Dark as Day
Chapter One

Tokyo's skyline was hazed by the rain that drizzled down. A man walked slowly through, hands shoved into his pockets. Long hair, the color of ebony, swayed lightly as he moved swiftly, narrowly dodging pedestrians moving in the opposite direction.

Pursed lips thinned into a small line as he bashed shoulders into various school girls. Instead of getting angry, the high school girls simply giggled, winked and continued walking. He seemed to have that result on schoolgirls. It bugged him, to say the least.

Inuyasha Takahashi tilted his head up as he felt a rain drop splatter against his head. He snorted.

"Of course," he muttered.

He'd forgotten his umbrella. Of course it rained the day he forgot his umbrella. He'd also chosen that day to leave his motorcycle at home. He would have been at his mother's by now if he'd taken it. But no, he'd decided to walk. And now it was beginning to rain. That was his luck.

Inuyasha Takahashi was subject to the worst luck imaginable, or so he told anyone who would listen. It had started when he was a child, he claimed.

The earliest memory he could remember was his father dragging him into a white room where he knocked over a table with various instruments used during physical exams. He'd blushed and muttered an apology while his father reassured him that all was well. Throughout the entire examination he would knock something over, or kick the doctor or start freaking out over the simplest things. It was his luck, after all.

Inuyasha hadn't forgotten that sorrowful look in his father's eyes as he turned his head away and didn't watch the doctor inject Inuyasha with a shot. His father had claimed to be squeamish when it came to needles.

Now, at the age of twenty-two the college student had no relationship with his father. He'd disappeared on his fifth birthday. He remembered his parents fighting and then nothing more. He also recalled nights when his mother would cry over God-knows-what.

Lavender eyes moved from the sky and straight ahead of him again. It was his twenty-second birthday. Nothing particularly exciting to celebrate—it was the same as any other day in his book. Tugging on the sleeves of his jacket, he took a turn at the corner and moved towards the apartment complex where his mother lived alone.

The young man, with locks of onyx and orbs of violet slipped inside the apartment just as it began to truly rain. With a sigh, he tapped the button for the elevator.

"The elevator's broken," called a voice and he turned to see an older woman march down the stairs beside the elevator. "Maintenance is going to fix it soon." She whipped black hair over her shoulder and continued moving, not glancing backwards at the college boy.

Inuyasha sighed. Bloody terrific.

He'd never been the richest person in Tokyo. It was a wonder that his mother could even afford a home there. They'd always been tight for money and Inuyasha had spent most of his high school life working to help his mother pay the rent. She lived near the outskirts of Tokyo, where the rent wasn't as high. He sent her some money for help ever month, despite his mother's dislike for it, and she ended up working two jobs a day in order to keep up to the times in the bills.

Inuyasha and his mother had grown up under bad circumstances. He'd never had as much stuff as anyone else. He'd never gotten new, designer clothes. He'd never gotten more than two gifts during his birthday or Christmas.

But those things were trivial. He'd grown to accept the fact that he couldn't go and buy his food form the cafeteria and instead would have to eat leftovers of his dinner the night before. He'd come to accept the fact he'd have to buy clothes from goodwill for the rest of his life. He'd come to accept the fact that he'd only get two presents from his mother once he finally reached her apartment.

Inuyasha himself wasn't remarkably out of the ordinary, either. He was an average boy of Japanese descent. He had long black hair and lavender eyes. He wasn't more athletic than the other boys, nor was he smarter or funnier. He was just Inuyasha. No one remembered him and he slunk through his life following after the overachievers and finishing just before the slackers.

He didn't try to draw attention to himself and he certainly didn't try to pursue others to befriend them. He was just… there.

"Mom?" he called some time later, after climbing seven flights of stairs to reach his mother's apartment. He knocked on the door before opening it—he knew it'd be unlocked. Her lock didn't work. At night she would wiggle a chair under the door handle to keep it from turning if someone did try to get in while she slept. He glanced around and did not spot the woman. "Mom?" he called again.

