Ten Years Earlier
She was shaking, staring at him. "All this time," Kagome whispered as her eyes filled with tears. "All this time you were only after the jewel?"
He didn't look at her, entranced by the sparkling sphere that glowed between his fingers like a tiny sun. Instead he smiled, darkness in his gaze as he finally met her eyes.
"Of course I was always after the jewel," Inuyasha said softly. "I told you that from the beginning."
She shook her head, her hair hanging in limp strands around her face. She was so tired; it had taken everything she had just to purify the jewel after completing it. Naraku was dead, it was a relief to know at last he was gone and couldn't terrorize innocent people any longer. His defeat had come at a terrible price.
"Miroku and Sango gave their lives to put an end to that jewel's evil," she said, pleading with him. "Don't make their sacrifice mean nothing, Inuyasha. Please don't do this."
He glared at her, his ears flattening slightly as he considered her words. "No," he said at last, smiling unpleasantly. "This is what I've always wanted, to become pure youkai. I never wanted to be only human, Kagome."
"You would have done it for Kikyou," she whispered.
"I was in love with Kikyou."
Kagome sank down to her knees, her head hanging limply on her neck. Her heart was breaking; she wanted to be sick on the ground.
"You used me," she murmured.
"Don't take it like that," he said quietly. "This is for the best." His hand reached out to stroke her face and Kagome flinched away from his touch. "Look at me," he murmured as he ran his clawed fingers over her hair. She didn't look at him; she couldn't stand the sight of him right now.
Suddenly angry, he grabbed her chin and forced her to look at him. "When I tell you to do something, Kagome, you'd better do it!"
She met his eyes with defiance of her own. "I hope you'll be happy as a pure youkai, Inuyasha. I hope it's everything you ever wanted because I'm not going to be here to watch."
Kagome stood up and shoved him away from her. Inuyasha's expression was sullen, angry as he watched her gather her things. She hated him, oh God yes, she hated him like she'd never hated anyone before. It had all been a lie. She thought he had changed; she had thought he really cared about her.
I should have known better, Kagome thought, feeling tears sting her eyes. I'm such a fool.
Inuyasha watched her narrowly, not moving from his half crouching, half kneeling position. The jewel burned in his hand, begging for him to use it. He wasn't sure how to go about starting the transformation and he hesitated, wondering if using this cursed little trinket would really give him what he wanted. He didn't want to become a mindless thing, slaughtering everyone in his path. That wasn't what he craved, desired. He wanted to be in full control of himself and have that power, that fucking superiority his brother displayed with such ease.
Looking at her, he could understand why she thought he was betraying her. He supposed that she was right to be angry; she was right to want to leave. What Kagome wanted and what Kagome was going to get were two different things. She was the one who had promised to stay by his side, he was going to make sure that promise was kept.
He needed her.
"You aren't going anywhere," he said, rising up from the ground to stand closer to her, threatening her tacitly. He'd said didn't love her, all this time he'd never pretended that he did and he'd sworn to himself that he'd never lie about that. But he wanted her so much. He'd put his desire for Kagome on hold for more than two years in order to complete their quest. Now he was tired of waiting.
"You're staying right here with me."
"No," she said as she turned away from him. "I don't want to see you like this. It makes me sick. You're exactly like Naraku, all you can think about is power. I can't stop you from using that thing, but I don't have to be here either. I'm going home and I'm not coming back."
She started to leave, her bag slung over her shoulder. He was faster, getting in front of her and blocking her way. "Try it," he said in a dangerous voice. "You can stay with me by choice or I can make you stay. Don't make me be a bastard, Kagome."
It astonished her that he thought he could control her. That rosary around his neck said otherwise. "I don't have to make you be a bastard," Kagome hissed. "You do a good enough job of that on your own."
"For the last time," he said, reaching for her as she started to back away from him.
"For the last time," she echoed, her eyes snapping furiously. "Sit boy!"
The rosary glowed instantly at her command, but something strange happened next. Instead of flinging him to the ground in a helpless jumble of limbs and fury, he remained standing, his eyes gone wide with shock. In his fist, the Shikon no Tama pulsed with a massive wave of energy that blinded them both.
