Day to day and each night I pray
That there's someone out there that's gonna melt my heart away
And take me to another place
From the loneliness that's driving me insane
The wind was rustling outside, the brittle leaves breaking off of their branches and showering golden tears onto the palace. A chorus of morning-birds and small insects permeated the guest room. Sango curled herself closer to Miroku, battling against the cold. In the corner lay Shippo, his heavy breathing causing the thin sheet to rise and fall on his face. Inuyasha sat with his back against the wall, his arms crossed and his eyes closed.
Further down the hallway, in Sesshoumaru's room, sat Kagome, gently brushing the knots of Rin's hair.
"Ow!" Rin cried and Kagome chuckled.
"Rin I haven't even touched you!" she shot back. Daring a glance back at Sesshoumaru, who was now sitting up, she saw a faint ghost of a smile show on his face. She smiled back and went back to the task at hand.
Outside sat Jaken, watching over the doors, his orders to run to Sesshoumaru should anything troublesome present itself. He sighed and leaned back against the mangled palace wall. The only sound was the thin rustle of leaves as they twirled and danced in the air, a multicoloured recital of sorts.
As Jaken watched them his eyes felt droopy. He let them close, the thin tendrils of sleep slowly beckoning him to unconsciousness. 'What could happen on such a nice day anyway?'
Sleep took him from the breezy, picturesque day, and took him to the land of dreams, and he would never return again.
I get so cold summer feels like the winter
When I'm at home, all alone I just cry
I wish that I could just lie like I'm happy
But I can't hide this hurt inside
"I think that we should leave here soon. Naraku said he would be on his way."
"Yes but he hasn't shown up yet. What about Kagome?"
"Hush!" Sango said quietly. Inuyasha re-entered the room, having just returned from scanning the grounds. Sango offered up a smile and frowned when he didn't return it.
"We're leaving." he said gruffly, not looking either of them in the eye.
"But what about Kagome?" Shippo blurted out before either of the adults could stop him. Inuyasha looked as if he had been struck. Sango repressed the urge to stand and hug him, knowing full well that that would only hurt him more.
A loud knock on the door broke the awkward silence. It opened and Rin appeared, her hair neatly combed and her face and clothes clean.
"Inuyasha, Kagome wants to see you, out in the back garden." was all she had a chance to say before she was wrestling on the ground with Shippo. Miroku laughed at the childish game but stopped when he saw Inuyasha's face. Their eyes met and Miroku nodded, giving him as much encouragement as possible. Inuyasha nodded back and walked out the door, headed for the garden.
When he reached it, he wasn't sure he had ever been so fearful in his life.
But I'll tell you someday I'm gonna find
A guy that's gonna change my life
And I tell you one day just wait and see
True love is waiting out there for me
Kagome stood admiring the roses, her hair shining and her body clothed in a silk kimono of the darkest green. The colour made her face glow and her eyes sparkle. Inuyasha's breath caught in his throat and all he wanted to do was run up to her and embrace her, begging her not to leave him. But he stood his ground, knowing that that would be futile.
He cleared his throat to make himself known and she turned to face him. She walked over to him and looked up into his face.
"We're leaving." he said, trying to make the goodbye as short as possible. She smiled softly.
"When are we going?" Inuyasha stifled a gasp. Time seemed to stop. The sun stretched across her face, making her look almost ethereal and Inuyasha shook his head, wondering is this was all just a dream.
"What do you mean?" he asked, bewildered. She looked at him as if it were obvious.
"I mean when are we leaving? I want to be ready, you know." she said simply.
"You're coming? What about…you know…?" He broke their gaze, hating himself for bringing up the topic of Sesshoumaru, and hating the look of sadness that entered her eyes when he said it.
"I'm going with you." she said forcefully, almost as if she was trying to convince herself.
"I can't just leave you!" she yelled. A tear escaped down her face and her body shook with sobs. Inuyasha reached out and pulled her to his chest, rubbing her back and listening as her sobs died down. He knew that she was in love, and he also knew that she felt obligated to him. He sighed and placed his mouth near her ear.
"But you want to..."
I'm like an open book just trying to turn the page
Feels like I'm trapped in a maze trying to find my way
Oh my heart's yearning for someone to call my own
And I don't wanna sing another sad love song again
"What did she want?" Sango asked as Inuyasha returned. He just shook his head and sat back down, staring at the floor as if deep in thought. No one knew what to say.
The silence stretched on for what felt like hours.
Then, when they all felt the quiet was unbearable, a crashing sound filled the whole palace.
"What the hell?" Inuyasha yelled, grabbing the Tetsusaiga and rushing out the door. Miroku and Sango followed, with Kirara, Rin, and Shippo close behind.
None of them were prepared when they reached the main hall. Demons, all shapes and sizes, were inflowing the room throw a hole in the wall. The reptilian smell of the huge bodies filled the air. They saw Sesshoumaru and Kagome enter the hall as well, an obvious pain on the demon's face from the wound in his chest.
