Fear

An InuYasha fiction by: Chibi-Suiko

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A/N: Okay, I just thought this up after watching episode 60 of the series and it's not going to be an actual fic more than it is a figurative overview of how InuYasha feels having to fight (Or find a way to help) Kagome as she loses control of her body and life under the power of the Black Miko. This also contains a bit of my own dialogue, sort of an alternate ending...

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InuYasha... What are you going to do? Be killed by Kagome that way...Or escape and let Kagome die..? The mocking laughter of Naraku continued taunting him.

InuYasha could hear his snide comments no matter what the distance. What with the other's gone and Kagome holding his life in her hands, he could do nothing at the moment but swear upon all the Gods that he'd kill his bitter enemy for threatening to turn somebody who meant so much, against him.

It wasn't as if he couldn't stop her. He could easily whisk across the room and bat her arrow out of her hands, of course, at the risk of her safety. Though she held him captive, in the end it came down to the fact that she couldn't stop what she was doing at all. And it almost made InuYasha think that it was his fault.

Her pleas of his escape once again came to her mouth, hoping, begging him to move out so that he could survive. If he were to continue walking around the room, even on his guard, he'd eventually be shot by her bow. He did nothing but look at her in a solidifying resolve, disapproving of the command she seemed to think she had the authority to give him.

InuYasha grimaced, looking into her eyes. Hatred, rigid hatred was shown everywhere within her frail form accept there. And to put it lightly, it was quite unnerving. There lay no emotion in the depths of her sight but her movements lacked control. Though, in its place they'd gained force.

And this was all to blame on the Black Miko. She who thought that since she'd never avenged herself for Kikyou's assault, had thought to team up with His worst foe, Naraku to put an end to all that InuYasha had regained over the past half a century. She who wanted to rip his friends trust in each other to pieces and enjoy the sadness that they'd then committed on one another. She who laughed at the fact that she was murdering a young girl who'd hardly lived a fifth of her life yet, at that very moment.

Kagome lost control on her arm and another arrow flew, shifting it's trajectory at the last minute to land in the wall. His breath caught in his throat as he heard her whisper it again.

" ... Escape... Escape InuYasha..!" And again she begged him to heed her warning as she felt her control slipping away.

But he refused to listen. He was being a fool, he knew, for at the moment, there was nothing that he could do to help either of them or ensure that they both would live through the night. But he refused to turn around and just leave the first person to understand him since...

Kikyou...

Because of the young female in front of him, he'd begun to move on. Had met many people who accepted him just because. There really was no reason for their condolence and, therefore, he had no reason to just uninvite himself from the facilities and let her die.

He wasn't like the other Youkai or Hanyou. He didn't like to kill. He loved the challenges that he breathed everyday but it wouldn't be worth living them if everyone saw him as a creature to hate, one who didn't belong.

Slaughter...

Bloodshed...

How I was mistaken to take them as my friends...

His breath catching in his throat, he moved again, to the right. The arrow followed. To the left? The same outcome.

The door behind looked practically inviting but he wasn't giving up without a fight. In this battle, there was much more on the line than the...

Jewel shards...

Or Tetsusuiga...

And when it came down to it, he didn't care if he lost either of them. At least She'd never be able to leave. And his debt for freedom would be repaid with his life.

Just not her...

Anything but her...

She shuddered; it was getting hard to keep hold of the arrow in her bow. She was using everything she had just so she'd not lose it. If she did, then she'd lose...

Everything...

Fruitless struggles like these were often never won. If she were to give up, he'd die. If he were to give up, she'd die. Was death the only answer to this?

Anything...

Anyone...

Save him!

Please, oh Kami-Sama, just let him live! Let him survive..!

Standing still, InuYasha wondered what his companion could be thinking. Where could her thoughts have traveled? The next time he heard anything from her mouth could be his last... And he didn't want her last sentence to be of fear, telling him to run, because running did nothing.

What to do..?

And he struggled not to throw himself at her as her grip began to loosen once more...

Is this it..? What to do... What to do..?

The rotten, snide laughter reached his ears again.

Naraku...

