The Day the Flowers Bloomed Black

Author: profiler120 (p-120)

Email: profier120@hotmail.com; p_120@yahoo.com

Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha and etc.

Rating: R

Warning: If you are a big fan of Inu/Kag, Inuyasha, or Kikyo (as separate characters, not as a couple) please don't bother reading this. Be warned, character death. As of right now it's a one-shot. I'm currently writing a follow-up to it, but I might not get to finish it, it's only a couple of paragraphs so far, so we'll see.

Citrus - lime warning.

~X~

To say she felt foolish was insufficient. No- stupid, dim-witted, dense and other negative adjectives came to mind as well. She sighed and sat back against the rough bark of the tree.

How did she think she would ever compare to her? After all, she was still alive. She let her eyes flutter closed. Hope seemed inappropriate and naive just as happiness did. She had left the village smiling brightly at Sango and Miroku saying she was on her way home for a while.

Inuyasha hadn't protested. The only reason being he hadn't been there to do so. No, she'd caught him again conversing with his past lover, Kikyo. The infamous Shikon no tama protector, the beautiful miko that had died in the line of her duty. That was the only reason he wasn't here yelling and demanding that she stay. It was the only reason he ever didn't show up. The only reason that made him completely unreliable.

She sighed again and the Shikon shards around her neck glowed in response. That was another strange thing. They had been glowing periodically recently. Usually in response to certain thoughts. Unfortunately it seemed they only did so when she was being negative.

She hauled herself up determined to think nothing more of the matter and proceeded on toward the well. She wasn't certain of why she'd even sat down here by the memorable tree. She was up and off again, hauling her half empty yellow sack back toward the magic portal that was just ahead.

The clearing was a welcome sight and she sat upon its rim comfortably, dangling her legs down inside the wooden square. Just push off and she was home in a matter of seconds. She stared down into its inky depths while the musky smell invaded her nose. It smelled old and damp.

A breeze fluttered through the clearing blowing her hair back from her face. She tried to smile, to practice the false emotions she'd be broadcasting when she came back. She knew she would. Be back, that is. There was no way she could not come back no matter how much it hurt. She had to do what was right and collecting the shards of the Shikon no tama was what was right.

"Kagome..."

She turned back and peered about, but no one was around. Her eyes widened as she sensed the familiar pull of the shikon presence in her vicinity. She dropped her bag by the well and, without really thinking about it, grabbed her bow and quiver of arrows and took off running toward the shards. It was so close... and strong!

As she neared however, she realized it wasn't just two or three shards as she'd thought at first. No... This was many, many more. It could only be Naraku... she stopped abruptly, sliding on the loose dirt under her feet.

What was she doing going after Naraku alone? She moved to turn back when there was a rustle ahead of her. She caught no more than a flutter of fabric before she took off running. She heard the soft sound of something floating through the air and then felt an object strike her hard in the back of her head. Her last thoughts were of her body, her chin impacting the ground and inhaling a puff of dusty earth.

~X~

Was the room spinning, or was she? The beams across the ceiling seemed to move strangely. Her vision was blurry and her knees felt weak underneath her. Had something hit her? She couldn't remember. Faces, though.

There were faces in her memory, but their names escaped her at the moment. Two faces in particular plagued her. They had since she'd awakened on the matted floor. A strange looking boy and a beautiful girl. She knew them, didn't she?

She knew she did.

"Ah, so you've awoken, Kagome."

She turned but her legs didn't move and she fell in a clumsy heap onto her bed matting. She caught sight however of her benefactor. He stood in the screened doorway with a grin tugging at his lips.

"You..." she murmured and trailed off.

"Do you remember how you got here?" he asked, stepping fully inside and dropping the screen back behind him.

She rubbed the sore bump on her head. "No..." she replied and looked up timidly. She stared at him certain that she knew him. Tall, dressed in a fine kimono with bounds of long, wavy hair.

He came and kneeled down with her.

She gazed up staring into the now familiar red tinted eyes as her faltering memory returned. "What do you want me with Naraku?"

He blinked, clearly startled. "You remember me?"

"Of course I remember you. It's not hard to remember someone who's always trying to kill you."

"Kill you?" He raised a brow and chuckled lowly. "You are much more useful to me alive, Kagome." he purred leaning forward to capture her chin in a gentle yet firm grip.

