SM: Hey check it out! I'm not dead! Hahahahah!

Enjoy this strange bit of writing that has been sitting on my harddrive for a while! Ah...this is something random I wrote while high on caffeine. This is plotless, makes no sense, and will randomly switch moods. This was never made to have a point. It was just an idea that popped into my head while chugging too many sodas and coffee. Being the genius that I was, I decided to not take it seriously, and thus birthed this monstrousity. I did have a lot of fun writing it though...

I guess that's all I can say, except for a few more warnings. Rabid OOCness and it's probably a SessKagNar fic. Dunno which pairings going to win though. I simply put it in the NarakuKagome category because the story will revolve around them, but the final pairing will change as is my wanting. Heh heh heh. This is highly subject to be utterly've been warned.

Summary: CU. OOC. In the aftermath of the hunt for the jewel shards, not everything is well. Kagome undergoes strange changes in exchange for the happiness of her friends. Her own happiness would be found in the most unexpected of places.

It's My Ending

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Chapter One

It was strange. Kagome couldn't help it as she stared down at the Shikon jewel resting innocently in the palm of her hand. She hadn't thought that she would have felt so different, but now...It was like an emptiness. She didn't feel particularly sad or anything, just numb. Sure she was happy, but that pleasant warm feeling that accompanied her when she thought about her inu-hanyou companion had evaporated. She realized then, that she had been successful. A half-smile gracing her lips Kagome strung the Shikon no Tama onto a beaded cord, much like it had been in the past, and tied it around an arrow.

Imbuing the arrow with a particular spell, she carefully strung her bow and took aim. She relaxed as she let the arrow fly, and with it, a calming sense seemed to descend upon her. She could feel the ripples in her powers as the arrow hit it's target, sealing the Shikon no Tama to the Goshinboku. A barrier formed around the tree and the jewel, masking it's power. Only a person with the truest of intentions and the purest of hearts would be able to approach the Goshinboku now. Hopefully, the barriers power would protect Kaede's village as well. Once the person was found who could approach the tree, a most pure wish could be made, and the tama would finally fade from the world. Kagome had concluded long ago, that as long as her heart was clouded by the secret desires conflicting within her soul, she would never be able to make a pure wish. It saddened her to learn that she had lost her innocence in the long battle against Naraku.

The dark hanyou had been defeated, but during the battle, Kagome had experienced such a pain emanating from the hanyou, she couldn't bring herself the deliver the finishing blow. Instead, she had merely sealed his powers and his soul. She had tied the spider's soul to herself, effectively turning herself into Naraku's incarnate. The spider's scar had been branded onto her back, much to her surprise. She had only tried to protect her friends. Killing Naraku had seemed so easy in the beginning. He was the bad guy, and they were the good guys. They would defeat the bad guy and bring peace to Japan. Somewhere along the way, things had become so much more complicated...

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There was a yearning in Naraku's heart, one that he had tried to destroy. All youkai had a shred of humanity in them, no matter how deeply buried, and the spider's soul screamed in pain. As Kagome had aimed an arrow at the hanyou's form, the one clear shot the others had so desperately fought to give Kagome, she had been overcome by the shriek of pain. Almost losing herself in the agony of the other, Kagome's intents on the arrow changed. When the arrow struck Naraku, he vanished, and in Kagome's ears rang the soft sound of a single drop splashing into a pond. Unsure of what it meant, she took a step forward to get a closer look at where Naraku had stood when a searing pain shot across her back. Thin lines of fire lanced across her flesh, spreading out to form the obscene mark borne by all those whom had fought against the Inu-tachi. Kagome screamed and for a moment, she imagined a second, much deeper voice joining hers, before she faded into oblivion.

When Kagome awoke, she found her companions all clustered around her, worried looks on their faces. She smiled and attempted to sit up, trying to reassure her friends, but discovered that her body had been bound and she was immobile. Confused and feeling a little betrayed, she looked questioningly at the faces of her friends. Each one looked away.

"What?" She asked, then started. Her voice! It didn't sound like her. The timbre of her voice had deepened slightly, and she couldn't remember the last time it had ever rolled out so smoothly and effortlessly before. It wasn't the voice of high school student!

At the widening of her eyes, Miroku finally met her gaze. "Are you Kagome?" He asked, so softly that at first Kagome hadn't been sure of what he was asking.

"Yes!" She cried out. What was going on! Why weren't they looking at her. What happened?

