A/N: Yes, this story is back. No, it will not be just an edit for typos. Since I'm in full writing mode for the next few months, I've decided to re-create and finish this story, my baby that was my first fanfiction ever written. Nothing is rehashed old text. Everything is sparkling new and improved. Please enjoy!
This takes place around the final act of Inuyasha (with some timelines shifted and events twisted around).
Kikyo is dead, and everyone left behind feels a sense of loss and pain, especially Kagome and Inuyasha. Fearing that Inuyasha will never be able to let go of his longing for his beloved, and worrying that she is nothing more than a hindrance to her friends and allies now that her powers have vanished, Kagome struggles to overcome her terror of losing her place in this world.
Naraku has vanished without a trace, and with each day that passes, everyone's doubts, fears, and darkness come to light. With their enemy still out there and time growing short for those tied to his fate, the bonds of friendship, love, and trust will be put to the ultimate test.
My Hatred, My Obsession
Chapter 1: How I Fall
Far below the roiling of the storm that stabbed the night sky with bolts of lightning, the river roared and snarled as it tore apart the land. Torrents of freezing rain pounded the surface of the water, joining forces to rip away rock and earth, digging deep with icy talons to pull trees and plants into the vortex.
Even the mightiest fell. Even the strongest. Their roots, though buried deep and strengthened by time, gave into the inevitability of their demise. As they were drawn into the chaos, those same roots pulled their sister trees with them, the bonds which had once made them stronger now a fatal weakness.
Kagome took an unsteady step forward towards the ledge, sopping wet mud and clay providing too little purchase on the ground beneath her feet. How easy it would be to fall. A single wrong move; one small misstep, and her body would hurtle to the darkness below where it would become just another part of the pandemonium. The river wouldn't stop; the storm would continue raging. Her death would mean nothing, and her broken mangled body would blend with the water until it was no more than a part of the debris.
As the wind howled and moaned in agony, Kagome watched it beat against the canopy of trees above. The wailing seemed to call to her, making her wish that she could open her mouth and and add her screams of terror to the grim and mournful song. Inside her mind, she cried and cursed, writhing and beating against her chains, pulling and tugging at her feet to stop them from moving her any closer to the edge.
"Relax, priestess," the creature inside her spoke with her own voice. "It will be over quickly."
She watched from the pitch black darkness of her prison as the thing controlling her body took another step through the mud. Kagome struggled and squirmed, willing her arms and legs to listen, begging her body to obey her. Panic rose like thick bile in her throat. Tears streamed down her face, blending with the falling rain, dripping from her cheeks then falling and shattering against the soggy earth.
Someone! Anyone! Help!
She opened her mouth, but no voice emerged. Only the creature spoke now. Like a puppeteer, it pulled her strings, moving her jaw and shaping her lips into words that stabbed like knives into Kagome's resolve.
"Why are you resisting this? What do you have left to fight for?" The creature asked. "The well is broken. You cannot go home. The hanyou mourns another and only sees her when he looks at you. And your friends? You are nothing more than a burden to them now."
That wasn't true! Even if her powers were gone, surely there was a way to get them back! Inuyasha was just grieving. He was in pain. They all were. Kikyo had meant something to each and every one of them. It would take time to accept she was gone. They still had a mission, a responsibility to defeat Naraku.
"Kikyo left her final will to you, but you can no longer carry it out. You're powerless. Useless. Imagine it, Kagome," her voice cooed in a dark sinister drawl, "imagine what would happen if you had to fight Naraku in the pathetic state you're in now. What do you think would happen? You're unneeded — a dull weapon, a dead weight. They will fight to protect you, and they will all be killed."
Let me go! Get out of my body and my head!
"No, I think not. Whatever false hope you have of stopping me, I suggest you abandon it. I have you now, priestess, and nothing short of death will separate us. Go back to your allies, if you dare. Step into their camp. I will use this body to rip them limb from limb."
I won't let you!
"Just like you won't let me jump? Just like you stopped me a moment ago?"
The creature flinched, grabbing at Kagome's upper arm. Blood leaked forth, blooming like flower petals in a circle against her white priestess' robe.
"Bastard actually had the guts to hurt this body," the creature spat, turning around.
A small distance away, lightning illuminated Sesshoumaru's impassive face. He stood unnaturally still, like a sculpted marble statue. Only the depths of his glittering golden eyes told the story of his silent struggle, fury emanating from him in dark waves that strangled Kagome's senses and made it hard to breathe. He held one arm up, blood soaking his hand from the tip of his claws to his knuckles.
Kagome's heart twisted at the look of promised vengeance in his eyes.
For so long, he had been their enemy. For so long, she'd hoped that he and Inuyasha could understand each other. There was no stronger bond than family. She hoped and prayed they could find it in their hearts to see each other as brothers rather than rivals for their father's power. Recently they'd forged a tentative alliance, and Kagome had a chance to understand a little bit more about Sesshoumaru.