She pulled her head back sharply, away from his touch and regretted it as she became dizzy and fell back clumsily. She crawled back up onto her knees and stared at him.

"You-" she left off suddenly as she caught sight of a figure walking past the screens.

He followed her gaze, and glared as a young woman pushed the screen aside and stepped in.

"I've done what you asked Naraku. Anything else?"

Kagome gasped. He? And her? She looked up into the vacant eyes of the miko that she was a reincarnation of. It just couldn't be. She couldn't be the reincarnation of one so cold. Why couldn't Inuyasha see what she'd become?

"Leave," he growled. "I have what I want."

She glared haughtily at him but withdrew and padded out of sight.

"Does it shock you, Kagome?" He turned back to her.

"You planned the whole thing. To get Inuyasha away and I don't have any Shikon shards, Kikyo took them-"

"I know this." he cut her off. "I don't want shards, I wanted you."

"I'm not interested in playing games with you," she snapped suddenly finding the short end of her temper. "What do you want with me?"

"Oh, a forceful one, aren't you? Just like little Kikyo,"

She stood up, her dizziness fading under the veil of her anger. She stood over him and pointed down at him. He eyed her finger amusedly as she continued.

"We are nothing alike! Nothing!" she snarled. "And quite frankly I'm a little tired of hearing it okay? I hear comparisons enough from my 'friends' I don't have to sit through it with my 'enemies' either!"

He grabbed the hand she was waving around and pulled her back down on the floor with him. He wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her against him, her breath catching nervously. Her apprehensive, wide eyes peered up at him anxiously.

"So right you are, my mistake. " he smirked. "Is that your desire? I can give that to you. You help me and I will help you and we will both get what we want. You don't really like hanging around that filthy dog-boy do you? Even when you know that every time he looks at you he sees nothing but her reflection in you-"

WHACK!

She pulled her hand back, stinging and red from slapping him, her body twisted in his arms. He released the one hand around her waist that had been clutching at the white school blouse and ran it tenderly across his throbbing cheek.

"I don't need reminders," she bit out angrily. "You have yet to answer my question. You didn't go through all this trouble to talk to me."

He released her completely and she crumbled into a heap on the bare wood floor.

"I did not." he stood. "I have many plans for you, whether you intend to cooperate or not." he quipped standing and turning to the screen.

She didn't even look up as he glanced back.

"As much as I enjoy that short little skirt of yours, it is inappropriate. All of my women dress adequately. Kanna will bring you some new clothes."

He watched but she didn't even seem to hear and he frowned. Perhaps she would be more difficult than he imagined.

~X~

Kagome stared across the room apprehensively. It was rude but he didn't seem to care.

"He doesn't remember you,"

She glanced ahead where Naraku was at the other end of the low table sipping his tea. She peered back at the boy, Kohaku. Sango's brother was only a few feet away from her but he was void. A shell of life, a mockery of existence, just like... Just like Kikyo, she thought darkly.

On the other side sat Kanna and Kagura, neither of which seemed to care much that she was there. Although Kagura had given her a pointed look or two she seemed only too willing to obey the word of her master. She lowered her gaze to the table, she felt like a cross between a captive and a pet. He was taking good enough care of her but she wasn't allowed to do anything.

She wasn't allowed anywhere near a bow, provided such a thing were to be found in this mansion of his.

She'd been here a whole day now. Night had been the worst so far. She'd had the feeling he was in her room all of last night. She couldn't feel his presence or even sense the shards while she was asleep but she just had a feeling. It hadn't been enough to keep her from sleeping, but it had kept her from sleeping well.

She'd had dreams of tender moments between she and Inuyasha and then Inuyasha morphed into Naraku and it just got confusing from that point on.

She looked up at him once more; he was staring at her again. She doubted his gaze had traveled far. Abruptly Kagura, Kanna, and Kohaku stood and left the room. She watched puzzeled but didn't ask.

"Why don't you do the same to me?"

"Erase your memories?" there was a hint of a smirk on his lips.

"Better yet, why don't you just kidnap Kikyo and use her for your games. It would be more successful you know." She added bitterly. "Surely the great Naraku could use Kikyo, she's corrupt already. Or maybe it's because you are still in love with her?"

The small ceramic cup in his hands shattered under the grip that suddenly pressed down upon it. The remainder of the tea poured down his hand with a strange red coloring. The dark look in his eyes was murderous and she wished she had kept her mouth shut.

