Genre: [ Drama, Romance]
Pairing: Naraku x Kagome
Disclaimer: Did you know, I don't own Inuyasha?
Author's Notes1: This is based off of my need to do a fic with the lyrics from "Bring Me to Life" by Evanescence, I'm sure you know the one. It's been done so many times, but how many people did it with Naraku & Kagome?? ^_^
Exactly. Check it out. You might like it.
I stared, eyes shimmering with tears. So that's the way it was going to be? I lowered my gaze from the mirror. I was stronger than this. I could go back and pretend I didn't know what he'd said to her. I could carry on, doing everything in my power to protect him. After all, he needed protection. He acted all big and tough, but he was the one who was weak, exposed. He was the one that had fallen to his emotions again and again. It had led to his 'death'. It had led to hers. Inuyasha and Kikyo. The two of them were a continual drama.
One that my current guest sought to put an end to with me. I turned my blue crystalline gaze back to him, but he was just smirking knowingly. Expecting me to hurl angry words or to slip to the betrayal he was offering me. I set my determination firmly. I could do this... but strangely... I didn't want to.
I didn't want to bear the suffering alone. I was tired of hurting for things I couldn't change. He knew, I thought staring into his ruby colored eyes. He understood. He was half the reason I was in pain to begin with, wasn't he?
. . . how can you see into my eyes like open doors . . .
Him. Kikyo. That pest, Urusae. She was truly to blame, but Kikyo had removed her. Who else was left but Naraku? The hanyou almost beaming at me? Who but him was responsible for this pain?
I wanted to yell, to scream at him, to hurl things angrily at him. I wanted the sound of shattering glass in my ears, but there was none to be had. None. Nothing. No one. Just him. Just Naraku staring at me with those calm, calculating eyes. Those eyes, which had predicated everything that would happen here today.
. . . leading you down into my core . . .
The careful strategist - nothing at all like the brash Inuyasha who thought nothing out, merely acting on impulses. No, this one knew me. He knew me so implicitly, so completely. He knew my secrets, my life, and my character by nothing more than his observations. He'd pinned me down so carefully. Planned everything out so perfectly. He'd maneuvered Kikyo and Inuyasha as easily as ever playing into his hand and all just to bring me to this cross road. Where he expected me to depart from my other path and lead me directly to him.
"What do you think miko? Surely you are better than this suffering."
I raised my chin just a bit higher. I was better than this. I could do better. Yet at the same time, I doubted such. I seemed to be a magnet for pain. What had this time period brought me but pain? I was in no mood to dwell on the positives. I was in no mood to dwell on anything. My mind was blank save for the pain. It hurt. Why did it have to hurt? Why did he have to be the one here at this time? Why did he have to be the one to show me something I would have been happier not knowing?
Even still, I knew why. It was because he thrived on pain. Kikyo's, Inuyasha's, mine - we were his three favorite torture subjects. Probably in that order, but others had suffered as well. Miroku and Sango were not to be forgotten. But I didn't want it to hurt.
I wanted him to stop. To leave me alone. I wanted him dead. I wanted the strangely attractive man in front of me to cease breathing. I wanted him to fall over where he stood and see this false body destroyed. I did not act on my impulses. They were weak. I wondered then if I truly desired his death, and if I didn't what I was hunting him for. Was I doing all of this just to stay with Inuyasha? Perhaps some twisted loyalty to Shippou or my friends? Maybe I'd trapped myself with some constricting responsibility to the broken Shikon. It was technically my fault.
My fault. I scoffed.
. . . where I've become so numb . . .Why was I feeling this way? Why now? Why him? Why couldn't I just give in to my base desires and flee? Run? Escape from this place? Seal the well and try my hardest to forget it ever existed. Even as my thoughts wandered, his gaze held steady. He trapped me so easily with those red eyes. He knew me. He was trying to destroy me, and now I found it utterly enthralling. When had I been entranced by Naraku? Did it even matter?
