Memory's Shadow


Revised. Original Message:

A/N: Hello everyone! This is my first sess/kag story so I hope it goes well! This is only the prologue since I want to know what you guys think of it. I only typed this for fun but if you want me to continue I will. I just want to know whether it's good or bad enough. Hope you enjoy!


'Don't let him take you higher with his words.

Because the higher you are, the harder you fall.

And trust me, you always fall.'


I've always wondered what would've happened if I never fell (or, more accurately, was dragged) down that well. Never met Inuyasha or Sango or Miroku. Never met adorable little Shippo or grandma Kaede. I've also wondered what my life would've been like if I never met Naraku or Kikyo. Even Sesshomaru. The truth is: I had no clue.

The well often confused me. I often think, 'Hey, since I've done some amazing things back in the past, why isn't it recorded in the future?' or 'Heck, that's not what happened! These so-called 'historical records' have it all wrong!' Yeah, it's a real mystery, that well. My history textbooks never mention anything about demons or priestesses back in the Sengoku Jidai or explain how canvasses and ditches were really formed. Sometimes I believed that the well didn't really transport me to another time, but another dimension – another world, more like.

Sure, some things in the past are mentioned in the future, but that's only very rarely and scarcely true. Maybe there's just this whole philosophical story going on here. You know, like parallel yet connected worlds and things leaking out when they shouldn't be? I'm not going to go into deep depth because I'm confusing myself.

We (that is, my group and I) were on yet another shard hunt, Naraku holding most of them as usual. Why did he have most of them when I, the person who could actually see the shards, have only a few? Shouldn't I be the one who found them faster since no one else could see them but me? This world is so ironic.

I stared at Inuyasha who was, unsurprisingly, in the lead. I stared up to his head and to those cute, little dog-ears on top. My mind wondered again: although Inuyasha could seem so dull and thick at times, why was he so quick and fast in battle? Perhaps it was a guy thing.

My legs were aching. We'd been traveling for quite a distance now and the sun was scorching. I can see that it was also wearing Miroku and Sango out if the looks on their faces was any indication. Shippo was already knocked out on the top of my over-stuffed bag with Kirara. But no, Inuyasha doesn't sense a thing, does he? This was a time I believed he was extremely dense.

"Inuyasha!" I called out to him, the tiredness making my tone snappy. "Jeez, Inuyasha! It's not like the shard is going anywhere. Can't we just stop and rest?" I asked. From the corner of my eye I saw Miroku and Sango's faces lighten with a small glimmer of hope.

Inuyasha stopped and turned to face us. He doesn't seem tired one bit. Jerk. "Why?" he asked as eyed us over. "You guys tired?"

I rolled my eyes. "If we weren't then I wouldn't be asking," I said. There was this irritated look in his eyes and I knew the argument about humans-are-such-weak-beings topic was going to come up. I glared at him, daring him to say it.

He just folded his arms in the trademark way. "Feh," he said. "I'm hungry anyway so we might as well take a break. You can't sense any jewel shards, can you?" he asked. I shook my head as a reply. "All right then, we'll take a break."

I turned around and almost laughed at the relieved expressions on Miroku and Sango's face. We decided to rest under a very big and shady tree next to the dirt, worn footpath we were walking on. There were slight hills across the path, with straight, rocky walls, as if the hill had been sloppily chopped in half. The sun was hot, bordering unpleasant, with only a few dotted clouds in the sky. The next village was too far away – it would take us until dusk to get there and it was only midday.

My bag was heavy and today wasn't the first time I realized that. I put it down with a thump on the ground and opened it, fishing for some sandwiches I prepared earlier. Where the heck were they? I frowned as I searched, throwing random and hardly needed things out while doing so. Did I put the sandwiches in the small pocket? Or is it that slightly bigger one? I doubt that five sandwiches would fit in there. So where the heck are they?

