Escaping Death

Note- Hey! Thanks so much for all of the positive reviews. I appreciate them.

Disclaimer- I do not own Inuyasha.

Summary- Kagome is an average girl. But after a strange online conversation, a psychotic killer wants HER to choose his victims. She can't escape, not without sacrificing everyone she loves. So what can she do?

I hope you all enjoy. Please review and thanks for reading.

Escaping Death

Chapter Twenty-Three

The school was pretty frightening during the day, due to the fact that it was a place that not many people wished to go. At night, however, it was a massively intimidating structure, especially when there were two killers inside. That fact nearly caused Kagome's heart to stop beating and she only dared to imagine how Sango was feeling. She knew that Sango was probably the most frightened of all while Inuyasha bore the most hatred.

'You can handle this,' she told herself as she stood, staring up at the large windows, the chilly air whipping her hair into her face. 'That's why you decided to do this in the first place.'

"I can't believe that we're actually doing this." Sango murmured behind Kagome. She, too, was gaping up at the school.

Inuyasha took a place beside Kagome, took her hand in his, and said in reply to Sango, "Well, we are." He looked down at Kagome and gave her his cute, boyish grin and said. "We'll be fine. Now let's go, and be careful." At that, he led them all inside.

The only way they had gotten in was because Bankotsu was skilled at picking locks.

Once inside, they all headed toward the Library silently. It was ominously quiet, and Kagome did not like it one bit. Sango was keeping herself hidden between Miroku and Bankotsu. They couldn't really blame her. They all felt some type of fear deep within them, especially since they knew that tonight was the ultimate test of themselves. It was especially bad since Kagome had no plan. All she had planned was to kill, just like the killers who had been haunting them.

Miroku stumbled once after stepping on a loose shoe string, but Sango kept him from toppling over by grabbing his left arm. He smiled sheepishly before quickly squatting down and tying his shoe tightly. While doing so, he noticed his other shoe was untied. After tying that one, he glanced up and saw that his friends had disappeared. He didn't dare call out due to sheer terror. Instead, he got to his feet slowly and began walking down the hall. They had rounded one of two corners and he wasn't sure which. He didn't want to run because his shoes would make loud thudding noises and alert anyone of his presence. Once he reached the turning point, he looked from left, to right, and left again.

Sighing, and ignoring the pulsing of his heart, he went right. He was sure he would stumble across them eventually.

---

Sango felt the noticeable absence of Miroku behind her and stopped. She whirled around, her heart leaping into her throat, to find that he was gone. "Guys," she whispered, barely audible over the resonating silence. "Hey."

Inuyasha's sensitive hearing caught Sango's light words and he stopped, causing Kagome to stop since he was still holding her hand. Bankotsu paused as well and all three of them turned to see what was wrong.

"Miroku…" Sango said, beginning to tremble. "He was just here, he stopped to tie his shoe. And then…I turned around and he -- he's gone!"

Kagome knew it was only a matter of time before Sango burst into hysterics. And a part of her told her that it was only a matter of time before they heard Miroku's painful screams echoing through the hall. She brushed it off and went to Sango's side instead. "It's okay," she reassured her, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. "I'm sure he's just tangled up in his shoe strings or something." Her lame joke fell on deaf ears as the lights flickered on, blinding them.

Startled, Sango exploded from Kagome's grasp with a pitiful scream, and raced down the hallway. Kagome watched her leave, urging herself to move, but she couldn't. She noticed that Bankotsu and Inuyasha were looking at the lights in bewilderment, both confused as to how and why they suddenly sprang to life.

Kagome's mind tuned to auto-pilot and she barely registered the fact that she said, "We need to go," and began running to a random direction; any direction to get away from the hallway with the lights. She heard Inuyasha and Bankotsu shuffling to catch up to her and she noticed that the hallway was growing dimmer and dimmer.

Impetuously, the lights above her came on, causing her to run faster, like a startled fawn. She was determined to lose the trails of lights, but she wasn't planning on losing Bankotsu in the process, which is what she did. She made it to a hall that was enveloped in pitch black and she fell against a wall. Inuyasha found her a couple of moments later, and they stood in silence for a bit.

