Author's Note: Okay, I'm assuming a lot of things here. I'm assuming that there was a battle that destroyed Inutaisho's home, and that Ryoukoutsei was part of that battle. I'm also assuming that Inuyasha never got a chance to see his dad while he could still remember him.
"Human"Sequel to "The Demon Tamer."
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my own characters.
Summary of "The Demon Tamer:" Inuyasha and Sesshomaru had been kidnapped by a sorceress named Kimi, and during the final battle that led to her defeat and disappearance, she had cast one last spell that would bind the brothers to her and had blasted Inuyasha with a final spell. This is what happened next.
Kaede shook her head as she looked at Inuyasha. His scream had woken her, and she examined him quickly, trying to determine why he had become a human when it was not the time of the new moon.
"I do not know why this has happened, Inuyasha," she said, shining Kagome's flashlight into his eyes. She sighed, seeing them react like human eyes. There was no outward sign of his demon blood. She switched the light off and handed it back to Kagome. "Ye said that ye felt strange?"
"Yeah, and I went outside, and I was staring up at the stars when it happened. Any thoughts?"
It was silent for a few moments until Shippo spoke up. "You guys said that Kimi threw a spell at Inuyasha, but that it didn't do anything?"
"Ye-es," Kagome said, hoping that what Shippo was thinking wasn't what had actually happened.
"What if this is the spell?" he asked, pointing at Inuyasha.
Kagome groaned. "I was afraid you would say something like that! What do we do now?"
"What else can we do?" Sango said, sighing. "We'll have to go back to Lady Kioko first thing in the morning and see if she can break the spell on him."
Inuyasha started to protest, but Miroku cut him off.
"Sango's right," he said. "It wouldn't be safe to travel at night, so we'll start in the morning. Why don't we get back to sleep?"
"Who's going to sleep?" Inuyasha complained. "There's no way I'm sleeping like this!"
"Be sensible, Inuyasha," Kagome said sympathetically. "What if you're stuck this way for days or longer? You're going to need sleep!"
"Days?" he croaked, staring at Kagome. "Longer?"
Shippo curled up on a corner of Kagome's pillow. "Kagome's right, you know, you really should sleep."
"I do not know what else ye can do at night," Kaede said, spreading out a pallet for Inuyasha to use. "This will make ye more comfortable. Try to rest as much as ye can."
Inuyasha sank down on it, but got the surprise of his life when Kagome came over to him. "Would you like me to tuck you in?"
He stared at her, not quite certain what she was thinking and a little embarrassed. As if he needed to be tucked in! He wasn't a whelp, he could. . . His eyes had wandered over to Kagome's sleeping bag, and she was in it! Huh?
"Shippo!" he snarled, whacking the kitsune on the head. "That's not funny!"
"I thought it would make you laugh!" Shippo cried, holding his head.
"Enough, you two," Kagome said, coming over and picking Shippo up. "It's bedtime for all good little kits." With that, she carried Shippo over to her bag and tucked him in.
Still seething at Shippo, and surprised at feeling just the slightest bit jealous, Inuyasha settled himself on his pallet and wrapped up in a blanket. He had just closed his eyes when he felt the blanket being tucked in around his shoulders. Opening his eyes, he saw Kagome, and a quick glance showed Shippo to be in his fox form and still tucked in.
"Good night, Inuyasha," she whispered.
"Ah, good night," he whispered back.
Kaede was making stew and stirring seasonings into it when Inuyasha stormed inside and dropped to the floor, scowling.
"Well, what happened?" she asked. They had left sometime around dawn that morning to see the spellbreaker, but Inuyasha was still in human form.
"What do you think?" he grumbled. "She looked at me, said that it was a spell she couldn't break, but promised to work on it. It's her sister's spell, and you'd think that she'd be able to do something!"
"Ye forget, Inuyasha, that sisters are not the same person," Kaede scolded gently.
He glanced at her, but said nothing. He knew that, she didn't need to say it.
Over the next few days, things weren't pleasant around the tiny village. Inuyasha kept on wanting to search for jewel shards, but his friends kept insisting that they possibly couldn't while he was still in his human form. Whenever things became too heated or it looked as if fists were ready to start flying, Miroku or Sango would glance significantly at Kagome who would then say "sit!" until Inuyasha had subsided or was too sore to argue anymore.
