Hungry for Conversation
Disclaimer: I don't own Tokyo Ghoul or Inuyasha, ooh that would be awesome though!
Note: I call Kagome by her first name and Kaneki by his last. It's inconsistent, but I just find it weird calling Kagome 'Higurashi' or Kaneki 'Ken'.
His legs felt sluggish and his heart felt heavy. There was a gnawing in his stomach—he was hungry. Dragging his beaten body along an abandoned alleyway, the beast inside was taking control over him now that his body was vulnerable.
Meat… meat… meat…
His ghoulish eye was going crazy; darting around quickly and bleeding a blood red.
Meat… meat… MEAT!
A smell, so divine, so exquisite! The best of the best, a taste for the strongest. This was a ghoul's caviar.
And it would be his.
He ran, not able to let his prey escape, mouth salivating and his eye spinning in delight, mind filled with ecstasy.
It would be his.
Kagome never knew how great her world used to be until after she had defeated Naraku and wished the jewel away. She continued to stay there for another two years, and it was those two years that she had truly felt happy and safe. Demons constantly tried to ambush her, but she had become stronger too. She could purify a hundred lesser demons without even a glance. And she had Inuyasha.
Inuyasha had chosen her and treated her so tenderly. Two years of stolen kisses under the God Tree, two years of using no words to describe their feelings, two years of being completely in love.
But that was over.
She was done with the Feudal Era, the well no longer wished her there. One night, she was asleep and snuggling into his warmth under the village hut. The next, she had awoken in her pink warm bed… only feeling cold. Another year of trying, another year of sitting at the well and jumping in only to pitifully sob at the bottom of a dirt covered well, the wooden ceiling of her shrine above her. However, things had changed. And when she had walked down the steps, she had seen another world.
Everything was there, and everything was not.
More police than she had seen in a lifetime were patrolling the city, her holiday house was in a part of Japan no longer habitable, and the people carried themselves with a certain stiffness, as if ready to run away if something attacked them. It had been two years, and nothing was the same. It was a curious question and one she wouldn't leave alone.
It was days later when she found the answer, and she promised herself she would keep it to herself forever.
It was because of that secret that she—
She looked up, jaw clenched.
The human Kaneki was trying to rationalise with himself. She looked so defenceless, so innocent. She shouldn't be watching this, much less killed.
Kaneki could feel the tears spring in his eyes and he tried to resist his urges. His black fingernails tore through his skin and he struggled with himself to move forward.
He looked up—and saw her. Really saw her. Her horrified look, he could imagine her mouthing monster. But she looked so pretty, and someone like her shouldn't be here.
What was she doing in a dark, abandoned alleyway?
He moved a foot forward.
"Get… away…" She didn't move. Was she dumb?
"Get… AWAY!" he barked at her. He was about to lose control now.
He missed her smile.
She watched him as he sprung forward, mouth open and hands ready to claw. And then he stopped midway, his body shaking and unable to move another inch.
She held out an outstretched hand and smiled, "Come."
Her only answer was an animalistic growl. She dropped the smile.
"Come," she ordered. Her eyes zeroed in on his face. She could see his wild gaze and crazy eye, but she could also remember the tears in his eyes as he ordered her to leave. She felt her heart soften.
"Don't worry," she elaborated, "You won't touch me." Her hand was still inviting and outstretched.
"How…" his voice was like nails on a chalkboard, but at least he answered, "How… do… you… know?"
"Because," she said with a smile as she kneeled in front of him, "It won't let you, or rather, it can't let you."
He couldn't understand what she was saying. Won't let him…? That was impossible. She smelt so delectable, of course his ghoul would lose control.
But his ghoulish half was stepping back.
His hunger was sated. No… more like he was still insanely hungry, but not eating was a better choice than eating her. What was going on?
He growled as he heard her light footsteps moving towards him and he lifted his mismatched eyes to her kind face. Placing a hand along his cheek, she gave a slight smile.
"Come on," she told him, "Let's get you something to eat." His eyes went wide. Was she offering herself to him?
Instead, she had walked further down the alleyway and stopped near a garbage bin. She looked back towards the shocked Kaneki.
"Here," she told him, pointing to something next to the large container, "A meal." He would have thought she was making fun of him until he caught the stench of blood.
She laughed hollowly, "You can smell him, can't you? He's fresh, killed only a little over an hour. I killed the binge-eating ghoul before he could eat him for dinner." He frowned, who was she really? But he was hungry and it took him no time to tear off the dead man's limb. He could see her flinch, but otherwise she gave out no other emotion.
Not disgusted… not excited… not afraid… nothing. It was as if seeing this was a normal occurrence. And maybe it really was.
