Chapter Thirteen: Under Heaven
(Turn! Turn! Turn! by Pete Seeger)
Her head was killing her, her wrists were aching and she was hungry, so incredibly hungry. Did she smell coconut? Coconut shrimp would taste so good. Or those coconut bars she used to buy from the Mexican market. Or a vanilla coconut cake. Or freaking samoa cookies, those would hit the spot. Groggily, she opened her eyes, only to be met with a blur. Knowing that wasn't right, she blinked rapidly, ignoring the pain in her head as she did so. There was a tickling sensation on her thighs, and she looked down, her vision clearing as she did so.
There was Hojo, rubbing some sort of lotion on her while he kissed her thighs, his lips touching her everywhere she didn't want him to even see.
"Hojo?!" she screamed, somehow not able to feel completely frightened of the classically handsome man with the open, friendly face, even in such incredibly fucked up circumstances.
He brought his face away from where he had been edging closer and closer to a place she didn't even want to think about at the moment. Beaming up at her, those teeth of his letting her remember what had happened, he wiped his glistening mouth on the sleeve of his scrubs.
"Kagome! You're finally up!"
"What's going on?!"
Her eyes frantically darted around the room. His walls were one big collage of her. Old pictures from her high school days, in the halls of the school, hanging out with Inuyasha or Sango, in her house. Pictures of her and what she must have looked like in her coma, from that very first day. Pictures of her at work. Pictures of her one and only complete moment, that afternoon with Inuyasha in his car in the Taco Bell parking lot, grainy and obviously taken from far away with Inuyasha cut out. Her groan of dread changed to a scream when Hojo's hand touched her naked breast, smearing it with something.
"Cocoa butter heals scars," he remarked in his normal soft and cheery voice before fastening his lips on her nipple and sucking. "Coconut oil makes skin soft, plus it's good for you." His words were a bit hard to make out with her flesh in his mouth.
Tremors of disgust coursed through her and she tried to wrench away from him, but her position made that impossible. Her hands were tied above her head, attached to some metal structure hanging from the ceiling and her back was against the wall. He noticed her struggling, though, and squeezed her breast a touch harder than what was comfortable.
"Don't stress yourself. You've got a concussion, and it's not like we've never done this before. Just relax and it will feel good."
"You mean—You-you-you touched—when I was—" Her panicked, nearly incoherent stammering ended in a scream as he bit her breast, shoving two of his fingers inside of her.
"We've been doing this for a while, my love," he soothed, bringing his lips to her face and laying kisses on her skin soaked in fear sweat. "I was the first one to have you, not that dog. Your body belonged to me for years."
His hands trailed up her arms, giving her goose bumps. Deftly, he untied the knot that kept her imprisoned, and the moment he tugged her hands free of the rope, she slapped him, wishing she had long fingernails like Sango so she could claw his eyes out. Not even a mite slowed down, he hit her back, the blow making her ears ring. Her head felt like it was imploding and she fell to her knees, holding back the vomit that was trying to make its way out into the open. It would just incapacitate her that much more.
"Still can't see a good thing when it's right in front of you, huh?" he said, sounding more like the bitterly friendzoned yet still lighthearted best guy friend character from an eighties movie than a deranged rapist.
Grabbing the ends of her hair and twirling the length around his fist, he pulled, dragging her and making her scream, her scalp aching in agony. Kicking open the door of what she assumed was his bedroom, he pulled her into a bigger room, one that was probably supposed to be the living room but was devoid of any furniture or entertainment devices. The only thing in the room was a beaten-up Inuyasha, slumped over on the floor, hands and ankles tied to the point of cutting into his skin. He looked out of it, bruises and blood all over his face. He whimpered something and she thought it sounded like her name, but she wasn't vain enough to believe it.
Hojo let go of her hair and she fell to the floor, rendered immobile by the shocking sight of her half-dead love.
"You see what kind of monster you let put his hands on you?!"
"What do you mean, Hojo?" she said as steadily as she could, trying not to anger him further. The situation was much more serious now that he had Inuyasha as well. He wasn't awake, so she had to protect him, she had to be strong. "Let Inuyasha go, I'll do whatever you say, just let him go and don't hurt him anymore."
He sighed, sounding mildly disappointed. "I can't do that, Kagome, not even for you. He is a scourge on the world. Pure evil."
"What are you talking about?!" she cried, for the first time meeting his eyes. Whatever delusions Hojo had dreamed up were beyond her comprehension. "You're scaring me."
