Author: Purple Uranium
Summary: When there is darkness, she is strong. She is perfect. She is human.
Pairings: Naraku/Sango, Kagome/Inuyasha, Kagome/Miroku
Author's Note: I was talking to Nghi on AIM the other day, and she challenged me (mainly because I asked her to) to write a Naraku/Sango the relationship could be intimate, enemy, or friends, but they had to be involved in some way story, over 5000 words, with two chapters, and the story had to be angsty. She gave me a tiny miniscule plotline, and told me to make it my own. This is the result. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: Inuyasha and its original characters are the sole property of Rumiko Takahashi and are being used for non-profit entertainment purposes only.
It was so much easier to pretend. To act as though nothing had happened. To live in a shadow of confidence, of good fortune. Because then - then - she wouldn't have to remember. The lies. The betrayal. The tattered, broken promises. Because then she could smile, and everything would be all right. Everything could be as it had been before, and although she wasn't happy, she would be content, and she wouldn't have to worry. She wouldn't have to live in doubts.
Because then, she could pretend that everything hadn't been torn away from her, picked at through and through until there was nothing left. Until she was raw and weak and imperfect. She wouldn't have to listen to the promises, hearing them say that everything would be all right. That they could still win, that there was hope. Because then… she wouldn't be drowning, suffocating, numb and she would be alive.
Because when she pretended, she was happy, and she had everything.
There had been so much blood, surrounding her, blinding her. Causing her to scream and writhe in pain, begging for release. Pleading for the hatred to stop burning her body. Begging for the despair to stop ripping through the layers and layers of flesh that had become her shield from the world.
And she had been chipped at, dismantled, and now – now – there was nothing. Nothing left but the icy chill of the wind, and dryness of her cracked lips, bleeding as she tried to scream, to reach out for someone – anyone – that could help her escape the pain. But the agony, it was slowly slipping into her, her shields shattered until there was nothing. She should have been used to having nothing, feeling the aching numbness of her heart as she walked through dirt, feeling the poisons teasing her senses, attempting to pull her under.
But there was no agony at first, when the cool, frigid, yet burning hands gripped her ankles, attempting to taste her flesh. Attempting to drown in her scent.
It would have been so easy, allowing the ghosts of the underworld to wrap around her, listening as the soft seductive voice of death whispered in her ear, tempting her to come to it. To embrace it. To feel its cold, enchanting power, kiss her skin softly, and slip into its essence. Because she weak. She was numb, and she was foolish. She was imperfect. Always so imperfect…
Come back to me…
It had been the blood on her hands, the blood dripping from her hair, the sound of her owns screams – her own terrible, horrifying screams – that had brought her back into reality. That had consumed her entirely, piecing together the broken shards of her mind, beckoning her towards the shadows. Towards infinity. Absolution.
Come back to me…
The tears were bitter, resentful, but she couldn't help it. It had been her fault. There was blood, and it had stained her hands. Her innocent, soft, pale, pure hands. Tainting her. Polluting her.
It was festering inside of her, sinking its long, thick talons into her throat, smiling as she thrashed in anguish, as she searched through her blackening mind for the light that had once been her own. For the light that they had always seen, and always waited for, just have something to hold onto. Just to have something to hope for.
Come back to me, please… I can't live here without you…
But it was still there on her hands, under her fingers, creeping underneath her skin. It had made it past her shields, her emotions had overwhelmed her and she had been there. She had seen the images, flashing before her eyes. She had heard the screams of pain and flesh was torn away from muscle, muscle torn away from bone until there was nothing left. She had smelled the stench of blood, burning flesh, poisons, and she had thrived on it.
She had seen her eyes, so wide, innocent, disbelieving. She had trusted her, and she had taken that trust away from her. She had allowed herself, so foolishly, to sink into obscurity, forgetting everything. Forgetting everyone.
There was guilt, and it was cold and black and burning.
She had asked him, asked him so vividly as the guilt festered inside of her, burning a hole through her defenses, am I still human?
His fingers had trailed through her hair then, his eyes dark, brooding, and silently, she begged him to tell her yes. To lie to her. To let her pretend and live in fantasy.
Please, please let me be human.
But the reality was still there, and the guilt was still smoldering inside of her, and she couldn't escape. Because if she left, she would be lost in the shadows, and they wouldn't win. They couldn't win.