When he'd finished eating, and he'd wiped the blood on his sleeves, he looked at her with two normal pair of eyes.
"What's your name?" he demanded from her. Before, he would've squeaked and hid behind Hide when he was talking to a beautiful girl like her.
But now… trivial things no longer mattered. As long as he could protect Anteiku and everyone he cared about, nothing mattered. Not even him. Not after everything he suffered in Jason's torture chamber.
She sighed, "I knew you'd be hostile, so I'm not going to pick a fight and just tell you that my name is Higurashi Kagome."
Higurashi Kagome? The name was familiar and he thought back to the days when he was still peacefully living at Anteiku and Touka-chan was the scariest ghoul he knew.
"H-Higurashi?" he asked quietly as he sipped at his coffee. Touka moved her eyes to him, watching him through her bangs. Yoshimura's eyes creased into a smile before he silently left the conversation he had just been in.
"Who's Higurashi?" he asked again when he gained no reply. Touka closed her eyes impatiently and let out a sigh.
His eyes widened, "CCG?"
And the conversation had ended as she sat up abruptly and left. He never mentioned 'Higurashi' again. She never did either.
He growled, "CCG…"
Kagome smiled slightly, "Of sorts." There it was again. Of sorts. Why of sorts? However, he knew he was being slightly hypocritical. He was a ghoul 'of sorts', a human 'of sorts'. He was a good person 'of sorts' and a bad person too 'of sorts'.
But as if he was going to make it easy for her.
"You're either hired or not," he coolly told her. She shook her head.
"We've got a slight agreement," she returned, "Let's talk about it later." She held out her hand to his bloodied hands, the human's guts still fresh. He slapped her hand away.
She sighed, "We'll get you cleaned up then go for coffee."
He could not comprehend her. She was normal-looking. The kind of pretty girl you would see hanging out with her friends at the mall rather than in alleyways killing ghouls. She was a bright girl with sad eyes that spoke of a past that should not have happened. She was a girl of all kinds of contradictions, and he wanted to know everything. She pulled her zip up further as she quietly led him to a small café with dim lighting. The café, he noticed, had one meek ghoul that saw him enter, breathed in sharply, and left knowing he was in danger if he pissed off Kaneki.
Or was it the girl?
"Let's sit down, Kaneki." Kagome was smiling eagerly at him and ordered two expressos immediately. Kaneki slumped into his chair, pulling his hood over his head as he noticed people eyeing his white hair with suspicion.
"I think it's cool." He looked up in question to see Kagome's wide smile.
"You're hair," she elaborated, "Makes you look all badass. I have a thing for young white-haired guys." Kaneki grunted, inwardly wondering how many white-haired guys she had actually seen.
"How did you stop me?" he demanded. She stopped drinking her coffee. The easy-going expression was gone and replaced was one of fear.
"Answer me!" he growled.
She looked at him, tears pricking at her eyes, "You don't want to know."
He gripped at the table, hands clawing the wood, "I got the damn coffee for answers. Proper ones." She fretted and wondered whether she should tell him. He would most definitely hate her…
"You want to know how ghouls came to be?" she asked quietly, "Have you ever wondered how ghouls were created?"
Lip wobbling, she whispered, "It was all my fault. I created them. And you know you can't touch the creator."
The answer floored him. All he could do was look at her and stare. Not a word came out of his mouth and not a muscle moved. What did she mean? It made no sense, but she seemed sincere.
Looking at her empty coffee cup, she softly spoke. She spoke of her fantastical past in the Feudal Era. When she spoke of the defeat of Naraku, her voice grew even softer. He leaned in slightly.
"Inuyasha… I really loved him," she admitted, "And he… he loved me too. We lived together for two years and we were so happy. After the shikon disappeared, I thought that was it. But it was the shikon that brought me here and with the jewel gone, I was no longer needed in the past. It took a while for the remnants of the shikon's magic to truly disappear, but after two years, it was gone for good… and so was I."
Her eyes took on a glassy look, "With me gone, Kaede dead, and Inuyasha still earning the trust of the villagers, he could not explain the reason for the Shikon Miko's disappearance and the fragile trust in him and all demons was broken. Villagers rebelled and this soon spread. Really, the villagers were already demon-haters and this was just what set it off. Our human friends were accused of being traitors if they stuck up for the demons and our demon friends may have become gentler, but they weren't human-lovers and stuck to their own.
Demons like to stay isolated. And humans knew that. A demon is strong, but faced with a hundred humans, they have no chance. The lower class demons soon turned to witches who told them they would gain strength by eating the flesh of their enemies. Overtime, middle class demons practiced this method too and soon after, a few upper class demons did as well. These demons evolved to retain a human form and later relied solely on human flesh."
