A/N: blah blah, blah blah blah blah. Neener neener boo boo. This surely must add about 10-20 words into my wordcount. Hope you guys enjoy the chapter.


Chapter Two

Murder's Acquaintance

"We will start the sanitization process shortly."

Inuyasha's sensitive ears picked up several whirrings of mechanical devices as he looked around the white room, dizzying from the blinding sheen of light that reflected off the wall. Good thing he got rid of his claustrophobia a long time ago because the walls were certainly coming closer and closer to each other by the second. Deciding that his trail of thought was going to lead to some serious damage to his mental state, he decided not to think of enclosed places too much.

There were no windows in the room, and the door that led the way out blended into the bleached walls. Only a small, insignificant yellow button that lay innocently—almost as if misplaced—on a random place on the wall was the key to opening the door.

Inuyasha shifted on the white plastic chair uncomfortably, feeling his skin prickle at the scent of chemicals and medicine. He could almost feel them seep through his pores, like a cool needle touching the surface of his skin. Oddly, the chemical fumes reminded him of his mother. Of that one night and the look on his brother's face…

"Please take off your shirt."

At the sound of the command, Inuyasha grunted out of his contemplations and began to remove the "borrowed" scrubs shirt. It wasn't difficult; the flimsy material practically slid off of him. The guy he took it from was easily twice his size in weight. Inuyasha's back muscles tensed at the sensation of exposure—it felt like zero degrees in the goddamn room. He deposited the shirt on a lengthy stainless steel table, then crossed his arms.

"Please be still while we take some blood tests."

Inuyasha watched a mechanical slinky move towards him, but he was more interested in the sharp needle that extended out the end of it. The needle's tip looked thick, and he nearly wanted to close his eyes when it got too close to his skin. Don't be a chicken-shit, Inuyasha told himself. He'd gone through worse things, anyway. Or rather, he'd done worse things to others. Seeing it was almost as good as experiencing it, right? The closer the needle got, the less he was sure.

"Please breathe normally."

He let out a shuddering gasp as the needle inserted itself into his arm. He felt a stone-numbing sensation freeze his arm rigid, and it lasted even after the needle retreated. Inuyasha closed his eyes for a brief second, and when he opened them his skin was met with another sharp sensation shooting up his arm.

"Oh, shit!" He cursed. "What the fuck!"

"Please be still."

Inuyasha glared at the hovering glass-covered speakers above his head. "I hate you."

"Please be still."

He let out a whimper-groan as the second needle left his arm. This time, he stared at the other needles surrounding him suspiciously.

Just when he thought he was safe— "Please remove your pants."

He looked at the voices above him with his mouth agape. "You have got to be kidding me."

Suddenly, ominous whirring sounds jerked Inuyasha's attention away from the crazy voices to several tube-like machines positioned cleverly on the wall, and Inuyasha could see that they were targeted at several important places—his head, his crotch and his stomach.

"Please remove your—"

"Shit," he muttered as he fumbled with the scrubs' strings. "No need to tell me twice."



When Kagome thumbed through her newest client's folder, a puzzled frown creased her forehead and her lips pinched in a thoughtful pout.

Her job was to psychoanalyze killers. Demonic killers. Impressive, wasn't it? Except, in order to do her job she needed evidence of the killings. Without evidence, there was nothing substantial to analyze. Kagome was, sad to say, disappointed that there were no pictures, not even a summary, and no long list of random names belonging to random, well-known faces—hit lists.

She should have been happy. It wasn't as if she wanted to see the victims, anyway. Inside her mind's eye, Kagome shuddered at the various, flashing images of bloody bodies sprawled on top of each other and skulls with flesh dripping from the grey-yellow bone, and her stomach lurched at the macabre train of thought.

But this case… this case was too different. Absolutely no evidence of his murders was there, even though she had been told by an investigator that he was reputed to be the best. Kagome worried her lower lip. Better than Naraku?

No way.

A shiver crawled up her spine. If he was reputed to be the best killer, then Kagome sure didn't believe it. Unless he was really clean and amazingly efficient, something she doubted entirely. Most of her clients had been cold-blooded killers, but angry and reckless; only a few were as calculating and terrible as Naraku. And even he had a record.

