Synopsis: A life of fearless battles gone, Kagome returns to her former life alone, though she is now plagued with broken memories of her past. She never imagined she'd fall into a black existence - a dark shadow of her past self. She thought hope deserted her…until her treasured friends came for her in one final trial of fate. IK. MS. Not an alternate reality.

Author's Note: My first Inuyasha fic. I decided I needed to take a breather from all the Rurouni Kenshin fics I'm in the middle of. (sigh)

This is all in first-person…I plan on making the entire thing in it as, well. There won't be any switching in between 3rd and 1st person. I don't want to confuse myself, or the readers. (thumbs up)

I'm not sure how long this will be either…at least six chapters…probably more, though. I'll just have to see.

But! Onward with the story. Hope everyone enjoys.

Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha. Nope, not me.


Black Existence

Chapter 1

"Shuttered Fear"

Kagome's POV

I couldn't breathe. I couldn't speak. I couldn't move.

I could feel the beginnings of a panic attack building in my constricted chest, reaching its curling fingers of anxiety out to infest my mind with a raging sweep of tumultuous terror and mind-numbing doubt.

What the hell was I doing?

What the hell was I thinking?

Who the hell have I turned into?

Definitely not someone I recognized anymore.

I, Kagome Higurashi, had turned into a stranger.

Sucking in rapid, short breaths of trepidation, I leaned over slightly, clutching my cramped stomach with one hand and placing the other on the cool surface of the wooden vanity. My head swam as little back dots swirled in my vision. My face was sweating causing my flawlessly applied makeup to slip in its perfection. I swallowed roughly and let out a whimper of self-doubt.

Closing my eyes to ward off the reality surrounding me with mocking surrealism, my muscles jumped instinctively when I heard a knock on the broad door behind me. I straightened hurriedly, running my trembling hands down the front my now wrinkled dress and attempted to blink the blinding unease from my wide eyes.

"Come in," I answered a little hoarsely.

The door to the small, enclosed room opened quickly as a slim woman with short brown hair darted in, closing the door swiftly behind her. Her face creased with a strained smile as her gaze darted over to my frozen form, analyzing me with acute and knowing eyes.

This woman, my mother, could always tell when something was wrong with me. Some sixth sense, I suppose. It really was rather irritating. Especially at a moment like this, when I really, really didn't feel like expressing my inner-most fears. Stupid, I know.

"Are you okay?" she asked with narrowed eyes, spearing me with her bright gaze.

"I'm fine."

She gave me an odd look, lifting an eyebrow in question as if telling me she knew otherwise.

"Seriously, Mom. I'm fine," I managed in a soft tone.

She hesitated, torn between pulling the truth from me physically or just letting it slid for now. Her fingers clenched the pale pink purse in her hands as she sighed in defeat.

Backing away from me, she put her hand on the gold metal doorknob and turned it, pulling the door open a fraction.

"You have ten minutes before it starts, Kagome," she told me quietly.

"Okay."

My mother looked at me a final time, searching my expression for some clue of my poorly concealed distress. Biting the inside of her cheek with impatience, she stepped out of the room and closed the door behind her, leaving me once more to my own rabid thoughts.

My breathing quickened again, by hands clenching at my sides into small, tense fists. I turned slowly, almost lackadaisically in my tall white pumps and came to a halt directly in front of the smooth full-length mirror propped against the soft lavender wallpaper. A stranger might have called me beautiful if glancing at my face now. Maybe even a friend may say the same.

Though, like my mother, some would look past the pretty shell I had painted myself in today and notice the dark circles underneath my eyes partially covered with creamy foundation, the downward slope of my chapped lips, the dulled hue of my plain blue eyes, and my ghastly pale complexion slightly darkened by the fine grained powder I had been dusted with this morning. And, though washed and pinned up elegantly in a sophisticated coil by a professional, my hair did not shine with its usual luster, but instead sat limply, lifelessly on my head.

Definitely not what I imagined I would look like when I was a child on a day like this. A day made for dreams. For a beautiful future. For everlasting love.

No.

I looked dreadfully horrid on this day of supposed glorified imaginings.

My wedding day.

A wedding day of realized nightmares, it seemed.

Shuddering, I memorized the way my flawless dress hung a little on my thin frame. Having been slightly plumper when I bought the dress, I stared at the folded wrinkles which sparkled absently with opalescent beads and sequins as it sagged flaccidly on my form, reminding me of a decorated potato sack. The jewelry I had around my neck reminded me of an old lost aunt who decked herself to the nines in an exhaustingly tacky manner.

I wanted to wilt onto the floor in a moody puddle of tears and damaged dreams. I wanted to slip away from this humungous disaster of a wedding. Disaster of a relationship.

For the millionth time, I questioned my teetering sanity. How could I have accepted this heinous and preposterous path into my uncertain future? Maybe something had been slipped into the orange juice I choked down the fateful morning of the proposal which acted as my catalyst to this hell. To this awful mistake.

