Kagome's breath came hard and fast, her chest heaving each time she inhaled. She'd been captured again by Naraku, but this time was not like the other's. He'd kidnapped Kikyo as well. She wasn't really sure what the purpose was, for Kikyo would not talk to her, but she was sure it was going to end bad. 'Inuyasha is on his way. I'm sure he is. There's no reason he wouldn't be, especially if Kikyo is here.' Thinking that hurt more than all of the wounds Naraku had inflicted upon her combined. Her eyes quinted shut when a ray of light shone through the room.
"Ah, you two are awake. Good." Naraku's deep, villainous voice filled the dark space. "Inuyasha should be arriving right about...now."
As if on cue, Inuyasha broke through the wall, standing in the room, panting, while his companions fought hordes of youkai outside. "Kikyo! Kagome!"
'Yup. I'm second." She thought bitterly.
"Naraku, let them go!"
Naraku chuckled a bit, lighting a fire in the room. "No. I don't think I will. You let them go."
Inuyasha growled a little, then lowered his sword only slightly. "Quit talkin' nonsense! What the hell does that mean?"
"It means, "Kikyo spoke for the first time since her capture, "that you must choose who you will save."
"Wise as always, dear Kikyo?" Naraku hummed, stomping the foor. Instantly, the ground began to crumble beneath Kikyo and Kagome until they were left hanging over a pool of miasma. "I found an underground stream. Doesn't it look simply beautiful." He watched with twinkling eyes as the deep violet miasma swirled.
'I-Inuyasha will have to choose?' Kagome gasped as she felt something sting her leg. Her head falling forward, she eyed the blood on her ankle. 'The miasma jumped?'
"Inuyasha, you shouldn't take your time. It's only a matter of time before my miasma will spring and consume them both."
"Inuyasha, it is okay. I am already dead. Save my reincarnation."
Both Inuyasha and Kagome looked at her. "Kikyo." They breathed.
Kikyo looked up at him, her eyes resuming the glow she'd once had when she was truly living. "Do it. Save her."
"Tick tock, Inuyasha."
The hanyou looked between the two women. He couldn't decide. He just couldn't pick one. 'I'll get both.' "I won't leave you behind Kikyo!" He jumped at her.
Kagome's eyes filled with tears. 'He chose her. He chose Kikyo.' A sad smile crossed her face when she saw him grab the older woman. 'At least he'll be happy.' She felt herself falling.
"Kagome!" Inuyasha screamed, reaching for her, but she had already fallen into the miasma, and was now screaming. He landed, lying Kikyo down, then turning back to Kagome. The screaming had stopped, leaving her floating in the water, her eyes open, that sad smile on her face. "No! Kagome!" He closed his eyes tightly. "Naraku, bring her back."
"You chose, Inuyasha. You chose the dead woman."
"I wanted to save both. Y-you released her before I had even gotten to Kikyo. Now, bring her back, or else."
"You shouldn't close your eyes when speaking to an enemy. I could easily behead you. Hiding tears, hm?"
"Bring her back, you bastard!" The outraged hanyou lunged at the other, tears springing from his eyes. "Damn you!" He looked around when Naraku disappeared. "Get back here! Narakuu!"
Kikyo sighed. "I told you not to save me."
Inuyasha looked back at her, then quickly looked away. "I couldn't."
"So, do not blame Naraku. You killed the girl."
He cringed. "I didn't. I couldn't have."
Miroku, Sango, Shippo, and Kirara rushed into the building. "Inuyasha, where's Kagome?"
"He gave me an ultimatum." Inuyasha mumbled, dropping to his knees. "I was pressed for time. I tried."
"What do you mean, you tried?" Sango panicked.
"Where is she?" Shippo cried out.
Kikyo glanced over at them. "My reincarnation is lying in that pool of miasma."
The members of the inutachi stared in shock, before Miroku summoned the courage to walk toward the pool. "No. Kagome, no!" He reached in to grab her, gasping in pain when the miasma zapped his hand.
Sango scrambled over. "Ka-ka-" She covered her face with her hands. "Not again. Not another sibling! "
Too afraid to go see, Shippo remained at Inuyasha's side. "That's not Kagome, you guys. It can't be."
"It's her. I tried to catch her, I did. Damn Naraku!" He punched the ground.
"Inuyasha, can you get her out?" Miroku whispered, his voice raspy.
Trudging toward the pond and reached in, completely ignoring the pain in his hands. He lifted her body out of the pool, cradling her to him. "I'm sorry, Kagome. So sorry. I wanted to catch you. I swear I did." Closing her eyes with his fingers, he looked to Miroku. "We should bury her."
Miroku nodded, not trusting his voice as he held Sango in his arms bridal style, just as Inuyasha held Kagome.
"Rest in peace, Kagome-sama." Miroku whispered, patting the mound beside the bone eater's well. "Inuyasha."
"Why did her soul not return to Kikyo?"
"I don't know, but don't go getting worked up, thinking she may not be gone. Kagome is gone." It pained him to say it, but he couldn't live in denial.
Miroku nodded. "Yes, of course. When will you tell her family what happened?"
His ears flattened on his head. "I guess I should go now."
"I'll go to check on Sango." With that, the two split up.
The forest was still for a few moments before a dark figure stepped out of the forest and approached the grave. "Little miko." Digging up the body of the recently deceased miko, he held it to him, stalking into the forest. "It must have hurt you terribly for him to pick the dead over you. It's perfectly reasonable to be angry. You have every right to want revenge." Naraku bit down into her shoulder sharply, then began to absorb the miasma from her flesh. "He did abandon you, didn't he?"
Kagome's brows knitted, a whimper passing through her lips. "In-Inuyasha abandon me."
"Yes. And you should hate him. The no good bastard deserves your anger. How dare he choose someone with flesh of clay and bones over such sweet, delicate skin such as yours." He replaced the blood that the miasma had evaporated with his own.
"How dare he?" She repeated in a murmur, clutching Naraku's kimono in her hands. "B-but I loved him. And he loved me in return." She writhed in pain, feeling her bones lengthen and stengthen.
"Did he really?"
"I think so."
Naraku tsked, his tongue clicking against his teeth. "But not as much as he loved Kikyo. He caused your death."
"He killed me." Tiny fangs jutted from her mouth.
"Yes. He killed you. And I've resurrected you. It is only fair that you return the favor however I see fit. I want you to serve me, little miko."
She coughed, miasma sliding down her face, burning the flesh. Hoarsely, she muttered, "Of course, Naraku. Whatever you wish." Her eyes flew open, glowing crimson.
"Good." He smirked maliciously. "We have much training, little one."
"We will make Inuyasha pay, won't we?" Her hair grew, sweeping against the ground as Naraku carried her.
Naraku chuckled. "But of course." He rubbed her back, feeling the spider mark form on her back. "But of course."