Tears of the Fallen
The shrill command broke through the peaceful haze of the summer afternoon. From a hillside far off in the distance, one could see the scattering of birds that had been startled from their perches which they had sought out to beat the heat of midday.
The sound was heard again, closer now, the ground shudders with a heavy impact immediately following the irate command of the female's shrill and echoing voice.
"SIT! SIT! SIT!"
In a clearing harboring a grassy knoll looking over the countryside, broken only by a small trading road (and a suspiciously body-shaped crater), a female in a strange, green and white uniform stood fuming over the still smoking crater…which, again, looked very body-shaped for some unknown reason. The red tie by her neck seemed similar to that of a sailor's knot, but the length of her skirt (or lack-there-of) pointedly told that this woman had never seen the ocean….or more specifically the blowing winds of the ocean. Not to say that there wouldn't be a few sailors more than glad to welcome the 'young lady' aboard their ships, but then, they would have to come to understand why there was a smoking crater at her feet which looked suspiciously body-shaped.
A low, rumbling growl sounded, but the dangerous noise was terribly muffled for the closeness that the presence of his partially demonic aura threatened.
"How dare you growl at me after what you said?!" The woman fumed, her blue eyes flashing to dark cobalt in her anger as she yelled down into the crater at her feet. Her midnight hair fanned around her in a wild dance as, in her anger, she barely managed to suppress her exceedingly powerful and yet sorely untrained miko powers.
"SIT!" She yelled down into the crater, which shook with impact of something not quite visible from any normal position elsewhere on the grassy field.
"Lady Kagome," A calm and wise voice sounded out from behind the woman.
Kagome spun around fast on her heel to face the man. Her eyes narrowed sharply on him, and Miroku thanked Buddha that the heavy layers of his monk's robe was able to hide the shaking of him limbs which clearly displayed that he is deathly afraid of Kagome when she is this mad. But Miroku, with much effort, calmed himself and went about bringing the young woman back to reason. "Though breaking Inuyasha's back using the subjugation necklace may be therapeutic, it may not serve us well since we know that Naraku has been in this immediate area not more than a week ago."
"A week, is it?" The young woman questioned suspiciously as she began walking with measured steps towards the seated monk.
When she was standing right in front of him, Miroku pondered for a moment if she would let him live if he used the wonderful opportunity to get up close and personal with what exactly was under Kagome's skirt…today. One look at her face, however, told him that either he…or…his manhood…ouch…would not make it to see the morn if he were to attempt that particular move at this precise moment in time. Not liking those odds very much, the monk grabbed the first thing he could to block the irate woman's path.
That thing, as it happens, was Shippo. The little fox demon squirmed in the monk's grasp, but when realizing he wasn't about to be let go, snapped his mouth open to reveal a dangerous hint of glistening fang before it sunk deeply into the flesh of the monk's hand. Miroku yelped in pain and his grip on the fox-kit loosened enough for kit to squirm out of his grasp and climb his way over the monk's shoulder. Shippo stopped scrambling once he had latched himself onto the back of the monk's robes. He peered over Miroku's shoulder to see the woman.
"Kagome's scary when she's mad," the little fox confided in the monk's ear.
"I know, Shippo," Miroku answered sagely, "I know."
But seeing Shippo immediately melted Kagome's anger. Her eyes cleared from the haze of rage, and she sighed.
"Sango," Kagome asked quietly of the woman who had been seated next to the monk.
Nothing more needed to be said, Sango knew far too well what Kagome needed. Traveling together for so long had made the two women like sisters, and sisters always know.
"It's alright, Kagome," She soothed.
Sango lifted the little cat that had been peaceful resting on her mistress' lap as Sango had petted her lazily. Kirara mewed and then nodded at Sango. Even though she was youkai, she was still a female and understood completely how idiotic that dog could be. Kirara concentrated her energy and brought forth the changing fires. Her small body erupted into the heated flames as her power was released from where she had held it at bay. The full might of her demonic spirit flared around her for a moment before her form began to stretch and change. Soon she was over twenty times her original size; raising up to the miko's shoulders at her full height.
