Confusion Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha and Co. Wish I did. Damn.

He stared at the body in shock. No, not just a body, her body. He bent down to touch her cold cheek. Leaning his face over hers, he whispered urgently to her. "You can't die, Kagome, can't!" He didn't get a response, and it twisted his heart into knots. "Damnit, Kagome, open your eyes! You're such a wimp about everything. It's not a bad wound or anything." But it was.

He looked over her abdomen, wincing openly at the sight of her intestines spilling to the ground like slimy ropes. One of her vital organs poked out of the steaming hot mess, bringing nausea flooding to his throat. In a frenzy, he tugged at her guts, trying to find some way to fit them back into her tattered body. It was no use. He knew it was hopeless, his fingers slipping on the bloody mess. He pulled his hands away and grabbed her by the shoulders, shaking her.

"You can't die! I won't let you, damnit!" He dropped her as a strange sensation overcame his face. He touched his blood-spattered finger to his face and glanced to see what dampened his cheeks. The salt of his tears mingled with the rich brine of her blood. He roared his anger and hurt, digging his clawed fingers into his scalp as though to crush all thoughts. Looking at her one last time, he ran from her, the memories chasing after him as he vainly searched for help.

Flashback... When Kagome heard the villagers whisper fearfully about the cat demon that plagued their woods, Inuyasha gave her one word before she could say anything. "No." He glared at her innocent expression and started to walk away. She grabbed his sleeve, trailing behind him since he wouldn't stop to wait for her.

"But Inuyasha, they..." she began in her whiney voice. He spun around, eyebrows knit together in growing anger.

"I said, no, Kagome. You know there's no reason for me to. No shard, no demon. I'm sick of helping people for nothing. It only gives us a hard time. Don't you remember the spider-heads? Or don't you think that this might be some kind of trap? Do you think at all?" He snapped, sneering when she flushed with resentment. She glared at him, hands on her hips.

"Just because I have a heart doesn't mean I'm stupid, you jerk! Why can't you just help people?" She flung her arms out, her voice raised. He smirked, taking pleasure in baiting her to rage. She was always much prettier to him when she was yelling; face red and chest heaving with the effort of keeping the anger inside till the last minute.

He grew serious, his voice becoming harsh. "Why should I help anyone who hates me?" he asked coldly. Kagome looked around them, shocked by the expressions on nearby faces. Expressions of fear and discomfort...and hate. She turned back to him.

"But whenever this happens in other villages..." He held up a hand to silence her. His face was blank with sternness.

"I said no," he muttered before spinning on his heel to walk away. Kagome watched him go, wishing that the others were nearby. Miroku or Sango would be ready to help. But they were human, after all. Inuyasha was right. These people would feel no gratitude, and if he ever came back after the extermination, they would still hate him. She pouted as she finished getting supplies in the small market.

As she followed the path Inuyasha had taken back to the others, she began to think to herself what she could do to help. It was only a cat demon, after all, right? Her archery was getting better, and anything she shot was sure to be damaged mortally anyway. She nodded resolutely and dropped her pack, taking only her quiver and bow. Without another thought, she ran into the dense forest.

Inuyasha had gone just out of seeing distance of Kagome, still irritated with her. How could she ask him to do something like that? He grumbled cursed under his breath and stood impatiently under a tree to wait for her. He waited for what seemed like an eternity, watching the sunlight dance in the leaves and filter to the ground in lacey patterns. And still she did not come. Annoyed, he stomped back down the path, ready to chew her to pieces.

All he found on the trail was her pack. He froze, as if not believing. Perhaps she had stepped away for a moment. Or had gone back for something she dropped. He ran the rest of the path, almost surprised not to see her at the end. Where could she be? He walked carefully back to the yellow bag, his blood going cold with worry. And she was not there, either. Her bow and arrows were missing too. What...? He knew where she was. She was going to do what he would not. His heart fell to the ground.

Anxiously, he pressed his nose against the canvas bag, drinking in her scent to be absolutely sure of it. Then, he crouched low to the ground, following the smell that he was so fond of. As her trail continued on without sign of her nearby, his anger mounted. How dare she do this? If he saw her, she would regret ever leaving his sight again. He would make her pay. And then a sound came from a short distance away that made his whole body turn to ice.

