Thanks so much for all the reviews, you guys! They mean so much to me! This story took me forever to finish, but had a great run, don't you think? Look for my next story soon!
One for Sorrow
"Kagome, you have to eat something," pleaded Sango, trying to hand her some scraps of meat as the group of four made their way on horseback down a cleared path in the forest.
Kagome shook her head, not meeting anyone's eyes. Hojo just pressed his horse on, his face glum despite the fact that her arms were around his waist.
"I'm not eating anything," she said softly, "until you take me back there."
"We can't do that, Kagome," said Miroku, "We promised your friend that we'd take you far away from the village. You don't want to disrespect what he wanted for you, do you?"
"Forget what he wanted for me! Forget what he thought I needed! I need him!"
Sango's jaw quivered as tears brimmed in her eyes again, sorrow for her friend.
Hojo sighed and patted Kagome's hand. "You'll forget him in time. I'll help you forget him," he said, trying to be comforting.
Both Sango and Miroku reacted to this with violent outbursts. "Hojo!"
"Of all the inconsiderate pricks!" Sango began, her face furious.
Kagome began to sob quietly again. "Just take me back there! Please!"
"What do you propose we do when we get there? Waltz right up to the village and drop you off?" Miroku said, his voice harsh, but his words honest.
"They're going to kill him!" Kagome screamed in despair, burying her face in her hands, "They're going to kill him and it will be all my fault!"
"Well, that boy looked like he wouldn't have let them kill him without a fight," Sango said reassuringly, her face still streaming with tears.
Kagome looked at her and spoke softly, "He would for my sake. I know he would. He saved my life, helped raise me, stood by me all these years. And it was because he loves me! I know that now, but I didn't believe hard enough, and he's going to die to save me! Please!" She wiped her eyes, her body racking with sobs.
Sango watched her for a moment, her face still sad. Then her expression changed to one of resolve and determination. She stopped her horse and waited until Hojo's came up level with hers. Then she reached and took Kagome by the hand, pulling her onto her own horse.
"Let's go, then!" she cried, turning the horse around and galloping full speed in the opposite direction, back toward the village.
Inuyasha stood in front of his brother, his hands bound behind his back. His bright red haori had been removed, and now he wore the typical execution haori, pure white in color.
"Is it true?" Sesshomaru asked coldly, "You killed the wolf youkai Koga?"
"He just got on my nerves once too often."
Sesshomaru narrowed his eyes. "I don't believe you. Tell the truth."
Inuyasha looked back at his older brother with a look of defiance. "I just did."
"You fool," Sesshomaru said, crossing to the window and shaking his head, "Do you realize what the law requires I do?"
Inuyasha hesitated, then nodded, his mind flooded with thoughts of Kagome.
"Brother," he said, "I knew what the penalty would be when I did it. It's my fault."
The horse galloped on, tearing past trees and vines, edging ever closer to the village, with Sango and Kagome holding on for dear life.
"Sango," Kagome said, "Thank you so much."
Sango grinned. "It's nothing. I'd want someone to do the same for me if I was in this situation. Do you think we're making good time?"
"I hope so," Kagome said, "I remember that usually they execute criminals at dawn, and the sun's not close to coming up yet, right?"
"Yes," replied Sango, "but that's no excuse not to hurry. Your half-breed's life is in more danger every minute."
"So you would let me kill you," Sesshomaru said, folding his arms and looking with narrowed eyes at his younger brother.
"If that's what you have to do," Inuyasha replied, shrugging.
"What is going on here?" Sesshomaru demanded, "Is it something to do with the human girl? Is that it?"
Inuyasha said nothing, just looked at him.
Sesshomaru scoffed and backhanded him across the face. "You idiot! She's not worth your life! Why do you protect her so!"
Inuyasha winced and spat blood onto the ground at his feet. "Because she is worth it."
Sesshomaru's face softened and he placed a hand on his brother's shoulder. "Are you sure about this?"
Inuyasha smiled darkly. "Never been surer of anything."
Sesshomaru nodded after a moment's pause, and gave an order to Jaken.
"Cut his bonds. My brother shall die with honor."
Jaken, sputtering, did so, and the boys shared a short hug before the doors burst open and a servant entered saying that dawn was fast approaching.
"Hurry, Sango, hurry! The sky's turning pink already!" Kagome pleaded, and Sango urged the horse faster and faster until…
"We're here!" she declared, dismounting, Kagome right after her.
Kagome made to rush forth from the forest right away, but Sango held her back. "We need a plan first. We can't just barge in there loudly."
Kagome grinned and winked at her. "What did you think I was thinking about during that whole trip? Stay here and wait for me."
Sango smiled and nodded as Kagome rushed off.
There was a rustling in the bushes just behind her, and she drew her boomerang bone, prepared to strike, when from the underbrush emerged Miroku.
"Miroku? You came back too?"
Miroku nodded. "I don't know, I tried to keep going, but something about you going into the pit of battle all alone made me come back."
Sango blushed and said, "But I wouldn't be alone. Kagome would be with me."
"Yeah," he said, approaching her with a look in his eyes that Sango had never seen before, "But Kagome's not in love with you like I am."
"What?" Sango's face was really red now. "You're not in love with me."
"Yes, I am," he maintained.
"No, you're not."
"Yes, I am."
"No you're not!"
"Oh, shut up," he said, and wrapped his arms around her.
"Demon peoples of the village!" announced Jaken in his screechy rasp, "Our own Lord Inuyasha has been found guilty of the murder of the wolf youkai Koga, the said murder being performed in cold blood. He is therefore sentenced to be beheaded on this day at dawn."