"How long," Sango asked Kagome softly as her hand reached out to brush against the cat's thick mane out of habit.
Kagome sighed again as she climbed onto Kirara's back. "It looks like Naraku will be two weeks ahead of us, Sango." She finally replied.
The loud, angry voice shouted from out of the crater behind the girls. That voice was immediately silenced though by a loud thud, which was strangely accompanied by the sound of thin metal bands chiming together. When the girls had turned in the direction of the mysterious voice, they saw the monk walking towards them with a large, yellow, somewhat rounded but at the same time very lumpy, bag…of sorts. He lifted the bag up to Kagome, which she accepted with a gentle smile and her usual grunt at having to heave the thing everywhere.
"Safe journey, Lady Kagome." The monk smiled at the young woman in a soft way, holding the azure depths of her eyes in the deep violet of his.
A low warning issued from the woman standing just on the other side of the firecat immediately dropped the smile from the monk's face, as well as the hand that had been raised from his side to inch along the back of the cat in a direct (though completely unintentional) course to the young miko's finely curved backside.
"Why, yes?" The monk questioned innocently when he recovered from being caught in the act of...doing…absolutely nothing…of course. "My lovely, Sango, what service would you have me do for you?"
Sango narrowed her eyes at the monk as she contemplated the angle she would have to release Hiraikotsu from her back so that she could nail the perverted monk without hitting Kagome or Kirara. But before the demon slayer could do anything to rectify the situation, she was interrupted by Kagome's tired voice.
"See you guys in a week, ok?"
"A week is fine, Kagome." Sango soothed the girl again, even though she knew that there would be an impossibly aggravated hanyou that would, no doubt, be coming to visit her within three days to bring her back…kicking and screaming if need be.
Kagome nodded at her friend, knowing the same thing as she: that Inuyasha would never let her be for a week. She sighed again. She always did give in to him too. She always forgave him. She did it because she loved him, and she wanted what was best for him. And she knew that what he wanted most in the world was to have his revenge on the beast that had stolen his love from him, and his wish on the mysterious jewel that would finally give him the power of a full demon that he had sought all his life. So, she always returned to fix a mistake she had made so long ago, and to give her best friend the happiness she wanted for him to have.
But for right now…for right now he had gone too far.
Kagome smiled wearily then shifted her weight on the giant cat. Immediately, Kirara took to the skies with her lone passenger.
Sango sighed as she watched Kagome depart. Miroku sighed as well as he watched his friends rear disappearing…or was it watching his friend disappear from the rear? As he debated the correct phrasing of his actions, his right hand reached out to grasp onto the meaning of life…purely a soul-searching act as he contemplated the mysteries of the universe in his well-educated and philosophical mind…how strange it was when his hand came in contact with one of the world's greatest mysteries.
'Ah,' he thought in contented bliss during the sparse moment he was allowed to touch a piece of heaven, 'The mystery that is a woman.'
Unfortunately for the monk, the woman whose backside he had…completely innocently…fondled, happens to be a weapons master. Said female spared the monk no grace as she fluidly released her heavy weapon from its restraints and gracefully bashed the monk's hard head with it. Following the resounding thud of the impact, Miroku dropped to the ground in a tangled heap of robes and unconscious limbs.
"Idiot," The little fox-kit grumbled as he rolled his eyes at the monk and turned to find the next source of his entertainment…which was never in short supply given the group he traveled with.
Said entertainment was, at the moment, pulling himself out of the strange body-shaped crater that had been formed in the clearing. The kit watched one clawed hand reach over the edge of the devastated ground, followed by a white, pointed ear…another clawed hand…another white, pointed ear. The ears twitched in unison, each flicking off a remaining layer of dust as they sought out the nearby sounds. When the sound they were searching for…which was most likely the sound of a nearby predator or other such threat…was noticeably lacking, the pointed ears sagged in disappointment…for the fight that would not be ensuing, of course.
