Here's the last chapter. Thanks for people who reviewed!
As I said, this was just a fun idea I had and since I'm writing two other fics currently, I decided to make it just a short fic, instead of very detailed multi-chapter one.
Disclaimers: see previous chapters.
Next day at noon, Kagome was taken from the dungeons to the square. A large crowd had gathered to watch, but they were not cheering this time as they had during Inuyasha's whipping. Kagome's death would be yet another sad example of Naraku misusing his power; even when some of the people were not sure if the girl was innocent or not, they all agreed that Naraku's trials were always unfair ones.
Sango and Shippo had come also. They didn't want to be there witnessing Kagome's death, but they could not let her believe that they had abounded her either. Miroku had come for moral support, and when Kagome was dragged to the gallows Sango lost her calm façade and started crying right to Miroku's chest. He put his arms around her, trying to show some comfort.
Naraku walked to the gallows, where Kagome was waiting the inevitable. "The prisoner Kagome has been found guilty of stabbing Captain Kouga of the guards and attempting his murder…" he started.
Kagome raised her head when she heard those words. Attempting murder?
Her eyes looked everywhere she could see and there, right at the back of square, as far as possible, she saw Kouga. Desperately she started scream his name, begging for help. But Kouga just turned his eyes away, crushing all the daydreams Kagome had been having.
"…and has thereby been condemned to death" Naraku finished his declaration.
"STOP THIS!" shouted the powerful voice of the priestess Kikyo. Naraku tensed, fearing she would betray her oath and reveal what he had told her to everyone.
"Naraku, you can still stop this" Kikyo pleaded. "Even you must understand that you can't let that girl die".
Naraku breathed a relieved sigh. His secret was safe. "I am merely doing my duty, but as you asked, I shall give this girl a chance to survive" he said.
Naraku turned to Kagome and whispered. "Listen to me girl, there is a chance for you to survive…"
Kagome's eyes winded. "That voice…You're the man in the fur!" she gasped.
"I can still save you and offer you a life. Be mine, Kagome. Be mine alone and you will live".
Kagome looked at Naraku's face and saw the dark desires in his eyes. It made her feel far worse than she already felt.
"I would rather die" she said and spit to his face.
Naraku angrily wiped his face. "The prisoner has refused to repent! Let the justice be done!"
Sango buried her face further to Miroku's robes, praying this wouldn't be happening.
But just as the executioner was about to act something happened. The entire gallows suddenly started trembling and then collapsed to the ground. In the confusion nobody was quite sure what had happened but the next thing they noticed, Kagome had disappeared.
"Look, up there!" someone shouted.
Everyone turned to look to the pointed direction: to the roofs. A loud collection of gasps was heard when they all saw Inuyasha there, moving and jumping with inhuman strength and reflexes, and holding an unconscious Kagome in his arms. He had managed to sneak under the gallows and made it collapse. And now he jumped from roof to roof with an amazing speed until he reached…
"No" Naraku whispered.
Soldiers tried to follow them, but priestess Kikyo stop them. "The law of sanctuary is the only law in the shrine. You are not allowed to come in!"
The people began to cheer loudly and Sango and Shippo both cried tears of joy.
When Kagome came around, the first face she saw was that of priestess Kikyo.
"Am I dead?" she asked, a bit confused.
"No, child, you are not. Inuyasha saved you and brought you to shrine. The law of sanctuary protects you here" Kikyo told her.
"Priestess, you may not believe me, but I was not the one who stabbed the Captain. It was…"
Kikyo hushed Kagome. "I know, child, I know who it was. Don't worry, no one shall harm you here, but it is also important that you don't leave the shrine".
Inuyasha listened from the doorway. Though he had saved the girl he knew it would probably be best if he wasn't around her.
For the first couple of days he absolutely avoided her. Whenever she was nearby he would leave for somewhere else, to the roof of the shrine usually. However, after few days Kagome had decided to talk to him and when she saw the first sight of him she called him by the name.
"Inuyasha?" she asked carefully. "Your name is Inuyasha, right?"
"Yes?" he answered carefully, trying to seem carefree.
"You saved me, didn't you?"
Inuyasha, avoided eye contact. "I did".
"But why? I've never done anything to you to deserve it".
Inuyasha was quiet for a moment before answering. "Water. You gave me water and little pity when I was whipped".
Kagome's eyes winded. "You saved me for that? But why…that was hardly anything".
Inuyasha finally dared to look her to the eyes. "It was more than I've ever received".
Kagome looked at him. She could understand why people were suspicious of Inuyasha. His sharp teeth and claws were indeed frightening looking and his golden eyes and white hair was anything but normal. And then there were the ears of course, the most noticeable thing about him. However Kagome did not find them to be repulsive.
In fact they looked kind of…cute.