. . . without a soul . . .
I wondered fleetingly if she were corrupting me. Kikyo. The parts of me that gave Kikyo life and enabled her to falsely breathe.
"What do you want with me? Why did you come here?"
An empty question, we both knew. He was here for me. He was here to drop me back into my pond of pain. One he hadn't created, but I'm sure he'd have liked to take credit for. He must enjoy it; he was here leading me to it.
That was all though. He wanted me. It gave me a sick, crawly feeling, but one that sent delightful shivers over my body. He wanted me because of her. I could be a living, breathing replacement for her. For Kikyo. Somehow, the thought boosted me just as much as it tore me down. He would take me over the baked clay falsity that was Kikyo, but Inuyasha would not.
. . . my spirit sleeping somewhere cold . . .
"How much time will you waste on him? When will you learn?" His voice reached me again. Smooth, soft, utterly beguiling. I wondered off handedly if my mother would take one glance at him and determine he was evil or if it was a subtle evil. I couldn't tell. My thoughts of him were now so tainted I would never be able to see him for other than what he was. A painful manipulator. One that hurt me. One that sent chills through me.
"I am here for you, miko. Let me help. Let me heal you."
I scoffed again.
. . . until you find it there and lead it back home . . .
"Heal? You are incapable of healing." My voice was feeble, lacking the conviction, the anger I wanted.
"How do you know?" he taunted, a grin playing across his perfect lips.
"I want..." I whispered. "You can't give me... what I want."
He grinned again. "Can I not, miko? Kagome." He spoke my name as though it were the magic word.
I scoffed. "Do not say that. Don't say my name; go on pretending I am a replacement for her. Its better that way, it's the way I expect it to be."
"But that hurts, doesn't it? It is clear as day you and she are different people. I can heal. Let me heal, Kagome." He spoke it again and I frowned.
"No." Silence fell between us. "I have made a decision about you though, one you will like."
His grin returned. "Oh?"
"I will make a deal with you. I will continue on with Inuyasha, traveling to collect the shards and I will give them all to you provided you let me do one thing."
"Name it." His voice was so utterly serious and devoid of deceit, it scared me. It was raw with need. He wanted this jewel, lusted after it more than anything.
"When it is complete, allow me to make your wish for you."
He cocked his head to the side. "You think me a fool, miko?"
"Oh, but think of it. Can you imagine how crushed Inuyasha would be at me granting you your one true wish with the jewel? Can you see the weight of the betrayal on his shoulders after I spent so much time with him collecting the jewel he wants for himself?"
His mouth set into a grim line. "We will see."
I smiled stepping forward standing up tall to throw my arms around his neck, startling him.
"If I don't get what I want, I will purify you into oblivion." I smiled sweetly at him pressing my lips to his briefly. "Do I taste as you imagine she would have?"
He flung out an arm, shoving me backwards and I tripped hitting the ground painfully. He glared at me, eyes full of silent fury.
. . . Wake me up inside . . .
He had pushed me away, but it didn't matter. I would get it, he knew it, and I knew it. He would allow me to make his wish, but he would never acknowledge my threat. That however I suspected was not what had disturbed him so much. Turmoil was swimming in his eyes and I wondered that perhaps he argued with Onigumo. Probably over my uncharacteristic boldness, but I was hurting right now. I was probably half-insane now so I didn't bother thinking about it.
It didn't matter though. We both felt Inuyasha coming, his voice breaking through the forest, his voice calling out my name. I smiled at him and he stepped back and then again, vanishing in a miasma funnel just as Inuyasha tore wildly into the clearing, wielding Tetsusaiga.
"Kagome, are you all right?"
I glanced at him. His eyes were practically glowing with the 'worried' look. The look reserved for Kikyo, I thought bitterly.