Suddenly, I saw Inuyasha's ears swivel to a particular direction and Kirara waking up stiffly. I stared at Inuyasha as he cautiously rested his hand on the Tetsusaiga's hilt and concentrated hard, his nose moving as he sniffed. Sensing trouble, I quickly zipped up my bag, after getting the discarded items back in there first, and grasped my bow and arrows. Shippo was still sleeping, leaning on the tree. He didn't seem to sense anything.

"What is it, Inuyasha?" Sango asked warily, her hand already on her large boomerang bone.

Inuyasha's face was twisted in concentration but it broke as a growl erupted from his throat. "Sesshomaru." He hissed. "What the hell does he want?"

At the sound of the lord's name, we were all alert. I can barely count how many times he'd already tried to kill us. He wasn't someone you would want to be around with, whether he was in a good mood or bad. He was unpredictable. There was always a reason for his actions and it somewhat unnerved me. Him and his calculating ways.

Inuyasha pulled out the rusty sword that instantly transformed into the mighty steel fang. Sometimes I wondered if I was even able to carry that thing. I'll have to ask Inuyasha to let me try it one day. If it lets me, that is.

Not much later, Sesshomaru was walking towards us, that toad-like demon right beside him. It was an odd sight. I wondered why Sesshomaru would even keep that youkai around. I'm not one to judge people before I get to know them but I've had a few encounters with Jaken and they were not good. Not good at all. Most of the times I wanted to bash his head in and throw him into a pit full of snakes. Yeah, that would silence him up.

"Sesshomaru," Inuyasha growled, instantly in front of the entire group, his sword threatening but protecting us. "What the hell are you doing here? If you're after the Tetsusaiga, then you might as well start walking away now – you're never going to get it." He glanced at his brother's impassive face and then his eyes slid down towards Jaken's. "You've got a lot of nerve, walking up to us like that," he stated carefully. "Either that or you're pretty stupid. You don't look ready at all."

Looks can be deceiving, I thought but didn't say it out loud. Sesshomaru's piercing eyes stayed on Inuyasha's for awhile but then his gaze glanced towards me. It stayed there and I realized that I had an arrow notched. I didn't even remember pulling out an arrow. Wow, I'm getting pretty good at this, ne? His eyes were the same colour as Inuyasha's but extremely different in texture. Inuyasha's eyes expressed feelings, mostly anger, but Sesshomaru's didn't show anything. They were hard like frozen honey. Ha ha. Honey. That would make Sesshomaru sweet. Ha.

"I have not come here for your father's sword." Sesshomaru answered coolly, his gaze never leaving my arrow. I realized that he said 'your father' with a rather bitter tone to his usually impassive voice. I dismissed it.

"Then what did you come here for?" Inuyasha growled. He noticed how Sesshomaru's eyes were on me and moved so I was out of his view. I lowered my arrow slightly – no point in aiming it at Inuyasha's back.

Jaken stepped up and glared at Inuyasha. "Insolent pup." He grumbled loudly for everyone to hear. "You should be honoured by even being in his grace. Sesshomaru-sama doesn't need your sword! He has two swords that cannot be equaled."

Something in my mind slightly tugged at me. Where was that cute little girl I sometimes saw them with?

"So then what the hell do you want?" Inuyasha snapped out of irritation and probably impatience.

"I haven't come here to take anything from you, half-brother," Sesshomaru said coldly. "I was merely passing by and you happened to be in my way. It was only a minor inconvenience so I did not change my route just to avoid you." I knew he was telling the truth - he wouldn't lie. It was beneath him… at least I think it was. What did Sesshomaru have to hide from us?

As usual, Inuyasha growled at him and advanced threateningly. "Well I'm glad you came by," he snarled. "Because I wanted to kill you for ages now. You've just given me the opportunity." He then prepared to initiate the battle, bending his knees in order to jump.

But then he stopped. Everyone stopped and I could have sworn my heart stopped as well. We sensed it. Naraku's evil presence and youki. What the heck was Naraku doing here at all times? But then again, this was a villain – they, like Sesshomaru, were incredibly hard to read.

