Kagome looked around at their prison. They'd been stuck here for about two days now. She gazed down at Inuyasha, who was unconscious and had been since they'd been ambushed.

They'd just gotten a new shard and were returning to the village, when they had been struck with a poisonous gas. It knocked Inuyasha out, but only numbed Kagome. Someone had come up behind her and tied something over her eyes, and then picked her up. What the strange thing was, though, was the fact that her captors had placed her with Inuyasha once they had arrived at wherever it was they were going. And they hadn't been bothered since, except to receive food.

Kagome was distracted from her thoughts as Inuyasha shifted and groaned. Leaning down and peering closely at him, she noticed that he was stirring. But that didn't stop her from being startled when his eyes snapped open.

She yelped and jumped back. "Inuyasha. You're awake." She watched as he sat up.

"Keh! Yeah, I'm awake, but I've got one helluva headache. What happened?" he asked, while rubbing his forehead.

"We were ambushed." Kagome kept it short and to the point, fearing that if she went too far into the details, he would pick up on her fear. And he hated it when she got scared.

Inuyasha stayed quiet for a moment. Then said quietly, "How long ago?"

"About two days. And they don't show themselves, that's the strange part. Once they dumped us here, wherever we are, they left us alone, only coming to bring us food. That's it."

Suddenly, a dark shape entered their cell. "Well, well, the half-breed awakens. It's about time. Now we can get on with this." The voice was low and gravelly. It gave Kagome the goosebumps just listening to it.

Inuyasha stood up. "Get on with what?" he growled. He stepped in front of Kagome, who had also stood up.

The figure laughed. "Why, what else?" It sobered and stared at them. "I'm going to sacrifice you."

Inuyasha and Kagome both sweat dropped. 'Great. Here we go again. Another villain trying to bring someone back.' They both thought. Inuyasha snorted. "Well, if you think we're going to just bow our heads and give in, you got another thought coming!" he charged at the figure, but was blasted backwards by a powerful barrier. "What the-!"

"You won't be able to escape. This barrier is far too powerful to break. Not even your miko or the Tetsuseiga would be able to destroy it. There is only one way to do it, but I doubt you'd be willing to do that."

Inuyasha growled. "Try us."

The figure smirked. "Very well. The only way to destroy the barrier… is to make an offering." He paused and added maliciously, "A blood offering."

Both Kagome and Inuyasha paled. The figure continued, pretending it couldn't see their reactions. "But don't worry too much, yet. After all, it only takes one offering. So one of you will be able to live yet. The energy will go towards our Master, who is preparing to over take the world. Of course," he sneered. "I'm sure you already guessed that. And the Master only requires one more sacrifice before he regains his full strength."

The figure turned away. "Oh! Before I forget, I should let you know that the miko must be the one to choose the sacrifice. I'll let you think about it. You have one hour. Better make your choice." It left.

Kagome and Inuyasha were silent, in a state of shock. They looked at each other and Kagome opened her mouth to speak.

"Don't even think about it." Inuyasha cut her off harshly. "I don't care what you're thinking, and I'm not letting you do it."

"But if one of us doesn't do it, then we'll be stuck here. What else can we do?" She didn't want to think about it, but she couldn't help herself. Their captor had said that she had to be the one to choose the sacrifice, but she couldn't think straight. She knew that she wanted Inuyasha to live, but she also wanted to live with him. Maybe not as a lover or anything like that. She simply wanted to be with him, even if he only saw her as a shard detector.

She knew what her decision was. And she would stick with it no matter what. And she would add her own little twist to it.

They continued to wait for the remainder of their final hour, both nervous and scared, although Inuyasha wouldn't admit it. Finally, their captor returned. And this time, he wasn't alone.

"I trust you have made your choice, miko?"

Kagome didn't speak, only nodded.

"Good. That will make things easier." He walked closer, and only stopped when he reached the barrier. "Who will it be?"

Inuyasha started to stand up, when Kagome spoke. "How do we know that you will just let the other go? What guarantee will you give us?"

The figure leaned away, as if he were confused by this question. "You wish for us to give our oath?" She nodded, her head still turned down. "Very well. We give our oath that the other will be permitted to leave unharmed. Will that do?"

Kagome was silent for a moment, and then she stood up. "It will."

Inuyasha tried to look at her face, to get an idea of what she was planning, but she kept her face hidden. Sniffing, he couldn't get anything other than her fear, and sadness. 'Probably because she's upset that I'm going to die. Still, she'll get over it. And it's not like she even loves me. After all, I'm just a hanyou. It's my duty to protect her. And I will. With my death.'

"If you have made your choice, let's hear it." The figure said.

Inuyasha opened his mouth, but was interrupted by Kagome's words.

"Me."

Silence, until…

"WHAT!" Inuyasha yelled. He couldn't believe what he'd heard. Kagome was going to sacrifice herself? He grabbed her shoulders and shook her. "What the Hell are you thinking! Why are you going to sacrifice yourself! Why!"

Kagome just stood there as he yelled, waiting for him to finish, before raising her head. He looked into her eyes and, among the fear and sadness, he saw what he had never anticipated, and would never see again. He saw Love.

