Disclaimer: I would if I could, but I don't and Rumiko Takahashi does.

A/N: Seriously, don't hurt me. It's the penguins you want, not me.



"The Monster"

It was going to be one hell of a night.

The light flickered on and off sporadically, and instead of irritating Dr. Higurashi, it only lulled her further into drowsiness. Random images appeared on the projector screen, and the buzzing of the machine as well as the snap-snapping of the slides only made things worse. The images, however, kept her wide awake.

In one, a woman was sprawled across concrete floors; her neck was twisted and her body was bruised. Dr. Higurashi clicked to the next slide. The second one was of a man who had been shot several times. Precisely six times, and the next few images were close-ups of the individual wounds. The doctor paled, and clicked rapidly to the next few slides. The rest were just as horrifying and sickening, if not more so. She turned off the projector.

Dr. Higurashi scribbled several notes on a binder paper. The people in the images had several things in common: they were all killed brutally, they all had held some power within the government, and they were all killed by the same person. Dr. Higurashi lifted a manila folder with the word "Client" written on the top.

Naraku Kumozu.

Dr. Higurashi felt a menacing chill shake her body. The small thumbnail picture of the client was attached to a corner of the folder, and she found herself irrevocably staring at his eyes. They weren't beautiful or haunting, even though the man's features could be considered as such. Dr. Higurashi had never seen a criminal's eyes look the way his did—eerily calm and intelligent.

This man wasn't insane, guilt-ridden, or even bloodthirsty like her other clients. Those criminal eyes showed something much more disturbing. Naraku was a cold and calculating man, and he killed more out of a personal vendetta than hatred or insanity. He killed without mercy, but without the excitement of the kill coursing through his veins. Naraku killed emotionlessly, as if he had done it so many times that he'd lost the thrill. And he'd kill many more just the same.

The doctor shuddered.

She definitely needed her caffeine fix, and she needed it now. Being inside the mind of a youkai criminal was draining—not to mention, disturbing. But no one else would do it. At the age of seventeen she'd flunked out of all her math classes and realized that she was no real doctor. Her good sense, strong will, and affinity for listening to people eventually led her to be one of the best psychiatrists in the world.

Except, she'd never worked with a human being before. Her clients had to be declawed, neutralized of their abilities, sanitized, and put through anti-danger procedures before they came within a mile of her. And she wasn't complaining.

Dr. Higurashi flipped through Naraku's folder and came to a list of names:

Kazuo, Yomata

Takaharu, Rei

Zanshou, Tomi

Zanshou, Yumiko


The list went on for about another two pages, concluding with the name "unknown, Kikyo." He couldn't have killed all those people. Dr. Higurashi's conscience told her that no one could commit such atrocities. Her mind told her that he can; he was a demon. It was in his capability to kill the whole nation if he wanted to, and wreak havoc all over the world if he wished. She hated to think of such things, but it was true. She'd spent nearly three years researching the species and conversing with them. There was no doubt in her mind that they were capable of such things. Dr. Higurashi would never forget the day the demons "came out of the closet" and demanded equal treatment and rights as humans.

It almost made her scoff. They didn't want equality. They wanted total ruin and chaos through domination. Except for some. Some were willing to get along with the humans and play by the rules.

What was stopping them?

Dr. Higurashi massaged her temples. She hadn't slept the night before, and she was certain to pull an all-nighter tonight as well. Demons were a mystery—a dangerous one.

She laid her head down on the desk. How did these demons get caught, anyway? It would be stupid to think that mere policemen could catch them. Demons could take out the entire army if they wanted to. She knew that there were bounty hunters; demons and half-demons who worked against bad ones. But Why? The doctor's eyes grew heavy.

It made no sense.

Suddenly, the lights were no longer flickering infrequently. It was pitch dark inside the room. Dr. Higurashi lifted her head up, frightened. She reached for the small emergency device that was attached to her intercom, but it was no longer there.

Nothing was there.

Her hands groped for a desk, for a handle, for a solid surface, anything. But nothing was there. She let out a feeble and broken cry and looked around, though she could not see anything.

"What's happening?" she whispered. No answer.

"What's happening?" she called out, louder this time. Still, no answer. Then, she yelled.

No answer. Not even her own voice. Dr. Higurashi shivered; it was so cold. It was so empty. A terrible memory flashed through her mind, and she instantly recognized the feeling. She'd felt the same thing on that day. Her breathing became haggard, and she turned around.