Giving her a pitying look, he crossed the room to where Inuyasha was sitting in a few strides, putting his hand down through the blood-stained neck of his shirt and taking out the beaded necklace he always wore, pulling it over his head.
Immediately, Inuyasha began to change.
His hair that had once been almost as dark as hers quickly lightened into a pale silver so rapidly that she could not quite track it with her eyes. Nubs raised on the top of his head, getting bigger and bigger until they changed into something like dog ears. Even the color of his skin changed from its normal tan to something slightly more golden-toned, a shade she thought was not possible in human variation, although only by the smallest degree. He would have hated her for mentioning it, but he was so beautifully stunning that he almost shimmered in her eyes. She had never seen anything like him.
"This monster disguised himself and lived among us," Hojo said, righteous fury in his voice. "He would stand outside your window every night. I thought he was like me at first, just another competitor for your attention, but then one night he took that necklace off and just sniffed around your yard, holding clothing he had stolen from you to his face. He's an animal, a devil given corporeal form."
Now that the necklace was off, Inuyasha seemed to be getting better and better, his heart-breaking wounds healing before her. His eyes opened and he blinked, taking in his bound limbs. Kagome stopped breathing when she realized his orbs were a bright yellow gold. His eyes raised and looked around the room, and anyone would have thought him calm had they not observed the rigidity of his posture. Everything in her stopped when he finally looked at her.
"Kagome," he growled, his voice sounding rougher. She covered her naked body, the anger in his gaze reminding her of her shame. "So you fucking helped him, you lying bitch. And you fucking fucked him. I can't believe I ever trusted you!"
Still stunned at his sudden change in appearance, she replied, "Inuyasha, w-what's going on? Why do you look… different?"
The skin around his eyes softened in understanding and he looked down at his hands, now sporting claws. "I never wanted you to know, never wanted you to see me this way. I never wanted you to find out. Not even Kikyo knew, but she would have found out eventually if she hadn't…" he trailed off, an unspeakable sadness in his eyes. "She was already feeling it, anyway. More exhaustion than with a normal pregnancy and she was growing too fast."
"What are you?" she whispered, wishing more than anything she could go to him, hold him.
"A demon!" Hojo yelled, making her jump. For just a moment, she had forgotten about him. "This is why you had to get hurt, Kagome. Because of this beast."
"What are you talking about?!" she cried out, now doubly afraid.
"I had to protect you," Hojo said softly, running his fingers through her hair, not noticing her flinch. "You were going to give yourself to a monster, you were going to let him ruin you! You didn't know me, and I knew you wouldn't listen. So I had to take extreme measures, make sure he couldn't ever have you."
"You?!" Inuyasha shouted. "You hurt her!"
"You were the one who almost killed me?" she said in a shaky whisper. His eyes were sad, but in them it was obvious that he felt no regret. He thought it a necessary, yet inconvenient, action that he had to take. "I thought you saved me, Hojo. But you… You ruined my life!"
Hojo grabbed her hands, his blue eyes pleading with her. "Don't think of it that way, Kagome. I did it because I love you!"
Before she knew what was happening, his lips were on hers and his hands were traveling over her scars en route to her bottom. He squeezed and caressed her and she cried, the pounding in her head and the overwhelming nausea at his actions and from her concussion paralyzing her.
"Don't worry," he whispered into her ear, licking the lobe. "He can't break out of those ropes. They're blessed. It will only hurt him more." Directing his next comment at Inuyasha, he said loudly, "I had her before you, and I'm having her after you, demon. Now watch as I restore her purity with my own."
Hojo fumbled with the button and zipper on his khakis, kicking his pants off. He pawed at her breasts, and everything around her faded. Dimly, she heard Inuyasha yelling her name, telling her to fight. But soon his voice was gone again and Hojo was probing her entrance with his fingers and then something else, trying to tease her into moistening for him, but she knew that wasn't going to happen. And she knew that because of that, he'd make it hurt. And she knew that after that, he'd kill Inuyasha, and then he'd come back to her. A tear leaked out to run down her temple as she braced herself for what she knew would be the worst night of her life. He was biting her again, his large, blunt teeth practically chewing on her nipple, gnawing on it like a gummy candy.
And then the feeling was gone.
She opened her eyes again and saw three claws embedded into Hojo's forehead, the fourth in his eye, the fifth in his temple. Inuyasha was standing over the both of them, his eyes glowing red and a smile on his face, his mouth filled with fangs. Kagome scooted back, not sure which one of the men to fear more. Hojo was screaming and struggling, lashing out with hands and feet, blood and a jelly-like substance streaming out from his eye socket, but Inuyasha held him harder, finally flinging him off his claws and into the wall like a bowling ball, where he hit it with a loud thud.