Kagome smiled. "Thank you for saving me, Inuyasha. Since now neither of us can leave shrine without losing our lives, let's try to get along".
"Even though I tried to capture you one night?" Inuyasha asked suspiciously.
"I think saving my neck works as a good repayment".
Naraku had completely shut himself to his private chambers, refusing to give his time for public duties. All of his thoughts were circling around the shrine and the people living in it. The madness that had crept to his mind was surely taking control of him. Kagome's life seemed to mock him and he couldn't get peace until he would rid himself of the girl. However, Chief Justice had enough of his senses left to realize that full attack against shrine would surely create uproar.
Elsewhere Captain Kouga was also troubled. He had problems with his conscious. Thanks to immediate medical attention he had survived the stabbing and though he was drunk and had somewhat blurry image of what had happened, he couldn't get rid of the feeling that it wasn't Kagome who had stabbed him.
Yet, when he expressed these concerns for Chief Justice after he had sentenced Kagome to death, Naraku had only told him to keep these feverous delusions hidden.
"Think about your reputation and your fiancée. Right now she believes you were seduced by a dangerous individual. If she'd hear of this she would know you knowingly betrayed her".
With those words Naraku had shut Kouga's mouth, for how could Kouga break Ayame's heart? Sweet Ayame, who had stayed by his bed when he recovered and shed tears of happiness when he lived. Kouga could not bring himself to do it and so had turned away when Kagome pleaded his help.
Still, when Inuyasha had saved Kagome, Kouga had felt great relief knowing her death would not be on his conscious. And he knew that he could no longer keep his mouth shut of the things that had happened. If he did he would be far worse.
Over the following days in the Shrine priestess Kikyo observed with a motherly interest of a friendship that seemed to have grown between Inuyasha and Kagome. It seemed that more time the girl spend with him the easier it was to overlook his physical differences. Kikyo had even once saw how the girl had tenderly touched his ears and Inuyasha, albeit looking uncomfortable, had allowed it.
Kikyo prayed that things would turn out well for everyone. And she prayed that unless girl's feelings were genuine, Inuyasha would not be misled.
Days went by and before you'd know it Kagome had spend well over two months in the shrine. Kagome was in the end only a human and as all humans, there was a moment when all stress that had piled inside of her needed a release. She became very moody and started to smile less and less. Eventually when she started spending more time by herself Inuyasha grew worried.
"Kagome? Are you ill?" he asked.
"No, Inuyasha. I miss going outside. I miss people. Don't you get tired of being always inside here?"
For Inuyasha the idea of living outside was incomprehensible. "No, should I?"
Kagome snapped. All of her frustrations and anger and fears came out. Everything that had built up since the night Kouga was stabbed. Her fear of getting killed, her heart breaking and her longing to see her friends. She screamed and cried and used some very harsh words.
But when it was all over, minutes or hours later she didn't know, she was on her knees, panting heavily, still crying. And Inuyasha knelt before her and very tentatively touched her shoulders. When Kagome met his eyes she saw nothing but concern for her.
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said those things. I'm sorry" she apologized, fearing she had driven away the person who had helped her so much.
Inuyasha wanted nothing more than to see her smiling again. "Come with me" he said suddenly.
He led Kagome to the highest spot on the shrine's roof where they saw the entire town and far beyond that. The sun was just setting, creating a magnificent show of colors.
"It's beautiful" she gasped.
"You like it?"
"Yes, thank you for showing this". Then Kagome smiled and her eyes were bright and Inuyasha felt he had accomplished something divine.
As Kagome stared the beautiful landscape Inuyasha wanted nothing more than to tell her how much she had become to mean to him and how far he would be ready to go to keep her happy.
"…nothing" he said, for how could he tell about his feelings to someone as beautiful as her?
Naraku had finally reached his limit. He could no longer ignore the fact that woman who had bewitched him – surely that was the case – still lived. In a moment of desperation he had finally decided to turn to Emperor of All Lands himself, and ask him to temporarily remove the law of sanctuary. It had been done before in cases of high criminals hiding in shrines.
Naraku send Captain Kouga to the Emperor's castle to explain the situation. However, Naraku was not aware of Kouga's troubled sense of honor and did not predict that this mission would be Kouga's breaking point. He simply could not shame himself anymore.
He went straight to his fiancée Ayame, bowed before her and confessed what really had happened that night.
"I am going now to the Emperor to tell how things really are here. If I find you gone I'll consider our engagement over" he remorsefully said. "I'm sorry".
After that he took his trusted soldiers Hakkaku and Ginta with him and headed to Emperor's castle.
Kanna, Naraku's always observant spy had however been ordered to spy Ayame. Naraku knew he had power over Kouga as long as the woman stayed blissfully unaware of things. When Kanna informed what had happened and of Kouga's true intentions, his mind finally gave in to the madness.