"Fuck!" It seems that the owner of those ears was none too pleased…over the lacking battle.
Said voice's owner released another string of colorful words, then, in a swift motion, heaved himself from the crater…which was strangely body-shaped…and strangely shaped in the shape of his body. He shook his head, causing his long, silver hair to whip out around him and shower down another layer of dust, then squatted down on his knuckles, bent his knees, and continued shaking the rest of his body until there was nothing visible but a rater large cloud of dust.
When the dust had finally settled enough for the hanyou to get a good look at the other three members of his traveling group, he saw in their expressions looks of anger, disappointment, and…retribution?
"Feh!" The hanyou huffed as he turned away from his companions. "She's just a shard detector anyways!"
A small weight settling itself on his head, caused to hanyou to look up at it cross-eyed in annoyance. The fox-kit peered down into the glaring, golden eyes of the hanyou from his perch; his own little, green eyes alight with the fun of taking his moment to outshine the idiotic dog.
"Don't forget the part about her being a Ramen detector too…Idiot."
The kit squeaked when he felt the hanyou shift, and bolted off of his perch before the hanyou's hands could come crashing down on him. The fox snickered when he saw that the hanyou's claws had hit his own head and another string of curses flowed from his mouth.
"Inuyasha," the monk placated the hanyou as he approached his side. "When dealing with a woman, one must be more gentle. No matter how strong a woman is, her emotions are fragile."
"More like volatile," Inuyasha spit as he continued rubbing the abused portion of his skull that had suffered under one of his own blows.
"Ah yes," The monk agreed as he rubbed the portion of his head which still ached from where he had been momentarily left to…strengthen his meditation technique. "They can be that as well."
Kagome sighed for what must have been the hundredth time since she had left her companions. She hated fighting, and she hated feeling angry at one of her friends; but there was only so much she could take of Inuyasha's continual degradation of her. She knew that he didn't mean the things he had said. She knew that he was uncomfortable after having told her that she wasn't merely a shard detector, and that was the reason he had covered his unusual sentiment with supplying the fact that she was also his ramen detector; but it still pissed her off…really, really bad.
So she had left him so that she could calm down. A couple of days without him was definitely what the doctor ordered…not like she ever saw a real doctor (despite what her friends in her time believed)…but she was a miko…and she figured that was good enough advice to be taking.
Kagome began taking in long, slow breaths to clear the residual feeling of anger and hurt. The afternoon, though hot, was beautiful, and the speeds at which Kirara was flying provided her with a wonderful breeze to keep her skin cool against the bright rays of the summer sun. She continued her breathing; long and deliberate breaths of cleansing. Unfortunately, as Kirara began to approach the old well that was her portal home; her breathing became hindered by a terrible stench on the air.
The smell was fresh and strong. It hung in the air as a thick and painful warning of danger. Her lungs began to sting as her priestess blood began to fight against the burning of poison that had mingled with the fetid stench of death and decay found in such a combination exclusively from one source: Naraku's miasma.
Kagome's mystical senses stretched out to determine what the dark hanyou was doing, but a tremendous burst of devastating power accompanied by another wave of potent poison filled the air and gave Kagome a justifiable pause.
There was only one being she knew of whose poison could fill an area so effortlessly that it touched every living thing, only one whose poison carried with it no scent but only a feeling of electricity and power, only one whose poison could enter her lungs and burn against her body in a way that had never truly brought her harm.
The demon lord was engaged in battle with Naraku. Two powerful and dangerous opponents engaged in deathly combat. It was most definitely a scene which every one of her survival instincts, and every ounce of her miko powers, and pretty much every part of her being, told her that she should avoid at all costs.
Unfortunately, logic and reason had to rear their ugly heads and tell her that down where the battle was being fought, harmlessly in the path of the two super-powers, was one defenseless well which also happened to be her only way home.
