Yuri and incest. Um. Sort of.
It occurred to Kagura one day, as she sat on the end of a grassy hill and watched the wind blow leaves across the sky, that the wind was not free. Was she not, in fact, controlling the wind? Manipulating it, bending it to her will, using it? Her shock at her personal revelation nearly made her drop her fan; she rolled over to her side and vomited all over the grass at the sudden realization of how much she was like Naraku after all.
But Kagura was not the sort of person to accept things the way they were, so she resolved on that hill that sunny day that she would one day be the wind in full, and so would be in control of herself.
What a silly little girl.
Kagura, fresh from the assembly line, was obedient. Spineless, she had nothing to keep her head up and it bowed forward.
Naraku scowled. He wanted his puppets' strings wrapped securely around their own fingers and necks. He left the room without a word and Kagura stayed were she was, head dangling, waiting for orders.
Minutes, hours, it was impossible to tell, but after a stretch of time Kanna stirred, stood from her kneeling position and crossed the room, circled Kagura until she was facing her. Slowly, she detached a hand from her mirror and reached out, brushing her fingertips against the taller youkai's cheek.
Kanna's mirror mirrored Naraku's body. It took in souls, used them as a frame, an exoskeleton, and employed the same principle as Naraku's body. She drew from the inside of the mirror a congregation of stolen souls, bits and pieces that had lost individuality in the void.
She found the phrase It builds character confusing. It, like all facets of human philosophy, intrigued her. You could make artificial flesh and blood, you could make artificial wisps of consciousness. What made life, exactly?
Kagura's lips twitched. Then she reached up and shoved Kanna's hand away.
Kanna thought it was in that fatal moment of curiosity that she began to sympathize with the cat.
His thin fingers curled around her throat and trailed down to her breast, brushing it almost thoughtfully and feeling the steady beating below his fingertips. He pushed and her skin gave under him, warm and pink with new blood and fresh life. Her back was straight, her shoulders squared.
Naraku said, and sighed.
Kagura seethed and spat in his face.
And then his fingers dug into her breast, shoved in up to his wrist, cracked through rib, and closed into a fist.
Kagura's eyes went wide in shock, hand half-raised in protective reflex, lips slightly parted as though she wanted to scream, but she only managed a thin line of blood that stained her lips and dribbed down her chin. She had the look of one who had just discovered pain for the first and been shocked to realize it was, in fact, painful.
I will hold onto this, he said kindly, and without his arm as support she fell forward, clutching her chest and shrieking inhuman things, because she still didn't have the vocabulary to tell him how much she hated him.
And so Kagura, with a body-that-felt-like-her's-but-was-not and a soul-that-felt-like-her's-but-was-not, went out to obey whims that were not her own.
Poor little girl. This seemed to surprise her.
When Naraku kept Kagura in the basement, bound in locks for her digression during the new moon, Kanna went down to visit her.
she said, and stirred as much as her bindings would allow her, and Kanna, a connoisseur of human philosophy, wondered if there was a metaphor in there somewhere. You led me down here! Kanna agreed, and stopped in front of her. I told you we were only his tools.
Kagura glared at her and swallowed. Kanna unnerved her more than Naraku, at times. It was easier, to pretend she didn't exist, and the thing was, maybe she didn't.
Are you alive? Kanna asked, quite out of the blue in Kagura's opinion.
Kanna didn't repeat herself, just stood there in that creepy way she did and held her mirror in that creepy way she did, and Kagura licked her lips, mouth suddenly quite dry.
Of course I'm alive! What sort of question is that!
She inclined her head slightly, as if honestly considering her question, and Kagura snorted.
But how do you know?
Kagura stared at her. She muddled through the usual symptoms - and found none of them applied to her. But... she was alive. She was so obviously, unquestionably alive, that this whole exchange was ridiculous.
She told Kanna as much, and tried not to flinch when the older-but-younger youkai's fingers brushed her jaw.
I can't feel. Kanna informed her. Are you warm?
Kagura tried to remember.
Kagura followed him when he walked, her bare feet treading over the booted impressions he left in the mud. She suggested grand pacts and glory, until Sesshoumaru tired of hearing it and stopped. Kagura stopped as well, as if she were tugged along on a string, and she tapped a feather against her chin as he regarded her.
Kagura. If you ever want this Sesshoumaru to see you as a woman, you have to grow up.
Her eyes widened and her fist clamped down on the feather, strangling it, shredding it apart in the vice of her closed hand. A half-formed snarl escaped her; she was incoherent, and outraged, and more than a little confused. How dare you-How dare you, he repeated, the slightest of slight creases on his brow, ask for independence.
Kagura seethed, mouth tightening, and she was left standing in the mud holding a crumpled feather. It occurred to her, then, that she was in this alone.
It was the kindest thing anyone could have done for her.
Kanna decided, upon reflection, that she felt empty.
She had seen Kagura empty once, Kagura who was bursting with... life. She'd filled her up, and she wondered if that was why she felt empty now. Kanna could puzzle over human philosophy, but she would never be able to grasp their ideology.
She dragged her fingers across the surface of her mirror, propped up in her lap, and felt neither belonged to her.
Kanna discovered that life was marked by those that wanted to be alive, as she peered into the mirror that would show her everything but her reflection. She searched for some wisp of soul she had given on loan and found it had escaped her entirely while her back was turned. Oddly, she felt resentful, as if she had been denied something she was entitled to.
She inclined her head, looked out the window.
She thought there ought to be a change in the breeze, at least, but there wasn't.
Childish, childish, childish.