I don't own 'Inuyasha' or its characters. I'm not profiting off of this story.
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It wasn't her smell that he first noticed. Kagome's scent--although off in terms of what humans should smell like--was smothered by the thick stench of blood. Inuyasha's blood, to be precise.

Sesshomaru slashed ruthlessly at the clumsy Hanyou. An hour of battle without interruption had allowed Sesshomaru to steadily chip away at Inuyasha's flesh. The fight began at sundown; Sesshomaru had descended on a cloud and demanded Tetsaiga. Inuyasha naturally refused, and a fight ensued.

They were all in a clearing: Sango, Miroku, Kagome, Shippo, Inuyasha, and now Sesshomaru. Tendrils of dying sunlight brushed softly against the horizon, outlining swaying trees around the edge of the valley. Dark grass swished around their feet, like a black ocean. A few stars hung in the evening sky, mirroring white pockets of firefly light among clumps of grass.

Silver swords flashed erratically above the heads of Inuyasha's frightened party. Miroku clutched his hand in frustration, knowing that a wind tunnel would suck up both demons. Sango held Shippo with both hands--her boomerang had quickly been snapped clean in half by Sesshomaru's claws. She had stopped trying to shield Shippo's eyes. All of them were huddled together, close enough to feel hot air slide off flying blades. All except for Kagome.

She was returning to the clearing with quick, straight-backed strides. A bulky item lay concealed in the pocket of her cotton sweater. She marched straight past Miroku's outstretched arms. She ignored Shippo's pleas for comfort; she didn't even meet Sango's confused eyes.

The demons slashing madly at one another paid no attention to the girl. Inuyasha's breath was ragged; he could taste blood in his throat. His left ankle was badly injured--he was moving half as fast as usual. Sesshomaru had sustained a few shallow cuts along the lengths of his arms, as well as a somewhat deeper gash across the front of his shin. It was obvious that Inuyasha's death was clawing forwards with every clean stroke of Sesshomaru's sword.

Kagome knew this. She withdrew the gun from the folds of her sweater and shakily aimed it at Sesshomaru's dancing body.

'It's either this, or he dies for sure.' she thought, as she steadied her sweaty grip on the firearm.

The silence of the field was filled with heavy breathing, clashing metal, and swishing of silky fabrics. Kagome cleared her throat.

"Sesshomaru!" She yelled as loudly as she could. The pain she caused the demon's sensitive ears pushed him to turn and face her. His white form was suddenly as still as the half-visible moon staring at the scene unfolding below.

Kagome pulled the trigger. That was what caught his attention.


A/N: Thanks for reading