A/N: Final Chapter. Please enjoy!
There were times when she was grateful for the rapid healing Sesshomaru's blood had given her, and this was one of them. Groaning in pain, she put a hand to her stomach and weakly called upon her healing powers to hurry the process.
"You're lucky I came when I did, Kagome," a voice stated, huffing in agitation. The left side of the bed moved as her rescuer took a seat next to her. She turned her head and pained blue met angry green in a showdown.
"I was handling it just fine, Shippo. In fact, I was-!"
"Bleeding from a hole in your gut surrounded by vampires," the fox interrupted, tugging on his long ponytail in a habitual agitated fashion, "Yeah. That's just fine to me."
"They weren't going to hurt me!" Kagome protested, pushing a little more ki into her hand and wincing when a pink spark shocked her in retaliation, "I know at least a quarter of those guys! They wouldn't-!"
"Let me tell you something, nee-chan," Shippo stopped her, leveling a concerned look at the flustered priestess, "Even being a demon and like a sibling to you, you're blood smells absolutely delicious. I think, that even though they knew you, any one of those vampires would have tried to devour you if given the right kind of signals."
The priestess blinked at him in shock, then flushed in annoyance. Her hand flickered and the light faded slowly, her wound healed up nicely. Sitting up didn't hurt anymore. Now, though, she needed to change; and maybe shower.
"Well, I'm sure they all think you've kidnapped me by now," she grumbled, swinging her legs to the floor and standing. A sense of vertigo hit her and she swayed on the spot. The fox demon was immediately at her side, fussing needlessly and petting her tangled dark hair.
"You need to be more careful, Kagome! You just lost a good amount of blood!" he hissed, baring fangs at her in a show of agitation.
"What I need is a shower and some sleep," the priestess mumbled, pushing the red head aside gently and stumbling to her bath room. Without needing the light, Kagome flipped on the faucet easily and switched it to shower mode. Within a minute or two steam began to issue from the tub and she pulled her bloody clothes off, not really caring if Shippo saw her or not. She'd bathed with him enough times when he was little that it didn't really bother her anymore. Not to mention all the times he'd patched her up from injuries over the last two years.
"Your always push yourself too much, nee-chan," the fox huffed, waltzing into the room when he was sure she had stepped into the shower, "What happened this time?"
"Shadow demons. They were brothers and they were out for revenge. You know how hard it is to pinpoint those kinds," Kagome replied, clipping her sentences short and knowing that Shippo understood the annoyance of that particular type of demon. Shippo whistled and leaned against the sink, watching the silhouete of Kagome go through the motions of washing her hair.
"And you just took out two of them?"
"Three. I got a hold of one a few weeks before these guys and they came after me to avenge their sibling," the priestess sighed, fingering hre conditioner bottle and not feeling the hot water cascading down her back, "I can understand why they were so upset."
"Kagome, you can't relate to every sould that's lost a part of their family. Not everyone is quite as justified for revenge as you are," the red head countered, knowing exactly where the dark haired human's train of thought was heading. He watched her carefully consider his words, slowly working the cream rinse through her hair and washing it out methodically a few minutes later.
"Good. And, just so you know, I'm here to help you any way I can," he continued, keeping his voice deliberately light.
"That's what family's for, nee-chan," Shippo responded, adding a real fondness to the last word.
He'd never wanted to kill more than the moment he'd watched the fox demon whisk his Kagome away in a flurry of fire. He'd been so close; she was right there! And yet, she'd slipped from his fingers once again!
'If that was her, then what about that unnamed grave marker?' the ancestor thought, gritting his teeth and storming into his room. He froze, though, when a scent he could easily recognize in his dreams tickled his nose. Kagome had been in here. In his room! Licking his lips in response to the overwhelming hunger that suddenly surged, Kaname took note of his belongings. Nothing seemed out of place.
Striding over to the chess board, he picked up the white king, twirled it around in his fingers deftly, then replaced it, only to take up the white bishop nearest the king. He paid no attention to the queen; instead, he carefully eyed the bishop in his hands, then smirked.
"You seem to have slipped from my fingers again, my elusive little priestess," the vampire muttered absently, caressing the bishop in a possesive way before setting it down next to the king. Turning away, he pulled open the heavy curtain and watched the slowly brightening sky as dawn approached. It was time to sleep, but his mind was too full of possibilities to even remotely consider laying down.
'When I see that fool of a fox again, I'm going to enjoy ripping him to shreds!' Kaname thought, gripping the curtain and hissing angrily as the sun barely peeked over the horizen. Snapping the curtain shut plunged his room into darkness, and he walked away towards his bed, the red not fading from his eyes until long after morning had come.
It was several days later that she'd gotten wind early on that Ichijou had decided to end his family line. How Shippo had been able to come across that kind of information, the priestess didn't want to know. So, while the fighting that she was sure was going on took place at the school, she was off on a quest of her own to try and rescue poor Takuma. All that mattered to her was that she couldn't let her friend take his life like that!
Kagome dashed up the steps to the top floor of the Ichijou home, her heart already in her throat. The fighting had apparently stopped, and she could only feel one aura at this point.