The earth began to shake and I almost lost my balance. The little tremble woke up Shippo as I heard him yelp and felt the usual weight on my shoulders. I looked up and saw the sky slightly turned purple. Was it Naraku's miasma? If so then we were in deep trouble.

"Kukukukukukukuku…" came his all-so annoying laugh. "So nice to have the entire family together once more. I've been waiting for this moment. The moment where I can destroy you meddlesome bastards once and for all."

Naraku came forward from where Sesshomaru had come, down the pathway where we were once walking on. Every green leafage that was close to the baboon pelted demon rotted and died because of the miasma. I often wondered if Naraku was off his nut, wearing that suit. What kind of evil villain wore something like that?

"Naraku." Inuyasha seethed, anger practically pouring out from his very body and aura. His glare was intense. He stepped forward, temporarily forgetting about Sesshomaru, the sword tightly held in his hand, ready to strike. "I've also been waiting for this moment. You've made a terrible mistake appearing like that! I'm going to cut you into bits!"

Again, Naraku (I suspect it was just a doll though) gave his annoying laugh, even louder than before. "Do what you may with this body for it is just a puppet," he said. (Ta da! I knew it!) "But I do have a warning for both of you. I'm going to plan an attack soon. Really soon." He looked towards Sesshomaru. "I'm going to kill that human child you've been traveling with," he said with a smirk. He turned to Inuyasha. "And I'm going to kill your beloved Kikyo."

Hearing this made both me and Inuyasha bristle. If Sesshomaru was affected by Naraku's threat then he wasn't showing it (as usual)."You can't kill her." Inuyasha growled. "You've still got Onigumo's heart inside you. You're still a half-breed and you won't be able to kill her no matter how hard you try."

Naraku smirked. "Oh, you're talking about the other Kikyo. The one Onigumo lusted after, correct?" he laughed. "Oh no! I fear you've been mistaken. Well, more like I was the one mistaken." He glanced towards me and I knew the dreaded words he was about to say next. "Sorry. I seemed to have mistaken that wench over there for Kikyo again. They look so much alike, don't they? You can hardly tell the difference. She might as well be a duplicate except for the fact that, of course, she isn't nearly as talented as Kikyo."

That was it. I had put up with the annoying laughs, the threats, the insults but mistaking me for Kikyo purposely (I knew he knew my name) just pissed me off. I shot the arrow with purification energy stored inside and I prayed that it would at least obliterate the Naraku puppet.

But all he did was laugh as a hoard of demons came at us. One of the larger ones blocked my arrow and it was just thick/fat enough to stop it. Good new was that I made it explode into pieces. But the demons didn't stop there as Naraku ordered them forwards, to kill us. Heh. Right.

I loaded another arrow as my teammates started to fend for themselves. Even Shippo helped behind me as he used his kitsune bi. I shot the next arrow and killed at least five demons this time. Not a bad shot actually. I notched in another one and aimed it closely towards Naraku. However, I couldn't see him anywhere. That coward. He'd made a run for it again.

My eyes caught a glint of silver and I watched with slight interest as Sesshomaru began to kill the demons effortlessly. The threat Naraku gave him about the little girl didn't seem to affect him. Nah, it did affect him. Why else did it seem like he was slightly rushing? And kill me? Yeah, I'm pretty freaked but I won't let that demon bastard take me. I'll stab an arrow through his nonexistent heart before I let him kill me.

I focused back on my own problems. I watched from the corner of my eyes as the inu brothers seemed to fight along side each other. It shocked me how they could be so alike and yet so very different. I didn't know Sesshomaru very well so I didn't really know what he was like but I got the feeling he was more like Inuyasha than he was willing to believe. Maybe even more alike than I thought.

With all these thoughts going through my head, I didn't realize the snake youkai sneaking up from behind me. I heard Shippo yelp from behind me and I quickly shot at the youkai before it could do any damage to either Shippo or me. But since I had my back to the main hoard now, I felt a sort of tackle at my back and with a scream I plummeted forward, towards my bag.