"In the kitchen, sweetie!" called the harmonious voice of his mother. Sighing and slipping off his shoes, Inuyasha moved to where his mother specified. He spotted her hunched over a cookbook, flour in her otherwise jet black hair and an apron around her

waist. She glanced up when he stepped through the doorway. She beamed. "Just getting your birthday dinner underway! Let's see… is there anyone besides you and me?"

Inuyasha shook his head. Besides the teenaged girls who fawned over him like the pathetic creatures they were, Inuyasha had no friends to speak of. "Just you and me tonight, Mom."

His mom was a kind woman. She always seemed to be smiling and looking out for his wellbeing. Her home was a glimmer of the hardship she had to face and proved that she was, indeed, a member of the lower class. Her beat up apartment looked scary at night, Inuyasha deduced as he watched the sun sinking lower behind Tokyo. The walls had holes in them, the paint was chipping, tiles were missing from the kitchen and her furniture was a wreck. That and she had some mice problems occasionally.

His mother nodded and thumbed through the recipes listed in the book. "Then I'll go ahead and make your favorites. Make yourself at home."

"Right," he called over his shoulder as he turned and left the kitchen. Shrugging off his black jacket, he tossed it on the floor and moved to the room that had once been his before he'd moved out. It had been transformed into a TV room, apparently.

He sat down on the ratty old couch he used to hide his futon under. The TV before him was a wreck, as well, only showing pictures in black and white, if it even got cable.

He clicked on the TV to the news report. A pristine news anchor smiled into the camera as she reported the Tokyo headlines. The screen fizzed and wavered, as it was prone to do, and her voice cut out for a moment. Finally, she began to speak.

"With further investigation it has been discovered that the on going demon attacks can be linked to the kidnapping of Doctor Yomohama, a long time campaigner against the demon attacks and supporter of human-demon relations. Doctor Yomohama, a respected and diligent worker, specializing in chronic disease, went missing yesterday morning on the way to work. Evidence shows that the kidnapping had been executed by the long-time Ring Leader of the demon attacks."

Inuyasha sighed as he listened half-heartedly. Everyone was being kidnapped lately with their bodies washing up on the side of the river a few weeks later. The demons and humans had been fighting amongst themselves for centuries, harboring large scales of distrust and hatred towards one another. With the rise of stabilized governments, the turmoil had died down for the most part. Only recently, about seven years ago, did the demons acquire a powerful Ring Leader and had thus started attacking Japan and the surrounding areas. Other countries were being attacked as well.

The demon attacks were proving to be a problem. The league of supernatural creatures had the upper hand in the dispute, but the humans were able to stand their own ground. The humans outnumbered demons three to one. It kept them at a stalemate. Only recently had kidnappings of respected and important humans taken place. It struck fear among mankind and caused another reason to detest the demons.

"Police have been investigating Doctor Yomohama's disappearance. As of now, there are no clues as to where the doctor's location may be. In international news…"

Inuyasha put the TV on mute. There was no point in listening to the demon attacks in other countries. Japan by far was suffering the colossal losses and hits from the demons. Police suspected that the Ring Leader, as he'd been named due to the fact that his true forename could not be discovered, was operating within Tokyo or the nearby area.

He watched the various different takes of footage involving 'exclusive' looks in certain demon attacks. He watched with a bit of distaste as demons pounced on unsuspecting humans only for the censors to fly across the screens. Though they never showed it, everyone knew what happened to those attacked. Body parts missing, lives destroyed, children stolen… it was all very gruesome. Inuyasha could tell the people on the screen were screaming in agony and was thankful for the mute button.

When had the world become so disastrous? Doctor Yomohama had the wrong idea involving the demons. The problem was not the relations between humans and demons. The problem was simply the demons. They should all be killed. They were all evil anyway. Their presence would not be missed.

Inuyasha clicked off the TV and sat in the darkness of his old room. He could still remember exactly where all his furniture had sat. Now he lived on his own, on the other side of the city. And he was spending his birthday with his mother instead of the friends he should have.

His birthday was looking to be another morbid case of the mediocrity that was his life.

"Inuyasha!" He lifted his head and clicked off the TV. Might as well get this depressing birthday out of the way. Nothing exciting was bound to happen, anyway. That was his luck.

