AN: I'M SORRY! –bows repeatedly while shouting praise to all those following- Forgive me, forgive me, forgive me! I just got my computer back at the same time my mind decided the direction it kind of wants the story to go. There are lots of possibilities to go with… But my brain's still struggling. So this will have to do. I'M SORRY! –offers basket of rotten vegetables to throw at her-
It had been so simple, so delicious, to twist that feeble little mind.
He had found the darkness lurking in her heart and, though she fought it, she had been conquered just like everyone else; the exterminator siblings were really one and the same—so similar on guilt and despair he could have laughed.
She was writhing pitifully on the ground, sweat beads on her forehead, groaning.
The half-demon prodded again; she squirmed. It was so easy.
Evil was in her veins, smoke in her blood, suffocating; his past deeds were ink stains on her once clean soul. This was grander than anything else he had ever completed, a larger triumph than the curse on the monks, greater than causing two young lovers to hate each other, better than creating a constant loneliness in the wolf prince—this was his masterpiece!
He hears a breath, and sees her lips move; the words, soft like cobwebs, are the name of his foe.
Sneering, the demon hisses "He's never coming." His breath is cold, and it scrapes her ear like dead leaves.
He keeps his surprise in check when she opens her eyes, luminous and dark. "He will…" she croaked.
"No he won't. He's left. He doesn't love you—you were just a pastime; when he made love to you, he thought of the other two. You're not special."
She shakes her head, tears streaking her pale cheeks.
"He doesn't, Sango," he continues, enjoying the grimaces, "Deep inside, he's angry with you—you ruined what ever relationship he had with Kagome and Kikyou, and you know this. Because of you, he can't be with the soul his own calls for. You're nothing; you're nothing to yourself. All you do is cause pain for everyone around you—you're worse than any curse."
She screams. He laughs.
So simple, he tells himself.
She was walking through a dream—or a nightmare.
Her body felt weightless, trapped in the blackness. There were stinging sensations coursing throughout her entire body. She could not even remember how she had gotten caught—the ache in her legs gave the hint she had been running—and was now floating in some ethereal universe.
But the crying in the darkness gave her no peace of mind.
There were vague recollections that she could put names to the voices, but they were all too much distorted with anguish. She just knew that the pain in her heart was real, that these were all people she cared for deeply.
Her heart pounded harder; she swore it was going to burst out of its cavity.
"Be still, my heart…" She murmured, not aware it escaped her lips.
There was a voice that was not shouting in pain. There was urgency to that voice, as well as a familiarity. It was incredibly warm and inviting, stirring her heart further. Was this another person she loved? Faint images of moonlit trysts tickled the surface of her mind, silver hair shining, golden suns emitting a love so profound it almost made her choke.
There was a distant thud in her ears; a faint aroma of musk, forests, the sea breeze, and wood smoke touched the senses of scent.
She felt delight then, a song wanting to burst from her lips.
Pain intensely warped her mind, lightning and flame setting her on fire; she saw a boy's face—young and happy, but it was being torn piece by piece, before her eyes she was witnessing this gentle child bleeding, and still he was murmuring something…
There were images—moving quickly but she deciphered them all: burning homes, ugly creatures of evil gorging on human flesh; a large man, burly and intimidating, fought with all his might, shouting unintelligible words to her, and then his head flew from his shoulders.
Everything was hurting her—all the pain etched in these people's eyes, their cries were deafening.
There was laughter, cynical and twisted, coming from the flames.
Even with the hellfire behind him, the recognition stabbed into her—hair fanned behind him like a halo, fiery and wild, but the coldness in the amber eyes was too much…
She closed her eyes, trying to shut out that image.
She opened them again, her vision a blur.
He was so close, reaching out… He touched her shoulder.
Inuyasha jumped back, the glint of her hidden weapon threatening in the gloom.
"Shit!" the young man spat, feeling blood trickle down his cheek. He smirked grimly. "Controlling her now, huh? You sick fucker…"
She flew as a marionette would, her dark puppeteer hiding; she was lithe in her movements, her footsteps touching the snow just so. How could this have happened? There hadn't been a trace of Naraku for months, and now… Here he was, somewhere, mocking them both.
"You were just waiting for this weren't you, you bastard?"
Naraku laughed, and Inuyasha felt like slime had oozed down his frame. How he wished to crush the bastard's face in his bare hands!