She heard him scream out her name, his voice sounding agonized. Kagome hated hearing him in pain in spite of her anger, her hurt betrayal. Her stomach contracted and she covered her face with her hands, trying to block the infernal light as the mystical jewel suddenly exploded.
Inuyasha dropped to his knees, the waves of power pulsing around him in a firestorm of pure energy. She stared at him in horror as the light flowed into his body, lighting his skin, making it glow. His hair stood on end from the static charge in the air, his expression made him look almost angelic. He threw back his head and howled in pain before his voice cut off with a strangled sob. Then the glowing rosary around his neck went dark.
She didn't know what to do when he suddenly fell forward, catching himself on his fists with his entire body shuddering and shaking. She should go, she should head for the well before he recovered and was able to move. This was her chance to get away, but she couldn't make her feet obey her frantic mind. Instead she knelt down next to him, her hands reaching for his face.
"Inuyasha?" she asked in a soft, broken voice.
She heard a sound like pebbles being dropped against glass; she heard the wind tease language from the trees. Slowly he leaned back, his face shadowed by his hair. One hand was shaking as he lifted it to his throat, grasped the necklace and pulled. It broke. It fell apart, each tiny stone crumbling like it was made of charred paper and the rosary that had bound them for so long became a pile of purple ash in his palm. He looked up then and met her frightened eyes.
Kagome Higurashi stood upon a Hawaiian beach and watched the sun slowly sink into the horizon. It lit the sky with fiery reds and golds, turning to violet and pink as she watched it disappear. It was odd, she thought, how disconnected she felt. The paper crumbled in her fist as she watched the waves crash upon the shore. She hadn't expected something like this to happen now. It wasn't as if she didn't have enough problems.
Her divorce had been final six days ago and Kagome had thought she owed it to herself to take some time off. It wasn't that she didn't care about Scott; she didn't regret marrying him six years ago. He was tall , gorgeous and kind natured, warm, funny and caring.
A perfect man for an imperfect woman, she thought wryly.
He'd begged her not to go through with the divorce, asked her time and time again to give their relationship another try. Eventually she just got tired of his calls and turned off her cell phone. She'd told her secretary to not disclose her whereabouts and headed for the remotest part of the islands for a few days of solitary hiking and meditation.
It had been her plan to book a week at the most expensive spa could find when she got back to let them pamper and spoil her until she was able to forget. Even a vicious bitch like herself needed time to regroup.
Now this. Because she was avoiding her now ex-husband, it must have been pure hell for her people to track her down. But they had managed just the same and Kagome didn't think hearing the news two days earlier would have made any difference. Her grandfather had passed away and her mother begged her to return to Japan for his funeral service.
The last thing she wanted was to go home, she sure as hell didn't think of it as home, not anymore. Home was her condo in Honolulu; home was her spacious office on the prestigious top floor where interns and flunkies ran at the sight of her. She was the youngest full partner of an international law firm; her specialty was making rich people richer and smoothing the way for Japanese companies to gain new marketing advantages in both the United States and developing countries.
She was fluent in three languages besides Japanese, English, French, and Chinese. Her annual salary was in the six-figure range; she drove an expensive car, wore designer clothing and moved among the powerful and the famous with a natural ease and gracefulness far beyond her years. Kagome Higurashi was the epitome of success in every way possible.
Sighing, she pulled out her cell to ring her secretary. "Grace," she said in the clipped tone that meant pay attention. "Book me a flight to Tokyo immediately. Call my service and tell them to have my bags packed and sent to the airport. Yes, I know it's sudden. My grandfather died, I need to pay my respects. Let Celia close the deal with the developers in Texas, it's all finished except for the paperwork. She knows what to do."
She listened as her secretary ran through the list of urgent messages she'd received and Kagome's mouth twisted bitterly. It might have been nice to have Scott with her for the trip; she hated staying alone in hotels.
Stop that, she told herself sternly. If you wanted him to go with you, you shouldn't have divorced him. And if you didn't want to divorce him, you shouldn't have cheated on him so much.
It wasn't her infidelity that she regretted, what angered her was that Scott had never stood up to her about it.
Instead he'd just caved spinelessly, losing whatever respect she'd had for him. A man should mind if his wife screwed around on him, a man shouldn't blame himself and tell her that whatever she wanted to do was fine if it made her happy. Personally, Kagome would have been tempted to cut off his testicles with a kitchen knife if he'd been the one unfaithful to her. At least in the beginning, back when she still gave a shit about her marriage.