"Where's Bankotsu?" Kagome asked.

"I don't know," Inuyasha said. "I thought he was right behind me. But then again, you were running pretty fast, so we might have lost him."

Kagome's heart began racing. "Oh, God," she said slowly. "It's all my fault. We lost them. What if they get killed?"

Inuyasha was embracing her in a second, stroking her hair and whispering, "Look, it's okay. Just calm down. I'm sure we'll run into them soon. The lights just scared them."

Kagome's eyes snapped open and she jerked away from Inuyasha. "But why are the lights on?" She demanded, even though she was aware that Inuyasha was as blind of the truth as she was. "Why did they come on? There are no police or custodians here! So why did they cut on?" Kagome's voice rose a couple octaves. For the first time in what seemed to be months, Kagome was terrified. She was confused, and she knew that being confused in this sort of situation was not good.

"Kagome, shh!" Inuyasha said quickly. "I don't know. All right? But we have to go if we to find the others." He took her hand in his and proceeded down the hall, Kagome following behind him in a daze.

They were taking random turns, no longer paying attention to where they were or where they were going. They only concentrated on finding Sango, Miroku, and Bankotsu.

"Inuyasha…" Kagome said after a while of pure silence. "It was them. They flipped the lights on. They're planning on killing us, anyway."

Inuyasha stopped, whirled around, and stared at Kagome. Her eyes were dazed and transfixed on the tiled floor. She looked frightened. No. More than frightened. Horrified. "You're sure about this?"

Kagome nodded meekly. Her expression told him that things had grown very serious within the last half hour. And things had also grown very, very personal. They were after Kagome, and he wasn't going to let them get to her. "What should we do?" He asked, receiving nothing but a mere shrug in response. He sighed, running a clawed hand through his hair while gently, but firmly, hanging onto Kagome's hand with the other.

"Let's just keep looking, all right?" He finally said. When she didn't respond, he just tugged on her hand and they began wandering aimlessly down the hall.

---

Sango had long came to a halt, attempting to catch the breath she lost sprinting down the many different hallways in order to get to a safe spot; a spot where there was no light and where she wouldn't be seen. She had taken refuge in a corner, well hidden in the darkness. She hadn't dare tried to see if any classrooms were unlocked out of fear of what could have been in them.

It was silent in that dark hallway, and Sango was unnerved. She was so frightened that she began to see things, only to blink and find that they were shadows from the tree branches out of a nearby window. All she could do at this point was sit and wait.

Wait to die? Wait to live? She wasn't so sure. All she wanted was to go home, leap into her bed, and snuggle under the covers. At least then, she'd probably be safe.

---

"Bankotsu…"

Bankotsu whirled in a circle. That was the sixth time he'd heard that same whispering voice say his name. Who was it? Where was it coming from?

"What?" He dared to call out, risking everything in the process. "What do you sick fucks want?"

It grew quiet and he knew that they were only messing with his mind; toying with him. He was doing his best to keep them from receiving the satisfaction they craved, desired. Despite his best efforts to keep his mind in place, his fear got the better of him and he ended up running blindly, aimlessly, lost in the darkened corridors of the school, the voices chasing close at his heels.

"Bankotsu…! Bankotsu, why are you running? Are you afraid?"

Bankotsu closed his eyes tightly, clenched his fists, and willed himself to keep running and not to speak.

"Bankotsu, you do know your time is coming, right? Soon, you'll be like everyone else -- Dead."

That small word rang in his ears with such extraordinary finality. He felt his heart racing, his legs growing tired, and sweat forming over his brow at the sound of the maniacal laughing all around him.

And within a matter of minutes, it was gone, silent. He was able to slow down before coming to a complete stop. His breathing was ragged, rapid, as he sucked as much air as possible in. What happened? Where did they go?

It didn't matter at the moment. Bankotsu was only glad he got to stop and rest.

