Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha or his puppy dog ears, but that doesn't stop me from plotting ways to abuse him.
A/N: This is just an old fic that I'm posting in preparation for my new Inuyasha story that I will be starting shortly.
Another Way to See it
Kagome stumbled into the kitchen, Inuyasha close on her heels. Her mother, grandpa and Souta, all paused in mid bite to stare wide-eyed up at her bedraggled appearance. Her mother was the first to react, shooting up out of her chair, clucking over her absentee daughter.
"Kagome dear, I'm so glad you are back. Sit down and eat something before you fall down!" She hurriedly put plates on the table, but Kagome just shook her head tiredly.
"All I want right now Mama, is a long hot bath and a good night's sleep." Kagome wrapped her arms around her mother in a tired hug, reveling in the warm squeeze that she received in return. She picked up her now depleted backpack, and trudged from the room, ignoring the concerned looks on her elder's faces.
"Hey, can I play with Inuyasha?" Souta chirped from his seat, and their mother flashed him a look of chiding annoyance.
"Not now brat," Inuyasha grumbled reply as he followed Kagome out of the kitchen, and up to her bedroom. He flopped down on her bed, drifting off into the relaxed slumber that he could only achieve while in her time. He knew that while he was there that he didn't have to worry about some stray youkai bumbling into their camp, trying to eat his tender, human charge.
The next morning the young adventurers woke up, refreshed, and more importantly, starving. They raced down to the kitchen, skidding to a stop, their eyes widening at the sight. Various breakfast foods littered the table, including heaps of bacon and sausage, Inuyasha's favorite, and stacks of pancakes for Kagome. Both stomachs rumbled loudly as if on cue, and they dived for the table, nearly flattening grandpa in their rush.
They choked down the food hungrily while her mother stood to the side, her hands folded patiently in front of her, and a soft smile curving on her lips. Grandpa grumbled something about the youth of today having no manners while Souta bravely tried to secure his own breakfast amid the reaching and snarling of the two teens.
"How long are you staying?" Mama asked once their initial hunger had been sated, and they had settled down into their seats.
"We have to go back now," Inuyasha growled into his bowl, his ears pinned back threateningly as he jabbed at his sausage link.
Kagome grimaced up at her mother's furled brow, and instantly tried to soothe her. "I'm sorry mama. We are on the trail of a pretty large shard right now, and we don't want to lose it. We just needed to get some more supplies. Hopefully, I will be back by next week." She gave her mother an apologetic look while she gathered up her pack, and began to stuff it full of ramen.
Her mother smiled in understanding, and moved to help her gather some more food. Once the pack was stuffed and Inuyasha was even fuller, they darted out the door, Kagome waving gaily behind her. They entered the well house, closing the door behind them, never seeing the shuttered expressions of hurt on her family's face.
"Stupid, stupid, baka." Kagome muttered as she pulled herself out of the well. Her and Inuyasha had yet again another fight, over guess who. Kikyou. Kagome tried really hard not to despise her cold ancestor, but she kept popping up at the most inopportune times, and ruining any headway she had gained with Inuyasha. Not to mention he turned into a complete and utter ass when she was around.
Kagome stalked out of the well and half way to the house before she noticed that they had visitors mulling around on the front walk. She cautiously approached them, nearly panicking when she saw her mother's tear-stained face. Kagome raced up to her, concern and fear etched across her own features.
"What's wrong mama? Is grandpa okay?" she gasped upon reaching her mother, throwing her arms around her.
Her mother returned her hug, burying her face into her daughter's hair, and squeezing her tight. They stayed like that for long moments, and Kagome's disquiet increased with every passing second that her mother didn't speak.
Finally, a gentleman behind them spoke up quietly, his soft words confusing Kagome.
"It's for the best, Mrs. Higurashi. The high school has lodged a variety of complaints of parental neglect, and things can not continue the way that they are. Your daughter needs help."
At his words, Kagome tried to turn her head to look at him, but her mother only grasped her tighter, and sobbed brokenly into her hair. Unable to stop herself, Kagome began to cry as well, uncertain of what was happening that upset her mother so much. Kagome's mother pulled back, wiping her daughter's long, black hair away from her face to stare down into her stormy eyes.
"I love you Kagome. Never forget that." Tears rolled down her cheeks, and dripped onto Kagome's own stained face.
"I won't mama. I love you too. What's going on?" Kagome sobbed, fear taking a tight hold on her aching heart. Her mother just shook her head, and pulled away, turning her back on her daughter, leaving Kagome bereft.
