Author: Kanna37 PM
A broken promise leads to a broken Kagome, and this time, there won't be a smile and an "I forgive you". This is a dark fic, with adult situations. Tied third Best Angst at Feudal Association for June 2009. Dedicated to tragic-cherryblossom53.Rated: Fiction M - English - Angst/Romance - Kagome H. & Inuyasha - Chapters: 43 - Words: 143,069 - Reviews: 378 - Favs: 264 - Follows: 91 - Updated: 06-25-10 - Published: 03-10-09 - Status: Complete - id: 4914839
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I sit, calmly staring out at the forest around me. Kanna and Kagura are both behind me, Kanna staring silently, Kagura muttering to herself. She hates me, I know, and it amuses me, so very much. She amuses me, with her plots, her hopes that one of the sons of the Inu no Taisho will, in the end, kill me.
And maybe they would... but not before I destroyed everything either of them cared for. That is something that none of my incarnations, and not one of my opponents, understands yet. I want to win, but I can accept it if I don't. The most important thing to me is the absolute destruction of the ones I hate.
She is my biggest fear, my most dangerous opponent. Kikyou thinks it is her that I fear, but she hasn't yet learned that Kagome is the true Protector of the Jewel. She is arrogant, that woman. It is her downfall, as it was fifty years ago when I used that arrogance to turn her and Inuyasha against one another.
Kagome does not suffer from that particular affliction. It is Kagome whose purity I must taint, her soul that I must destroy. It will not be easy, as I found when my infant first attempted it, but I will enjoy it all the more for that.
I hate her. It is a hatred so profound that it is a peculiar form of love. Yes... love. After all, is not one emotion a twisted reflection of the other? I hate her, and I love her. Because of all that she is to me, she will suffer. I will make sure of it.
I have learned from the mistakes I made with Kikyou. I will not attack Kagome in the same way, I will attack her body first, then, through the pain I inflict on her body, I will attack her soul. This time, I will personally take a hand in the tainting. I will twist and rend her, make her truly suffer.
This is another thing that my enemies do not understand about me. They think only of killing. I want Kagome to live. Death is a little thing, after all, and once it's over, it's over. That is too easy. In order to reap the most enjoyment out of her destruction, I want her to live, for a long, long time.
Inuyasha will suffer, too. Maybe even more than Kagome herself.
Because it is his betrayal that I will use to destroy her.
This is called malice.
Chapter 1: Separation: The Beginning
She turned her head slightly, and glanced at the silver-haired hanyou that had moved up to her side. She knew why he was here, what he was asking of her.
It was always the same.
They would be happy for days, even weeks, together, then, some rumor of Kikyou would be heard, and he would look at her. Silently asking for her understanding, for her permission, wanting her to reiterate her promise to always be by his side... it let him know that she would wait for him, so he would know that when he returned from Kikyou's side, she would be there. And she always gave it to him.
It didn't matter that it hurt, it was what he needed.
She sighed, eyes drifting shut, not wanting to look at him. It had to stop. If he wanted to be with Kikyou so badly, then why did he keep her to her promise to always stay with him? Surely it would be better if he let her go. What was it that he needed from her, that he apparently couldn't get from the older Miko? Why did he keep returning to her side, and leaving Kikyou behind?
I am so unsure, I have so many questions, and I'm so tired of hurting. Something... something doesn't feel right inside me anymore. As if... there's some part of me that's dead. I'd go home while he's gone, but there's no comfort for me there, really, there's no comfort anywhere anymore.
She broke out of her reverie at the soft, sad sound that came from Inuyasha. Opening her eyes, she finally gathered enough courage to look over at him. He was looking at her, the usual Kikyou inspired mix of emotions in his eyes... fear, sadness, guilt, hurt, and determination. But hardest of all to deal with; love.
Shaking her head at herself, she closed her eyes again, not wanting to see the happiness in his eyes when she nodded.
"Go, Inuyasha. Find Kikyou. We'll be fine." With that, she turned away, still with eyes closed. She stayed that way for a time, until she was sure that he was long gone, before turning towards their companions, grateful that they hadn't pressured her, that they'd left her alone.
She sighed again, then, squaring her shoulders, she walked back towards her friends.
"Well. What do you think we should all do, Sango, Miroku? Should we continue on with our search for Naraku's newest hiding place, or do what Inuyasha wanted and just go back to Kaede's?" Frowning, she looked at the ground for a moment. "We're close, I don't think I want to give up now and let him get away to a new hidey hole. We'd just have to start all over."
