AN: Here it is, the final chapter in the Night Terrors saga! (cries) But don't worry, there will be a sequel!

Night Terrors – Chapter Twelve

Sesshoumaru caught Kagome's lifeless body before it hit the ground. His eyes were wide with shock. There was nothing he could have done; she was dead the moment that infernal weapons went off, and yet –

Sango and Miroku darted into the area, weapons raised. Kirara came limping after them; her fangs bared in a silent snarl.

"Sango." the taiyoukai said harshly. "Keep the pups away." The demon slayer nodded and led Shippou and Rin away from the carnage.

"Sesshoumaru," Miroku began hesitantly, "she's gone, isn't she?"

He could only nod mutely.

"What about the other?"

"Kagome killed him . . . trying to protect me."

Miroku bit back a grief-stricken chuckle. That was their Kagome, all right. He knelt beside the taiyoukai and began saying his prayers for the dead. Not that he doubted his friend would make it to heaven – out of all of them, she deserved it most.

Tenseiga pulsed.

Suddenly Sesshoumaru stood up, his eyes narrowing as he caught sight of the pall-bearers of the afterworld. With a growl, he gently set Kagome on the ground and drew Tenseiga. Miroku ceased his prayers and began to back away.

"Sesshoumaru, what are you doing?" he demanded.

"Bringing her back!"

Tenseiga pulsed again, this time urgently. Sesshoumaru didn't hesitate. With one swipe of the sword he obliterated all of the pall-bearers. He sheathed the blade and picked Kagome up again, listening intently for any sign of life.

There. A heartbeat.

He sighed in relief and held her closer. "Wake up, Kagome." he called gently. She stirred and opened her eyes, blinking owlishly up at him. She smiled.

"Sesshoumaru," she breathed, "I was afraid he had gotten you." She struggled to sit up, but Sesshoumaru merely held her tighter. She was still too weak to fight him.

"Kagome," Miroku said softly, "Why did he do this? Why did he want to hurt you?"

The young miko looked away, hiding her face in the taiyoukai's shoulder. Her voice was muffled when she spoke.

"He blamed me for his brother's death. I was supposed to meet Hojo, but Inuyasha came and got me before I could go. There was an accident. Hojo was killed."

He could feel her tears dampening the sleeve of his hakama, (is that the proper term?) but he didn't say a word. It was obvious this Hojo was a close friend of hers, and she had taken his death hard.

"It should have been me instead. At the very least, I should have died with him. But it wasn't my fault; I didn't do anything wrong!"

The two men looked at each other helplessly as Kagome cried herself to sleep.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

They set up camp that night as far away fromt eh battle as they could get. Fortunately, itw as also very close to a hot spring. Kagome sighed and relaxed into the water. Sango had already left; she wanted the time to think.

"You scared me."

She smiled at that. "I didn't think it was possible to scare a taiyoukai." she teased.

"Neither did i." He came and sat beside the spring, keeping his back respectfully turned to her. "Yet when you died, you scared me. I forgot about Tenseiga until it pulsed." He twisted around just enough to look her in the eye.

"Don't do that again. Next time I won't be able to save you."

"I can't promise that."

"Why not?"

"I protect my family, Sesshoumaru. At all costs."

He turned completely then to face her, his eyes never leaving hers. "I am a youkai, Kagome." he said quietly. "My body can take much more than yours can."

Kagome smiled. "If you had been up against any other, I might have risked it." She stood and wrapped a towel around herself. "Now get so I can change."

Sesshoumaru's eyes glinted as he stood and pulled her close. "Nothing that I won't see in time." he murmured. He pressed a quick kiss to her lips and took a step back. "Hurry back, love. We'll be at the castle by noon."

THE END

AN: Wow! I actually finished a story! Yay! (and holy cow, that's a short chapter. eeek.)Oh, by the way: for those of you confused by the accident, just call it a car accident. It'll be told in full in the next story. Yes, there will be a sequel. I think I have a good plot for it! Until next time,

yours truly,

Shadowblade-tara