There, not very far from her, was the sight that had been haunting her all her life. And forever would haunt her.

"Papa…" she whispered breathlessly. "I thought you were happy."

He didn't answer her; he couldn't. Suspending in the air out of nowhere was a long, thick knot of rope tied in a circle at the end. Dr. Higurashi's father's neck hung snugly there.

She walked up to him, grasping his hand. As expected, it was cold and limp in hers. She pressed it to her forehead and cried. Broken sobs shook her body, and in the darkness she felt so alone.

"Mama missed you so much," she said tremulously. "She wouldn't stop crying. Why wouldn't she stop crying? I tried so hard, but she just couldn't. But she did her best. We all did, Souta, grandpa, and I. We missed you. How could you be so selfish?"

"It's simple. All humans are."

Dr. Higurashi whirled around, and the pale face of Naraku appeared before her. "You!"

In seconds, he was in front of her, caressing her face. Dr. Higurashi shuddered. "What did I tell you? People are naturally inclined to be selfish, bloodthirsty savages. And they think they should get rid of my kind?" He put his lips next to her ear tenderly. "They should really think about exterminating their own kind first, and kill themselves like your father did. We're all the same, Doctor."

Suddenly, light flooded the room for several seconds, and Dr. Higurashi jerked her head up with a gasp. Her father wasn't there, Naraku wasn't there, and everything was the way it was supposed to be.

"Damn it," she massaged her neck gingerly, "what a nightmare."

She glanced at the clock and was shocked that it read 1:00 A.M. She was sure she'd slept through the whole night, which would have been a good thing. At least she could've looked forward to a bright morning. Now she was faced with a dilemma: going home or staying in to work? The thought of staying in the stuffy room made her nauseous, and the thought of going outside in the dark made her stomach revolt even more so.

But that dream…. She had to get out of the office.

With a frustrated sigh, Dr. Higurashi grabbed her car keys and slipped on her coat. Her car wasn't too far away, and if anything happened… Dr. Higurashi grabbed the emergency device and left.

Dr. Higurashi frowned. Her car wasn't parked in front of the building as usual. That's strange… she could've sworn that she had parked it in her usual spot. Her heart pounded in her chest as she looked around for her car; she hated being outside this late.

It was across the parking lot, on the other street. Dr. Higurashi swore viciously inside her head and tried to ignore the paranoia that tiptoed across her mind. It was no use panicking. She'd just have to be calm and in control.

Dr. Higurashi decided to run.

When she got several feet away from her car, she started to hear muffled screams. Dr. Higurashi stopped dead in her tracks and turned her head.

Kami-sama, please don't let it be…

Nearly a block away, she could see two dark figures. Dr. Higurashi didn't wait long to see one of them impaled with sharp claws before she ripped the front of her car door open and started the engine.

"Come on, come on," she urged the car.

The car started, but when she looked up—he was there. A demon.

With long white hair and glowing amber eyes, the demon stared at her with dangerous amusement. She didn't hesitate. Dr. Higurashi pushed the gas pedal as hard as she could, and winced when the car collided with something. Swerving away, she drove on and didn't question whatever it was that she hit.

A split second twinge of guilt, however, made her look in the rearview mirror. She saw him huddled on the ground, apparently very hurt and wounded. She couldn't make out what he was doing, but her conscience told her that she had hurt a living being. Without knowing it, she slowed down.

"Idiot," a voice hissed inside her mind, "he's a demon. Just leave."

She looked back in the rearview mirror again. He was hurt—badly. Dr. Higurashi groaned in frustration and anger. She had meant to save her own life, not kill off somebody else's.

"Damn it!" she swore.

Dr. Higurashi swerved the car around, and stopped in front of the demon. Getting out of the car was a hard feat, but once she did, Dr. Higurashi realized that walking up to him was even harder.

"A-are you alright?"

He looked up at her, eyes flashing. "You shouldn't have come back."

Dr. Higurashi took a step back. "What?"

"I said," he got to his feet, "you shouldn't have come back."

Dr. Higurashi's next thought was cut off when pain seared all over her head and neck like electricity. Then, it was total darkness for her. The man looked around him and sighed.

Guess it was time to dispose of the body. Humans can make such a mess.

Ending note: a big thank you to my beta-reader, Numisma. Now I'm going to plug her two one-shots! My most favorite of hers is Selective Memory ( http:www . fanfiction . net / s / 2125905/1/). And the second one you should read is Alea Jacta Est ( http:www . fanfiction . net / s / 2199495/1/)