" ... The diminutive fool... It wouldn't be worth his time to stand there... Such arrogance he holds, it's simply appetizing..." Naraku thought with a smirk, idly watching the scene from afar.

Be in pain, InuYasha..!

" Escape..." The voice held hardly any emotion, raw and hungry for dominancy over what was rightly hers. And he found himself trembling. He found himself losing breath. He found himself in worry over the future that could possibly be in store for him, "...InuYasha..!" She breathed his name, and he could say nothing back.

He held onto his strength as it pleaded to leave his body and with a stern expression on, he faced his worst opponent yet.

Worse than his brother, Sesshoumaru, or his first love Kikyou, or his newly found friends...

Sango...

Miroku...

 

Shippou...

Who were out searching for the source of the evil yet. Even worse than the person who's conniving trap had sewn his feet to the floor.

Naraku... I'll kill you... I WILL kill you for doing this...

And he was looking at her and he saw nothing. She pulled the bow, and another flew loose. He almost saw everything in slow motion as it reached out to him. He saw the first on the wall and grabbed it, flipping it between his fingers, over and under, over and under. Rhythmically, just like a modern day baton.

It is over... This battle has been lost since the beginning. Now I can truthfully say that I am the victor... Naraku smirked.

It aimed at his chest just as Kagome brought her knees to the floor in horror, disbelieving to what she'd just done. It was over. And yet, though she had a minute to actually feel alive, she couldn't express the agony she felt, the fear, the pain, and the hatred of herself as much as her enemy.

I killed him...

He's dead...

And it's because I'm not strong enough to keep hold of myself...

" You don't give me enough credit, do you know that..?" And she fell silent, her tears stopping, shock written all over her face.

Could it be..?

She looked up, her expression of deepest grief and saw him standing there, holding both arrows. One in each of his hands. And before she began to lose her grip on herself again, she saw a dent in one of their heads.

He'd used the first one she'd shot to block the second and it had ended up ricocheting around and to the floor.

... And he'd lived... He'd saved himself...

And the smile on her face was the last thing he'd see before she was placed back under the complete power of the Black Miko. He growled lowly in his throat. There had been no doubt in his mind that it wasn't over yet. He'd given himself more time, that was true, but now that the Kagome he knew was gone again, he'd be dead in a short while anyway.

What can I do..?

What can he do..? Naraku's now-plastered grin made his cocky, immoral laughter heard to everyone and thing.

But his last move had cost him. His left arm, which contained the dented arrowhead had gone temporarily numb and the arrow itself had made such an impact with its target that the recoil had cracked the brittle wood and jagged stone near in half. He dropped the first one to the ground, keeping the second in his other arm.

If worst came to worse, he'd block her next assault with her last one. But until his other arm had regained all of it's feeling, after that...

I'd be wide open for an attack...

He gritted his teeth, his eyes widened, blood trickling down his bottom lip because of the pressure of his fangs. His ears were twitching, his shoulders hunched in a very stressed and stiff mode, and his mind was racing.

His breath caught in his throat as the jhaki of the Black Miko grew stronger...

Is this what fear is like..?

The hanyou was about to be killed by his greatest weakness.

And invigorating as this challenge was, as much as he'd looked forward to killing this girl when they'd first met, he didn't want to now. He couldn't bring himself to do it. At the expression of fear, of hatred that always seemed to pass before his eyes, he'd fallen prey.

For the look she was giving him now, it was the same...

The same as all the rest...

And there was nothing he could do to keep himself going forever. Maybe it was time for his own advance. Though he wouldn't dare use Tetsusuiga on her, Kagome had been telling him to escape.

And the only way he'd cooperate was if she were to escape with him, together.

Just like it's always been...

And the eyes were no more than borne slits of fury, so very unlike those he was used to. And he could see clearly, that though he'd hoped she'd be there a while longer, just so that he could hear her voice, see her sight, and breathe her scent, she was gone. And a new Dark Miko, a new slave to the growing evil of the world, was here. To take her place...

And to take the pleasure of slaughtering me...

How I wish I'd told her...

What I'd give for one more chance...

And he realized, not only was he afraid. There was something else there, something that he'd tried time and time again to forget, to ignore... And now it was too late.