"Two hours until you're officially twenty-two," his mother gushed over dinner as she glanced at her watch. "Twenty-two years ago… at eight thirty six my little boy came into this world."

Inuyasha sighed and rested his head on the palm of his hand. He had to admit that his mother was a darling little thing, the sweetest woman he'd ever met by far… but that didn't mean that he had to like the kind of attention his solicitous mother showered him with.

He cracked a smile for her behalf. "You say this every year, Mom."

Inuyasha's mother grinned sheepishly, violet eyes, similar to his own, glinting with that child-like luster she never lost.

Inuyasha bit into the food his mother had prepared, his chopsticks clanking against the bowl before slipping. He sighed. 'Twenty-two years and I still haven't gotten the hang of these stupid things.'

It was a bit of an embarrassment, really.

He felt something stir within him and he cringed uncomfortably. He'd eaten his mother's food before—for twenty-two years, obviously—and never before had he had this kind of reaction.

He pounded a fist against his chest, as if trying to free something caught in his throat. His mother looked up.

"Is something wrong with the food, Inuyasha?" she asked, worry reflected in her indigo eyes. Inuyasha shook his head quickly, reassuring his mother that was not the problem.

"No… so… do I get a cake?" This seemed to spark his mother because she stood up quickly, collected the plates and presented him with a chocolate cake.

"I know you'd rather be out with your friends on your birthday, Inuyasha," Izayoi said suddenly, her violet eyes looking at her son with a warm smile on her lips. "But I do appreciate you coming here to celebrate with me. I always love seeing you."

Inuyasha offered her a tiny smile but didn't say anything. His mom didn't know how much of an antisocial, pessimistic loser her son was and he didn't feel like shedding light on that fact. Especially when she was so happy.

She placed the cake before him.

Twenty-two candles. 'I wish that…' He paused to think about a suitable wish. His mother seemed keen on him doing so. He rolled his eyes… it seemed like he was always bending over backwards for his mother. '… Something remotely exciting would happen to me.'

The two silently ate cake and Inuyasha opened the two presents his mother had bought for him—a new toaster for his apartment and a gift certificate to a bookstore. He smiled and thanked her.

They were in the midst of having cups of coffee when Inuyasha felt the familiar grab at his chest from earlier. He held the material of his shirt in his fist and pounded against his chest.

"Inuyasha! What's wrong?" Izayoi asked again.

"Feels like there's…" He shook his head again. He couldn't explain it. It felt like something was crawling under his skin, something was caught in his throat, and there was a deep foreboding sense within him. He frowned. "I think I'm just going to go to sleep. I don't feel well."

Izayoi nodded and stood, moving towards her son and fawning over him as mothers were often subject to do. He waved her aside, reassuring his wellbeing. He trailed off to the living room and sat down on the couch.

"It's just a quick nap," he told her gently. The woman only seemed a little relieved by that information—Inuyasha wasn't the best at soothing people, especially girls. He feigned a yawn. "I'm really tired."

Izayoi tutted and clicked her tongue against the roof of her mouth.

"Sleep well," she told him soothingly and whisked away to clean the kitchen. Inuyasha nodded to his mother's back before closing his eyes. Maybe after he woke up he'd be better and the pain would be gone.

The dream he had was odd. He remembered that much. He was on top of a building singing the Korean national anthem (or at least he assumed so, someone in his dream commented about his excellent Korean—but that didn't excuse the fact he didn't know the Korean national anthem). But then he was struck by lightning.

The lightning hadn't hurt—but then again, it could have been because it was a dream—and instead gave him a warm, tingly sensation. Then he'd fallen off the roof.

Somehow, as it is with most dreams, Inuyasha found himself in a completely different place. He was pleased to see, however that he was at a poolside with Kikyou, the number one supermodel in all Japan who'd mysteriously disappeared a couple of years ago without a trace. She sipped a margarita idly and smiled at him every so often. As it is with most guys, Inuyasha was rather pleased to see her. So, of course, he'd awoken right after that.