Kagome was screaming.

He exploded then, every fiber in him needing to get to her. In heartbeats, he was by her side. Her arm was spraying a pink mist as she struggled to notch another arrow. Inuyasha shoved her aside, turning on the foe who dared to harm her. And his blood went cold again.

When he had heard stories of his father, he had always thought of him to be a little larger than Sesshomaru. And more powerful. Perhaps if he had thought in larger scale, he would not be so uneasy now.

The creature was the size of a mountain, and probably as strong. The demon was missing its left forepaw, and was splurting blood from its right eye. Kagome's arrows had certainly done their job, but it was still not enough. She was lucky not to have been hurt more than she was at the moment. They would both be lucky if they survived any of this.

Inuyasha drew his sword, the blade growing into the fang it was meant to be. The cat screamed with rage at the scent of dog, and spat. The ground was burned and bubbled by the spittle. Inuyasha felt his insides turn to liquid, but held up the weapon. Kagome whimpered softly as she moved away from the fight. Inuyasha ignored her, concentrating on the beast before him.

It lunged, jaws gaping, ready to consume everything in their path. Inuyasha gripped the hilt of Tetsusaiga, seeing the wind scar as it formed. In a split second, he sliced along the clash of winds, splitting the great cat like paper against a scissor. He chuckled, his body shaking violently from the experience. It had been too easy.

"Dog really are better than cats, Kagome," he laughed cruelly, turning to her. He remembered feeling the worry, and began to yell at her. "And never..." His voice broke. All things in life that seem easy always come with a price.

The cat had been split at the hinges of the jaws, sending the halves on either side of Inuyasha. And the upper jaw had been sent in Kagome's direction. She had not seen it come in time to move. The razor teeth had slashed across her body, slashing through shirt and skin. Normally, Inuyasha would have been embarrassed and slightly aroused by her nakedness. But her breasts and stomach held no allure. They were coated in quickly spreading blood that was oozing from her stomach. Her guts were spilling to the ground, steaming in the cool of the forest.

Inuyasha was sick. He moved leadenly towards her, the urgency of the moment lost to him in his shock. He knelt beside her, watching her face anxiously as she labored for breath. He touched her face in amazement, as though seeing her for the first time. "Kagome...are you...okay?"

She opened her eyes weakly and tried to focus them on him. Her lips barely moved to speak. "In...uyasha...sorry...I wan...wanted own...Stupid." Her lungs rattled with the sound of blood creeping inside. He brushed her hair from her face tenderly, a grin plastered to his face, his chest twisting painfully. He kept his eyes from the wounds.

"You're not stupid, stupid. I mean, you did a good job, Kagome." He saw her lips move, but couldn't hear her voice. Only a rasping wheeze. He touched her mouth, staring at it like his life depended on what it said next.

Her eyes clenched and she tried again. "Need know...I" Inuyasha stared at her, his heart loud in his ears. Did she mean...him? He leaned closer to be sure.

"Kagome, did you say you...loved me?" Nervous sweat broke out on his face as he waited for an answer. But none came. She had left her body, unable to stay any longer with him. He became frantic. "!" He crushed his mouth over hers, tasting her inner warmth that was fading to quickly for the first and last time.

Inuyasha grasped her shoulders, lifting her off the ground. "You can't leave, Kagome. I kissed you, that means you have to stay! I...I love you too, just..." He dropped her, the shell of Kagome's body making a sickening thud on the blood-soaked dirt. "You can't die, can't!" End of Flashback...

A figure stepped from the shadows as Inuyasha ran from the human girl. Eyes bright with a cold anger scanned the area, taking in the results of the battle. The eyes that had seen the human fire the arrows in a reckless bravery. Eyes that saw the half demon come just before the viewer had prepared to step out himself. Eyes that saw the last breath of life leave the damaged body.

The figure moved to Kagome's still form and cradled it against a strong chest. Cradled it with one arm. Slowly, the figure turned back the way it had come. It paused before leaving the clearing, then spoke to the absent hanyou.

"Your woman is mine now, little brother. You let her die and then abandoned her. I have her. And you will never get her back," Sesshomaru murmured calmly before disappearing into the gathering dark.