Your heart has never felt so swollen and heavy. Tears are streaming down your face. Somehow, you know that this might be the last time you ever see him. You know that standing in the middle of a forest crying won't help you. Naraku has set up a little place for you in the relative clearing. He's arranged some logs and branches into a rough shelter, as well as started a warm, large fire. It only breaks your heart more. He isn't expecting to come back.

Strong cramps start in your back and work their way to the front. You gasp in pain. All of your things are set in the corner of the small shelter. You unroll the bed and lay it out under the branches. You try to make everything neat and tidy and easy to access. Once you do, you lay down. You toss and turn for a while. How can you be this tired and not able to sleep? No position is better, nothing helps, nothing feels right.

And the cramps... They just keep getting worse.

You finally give up on the idea of sleep and decide to work on your shelter a little more. You make sure that there isn't any debris around the area, that all the little twigs and leaves sticking down from the branches are snapped off, and that everything is as it should be. You even try to widen the shelter, but you're too sore and exhausted. Again, you try to go to sleep. This time, you succeed.

You dream of Naraku returning from his battle with Inuyasha. He's okay, he's won, and he's made it just in time for you to have your child. In your sleep, you cry. Even in your sleep, you know this won't happen.

Pain like nothing else wakes you up. You bolt upright, but that only sends more pain through your body. You cry out, grabbing your stomach. You know what this must mean. You open your eyes, and you're shocked to see the silhouette of a man. He's leaning against a tree only a few feet from you, facing the sunrise. Your heart leaps into your throat. Your eyes fill with happy tears. But when the man comes to you, it's not Naraku; it's Sesshomaru!

You look at him, scared. He tried to kill Naraku. There's no way he left me in this guy's care! "Don't be frightened." He says. "Naraku and I have reached an agreement. Inuyasha's death for your safety." You stare at him blankly, trying not to show how much pain you're in. You don't want this man to think you're any weaker than he already thinks you are. You have a feeling that would be very dangerous.

"Are you hungry?" He asks. He's not being cruel, but his voice is cold and full of disdain.

"No." You say, then, "Thank you, though." You don't want to seem rude, especially if Naraku has made peace with this man, but you also want him to go away. You don't feel like having company right now. You have plenty of food, a nice fire, a pile of logs and kindling, everything you could possibly need. You don't need this man's help.

Too, even though you'd known Naraku was going after Inuyasha, knowing that Sesshomaru is involved only makes you worry more. You don't trust him, you don't understand why Naraku does. Your head starts to pound from the stress, and another huge, painful cramp strikes.

"Please!" You blurt out, then more calmly. "Please, if you don't mind, can I have a moment alone?" He considers you for a moment, then nods. He leaves without another word. What was that about? You wonder. You decide that he must have been weighing his options; honor his end of the agreement, or honor your wishes.

Now you're the one silhouetted against the sunrise. It warms you in ways the fire Naraku had started cannot. But it can't relieve the worry in your heart. Naraku, please come back to me safely.

Time passes uneventfully. You ate a late breakfast, but you haven't been particularly hungry. The baby hasn't moved all day. You're worried about it, what if it's died from all the stress? Were babies supposed to be so still? Your thoughts drift around the baby. Why hadn't you picked out names with Naraku when you had the chance?

The cramps are worse, and they're starting to come at regular intervals, though they're still far apart. You rub your belly absently. What am I going to do?

You're jerked out of your thoughts by the sound of bushes being thrashed around violently. You think Sesshomaru must have returned, but when you turn around, it's Naraku. And he looks terrible! He's bloodied from head to toe. He can't even walk properly, in stead, he stumbles towards you, falling when he nears you. Hysterical tears fill your eyes, you're only a hair away from sobbing. You run to him. "Naraku!" You cry out, holding his head in your arms. "Naraku, what happened?"