Proud and strong. A man with an unshakable will and frightening sense of justice. To seem him standing there, unable to move, bound in shackles that her power had created, left her feeling like the blackest of traitors.
Sesshoumaru…I'm sorry…I'm so sorry…
If only he hadn't tried to help her, none of this would have happened. If only she'd been strong enough to fight off this monster's influence. If only her powers still obeyed her. If only she hadn't let her sadness lead her to wander off alone tonight.
"That's right. You're responsible," the creature smiled. "Now take responsibility."
For a split second, Sesshoumaru moved his left arm, but as soon as he did, the creature inside of Kagome raised its head and shouted in her voice:
The command boomed out between them, and Sesshoumaru went still once more. On Kagome's left shoulder, a small crescent moon glowed bright against the murky night, a testament to the creature's momentary triumph.
Her heart went out to him.
Subdued. By a human.
She couldn't imagine how this ate away at his pride.
Green venom oozed from his claws, only a small testament to how right she was. At the sight, the creature sneered.
"Stubborn, just like this foolish girl. Both of you disgust me. But, no matter." The creature's scowl turned into a sickly sweet smile. "Don't worry, Lord of the West. The priestess will not survive the fall. Soon, you will be released. In the meantime, I suggest you enjoy this moment. Let it humble you." Kagome's voice lowered to a dark pitch. "You are not the greatest power in this land. I will not allow you or anyone to lift a finger to destroy Naraku, for his fate has been written and decided for centuries."
Sesshoumaru's jaw clenched. More venom manifested, steam wafting around it as hot acid met freezing rain.
"Still resisting? In that case, watch and learn. Let me show you how powerless all of you are."
Kagome beat against the walls, trying to force a tangible scream out of her throat but only feeling numbness in return. What was this thing? A youkai? Another agent of Naraku's? Where had it even come from? She had to keep fighting against it, or —
The creature moved her feet again. Her body tipped sideways as a chunk of land sank and broke away beneath her sandals. The muddy bits of soil and rock fell to the murky waters below, blending and dissolving into the water, helpless to fight against their fate. The wind around her swelled, sending a spray of dark mud to stain her ruined red hakama. In the flashing purples and violets of lightning, it looked like black blood, no different than the crimson liquid flowing freely from her arm.
Again, Kagome surged against her bonds. She squeezed her eyes shut and tried summon even a shred of her power, but no matter what she did, nothing happened. Her strength — her very soul, it seemed — remained dormant and silent as stone. The creature laughed, a horrible dark cackle that didn't belong to her.
"Embrace your end, priestess," the creature smirked and pitched her body off the edge. For a moment, Kagome watched in helpless terror as the sky whirled and switched places with the ground.
No! I can't die like this! Someone help me! Help me, please!
Inside of her, the creature chuckled.
Wind and rain slapped against her cheeks, yet she didn't feel the cold. In the darkness, she felt nothing but how frail and crippled she was, and all she could think of were the consequences of her death. Would her friends defeat Naraku without her? Would they be able to rid this world of the Shikon? Would her family ever understand why she never returned home? Would anyone find her body after this?
Would her death even matter in the end?
She hit the water below with enough force to disorient her. Instantly, her senses returned. Frigid water closed over her head. Refusing to give up, she kicked out with her feet and surged upwards. She'd always been a strong swimmer. If she could just stay conscious and avoid major obstacles in the current, she could make her way to shore.
She broke the surface with a gasp, her eyes searching for anything she could grab on to to slow down or help her stay afloat. But the longer she stayed in the water, the more the cold eroded and ate at her strength. Her arms and legs grew heavy. The water threw her around, different currents fighting over her weakening form like a pack of rabid dogs over a scrap of meat. The river's teeth stabbed into her, frigid icy daggers that seemed to rip away her skin.
No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't avoid the rocks and debris. Stones smashed into her knees and elbows. Water poured into her mouth and ears. Torrents of it blinded her and pressed like a vice around her chest, crushing the air out of her lungs and squeezing until her vision went dark.
Still desperate to survive, Kagome grabbed at nearby roots of trees recently exposed by the disastrous flood. But, her hands were wet and rigid, fingers numb and blue. Between coughing and sputtering, she screamed when she failed to hold on to anything. Each attempt either bruised or cut her palms, ripping away flesh and nails.
Once more, the river pushed her under.
Once more, she surfaced to rebel against it.
And then, something slammed into her back. Pain like she'd never felt in her entire life exploded through her arm and shoulder. The water around her bled crimson, and as it sprayed up into her mouth, she tasted her own blood. When she tried to use the arm to stay afloat, she felt something crack. The agony of it consumed her.
The river roared and hissed, its clammy hands pulling her into a world of blurred sound and smeared color. In Kagome's last moments of awareness, the answer to her earlier question whispered across her thoughts.
If she truly was this weak, then her death wouldn't matter in the fight against Naraku. Just like the soil, she would be washed away, disappearing in the conflict of the feudal era without a trace of her passing.