She smiled softly, raising her hands to cup his cheeks. "If giving up my life means that you can live, then I will gladly give it. So please… just live and find happiness somewhere." She started to turn away, but paused, looking back for a moment. "I wish I could have told you this before, but I knew you wouldn't feel the same." She turned to face him again. "I love you." She turned away and walked over to the barrier, leaving Inuyasha alone.

'She… she loves me? But … why? I… I'm just a hanyou. She may accept that, but… why didn't she tell me before!' A flash of bright light made him snap out of his shock. Looking up, he saw Kagome glowing with her miko powers, and all but one of the youkai on the other side of the barrier cringing away. The one who wasn't pulled out a kodachi that looked warped with dark energy.

It intoned something in another language, but Inuyasha was too focused on Kagome to understand it. She was growing paler by the second, but at the same time, looking so utterly peaceful. Her eyes were shut, so she didn't notice the figure draw the sword, and then throw it straight at her heart.

"NO!" Inuyasha couldn't help it. He ran forward with all his speed, hoping to get to her and push her aside before it reached her.

He wasn't fast enough though.

He watched as the sword struck Kagome's body with a sickening crack as the energy from the sword met with her miko energy and slammed right through it, striking her heart.

She collapsed at the same time the barrier did. But then something unexpected happened. Their captors began panicking, shrieking about something gone wrong. Their leader had been flung backwards when the barrier broke, onto an outcropping of rock that resembled a blade. He was killed instantly.

Inuyasha managed to catch Kagome's body before she hit the ground. Cradling her to his chest, he shielded her from the debris that began falling as he ran, as well from the blasts of dark energy from the hooded figures they left behind.

Finally managing to escape from them, Inuyasha stopped in a clearing and gently placed Kagome down. She was barely alive, but somehow managed to rouse herself when he stopped.

She gazed up at him with glazed eyes. He could already scent death all over her. She wouldn't last another five minutes.

"Inu..yasha?"

"Shh. Just… just rest Kagome. You'll... You'll be fine." He said, tears already clouding his vision at the thought of her leaving him in a way that she would never return.

"Don't… cry. Please." She smiled at him, returning his often said words when she would cry.

He choked out a laugh. Even at her deathbed, Kagome was fearless. He brushed away his tears, and picked her up. He had long since pulled out the blade, and tried his hardest to stop the bleeding, but it wouldn't stop.

"I'm sorry Kagome. I promised to protect you… and…" He couldn't finish. His throat tightened and he looked away, ashamed at the fact that Kagome had been willing to give up her life to save his. And she hadn't even hesitated.

"It's… alright… I don't… mind. I'm… so cold." Her eyes closed, and she tried to curl up closer to him, to get warm.

He had to tell her now, or she'd never know. He opened his mouth. "Kagome? You said you loved back in the cave. Is that the truth?" She only nodded, too exhausted to speak anymore. "I … I just want to tell you… I… I love you too. I have for the longest time now. I was just too-" He was cut off by her hand on his lips.

"It's ok… I… understand… and … I know. Please…"

He choked back a sob and bent down, gently kissing her as she died. He leaned back and howled in pain and anguish.

The entire village turned out for the funeral, all wearing black. And nearly everyone cried. Only the few who hadn't truly known the young miko from the future couldn't. But the friends who had joined with her and her young hanyou companion had tears streaming down their faces unchecked.

Inuyasha had shown up in the village only a day before bearing her body. At first no one had understood why he was walking so slowly, nor could they believe the sight of tears upon his face that he hadn't bothered to wipe off. Inuyasha never showed any sign of pain, whether emotional or physical.

Then they saw the blood on Kagome's chest and the gaping hole through her heart. And they understood.

After Inuyasha had given Kagome's body to the others, he'd vanished. No one knew where the hanyou had vanished to. He had given Kagome's body to Sango and Miroku, and vanished into the woods.

As soon as the funeral ended, Shippo, to whom Kagome had become a surrogate mother, had been heartbroken, and so had gone looking for Inuyasha, who was the closest thing to a father he now had.

He was gone for all of five minutes, before he had come running back. He ran straight to Sango and Miroku, and started dragging them back towards the forest, screaming that he had found Inuyasha, and to come quickly before it was too late.

The three of them ran into the woods, straight to the God Tree, where they froze, hardly able to believe the heartbreaking sight before them.

Inuyasha had taken his beloved Tetsuseiga, and killed himself with it. There was a scrap of Kagome's old school papers next to his outstretched hand.

Miroku steeled himself and retrieved it.

It was from Inuyasha.

Sorry guys. I don't mean to leave you alone, but without Kagome, there is nothing left for me. So I'm going to follow her into death. Maybe we'll meet in the next life, maybe not. But take care, you hear? See you.

That was it. It revealed so little, yet so much about him. It showed just how much he had cared for the young schoolgirl. Even when he had denied it so much, he finally admitted that he loved her enough to follow her into the next life.

The End

Translations:

miko: priestess, or a spiritual being

hanyou: half-breed. In Inuyasha's case, half-human and half-youkai

youkai: demon

kodachi: a midsized sword, smaller than a katana (traditional Japanese sword) and a wakizashi (the smallest of Japanese swords).

you have no idea how hard it was too write this. i was in near tears the entire time. so please don't flame me. it was just an idea and i didn't plan for Inuyasha to die as well. it just happened. so sorry all you readers out there.