Kagome was sorely tempted to release a word that would have been courtesy of spending too much time with a foul-mouthed hanyou, but she reined in the urge and focused on bringing Kirara down to the well as inconspicuously as possible. The pair flew low above to trees as they approached the clearing by the well, still out of sight of the battle, but close enough to hear the voices beyond.
"What is it about that well that you are protecting, Lord Sesshomaru?" The dark hanyou sneered mockingly. "Could it be that you have become fond of the little miko, hm?"
"Naraku," Sesshomaru's cool and measured voice still dripped with venomous loathing for the creature he faced. "I simply have no wish for your foolish attempt to reform the Shikon to be made any easier for you. Now die."
Kagome eased Kirara onto the ground near the edge of the clearing just in time to see Sesshomaru launch another attack at Naraku. The dark hanyou sneered at the demon lord and moved to confront the attack of the other's blade with four spine-tipped tentacles that shot out from his slithering mass of a lower body. Sesshomaru evaded the first of the tentacles in a flash of demon speed. He spun in mid-air to slice through the second which had missed him by only inches on his opposite side before his sword, Tokijin, was lifted from its new position with highly trained grace to form another attack in one fluid motion from the first. The remaining two tentacles were immediately destroyed, leaving only the first which had curved around the back of the demon lord. Sesshomaru spun again, and again severed the repulsive limb.
Naraku hissed as he pulled back the severed remains of his tentacles, but still, the miasma leaking out from the scattered portions of his body was serving its intended purpose.
Sesshomaru ignored the miasma, knowing it had no effect on his youkai body, and dashed towards the dark hanyou in a blurred flash of white silk and gleaming metal. Unfortunately, his blade collided with Naraku's barrier instead of sinking deep into his writhing mass of putridness that he liked to call a body. Sesshomaru growled in aggravation as he pounded on the barrier with stroke after stroke of thundering power released by his arm through the demonic blade in his grasp, but Naraku just cackled at him in his wicked, villainous way as he hid like the true coward he is behind his barrier formed by the stolen power of the Shikon jewel.
As the two battled, however, Kagome began to realize just what it was the dark hanyou found so amusing. From her place across the clearing from where the battle was being fought, Kagome could see the miasma still leaking from the severed limbs of Naraku. The dark, putrid mist was filling the clearing, stealing the life from everything that it touched; from blades of green grass turning brown with sickness and death, to small flowers wilting and dropping their delicate petals, to the aged wood of the magical well becoming darkened by the caress of evil hands.
'Oh no you don't!' Kagome screamed in her mind as she swung her bow from her shoulder and notched an arrow. She directed the path of her mystical arrow into the middle of the dark miasma, and released it in a near-blinding flash of purity and light. The arrow streamed through the darkened mist, cleansing the surrounding air on its path to leave only glittering ash to fall from where the miasma had once been, and struck its mark; becoming embedded firmly in the old well and erecting a strong barrier of protection.
Kagome used the distraction of her arrow to move from her position on the outskirts of the clearing and set herself between Naraku and the well. That evil bastard would take her way home over her dead body! She notched another arrow and aimed it squarely at Naraku's chest, but before she could do anything, she heard Sesshomaru's voice.
"Miko, leave this place."
"Not a chance!" She snapped back at him heatedly.
She still hadn't completely recovered from her previous anger, and she wasn't about to be told by yet another dog. Besides that, she was protecting her only way home, and that was a cause that justified talking back to Sesshomaru…though she often found a reason to talk back to the pompous, arrogant, high-and-mighty, Inu Lord; this was an especially good reason.
She loosed her arrow at her enemy…to which she will swear had absolutely nothing to do with spite for Sesshomaru ordering her around...of course she would also swear that tremendous burst of power she felt as a result of her…not…trying to piss off Sesshomaru, also had nothing to do with spite. So when her arrow collided with Naraku's barrier and shattered the thing as though it were made of glass, she would definitely swear that she was not surprised that her untrained miko powers were capable of such a thing, and that Sesshomaru's being there had nothing to do with it…at all.
