I'm posting this on several different fan fic sites and decided to post it on this one now. I hope all of you like it. The idea came from the song "The Killer Inside" by Better Than Ezra, off their album Deluxe from 1994 (I think. It was a year old when I got it for my 16th birthday…). Anyway, I hope ya'll like it.
General disclainmer: I don't own Inuyasha. I don't own the song Killer Inside and I don't own any of the other songs that will be involved in this story. That said, enjoy.
EDIT! 8-21-06 Note about editing at the end of the chapter.
The Killer Inside
"The Killer Inside"
Well, she believes that I'd be better off without her. Well, she believes that time can make things right. Chorus: The lights go down Chorus: The killer inside me.
And she believes in me.
And I want to believe that there's been a change in me.
And I hope that she believes.
Yes, I wonder if she sees the killer inside me.
And the clouds are building outside.
You close the door and turn the key,
But there's no place to hide.
And I hope that she believes.
Yes, I wonder if she sees the killer inside me.
The killer inside me.
The killer inside...
Well, she believes that I'd be better off without her.
Well, she believes that time can make things right.
The lights go down
The killer inside me.
Lyrics by Better Than Ezra
Chapter 1: Southern Gurl
Scent of pine drifting by.
Her hand traces lazy on your neck.
Sunlight through the trees
recalls a better time.
Kids and dogs running by,
She smiles as she drinks ice tea,
Retire to the room, it's easy to see.
I want a Southern Girl, I need a Southern Girl.
Well, I want a Southern Girl.
Hey, yes, I want a Southern Girl and I need a Southern Girl.
And I want a Southern Girl.
Lyrics by Better Than Ezra (again)
The day was beautiful, the air hot and bright. A soft breeze made the branches of the Goshinboku dance over the pair lounging in the cool shade at the base. Inuyasha tightened his hold on Kikyou against the slight chill in the most recent gust. He smiled and sighed. Now this was living; a lazy summer day spent with the girl he loved just sitting under a tree on the land his mother had given him, doing nothing. Well, he was sitting and doing nothing. It seemed like Kikyou brought her work everywhere she went, anymore. It was kind of a pain. Her books seemed more important to her than he was lately. But that was just the way she was: dedicated, hard working and serious.
Right now she had a text open as she leaned against him and was taking notes occasionally as she read. Inuyasha could hear her muttering to herself and smiled. In the three years he'd known her he'd gotten used to her mutterings and half spoken sentences; it was just her way of thinking through a problem.
The wind got colder and more forceful, whipping his long white hair around them, whistling in his ears. It was time to go. Ominous clouds began to take shape. It looked like lightening and it was no short hike to the house. He shifted his position beneath his fiancé.
"Kikyou," he whispered, "Kikyou, it's time to go." No answer. He grabbed her arm and shook it a little. Perhaps she hadn't heard him. "Kikyou?"
"I can't go with you, Inuyasha." She didn't move. He frowned at her.
"What? You can just finish your work inside. It's no big deal." He laughed and nudged her. "C'mon, Kikyou. Let's go before that storm moves in on us and ruins this day." He gently pushed her aside and stood, then faced her and held out a hand to help her up. "Hurry! It looks like lightening and you know the walk may take a while. We need to get to a safer spot."
"I can't go, Yash." She whispered again, her voice sounded dry and a bit hoarse to his ears. He'd fix her some of his mother's special throat tonic when they got back to the house. Wouldn't do for a college professor to lose her voice during class. She never thought to take care of herself and he often had to do things like that for her. She forgot to cook dinner for herself, so he'd cook; she fell asleep over her books and he'd carry her to bed. She needed him to take care of her and he was more than willing. But today he was quickly losing his patience.
"Damn it, Kikyou, why the hell not?"
It was a moment before she answered again. Something was not right here. Something was tugging at the back of his mind telling him that this was wrong. He didn't want her to raise her head and look at him. Something horrible was going to happen if she looked at him. She cleared her throat and shook her head, her face hidden by her long black hair.
"Because, Yash, I'm dead." At that she raised her head and shook her hair away from her face. Her skin, which he remembered as being like fine porcelain, was mottled black and purple with bruises. Blood streamed from the corner of her lip and from some wound above her hairline. Someone had slit her delicate throat and as she moved her hands from the folds of the skirt that had hid them before, he could see they were bloody and ragged, as if she'd spent hours scratching at some surface, begging to be set free from her torment. Her clothes were torn as well, slashed in some places and ripped at the seam in others.
