Companion piece to Overshadowed.
Please, not her.
After hastily dispatching the group of youkai in front of me, I quickly turn and start to run in her direction. Even as I open my mouth to shout out a warning, to alarm her of the impending danger, I know it is futile. She will not be able move out of the way in time, and I mentally curse myself for not watching her back properly, as we have always done together in battle.
She blocks another attack from a youkai and it drives the Hiraikotsu back. The force behind the blow is enough to cause a crack in the middle of the large weapon, and unfortunately it is also enough to put her directly in the path of Naraku.
His tentacle shoots directly through her, and her name dies in my throat as I watch her shocked reaction. She falls to the ground, Hiraikotsu clattering to the ground. Her hands instinctively go down to try and stop the alarming flow of blood streaming from her stomach, her face pale with pain and shock.
Naraku smirks at me, as if he can see the rage building within my soul.
For the time being, I do not allow my intense rage to cloud my mind. I have but a few minutes to reach Sango and tell her everything that I could not before, and I intend to make my feelings clear. I run and kneel by her side, supporting her back. Her body feels strangely heavy and light at the same time. Heavy because her strength is being drained, and light because she is no longer the warrior. She has been weakened by a fatal injury, but she remains strong on the inside.
Her breathing sounds shaky and immensely shallow. The emotion is quickly fading from her eyes as the lack of life is starting to affect her body, but she makes an immense effort not to look away from my gaze as I hold her. She opens her mouth a bit to tell me something, and I put a finger to her lips.
"Save your strength."
Even though I know it is too late, that all chances and possibilities are gone, I cannot help but think that if she can hold on just a little longer, the others will deal with Naraku and I can get Kaede to bandage up her injuries.
Reality is a cruel thing, and the sight and stench of it nearly makes me sick. All of it is coming from the one I hold close, and it will not stop.
I have never felt so helpless as I do now.
She raises her hand up so she can touch my cheek in a gesture that is supposed to reassure me, that maybe dying isn't as painful as we all think it is, and her fingers are cold. I grasp them in my own, wanting to keep her close to me for as long as possible. Her words are a whisper, and I have to lean down to catch what she is struggling to say.
"It will be okay."
Why did it have to be her? Why did it have to be Sango?
Her fingers gently sweep across my skin, almost like a ghostly touch as she wipes away the tears that have managed to escape from my eyes. Despite my attempts to keep from crying, I cannot help it.
We were supposed to live together, have children, and enjoy the rest of our lives in happiness and laughter. We never spoke of the future, for it was a thing that might never be attained in the way that we so desperately wanted it to. It was there, always just out of reach, tormenting us, leaving a threat of death with us.
This was our last chance, and we failed.
This was not supposed to happen. Sango was not supposed to die.
I do not want to think about a future that does not involve her. She says it will be okay, but it won't be. It will never be okay again. I may continue living, continue smiling and travelling with the others, but it will be empty. Nothing will remain the same without her.
I am alone.
I don't want to face a future without her.
She is dying and there is nothing I can to prevent it from happening. This is the one battle I just cannot win, no matter how hard I try to. However, there is one final thing I can give her, one thing I can do reassure her that I will not give up, even if I am lying to her and myself.
I lean down and place a light kiss on her lips. Her weak, tired grip tightens on mine for a moment, then it relaxes and she is unable to keep holding onto me as the last bit of life she still has fades away. The only thing I have left of her are the memories of the times we shared together, and they overwhelm me as I dissolve into tears.
The victory cry of Inuyasha and a cheer from Kagome-sama seems distant to me. I am assuming that they have managed to defeat Naraku, and for a moment, I feel the slightest hint of satisfaction. It is only brief, and my focus goes back to the body of the taijiya that I had loved.
Then I remember about the cloth that covers my Kazaana, and slowly, as if in a daze, I uncover the palm of my right hand. I still expect to hear the sound of wind roaring past my ears whenever I unleash this black hole, but this time, there is nothing but skin. It is gone.
It is too late.
She is gone.