The demons in the already gathering crowd looked bewildered and angry, wanting blood spilled for blood taken, and not caring whose.
Inuyasha watched the sky slowly turn pink and closed his eyes as if in pain.
"Once the sun reaches the marker," Jaken continued, gesturing to a large sundial on the ground, "the execution shall commence, by order of Lord Sesshomaru and in accordance with the ancient laws set down by our great demonic ancestors."
While Jaken was speaking to the crowd and drawing their attention, Kagome used it to her advantage to climb on the roof of one of the houses and hop from roof to roof with amazing luck. She had to get to the roof above Inuyasha's head.
Inuyasha winced as the sun drew even higher, even closer to the deadly mark. Taking a last look at the peaceful village around him, he caught a glimpse of a figure on one of the rooftops.
It couldn't be…
Kagome jumped from the penultimate roof, but found that she had miscalculated the distance. She hung helplessly from the edge of a house, small pieces of roof and gravel showering down around her.
Looking down at the scene desperately, wondering hopelessly how much time she had left, she scanned the crowd for anyone who might have seen her hanging here.
"Kagome," Inuyasha murmured softly, eyes wide in shock. She was going to fall! He made to leap forward, but Jaken noticed and pointed a staff straight at his neck.
"Don't even try to threaten me!" Inuyasha snapped, flicking the toad demon out of his way and leaping for her. He caught hold of her waist and she let go of the roof's edge in surprise. She screamed the entire way down to the ground.
"Geez! You're hurting my ears!" Inuyasha muttered, a smirk on his face, "What are you doing here?"
"Saving you, that's what I'm doing!" Kagome said determinedly.
"You can't. If they see you they'll just kill you along with me."
"I don't give a fuck about dying anymore," she said softly, "as long as I'm with you."
They kissed, knowing full well that it might be their last kiss ever shared on Earth, but not caring anymore.
But meanwhile, the angry crowd was drawing nearer to them. Someone rushed forward, grabbed Kagome's arm roughly, and yelled, "It's this bitch that's caused all the village's problems since she first showed up!"
Inuyasha grabbed him by the collar and punched him backward. "Get away from her!" he yelled to the crowed.
The scuffle was getting wilder and wilder by the minute.
Suddenly Kagome screamed, "Wait! Listen to me!"
The numerous voices stopped talking and yelling all at once, and all eyes fell on Kagome.
"Please listen," she begged, "I'm the one who killed Koga. It was me."
Inuyasha grabbed her by the arm. "Don't do this, Kagome," he said intensely.
"I have to finish," she said stubbornly, freeing herself, "Let me finish this."
She turned and faced the crowd again, "I didn't kill Koga directly. I brought friends into the village, and when Koga started to bother me, one of my friends acted without thinking and stabbed him in the chest. Inuyasha's just doing this to cover up for me, and I couldn't live with that on my conscience.
"But don't blame him, and don't blame my friend Hojo. Blame me. It's my fault for not realizing the danger I was putting everyone here in. But part of the fault is yours. You treated me like dirt for fifteen years, and I was tired of it. Was it because I'm human? I'm not like you? You bet your asses I'm not, but that's not a reason to hate anyone. Don't execute anyone for this crime unless you're all going to stand up here on this pyre and get beheaded."
The crowd was silent, shocked. The demons all exchanged guilt-ridden glances and whispered admirations for the bravery of this solitary human girl.
Then one of them began to clap and cheer. The demons looked bewildered for a moment, then trickle by trickle, every demon in the crowd was cheering for Kagome.
She grinned, tears of joy springing to her eyes.
Then she felt a small tap on her shoulder. Turning, she found Inuyasha, who was staring down at her with his typical smirk.
Then he pulled her close and wrapped her in his arms. "I've never been more proud of you," he muttered into her ear, and she smiled softly, tears running down her face.
He kissed her then, and the cheers swelled even more.
"Kagome," he said softly when they broke apart, "Will you marry me?"
She laid her head on his chest. "Yeah."
Sango and Miroku emerged then from the forest, and looked relieved to see that all had gone well. Then, seemingly inspired by the romantic air, Miroku swept Sango in his arms and kissed her.
Kagome laughed and pecked Inuyasha's cheek.
Inuyasha closed a hand around her waist and scanned the crowd. Sesshomaru was standing off to the far right, a small smile on his face, a smile that said he was proud of his little brother. But then he motioned for Inuyasha to approach.
The crowd fell silent, hushed. Inuyasha kissed Kagome on the forehead and let go of her hand, then went up to his older brother.
"Do you realize what you've done?" Sesshomaru said, his face serious but his eyes smiling.
"Not really, no," said Inuyasha in bewilderment, scratching his head.
Sesshomaru opened a scroll that by the looks of it was ancient. "You've fulfilled a prophecy, little brother. Listen.
"By only the uniting of two
One of human blood
The other a hybrid
Shall the division between humans and demons
And the peace will remain
Until the stars in Kagome's sky
Go out like candles."
Inuyasha raised an eyebrow and shrugged. "That's cool," he said, "but prophecies aren't my thing."
He returned to the pyre where Kagome stood smiling at him.
"What was that about?" she asked.
"Sesshomaru says we fulfilled a prophecy of some sort. And that youown a sky or something."
"So we were destined to be together," said Kagome softly, wrapping her arms around his neck and holding him close, "I'd like to think that."
"So now what do we do?" he asked her, pressing his forehead against hers, "Because I'm beat and feel like going to bed."
"Well," Kagome said with a laugh as he picked her up and carried her off, "That's no problem for me."
Hehehe...sexual implication...bad MeGGo...hehe...love you guys!