"Just fine," I replied and began walking back to camp. I met the others moments later, rushing to the 'battleground' with weapons drawn. "What's everyone so worked up for?" I asked, passing by.
"What were you doing with Naraku?" He called back after me.
I turned toward him, remembering all too well I was angry with him.
Our gazes met in a silent clash and I knew he knew my anger was not of the ordinary type. He was clearly perplexed.
. . . (I can't wake up). . .
We went back to camp. Life went on. I stared down at the bottle of Shikon shards in my hands. We had ten. Ten whole shards, amazing really, we hadn't already lost them to Kikyo, but I was not the same girl as before. I wondered how much the others had noticed but Kikyo noticed it easily. I tried not to think of her though.
Months past and autumn fell and winter came on quickly after that. I enjoyed it though. The cold. Something about it harmonized with the cold inside me. The cold, unyielding discontent that brewed fiercely within me, but that I kept guarded like the most treasured secret. No one could know about that.
We were in another village - another guest room acquired by Miroku's unique brand of talent. I didn't even hear him approach until I felt the hand grab my butt. I yelped, and instinctively whirled around to slap him. He accepted his punishment quietly, even with a laugh. He'd expected me to do it. He could have stopped me. He didn't. He just held a hand up to his stinging cheek and smiled at me.
"Something has been bothering you Kagome-sama, hasn't it? For a long while now."
"We are walking a difficult path, one that leads to Naraku. But once we converge at that point our paths diverge away from each other," I mused aloud.
"That is life, Kagome-sama. "
I cracked a smile of my own. "Maybe."
"Is there nothing wrong with you and Inuyasha?"
"I made a decision a while back and it's effecting me in ways I hadn't quite thought it would." It was the truth. My betrayal to Inuyasha ate away at me everyday. It didn't help I had dreams of him, Naraku. Taunting me. Trapping me. Hurting me. Touching me.
I knew I had spoken in my sleep. Sango had told me. I'd even woken once or twice his name upon my lips.
I didn't know what my companions thought about my dreams of Naraku, and I dared not ask, but I could see the curiosity on their faces when they looked at me from time to time. Yet the looks I received were never suspicion. Never. I, Higurashi Kagome, was trusted. My betrayal would be a bitter pill to swallow. It would crush them and I could not escape that fact.
. . . Wake me up inside . . .
The night was a cold, merciless thing. I knew from my surroundings that I was dreaming. On a plane of consciousness other than reality. He was near me somewhere. This was not new to me. He had visited many times in my dreams since that afternoon.
"Miko?" He called out, his voice a distant echo.
Yet I could feel him as he pressed seductively up against me. His breath fanning against my cheek as he leaned down to me, but when I turned he was not there.
"Stop playing games Naraku, just get out here."
I didn't like this place. It gave me a crawly feeling. It was so dimly lit I couldn't see very well. Naraku's presence was all around me, I felt enclosed. Trapped.
. . . (Save me) . . .
It gathered, swirling and twirling around me. I cast my eyes wildly, trying to trace it but it was everywhere. It snaked down every corridor, clinging to the walls of my memory, and my mind dangerously. It coiled around me alternating between the feel of cold hands and warm breaths. It swirled around my ankles trickling up my bare legs. It pressed against me with a strange solidness it shouldn't have had, floating along my skin as it slicked higher and higher.
It swept up my chest like a summers breeze, and touched itself against the pale column of my neck. It trailed further until I felt it pressing, teasing, and questing at the seam of my lips. I kept my mouth defiantly closed refusing the toxic miasma the passage it so desperately sought in its quest to fill and corrupt me.
It was a wasted effort as I breathed heavy through my nostrils, pulling a large puff of the black fog within me. I choked violently feeling as though I'd swallowed a sock. I clutched my throat desperately, only pulling in more and more of his signature, deadly fog. It was invading me, corrupting my pure body, infecting every cell and pore, turning my own body against me. I felt myself weaken. My own body was betraying me.