'Please! Please don't let Takuma be dead!' she prayed hard. She couldn't lose the blonde vampire right now. not when he was such an important person to her. Rounding the corner, she was hit by a wave of malevolent darkness. Another vampire had entered the scene. And the priestess had no idea who it was.
'Great. So I'm going in there blind,' she thought sourly, gripping her sword anxiously and creeping towards the ajar door at the end. Vaguely, she heard a voice, but the blood rushing in her ears prevented her from actually hearing what was being said. It sounded like... a woman. And it sounded like she was talking to Ichijou.
When Kagome slipped into the room, and finally registered what the incredibly beautiful vampire was saying, she saw red. That woman was trying to take her friend away for her own nefarious purposes. Clamping down on her aura and scent, the priestess snuck up on her and flipped her sword against her throat.
"Touch him, and I don't care if you're a Pureblood; I'll kill you," Kagome hissed, glaring angrily at the blonde woman's hands that were inches away from Ichijou's head.
"Well, I'm sure, as a human, you wouldn't mind that I borrow him?" she answered in a lilting voice that, had she not known better, would be sweet and musical. The priestess steeled herself to vampire charms and pressed her blade a little closer to the woman's neck, drawing a thin line of blood.
"You... Leave him alone. He's not a toy or a playmate that you can just pick up and take home! He's a person, and he should be treated as such!"
She laughed; actually laughed in the dark haired girl's face!
"You're so amusing! I've never come across such a pretty human that had such cute things to say!" the woman smiled. Kagome suppressed the urge to shudder. Her smile... it reminded her of the fake ones that Naraku used to use to trick everyone into thinking he was the good guy. She did not like this woman.
"Stand, vampire!" the priestess bit out, twitching her blade in warning. The blonde woman rose gracefully and said not a word. "Now, name!"
"Sara Shirabuki, little pet," she responed, smiling gently at the younger girl. Kagome snorted and and dropped her blade, only to stop at the vampire's heart.
"Back away, Sara Shirabuki, and I will spare you." Sara tilted her head quizzically and smirked, not believing the little human in front of her. But, she decided to indulge her and backed away several paces. Her serene gaze flickered in surprise, then, when the other girl called up a strong barrier. Reaching out, she tried to push against it... and was immediately rebuffed, pure sparkling engergy crackling around her fingers and searing the flesh on her hand. Sara pulled back, dropping her charred hand. This girl... was not an ordinary human.
"What are you, human?" she asked, her petulance and high standing demanding an answer. By this time, Kagome had gathered up Ichijou and had pushed open the second story window. Calling out to Hachi, she smiled triumphantly back at Sara's black look.
"I'm a priestess, Pureblood, and if I catch you ever trying to involve Takuma in your plans, I'll kill you." With that said, the human girl and the Ichijou heir dropped out of sight, landing on Hachi's transformed back and floating away quickly. But not before they heard Sara shriek loudly in fury and defeat.
"Feels good to one-up that bitch," Kagome sighed, cradling Ichijou's head in her lap and trying to get him to wake up after feeling a weak pulse in his wrist.
"Lady Kagome, you are excellent at making enemies," Hachi sighed, inwardly shaking his head since he couldn't do it outwardly without dislodging his cargo.
He was sure he'd died. The injuries Ichio had inflicted on him were deep. Not even someone as prestigious as himself would live after the fight they'd gone through.
'At least I know that I died for an admirable reason,' the Ichijou heir thought, slipping in and out of feeling very light and heavy. He hurt everywhere. Was he slowly bleeding out? Was that why it was taking so long?
'Please... just let it end.'
"-akuma!" Now, he was sure he was dead. Otherwise, he wouldn't be able to hear her voice. She sounded... sad. And upset.
'Don't be sad, Kagome. I did the right thing. Maybe someday, I'll get to see you when you cross over into the afterlife.'
'Her voice is so sweet.' Ichijou sighed inwardly, turning his head and feeling something soft and silky beneath his cheek. He could almost smell her now. It was mind-numbingly delicious.
"Takuma? You're drooling on my leg." Wait. Kagome would never have said that in the afterlife to him! Blinking heavily, he opened his eyes. Her pretty face swam in front of him, looking very concerned.
"Ka-Kagome?" Her face lit up and she gave him a mega-watt smile. He thought he'd explode from happiness.
"Oh good! You're awake! I was so worried!" He opened his mouth to reply...
And every single injury he'd gotten came back full force. Instead of words, he let loose a strangled groan that made him sound absolutely pathetic.
Dear Lord above, he felt awful!
"Don't move! You're badly injured!" Oh he knew that. It was part of the reason why he almost passed out again from the sheer pain alone. Only her blue eyes, so full of concern, kept him from tipping into the oblivion of unconsciousness. For a few moments, he laid there, simply trying to push the pain away and basking in the warm glow of her scent.
"Where... What happened?"
"I came and got you at your house," Kagome replied, a suddenly black look crossing her features. In that brief second, she looked terrifying. "It's a good thing I did too; otherwise you'd be under the control of that crazy woman!"
"... What crazy woman?"