Calling out to her for help, Hojo shakily got to his feet, his previous confidence nowhere to be seen now that he didn't have the protection of the blessed ropes. Laughably, he took a wrestler's stance, crouching as he glared at his opponent with his remaining eye. Inuyasha was on him in a flash, and Kagome didn't allow herself to close her eyes again, forcing herself to watch what the man she loved was capable of for her sake, for his own sake. He showed no mercy, tearing his flesh off little bit by littler bit, cracking bones and ripping them out before putting them back inside by stabbing him with them. It didn't end when Hojo died, either. It didn't end until Hojo was just a smear across the entire room.
Which was precisely when he rounded on her.
Inuyasha advanced, seeming to take pleasure in her increasing fear, holding his claws up and miming swiping at her, laughing when she flinched.
"No, Inuyasha, no!" she moaned, her voice shaking only half as much as the rest of her. "I don't care what you look like, what you are! I still love you."
Kagome had intended that to be a parting speech, hoping it would reach some part of him that was tucked away deep inside. She was surprised when he stopped in his tracks, and pleasantly surprised when his eyes gradually lightened to the still foreign but much more welcome gold. He just stood there, dazed and staring at her, unconsciously flexing his fingers, wiping the gore off on his pants.
"Inuyasha?" she said tentatively, wanting to believe that she had him back all the way, but not sure.
"Kagome," he replied, his throat sounding dry. "We… We should leave."
She nodded, swallowing nervously, and got to her feet with his help, ignoring the sick feelings churning in her gut when she touched the slippery blood. He knelt in front of her, which confused her momentarily, but then she got on his back, the feeling natural even though they had not ever done that before. Inuyasha walked over to the broad window slick with blood and shoved it open, clawing through the screen and stepping out onto the apartment's roof. And so they traveled from rooftop to rooftop, Kagome keeping her eyes shut against the wind, not knowing where they were anyway since it was so dark and he moved so fast. Finally, they came to a stop on yet another rooftop, and he helped her off his back. She stared at him, exploring his features. Shifting uncomfortably, he avoided her gaze and slipped his necklace back on, which he must have grabbed back in the apartment without her seeing it, reverting back to his former self. Still not looking at her, he turned to go, walking towards the door that led to the rest of the building. Belatedly, she recognized it and realized they were on the roof of Sango's place, which she had only been up on once when she had first moved in.
"You can't just run away after all that!" she said desperately, making him stop in his tracks.
"Of course I fucking can!" he roared, snarling at her.
"Was he right?" she asked, her eyes big as she approached him. "Are you really a… A demon?"
He nodded. "Only half. Mom's human." Looking pointedly at her complete lack of clothing, he said, "I'd give you my shirt, but it's covered in blood. You'll attract less attention as you are. Hurry inside before you catch a chill." When she said nothing, he continued, "Don't worry, I'll disappear."
Inuyasha turned around again and she lunged at him, wrapping her arms around his waist.
"Please don't." She stood on the tips of her toes to kiss the back of his neck.
Slowly, he faced her. "Do… Do you still want me?" His dark eyes were like she'd never seen them before, wounded and vulnerable, scared of himself and of her. "Can you ever forgive me?"
"Forgive you for what? Saving me?"
Tears welled in his eyes but did not fall. "No! For—For everything! I didn't save you, I never did. I could have saved you, Kagome, I know I could have! I could have ripped off the necklace and pushed you out of the way of that psycho's car. But I was too much of a goddamn coward! I thought I'd lose you if you saw what I looked like, what I really am, but then I ended up really losing you."
"You have me, Inuyasha. Forever." She cupped his face in between her hands, ignoring the flecks of blood. His lips trembled as she kissed him, but were still soft and sweet.
"I love you," he whispered, his arms holding her close to him, closer than ever.
"I love you, too, and that's not just the concussion talking," she replied, smiling. "You're going to have to tell me all about yourself, though. I've known you for so long, yet you've been keeping something this big from me all this time."
Inuyasha sighed, burying his face in her hair. "You don't know how much I wanted to tell you. I was even thinking of telling you the night you got hurt, and then I talked myself out of it, and then you—"
Kagome kissed him, not wanting him to hurt himself with his own words any longer. "It doesn't matter anymore. We're together now."