"Assemble the guards! We shall size the shrine and drag the criminal Kagome out by force if necessary!"
"Shippo, what on Earth is the matter?"
"I saw them…dozens of them…maybe even more…!"
"Breathe a little and start from the beginning" Miroku advised from the side.
"In front of the Palace of Justice! Naraku is gathering his troops! He is going to attack the shrine!" the young boy shouted.
Sango gasped. "Are you sure about this?"
"Positive. I heard him shouting how the prisoner Kagome would be dragged out. He has lost it, Sango. He's completely insane now".
"We must tell about this to Sesshoumaru" Miroku said.
A moment later Sesshoumaru had all the outlaws listening to him. "Naraku has made his final error. The law of sanctuary is ultimate. If we allow Naraku to disgrace it then we might as well give up our call. Go and gather our troops! And tell the people of this town what is happening. They cannot turn blind eye for this!" he commanded.
People started immediately run to every direction. Sesshoumaru's word would soon have reached everyone in the town.
"Kohaku! I want you and Jaken to take Rin out of town to the woods. Should the worst happen I need you to look after her" Sesshoumaru said.
Kohaku was burning with need to fight alongside with his sister against Naraku but saw the hidden plea in Sesshoumaru's eyes. "Very well" he nodded.
Sesshoumaru cast one last fond look to his foster daughter and then he, Kagura, Sango, Miroku and many others started heading to the shrine.
Naraku had not expected a resistance like this. Suddenly it seemed that all the outlaws he had hunted were suddenly right in front of him, standing between him and the shrine. Even Sesshoumaru was there.
"Naraku! We will not allow you to violate the law of sanctuary!" Sesshoumaru declared.
Naraku cackled with an insane glee on his eyes. "It seems more than just one law breaker is punished today. Kill them all!"
And so it started. Sesshoumaru and others barricade themselves in front of the shrine, as if they could actually keep Naraku's troops away. They did their best to hold on and put up a hell of a fight. Even Naraku had to move to the side when a gigantic boomerang seemed to try to attack him.
Despite it all…
"They're just wasting my time" Naraku thought, as he watched from behind as his troops would constantly push on. "They have no choice but to loose in the end".
But suddenly Naraku heard a huge commotion that over powered even the battle in front of him. Turning around he saw the town's people of different classes, poor, middle and upper, coming towards them in huge masses. One thing that was mutual for all of them was that they respected the shrine and no one was allowed to violate it.
And with a sudden clarity Naraku realized that it was over for him.
But he was not going down alone. When the masses attacked his soldiers he managed to slip to the shrine. However, not undetected.
"Naraku! Stop this insanity at once!" priestess Kikyo demanded. "I will not tolerate your insolence towards the shrine any longer!"
Naraku had an instinct to kill the meddling woman once and for all, but the more demanding need to accomplish what he had come here for overpowered that one. He grabbed her by her robes and roughly pushed her down the stairs he had climbed up. There was a yelp of pain when a bone in Kikyo's leg broke.
Naraku searched through the shrine until he finally found Kagome in the upper floor. Inuyasha was there as well, standing between the two of them. He really looked like a guard dog. But even so, Naraku could see that Inuyasha was conflicted when facing his "master".
"Inuyasha, stand aside and I shall forgive all of what you've done".
Inuyasha hesitated. Lifetime of serving Naraku was working against him. But when he saw Kagome, trembling there with fear in her eyes, he made his mind.
"No" he said and attacked.
Inuyasha jumped on top of Naraku and pushed him down the floor. He was a lot stronger than the Chief Justice and didn't even break a sweat.
"Kagome, escape!" Inuyasha shouted over his shoulder. Kagome turned around and ran. "No! Not that way, girl! That leads to-"
Inuyasha's shout was cut off as he felt a sudden pain in his ribs. He looked down and saw a dagger Naraku had stabbed him with. He tried to keep Naraku pined to the floor but found himself losing his strength and feeling dizzy. Chief Justice pushed him off and stood watching where Kagome had run.
He laughed. "Wench. She went to roof".
Indeed, Kagome found herself from the roof, watching down where she saw that Naraku's men had been overpowered and defeated. She turned around and saw Naraku himself, with a bloody dagger in his hand.
Her eyes winded. "What…what did you do to Inuyasha?"
Naraku smiled. "Same what I did to his mother and am going to do to you! You both ruined me!"
He came towards her, his arm raised but suddenly stopped. Inuyasha was behind him, breathing heavily and holding his wrist in his hand, his other hand around Naraku's neck.
"Bastard…let go of me!" Chief Justice cried but too late. Inuyasha gave one last demonstrations of his strength and pushed him over the edge of the roof. Naraku fell screaming down to his own death.
