A/N: This songfic is set to Nightwish's The Poet & the Pendulum, off their album Dark Passion Play. I own the CD, but not the band nor the lyrics, nor do I own InuYasha and it's various incarnations.
The songwriter's dead
The blade fell upon him
Taking him to the white lands
"InuYasha!" Her arrow sung through the air, pinning the hanyou to the Goshinboku with a muted thunk. Straight through the heart, a perfect shot – an instantly deadly shot, had she not infused the arrow with sealing magics, instead.
"Ki-Kikyou…" He reached toward her, but the magic set in and suspended him – forever – in time.
"The Shikon no Tama." She scowled as she bent to pick it up. "Because of such a thing…" Her village burned. Men were injured attempting to protect the temple. She would die.
Blood trailed down her arm from her wound. 'He should die with me,' part of her thought petulantly, while another part of her sobbed at the thought of his death. Her sealing… an act of mercy? Or perhaps a final act of anger, robbing him of moving forward toward reincarnation?
Even she did not know.
Young Kaede begged for her to seek treatment. It was already too late, and she would not condemn another to her fate.
"Take this," she held out the jewel, "and burn it with my remains."
'I shall take the Shikon no Tama with me to the next world.' The next world… a place InuYasha would never see – thanks to her.
One last perfect verse
Is still the same old song
Oh Christ, how I hate what I have become
"Don't say it… don't say my name!"
Betrayal – freedom – anger! A hatred she reveled in, torn from her well-deserved rest. Stupid hanyou, stupid witch; she wasn't even allowed to die like a normal woman!
Her first move was to kill the witch. "You… dragged me out. I did not intend to wake again."
From behind her, his voice spoke up again. "You're really Kikyou… aren't you?"
Her hatred spiked to the rage she'd felt just before death took her. The betrayal, the embarrassment for being tricked exploded out of her. "Why did you betray me?"
The phantom feeling of claws sinking deep into the flesh she no longer had – his low chuckle as he stomped upon her hand – threatening the village, in order to steep the jewel in bitter, hate-filled blood. Every thought brought another trickle of rage, until it was the only thing fueling her. He clutched her and she grasped for that small bit of woman left…
And came up empty.
"I detested you, at the moment of my death. My soul cannot move beyond that. As long as you live, I cannot rest!"
The girl she would become – had become – somehow pulled her soul back. Kikyou trapped a trace and was startled to find her false body still moving.
"Kikyou's malice is driving that body." Urasue's head began to disintegrate. "That girl who was once a pure miko will become a monster of pure malice."
As Kikyou's anger simmered… she mourned.
My home was there and then
Those meadows of heaven
One with every smiling face
She stared at the young miko, her reincarnation, trapped against the tree. The girl babbled nonsense about InuYasha loving her; Kikyou turned her back on the stupidity.
The hanyou appeared, and Kikyou needled him. "You find me repulsive, don't you." It wasn't a question. "My hatred for you drives me," she reminded him, "and I continue to live in this world wearing the souls of the dead."
"No matter what sort of appearance you have… I don't think I could ever hate you, or be repulsed by you."
This was the opening she needed…
She kissed him.
"Let's stay like this a little longer." She would never get her life back; the young girl she was forcing to watch this was proof. InuYasha, though – he didn't deserve life. That's why she'd sealed him. He deserved suffering. This time, there would be no mistakes!
'I won't let you escape me again,' she though, tightening her arms around the man she once loved. 'Come to Hell with me. We'll go to Hell together!'
As they descended, the girl screamed more about delusions and lies. About trickery and another youkai.
"Even if I could get my revenge, this body wouldn't come back to life!"
The girl screamed, and as though her body agreed – it cracked, soul streaming outward.
InuYasha awoke and saved the girl. "Is that girl more precious to you?" She allowed herself to be carried away… recalling words she'd said to the hanyou once upon a time.
"I cannot show weakness to anyone. I mustn't be indecisive… because youkai would use it against me. Although I am human, I'm not allowed to act human."
She would never be allowed to act human – not as a woman, not as a corpse, not as the walking dead.