Choking, Kagome pulled her blanket tightly around her, tasting the bitter salt on her dried lips, feeling the icy wind brush against her forehead. Caressing her. Teasing her. Reminding her. She didn't want to remember. She didn't want to be human but – but she was.
Come back to me please, she wept, closing her eyes tightly. The tears stung in her eyes, hissing quietly as they trailed down her hot cheeks, falling upon her lips, wetting her hair. The tears, they were so bitter, so absolute because – because she wasn't coming.
"We still have a chance you know," he said, and Kagome nodded, her throat tight, her chest heaving.
She could feel him, moving closer, placing his hand upon her shoulder, and with him she found warmth, propriety. Light. She could feel the darkness, invading her mind, beckoning her closer, and there was her light, so close, so warm, so comforting. Sane. But the shadows, the obscurity… the madness… it would be so easy to lose herself in it. To forget. And then – then she wouldn't taste the blood on the air. She wouldn't have to remember, to dream, to see her hands sinking into the flesh of her body, tugging away with relish. Loving the feel of blood spilling over her hands, staining them. And… her cries, her horrifying heart wrenching cries of pain… she wouldn't have to remember. She didn't have to remember. Because there was madness within the darkness, insanity, and it was lurking ever closer, welcoming her.
Let me be human, just this once, please let me be human…
"Come back to me," he spoke softly, comfortingly as he placed his hand on her shoulder.
Kagome's throat clenched, her heart pounding against her ribcage, and slowly, she nodded, the blood hot and metallic on her tongue.
"I – I don't think, I can't do this any more," she whispered, her voice hoarse, raw, and her tongue heavy in her mouth. He nodded slowly, his eyes dark, impassive, uncaring, and slowly, she welcomed it. Because, there was insanity there, and she was raw. "Miroku?" She asked quietly, reaching her hand out for him, begging him to come back to her.
"You're human, Kagome-sama," he said, touching the tips of his fingers to the palm of her hand. Hesitantly, she turned to him, the fear ripping through her defenses, dragging the darkness closer. The madness. The insanity.
"Stay with me Kagome-sama," Miroku said, and she pressed her fingers to his wrist, feeling his pulse beat slowly, steadily.
"I'm sorry," she choked, "I didn't mean for it to happen. It wasn't supposed to happen –"
"We still have a purpose," Miroku cut in his voice cold, his eyes blank, dull. And she could feel him moving away from her, distancing himself once again because – because it had been her fault, and no matter how many times he tried to lie to her, she always knew the truth. It would have been easier if she could have pretended, if they would have been mad at her but –
You're still human, Kagome-sama…
Please, she sobbed, burying her face into the thickness of her blanket, her heart clenching painfully. Waiting. Always waiting for when it could be over. When she could finally lay down to rest. Please come back to us. I don't want to hurt anymore. I don't want to drown in this madness…
The air was cool and tantalizing as it curled around her heated body, teasing her senses, causing a chill to run up her spine. There were clouds in the sky, thick and fluffy, drifting lazily across the soft expanse of baby blue, and for some reason, she enjoyed it. She never truly understood why she could allow herself this small guilty pleasure of staring up at the sky, of wanting to be able to fly through the air. But she did. And sometimes, if she was behaved, he would take her out, drifting on his poisons, blackening the sky, killing the vegetation around her, just so could taste the air. Smell its confusing, but beautiful scent.
Even though he was cruel, destroying life, blanketing it in darkness, she was still able to enjoy the coolness of the sky on her skin, the wind dancing through her hair, the comfort that flying brought her. There was something that nagged at her in the back of her mind whenever she was able to drift through the air, through the nothingness of beauty and warmth that surrounded her. She couldn't place it at times but… the more that she was able to taste the air on her tongue, the more she wanted to forget it. It was simple… pure. Innocent. And that was how she enjoyed it.
Sighing happily, she slipped into her kimono, glancing around the stream. There was no one there, there was never anyone there, but it was simply comforting – easy – to make sure that she wasn't alone, to bask in the fact that someone – anyone – had decided to break through the barriers of blackened ice that surrounded her body, protecting her.
She had always been protected, safe from the outside world and… once, just once she would have liked for someone to come to her, to touch her skin and remind her that she was human. That it was okay to be tainted with poisons because – they were too and… biting down on her tongue, she felt the sharp sting of pain shoot through her jaw, and she quieted her thoughts, walking through the thick empty woods around her.