The houshi seemed to shift uncomfortably. Sango, her best friend and sister in the feudal era held back a choked sound. Shippo was no where to be seen. And Inuyasha, the hanyou that had always protected her, now glared down her, his eyes masked by an unknown emotion, but Kagome didn't like it.

"What's going on!" She all but screamed, the alien voice ringing in her ears. What happened!

The corners of his mouth tugging downward, Miroku extended a hand and pointed to Kagome's own wrists. Ofuda! But..ofuda only worked against demons. She was no youkai, she...Kagome's eyes began to water uncontrollably. "I don't understand. What...?"

"Kagome, what happened?"

Kagome's eyes darted back to meet the houshi's. Why was he asking her this? She was just as confused. "I...I don't know. The last thing I remember, I shot an arrow at Naraku and...he disappeared. Then my back started to burn and I fainted. Then I wake up and I'm sealed by ofuda. Miroku, please, tell me what's going on!"

Miroku flinched as she spoke his name. Kami, it was hard. It was so hard to look into her face and see the Kagome that they traveled with, but to know, it wasn't her anymore. "Kagome," he said, his voice straining to push the name out, "you aren't yourself. What were your last thoughts when you fired your arrow?"

"I felt a pain. He was hurting...hurting so very badly. I pitied him." Kagome admitted slowly. "I just wanted to give him peace..."

Miroku frowned. She sounded just like Kagome. "You...tried to purify him, Kagome, and you failed. He lives."

Kagome's eyes widened. After all they had been through, she failed! She had let them down. Her eyes shaded, and she looked away. An unwanted tear trickled down her face. "I'm so sorry..." She turned her head to face Miroku again. "But..why am I?"

"Kikyou saw your tainted arrow." Inuyasha cut in suddenly. "She said that you were unable to purify him because you harbored a dark emotion toward him in you. That caused your arrow to fail." His voice was flat and toneless, but biting in the emotion it lacked.

Anger bubbled up suddenly in Kagome. "Who is she to call it tainted!" She snapped. "She is an undead priestess, parasiting off the souls of innocent girls so that she may continue a non-existent life!" Kagome yelled, the syllables rolling off her tongue uncontrollably. Emotions she had kept tightly hidden surged to the surface. She was so angry. It wasn't fair! It just wasn't damn fair! Why was it always her that had to lose? She was being selfish, she knew it, but it wasn't fair!

She strained against her bonds, wanting to escape, wanting to leave. It was always "Kikyou this" and "Kikyou that" with Inuyasha! "Kagome" never entered the equation. "LET ME GO!" She screamed. "I want to GO!" Then she saw the looks of her companions. Their eyes had become hooded as they refused to meet her eyes. As abruptly as the anger had appeared, it vanished.

After a pause, Inuyasha turned his head to stare down at her again. "Kikyou said that you'd betrayed us with your last arrow. You didn't kill Naraku. Miroku's kazaana is gone, but Naraku still lives." His amber eyes narrowed as he pushed his face to within a few inches of hers. "He lives within you." He hissed.

Taken aback, Kagome could only gape. "I...what...? Me? No, I..." Her mind reeled back remembering her emotions as she faced the wounded hanyou. His crimson eyes bore down on her, challenging her powers against his. The Shikon was already lost to him, he knew that, but at least, he wanted to take her down with him. He wanted to destroy her and her happiness. It wasn't fair! It was in that moment that she had felt the soul searing pain.

Naraku had been human, only to live a disgusting and depraved life. He gave up everything, sold his soul to demons for the power to conquer his lusts, and he still lost. Kagome had seen into his soul and swam in its murky depths. The hanyou had been crying inside. In that single moment, when the arrow left her bow, she had sympathized with Naraku, and the intents on her arrow changed.

She turned her head to the side. She understood now. To them, she was the NEW Naraku. A threat not yet, but they feared she would be warped by his darkness. It hurt. The feeling of betrayal crashed down on her like an unrelenting wave of despair. A cold feeling tingled down her spine and spread its numbing energy to her limbs. The ofuda tying her down exploded into nothings in an icy flame. She stood slowly, ignoring the shocked looks of her companions. Not even Inuyasha could break through Miroku's ofuda with such ease.

"I understand." She said slowly, her eyes staring at her feet. "It's ok, I won't bother you again." Then she was off, sprinting toward Inuyasha's forest with inhuman speed, trying to outrace her own emotions.

