1- Tremors, Headaches, and Voices (re-edited on 3-4-06)
Hehehe -sniff- I had to edit it again. I'm sorry if it's cheating, but the first chapter was screaming for me to put it out of it's misery. So...I edited it...again.
-waves at the readers- This story is mostly about Inuyasha and Kagome. There are some glimpses into the trials, relationships, and adventures of other characters (some Takahashi's, and some my own), but they are not my primary focus. I think most people like it that way, but...I'm not sure.
...I'll just let you read now... Later!
I don't own Inuyasha and never will -sighs pitifully-
Every story has a hero. And not every hero is perfect. There are always conflicts overshadowing him. He must be strong and not give in…endure the suffering and death that he encounters, suicide isn't an option for heroes like this. He has a goal...a purpose, and he isn't leaving this world until he has accomplished it. There is something waiting for him. A love, a home, friends, or maybe all of these things that he is devoted to even though he is too proud to admit it. Let's just hope that his pride doesn't lead to his downfall.
To be or not to be—that is the question:
Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing, end them. To die, to sleep—
No more—and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache and thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to—'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep—
To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause.
Act 3- Scene 1
A flash of silver and a blur of red soon became one with a hard dirt floor, but not before several curses escaped the falling man. "Oomph! Mphmmnphhmmn!" Fuzzy, triangular dog-ears twitched irritably while the silver-haired boy mumbled incoherent obscenities at his teenage female companion.
A young woman with raven hair glared darkly at the inu hanyou and folded her arms against her chest as her jaw twitched. "I heard that…Sit!"
Before he even had a chance to rise, the hanyou felt the smooth rosary beads around his neck grow heavier until he was once again pounded into the ground with a less than desirable force. With a low and deadly growl that told the woman exactly what he thought of her stupid beads, he slowly pried himself off the floor, pinning her with a nasty glare. "Stop doing that!"
"I'll stop 'doing that' the minute you grow up!" she snapped back, cocking her hip dangerously to the side and jabbing a finger under his nose.
His glower didn't diminish as he jammed his hands into the long, crimson sleeves of his fire-rat fur. "He started it," the dog-boy mumbled.
Kagome stared pointedly at Inuyasha.
"Keh! He did, wench!" His stunning amber eyes gleamed haughtily at her.
"Shippou's just a kid, Inuyasha."
"You're saying that now, but has he ever buried you in those stupid damn mushrooms of his? Do you know how loud they are?"
Kagome winced; Inuyasha had a point. The mushrooms, while harmless, were very loud and very annoying. She could only imagine how badly it bothered the inu hanyou with his sensitive ears.
"I hate his illusion shit," he continued as Kagome let her threatening finger fall weakly to her side. To emphasize his point he stomped on one of the few remaining mushrooms. It released a hideous wail before disappearing with a loud and obscene 'Pop'. "You couldn't have wanted to take in something useful and quiet; something like Kirara."
Stormy gray eyes flicked to the bamboo-mat, which served as a door, and through which, the small kitsune had recently scrambled. Though the hanyou often referred to the young orphaned youkai derogatorily, Kagome didn't doubt for a second that he loved him in his own way, the way they all did. With a sigh, she absently booted the last mushroom, sending it sailing into a wooden wall of the small hut before looking back up at Inuyasha. "That's not very fair of you," she pointed out. "He's just a kid, just like you were once."
At the mention of his childhood, the hanyou hardened perceptibly, but didn't comment on it. "It don't matter," he growled loudly, hunkering onto the floor and settling back against the wall. "The kit's gotta learn sometime—I can't believe you sat me for thumping him one time!"
She pressed a hand to her temple as it reacted to his raising voice, but otherwise tried to ignore the headache that was trying to blossom into a full-blown migraine. 'Stupid mushrooms,' she thought bitterly when she remembered their deafening shrieks.
Kagome raised her eyes at his gruff voice and found that he was still wearing his trademark scowl, but this time it appeared more forced as he tried not to look to interested in her small distress. She smiled involuntarily. 'He's so cute when he's worried…' A quick nod was her reply as she tore her gaze away, least he catch her blushing.
She lowered herself to the floor beside him, tucking her legs under her—the only safe way to sit when wearing a short skirt and when traveling with a lecherous monk, who was thankfully absent at the moment. For a while there was blessed, blessed silence as she absently massaged her throbbing head, and then…there were shrill screams filling the hut as two more happily miserable mushrooms were chucked into the room at their feet.