"I don't know anything about her," she responded sheepishly, "All I know is that her name was Sara Shirabuki, and she was trying to take you for herself while you were hurt." Ichijou sucked in a breath in shock. Sara...
"Did... Did she do anything to you?" he asked, glancing at what he could see of the priestess. She shook her head, and he breathed a sigh of relief. "Good. Now... What are we flying on?" Indeed, he'd just noticed that they were moving in the sky, which was a strange sensation for him. Kagome smiled happily again and patted the object fondly.
"This is Hachigan! He's a racoon demon and can transform to carry things... and people," Kagome explained before leaning over and smiling widely, "How are you doing, Hachi? Are we too heavy for you?"
"Not at all, Lady Kagome!" came the rumbling voice from beneath, making Ichijou swallow his scream in shock.
"Well, just let me know, and we'll get you somewhere to rest!"
"Very well, milady!" She sat back up, the bright smile still on her face.
"See! Hachi's really nice. I like him a lot! He was also a good friend of Miroku's," she explained, playing with his hair absently to try and soothe the panic she could feel building in the young vampire.
"I..." he finally swallowed, the initial urge to jump fading slowly, "I see. That's good then... that you have someone like him to rely on." She nodded happily, then wrapped an arm around him.
"Okay, let's get you to try and sit up." With a little work, they managed, and Ichijou clamped down on the urge to groan in pain again when his exercise pulled at his injuries. Panting in exertion, he watched her through glazed eyes as she began to treat him by cleaning and wrapping his injuries. When she was done, the concerned furrow between her brows was still there.
"You're still pretty bad off. Is there anything else I can do to take the edge off?"
"Blood... would probably help," he muttered before he could stop himself. He gulped, beating himself up inside at the stupid suggestion. Of course he'd never take her blood! Not even if she-
"Okay. Do you think mine will help?"
-offered... Oh. Hell.
"I'm not taking your blood, Kagome!" he snapped, backing away from her when she glared at him.
"You just said blood would help! I've got plenty, not to mention my blood even has healing properties!" the priestess snapped, pushing one of her volumous sleeves up and baring her pale arm, "So just take it!"
"Absolutely not! I'm not taking your blood!" Ichijou hissed, the overwhelming desire to want to do what he shouldn't making him irritated and antsy. She gave him a hurt look and moved away from him.
"Fine... You don't want it, then don't take it," she huffed, palming a dagger in her other hand and waiting for the opportune moment. The moment he relaxed, she sliced the blade across her arm, the squelching noise not really bothering her. Blood dripped morbidly off of her and she took on a vaguely shocked expression.
"Oops! Looks like I goofed!" she deadpanned, shaking her arm just slightly to make more drip off her. Hachi squirmed underneath her and she felt bad about getting him dirty. "Sorry, Hachi. I slipped and cut my arm wide open!" Grinning at Ichijou, whom had gone from slightly flushed to paper white in about two heartbeats, she brandished her injured arm at him and spoke.
"I guess there's no point in wasting it! Here! I'm bleeding! You should help youself, Takuma!" She said it with such a bright cheerfulness, that Ichijou immediately wanted to smack her for being so careless... and reckless.
"This... This is so wrong!" he whined, hoping that she would take his refusal seriously. She didn't seem to care since she stuck her bleeding limb right under his nose.
"Don't be so picky and just take it!" He snatched her wrist, dragging her closer and snuffed her injury, dark green eyes bleeding red. Kagome closed her mouth, suddenly realizing what she'd been doing the whole time. It was like baiting Sesshomaru with a challenge of any type; extremely dangerous.
"... You have to tell me if I hurt you, or if you get dizzy," Ichijou growled, fangs lengthening in instict. He licked her arm, dragging his tongue across her injury and shuddering in desire. She tasted sweet. One tiny taste and he was already addicted. A red haze descended over his senses and he watched her carefully through hooded lids as she nodded, her face flushed.
"O... Okay. I'll let you know when I get dizzy," she responded faintly, eyeing his mouth with just a little trepadition. What the hell had she just gotten herself into?
"If I hurt you!"
"... You won't hurt me, Takuma. I trust you!" Kagome replied, smiling nervously and hoping it wouldn't hurt if, no when, he bit her. Her softly spoken words made him glance up, a shred of humanity entering his mind.
"I don't want this to jepordize... us," he admitted quietly, cradling her arm to him gently. Her blue eyes, which had been full of wariness, flickered and warmed. She smiled for real then.
"It won't, Takuma." It seemed to be all the convincing he needed because he pulled her arm close again and began to languidly clean the blood off of her arm with his tongue. Around her cut, down her wrist, her palm. His mouth wreaked havoc on her senses when he slipped one of her blood-coated fingers in his mouth and began to swirl it around with his tongue. Kagome's face was bright red and she was having a lot of trouble breathing all of a sudden.
"I'm... I'm okay, Hachi. It's fine. He's... He's-eep!" Her hand twitched involuntarily when one of his fangs scraped her palm delicately. Ichijou continued on, licking a path up her wrist and almost biting her just for the hell of it. He waited though, and worked his way back up to her sluggishly bleeding injury, mindful to clean every inch of her pale skin that had been tarnished by the dark red color. His tongue agitated her wound, breaking it back open and letting the blood drip little by little into his mouth. The vampire shuddered again. It was perfect... and yet.