She collapsed by a nearby river. Tears blurring her vision, she halted, and peered down at her reflection. She gasped at what she saw. Sharp fangs glittered in her mouth as she gasped. Her large eyes had tinted a bright crimson. Her hair had grown longer than it had ever been before, flowing past her waist in silky, wavy locks. Her blunt, human fingertips had sprouted long curved claws. She started at her reflection in horror. Her friends had been right to fear her, she had become a hanyou. In a moment of mind-numbing fear, she turned her back to the waters reflection and lifted the back of her shirt, fearing what she would find. A neat and elegant spider had been branded across her back.

"No..." Tears sprang into her now crimson eyes. "Oh Kami what's happened to me? Was it wrong to pity him? I just didn't want to hurt anymore. Kami, I...I've failed them all..."

A soft chuckle echoed near her. Kagome looked up to see Kikyou standing on the opposite back. She regarded her incarnate warily. "What do you want Kikyou? You've already turned all my friends against me. What more do you want?" She questioned softly, her spirit already broken by the unexpected turn of events.

Kikyou graced her reincarnate with a cold smile. "A hanyou now. Impure of both races. How utterly fitting for you, reincarnate." She said frostily. "I just came to see how you have faired. You seem well."

Kagome bared her newly acquired fangs. "Well! I seem well? I guess so, compared to an undead, I am pretty well. Just peachy, thank you." She retorted.

The grin slipped from the former miko's lips. Her brown eyes narrowed before she regained her composure, her features smoothing out into a pseudo-serenity. "You would rather I told them the truth? You forget, reincarnate, I am still the bearer of a fraction of the soul we share. I could feel every tremor of your warring heart. I sensed the moment your heart wavered. You felt for the hanyou. In that crucial instant that would have destroyed him, your heart wavered and you spared him by sacrificing your body." Brown eyes studied the new form of Kagome. "You became the tortured hanyou in his place and his soul has been housed within you as well. But," Kikyou smirked maliciously, "a body was never meant to house two souls. The conflicting desires between them will drive you mad and you will destroy yourself. I'll be sure to watch the event."

A low growl was released from Kagome's throat before she realized it. Unfamiliar instincts fought with hers, demanding she eliminate the threat. She bit back a warning growl as she felt it well up at the base of her throat. "Fine, I'm going to die. It wasn't something I was unaware of. I entered this battle fully ready to give myself up if I could save my friends. Apparently..." She choked back a sob, "I was able to protect them. I didn't expect this to happen, but...I can deal with it."

"Denial is never a good thing, reincarnate."

"Stop calling me that! Is it so hard to call me by my name?"

"I refuse to acknowledge you, reincarnate. You are just a copy of myself, though a living one at that." The glint of envy which flashed through Kikyou's eyes did not go unnoticed by her living counterpart. Kikyou's eyes hardened immediately. "Don't pity me, reincarnate. I have no need for your pity." Her hands tightened around the bow she held at her side. "If I was assured that my soul would return to me and not flee into the waiting afterlife, I would slay you here and now, reincarnate." She promised venomously.

Startled by the change in tone, Kagome stood from her crouch on the rivers bank. It was an empty threat she realized. Kikyou was lonely. So terribly lonely and jealous. She had no purpose now. Naraku had been sealed within Kagome's own body, and now, Kikyou could only wander aimlessly, pining for a life she had been deprived of. It was a life full of love and happiness that Kikyou deserved, Kagome knew. Kikyou had been such a pure and strong priestess, burdened with a task that nobody would have wanted. It made her into something more of a woman, and yet less. She was graced with a power that would have dictated the rest of her life, a life she did not want. But Kikyou was honorable and selfless, and dedicated her life to the task, with her dying breath.

Kikyou hissed as the emotions flowed through Kagome. "Cease that, reincarnate. I have no need for your pity." She replied coldly.

But Kagome could see. Kikyou had not yet left, she could have so easily faded back into darkness. The priestess was unsure now, she was confused, and above all, so lonely. With a single bound, Kagome crossed the river effortlessly. She clasped up the dead miko's cold hands in hers. Kikyou regarded her suspiciously.

From Kagome's hands, the Shikon appeared. It had never left Kagome, even after the transformation into a hanyou. When Naraku's soul had joined hers, the Shikon followed, wanting to be home again, within Kagome.