"Kagome stay back!" Inuyasha yelled, hoping his brother as smart enough to keep her safe.
Inuyasha tore through the demons, slashing every where he could. He felt his blade connect with the thick demon flesh, felt their hot blood pour down on him. He could hear the sounds of the others fighting, but he dared not turn and look lest he be accosted by the ever growing horde of demons.
"Move everyone!" Miroku shouted, untying the rosary beads that hung limply on his wrist. Inuyasha jumped backwards and prepared himself for the gust of wind. He spared a look over at the monk and saw a demon tentacle shooting out towards him.
"Miroku!" he yelled, but it was too late. The purple robed figure was hit, his body instantly going limp, and then flying across the room. Sango shrieked and ran after him. Inuyasha quickly leapt back into the battlefield, praying that his friend wasn't dead, and also sparing a quick thought for Sesshoumaru and Kagome.
"Over there!" Kagome shouted. Sesshoumaru twisted his torso and struck out at the encroaching demon. He was fighting with all the strength that he had, but his wound was hindering him significantly, not to mention Kagome, who had no weapon to fight with. He stayed by her side, his wound bleeding and his whole body covered in sweat. The only thing that really kept him going was the thought of keeping her safe. Any demon that came near her was instantly dead.
He was broken out of his fighting frenzy when a thin strand of dark hair caught his eye. Glancing over he saw Naraku, his eyes glinting with pure evil and his body covered in blood and gore.
"Naraku!" he yelled. Kagome started, she had never heard his voice so thick with emotion, albeit pure hatred, than at that moment. She looked up and saw Naraku, but her vision was jarred when Sesshoumaru snaked an arm around her waist and pulled her forward. All she could see for the next few moments were demon bodies, the smell of them making her stomach churn. She caught a quick glimpse of Inuyasha. He looked at Sesshoumaru and nodded. Before she knew it, Sesshoumaru thrust her forward beside Inuyasha. She ran to him.
"What's going on?" she yelled above the clanging of sword on demon flesh. She desperately wished she had a bow so that she could help dispose of the torrent of creatures.
"He's going to fight Naraku. Stay here." he yelled back, continuing on in his fighting. He was killing the demons quickly enough; the only problem was that there seemed to be no end to them. Kagome wondered why he didn't use the sword's special attack, but realization quickly dawned on her.
"Where's Sango and the others?" she asked. Inuyasha shrugged, slicing through a demon and spraying blood all over them both. She gagged and looked around for her companions. Turning around she saw the hole in the wall where the demons had come from in the first place. She gazed intently out of it, for she could see two figures fighting, their pace fast and their faces twisted in utter anger.
Naraku lunged forward and attacked Sesshoumaru. The demon lord fell to his knees, his already wounded chest bleeding ever more. Kagome ran out of the hole, only vaguely listening to Inuyasha as he yelled at her to stop. She didn't care; she wanted to reach Sesshoumaru, to save him from certain death.
But before she reached him and hand twisted its way into her hair and pulled her backwards. Her eyes watered at the pain and she could hear some of the strands ripping from her head.
"Enjoying the show?" he said softly, sardonically. She whipped around and punched him in the chest, the force of the blow knocking him backwards. She turned to run to Sesshoumaru again but a hand grabbed her around the ankles and threw her to the ground.
She wrestled with Naraku, sparing glances at Sesshoumaru when she could. The white-haired demon was on his knees, trying to get back up. His clothes were so covered in blood that it was oozing out of the cloth, his face pale and sweaty.
As Naraku climbed atop her she kneed him in the chest. He recoiled from pain but then grabbed her neck, squeezing it, strangling her. She tried to stop struggling but she began to panic. Her vision became cloudy and distorted, blackness slowly creeping in as she gasped for air. She felt so sickeningly hot.
And then a wind picked up, first soft and refreshing, but suddenly changing to hurricane like proportions. Naraku was flung away from her and she crawled over to Sesshoumaru, trying to keep them both grounded in the heavy wind.
And then, as quickly as the wind had come, it vanished, the world returning once again to its languid state. Kagome could swear she heard a faint laughing, but it too was carried away by the wind.
"Sesshoumaru, are you alright?" she asked him, helping him to stand. She could still hear the faint sounds of Inuyasha's fighting, but she was blind to everything save for him. Neither of them noticed that Naraku was getting up, a hate so thick in his eyes that his face was transformed by it. He looked deadly and slightly insane, which is never a good combination. He rushed at the two, his talons sharp and glinting, wanting nothing more than to gouge out the girl's eyeballs.
"Kagome!" was all she heard before a figure pushed her out of the way, causing her to go tumbling on top of Sesshoumaru. She looked up and gasped.
Inuyasha was lying on the ground, Naraku's hand shoved inside of his chest. Kagome could tell that he was in pain.