'I want more...' he thought absently, licking her arm and suddenly driving his fangs into a spot just above her cut. She gasped, jerking in shock, but with the tight grip on her wrist, the priestess wasn't able to move back very much. Watching Ichijou's red eyes flicker at the taste of her blood, Kagome realized she might have taken a little too much stock into her friend's ability to control the beast raging inside him just under the surface.
Ichijou carefully began to track Kagome's pulse with his thumb resting against her wrist, and when it started to slow down a few minutes later, he ripped himself away from her arm, taking deep breaths to get the beast back under lock and key. Absently, he dragged his tongue across the puncture wounds in her arm, sealing them up and snagging the last droplets that fell from her.
"... Are... you... okay?" he asked, taking in lungfuls of air and beginning to back away from the priestess. She nodded and unglued her tongue from the roof of her mouth.
"I'm fine! It doesn't even hurt!" she lied, swinging her arm around like she hadn't just had someone take a bite out of her. Ichijou chuckled quietly and let himself slump into her, resting his forehead on her shoulder. She was immediately buzzing with questions, asking if he was all right and wondering if her blood was trying to purify him. He hadn't taken the magic in her into account at all, and the queasy burning feeling in his chest was slowly moving to his stomach.
"It's fine. It feels... a little like heartburn and an upset stomach," he admitted, sheepishly raising his head to smile self-mockingly at her. She blinked in confusion, then laughed gently.
"Awww! Is the poor vampire all sick?" she cooed, rubbing his hair in a childish way. He groaned audibly and slumped back into her.
"Takuma! What's wrong!"
"Upset stomach," he managed to spit out before curling into her to let her baby him.
'I'm never taking her blood again! Not unless I have Tums nearby!'
When they landed, Kagome immediately began taking stock of her surroundings. Off in the distance, towards the school, she could feel the Night Class. It appeared that there were other vampires on the property that were trying to take the Day Class students as meals. She almost decided to check on them first, but the dark wave of an aura she instantly recognized had her turning in another direction. Another, much blacker feeling came from a second aura a few seconds later that had her almost letting her knees buckle in fear. Rido was that way.
"Kaname..." she whispered, gripping the hilt of her sword as she analyzed the emotions in that dark aura. He was angry, that was for sure, and upset. Not to mention... afraid?
"Something's going on over there," the priestess muttered, glancing at Ichijou and a now re-transformed Hachi as they sidled up to her, " I need to get there. If I can calm him down, we'll have a much better chance at defeating Rido than individually. I know I can't take him alone." With that said, and a grim smiled thrown over her shoulder, she took a couple of steps in the direction of the two Kurans.
Ichijou grabbed her elbow and stopped her from leaving. Turning back Kagome started to insist he let her go.
"Takuma! I've got to go! They're-!"
Pulling her back to him, the blonde lowered his head and kissed her. The priestess remained stock still in shock, and it gave him the opportunity to wrap one arm around her waist and bury the other in her long dark hair. He gently scraped a fang across her lower lip and she gasped loudly, allowing him to delve his tongue in her mouth to taste her more fully. Her hands, which were resting on his shoulders, tremored delicately as he assaulted her senses. She tasted as mouth-watering as her blood had.
'Why... What?' There was little she could do. Despite being injured, Ichijou was still stronger than her by quite a bit. Her eyes drooped to half-mast, little sparks dancing along her spine. Even though he still tasted faintly like her blood, for some reason, she didn't really mind it. He took advantage of her stupified state to infuse all the pent up passion he'd kept inside for the little human.
'I... What do I do?' The blonde vampire solved her dilema by breaking contact, breathing heavily. She then realized that her cheeks were warm and she was breathless too.
'She tastes so sweet. Aidou's right. Forbidden is definitely better tasting; even if it is bad for your health,' the blonde thought, watching the priestess through half-lidded dark green eyes as she gazed up at him with flushed cheeks and messy hair. He lowered his head and licked her bottom lip out of sheer instinct. Damn, he just couldn't get enough of her!
"Taku-! Why did you-!"
"Because... You don't have to pick him," Ichijou muttered, averting his eyes when her expressive blue eyes shifted from confused to helpless, "You have... other options. Kaname's not the only one that cares deeply about you."
"I... " Kagome was at a loss for words. How could she hurt him so badly just by being the one she wouldn't choose. She lowered her head, tears brimming in the corners of her eyes. For the first time in two years, she'd never been so close to just letting loose and bawling her eyes out. "... I'm sorry."
Ichijou sighed, running a hand through his hair guiltily before hugging the distraught human girl. "Shh! It's okay. It's not the end of the world if you don't choose me, Kagome," tilting her chin up and wiping away the almost tears, he continued, "I want you to be happy. And if it's not with me... well... I'm okay just being friends." Even if he was lying through his teeth. Even if his heart ached just to say those words. Even if he wanted to cringe and snatch her away right now.