The first thing Inuyasha realized when he awoke was that he was not in his warm, comfortable bed. His next thought strayed to the inquiry of the time. A glance at his watch revealed that he'd slept through his true 'birthday' and it was now ten. The blaring of a television in the background also reminded him that he was at his mother's—since he didn't own a TV.

He sat up slowly, lavender eyes sweeping the living room. His mom was in his old room watching TV, leaving him to his own devices. He frowned thoughtfully as he felt the familiar stirring in his chest. It felt like something was going to pop out of his chest.

He swallowed the lump growing in his throat and immediately regretted it. It felt like something was clawing at his esophagus. He choked and doubled over, his lavender eyes staring at the ground wildly as he struggled to breathe. He panted, his fists gripping the carpet.

He released the tiniest of whimpers as he curled into a fetal position, trying his hardest to will away the immense pain shooting through him. He pounded the ground, clenched his eyes shut, and bit his tongue until he tasted the coppery tang of blood on his lips.

He gasped for air, his lavender eyes whipping open to stare up at his mother's ceiling, his mouth falling open and clipping shut like a fish out of water.

He felt as if something was moving within him, rippling under his skin like a wave of cold water. He shivered and shook violently, his back arching and his fists clenching the carpet below him.

He squirmed, trying fruitlessly to find a position that didn't bring him immense pain. He hissed and moaned as the pain racked through him. He felt like he was going to explode from the pain.

He ripped his hands out of the carpet and scratched at himself, his fingers gripping at his skin. He clenched his eyes shut as a burst of pain spread into his irises. He bit his lip and felt his teeth pierce through the tender flesh. With a small cry of pain he opened his eyes, only to see darkness.

He tried to speak, to call out to anyone that would listen. He needed help and the pain ripping through him felt like it would shred him in two at any moment. The darkness was quickly accompanied by silence. He saw and heard nothing.

He cried out, but heard nothing. Through the silent darkness, Inuyasha could feel the immense pain that never ceased nor relented.

But suddenly, through that long, terrifying moment of helplessness, Inuyasha's senses screamed loudly. The world came into absolute focus like the room he was sitting in had been shrouded in light. He could hear with perfect clarity the small intakes of his mother's breath as she slept in front of the television.

The pain ebbed away and left him feeling hollow and empty. He stayed in his position on the floor, his eyes staring straight ahead as he tried to ignore the pounding headache in his skull. The world seemed in focus, now.

The first thing he noticed, really, after the odd and painful sensation took over him was that there were two large holes in his mother's carpet. He stared at it, flummoxed by the ideas of how those two parallel holes had appeared there. He blinked slowly and reached out to touch it, only to whip his hand back and stare in shock at his nails.

His long, slender fingers, usually accompanied by sloppily clipped nails, now had sharp talons protruding from the tips of his fingers. He blinked slowly, wondering if perhaps this was all a trick of the eye. But no, his nails were hardened and long. They were sharp, but not spear like, almost like a dog's nails as it clacked across a kitchen.

He puzzled over his newfound claws. Where had they come from? With a frown he began picking at them, as was his terrible habit. He had no time for nail clippers. The long claws made him look girly. He picked at them until he managed to rip off the claw from his index finger. He moved on to the next one.

Only a few moments later, however, Inuyasha watched in fascination as the claw on his index finger grew back. It looked the exact same way it had before he'd ripped it off. Bits of carpet and wood flecked off from under his talons. Well, that explained the holes in the carpet. He stared some more. He'd been doing a lot of staring lately.

He swallowed slowly, the lump in his throat refusing to disappear.

"What is this?" His own voice startled him. It seemed to have grown a small bit huskier, almost. At the end of his sentence it seemed as if a growl had trailed off of the 's.' He frowned thoughtfully. "What…?"

This was all too confusing, and his senses seemed to be in overdrive. He clenched his eyes shut and grasped his hair, trying to get his pounding headache to subside. He pressed his palms against his temples, as if his hands would soothe the piercing head problem into nonexistence. But no.

Instead, when the boy pulled away he was shocked to see, in replace of his long black hair, strands of long silver cascaded from his palm to hang over his shoulder limply. He stared, flabbergasted, at his new predicament.