If only he'd known, just to hear her reply. To see her smile, to let her know that he truly cared no matter how many petty arguments or how much bickering there was. No matter how many 'Sits' she gave him. He'd take them all on, he'd fly to the ends of the Earth to let her know...

And she'll never get to hear it--!

Next moment, time stopped as he heard the whisk of another arrow, but as he turned his head, he realized that it wasn't aiming at him. It whisked past the small candle-lit lantern near the front of the hut. During this time darkness enveloped his sight, but he didn't know if he should've embraced it, or scolded it.

Until...

There she was, his angel. And the light that was her eyes shone brighter than ever before. If he'd never seen her as truly beautiful, how he'd been mistaken.

He was running, but no matter the distance he traveled, she always seemed just that much farther away... But he was crazy if she thought he'd let her go again. Her smile shown like the sun, brimming with the joy that he loved to see in her so much. And it only made him want her more...

Kagome...

Kagome, don't go..!

I'm not here to take you away!

I want to save you!

I want to hold you!

And I want to be with you!

Can't you see?

And-quite suddenly-he was there, at her side, with her in his arms, her face in his chest. He couldn't have been happier. He wanted nothing more than to see her like that everyday. Hear her laugh, smell her sweet scent that differed so very slightly-and yet largely enough for comfort-from the woman he'd loved before, he wanted to see the light that swelled in her eyes whenever they were together, doing what they had to, to ensure safety to themselves and those around them.

Is this enough for you?

My Kagome..?

But them he was back and less than ten feet away, he saw her--But it wasn't her... Or was it? He'd been gone, obviously. Trapped in his own world, where the truth had bitten him right in the ass.

But he also saw-a moment later, that is-the bow, sleek from that slick oil Kagome had used to polish it so often, pointing straight at him. He hadn't noticed that he'd dropped the other arrow to the ground when he'd lapsed into his memory sequence and it was now about seven feet away.

Even she could get me before then.

And the arrow was shot. His eyes widened, preparing for the blow to the chest...

It's exactly like that time...

The time where I wanted to forget everything...

The time that I thought would be more hated than any other in my life...

But then he felt a searing pain in his left arm (The formerly numb one). He opened one eye--then the other--to the sight of the slowly trickling blood that fell to the wooden floor, seeping into its cracks.

In an attempt to save his own life, he'd used a human tactic, shielding his chest of any life-threatening shot (Which it definitely would have been) with his arm. Only now he knew that he wouldn't be able to use it in combat. And she was still three quarters full of 'ammo'.

He held his wound to his kimono and tucked it away to stop the blood-flow. The girl who watched him only found this amusing and sniggered as if the entire encounter was a game. He growled.

This isn't Kagome...

Kagome doesn't find fun in hurting somebody...

It isn't her...

He waited for another blow but she was merely watching him. Her battle rage was withering away and all this creature cared about was its own enjoyment over the fear that would be settled over its opponent.

" Tsubaki... Let her see. Let the girl Kagome see how she treats her friends under the influence of your evil... I want to be able to taste the blood from their deaths, the blood of which contains the scent of fear..." Naraku said, laughing with no regret at the situation he'd put his only means' of undoing into.

" I no longer control her." She replied stiffly, her voice no more than a whisper, " I owned her to the point of mind and will. But her heart has chosen its own way to deal with the happenings you see before you. Therefore, when she wants to kill, she will kill. When she wants to put Him in pain to soothe her own troubles, she will. And if she finds no interest in her prey and decides to stop, then it will be up to her..."

But he growled and scoffed, refusing to take this insolence from a mere lower-class colleague, " If I'd wanted to hear that, I'd have asked it from you. I beg to differ. Your powers over your prey are more than a match for them. And if you want that Shikon No Tama of which you've longed of for so long, I suggest you follow my commands. Therefore, give her back her sight."

And Tsubaki, the Black Miko, only nodded.

The girl to whom had been cursed was strong and resistant, even when completely gone. But she, as a loyal slave of the Naraku, was going to prove to her what she really was, what she really felt.

And in death, she'd see... Exactly that.

