What happens when Kagome and Sesshoumaru get shipwrecked on a deserted island in the middle of the ocean in the middle of winter? How will they cope with the island, their marooned situation, and each other? Will they ever be rescued? Or will they kill each other first?
Kagome erupted through the surface of the freezing water, gasping in the frigid and very welcome sea air. Shoving her raven colored hair from her face, her body screaming with the cold of the sea, she desperately looked around for any sign of life. To her right was some remains from the airplane, the flames angry against the black ocean and sky around it. Silhouetted against the flames were several black bodies scrambling onto an inflatable raft and moving away from the wreckage and from her. Adrenaline kicked in and she started calling out as she swam towards them.
"Hey!" She cried, waving her arms above her head as she kicked her legs, keeping her head above the water. She noticed a pair of arms waving from the boat, and hope filled her that they had seen her. With gusto, she pumped her numbing arms and legs, sputtering the cold salt water from her mouth as she swam towards them. As she neared, she felt the exhaustion fill her limbs. 'No! I can make it!' She told herself with such determination that she felt the weariness lessen just a little.
A pair of strong hands reached out to her, and the joy and happiness of being rescued filled her body and soul as she thrust one of her wet, freezing hands into his semi-warm ones. With little effort, despite her being increasingly heavier with all of her wet clothes and shoes, he pulled her into the inflatable raft. She tried to help herself into the raft, but her wet shoes slipped on the plastic of the raft, sending her flying head first into his body. They landed with a squish on the bottom of the raft.
"You alright?" a voice asked from beside them. Kagome groaned slightly as she tried to untangle herself from her savior.
"I'm so sorry," she muttered, finally getting a grip on the bottom of the raft and hoisting herself off him. She looked down in surprise at the silver haired asshole who she'd been sitting next to on the plane. He looked remarkably unaffected by the events that had just unfolded as he sat up. However, his rumpled business suit looked like it was ruined for good. From the way he had treated her, she was glad for it...though, she felt guilty at the same time, as he had just rescued her.
"You swam pretty far in only a few minutes," he stated, as if in some form of compliment to ease the agitation that was arising between them. She backed off and sat back from him, looking at him with new eyes. His golden eyes shone dangerously in the dark, reflecting in the flames of the wreckage. Her own gray-blue ones shone with gratitude and truce.
"I used to be on the swim team in college..." she murmured softly. She smiled at him. "Thank you for saving me."
"You had saved yourself, I merely helped you into the boat." His brush-off of her gratitude irked her, but instead, she laughed.
"Well, now what?" the voice from the other side of the raft asked again. Kagome looked over at the other people in the boat. There was a young couple, about her age, waterlogged and clinging to each other, an old woman, and a younger boy about 10 or so. His red head was buried in his arms as he sobbed quietly to himself, sitting away from the others. The one who spoke was the young man with his girlfriend clinging to him.
"We wait until the sun rises, keeping an eye out for any other survivors. If we're lucky, they've already sent out a rescue helicopter. In any case, we should stick together for heat. It's cold, and we're all wet. If we don't warm up, there's a good chance we may not make it through the night." The silver haired man to Kagome's right stated simply. The little boy sobbed harder.
"C'mon now," Kagome stated ringing her hair out the side of the raft into the ocean. The crashing of the waves and the crackling of the fire still floating on the upturned craft the only other noise other than the shivering of the multiple people on the raft. "We need to keep our spirits up. If we don't, then there's no hope for us."
"What do you suggest," the man across the way asked, "we all hold hands and sing camp songs?" Kagome laughed bitterly.
"Not exactly, but if that's your suggestion, we can do that."
"All we need to do," the old woman said, "is pray." Kagome finally got a good look at the woman. She had an old eye patch around her eye and she looked very ancient. Kagome shrugged.
"Whatever keeps your spirits up. In the mean time, we need to stick close and share body heat like you," she said motioning to the man beside her, "suggested."
Without too much fuss and movement, they crowded into the center of the raft, placing their backs to each other to keep each other warm. The little boy came and sat close to Kagome.
"What's your name?" She asked, wrapping an arm around him.
"Shippo," the little boy said softly, sniffling.
"Hi Shippo, I'm Kagome. Lean on me. I'll keep you warm." He did as she asked, at first a little hesitantly, but soon, he was laying asleep with his head in her lap, curled at her side. She stroked his hair, thinking of her brother back at home. She couldn't help but feel like fate's play thing at her situation.