"Inuyasha." Sesshoumaru called quietly. The hanyou looked over, the pain evident on his face. Kagome got up and prepared to attack Naraku but Sesshoumaru stopped her. She turned on him and looked hurt.
"Why are you stopping me?" she yelled.
"He's got his heart." he said simply, still not letting her go.
I get so cold summer feels like the winter
when I'm at home, all alone, I just cry
I wish that I could just lie like I'm happy
But I can't hide this hurt inside
"Inuyasha…" Naraku refused to move, standing over Inuyasha's writhing figure, a look of pleasure on his face.
Suddenly, something huge and spinning whirled past Kagome's head. She pinpointed the object and realized that it was Sango's Hiraikotsu. Naraku looked away, distracted, and that was when Sesshoumaru struck.
He jumped up, the sudden movement tumbling Kagome backwards, and thrust Toukijin deep into Naraku's chest. Kagome felt sick when she heard the dull 'pop' of the skin as the blade broke through the back.
Suddenly, all the noise within the palace walls stills, as if time itself had stopped. Naraku let go of Inuyasha and went tumbling backwards, Toukijin still lodged within his body. A thick black river began to pour from the wound.
Immediately after the dark blood appeared, a horrible shrieking sound filled the air.
"Look!" Kagome shouted. They all looked towards the palace, where all of the demons were disappearing quickly, creating a whirlwind. As abruptly as they had come, they were gone. They stared into the empty palace and Kagome felt herself smile as a figure limped out of it.
Sango appeared, Miroku's arm draped around her shoulder. They walked slowly outside and over to the others.
"What's happening?" Sango asked, her mouth agape. Kagome returned her gaze to Naraku.
His skin seemed to be decaying, his body turning a grotesque colour. Gore was dripping from different parts of his body. He seemed to be decomposing.
"It's over." Sesshoumaru said quietly, letting himself sit gently on the ground, trying to position himself so that he wasn't in too much pain.
Finally, with one horrific shriek, the macabre form of Naraku faded away.
Their happiness was short-lived, however, as they turned their gazes back to the writhing form of Inuyasha.
Take me away, away
Far away, away
Kagome was by his side, wiping the sweat out of his eyes. Blood poured out of his body so quickly that no amount of compresses or demonic abilities could stop it.
"Kag..Kagome…" he said quietly. She felt everyone behind her, staring at her. They were all sitting down, waiting in anticipation for whatever was about to happen. She bent down and placed her ear near his mouth.
"What is it?" she asked, almost afraid of the answer. She didn't want to play nurse to the seemingly infallible Inuyasha. Her life had been turned so topsy-turvy already that this seemed to be a cruel turn of fate.
"I want…" he sighed heavily. Kagome heard a collective gasp. Everyone thought that he had died, but Kagome could still hear him drawing in breath, though it was very, very faint.
"What do you want, Inuyasha?" she asked again. He opened his eyes and looked up at her. She was astonished to see him attempt to smile, failing horribly as another wave of pain hit him. The sight made her want to cry even more.
"I want you…to be…happy." he muttered, motioning his eyes to her right, where she knew Sesshoumaru sat, nursing his own wounds. "Please be happy…" he reiterated.
Take me away
So far away, away
He let out a small groan as another wave of pain hit him. She was feeling frantic. She grabbed his collar and shook him slightly.
"No! Inuyasha! We can bring you back! We can bring you back and everything will be fine!" she screamed, not caring who heard. He put a hand gently onto her arm and she let him go. He smiled gently at her again.
"I don't want to be alive and not with you…it's better this way, Kagome…" he said softly.
The wind picked up, the leaves once again performing their cheerful dance, as if nothing had ever happened. They danced over the dead body of Jaken, slain in his sleep. They danced near the battered palace wall and over the spot where Toukijin lay, its blade gleaming with black, drying, blood.
"Whenever the wind blows," he said, offering a smile up to Kagome, "that'll be me…watching over you…"
The wind stopped. The leaves hung suspended in the air for a moment before dropping back down to the ground. They seemed to go to sleep, to rest in peace until the next gust of wind set them in motion again.
And with the wind went Inuyasha's last breath.
"Inuyasha…Inuyasha!" Kagome yelled, and Sango went to her side. They stood up and embraced, Sango waiting for the tears to come. But they didn't. Kagome's eyes were dry as she walked over to Sesshoumaru. The demon stood and embraced the girl, whispering in her ear as if she were a child.
"Come on, everyone." Sango said, addressing Miroku, Rin, Shippo, and Kirara. They walked slowly back into the palace, each of them deep in their own thoughts, their own sadness at the fall of their leader.
When the night had finally fallen, Kagome still stood in Sesshoumaru's arms, almost sure that she would never be consoled by anything over her best friend's death.
But suddenly the wind picked up.
And the leaves began to dance.
And she knew, somehow, that everything was going to be okay.
Take me away
So far away, away