It was thick with silence, buzzing in her ears, taunting her to speak – to say anything to break the normalcy of her life. It would have been simple too, to spiral into the madness that danced around her, to be welcome into its chaotic ranks and to simply drown in the insanity. It would have been beautiful, to see crimson staining the blade at her hip – the weapon across her back because when it was so completely clean there was apart of her that was missing. That was trapped within the darkness that surrounded her constantly, keeping her hidden – protected from the madness.
Part of her resented that protection… the sharp iciness that kept her distanced and surrounded, sheltered from dispersing of her naiveté. She knew that it was there, the ignorance, always clouding her mind, attempting to burn through her defenses, and there was the experience, the images of death that had haunted her whenever she slept, but whenever she had woken up, drenched in sweat, he would touch his fingers to her forehead, and whisper sweet, calming words to her and then – then they were gone, and she couldn't think of what they meant. Of why she had them. Of why they plagued her over and over again, torturing her body, her mind, and causing her to tear through thin layers of her flesh. Causing her to sleep in her thick pool of crimson blood as he watched her with amusement, marveling at how she could be so ignorant… so drawn into the madness of her subconscious that she would bring harm to herself and only awaken when her own, heart wrenching screams pierced her ears.
They had frightened her, more than anything. The blood, her screams, her tears, his amusement, his eyes.
Does it hurt, taijiya?
Yes, it hurts, too much. Always too much.
There was always something so… wrong with the way he looked at her, contemplating, thinking of what he could do. How to put her to use. He had other children – children that didn't reach out to her. Children that ignored the darkness and the corruption that filled the air whenever he was around. That tried to drown her but… but he was darkness. And the darkness always welcomed her, comforted her, just as the light did. Because… her soul, it was drenched in shadows, agony, and – the pain was a part of her. It reminded her – it always reminded that she was perfect, and that she wasn't human. That she wasn't alive.
Anger welled within her at that, but slowly, it dissipated, and she sunk into the grass, digging her fingers into the earth beneath her.
She had been human once, she knew that. But his child – she had looked at her, with bright crimson eyes and told her that she had no one. That she was no longer human and – she was right. Because as soon as she had given herself to him, she had allowed herself to be made into a slave. A monster. And she would do anything that he wanted because… even though he restricted her, even though he frightened her, he was always there for her when no one else was.
His children laughed at her, taunted her. Threatened to sink their teeth into her flesh. To rip her apart piece by piece but he… he was always healing her, making her forget, so that all she could feel was her blood, hot wet and sticky, chilling her to the bone. So that all she could feel was his presence, lingering over her, reminding her that he could take the pain away from her, but he was teaching her. Helping her to become strong. To have strength.
To rid her of her desperation. Because being desperate implied she had emotions. Emotions meant that she was weak, and being weak – being weak stated that she had faults. And if she had faults, she was imperfect. But when she was in the dark, everything was perfect, and she was strong. She was sane and strong and numb. When she was there, she didn't feel and she liked it better that way. Because – she didn't have to think. She didn't have to wonder 'why'.
Why did he always blind her, corrupt her mind through his touch, steal the bloody images that haunted her dreams, her reality, until she was nothing more than a shell, begging for answers. Always asking why?
Frowning, she dug her fingers through the hard clay dirt, feeling her fragile, broken nails snap, feeling the harsh sting of dirt as it mingled in her opened wounds. She could feel it, the tiny rocks, scraping against her raw, exposed, skin, opening her up to infections. But he had told her that she was strong and – and she would get over it.
She always did. She always won.
Closing her eyes tightly, the girl lowered her head, wishing that she knew what to do. What to think. What to get lost in. Because there was light, beckoning her forward, pleading for her to join it once again. But the darkness, the madness, it was so familiar to her, so comforting…
I want to drown. Let me drown in you…
Startled, she looked up, her eyes wide, her heart racing, and the darkness receded, melting into her subconscious once more. She could feel him, staring at her, a question in eyes, eyes that flickered back and forth, bordering on sanity. Emptiness. Impassiveness.
Imperfection… let me die… let me suffocate.
"Yes?" She asked, carefully, guarded, unsure of what to do. He sat quietly, his freckles oddly prominent on his pale skin. He looked tired; worn, as though it had taken everything he had – all his energy, all of his will power, just to talk to her. Just to converse.
