Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha or Fruits Basket. Now please do enjoy :)
Summary: A single jealous woman was more powerful than the fiercest of enemies she had ever faced….
Vengeance: The Curtain's Rise
She screamed. With all of her heart and soul she bellowed into the night's warm air with as much fury as possible. Sweat and blood stuck to her skin as the breeze came to a stop at her fierce cry. The silver splint of the moon once again took shelter behind midnight's dark clouds. Her hands balled into fists around the torn cloth of her hakamas. No matter how hard she tried the tears wouldn't stop falling. She couldn't stop screaming. The physical pain was nothing compared to the hole that was ripped right through her heart. He was gone. There would be no tomorrow for either of them. Their dreams of the future shattered in a single, terrifying moment.
Branches crunching beneath the weight of heavy-soled feet echoed loudly in the forest surrounding her. A raven colored strand of hair fell from her ear into her face. Let them come. What was left for her in this world? Her cerulean gaze turned up to the veiled sky. Just above her was a small opening in the wispy clouds—two stars rested together. A single tear fell from the corner of her eye down to her chin. The small firefly-like illumination of torches came ever closer into view. Shadowed figures began to creep up along the trees in the darkness. So this would be the end. This would end it all. The echoes ceased and the clearing was brighter than ever.
The dim yellow of the flickering torches lit up the small little opening in the forest. Exposed in this new light was a crystal lake. It's waters placid and still. The flames reflected ominously in its mirror-like surface.
"Here she is! The wench is here!" An unfamiliar voiced called harshly. She refused to look at them. She refused to let them see her pain. It didn't take long to see a pair of sandaled feet step into her line of view. The nails were manicured and distinctly feminine. However the skin at the bottom of said appendage was rough and calloused—like the person had spent a good portion of their life running on their feet. The fist she had made with her hand slowly loosened. The sound of fabric rustling with movement alerted her to the person's sudden attempt to grasp her shoulder. Without fear she slapped the offending limb away. The resounding smack of the flesh meeting left the crowd anxious. They waited with bated breath to see what would be their next action.
"Higurashi Kagome," A familiar feminine voice started, "do you know why you're being punished?" The woman's voice was cold like a steel blade. It cut through her like the weapon it was. The edges of her mouth twitched slightly. Why was she here? Why was he killed? Why was any of this even happening? The realization hit her like a harsh punch to the gut.
"You were jealous." Cerulean gaze met hazel. Both narrowed darkly.
Angry whispers rose from the crowd. They were seething at her arrogance. How dare she challenge her accuser! Instead of cowering under those vicious stares, Kagome stood to her feet. She roughly grabbed the other female by her shoulder. With a quick thrust of her hand, she was thrown to the side. Taken by surprise the woman peeled back a few paces. She regained her footing shortly thereafter. The whispers escalated into screams. Weapons were raised high in the air. Flames from the torches threatened to burn the very trees they were taking shelter under.
The dark haired woman ignored the enraged protests. Instead she slowly made her way across the clearing. She placed one foot slowly yet steadily before the other. Her legs wobbled somewhat. Bruises and wounds littered her body. Making it much more difficult to move. At the center of the clearing, where the lake met the grassy embankment, was the body of her lover. It was no longer the form that he used. Instead he had reverted into the form of the oni. He had been slain in that shape. He had done his best to protect her. Yet now he was dead. The very warmth of his body already dissipated. The wretched screeches of the crowd faded into nothing. Kagome focused solely on reaching him. For what seemed like centuries, she trekked closer and closer. Step by step. Until finally her knees collapsed from beneath her and she was just before him. Pale arms took the oni into their embrace. As the black abyss overtook her consciousness, the only thing Kagome could think about was that, at least for now, they were together again.