It was as if she was watching everything from a small, far off television screen. She saw all that was lain out before her, from the wound producing the ruby blood that spurted onto the ground, to the vicious laughter she felt herself acting out (Or at least the person she'd become was laughing...), to the pain that was so very evident in his eyes.

She almost felt that she'd be better off dead than causing her friends grief like this. After all, InuYasha meant the world to her, even if it wasn't admitted. She couldn't tell him but, oh, how many times she'd wanted to.

If he were to disappear off the face of the planet, well...

My life would end...

She grimaced at the fact of the situation that she'd been put into. She couldn't stop herself from hurting InuYasha the way she'd obviously been doing before she'd 'Come back'. She couldn't even speak for fear of what would be said after her mouth was opened.

And-unfortunately-she didn't have the chance or the ability to say anything anyway. It wasn't as if the other 'Her' was doing something that would stop her. But her comrade--and most important thing in her life-was growling as if some type of realization and plan had just hit him square in the face.

That's right, it isn't her...

She's no longer here...

So, that means...

I can..!

He didn't even finish his sentence as he threw himself forward and cuffed his right arm (The uninjured one) around her throat. He was looking at her loathingly and disgustedly and for a moment-as he took a glance into her eyes-he thought he saw a hint of fear before she started to snigger as if the whole matter was another alternate ending to his last 'Joke'.

He wasn't going to stand for this things' insane behavior and, next moment, he'd begun to voice his anger.

" You know, it really pisses me off to see my friends in so much pain..!" He spat in such a threatening tone that he almost frightened himself, "You'd never understand how much I care for Kagome or the rest of them and I'll be damned if the next person who hurt Her would be me." There was a distinct pause of absolute silence before, "If you really want to mess with someone then that's fine but when you try to get in a fight with me I suggest you completely think things through before doing so. I've come to the conclusion that I want to kill you and if that bothers you-well, hell-that isn't my problem so either back off or prepare to die."

She only smiled in what looked like self-satisfaction before speaking for what seemed like-if it definitely wasn't-the first time that night.

" You know, she's watching us right now."

"Nani..?"

" Everything you're doing, everything you're saying... She's listening and watching it all through this very body. Through these eyes and through these ears. I could disintegrate my spirit right now and she'd wake up to the control she craves so badly only to see that her greatest accomplice is about to commit murder."

" Nani?! Shut up!!!"

" And even if you let her go, before you'd completed your task, do you think that she'll ever be able to look at you the same way again after you tried to kill her?"

" Shut up, I said! If I'd cared for your opinion I'd have asked! Now die all ready!!!"

" I think you should reconsider your next methods of defeating the heart of the one you-well, don't want to spoil anything-the one whose stood by you no matter what. Don't you think so as well?"

He wasn't going to answer. He was trying to find his way around the base of the girl's neck, trying to grip it so strongly that it broke but her words were starting to get to him. She was stating things that made definite sense, facts that weren't proven yet but easily could be if he tried to follow through with what he was doing. But those types of things weren't the question here.

Can I believe what she's saying?

Do I really want to risk Kagome's life just to see if either of our theories are correct?

Why does my confusion have to keep mounting now?

He shook his head to eradicate it of any loose idea's and decided that maybe-just maybe-he was doing the right thing as he sharpened his hold and--

" InuYasha..!" A gasping wheeze escaped the mouth of his young friend and he faltered, letting go ever so slightly so that he could be sure--, "InuYasha, do it!"

She seemed to be in so much pain and he hardly remembered what he was doing, what she was talking about, as he looked deeply into her face, searching for the only way to see if it was her and not some mindless game produced by that sorry excuse of a villain. All he found was the hurt that lay in her eyes and that settled it.

That--thing--can't hurt!

It can't feel any emotion...

Should I--

It must mean-- So--!

And he loosened his grip to a mere hold. She fell to the floor as though happy to breathe but saddened that he'd let her go, obviously knowing that the being from before now had a chance to come back and take her over.

She glanced longingly up at him, visualizing his every detail of form before he dropped next to her and pulled her into a one-armed hug. She continued to breathe heavily until she had her circulatory system back up to par and stepped away from her silver haired friend.