Yelling some words that he was sure his late mother wouldn't approve of, Inuyasha shot to his feet, taking the time—and joy—to destroy the offending objects with his razor-sharp claws. Ears perking and eyes narrowing as he heard a noise sounding suspiciously like kitsune-laughter coming from outside, he stalked for the door towards his prey.
"—Not now, wench," he whispered, waving her away as he crept closer to the door. He could smell Shippou right outside the door. 'The stupid kit didn't even have the good sense to run; this will be too easy.'
With a sigh, the miko stood and stepped up to him, resting a small hand on his bicep. "Inuyasha? I'm going to go home for a little while."
The said hanyou, no longer concerned with the door and the bothersome kitsune that waited outside, straightened his back as her words sunk in and lifted his chin proudly and stubbornly. Scowling, he silently studied the quiet girl, who was tugging nervously at the hem of her old green pleated skirt.
More than two years had passed since the miko Kagome had woken him from Kikyou's spell. It had been more than two years and she was still hopping between her time and his—500 years in the past. She'd been doing it all this time, and he still hated it; in fact, he hated her having to go home even more now than he did when they first met.
His frown deepened as he turned to face her fully. "Why?"
She shrugged, and kneeled to shoulder her huge yellow lump of a backpack. "I haven't been home in a while."
"Keh! You need to just move here. Hell, you stay here most of the time anyway."
A small smile graced her lips. "But then I'd miss my friends and family."
He snorted and jammed his arms in his sleeves again. "Friends are for weaklings."
"Oh, not that again," she groaned. "I thought you'd stopped saying that…years ago."
"It's true," he teased, cocking an eyebrow.
"Then you must be a weakling because I'm you're friend."
He snorted again. "So you want to go home for no reason at all?"
She shook her head. "I'll be back tomorrow. I've just had this headache since this morning; nothing's helped, so I'm on a medicine run."
"A headache?" he echoed skeptically. "You're going home because of a headache?"
"Says the hanyou who's immune to them," she shot back with a withering glare. "You and Shippou haven't helped it either."
"Shippou hasn't helped it," the hanyou corrected. "I didn't do nothin'."
She didn't deign to answer him as she repositioned her bag and walked around him, leaving Kaede's little hut and recoiling as the sunlight hit her.
"I'll be back tomorrow morning, Inuyasha."
She left with Inuyasha muttering after her, "Fine! Go home then. See if I care."
' He can be such an insensitive jerk sometimes.' She sighed again. Digging around in her pocket, she felt the object of their two-year quest. The miko held up the small vial of what appeared to be a couple of fragments of broken glass. The small pink shards glimmered in the soft sunlight.
'The Shikon no Tama.' The name ran through the young woman's mind as she marveled at their beauty. 'How can something so small and beautiful be so deadly and corrupt?'
Countless youkai and people died trying to retrieve the shattered jewel, their greediness being a fault that cost them their lives. Countless innocents died in the crossfire—youkai and humans that had nothing to do with the jewel and were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. She froze, closing her eyes and lifting her pounding head toward the sun. 'All that…all that fighting and death and now Naraku holds almost all of the shards.'
The said miko turned to meet an attractive woman only a year or two older than she. Dark brown hair, pulled into a tight ponytail, blew gently in the light breeze; chocolate eyes were lit up with concern, and a hand instinctively tightened its grip on her Hiraikotsu, as though she believed the giant boomerang could solve any problem.
The miko knew that the girl didn't believe that, though. Not at all. That boomerang couldn't bring Sango's slaughtered village back. It couldn't wrench Kohaku, her brother, from the evil hanyou Naraku's grasp.
Kagome smiled gently at her friend, praying that her eyes didn't reveal the sudden, overwhelming sympathy and admiration she felt for her; the slayer had lost so much and yet was one of the first to express concern for others. "Hey, Sango."
A small mewl came from below, and Kagome quickly amended herself with a sheepish grin. "You too, Kirara!" she giggled, kneeling next to the tiny fire neko and scratching a black-tipped ear. The twin tails flicked in delight.
Another painful throb hit her with the force of a small bus, making her hand tremble as pulled it away from the youkai and stood to meet her friend with a small smile.
"Kagome?" The slayer placed a cool, callused hand against her forehead, checking for a fever. "Are you alright? You look pale."
"Oh, yeah, I'm fine," she assured her. "Just a headache…and I hope it's going away now."
With a frown, Sango let her hand drop to her side. "Is it the same one you had this morning?"
The miko nodded. "I'm fine, though."