Kagome scowled. "One more thing, Grace," she barked, her mouth twisting slightly in amusement. "If so much as one more flower arrangement is delivered and the sender was my former husband, I want you to push through that restraining order. I don't care, I'm fed up with it and you know I don't like flowers. Donate them to a hospital or something, like I give a damn. Tell him I'll have him arrested if he doesn't knock it off and don't tell him where I'm going or why. You got that?"
She clicked the phone off after receiving an affirmative and stalked slowly back to her bungalow. She could throw some things in her bag for now and be ready to leave as soon as Grace called back with her flight arrangements.
Damn it, jii-chan, she thought in annoyance. You could have picked a more convenient time to die.
Ten Years Earlier
He growled into her bare shoulder when he came, his fingers grinding painfully on her arms. Her breathing was harsh and labored, her legs still trembling with the aftershocks of climax. As he collapsed on top of her, falling asleep with one hand still possessively clutching her breast, slow hot tears leaked from the corners of her eyes.
This is so wrong, she thought. Why can't I stop myself from wanting him?
"Because you like the way I fuck you," he said sleepily, pulling out of her body and rolling to the side. She flushed hot then cold with shame, her inner thighs sticky with him. One of the benefits of his full demon status was that he could read her so easily. He swore he couldn't hear what she was thinking, but sometimes, in the night like this, she seriously doubted that he'd ever told her the truth.
Truth. It used to be simple, she thought, making herself lie still. If she got up now it might make him angry, he might think that she was rejecting him. And he could be so damn scary when he was angry. He never hit her, didn't slap her around, but sometimes he grabbed her too harshly; let his claws dig into her soft flesh so that tiny ribbons of blood appeared. He could kill her so easily; it would be like blowing out a single candle.
I miss my mother, she thought miserably, curling on her side. I miss Souta and jii-chan and my friends from school. They'll never know what happened to me if I don't go back. It's been three months since Inuyasha changed. They have to be worried sick about me.
Light snores were coming from him now and she decided to chance getting out of bed. She had to pee and if he woke up and found her missing she could use that for an excuse. Slowly, she edged to the side of their futon, his hand slipping away from her hip as she crawled away. He moved, snorting a little and turned on his belly. She sat still, waiting to make sure he stayed asleep. She loved him, she loved him with both pieces of her broken heart, but she hated him at the same time.
At first the only change the jewel had seemed to cause for him was his appearance. She'd rather thought the dog-ears would have disappeared; no other full blood youkai seemed to have ears like that. But they'd stayed, familiar soft white triangles that made her wistful for the first time she'd seen him, sleeping so peacefully and sealed to a tree. The violet facial markings, long jagged stripes, had taken some getting used to.
When she'd first seen them appear, she wanted to scream and run, thinking that his demon blood had overwhelmed him. His eyes had stayed golden, no insanity lurking there, no crimson flash to herald the coming of a terror. That was the only reason she'd stayed after the jewel exploded, the only reason she hadn't feared for her life.
Stupid idiot, she thought as she pulled on her clothing. Her old school fuku was tattered now; she didn't know why she kept putting it on every day. Kaede had offered to give her more suitable clothing but Kagome stubbornly refused. She would go home someday, she would get her own clothes and go back to school.
If she weren't so behind that she'd never catch up. She remembered when she'd tried to study while in the Sengoku Jidai, how hard she'd tried to keep current with her class work and be prepared for the endless make up tests and exams.
She'd barely managed to scrape by at the best of times. Hard to study when you're being chased by demons or trying to defeat a monster like Naraku. She couldn't study anymore. She missed the familiar feeling of it, that connection with the life on the other side of the well. Inuyasha had understood that, seen her books for what they were...an escape from him and his control over her. He'd burned them and after that Kagome studied no more.
When she'd screamed at him over it, he'd grabbed her by her hair and shook her hard. "You aren't going back there. You'll never see that damn school of yours again so you don't need the fucking books, do you?"
"What about my mother?" she'd cried, twisting at the end of his hand like some kind of trapped prey. That's what she was, that's how she felt. His grip only tightened and Kagome gasped, the pain of it making her see stars.