The instant the jewel came in contact with Kikyou's hands, it turned a pitch so dark as to have been unrecognizable. Kikyou appeared mildly surprised. "So, I have indeed lost my powers..." She said softly, as to herself.

"You can be just a woman now, Kikyou. I'll give it to you, but I want you to love Inuyasha in return. He deserves nothing less." Kagome requested gently. She only wanted them to be happy. Inuyasha loved Kikyou with all of his heart, promising to join her in death, in hell. He might not have returned Kagome's feelings, but she would make sure that Kikyou would love Inuyasha, just as much.

Kikyou glared. "You know not of what you ask. The emotions for him are lost to me. I am an undead." She replied, stating her true form bitterly.

Kagome drew the unresisting woman into a hug, one of the most heartfelt embraces Kikyou would ever feel. "I understand, but I'll give you everything you need, and more, Kikyou. I just want you to be happy."

An unfamiliar emotion surged through the lifeless body. Was it guilt? "Why?" Kikyou asked, her voice cracking for the first time.

"You two deserve nothing less." Kagome replied. It was clear, her duty. She should have never wavered in the first place. She didn't belong here, messing up the lives of others. She would fix everything. They would be happy. And she would take her pain, their pain, and leave. She pressed the Shikon into Kikyou's hands once more, a warm energy flowing from Kagome, through the Shikon, and into Kikyou's cold body.

Kikyou closed her eyes. Warmth. Something she had missed the feeling of in her state. It was soothing, comforting. Her body fell limp in Kagome's embrace, fatigue taking over the miko's body. "Live happily, Kikyou." Kagome's soft voice echoed through Kikyou's mind as she lost consciousness.

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When Kikyou awoke, the first thing she noticed was that she felt. She could actually feel. The dewy grass beneath her body. The chilly air on her skin. The sensations she had long ago lost since being revived had returned to her. Her flesh was pliant and warm. Her breath, moist in the air. She almost giggled with joy. Then her heart skipped a beat. She felt so warm and happy. And she knew where she had to go. Snatching up her bow, she hiked up her hakama's in an unladylike fashion, and dashed through the forest.

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After Kagome had disappeared, the rest of the Inu-tachi returned to Kaede's village, feeling somewhat more depressed and empty than before.

Miroku and Sango were questioning if they had made the right choice, after all, Kagome was Kagome. She would never have been weak enough to have succumbed to Naraku's power. Plus the kazaana was gone. Was that not proof enough that Naraku no longer lived? Inuyasha however, stood steadfast in his belief that Kikyou would not lie to him. Kikyou had always been there for him...but that wasn't true, it had always been Kagome. But Kikyou, loved him, didn't she? She had to. And he loved her back. He promised to be there, to protect her. Kikyou was the most important person in his life, and Kagome...Kagome was just a dear friend. A very important friend, a person very close to his heart...

Inuyasha's mind was still in turmoil by the time they reached Kaede's hut. The elderly miko was inside preparing a broth. At her inquiries about the missing miko, the three shared guilty glances, before Inuyasha stated, in a less than eloquent manner, the events that transpired. Kaede dropped the ladle she held, her remaining eye widened in shock. "Please, tell this old woman that ye did not truly let her go?" She asked in a pained voice.

Inuyasha shrugged. "What else can we do? I can't track her now, but if she gets within a mile of this village, I'll know." He said, mistaking Kaede's shock for worry about the village's safety.

Sango and Miroku however, faltered, staring at the elderly miko, fearing the worst.

"Kaede-sama, is there something else?" Miroku asked, his voice cracking.

"The poor child should not have been left alone. The dark energy within her is harmless to all but herself. If she harms anyone, it will be only her." Kaede said slowly and regretfully. "She sacrificed herself in pitying the dark hanyou. Kagome is a sweet child, unable to murder in cold blood. She has the gift to see the good in all, and she must've seen it in that hanyou."

Inuyasha's ears twitched. "But Kikyou said..."

Kaede turned to the inu-hanyou and held up a hand, shaking her head sadly. "Ye was lied to, Inuyasha. Kagome is not an impure soul. If she had been, her body would have rejected the Shikon and be unable to purify it, but instead, it absorbed it along with the hanyou, Naraku. She is the guardian of both now, and she is at her weakest now."

"Kikyou wouldn't..." Inuyasha tried to protest, but his feeble attempts were ignored.

