This is a repeat chapter for some of you. The first chapter accidentally contained both1 and 2,and the update took a full day to go through. So if you read the second chapter already, I'm sorry for the tease. I might consider doing chapter 3 before I finish the other story to make it up to you, but please don't get your hopes up.
Also, while a good deal of this story is "Yasha" telling his story, there is more interesting stuff to come. Please bear with me through the re-telling. At least you get to see his view of it, and her reactions. Finally, if you don't like AU fics, please don't stop reading. It's not necessarily AU. Kukuku...
Memoires of Rain
"In the forests of Eastern Japan -- before it was called Japan -- he ran. He ran from humans, he ran from demons. His mother had died only weeks after his fifth birthday, his father five years before on the very day he was born. His name was Inuyasha, and he was hanyou."
Kagome pinned her companion with a dubious look. "Inuyasha, hm? Don't suppose this 'half-demon' of yours had black hair and violet eyes, too? Since he seems to share a name with you, that is."
Yasha glared back at her. "Do you want to hear the story or not?"
"All right, all right," she sat back with an indulgent smile, "go on."
"Most dog demons have silver or white hair," he ground out with obvious irritation. "So no, his hair wasn't black and his eyes were yellow. Not that any of that matters."
"Of course it does! Every good story gives ample description of its main characters. How many books have you sold?" She shrunk back at his furious glare. "Sorry."
"He doesn't think much on his appearance -- it was the very thing that gave him away as an outsider. Inuyasha could have passed for a human were it not for his damned puppy ears--"
"Puppy ears? Oh, kawaii!"
Yasha ignored her, "and his clawed hands. He tried, in fact, to find a home with his mother's family but was locked away behind sealing scrolls and nearly starved to death. His father's vassal, Myouga, managed to free him by possessing a large boar and inciting it to crash into the storage shed that was Inuyasha's prison. After that, he had nowhere to go so he ran."
"Poor little boy! Why didn't Myouga take care of him?"
"Myouga did what he could but, as a flea demon, he was hardly in a position to take care of a hanyou whelp. In fact, Myouga was barely good for anything at all aside from being a source of information, occasional company, and annoying chatter." Yasha paused a moment to study his audience. "Come to think of it, I think the two of you would have gotten along wonderfully."
Kagome narrowed her eyes at him but otherwise ignored the jibe as she reached for a couple of crackers.
"As the years wore on, Inuyasha rapidly learned to take care of himself: he hunted his dinner, slept above ground in trees, and made use of his claws to defend himself from predators. By the time he reached adolescence he could bring down enemies three times his size with a single swipe of his claws.
"It was around this time that he met the first of two women who would forever change his life."
"Of course," Kagome rolled her eyes. "Every good fairy tale has a love interest."
Yasha paused in his tale, growling with frustration. "I knew this was a bad idea."
"No, no please," she apologized with ill-concealed amusement. "Go on."
"This isn't a fairy tale, woman. It's a history."
"Yes, a history with demons."
"You don't believe in demons?"
She remained silent, as though the answer should have been painfully obvious.
Against his better judgment, Yasha proceeded with the story. "She was a priestess in the village neighboring his forest, a silent beauty with sad, haunted eyes. Like Inuyasha, her only living relative was a sibling and she, too, knew what it was to feel isolated from the world around her.
"At first they were friendly enemies. He'd taken an interest in a jewel of immense power, the care of which she was entrusted with. For many weeks he attempted to steal this jewel from her, and each time she would pin him to a tree with her arrows. Kikyo was a master archer."
Kagome blinked at his wistful tone, amused by the way he seemed to emote along with the story.
"After a while, Inuyasha asked Kikyou why she refused to kill him, and she replied, 'because we are the same, you and I.' Naturally this pissed him off, and his gruff dismissal hurt the priestess. In that moment, when Kikyou's sad eyes turned toward him with such defeat, Inuyasha's heart opened up for the first time. It was a tiny crack, but it was there.