It was a particularly warm day. Even with the overcast threatening to pour over the mountainside. The air was light yet sweat still formed over the back of her neck; causing a small chill to run down her spine. A gust of wind swept up some loose leaves in the trees above. In the absence of one leaf, a single red eye glared down at her suspiciously. She started in shock. Kagome watched that eye for a moment. Suddenly she approached it. The being seemed to take this as an aggressive act and immediately backed into the foliage once more-leaving her line of sight. She raised an arm and called out to the person she knew was just beyond the wall of green. The sound of leaves rustling beneath a foot echoed loudly in the quiet forest. The person was still there. Waiting. Watching.
Kagome smiled. She opened the palm of her outstretched arm. "Come on out." The figure stiffened. A tense silence filled the space between them. Then the brush parted just enough for the person to stick their head through. A brilliant orange head of hair was the first thing she noticed. The next was his ruby gaze. Both reminded her a blazing fire. Her smile widened. "It's nice to meet you." She did not ask for his name, nor did she give her own.
The male glanced at her. How odd. He refused to move from his spot behind the foliage—as if preparing to flee should the situation call for it. She motioned for him to stand next to her.
"I won't bite, I promise." There was laughter in her tone. A stark blush spread across his cheeks. This wouldn't last long. He was sure of it. Whatever kindness she was showing him now would disappear just as soon as she had seen him.
A tense silence took presence amongst them. Another gust of wind swept up the loose leaves and swirled them playfully around the pair. She smiled at him.
"Beautiful isn't it?"
The blush on his face darkened. The sun was beginning to fall beneath the tree-cloaked mountaintops. In its wake a crimson monochrome lit up the sky and the earth beneath. The illumination gave the young woman a warm glow about her.
"Yeah." He answered, but his eyes were not trained on the sunset.
"Say," She started. Her crystal gaze lit up in the fire-like light. "Would there happen to be a village nearby?"
The question took him by surprise.
As if sensing his confusion she added, "I've been travelling for a long time now." Her eyes darkened somewhat, "A very long time. I think I just need to find that place to settle into now. You know?" Even through her words he could see something in her eyes that she didn't wish to expose: Regret.
The young man nodded. "Yes. I'll take you most of the way there." Unbeknownst to her, he would never truly be able to take her inside the village. It was his fate never to step foot in that town again. To do so would mean death. She would have to explore that world on her own.
"Thank you." She said gratefully. The blush on his face resurfaced when her small hand took hold of his larger one.
He should've pushed her away. He should've just pointed her on the path away from him. However he was selfish. He wanted to make this moment last for a just a little longer. He wanted to hold onto this stranger for just a little longer. The sun fully set behind the line of trees leaving nothing but the darkness around them.
Before she found out he would leave. He wouldn't let her see the darkness within himself. However for now he would take comfort in her presence. He would bathe in this newfound bond. When the time came, he would cast aside this facade. Just like he always did.
The rest of the way they walked silently; their fingers intertwined tightly.
Tohru ran silently across the village's empty forum. With a cloak to cover her face, she slipped into the back alleys. At the edge of the buildings was a small edifice completely separated from the rest. There was no door visible from the outside. Instead only a window large enough for someone's arm to push through was placed at the front facing the village's center. The young woman gazed sadly into the tiny room. Huddled in the corner was Kagome. Weak and frail from the previous day's events, she resorted to withdrawing into herself. Raven colored hair spilled around her like a cascade of black water. Her face was hidden in her hands. Only the harsh breathing from her wracked body was heard.
"I brought you some onigiri." The small woman smiled gently. She pressed the plate of rice balls into the edifice. Kagome's shoulder twitched in reaction, but nothing more than that. Crystal eyes darkened with sadness. "Kagome-chan, please. You need to eat." Said woman refused to move from her spot. Instead she chose to remain in her world of dreams and memories. At least there she could relive the precious moments she had with him. She wouldn't be forced to face those fearsome monsters that lay in wait just outside this little room. So vengeful. So hateful. So frightful.
"Hey you!" Tohru jumped. The plate slipped from her hand. It hit the hard floor and shattered into hundreds of pieces. The onigiri rolled across the dirt before her face. Kagome stared at it momentarily.