"WE LET HER GO OUT! ALONE AND IN PAIN!" Sango all but shrieked. She knew she should never have believed the ex-priestess, but for the sake of Kagome, she had believed Inuyasha. Kagome had asked Sango to give Inuyasha and Kikyou a chance, and Sango had tried to take her words to heart. Guilt welled up bitterly within the woman. She betrayed her best friend and sister for...for people undeserving of the gift of Kagome's kindness.

Sango angrily strapped Hiraikotsu to her back. "I'm going to look for her!" She declared, ready to stomp out of the hut in a desperate search for her friend. A gentle hand on her shoulder halted her movements.

"That is not a wise course, Sango-sama." Miroku said solemnly.

"What do you suggest, we sit and wait patiently for her to return!" She demanded angrily.

Miroku shook his head. "Think carefully, Sango-sama. Kagome-sama believes we do not want to see her. She is a hanyou now. If we so much get within sensing distance, she will elude us. It would be but a waste of energy. Kagome-sama has always been a sensitive girl, she will know if we are searching for her."

"Then she'll come back? If she knows we're looking?" Sango asked, a childish form of hope blossoming on her features.

Again, the monk shook his head. "But we must wait. Kagome is unfamiliar with her new powers now. The best course of action would be to wait here. There is only one way Kagome can truly leave this place."

Sango's heart dropped. "The well..."

"Yes. She'll return to the well eventually, in hopes of leaving. If we wait, we may be able to speak with her before she crosses over into her own time. But it is imperative that we be patient. If we go out too soon, Kagome will know we're waiting for her at the well. She'll hide, and when she's more attuned to her abilities, she might be able to cross over without us knowing." Miroku explained, keeping is calm facade. Inside he was berating his foolishness. He had taken Inuyasha's words to heart in the foolish belief that perhaps the dead miko had changed with the death of Naraku. Kagome's naiveté must have worn off on him somewhere along the line, but now he could only curse himself. Kagome didn't deserve what they had put her through. He hoped that she would listen and forgive them.

Inuyasha sat in a stony silence. Kikyou wouldn't...would she? Kagome was...what was Kagome to him? What was Kikyou? He loved her right? Which "her" did he love? Which was right? Was he wrong? Ohhh, he was soo confused. Had he made a mistake? A scent tickled his nose. What? It couldn't be...His ears twitched as the sound of pounding footsteps reached the furry appendages. He stood suddenly, more confused than even, and stepped outside of the hut.

Hoping that Kagome had returned, Sango and Miroku followed the inu-hanyou outside when they were met with a most unexpected sight. Kikyou had come bolting from the forest and she threw herself onto Inuyasha, hugging him tightly.

"Inuyasha," she panted, her wild sprint through the forest having winded her, "I missed you so much."

Amber eyes wide with confusion, Inuyasha could only stammer, "K-Kikyou?"

"Yes!" Kikyou looked up from snuggling her face into his firerat haori. Her skin had taken on an almost rose petal hue. Her body was soft, warm, and living. The most drastic change was that her eyes had become a warm chocolate color and absolutely glowing with emotion. "Inuyasha!" She smiled, her lips curving beautifully, a reflection of her inner affections for him.

"What?" Inuyasha stared openly and wide-eyed. Kikyou never acted like this! In fact, only one person had ever looked upon him with such pure emotions before, Kagome. What was going on? "'re alive?"

"Yes, Inuyasha. We can be together now. Really and truly, Inuyasha. I made a promise! Everything will be alright now!" She gushed. The warm and happy feelings had taken over Kikyou. She couldn't help but be happy and optimistic. Was this what made Kagome the way she was? If it was, then she had been wrong. There was nothing terrible in Kagome's emotions. She felt so light. Something that felt so good couldn't' possibly be wrong. She bubbled over with emotion, wanting to share her happiness with everyone else.

Kikyou turned when she felt a questioning hand on her shoulder. She met the houshi's uncertain gaze. "Please explain, Kikyou-sama. You seem to be doing quite well, unexpectedly."

Kikyou's expression dropped suddenly. "Well?" Her eyes widened. "I totally forgot about Kagome!"

The other's started at the mention of their wayward friend. "Kagome! Where is she? How is she! Is she alright?" Kikyou was bombarded by concern for the lost miko.

