Title: Hindsight

Author: Anaphalis

Foreword: I've always wondered what might happen to Kagome if a) the jewel was completed and Naraku defeated, but at the cost of her companions and b) if after all that, she was unable to return to the present. Without protectors, Feudal Japan might be a very, very hard place for an untrained miko to survive. This one shot is a very dark take on what the cost of that survival might be.

As a side note, Oda Nobunaga was a feudal warlord whose distant relative Kagome and her friends met at one point during their travels.

Summary: It is easier than she would have predicted. Dark One Shot.

Warning: T for implied sex, character death, violence etc. Very dark.

Disclaimer: Inuyasha belongs to Rumiko Takahashi and Shounen Sunday.

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Hindsight

It is easier than she would have predicted.

Survival requires sacrifice.

To sell her body or to sell her soul.

After a few trials, -darkfumblingsdarkscreamings- the decision is easy- she will live longer without her soul.

Death is no longer an option.

For the week after the battle, she had held the knife like a lover, let it slowly caress her body, but her hands, her heart always stayed the final commitment.

She had screamed until her voice gave, clawed until her body was scored as deeply as her mind.

They were still dead and she was still alone. Trapped in this future-past, in this half death-life.

Only then, broken and crawling, could she understand the other miko.

Death is no longer an option.

Life holds her far more strongly than she would have predicted.

-

When she first approaches the daimyo, she is turned away.

This she had predicted.

The villagers had shown her all too clearly the reaction she could expect.

She is protectorless, alien, her miko powers too unpredictable to be useful, her presence too strange to earn the villagers' protection.

Her only currency her body or…

To get to Nobunaga, she has done things that she will taste in her sleep for the rest of her life, that will poison her waking dreams.

She will not give up now.

Death is no longer an option.

Later, when she wraps herself in his sheets, his arms as she weaves 'predictions' that will win his war, she feels far less remorse than she would have predicted.

It is wrongwrongwrong.

Much later, he still keeps her in his bed, tells her of the wastelands her words have created, of the men who die on the tip of her tongue.

It is wrongwrongwrong.

These ghost pieces of her past-future, school girl's history, are more dangerous than the jewel, more deadly than the strongest youkai.

And it is wrongwrongwrong, but the broken animal that is left in her mind only feels the need to survive.

Death is no longer an option.

She saw him once, a distant cousin of her lord, a memory of a time, a life that betrayed her.

Her words, sharper than her lord's blade, end that last treachery. She is clear-eyed, straight-backed at his execution.

With his last breath, she exhales her last tie to her past-future, to five hundred years of hindsight.

It is easier than she would have predicted.

Updated 05-30-05