"What about my family? They're worried sick, I can feel it! Aren't you ever going to let me go back to see them again?"
He dropped her, shoving her hard to the ground so he could tower over her. "I'm your family now," he said harshly, folding his arms and glowering at her. "I'm the only one you need to see, I'm for damn sure the only one you need to make happy, got that? If you ever go down that well again, it will be when I say you can.
"You try to escape me and I swear to the gods, Kagome, I'll make you wish you hadn't. You'll sit there and you'll watch what I do to your 'family' as your punishment. The old man, your little brother, and especially your mother…you want them to suffer because you're too damn stupid to know your place? You want me to use my claws on them?"
Bastard, she thought to herself, leaving the little hut they had made their home. It was isolated, deep in the forest and for that she was grateful. At least it meant he didn't go into the village and terrorize everyone there. And it meant that no one had to hear her shameful screams at night, the way he made beg for him. It was slowly starting to break her, being treated like she was just his possession, his toy. That made her want to laugh, or it would have if it didn't make her want to cry.
Inuyasha, how did this ever go so wrong?
After relieving herself, Kagome thought she couldn't force herself to go back inside and lie down next to him. She knew the forest well enough to find her way to the village, she was allowed to go there whenever she wanted. He wouldn't like that she went out in the night, but he wouldn't go crazy if he found her at Kaede's. The old priestess was the only one who didn't look at her with horror and disgust or fear. Kaede remained calm even when Inuyasha was at his nastiest.
"Kaede-sama, why did the rosary break?"
"Ah, child," the old woman said sadly, stroking her hair as Kagome cried into her lap. "It was only meant to contain the power of a half-demon, your Inuyasha is now a full demon and far too strong. I cannot make another for you and it would probably mean your death to even try."
"Something needs to be done, I can't go on living like this," she wept, her tears soaking into the old woman's knee.
Kaede tipped her chin up to look into the young girl's eyes. "And…you love him still?"
Flushing, she nodded, unable to look the old woman in the eye. "And he has made you his?" Kagome wanted to bury her face from the shame of it, but she couldn't deny what the old woman knew. "You did not resist him?"
"No," she said, dropping the word like a poisoned pill from her lips. She'd intended to, but her body had betrayed her from the beginning. After he changed, he started watching her closely; she could feel his eyes on her and knew what he was after. After few days of that she'd thought she was going to go crazy.
Just get it over with, she'd raged silently. Rape me, kill me, whatever you're going to do, just do it!
He'd never tried to touch her before. She'd wondered about that in all their travels and laughed at herself now. Whatever had been holding him back was gone and finally one night she'd looked into his eyes and seen the darkness there and swallowed hard. She'd resolved herself to do what she needed to in order to survive, get back to her family somehow. No matter how brutal he wanted to be.
She didn't expect him to be easily satisfied and he wasn't, but she'd never expected he'd make her want him in return and teach her body pleasure. Or that he'd make her skin burn so hot she should leave scorch marks in the grass where he laid her.
Instead he mapped every inch of her body with his tongue and pursued her down long, endless nights of desire. He made her cry and he made her beg and he kissed her like a wildfire. She tasted her own blood when his fangs snagged her lips. And when he was finished with seduction, she had no strength left to resist him. His body plundered hers while Kagome's fingers went numb, pulling at his hair so hard he should have been bald.
Demons apparently had much stronger hair in addition to everything else and the silky strands never broke in her frenzied grip. He wasn't gentle with her, it hurt like hell and she tried not to cry out because it seemed to go on forever. Afterwards, he was breathing hard and ragged when he pushed himself up on his hands and stared into her face.
"You're mine," he said coldly. "I've claimed you, I've covered you with my scent and filled you with my seed. You belong to me, Kagome. Don't you ever forget it because I'll kill us both before I let you go."
She believed him, she still believed him even as her feet in their worn shoes carried her down to the village in the night. She was owned, she was bound; she was no longer the person she used to be. She had to find another way, escape from the demon he had become. She wanted to go home and forget there'd ever been a half demon, and a girl, and a mystical jewel that contained the power of four souls and made the man she loved into hell on earth.
"You'll kill us both before you let me go," she whispered, staring down at the sleeping village. "It might come to that, Inuyasha, it just might."