One afternoon, he was sitting in Kaede's hut. The old miko had taken pity on him and was rubbing some ointment into his back to ease the soreness caused by the latest argument. Twenty-two sits in one afternoon were too much. A young woman walked by the hut, calling hello to Kaede, spotted Inuyasha, blushed, and hurried away.
"What was that all about?" Inuyasha asked as Kaede massaged his shoulders.
Kaede chuckled. "Ye do not see it, do you, lad?"
Gingerly, he turned his head to look at her. He was still a little sore. "See what?"
She chuckled again, obviously very amused. "A few days ago, ye were but a half-demon, powerful enough to kill anyone in this village. Now, ye are a handsome young man, one that any young woman would like. Already there is speculation about ye amongst the girls, Inuyasha. They are beginning to like ye."
Firmly, Inuyasha told himself that he was not blushing.
A week went by, and then two. Inuyasha tried to keep busy in order to distract himself, but they had heard nothing from Kioko, and he was getting worried. What if she could do nothing against the spell? What if he were stuck this way forever? And he'd thought that being a child again had been bad! This was infinitely worse!
Since he could do nothing he could normally do, Inuyasha began helping Kaede out with her work. Gardening wasn't too bad, it kept him moving and it kept him from thinking too much. Kaede's old bones didn't help her to move much, and her hands were beginning to ache, so he pulled weeds, cultivated roots, worked seedlings, hauled water, and raked the ground for her. While she worked on preparing her herbal medicines, he ground seeds, chopped roots and leaves, and picked, pulled, tied, and hung fresh herbs. All that was left for her to do was measure, mix, and make the remedies. She told him about the properties of each, and soon he felt as knowledgeable as Kagome about herbs.
One afternoon, he was out in the garden, helping Kaede as usual, but something was wrong. His head felt too big and heavy for his shoulders, and he could feel himself shaking. His ears were hurting, his throat was on fire, and he felt far too hot. The sun was only warm, not hot, and he was sure that he only needed some water. After all, humans needed to take a break from working every now and then. He stood up to get a drink of water, and the next thing he knew, he was coming to in Kaede's hut.
"What happened?" he rasped, confused.
"You collapsed," Kagome said, holding a bowl of water.
"You have a fever," Kaede said, dipping a cloth into the water and sponging his forehead off. "Why did you not mention that ye felt sick?"
"Is that what this is?" he croaked, bewildered.
Kaeded looked like she wanted to kick herself. "Of course. All the illness a half-demon would know would be injury. Well, you are sick with a human illness now, so you must rest and let yourself heal. We shall take care of you, don't worry."
Inuyasha didn't comment as he was undressed to nothing but his breechclout and sponged off. Once cool, he was given sips of water to cool his fever from the inside, and some willowbark tea. For his throat, cherry bark tea and elecampane mixed with a little honey. All three helped soothe it, and a cup of chamomile helped him to sleep.
Kagome covered him with a sheet of light linen and sighed. "Do you think she'll be all right?" she whispered to Kaede.
"I hope so," Kaede whispered back, banking the tiny fire for later. "He is not used to being ill. We must take good care of him."
Inuyasha's fever came and went over the next few days, getting worse and worse each time it arrived. Hallucination and fever-dreams became common, but when they ended, he dropped into an exhausted sleep that lasted only until the next nightmare. He babbled, frightened at his dreams, and his friends worried and tried to comfort him as best they could. Kagome thought her heart would break when he began to call for his mother and begged her not to die.
Inuyasha was rarely lucid, but when he was, he kept on talking about someone coming. Thinking that it was another instance of fever-dreams, he was shushed by whomever it was sitting with him and given some more chamomile to send him back into sleep. Inuyasha knew that he wasn't fooling himself about this feeling, someone was coming and he could feel it deep inside his blood. Why? Why was he feeling this? Who was coming? He prayed that it wasn't Kimi, he didn't think he could stand being her prisoner again. What would she do to him now that he was human? He didn't want to think about it.
A few days later, Kaede suggested that it would be a good idea for him to sit outside and have some sun. Miroku and Kirara helped him out, and Kagome and Sango settled him in a soft nest of blankets against the wall of the hut. Once he was settled, he told his friends that they didn't need to hover or anything, he'd be fine on his own. Besides, he continued, he knew they all had things they either wanted or needed to do.
"You're sure you'll be all right?" Miroku asked, eyeing his friend cautiously.
"Of course I'm sure," he assured them. "You all have been hovering around me for days and days now. My fever's under control, I'm not about to go anywhere, and you've made sure that I've got everything I need right here beside me. You deserve a break."