Kagome flipped a page – the only page – over, and with a sigh, closed the manila folder. Nothing. Just a report on the hospital he had tried to set explosives to. Emphasis on the tried.

"Find anything?"

Kagome jumped at the new voice and looked up to see a smooth, enormous smile and an all too familiar face.

"Miroku!" Kagome exclaimed, her eyes wandering back to the pictures of the "crime scene," which consisted of a perfectly un-exploded hospital and a very unhappy-looking man with long, dark hair. Kagome wondered if black was his natural hair color, or a useless attempt to "blend" in with humans?

"I've got some good news and I've got some bad," Miroku said, offering his best cheer-up smile.

She muttered, "All news are bad."

"Four hours?"

Kagome looked up at him, revealing black-blue circles underneath her eyes. "Two." Barely. It seemed like she merely winked and it was time for work all over again.

"Ah. Want a cup of coffee first, then?" Miroku asked, a concerned wrinkle creasing his forehead, making him look ten years older. Kagome giggled at the thought; he'd murder her if she ever called him an old man.

Kagome rubbed her temples and gave him a grateful look. "I would love one…" Then, her face fell. "But I can't. I'm expecting a client in exactly thirty minutes."

Miroku took a seat on Kagome's comfortable couch, one of the perks of being a psychiatrist. Kagome eyed him from her chair enviously, wanting to wrestle him off it, then curl up and just take a nice, long nap.

"Hmm, the infamous Sesshomaru."

"You know anything about him?" Kagome let out a huge, cat-like yawn.

"He's a mercenary. Past unknown. Good luck trying to dig out any information on him."

Miroku was suddenly thrust with the difficult task of ignoring the cleavage that was playing hide-and-go seek with him.

Kagome blew an errant strand of hair away from her face. "If he's so well known, then why the hell doesn't he have records? Why is his past so clean? I can't find anything on him. Not even a fingerprint. According to the government's database he doesn't even exist."

Miroku hmmed, as if deep in thought. Currently, however, his thoughts were deep in Kagome's V-necked top. "He does exist, though."

"Miroku, he's got a picture and a name. Most people actually have information. Like where they lived and who they killed." Kagome looked at the picture once more. "He looks nothing like a killer."

"He single-handedly wiped out an entire police squad just last year," Miroku supplied.

"Where were the LEDs?" Kagome asked.

Miroku shrugged. "It was a terrorist attack; at least that's what I was told when I got to the scene. The police were taken by surprise, and he did it quick enough."

"And just why isn't that on his record?" Kagome demanded, her fist making a soundly thud on her table.

Then, she sighed in frustration. "I don't believe it! This is just too bizarre. He's supposedly so well-known, and then… no records of him? That's just a load of—"

She fixed an angry eye on him. "Aren't you supposed to be an investigator?"

Miroku sighed. "I can come back another time, if you like. You know, when you get at least eight hours of sleep?"

Kagome waved a limp hand at him. "No, no, it's fine. What have you got for me?"

"Word through the grapevine has it that he's working for Naraku." Miroku watched the color drain from her face and wished that he hadn't told her just yet. Then reluctantly, he said, "Kagome. Not only is he the most famous killer in Japan, he's a demon. And on top of that, he-–"

"He works for Naraku." Kagome licked her dry lips. She looked at Miroku gravely. "Do you have any information on his whereabouts?"

"Not yet, but I will." Miroku looked at the room behind Kagome; though covered by heavy glass, he wasn't sure if it was enough to protect the girl. "You have to be careful, Kagome."

She smiled. "I know. I always am!"

He gave her a frown. "You were in the hospital just yesterday, Kagome. Even so, you didn't listen to me about getting rest."

Kagome forced a laugh. "Well, I'm fine now. Don't worry about me, Miroku."

But obviously he was intent on giving her a lecture. Kagome sighed as he said, "You couldn't even remember who I was yesterday! You called me about ten different names, none of them mine, and you—you—"

Kagome blinked at him in confusion.

"You molested me," Miroku finished, properly and delicately offended.

She rolled her eyes at him. "Oh, please. I had a head concussion; I wasn't drunk. Besides, that was you who tried to grope me."

Miroku shrugged. "Hey, you're the one who had a head concussion; are you going to trust your memory or mine?"