He would give the Pureblood a chance to make her happy. But if he screwed up...
'I suppose this makes me a terrible friend. I'm plotting to steal his intended away if he makes her upset.' Inwardly, he laughed. His life was going to be so messed up now.
"I... Thank you, Takuma. You're a good person," Kagome replied, hugging him gently and being mindful of his injuries.
"L-Lady Kagome! You must hurry! The battle-!"
"I know, Hachi." Turning to Miroku's old friend, she pulled the raccoon in for a hug then darted off quickly, "Thank you for your help! Take care of Takuma while I'm gone, okay?"
"Will do, Milady!" Hachi waved, then turned viscious eyes onto the vampire. Ichijou gulped, sure he was in for hell.
"You... Don't make her life any harder, you fool! Lady Kagome has been through more than you can posisbly imagine!" the raccoon snarled, growling angrily at the cowed blonde.
"I know that. She told me everything about herself," Ichijou retorted, narrowing hard green eyes at the shapeshifter.
"Really. She told you everything." It wasn't a question. It even sounded as though the small raccoon didn't believe him.
"I know that she's the guardian of the Shikon no Tama. I know that Rido Kuran killed her family to try and resurrect the jewel from it's dormant state. I even know that she met my ancestor and Kaname 500 years ago because she could travel through a rip in time." Hachi seemed very surprised about the amount of information he had on his beloved priestess, but then he smirked slyly and pinned Ichijou with a look.
"She obviously didn't tell you the whole truth as far as her family was concerned," the old raccoon countered, waving a hand in dismissal when the blonde blinked and looked interested, "but it's not your place to know, really. Family only and all."
Hachi gulped when Ichijou's shadow loomed over him, killing intent rolling off of him in waves. "Tell me what he did."
"Rido Kuran... He... " the raccoon swallowed and finally gave in when the blonde began to inch his sword out of its sheath, "He killed her too! Lord Sesshomaru barely managed to bring her back and though he sees her as a sister, she's sworn vengence on that Pureblood!"
Ichijou sat back in shock, the color draining from his face. "He killed... Kagome?"
And then the rest of what the racoon said caught up to him. "She's affiliated with THE Lord Sesshomaru? The same Sesshomaru who's the current ruling Lord of the West?"
"... What other Lord Sesshomaru do you know?" Hachi asked, looking slightly confused. Ichijou moaned and sank to the floor. He was in love with a girl that was apparenly Lord Sesshomaru's sister. He was doomed, he just knew it.
'No, Kaname's doomed. There's no way a stubborn dog like that one would willingly give up someone as sweet and powerful as Kagome!' the blonde thought, raising his head to watch the moon sink lower, '... I don't envy you at all, Kaname.'
After gathering Kirara from the hospital room she'd been staying in, Kagome quickly accessed the skies and turned to the small feline.
"What do you say, Kirara? Are you up for a fight?" The kitten "mewed" and transformed in a flurry of fire. Grinning in anticipation, the priestess opened the window and let the larger cat out. Reaching behind her, she gripped her sword and hauled herself outside, then slipped onto the demon's back. Between one heartbeat and the next, they were airborne, soaring in the night sky. Kagome let loose the urge to laugh and it came out loud and clear. Finally leaning into Kirara's furry neck, she whispered something in the feline's ear and held on tight. Kirara let out a battle cry and zoomed across the sky to their destination.
Tracking auras had always come easily to her once the barrier to her powers had collapsed with Magatsuhi's defeat. She could distinctly remember the dark slimy feeling of Rido's aura, not to mention the simmering fire laying just beneath Kaname's aura. It was a touch that was slightly different than when she'd known him back in the past. Then again, he'd probably been furious at Shippo for whisking her away while injured. She definitely remembered the careful way he always used to handle her, not to mention the fierce protectiveness his dark aura had exuded when Naraku had tried to absconed her from his grasp. Flushing in embarrassment, she shook her head roughly and refocused on the different auras sifting through her radar. She recognized Zero's, Rido's, and Kaname's. They were lumped together, obviously fighting. But... there was another small bright aura leaking through the males' energies. One that she was sure she was supposed to recog-
"Yuuki," Kagome breathed, sucking in a breath in shock. Her young friend's light energy was closest to Rido, though, which meant... The priestess snarled in fury, unconsciously urging Kirara to fly faster. "That bastard... He took Yuuki as a hostage!" Gripping the blade she'd sheathed over her hip, she wrenched it out and snapped her sharp gaze around the area. She was almost there and she definitely wanted to get the drop on Rido.
'Literally,' the dark haired girl mused inwardly, smirking sharply when she finally spotted the four. Kaname and Zero seemed frozen, unwilling and unable to attack the other Pureblood due to the fact that he was currently using the Day Class girl as a shield. Sharpening her hearing, she listened to what the vampire was droning on about. When she caught the words "niece", "nephew", and "Juuri", Kagome sat back for a moment, confused. Her expression cleared an instant later when she put the pieces together, and glanced from Kaname to Yuuki rapidly.