"All right," Kagome said. "I'll just be down at the water, so I'll hear you if you call me. If you need anything, make certain you call me, got it?"
"Yes, Kagome," he promised, reflecting that it wouldn't help his headache to be 'sat.'
After a few more minutes, they headed off. He knew them well enough to know where each person was going: Miroku was going to go court some women, Sango was going to go practice with Kirara, Kaede was going to gather herbs, Kagome was going swimming, and Shippo was going with her. The little kitsune had finally been convinced to try it, and now he was as fond of it as Kagome was.
Inuyasha sat very still with his eyes closed, enjoying the quiet, the soft breeze, and the sunshine. He remembered his mother and how she had enjoyed sitting outside in the evening. After washing with spearmint and rue water, they could stay out for hours without being bothered by insects.
A shadow fell across him, causing him to open his eyes. Looking up, he saw a tall man wearing armor over his clothing and gazing down at him. Since the sun was behind him, Inuyasha saw him only as a silhouette.
"What is your name?" the man asked, still looking at him.
"Who wants to know?" Inuyasha demanded, uneasy. Who was this guy?
"You are her image," the man said, more to himself than to Inuyasha. "Her image. You couldn't be anyone else."
That was when Inuyasha began to get worried. What was this guy talking about? Who was he referring to? He bent down and grabbed Inuyasha's arm, piercing it with something.
"Ow!" Inuyasha shouted, hoping Kagome or someone else would hear. "Let go of me!"
The man ignored him, and sniffed at the blood that had come from the cut. "You are!" he said, sounding mystified yet overjoyed.
"I am what?" Inuyasha demanded, looking at the guy. Now that he was out of the direct light, he was able to see him clearly. He was a demon, there was no mistake about that. He had golden eyes, long silver hair that he kept tied up in a tail, claws, and fangs. He looked somewhat familiar, but his behavior and questions left Inuyasha feeling too muddled to think clearly enough to place him.
The man looked him directly in the face, as if surprised at something. "You've been sick. How long have you been sick?"
"How could you know that?" Inuyasha said, feeling, as Kagome would say, very creeped out.
"I can smell it in your blood," he said, taking a small strip of cloth out of a storage pouch at his waist. Surprising Inuyasha even further, he bent and licked the wound clean, much as a dog would. Looking up, he saw Inuyasha staring at him. He smiled. "Don't worry, I'm not about to drink your blood. That was just to clean it." So saying, he wrapped the bandage around the cut he had made (Inuyasha realized that it had been made with a claw by that point) and tied it so it wouldn't come undone.
"Who has been taking care of you?" he asked, sitting down beside Inuyasha.
"My—my friends," Inuyasha managed to get out.
"Do they realize you're due for a bad attack of fever?"
Inuyasha stared at him again. "How do you know that?"
"I could taste it. They may not be able to keep it from taking you," the man said sympathetically. "It's going to be a very bad one."
Inuyasha was quiet, worried and a little frightened of this man. Who was he? How could he do these things? How did he know him? It was then that his head began to hurt; a sure sign that his fever was coming back.
"Right," the man said, as if he had decided something. He stood up, and it was to Inuyahsa's shock that he began to grow. Slowly, he turned into a large, magnificent dog, one that looked much like Sesshomaru when he transformed. Too startled to call anyone, Inuyasha watched the transformation. It wasn't until the dog's jaws began to reach for him that he became frightened.
Leaping as high as he could, he lashed out with a kick, determined that he was not going to be a snack! He managed to strike the demon on his nose, but nothing else happened.
"Easy, little one," he heard. "I'm going to help you, not eat you, silly whelp. Come, get on my back."
"No way!" Inuyasha shouted, hoping that someone would come. "I'm not going anywhere with you! Miroku! Sango! Kagome! Kaede! Shippo! Somebody!"
"Don't be ridiculous," the demon said, blinding and quieting him with a lick. "Your friends' medicines are losing the battle against your fever. Do you want to die?"
Inuyasha said nothing, but started to run. He had to get away, this guy could be any demon out for his blood and. . .
Inuyasha dropped to the ground, realizing that the guy had run after him and pounced on him. Still lying facedown in the grass, Inuyasha tried to scramble away, but teeth took hold of the back of his kimono and lifted him up.
"You're coming with me, my little whelp," the demon said, breaking into a run. "I'm not about to let you die."
Inuyasha was unable to say anything. His headache was beginning to split his head apart, and he couldn't think of anything else.