He nodded, swaying with her, before jerking away but not quite out of her arms. "Do you prefer my human form?" His eyes were big and anxious, and for a second she thought she saw a flash of gold in them.
Not able to answer right away, she stopped and thought about it. "That's the form I've always known you in, but it really doesn't matter what you look like. I love you. And I think the ears are cute, plus fangs are always sexy," she finished with a smirk.
He laughed, looking a few years younger as he removed the necklace, stuffing it into his jeans pocket.
"Now you can be my wife and my mate. I never thought I'd have that."
"Your what?" she asked distractedly, watching the change once again. She didn't think she'd ever get used to it.
"Demon thing," he said off-handedly. "We live longer, so we have to perform a special ritual when we fall in love with a human."
"And what does that ritual entail?" she asked curiously, pictured pentagrams and blood and hooded cloaks gathered around a fire in the woods on a full moon.
"Sex," he said bluntly. "Lots and lots of sex. And a bite. But mostly the sex."
"Oh." She wasn't sure if she was relieved or disappointed. Maybe they could combine her version with his. "So… what now?"
Inuyasha seemed as stumped as Kagome was. "Uh, well, Hojo's dead. In a very suspicious way. I've got the evidence all over my clothes, and your stuff is probably in or around his building." Her mouth dropped open, she hadn't thought of that. Now she was scared. "But don't worry. The company will take care of that."
"Yeah, Taisho Co. We're an all-demon company. We deal with demon finances, ancient funds that can't be put into regular banks, but that's just one facet. There's also a clean-up crew for anything like this. I'll call them, so it'll be okay."
Nodding, he continued, "I've been staying in a hotel room since the fight with Kikyo. You can stay with me, if you want."
"You can stay in my room!" she offered, not particularly wanting to stay in some stuffy hotel. "I don't think Sango would mind."
"I'd mind," he said crossly. "I can hear her and that creepy perv going at it right now."
Kagome stared at him in awe. "You can hear that?! All the way from up here?"
Inuyasha nodded, and his ears twitched. "Heightened senses. Just one of the perks." She reached up and touched a finger to the appendage, surprised by how soft and warm it was. "How about we go to my dad's old place in the mountains? There's a lake and a bit of forest. No neighbors. You can become better acquainted with my true appearance." He said the last part suggestively and she blushed. Would the sex be better now? It had to be, at least on an emotional level now that there were no more secrets between them.
"But what happens after?" She just had to ask.
His golden eyes hardened. "I'll get the shrine back for you, Kagome, I swear. I know Kikyo hates it there, and she'll probably agree to a settlement once she cools down."
That wasn't what she had been talking about, but she was touched nonetheless. "How'd you know she banned me from going there ever again?"
He snorted. "That was all she was going on about when she was all mad at you for a while, so I figured she'd probably do that. But anyway, from now on, it's your call. Anything you want, anyway you want it, anywhere. I'll always say yes."
"If I say I want you to sneak inside the apartment and get me some clothes?" she said, leaning closer to him and kissing his cheek.
"Yes." His breath was soft against her skin and she smiled.
"If I say I want you to wait until we get to the cabin to touch me intimately, and only after you carry me over the threshold?"
"If I say I want you to fuck me on every surface there, even outside, even if it's raining, snowing, hailing?"
"Yes," he nearly moaned. Apparently, her nudity had been having an effect on him for a while.
"If I say I want you to love me until the day you and I die and forever after that?"
He snorted at her serious tone. "Do you really have to ask? Yes."
Kagome smiled, the perpetual feeling of having been cheated that she'd possessed since she'd woken up long gone, the unacknowledged anger at the powers that be completely evaporated, all negativity replaced with love and the nearly overwhelming knowledge that she was loved. The rising sun outlined Inuyasha in red and gold, making him look more like a fallen angel than a demon, but wasn't that just what demons were, anyway? Hand in his, she let him lead her down the stairs of the apartment building and straight to their destiny.
Note: The end! Special thanks to BashiYami, who is amazing and wonderful and wonderfully amazing. Hope you all enjoyed yet another half-assed ending. I'm working on some longer stories right now and I will try to start posting before the end of the year, but I make no promises. My normally soap opera-ish life has been unusually hectic of late so I don't have as much time and inspiration as I'd like. I've been updating pretty regularly so far in 2014, but I can't promise regular updates now since I'm only on chapter 5 of my next story. Follow me if you want, since this might take a while. Aside from all that, I'm going to keep writing until I'm all out of ideas, so we're gonna be friends for at least a couple more years, even if I'm the only one left in the fandom, haha. Stay tuned!