"Love?" he scoffed. "I never loved her. "

He stood gracefully and stalked from the room. She followed him with her eyes, watching the smooth movements of his body under all those locks of wavy hair. Was this the real Naraku?

She remained where she was.

Miroku said that his grandfather had battled Naraku many times and in many different forms. So what form was the real Naraku? What part of him was the real part? More importantly, what part of him was still Onigumo, the human bandit?

She stood and left in the opposite direction. She hated it here. The entire atmosphere was dark and forbidding and all her company was hostile.

~X~

He was expecting her. She should arrive soon to rant about something. Despite her surroundings her personality seemed to have remained securely in place. Sure enough, the screen slid open violently and there she stood in his doorway as though she owned the place. Damn her and her attitude!

"Hmm?"

"Don't you people take baths? What kind of mansion is this anyway?"

She stood with her hands on her hips indignantly waiting for his answer. When had she become so relaxed in his company as to make demands?

This he would not allow. No one commanded Naraku. He roused himself from the floor, discarding the book he'd been reading and walked to her.

Her angry tirade melted before he was even half way toward her, to his delight, and one of fear and nervousness replaced it. He raised a hand and she flinched away, closing her eyes tightly. He slid it smoothly around her neck and pulled her forward. She remained hunched, expecting some kind of pain, but he only guided her forward to rest against him.

He leaned down until they were almost nose-to-nose.

"Don't you tire of the company of children?" He hissed. She opened her eyes and stared at him uneasily. "Don't you desire..." he trailed off and gazed down her body with his eyes tellingly. " ...To be treated as the woman you are?"

She forced herself backwards, but managed to remain standing. He allowed her to move away, not bothering to keep his hold.

"Kagura," he called, not half loud enough for her to hear unless she'd been directly by his side.

Still yet, she appeared outside the screen.

"Yes, Naraku-sama?"

"Take Kagome to the bath."

He went back and sat in his place on the floor, returning to his book. She responded so much better to manipulation than she did to pain, he mused. Pain only made her stubborn.

The annoying, yet persisting voice of Onigumo whispered continuously of her similarities with Kikyo. Yet it was his own voice, the collective voices that were Naraku that whispered other things. They whispered of soft curves, and screams in the night. Still yet there were hopes of vengeance, death and power. There were so many things he could do with her.

She'd been here now two days and he hadn't found that which he'd been looking for. He'd been searching for her weakness. It had to do with that mutt, Inuyasha to be certain, but her resolve and trust in him was firm, not like that of Kikyo that was easily breakable. This girl was stronger in that resolve. Still, overall she was much weaker physically and was very much afraid of him and seemed to think he had some interest in raping her.

Although the thought really hadn't occurred to him seriously, since there were much more amusing way to corrupt her without deadening her. Better even if he could take her with her complete consent and crush the hanyou. He stood up, brightening suddenly. And why couldn't he?

Why couldn't he win the girl from Inuyasha instead of stealing her, the damage to Inuyasha would be un-repairable. Not even Kikyo's 'betrayal' would compare to this voluntary surrender to him.

"Kanna..."

His grin was full force and malicious when Kanna appeared before him.

"Show me Kagome," he ordered.

She held up her mirror without a word and the girl appeared. She was lying back against the polished stone bath. Her eyes were closed and on her tiny mouth rested a small, content smile. Would it be that hard? Was she unattainable? Surely not, everyone had a weakness, and if he could just find it.

"We are nothing alike! Nothing!" The haunting statement returned to his mind.

Perhaps it wouldn't be so difficult. Kikyo seemed to be a sensitive subject. If he could perhaps use that miko to gain control of this one, then Kikyo would be sacrificed. Part of him protested, but it was the collective mind of Naraku that emerged as the most powerful voice. So be it, he thought. One miko for another and if he could defeat Onigumo finally and completely, he'd have no inner resistance any further and he could do whatever damn well he wished with the girl. He grinned. The day was looking up already.

~X~

As the week wore on it became more and more clear that Kikyo was indeed Kagome's weakest point. Since discovering so he'd perused books, and scrolls galore in search of something to give him more adequate control of the girl. Simply killing Kikyo wouldn't do, that would only free up Inuyasha from his guilt bonds with the undead miko and acquire Kagome's sympathy.