Kagome gave him a smile, a very angry-looking one. "Oh, look at the time, Miroku! My, I've only got five minutes left until my new client comes in."

Miroku was already at the door before she could get up to usher him out. "Hey… if you have trouble sleeping at night—"

"Get. Out."

"Got it."

"Oh, and Miroku? Try and see if you can dig up some more information for me, okay?" All were smiles and grins now that she wanted something of him.

"Who do you think you're talking to?" Miroku asked, feigning hurt.

"Only the best investigator in Japan," Kagome cooed.

When he left, she realized that he never gave her the good news.


"I. Hate. You," he mouthed to the crazy voices above him.

Inuyasha was now dressed in a pair of clean white scrubs, standard for demon criminals, his hair was perfectly groomed and drowned in chemicals in an attempt to return it to its natural color, and his whole body smelled like a doctor's office.

Oh, and did he mention that his claws (claws, damn it) were now perfectly clipped and trimmed? Inuyasha looked at them in horror. They took his perfectly sharp, dangerous claws (lethal weapons, really) and gave them a manicure.

Inuyasha walked through the empty beige halls glumly, dragging his feet and drooping his ears. His fists were clenched and the missing feeling of his claws (claws, damn it!) scraping against the skin of his palm only made his eyes narrower. Somewhere inside his mind, he could hear a voice taunting, "Dead man walking, dead man walking."

Of all the "cleaning" jobs he received, this one was the worst. How could he have allowed himself to get caught? If only he had just blown up the damn place and gotten the hell out of there, he would have been laying on his couch, eating his ramen noodles and waiting for his next job. Inuyasha reminded himself that it was much more complicated than that and that he better fix the situation soon before somebody else decided to fix it for him.

At a turn, Inuyasha swore viciously. He had more important things to do than to be interrogated by a damn doctor; he had stuff to finish, tasks to complete, claws to grow back, and not to mention Naraku and the not-so pleasant task of saving face. The police had confiscated his cell-phone, so there was no way to explain his idiocy and maybe try to keep his money (and quite possibly, his head, too.)

Damn it.

He held up his hands and looked at his nails—claws—one last time and decided that he was just a little bit too eager to kill whoever it was that was behind the door. He looked at the number on the door in front of him, and then at his designated room number on his ID tag.

Well! Looked like he wouldn't have to wait long to wrap his hands around somebody's neck, and that certainly almost brightened up the day. Not quite, though.

"This is going to be so damn good," Inuyasha muttered beneath his breath.

Then, he pushed the door buzzer and it automatically swung open...


Kagome peered at the glass window intently, tapping one foot restlessly on the floor. She liked to call it her "demon-proof" room, but she knew her psychoanalyzing sessions with the demons always ended up making her feel too close to them, physically and mentally. The last time…

"I can smell you," he whispered to her, dark and insidious as the corners of his lips turned upwards. Kagome couldn't help but feel heat underneath his gaze, underneath her clothes.

"Nonsense," she muttered breathlessly. "There's a very thick, effective wall between us."

"You're wearing Fleur," he continued. "Youthful, radiant and tempting."

Kagome's eyes widened as he said the said perfume's slogan. She was indeed wearing Fleur.


"I can also feel you." She could feel the silkyslip of his tongue on her skin, prickling and warm. She felt like a summer day, intensely hot and suddenly dehydrated. Kagome wet her lips, eyes slightly terrified and wide with an innocence that only whet his appetite.

"You can't," Kagome said, more to herself than to him. "I know you can't."

His red eyes narrowed, not in anger nor in annoyance, but in amusement. "Can't I?"

And in that moment, something fluttered against the sides of her head, her mind. Something broke, dwindled, curled and spun free. She felt a shudder spiraling through her, and the gasp that emitted low from her throat was as embarrassing as it was frightening. He knew she was scared, was pleased by it and encouraged by its very scent.

"Your skin is soft, but prickling with goosebumps," he informed her. "Why, doctor, are you frightened of me?"

"Stop it." She tried to stare him down, but the crimson abyss drowned her, choked the very breath from her pretty, white throat.

A small, satisfied smile appeared upon his face. "I am not doing anything. A wall separates us, remember?"

