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And On That Day by Kanna37

Chapter 1

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Inuyasha.

~oOo~

Kagome looked on at the battlefield before her, and her heart broke. Naraku had grown too strong with the addition of the jewel to his body, and though everyone who had a grudge against him had banded together in this fight, it wasn't enough.

As time slowed to a crawl, her gaze drifted over each person on the field. Each being there carried a piece of her heart.

Inuyasha – her first love, the man she'd give anything for, the person she wanted to find happiness with every part of her being. Sango – the woman that, if she'd been given a choice, she'd have chosen as a sister, a woman who was so strong that she seemed unbreakable. Miroku – a brother, someone who she admired for his determination even with the death sentence he'd carried in his own hand for his entire life.

Shippo, her little kit, the one she looked on as her own child, wanting nothing more than for him to have a proper childhood, and be raised with love. Kirara... she knew full well that the firecat was perfectly intelligent, despite the fact she couldn't speak. She was as loyal as any sentient being had ever been. And then there was Kouga, and his sidekicks, Ginta and Hakakku. She smiled wistfully. Best friends, she hoped for joy in life for them all three.

A flash of white, and her attention was drawn to the last person on the field that day... Sesshoumaru.

Another being that she cared for more than anyone would have ever believed. Cold, stoic, powerful, and honorbound more than anyone she'd ever known, the strongest daiyoukai alive carried depths within him that called to every part of her. No one else seemed to see what she did, and she cried silently inside for that, she really did, because of all of them, he was probably the loneliest being she'd ever met.

All of these people meant more than anything to her... more than life. And within those few seconds, as she watched the battle in seemingly slow motion, she made a decision that, funnily enough, didn't leave her with one regret.

Bringing up her bow, she sighted along the shaft, finger leading the way to her target, and flaming the arrow, she let loose her last shot. Ignoring the fact that she was supposed to stay out of Naraku's sights until the others had given her the chance to shoot the Tama and purify it, she made sure the shot flared so brightly that the spider would not be able to forget her again no matter what.

And as the arrow took him in the side, she smiled, and lowered her bow, waiting for his tentacles to reach her. She didn't try to escape him at all, despite the frantic screams of the others and Sesshoumaru's enraged roar.

Even as the poison-filled tentacles penetrated her body, her smile didn't falter...

As her soul light flared up around her, racing down the appendages that Naraku had thought to use to kill her, and purifying the spider from the inside out, the rest of the field fell silent, shocked, with everyone unable to move.

Unable to believe what their eyes were telling them.

The last view of her face as the light surged, finally blinding them, was of her wide, loving smile, and peaceful eyes...

It was a vision that not one person on the battlefield that day would ever forget.

As her form disappeared into the brilliance of her soul as it was released from its mortal confines, free to finally shine like the noonday sun it so resembled, everyone there that day felt her touch on their own souls...

Those that had traveled with her for so long weren't surprised to feel her, the glowing, warm light that made up who she was touching them with the purest form of love that they had ever known. Even in her spot far away from the battlefield, Rin felt her, and knew exactly who it was immediately. She cried – but she smiled, as well, because she understood exactly what it was that Kagome had done.

The three wolves also basked in the warmth unfurling around them, even as they cried for what it meant, their tears tracking rivulets through the dust and grime of battle without shame.

But the one most affected was the one that all there would have thought would not be affected at all. The one who had always seemed so uncaring and cold...

Eyes wide, stunned, as though he could not take in what had just happened, was still happening, or accept it, he froze as he felt all that was Kagome wrap around him. There was no denying that it was her, her soul carrying so much of an imprint of the warm-hearted girl that she had been that no one could ever mistake it for anyone else.

In that moment, heat burst into life inside him, blasting through the ice he'd cultivated for so long, and opening him to the truth of his deeply buried heart. He could feel her, smell her, even taste her – everything that made her Kagome was there within him suddenly, and he sank to the ground, mind in denial of just what it all meant.

Her soul touching his own stripped every bit of his anger, hatred, and bitterness away, leaving him nothing to hide behind. And the moment all the darkness fled his soul, the truth of what she was burst across his consciousness like an exploding star, shooting heat, understanding, and love through his soul from the darkest corner of it, to the lightest.

It was then that Sesshoumaru understood the true depths of his folly – and what his hatred and prejudice had cost him, because even as the truth of what he felt for her entered his mind, she began to fade, the sense of all that was Kagome beginning to be pulled away. Desperate, he tried to reach out with his own soul to hold onto hers, but it wasn't enough... death had her wrapped in its cold, clawed hands, and his own could not hold her.

Every person on the field jerked in shock in that next second as a roar of pain and loss was ripped from the throat of the larger-than-life inuyoukai. It was filled with so much panic and agony, that even Inuyasha could not disdain his brother for it. It was a sound so horrible that they all felt their own pain answering his, even as they all grieved the loss of the girl that had brought them together for a shared purpose, and left them together through affection.

It was apparent to all there that day that the great daiyoukai Sesshoumaru had been brought to his knees by the death of a small mortal woman... and even his great power could not return her – there was no body to return her to. She was just gone, as though she'd never been.

But Sesshoumaru could never deny from that day on that Kagome Higurashi had, indeed, existed. For the marks she left on his soul would never heal or fade... and he would never be able to forget what her soul had said to his own in those blessed moments that she had been within him before disappearing from the earth forever.

I hope that you can hear me, that you can feel me... I wanted to tell you that I love you. And I hope that you can forgive me for not telling you when we were face to face, but just know that when it is your turn to fly away from life, I will be waiting...and on that day I'll tell you again.

But for now, live strong and free... for me, and know that I will always be watching over you.

From that moment on, Sesshoumaru lived as she'd asked, while praying that the Kami would take mercy on his soul...

And free him from an elongated life that he was no longer so proud to claim.

He had finally learned that it wasn't what you were by accident of birth that made you worthwhile – but the choices you made for yourself during your life. Kagome had proven more powerful than any of them, human or not – because she chose to die for something, rather than because of something.

It took a few years, but Sesshoumaru finally decided that there was no better way to go.

When it finally came time for him to leave this life, he did it the same way Kagome had centuries before – to save someone else...

He also did it with no regrets, welcoming death with open arms, only wishing for it to move faster that he might all the sooner join his beloved on the other side.

The first thing he saw when he got there was Kagome, staring at him with solemn, wanting eyes. She watched him for a few long moments, then said, “Hello, Sesshoumaru. I've been waiting, just like I said I would... and there's something I need to say to you.”

He looked at her expectantly, and she smiled so poignantly his heart ached.

“I love you.”

He nodded slowly in acceptance of her words.

“I have waited a long time to hear that... but it was worth every second, Kagome. I only regret that I did not understand my own heart in time to tell you that I loved you, as well. But I can tell you now... I loved you then, I still do now, and I am glad that I am finally here with you.”

Then the miko and the youkai Lord came together, and entered into the heavens... never to be apart again.

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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