---

Miroku had backed against a wall and was carefully examining every nook and cranny to make sure it was safe before proceeding down the hallway. After every place had been inspected thoroughly, he would reluctantly move on, being cautious as to what he crossed paths with. 'Fear is only in your mind,' he continually reminded himself. He rounded a corner -- after peeking around it and looking both ways -- and began walking toward the library. As soon as he saw all of the shelves of books through the windows, he stopped dead in his tracks. That was it. The killers were inside, and he was all alone outside…unless the others had made it there before he had.

He edged up to the large, glass double doors so he could try and get a look into the large room to see if they were there.

Nothing but darkness.

His shoulders slumped, disappointed, and he let out a small breath. Those cowards. They didn't come to the school after all.

That's when he felt the knife in his back before the presence behind him even registered in his mind. He cried out as it was pulled from his body and he fell to his knees, cringing in pain. Even though he was concerned for his life, he had other things on his mind. Questions that demanded answers. How could he have been so careless? So stupid? Why did he have to be the one to die? What would Kagome say? Inuyasha? Bankotsu? Most of all, Sango? What if they were already dead? If not, would they be able to put these psychotic bastards in jail? What if they couldn't? Would these homicidal maniacs get to run free?

Out of the corner of his eye, Miroku saw the blade of the knife catch some light and he was able to evade the shot with ease. After he did so, he mustered up all his strength and ran down the hallway. He didn't dare stop and he constantly kept his eyes open for the blade. He ignored the pain, the terrible pain that made him think his shoulder blade was shattered. He didn't look back until he was sure the footsteps had stopped. He paused, wincing in pain, and glanced behind him. He had ran to the nearest flight of steps and raced down them and had, obviously, lost his pursuers.

"What the hell?" He asked aloud, his voice echoing throughout the empty stairwell. He felt the blood dripping down his back and saw it pooling at his feet. His reflection in the blood stared back at him with horrified and confused eyes.

"You time is coming to an end…" a voice rang out throughout the tiny space of the stairway. "You will die. We'll make sure of that."

And just like that, the voices dissipated and all was quiet.

---

Kagome had been dazed the whole time Inuyasha had been dragging her along throughout the hallways, not saying anything, and not really seeing anything. This meeting had been a set up. They only agreed to her ridiculous plan so they could seclude them all in one place -- the school -- and kill them off, one by one, and find new players to torment.

How could she have formulated such a ludicrous and dangerous idea and think that it would be simple and smart? How could she put her friends, as well as herself, in mortal danger? Why did she do it in the first place? She hadn't had a plan, which caused even more disaster. Why couldn't she have seen that it had all been a trap? After all, she had told them to kill her, so why did she set an appointment to meet them?

"It's all my fault," she murmured.

Inuyasha's sensitive hearing caught those four words and he growled, long and low. "No, it isn't. Just calm down, all right?"

Kagome said nothing. She was too busy paying attention to the floor. There were strange red markings on them…

"Wait." She whispered, causing him to come to a halt. When he looked at her for answers, she motioned toward the floor and he bent down to examine the spots.

"Blood," he said, covering his nose due to his sensitive sense of smell.

"Oh, God." Kagome said. Inuyasha embraced her. He didn't dare tell her that it was Miroku's blood splattered all around the hallway, making a trail. Instead, he consoled her, knowing perfectly well that every moment wasted was another moment someone's life could be taken. Even though this fact chilled him to the bone, despite the heat in the hallway, he didn't show how frightened he was. Nor did he show how outraged he was.

He pulled away from Kagome and looked into her eyes. "We're going to get out of this. I promise."

"I'm so afraid," she whispered.

"Fear is only in our minds," he said. "Don't let it get in the way. We're so close, Kagome. We're so close."

He was right, of course. They were so close to ending the nightmare that had invaded their once peaceful and normal lives. How could she let her fear get in the way and keep her from erasing this part of her life?

"I just hope to others are all right," she said, pushing away the nauseated feeling as she looked at the blood.

"I'm sure they are," he said, even though he had the feeling that someone was seriously hurt…or worse. "Now let's go."

They raced down the hallway and made it to the library, only to find it dark and desolate.

