Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha an Co. They are property of Rumiko Takahashi.
Complete and utter darkness surrounded her.
The only thing that could break through that darkness was the red of his eyes as he turned and looked directly at her.
She was going to die.
The taste of fear emanating from the child only made him hunger for more and there was a glint as the lips curled back into a menacing and evil smile. She was paralyzed with shock, he could sense it, but he wanted her to run. He wanted to chase her as she slipped and tried to escape him…to escape her doom. "Run," he
growled low in his throat.
Dark blue eyes widened again and refocused so that she could see the body that lay limp and covered in a thick red liquid just in front of the red-eyed creature; the creature of her nightmares. "…pa…pa…" It was barely even audible, just a mouthed word that hitched in her throat when those innocent eyes unclouded and saw the ghastly sight before her.
The child gasped as her instincts finally caught up with her and she turned on her bare feet, running as fast as her tiny legs could carry her…
…until she slipped in a puddle of her father's blood and fell to the ground, the warm substance soaking into and staining her pink nightgown.
There was a sinister laugh from behind her as she struggled to her feet and tried to run again, this time towards the foyer and the front door in an attempt to reach the kitchen and the sliding glass door that would lead her to freedom from the house…and him.
She would never have made it to there. He was already nearly upon her when there was a flash of blue and a then the squeal of sirens coming from the front of the house. But it was the flash of purple light and the ringing boom that had really saved the child's life. She stopped and crouched, burring her head in her the now wet and stained material of her night gown as she drew her knees up and tried to press her hands to her ears and drown out the wicked screams of the red eyed nightmare as he released some sort of bomb and disappeared.
The child only barely registered that there was a woman standing in the hall wearing a dark blue police uniform and holding a strange looking pistol. Long straight black hair flowed over her shoulders and down her back as she moved passed the body and towards the girl, speaking into a walkie-talkie as she did so.
"He's gone…I don't know…smoke screen…case the outside…"
The girl felt arms go around her. Her skin was like ice, the exposed limbs covered in drying blood, her nightgown stained beyond repair as she willed the darkness to come back and take away the sight before her.
Like an answer to a prayer, the darkness was coming…
"Kagome…" the feminine voice sounded soft and far away, drifting into non existence, "…safe now…going home…safe…"
Trees surrounded her and sun shown through the spaces between the branches. Everything was calm and peaceful and she was completely alone. She could hear voices coming towards her and she ran until she came to one tree in particular, larger than the rest, in which there was a hollowed area at the base. Into this small cave like area she crawled and there she sat looking out at the rest of the woods.
I'm safe…I'm safe…It is safe here…I'll stay here…forever…
A man in a white lab coat and thin wire framed glasses sat behind the desk looking at the small family before him. The young woman's face was etched with worry lines, making her look older than her twenty-six years. Too many nights of no sleep and more tears than could be counted had created dark circles under her eyes.
"Mrs. Higarashi, I know that after everything you've already been through the last thing you want or need is to hear that your daughter is in danger, but that is simply the case," the doctor said calmly, folding and unfolding his hands on the desk. "The other practitioners and I have assumed that Kagome had simply gone into shock and that a few days with us would bring her out, however, I have since decided that this runs much deeper than just shock."
The old man, wearing long, red hakama sat forward then, his feet barely touching the floor. "Get to the point. What is wrong with my granddaughter?"
The doctor sighed. He'd known this would not go well. "Ami, send in Dr. Ten'nou, onegai?" he asked pressing the intercom button. "Kagome's condition is one which I am not familiar with. I have taken the liberty of asking a colleague of mine in to explain the situation herself - " he stood as the door opened and the two others turned to see as a short, plump woman in her late twenties came in. She wore a dark gray business suit with a white lab coat opened over it. Her dark hair had been pulled back in a tight bun and she carried a pair of black plastic framed glasses in her hands. "Ah, Dr. Ten'nou, welcome. Onegai, come in." The man turned back to the Higarashi family and said, "Mrs. Higarashi, this is Dr. Kaede Ten'nou. She specializes with people in your daughter's condition and will explain to you what has happened to Kagome and what your options are."
Keiko Higarashi shifted the baby in her arms. "Ten'nou? That was the name of the officer who found Kagome…"
Kaede smiled gently. "Hai, that was my elder sister, Kikyo. She is the one who first told me about little Kagome and suggested Dr. Meioh call me." She leaned against the book shelf that lined the wall and put the glasses in her coat pocket. "Mrs. Higarashi, are you familiar with the practice of installing panic rooms in homes where you feel that you may be attacked?" The younger woman nodded, looking confused. "A panic room is a safe room, impenetrable from the outside, where you can go when you feel threatened by an exterior force. Once locked it can only be opened from the inside and so only the person being protected can decide when it is safe to come out. This is essentially the same thing that Kagome has done to herself. Her young mind simply could not deal with the experience it had been put through and so she withdrew into herself, creating a world in which she could be safe. She has, in other words, gone into the panic room and only she can open the door. There are techniques in psychiatry that can help us convince the patient that they are indeed safe and lure them out…Studies have found that though the patient is completely unresponsive and in a seeming vegetative state, they can and do understand what is going on in the world around them."
Keiko took a deep breath. "Then there is a way to bring Kagome out?"
"There is a chance that we may be able to persuade Kagome that there is no longer a reason to hide. Once we have her back into our world, we can begin to help her deal with what happened." Kaede pulled an envelope from the inside of her lab coat. "Given Kagome's young age, I feel that success is immanent though the process will be time consuming. I've put together a few papers which explain the process and tell a little about my facility…My business card is also in there. Read the packet and think about it before you come to any decision."
Three months…it was hard to believe that three months ago she had kissed her darling baby girl on the cheek and boarded a train to Tokyo…Hard to believe that in three months her life could change so drastically.
Kagome was home, everyone agreeing that she would be more comfortable in a more familiar environment…but then, if she stopped to think about it, this was not a familiar environment and this was not home. Not the home Kagome would remember…not the house in Osaka…last seen ransacked and caked with blood…
Keiko hid her face in her hands, holding back the sobs that would alert Kagome to her condition…she would not break down at her daughter's bed side. She would show only positive emotions to the distant girl.
A noise from the bed caught her attention and, before Kagome could even take in the breath she would need to scream, Keiko was there, holding her hand, stroking her hair, trying to calm the nightmare that had come over her…
A nightmare…how? The blue gray eyes were wide open, but she still trembled, seeing things that were not there…how much longer could she take this? How much longer could her child live in that foreign place?
When Kagome had calmed again, Keiko rose, going to the bedside table and took out a small white card. Her own hands shook as she picked up the phone receiver and dialed.
"Rainbow Valley Treatment Center, how may I direct your call?"
"I need to speak with Dr. Ten'nou, onegai? This is Keiko Higarashi and it's regarding my daughter, Kagome."
A/N: The italics indicate what the little girl is seeing in her mind. The rest will be explained in the next chapter. Any who have read Iris Johansen's Final Target might be able to figure out what's going on here since this prologue and the spinal chord of this fic was inspired by it.
Onegai - Please
Hai - Yes