"INUYASHAAA!" Kagome's panicked voice rang out clearly across the battlefield.
"Damn girl," Inuyasha cursed under his breath as he swung the Tetsusaiga sideways and through the side of his opponent. The young half demon turn his amber eyes in the direction of his female companions cries just in time to see her white and green figure in the distance be thrown across the ground. His heart skipped a beat and his laboured breath caught in his chest.
"KAGOME!" Inuyasha turned swiftly on his heel and began to race toward the demon. "Get away from her you bastard!"
He felt a deep growl start in his chest as he ran, never taking his eyes of the enormous demon making its way towards Kagome. This demon was stronger than the one he had been fighting. He shouldn't have left her by herself. That thing better not lay another one of it's hideous tentacles on Kagome. Inuyasha got to her just in time. He snatched up her unconscious form and retreated into the safety and cover of the nearby forest.
Kagome came to as they reached the heart of the forest. Groggily, she lifted her head off Inuyasha's shoulder. He set her down gently against a tree while she came to her senses, blinking her big brown eyes and laying a small hand on her ebony haired head. The sounds of a heated battle raged behind them. I hope Sango and Miroku can hold their own for a while, he thought as he surveyed Kagome looking for serious injuries. He breathed out in relief. He couldn't see or smell any blood on her.
"Inuyasha…?" she murmured softly. She looked up into his molten eyes and smiled gently.
"I'm sorry Kagome. I failed to protect you. Again" he replied turning his head away slightly. "What hurts?"
"My head. But it's OK Inuyasha," she reached up and put a hand on his arm, pulling him back to look at her. "You can't be everywhere," she said sweeping rubble from the shoulder of his haori.
"Kagome, stay here until it's over. Promise me you'll stay?" he asked rising while trying to hide the blush creeping up over his sensitive nose. There was silence and he could feel her eyes on him.
"Inuyasha, I can't promise you that."
Why not?!" he asked, whirling around to face her.
"Because I couldn't stand waiting here and not knowing if you're alright and not being with you!" she yelled. Inuyasha took at step back in surprise.
"Kagome I…" Inuyasha didn't know what to say so he did what he always did when he wasn't sure. "D-do what ever you want, wench," he scoffed before bounding off, back into battle.
Kagome sat on the forest floor, muttering angrily.
"Stupid Inuyasha! I told him that I want to be with him and all he can say is "do what ever you want, wench!" I can't believe him"!
Behind her, the bushes rustled. The young time traveller jumped to her feet and looked around for her bow before remembering that it was still on the battlefield.
"Who's there?" she called. The bushes rustled again and then parted. A beautiful woman in a red and white priestess outfit emerged; her dark hair caught the sunlight through the treetops. She lifted her calm brown eyes from Kagome, to the direction of the battlefield and back to Kagome.
"Kikyo," Kagome said, allowing her shoulders to unhinge themselves from up around her ears. "You scared me, what are you doing here? If you're looking for Inuyasha, he's fighting at the moment," she told her, lowering her gaze. "You could-"
"My business as of this moment is with you, Kagome," said Kikyo, cutting her off. "I'm not here to cause trouble. I simply wish to offer my help. Will you allow me to assist you in defeating the demons? I sense that they have Shikon Jewel shards and have quite apparently become formidable enemies for you're group."
"I, um, why do you want to help us?" Kagome blurted out. She quickly covered her mouth. What a rude and stupid question! "Sorry," she squeaked.
"It's alright," replied Kikyo. Kagome watched as the corners of her mouth lifted into a small sad smile. "I wish to help you as my last action in this world," said softly as she stared into space. Kagome's hands dropped limply to her sides.
"What do you mean Kikyo? You can't possibly be planning to…" Kagome trailed off. Surely she wasn't going to give her life to defeat these demons. Inuyasha would be heartbroken. There is no way she could be planning to do that.
"There is no other way to defeat the demons. I also feel that I have no reason left to linger in this world. The jewel of four souls is being purified and collected. I am not needed anymore. I am one of the dead and should be put in my place. I've realised I can not stay," Kikyo's voice calm but Kagome could see faint lines of emotion on her beautiful serene face.
"Kikyo, you can't! What about Inuyasha!?" yelled Kagome taking a step forward. Kikyo turned back to her reincarnation. Kagome gasped and lost her nerve at the sad, seriousness in Kikyo's eyes.
"Inuyasha doesn't need nor want me. He feels he must continue to see me and protect me, to have feelings for me, because he thinks of my death as his fault. I am not who he wants or who he used to love. Death has made me bitter and cold, I see that now, and that is why I have to go." Kikyo took firm steps past Kagome. "Please allow me to do this for you," she said quietly. "I've caused so much pain."
Kagome breathed in sharply, one hand curled in a soft fist over her heart and one hanging limply by her side. Was Kikyo really going to leave this world? She wondered sadly. True, Kikyo and Inuyasha's relationship had caused her pain but not so much that she wouldn't be sad if Kikyo died. She could never wish someone dead, even the woman who kept her from Inuyasha. Finally Kagome turned and followed slowly after the dead priestess.