"Sayonara!" Tohru whispered quickly before disappearing back into the night. Her departure went unnoticed. Instead Kagome's gaze was drawn to the innocent onigiri laying before her.
On the back of the rice ball a piece of cod protruded through the sticky grains. It was his favorite. The memories flooded her once more.
"Let's do this again" A grim smile followed that sentiment.
Burying her face into her hands once more: She screamed. This time her voice was more ragged from the beating her body had taken. An act of kindness had become a weapon of torment. All of the pain she had locked away deep within her heart resurfaced. Like the jagged side of a rusted blade, the anguish ripped through her entire being.
"Silence in there!" The guard growled. He smashed his nightstick against the edifice. The action did nothing to cease her wails. Instead her screams grew louder. The sliver of hope she had to see her lover once more was shattered. Left broken on the floor like the offering of onigiri. Now all of their dreams were left to roll across the dirt, never to come to fruition.
"I'll be waiting."
By dawn, the whole village knew of her grief. Not one shed a tear for the now broken girl. Fractured into a being of half-ness. Whatever had held her together was gone. The oni that she loved so much was gone. Her sin could not be forgotten, nor forgiven so easily. It was on that first crisp morning that a decision was made: Her life must come to an end. The priestess who offered herself to the demon must die. That was the only way she could repent her sins.
The name of her lover fell past her lips repeatedly. Almost begging for his return. Alas the dead could not return from the grave. Neither would she…
Kagome wet her parted lips. Many months had passed since they first met out in these woods. Still it seemed as if he were on edge. He would grasp her hand tightly during their moments of bonding. Then the instant she would be forced to let it go, he would quickly retreat back into the darkness of the forest. Her gaze narrowed somewhat. It was as if he were trying to protect her from himself. Her lips twitched at the thought. Perhaps it was time to change that?
"Kyou," She called softly. He shivered at the sultry tone. Beads of perspiration formed on the back of his neck. Did she know what she did to him? A delicate hand touched the space between his shoulder blades. The action left a trail of blazing heat in its wake. His breath shuddered slightly. Her lips pressed lightly against his ear, "I can see it you know." The young man's body stiffened. She couldn't possibly… there was no way she could see that!
"There's no need to fight it." She took the edge of his ear into her mouth, lightly grazing the skin with her teeth. Breathing became harder for him. His tanned face darkened to the same shade as the sky above. "You want it just as badly as I do. So stop restraining yourself."
The image of her writhing beneath him flashed in his mind. He wanted to feel her pressed against him. He wanted to hear his name fall from her lips. It took every fiber of his being to not turn and slam his lips against hers. It took every bit of strength to not claim her as his. He took a shuddering breath. He needed to calm down or else do something they'd both greatly regret.
Kagome's gaze darkened at his new demeanor. He was shutting her out again. Well that was something she wasn't going to stand for. She quickly stepped in front of him. In a swift movement, she pressed herself against him. Without thinking his arms slipped around her waist, pulling her closer. She laid her palm flat against his bare chest. A layer of sweat had begun to form over it.
"You want me," She skimmed her lips over his lightly, "Just as I want you." His ruby eyes bore into her cerulean ones. A small gap still remained between them. Even though he held her tightly against him. Even though she was just mere inches away from him. There was still that void. That darkness that would always separate them. One of his hands slid up her back to tangle itself in her raven hair. Without hesitation he closed the physical gap between them. Sealing the distance with a searing kiss. Crimson eyes watched passionately as her face drifted into an expression of bliss. They needed this. They needed this so desperately, yet... He closed his eyes as well. For now he'd enjoy the moment. He could only take this so much further before the truth would be exposed. For now he'd play her game. He'd give her everything she'd want. Until that final moment. Until that time he would be forced to show her what he truly was. The fear of losing her made his grasp all that much tighter. He was such a deceitful creature playing a dangerous game. His selfishness would be her undoing...