Miroku nodded. "I agree, Kagome. Inuyasha must do what he thinks best, but we all have our own reasons for wanting to destroy Naraku, and I, for one, would rather continue on, than stop and possibly let him get away again. What do you say, Sango?" He turned and looked at the woman that held his heart.
The taijiya gazed out, eyes set on some horizon far distant from the one in front of her. "I say we keep looking as well. Letting him get away again doesn't sit well with me."
"It's decided, then. We'll keep on with our pursuit of Naraku." Kagome looked at each of her companions in turn. "Without Inuyasha, we'll have to be much more careful, though. You all know that, right?
Everyone nodded, all with identical subdued expressions.
Their hanyou friend was the biggest reason that they'd even gotten as far as they had. Every single one of them knew that without him, they had almost no chance of beating Naraku. Kagome probably had the best chance, especially as her spiritual powers had gotten much stronger lately, however, she more than likely wouldn't survive such a confrontation.
But, nonetheless, they had no choice in the matter. Inuyasha had made his decision, choosing to drop the pursuit of Naraku to try to find his priestess. He was expecting the group to head back to Kaede's village to wait for him... but that wasn't going to happen. Not this time.
They were all weary from the chase, tired of wandering the land in search of the hanyou that had ruined so many lives, and they all badly wanted to get it over with. Everyone's lives were on hold until he could be defeated, and they wanted to finally get the chance to start living those lives.
Except Kagome. She was so tied to Inuyasha, that she pretty much had no life outside of him anymore.
Stay or go, there's my choices. I don't think it really matters which I choose, though, it'll end the same either way.
Nodding at her friends, she gestured at the road ahead. "Well, I guess we should start moving, then. Let's get on with it."
It is nearly time, Kagome, my beloved, to deepen the dance of hatred that I began the day your love left you, five days past. I know that you are near, you are hoping to find me, wanting to bring the battle to me. I chuckle at that thought. Soon you will bring me what I hate, what I love. You, and your hatred. Your hatred of me will bring me untold pleasure, as will the torment I will soon bring to your body.
I can barely stand to wait any longer. For you see, the rape of your body will bring me the key to what I really desire. The rape of your soul. Once this is all said and done, I will own you.
It is amusing how well you and your companions fell in with my plans, all unknowing. I have found it the easiest thing in the world to manipulate all of you. You are like blocks set in a row and then pushed... the one taking the next down, it is beautiful to watch.
First Kikyou, chasing Kanna, hoping to destroy my heart. Foolish woman. Then Inuyasha, chasing rumor of Kikyou, leaving you behind. Now you, and your remaining friends. It is interesting to see, you know, how they are much more loyal to you than your so-called protector.
Still, for all that loyalty, you are about to fall to me, and there is nothing they can do about it.
Come a little closer, my beloved, object of my hatred.
Just a little closer.
Kagome sat alone at the top of the small rise - behind her lay the small camp they'd made as soon as it had gotten dark.
It had been five days now since Inuyasha had left them, and she wondered idly how long he would be gone. She looked out over a vast panorama of the earth, blending at the blurred horizon into blackness pierced with starlight. The River of Heaven, known to her as the Milky Way, meandered its way over her head, ending somewhere behind her.
She'd always loved the stars... they spoke to the loneliness inside her, such vast distances between one star and the next. She felt that she could understand that better now, there was such a distance between herself and her heart. Sometimes, lately, she'd wondered how she could keep functioning with that distance, dividing parts of herself that should be bound together, not spread so far apart.
Sighing, she toyed with the fabric of her skirt, absently enjoying the feel of the material against her skin. Lately it seemed all that had touched her was dirt and coarseness. Her skirt wasn't the softest of materials or anything like that, but it was certainly better than a lot of what she'd been dealing with since the last time she'd gone home. A soft, somewhat dark chuckle broke past her lips.
Am I really only sixteen? I feel as though I've seen millenia come and go. And when did that happen, anyway? When did I go from being a young girl, to an old woman in a young woman's body?
She started when she heard a voice call her name.
"Kagome?" Sango's voice was soft, hesitant. "Do you mind a little company?"
She looked up at her friend, smiling slightly. "No, of course not, Sango. Is there something you wanted to talk about?"
Sango moved forward and sat down, every movement hesitant. "No, not really, I just thought maybe...." she glanced at Kagome out of the corner of her eye, "you might like to talk, you know, about, well... things." She flinched a little at Kagome's surprised start. "Not that you have to or anything, I just thought you might want to."
Kagome shook her head, smiling a little wider. "About what, Sango? Inuyasha? What's the point?" She sighed then, a deep, poignant sound that told more than any words ever could of her heartache. "It's not like it's the first time, you know that. He cares for her, so he searches for her. That's just the way it is."