Was this his mother's cruel idea of a birthday joke? Had she done something to him while he slept? That would explain why his hair was suddenly silver in replacement of his long ebony tresses. But the claws… no. Perhaps it was demon magic his mother had bought for him as a birthday trick. But that wasn't like her.

But it was also all he had for an explanation as to why his hair was silver and he had claws protruding from his fingers. He frowned and released a small sigh as he brushed his silver bangs away from his forehead, pressing his palm against his forehead. He checked for a temperature. Perhaps he was sick? Perhaps this was all a dream?

He quickly scratched that. A dream wouldn't have been so painful. For a moment he dared to believe he'd been captured by a dream demon or a shadow demon. Things like that had happened before. Their Prime Minister had experienced the wrath of an angry shadow demon when he first came to office. But Inuyasha wasn't a Prime Minister.

He stood cautiously, his legs wobbling beneath his weight. He took a hesitant step forward.

"Mom?" he called out, his eyes looking around wearily. He hobbled towards his old room and passed a mirror on his way. What he saw made him freeze in shock.

He turned towards his reflection and his eyes widened. The golden irises, instead of the deep lavender he was accustomed to, swept over his figure. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary save for the scrapes he'd acquired when his claws had swept over his skin. That and his bloody lip that he'd obtained from his new fangs piercing his lip.

When he said out of the ordinary, of course, he excluded the things he'd already seen. Like his claws and hair, for instance. His eyes were certainly a marvel, as were his new fangs. He had no clue what was going on.

Then he spotted them. It was subtle at first, almost so small he didn't notice it. But when a loud blast came from the television in the other room, he felt something twitch on top of his head. He saw a small wisp of silver flash towards his right, where his room once was.

He swallowed and slowly reached out. He patted down his unruly bangs, trying to see what it was on top of his head that was making the movement. What he saw shocked him. On top of his head were large, ruffled appendages that resembled…

"Dog ears?" Inuyasha said with a disbelieving voice. He stared at the twitching dog ears. They quivered at the slightest noise and spastically searched the room when a new sound was produced.

Curiously, he reached up his fingers and, mindful of his claws, touched the ears. They twitched and he frowned. They felt odd. He tugged on them and moved his fingers along the soft fur that coated the sensitive flesh.

"Dog ears," he confirmed to himself as he dropped his hands from his ears. Hesitantly, he brushed aside his silver forelocks and searched the area where an ear should be. He found nothing but smooth, unmarred skin.

He ran away from the mirror, finding a new burst of strength. He threw the door open and listened as a disgusting crack ran through the room and the door fell from its hinges. He stared, flabbergasted, at the wreckage he'd accidentally caused. He blinked slowly.

Izayoi roused from her sleep. Rubbing her eyes, she turned to Inuyasha. "Inuyasha… what?"

"Mom!" Inuyasha said, desperation evident in his voice. "I've been possessed by a demon!"

Whether he meant the shadow demon he'd been fathoming over earlier or the dog ears on his head, Inuyasha wasn't sure. But he did know this: Something was seriously wrong with him.

"Inuyasha, what are you yapping about now?" Izayoi muttered as she blinked and stared at her son for a long moment. She didn't say anything, just looked at him with a sedulous cautiousness that suggested she'd done something to this nature before.

"Mom, what the hell is going on?" Inuyasha asked, genuinely growing worried now. Of course this random act of bad serendipity would befall him. Being possessed by a demon, or whatever it was happening to him. "Mom?"

Izayoi looked helplessly at her son for a moment, not saying anything. She circled him slowly. Her lack of words gave enough respite for Inuyasha to collect himself and think about what was happening.

"So it's finally happened," Izayoi muttered.

"Mom?" Inuyasha said, the question evident in his voice.

Izayoi sighed. "He said it would happen when you were twenty. When it didn't happen I thought that perhaps he'd permanently sealed it."

"What? Who?" Inuyasha flopped down to the ground, his legs finally giving way and his mind bubbling with a thousand questions. "Mom, god damn it, what is going on?"

His mother's hand collided with the back of his head. He released a small yip that sounded suspiciously like a dog's yelp.

