Disclaimer: Inuyasha belongs to Rumiko Takahashi.
A/N: Takes place around manga ch. 519.
A Promise Renewed
Sango lay awake, casting furtive glances in the dark at Kohaku's motionless body, which was not resting in sleep, but lay there nonfunctioning, powerless, forced into unconsciousness. All the others were asleep—or so she thought until a brash voice spoke.
"Don't worry, Sango," Inuyasha said from his corner on the other side of the hut. For how long he'd been watching her, she didn't know. "Sesshomaru will get Magatsuhi. Kohaku will be okay."
Sango tried to smile, but like her brother's body, the corners of her mouth would not rise.
"It's not that I think Sesshomaru will fail—" she began.
"It's just, that's it. What if he does defeat Magatsuhi and Kagome's purification powers come back, and.…" Sango's voice broke again as though cut by some unseen force.
"And… what if it still doesn't work. What if Kohaku is stuck like this forever, frozen, like a dead person?"
"Keh," Inuyasha said, and Sango knew he was trying to keep his tone light, "now you're just thinking wildly. Kohaku will be fine."
"But what if..." Sango stopped herself, and suddenly her voice grew low. "I've thought about it, you know. And I've decided."
Inuyasha looked at her with concern. "Decided what?"
"If it comes down to it... if there truly is no saving Kohaku, then... then I'm going to take his Shikon shard out and let him die."
There was no holding it back now: Those words seemed to break through the dam that had been restraining her tears, and she began to sob.
Suddenly Inuyasha had moved right next to her, and he stared solemnly into her face.
"Sango, I made a promise to you once, and I've never forgotten it."
She looked up at him as the tears slid silently into her lap.
"I promised you that Kohaku would live, no matter what. The only one dying is Naraku. I'll see to that."
And he took her hand, and for one brief moment, he held it tight.
"I promise," he said again, and there was such sincerity in his voice, it seemed to stymie the tears wanting to form in her eyes. She wanted to thank him, but then he said, "Now get some sleep," and all she could do was nod her head gently and lay back down. The hanyou retreated back to his corner, past the softly snoring bodies of Shippo and Miroku, where he slept sitting up, Tessaiga ready in the crook of his arm to protect those he loved.
And as Sango drifted into sleep, she thought back to the many times she'd witnessed Inuyasha's loyalty to his friends. Somehow, some way... she had to believe that Kohaku would live again.