Akito lounged across the futon. Her limbs were stretched over the sheets languidly. Shigure sat smirking before her. She hated that smirk. She just wanted to rip his lips right off from his face every time he looked at her like that.
"What shall you do, princess?" The term was insulting, accusing.
She didn't answer him. Instead the family matriarch turned to face the dawning sky. She had never liked the bastard. She personally would've preferred to see him locked up in that little building for the rest of his miserable little life. However now he was dead. She wouldn't get the pleasure of tormenting him anymore. All she had left to focus on now was that waste of a woman currently holding up in what would've been his cell. Fate surely was a cruel mistress. A smirk crossed her lips. Maybe there was something she could do. Something that would be rather entertaining.
"What do you do when you want to break something that's already broken?" She leered at the male.
He smirked, "So you plan to play that kind of game? How cruel you really are." He was mocking her again. This time, he too, would become one of her pawns.
"Maybe so, but I don't play pretend Shigure. You might just be more cruel than I am." They shared a wicked glance.
Moonlight spilled into the room casting eerie reflections upon their expressions. In the backdrop of the village Kagome's screams filled the night's air. Yet neither Akito or Shigure flinched. This would be their test. This would be their game. Who could heal the girl first, then break her all over again. The two smirked. This surely would be interesting.
It was time. That was the only thought that had gone through his mind the entire time. He had managed to stop himself just in time before. Now he no longer had the strength to pull away. He had to show her now. Before he hurt her. Or worse, broke her. His body trembled at the mere thought of the rejection he was sure he'd face. Maybe if he had pushed her away they'd never be in this situation. Maybe if he just had the strength to send her off of her own he wouldn't have to suffer another repudiation.
It wasn't long before he found her. Kagome sat serenely on the river's grassy embankment. The blue monochrome of the water reflected in the sun brilliantly. Her eyes mirrored the torrent of the water below. His own gaze lowered in shame and pain. He should've done this long ago. He should've been honest.
"Hey Kyou," She started. Only her gaze was not focused on him. They were turned upwards to the sky.
"Hn?" He responded quietly. For the first time he could see the darkness that surrounded her as well. Had it always been there? Had he created that in her? His heart wrenched at the thought.
"I never told you why I left home did I?" She spoke. Her gaze never left the bright abyss of the sky above. It was so beautiful and calm at this moment. Unlike their hearts. Like a symphony, they beat together in a rapid dance of fear. Each for a different, yet similar reason.
He shook his head. No, she never did. He had always wondered what kind of place she had hailed from. To show an outcast, a monster, like him such kindness.
"We used to live near the ocean. The sunsets were always so beautiful." A grim smile crossed her face, "I had a mother and little brother once. The three of us used to go out every evening to watch the sun fall. We'd stay out until the moon was high in the sky. Those were such happy times." The smile dissipated with those words. Kyou watched her as her life story played out across her facial expressions. She too once had a family. Just like him. "It was on a stormy night that an outsider came to our village. He was something of an enigma to our people. We knew not of his past or even of his lineage. Only that he was more keen on taking control of the village. He weaseled his way into the hearts and homes of our people." Her voice turned sharp like the edge of a sword, "It wasn't long before he set his eyes on our mother." Her hands clenched together tightly.
He didn't hesitate to place his large one over her shaking fist. The message was clear to the both of them.
I'm right here...
She smiled at him gratefully. Yet even so there was still pain in those crystal eyes. "He pursued my mother with a vigor never before seen in the village. The word 'no' didn't really seem to faze him. Finally, on the night of the full moon he confronted my mother. He demanded to know why she refused him so repeatedly. He wanted to know why it was that she did not want him." The smile waned, "She answered 'because of my children, they need me more'. With this the man formulated a plan. He'd kill us to get her."
Kyou froze. Kill? An image of a man screaming viciously at him flashed in his mind. He could still feel the blood on his hands. The little pandora's box that he had used to conceal his darkness was breaking. The past he no longer wished to remember was resurfacing. Yet even as he struggled through the shadows of his own actions and remorse, he could see the same battle being waged in her eyes. They were the same. Selfishly, he felt a pang of relief. At least this once, he didn't have to fear that judgement. The judgement of death on his hands.