Naraku hissed out his fury at the change in course of the battle, and set his devilish red sights on the young miko. In a bulging surge of movement, the dark hanyou produced more deadly spines and sent them forth against the one who had shattered his barrier.
Kagome immediately reached for another arrow, but the sharp spines were coming at her with such speed that she knew she would never be able to set and release it in time. Then, to her extreme surprise and unlikely annoyance, she discovered that the path of the deadly spikes had been blocked…by Sesshomaru. He moved with such speed that he wasn't much more than a blur to her human eyes, but with her miko senses, Kagome could detect his movements quite easily as he sped gracefully from one spine to the next, effectively removing each one with fluid sweeps of his arm.
When the last of the spines from this wave of Naraku's attack had been severed, Sesshomaru turned slightly to face Kagome.
"Miko," he ordered again. "Go, now." He gestured pointedly in the direction of the well with a flick of his fierce, golden eyes.
Kagome faltered momentarily with the realization that Sesshomaru knew of the secret of the well, and that, for some reason that was entirely beyond her, he was protecting it for her. But the clarity of his message, and the force of the words he used to convey it, had the young miko backing hesitantly towards the old well as he had commanded.
She had just reached the rim of the well when Naraku sent out another wave of his attack. Sesshomaru turned immediately to face the assault, his sword lashing out to confront the vile hanyou's pathetic attempts against him. But as he battled through the slick spines, Sesshomaru realized that the direction Naraku had turned him in to combat was one of strategic importance. With every sweep of his blade, Sesshomaru was being drawn steadily away from the well and the miko he had ordered through it.
Sesshomaru growled out his annoyance again at the wretched hanyou's use of trickery and manipulation, severed a slithering appendage with renewed distain, and spared a glance in the direction of the young miko.
'Too far,' he realized as he caught sight of another wave of tentacles being sent at the human girl who had paused stupidly at the rim of the well. He wouldn't make it in time to stop them.
Sesshomaru lifted the blade of Tokijin against Naraku for one last attack, releasing the blade from his grasp to have it fly straight at the dark hanyou's heart as a diversion. Then he reached down to his sash to draw his second sword. Tenseiga pulsed in his hand in a warming surge as he lifted the fang, making Sesshomaru narrow his eyes disapprovingly at the troublesome blade. Then, without further contemplation, Tenseiga too was swung and released from his hand, following a collision course with the fear-stricken miko.
The blade of the demon sword hummed strangely, filling the air in the wake of its passing with a resonating hum of understanding and acceptance. Its course was set, its path chosen, and as it drew near to the young miko and she turned wide-eyed to meet it, Tenseiga knew that this was the path for which it had been destined. Though, of course, neither the miko nor his master would know of that destiny for quite some time.
The miraculous Fang of Heaven, driven by the speed and ability of its master, sliced through the air with speed Naraku could only dream of. It reached its target before the dark hanyou could complete his strike, and became implanted deeply in the young miko's chest. The force of the blow sent Kagome hurtling down into the darkened depths of the mystic well. But as she fell, though her thoughts should have been focused on her surprise and horror of having a sword pierce her chest, her mind was occupied with other thoughts: worry, fear, and apprehension for only one being.
Glistening tears began to roll from the corners of her eyes as she felt herself becoming consumed by the magic of the well.
Tears of the fallen.
Well, I have finally been inspired to write another story…Ok, fine, I was bored and couldn't think of anything better to do….but it is a story none the less. So Peeps, please enjoy.
As a side note, I just want to mention that it will likely take the first few chapters for me to pry myself away from the first person's perspective that I became so fond of while writing 'My Experiment', but it will pass…I hope.
Anyways, I'm off for now. Cheers.
Disclaimer: Don't own it, never will. Too bad, because I could think of some great way to entertain myself if I did have some of the cast of Inuyasha at my disposal Oh well, I guess I will have to settle on writing fanfiction.