Death comes to us all.

People seem to have the hardest time accepting this. They beg, plead, cry, curse and offer anything – everything – for just a few more years. A few more months. A few more days. And try as they might, no one can escape death. Some give the impression of being untouchable, infallible. They are pure, crisp and unchanging. They, in our scared minds, are immortal. And death cannot touch them.

To Kagome, Sesshomaru had always seemed like this. How could this ethereal creature die? It seemed impossible to her that the pristine, clean, perfect, white demon could ever just cease to exist. She used to think of death taking one look at Sesshomaru's fearsome beauty and simply stating 'Fuck that.' It was only now, as she lay in her own blood – blood mixed with Inuyasha's – that she knew this wasn't true.

Sesshomaru would one day face those creeping, cold tendrils that snaked up your arms and legs, reaching lazily for your desperately beating heart. He too would look back on his life and wonder 'What else could I have done? What could I have changed?' He too, yes even Sesshomaru, would regret. Kagome felt her arm muscles spasm as she reached out (using her right arm, seeing as she had a suspicion that the hard, white thing poking out of her left was a bone – the pain only serving to confirm the idea.) to clasp feebly at Inuyasha's rapidly cooling hand. In her mind, this seemed odd. In all probability it was because Inuyasha had always been unusually warm to the touch. And now, only…wait? How much time had passed since he had died? Fifteen minutes? An hour? She couldn't recall. She wondered, briefly, if he would have disintegrated like Mistress Centipede if he had been in his hanyou form. No, probably not. After all, he was half-human too.

It didn't matter anyway, for tonight there was a new moon – the night when Inuyasha was transformed from a white haired, honey-eyed hanyou, into a dark haired, dark-eyed human. This had been his downfall. The quick but deep slice across his throat had sealed his fate, as did the belly cut she had been rewarded for running to his aid (stupid idea in hindsight). Though unlike Inuyasha who had died within minutes, Kagome's injury would leave her lying here for at least another few hours, lingering in agony. She clutched Inuyasha's hand tighter as a sharp pain rippled across her abdomen, leaving her sweating and gasping for air that did little to help her. The pain dulled, though only to a persistent stabbing ache.

It seemed almost funny to her that humans had killed them. Bandits, but still they were none the less human. Years of fighting off fearsome demons, and here they were ended by a few measly humans. At this, Kagome laughed. Weakly, for the motion pained her, but it was still genuine. Measly humans? She was starting to sound like…

Sesshomaru.

She tensed as she felt his youki, then smiled. Inuyasha was dead and it was only a matter of time for her. What could he do? Stab Inuyasha's dead body? Ha. From her not-so-great position of flat on her back, lying on the uncomfortably stony ground, she still couldn't help but feel a semblance of fear as she caught sight of Sesshomaru. She, after all, was still at least a little alive.

She clutched Inuyasha's hand hard enough to bruise - had he been alive of course. Sesshomaru stopped roughly two feet from her. She tried to discern whether or not her wore an expression other that 'Flee in terror mortals', but his face was artfully shadowed. Sesshomaru watched her, silent.

Kagome coughed, twice, in an attempt to keep from choking on her own blood.

"Miko, how did this come to be?" He asked, his voice soft and lacking the bite she had expected.

"Bandits…" She choked out – it was amazing the pain a simple act such as talking could inflict. "Human bandits." She clarified, not sure why. She heard something that sounded suspiciously like a chuckle from Sesshomaru's general direction – a dark sound with no humor in it. Then he was there, crouched beside her. Kagome tried not to flinch for it would most certainly be painful, but failed. In her clouded mind she thought Sesshomaru was amazingly picturesque, crouched down in a way that only he could make beautiful, his hair pooled in his lap to keep it from the blood soaked ground.

"You know you are dying." It was a statement, not a question. Kagome nodded, looking for a moment at the wound in her belly, bleeding steadily if not slowly.

"Yes," She whispered, turned her head to the side to escape his eyes – so bright even in the moonless night. She expected him to leave, or rant, or maybe poke Inuyasha's body with his sword a few times, but he didn't. She wasn't looking at him, but it was hard to miss the fact that he was still in the same position as he was a moment ago. She continued to look at a shadowed tree, trying to discern a face in its twisted bark. She decided she didn't like that game. Turning her head slowly to look back at him, she frowned. "What do you want?" She meant for the words to have a bite, but they came out sadly lacking. He cocked his head.

"I will not take the sword," He stated finally, turning to look at Inuyasha, who had the useless Tetsusaiga

still at his side. Kagome drew her eyebrows together in order to make sense of this comment. Why did it matter? He couldn't use the sword anyway. "I will bury his body, and return you to your comrades." He concluded. Kagome stared openly, trying to figure out whether or not the blurring of her vision was from exhaustion or if she was finally loosing enough blood to loose consciousness.

"You…would do that?" She asked, trying to figure out if she perhaps was already dead and having a fanciful dream – could the dead dream? – the pain was still there though, and she had always thought death was more numb then this. Sesshomaru nodded slightly, the motion hard to detect. Kagome finally relaxed her grip on Inuyasha's hand. "Would you…end it?" She asked finally, choking a bit on the words. There was silence, and then another nod. Sesshomaru reached out his hand – white and beautiful – and gently set it over her pulse point.

"You will feel no pain." He said slowly, and Kagome closed her eyes. Then…

"Tell the half-breed I will meet him in the afterlife. He, and my father. That I forgive them." Before Kagome could respond he pressed down on the pressure point and she drifted off into painless unconsciousness. Then, gently he placed his hand behind her head and twisted sharply, cleanly breaking her neck. He stood and scooped her up, placing her over his shoulder. Effortlessly he hauled Inuyasha over his other and started out of the ill-fated clearing.

It didn't matter that he may have lied.


Authors Note:

I will have you know that a sword wound to the abdomen can take hours to die from. Really. Eventually the pain may dull from various painkilling chemicals that your body releases, but it's still a terrible and prolonged way to die.

Just thought I'd let you know.

This was edited slightly – just grammatical errors and trying to make the words flow better– on July 11, 2006. Enjoy.

-Oo