Let me be human, just this once, let me live…
The silence was heavy and thick in the air, and she wanted to leave, to forget that he was there but… but part of her was drawn to him, wanting to seek his warmth. Wanting to feel him reach out to her, to touch her. To break the blackness that had surrounded her body, blocking her from everyone. Everything.
"Is there darkness?" He asked, his voice quiet, serious, and she could only look at him in disbelief. She didn't want answer him… she couldn't answer him.
His brown eyes sparkling strangely, reaching out to her, asking her to come to him. To answer him. To give him some hope, some way out of the darkness. Begging. Pleading.
Her fingers dug into the ground beneath her, and the coolness spread through her cracked fingers, nails biting into flesh, draining her blood. She could answer him; it would have been so easy to do so. But the darkness… it stretched across her mind, tugging her deeper. Suffocating her. And – there was simple no way – no way – that she could allow herself to speak. To tell him of the darkness that haunted her. Because it was always there, surrounding her, obscuring her vision, causing a sick, thick bile to wash over her tongue to make her retch. It nagged at her, ripping through her, tearing through her heart, her soul and – and the darkness… she wanted to drown in it. Welcome the icy decrepit darkness that was nestled so deep within her.
"Yes," she whispered, turning away from him, reveling in the sting of pain that shot up her fingers as blood mingled with dirt, and dirt touched wet, exposed flesh, " And when I'm there, I'm drowning and it's comforting and I'm perfect."
Please, let me be perfect…
He looked at her then, his expression odd, calculating, and then, he was touching her, his fingers ghosting across her skin, touching her face. And she could feel it, her barriers breaking, shattering, as her throat began to tighten and something gentle and bitter stung her eyes. He leaned toward her then, pressing his head against her shoulder, smiling softly, his fingers digging into her arms, pricking her, drawing blood.
She didn't understand – she couldn't understand because… because he was real, and he was madness, swallowing her whole. She felt raw, exposed, and slowly, her fingers were clenching his shoulders, pulling him closer, longing for contact, for someone to break her. To allow her to drown.
It hurts too much to live…
Because he was there, and the darkness was engulfing her whole, and she could feel the tears, hot and bitter, rolling down her face, blurring her vision, stinging her eyes. His body was cold against her skin, but his fingers stung, burning wounds into her skin and yet…
"Let me drown with you," she begged, her fingers bruising his shoulder, feeling her blood seep around her fingers, drip onto his skin, chilling him.
But then, he was pulling away from her, his face pale and impassive, but his finger still touching her skin, still breaking through her barriers. His eyes were blank, emotionless, and she could feel the tears, streaming down her face, hot burning – imperfect – and she could see her imperfection, taunting him as her weaknesses were displayed before her very eyes, showing her uselessness…
Violently, angrily, she pushed away from him, watching as the skin on her fingers tore, seeping blood, crimson falling to the earth, staining the beautiful, lush green vegetation beneath her. Her throat clenched as she watched him, his eyes still blank, impassive, as he sat up, attempting to reach for her again, attempting to break through her shattered barriers.
"No," she choked, pressing her fingers to her throat, feeling the gentle yet liquid of her tears, "No, you – you can't do this to me."
"You aren't perfect," he answered sadly, staring at a small, bleeding cut on his arm. She froze then, her eyes wide, unsure, and he stood, dusting off his kimono, his eyes flickering with questions. "I'm supposed to know you," he said quietly, clenching his eyes together tightly, "it's there, nagging me, haunting me, tearing through me… ever since I saw you… you weren't perfect then either."
She shook her head violently, backing away from him, feeling the leather from her harness biting into her shoulders, across her chest, stinging her skin as they slid over the soft, exposed expanse of her neck. The boy looked to the ground, his fists clenched at his side and slowly, steadily, took a step forward, wanting to break through those barriers once again, to understand why it was so easy for her to fall – so easy for her to break. To be broken.
"People make mistakes," he responded, twirling a blade of grass between his fingers. Watching, fascinated, as her blood - her thick, red, sticky blood - glistened on the blade, glittered in the sunlight. It made him smile, slightly - sadly, and he looked at her, his eyes dark, uncomprehending. "Yes, people make mistakes. Does it hurt, taijiya?"
The tears were hot, bitter, brutal, and she could feel herself sinking, feel herself breaking, The ice around her was desolate, harsh as it swarmed around her heart, shattering, slowly. Painfully.
Does it hurt, taijiya?