'They're related! Of course! How did I not see it! They're siblings!' she thought, furrowing her brow in confusion a second later, 'Shouldn't that make Yuuki a vampire? And a Pureblood, at that?' But that made no sense! Yuuki was clearly human! Unless-
"Unless something happened and someone locked away her vampire side," Kagome muttered, narrowing her eyes sharply. Oh, this was bad. She needed to get down there. Now. If her uncle turned her...
"Sorry, Kirara. I'm taking the jump," the priestess apologized to her old friend, sliding off the fire-cat's back and descending like a fallen angel on Rido and Yuuki, sword held high and expression fierce.
Yuuki winced when Rido, her "Uncle" apparently, cackled wickedly at Kaname and Zero. The former was absolutely furious with himself for letting his sister fall into the wrong hands, and the latter was white-faced with anguish and determination. As soon as they could, they'd happily rip Rido's manical head off.
"This will be quite the treat. I'll have my bride, and I'll do away with the rest of you," the older Pureblood hissed, tightening his hands around Yuuki's arms and leaning over her neck, "My precious Juuri. I've waited for this for so long."
The Day Class girl shook visibly in terror. The bad vampire was going to eat her! And, this time, Kaname couldn't save her! Meeting the other Pureblood's gaze, she gave him a trembling smile as tears leaked out of her brown eyes.
"I'm glad... that I got to know you were my brother, Kaname. I'm sorry we couldn't spend more time together," she whispered, flinching when Rido licked her neck.
"Finally mine," the Kuran whispered, opening his mouth and exposing elongated fangs.
"NOT ON MY WATCH, PAL!" a voice above him screamed, and the vampire barely had time to jerk his head back before a silver sword swung down between him and Yuuki. His hands weren't quite fast enough, and were severed at the wrists. He shrieked in fury and stumbled away, glancing up and meeting blazing blue eyes as Yuuki's rescuer pushed the girl away and swung at him again. He was caught in the chest and a deep cut appeared, dripping blood morbidly. Screaming again, this time in pain, the Pureblood stepped away several more feet. The woman that was now standing between his soon-to-be bride brandished her sword, long inky hair flowing around her in an unseen wind and blue eyes crackling with angry pink energy. Her pale skin literally glowed an iridescent rainbow of colors, the scent of purity singeing his nostrils.
Who the hell was this girl?
Kagome swung down, separating the vampire from her young friend and feeling the blade slice through his wrists. Smirking darkly, she landed facing Yuuki, pushing the girl gently in Zero's direction and turning to deliver another blow to Rido. a Long cut appeared across the Pureblood's chest and he cried out, knowing the purification in the blade would prevent the wound from healing easily.
All in all, the manuevers took less than a few second to execute, and she felt very proud of herself for inflicting damage on two different elite vampires tonight. Lifting her sword, she grasped the hilt in both hands and sneered at the injured Kuran.
"It's over, Rido Kuran. After two years of waiting for you to resurface, I will exact my revenge against you for my family," the priestess stated lowly, energy crackling into the sword and purifying the blood off of the blade. Rido recovered and rose to his full height, snarling angrily at her in contempt.
"I care not about your revenge, human! What I want is my bride!"
"Well, too bad! She doesn't want you!" she snapped back, glancing back at a terrified Yuuki, "Do you, Yuuki?" The brunette quickly shook her head, tears whipping off her face in response to the jerky movement. Kagome smiled and reached over to pat the girl on top of the head. "Didn't think so. I'd say the exact same thing if I knew a nut job like him!"
In the moment of distraction, Rido disappeared off of her senses and she swung around. Claws caught her right shoulder, ripping a new wound into the tender flesh, and Kagome grit her teeth to keep from screaming in pain. Why did they have to rough her up?
"Bastard!" Zero shouted, aiming and firing a shot from his Bloody Rose. The bullet pinged and went straight through Rido's left shoulder, but too high to hit his heart. The vampire howled in agony and flinched away. In his moment of weakness, Kaname apeared instantly behind him, a blood-formed deadly scythe swinging in terrible accuracy. Rido's head left his shoulders and flopped to the ground. In the next heartbeat, the body dissolved and the head disappeared, bloody strings flowing around the four fighters. Kagome winced and grabbed her shoulder.
"Damn bastard!" she hissed, backing up and protecting Yuuki's front while Zero took one side and Kaname took the other. "he is so dead... as soon as I figure out where the hell he is!"
"You're always getting injured, Kagome," Zero sighed, cocking his gun and letting his senses out. Kaname said nothing, still in a bit of a shock. Was this really his Kagome? Blood didn't lie, though, and the girl next to him was definitely bleeding the same blood. She was so... different. And yet, glancing at her briefly before re-training his senses back on Rido, she was the same.
"... Take Yuuki, Zero, and get out of here," the priestess responded quietly, glancing at something that flickered to her right. She let a breath out. It was only Kirara, "Kirara can go with you, but get her out of here." When the silver-haired boy looked like he would protest, their conversation was cut off when Rido appeared behind Yuuki, reaching out newly regenerated hands to snatch her away again. Kagome acted fast, switching spots with the Day Class girl and ramming her sword right into the vampire's gut. He shrieked in failure and pain again, and swiped at her with a bloody clawed hand. Kagome leaned back, wincing when he cut a shallow gash across her cheek. Yuuki and Zero veered away from the fight while Kaname flipped around and aimed at Rido's heart. He stopped short though, when the other vampire's control wouldn't let him give the finishing blow. Gritting his teeth, he changed course abruptly and sliced off the arm that had reached out to Yuuki in desperation.
