Increase Text Size Decrease Text Size Divider Print This Chapter Divider

In Darkness No Longer by Kanna37

Chapter 1

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Inuyasha.

-sSs-

Sesshoumaru held his miko, yes, his miko, as she slept, contentedly watching as sunrise slowly brightened the sky, pushing back the blackness of the past night, every sense save his eyesight trained on the woman cradled in his arms.

Finally, he had gotten her away from his fool of a half-brother, and the same sense of triumph that had hit him last night roared through him again at that realization. He'd given her an ultimatum – be his, and show everyone proudly who she belonged to, or he would leave, and not return. She'd chosen him without even looking back, and the best part of the whole thing was that Inuyasha had heard it all – he'd been spying.

But that wasn't enough. No, not by far, considering the damage he'd done to the tiny miko by playing her against the dead one. He wanted to see his brother's face when she walked back to their camp proudly, hand in hand with him.

Some might think he was being unnecessarily cruel, but he didn't see it that way. She deserved better than the half-breed had ever given her, and after all the torture he'd put her through, he needed to have that same pain handed back to him – it was the only way he would learn.

Pulling his gaze from the sky, he looked down at her peaceful and contented features with a blank face and light in his eyes. Yes, little onna, I will certainly love you more than he ever did... there will be no need for anymore tears. I will keep your heart as safe as I keep your body. And when I promised you forever last night, I meant it... unlike Inuyasha.

As the day brightened slowly, Kagome began to wake, nose wrinkling as she finally blinked her eyes open. She looked surprised to see the golden eyes above her for a moment, and then her own eyes opened wide, and joy flooded them as she realized that last night had not been a dream.

“Ohayo, Sesshoumaru,” she said softly, shyly, as she snuggled into his arms a little more for a moment, a sweet blush painting her cheeks.

He nodded. “Good morning, miko.” He watched her as she sat up, stretching and yawning. Once she managed to pry herself out of his lap, he stood as well, letting a small wave of his youki return him to his usual pristine self.

Once his aura settled again, he looked at her. “Are you prepared? It is time to go back to your camp, Kagome.”

His sharp eyes didn't miss her flinch. “Are you now rethinking your choice?”

Her eyes widened, and she shook her head, her expression open and earnest. “No! It's just... it's going to be awkward... and it's going to hurt Inuyasha's feelings. I just,” she looked down, “hate hurting people – and especially those I care about.”

He was not surprised – she would never see things as he did. He looked forward to showing the whelp his mistakes, and getting a sort of vengeance for his careless use of her heart. She, however, would never seek vengeance for such a thing. Even knowing that, though, he wasn't willing to change his plans. They would return to her camp together – because he was not giving her up, and sooner or later, the fact that she had given herself into his keeping would come out, anyway.

He saw no point in delaying the inevitable – he would be hidden in darkness no longer.

“Inuyasha would find out the truth sooner or later, Kagome – there is no way to hide this forever, even were I willing to do such a thing.”

She nodded reluctantly. “I know...”

He held out his hand, then. “Come.”

Smiling almost sadly for a moment, she sighed, and nodded again. Taking his hand, and walking next to him, she straightened her shoulders proudly. After all, she wasn't ashamed of her choice, and she never wanted him to think she was. She had been hurt by Inuyasha, and while she would always care for him, she loved the strong youkai Lord she was now betrothed to. He had become the air she breathed, and there was nothing about it that she regretted.

He was very aware of her emotions as she walked by his side, and he couldn't help the almost arrogant smirk at the sudden scent of pride coming from her. Because his brother's nose was more than strong enough to scent the same – it would be one more thing to prove to him just who the tiny woman belonged to. His youkai heart beat with savage joy at the thought – she was his, not his brother's.

For the youkai, claiming something was a matter of instinct and once that object, or person, was claimed, it was never released for any reason. She would belong to him until they both died.

He paused for a moment as they neared the camp, allowing her to gather herself for the coming confrontation, and glancing down at her, he tightened his fingers around hers in support, though he didn't say anything. She took a deep breath, then let it out, and meeting his eyes, she nodded firmly.

With that, they took those last few steps, and walked, together, into the suddenly silent camp.

-sSs-

They were met immediately by Inuyasha's golden gaze and intense voice. “So... is this how it ends, Kagome?” he asked, completely ignoring his brother's presence. “You're gonna leave me here with nothing – alone – to go with him?”

Everyone stared at him, shocked, not one of them being able to fathom how he could even ask her such a thing after everything he'd put her through for so long. Even Sesshoumaru had been caught off-guard by his brother's words. Anger suddenly surged in him as he felt the woman next to him stiffen, hurt coming off her in waves.

“It is amazing to this one that you could even have the nerve to say such to her, Inuyasha,” he snapped. “You made so many promises to her and you broke every one of them time after time – yet, you try to turn this around on her?”

Kagome settled a hand on the daiyoukai's arm to calm him, then looked over at her former love.