Chewing thoughtfully on her bottom lip, Sango loosed her boomerang, jamming it into the hard earth, where it stood without her support. "Kaede's herbs didn't help in the least?"
"Sango, I'm fine. Really…It's just a headache. I've handled worse before, right?"
Sango shrugged, though her brow was still furrowed as she studied her friend. "Oh, have you seen Miroku? We were supposed to work out together." She nodded pointedly at Hiraikotsu, which towered above her.
The young slayer had lost everything that she'd once loved, but in return, she'd gained an odd group of friends, one of whom, was Miroku. The lecherous, but deep, monk had promised himself to her once Naraku was no longer a threat, and it was only natural that his new fiancé want to keep an eye on him and his wandering hand.
Kagome grinned—Sango never had been afraid to use Hiraikotsu to keep him in line. "I haven't seen him since lunch."
"Hmm," the slayer tapped thoughtfully on her chin before she noticed Kagome's notorious yellow bag, which was hard to miss. "Are you going to the well?"
"I'm coming back tomorrow."
"Alright, I'll see you then. I'd better go find that pervert before he scares anymore of the girls."
With a wave, Kagome once again started toward the well, loosing herself in thought as her feet carried her along the well-known path. It wasn't long before she found herself in front of the Goshinboku, the God Tree. The gigantic tree was breathtaking, demanding respect as it stood taller than any other tree around it. Her bag fell to the ground as she stepped up to place her hand softly on the scar that it wore with pride.
The wound that the tree bore told a story of love and betrayal, mistrust and deceit. It had been more than two years since she'd found a boy pinned to the same tree with an arrow through his heart. Gray eyes darkened as the miko valiantly fought back her tears, though she didn't pull her palm away from the rough surface. 'Inuyasha…'
After such a hard life, the hanyou had finally found a friend some fifty odd years ago—a miko like herself…Kikyou. Because of Naraku's cruel trickery, the miko that Inuyasha had loved pinned him to the tree with her sacred arrow. He'd hung lifelessly for fifty years before Kagome freed him.
Kagome placed her other hand over her own heart.
Inuyasha's wound had healed quickly enough once he was freed, and it appeared as though his skin had never been pierced. But Kagome could see it in his eyes; he bore a scar even worse than Goshinboku's.
When she first fell down the well, Kagome had thought that her quest would be easy: find the shards and pretend this was nothing but a nasty dream. 'Youkai don't exist.' 'It's impossible to live in two worlds.'
Lips quirked into a small smile, she couldn't help but think, 'Funny, how plans change.' After meeting and clearing up the whole give-me-the-jewel-or-I'll-kill-you mess, Inuyasha and Kagome became fast friends, and now, there was no doubt in her mind that the immature, stubborn, angry hanyou was her best friend and the man she loved more than life itself, as crazy as it seems. 'If he only felt the same about me…'
It was too much to hope for. Inuyasha and Kikyou had been cheated, deprived of the love that they both deserved, and both lost their lives as a result. 'Yes,' Kagome mused, 'it's definitely funny how things turn out…' Both of the lovers had been revived—one from his deep sleep, the other, with her new false body and part of Kagome's own soul.
Kikyou, the woman that slew Inuyasha once upon a time, still walked the earth.
And Inuyasha, released from the seal that the undead miko placed on his body, still loved her.
Not Kagome. But Kikyou.
Squeezing her eyes closed, Kagome let her hand fall from the tree. How many times had she heard that story? How many times had she wondered if Inuyasha saw Kikyou every time he smiled at her? How many times had she seen herself as Kikyou when looking into a mirror?
'I'm not Kikyou. I'm Kagome,' she reminded herself. 'Ka-go-me!'
As though feeling her heart waver, the earth trembled beneath her feet.
Straightening her back, she almost dreaded turning around. 'I know…I know I didn't image that…' The ground responded in kind by shaking violently beneath her feet, causing her to stumble into Goshinboku. "A youkai", she whispered; a violent aura crashed into her own. 'But it's weak enough.'
She instinctively reached for her bow, and her insides froze when she realized that it was leaning against the wall in Kaede's hut.
Another tremor shook the earth, this time rending it as a huge worm youkai propelled itself out of the hard dirt and rock. With growing trepidation, Kagome watched it towered above her, swaying slightly and grinning at her with it's jagged teeth—which she noticed protruded in every direction.
She swallowed, but didn't move. 'He looks…intimidating…'
Stomping through the village in a very unhappy manner and glaring at anything that came his way, Inuyasha thought of several ways to get back at the kitsune.