The man wrapped his strong hand around her upper arm, pulling her gently away from her mother, and towards a waiting car. She allowed him to move her back a few steps, still staring heartbrokenly at her mother. She stumbled over her feet, jarring herself back to reality. She whirled to face the man who held her, darting a glance at the car as she was overcome with panic. She began to fight and kick with righteous fury, causing the man to call out to two others who were standing nearby. Kagome sobbed brokenly for her mother, but Mrs. Higurashi just hunched her shoulders, and looked away.
"No! Stop it. Take your hands off me. Mama, make them stop!" Kagome hollered, digging in her heels as they dragged her towards the car. Inuyasha was going to be furious, she thought, when she didn't return immediately. How was she going to complete her quest for the jewel shards, if she couldn't reach the well?
Suddenly she felt a piercing jab in her arm and she looked down to see one of the men injecting her with a clear liquid. Almost instantaneously, she felt like she was floating on clouds, and her worry for Inuyasha and the shards drifted away in a haze of euphoria.
Kagome stared distantly out the dingy window that was covered with wire mesh. It had been weeks since she had been taken from her home, and Inuyasha still hadn't come for her. She was beginning to despair that he would never save her. She had been unconscious for most of her trip here, and for all she knew she could be half way across the world. Inuyasha would never be able to track her that distance. His sense of smell was good, but not that good.
She felt someone shuffle by her, and she looked back at the room behind her. Several people dressed in loose hospital robes sat around at the various shoddy card tables and on moth eaten couches, engaging in mind boggling activities, like chewing on their hair. Her eyes narrowed distastefully as she took in the cracked green paint on the walls, and the aged, scuffed lemon yellow linoleum on the floor. The rambling building she was in was older than her grandpa, with dark shadows that dwelled in every corner. Kagome sighed deeply, and turned back to stare out the window.
She missed her friends terribly. She ached to see Sango's smiling face again, and to hold Shippou in her arms. She even missed the feeling of Miroku's palm sliding up her backside. Most of all she missed Inuyasha. She wished that they hadn't fought before she had left. At least then she could have good memories of their last moments together. Instead, thoughts of him and Kikyou twisted around in her brain, making her more despondent with every passing day.
The nurse walked up to Kagome, silently motioning her to follow, and she did so without complaint. She found out within the first couple of days that fighting did her little good. All they did was pump her full of drugs, and strap her down to her bed. And there was nothing she wanted to avoid more, than having her hands tied at night.
The nurse led her into a small, cramped office, and Kagome automatically seated herself on the well-worn chair in front of the desk. Dr. Shima finished signing the papers in front of him, before sitting back, and folding his hands on his desk. Kagome had come to dread these little interludes that she had with the doctor. The sessions when he tried to convince her that she was insane.
"How are you doing today, Kagome?" he asked jovially, and she had to fight the urge to roll her eyes.
"Fine, Dr. Shima," she responded neutrally, her fingers playing with the hem of her gown. The doctor sighed, frowning at her. She was his most difficult patient. Even the most deluded, finally broke and admitted that they may be deranged, but not the young woman in front of him. She stubbornly maintained her psychosis, never budging from her original story. Most people suffering from schizophrenia would gradually begin to embellish their tales or insert slight inconsistencies, but her story was rock solid, and she believed it to be one hundred percent true.
He leaned back, tapping his fingers on her file, deciding to start from the beginning once again. "Tell me about the well Kagome."
A flash of annoyance skittered over her face and she furled her brow. "I have already told you about the well, like a billion times, Dr. Shima," she snapped, lack of sleep and mental abuse taking their toll on her. He eyed her coldly, and she was instantly remorseful. She didn't want him to decide that they needed to increase her dose of mind numbing drugs.
"Please tell me again, Kagome," he requested, and Kagome settled down into her seat, taking a deep breath. She reiterated to him how she was able to travel through time back to the Warring States Era to battle evil in the name of good. She talked about her friends that were waiting for her, and that if she didn't return soon, the world as they knew it, was going to be changed for the worse forever. Dr. Shima nodded patiently having heard it all before.
"So tell me about this Inuyasha. You said that he talks to your family as well, not just to you." Dr. Shima eyed her closely, knowing that this was the key to breaking her resistance to him. If he could prove to her that one portion of her story was false then it would be a simple matter to deconstruct the rest of it.
"Of course they can. They talk to them all the time," she muttered darkly, eying the man across from her with distaste.
"What do they talk about?" Dr. Shima jotted notes down on his pad, and Kagome began to chew her lower lip.
