Death was cold.

Why this surprised her, Kagome really didn't know. She had seen dead bodies, oh so many, during her life, and touched them too. They were always cold. Even those fresh to their death were cold, the heat leeched away by the earth until there was nothing left for the poor, pitiable flesh that it had once warmed. Perhaps, if she thought about it, the reason for her surprise was that she was the one dying this time. It made sense, it was logical, but she could help feeling shocked as her life drained away from a gaping hole in her abdomen, one that had no right to be there.

Inuyasha was yelling something, something about a promise, she couldn't leave, not yet. Sesshomaru silent, unlike his brother, was looking at his hand covered in her blood. Not for very long though, for as soon as the thought passed through her rapidly firing brain, the blood on his hand heated and then burned away into nothing. Acid certainly had its uses.

It had burned before, but now she was cold.

Sango was gone too, there she was, Kagome could see, crumpled up next to Miroku not more than twenty feet from her. Shippo? She had told him to run, run, run away, but she didn't know if he had escaped – Sesshomaru was very fast whether he wanted to be or not.

The day had been so very warm before, but it seemed like the dead of winter to her. In that fleeting moment – the moment that seemed to last a lifetime and more – between her life and her death, Kagome mulled over things.

Life ultimately ended.

Her life was ending then.

What would happen afterward? Who would take care of Inuyasha? Of her family?

Winter was considered the 'death' of a year, right? Perhaps that's why death was cold – it was the natural cycle of events.

Winter always ended though, and was replaced by spring – 'birth'. So didn't that mean she had hope? That there was something, anything, after this?

If there wasn't, if this was truly the end, then she didn't have anything to worry about, because soon she wouldn't have the ability to worry at all anymore. It was getting harder to breath then, and there was a strange haze over her vision – she felt as if she could push away the fog, if only she had the strength to move. But that also seemed to be leaving her with her life, her blood, and her warmth.

Sesshomaru, she noticed, was still looking at his hand, eyes wide, as if he couldn't believe what had happened. He was saying something, softly, to his brother. Inuyasha, she noticed then, was shaking with barely contained rage.

She had been so foolish to run in between them, as had Sango and Miroku for thinking they could take on the demon lord. Boys will be boys…Demons will be demons.

Just as her heart started to stutter, the cold wrapping around it lovingly and caressing away the warmth, Inuyasha turned around and looked at her with horror. Perhaps he could hear her failing heart? She thought that he mouthed 'don't die', but she was sure that he was probably speaking – she just couldn't hear him anymore over the ringing in her ears.

Then she felt the last of the warmth leave her, the cold drinking her up and filling her in and taking her away from him. Her eyesight blacked out instantly, as if a plug had been pulled, and within that moment, she felt her heart stop.

Death, Kagome decided after, was a relatively disconcerting experience. After her heart stopped, she felt a pull, a wildly incessant tug that threatened to sweep her away – but she didn't know where to. Fear seemed to be the wrong emotion in this situation, as did anger and sadness. Perhaps apprehension – a lesser fear of the unknown – would be fitting. She didn't have time to even decide on an emotion, for the tugging turned into a yank and as she fell forward into nothing she felt something break, a bond perhaps, to herself.

She didn't so much land as be. It was as if she had never been pulled from anything at all, and she had in fact, been sitting here the whole time. She felt as if she didn't have eyes to open, but could clearly see everything around her. Her body felt different, wrong somehow, but she quickly discerned that this was because she was still cold, and much hollower without the beating of her heart. Something she had grown so accustom to.

Her surroundings were indescribable, if only because she didn't recognize anything around her, and those things that did stir some memory of a time that she felt had long since passed, were nameless. And in all of this, she found she couldn't remember what she was, who she was, or who she had been.

She did remember one thing.

A name, and even though she didn't know how she knew what a name was, she knew it.

Inuyasha.

She knew, in the same moment as she remembered the name that she had never forgotten, that he wouldn't be joining her here. This was not the same place he would be going. He was different, even as he was the same. That didn't bother her though.

She knew that she had all the time in the world to wait for the one that would never come.

And as incomprehensible amounts of time passed, she waited, slowly remembering why she did so, and ignoring the light voice in the back of her self that was telling her to leave – to move forward and do what she was made to do. It was time for her spring; the winter was over.

But she stayed, on and on as time passed and stayed the same, because one word kept rising to the surface of her non-existent thoughts.

Love.


End note:

If you can't make any sense of this, please don't worry. The thought for this just hit me and I let the words fall how they wanted, resulting in this very strange - and slightly depressing - piece.

-Oo