[I know, I know. Angsty, dark little drabbles aren't nearly as popular as comedies. I'd probably get more reviews writing a self insertion. (shudder) But, whatever. This is what I love. And we all know you gotta do what you love.

Notes on the story—This is unrelated to my Sango fic. It's just a stand-alone one-shot. And, yes, I know the word shoji. But you can't draw parallels that way, so I say door. English is a nice language, too. And, while I wouldn't call this a songfic, the objects in Kanna's mirror are from Key's Lullaby, not that anyone's heard of it.]

Disclaimer: I never put one of these in before, because I thought it was just generally understood. But recent surfing has shown me that there is actually a whole movement against fanfiction and whatnot. So. I don't own Inuyasha, nor do I make any money off this, nor is this intended to damage the reputation of Inuyasha in any way, additionally, you'll probably be able to count the number of people who read this on your fingers, so chill. I also promise not to sue anyone over this, so try to show me the same courtesy.






The pounding wouldn't stop.

Heart against ribs, blood against ears, Hiraikotsu against door.

Cloistered away, not making a sound, he covers his ears, digging in the nails, leaving the marks of his betrayal etched in his scalp. She's calling his name, now. If he hears it, he might come to her. So he can't let himself hear.

She is frantic now, desperate, being attacked, and he can hear her scream, even muffled through his hands, but she won't abandon his door.

You could open it, Naraku is whispering into his mind. If you wanted to.

Did I always have a choice? Kohaku asks back.

Oh, yes. Remember and see for yourself, if you like.

But that's another door Kohaku won't open.

When it is finally silent again, Kohaku is relieved. But of course, Naraku was bound to win in the end. He always does.

It's comforting to him. Consistent, strong.

He tastes it too sometimes, when Naraku controls him. He can be powerful, then, he can be almost as strong as Naraku, and Naraku is the strongest thing there is, he really believes that.

He puts his ear to the door, and listens, before at last sliding it open, a crack at a time. There is a little blood smeared around, surreal in the corridor he knows so well.

He breaks into a run, feet pounding rhythmically against the mats, going almost as fast as his heart.

It won't stop, not until he dies.

He was dead once, dead and buried and cold.

But she had been there. Not a threat, not a comfort, not a presence.

A release.

He needs her now, his jewel-heated blood is pounding, memories threatening to break down the door.

Kanna is sitting on his empty grave, cradling her mirror.

It is empty, so it shows him only himself.

He had forgotten his freckles. It disturbs him to see them, proof of days spent in the sun.

Reminding him that he has lost something. Something like the sun, intangible, leaving its marks in him.

"Please," he says. "Something else."

He comes to her, but he's not ready for the void. She'll never mind, though. So she shows him.

A gray starling. A turtledove. A gold beetle.

He asked to see the girl who loved him, once. He thinks maybe that's when he gave up on her.

Sango, sleeping in the sun, doing nothing. He watched her dream, and betrayed her.

But Kanna shows him everything else, in the mirror. She has seen everything, and felt nothing.

A raspberry, a wild rabbit, a screech owl. They have become as meaningless to him as they are to her.

He looks at her instead, because darkness is falling, and soon he won't be able to. He doesn't want to forget her.

She reminds him of frozen things, her skin having the pale translucent quality of ice. He thinks he laid in a field of snow, once, and let it cover him until he burned and suffocated. Maybe that was dying.

He touches her, very carefully, like feeling the edge of a knife to see if it's sharp. Slides a hand through her miasma-streaked hair. He isn't even sure if she's hot or cold, all extremes burn the same. Perhaps she is neither, and it is only the void that he feels.

He should be afraid, but he isn't.

Sometimes he suspects his soul is already in her mirror, and he's the empty reflection.

He bends to whisper in her ear. Asks her why he froze, why he didn't try harder.

"You weren't ready," she says, "but you will be."

He brushes her cheek against hers, freckles against her porcelain, eyelashes fluttering in what Sango used to call a butterfly kiss, sending stinging possibility ringing through his head. Feels the slight pout of her lips against his jaw. He knows that boys and girls are eventually supposed to kiss, but Kanna isn't a girl. She's infinities touching, everything leading to nothing, and when he looks into her obsidian eyes, he knows she would shatter him.

Not that he doesn't want that. But he never does what he wants, anyway.

They're apart again, slowly the feeling returns to his cheek, he watches the mirror until he can sleep. Sees a water hemlock, a Japanese andromeda, a grass snake. On a branch with a shrike, a tree frog. The fawn that was eaten by the fox...

Only then does he realize that he is young, as he is drifting away. Younger than Kanna ever was, always younger than Sango, far too young for any of this, really.

He's not ready. But he will be.