"I don't know, stuff." She shrugged dismissively, absently thinking that this whole ordeal was a waste of time. Everyday she spent here was another day that the broken pieces of the jewel fell into the hands of demons.
"What kind of stuff?" He persisted, and Kagome threw up her hands in the air.
"Stuff! About the Shikon no Tama," she snarled in frustration, forgetting her resolution not to make him angry today.
"Ah, yes the sacred jewel that you broke. The one that you are trying to gather to save the world." The Doctor fairly purred, and Kagome felt her skin crawl.
"Yah, that one." Kagome sunk down in her seat, suddenly fearful of the man across from her.
"Has anyone else ever seen this jewel? I mean besides people from the Warring States Era." He questioned eagerly, and Kagome felt a sinking sensation in the pit of her stomach. She always kept the jewel around her neck, until it got stolen, then she kept it in a small glass jar. She tried to remember if she had ever shown it to anyone in her family or to someone at school. Her brow furrowed as she thought deeply, missing the glint of victory in the doctor's eye. Finally, her brow smoothed, and she looked cheekily up at the doctor.
"A while ago a mask carved from a chunk of tree that had the jewel embedded in it, attacked my grandfather. Inuyasha came through the well, and he and Souta tracked me. Inuyasha has a great sense of smell, so he was able to follow me all the way through the city to where the mask had me pinned down at a construction site. He killed the demon and Souta saw me retrieve the jewel shard." A confident smile curved on the young woman's lips, but it didn't extinguish the strange glint in the doctor's eye. A matching smile curled up on his hard lips, and Kagome shifted in her seat. Finally, he thought, she was expanding on her original storyline, making up scenarios to fill in the gaps of her delusions. He steepled his fingers in front of him, and narrowed his eyes at her.
"So you let Souta touch Inuyasha?" His quietly worded question caught Kagome off guard. Her pale brow creased, and her eyes darkened with confusion.
"Ah, yah, I guess. What kind of question is that?" she spat with obvious scorn. She lifted her eyes to his diploma's hanging on the wall behind him, just to confirm that he was an educated doctor.
"Does Inuyasha speak when Souta plays with him?" Dr. Shima leaned over the desk, his face drawn with intensity.
"Of course, he does. They play together all the time." She was exasperated now, and she stood up to pace in front of the desk.
"Are you sure about that?" His silky tone crawled down her spine to nest at the base of her back. She spun on her heel, and slammed her hands down on his desk, unable to withstand his insinuations of her insanity any longer.
"Of course I am!" she screamed at the top of her lungs, her face turning purple in her rage. "I'm not crazy. Do you hear me?!" she shouted into his face, grabbing his desk blotter, and throwing it violently at him. The door burst open, and two large attendants rushed her. She saw the needle in one of their meaty fists, and she instantly became repentant. She sagged down, trying to make herself dead weight while whimpering loudly.
"No, I'm sorry. I will be good, I promise. Please don't do that." Her pleas fell on deaf ears, and soon the thick sense of euphoria slogged through her veins. They dragged her out of the office, and back to her room where they tied her down to her bed with thick leather straps.
A few hours later, Kagome surfaced out of her haze to find her room inundated with deep shadows. She glanced out the single, narrow window that was at the foot of her bed, noting that the moon was high in the sky. The shadows in the far corner of her room seethed, and Kagome bit down hard on her lip, refusing to cower on her bed. Slowly, a familiar figure appeared, the baboon head blocking out the light from the moon.
Naraku stood over her, his deep malicious chuckling echoing in the room. He pulled back his hood, reveling his pale skin and thick black hair that trailed over his bare chest. He reached out a cold hand, brushing his fingertips over her cheek. Her eyes widened, and she clamped down on her lip harder, ignoring the stream of blood that dripped down her chin.
"How are you liking my little play ground so far, fair Kagome?" He gently smoothed his thumb over her chin, wiping away the blood almost tenderly.
Kagome had come to the realization within the first few nights of her captivity, that while the asylum was a real place existing in her time, it was somehow infected. Naraku had found a way to reach out from the past to manipulate those around her, convincing them that she was insane, and effectively removing her from the hunt of the shards. Without her guidance, Inuyasha wouldn't be able to find all the shards in time to stop Naraku from becoming a full-fledged demon and completely tainting the Shikon no Tama.
She knew that the creature that stood in front of her was only a puppet, but the knowledge was of no use to her. Naraku had erected an invisible barrier around the asylum that prevented her from using her miko powers, leaving her helpless to his vile touch. She inhaled a thin reed of breath, trying to bolster her fading courage. She could not allow him to see how desperate she had become or how frail her sanity was.