"Those bastards!" Inuyasha cursed. "They're not here!"

Kagome shook her head. "Oh, no. They're here all right. I told you -- they're planning on killing us off. So I guess they're going around the school, and since they split us up, they're killing us. One by one. It's over. We're dead."

Inuyasha opened his mouth to protest against this, but was silenced when hysterical laughter broke out all around them. When it finally died down, a voice -- an all too familiar voice -- said, "Very nice, Higurashi! You finally resigned yourself to death!"

"No, she hasn't done anything!" Inuyasha argued indignantly.

"She just said that she was dead. She also said that you were dead, Inuyasha, along with the rest of your pathetic friends. Now, meet us on the roof."

And just like that, it grew quiet.

---

Sango crept down the hallway vigilantly, keeping her guarded eyes looking around for any suspicious movement. She had been walking for what seemed like forever and she hadn't heard any noise whatsoever. She was almost afraid of what might've happened without her knowledge. She didn't like to think about it.

What if she was the only one left? What if the killers thought that she had skipped out on meeting them and had killed everyone else and then gone to kill their families? She couldn't bear the thought of being alone, especially since it would be Kagome, Inuyasha, and Miroku getting killed. They were like her family…with the exception of Miroku. Miroku was more than family. He was…

Well, the one she liked.

And to think of his death, as well as the death of the two other people she cared about most scared her senseless.

It was just as she was pushing this from her mind that a hand snaked around her face and covered her mouth, pulling back hard and dragging her into a secluded part of the dark hallway. She tried screaming, but found that she couldn't. Her heart in her throat, she struggled against the force that was overwhelming her, but he strength had abandoned her. She was no match.

'This is it,' she thought for a panic-stricken moment. She knew she was going to die and that there wasn't anything she could do about it. She just wished she could say goodbye…

Just as this horrific thought crossed her mind, she heard a gentle voice say, calmly, "Sango. It's me, Bankotsu. Calm down."

Sango immediately ceased in her futile attempt at escape. Her arms went limp and her heart began to slow down to its normal pace in its normal place -- her chest. She whirled around. "Bankotsu? Why aren't you with the others?"

He shrugged. "They panicked, too, and we ran and I guess I wasn't fast enough."

"Oh," was all Sango could say. She didn't feel like an idiot as much as she had before now that she knew that Kagome, their 'leader,' had ran like a scowling dog, too.

"Yeah." Bankotsu examined the hallway. "I passed the library. No one there." He paused and his expression became more troubled. He opened his mouth to inform her of the blood-splattered hallway, but decided against it. It would make her even more frightened and she'd probably go insane.

"They're not here?" She demanded, her voice rising an octave or two.

Once again, he was about to tell her of the blood, but decided not to and only shrugged in response.

That's when they heard the groaning and the heavy breathing. Suddenly very alert, they sucked in a breath and held it, waiting and watching. Who would round the corner? Only God knew, and time would soon tell.

Their fear was short lived when they saw Miroku stagger around the corner, bloody and in obvious pain.

Sango launched herself at him, happy to see that it was him and not some insane killer. She was also happy he was alive. "Miroku! Are you all right?"

Miroku took a moment to compose himself after having been scared by her and said, in a strangled voice, "No."

All the color drained from Sango's face. "What's the matter? I mean…I know you're stabbed and everything, but…"

"I've lost too much blood…" Miroku explained slowly. He appeared weak, frail. "We need to get out of here and call nine-one-one."

Sango looked at Bankotsu. He nodded. "I hate to sound mean," he said, "but the killers should be occupied with Kagome and Inuyasha. Maybe this is our only chance to escape."

Sango slipped an arm around Miroku's waist, supporting him, and began walking down the hallway. Bankotsu led the way and they headed toward the front of the school.

And toward the way to safety.

---

Kagome pushed the heavy, metal door open, afraid and unsure of what she would find. The first thing she noticed was the sky -- so clear and beautiful, with the dark navy blue speckled by shimmering stars. The next thing she noticed was the icy wind that whipped her hair into her face. She put a lock of it behind her ear and stepped out onto the roof. Inuyasha came out behind her and all was silent.

