White Dogs: Perversity.

Rating: PG-13, R for some parts.

Song Used: Leave by Matchbox 20

Genre: Everything left of the middle. Beware the dry wit. And sarcasm, could be dangerous to your health.

Warnings: What could I possibly warn you of that you haven't already read?

Disclaimer: Dis: Not. Claim: Mine. Ergo: I don't own, darnitall.

A.N: Also, I've taken it upon my integrity as a writer to be a GOOD writer and have, therefor, taken the time to re-write this story. So, here is the renaissance of my belov'd tale. Thank you.

Summary: Kagome finally lifts the blindfold from her eyes and now understand where exactly she stands in the triangle between her incarnation, Inuyasha and herself. There comes a point in everyone's life where you reach a fork in the road, and Kagome has reached said point. So which road will she choose? The road well traveled, the one less taken or will she go on to make her own path?

Perverse: marked by a position to oppose and contradict. Resistance to guidance or discipline. Marked by immorality; deviation from what is considered right or good or proper. Forward; untoward; wayward; stubborn; ungovernable; intractable cross; petulant; vexatious.

"Because human beings are inherently perverse. They'll project perversity into anything they look upon. The perversity's in our perceptions, not in the thing perceived- which is to say, it's in us." Matt; excerpt from Her Majesty's Wizard.

Prologue: Puppets of Perversity.

There is a capacity in every creature to cause harm whether it is to another creature or to it's environment. We hurt the most those that we love, or those that love us- intentionally or not. When one loves someone, one gives them an unquestionable amount of power over oneself. The power to make one happy or the power to make one sad. Love was a double edged blade that could cut both ways, and it would do so indiscriminately.

She just didn't understand. Wait. That wasn't it exactly. Perhaps it was that she understood it all too well. In fact, she more then understood; she knew. Now, she could finally see why ignorance had been termed as 'bliss' by so many. Knowledge was the key to power, or so they had said. They always failed to mention that power and knowledge came with a terrible price.

The price that was hers to pay had been her ability to pretend nothing had changed inside of herself. Something had irrevocably altered within her breast and she could not pretend it hadn't happened nor could she go back. She could never go back. The bridge she'd crossed had burned.

Kagome knew this now and understood it as much as any mortal could. By the Gods, it hurt like hell. This knowing… knowing the reason he seemed to be able to turn off whatever emotions he felt towards her with nary a thought to how she would feel. To hide himself from her so well, when she herself was as naked emotionally to his eyes as he was not to hers. He had the protection of bitterness and hate. What protection did she have? Whatever protection she could patch together was ripped away in gale force winds whenever those amber eyes locked with hers. She was the new born babe left in the fury of his tempest. And, she knew it. This made it worse. Knowing but being powerless to stop it.

It's amazing,
How you make your face just like a wall

There were times he'd show her his tender side; then he'd ruin the moment by pushing her away. He'd be kind, only to turn and berate her for being who she'd been born as. As though it was all her fault that she had been birthed with the soul of the woman he had loved fifty years in his past, five hundred and fifty in hers; a soul with a past she wouldn't live up to because she had her own future to live. To tell her how worthless of an imitation she was; as though she herself were to blame for her lack of training. It wasn't like she could help that. The future did, after all, depend solely on technology to eradicate demons which more or less came in the form of a virus or a disease. It had no true need for priests or priestesses; they did little more then manage the upkeep of old traditions.

How you take your heart and turn it off

It was clear to her now. She understood why it hurt so badly when he spat those cruelly edged words at her. The verbal daggers were enough to even slit the pale throats of souls. Though Kagome had always fancied herself as a strong-hearted girl that didn't mean that she was totally immune to his careless barbs. Far from it, actually. No one was truly immune to love or the pain it could bring. No matter how strong one was, they were bound to start loosing their foothold. She was loosing hers. 'Or…,' she thought, 'Maybe I've already lost it.'

How I turn my head and loose it all

Each time he had held a mirror to her flaws and listed Kikyou's many, marvelous virtues, she had turned away from him, or had silenced him with a "sit" and hoped that afterwards his nose was too clogged with earth to catch wind of her tears. She had tried so hard to hide her humanity, her vulnerability and inherent weaknesses.

She was so tired of being hurt time and time again, just as she was entirely disgusted with herself for being so weak. At first, Kagome just didn't get why his casual insults seemed to find their way straight to her heart and lance it with pain. Why every time he left her behind to go to Kikyou, she'd feel so wrong inside. It made her feel like such a fool.