"Ow!" he gasped out as he grasped the back of his head. He felt a welt forming. "What was that for?"

"Don't you dare swear in front of me, young man," Izayoi threatened and placed her hands on her hips. She turned away from him and walked to the couch she'd been sitting on before her son had awoken her. She clicked off the television and turned to look at him with an odd look on her face. "Come here."

Inuyasha did as he was told and sat down next to her, his lips turned downwards in a frown. "What?"

"I guess I should start from the beginning."

"The beginning would be best," Inuyasha agreed sardonically. Izayoi fixed him with a dark, warning look and he clipped his mouth shut. His mother's wrath was not something he liked to toy with.

Izayoi was silent for a long moment. She pursed her lips and tipped her head upwards towards the ceiling. Inuyasha sniffed disdainfully and was hit with the scent of juniper. He wrinkled his nose. Every time he breathed in he was bombarded with different scents. The juniper scent must have been his mother's.

Finally, she spoke. "It happened when you were born, you know."

"Eh…?" His mother was talking the crazy talk. She was making zero sense and it was working on Inuyasha's nerves. He couldn't very well snap at his mother, of course, but it was a huge hassle and Inuyasha wished she would just get on with it.

"You were born looking like this," Izayoi clarified. She allowed this to sink in. She cleared her throat. "You were born with white hair and golden eyes."

Inuyasha frowned. "But then how did I manage to change my eye color and hair color?"

"I'm getting to that," Izayoi explained gently, offering her son a small smile.

Now granted, Inuyasha wasn't the patient type. He'd never been good at sitting still. He'd never been good at waiting. When he wanted something, he wanted it then. If he had to get something done, he didn't procrastinate, he went out and did it. But somehow, looking at his mother, he felt a bit calmer when it came to what was happening here.

He wanted to know what was wrong with him. He already knew that, apparently, he'd been born looking like this. Was it some kind of disorder? What was the matter? Had he always been possessed by a demon?

"Do you remember your father?" His mother asked him suddenly.

The random question regarding his paternity was a bit of a shock and he blinked in surprise, trying to comprehend what his mother had just said.

"Uh… not very well."

"Do you remember what he looked like?" Izayoi specified, her earnest violet eyes staring at him seriously. Inuyasha frowned thoughtfully.

"No, not really," Inuyasha said with a curious frown on his face. He blinked and stared at his mother. "He…" He scrunched up his face as he attempted to recollect any memory he had of his father. "He had white hair."

"Your father, Inuyasha, looked just as you do now. For the most part," Izayoi said quietly. She clenched her hands together and stared at her son for a long moment. "He was a demon."

Inuyasha reeled back in shock, his golden eyes widening in surprise. "W-what?"

He knew his father was different. But he'd always assumed him to just be very old. Hence the white hair.

But if his father was a… a demon…

"A demon," Izayoi repeated.

Inuyasha blinked, staring at his mother with the same shocked look as before.

"Your father was a powerful dog demon. In ancient times he ruled over the western lands of Japan," Izayoi said quietly. Inuyasha didn't say anything. "He lived for centuries. He was wise and very powerful. Many demons regarded him as a fool and weak-minded at times, however, due to his compassion for humans."

Izayoi paused to collect herself, her fingers dabbing at the tears that were forming in her eyes.

"He had a soft spot for humans. They fascinated him tremendously," Izayoi said gently. "He would pity them when they were killed. He would observe them from afar, most of the time."

Izayoi clasped her hands. "He was a gentle soul, easily swayed by the humans he protected under his rule. He was a wondrous leader. Unfortunately, as the feudal system fell and governments rose in Japan your father lost his claim to his land. The western lands, technically, still belong to the family. Your older brother, Sesshoumaru. However, the demon clans that once ruled over the four sections of Japan are simply nominal rulers now."

Inuyasha stared at the carpet. It wasn't so much that he was shocked to hear his father was a demon; he remembered his father having white hair—it was just the fact that all these years people had crammed it into his mind that demons were evil, no matter what. They were all evil beings that deserved to die.