"Go now, Zero! We can hold him!" Finally nodding in consent, the vampire hunter grabbed his girlfriend's hand and started to drag her away. "Yuuki!" The brunette turned to her, confusion on her face, "Throw me Artemis!" Without thinking, the younger girl flipped the hunter rod out and tossed it to Kagome. She caught it with one hand while wrenching her blade out of the struggling vampire, springing away when he hissed in anger and launched a wave of pure darkness at her. Caught off guard, the priestess was thrown several feet and rolled to a stop on the ground, groaning painfully as her sword stabbed into the ground somewhere near her. That had not been fun for her injured shoulder. But... this gave her an excellent idea.
"Kaname!" she shouted, lobbing the Artemis rod at the younger vampire and hoping beyond hope that she hadn't just made a stupid mistake. He caught it, the weapon sparking and shock him, before seeming to recognize him and transforming. Instead of a silvery-white rod, the handle turned a dark steely color, the blade of a scythe growing out of one end. The crackling energy surrounded the new weapon and Kagome watched in awe as the other Pureblood flipped the scythe and cut straight through Rido's defenses. With a hunter weapon being used, there was little Rido could do but retreat.
The priestess, however, had another thought in mind and whipped up her hand, surrounding the escaping vampire in a dome of pink energy. That would keep him busy for a few moments. Kaname blinked, stepping away from the barrier and turning to go to the human girl staggering to her feet. Now that his "Uncle" was somewhat contained, he could investigate this priestess that looked, smelled, sounded like, and felt like his Kagome.
Kagome rose to her feet and prepared to go after Rido, but stopped, panting for air and carefully watching as Kaname approached her.
"It's... really you. You're alive," he whispered, stopping in front of her and reaching out a shaking hand to touch her hair. "You... But that marker-!"
"What marker?" Rido smashed his power through the barrier holding him, easily shredding the defense. Turning to see the two occupied fighters, he rose to his full height and prepared to obliterate them.
"The one next to your brother's grave. It's-!"
"You... went and saw them?" she gulped, turning her head in guilt and shame. It was yet another reminder of how she'd failed them.
"Yes. They were like a family to me. But that... marker," he got back onto topic, "I thought it was... yours."
"That... Kaname, that's Buyo's grave," the priestess deadpanned. At the slightly lost look on his inhuman face, she explained further, "The cat?"
The vampire blinked. "...Oh. I see." And somwhere in his heart, he was all kinds of relieved. He'd thought he was going insane talking to her right here. Seeing her after so damn long!
"Yeah... If I'd known that you were the boy from my past, I would have said something. But... then I forgot about you after I met the you in the far past," she explained quietly, stumbling slightly when he pulled her roughly to him in a fierce hug, "It's because you're a vampire. You made me forget all about vampires, so that means I never remembered you when we were kids."
Kaname sighed gently and tightened his hold on her. This time, she wouldn't be allowed to escape. "I suppose I hindered myself. Had I known that I would see you again, I wouldn't have made the spell quite so powerful."
"You... You were trying to protect me, Kaname," the priestess replied, leaning back to really see him again, "... Thank you." Then she smacked him harshly on the arm, adding a little purification to zap him. The former ancestor flinched and gave her a hurt look as he stepped back.
"But let me give you some great advice, Vampire King Kaname," the priestess growled, grabbing the lapel of his jacket and yanking him down to her level. His eyes widened in shock. He was surprised at the show of strength. He knew, for a fact, that humans were not that strong. "The next time you decide I should have my memories modified for my safety, do us all a favor and Don't. Do. It!"
Letting him go, she stepped around him and pulled up a barrier when Rido tried to throw a wave of pure force at them. The attack slid off and the bright pink light flickered and faded. "It took a lot of Takuma's time and help to bring them back."
"... I should have known a descendant of Takeru's would do that."
"Well, get over it," the priestess grit her teeth and yanked her sword from the ground. It glowed briefly, purifying the blood from its blade, before resuming its natural sheen. Rido's mismatched eyes widened in shock before he turned and fled. In the direction that Zero and Yuuki had gone with Kirara.
"We need to catch him before he tries to turn Yuuki again," she said, narrowing her eyes sharply as she followed the bats hanging in the air. They disappeared far too quickly from her sight for her comfort.
"Belonged to the priestess Midoriko. She gave it to me when I purified the Shikon no Tama," she interrupted, swinging it experimentally and wincing when it pulled at her shoulder wound. Blood dripped down her arm morbidly, but she paid it no mind. Kaname wasn't so lucky. He couldn't stop staring at the reddening spot on her back; the crimson color pattering quietly on the ground. Somewhere in his head, where he was still processing information, he filed away the words she told him. Shikon no Tama? If that was true, then Kagome was a lot stronger than she'd ever let on.