“I reached the bottom with you a long time ago, Inuyasha – you just never noticed. You left me so many times with nothing, and then you think you have the right to ask me something like that?” she cried, anger swirling through the hurt. “Sesshoumaru's right – you made a lot of promises... and you weren't any good at keeping them. So why shouldn't I find my own happiness?”

Sesshoumaru, despite the fact that his gaze was pinned firmly to his brother, was well aware of the others in the camp, and was interested to note the nods... they agreed with Kagome.

Inuyasha's ears flattened to his head, and his eyes darkened to old gold. “What promises, Kagome? The one to protect you? I've always done that!”

“Only when Kikyou wasn't around, Inuyasha,” she snapped back immediately. “And then after running to her yet again, you'd come hauling butt back to me once she left you, swearing that you'd never leave me alone again... and yet, the next time Kikyou came fluttering along, you'd be off!”

He stepped back in shock at her words, sputtering. “K-kagome... you've just let that bastard sway your mind because you were upset – come back to me – we can fix this.” He held out his hand, and Sesshoumaru tensed, suddenly ready to take this to the next level. He would not let Kagome go.

“Inuyasha, you don't even really want me,” she said wearily, halting the daiyoukai in his tracks. “We've just become a habit, that's all. You think I have to stay with you only because that's the way it's always been. But if you had really cared, you'd never have strayed to Kikyou's side so many times. Let me go.

Miroku wasn't really surprised at Kagome's words – he'd seen the distance towards their hanyou companion growing in the little miko for some time now, but Sango gasped as she heard what Kagome said, never having expected her friend to give up on her hopes for a future with Inuyasha.

Shippo wasn't sure what to think... he was glad Kagome wasn't going to let Inuyasha hurt her anymore, but he wasn't sure about Sesshoumaru – he was scary.

Nonetheless, both brothers could feel the sympathies in camp settled firmly on Kagome, and Inuyasha was completely upset at realizing that the others weren't standing behind him on this.

His brother, on the other hand, exulted in the knowledge.

“Do you see, Inuyasha? Even your friends do not support you in this. You have lost – give this foolishness up, and accept the inevitable. Kagome is mine by her own choice, and that will never change.”

At that, Inuyasha wasted no more time, drawing Tessaiga and pointing the transformed blade straight at his brother and Kagome. “Move, Kagome. I'm gonna fight this bastard right now. If I kill him, there won't be any Sesshoumaru for you to turn your back on me for,” he said in a deadly serious tone.

Kagome's eyes widened with horror, but before she could say a word in denial, Sesshoumaru looked down at her, even as he let go her hand, and drew Bakusaiga. “Go stand with your friends, Kagome.” He looked over at Miroku, and Sango. “It would be best if you all were to move to a safe distance. I leave her in your care while I fight my brother – make sure she does not get in the way.”

Both her friends flinched at the thought of what was about to happen, but they moved forward and drew a protesting Kagome away obediently. She jerked her head around, tears beginning to fall down her cheeks.

“Inuyasha, you idiot!” she screamed. “Don't do this – do you really think you can keep me around this way?!”

“It's the only option I have left!” he shouted back at her, and then he charged his brother, Tessaiga raised high as he swung at him full-force. “You should never have gone to him, Kagome!”

“Foolish hanyou!” Sesshoumaru spat, as he met Tessaiga with Bakusaiga, the clash of swords sounding unnaturally loud in the field. “You left her broken, and I picked up the pieces. Who are you to come back now and want another chance to break her again?”

He flung his brother back, Bakusaiga flashing out in a deadly arc, one which Inuyasha narrowly missed getting hit by as he landed crouched down, Tessaiga held out before him. Sesshoumaru made no move to attack again, and Inuyasha stared at him through his bangs, hate reddening his eyes.

“What's the matter, Sesshoumaru?” he hissed. “Scared to attack?”

“I did not start this fight, Inuyasha. I have no need to battle you. I did not lose Kagome – you did,” he pointed out, voice heavy with irony.

That got Inuyasha's blood up even higher, and he leapt once more, eyes flashing crimson again. The sharp staccato of metal against metal rang out as a series of blows were exchanged.

Kagome struggled against her friends hands, trying to get between the two, the only thought in her mind to stop what was surely going to happen if the fighting went on too long. “You have Kikyou, Inuyasha, what about her? You can't keep us both, and you know that!” she screamed.

She nearly wrenched her arm out of its socket trying to get away, and Miroku took that moment to tighten his grip on her – he was somewhat surprised at her strength – he was having a hell of a time holding on to her, and he could only hope that this fight was over soon... or better yet, resolved with no blood drawn.

It didn't look like that was going to happen, though – Inuyasha was nearly feral.

Sesshoumaru was not, however, his mind perfectly clear and sharp, and he eyed his brother disdainfully. “I should have known you would be a shameless, dishonorable whelp,” he said coldly as his brother once again disengaged. “You cannot regain the miko's heart, fool – you fight for nothing. Desist.”