"So by the next full moon he waited until our mother left the home to run a few errands. He slipped into Souta's room first. It had happened in a matter of seconds. I heard him scream, but before I could reach his room it became quiet. Too quiet." Her body trembled at the memories. He removed his hand from her fist and pulled her close to him instead. Offering his warmth for comfort. "I grabbed the first thing I could see. I didn't even know what it was until he came around the corner. I just saw the blood. So much blood. I knew what had happened, but I didn't want to believe it. So I took that weapon and planted it into his heart. He didn't even see me. Not until he was taking his last breath." She took a shuddering breath, "What I grabbed was the knife he had given my mother. She had been in need of a new set. The old ones were rusting out." She stared at her pale hands. "I had stabbed him with the knife he had given my mother. I killed him by his own gift."
The irony was not lost on Kyou. In the end, that man's own desire had killed him. He was so determined to get the girl that he'd even kill her children. So to defend themselves the children used his own gift as a weapon. Killed him by his own foolishness. Her soft voice drew him back to the conversation.
"I ran to Souta after that. I knew that he was probably dead, but I had to see. I had to be there for him." The sun was beginning to fall once again. The blues from the river diluted into crimson. "When I reached him he was lying in a pool of blood. For a short time he was still breathing. In that moment I was happy. I was happy that he was still alive. I held him close to my heart in those final moments. It wasn't until I heard his voice that everything changed." Her blue gaze briefly appeared crimson in the light, "He told me, 'I love you sis, I'll be waiting'. It wasn't until then that I realized... I'd never see him again. I had killed another. There was no way I'd ever be permitted to see such an innocent person again." She buried her face in her hands. Her own pandora's box was opened. All of her pain and suffering was let loose. Now it was his turn...
"Kagome, there's something I want to show you..."
Something poisonous was upon them. Rin could sense it. It was just like before. She watched Haru stop before the small building. They had heard her scream all through the night. It was unsettling to say the least. She subconsciously fingered the long, jagged scar across the back of her shoulder. Haru grasped her hand and pressed it gently to his lips.
"Don't," he began, "You know what'll happen if you do." His dark gaze pierced through her. She tore her arm away from him.
"Don't presume to tell me what to do!" Black hair whipped around her in the wind. It made appear so much more volatile. So much more dangerous. He loved that. Her eyes bore into his own. Challenging him. Threatening him. Yet just beyond that fierce exterior there was still a fractured, lonely child curled up in a tiny ball inside of her. He could see that the child inside her saw another suffering. She saw Kagome as a reflection of herself. So she wanted to reach out. Take hold of her. She wanted to save her, even from herself. Yet she was still too weak. She was still too fearful. Akito's wrath would burn all.
"Rin," He started. His arms pulled her close to his body. Leaning close he allowed his breath to tickle the shell of her ear, "I'm right here with you." This time she didn't pull away. Instead she stood still. Her dark gaze focused solely on that small edifice that Kagome was being held. She raised a small hand towards it. She reached out for her. But the out stretched hand was left empty. The gesture was not returned. Moments later the screaming started up once more. Rin tore herself out of Haru's warm embrace. She had to get over there! Her legs moved before her mind registered what was happening. Haru followed behind her as she ran to that little building. Kagome's screaming was all she heard. Her pain and suffering was all she could focus on. In the wake of her screaming, she could hear her younger self crying out. She could hear the two yelling in chorus. Pain. Suffering Sorrow. All of that was all either of them knew. At the very least, she still had Haru. As for Kagome... her only light was now extinguished.
She called out to him. Her pale hand reached for his. However he simply smiled at her apologetically.
