Disclaimer: I do not own the Inuyasha series or any of the characters.
Summary: The gang has extremely unexpected help in the final battle. Sesshoumaru is in for the surprise of a lifetime. Manga compliant up to current chapter (536). One shot.
Naraku was dead. Finally.
And somehow, somehow, they had all come out of the battle alive, if not exactly unscathed.
Sesshoumaru tried to resist the urge to once again make certain that Rin was truly unharmed, and once again he simply gave up and surrendered to the impulse. She smiled up at him as his hand passed tenderly over the top of her head. The mere act of touching her seemed to calm and reassure him immensely, and he couldn't bring himself to care that others were present who might see his moment of weakness. Rin leaned against his leg, curling her little fingers into the fabric of his sash as if to confirm that they were both there, although whether this was for his benefit or her own he wasn't sure.
The others seemed too caught up in the exhilaration of finding themselves both victorious and alive to pay him any mind. The houshi was gazing at his own right hand with a smitten look on his face, and the taijiya was gazing at the houshi with a similar expression. Inuyasha was looking very distracted by the lusty kiss he was giving the miko, which had been going on for nearly ten minutes. Sesshoumaru wondered briefly if they were ever planning on coming up for air. He still had to figure out how to repay his brother as quickly as possible for protecting Rin; he loathed the idea of owing Inuyasha anything, especially for an extended length of time.
Kohaku, Jaken, and the young kitsune had all arrived together before the end, going directly against the orders they had been given to stay behind. By some miracle, they had all survived as well. Jaken was currently trying to seem unobtrusive, likely in hopes of avoiding a good thrashing for his disobedience (Sesshoumaru would see to it later). The kitsune was excitedly hopping about with boundless energy, generally making a nuisance of himself. A blushing Kohaku was now being simultaneously embraced and scolded by his sister, who had managed to tear her eyes away from the houshi.
One person, however, was not caught up in any sort of celebrations, and was instead watching Sesshoumaru very intently from a distance. He'd almost forgotten, so great was his relief at Rin's safe return to his side. But now he turned his eyes on the improbable figure, who took his attention as an invitation to approach. She halted about a dozen feet away.
He didn't think the others had recognized her when she'd appeared at the eleventh hour to aid in the final destruction of Naraku. She did look somewhat changed, her face emblazoned with dainty new youkai markings, her hair worn loose, and her clothing more ethereal than before. Still, he had recognized her immediately, even before the fans (two now, intricately carved) gave her away.
"This is, of course, quite impossible," he stated with a tone of calm authority. But for once, his unflagging control was starting to waver.
She smirked a little, and that was entirely the same as ever. "This, coming from someone who routinely raises the dead."
At the sound of her familiar voice, the others suddenly started paying attention. Inuyasha and the miko separated with a wet suction noise in order to join their friends in staring.
"This Sesshoumaru witnessed your death," Sesshoumaru stated matter-of-factly. "Tenseiga was powerless. You died."
Her elegant brow furrowed at that. "I thought so too, at first. I didn't have a body anymore. You can't be alive when that happens, can you? But I was. I am the wind. The free wind. I didn't need that body. I found my true form."
Even as he tried to argue with himself that this was ridiculous, his quick mind was already working out the details. Most youkai who appeared in a human form had a true form that was altogether different, like his own. That hers would be the wind itself, and that she would not discover her true form until so badly wounded as to be desperate, was not implausible. In fact, it was rather akin to his brother's threat-driven transformations into his full youkai form. Still, the great damage to her original form would have taken a long time for even a taiyoukai to recover from, and she was not a taiyoukai. Although judging from her performance in battle, she very well might be one now. Apparently, dying (or nearly so) had been good for her.
As for Tenseiga's apparent failure, the sword had no reason to react if the subject wasn't in need of it.
He offered one last token protest against her identity. "You no longer smell of Naraku."
She toyed with one of her fans before tucking it into her obi beside its twin, her ruby eyes regarding him with some amusement. "I would think that you, of all people, would count that as a blessing." She shrugged gracefully. "It's a new body," was her only explanation.
It didn't make sense to him that her new scent could be so identifiable as hers when he'd never smelled it before. Naraku had recognized her; he'd looked downright fearful, actually, as his sins came back to haunt him. If that wasn't enough proof of her identity, what was?