The sound of light footsteps snapped Kagome to attention and when her eyes refocused, she found herself staring at a young man. He looked almost human, innocent and very pretty in facial features, but the slash of his amber eyes and length of his long, silver hair were anything but human. Kagome folded her hands in her lap deliberately.

"Please, have a seat." She gestured to a small couch in front of her. Even though there was a strong, protective wall between them, there were several microphone chips all around the room and high-definition glass-walls to make the rooms seem one and the same. Kagome was glad for this because right when she had uttered her first words to him, he took several menacing steps towards her, eyes flashing and full of deadly purpose.

She cleared her throat and shifted her position uncomfortably. "I wouldn't try to come any closer if I were you."

"Oh, yeah? Don't tell me you'll scream. It'll take me three seconds to paralyze your larynx and two to kill you." He flexed his fingers, growling when he inwardly remembered that his declawed hands were anything but intimidating.

No matter, her face against a puddle of blood would more than make up for it, but of course before he could get to her, something very hard and very cold smacked against his face. The…hell..? Inuyasha let out a small grunt before he staggered back a few steps.

"What the fuck…?" Inuyasha's face creased into confusion.

With a sigh, Kagome stood from her chair and walked towards him. Stopping a few feet away from him, she knocked on the glass window and raised her eyebrows at him pointedly.

"See? A wall stands between us. You can't come close enough to kill me, so please do not waste any time in trying to do so," Kagome said, then went back to her seat. Then, she continued, "Oh, and don't even try to use your oh-so-powerful demonic strength because this glass is strong enough to withhold a hundred thousand kilograms of explosives. You've also got a chemical inside your body that prevents you from doing so in the first place."

She watched his face grow into irritation and smiled. "So, I wouldn't waste my energy trying to. Why don't you just sit down and we can get to know each other a little better?"

Her heart slowed down just a notch when she saw him sit as directed, although his face showed no signs of relaxing.

Inuyasha threw her a sinister grin. "That's a good plan; I'd really like to get to know you inside out."

Kagome coughed at his double meaning. "Ha. Right. Enough with the intimidation tactics. The sooner you answer my questions, the quicker you'll be out of here."

Kagome winced at her own harshness, but really, she couldn't be gentle or kind to him. Hell, she couldn't even be polite with most at times. These demons didn't have the patience, compassion or understanding for kindness. At most, they were amused by kindness. Kagome frowned at her own thoughts. There's a thing called prejudice, you know.

Inuyasha raised one, perfectly contrasting black brow at her. "What questions?"

"What is your name?" Of course, the simplest question.

Inuyasha gave a disbelieving snort. "You mean my real one or the one you're writing down right now?" He looked pointedly at the pen and paper in Kagome's hands.

Kagome sighed and put her pen down. "Your real one."


"From what I hear it fits you." Kagome made a little scribble down her notepad, and sincerely hoped that he could not see the little stick figures she was doodling. Honestly, not only did Kagome not expect that she would not get any information out of him today, but she knew it from the beginning; it was too soon. "Sesshomaru, what do you like to do in your spare time?"

Inuyasha stared levelly at her. She was asking him ridiculous, irrelevant questions and he knew why. "Why don't you just get to the point and ask me about—"

"What do you like to do for fun?" Kagome smiled.

"I like to kill…" Inuyasha paused for effect before continuing, "humans, preferably; they are incredibly annoying."

Scribble, scribble. Inuyasha wanted to fucking break the pen in half and jam the halves in her little ears. Inuyasha was slightly cheered by the image of the doctor as a kabob.

"Why?" She would occasionally look up at him and give a small smile. Inuyasha returned the favor and was satisfied when she glanced at his fangs nervously.

"Because I'm good at it."

"How'd you become so good at it?"

"How do you become so good at asking questions?"

"I keep asking them."

Inuyasha gave her a humourous smile.

Kagome coughed lightly into her hand.

"How many calls do you get a week?" Kagome squished the pen's clicker top.

Inuyasha laughed. "Thirty."

"And do you accept all of those offers?"

"Only if they're pretty." He leaned back against the chair with a satisfied grin.

"I meant contracts. How many clients offer you a killing and how many do you take?" Kagome jabbed at her notepad viciously. "I know you are a mercenary."

