After The End by TripleR

Shell Shock

I had to put the other on hold for this one. Which is so not me but... urgh w/e. Please enjoy.


It was incredible

The sheer amount of devastation could not be comprehended. In her mind it was as if she was watching a real of film, and slowly but surely the images were rolling into her mind. A permanent fixture, something that years from now would still be etched in stone. Something she could never tell her children of, but would always have just at the tip of her tongue.

It had a taste, the memory. It was bitter, almost metallic. Though its savory quality was somewhat addictive. Kagome assumed that was likely due to her years of fighting alongside a half demon and a demon slayer, killing and searching.



For what? It didn't even seem important anymore, even though it was still direly so. It was so whole reason, the whole purpose... But for what she couldn't quite remember...

Couldn't quite grasp...

The wind whistled sharply and carried with it a low moan... almost as if something other worldly were speaking to her. She thought she caught a glimpse of red in the corner of her eye and turned sharply, time seeming to stand still.

And she started

She had seen it, real though it wasn't moving. But it was there, it was there...

It had to be...

Kagome started running, as fast as she could and still so damnably slow.

She couldn't breath and she tripped and stumbled. Sheer force and speed carrying her through it a mere foot away from solid ground, from reality. Wind seemed to whistle in her ear encouraging her while the low moan seemed to promise her failure.

It had kept its promise, but it still lied. She knew because of the red... the red that was inching nearer and nearer. All the while something was building inside of her until she could not hold it in anymore for fear of it destroying her,


The call rang, the intensity and vastness of the silence previously unknown until so severely and harshly broken. She had reached him, which was what mattered, she had found him.

She fell just short of him and crumpled. She moved no more, her energy spent and her heart gone she fell with her hand barely touching one lone strand of silver.


"Kagome... come on, Kagome, you have to get up."

A low moan sounded from the otherwise lifeless body. Color slowly drained into her face, as if called back from the dead. Her white skin turned a pale golden and her eyes cracked open; though they quickly shut when confronted with the sun and the close proximity of a concerned half demon.

"Kagome! Kagome, are you alright?"

"... No."

Kagome opened one eye and looked up at him... and for some reason the feeling was different. It was if too much had happened--as if something had changed.

Well, of course something had changed. It had all changed... had all failed... was all gone. All except them.

And it.

Kagome groaned, grasped her head, and closed her eyes--well aware that Inuyasha was still standing over her.


"Inuyasha, please, stop."

"Keh, fine."

"Inuyasha..." Kagome opened her eyes and looked at him, her eyes were filling quickly and she couldn't stop it. But she had to find out.

"Miroku? Sango? Kirara? ... Shippo?"

Inuyasha gave no answer; he looked at her for a moment and then simply looked away.

Kagome inhaled sharply and raised her hand to her face. A lone sob spilled and a seemingly endless number followed. She turned her face away and laid it on the ground. Her sobs wracking her so mercilessly they were practically silent. And after a time they were. And after a time they subsided, and deadly silence ensued. Nothing was said for a while, and then...

"The jewel?"

Kagome turned toward the sound. It was almost foreign in her ears and she didn't know if she had even heard; couldn't bring herself to believe she had.


"The jewel, what happened to it?"

Kagome sat and stared, too shocked to respond. She could not have heard right. It wasn't possible that he had said it.

But he had, and when she looked at him she recognized something akin to that metallic memory. Something wrong, wrong with the whole situation.

"Miroku is dead. Sango is dead. God, Inuyasha, SHIPPO IS DEAD! And you, you have the audacity to dare ask me where the jewel is? Naraku is dead, the whole western lands smell of his miasma and death. Look around you--everything is dead here. Inuyasha, it's all dead and so is everything we fought for and you dare... you dare ask for the jewel?!"

"Listen, there's nothing I can do about the death. It happens every day, get used to it. You knew they would be gone eventually. Everyone always ends up gone."

Kagome stared, wide-eyed and slowly stood. And when he stood as well she slowly backed away,

"But with the jewel, Kagome, with it I can do something. With it I can be something. I can fix this and make it right but I have to know... I have to know first. Is it whole?"

And suddenly the savor of the memory was gone. The addiction was gone and the years meant nothing. All that mattered was leaving.

Kagome stopped her retreat and slowly looked up. Her eyes burned dully and the pain of the past threatened to douse it. She looked until she caught his eyes and held them. She then reached into her blouse and pulled out a small pouch. She looked at it contemplatively then at Inuyasha again. Without enough thought towards the decision, good or bad, she threw it.

"Take it Inuyasha, and do what you will. To hell with the rest."

With that she turned and walked slowly and steadily, head down. She heard him call, heard him follow. But after a short time, or perhaps a long time, it stopped. She could no longer sense him and when she shifted her aura out to detect for him there was nothing. Not even the slightest trace of life.

But that was expected... it was all gone for at least five square miles.

Kagome paused as she came upon a town. She walked through it as if a ghost, her heart racing and her soul crying. She felt almost an intruder. It was as if being here... alive, was unacceptable. Death had become the right of passage here. And so, without letting herself look around, she moved on. Through the town and threw forests then roads for however long her feet would carry her. When they no longer could she fell in her spot and dozed or stared until she could stand.

It went on like that for days... the suns rise and set meaning nothing to her. Giving or taking nothing from her. She had thought perhaps the well... but no, it had been to close to the scene. And even had it not been destroyed, too much had happened to return.

Too much...

Kagome looked down at the ground, to the dirt road that seemed to never end. She had been on it for a good while, perhaps it would take her-

What was that?

Kagome halted and looked up, eyes and ears alert.

There it was again... like a chime. Hope bloomed in Kagome's chest as she sprang to life, and began running.

She ran endlessly, ignoring the fact she wasn't breathing and her lungs and caught on fire until she came to a small clearing and stopped dead at the site.

Children, and they were playing. They were alive.

They were happy.

Kagome fell to her knees and felt the tears overwhelm her senses as they poured. The children paused in their movements and came over. She could hear them... but their words meant nothing. Only they themselves had any meaning to her.

It was too much... and her brain knew it, for soon all she saw was black.


"My lady, I believe she is waking. She has been stirring more though she has no fever."

The lady stood from her pallet and smiled at the young man knealing before her.

"Thank you, Katsu. Lead me to her."

The servant stood and began to walk, leading the women through several halls till the came upon hers. As she entered she saw that the man was correct, the woman's eyes were now open and she stared unblinkingly on.

The lady approached and sat the side of the bed.

"I am glad you are awake. You were asleep for quite a long time."

Kagome looked slowly to the woman, "Where am I?"

"In a small village just inside the western lands, and who are you?"

Kagome smiled somewhat, "Kagome...I stayed in Edo... by the well."

The woman's eyes widened, "The priestess of the company who slew Naraku?"

"I am, though my company was left only me and one other. And I do not consider us a company."

"Ah..." the woman looked at Kagome, "and your town?"

"Destroyed. Anyone around as well."

"So you have no home?"

Kagome gave no answer, choosing instead to turn her head to the side and stare at the wall.

The woman sighed and laid her hand on Kagome's shoulder, "This town is not much but it is safe. It is also in need of a priestess. If you have no home and wish to stay, your services would be gratefully accepted and highly desired. Think on it."

With that the woman stood and left. Kagome realized she had not gotten the woman's name. But at the moment she did not care. She was too tired... to... everything.

But she would stay. The woman was seemingly kind enough and perhaps she could rebuild her life.


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