Disclaimer: I do not own Ga-Rei or its characters! All rights to its original author!
"Kagura," Yomi reached out a long, clawed hand, grasping for Kagura but missing. Her hand fell, dropping to her lap.
Blood. Blood was everywhere, drenching everything. Yomi was in the middle of the dark red sea, clothed in a torn school uniform, and Kagura was standing several feet away from her, the weapon that she had used just seconds ago to kill her big sister slowly slipping through her fingers. The pure black sky touched the horizon, creating a dome of black with a carpet of red as far as the eye can see. Everything was tilting, as if the world was somehow off.
"Yomi..." Kagura stumbled forward, not wanting the light to go out of the other girl's. The human eyes. "Yomi, I... I don't..."
Yomi smiled, and for a second, she looked like her old self again. Teasing and laughing, kind and happy. Her bright eyes weren't tainted, her smile wasn't twisted, and her bangs covered the sparkling gem in her forehead.
It almost would have been perfect, if not for the blood. The endless red blood.
Kagura fell to her knees in front of Yomi, blood splashing up on her uniform, her limbs refusing to move anymore. But they didn't need to move; it was Yomi who raised a hand, a normal, human hand, and placed it on Kagura's cheek.
"I never meant to hurt you," she whispered. "I never wanted that."
"Yomi..." Tears begin spilling out of Kagura's eyes.
"You be a good girl, Kagura. You have so much potential." Yomi pulled Kagura's head down and kissed her forehead. Warmth blossomed from the spot where her lips touched, filling Kagura's heart and soul.
But then the warmth turned cold; its icy grip pierced her heart like a dagger, causing Kagura to cry out in pain, clutching at her chest. The same pain was in her forehead, right where Yomi had kissed her.
"Yomi!" Kagura grabbed the other girl's shoulder as pain flooded throughout her body. "What did you..."
"So much potential." Yomi licked her lips with a forked tongue. Her eyes had turned a layered yellow and red and black, her bangs parting just enough to let the sesshouseki's light gleam through.
Kagura's chest clenched tighter and tighter until she could barely breathe anymore. She put one hand around her throat as if she could draw more air in that way, even though she knew it wouldn't help. Yomi stood up before her, shaking off her hand.
"It's your fault," she hissed, leaning forward until their faces were only centimeters apart. "You're the one who killed me, Kagura. Didn't you think you could stop it first? Stop me from changing? Or is it that you wanted me to turn? Is that it?"
"No, Yomi," Kagura gasped. "Please, Yomi, I didn't..."
"Couldn't handle all the pressure to be the next leader of your family, Kagura?" Yomi continued, now walking around the slowly strangling girl. "If you couldn't be better than a pathetic little adopted kid like me, how could you possibly expect to be a worthy heir?"
Yomi's eyes flashed, and she drew her sword out of nowhere, aiming it at Kagura's neck. Her spirit beast appeared behind her, jaw opened to reveal all of his teeth.
Yomi smiled sweetly. "Night night, Kagura."
"Kagura? Hey, Kagura!"
She opened her eyes, jumping when she saw Kensuke's worried face staring down at her. She turned her head to the side, trying to remember where she was... right. She had just laid down out in their yard of the cabin they were hiding out in after training. She had only meant to rest for a few minutes, but...
Kagura smiled at him, trying to erase the sickening feeling in the pit of her stomach from the nightmare. "Hi, Ken-chan."
He frowned and leaned back, giving her room to sit up. As she did, she glanced around. She immediately noticed that the sun was quite lower than it had been when she'd laid down around lunchtime; now it looked to be almost sunset. How long had she been asleep? As she took in her surroundings more, she couldn't help the sigh of relief that escaped from her lips.
No blood. No Yomi.
Kensuke was still frowning at her. She shrugged uncomfortably. "What?"
"What's wrong?" He asked.
She smiled again. "Nothing's wrong, Ken-chan."
"You're crying, Kagura."
He stretched his hand out and brushed his thumb gently against her cheek; warmth blossomed where his skin touched against hers, making her heart skip a beat. When he drew it back, Kagura saw that it was damp. Reaching up, she felt her tear-drenched cheeks for herself.
"I-I'm sorry." She laughed, but it was small and forced. "I don't know..."
"Everyone else is out getting supplies, and they left me behind to watch over you. When I came out here, you were thrashing around in your sleep," Kensuke said quietly. "And calling out for Yomi."
