Crimson Sakura

Part 4

Rock-a-bye baby, in the treetop

When the wind blows

the cradle will rock

When the bough breaks

the cradle will fall

And down will come baby, cradle and all

The morning sun peeked through the curtains, illuminating the dark room. A young raven haired woman stirred beneath her blankets, trying to block out the sun.

A groan of disapproval halted her movements. She turned to look at the other person sleeping soundly in her bed. His chest rose and fell softly with every breath he took. His face was so peaceful Kagome couldn't help but lean over and place a kiss to his cheek. She lightly ran her fingers through his hair to untangle the unruly mess. Slowly his eyes began to open and Kagome's breath caught in her throat.

He was beautiful in every sense of the word to her, and as much as this man made her heart leap for joy, he had the ability to cause it so much pain. Because no matter what, he could never truly be hers, and she could never be his. Kagome told herself this every morning. Every time she woke up to find him in her bed, naked and spent from the previous night's events, she had to remind herself:

He's not yours. You're not his. You're carrying a baby for him and your sister, who is also his wife. It'll never work.

Kagome was almost eight months pregnant, and after the baby got here she wanted nothing more than to have a relationship with Kikyou again. She had told herself time and time again that she would stop, that this time would be the last time. It was disgusting and wrong, and dishonest but, she couldn't help it.

Over the course of their four month affair, she'd fallen in love with her sister's husband.

"Kagome? What's wrong?" Inuyasha said with concern.

"It's nothing. Go back to sleep." She said smiling, but she was sure she couldn't keep the sadness from her eyes. Every time she looked at him she lost another piece of herself. He didn't even know Kikyou and her were related. God what was she doing?

"I can't. I should be going anyway. I told Kikyou I'd be home by now." She watched him as he got up retrieved his clothes from the floor.

"Right." Hearing the sadness in her voice he walked over to her and placed a gentle kiss on her lips. Running his hands across her belly, he gave her one last kiss before dashing out the door. Only when she was sure Inuyasha had left did she let the tears slip down her cheeks.

He was such an idiot. Inuyasha sat in his car unable to find the motivation to start it and head home. All he wanted to do was go back to Kagome's apartment and kiss her until she forgave him for his stupidity.

"I told Kikyou I'd be home by now." He said mocking himself, "way to make her feel like a mistress." But wasn't that what she was? Someone who he was cheating on his wife with? Wasn't she 'the other woman?'

No. Kagome was so much more than that. He cared about her. A lot. On days like today he wanted nothing more than to lay in bed with her all day, rubbing her belly, and cater to her every need as she came closer and closer to her due date. Sometimes at night when Kagome was already asleep he could just imagine that he wasn't married to Kikyou at all. That the life he had previously been living didn't exist, and all that mattered in the world were Kagome and him, and the family they were starting together.

But then that moment would be shattered. He'd receive a text or a call, or anything to remind him that the moments he shared with Kagome were nothing more than a fantasy. Inuyasha wasn't sure if he loved her but he knew it was pretty damn close.

Yet was it enough to make him leave Kikyou? He saw the sadness and guilt in Kagome's eyes every time he had to leave her. He heard the pain in her voice as she told him that it was okay or that she understood. And most of all he felt the longing in her when she walked him to the door and kissed him goodbye.

It wasn't fair, to Kagome or Kikyou. And still he couldn't chose. It was selfish, disgusting, and wrong, but he couldn't do it. He'd been with Kikyou for so long it frightened him to think about giving up all the security she brought to his life. But Kagome was like a light at the end of a dark tunnel. She gave him peace. Shaking his head Inuyasha tried to clear his mind. He couldn't do this right now. Starting the car he finally pulled away from Kagome's apartment building and began to head home.

God he was such an idiot.

"Oh Inuyasha! I didn't hear you come in, are you hungry?" Kikyou watched as Inuyasha removed his coat and shoes. His hair was wild and his clothes looked unruly, as if he'd been in a rush to come home.

"Uh, no, not right now. I think I'm just gonna shower and lay down." He said quietly. He kept his head down, like he didn't want to look at her.

"Are you feeling okay? Did the business meeting not go well?" She said concerned. He was acting very unlike himself, he had been for awhile now. She'd chalked it up to the overtime he'd been working and the fact that Kagome was due in a few weeks. Inuyasha finally looked at her and there was something unreadable in his eyes. It worried her.

