She is breathless.

"Let me go let me go I don't have much time."

In rhythm she moves under the dead thing, pulling against her clay-shackled wrists. "I'm late, I'm late…"

Most of all, Kagura wonders why.

Her attraction is simple. It lies rooted in the heart she never had, memory coded into the still-lying blood in her veins. Lust scarred into her virgin flesh, and branching out across her shoulderblades, and down, down its ragged course along her spine, intercepting shivers at Kikyou's touch. Even though it's not a real girl, not the one Onigumo longed to break, (this one wouldn't shatter, no, she'd crumble to dust) memory is easily fooled, so she finds her satisfaction looking at that face.

Kikyou does not smile. Smiles only frighten Kagura anyway. They seem unnatural to her, not that she would know the natural order of things.

The question, Kagura decides, is why Kikyou would want her. Not that Kagura is modest about her beauty, but she doubts that alone would lure the great miko in. Perhaps it's only a plan, some scheme to defeat Naraku—not that she minds Naraku being defeated—but Kagura, like anyone else, would rather be desired than used.

Already Naraku is tap-tapping his fingers on her skull, waiting for her, probing at where she is and what she's thinking, but Kikyou's pressing her down into the soft earth, her gi sliding off around the shoulders, partly undone with flashes of flesh showing, and her hakama long gone in the ravages of that last unthinking moment. Kikyou's hands beat out a rhythm in that blood that has been unable to stir in so long, and she uses it to keep time, one pineapple, two pineapple. Three and it's already too late, surely Naraku knows, eyes as red as her own will be peering out of every shadow, even the great empty sky just a swirl in Kanna's mirror, no freedom even in sexual abandon.

Did her quasi-memories lie about Kikyou's disdainful gaze at the burned man on the tatami mat, could there be something there that Kikyou found worth remembering, worth pursuing? She wasn't the one to go to for that anyway, barely any Onigumo left in her, just the flame-tongue licks of hatred around her selfish little heart, and a few afterimages burned into the red of her eyes, as if Onigumo had looked up at a sun named Kikyou one too many times. Kisses speak otherwise, however, Kikyou's lips pressing not against a memory, but a hope.

"Please," Kagura whispers almost inaudibly, as if afraid to be heard begging even by her intended audience. "He's waiting, I'm out of time."

"What would you know of being out of time," the girl fifty years displaced says. She has a strange way of helping, this Kikyou, pressing light flighty things into the earth, lest they drift away. If only she could save people from their own wildness, and tame the fate right out of them…

Her master tried to teach her, many years ago at the temple. Perhaps she should have applied herself to the lesson, rather than vying for poor, doomed Tsubaki's heart. It went like so: painting a sutra over stone with water. By the time the sutra is complete, time and air have erased the first stroke. This isn't the first time she's wrapped her charms around Kagura.

And it will always, always be the first time.

Kagura spasms and is caught and forgets.

Later, Kagura will remember something about "alike souls." The wind will blow through the holes in their hearts for all time.

She forgets why this was important.