He grinned, and it scared a small kid.
Inuyasha stopped grinning and quickly left the wailing child.
"Stupid Shippou and his stupid mushrooms," he muttered under his breath. As it turned out, Shippou wasn't stupid enough to stand around and let Inuyasha beat him to a bloody pulp. Now, the Shippou that he had beaten to a bloody pulp scared the bloody hell out of him when the small kitsune exploded once he'd been thumped on the head. The inu hanyou's immense panic transformed into massive fury once he realized that the kitsune had exploded into about thirty screaming mushrooms.
The hanyou kicked a rock. Somewhere around here, Shippou was laughing at him.
That was bad. And to top things off, Kagome wasn't around. That was worse.
"Stupid Kagome and her stupid well" Inuyasha grumbled, ears flattening dejectedly against his scalp. Every time she disappeared down that damn well, he always felt horrible. Like he'd chased her away. Every time she went down the well, he always wondered if this would be the time she didn't come back.
What would happen then?
He leapt into the first branch he could reach, cowering against its trunk as he closed his eyes.
He'd be alone again. If she ever left, he'd be alone.
"Keh! That ain't gonna happen. If she leaves, I'll just bring her happy ass right back." His ears perked again, and his sad smile morphed into a scowl. There was one thing that those years alone taught him: It is better to be defensive and angry than trusting and hurt.
As suddenly as he'd leapt onto the limb, he leapt off, stalking to the well. 'She thinks she can get off that easily. We got shards to find—she ain't taking a vacation now.'
'But she said that her head hurt…' a voice reminded him pointedly.
'She also said that humans had actually touched the moon.'
'…You can't prove that she was lying.'
'Yeah, well, if her head's hurting, then Kaede's herbs should help it. She just wants to go home.'
'And why would she want to do that?' The voice was laced with sarcasm. 'I thought you're whole childish act with Shippou would've charmed her.'
Before the hanyou could snap back at himself, he felt the hair on his arms stand straight up as a shiver raced up his spine. He immediately found himself running toward the well.
Black eyebrows furrowed as the hanyou doubled his speed. 'Kagome…'
Something was wrong; he could feel it.
Kagome remained still as the youkai continued to rock from side to side. She could only guess that it was waiting for her to make a run for it. Her blood boiled at the thought; it wanted her to run like a scared rabbit. 'I'm not scared. I'm Kagome. I'm a miko. I'm not scared of youkai.'
As though it could read her thoughts, the worm stopped moving. Cursing herself for leaving something as vital as her bow, she took a step back, pressing herself against the God Tree. It wasn't a big step, but it was enough.
The youkai leaned away from her, like a snake about to strike, and then, in one fluent movement, lunged at her, diving into the ground only a few feet away from her. The shocked ground shifted and broke apart, sending the miko flying forward with other debris. In a moment of sheer panic, she did the only helpful thing she could do.
Everything about the hanyou was screaming for him to hurry. The hair on his neck and arms stood on end, and he couldn't shake the feeling that Kagome had somehow managed to get herself into trouble in the mere twenty minutes that he'd last seen her. He knew that something was wrong.
"Kagome!" His ears twitched like tiny radars, picking up any sound around him. 'Where the hell is she?'
Movement above him caught his eye. Looking up, he saw agitated birds take to the sky half a mile away.
Somehow, he'd already known she was there, at the well and the Goshinboku.
The girl whimpered softly as she clumsily pushed herself off the ground, stumbling along the torn earth. She didn't need to look at her arm to know it was broken. She'd heard it crack when she landed, and she'd definitely felt the pain, which rushed over her whole body in vicious waves. 'Don't pass out. Don't pass out!' Biting furiously on her cheek to keep from crying out, she blinked back her tears and waited for the youkai to return from the ground.
She shifted a foot, readying herself for the predator; that's when the soil began to move again. 'It can sense movement,' she realized a little too late. 'Like that movie…it can only tell where I am when I move.'
With a horrible screech, it came crashing out of the ground again, but didn't dive at her. It stood there, swaying back and forth, waiting for her to move. She mentally smacked herself. 'I'm alone for 15 minutes and a youkai corners me. How pathetic is that?' But berating herself didn't seem to offer the relief that she desired. 'How in the world am I going to get out of this alive?', she flinched at her words. 'Stop thinking like that Kagome—This is not a time for cynicism. Inuyasha will find you and protect you as always.' The youkai made a rumbling noise, wrenching a gasp from the miko. 'He just has to.'
