Fires of Hell
With that one step, Kagome's heart stopped. She tried to catch her breath, but it was as if someone had just punched her in the stomach. She gripped ribcage and slowly, took a deep breath.
He took another step, just out of her reach. He stumbled a bit at first, but then regained his balance and kept walking. As soon as he was close enough, he pulled Kikyo into an embrace.
Kagome silenced the sob that wanted to escape. She covered her mouth and squeezed her eyes shut, willing herself not to look. She couldn't bear to see Inuyasha being pulled to Hell, so she turned on her heel and went back into the hut. That way, when she could no longer control her crying, no one would see her. "Kikyo, I'm sorry, but I can't go to Hell with you," Inuyasha said quietly in Kikyo's ear. "I'm too attached to this world," he admitted. He was too attached to Kagome. "I want to live. Please, understand that." "Inuyasha, you promised your soul to me. How can I expect any less?" "My heart, my body, and my soul belong to Kagome now. It is up to her what happens to me. I belong to her. I refuse to go with you." He was firm, yet kind. How could Inuyasha possibly go with Kikyo now? He loved Kagome so much that he'd lose his mind just at the thought of never being with her.
"I refuse to go without you. It does not belong to that girl. Your life belongs to me and I'm taking what's mine." She thrust her arms out and grabbed Inuyasha by the white sleeves that draped his arms.
Below their feet, a gorge opened up, sending the heat of hellfire into their faces. Inuyasha winced from the temperature, defenseless without his robe of the Fire Rat. Kikyo started pulling him down into the chasm. He went into autopilot; trying anything possible to break free of her grasp, but found that with his strength still drained, he was too weak to fight back. "NO!" he screamed, struggling against her. "Please, Kikyo! Don't do this!" He didn't want to hurt her, but his efforts were fruitless. She tightened her grip on him and pulled faster. Miroku ran and slid to reach his friend, who was now up to his waist in hell. He grabbed his friend and yelled through gritted teeth, "Sango, help me!" She ran up and grabbed Inuyasha's other hand, pulling with all of her might. "Let go of me," Inuyasha yelled, trying to wiggle free of Kikyo's hands. "I will not lose you now!" she screamed against him. "Kagome!" Sango screamed. They were in desperate need of another pair of hands. "Don't let go," she said to Miroku. "I'm going to go get Kagome." Miroku nodded and Sango waited until he had a good grip on Inuyasha's sleeves before she let go and ran for the hut. Upon entering, she found Kagome huddled in the corner, rocking back and forth and sobbing. She grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her. "Kagome, pull yourself together. Inuyasha needs you. Kikyo's trying to pull him into Hell," she screamed. "He wants to go," she cried. "He promised her his life. He said he-," "He told her he didn't want to go. He said that he belonged to you. Now, she's trying to pull him with her. And if we don't get out there, she'll succeed. Come on!" she shouted, yanking Kagome to her feet and out the door. As soon as Inuyasha saw Kagome, a look of relief flushed his features. Without Sango's help, Miroku was slowly losing his grip on the half-demon. He looked back when he saw Inuyasha's expression change, thankful that they were there to help him. "INUYASHA!" Kagome screamed. She slid to the edge of the chasm, nearly falling in, and wrapped her arms underneath each of Inuyasha's. She was hanging off the edge and the clothes from her waist up were being scorched from the extreme heat. She could feel her flesh being exposed. "I won't let go of you," she said into his ear. She looked past Inuyasha and saw the look of determination on Kikyo's face. Risking her own life, Kagome let herself fall further in and grabbed one of Kikyo's hands. She closed her eyes and willed the remaining part of her soul to return to her body. A small blue orb floated out and up into the air; a blaring light filled the fissure and Kagome saw Kikyo's body disintegrate into the heat. They tugged Inuyasha away from the closing hole, and Kagome fell back, heaving from the effort. "Are you okay?" she gasped, staring at Inuyasha, who looked utterly shocked. "Y-, you saved me," he stuttered.
"Ahem! She didn't do all the work!" Miroku said. Sango stood, said she was glad he was safe, and pulled Miroku by his ear toward the village.
"I had to," Kagome crinkled her brow. "I couldn't just let her take you against your will." He crawled over to her, using the last of his strength. He collapsed just inches from her, his head landing in her lap. "I thought you wanted to go, to give up your life for her," she said, absentmindedly brushing his bangs from his face. She refused to look him in the eyes, so she settled for looking at his silver hair. "Kagome, after all we've been through, how could I go with her?" "I know you better than that," she said, turning away. "You're the most loyal person I've ever met. You've never broken any promises. I figured you wouldn't stop now." "I've broken promises before. To you. I promised you I would always protect you. But every opportunity I had to prove it to you, I ruined it and ran off. I'm sorry for ever hurting you when all you've done is stay true to me. I don't deserve your friendship," he looked everywhere but up at her, too ashamed to meet her eyes.
"You have more than my friendship, Inuyasha," she murmured, hoping that he wouldn't catch it. Instantly, he looked up at her, his ears flicking rapidly.
She looked away, using the moment to assess her burns as a distraction. Her arms and belly were raw and red, throbbing with an uncomfortable twinge of pain. Her cheeks felt like she had blistering sunburn. He sat up, turned around and took her hand, pulling her closer. He opened to the palms of her hands and placed a gentle kiss in each of them. "I'm forever grateful for you saving my life."
"You wanted to live. It wasn't her place to choose for you," she bit out, holding back her anger at the once-and-for-all dead miko.
"I tried to tell her. I told her that my body, my soul, and my life belong to you and that it was up to you with what happened to me." Kagome pulled her hands from his. "You said that?"
"She had to know the truth," he insisted.
"The truth?" she repeated to herself. Her mind was reeling from this revelation. He said he belonged to her. Never in her life had she felt so extreme. Just the thought of having Inuyasha completely to herself sent her hormones into a rage. She wanted to go back to when they were kissing, or perhaps, just do it again now. She looked at him; he was looking at her, his features hard for her to read. "I belong to you," he said, taking her hand again and placing it on his chest, over his heart. He heard her breath catch in her throat. She was just staring at him, wide-eyed. Then he realized that she wasn't breathing. "Kagome, take a breath!" He grabbed her shoulders and shook them gently. She let out her breath, her eyes wide. "Are you sure you want this?" "More than anything," he rasped out before he grabbed her and pulled her flush against him, catching her lips in a passionate kiss. He parted from her lips rather reluctantly, enjoying the little growl she made from the loss of contact. "We need to be careful though," he put his forehead to hers. "Why?" she asked, trying desperately to touch his lips with hers again. He pushed her back by her shoulders so that he was staring fiercely into her eyes.
"If Kiohanbo, that bandit, can kidnap you and use you against me, there's no telling what Naraku will do. He's a hundred times worse than Kiohanbo. He won't hesitate to kill you, Kagome. And I couldn't handle that. It'd be worse than dying."