She wanted to withdraw, to be safe, protected. But - but she wanted this as well. To be touched by someone - to be able to talk to someone other than her master. Other than his children. To feel with agony. With rage. Because it was so much easier...
"Does it hurt to be broken? To be less than perfect? To be human?"
Her throat clenched then, her finger digging into her thighs, willing the pain away. The madness. The delight. The shadows. She was so confused, so lost...
Does it hurt, taijiya?
Too much. Always too much.
They both froze, the taijiya's eyes burning with tears, the boy impassive, cold, and then, there was darkness settling around them, seeping into their lungs, causing them to choke and sputter and forget how to breathe.
"I would have expected better of you, my little taijiya," he said quietly, his voice a deadly venom, "and yet, you continue to defy me. What is it," he asked, his fingers tracing the boys jawbone, "about this woman that enraptures you so?"
He trembled at first, looking towards the ground, but when he felt the cool fingers tighten on his chin, he had no other choice but to meet his eyes. He had no choice but to gaze in those burning, fiery depths and taste the corruption in air. Feel his poisons slithering over his skin, grimy thick and wet… he looked towards the girl, his eyes flickering once more, before he turned towards his master, his face impassive, emotionless.
"I wanted to break her."
The response was so quiet, so soft, she almost couldn't believe her ears but then – then a cruel smirk curled on her master's lips, and he turned towards her, his red eyes glimmering, piercing through her soul, and she could feel the darkness overwhelming her. Darkening, demanding to drown her.
"I see," he responded after a moment of silence, his voice cold and pleased, "but you can't break something that's already broken, my little taijiya."
The tears welled in her eyes immediately, the lashing bitter, her throat tight and her chest aching.
I don't want to live anymore… please, let me suffocate, let me die…
"Yes, my little taijiya, you cannot break something that has already been broken," her master walked to her then, his red eyes glittering maliciously, with amusement, and the way his lips curled... her body trembled, recoiled... So cold, oh gods, why is it so cold? "You can only shatter her further. Take away her will to live. Make her nothing."
His fingers were wrapped around her neck, lifting her, bringing her to eye level, and his gaze was cold. Hard. He watched her, recognized the fear in her eyes, the way her body trembled, afraid – filled with fear – and he smiled, his crimson eyes glittering dangerously. It was always so easy to manipulate them, to make them feel inferior, and he fed off their fear, always laughing, watching happily. Angrily. Cruelly.
Does it hurt, taijiya?
"You," he said quietly, enfolding her in his miasma, ignoring the violent sobs that racked through her body as he touched her skin, touched beyond her broken, bloodied barriers – beyond the blood dripping from her fingers, the fear in her eyes and touched on something so deep, so painful, she couldn't but scream in pain, "are my imperfection."
Her body arched, pushing into his hands, burning, freezing, aching as her skin spilt open, as blood spilled into her eyes, blinding her. Stinging her.
Her throat was sore, raw, and she could taste her blood, her bile on her tongue as the darkness settled in around her, filling her with madness – his insanity.
It hurts, too much. Always too much…
But the darkness was there, and he was soothing her, bringing her out of the pain, forcing his despair upon her, choking her with sorrow.
Why does it hurt so much?
"It speaks to me, my taijiya," he whispered, pressing his fingers into her lower back, "it's always speaking to me, telling me of your despair, of your anger, of your wish to die."
Tears streaked down her face, blurring her vision, but she could feel his eyes on her, she could smell his poisonous scent around her, and she could taste the air, the cold bite of metal slicing into her tongue, causing her body to ache. Pinching and pulling on her nerves, causing her silent screams of agony to pierce through the air – causing him to smile at her, cold and pleased, amused at her pain, at her weaknesses. Her faults. She was always so imperfect, wanting to be stronger, needing to have strength. To be perfect for her. To be perfect for him.
I want to drown. I need to drown in you… please…
Silently amused, pleased, he pressed his cool, frigid fingers against her skin, his crimson eyes dancing malevolently. She could see the darkness slithering around her, threatening to overwhelm her, languidly slipping into her vision. Blinding her. Comforting her. Her fingers gripped his kimono tightly, her palms drenched in sweat, in blood, and she could feel the cloth scratch against her open wounds, tearing her skin apart, and she welcomed the pain. She thrived on it.
And she could hear him talking to her, telling her that she would forget, that she would die in the darkness. That she would have no faults that she was strong and numb and perfect.
But there was darkness, and she was drowning.
Let me drown in this madness…