I heard a faint cry of my name. I think it was Inuyasha but it was too late as I saw a large club swinging towards me.

I barely had enough time to scream as the large, thick club (from an ogre I suspect) swung towards me. It hit the side of my stomach and I heard a few ribs crack, and noticed that it hit my bag as well, the yellow pack falling with me. I landed hard on the ground, the bag's contents thrown messily to the left-hand side of my body. I looked towards it a little sadly and saw the sandwiches I was looking for earlier. For some reason my injury didn't really hurt. It was just slightly numb. Unconsciously, I picked one of the sandwiches up and glanced upwards. I was greeted by cold golden eyes. Sesshomaru. I smiled softly at him, wondering if my sanity was knocked out when the club hit me. I looked down and threw the sandwich away. "Damn sandwiches," I mumbled. I felt like a piñata at that very moment.

"Kagome!" Inuyasha yelled from behind me. "Move away!" he demanded and I knew exactly what he meant by that. I knew the minute I saw another large youkai, with huge jaws I might add, coming towards me. I barely had any options left. Inuyasha wouldn't get to me in time and he couldn't use Wind Scar lest it hit me. I couldn't defend myself since my bows and arrows slipped away when I was being thrown around. Shippo's no help and Miroku and Sango were too preoccupied by their own battles to notice. All I could do was sit there and wait until it chopped my head off. I thought all this in about two seconds. Crud, I wasted two precious seconds of my limited life thinking. Forget about looks can kill, thoughts can kill too.

I closed my eyes, waiting for that fatal blow – surprisingly, however, I didn't feel anything. There was no flash before my eyes and there was no pain (except for my ribs). I opened my eyes slowly and saw that Sesshomaru had decapitated the youkai before it even touched me.

I looked up in confusion into his golden eyes and all he did was coldly stare back at me. There were a couple of shouts later but I didn't hear them because I was too busy staring at Sesshomaru. I didn't know what to say to him for saving my life. Did it really count if he'd tried to kill me more than once? Oh well. Stuff this. "Thanks." I mumbled as I stood up. My back was sore and I was sore to begin with too. I felt numb almost all over.

"Wind Scar!" Inuyasha's voice was heard as the last of the hoard was destroyed. Immediately after, he leapt to my side and inspected me for wounds. He lifted up my shirt and I swiftly protested, my face flushed. But then I realized his true intentions and let him be. When he lifted my shirt to expose my stomach his eyes grew wide. There were dark, ugly bruises, indicating broken ribs, and my skin was cut, making it bleed. "Kagome…" Inuyasha said to me, concern etched in his voice. "You all right?"

Was he blind or something? No, I was not all right. My ribs were broken, I didn't know how badly I was injured and to top it all off, I was still cranky and angry with the little rest I was getting.

I was about to snap a reply but then my eyes widened as I saw another hoard of demons approaching. "Inuyasha!" I yelled, my voice slightly forced.

He turned around, dropping my shirt, and saw them. We were immediately fighting again - well, all but me. I collapsed to the ground on my knees, my arms steadying me so I wouldn't fall over. I wanted to help. I really did but I didn't know how. My eyes caught my bow and arrows and I called over to Shippo who was helping out using his kitsune bi. "Shippo-kun!" I called over. "Bring me my bow and arrows," I ordered briskly. At least, I hoped it was briskly because my voice just sounded pitiful and weak to my ears.

He obeyed me quickly, using his foxfire when the demons got too close. Luckily, most of the larger demons paid little attention to the tiny Shippo. I couldn't bare to watch him get injured right in front of me. He grabbed my weapons and ran back. My hopes of actually being useful were rising but something smashed it right down.

I watched fearfully as a demon tackled Shippo from the side, catching him off guard and making him drop my arrows. "Shippo-kun!" I yelled out but it was no use. Shippo was already to the side, trying to get up. But the demon that tackled him (a levitating sort of worm) began biting him with its massive jaws.