Walking up to her Inuyasha took her face in his hands and placed a gentle kiss on her lips. It was strange. There was something off about the kiss. It was like he was searching for something and when he didn't find it he pulled away.

"I'm fine. Just tired that's all." He moved around her, went up the stairs, and into the bathroom. Kikyou desperately wanted to believe him, but she knew better than that. A million thoughts raced through her mind and none of them were good.

What if Inuyasha was having second thoughts? What if he didn't want the baby anymore? What if he didn't want her anymore?

Kikyou's eyes widened and her breath quickened. Turning her head she looked up the stairs where Inuyasha had disappeared moments ago. She could hear the shower going and more disturbing thoughts raced across her conscious.

What if Inuyasha was cheating on her? No that was ridiculous. Inuyasha wasn't that kind of man. He was loyal to her, and faithful.

'Unless he found out about the abortion.'

Grabbing her head Kikyou tried to calm herself down. There were only three people, including herself who knew about it. She knew she would never tell Inuyasha herself, and she was pretty sure Dr. Suikotsu wouldn't tell, but Kagome would. Kikyou remembered the way her little sister would stare at Inuyasha. Her eyes were always watching him, wanting him. Kagome wanted Inuyasha to herself, and what better way to cut her out of the picture than to tell him the true reason why his wife couldn't have kids?

'But then she'd have to tell him we're related. She wouldn't do that. Would she?'

Running up the stairs Kikyou decided she'd talk to Inuyasha herself. All this worrying was making her sick and she was driving herself insane. If he told her the truth she would forgive him. She wouldn't let Kagome ruin her life again. They could work through this. Kagome would give them her baby and they'd never see or hear from her again. They could raise their family in peace.

Reaching for the doorknob Kikyou stopped when she heard Inuyasha speaking. Cracking open the door she could see him pacing back and forth with his cell to his ear.

"Look I'm sorry about this morning." She heard him say. He rubbed his face in annoyance and let out a long sigh.

"I don't want you to have to understand anymore...I-I really don't deserve you."

Walk away Kikyou.

"Of course I care about you! I wouldn't be putting myself through this if I didn't."

I can't. I need to know.

"Don't ask me that." Kikyou could hear the pain in his voice. He choked on his words and sob caught in her throat.

Please don't leave me Inuyasha.

"Can you meet me later? To talk?"

You can't leave me.

"Yeah same place as always. Under the giant Sakura tree."

I won't allow it.

Kagome was a little more than surprised when Inuyasha had called her. He usually didn't call her when he was home, especially when Kikyou was home too. She wasn't exactly sure what he wanted to talk about, but she thought now was as good time as any to start telling him the truth. She was scared shitless at the thought of revealing her secrets, but he had the right to know that he was sneaking around with his wife's little sister.

'I don't want him to leave me.' She thought to herself. Yet if he wanted to go, she knew she wouldn't make him stay. She'd have the baby and leave him alone forever. She'd even give up reestablishing her relationship with Kikyou if it'd make him happy. She wouldn't tell him Kikyou's secret either. After everything that happened it would to be the least she could for her sister.

Kagome pulled up to the small park and maneuvered herself to get out of the car. She waddled through the park, taking in the scenes of mothers and fathers playing with their children. She rubbed her belly wishing that she could be like this with her baby. Looking down at her protruding abdomen she gave it a little smile.

"If I had a choice, I don't think I'd give you up." Kagome finally made it to the giant Sakura tree. She started at it's beauty awed by the magnificence of nature. The pretty petals fell from branches, getting caught in the autumn wind.

"The trees look nice don't they?" Turning Kagome saw Inuyasha approaching her. The wind picked up his midnight locks and splayed them across his face. His eyes locked on her and heart skipped a beat. He had so much control over her, and he didn't even know.

"Yeah they are." She finally responded.

"I'm...glad you came." He said quietly. He looked down at his feet, nervously shifting his weight between is left and right leg.

"Why wouldn't I?" She asked cautiously. His body language spoke volumes to what this conversation could possibly be about. And it was scaring her.

Please don't leave me Inuyasha.

"Kagome I, I don't...I mean. Geez." He ran a hand through his hair and started pacing around the tree. Waddling over to him she placed a hand on his shoulder to calm him. He looked at her, pulling her into his arms, and resting his forehead on hers.