She had just graduated with her Master's degree from a college in New York and was returning home to Tokyo, Japan to visit her family and long-distance boyfriend before starting work at a firm in Osaka. For the first time in her life, it had seemed everything had been turning up. However, on her journey home, her plane had encountered difficulty and landed in London, where they boarded another plane that was flying over the Atlantic Ocean, then the Arctic Circle, and finally down to Japan...their Final destination.
She had been sat next to another man from Japan whose hair shone bright like starlight and whose eyes resembled the sun...but his attitude and demeanor froze all those nearby. It seemed with his boredom to torment her by questioning every decision she had made in her life, every flaw of her body, and every attribute about her personally that they had argued heatedly throughout much of the flight. They had finally stopped talking and had been ignoring each other when the plane encountered some terrible turbulence. Kagome had leaned back into the chair, hands calmly placed on the hand rest when his hand suddenly was clenching hers and the seat handle, his back rigid in the seat, eyes shut tight. Compassion had filled her at the sight of his fear, and she had turned her hand so it was palm-to-palm to his hand. He, unknowingly, clenched her hand as the plane dipped harshly. His breathing was shallow, panting. Kagome felt the fear erupt from within her as the plane suddenly pitched downward and the oxygen masks descended from the ceiling. She grabbed hers and put it around her face, tightening the straps. She looked to him, seeing him pale white in fear and unmoving, placed the mask around his face for him. His golden eyes opened as she pushed the mask onto his face, golden eyes staring frightfully into her bright blue ones.
The force of the crash ripped the plane in two, the back half, where she was located, landed sharply onto the surface of the water, while the front half looked as if it were crushed on impact. All of the sounds seemed to rush together as water flooded into the cabin and fire broke out. People screamed. The engines hissed and roared. Without thinking, Kagome unbuckled herself, pulling on the man beside her, and taking off her mask.
"We have to get out of the plane!" She cried. She looked to the petrified people in the seats, some knocked out of the shock, some crying, some screaming. She got up, moving around the man, who held onto her hand tightly like a lost child, and moved to the aisle.
"Everyone, calm down! We need to get out of the plane!" She cried above the noise. Her heart beat hard in her chest, as if she was about to have a heart attack. She had always assumed that, under these situations, she'd never be the one to lead people to safety. She ignored her mind and went to work forcing open the emergency door with the help of the shocked man beside her. He helped her inflate the raft beside the door, and started to help people get into the raft. When she was confident he could handle it, she went to the other side of the plane, through the panicking people, and repeated the procedure with the other door. Just as she pulled the inflation device to inflate the raft, the people behind her shoved in wild panic just as the inflation device blew up, sending her sailing from the plane and into the ocean. She had been shell-shocked as she floated under water, the cold freezing her body like a thousand little knives. But in her head, she kept hearing her name being said over and over, by her mother, her brother, her grandfather, her boyfriend, her friends. She suddenly realized she couldn't breathe and her lungs hurt painfully, so she swam as hard as she could to the surface, bursting out into the cold air.
Kagome blinked once, wondering what time it was. She blinked again, realizing she was no longer shivering, and that she was unconsciously leaning against the man who had saved her. She sat up.
"You're awake," he stated softly. She looked at him.
"I didn't realize I had fallen asleep," she stated softly, her fingers resuming their stroking of the red-headed boy's hair.
"A mixture of shock, lessening adrenaline, and exhaustion from all you've done tonight, it's no wonder." His voice seemed unimpressed, but in the darkness, she couldn't see the look he was giving her. She blushed at the implied compliment.
"I'm glad you were able to help me. I'd wouldn't have been able to do much if you didn't help," her voice was hoarse from, what she was sure was bruising from the explosion.
"There wasn't anything we could do after that explosion," he whispered, as if his voice would wake up the others. "When it exploded, I was thrown into the water and the raft was dislodged from the plane. I was able to climb on, but the plane sunk so rapidly, I don't know if others got out."
Silence weighed heavily between them. On the far horizon, the first tendrils of dawn were peeking into the darkness. The gentle waves rocked them back and forth, back and forth. The boy in Kagome's lap snuggled into her deeper, hugging her in desperation.
"I never introduced myself," Kagome stated suddenly, looking at him. "My name is Higarashi Kagome." She held out her hand to him, to shake it in greeting.
