naraku's lines."

p .

p i Kagura flew her feather through the battle so fast that barely any of the fighters noticed her passing. Those few who did were far too preoccupied to do anything about her. As she neared Naraku's ranks, she dipped, flying under them. The youkai knew her and so let her pass unscathed. b I can't help but wonder what will happen to me and Kanna. b

p She knew there was no way she'd survive this, even if Kagome tried to save her. After all, the miko really had no idea what she'd been given. Kagura chuckled grimly. At least Naraku would be dead, and Kanna would be at peace. But the wind sorceress had wanted to live without Naraku. Sighing, she murmured, "It's worth it."

p /i Who is it that never lets you down? i

p A sharp aura tingled on the edges of her mind. Shaking her head, she dropped far, far below the whirlwinds of youkai and avoided Naraku. A small island lay beyond them, beyond even the back ranks. That was her destination.

p The winds ruffled past her and around her as the island loomed up, waiting to enfold her in its solid earth. Her feather dissipated, and she hopped lightly to the ground. Her kimono fluttered. She brought out her fan, just in case there were any youkai left on the islet. It was calm, in the air, and the waves were gentle on the shore.

p b So, this is where I'm going to die. /b

p /i Who is it that gave you back your crown? i

p Something pricked in her chest. It felt like . . . "Kagome," she gasped, clutching her chest and dropping to her knees. Ruby eyes widened, and she threw back her head and screamed. b So . . . much /i /b pain i b . . . /b

p Fingers dug into her heart and a command shot through her head. b Come here. /b Her hand flew to her temple. Her breath was coming so fast that she couldn't scream, no matter what, no matter how hard she tried.

p Frustration was fuzzy in Kagura's mind. That was Kagome's, too. Her head split with pounding and aching. The fingers gripped harder. She gasped, reeling back and landing on the sand. Harder, harder . . .

p /i Pulled. i

p Her back arched. Her hands scrabbled at the harsh sands, and her mouth gaped. Seconds passed, and then her vocal cords struck a note pure and high. Her eyes blinded by the force of her scream, Kagura began to panic. As she convulsed on the ground, the wind sorceress breathed harder and harder, trying to keep her heart from stopping. Frenzied, she screamed again, and again, and again. Long, frightening utterances issued forth from her stomach. Her leag ached from holding her off the ground.

p b Come /b /i here! i

p /i And the ornaments are, they're going around i

p b Help me! /b Kagura cried with her mind as tears streamed down her face. Her fervor was so great that the winds of the island solidified into spirits. They whirled around her, just as terrified as she. With her eyes, she told them what was wrong.

p Then they lifted her up, flying swiftly across the ocean and over the waves. They couldn't protect her from the water whipped up at their passing, and so she was soaked and freezing and tormented. When they reached the land, only a mile away from the fighting, she was transferred to a waiting group of spirits, for the others had strayed too far from the island. Her protectors transported her further inland, closer and closer to the fighting.

p b Come here /i /b now! i

p Suddenly, she was pulled from their grasp, dragged over rocks and grasses, and after fifty meters she stopped. /i b "Kill him!" /b i

p Through her neck through her head through her stomach the pain just kept coming. A second - a blast of hellfiery agony, and she screamed for as long as it lasted. The wind spirits covered their eyes and many, many youkai heads turned - they knew that wail. Her body convulsed, back arched and arms and legs splayed wide. Her aura flared, lifting her off the ground by a foot. Then she blacked out.

p /i And they're handing it over, handing it over i

p What she did not see was a beam of white light directed at her chest, where her heart should have been. She floated still, in the underbrush and out of sight, as this beam of light traveled from a mile away and coiled in a bloody nest. As it let off, soaking into her skin, she settled back on the ground, and she began to breathe again.

p Then she opened her eyes. It was raining miasma. /i

p .

p When she looked up again, the selfsame spirits were there, swirling around the entire camp in agitation. A few of them noticed that she had regained a sense of presence, and flew to her side, above her and in front of her, knocking Kagome out of the way. Their hands caressed her, threading through her hair and rubbing over her arms. She murmured, "I'm fine." Their shifting eyes gave her hard stares, as if ascertaining her health, then slowly lifted off and drifted to just within calling distance.

p i Who is it, who is it? /i

p Rubbing her eyes tiredly, she glanced at Kagome, who'd been shoved over by the winds. The miko's eyes were open in shock and pain. Kagura blinked. She hadn't thought they'd pushed i that /i hard . . .

p "Kagura . . ." Sesshoumaru breathed. She looked at him. His eyes were the same as Kagome's. She wondered what had happened while she was . . . away.

p "All that?" That was InuYasha. He looked stricken. "You-" His voice broke. "You went through i all that /i to help us?"

p Kagome said, "And I did that. I made you . . . go through that." She hiccoughed, then began to cry. InuYasha drew her to him, burying his face in her hair as she wept into his chest.

p Kagura was confused. "What . . . how did you . . ?"

p i Who is it, who is it? /i

p Sesshoumaru pointed at the spirits. "They showed us. From their point of view." He coughed, looking down, and said haltingly, "We saw . . . and . . . i felt /i . . . all of it." Then he brought his eyes up to hers. "All of it."

p She was shocked. Here was one of the most powerful demons in all of the land, and he was crying. Right in front of her. Then her eyes began to sting, too. It was welcome when he gathered her into his arms and embraced her. Kagura clutched the back of his kimono, drawing in his scent and letting her guard down. i Now /i , she was safe. And so were they. It had been her goal, after all.

p i Who is it? /i

p .

p center i fin /i /center

p .

p The end, unless you want a happily ever after. I can do that.

p I hope you like it. I do; it was fun to write, though I do need improvement.

p I just love the Kagura/Sesshoumaru pairing, don't you? Lovely.

p Love and hugs to all of you, and don't forget to go review!