Kagura blinked, willing the fresh tears to stay away. "I... I dreamt about her, Ken-chan. She was... blaming me. For her death." She drew her knees up to her chest, hugging them tight. "She's right. It's my fault. I could have done something. There had to be... she didn't have to turn evil. She didn't have to die! And if she hadn't died, then maybe we wouldn't be forced to hide out here, the Agency would still be together, and everyone would have still been alive!" She tucked her face into her knees, unable to stop the tears anymore.
Kensuke stared at her shaking shoulders, trying to think of something to say, to do. Anything. Why did he have to be so weak that he couldn't even comfort Kagura when she needed him? Why couldn't he do anything besides see evil spirits? Sure, it was helpful, but it wasn't enough. Not even close.
"It's my fault," Kagura sobbed, knuckles turning white. "I could have helped Yomi, but I didn't... I can't save anyone..."
Suddenly Kensuke grabbed her by the shoulders, moving so he was kneeling down in front of her, startling into looking up at him with tear filled eyes. "That's a lie!" He shouted at her, gripping her tighter.
"You save people, Kagura!" He loosened his hold, trying regain control of himself, but he could't stop the words pouring out of his mouth. "You saved Shizuru, you saved Kyouko, and countless others! No one can ever count how many people you've saved, not even if they spent their whole lifetime trying!" Calming down after his rant, he lowered his voice. "And you saved me, too, Kagura. More times than I can imagine."
Kagura was stunned for a moment, unable to move or even think. Then she raised her hands, placing them on top of Kensuke's larger ones. She laughed softly. "You're the one who's always helping me. I can't ever repay you for everything you've done for me."
"I'm not asking to be repaid," he said. "That's what I'm here for: to help you."
Kagura found her right hand slowly moving up his arm, barely touching him, until it found the base of his neck. She traced the edge of his collarbone with her index finger, barely even noticing her own gesture. Kensuke's face flushed as her soft skin rubbed against his in such a way. Suddenly the way they were positioned, his knee in between her legs, which she had stretched out on the ground again when he had started to yell at her, and his arms caging the two of them off seemed extremely... intimate.
"Kagura," his voice was barely a whisper as her finger trailed up further along his neck, curving around the base and drawing small circles in the back, "what..."
"Kensuke," the way she breathed his name made his heart beat a million times faster than it already was. Her hand pressed against the back of his neck as she drew closer to him, and him to her. "Thank you," she whispered, her lips threatening to brush against his, "for everything."
Kensuke closed the distance between them, capturing her lips with his. His hand moved to curl around her waist, the other one propping them up against the ground, as she wrapped her arm around his neck, pulling him in to deepen the kiss. His tongue traced her lower lip and Kagura opened herself up to him, letting his tongue slip into her mouth. Her hand moved to the back of his head, gripping his hair, trying to get more of him. Kensuke pressed her against him, flipping them over so that he was sitting on the ground with her straddling him in his lap.
When they broke apart to breathe, Kensuke moved his lips to her neck, teasing the soft skin there with his tongue. Kagura let out a gasp as he nibbled softly at her neck, hands clutching at his hair.
"You're welcome," he murmured against her skin. He kissed his way back up along her neck and jawline until he reached her lips, and this time she was the one who demanded entry to his mouth. Kagura's hand found the bottom of his shirt and her fingers slipped underneath, feeling up along his muscled torso before resting her hands on his chest. Kensuke shivered as her cold hands pressed against his warm, bare chest. He pulled away from Kagura and reached down to pull his shirt off...
"Get a room!" A voice called out from the doorway.
Kensuke and Kagura jumped apart from each other, both of them redder than a blushing tomato with a sunburn. Izuna was leaning against the house, arms folded across his chest, an amused look on his face.
"I-I-Izuna-san!" Kagura stuttered. "How long-"
"A while now," he grinned wolfishly. "More than enough, at any rate." He shrugged casually. "Just thought you should know that the others are going to be back soon. He turned and started to go back into the cabin, but he called over his shoulder, "and you should also know that the neighbors, and pretty much anyone who wants to, can see you."
After the door closed behind him, Kagura glanced over at Kensuke. "I g-guess we should... head... in..."
"Yeah," Kensuke nodded, standing up. He held out his hand towards Kagura and helped her up. "We should." He yanked her against him, wrapping an arm around her waist so she couldn't escape, even if she wanted to. "We really should."
And with that, Kagura dragged him down again, this time refusing to let go of him.