Sango leaned forward, touching Kagome's hand softly. "But you know... he cares for you, too. You know he does, we all know he does."
She lifted her gaze back to the sky for a moment, then closed her eyes and dropped her head. "Perhaps. But not the way that I need him to. Not the way I want him to." Delicate fingers plucked a blade of grass, twirling it back and forth. "I'm trapped, Sango. Just as if I were pinned by a sacred arrow to a tree, I'm pinned through the heart to a beautiful, wild hanyou... and one that doesn't want me that way."
"But he does want you that way, Kagome. I see it, Miroku sees it, even Shippo, as young as he is, sees it," she said, fiercely. "He's stuck, trapped by his feelings for the both of you. But there is this, Kagome. Kikyou doesn't have any hold on him stronger than yours. He may not be able yet to let her go, but he absolutely refuses to let you go."
Gesturing back towards the fire, she said, "Miroku told me something once, in relation to Inuyasha's feelings for you, something that he told him one day." At Kagome's questioning look, she continued. "Did you know that the way he acts when other males come around is actually a statement of intent?"
Kagome looked blankly back at her friend. "What?"
"It is. He was telling Miroku about something that happened in your world. Some kind of... festival, I think. At your school."
Kagome thought for a moment. "Ah, yes, I remember. The cultural festival." She shook her head, laughing a bit. "He destroyed half the auditorium trying to show off."
Sango shook her head. "He wasn't 'showing off', Kagome. Apparently, he was just watching you and hanging around keeping an eye out for those demons that were out there, when he said he caught this guy running towards you getting ready to embrace you." She chuckled.
"He was chasing off a rival male, the same as he tries to do with Koga. He doesn't want any competition for your affections, Kagome. Whatever his feelings towards Kikyou, he has definite intentions towards you. It isn't in youkai to carry on meaningless flirtations. They see matters of the heart, of mating, much too seriously. He wants you."
Kagome thought for a while, considering what Sango had said. But it just didn't fit. Much as she'd like to believe what the taijiya had said, she couldn't bring herself to trust in any reassurances like that anymore. It had been too long that she'd tried to keep her heart from breaking on just such circumstantial evidence. It was no longer working.
She started to refute her words, but Sango interrupted before she could speak.
"Another thing to consider, Kagome. It is a male's role to prove to the female of his choice that he can be a good partner for her. He will try to prove that he can provide for you, as in food and other necessities. Inuyasha does this all the time, anytime you run out of food, he goes and hunts and brings his kills to you. And everytime something happens to you, especially when Koga is around, he is determined to be the one that saves you. He doesn't want Koga to get the chance to do so. That's because he's trying to prove that he can protect you, as a good mate should do."
"Our situation is different, Sango. Even if he is doing these things, it's probably unintentionally." There was a bitter note in her voice, one that troubled the girl sitting next to her. "It's not me he sees, Sango. It's her. Sometimes," she whispered, "I feel invisible... like he doesn't even see me, Kagome, only Kagome, Kikyou's reincarnation."
"No, that's not it. He's fully aware of what he's doing, and who he wants, who he sees, like I said, he's talked some about this with Miroku. Basically, he's courting you." At Kagome's snort of disbelief, she shook her head, uneasy at the difference in her.
"Since when did you lose all hope, Kagome? That isn't like you - have you really given up on Inuyasha?" And on yourself? I'm worried about you - this really isn't like you. What could have changed in you?
A sad, unsure look crossed Kagome's face. "I don't know, Sango. I really don't know."
Inuyasha was irritated. He'd been traveling for almost a week, looking for signs of Kikyou, and so far he'd found nothing. He was getting uncomfortable being so far from Kagome. After that fiasco with Naraku's infant, he didn't like being so distant from her... but what choice had he had? He just couldn't let go of Kikyou, she might need him.
Damn. Things are so complicated. It doesn't matter what I do, it always seems to be wrong. If I stay with Kagome, I fail Kikyou, and she ends up paying the price, but... how many times can I leave Kagome before something horrible happens, before I end up failing her, end up losing her? His eyes closed in pain.
I don't think I could bear it if she ended up paying the price for my failure, if I lost her, Kami no... a soft, choking whine broke from him at the thought. Not her, never her. I don't think I could survive it if she was gone from my life.
He shook his head, squeezing his eyes closed with such force that they started to hurt. She'd be fine in the village, hell, maybe she'd gone home to her time. It would give her a chance to visit with her family. Yeah... that's probably where she is....
For some reason, he couldn't seem to convince himself of that. Later, he'd remember this moment, and know that it was this moment when payment came due... this exact moment when he'd failed her, this time, by any standards, unforgivably.