. . . call my name and save me from the dark. . .
My knees gave out and I fell heavy onto them, dropping down onto the plane I believed to be beneath me in this dimension-less space. I coughed violently suffering further. My vision was becoming splotchy, now the black surrounding me was dotted with patches of grays. I let my eyes fall closed, body now adjusting to the heavily poisoned air I was breathing. Losing my balance, I felt myself falling over and felt warm arms encircle me as I impacted upon another body. Fingers laced through my hair and I weakly felt soft lips press against my forehead.
"You make me proud, miko."
. . . (Wake me up) . . .
Words. Soft words whispered in my ear. I sat up, trying to shake off the dream. My chest felt strangely heavy, burdened. It was a familiar feeling; I'd woken from my dreams feeling this way many times since that afternoon in the forest. I always felt this way after one of Naraku's miasmic dreams. The haunted quality left me feeling cold and dirty... almost defiled.
I sat up; it was before dawn, my companions still slept. I quietly crept away, grabbing my bag and headed to the lake nearby. It was leech-infected water, but that wasn't enough to keep me away. I had to bathe myself. I headed off, unable to conquer the strange 'corrupted' feeling that was holding me down. Each time the feeling only got stronger.
I heard a rustle as I reached the water's edge and turned, realizing too late I'd forgotten my bow. I whirled toward my visitor only to find Kikyo staring back dispassionately at me. The way she was staring was making me slightly edgy and the tingly, odd feeling only seemed to intensify in her presence.
"Weakling. How could you let yourself become corrupted?" She spat.
The dreams I knew. They were the source of her words, and maybe deep down I understood and wanted to pretend I didn't. The physical feeling left in my body was proof enough of that which I wanted to forget. He was corrupting me. Pulling me through a dreamscape and slowly possessing me, and I was not fighting it. My resistance was weak at best, if at all.
"Mind your own business." I snapped. "It has nothing to do with you."
I hated her. I despised the fact she lived... I wondered briefly if these feelings, which seemed so much more intense, now were being affected by Naraku's miasmic treatments given in the night. They were infrequent, once a week, maybe, but that's all it took.
"Keep upon this path you will no longer be able to sense the shards. Once he has completely corrupted you, you will lose your purifying abilities and the Shikon jewel will no longer have a guardian."
Why was she telling me this? Wasn't it her desire to take the jewel? She had stolen it from me on previous occasions. I gasped suddenly realizing what she was saying, how it would affect me. Naraku - the wish! I asked him to let me make the wish. He was corrupting me so I could make his wish!!!
Of course. He'd want me to be as tainted as he had made the jewel, increasing his evil powers. The news shook me bodily. I was stunned, and startled and worried. He was slowly stripping me of my ability to purify and I was allowing him to do it. But what now? What should I do?
I heard clothes rustle and raised my eyes back to Kikyo, but it was too late. She released the arrow and it struck me solidly in the chest. I gasped hard, sucking air deep in my lungs as the arrow thrust through me painfully.
. . .bid my blood to run . . .
The arrowhead pierced my torso, but didn't pass through to the other side, blood seeped through my clothing, but there was little pain after the first awful inward thrust. There was the glow. The familiar purifying force. She was -? Purifying me? Was Kikyo undoing all of Naraku's careful handiwork on me? I could feel the purified energy seeping through my body once again, destroying the miasma-laden cells throughout my body. I could hear a faint hiss, see as the black fog seeped out of me, and back into the air, slowly fading away as it was diluted in the open air. The glow faded, I looked up, but she was gone. The glow was gone, Kikyo was gone, but the pain returned. How was I going to hide this from my friends?
. . . (I can't wake up) . .
Evil laughter pervaded my ears. It was all I could hear. His voice. His laughter. His menacing words toward my friends. Awful words that were made worse by the fact that they were true. All true. All about me.