Panting, he glared at his brother. “Maybe I can't get her back, but I can sure as hell make sure you don't have her, either!”

Stunned at his openly selfish words, both Sango and Miroku loosened their grips on Kagome, and she took that moment to break away from them, running to stand before Sesshoumaru – but not before grabbing her bow... and one single arrow.

The entire area went silent and still at the shocking visual of Kagome standing with an arrow trained on the hanyou she'd loved for so long, a dark look of hurt and anger clear on her face. No one moved, Inuyasha more stunned than anyone else as he stared, completely undone. Tessaiga slipped from suddenly numb fingers, and he choked, finally breaking the deadly silence.

“Ka-kagome?” he stammered. “W-what...?”

“Did you really think I'd let you continue this, Inuyasha? You toyed with me long enough, keeping me on a string for when your lover-” she ignored the gasps from Miroku, Sango, and Shippo, “-wasn't around. But I'm not your fool, and I refuse to be anyone's backup plan – so I moved on. Now you need to grow the hell up and let me go!” Her eyes narrowed, and she sent him a heated, threatening look. “Perhaps I should tell Kikyou about all this... I wonder what she would say?”

Sesshoumaru smirked, sheathing Bakusaiga, he stepped forward to stand next to Kagome. Eyeing his half-brother's sudden movement towards the Tessaiga, he snapped his whip, wrapping it around the sword and yanking it out of his reach.

“Do you still intend to continue this foolishness, Inuyasha?” he asked.

Still wide-eyed at the sight of Kagome holding her arrow steadily on him, he watched warily as she openly sighted him along the shaft, and it finally began to sink in that she would, indeed, shoot him if he made the wrong move.

“How could you, Kagome?” he whispered in shock. “How could you draw down on me like that, and mean it?”

A few tears made their way down her cheeks, but she didn't falter. “I didn't want it to come to this, Inuyasha. But you pushed it – you wouldn't let me go so that I could be happy – all you cared about was yourself. What was I supposed to do, hmm? Spend the rest of my life alone, so you could have company when your lover wasn't around?”

The hanyou blinked, ears once more flattening to his head at her words. “How did you know about that, anyway?” he asked quietly.

Sesshoumaru smirked, then, openly and coldly amused. “We both have come upon you rutting with the dead one, Inuyasha – you are not very good at secrecy. It was... a disturbing visual, to put it bluntly – I am certain that it was much worse than just disturbing for Kagome, however. Now, are you done with your blatant stupidity? I believe Kagome has demonstrated her willingness to once more seal you if you do not desist. Ignore that threat at your own risk, if you truly are stupid enough to do so.”

Inuyasha didn't look away from Kagome once, the hurt in his eyes marking her heart, yet also making her angry.

Tears rimmed her eyes again. “I never wanted it to come to this, Inuyasha, but do you really hate me so much that you want me to be alone and miserable for the rest of my life while you have Kikyou?” she sobbed.

The utter silence in the camp was completely missed by the hanyou as he stared at Kagome, aghast. “I... I don't hate you, Kagome!” he gasped. “How could you even think that?”

“If you really cared for her, half-breed, you would want to see her happy – whether you were part of that, or not,” Sesshoumaru said, placing a hand on Kagome's bow arm and gently forcing her to lower it. The bow clattered as it hit the ground, and she sobbed again, turning and plastering herself to the daiyoukai's chest as all the hurt of the last years with Inuyasha came bubbling out.

Inuyasha stared at her, horror-struck, as the truth of all their words finally hit him, and he slumped where he stood, all fight leaving him in that moment. He finally understood, and the understanding was bitter in his mouth.

He watched his hated brother as he comforted her, ignoring everyone in the camp to see to her needs, and he knew that his behavior over the last year had finally done what Naraku had never been able to do – it had driven her away.

And he had no one to blame but himself.

Bending down to pick up his sword, he sheathed it, then turned and silently made his way out of the camp, his body language giving away his dejection.

While his friends watched him quietly but sadly, knowing that he needed to get away, and hoping that at some point he would return, Sesshoumaru could not help but be pleased with what had happened; the fool had finally gotten back what he had handed Kagome in spades for so long...

Pain.

Maybe the next time a woman offered him her heart, he would treat the gift the way it should be treated.

But whatever Inuyasha chose to do with his life now, Kagome would not be part of it – she had chosen, and she had stood behind that choice in the full light of day to her friends...

Just as he'd demanded.

She was his, and that would never change.

Swinging her up into his arms, he strode over to her bag, and picked it up, then looked at the slayer and monk. “I will bring her to visit when she has had a chance to heal.”

They nodded, and then he looked down at the kitsune. “You will come.”

And just like that, Sango and Miroku were left standing alone in the remains of their camp, wondering if their broken family would ever be whole once more, because as sure as day turned to night, things would never be the same again.

Inuyasha had discovered the hard way that sometimes, when you broke something, it couldn't be fixed.

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
No money is being made from the creation or viewing of content on this site, which is strictly for personal, non-commercial use, in accordance with the copyright.