"All right!" Inuyasha called. Kagome noticed that his voice cracked.

"Ah, finally! We were just about to go look for you two." A voice called from behind the brick foundation where the door was built into.

"Oh, really?" Inuyasha asked, not interested in the least.

'So the others are dead?' Kagome asked herself mentally. 'If they only wanted us to come to the roof…I guess they killed everyone else.'

Surprisingly, tears did not come. She didn't feel the need to cry since she had already decided that she was going to join them.

"You two are braver than I thought," Death said. Kagome knew it was Death from her many unpleasant conversations with him. "At first, you give the impression of frightened dogs."

"Come out and say that to my face, you sick fuck." Inuyasha growled. Kagome knew that both his hatred and temper were quickly and steadily growing.

"As you wish," Death said.

Impetuously, a hand seized Kagome's throat and pulled her back against a body. She squealed in surprise and froze in fear as a knife was placed at her throat. Sure, she was used to it by now…but for him to do it so directly after being told to was strange.

Inuyasha stared at her captor in shock. He was clearly speechless.

'Who is it?' Kagome demanded silently. She didn't have the strength to ask.

Then her cousin, Jakotsu, appeared behind Inuyasha.

She gasped and jerked her head up to look at her captor. Jakotsu's brother, Suikotsu.

"No…" she said slowly. "You…"

"Long time, no see, Kagome," Suikotsu said.

"But you attacked your own brother! Your own flesh and blood!" She cried, jerking away, barely evading the sharp knife.

Suikotsu shrugged. "And?"

"Why?" She was on the brink of tears. She loved these guys. And to find out that they were the psychotic killers who had been torturing her and her friends and taking victims' names was a hard thing to digest.

"Hmm," Jakotsu said, coming up to her and draping an arm around her shoulders. He bent down and whispered in her ear, "Maybe cause it's fun."

She pulled away from him. "I hate you," she spat.

"No, you don't." Suikotsu said with a grin.

Two things happened at that moment. One: Jakotsu, apparently having enough of keeping a woman alive this long lunged at Kagome to obviously land the finishing blow. Two: Inuyasha dived at Jakotsu as he did this.

Inuyasha and Jakotsu landed in a heap on the roof, Inuyasha screaming out in pain. Kagome saw blood. Jakotsu must have gotten his knife around to where it would stab Inuyasha.

"Damn it," Suikotsu cursed, rushing forward to jerk Inuyasha off of his brother. Kagome, reacting with speed she never knew she had, wrenched the knife he possessed away from him and grabbed him by the shirt collar. She hauled him backwards, away from the struggling Inuyasha and Jakotsu. He swung his hand backward, striking out at her. The shot connected with her face and she fell to the concrete. When he tried to, once again, separate his brother and Inuyasha, Kagome tripped him by hooking her foot behind his knee. He collapsed and she leapt on top of him, the knife poised at his throat.

"Do it," he said.

She stared at him. She couldn't. She didn't want to be like him…she couldn't be like him.

He took her hesitation as an advantage and shoved her off onto her back and he jumped on top of her, coiling his fingers around her throat with one large hand while trying to retrieve his knife with the other. She kept the knife out of reach, however, spinning her hand all around so he wouldn't be able to get it. She knew that she wouldn't be able to keep up her current actions due to the lack of oxygen, but she was determined to do so. She only prayed that Inuyasha would see her in a struggle between life and death in time to save her.

"What's the matter, Higurashi?" Suikotsu sneered in her face arrogantly. "What happened to fighting back? You never could when you were a spoiled brat, and you can't now. That's why I chose you; because you're so predictable and easy to intimidate."

Kagome, unable to speak, much less breathe, only stared at him. Everything around her began to grow fuzzy and was spinning a bit. She felt death all around her. It was eminent. It was coming, and she knew it. The fear of this knowledge encircled her.

"You're too afraid to fight back!" Suikotsu shouted.