Inuyasha fell to his knees. Kagome ran to him and saw how badly he was bleeding.
"Oh God, Inuyasha!" she sobbed as he lost his strength and leaned against her.
"You're safe now" he whispered.
Kagome started crying. Was she now supposed to witness the end of the one person who had helped her? The person who had showed her kindness and friendship even when she had foolishly dreamed of impossible.
"Don't die…please don't. Help! Someone please help!"
Kagome turned her head and saw Sango and Miroku who had just appeared to the roof.
"Please, help him!"
A day later Captain Kouga returned to town, with Minister Myoga, appointed by Emperor to investigate if Kouga's story really was true. When they arrived, Kouga was immediately informed of what had happened on the shrine.
"Naraku attempted to violate law of sanctuary?" Myoga asked. "This is a very serious accusation indeed. Where is Naraku?"
"Dead. His demon ward killed him".
The wounded had been taken to shrine to be cared for. In the end Sesshoumaru's group suffered fewer losses than Naraku's men, though Sesshoumaru himself did lose his other arm. As he was lying down on a small bed, with Kagura trying to ease his pains, he looked who was occupying bed next to him and saw Inuyasha sleeping there, with Kagome sitting next to bed. She looked extremely tired but stayed by Inuyasha's side, even when she was informed that he would survive.
Sesshoumaru let his eyes travel to the sleeping young man. He had heard of the dog demon Chief Justice was raising in shrine but never actually seen this close. His eyes landed to the beads around Inuyasha's neck.
"It can't be…"
Kagome snapped out of her thoughts. "Sesshoumaru?"
"Those beads…where has he gotten them?"
Kagome had a sad expression on her face. "They're from his mother. He told me they were the only thing he has of her".
Sesshoumaru let the information sank in. Then…that must mean he is…
"Lord Sesshoumaru!" Jaken shouted as he entered to shrine. "Look who I found! It's Minister Myoga, your father's former advisor!"
The old minister entered. "Sesshoumaru, it really is you! We all thought you were death".
"Lies! All of them were Naraku's lies so my Master would be left without the help of the nobility" Jaken wailed.
"I am now more than certain of looking into everything Naraku has been doing here" Myoga said. He then turned to look others there and saw Kagome. "You must be the girl of who apparently has been the center of these recent events".
"I'm afraid so, sir" Kagome said and stood between Myoga and Inuyasha, as if afraid old minister could do harm for unconscious boy.
Myoga looked at Inuyasha. "And this is…"
Kagome was about to speak but Sesshoumaru talked first. "If I am not too mistaken, minister, this is my half-brother".
Sesshoumaru revealed that his father, a noble General of highest rank, had fallen in love to a common woman when Sesshoumaru was just ten years old. Still married to his wife, the General could not marry the woman but did provide everything she needed. However, when General had died in battle, at the same evening when Inuyasha was born, both the woman and her son were left without help and Naraku had snatched the General's lands. Fearing for her son's life, the woman had made them both disappear and had soon joined the resistance fighters.
Sesshoumaru joined later for the same reasons but by then Inuyasha's mother had already tragically died. Since he never even learned about his brother, Sesshoumaru had never considered the possibility. However, he had seen his father making those beads to the woman he had loved and could recognize them anywhere.
Not long after, Myoga presented proofs of many of Naraku's crimes to Emperor. All of the outlaws were pardoned without a moment's consideration. Myoga became temporary Chief Justice of the town and the position was later given to Sesshoumaru, whom the town's people now trusted more than ever. Sesshoumaru legally adopted Rin as his daughter. Kagura, Kohaku, Sango and Miroku also became central characters in the town.
Captain Kouga remained in his duty although he first offered to resign. He also did marry Ayame, though wedding was postponed for a long while, before she forgave him and they could built their trust again.
And what of Inuyasha? After recovering he was acknowledged as the son of late General and was granted quite a property. Still, he preferred to stay in the shrine, the only place he had come to call home.
When Kagome was pardoned she had left the shrine to help other outlaws of getting back to public life. Inuyasha was convinced that that would be the last time he'd see her, but just a day later she returned to see him. And the day after that. And the day after that.
She would spend time with him in the shrine for hours, but finally she asked him to come with her to outside.
"Kagome…it is more than I can ask for that you come to see me here. Why would you want to be publicly seen with me?"
Kagome smiled. "Because you are dear to me, Inuyasha. And I don't really care who sees us and what they think. It is better to see the world as it is instead of living in dreams. And I've seen who you are, Inuyasha. And I want to get to know you better".
She spoke that softly and her eyes showed such kindness. Inuyasha hesitated before taking her offering hand to his. And as she led him outside where Miroku, Sango and Shippo were waiting, Inuyasha dared to hope and dream.
Quite OOC, I know. Sorry.