"I didn't want to have to use it, but it looks like I'm going to have to." Stepping away from the shade of the trees, she trudged down the lawn quickly and never once looked back. Kaname quickly pursued her, throat dry and eyes red. Her blood smelled... absolutely mouth-watering. There was no way he would be able to resist her if she kept that up.
"Wait!" He grabbed her uninjured arm and swung her around, "You need to... take care of that. You'll bleed to death."
Kagome smiled genially at him and shook her head, "I've got a lot to tell you. When all of this is over, we'll sit down and have a nice long heart-to-heart, Kaname. I won't die that easily. At least, not anymore."
Kaname sighed and looked her over; really looked her over. "You've... changed."
"I had to," she replied quietly, avoiding his crimson gaze, "A lot of things happened. There was no way I'd be able to stay the same."
"I know. You're stronger than the last time I really saw you." He gently brushed a few strands of her long dark hair away from her pale face, "I'm glad. It means you're better able to protect yourself."
And then he kissed her. She tasted just as sweet as the last time he'd done so; back when they were but kids. The priestess seemed surprised, and she grabbed his shoulders to support herself, dropping her sword in the process; but she didn't back away. Didn't want to.
He took that as a good sign. Careful of his fangs, he assaulted her senses in a dizzying display of passion that left her breathless and wanting more when they parted.
"Why did you-!"
"It took me five hundred years to do that. I'm not taking it back!" he hissed, the dark look in his crimson eyes daring her to argue. She gulped and shook her head. Why was it that nearly every vampire she was coming into contact with tonight wanted to kiss her? Sighing in triumph, he slid his hands into her long hair and kissed her again. This time, he was so gentle it almost made her cry. She didn't really understand why he wanted her, of all people, but if they could put away eachother's loneliness, then maybe things would turn out okay. It was a feeling that not even Ichijou had been able to invoke in her. There had been sparks when the blonde had kissed her, sure, but the all consuming fire?
Her cell phone buzzed, and she ripped herself away from him with a snarl. Snatching the device, she noted the name on the front and flipped it open angrily. He, in turn, leaned back in and licked her injured cheek, not only to taste the fine blood, but to close up the injury with his saliva.
"What could you possibly want with me right now?" Kagome hissed, turning to pace away from the very handsome vampire that was probably on the verge of having a little sexy time with her. Damn, but she hated her life sometimes.
"Stop playing tonsil hockey with the vampire and hurry up! The humans aren't going to protect theirselves," Shippo's voice teased brazenly. She'd never wanted the throttle the fox more than she did right now.
"... When's the last time I tested my purification abilities on you, Shippo-darling?" the priestess countered in a tone so sweet, it had even Kaname's teeth on edge. She was certainly capable of backing that statement up. He was sure of it.
"Well, for wanting revenge, you're sure taking your sweet time," Shippo reminded her, completely dousing the internal fire that Kaname had lit. The thought alone made her sick and giddy at the same time. She was so close...
"Rest assured, I have not forgotten about that monster. You don't need to remind me of my promise to myself," she replied, steel lining her voice and an entirely different fire lighting in her blue eyes. She snapped the phone shut before the red-head on the other line could say anything else.
Taking a deep breath and re-centering herself, she turned back to the former king and gave him a razor smile, "I'm okay. We'll... talk about this... about everything later, okay? Right now, I've got a Pureblood to purify."
"Rido... He did something to you," the dark-haired prince hissed lowly, anger boiling visciously inside. She nodded and lifted her sword back up.
"He killed my family. It's my responsibility to make him pay, so that they can rest in peace," Kagome admitted, shrugging nonchalontly and walking past him, "I trust you won't get in my way?"
"Not at all. In fact, I'll be happy to assist in that fool's death," he replied, cracking his knuckles in a reminiscent way of Inuyasha and starting in the direction of his "Uncle's" dark aura. They had a vampire to exterminate. After that, things would fall into their proper places.
And no matter what, there was no way he was going to ever let her go.
A/N: THE END!
You may now decide for yourselves how the two team up and kill Rido in the most vicious ways possible. And later get together and have lots of little half-vampire babies. Or full-blooded, if you decide that he turns her. It's your call.
I hope you all enjoyed the final chapter of The Red Sin! Despite the fact that the brain ninjas absolutely slaughtered me to get this finished, I really had a lot of fun writing this story! This is my first ever completed multi-chaptered story! I am very proud of myself!
You guys have been an amazing crowd! I really appreciate all of your support and your love! I hope I've done some justice by finishing up this story, but honestly, if I delve into this particular crossover anymore, it'll probably be a One-Shot. It was a demon beast to write and keep in character as much as possible. Also, I prefer funny and fun, rather than dark and dramatic.
Then again, I cried myself after I re-read where Kagome chose Kaname in the end rather than Ichijou. I got really attached to Ichijou, actually. It was... sad. So much so that I want to write something Kagome/Ichijou to make up for it. I'm thinking One-Shot guys.
Those final reviews will never fail to make me smile. I hope you feel the same.
Revision (April 22 2011)