No, this called for something much more drastic and much more powerful. Kikyo would go back to her grave, and Kagome would send her there. He grinned, elation bubbling through his veins. Kagome's surrender to him would be devastating enough, but to have her kill Kikyo would be the precursor of his ultimate victory.

She would never be able to return to the annoying hanyou. She would have nowhere else to go and no one to turn to but him. Her 'friends' were there certainly but they were all a group of which this girl was the center. If Inuyasha turned on Kagome the entire group would dissolve.

His mind was drifting, he realized and he had to go back and re-read the entire page. Near the bottom he caught a passage that caught his interest.


"Rise, rise my little toy;

Awaken and act out my little ploy."

He marked the page with a piece of rice paper and closed the book. It was but a piece of a much larger spell but that didn't matter.

Tonight then, when he resumed his night side vigil he would whisper the words in her small, delicate ear that would give him control enough to permanently separate her from the hanyou. Then he could set about with his plans. Those plans following were the ones that would cause him the most trouble. They would be far more difficult to receive positive results from, yet he remained firm in his resolve. He'd win her. He would.

The spell itself wasn't enough to bind her as it would most. He'd have to adjust it to suit his needs, but that wasn't difficult. Magic was a part of Naraku; it was a part of her as well. It wasn't a part of that hanyou. By this reasoning, Kagome belonged with him. He gazed out the open shoji door and up into the moonlit sky. She would be asleep soon and then he'd go to her as he did each night.

As he had every night since she'd come here. He'd sat in her room, near enough her bed to see her with the delicate candle that he'd brought with him flickering over her gentle features. He pushed the book aside and moved to the doorway allowing the gentle night breeze to calm him until his appointed hour arrived.

~X~

He crept down his own halls toward her bedchamber. The halls were dark, the night was his domain. His room and Kagome's were in the east section while Kagura and the others were at the farthest point west you could get in the mansion. He stopped reaching the place where he knew her door would be. He slid the door open silently and stepped inside.

The gentle flicker of the candle danced on the plain walls of the room. There upon the floor near a wall of shoji screen screens was a blanketed bundle. The same bundle he viewed each night as he crept secretly into her room and sat therein until the hour before dawn. He stepped inside and made his way to her beside.

He'd learned so much about her, this reincarnation of the miko, Kikyo. This one, he thought as he ran his slender fingers through her silken hair, was from a different time period entirely. He grinned to himself at the discovery. He was quite frankly amazed they had managed to keep such a colossal secret from him so long. But he wasn't interested in wherever she came from, only now mattered.

He knew this would be a delicate matter. The miko powers of the girl weren't something to toy around with. He wasn't sure if he was happy or not about her being unable to control those powers. He pressed one hand down at the left of her and the other on the right leaning down, completely over her, his hair falling off his shoulder and onto her.

"Rise, rise my little toy;

Awaken and act out my ploy.

"Reincarnate from future's past;

You, my miko, will be the last.*"

Her eyes fluttered open sleepily. He watched her as she became aware of her situation. Had it worked? There was a slight red glow to her eyes, but that didn't mean that it had bound her. It could simply been she had or was fighting off the spell.

"Naraku..." he barely caught the words murmured weakly from her mouth.

"You want it, don't you, Kagome?"

Her eyes focused on his but they were distant and hazy. He wasn't certain she was even seeing him. There was no blush or startled exclamations of him to get off her.

"She's nothing but a nuisance. She shouldn't be walking around right now. Someone has to stop her. Do it... kill her. You want to, don't you? After everything she's done to you? After all of her attempts to kill you? Stealing the shikon shards you worked so hard for?"

Her eyes slid closed even as her eyebrows twitched. He leaned closer so their bodies' warmth seeped into each other. Her hands instinctively moved up to his shoulders as though she would stop him, but no resistance came. Her hands were curled weakly around his shoulders.

"You think I should?"

He blinked. She was actually asking him his opinion? Had the spell gone wrong? She wasn't supposed to react this way.

Without warning her hands slid up and back curling around his neck. She tightened her grip weakly and he complied as she pulled him down against her completely. He turned, letting his breath dance against her cheek. Her head was tilted slightly away from him but she wasn't pulling away or making horrible faces. It couldn't be this easy!

Her eyes were still closed, he noted. Wasn't Kikyo her weakness? Damn the wench, had she drawn him in? Was she casting a spell over him!?

