An Eternal Second

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Inuyasha.

---zZz---

Inuyasha watched with horrified eyes as the arrow headed straight for his heart... but it wasn't himself he was so terrified for.

It was Kagome.

Because as soon as Kaguya had reversed her arrow, and she'd seen where it was headed, she'd leapt in front of him.

He couldn't believe it. She was going to let the arrow hit her.

He screamed, yelling at her to get away, to stay away, to not be so stupid, but she didn't listen - and the sound that arrow made as it hit her in the back and pinned her against him was one he would never, ever forget...

Or ever get over.

It echoed through the clearing, every single person save the witch that had done this staring at the arrow protruding from her back with panic-stricken eyes - but none worse than his own as he stared down into her sweet face, his heart not even beating in that second that the arrow hit.

That second that was an eternity.

That second that he couldn't change, couldn't take back - couldn't save her from.

The second that he'd failed her, this time fatally, he was positive...

It just kept looping in front of him, her face as the arrow penetrated her body, the fear for his sake livid in her eyes, the sound that damned thing made as it forced its way through her flesh - the scent of her blood.

An eternal second, replaying its horror over and over, forever in his mind, his heart - it sickened his soul... but it was no more than he felt he deserved for failing her, and even as he screamed at her again, fear making his voice shrill, and she opened her eyes, his mind was still stuck in that second...

The second that changed his entire world-view.

He couldn't believe her reasoning for jumping in front of that messenger of death - she did it to save him?! And because she wanted to - because he was always saving her?! He was a hanyou - he could live through most things - she couldn't!

Desperation began to filter through into his consciousness as she slumped, her body going limp and falling at his feet as the one responsible for her loss approached him, and he screamed at the bitch that had taken Kagome's light from him, denying her words, her offer.

And even as the thing disguised as a celestial maiden took off with the most precious thing in his life, taking her away from him, that sound kept echoing in his ears, that horrifying sound...

He could barely hear the words of the others as his soul kept screaming in panic, demanding that he go get his Kagome back, that he save her, and erase that abomination of a sound from existence, erase the one that had caused it from existence...

Erase it, make it as though the whole thing had never happened - take back that one second...

That second that encompassed all eternity in its finite frame.

The second that forever maimed his heart, as even Kikyou's arrow had never been able to do.

I'm coming for you, Kagome - don't you die on me!

---zZz---

A/N: Don't ask me where it came from - 'cause I don't have a clue. The idea hit me, and I typed it up in about five minutes.

Amber