*Authors Disclaimer* I don't own any of it. If I did this wouldn't be "fan fiction" This is however my first attempt at it so please be gentle. All constructive criticism is welcomed whole heartedly. Yes I've read the manga and watched the anime. Don't like what I do with the story and pairings…don't read it.
She stood quiet. Leaning slightly as she peered into the depths of the old dry well. The soft breeze rasped through the trees surrounding the clearing, momentarily lifting her bangs from her damp brow. Kagome sighed and settled on the wooden lip of the Bone Eaters Well. She took in the fading rays of the autumn sunset as she went over the last few days in her mind.
They had finally done it. Everyone banded together to make one last defiant stand against the evil Naraku. The vile hanyou had perished in a blaze of demonic energy blended with the soft light of her beautiful sacred arrows. The Shikon no Tama became visible as Naraku vanished, slowly hovering until coming to rest in Kagomes' tiny hand, going from filthy black to soft shining pink in an instant.
She looked over at her friends. Sango lay unconscious in Mirokus' embrace; she was covered in lacerations and blood, her Hiraikotsu lay half buried in the mud of the battlefield. The Houshi cradled her gazing in abject wonder at his now unblemished hand. His robes soaked, hair matted with blood. Kagome had never seen him so at peace. Kirara lay at the slayers' side mewling in worry. Shippos' tiny form twitched slightly as he moaned, his auburn hair had come loose from his customary bow and at some point in the battle his tail had been singed severely. He looked at her with worried eyes bloodshot from exposure to repeated explosions and miasma. She felt a pang of sympathy for the kit along with a surge of pride. He had grown so. She shot a small smile his way to let him know she was well.
Turning, she saw Sesshomaru at the edge of the field, his usual pristine figure somewhat sullied by the grime of battle. He stood stoically taking in the current scene with blank eyes like golden mirrors. 'What is he thinking?' she wondered. The demon lord had always been a puzzle to her. Terrifying at first, slowly he had presented less terror and more of an intriguing, silent contradiction.
A movement to her left pulled her from her reverie. Inuyasha rose stiffly from his crouched position, Tesusaiga in hand and began to advance on her. He walked with determination as he returned the sword to its sheath. Kagome searched his face as she remembered his desire for the jewel, since the beginning he'd wanted it to become a full demon. His childhood of abuse, mistrust and neglect had ensured he would never feel worthy as a hanyou. She looked into his eyes as he came to a halt in front of her, within those amber depths she saw a steely resolve that made her heart drop into her stomach. She knew this would not go well. He folded his arms across his chest and leveled a hard look at her.
She looked up at him, her wide brown eyes uncertain.
His brows drew together. "Give me the jewel Kagome."
She closed her fingers around the Shikon reflexively and took an unconscious step back, her foot landed on a loose bit of debris sending her pitching backward, legs flying she landed flat on her back. Inuyasha growled low in his throat and stepped forward, hands clenched at his sides.
"I knew it." He ground out. "I knew you would betray me in the end. That's how it always is" His mouth set in a grim line. Kagome stared up at him, her eyes sad. "That's not what this is Inu…" "Cut the shit wench. I don't need your excuses, just the jewel."
"But you can't!" she exclaimed. "You know it would taint the jewel all over again and all we've fought for would be for nothing." She levered herself up onto her elbows, sitting up and trying to get her legs under her. He crouched down and lunged in and stuck his face mere inches from hers, eliciting a gasp from her in sudden fright.
"I. Don't. Care." He growled. "Give it to me" He reached for her closed fist with his clawed hand. With a sudden lurch, she twisted and shoved his shoulder while screaming "Osuwari!" The rosary glowed and with a curse Inuyasha was slammed face first into the ground. Kagome scrambled up and started to run blindly away.
Ragged breaths filled her ears as she fled. She ran over her options in her head as she ran, panic rising in her throat as she heard Inuyasha begin pursuit. She changed direction, dashing toward the tree line in a futile bid for cover, just as he caught up with her. He grasped her arm in a viselike grip, claws puncturing her flesh and spun her around violently. Kagome made a last desperate attempt to keep the jewel from him and extended her arm above and behind her head as far as she could. She cried out as she felt a clawed hand cover her own closed fist in an iron grip. Suddenly Inuyashas' weight disappeared from her body and she felt herself slam into something solid. Looking up, Kagome craned her neck only to see the harsh spikes of Sesshomarus' armor. Her gaze traveled up to his face, he was looking over to the tree line where curses were rising from the underbrush.
Sesshomaru looked down at her, still holding her suspended a few inches off the ground by her arm. He blinked and released her abruptly, almost sending her sprawling again. She managed to regain her footing and turned to see an irate hanyou stalking from the forest. Kagome made a small frightened sound in the back of her throat and backpedaled quickly. She was suddenly presented with a view of Sesshomarus' back as he calmly intercepted his half brother with a look of disdain.
"Pathetic whelp," He sneered. "Must you take every opportunity to sully our fathers' name by acting the childish fool?"