Without thinking she took a step back, furthering herself from the threat. The worm youkai shrieked and immediately charged at her. She only had time to hold up her good arm, instinctively shielding her face from the razor-sharp teeth that were about to close around her. Her mind raced, and her vision darkened as pain and fear gripped her.
She'd never kissed a boy. She'd never graduated. She'd never even been on a real date.
One by one, images of everyone she loved ran through her mind. 'Mama, Souta, Grampa, Sango, Miroku, Shippou, Kaede, Kirara...Inuyasha…Is this what they mean by "your life flashes before your eyes"? ...Inuyasha' the thought of never seeing him again caused a tear to roll down her cheek. 'I love you' Another tear made it's way down her face. The tears weren't the only things the thought of Inuyasha brought. The hand she was holding up to shield herself began to emit a bright purple light that tore over the worm youkai as it closed in.
'My miko powers...' was all Kagome knew before she lost herself in the bright light. The youkai continued to screech but this time out of the pain of slow purification; it was being burned alive.
Another pain rippled through her body, numbing her arm to a mere tingle as her head throbbed excruciatingly. It was so hard to form a thought when all she knew was pain, but somewhere inside her, she knew she wasn't alone.
'What are you doing?' The voice, distinctly feminine, and as cold as Sesshoumaru's, ripped through her mind. 'Just give up, accept your fate and spare the worm. Spare yourself from all of the pain. Let the youkai do its job. Let the youkai free you from this.'
'Who- what...why are you telling me this?' The girl was so lost in pain that she didn't care what question was asked first, and probably wouldn't miss an answer.
'Why do you continue to struggle for life? You will just get hurt again. It is your fate to suffer, Kagome, seeker of the shards. As long as you live, you will hurt—why not end it now?' The voice spoke with cool conviction. 'I can free you right now if you'll only let me.'
'Ican't give up! People depend on me!'
The voice laughed grimly, tearing a cry from the girl. 'Nobody depends on you, you silly girl. You depend on them. What good are you—an untrained miko, torn between two lives? Yes, I can sense it; it's all here. You are two people; you live two lives. How, Kagome? How can you devote yourself when your not even whole?'
'I-I have to f-find the jewel shards,' she stammered. 'And Naraku—I have to help destroy him.'
The cruel laughter once again resounded through the girl's mind. 'Defeat Naraku? You? How could you defeat Naraku when you're having trouble with this lowly youkai?' The laughter stopped, and the voice became sympathetic. 'Let me end this, Kagome. Your friends don't need you anymore; you only hold them back. Let me ease your suffering, and theirs. You know what I'm saying is true—how many times have they come close to death while protecting you?'
Kagome fought against her tears at the sting of the words.
'And then there's Inuyasha.'
Kagome gasped as she hissed his name.
'Am I wrong in believing that you love him? That he's come close to death while protecting his shard collector? He doesn't love you, Kagome. He still loves Kikyou, and nothing you do or say can change that. Do you still want to go on as things were? I can help you if you'll let me. You'll never hurt again, Kagome. Don't you want that?'
Kagome's heart throbbed painfully as the woman continued to tear at her fears, exposing them, but she was still Kagome, even with a shattered heart. 'I suppose it would be easier to give up and die than to live and suffer. I'm sure that many people have chosen that path. But I am Kagome—Ka-go-me.' She grew stronger as her name escaped her lips. 'I won't take the easy way out to avoid a little hurt. And you're wrong. Inuyasha might love Kikyou, but he doesn't want me to leave him—he won't let me die!'
'Wouldn't he? You are the only thing standing between Kikyou and he, true happiness. Don't you see that you do more harm than good? Just give into it, Kagome. The dark isn't as bad as it seems. It's not as lonely as it seems. You're in the dark now—you shouldn't fear what I'm offering you. Give into the darkness'
"No! I won't! Get out of my head! Get out!" Kagome screamed as the pain, both physical and mental seared through her, and everything went white. She felt herself falling, slumping to the ground, and she knew that the woman was gone. She was alone again. With that final thought, she fell unconscious as a red blur kneeled beside her.
Inuyasha cradled her, took one last look at the pile of ashes that was once a worm youkai, and ran to Kaede's as fast as he could.
Well, there's the first chapter. Of course I posted this like…three months ago…but it was so hard to understand, since I didn't use the dividers, that I had to re-do it. I also added a bit more detail –smiles ashamedly-
More to come: Love, betrayal, attacks, the mysterious voice…oooo . the suspense… -hands out doughnuts-