"It's been fun, but I would like to go home now if you don't mind." Her voice sounded pathetic to her own ears, but her natural strength failed her. She had been trapped in this hellhole for too long, the constant drugs, and attacks on her frame of mind were becoming intolerable.
He chuckled again, the wicked sound wrapping around her in a tight embrace of despair. He lifted his thumb up to his sensually sinful lips and licked her blood from the pad. His black eyes glowed with dark promises, and Kagome squeezed hers shut. Crystalline tears leaked from the corners of her lids, and trailed into her hair at her temples.
"Oh, I'm afraid that I can't allow that, my dear. Not when we have so much time to catch up on." His breath feathered over her flesh causing it to shrink around her bones, trying desperately to escape its poisonous path. Unable to bear it any longer, Kagome succumbed to her fear, and keeled brokenly in the back of her throat.
The next morning the attendants came to release her from her bonds, ignoring the empty look in her normally fiery eyes. After they left, she tumbled off her bed, frantic desperation making her clumsy. She peered out the small, rectangular window on her door, checking that the guards had left for certain.
She darted back to her bed, yanking up the sheets and searching for the small hole that was in her mattress. Hurriedly, she fished out the spoon that she had stolen from the cafeteria, and hidden away in her secret catch. She grimaced down at the flimsy tool, but she had no choice. The patients at the hospital were not allowed even a fork to eat their meals with and she had to make due with what she had.
She stood at the window of her room that faced out over a well manicured lawn that was hauntingly empty. The patients of the asylum were never allowed to leave the cold embrace of the walls that caged them. The trim grass stretched to the foot of a thick wood that was a few hundred yards away. Kagome paused, a momentary flash of longing engulfing her as she looked at the forest. She pushed it away, and patiently pried at the paint that sealed the window shut.
She had been working on her project, slowly, for the last several weeks. Before she could get the window open, she had to peel the paint away from the cracks. The window wasn't big enough to escape through, but it would suit her purposes. This was her last hope for rescue.
She braced her hands on the window sill, thrusting up with all her might, gritting her teeth with strain. Just as she was about to give up, the window shifted subtly. She pushed against it with renewed vigor, victory coursing through her as it inched up.
Quickly, she took her spoon and began to pry at the wood tacks that pinned the wire mesh screen over the opening. She was easily able to release the corner, pulling it back enough so she could snake her hand passed the screen into the outside world. She darted back to the door, quickly checking to see if anyone was coming, releasing a relieved sigh when she saw no one.
She returned to her bed, pulling the mattress off the frame, reveling the metal springs that held it together. She quickly searched for a sharp piece of exposed metal, tightening her lips in determination when she found one. She smoothly ran the palm of her hand across the jagged point, biting the inside of her cheek to stifle the yelp of pain that instinctively tried to escape her lips. Crimson blood welled up in her palm, and she quickly hurried over to the open window.
She stuck her hand out of the hole she created, and smeared her blood across the outer wall of the asylum, painting the dark gray stone a bright scarlet, marking her presence. Once she was done, she carefully closed the window, making sure that no tell tale splash of red was left on the sill. She wrapped her hand carefully in a scrap of cloth that she tore from a sheet, knowing that her keepers would punish her for her violent behavior, but at least they wouldn't know why she did it.
She sat back, and waited patiently for her savior to arrive. Although she knew that he could be oceans away, she had no doubt the Inuyasha would come to her, drawn by the scent of her blood, and rescue her from this hellish pit that she had fallen into. She had to believe in him. She had to have faith. Inuyasha would come. He just had too.
A red clad figured moved silently through the night, only pale moonlight guiding his way through the darkened forest. The fresh scent of Kagome's blood drew him as she knew it would. He had fought many dangers, and braved her confusing world for many weeks while he searched for her. Time had become meaningless to him, and only the goal of finding her drove him on.
Through a break in the trees, the moonlight revealed a tall, foreboding building that crouched on a nearby knoll. Inuyasha lifted his nose into the air, his silvery hair blowing slightly in the breeze. The gentle wind brought with it the spicy aroma of Kagome, and a dangerous growl reverberated deep within his chest.
He moved stealthily out into the moonlight, his agile body quickly covering the distance between the woods and the building. His keen eyes sought out the darkened window that her scent wafted from. Anger pulsed through him when he recognized another familiar scent that called to the murderous demon inside of him.