"It's okay Inuyasha. I understand. I'm due in a couple weeks and you want this to end." Tears sprang to her eyes and as much as she willed them not to, they slipped down her cheeks. "You don't have to say anything more."

"Stupid. That isn't why I wanted to talk to you." He said gently, wiping her tears with his fingers, he chuckled to himself at her mock bravery.

"Then why did you want to talk?"

"Because I don't want this to end. Even...even after the baby gets here. I want to be with you Kagome." He blushed when she threw her arms around his neck and began to sob. He tried console her as best he could with her belly situated between them.

"Oh God I was so scared! I-I thought you were gonna leave me. I mean...I wouldn't have stopped you, cause I just want you to be happy, but I was secretly praying you would stay." She said between her hiccups and sobs.

"I can't leave you Kagome." Tilting her chin Inuyasha leaned down to place a passionate kiss on Kagome's lips. Her arms locked around his neck, and she rose to her tip toes to meet him halfway. When they parted Kagome thought she'd died and went to heaven, but there was still one more thing they had to talk about.

"Inuyasha there's something I have to tell you..."

"Kagome get down!" Pushing her to the ground, Kagome let out a startled scream. Worry struck her when she heard Inuyasha's grunt of pain. Looking over to him she saw that there was an arrow lodged in his right shoulder.

"Inuyasha!" Crawling over to him she inspected the wound. She pulled out the arrow and ripped a piece of his shirt and tied it around his shoulder trying to stop the bleeding.

"There's too much blood, we have to get you to the hospital." Kagome said frantically, pulling out her cell she tried to dial 9-1-1 when a familiar voice stopped her.

"Neither of you are going anywhere." Kikyou appeared from the shadows, an old looking bow in her hand, and a quiver of arrows on her back. Kagome recognized it as the one their mother had bought for her when Kikyou had made the archery team in high school. Her black hair was let down and it blew around her as the wind picked up. She looked like a goddess of war, with the bleeding pinks and oranges of sunset behind her, and an unemotional mask perfectly set on her face.

"Why are you doing this Kikyou? Inuyasha needs help! He's losing a lot blood." Kagome tried to reason. She didn't know what Kikyou's intentions were but she needed to get Inuyasha and herself out of there.

"Don't act as if you don't know you sneaky bitch! I won't let you take him away from me!" Kikyou screamed. She notched another arrow and aimed it straight at Kagome.

"Kikyou wait! This is my fault! Don't hurt Kagome." Inuyasha said. Still clutching his shoulder, he used the tree as support to get up. He tried walking towards Kikyou, but she pointed the arrow at him and demanded him not to move.

"How could you do this to me? I love you Inuyasha." The pain in her words was enough to break his heart. He wanted to reach for her. Apologize to her, but he couldn't leave Kagome unprotected.

"I'm so sorry Kikyou." He said taking a small step in her direction. He let out the breath he was holding when she didn't notice. Tears started to fall from her cheeks and Inuyasha felt the knife twist in his heart all the more.

"No you're not. You'll never know what I did for you Inuyasha. What I did for us! You're leaving me for the girl who ruined my life! Why don't you tell him little sister. Tell him what you did to me!" She screamed.

"Sister? You didn't tell me you had a sister." Although Inuyasha was speaking to Kikyou, he was looking right at Kagome.

"I was gonna tell you Inuyasha. Please believe me." Kagome said calmly.

"What did you do?" Kagome's eyes widened at the coldness in his tone. New tears flowed from her ducts at the smirk on Kikyou's face.

"Inuyasha I didn't mean for it to happen. It was an accident."

"What. Did. You. Do."

"It's my fault Kikyou can't have kids." She said quietly. Sobs racked her body and she felt like she couldn't breathe. This isn't how things were supposed to end.

"Why? What is she talking about Kikyou?" Inuyasha looked to Kikyou and saw a fresh wave of tears fall down her face as well. He tensed when he saw her pull her bow string taut.

"She let her boyfriend rape me!"

"No! I would never! I didn't know! Kikyou you have to believe me! I've tried everything to atone for what he did to you, because back then I wasn't there for you, but you wanted nothing to do with me. I didn't know how to help you then, that's why I'm doing this for you now!"

"You think fucking my husband behind my back is going to help me!"

"Kikyou why didn't you tell me?" Inuyasha said cutting inbetween the sibling's argument. He looked at Kikyou with regret, guilt, and pity shining in his eyes.