"I should've shown you sooner." He spoke. The red monochrome of the sunset made the world around them bleed crimson. His hand took hold of the red-and-white beaded bracelet around his wrist. It was like a shackle. A constant reminder of his inhumanity. In a single, swift movement the bracelet was torn from his wrist. He allowed it to clatter to the grassy earth with a soft 'chink'. The wind started up around them again. As the leaves fluttered across her vision, they unveiled the sight of an oni in place of where Kyou once stood. Crystal eyes widened in the darkness forming around them.
The darkness threatened to overtake them. She wanted to reach for him. She wanted to call out to him. But her voice was frozen. Her limbs were stiff. Was this really Kyou? Had he been hiding this the entire time?
The oni closed his eyes. He should've known it was still too soon. Even here with her, there was still no one that could truly accept him. Maybe he should've expected that? He moved to take off when he felt the gentle touch of her hand on his arm. He stared at her face intently. It wasn't horror etched into her face, but fascination. Perhaps they were both just as twisted as the other? When their eyes met she opened her embrace to him. He fell into those arms so easily. Even like this, as a monster, it felt so wonderful to be held so tenderly. It felt so wonderful to be held so lovingly. His eyes closed as the his body slowly returned to its normal state. Maybe this was how it was meant to be all along? Maybe he was destined to be here in her arms from the very start?
She said nothing, but merely held him closer to her heart.
"I was born like this," He started off. His face was pressed against the warm skin of her neck. Taking in the sweet scent that it produced. "It was rumored that once every five generations the oni that once roamed this mountainside would possess the body of a child. I just so happened to be that fortunate child to be cursed by its presence." He felt her hold tighten around his torso. A small, yet grim smile spread across his lips. "My mother feared me. My father despised me." His voice became embittered. She felt his heart break. Holding him was all she could do to keep him together. "Before my sixth year, my mother had killed herself. It wasn't long after that my father attempted to pass the blame of her death onto me."
The two were silent momentarily. She allowed his memories to sink in once more. For so long he had bottled up that pain inside. Locked it into pandora's box like herself. Now it was time to open that box. It was time to release all of their sins. All they needed now, was hope.
Kyou began to speak once more, "It was during one of his tirades that he ripped the bracelet off. I transformed into that... thing." Even to her ears she could hear the deep hatred he held for the ogre's spirit, "He came at me with everything he had. I had only meant to push him away. I didn't see the cliff... not until he..." He couldn't finish the sentence. The image of his father falling to his death recycled in his mind's eye over and over again.
"It's alright." Kagome responded. "It's alright to feel regret. We can't fix the past," She placed her palm on his cheek and forced him to look at her, "But at least we can change our future."
Kyou gently pressed his lips against hers. They moved their lips together rhythmically. She moaned against him, pulling him closer to her. Kyou nibbled on her bottom lip playfully. His own grasp around her tightening. This time, he wouldn't let her go...
Yuki smiled kindly at his new wife. He could sense her distraught the moment she came home the previous night. It took about an hour of coaxing before she finally opened up to him about what had happened.
"I only wanted to help..." She cried into her hands the morning after, "I didn't mean to hurt her."
He held her close. His arms formed a protective circle around her as he rested his cheek on the top of her head. She cried into his the warmth of his chest. He hated to see her in such a state. His heart cried out at her pain. He knew how much that girl meant to his lovely wife. He knew how much she cared for her. Now she was in pain and there was nothing any of them could do. They couldn't protect her. They couldn't save her. Most of all, they were useless. He hated to feel useless. Even if he hated Kyou. Even if they were mortal enemies. Neither he nor Kagome deserved to be killed simply for loving each other.
"I know you didn't." Yuki held her closer to him, "Sometimes in life things happen. Things that we can't change no matter what we do. We unintentionally hurt others, just as others unintentionally hurt us." He lifted her chin and pressed a gentle kiss to her brow, "But that doesn't mean we should give up."
Tohru glanced up at him, tears still threatening to fall. "What... what do we do then?"
His smile softened at her, "We continue to move on with our lives. Kagome may be in pain right now, but that pain will lessen with time. It's up to us to be there for her just as she was there for us."