Now... now she knew. After all, only fools fall in love with someone that would never love them in return. Only fools fall in love. Period. Exclamation mark. Case over. Next victim.

Of course, as perversity would have it, hiding the tears did no good whatsoever either. The evidence of them always made their way over the air currents and to his nose. She knew that as well, but hid it with a smile. How many times had she cried? Had they honestly been so many that she had lost count? Or were they so few, but still so degrading and painful that she chose to forget them? Hidden with a smile or a sit, she had cried and they all knew.

It's unnerving
How just one moves puts me by myself

There were the times when he left her even after he had promised her. Apparently, however, breaking a promise to her was easily done with nary an after thought. Oh, but any promise made to Kikyou was kept to the very syllable. That came as a slap to the face. When he went to the very person, or more to accuracy, the golem that had attempted to kill her, drag him to hell and steal the Shikon no Tama shards that they had both slaved away to gather. Even through all that, he trusted the corpse more then he cared for her. So, promises made to her were pie-crust promises. Easily made and easily broken.

As well as easily forgotten.

There you go just trusting someone else
Now I know I put us both through hell

It could all be traced back to one reason alone. All of it; the heartache, the tears, the broken promises. It was all for love. This so called emotion was supposedly all sunshine and happiness, warm and fuzzy hugs from that special someone in front of a blazing fire that kept the darkness of the night at bay. The emotion that was credited for being beautiful and safe. Love.

What was 'love'? Why should there have been an emotion such as love? It only seemed to bring more pain then it was worth. Person A could fall in love with person B and both share this wondrous feeling…then Person B would fall out of love and Person A was left loving..as well as holding the pieces of a heart that would never be the same again. Person A's love could go unrequited and that would slowly break them over time. Or, Person A could watch the person they love with every iota of their being, stay so in love with the one that had tried countless times to destroy them.

Why was love held so highly? It wasn't safe. Love was deadly; the most potent poison that went straight to the heart. Take Romeo and Juliet. They had been love's playthings and they in the end played the fools that Love had fashioned them into.

Love only made one vulnerable.

I'm not saying
There wasn't something wrong

Perhaps it was only her, something was wrong with her. Some trait that made her love more pain than peace. All love ever seemed to bring her was a swirling miasma of dark thunderclouds with lancing bolts of pain that struck her straight to the quick. There never seemed to be any good in the emotion for her. Or, if there was, it was negated by his harsh words. One slip of sunshine in the eye of the storm then it's fury was doubled and she was left again, bereft of shelter.
Was she truly of less worth than that clay amalgumation's memory? Why was she not good enough?

'I'm alive and I'm here, waiting...' Was that not enough?

I just didn't think you'd ever get tired of me

If only there was a may to make him love her, she'd do it in a half a heartbeat. She wished in vain that it was that simple, for no matter what she did, he'd still never truly see her. That was what tore her heart the most. All she'd ever be to him was the pale shadow of a past love that was taken away from him prematurely. Kagome would never be herself to him. She'd be a reincarnation.

Nothing more, and always less.

They say that sticks and stones may shatter bones but words could never hurt you. This was a lie fed to children when they were in tears from a bully's cruelty. The truth was that words held just as much destructive power as any weapon did, if not more so. They could reach your soul, which was untouchable to any sword, dagger or gun. She had been brought to the breaking point so many times by just his words alone it was getting harder and harder to pull herself back from the edge. The girl was beginning to fear for herself.

How much of herself would she loose to him before she was lost entirely? Would he possess everything she was till there was nothing left for herself? Till he did to her what Kikyou was now doing to him?

I'm not saying
We ever had the right to hold on

This love was wrong. It was a contradiction to everything she had ever read about the emotion. It was more of an addiction then anything. She needed him, and it was driving her further into darkness, this need.

She was so sick and tired of putting herself on a platter for him. He didn't see her.

They said love was blind. How true. Her love saw nothing but the cliché man in him. Dashing, heroic, if not a little loud mouthed and crude, yet since love was essentially blind, no faults could be seen. In Love's eyes, he was the proverbial knight in shining armor to her dainty damsel in distress. As such, it made her weak and dependant on his strength; caused her to crave his touch however rough or involuntary that it was and it seized her heart when those amber orbs of his met her own gaze.

It made her vulnerable when she didn't have to be.