But his father had been kind. His father had loved him. His father had loved his mom. How could his father be evil when Inuyasha remembered him being so good? His mother had just said that his father was a kind man. That he had great compassion for humans. How could someone who was kind and gentle to humans be considered evil?

He furrowed his brows as he thought. This was all a big shock, and it put a damper on all his earlier philosophy of all demons being evil. He was a demon now, apparently, but he was still the same guy. He was just boring, plain Inuyasha. He hadn't changed. Yet, now he wasn't fully human he was evil. All because of his father?

If his father was a demon that made him…

"You're a half-breed, Inuyasha," Izayoi stated calmly and didn't lift her eyes to stare at him.

She was ashamed.

He could tell right away that his mother was ashamed. Ashamed of what, he wasn't sure. For a moment he dreaded that she was ashamed of the fact he was a half-breed, but he told himself that his mother wouldn't do something like that. His mother loved him.

He rubbed his temples as he began to slowly form a headache that could possibly kill him if he didn't get some medication soon. He just wanted to go to sleep and forget this ever happened. Or better yet, he could wake up and realize it was all some sick dream and he was still lying on his mother's couch after eating his cake. But no, that would have been convenient. And it seemed that his bad luck streak just kept going on full throttle.

"I'm a half-breed?" Inuyasha wheezed out, feeling as if he could not breathe. "Please tell me you're kidding."

'I'm just a normal kid. A kid cursed with incredible bad luck. But I'm not demonic. I'm not evil.' Inuyasha clenched his eyes shut. He prayed that his mother would say the things he wanted to hear and nothing more.

"I'm not," she whispered. "You're a half-breed."

Inuyasha felt as if his world had just smashed apart. His mother had dropped this bomb so casually, as if the fact that he'd believed himself to be a normal human his entire life only to have the fact that he had demon blood pulsing through him wasn't a big deal. Because it was. It was.

"Your father didn't want that life for you," Izayoi said gently. "To be ridiculed for your blood and to always be judged because of your demon heritage. He found a trustworthy doctor, whom did not judge those because of their blood. They'd been friends for many years and together they managed to seal your blood and make you appear to be a normal human."

Inuyasha stared at his mother, his mouth falling open. He remembered his earliest memory: His father turning away from him as a needle was implanted into his arm. He was being denied part of his self. He was denied his father.

He understood where his father was coming from, but it didn't ease the pain or shock. Both his parents had lied to him.

He shook his head and scooted away from his mother. "How could you hide this from me?"

"I was planning on telling you when you turned twenty. Your father said that the seal would wear off when you became twenty. They wanted to make it permanent, but they weren't entirely sure whether or not it would. In that time technology wasn't as advanced as it is now. But when it never happened… I believed that perhaps the seal had truly been everlastingly. That's what your father wanted. To permanently seal you and let you live your life as an average human."

"But why did you keep it from me? I've always thought that I was human," Inuyasha demanded and stood. He pointed an accusing finger at his mother. "I was always told that demons were bad. That they were all evil. Even you told me that they were evil. But what now, Mom? But what does that make me?"

Izayoi looked genuinely ashamed of herself again and Inuyasha was happy for that. But only for a moment. Then he, too, started to feel bad. He didn't want his mother to fear him. Never.

"Are you ashamed of me?" Inuyasha snapped. "Is that why you didn't say anything? Because you didn't want a half-breed child?"

"Inuyasha, please. Don't get angry with me," Izayoi said gently, her eyes threatening to fill with tears.

He growled the sinister dog-like snarl he'd discovered but relented. He sat down again, though his growling did not cease.

"Inuyasha…" For her credit, Izayoi did look embarrassed. "I didn't want you to be burdened by the fact that even though you appear normal, you're very different. No one wants to be different."

Inuyasha snorted. He was already different. The only people who liked him were high school girls, and they didn't count because he didn't like high school girls in any case.

"That's a stupid reason."

"The seal wasn't supposed to last forever though, as you can see. It just lasted longer than we predicted," Izayoi said soothingly, trying to ease her son into a peaceful stance instead of his on-guard, defensive stature. Plus, his growling was beginning to work on her nerves.

"So what does this mean?" Inuyasha demanded.