Her pale hands clenched around his shirt. "I... I don't think I would be as strong as Kagome-chan." Silver eyes widened at the confession.
"What do you mean?" His hand rested against her cheek softly.
"Even now Kagome-chan is still here. She's still fighting. Even though she's withdrawn into herself, she hasn't..." Tohru's voice trembled. Yuki knew what she was trying to say. Kagome had yet to commit suicide. She was still in the world of the living. She was still attempting to hang onto something desperately. There was something she still needed to do here.
Yuki pressed his lips against hers. The message was clear:
I love you
She returned it with passion.
Kyou waited by the waterfall. It wouldn't be long now. The cascading water formed a natural curtain from the outside world. It was perfect for his intentions tonight. The sound of water splashing signaled her arrival. He noted with satisfaction that she merely wore a white sleeping kimono. One which had been drenched with her arrival. His ruby gaze took in her form-ready to see what was hidden just beneath the soaked cloth. Kyou held out his had to her, a smile upon his lips. She gently placed her hand in his outstretched palm. He lead them further into the darkness of the cave they were holding up in. Before that darkness had caused a void between them, now it was the substance binding them together so tightly. He hadn't lied to himself when he said he wouldn't let her go. Not now. Not ever.
"Kyou..." She called out to him. That was all it took. He turned and slammed his lips against her in a needy yet passionate kiss. Hearing her say his name was all that it took for that final barrier to come down. She melted against him, returning the searing kiss with vigor. She parted her mouth for him. He didn't hesitate to take up the invitation. His tongue quickly explored her open mouth-devouring the very taste of her. A fire of desire was ignited within them. It burned so furiously within their souls-threatening to consume them.
He pressed them against the rock of the cave's walls. His hands swiftly sought to remove the barrier of clothing between them. It wasn't long before they were naked for all to see. Kyou laid them on the floor of the cave. His eyes taking in the sight before him. How long had he dreamed of this? How long had he yearned for this? To feel her beneath him. To hear her moans. To fall into oblivion with her.
"I love you." He heard her rasp between breaths.
"I love you too." He responded in kind. They made love there in the mouth of the cave. So lost in their world, neither knew that they had a spectator taking refuge in the darkness just behind them...
Kohaku eyed his sister from across the table warily. She had been acting... out of sorts as of late. She was no longer the calm and collected young woman he had grown up with. Rather she was now a fidgety girl with little concentration for anything other than that person's death. His heart twisted at the very thought. He had always adored his sister, but he was had also liked Kagome. Kagome had always treated him with respect and never once judged him. He had been somewhat jealous of the relationship Kyou had with her. But he was able to accept that much. He was far too young for her. Maybe if he were a few years older...
"Damn it!" Sango cursed. Her shoulders trembled with a deep hatred. How had things come to this? How had she lost everything she held dear so quickly? Her hazel gaze darkened. It was all her fault! It was Kagome's fault that she had lost Kyou! Her heart ripped into shreds at the thought of him. She had never wished for his death. She had never meant to set the villagers loose on him. She never wanted any of this. All she ever wanted... was his heart. She wanted him to love her the way that she did him. Even if it was never meant to be. Even if it was 'forbidden' by her family. All she ever wanted was to be loved by him. Maybe if things had ended differently when he showed her... Maybe if she hadn't been interrupted...
Kohaku reached for his elder sibling. His gentle touch brought her back from her violent reverie. Her gaze softened at his concerned expression. Even after all she had done, he was still there. He was still standing beside her. She pulled her brother into a gentle hug.
"I'm sorry Kohaku. I've hurt you as well." The boy sighed and returned the gesture.
"Aneue, you could still stop this. You've got the power to put an end to this madness." He pulled back to look in her eyes seriously. If he couldn't be with Kagome, than at the very least he could try to save her. He could try to save her, and his sister as well. Sango was allowing herself to be destroyed by her obsession. Maybe it was the foolishness of first love. However he didn't want to see her hurt anymore. He merely wanted what was best for the two women he loved the most in his life.