Suddenly, the area around us began to get darker as two strong hands grabbed me from behind. I tried to scream but it was useless. A giant hand had my mouth clasped shut. I knew who it was. Who wouldn't? No one could ever forget his evil presence when he was near. Of course, I am talking about the one and only Naraku.

Everything seemed to stop as the hoard of demons retreated and all my companions and Sesshomaru set their eyes on Naraku and me. I glanced towards where I last saw Shippo and found that he was on the ground, lying still and motionless. It was only then that I realized I was crying warm tears.

Inuyasha approached us slowly, his Tetsusaiga high and threatening. "Naraku." He snarled and I saw the menace in his eyes. I thought that look was only reserved for Kikyo when she was in danger. Should I start hoping now? "Let her go," he hissed.

Naraku, who was behind me, seemed to triple in power. I felt my heart speeding up so fast I thought I might have a stroke. I was wrong. This was the real Naraku. Damn him. "And do you care to give me a reason why?" he asked. I shivered within his hold. Being this close to Naraku was the scariest thing in my life.

Showing his fangs, Inuyasha snapped at him, "Because if you don't then I'll do more than just kill you." I didn't know what he meant but he sounded serious. "Let go of her," he repeated slowly as if Naraku was a disturbed child. Probably was if you took out the child bit and replaced it with monster.

Then suddenly, all I could sense were Inuyasha and Naraku's aura. Everyone else was gone and enveloped in darkness. Even Sesshomaru wasn't anywhere to be found. It was just Naraku, Inuyasha and me. Once again I started to question my sanity.

Inuyasha looked around wildly with wide eyes. "Naraku you bastard!" he yelled loudly. "What the hell did you do?" he growled. Yay! I may not be the only insane one after all unless Inuyasha was losing it too.

Naraku smirked against my hair and I almost felt like vomiting. "I just wanted to show you," Naraku started, his lips brushing against my head, "how easily I can make you kneel before me with just one word." Man did I hate him.

At this Inuyasha seemed to smirk. I was shocked at first. He smirked? At a time like this? "Ha. Kneel? To you? Jeez, you must be nuttier than I thought!" He growled suddenly, his smirk vanishing. I realized now that his smirk was just a cover-up of what he was really feeling. "Now let go of her, you cocky son of a bitch."

I yelped lightly when I felt his hands wrap around my neck. "You have no power in my barrier, Inuyasha." Naraku said slyly. "Your companions and brother are outside. They're either running away, trying to break the barrier or just standing there like the dumbfounded idiots they are. They have no use for you in here and you are as powerless as a flea inside. You don't make the orders now, Inuyasha… I do."

Again, Inuyasha bared his fangs at Naraku. I could see the fear in his eyes and the deep anger and rage. I felt Naraku's hands tighten around my neck as his little barrier began to fill with his miasma. Great, I had a choice either to not breathe or breathe in toxic. If you were in my situation, which would you choose? "Now," he said in a commanding way. "Kneel."

Inuyasha just growled at him loudly. I knew he wouldn't kneel. His pride and ego wouldn't let him and believe me, his pride and ego practically ruled his body. Seeing Inuyasha's defiance, Naraku's hold around my neck tightened and I let out a choke. "Listen to me, half-breed. Do as I say and I won't have to break this pretty little girl's neck," he threatened.

Inuyasha was sweating. I could see it even as tears began to gather in my eyes. He was debating with himself whether or not he should listen to Naraku. Or perhaps he was thinking of a way to save me, without comprising either of our (mental) health. The confines of the barrier filled up with even more miasma and it was getting harder for me to breathe.

"Kneel, Inuyasha." Naraku said forcefully as I choked within his hands. What sickened me the most was when he leaned down so his face was close to my tear-stained one. "Kneel before your master and superior," he whispered against my cheek.

Inuyasha's body began to twitch and I realized right then and there that he was going to do it. No. I couldn't let that happen. He'd be scarred for life – he'd never forgive himself, he'd beat himself down, he'd blame himself entirely for his own weakness although it wasn't even his fault. It was… mine. For not being strong enough to handle my own problems. I gritted my teeth. No – I won't let Inuyasha take the fall. He already had too many scars. I struggled more convincingly in Naraku's grip, even using my tiny nails to scratch into his skin. Let me go, I wanted to scream - Let me go.