'Fear is only in our minds,' Kagome heard Inuyasha saying in her mind. 'Don't let it get in the way. We're so close, Kagome. We're so close.'

The faces of all of the victims who she had chosen flashed before her eyes and she knew what she had to do. She had to avenge their deaths and redeem herself by either killing these maniacs or sending them to prison. She voted for the first one.

With a loud cry, she pushed forward with all her might. Suikotsu, surprised by this action, fell backwards.

"You bastards!" She yelled. "I despise you."

She lunged forward and caught Suikotsu, the knife jabbing into his side. He screamed in pain, but Kagome didn't stop. She pulled the knife out and would have plunged it into his heart, but Jakotsu prevented her from doing so. He tackled her, causing the knife to fly from her hands and across the roof. She landed on the concrete so hard, the force sent the air out of her. She tried to gasp in lungful after lungful, but Jakotsu began strangling her, just as Suikotsu had done, and she could not get any air.

Inuyasha punched Jakotsu in the face, sending him reeling onto the roof and off of Kagome. He helped her up and they both froze when they heard the cocking of a pistol.

"All right," Suikotsu growled. He was breathing heavily due to the wound to his side, but that, however, didn't seem to be keeping him from pointing a gun at Inuyasha and Kagome. "Enough fighting. You might as well give it up. You're dead, anyways."

Kagome and Inuyasha were both frozen with fear, their minds racing, trying to decided on what action to take. They both settled on a forward attack. Kagome went for Suikotsu's lower region while Inuyasha knocked the gun from his hands. He picked it up from the roof and aimed it at Suikotsu while Kagome had the knife and was glaring at Jakotsu.

They probably would've attacked if they hadn't heard, "All right! All weapons down!"

All four of them looked toward the doorway to the roof and saw a dozen policemen, weapons drawn, and aimed. Inuyasha and Kagome dropped their weapons.

"Hands up!" A policeman shouted.

Four sets of hand went into the air.

Kagome looked toward the doorway and saw Sango and Bankotsu peeking out. So they were alive, after all.

And it appeared as if the nightmare was finally over.

--2 weeks later--

Dear journal,

Things are great. Despite the fact that I spent nearly a week talking to the police and the television news reporters, my mom wasn't all that angry. She was just happy I was all right. Miroku should be getting out of the hospital really soon. His injury wasn't serious and he's doing very good. Sesshomaru awoke from his coma and he's back at home with Inuyasha. Sango forgave me for all the rude comments I made and how harsh I was to her.

Suikotsu and Jakotsu were put in jail for life. Thank God that nightmare is over! Poor Bankotsu. He's taking it pretty rough. I mean, they were his brothers and everything. I mean, I was shocked, too. But I'm sure he'll come around.

School will be back in session next week. They wanted to give all the students -- especially the five of us -- some breathing room. I'm glad they did. I need it.

All in all, things are great. I'm so happy. Nothing could go wrong now.

Signed, Kagome

Kagome sighed as she finished up her journal entry and closed the tiny journal. She took a sip of Pepsi and stared at the television. She had left it on the same station all day, not really paying attention to whatever was on. It was the news. Wow.

Her mom was at work, Inuyasha was at home, Sango was visiting Miroku in the hospital, so she was all alone. It was okay, though. She needed some time alone. She had spent two weeks being hounded by news crews and journalists and police. So a small break was fine by her.

She stood up to stretch and paused when a breaking news headline burst across the television screen.

"--This just in. Two deadly killers have escaped from prison and are now are the loose--"

Two pictures appeared on the screen. Kagome nearly died.

"--If you see either of these boys, call nine-one-one immediately!"

Her heart rate increased. 'They wouldn't come here, though. They wouldn't be that stupid. Right?'

The doorbell rang.

'It's Inuyasha. I know it is. He said he would come by and see me sometime today.'

She approached the door. "Who is it?"

"Kagome! Come and open the door! Let your two favorite cousins in!"

----

Note-Oh my! It's over! No! Guess what that means! A Sequel! Woo! Please review and tell me what you thought. I appreciate it. Thanks!