Please, no more words
Thoughts from a severed head
No more praise
Tell me once my heart goes right
When once her face was round and cheerful, this face was wrinkled, well older than many elderly people in the region. Truly, time had passed.
"Do you still mean to take InuYasha's life?"
What did her sister care of the hanyou who slew her? Kikyou's anger rose… and then was tempered. Kaede was younger than she, despite her years past Kikyou's death. Perhaps she knew something.
"Tell me, Kaede… tell me everything you know about Naraku."
She would not forgive InuYasha his trespasses… but Kikyou was nothing if not efficient. She could deal with threats on two fronts.
On the shore we sat and hoped
Under the same pale moon
Whose guiding light chose you
Chose you all
"Those insects can't come in." He didn't need to tell her; she could feel them hurt as they hit the barrier, mindlessly carting souls to keep her moving.
She was at Naraku's mercy. Instead of killing her as she expected, he simply questioned her actions regarding the Kodoku.
"And so there you were. You haven't changed much. Have you, Onigumo?" Her sister was correct. The twisted man had become an even more twisted demon. As he explained that she'd be useful… she smiled.
He had no idea.
InuYasha – the fool – fought through the Illusory Death, no doubt blindly led by thoughts of the girl. She put on an air of concern, plucking the jewel from the would-be miko's grasp. "Because she had this thing, Kagome's life was being targeted." She smiled as Kagome visibly seethed. She retreated, clutching her prize, and set the wheels in motion.
"At any rate… more than anyone else, you need to use the Shikon no Tama, don't you?" She goaded his narcissism, hinting that he wasn't enough. But nothing filled her with malicious glee so much as that final jab… "Half-youkai, Naraku."
Having drawn him down, she built him back up. "With this borrowed body I am now in, I feel more alive. Always since I died, my soul has been free of both love and hate." She baited the trap. "When you want to see me, you can send for me."
She left, pleased to have the upper hand.
'When you have the complete Shikon no Tama in your hands, I will send you to Hell!'
He had no idea.
Everyone must bury their own
No pack to bury the heart of stone
Now he's home in Hell, serves him well
Slain by the bell, tolling for his farewell
Kikyou burned. She wondered how skin that was not skin – blood that did not flow – could carry such a sensation through her body.
Kikyou floated. Through her Shikigami, she sensed her reincarnation… her hope for survival. She recalled her actions, and then her days among the living, and decided she would die. She could not expect Kagome to do what she would not.
Protection in return for protection, she summoned InuYasha. First to keep Kagome away from the Other World… when InuYasha would not agree, she sent an arrow.
She had faith.
Rats swarmed, ate through villages in a disgusting display to draw her attention. As far as subtleties go, Naraku is weak, and so are his henchmen. Her Mayose Tree died, but it was enough to help…
She was disgusted.
Kikyou roamed the Earth – growing angrier at Naraku, and unwillingly impressed with InuYasha's efforts to keep the wicked hanyou at bay. Though they didn't work, they were heartfelt…
She met with InuYasha and his friends, informed and was informed.
The shards and the carriers… between them, Kikyou could fight this war on two fronts.
Search for beauty, find your shore
Try to save them all, bleed no more
You have such oceans within
In the end
I will always love you
Kikyou was touched by the strands. She could have fought onward – but the young girl did nothing to deserve Naraku's vicious attacks.
She was dying.
Kagome would carry on. The girl she once hated had proven herself time and time again. Now, with one last test, Kikyou would bequeath a truly formidable weapon to her reincarnation.
She sent Kagome to Mount Azusa, under the guise it would heal her. Kagome's love for InuYasha would be strong enough to overcome the illusions.
She was dying.
Kagome caught on quickly. Kagome shot at the right moment, giving Kikyou one last opportunity to attempt to destroy Naraku.
Her light would linger.
She was dying.
InuYasha cried. She rejoiced – he truly cared. The one thing she had honestly wanted. Memories flickered through her mind as she grew weak.
"Don't hang around here anymore. It's a waste of my arrows."
"InuYasha, you're there, aren't you? Why don't you come out?"
"If you use the Shikon no Tama, you could become human as well."
She passed into the next world… finally, a real woman – thanks to InuYasha.