Title: Sacrifice
Author: SilverontheRose
Genre: Dark, very dark
Word count: 1,178
Rating: R
Warnings: Rape, character death, Nar/Kag, blood and gore. Do not read if you are under 18 or if you have issues with the subject matter or pairing. I've warned you straight out and will ignore any ranting you have about these subjects.
AU/Canon: Canon

This was a hard one to write. I usually see my stories as movies and I'm off to the side recording them, but this time I was in Kagome's position. It was very intense and I hope I caught some of the horror in my telling. This is not for the faint of heart or for people under 18. Much love and thanks to my beta, hana ginkawa! She put up with a very antsy writer and a couple of anxious phone calls. Written for the inuyasha(underscore)fanfics community on LiveJournal for their 'Endings' contest.

Broken Blessings

She lies on the scarred remains of their battlefield surrounded by his darkness; the bright shreds of scattered festival banners and lamps slowly surrendering to the gray miasma. Shouki blankets the area, blocking the clean rays of the setting sun, choking her with his evil. Midnight hair streams down around her as that detestable face leans in closely.

"What an ideal night for a celebration," Naraku mocks as he slides cold hands down her face and circles them about her neck. Long, effeminately nailed, deceptively strong fingers lace together, tugging at the short hairs behind her neck. Thumbs crossed, he presses down on her esophagus. "Struggle for me. Let me see the terror in your eyes, brighter than any firework."

His low laughter sweeps out through the clearing as, angry-eyed, she ineffectually beats at him with her hands only to have the hot pulsing muscles of his tentacles twine tightly about her arms. She recoils; the sensation bringing to mind the octopus she and the others had been blissfully enjoying only hours before. The prehensile organs slide down further, wrenching muscles and dislocating small joints as hands and arms are pushed to the ground above her head. The green smell of the crushed grass beneath them joins the pungent aroma of sweat and slaughter all about her.

She tries to gather breath for a shout but the structures of her delicate throat give under the steady pressure of his thumbs. A curving, sinuous smile betrays his delight in her struggles as, robbed of voice, she frantically tries mentally calling the holy power sealed within.

"What's wrong, Kagome?" She shivers in disgust as the slow, breathy slide of her name curls about her ear. "Scream for me. Rake me with your nails. Burn me with your powers. Do the impossible as I enjoy you." He slides his hands from the ruin of her throat to trace her jaw line before he leans in and shoves his thick tongue into her mouth. The cruel points of his armor digs into porcelain skin, gouging new wounds and tearing old ones and she wants to scream from the pain as she's pierced. The ruins of her throat swell and burn with remembered sound but only give out a muted creaking that he laps up like sweet honey.

"More, my miko dear. Give me more of your terror. More of your pain." His voice is an oily shadow of satisfaction as he breathes, "I will bathe the Shikon no Tama in it and it will shine all the more darkly," into the delicate shell of her ear. He grinds his erection into her, smiling at her strangled screams as tentacles flex; some now seizing her legs and spreading them wide. Horrified at the implications, she renews futile struggles. The sharpened edges of armor slice long ribbons across her breasts and shear away the tender skin of her stomach; the jaunty sailor suit shredded beyond repair.

Scream no, scream no, scream no, scream NO! her brain chants; lessons for self-defense echoing without answers for the torn ligaments of her larynx and the multiple broken bones. She bows up off the ground but only succeeds in ripping open more flesh. Inuyasha! Naraku easily presses her back down and tries to take hope with sly, smiling whispers. Descriptions. Details. Tales of the shadowed mounds that lay on the edge of sight.

She stiffens as searching… things… touch her intimately; her horrified soul screams at the painful intrusions of grotesque appendages and maddening words. No, this isn't happening! I love Inuyasha, my friends are strong enough to come through so many battles. My innocence isn't meant for this evil. This foulness. NOOOOOO!

And with the pain and desperation seething through her as fuel, she somehow gets the strength to rip her arms from the curls of tentacles, destroying their usefulness forever. It doesn't matter though, all that matters is the obliteration of Naraku, cleansing his presence from world forever. She thrusts all of her being into those broken, distorted hands just as her stomach gives, spilling blood and entrails between them. Bright red overflows down her sides, between her legs; gushes between her mangled breasts to pool in the hollow of her neck and spill down the sides into the blue black of her hair. Magic more ancient than the earth they lay on overcomes the barrier and the chime of bells is heard right before blinding light immolates their world and shoots upward as if to join heaven to earth.

Light and life fading, a perfectly translucent sphere hangs in the air, drawing the priestess' watery blue gaze. Slowly it descends into the mangled remains of her stomach, sliding and burrowing through the viscera until it rests once again behind an old scar- home once more. She tries to lift icy fingers in an instinctual desire to touch the site it rests in, but lacks ability and strength. Remotely her mind makes the connection and realizes she is dying. Tales of old rituals and traditions surface in memory as she struggles to draw breath. Was I? Is that what it took? A… pure sacrifice? Eyes dull as the spirit flees; the last celebrant is left lying in a festival field of broken wishes.

A single latecomer stands witness as a torrent of rain greets the coming dawn and gives the dead fresh tears. Drops fall heavily, chiming against his armor and weighing down the pelt over his shoulder. The sword under his hand lies still and silent. This is holy land, he can do nothing now.

At the Sunset Shrine a mother paces as she has done every night for the past year. A sudden clenching of her heart sends her fleeing to Goshinboku for peace. The thudding in her chest picks up in tempo as she hears an echo of her own voice telling the story of the shrine's beginning through the rustle of the leaves.

"…the miko who was to bless the ground of the shrine was of surpassing beauty and purity in the eyes of the kami. At the very end of the festival silence fell as her voice rose in supplication to the heavenly kami. Her heartfelt pleas fell upon the ears of Amaterasu just before the goddess had completed her walk across the heavens and upon Tsukiyomi's as she awoke. Both gave their full powers to the miko and onlookers said that the holy glow was visible even to the far away Emperor in Kyoto. As a result the land has remained pure ever since…"

"Mama," a child's voice takes the mother by surprise. "What happened to the miko?"

"Well, when the light disappeared the miko was nowhere to be seen. But many times throughout the years a holy maiden has been seen walking about the shrine, protecting it during the most evil of times and lean of years. Your grandfather believes it is the miko, blessed with a kami's life."

The shifting leaves fall silent, the fairy tale kinder than reality to the one beneath their branches.

The mother weeps.