The Blood I Shed for You

Disclaimer: Considering I am posting this story on a site called one would assume that it is exactly that, a fanfic. One would also assume any writers on this site would be immune to lawsuits in any way, shape, or form. Though, this may not be the case, and I do not wish to trustingly leave myself in the hand of another. I hereby announce I have no ownership of the Inuyasha series, manga, and movie. Ownership and all rights go to Rumiko Takahashi. I write any and all stories merely for entertainment of others, and myself. I receive no money for my efforts. Any original characters I may or may not use in any of my stories are of my own making, and though none of them may be protected as mine by law and I will have no power should someone decide to use one, I do appreciate permission, first.

"Did you manage to get a shard from him?" Sango asked, more curious.

"Yes. I used it to go to Kagome's time, as I planned to."

"How did you ever convince Kouga to let you use one of his shards?" Sango asked, surprise in her voice.

"I challenged him to a race." Inuyamainu said coolly.

Common Era: Higurashi household

Kagome sat with her legs tucked under, watching Souta playing 'Ninja Masters' against Inuyasha. After a while, Inuyasha had begun to get the hang of the game, and now seemed to be enjoying himself. Of course, Souta was still better at the game than Inuyasha. Inuyasha had only won one game, and Kagome could tell it was because Souta let him. Still… it was very cute to see Inuyasha stick his tongue out of the side of his mouth in determination. He was concentrating harder trying to beat Souta than he had in some of his battles back in the feudal era. Kagome silently wondered how into the game he really was.

"Hey, Inuyasha. Want to go hunt some shikon shards?"

"No, not yet! I'm almost winning!"

Kagome grinned. "Want some ramen?"

"No! Later!" Was his reply as he continue to press the buttons on his control furiously.

Laughing to herself, Kagome went to pack some things for when they returned to the feudal age. Nothing short of Kikyo stepping in front of the TV would stop him from playing. Kagome's expression saddened. Thinking about Kikyou always seemed to depress her. Perhaps it was because, in her heart, she knew that someday she'd lose Inuyasha to her. She was just a friend to Inuyasha, one that he seemed to argue with quite a bit. Kikyo was his first love. Truth be told, maybe his only love. It hurt her to think about, but she knew Inuyasha couldn't love her like that. Kikyo was elegant and beautiful, wise and prideful. She was bumbling and loud, unsure of herself and awkward. Sure, she wasn't childish, but Kikyo was beyond her years. She just couldn't compete with that.

Kagome didn't want to think on Kikyo any more. As it was, she already felt as though a heavy weight was pressing down on her. She suddenly felt heavy all the way to her soul, as if gravity had decided to favor her today. With a solemn expression on her face, she pushed up with a heavy sigh. Looking sadly at the back of Inuyasha's head, she realized how badly she needed some alone time. Time to be away from him, and to think. She was haunted, now, by Kikyo's very essence. What she really needed was a distraction. She suddenly and intensely found herself drawn to the Bone Eater's Well and the friends she knew awaited her on the other side. Leaving her yellow backpack untouched, she headed outside. For now, the supplies could wait. Inuyasha never noticed she'd left.

Sengoku Jidai

Gathered in the cool shadows of Kaede's hut everyone waited in amiable silence as they awaited Inuyasha and Kagome's return. Sango and Miroku sat on either side of the hut. Sango looked perturbed and Miroku sported a fresh handprint. Kaede quietly ground herbs into medicine. Kirara was content to lay on Inuyamainu's lap and be stroked while Shippo used her head as a perch. He seemed to be enjoying his spot a great deal as well. If it were Inuyasha he sat upon, he would have gotten pummeled by this point. Inuyamainu seemed to have a great tolerance as he would accidentally puller her ears or uproot hair trying not to fall off every time she turned her head. It still surprised Shippo that she looked so much like Inuyasha, but treated him as nicely as Kagome. It surprised him so much so that he was inclined to ask.

"Inuyamainu, doesn't it bother you that I'm sitting on your head?" He asked, grasping her bangs and using them to anchor him securely as he leaned over and peeked at Inuyamainu's face from his upside down position.

"Not at all." She commented peacefully, even as more of her uprooted hair drifted to the floor.

"Why not?" He asked, his child's curiosity perked.

"My mother keeps humans in our home. They're bound to our family through life debts and serve rather menial jobs for my mother such as farming, cleaning, and running errands. In return for their services, my mother provides them with food to supplement what they grow for themselves, comfortable shelter, and protection. Many have lived under my mother all their lives, and though they know they're free to leave, none have ever done so. My mother is kind to them, and in honesty, I believe she sees humans as a sort of pet."

"Humans as pets?" Sango asked in surprise.

Inuyamainu nodded. "I realize how that must sound, but you must remember that all of my mother's human subjects are free to live as they please, so long as they do not cause harm or destruction. They are even free to raise families, which is why I'm so accustomed to having small children crawling about on my body. They love to play in my fur when I shift to my true demon form."

"Your true demon form?" Kaede asked, breaking her silence.

Inuyamainu nodded. "Yes. My true demon form is a great wolf." She said, tilting her had back and causing Shippo to scramble a bit. "Just as your true form will be that of a fox. As you are now, your true form is obvious. Your feet and tail give you away. Once you become older and grow more powerful, you will have the ability to shift between forms." She spoke, again addressing the entire room. "We are born in the form of our true species. When we gain power, we take the form of the source. In death, we return to our true selves."

Miroku leaned forward. "The source?"

Inuyamainu chuckled. "I spent centuries neck deep in books and scrolls. In doing so I discovered the origin of youkai. The histories were only vague remnants, bits and pieces of real history mixed with fictitious stories and myth. It was ironic that the clearest history of youkai origin is told in a children's song. 'What is good is evil. What is evil is good. What is clean is dirty. What is dirty is clean.' To many, it is just a song with an unclear message, and many take its meaning to be something different than the truth. When you discover the true source, the song's words make perfect sense. Every youkai including myself, the wolf, Shippo the fox, and Inuyasha the dog are different species, but we all come from the same source. Every youkai in existence are borne from humans."

Long time, no update. It's about time I made this chapter. However, the reason is because this chapter was already almost complete and I have an important message for all my readers. Due to circumstance, I have not been able to update any of my stories for a few weeks. This was originally due to problems with my word programs. I reinstalled my program and it works perfectly again. However, another problem has been causing my delayed updates. My monitor is dying, and I need to buy a new one before my screen goes black permanently. Last but certainly not least, I now have a second job as a manager (full time 45 hours a week), and the precious little spare time I once had is now gone entirely. I officially live at work, now every day of the week. Home is only the place where I sleep in between work. I apologize, but until further notice, I will have to break my one-week policy. I can no longer make that guarantee.