She took a deep breath and continued, "I didn't know what had happened, but by wishing away the shikon I had changed the course of time. Outside, it was no longer peaceful and ghouls suddenly existed. When I learned of what happened, I wanted to help fix my mistake. Since they were originally demons, my miko powers can easily destroy ghouls. I help exterminate bad ghouls with the CCG, but I also heal the ones who still hold compassion for life. And, Kaneki Ken, I want to help you."
He felt his eyes lower. She held too much faith in him. He was a killer now. He killed ghouls, yes, but also humans. He was just a killer on the hunt for power.
"You're crazy," he told her, "Because you want to help someone so insane."
She managed a smile, "I've been called that a lot."
He took a deep breath. He always believed he was too far gone. There was no helping him out of this hole. Sometimes he felt sane and normal, gentle. Other days he wanted to kill and he cannibalised, no longer understanding himself, no longer understanding others. His life was paved for him as soon as the binge-eater's organs were transplanted into his. A life of loneliness, fighting and running away. He, the weakest boy on campus, should not have been a ghoul. To become strong, he had to be broken. In so many ways, so many times.
"You can't help me," he whispered.
She shook her head, "I can help you oppress the ghoul in you."
He looked at her angrily, knocking his cold coffee to the ground, "He's part of me."
She flinched, "He doesn't have to be."
Grinning crazily, he shook his head, "He does. That's how I survive."
"You can live a normal life," she insisted, "Go to college."
Tears running down his crazy wide eyes, he told her, "Don't you understand a thing? I've done too much and had too much done to me to live one." Not bothering to clean up the mess, he turned and left her sitting there, dumbfounded.
"I know that…" she finally answered softly to no one in particular, "I know that all too well." Her thoughts returned to the Feudal Era, where she had seen death a thousand times when she was only 15.
Kaneki Ken thought she would just be another memory before she appeared in his life once more. He had laid down on an isolated bench when he felt her near him.
"Hello," she said as a greeting. He didn't know what to say. Hello to you too? Good day? F*** off? So he settled with a simple grunt and turned his head away to show her that he was most definitely not going to listen to what she had to say. She stretched her arms and leaned back a little.
"Sorry," she told him, "For a month ago." Kaneki sighed and shook his head.
"You're still all about the helping?" he asked her quietly.
"Still completely passionate," she confirmed. Although she had tried to stay positive when thrust into the deep end, unlike what Kaneki was doing, she had seen something in him that reminded him of her. Two unlikely people made to suffer for something they should not have held part in. She saw pathways, he saw only a bleak road. But he didn't have to choose that path. There were things to do and choices to be made and in the long run, this unfortunate boy… could be happy.
"Higurashi," he said in a hard voice, "I can't control myself. I live for power. I am not a good person. Why do you still try?" Smiling, she placed a soft small hand onto the side of his face.
"Because I created this mess and I have the power to help you," she said softly, "Simple."
He sighed, "Higurashi. I still don't understand you."
"You don't need to understand," she replied, placing a hand on his chest, "You just need to have faith."
"In me." And she brought forth a blast of her miko ki straight into his chest before he could even react. He felt his unending hunger sated and his insanity quenched. He felt his thirst for power leave him and a feeling of calmness rush over him. He felt almost… human if he didn't know better.
He hadn't felt like that for a while. He had taken it for granted. Sometimes he wished he'd been born something different like a cool monster or a zombie. He regretted those words so much. Being human was amazing and he wanted to take back everything he had said.
"Feeling better?" Kagome asked, putting a hand on his shoulder. He brushed her off.
"You didn't help me." But his words held less malice and Kagome felt her burden lift slightly when she saw a slight smile curl at his lips. Kaneki Ken was… hot.
When they saw each other again, it was at the same coffee shop they had frequented to before. She came as a regular, he came for nostalgia's sake. Her eyes lit up when she saw him and she lifted her hand to wave at him.
"Kaneki-kun!" she called. He rolled his eyes, but slumped into a seat across from her anyway.
"How have you been?" she asked him. It was small talk and for all his improvements, small talk was not one of them.
"Fine," he told her. He was smirking slightly. The miko ki had not lasted long, bad habits came back, but they had come back less powerfully and he still felt that strange sense of calmness. Her eyes looked at the book he held.
"You don't know kanji?" she asked him quietly. That made sense. Very little ghouls had the proper upbringing humans held, but then again Kaneki was human for many years.
"It's for a girl I know," he told her. She nodded, slightly disappointed. A girl ghoul in his life?