"She came of her own accord, Inuyasha."
"She hates you more than anything else in the world—why would she come to you?!"
The laughter continues, and Inuyasha wills himself to stay put, eyeing the exterminator cautiously. He knows that Sango would never go to Naraku willingly—she was too full of hatred towards the other half-demon to even consider such a thing—
Then, quick as a viper's lash, he remembers how she had stolen the Tetsusaiga from him.
He mentally holds a grip of himself. That was a long time ago! She would never do that again—she had been sincere when she said she would never go against them as long she lived.
"Inuyasha, you're so pensive," drawled Naraku, "Are you thinking of when she had stolen your greatest possession?"
Inuyasha's hackles rose, his hair on end in agitation.
"Struck a sore spot, did I? At least I need not remind you how she went back on her word—she didn't go against you but she did betray the monk and the girl."
Fueled by inconceivable rage, the silver-haired hanyou wildly attacked a random spot, only to be thwarted backwards when Sango aimed for him from the right.
"Snap out of it Sango!"
She went on, the emptiness of her eyes unnerving him more than anything else. He kept telling himself she would not have given up her mind. She was stronger than this—so much better than this! There was a fire in her that was intense, one that demons hardly ever see in humans; she was one of the few who possessed this drive, a will to do whatever it takes to make things right.
She was a rare gem in this world.
He was not going to lose her too…
"Sango, come out of it, please!"
The taijiya continued her assault.
"I know you can escape him! Don't let him take you too—don't let him make you a puppet like Kohaku!"
Her brow twitched.
Was that it? Remind her of Kohaku?
He regretted his thoughts instantly when she suddenly let out a cry and forcefully pushed him back as mightily as she could with her own sword. She plunged downwards, attempting to throw off his footing, kicking at his shins. He leapt away, and the laughter in the blackness echoed around them again.
"Shut the fuck up!" he turned back to Sango, desperately searching for a way to bring her back. "Sango, come back to me!"
He didn't realize the hopelessness of her situation—she was too far gone in the blackness.
Grief filled him.
And then he shouted, "Come back to me! Damn it, I need you! I love you!"
His heart was now speaking.
That was all she saw. All she felt.
She felt so unclean…
Around every corner it was there, clawing into her skin, groping her mind, raping it.
Why couldn't she fight away from the sin? Was it tattooed permanently onto her very soul?
She screams, but nothing comes out—the silence is so large it even covers her voice.
Too many faces, too many depraved stories, too many failures.
She was a sinner.
Maybe she did deserve death.
She was a nuisance, a leech on the lives of everyone she's come to know, sucking them dry.
Gods, I'm evil… was her murky thought.
Then there was a beam of light: it was very, very faint, but there nevertheless. Sango couldn't see it, but she felt it touch her.
She was at a loss to what this dim, but lovely, light was. Maybe she was going to die after all, and this was the light to guide her where all souls went.
But there was a voice, an echo in the darkness; most were unintelligible, but the last three words hit her clearly: I love you.
Though Sango's mind was too blurry to respond, her heart was quick; and it struggled to find the speaker of those words. Sango began to fight again.
Even though Inuyasha knew Sango was being controlled, he had to give the woman credit: she was a demon to battle herself. He merely decided to keep blocking with Testsusaiga, and Naraku mocked him from afar, saying how weak he had become, sinking so low as to retreat from a mere woman.
Inuyasha ignored the words, concentrating all his energy on just Sango.
Then she paused.
And the two half-demons were shocked, both thinking: What the hell happened?
Her mouth opened, and, even standing so close to her, Inuyasha strained his acute ears to catch that weak whisper. "Inuyasha…"
Quickly sheathing his sword, he gripped her shoulders. "Sango! You heard me! Come back to me—you can do this!" He fought the insanely powerful urge to crush her to him.
"I…" she murmured, "Don't know… If I can…"
"Of course you can! Don't give up on me now, Sango."
"I want… To find… You…"
"I'm right here!" he shouted finally, fear and hope twined in his voice, "I'm right here, Sango! You're not alone!"
Sango's hand twitched, and he grasped it, ignoring the danger, and pressed it up against his face, kissing the palm. "I'm here, Sango. Right here! Please, come back."
She seemed to sigh.
Then the gloss of before took her eyes, and the sword plunged.