"I'm so tired..." she murmured, her eyes slid open, but she didn't look over at him. " ...of being alone."

The desolate sadness was unmistakable. He was wrong Kikyo wasn't her weakness?

"Kikyo should be dead," she spoke up unexpectedly, her voice gaining strength. "You're right, I will kill her, Naraku." Well, she knew who he was. She hadn't mistaken him for someone else when she pulled him against her. The red glow had now completely tainted her eyes, and they glowed slightly as she turned her face to his, their noses touching.

He grinned evilly, but she just turned her head away and closed her eyes again, and her arms loosed around him. He didn't move away, instead he slid into her bedding and ensnared the girl tightly against him. The grin was plastered on his face; this had been a brilliant plan. He lowered his head to her neck, inhaling her scent deeply. What a beautiful treasure Inuyasha and Kikyo had given him. Neither knew that the young girl would be their downfall and the key to his victory.

Inuyasha was too confident of her loyalty and Kikyo thought the girl was incapable of harming her. Both foolish, they were as easy to manipulate now as they had been before. He threaded his hands through her dark hair as the girl muttered incoherently in her sleep, pulling herself against him further.

~X~

The light of dawn brought the two people cuddled together on the floor back to reality. Naraku didn't loosen his hold on her even as he expected shouts of "pervert" and other choice words from the girl. None came. Rather, the girl in his embrace seemed content to sleep the day away in the sheltered hold of her enemy. Her slender hands were clutched on his kimono as she rested peacefully.

In no rush, he let her sleep. How long had it been since he'd shared a bed with a woman, he wondered off-handedly. Onigumo, to the best of his fragmented human memory couldn't recall having ever shared a bed consensually with a woman. He brushed the thoughts aside as he felt her stirring. It didn't matter anyway.

She pulled away from him slightly, the hands clutching a fistful of his kimono loosened. She lifted her head up, raising her eyes to his. Her radiant brown eyes were darkened with a strange reddish tint, but her expression remained unchanged. She still looked at him the same. Still, she didn't shout for him to 'get lost' either.

"Morning," she mumbled before turning her head down again to hide the blush that had crept upon her cheeks. She was farther back to herself than he'd expected. Still yet, he released her and she crawled up, drawing the blanket away. He could almost see the sigh of relief that both she and he were still fully clothed. Of course, determining so hadn't been difficult; all he'd had to do was follow her barely concealed stare as it trailed down the length of his frame.

He rolled down onto his stomach, hiding most of his face behind the one arm as she slipped out of the room. Once she was gone he couldn't repress the chuckle. Imagine, Inuyasha's woman looking him over, what would the hanyou say?

He'd make wild accusations that she wasn't in her right mind and that he, Naraku, was controlling her. To an extent it was true, but he had no desire to make her want him. Especially if he could get her voluntarily and it certainly appeared it was possible.

The young, innocent, beautifully figured girl was a nice addition to his home. He liked almost everything about her. Her attitude being the only hold out, but he was certain it wouldn't be much more of a problem now. Standing, he followed the path he knew she'd taken. The girl was undoubtedly bathing again, a habit he enjoyed very much. He sat often enough watching her do just that from Kanna's mirror. Today however he too felt... soiled. Why not give her some company?

~X~

Words couldn't express his disappointment when he found the girl was not in the bath. She had been, to be certain for her hair was sopping wet, but today she seemed in a rush. She was straightening her kimono when he stepped into the bathing room while one of his servants tied her obi.

"Is that what you're going to be wearing today?"

He looked down at himself. What exactly was wrong with his attire?

She waved a hand dismissively. "I guess it doesn't matter since you'll probably be staying here."

"And where exactly do you think you're going?" he asked pulling at the tie about his waist.

"What do you mean, 'where am I going?' Aren't I going to kill Kikyo?"

The sash fell at his feet and began soaking up the puddle of water it had fallen into. He stared across the room at her. Her back was turned to him as she fumbled with something. She turned toward him suddenly. She'd said it so casually, as though she were doing naught but running an errand for him.

"You know walking in a kimono actually takes some getting used to." She mused aloud staring past him. "I'm hungry, can I have breakfast before I go? Oh, and maybe you could send someone with me? Kagura or Kanna or whoever, it would probably help."