Inuyasha began to shake. No, he thought, no! Not Kikyou! No, please! She stood and stepped towards him, hands outstretched. "I'm dead, Inuyasha. I'm dead because of you." Her lips, discolored and misshapen, twisted into a macabre caricature of a grin. "Come to Hell with me, Love. Come to where you belong…"
"No! Kikyou! No!" The dead woman walked closer to him, her miko energy crackling and shooting out arcs.
"Die, hanyou!" she said as she reached him.
Inuyasha sat bolt upright in bed pouring sweat and shaken. It was just a nightmare, just another nightmare. He growled as he ripped the covers out of his way and padded angrily towards the bathroom. Splashing water on his face, he calmed himself then glanced up at the clock in the corner of the mirror. Five fucking thirty AM. Fuck, he thought, three fucking hours of sleep. Not that he really needed more. His half-youkai body only needed a minimal amount of sleep. It was the principal.
His reflection glared at him. His white hair was plastered to him, stringy and damp from his nightmare. He noted the white pointed canine ears and the bright gold eyes. Girls had always been crazy about his eyes. Baring his fangs, he growled at himself. Fucking lot of good that did him. A quick toss didn't make him forget.
It had been three years now since Kikyou's death and while the nightmares came less often, they still came. He should have expected that, especially here, in the house they'd shared briefly before her death. The bed no longer smelled of her, but he could sometimes catch a whiff of her perfume in the closet or while walking down the hall. He was the only one who lived in the house anymore and most of the rooms were closed, the furniture inside covered in sheets and dust, fodder for ghosts and phantoms.
They would remain that way if he had anything to say about it. Kikyou's ghost could have the damn house. All he wanted, all he needed, was her last secret.
"Just who the fuck killed you, Kikyou?"
Kagome loved Kaede's garden. For the most part, she'd grown up in the city, unable to feel the life flowing in the dirt around her. But she'd learned her trade here. Here she was able to nurture a small seed into a giant plant. It made her feel that she was doing something right.
She smiled to see how well the garden was doing under her care. She'd been here just over a year and already things were looking much better, healthy and green. Out front were the flowers: roses and irises, lilies and asters, all growing like mad, creating a colorful greeting to the world. In back was Kagome's vegetable garden. There she grew her peppers, zucchini and tomatoes as well as her special herbs. Behind that was her greenhouse where she grew things that were more rare and exciting, things that were harder to grow in the Louisiana heat. Further out on the property, she let things grow wild, knowing that soon she'd be able to harvest wild healing herbs that had been untouched by modern hands. Soon she could make a living off those herbs and not be so reliant on her family's money.
Great Aunt Kaede was getting too old to be traipsing off after those herbs anymore but Kagome made sure there were others close enough to the house for Kaede to gather. The potions and poultices Kaede made were important to her and to the family. But Kaede had been failing recently, her old bones too brittle to afford a fall if she missed a step, her eyes not as sharp as they once were. So Kagome had been asked by the family head to move to Musashi Manor and care for her. Six years ago, Kikyou had been sent to do this same job, but things had gone wrong and Kikyou had become absorbed in her studies, neglecting the old family plantation and her Great Aunt. Then she had gotten herself murdered.
It was sad. She'd been weeks away from marrying one of the locals, a hanyou by the name of Inuyasha Tai, when it had come out that she'd been sleeping around on him. In a rage, he had disappeared for several days only to reappear at the local hospital with Kikyou's broken, abused and obviously dead body cradled in his arms.
Most of the folks in town thought he'd done it but Sheriff Myoga was convinced he hadn't. He'd worked for Toga Tai, Inuyasha's father, for a long time before becoming sheriff and felt that there had to be some other explanation for the girl's death. The case was still unsolved. Kaede also disagreed with popular opinion. Izayoi, Inuyasha's mother, had been Kaede's neighbor and the old woman could well remember the young boy who'd tried to steal her blackberries in the summer. Kaede stood firm. Inuyasha was no murderer.
Kagome trusted Aunt Kaede's instincts; the old miko was rarely wrong about anything. But the murderer had never been found, and in fact, the investigation had turned up nothing to suggest that anyone other than Inuyasha had anything to do with it. Now that Inuyasha had returned, after disappearing again nearly two years ago, Kagome was worried that she and her aunt were now living next door to a murderer. But if Kaede was sure, nothing could change her mind.