"I lose track. It's not like I count these things." Inuyasha scoffed.

That was when he heard the familiar mechanical whirrings from above his head. Slowly, he turned his attention to them and saw the same tube-like weapons from the sanitizing room pointed at his crucial (and very much wanted) body parts.

Kagome returned his humorous smile. "They can detect resistance and any abnormal behaviours by your body heat, temperature, moisture level and movements. Inoue-san, I can assure you that they won't hesitate."

She brandished a small remote at him. "Also, if I push this button…" She looked at his groin area pointedly.

Inuyasha cleared his throat. "Five."

"Pardon me?"

"On average, five clients offer me contracts and I accept all of them." Inuyasha was willing to play by the rules if she was willing to leave his private parts alone.

"And among these clients, Naraku is one of them, I assume?" Kagome watched him shift uncomfortably and then give the ceiling a menacing scowl as the weapons above him stirred.

"Shit, the chairs were uncomfortable. They gonna shoot me for that, too?" Inuyasha grumbled.

"I'll have to ask my interior designer that," Kagome replied, smothering a chuckle with a cough. "Now, what about Naraku? Word's gotten around that you're working for him. Quite the infamous killer you are, failing to–"

"Look, you little witch, I don't work for anyone and it was a one time job." Inuyasha decided that he wanted to tear off her cherry mouth first.

"One that you failed at." She was deliberately taunting him, drawing out his anger and hopefully, his thoughts.

Except, he only lifted his brow and smiled. "Keh, so what?"

"Your reputation precedes you, Sesshomaru, 'The Killing Perfection.' What will people think of you now?" Kagome asked, doodling another little stick figure onto her notepad.

"Keh, I don't give a shit." He grunted.

"Oh, really? Isn't that how you're getting your money, though? With people's lives?" Kagome wanted to bite her lip to stop herself; she was letting her emotions get to her.

He glanced up at her with a calm that his feral eyes seemed to be incapable of. "Do you really think that I need money? I can take whatever I want. I'm a demon. You know what demons are capable of."

Kagome looked at him with a soft smile and saw how much he hated the sympathy in her eyes. "But you are only half demon, correct?" She'd seen him before—or rather, others like him—lost and confused. They were neither wholly human nor demon and could never be. Unlike full-blooded demons, they had the ability to tell right from wrong and had a conscience. However, scientifically speaking, by being half-human they had enzymes and hormones like a human would.

Inuyasha gave her a fierce scowl, which then turned into a frustrated grunt, and he looked away. "Keh, what do you know?"

"I do know—"

"Shut up!" Inuyasha snapped, hating her soft tone, pitiful and understanding.

Inuyasha cursed viciously underneath his breath. he couldn't let some puny little wench fuck with his mind. He'd fought with ruthless demons, been starved to death and almost beaten to death, so he could damn well handle a woman.

He smirked and gave a light chuckle. "Keh, you've been called a prodigy, Higurashi. You're the best psychiatrist in the country, or so I have heard. But by the way you're analyzing me, I'd say you were a fraud."

"Where are Naraku's headquarters?" Kagome demanded.

Without skipping a heartbeat, Inuyasha replied, "How the hell am I supposed to know?"


"There has been another like you, hasn't there?" Inuyasha asked, slowly relaxing. He stretched his long limbs with a big yawn. "In fact, she looks a lot like you."

"Kikyou… you've seen her?" Kagome asked, bewildered.

"I guess you could say that," he replied with a sly smile. "So, got any more questions for me or am I free to go?"

Kagome shook her head. "How could you not know where Naraku's headquarters are? You're lying. Tell me the truth."

"Look lady, I'm not lying." But he was, and he was damn proud of it, too. Those machines were, really, just machines. He resisted the urge to give a comical wink at the ceiling. "You can blow me up all you want, but I can't tell you anything."

Kagome gave a small sigh. She was quiet, contemplating her next question. "You're half human, Sesshomaru. You can't tell me that you don't feel anything when you kill someone."

Inuyasha stared at her emotionlessly, betraying nothing. Not the screams that ripped through his head, and the fumes that never washed off his clothes…


"I do feel something, but if I told you…" Inuyasha grinned, slowly and almost purposefully. "You'd wet your panties."