His ears pinned back on his head, and his fangs flashed under the pale glow of the moon. He drew the Tetsuiga from its sheath, the blade elongating and widening at his command. He gathered his hunches beneath him, a primal scream ripping out of his throat as he bust through the wall that separated him from his Kagome. The wall exploded inwardly, deadly shards of stone and wood ricocheting past Kagome who lay strapped to her bed, once again.
Naraku was thrown back, and before he could regain his feet, Inuyasha's blade severed the puppet in half, destroying the filth that had been tormenting his Kagome. He turned towards her, his amber eyes glinting red when he saw her huddled down in the bed, draped in an overlarge white gown with straps at her wrists and ankles.
With a snarl, he extended his claws, severing the ties that held her down. She sprung up from the bed, hurtling her entire body into his arms, clenching her fists in his robe. She shuddered under the force of her sobs, and Inuyasha felt his heart breaking. He gently soothed his hand over her raven hair, being sure not to snag his nails in her tresses.
In the hall he could hear the sounds of approaching guards, and without hesitating he gathered the small female up in his arms, cradling her protectively against his chest. He leapt from the hole in the shattered wall, landing gracefully on the lawn, and bounded away into the forest. Kagome peeked back over his shoulder, saying her silent goodbyes to her torturous prison.
"I'm afraid there isn't much more we can do Mrs. Higurashi. Once a patient becomes catatonic there is little hope." Dr. Shima's compassionate gaze was filled with sympathy as he watched the woman's shaky hand brush the hair off her daughter's temple.
"Are you sure?" Mrs. Higurashi's watery words held little hope in them and Dr. Shima grimaced in regret.
"Yes. I'm very sorry, Mrs. Higurashi." He stood to the side, uncertain of how to respond as the woman sank down next to the frail girl on the bed. He glanced out the large window at the foot of the bed that allowed the natural light to fill the room. He watched as the other patients frolicked on the lawn, happily enjoying the afternoon. His modern clinic was world renowned, and many of his patients flourished under the care and attention that they received with him.
"Do you suppose it would be alright if I left her dolls with her then? She would want them near her." Mrs. Higurashi continued to stroke her daughter's hair, her voice cracking under the strain of trying to be strong.
Dr. Shima glanced down at his feet, ignoring the sparkling white tile that was embroidered with small happy flowers. "Yes, that's fine. They can't do her any harm now." Mrs. Higurashi nodded in understanding and he excused himself from the room so she could spend some time alone with her daughter.
She turned away from the bed, picking up the box that she brought with her. She walked over to Kagome's dresser, and pulled out, one by one, the plushie dolls her daughter called friends. She placed a butter yellow cat toy on the dresser top, followed by a doll dressed in a black suit with a boomerang strapped to its back. Next to that, she placed a purple robed monk, along with a cute, bushy tailed fox doll.
She put the box on the ground, holding the last doll in her arms as she slowly walked back over to her daughter who lay on the bed, staring sightlessly at the ceiling. She bent down, placing a red-robed plushie with white yarn hair in her daughter's lax arm, gently propping it up against her body.
She sat on the bed, gazing down at Kagome, limitless sorrow etched on her face, and pooling in her melancholy eyes. At least now her daughter would have the one thing that she cherished above all else in this world within her reach. She shook her head, wondering if she had done something wrong. Perhaps the first time her daughter had stayed overnight in the well house, she should have done something then. But she had allowed it to continue, until eventually, Kagome would stay for weeks at a time in the well, talking to her dolls, not even seeing her family who came to visit her.
Always, her appearance at their doorway was a surprise to them. She would breeze in, eating the food that her mother provided and wonder off to bed, her precious Inu Youkai doll always in tow. Sometimes, she would even go to school, and each time Mrs. Higurashi was filled with hope that her daughter had finally regained some semblance of normality, but in the end she would always retreat to the well house, and out of their lives.
Now Mrs. Higurashi felt the weight of regret weighing down her soul as she stroked her daughter's cheek. If only. If only she had done something right away. If not that then if only she hadn't called the doctors. At least, she would have the comfort of seeing her daughter's sparkling eyes every few weeks when she emerged from her dream world.
But now she was gone. She retreated permanently into a world of her own creation, and left them all behind to suffer at her loss. Silent tears trailed down Mrs. Higurashi's cheeks and she leaned down to plant a longing kiss on her daughter's forehead. With a small sniff she stood up to leave, pausing one last time at the door to look back at the bed.
Kagome lay unmoving on the course hospital sheets, her pale hand not even moving to clutch the doll she held.