The slender brunette shook her head, clearing the dark thoughts. Today she was working in the side yard and she needed to focus on her Azaleas, which were drooping and looking weak. A parasite was probably the culprit. Kagome closed her eyes and dipped her hands into the soil around the plant. The disorientation of using her powers didn't bother her anymore but it still felt strange. Soon she could see the green life force of the plant, muted and struggling against a pale grey form. Grubs. Ick. But if she tweaked here, and pushed a little there… Got it! She smiled. The grubs would still live, but they would not hinder the plant anymore. Hopefully they wouldn't infect her other plants either. Just to make sure, she created a ward around the plant encouraging the grubs to not leave the area.
"Girl! Come out front." Kaede called to her, "You've got company!"
Kagome smiled wider. Perhaps it was the kitsune boy from a few properties over. He was so adorable with his fluffy red tail and green eyes. Soon enough, he would be able to disguise that tail and his overtly fox-like feet, but for now he was still young enough that the tail and feet were acceptable. He was still less than four; time enough for concealing spells later on. She loved to have Shippo come visit. Kaede could only put up with his constant questioning for so long but Kagome longed to have someone to teach about her plants, if only to better her own knowledge.
She brushed the dirt off her hands and knees and wiped a cloth across her face, clearing the sweat. If it were Shippo, this would be the best time to see him, while she was still dirty from tending her garden. He generally wanted play in the greenhouse and if she were already dirty, adding a bit more wouldn't hurt too much. Of course if it were one of the other townsfolk come for a visit… well she would simply have to excuse herself and hope the person didn't mind waiting for her to clean up. Everyone knew she worked in the garden most of the day and was generally filthy by noon. Of course, it was hardly ten in the morning now. She walked along the verandah smiling, thinking that the day was just wonderful.
Until she ran headlong into him.
Inuyasha had never been patient, especially when it came to getting what he wanted. He hated being made to wait. But Kaede had told him he would have to wait here. Her niece was working in her garden and was not to be disturbed for any reason. Inuyasha's ears twitched.
Not to be disturbed. What the hell could a twenty-one year old girl be up to in a fucking flower garden that was so damn important? When he sensed a flare of miko energy, stronger than even Kikyou's had been, he really began to wonder. Was she purifying demons in her own back yard or something?
"Or something," replied the older miko, startling the inu-hanyou. He'd been unaware of voicing that particular thought. "She's healing her plants, feeding them with her energy and strength. It took me a while to figure out where her talents lay but she found it on her own. She took to my garden like a duck to water." The old woman laughed. "The local youkai seem drawn to her as well. Shippo Kinato, he's over here every other day just to catch a glimpse of her. He's fascinated. Sure, she could purify you with just a thought. Fortunately for you, she's more apt to heal than kill. She doesn't like to see things die."
"That is fortunate, I guess," he grumbled.
"Kikyou was more likely to hurt than heal, I could see that from the beginning. I'd hoped things would be different but she didn't have a high opinion of youkai."
"Gee, you think, Baba?" Inuyasha replied sarcastically. "I wasn't sure about that after she told me that, even though she was marrying me, she didn't want to have quarter demon 'offspring.' So if I didn't mind, would I please cut off my fucking balls and 'we could always adopt' if I wanted kids?"
"The pain will lessen, child, I promise."
"Feh. Lessen my ass. That bitch betrayed me and eviscerated me and still wondered why the hell I was pissed off." He growled. "I owe her one thing: vengeance. She was still mine when she died. I just want to find out what happened to her."
"Kagome will help you, Inuyasha," Kaede soothed. "I assure you, she will not allow you to suffer if it is in her ability to help."
"Feh," he grunted. "I'll believe that when I see it."
He heard footsteps on the verandah and guessing that it was Kaede's niece, stood to meet the owner of those footsteps at the door. She was there faster than he anticipated and ran headlong into his chest, bouncing back slightly.
"Excuse me," she said with a smile. Inuyasha just froze.
"Kikyou?" he whispered.
OOOOO! Ominous place to stop, huh? Hope you like. R&R if you will. I like hearing how much you hated it.
EDIT: ok, I'm going to be fixing things now. I started reading a bit of this aloud to a friend and while I was doing so realized there are some major inconsistencies that are really beginning to piss me off. Not so much in the first chapter, but I know the later chapters need some work. The edits here are subtle, a few words changed and such, not much in the grand scheme. The second chapter will have some more major revisions for style, content and such. I need to stop getting so excited about finishing and re-read and fact check.
Right now I'm working on some family trees as well, trying to trace how the characters are related. I'm pretty sure I won't be posting those, but if you're interested and you ask nicely, I can send it to you via e-mail. Thanks for being wonderful readers, guys!