Inuyasha snarled and lunged for his brother. The Taiyoukai backhanded the hanyou and sent him flying head over heels. "Woman, I suggest you make your wish swiftly as it is written before this Sesshomaru tires of this game." He glanced over his shoulder, cold eyes boring into her. Kagome gulped and turned her back to the warring brothers, staring at the jewel softly glowing in her palm. 'It must be selfless' she thought. She knew what she wanted, hell; she'd been in love with him for the last 2 years. Shaking her head, her mouth twisting into a rueful smile, Kagome took a deep breath and wished with all her might. Her vision was enveloped in a blinding white light and she heard Inuyasha yell in dismay and them her world faded into darkness.
Kagome floated up towards waking, every muscle in her body protesting. She opened her deep brown eyes to see a familiar thatched roof and knew she was in Kaedes' hut. Drawing a deep breath she flexed her extremities and sat up cautiously, rolling her neck and shoulders to rid them of stiffness. Rising slowly she exited the hut squinting into the midday sun.
Turning she was swept up into the firm embrace of the slayer. Sango drew back, her face alight with joy.
"Oh Kagome, Thank you!"
Smiling softly at the well, Kagome recalled listening to Sango recounting the results of her wish. Miroku, finally free of his cursed hand was preparing for the journey with her back to her old village. They would be married and start afresh there. Kohaku was alive and would be with them as well as Shippo and Kirara. The little fox kit planned to hone his skills with Kohaku and aid him in protecting villages from demons.
Inuyasha had gotten his wish. He was now a full Inu demon. His dog ears gone, replaced with the more elfin variety and like his brother he manifested facial markings. Though his were single navy blue stripes that went from his temple to the front of his jaw just below the corners of his mouth. He had no mark upon his brow but his eyes were rimmed in a blue slightly lighter than that which adorned his face. Kikyo had returned from the world of the dead. Kagome felt the twist of bitterness in her gut. She listened as Sango related the changes in the once dead priestess. She was a demoness now, able to stay with her mate forever. Inuyasha and Kikyo were by all accounts as content and in love as they should have been all along.
Kagome sighed. 'I guess this is the selfless part' She felt a hollow pain in her chest, as though she should cry but couldn't summon the tears. Her body seemed a fragile husk. Gone was the naive child who had broken the seal that bound the hanyou to goshinboku two years earlier. She had neither the energy nor the tears to waste. Her friends were all blissful in the aftermath of her wish she should be content with that, yes?
That afternoon she had bade farewell to Miroku, Sango and Shippo as they set out for the old slayer village. After stocking Kaedes' herb chest she gathered her backpack and departed the village. It wasn't until she reached the clearing that she allowed the false smile of reassurance to fall from her features and be replaced with a small frown.
She couldn't bring herself to say goodbye to him. He had not sought her out, weather from shame at his own actions or being occupied elsewhere she did not know. Part of her was glad to avoid the inevitable heartache of that parting, yet there was no denying the voice inside that cried out brokenly in longing. 'He didn't come, not even a thank you' Kagome shook her head and let out a humorless chuckle. "Well I suppose someone had to bear the sadness." Wiping the small tears from her eyes, she stood and turned to enter the well only to freeze in place, suddenly aware she was not alone.
She looked and saw Sesshomaru standing silently watching her. Drenched in the fading rays of the sinking sun he looked almost warm. His silver hair washed in red and orange shone like burnished copper. His cold amber eyes illuminated, shifted like molten gold. Kagome waited for him to speak, when he didn't she dipped in a small bow and asked "Is there something you need Sesshomaru-sama?" He looked at her wide watery eyes, scenting her tears. "For whom do you weep Miko?" Her brows rose a bit as she bit off a sharp retort. Sighing she said "No one, Nothing really worth it." He tilted his head slightly, sensing the despair rolling off her in heavy waves. Glancing at the well then back to her "There is no honor in death." Confused, Kagomes' gaze flew to his face. 'Kami, he thinks I'm going to throw myself down the well to end it all' Out loud she said "Oh! No I'm just going home where I belong."
Inwardly confused, Sesshomaru narrowed his eyes at the tiny woman in front of him. He could smell no deceit from her. He filed this away for later examination and squared his shoulders. He had followed her for a purpose. As much as it rankled him to be indebted to a ningen, he was not without breeding and that required proper manners. He caught her gaze, molten gold with rich brown.
She blinked 'What?'
He saw uncertainty enter her eyes "I'm sorry?" she stammered. Sesshomaru lifted his left hand and looked at his palm. Realization dawned on Kagomes' face, her throat closed suddenly and her chest tightened down in pain. She knew how much this expression of gratitude was costing the taiyoukai. The despise he held for filthy ningen like herself was cast into sharp relief in her mind.
"Well I owed it to you." She managed, "It was my fault it was taken in the first place." Bowing she blinked away tears. How was it that in the end Sesshomaru had broken the dam? She knew what it was, it was genuine. He was not one for empty gestures, especially to a lowly ningen onna. She couldn't stand crying, not in front of the stoic lord. She could sense his disdain at her weakness. Mechanically she hoisted the backpack up on her shoulders, planting her right hand on the well edge she threw herself down the well feet first. The air around her glowed blue and she felt the magic catch.
In the forest of Inuyasha, Sesshomaru took a step forward and peered into the well. He scented a strong magic as it flashed a brilliant blue in the gathering twilight. The miko was gone. He paused, considering, then turned and gathered his youki cloud beneath his feet. His duties called him west. He had much instruction for Inuyasha and his new mate. This mystery would have to wait.