"What's her name?" she asked.
"Hinami." He took out a picture of the little girl he had come to call one of his precious people. Kagome smiled at the picture, scolding herself for being jealous. The girl had light brown hair and the cutest little smile on her face.
"A ghoul?" she questioned. He nodded, slightly hesitantly. She frowned at the lack of trust, but brushed it away knowing that betrayals always made it harder to accept people.
"She's cute," she told him. He grunted, looked away, nodded once. Kagome laughed and set the photo down, crossing her arms and leaning across the table.
"Is it still happening?" she asked him and he gave her a questioning look.
"You spiralling into…" she placed a finger next to her ear and moved her finger in a circular motion.
"After what you did to me, those urges… are going," he admitted. She grinned and clapped her hands in celebration.
"Higurashi…" he started.
"Call me Kagome," she told him kindly.
"Kagome…" he tested it out, looking around awkwardly, "Kagome…chan." The name rolled off his tongue easily and he lifted up his head to smile slightly at her.
"Kagome. Thank you."
When they met again, he was angry and mad. A CCG member had tried to take out Touka-chan while trying to find him. Her smile left her face as soon as she saw him.
"Hey…" she started, "What's wrong?" He continued walking ahead, paying no attention. His face was dark and a permanent scowl marred his face.
"Hey!" she yelled, "What's wrong?" She tried to place a hand on his shoulders, but he only slapped it away.
She shook her head, "No." He could feel his blood boil. Why couldn't she just understand? He didn't want her. Why couldn't she just go back to her normal school girl life?
"You'll get hurt if you stayed," he shouted, rubbing away at angry tears, "Everyone is hurting because of me…" His eyes looked haunted and filled with tears. Why, she wondered, was he always crying? Why was such a seemingly strong boy always crying? She thought it was slightly ironic. For him, with more power came more hurt, and more pain. For her, with the jewel gone came more hurt, and more pain. Her eyes filled with tears. Why were they such unfortunate people? Why were they given such cruel fates? Slowly walking up, she wrapped her arms around his waist. He stiffened but didn't push her away.
"It isn't your fault," she murmured, "It isn't your fault." He relaxed into her arms, tired and a little soothed.
"I stick by people," she told him, "And I don't let them go." He looked up at her hesitantly, shyly.
"You treat everyone this way?" She wondered about that. She had met many ghouls and saved many on her travels. But to help them to this extent…?
"No," she admitted honestly, "I don't know why, but it's only you." His eyes widened slightly and then he looked down guiltily.
"I can't get you out of my mind," he said softly, "That's not right…"
She ignored the red adorning her cheeks and instead demanded, "Why? Why isn't it right? Why can't you have people close to you?"
"You'll only get hurt," he repeated, "They all do…"
"That's for me to decide," she told him firmly. She rummaged into her bag and pulled out a second phone. She had been meaning to give it to him for a while. It wasn't much, an unbreakable Nokia that could survive a battle.
"Take this," she placed the phone into his hands, "Call me whenever you need me."
"I won't need you," he insisted. She clenched her teeth.
"Touka and Hinami and all those people you say are precious to you couldn't help!" she was yelling now, tears of frustration pricking, "But I can help you. I will." She always amazed him, he thought. This loud girl who yelled at every opportunity was amazing. Why? Why was she always so cheerful after everything she went through? Why was she always so determined to help him? Ever since he was a ghoul, he felt stronger, and yet more pathetic. He felt as though life was no longer so meaningful, that the world was decaying right before his eyes and he could do nothing to stop it. To him, there was only one set path. A path of loneliness and despair. And he thought he had been prepared for that.
But she saved him.
She came in and swooped him off his feet and treated his wounds. Maybe that's why she was so awe-inspiring. Maybe that's why his heart beat quickly. Maybe that's why he let her into his arms.
He sighed, "I guess I can't help it then, can I?" She smiled brightly, here in this small dark park, she was smiling. Laughing, she left his embrace and took a few steps back.
"I'll be going then," she said, "But let's meet again soon." Soon, he thought. Soon? How soon? He panicked slightly. How soon was soon? Would they really meet again?
"Kagome!" he called. She turned around, surprised and slightly flustered. With a smirk, he held the phone up.
And a blossoming romance appears~
Thoughts? Feelings? I was debating between friendship/romance, hurt/comfort/romance, or hurt/comfort/friendship. Let me know if you think I should change it!
Thanks for reading, it was only meant to be a short drabble, and then I don't know what happened...
Oh well, till next time!
P.S How good is Tokyo Ghoul RE? Wow every chapter is so cool :3