I just didn't wanna let it get away from me

He never once saw her and had probably never truly seen her. What he did see was a woman that had been killed fifty years ago. The man saw a second best prize. Not quite as good as the original (as he had been quick to point out time and time again) but, well, beggars can't be choosers now can they?
Perhaps...he did care about her beyond the fact that she was the only one who could sense the shards. Or was this hoping for too much? She was only good for that one thing. Anything else and she was hardly anything special to him.

His voice echoed through the hallows of her mind: "Feh. She's just a stupid shard detector."

He'd left again.

No doubt it was because he had caught the scent of a certain other woman. Thus, here she was, fighting back the tears and trying to get her school uniform off of her body so she could seek the comfort of a hot spring. Left to worry about him because for all his strength he was as helpless against love as she was. Her fingers trembled so badly she couldn't manage the buttons. It was proof enough of his effect on her.

Here she was, vulnerable in every sense of the word. Vulnerable and miserable.

But if that's how its gonna leave
Straight out from underneath
Then we'll see who's sorry now

It made her feel so worthless to be shoved aside and forgotten entirely because Kikyou was in the general vicinity of his scent-range. As soon as Kikyou was even so much as hinted at Kagome became invisible to him. He only chose to be around her when it was convenient for him or if there was ramen involved.
She was merely a tool for him to use, or, if he felt like it, a pretty little bauble to look at.

Like a worn and faded photograph that could never do the true thing justice. Something to gaze at and reminisce about only. The stand-in puppet for another in a movie she had no heart to act in anymore.

There were times when she could almost believe he was seeing her, protecting her…and then she'd know. He wasn't seeing her at all.
The knife had been firmly throned in her heart and when it suited him, he twisted the blade and pushed it a little deeper.

Words rang in her mind from a poem she had once read; it had a struck a chord in her at the time she had read it and she remembered feeling sorry for the poet. The poem had been short, but sad.

"This dagger will dig deep and find the ruby liquid in it's keep,
And therein that liquid shall rush to the fore of my breast and spill my life so wondrously
For my love is the blade and it will be the death of me."

Ironic that the raw little poem fit her so well now. Her pity for the poet was now empathy.

What was she to him anyways? His fall-back crutch; the girl he can return to if all else goes wrong? Or rather, who was she? Kagome or Kikyou? God, could he even choose which one he loved; though it was rather obvious to any fool who cared to read the book. You didn't even have to read between the lines.

Kikyou, Kikyou..never Kagome. The answer was there and it haunted her.

The one you're leaving now
The one you're leaving out

She was following him in blind obedience, dragging her aching heart in the mud, doing tricks and bending over backwards to gain his attention, being his friend, comforting him as best she could, climbing cliffs for him, reaching for the stars for him, everything she could possibly think of to show him her love, the painful bittersweet ache her heart held for him.

And all he could do was look between her and Kikyou with a stumped expression on his roguish face. He couldn't choose between a young breathing woman with only her heart and her love to offer or a dead, living corpse who only offered hell and eternal damnatio, in guilt for a crime he never commited. Love or Honor. Life or Death.

It's aggravating
How you threw me on

Kagome, and the heart inside of her, knew and understood. One such as InuYasha could not turn his back on honor and duty for something like love. Especially not when he once loved, and still loved, the one to whom he owed so much. The injustice of it was bitter and jagged in her throat and behind her eyes. She felt it so unfair that she could understand him so well, love him so much, need him so only to know that if it came down to it, she would step aside for him knowing that she'd never be what he wanted. It was unfair to be so selfless.

A tear burned it's salty brand down her cheek and soon after, another followed. And another, down the other cheek. She sobbed, shoulders trembling at the sick feeling inside of her as she began to break again.

And tore me out
How your good intentions turn to doubt
The way you needed time to sort it out

Stop! Stop it! Suck it up. Be strong. You can't let even the slightest crack appear in your armor otherwise you're going to shatter just like that. If you break now, you'll never be able to fix yourself. So, please, for the sake of your heart, just stop…please…why did it have to hurt so much? Why does it hurt? Can't it just stop? I don't want to cry anymore…

Her legs were getting weaker…she couldn't hold herself up anymore. Just one more thing her 'love' had robbed her of. The strength to stand on her own power.

Why? Why was she so desperate for his love that she allowed herself to become so fragile? She'd break, fix herself, paste on a sweet smile, then despite the ache throughout her being, get back in the ring for another go.

Masochistic. That's what she was. If she could get nothing else from him then pain was enough to keep her stable. The funny part was, no one really knew how much she hurt. To them, she was bright and cheerful. Though she cried.