"I..." Kikyou tensed suddenly, as did Inuyasha and Miroku. An intense spiritual power was building up, and it was heading towards them! But rather than threatening, they were more than ready to welcome it when it blew past suddenly. It was an arrow! Inuyasha's acute youkai senses followed the arrow as Kikyou and Miroku stretched their own spiritual senses to track it.

The arrow struck the Goshinboku and seemed to sink into the ancient tree. With it, they all could feel the presence of the Shikon no Tama, then it faded, leaving behind just an aura of warmth and familiarity behind.

The four turned to look at Kaede, questions written openly on their faces. Before any of them could open their mouths to voice a question, they were interrupted by a loud cracking noise. Their heads whipped around to find the source, settling on Inuyasha.

The inu-hanyou stared down, horrified to find large cracks running through each dark bead and white fang of his necklace. The cracks spider-webbed out slowly before exploding into an fine dust and disappearing. The subduing necklace was no more. Stunned, they stared blankly at where the necklace had rested before the repercussions of the event finally sank in.

"No..." Inuyasha gasped. " can't be..."

Kaede watched the group sadly. It had all been a sad mistake. Kagome was too giving a child, and now she was lost to them.

"KAEDE!" Inuyasha roared, desperation evident in his voice. "What just happened!"

The elderly miko's features seemed to sag. "Whatever you believe, it's probably what had just occurred Inuyasha. Kagome has sealed the Shikon within the Goshinboku. Her powers linger...I believe she has placed a barrier around the tree and the village to protect it. The subduing necklace is gone. She has released you all. She's gone home, Inuyasha."

"NO! She can't just leave like this!" Inuyasha screamed, his voice tortured. He made to run into the forest, after the girl. Even if she can't pass back through the well, I still CAN! I'll bring her back. She'll listen! He convinced himself.

Kikyou gently grasped the sleeve of Inuyasha's haori, effectively stopping him. Her head was bowed, her even bangs shielding her eyes. "I'm so sorry, Inuyasha. I never realized..." She said softly, tears creeping into her voice.

"What!" Looking betrayed at the woman he was now sure had lied to him, he glared at her angrily.

"I just realized, how so very much, Kagome loved you." She moved so slowly, as if inching through tar, wrapping her arms around the hanyou's stiffened form. "Everything I'm feeling was everything Kagome felt for you. I just didn't realize until now, she made me live...she thought it would make you happy..." She trailed off.

"Stop, talk later. I need to get Kagome!"

Miroku had perked up at Kikyou's confession, realization dawning bitterly within him. "There is no need anymore, Inuyasha." He said morosely. his attitude completely sobered by the realization.


"I'm so sorry, Inuyasha." Kikyou was sobbing openly now. "I told her two souls couldn't rest in one vessel!"

"What!" Inuyasha was totally confused. What did that have to do with anything.

But Sango too, had understood by that point. She turned away, unable to face her companions or herself.

"What the hell! Tell me dammit! Is Kagome alright!" Inuyasha looked wildly about, meeting only guilt and grief-stricken expressions.

"Kagome is gone, Inuyasha." Kaede said gently.

"Gone through the well! I'll get her back!"

"No," Kikyou eased gently, "Kagome can't come back anymore. She's gone for good. I told her two souls could not be housed within a single vessel. So, she gave me her soul, in its entirety."

Inuyasha stilled. But...that would...His ears drooped. "That...that can't be right...Kagome would never..."

"She thought it would make you happy...She made me promise to love you. I told her that I couldn't...So she gave me the ability to love you. She loved you like no other, Inuyasha. I can feel it. She loved you more than I ever could have..." Tears streamed down the priestess's face. "She thought that you believed she had betrayed you, and you wouldn't want to see her again. So she gave up her everything to me, so that you all would be happy. I'm so sorry. This is all my fault..." Kikyou slipped away from the group. "I never thought she would ever be so giving. I'm so very sorry...I was mistaken..."

Inuyasha was totally frozen. He had been wrong. So very dead wrong, and now Kagome had paid the price. But she couldn't be dead! NO! She would live. Ok, she wouldn't have her soul anymore, but Kikyou had survived without her soul, so could Kagome! RIGHT? Without uttering a word, he forced himself to believe this and dashed off to the well.

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Kagome watched as her arrow faded from her sight. She could still feel the arrows path through her powers. It stayed true to its course, burying itself deep within the tree. Satisfied, she sat herself onto the lip of the well. This would be the last time she would ever be able to pass through the well. She closed her eyes, inhaling the clean, pure scent of the feudal era. She would truly miss this time, and all of her friends. But it was for the best, she convinced herself. She now housed a darkness within her only she would be able to take care of, She didn't need to burden her friends with her problems. It was time to return home.