"No!" She suddenly yelled. She tore away from his touch. Even though her heart ached for her brother. Even though she truly did not wish to hurt him. She still wanted to see Kagome suffer. She still wanted to avenge her own pain. She loved Kyou more than anyone else. She had truly wished to have a future with him. However she was interrupted at the most important moment. After that, it was as if he shut her out completely. He never opened his heart back up to her again. Just when she thought that things could get no worse, she showed up. She opened his heart. It was also she who he loved most.
Sango had never intended to witness their lovemaking. She had never intended to stay for so long in that cave in the first place. Yet that was how things ended up. She was merely attempting to talk to Kyou once more. To receive an explanation from him. She deserved that much at least. She had nearly given her all to him. Yet he was still so cold. She would've accepted him! She wouldn't have denied him! Why, even after all that time, had he been so cruel? What had she done to deserve such rejection from him? He was always so afraid of being rejected by others, that he turned against them in kind. He turned against her. Her heart wrenched at the very thought. She didn't even get the chance to speak with him. Just moments after finding him, she appeared. She held him in her arms. It was Kagome who he wanted. She wouldn't forgive her. She would never let that woman get away with stealing her future from her!
The two froze as the shoji screen slid open to reveal a dark haired male. He smiled at the two siblings.
"Have I interrupted something? I thought I heard fighting." The young man wore the traditional robes of the monk. Multiple earrings jingled with each step he took toward them. He wore a facade of a bright smile. Sango's gaze narrowed at the intruder.
"Yes. You did, Miroku. Now leave us."
Kohaku cringed. Did she need to be so harsh? That was her fiance after all...
Miroku sighed holding up his hands, "I've only come to talk. There are... issues we need to discuss. Mostly regarding that girl you've got imprisoned." The brunette spun on her heels to stand nose-to-nose with him. It was then that she noticed it. The perfume of another female. Two scents in fact. Both just as different as the other.
"You were out again." It wasn't an accusation, but a statement. Kohaku took that as his queue to vacate the room. This was no longer his argument. Instead it would be up to Miroku to talk some sense to her... if she didn't kill him first.
His gaze narrowed, "Don't presume to pass the blame onto me Sango. We have more important things to discuss tonight." Hazel orbs darkened. Not important? She was stuck marrying him and yet he didn't even have to decency to pretend he was interested in her. He was just as wild and amorous as the day she had first met him. He had groped her and attempted to bed her the first night they met. Since their engagement however, he distanced himself from her. He had not laid one finger on her in any way that was deemed 'sexual' or even 'affectionate'. He became stoic, and unfeeling towards her. Was this her fate? To never be loved by another? Her fists clenched. She'd break that curse. Even if she had to tear apart the whole village to do so.
"What about her?" Sango snapped. Her arms crossed over her bosom impatiently.
"There's been a call by Sohma Akito," His gaze locked onto hers, "He's required that she go through the week of repentance before her execution."
Her glass heart shattered once more. One week? That was far too long!
"Assemble the villagers!" She growled, "We take her life tomorrow with or without Akito's assent."
She turned her back to him. In that single moment, his own violet orbs flashed with sadness. So this was how it would all end... in a wave of fire and vengeance.
Naruto Fan's Notes: First off, this is a two, possibly three-shot. I've spent quite a bit of time on this first part and although some parts turned out well, there were others that were just kinda 'bleh' to me, so criticism on that is much appreciated ^_^. Anyways, keep in mind this is not meant to be a Sango bash fest. I really just needed someone to play the part and I didn't feel like falling into the cliche of using the usual three: Tohru, Kikyou, or Kagura. Also Sango DOES have her own reasoning. Just give her some time, I'm hoping to salvage her somewhat in the second installment. Albeit may be a bit before I get to posting it. This single post took me weeks to write. So feed back is MUUUUUCCCCHHHH appreciated ^_^ I'll try to get the second part up as soon as I can. :)