He was looking confusedly at her, wondering why on earth she'd suddenly want to run from him.

And, believe it or not, he was hurt. You could even see it in his eyes, how he was completely obliviated to the fact that she only wanted to try and save him as he'd done for her so many times before.

He thought that it was his fault, that maybe the other being was right, and that he could hurt her so badly without killing her that he'd lose her trust. And he didn't want that, not at all. Right now all he wanted was her in his arms, to forget everything so that they could just be alone together, like in the beginning, minus the blood shed and hatred and continuous insults that had been tossed back and forth time and time again.

And all he wanted to do was make her aware of how much he cared.

She was trembling in fear. It seemed that she didn't want to come within ten feet of him and only stood back against the wall, hoping that he'd leave her be. But in her state-let alone his-he wasn't ready to just give up and let her to herself. He walked up to her and tried to embrace her again, praying that she'd see he wanted to hold her and welcome him into her arms.

But she didn't seem to care. She avoided eye contact and kept away, all the while with him following along behind her. She stopped suddenly, turning around in order to state her concern over what could happen, "InuYasha, why didn't you kill me?"

He could do nothing but look at her like she was an idiot, "You're kidding me, right?"

She only managed to shake her head as she continued, "I told you to do it and you didn't. Why?"

He wouldn't answer that. How stupid she'd become to even ask such a question. It was too hard to say that he'd never had the heart to let her go but even harder to explain why. If this was what she feared, why she was pulling away, then he had no idea how to prevent its continuation.

" It was my way of saying that I'm always going to be there. And don't get all mushy, you stupid girl, it's not like I care. It's just my obligation on this journey, all right?!"

She smiled and lay against the wall behind her to relax. Immediately, he was on the defensive.

" What's wrong?" He said concernedly.

" Well, being controlled by someone that powerful takes a lot out of you... Just a little tired from such a struggle." And, with that, she closed her eyes to accept the darkness that enveloped her.

InuYasha remained silent but sat at her side in order to rejuvenate as well. He glanced at her exhausted looking face and grinned sadly. No matter how much he denied it, he hated himself more and more every time his battles put her in danger. He just wanted to get everything over with so that she could go back to her time.

Where it's safe...

He watched her even breath and the peaceful expression on her face. It was not until now that he'd noticed how afraid he'd been of losing her. He wondered semi-consciously at the moment, what exactly had he been wanting to tell her so badly before? He guessed that she all ready knew he cared, as much as he'd been trying to hide it but...

What else is there to it?

He felt small nudges from the left and turned to see her trembling. She was cold... Without thinking, he removed his top and lay it over her like a blanket. He saw that almost immediately, she ceased shivering and a small smile dawned her lips.

" Mmmm... Thanks, InuYasha..." She murmured. He blushed, there was no way she'd been awake long enough to know he'd done that...

He snorted.

No way...

At least it was all over now. They could rest at ease for just a while longer. But did he want her here that much longer? Did he actually want to give her that much more time to be abducted, controlled, hurt?

No.

But he did want her there to show how much he was willing to learn from her.

To learn to love...

And to learn to live again...

To show how well he wanted to care for her.

To earn the trust that he knew had been melted away that very night.

For he could still smell the hint of fear on her. Did she think that Naraku could take her over again? Or was it him? InuYasha felt that he'd rather not know.

And that shocked him.

Not that he wouldn't like to know but rather...

That he felt he wouldn't...

Was he aloud to do that..?

To feel, he'd always thought it a weakness but he seemed to counter those thoughts now. He noticed that whenever he was worried for Kagome's safety, her life, he fought stronger than he originally had. She was like this ultimate power source that always made him pull through.

But she wasn't a possession...

She wasn't a mere tool...

She was her, Kagome, and she wasn't going to leave him any time soon.

He knew it...

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A/N: This was supposed to be only about a quarter of the length it is but I'm pleased with it all the same. I guess that the title doesn't fit the whole piece of work but it was the first thing that came to mind, not to mention what this story was originally supposed to be about. I thought that eppie 60 had a lot more Inu/Kag fluff than most of the other early episodes so I knew it'd be the perfect subject to piece this thing together with.