Kagome narrowed her eyes at him. "I've seen the likes of you before, Sesshomaru. Don't patronize me."

"Oh? You've met demons before?" He blinked at her innocently. "Gee, I had no idea that you were a… Oh, what was the scientific term? 'Inhuman Species Analyzer,' was it? I thought you were supposed to listen to my problems, not interrogate me."

"No." Kagome's jaw was ticking so hard that one would think that she had a bomb inside her mouth. "Criminals like you."

"Keh, save it for someone who cares." Inuyasha gave a rude snort and closed his eyes. "I don't need a lecture from a woman."

Kagome gripped the bunches of her skirt tightly within her fists. "I don't care that you're a demon, or a hanyou for that matter. I don't give a damn. I know what you're thinking; I know your kind."

Inuyasha opened one eye and feigned interest.

She continued, "You think we're so prejudiced against you, against all demons, when you're the ones with our blood on your hands."

"And I suppose your hands are clean?" Inuyasha yawned.

"In fact, they are," Kagome answered quietly, angrily.

Inuyasha gave a light applause. "Am I supposed to call you a 'saint'?"

"You forget… that night, I came back with the intention to see if you were all right," Kagome said softly. "I knew that you were a demon. Do you remember me?"

Inuyasha laughed, the sound bitter and hollow. "That was after you ran me over with your car, wasn't it?"

"I… I was scared! You were a demon; you could have killed me! I saw what happened!" It was the first time, in her career, that she made the mistake of stammering and letting her guard down in front of a client. Then, she remembered Naraku, and realized that this wasn't the first—only the second.

"Tsch, tsk. Don't get so defensive, doctor. Just because I was a demon, eh?" Inuyasha smiled at her, mocking her pity and sympathy from before perfectly. "Keh, who's the hypocrite?"

Kagome heaved an angry sigh. "Don't. Lie. You killed a man and you knew I saw. I wasn't just going to sit in my car and think that you were going to ask me out for coffee!"

"I would have after I was done with work," Inuyasha said with a chuckle. He eyed his fingers warily, satisfied to see that his nails—claws—were slowly coming back. Being half demon had its perks, after all, what with rapid regeneration and all that.

Kagome remained silent, staring at her notepad and frozen with frustration. She heard him give a big, theatrical sigh and say, "Well, doc', I think that time's up. Don't you?"

She stood to her feet and without a word, walked out of the room.

Inuyasha smirked. "Keh, what a fucking nutcase."


"I shouldn't have let him get to me like that," Kagome muttered. "I'm a professional, for heaven's sakes! I should have kept my calm and… Sango, what do you think?"

Her friend patted her on the arm. "It's all right, Kagome. We all have our bad days."

"No." Kagome shook her head. "I've never let myself feel that angry before in front of a client… Not even Naraku…"

"He just gave you the creeps," Sango pointed out.

"The point is, there's something weird about him. I can't get my hands on it, but… but it seems like he knows exactly what to say and what tone to use to irk me." Kagome slammed a fist on the coffee table.

"Woah, easy there, hot!" Sango steadied her own mug of espresso.

Kagome smiled apologetically. "Sorry, Sango. It's supposed to be my day off and here I am babbling about my work."

"It's okay, your job is demanding." Sango looked up at Kagome. "Can it just be that perhaps you just let your guard down because of what happened?"

"What do you mean?" Kagome asked, puzzled.

"The injury to your head," Sango explained. "Do you… remember anything?"

"I just had a little blow to the head, that's all." Kagome sighed. "Maybe you're right, maybe I am just overworked and stressed. God, I really need a vacation…"

Sango patted her friend's hand comfortingly. "You're gonna be all right, kiddo. The Naraku case is really getting to you, huh?"

Kagome looked out the window of the coffee shop. The streets of Tokyo were not like before… bustling and full of life. Now, it seemed almost gray and dead, even though the sun was burning against the black pavement. It had only been a few years before everything changed, only a few days it seemed like before she was kissing her family good-bye and watching them disappear from her life.

"He's escaped," Kagome said.