She'd been attractive before; now she was breathtaking. It was as though she had passed through a fire that had melted away all the dross, the little imperfections, that had previously been present but had gone unnoticed until now that they were gone. She'd been refined. Tempered. Perfected.
Sesshoumaru was chagrined to realize that he had absolutely no idea what to do next.
As the trembling voice cut through the silence, she turned and looked at the hesitant boy. Kohaku was staring with wide eyes.
"It is you, isn't it? Is it really?
"Kohaku!" She smiled, a genuine smile, and studied him for a moment. "Glad to see you made it, kid." She took pity on him as he took a tentative step closer. "Yeah, it's me. Who else would it… what the hell?!"
She looked completely out of her depth when the boy lunged toward her and collided with her chest. But to be fair, it was probably the first hug she'd ever received.
"It was my fault," Kohaku muttered miserably. "Everyone who helps me winds up dead. You protected me from Hakudoushi. And then the first thing you did after you sent me away was get yourself killed by Naraku. And if you hadn't saved me, Hakudoushi probably would have taken my shard, and then maybe Naraku would have still needed you around and he wouldn't have…"
His voice, which had been growing tighter and breaking more with every word, failed him completely at this point, and he cried into the front of her kimono.
"Don't tell me you're still thinking about that after all this time? I hate to break it to you, but I'm perfectly capable of screwing up and getting myself killed without any help from a kid like you. So cut it out! You're getting my kimono all… soggy."
Kohaku released her and pulled away, still crying and trying to hide it, and grinning at her words at the same time. The befuddled boy had to go sit down on a stone to pull himself together. The others were still just watching the drama unfold in stunned silence.
Rin detached herself from Sesshoumaru's leg and bounded over to Kagura, gifting the surprised wind sorceress with her second hug ever. "Rin's glad Kagura-san is okay! Even though Kagura-san kidnapped Rin once. But Rin's not scared of Kagura-san anymore!"
Rin skipped away, happily throwing her arms around an exceedingly embarrassed Kohaku, who was still trying to get a hold of himself.
Kagura eyed the others as though worried they might try something similar, and then turned back to Sesshoumaru when it was clear they weren't about to pounce. Sesshoumaru watched a devious little smile spread across the woman's mouth, and reflected that perhaps he should be concerned about whatever she was planning. He was still feeling uncommonly disoriented by her presence, and as she approached him, he tried frantically to recoup behind an indifferent façade that was steadily slipping away to reveal the astonished reality beneath. He wished that his brother and the others weren't observing the scene so closely. Kagura drew nearer.
"Kagura, what are…?" he started, but he didn't get a chance to finish.
Kagura grabbed his face in both hands and proceeded to kiss him very thoroughly. Suddenly, Sesshoumaru's world got incredibly simple, and the fact that he was being watched ceased to matter. Nothing mattered except that he had an abrupt, powerful need to put his hands on her waist and pull her a lot closer. He complied.
"I told you, Jaken-sama, didn't I!" came Rin's gleeful voice. "I told you Kagura-san was in love with Sesshoumaru-sama. And look, he loves her back!"
I'm really not even sure how this idea came to me. I had just finished reading the latest chapter (536), and for no apparent reason I began thinking about human-looking youkai and their true forms. It occurred to me to wonder if Kagura had a true form, what would it be? The wind seemed a likely enough answer. Then I got to thinking about manga chapter 374 where she dies, and something literally jumped right out at me. She dies, and then she's thinking "I am the wind. As free as the wind." When she's dead. Okay. And then in chapter 410 when Sesshoumaru is remembering how Mouryoumaru taunted him with Kagura's death and he decides to accept the new Tenseiga, a sudden wind magically sweeps up out of nowhere. And Tenseiga was powerless to save her. Because she was disintegrating? Why not because she simply wasn't dead? What if she wasn't really dead at all? So then I thought, "Why the hell not?" and I wrote this all down in one sitting. It was a blast! I was practically cackling with glee as I typed. I hope you all enjoyed this! Bet'cha never thought a manga-compliant fic could include Kagura in it!
The title: Kamikaze means "divine wind", and refers to the typhoons that were seen as a gift from the gods as they saved Japan from invasion. The name was also used for WWII Japanese pilots who sacrificed themselves in suicide attacks to try to damage the enemy. Somehow, both meanings seemed appropriate.