Swinging her legs gracefully over the lip, she gazed down into the portal that would take her away; five hundred years into the future where she would be the farthest from the friends she had fought and sacrificed beside. "Be happy." She said, smiling a half-smile to herself. She had made her decision, and she would stick with it. With that, she pushed lightly from the well lip...only to be stopped at the last second by a clawed hand snagging her wrist?

She looked up, shock obvious on her features. "Guh?" She said intelligently.

Intense golden eyes bored down into her crimson ones. "Miko," the voice said coldly, "do not run."

GYAAAH! IT WAS SESSHOUMARU! Her mind screamed helpfully as it ran in little circles. She almost laughed out loud. After everything she had just been through, absorbing Naraku into herself, being betrayed by her friends, sacrificing her soul to Kikyou, and deciding to leave forever, was she going to be killed NOW?

The corners of her mouth turned up crookedly. "Seems you're a little late, Sesshoumaru-sama." She said lightly. "Now, if you'd kindly let go, I need to be going." She reached up with her other hand and tried to pry the youkai's claws off her wrist, but her hanyou strength was far from adequate.

She had almost forgotten about the Taiyoukai. Sesshoumaru had been of invaluable help in the final battle. He seemed to have been as surprised as the rest of them when she absorbed Naraku. But as soon as Naraku had faded, he too disappeared. No one had expected him to stick around. He had simply offered his allegiances with them to defeat the hanyou that had wronged him as well. Along the way to the final battle, they had all learned that he wasn't an overall bad guy, but still very disagreeable. Kagome could contest to that, though she had tried her best to get him to lighten up. He only seemed lose his cold facade when she revealed a new trinket or whatever from her time. He was very open to questioning about curiosities which caught his attention, none more so than Kagome herself, which everyone but her seemed to notice.

"Do not struggle, or I shall remove the appendage." He replied smoothly.

Kagome wilted. "But I need it."

"It'll grow back, in time." Sesshoumaru flexed his left arm, as if in demonstration of youkai regenerative abilities.

Kagome's eyes narrowed. She didn't like how he seemed to be taunting her. She sighed. She was just tired. "What do you want, Sesshoumaru? I don't know what I could do, I've done all I can. I just want to go home." She looked down resignedly.

"Do not run." He repeated.

"I'm not running. I'm leaving." She clarified, then resumed her fruitless struggle.

"I'll destroy it."

Kagome stilled immediately at the threat. Sesshoumaru was not a person to joke around. He could harm her, she almost wouldn't mind that, but she would NOT allow him to destroy her only way home.

When Kagome slackened in his grasp, the taiyoukai hoisted her easily from the well. He stood her on the ground where he could study her. She was a hanyou now, a creature of tainted blood. But...he couldn't smell a trace of Naraku on her at all. Her scent was as pure as it had always been.

"Done yet?" Kagome asked, nervous when Sesshoumaru's nose seemed to wander all over her.

"Sufficiently." He replied, aware of her discomfort. "What did you think you were doing, miko?" He asked.

Kagome rolled her eyes. She was so VERY TIRED! Why couldn't she go home and sulk in peace? "I'm leaving, ok? I'm not wanted here. They all think I'll go Naraku on them and try to destroy the village or something."

He raised a brow at her curious choice of words.

Kagome shook her head. "I mean, they think I won't be able to..." She placed a hand over her chest. "The darkness I took in, they think I'll hurt them." She finished softly.

"Why do you not explain to them?"

She blinked and stared down at her feet. "They're happier this way. I've made sure of it. The tama is safe. Kikyou's alive. Miroku won't have an untimely death. They'll all live happily, protected."

"Are you sure?"

DAMN THAT SESSHOUMARU! HIM AND HIS STUPID ARROGANCE! THE CONFIDENT PRICK! Ok, she did not have his confidence...where did that frigging come from? He just had that amazing ability to make her doubt herself sooo very much. But then she remembered the faces of her friends when she first awoke. They couldn't even look at her. The pain she felt then. They would be better off without her. Steeling her resolve, she clenched her fists at her side and stared up at the taiyoukai, meeting his powerful gaze evenly.

