This work contains spoilers for chapters 521-530 of the manga
A young woman in strange dress was sitting on a rail fence, not far from the priestess' hut, watching the sky darken with the spreading jyaki that was Naraku using the now complete Shikon no Tama. Her eyes, a stormy blue in a world of dark eyed folk studied the scene before her, kind eyes that still managed to show her tension, hope, and determination. The village fields stretched out before her view, empty of the usual activity that took place there, as most of the villagers were staying out of the sight of the darkness overhead, knowing it for the evil it was. Looking carefully, she could see the long narrow forms of youkais flying into the darkness, called there by Naraku's use of the jewel. With a slight shudder, she looked down at her hands, her dark hair casting only a faint shadow over her face. The sky was getting more and more overcast with the darkness that Naraku was producing that there wasn't a lot of light for contrast.
"Do you ever get scared about all of this, InuYasha?" Kagome asked.
There was a chill in the air that went further than the cool temperatures of early spring. A light breeze ruffled her short green skirt, her hair.
"Course I do, sometimes," the hanyou said, 'especially for you.'
InuYasha stood next to her, his red clothing almost the only bright color in view. He leaned against the fence, his amber eyes staring at some point into infinity. A single white triangular ear flicked as he heard her shifting on the fence, turning to face him. His silver-white hair also stirred in the breeze. In this light it was easy to see how he was not really human, touched with something supernatural, strong, marked by the ears, the hair, the claws, his eyes. But now, against the gathering threat, it registered something strong, good, right, a bright positive aura against the gathering wrong in the sky above. Inuhanyou, he had become the inugami that would protect them all, if it was in his power, especially the young woman he stood next to.
"It's hard not knowing what we'll find once we go after Naraku," he continued. 'Can I keep you safe until your powers are unsealed?' he thought. He looked over at her with that serious intensity that was his normal gaze, but softened with something that only passed between the two of them. He sighed, as if he were searching for words. "But there's scared of not knowing, being anxious, and there's scared that says run away. I won't run away. And I know you. You never run away," he said with conviction, 'even when I wish you would.'
She reached out and touched his hand. Surprisingly, he took her hand in his, wrapped his strong calloused fingers around hers.
"You scared?" he asked
"Maybe." she said, and gave him a wry smile. "I don't know what I'm more scared about -- Naraku or seeing if I passed my high school exam."
He snorted then turned his body to face her. "Feh," he replied. "After all that work?"
"Oh you!" Kagome pulled her hand back, crossed her arms and gave a pouty frown, then snuck a look at him and caught InuYasha smirking as he looked at her with some amusement. After a moment, she smiled back.
"I know you. You did fine." he said.
They stayed there quietly for a time, and slowly after a bit, her hand creeped back to his.
"Miroku is well enough to travel. I think we should leave soon as you get back tomorrow." InuYasha finally said. "Naraku is waiting for us."
Kagome nodded, looking down at the ground, her black hair hiding her face. "Where is Miroku, anyway?" she asked. "I haven't seen him this afternoon."
"With Sango. Kaede told me they wanted some time to be alone. She and Shippou have gone off to gather herbs. I think she's trying to give Kohaku some time to rest."
"I see," said Kagome, sliding off the fence. "Walk with me?"
He nodded, and began to walk with her down the path out of the village. Slowly, walking quietly hand in hand, they made their way down the path to the Goshinboku. They passed only a few villagers who were doing their errands as quickly as possible with nervous glances at the sky. Even the village children were missing. The signs of Magatsuhi's attack on the village still scarred the area, with some of the rubble still uncleared and the ruins of Kaede's hut still needing repair.
But as they walked passed the edge of the village and into the woods of InuYasha's forest, there was a change in the tenseness, as if the forest itself had a way to block the effects of Naraku's malevolence, a calmness that grew stronger as they neared the Goshinboku. The sacred tree, tied to so much in InuYasha's and Kagome's lives, and to the ages past and present, was still, for the time, immune from the darkness that was building, and as they moved under the branches of the tree a whispered tendril of peace touched them both.
Kagome took a deep breath, and let it out slowly, and for the moment, she felt she could pretend that tomorrow would not be a momentous day for all of them. She smiled hesitantly at InuYasha and met his eyes.
"You could stay home when you go tomorrow, Kagome. You would be safe from whatever Naraku is going to do. I'm not asking you to, but if you wanted to stay, I'd understand." InuYasha said after a moment.
"You're scared for me," Kagome said. It was not a question.
He took both of her hands, pulled her close. "I will protect you with my life, Kagome." he said. "But until Sesshoumaru kills Magatsuhi, it will be very dangerous for you."
Kagome's face reflected a brief stab of guilt as she looked up into his amber eyes touched with unmasked concern, as if the sealing of her powers was somehow her fault, but then, a firm determination took its place. "If I stayed in my time, I would die, InuYasha. My heart," she said, freeing her right hand and putting it over his own heart, "would be left behind, right here with you."
She looked down to where her hand rested, then looked back into his eyes. "Even when Naraku had me trapped and I could feel myself being pulled down, I knew I would survive because you were there. I trust you with my life. Don't ask me to stay away."
He gave a long, deep sigh and pulled her closer to him, resting his chin on her head.
"Naraku doesn't have a chance," he said.