"They began to meet in the evenings, watching the sun set over her village while they discussed the challenges in their lives, their dreams, and on rare occasions, their families. Kikyou longed to be a mother, because her own had died when she was ten years old and so many years spent raising her younger sister gave her just enough practice to wish for a child of her own. Inuyasha just wanted to be accepted. He was tired of running and living just to exist."
Kagome's eyes misted over and she sniffled a bit. "That's so sad. Please, tell me they ended up together."
Yasha looked away, staring hard into the flames of his hearth. "No, they didn't. Not at first.
"On one of their sunset evenings, Kikyou suggested a way to make both their dreams come true. If Inuyasha wished on the jewel to become human she believed the orb would disappear forever, leaving her free to pursue the normal life of a village woman. As a human, Inuyasha could become her husband and the father of her children. Having fallen in love with the priestess, and wanting nothing more than to take the sadness from her eyes, Inuyasha easily agreed to her plan; they arranged to meet the next morning to make the wish."
"Something went wrong," Kagome surmised, finding herself increasingly drawn towards Yasha's strange story.
"You could say that," he answered her with a bitter snort. "What Kikyou hadn't told Inuyasha was that she was nursing an evil bandit by the name of Onigumo. He'd developed an obsession with her, to the point that he sacrificed his evil soul to a hoard of demons. They gave him a new, more powerful body making him into the half-demon known to history as Naraku."
"That name sounds familiar," Kagome whispered. "I don't know where from, though. Certainly never knew anyone in a gang when I was growing up, except—" she stopped herself, blushing a bit. "Nevermind."
Yasha's eyebrows rose at the interruption. "If you insist on interrupting me, then you might as well make it worth my while."
She sighed, hesitating a moment. "It's just that… there is a three-year period of my life I have no memories of. I was in some kind of accident when I was eighteen. Despite my mother's attempts to fill in the blanks, I never did remember the events of those three years on my own. So I suppose it's possible that I knew a Naraku back then. Still, given what it means in my language…"
"You don't know this Naraku," he spoke firmly, "and for that you should be eternally grateful."
"Real asshole, hm?" Kagome remarked lightly, having shaken off her surprise at the name.
"He tricked them both, starting with Kikyou. Taking the form of Inuyasha, he asked her her to meet earlier in the morning, at dawn. But when Kikyou arrived in the fields to find herself standing alone, he attacked her, slashing her shoulder with his copied claws and stealing the jewel from her hands. In Inuyasha's voice, he told her that he'd never had any intention of becoming human, and then he ran off to replace the jewel in the shrine.
"Later that morning, Inuyasha waited patiently beneath the God tree just outside Kikyou's village. Naraku reappeared, this time disguised as Kikyou, and attacked with her arrows. He taunted Inuyasha in a voice filled with loathing. 'You honestly thought I'd give the jewel to a worthless half-demon like you?' In a rage born of heartache and embarrassment, Inuyasha attacked the village, stormed the shrine, and took the jewel for himself. He had every intention of using it to become a full demon.
"As he fled toward the forest, Kikyou caught up to him. She, herself, was filled with a rage of betrayal and with her last bit of strength, shot a sealing arrow into Inuyasha's heart. He was pinned to the God Tree, in a sleep that would last fifty years. Moments later, surrounded by the villagers and at her young sister's side, Kikyou ordered that the jewel be burned with her body… and she died."
A soft sniffling echoed around the room, bringing Yasha's attention back to his houseguest. "What's wrong with you now?"
Kagome blinked away her tears in confusion. "How can you tell that story without shedding a single tear? Are you completely heartless?"
Gritting his teeth together, Yasha closed his eyes. "It's my story, woman. I'm not about to go bawling over it like a little girl."
"Yeah, fine, whatever," she snapped. "And to think I was really starting to feel this story."
"Do you want to keep crying and complaining, or do you want me to finish?"
He rolled his eyes and shifted in his chair, once again turning his gaze to the fireplace. "That was only the prologue, little woman."
Ignoring his rude tone, Kagome made herself more comfortable on the settee. "All right then, please go on."
"As I was saying, Inuyasha slept for fifty years…"