"Yes, I'm sure." She said resolutely. The she strode forward and wrapped her arms around his midsection, carefully avoiding his pointy armor. "Thank you, Sesshoumaru."

The taiyoukai had stiffened at the unexpected affection from the miko, but made no move to stop her. He looked down at the crown of inky hair. "What for?" He asked.

"For caring." She replied. Her new, silky voice muffled against him. "Goodbye, Sesshoumaru." She slid from him and made her way back to the well lip.

"Good bye...Kagome."

She grinned at him as she jumped into the well.

The feeling the taiyoukai was experiencing could almost be called peaceful as he watched her leave.

-:- -:- -:-

Kagome was almost happy as she felt the familiar blue aura envelope her. It was a bittersweet feeling. She was returning home, but leaving so much behind.

"A body was never meant to house two souls."

Kagome's eyes widened as Kikyou's voice echoed through her head. Suddenly, the blue aura flashed a violent red and streaked down her body. It was a blazing heat. She felt like she was being torn in two! It was a pain like no other, she was being ripped apart!

Kagome screamed.

-:- -:- -:-

Sesshoumaru froze in mid-stride. That was Kagome's scream. He turned in time to see angry scarlet light streaming from the well. He ran to the edge and peered down, hoping that it was alright. He had never actually seen the well work before, but he was sure it wasn't supposed to cause pain like that agonized scream he had heard.

The rustling of bushes drew his attention away from the well momentarily. Inuyasha bolted out, leaves and twigs strewn haphazardly throughout his hair and clothes. His eyes widened upon seeing the well. "WHAT THE HELL?"

He ran to the edge, prepared to jump in, but the scarlet aura repelled him. He couldn't even touch the well. He turned panicked eyes to his elder brother. Sesshoumaru could only stare helplessly back. Neither knew what was happening.

-:- -:- -:-

Kagome was swimming in blackness. She was stiff, cold, and alone. The last thing she recalled before the pain was Kikyou's voice. Then she found herself floating alone in a void. Had she died? Did the well kill her? Well, that was certainly not what she had expected. "Death by well." Seemed kind of anticlimactic after everything else...

She briefly caught sight of something else floating with her, but it seemed to be blurred, as if not fully formed. Before she could get close enough to see it, her eyes opened.

Kagome lay on her back on the floor of the well house. The well sat innocently beside her, as if it had not been roaring an angry red that literally seemed to tear her to pieces. She gave it an irritated glare. Way to send her home. She patted the well though. It would be the last time she ever jumped through it. She stood, groaning.

She seemed to ache everywhere. She allowed her hands to probe her body, checking for wounds of any sort. She absently noted that she was still a hanyou. She had not magically turned back into a human, much to her disappointment. This would be hard to explain. Her hand was on the well house door when she heard a sound behind her. "Buyo?" She called, wondering if her obese lump of fur known as her cat had gotten back down into the well house again. "Buyo, I thought Souta was keeping an eye on you." She crept over other side of the well, searching the corners for her cat.

A groan met her ears, a most decidedly human noise.

Her eyes widened as she spotted white against the darkness of the well house. That was a foot. She followed the white foot up to see it's owner, and screamed.

-:- -:- -:-

Crimson eyes snapped open at the scream. The body jumped up and away from the offending noise. He curled into a corner and covered his ears with his hands. Where was he? What was that awful noise.

He turned to meet the wide-eyed gaze of a stunning, though seemingly traumatized, young woman.

"Naraku!" She gasped.

"Yes?" He replied. "And who might you be?"

-:- -:- -:-

-:- -:- -:-

-:- -:- -:-

SM: Yatta! And there you have it! Confusing wasn't it? Well read it and review me or flame me or give suggestions! It's all good!

Oh, and those waiting patiently on either Pain or Crows, school will be out for me by the end of this week. I have some stuff typed up, but I need to add, edit, and fine tune it before I can post it. Hopefully, and I know I haven't been really good on keeping to a schedule, I should have them updated by the end of this month. (crosses fingers) So here's to hoping!

Oh yeah, and a little while ago, I posted a little oneshot songfic...thingy...wasn't really a songfic cuz I removed all the lyrics, but it's...a fic based on a song. It's called Don't Think of Me. Check it out! Or check out the link for the complete version on A Single Spark. The link should be in my profile. Heh heh heh, I know a lotta people didn't like it, but hey, it was my first attempt, and I'm rather fond of it...