He stared at her almost dumbfounded. Was the girl playing him? Surely that dinky little spell couldn't have worked this effectively.

"I will go with you."

"Personally?" She looked stunned. "Are you sure? Don't you usually like to leave this kind of work to... people like me?"

"'People like you'?"

"Well, underlings, minions, you know."

He grinned as she walked past him to stand by the door as she slid the kimono down his shoulders revealing the large spider mark on his back.

"Go finish getting ready... unless you'd like to join me," he taunted as he dropped the cloth into a heap upon the floor around his feet. He turned his head slightly. She had brought hand up to her glowing face.

"Uh... no, that's okay. I should be going."

And she was gone before he could say another word. Although she couldn't move very far in that kimono, he'd have to redress her before she battled the miko if he wanted her to have any chance of victory. With her padding around in that garment the miko would simply pick her off.

The whole situation was surreal. It was almost like some kind of warped fantasy gone awry that the girl was actually here. That she was going to betray the hanyou completely on her own, well perhaps not completely on her own. He raised a hand from the steaming water to brush his hair off his shoulder.

~X~

Kikyo ducked behind a tree avoiding the arrow. Kagome's aim was right on but she still held the advantage. She drew her own bow notching an arrow readying to release it on Kagome.

Kagome held her bow, going back and forth left and right of the tree waiting for Kikyo to come out. The exhilaration of the hunt, of the battle, flowed through her veins.

Kikyo moved out leaving herself open for attack as she aimed at Kagome, as soon as she had her in her line of sight she let her arrow fly. Kagome took advantage of her opportunity letting her arrow go, Kikyo's bolt flew right next to her body ripping the sleeve of her kimono.

Yet as she released the arrow on it's path for Kikyo, the guilt came. The heavy, nagging, awful feeling that was tearing at her gut. Berating her, disparaging her, telling her how worthless she was for doing this. For going after Kikyo this way even if the miko had attempted to kill her.

What was that old saying she'd hated to hear? Two wrongs don't make a right. Yes, that was it. Still, she was caught. She tried to convince herself it was just the pull of the spell. The silken words that he'd whispered in her ear last night. The spell that he thought would give him the control he wanted over her, when she had then given it voluntarily.

What was she doing?

An arrow flew by her, grazing her cheek and marring her face with her own blood.

She wasn't in league with Kikyo. She couldn't possibly kill her. What about Inuyasha? He'd be devastated.

Yet still, it didn't stop her from aiming another arrow at the evading miko. Her breath was heavy and the damp morning air was crisp and cool in her lungs making her throat sting. Even as the guilt settled over her it was thrown off once more as rage boiled over within her.

Inuyasha? She scoffed. She'd teach the bastard about pain. She'd make him pay for making her hurt all the time. For tearing into her with his verbal assaults and his continual dalliances with the dead bitch. He'd pay. He'd pay!

She shot the last arrow threw blurred vision. Angry tears, sad tears, tears that had to be shed. She didn't see Kikyo, but released the arrow anyway, it was her last. It was the luckiest shot of her life as Kikyo stepped into it completely by accident. Had it been a split second later and she'd have missed and then she'd be dead.

So where was the thrill of victory? Kikyo's body crumbled and vanished leaving no evidence of her being there minus the bow and miko's clothes that were now empty of their former possessor. The last remnant of her soul sprang from it's lifeless host before her body disseminated and returned to Kagome, but still the feeling she'd wanted, desired, even craved, didn't come. There was nothing but emptiness. Kikyo was gone, and now she was unhappy with herself for killing her?

More tears bubbled up even as she felt him approaching. He'd been watching the entire time. Watching her, watching Kikyo. The two objects of his carnal desire as they battled one another. Did this make him want her more? She knew he desired her; he hadn't been shy about it, not like Inuyasha who blushed when they brushed hands.

There was no time to think about the repercussions of her actions. The hand free of her bow was gripped suddenly, and hard and she was spun quickly around and then back. The air was forced from her lungs as she was slammed against the nearest tree. Naraku loomed before her, concealed in his white baboon fur a moment before he slid it away revealing himself before her.

He stared down at her with half lidded, lustful eyes. His wavy hair blew slightly in as a gentle breeze rustled through.

"You've done it," he whispered.

"I have." She replied. Where was the feeling? Why didn't she feel good?