Oh yes, it was bloody well hilarious. Bet the deities upstairs were having a jolly good riot with this big, gold cosmic joke. The classic love triangle with a wicked little twist. My, had she gotten bitter. What happened to her optimism? Perchance it had given up the ghost when it had learned the hard way that no matter how many times she looked on the bright side, there would always be the storm waiting to batter her again.

It hovered over her shoulder, black and beastial. Waiting. Always waiting.

Tell me is that how it's going to end

Kagome wanted nothing more then for everyone she loved to be happy, but was a little sliver of happiness for herself too much to ask for? She wished desperately to go back to the bliss ignorance gave her; things were easier and uncomplicated when you didn't see the world entirely and didn't know that it was hurting you. She had dreams once of a knight in shining armor carrying her away. Those dreams had changed, and soon she realized that in her fairy tale, she would always be second best. They were no longer dreams, but were now nightmares.

When you know you've been depending on
The one you're leaving now
The one you're leaving out

When she didn't know, she'd been chipper and upbeat. It hadn't been an act that was beginning to cost her more and more precious energy to keep up. Her responsibility for the jewel, her friends, her little adopted cub, and schoolwork weighed her down. And for some reason, it kept getting heavier. She was falling behind in school so swiftly it made her head swim.

The one you're leaving now
The one you're leaving out

Was this how Kikyou felt when the jewel was in her possession? The great curse that the power of the jewel brought, as well as the protection the village needed, the duty to be an elder sister and mentor to the rest of her protectorates?

Ugh. If he didn't drive her to an early grave, the stress and worry would. Well, okay, fine. She'd deal with that like she always did. And he'd insult her like he always did. And she'd fight back as she always did. And he'd run off and abandon her as he was wont to. And she'd carry on as she always did. And he'd come back and try to lie to her, and he'd have a nice and personal visit with terra firma. It was routine. They'd continue to fight against each other, he'd continue protecting the Kikyou in her and she'd continue to gather the shards for him. Without so much as a Thank you, might she add.

I'm not saying there wasn't nothing wrong
I just didn't think you'd ever get tired of me

However, one thing would change. No longer would love rule her. There was only so much one heart could take before it gave up and let go. Kagome knew her heart had crossed that line.

But if that's how it's gonna leave
Straight out from underneath
Then we'll see who's sorry now
If that's how it's gonna stand, when
You know you've been depending on
The one you're leaving now
The one you're leaving out.

Knowledge may have been pain, and she may long for the blissful ignorance she once lived in, but she'd gained a new perspective on her life. With these new eyes, she'd decided she was going to take a step back from the love triangle and let the tables turn without her. She was going to release herself from the brutal web of pain love had woven for her and step down from her demented carousel of hurt. Kagome had had just about all the love she could stand. No more. Just… no more pain.

She wasn't going to be the victim anymore. It was someone else's turn, whatever poor sucker that happened to be.

The un-trained miko leaned her head back against the rock behind her, eyes on the stars.

"Did you think I had an unbreakable heart?" her whisper carried on the breeze, up and away to wherever said breeze went. Perhaps her words would be carried to Inuyasha. Maybe he'd even have the state of mind to know it was her that had spoken them. The hanyou was dense when it came to matters of the heart, obviously. Otherwise her story would have the fairy tale ending it was supposed to have. The whole happily ever after thing. That would be nice. Well, it would be more then just nice, it would be Heaven. Oh, between Heaven and the Hell she was in now, she had no problems with choosing. She, of course, was not blinded by guilt and a past that should've stayed just that.

There was little one could do against guilt she knew, but it wasn't Inuyasha's emotion to harbor. It was a burden that Naraku should have born; yet, as she had learned, life was never fair. Naraku did what he pleased with no conscience to choke him or control his hand.

'Naraku'. Her eyes narrowed in reflex. Naraku had been the catalyst for the past 50 years of torment, the beginning of heartache. If Kagome had been capable of hating, she would have hated him. As it were, she only sought to remedy his wrongs. Naraku had been her beginning. She planned on being his end.

She stood and waded to the center of the spring, standing completely still in the water she waited for it to settle then looked upon her reflection solemnly. It was not 'Kikyou' that she saw, but it was not entirely 'Kagome' either.

It was someone who loved too strongly for her own good. Someone who cared too much, felt too deeply and gave too freely of herself.

Tell me is that how it's going to end
When you know you've been depending on
The one you're leaving now
And the one you're leaving out
The one you're leaving now
The one you're leaving out.

But now, everything she had to give had given out.