"Taisho Sesshoumaru," he responded, shaking her hand. His hands were warm compared to hers, and they were so large they engulfed hers.
"Taisho-san, it's very nice to meet you," she said with formality.
"And you, Higarashi-san."
Dawn was finally peeking, and the sounds of the others waking brought Kagome out of her silent musings. The boy, Shippo, sat up and yawned, rubbing his eyes. With the light, Sesshoumaru was fishing floating boxes and bags out of the water, using the arms of some chairs to row the boat in that direction. The other guy, Miroku he said his name was, was also helping pull in whatever they could find. The old woman was still sleeping in the center of the raft. Miroku's girlfriend was sitting beside her, taking the bags or boxes the boys brought in and putting them in safe spots on the raft.
Kagome, pointing to another bag they could row to, looked up and away from the sun suddenly, as if something had moved to draw her attention. There, in the sky, was a single seagull.
"Seagull," she whispered, eyes suddenly frantically searching the horizon. There, faintly visible on the very edge of the horizon was a small black speck.
"Sesshoumaru! Guys! Look!" She exclaimed, pointed excitedly, looking at them with hope in her eyes. Sesshoumaru and Miroku looked up and at her in the same kind of movement, and then, followed her hand to look out on the horizon where they saw the little black speck.
"What is that?" Miroku's girlfriend asked.
"Land," Sesshoumaru stated in shock. His eyes wide as he looked to Kagome. "My, girl, you have eagle eyes!" He stated with a short chuckle, before reaching into the water to fish out one last bag before he and Miroku handed out arm rests to the two girls and all four began to paddle towards the tiny speck of land.
The day progressed quickly, but the land didn't get any bigger. The sun shone bright in the sky, heating their skin and burning their faces. By the time the sun was directly overhead, the old woman still hadn't risen. They took a short break to check on her, and found that she had died in the middle of the night. Uncertain what to do, they discussed burying her at sea or waiting until reaching land. They decided that, unless the weather got worse, or if she started to smell, they'd wait until reaching land to give her a proper burial.
Kagome pulled off her sagging sweater as the heat intensified and put it over Shippo's head.
"We've gotta keep you out of the sun," she said softly as Shippo laid in front of her. He looked up at her with grateful eyes before disappearing under the sweater's temporary shade.
"You'll burn quickly," Sesshoumaru stated as they began to paddle again.
"It's nothing that won't heal." She retorted as they continued to paddle.
By the time the sun was setting, they decided to stop for the night, using the last of the rays of sun to look through the bags and boxes they'd found. In one, they found water logged clothes, bathroom supplies, and a ruined hair curling set. In another, they found ruined camera equipment, canvas bags, and cords. In the third, they hit jackpot and found, amongst clothes and books, granola bars, raisins, instant oatmeal, and dried apricots. They sorted the food into equal portions for that night and the following day—just in case there wasn't enough, or they'd have to paddle for another day to reach the island.
Sesshoumaru handed the bag of dried apricots to Kagome, who opened it delicately, the smell of the dried fruit making her mouth salivate and her hands to shake. She hadn't realized she was so hungry. She pulled out one and began to nibble at it, hoping to eat slowly so as to preserve the food. Shippo was gnawing on a granola bar next to her, and she put a hand on his.
"Eat slowly. I know you're hungry, but you need to make the food last." He looked up at her sadly, sniffling, but did as she told him.
"Do you have any kids?" Miroku asked from across the way. She looked up at everyone watching her.
"Why do you ask?" Kagome asked in response, pulling out a second apricot piece.
"You are so good with them," Miroku's girlfriend, who had introduced herself as Sango, murmured.
"No, I don't. I have a little brother that I helped my mother raise, and I volunteered at elementary schools throughout my high school and college years," Kagome stated. She glanced over and saw Sesshoumaru staring at her with his eerie golden eyes that seemed to glow in the rising moonlight. She shook off the odd feeling holding her chest as she looked back down at the bag of apricots before her. God, the only thing she wanted to do was scarf it all down...but she knew she couldn't. She ate a few more, the sharp stabs of hunger deminishing only to a slight pang when she rolled the bag up and put it next to her. Her knees ached and her feet were numb from sitting for so long. She had given up hopes of meeting up with the other lifeboat with survivors after the old lady died.
With a staggering deep breath, she placed a hand on her side, her ribs still feeling bruised and beaten from the explosion. She just hoped it was only bruising.