"Because I knew you'd leave me." She cried. Inuyasha went to take another toward her and she pointed her arrow straight at his heart.

"Kikyou..." Kagome wanted nothing more than to get up and reach out to her sister, to comfort her in some way.

"It's your fault! That bastard thought I was you! I was walking home from the library when it happened. Tsubaki offered me a ride and I told her no. It was dark and I didn't even notice him come up behind me. He pushed me into an alley and threw me against the wall." Kikyou choked on her words, but continued anyway. " He said 'Did you really think you were gonna get away without giving me any?' I tried to tell him I wasn't you and that's when he hit me. He choked me so I couldn't speak. He ripped off my clothes and when he finished...he called out your name."

"I didn't know!" Kagome yelled out.

"Then I found out I was pregnant. I was already with you Inuyasha. I loved you. Did you really think I could let that thing grow inside of me? I had the abortion so I could be with you, but there were complications. The operation scarred my fallopian tubes. Now I can't have kids."

"So you asked Kagome to be a surrogate for you." Inuyasha stated more than asked.

"Only so she could know the pain I feel now. To have something she's always wanted taken away from her."

"And what's that?"

"You." Kikyou let her arrow fly as it hit its target with deadly accuracy. The arrow struck Inuyasha in the chest and Kagome screamed, crawling as fast as she could over to him. She clutched his hand and checked for his pulse, it was barely there.

"Inuyasha! Inuyashastay with me! I'm calling an ambulance, you'll be okay." Kagome cried. She watched as the life slowly began to fade from his eyes. Even if she did call an ambulance, it was already too late.

"K-Kagome please...forgive me."

"There's nothing to forgive. You're gonna be fine. The medics will take you to the hospital and when you get out you'll have a cute little boy or girl to hold, okay?" He coughed and his heart skipped a beat. She didn't want to believe it, she couldn't.

"Forgive Kikyou."

"Of course," she whispered, "save your strength. No more talking."

"Let my child know...I love them." Inuyasha let out a strangled breath as his eyes rolled to back of his head. His body went limp in Kagome's arms and she screamed out his name.

"Are you happy now?" She yelled to Kikyou.

"Not yet." Backing away from her Kagome crawled away from her sister until her back it the tree. Kikyou was standing right in front of her and she had nowhere to go.

"For what it's worth Kikyou...I truly am sorry. I didn't mean for any of this to happen. I love you, you're my sister. I thought by doing this for you we could start over, but...I love him too." Tears slipped from Kagome's eyes and she made no move to wipe them away.

"For what it's worth Kagome...I hope you guys find each other again." A tear slipped from Kikyou's eye as she released her arrow, quickly cutting off Kagome's scream.

"In breaking news two bodies were found in Cherry Blossom park this morning. Kagome Higurashi and Inuyasha Takahashi, who police say were both shot in the heart with arrows, were discovered early this morning by park employees."

The screen cut to am older man who must have been one of the park employees. His forehead shined with sweat and his skin looked ashen. He tried to speak but was too overwhelmed to formulate words. Taking a deep breath he tried again.

"It was a truly awful sight. There was blood everywhere! It even covered the Sakura trees, staining the petals in an eerily beautiful crimson color. These two people were hunted down like animals and I hope their souls find peace."

"Just in! Police say the female victim, Kagome Higurashi, was around eight months pregnant at the time of her death, but the infant was extracted from her body after she was killed. Assuming the deceased were a couple, sketch artists have come up with a photo of what their baby may look like. Finding the infant could lead police to finding the murderer. If anyone sees this infant or knows anything on these gruesome murders please call the number on your screen."

Looking to her left, a young woman heard the cry of her child through the baby monitor. Walking into the child's room she gently picked up the newborn baby. His tiny fists flung about as he wailed, alerting the woman to his unhappiness.

"Shh, it's okay, mommy's here." Quickly making a bottle, the dark haired woman, sat in a cherrywood rocking chair feeding her baby.

"No matter what happens little guy, I'll always love you, and no one will ever take you away from me." Rubbing the child's back to burp him, the young mother laid her son back into his crib, and began to sing him a lullaby.

That is the end of Crimson Sakura folks! Thank you to those who read this story and a special thank you to those who took time to review :)

And don't forget to check out my new story: Closest to Heaven