But, no.

I knew my reasons for accepting the proposal. My innocent breakfast was not the vicious kink in the story that is my life.

No.

My downward spiral began when I climbed out of the musty, old well for the final time, tears blinding my wavering vision, my heart violently slashed into a thousand pieces much like shikon jewel after I pierced the fragile stone with my erroneous arrow.

That day of days…

The day that broke me.

Body and spirit.

What's that phrase again? You never really know what you have until it is gone. Yeah. I can honestly say, I never imagined how acute, how real the soul-ripping pain of being forever separated from those kind, brave beings of the distant past.

I didn't know.

Blinking back the rush of tears that threatened to spill from my dull eyes, I heaved a shuddered sigh of remorse and wrapped my arms around my upper body in a form of empty comfort.

I still carried the pale, pink jewel of shadowed pasts with me. Extremely dangerous. Extremely stupid. But, I don't know what else to do. I guess I'm still stained by the realized horror of my worst fear coming true and the bleakness I felt when it happened.

His refusal of me.

Weakly, I sucked in a desperate breath as I closed my eyes in agony. Before my departure, I had somehow duped myself into believing that he would forsake his past for me…forsake his demon heritage…forsake his former love. Deluding myself, I had raised my mind with false hopes of triumph, only fall inwardly into a blubbering heap of crushing heartache when what I always feared came true.

He refused.

I know now as I had always known that he would say no and disappear in the twisted world that was his reality. How I managed to pretend otherwise, I'll never know. But, it almost sent me dangerously over the edge of sanity. How stupid I became. How childish.

In a move of desperation, I fled that world after my duties had been fulfilled, and had somehow sealed the mouth of the well with a powerful, impenetrable barrier with the help of the shikon jewel, prohibiting passage between the two worlds. I'm still not sure how I did it. I'm not even sure I give a damn.

It's almost easier to know I can't go back through no matter how much I want. And know that he cannot come though either.

But the problem is…sometimes I still see them. Sometimes when I'm walking down the street, I'll hear the innocent giggle of joyous amusement from a certain fox youkai. I might catch a glimpse of a long black ponytail swaying in the breeze, belonging to a certain youkai exterminator. And there's always the soft, guilty exclamations of wounded pride from an overzealous monk whose fingers became too familiar.

I think that's what kills me the most. Seeing them, but not really seeing them. Hearing them, but not really hearing them.

The vast empty shell of a person I had become was weak. So weak that I had talked myself into this loveless marriage with an old, cherished friend. Oh God, I felt like a heartless bitch.

Poor Hojo. He didn't deserve any of this. He had always been naively sweet and unsuspecting of me. Oh, how I wish I had refused him that morning.

I'm so sorry.

Biting my lower lip between my teeth, I slowly opened my eyes and lifted my gaze to peer at myself in the honest reflection of the mirror. A tear leaked slowly from the corner of my left eye, trailing a narrow path of glistening mascara. I stared bitterly at my gaunt face as a bubble of self-disgust festered in my churning belly. A blink of color flashed in my peripheral vision. Slowly sliding my gaze to the side from my own anxious face in the mirror, I stared at the reflected image behind me in a haze of red and white.

He looked the same as he always had. His long, snow white hair falling in a cascade of shadows around his face, the old beloved rat skin clothing bathing his body in a familiar sea of red. Yellow eyes flashed at me, unspoken impatience and confusion sealed within the beautiful orbs. The aching familiarity of his rigid stance froze my muscles with steely accuracy, making me want to cry out at the unfairness of it all.

I hated my rampant, yearning imagination for conjuring his image before my eyes on this day.

Why?

Why is this happening? Punishment?

Swallowing, I tried to peal my eyes from him, but I couldn't. He was so captivating.

But, the image did something it had never done before.

Oh God, he breathed. The subtle rise and fall of his chest made my knees weak with trepidation and my skin crawl with tingles of perception. His eyes narrowed to small slits, spearing my gaunt visage with an accusing anger. An anger that in no way could be imagined.

Whirling so fast my legs tangled in the voluminous folds of the flowing dress, I almost toppled over. With bated breath, I watched as the being in front of me cocked an arrogant eyebrow and snared his lips upward in a curl of disgust.

"Keh," Inuyasha muttered under his breath. "What the hell are you wearing?"

Real.

Inuyasha was real. Standing in front of me as if we had never parted ways. I wanted to shout derisively 'What the hell are you doing here?' but my lips ceased to function properly. As did my lungs. My vision wavered and my muscles turned to malleable jelly.

And I fainted.


Author's Note: And what should everyone be doing now? Review, of course and tell me if you are enjoying this story so far. Helps me gather up the inspiration and will power to write the next chapter. So, yeah. Review.