"You are not pleased," he noted, but apparently cared not as he pressed himself against her assaulting her lips with his own. She didn't struggle as his hands gripped the already loose fitting kimono on each shoulder and yanked it down roughly, nearly to her waist. She gasped as the cold morning air grazed her skin, most of which was covered by his body as he pressed forward against her.

The bark of the tree pressed roughly into her bare back sharply contrasting with the cool air and the hot, wet mouth currently biting at her neck.

"Nara...ku," she murmured, but he was undisturbed by her utterances.

She felt his hands, clawing at the sash around her waist and then heard the fabric tearing as he tore it from her and releasing his grip from it. She wasn't stopping him, she realized, nor would it have been at all possible, she thought shivering as her kimono was stripped away from her.

He stood up straight, and peered down at her. She brought her arms up to cover her bare chest as she trembled, clad now only in the pink panties she'd brought with her from home.

"Do you wish to be free of me now, Kagome?" He lunged forward again, imprisoning her against the tree, as though afraid she would run. She had no plans to.

"Be free of you?" she repeated, as if in a daze.

She dropped one hand from her chest, trailing it up his arm along the fine silk of his kimono. She half stepped forward as she reached his shoulder sliding her hand back further to the dark mass of hair falling down his back. He had such beautiful hair. They all did, Inuyasha... Sesshoumaru ... but only Naraku had the rich, dark locks, now entwined in her fingers.

She'd had some reservations about Naraku. Being the evil nemesis that he was, and this being the time period it was bathing often wasn't a priority. Still yet, his hair was clean and slid through her fingers almost like her own.

"No," she whispered, wrapping another arm up and coiling them around his neck as she sank against him. "I don't want to be free..."

The sudden calmness that had descended over him evaporated as his eyes flared with passion again and he chuckled lowly.

It was impossible not to notice as the area around them darkened, and withered as his miasma spread. Even as she cast startled eyes around, she was pressed back roughly once more, his lips seeking hers. He allowed the pelt of fur between them to fall as he fingered the elastic band around her waist.

Her eyes shot open in horror as she heard familiar voices nearing. The muscular arms around her body tightened, as his head dropped lower beside hers.

"Let him come," he growled, finally yanking the flimsy material from around her waist in one swift motion, dropping the destroyed garment to the ground. "Let him see you writhe beneath me."

Her heart was beating so fast she'd thought it'd burst. He was coming. They were coming. Sango and Miroku. They would know, they would see her.

She was powerless, she was shamed, and she was ... on fire. His hands had left their previous positions and now took new courses on her body. She was swept in a torrential flame, almost forgetting about the impending doom that would follow her friends' arrival. Her hands seized and clenched the material of his kimono as she moaned lowly, croaking his name once more.

"KAGOME!"

The shrill call could be no one but Inuyasha. He knew. He was coming.

Suddenly there was no cloth, as her eyes shot open, as his bare skin brushed hers. She was lifted, quite suddenly, her legs curling around him quite naturally, as she stared into the face of her 'enemy'. He was grinning wildly at her, even as he knew and waited for the approach of the hanyou.

She blushed suddenly realizing her predicament. She was pressed up against a tree, very naked, with Naraku? Her head felt light. She turned startled as she heard his footfalls, he was here!

"KAGOME!"

She blinked.

Inuyasha was looming in front of her, arms crossed, scowling.

"What the hell is wrong with you?"

"W-what?" She sputtered before peering around.

There was Sango beside her, and Shippou and Miroku up ahead a foot or two both watching her concerned.

"And why do you keep muttering 'Naraku' anyway?"

He looked royally pissed and her cheeks flushed. Had she dreamed the whole thing up?

She was standing on a worn path with all her companions and no Naraku in sight yet her heart thundered in her chest.

Suddenly, the monk's face lit. "Ah, I have heard that tone in a woman's voice before," he responded wistfully. "It can only mean that the lady-"

"MIROKU!" Kagome suddenly snapped, glaring full force at him. "One more word and you're dead."

No one actually believed she'd kill him but the look on her face wasn't mirthful. Her eyes were cold and hard, that of one who was serious. They stared at her in amazement wondering just why she'd gotten so upset and why she was so spacey today.

Inuyasha released a ragged sigh and demanded they continue on, but she noticed the concerned glances he kept tossing back in her direction.

Around her neck, previously unnoticed, the shikon shard's last glow, faded away.