Izayoi sighed. "It means, Inuyasha, that you're a half-breed now. We cannot seal your blood again. It only happens once. If we were to do it again it could possibly kill you. Your demon blood was not meant to be dormant. It flows through your veins. Trying to suppress it again could possibly lead to an escalation of your blood pressure and heart failure. I don't want you to die."

She grew quiet for a moment. "Though, like this, you may be subject to life threatening situations."

"Huh?" Inuyasha looked fearful for a moment.

"Half-breed are what the radicals fear most. They are a mixture of human and demon—the perfect example of human-demon relations. Those who want the other species dead do not want a successful human-demon child alive for that could jeopardize exactly what they're preaching."

"But I didn't do anything wrong," Inuyasha protested.

"They wouldn't care, Inuyasha." Izayoi bit her lip. "They would kill you."

He stood abruptly and stormed away from the couch. He growled and clenched his head, where his throbbing headache refused to give him peace.

"Then what the fuck am I supposed to do?" Inuyasha snapped out. "Am I supposed to spend the rest of my life hiding in my room? You know how good a demon's nose is! They'll be able to smell the human in me in an instant. The humans may believe I'm a demon but the demons will surely kill me!"

Inuyasha began freaking out. He was going to die. Because of being born he was going to die. Here he was, twenty-two years old… not even finished with school, no career, never had a girlfriend, never had a true friend, really… and he was going to die. His life had sucked. It had just sucked. That's all. He'd gone through life living in the delusional fantasy that things would get better. But no.

He was going to die.

Because of his damn mother and father's heritage.

He growled and fisted his hands. "Damn it!"

"Inuyasha, calm down," Izayoi yelped out as she dared to stand and place her hands on her son's shoulders. He stiffened and bowed his head, his growl reverberating around the room. "Everything's going to be fine. I have something that can hide you."

Inuyasha turned around and stared down at her. "Then why didn't you say so? Holy shit, Mom, telling me that I'll be killed is not something that is going to keep me calm about this situation."

Izayoi sighed and pushed her black bangs away from her forehead. "I can see that now, Inuyasha, but please try and relax. You are not going to die. You're too strong-willed. Besides, I'd never let that happen."

She turned on her heel. "I think I have something that your father left you that can help your situation. Until then, stay here."

Izayoi left the room, leaving Inuyasha alone. He stood there stupidly, inhaling and smelling the scent of juniper disappearing from the room and moving down the hall where it was far more pungent.

Inuyasha stood awkwardly, unsure of what to do now. He moved slowly towards the couch, as if in a trance, before plopping down onto the soft cushions and placing his face in his hands. He sat there with his back arched and his shoulder tense. What was he going to do?

Suddenly his life didn't seem so boring. Suddenly his luck seemed to be the worst in the entire world. Even worse than it had before.

His body pulsed and he felt his blood roar within him. He felt urges roll over him and his golden eyes opened to focus on the ground before him. It wavered. His world seemed to be closing in. He lifted his head.

He looked around the room and it seemed as if it had morphed. He was no longer in his old room. He was in a small, constricting chamber. He couldn't move here. He was suffocating here.

He stood slowly and moved to the window, hoping to open it and perhaps clear his head. His headache was getting worse. He rubbed his forehead and opened the window, sticking his head out and whiffing a lung-full of city air.

He nearly gagged as the retched smells of the city bombarded his senses. He staggered back and clapped a hand over his nose.

'You're a demon now…' a voice whispered within him. He nodded slowly and his lips curved into a smile, despite himself. 'You have unspeakable power now. You can do anything. Why are you here, waiting for your life to pass you by?'

His foot moved upwards and placed itself on the windowpane.

'You're free to do what you want.'

Golden eyes stared out over the city, reflecting the lights of the city, the darkness barely phasing his demonic vision. The world seemed to be in perfect clarity now.

His other foot joined its twin on the windowsill.

He swallowed and his hands grasped the sides of the walls. His claws scraped against the painted walls. Chips of paint fell off and peppered the ground.

'There's nothing for you behind. Live.'

Inuyasha jumped off the ledge of his window and into the air.