They were all spread out around me. Everyone. Inuyasha, Miroku, Sango, Shippou, Kirara, Kagura, Kohaku, Sesshoumaru, Jaken, Kikyo, Kouga... all of them. Everyone was here to witness this final, climatic battle. The betrayal.
"Come now, my lovely. We have an agreement."
Everyone's eyes turned to me, and I snapped out of my little daydream. Naraku's ruby colored eyes were leveled upon my frame, an evil gleam glowing brightly there. I turned to him, facing him solidly, and nodded grimly. I had made a deal with him, I would carry it out. I would.
. . . before I come undone . . .
I nodded to him again, more assuredly, stunning the people around me. I walked to him, ignoring the gaping stares. I would make the wish.
"Can you not guess miko? I am not a full being, rid me of Onigumo's spirit."
"You wish to be a full youkai?" I asked, somewhat stunned. "That's it?"
"As though it were such a minor thing..." he drawled.
Behind me, I felt it. I felt Kikyo draw back her bow and waited as Naraku handed me the jewel keeping me close enough to kill if I showed the slightest disobedience. I lowered my head, waiting for the impact, and then it came. I gasped dramatically although it wasn't a difficult thing. My back seemed to explode in pain, I was glad I was turned away from her. The last time she'd hit me with an arrow just seeing it in my chest was almost unbearable.
I allowed myself to fall forward against Naraku as though overcome with pain. I felt the purifying magic seeping in me again undoing all of Naraku's hard work a second time. I clutched his baboon pelt with my hands drawing myself up with cinematic effort trying to look weak and pathetic. I coiled my arms around his neck, the Shikon no tama glowing in one hand and I quietly whispered the wish to the jewel.
My vision was getting brighter and brighter. Everything was fading into a blinding white haze. I felt Naraku's arms snake around me, one hand sliding through my air. I felt his lips press against mine before my vision faded completely out.
. . . (Save me) . . .
"I have been waiting, Kagome. Do you really wish to give the power of the jewel to one so evil?"
I opened my eyes staring through the brilliant white haze. "I want Naraku and Onigumo separated. And purified. Let Onigumo return to his human body and live out the rest of his life suffering for his misdeeds. Let Naraku be the youkai he wants, a simple, pleasant forest youkai with no ill will."
A female figure emerged before me a smile upon her face. "Most gentle forest youkai are beastly creatures. Your carnal thoughts toward Naraku will corrupt the wish and there is no telling how it would affect him."
Kagome blinked, vision clearing suddenly. A woman, Midoriko, she realized - glowed before her, a small smile on her face.
"You have willingly allowed yourself to be tainted by him, even now he affects you. If you do not want this tragedy to start again you, must make another wish or risk having Naraku cause trouble for the world again. You are no longer able to completely purify him."
Kagome hung her head. "I see."
Kagome glanced up. "Strip Naraku of Onigumo, and reduce him to a single type hanyou - like Inuyasha."
"He cannot be purified, but as a hanyou perhaps he can be contained. If he loses his ability to steal the strength of other youkai and the jewel is gone from him."
. . . save me from the nothing I've become . . .
I was corrupt. Corrupt. No longer pure. It was sad in a way, perhaps a disappointment but in another way it thrilled me. I was no longer perfect. I was no longer Kikyo's shadow, and yet
It was utterly reviling. I was corrupt. I was not Kikyo's living' shadow. Now I was becoming a mirror image of the corrupt miko that haunted the land stealing souls.
. . . now that I know what I'm without . . .
[End Chapter One]
Author's Notes: It's kind of short, but this is really a one-shot, honestly. One more chapter, as soon as I finish it, and it'll be over.
I decided to post this to 'make an appearance', if that makes any sense to you. I've been gone awhile, didn't want anyone thinking I was abandoning any of my work, although I am spending most of my time with RK fandom works.
By the way, Blind Stitch 12 has been completed. It is the final chapter, it will be posted this Sunday.