But his hold stayed strong as he leaned down on me in order to keep me still. His action had the opposite effect though as I thrashed around even more. His closer presence only strengthened my want to escape.

"Tough little bitch, ain't she?" Naraku growled. He sent out more miasma and I felt myself choking. "Too bad she's about to die."

And I couldn't help but believe his words. With every breath I took my insides began to burn more intensely as I sucked the poison in the tainted air. This was not good. My vision started to blur and my body started to feel limp. I could still feel the pain of my cracked ribs and contaminated lungs – however, I tried my best to ignore it.

"Naraku!" Inuyasha shouted enraged. He pulled back his sword and ran straight towards us. I saw Naraku smirk and I realized that he was intentionally keeping me awake. Why? What was this bastard planning?

"You won't be able to save her in time, Inuyasha," he said merrily as he let go of my throat and put me down on the ground. He stood up and he seemed like a giant as I gazed up at him. "This is poison miasma. She will not be able to live for more than an hour if I give her enough. I doubt you'll have that time."

Inuyasha ran at us faster and leapt into the air. He bent his legs while airborne and started his descent towards us, Tetsusaiga's point facing downwards. "All you say are lies! Kagome will live!" he yelled furiously as his sword met with Naraku's head.

It surprised me a little, watching our enemy's head roll by on the ground as his body collapsed. I knew he hadn't died because the barrier stayed up and the miasma was still filling. I breathed in deeply. I couldn't help it. It was human nature to live, to breathe whether or not it was a good idea. I was no exception. I needed to breathe because I wanted to live. Looks like Naraku had me trapped.

I watched with drooping eyes as Naraku laughed loudly. I thought that impossible since his vocal cords were no longer connected to his head but I didn't really care. I thought meeting a demon was impossible and yet here I was.

My world began to darken as the burning sensation in my chest grew and grew until I found myself screaming. Not a good idea since I was taking up more tainted air. I heard a yell from Inuyasha but I couldn't really focus on it. I was slipping away and I knew I was going to die. My chest was burning, my heart felt like it was going to explode and all my senses were leaving me. I was going to die and there would be no one to save me. Not this time.

I always thought I'd die because of old age like Kaede but I guess I was wrong yet again. I didn't imagine myself falling into a well where my life would drastically change. If I hadn't fallen into the well I knew I would have died old. I still thought I'd die old when I continued my journey back and forth through time. I had no idea why I thought that. The Warring States was a pretty dangerous time and I knew I was in a lot of danger. Fantasizing was one of my main attributes so I guessed I never believed I was going to die young. I was ignorant I guess.

As my eyes closed I didn't see any flash. All I saw were memories that I remembered. All the memories I wanted to remember before I parted to the afterlife. I remembered the first time I met all my friends in this era and my own era. The first time I met my rival, Kikyo. I remembered the time when Souta gave me his cookie because I dropped mine. He was still young then and so was I. I never realized how much my family and friends meant to me until now.

The final bits of my consciousness were ebbing away from me and all my senses had gone, making me unaware of my surroundings. If I was never dragged into the well I wouldn't be dying right now. If I never met Inuyasha or Kikyo my heart wouldn't have experienced all that drama and heartache. If I never did what I did here, then perhaps I would've been safer, wouldn't be dying. But I also knew that if I didn't face my fate then I wouldn't have felt complete. Me going back and forth through time made be feel more complete than I ever was. I wouldn't change the past for anything because everything that happened… made me… me.

All the pain was gone and I was welcomed into blissful unconsciousness. It was the end. There was nothing more to tell.

So? What do you think? If it's good please review and if it's bad review and tell me why! I want to know how I can improve! So if I get enough reviews for this I'll continue it. Hope you enjoyed and thanks for reading! See you later! :)