Sango's face fell. "Oh, no. Kagome…"

"I… I don't know what to do. He knows my face." Kagome's knuckles turned white, and the black mug that was in her hands shook. "He knows where my office is. He might… he might even know where I live."

To comfort her, Sango steadied her friend's mug with one hand, which had been experiencing a minor earthquake from Kagome's hands. "Kagome, you must get protection immediately."

Kagome let out a dry, broken laugh. "That'll attract him even more; I know how his mind works. He'll revel in the fact that I fear him and besides, no bodyguard can stop him… not even if I have a hundred of them."

Sango cursed silently. "I'm sorry, Kagome. There must be some way I can help."

Surprisingly, Kagome just smiled. "Don't worry! So, how is work, by the way?"

Still worried, Sango decided to let the matter drop for a while. "Stressful as well. All journalists seem to want to write about are the current murders and escapees."

"That's all that's been happening though, isn't it?" Kagome pointed out glumly.

"Yes, but… in times like this people need hope, not fear," Sango replied.

Kagome nodded. As if by mentioning fear, heavy clouds slowly drifted belligerently over the once bright sun, and dwarfed it. Then came the rain.

"Kagome…" Kagome heard Sango call her name and turned back to her friend. "So, you don't remember anything after he hit you?"

Kagome's forehead wrinkled in consternation. "No… everything else is a blur."


What seemed like a light drizzle of rain before became Mother Nature's rage. The night wind moaned and wailed, making the air hoarse and frigid with the cold. Outside the windows, the trees lightly swayed, their powerful stature bowing to the frenzy of the advent storm. The leaves broke and whirled down to a wet, cold darkness.

Kagome could not sleep that night, or it seemed so. Even though it was freezing, beads of sweat dripped from her forehead and rolled down to the pillows. She stared at the ceiling, not paying attention to the thickening air and the hazy visions dancing before her eyes.

"Go to sleep, stupid," she whispered to herself.

She was afraid of thunder, not because it pounded in her eardrums and meshed in with the beating of her heart, but because in that flashing moment of light she was afraid that it would take her into nonexistence.

"You've been watching too many sci-fi horror films," Kagome muttered in an effort to calm herself.

A streak of lightning arced across the sky, right outside her window. Kagome lay bathed in its iridescent purple light and closed her eyes. And hoped. And prayed.

"Please don't take me away," she murmured, "please don't take me away… please."

She felt something cold press against her cheek and when her eyes fluttered open, Kagome found the light had not taken her away, but rather her ability to scream.

"And where would I take you?" he whispered to her, caressing her so tenderly that it almost made Kagome shiver. And she did.

"Na…ra…ku…" Kagome managed to choke out.

He lowered his head to rest his chin on her shoulder. "So, you do remember me. How delightful."

She did not say anything, could not say anything.

That was, until she felt a hand slide across her stomach and lightly reveal the smooth surface underneath.

"So soft you are," Naraku purred. "Does the rest of you feel this way?"

"No," she whispered, "you are a nightmare. You're not real."

His hands slid farther up beneath her cotton shirt, and Kagome gasped loudly at the cold hand that covered her left breast.

Naraku chuckled, softly as death. "Tell me now, Kagome. Was that real?"

"No. No, you're not real." Kagome arched, not from pleasure, but in an attempt to get away. "You're not real!"

Suddenly, thunder roared and she was once against bathed in an eerie light. Kagome screamed, the sound piercing and frightful. His thumb lightly brushed over her nipple and she opened her mouth to scream again. He was disappointed when she only bit down on her lip.

"I am satisfied by the look in your eyes," he assured her. "I don't need you to scream."

When his hands travelled lower, ever so slowly and dangerously, Kagome suppressed a small whimper.

"Please don't." Her eyes pleaded with his, and she could see within the perverse depths of his soul that he was not going to stop. She wanted to fight, wanted to kick and punch and gouge his eyes out, but her limbs suddenly felt lethargic and paralyzed.

"Don't… what?" He taunted.



Her screams were drowned out by the deafening sound of thunder.

- - -

Notes: okay, I hope to heavens that I didn't violate some holy rule with that one last part. I swear rated 'R' movies have worse stuff than that, really.

Hope you enjoyed the chapter and that you didn't get too confused or… angry. Comments and reviews are, of course, always appreciated.