This is a one-shot round robin fic by Dawnsama's requested character, Inuyasha.
When Inuyasha remembered his mother, he remembered her hands used to always shake. It would happen all the time so he thought it was normal.
Her voice would also always be tense, croaky, and on the verge of sobs. He just thought that she was always sad that his father was gone. And for a wife without a husband, a beloved child without a father, he thought weeping women were quite natural. His mother wept all the time, even when there were no tears to spill.
But he had no idea that it was because of them – not until it was too late.
They were the ones who made his mother cry. They were the reasons that her hands shook and she cried whenever she held him – her son born with a terrible fate.
"I'm sorry," she wept. She had cried it so much the words made him feel numb and lost power over him. What was she always apologizing for? Did she apologize that she gave birth to him – a freak hanyou? Was she apologizing that he had no father?
Or was she apologizing to the people of the village – in shame – just beyond their rickety walls for which they could not hear?
Maybe he was a freak – maybe his mother always knew this and could not bear it. He'd like to believe this was not true – that his mother wanted him to live with her – be with her.
"Mother, it's alright," he tried to soothe her as he ran his fingers through her hair. His mother had beautiful hair – of a princess – and he felt as if were being hypnotized by a soothing lullaby when he caressed it.
"No, my son," his mother shook her head that one day – the last day he had tried to comfort her. She sucked in a heavy breath of air and wiped her tears dry. She looked at the walls – not really looking at them – but looking through them, through to the evil that waited outside for them. Her lip quivered and her mouth ran dry. "No, it's not alright," she whispered, as the malevolent dusty air seemed to tighten around their lungs. The blood moonlight filtered through the cracks of their house and through their only window. The nature-quiet heightened the tension in the air.
A stick broke outside, and Inuyasha's ears cocked automatically. He sniffed and his eyes widened with alert. His mother closed her eyes tightly, clutching him to her breast and well aware of the foreboding danger that was just ahead.
Inuyasha's keen senses picked up many scents and the increasing shuffling that was getting louder and closer to their position. He instinctively quivered, and he felt his shoulders tense. He growled, and his mother let out a quick sob and put her hand over his mouth to shush him.
"Shhhh…" she whispered. "If we're quiet, then maybe they will think we're already gone." She sighed quietly yet raggedly in the darkened room. The flame from their fire pit had already extinguished and they were covered in darkness.
Inuyasha sensed twenty – maybe thirty humans coming to their house. He smelled soot and saw the lights of flames flash and trickle in from the cracks in the wall.
The shuffling suddenly ceased, and the bodies he sensed were still, but they were indeed waiting in front of their small abode.
"Come out of here, you demon lover! We want you out of our village!"
"Yeah," said another. "And take your spawn with you!"
A female voice added, "We don't want our babies around your filth! Get out of our town at once!"
Their fellow comrades made a resounding agreement with the outspoken demands. Inuyasha covered his ears as they began shouting, demanding, and threatening them to leave.
The tension rose, and people's fears were fueled by passion and prejudice. Adrenaline rose and the air filled with chaos and terror. And when the chanting started, a flame was thrown at their house, tearing and chewing at the framework of their once treasured little home.
His mother muffled her scream in her kimono and shielded him with her body. He felt her shiver against him, coughing but trying not to be loud. The tears and snot mixed with the rising smoke on her face.
People cheered outside, and his house – the only home he ever knew – was on fire.
His mother was frightened.
He growled and clenched his fists. He was only a small boy, only about the height of his mother's waist, but he was still stronger than humans ten times older than him. He could cut them with his claws. He could bite them with his teeth.
The young Inuyasha wanted to tear them all apart.
"Don't," she soothed, rubbing his head and stroking his ears. He lulled in a sense of sobriety at her touch. "They are just as afraid as we are."
She was too keen on his intentions, but he always knew his mother was amazing – compassionate beyond the care that people deserved.
"They are afraid, my son. They are afraid just as we are." She sighed and dipped her head against his and nuzzled his nose with hers. "We are all afraid but for different reasons. You can't kill them – you'd be killing a person just like me. I'm human too, Inuyasha, and I have fears like them."
"But what are we going to do? Will they just let us leave?" Rising fire reflected in his eyes and it was getting harder to breathe.
"We have to," she sobbed, but she looked up into his eyes and smiled reassured despite herself. "We have nowhere to go, but at least we have each other."
And with a swell of pride in being her son, he lifted up his hands and slashed through the back wall of their hut with his claws. The fire was rising fast on their house and belongings, and he noticed that even the ends of his mother's kimono were on fire. Quickly, he took her hand and led her out of the back way of the hut. Luckily, no one was waiting for them, and only dense forest was in front of them.
"Let's go, Mother," he finally said, and he squeezed their hands together. She let go momentarily and removed her outer kimono to alleviate the extra weight. She grabbed his hand once again – much tighter than before – and they began to take off in a steady run. As their feet left the hut – their once precious home teetered and fell over in a pile of raging ash.
Inuyasha's ears cocked as he heard yelling and footsteps behind them. His mother had a hard time staying with his pace, and she began wheezing and coughing from all the smoke she inhaled. He tugged her along, desperation strong in his eyes. They couldn't fail now.
The villagers were now chasing after them.
He wished he was a bit bigger, and then he could carry her. He was still too small and too weak to do such a thing and not be weighed down.
"C'mon," he ordered, tugging, and she nodded, trying to regulate her hard breathing as much as she could.
But when he turned around and saw his mother slowing more and more and the villagers gaining more and more, real raw fear singed at his bones and tugged at his heart for the first time in his life.
"No," he cried, his mother slowing and tripping on her feet. Her eyes were beginning to close on their own, and she was weakening.
"I need a rest," she pleaded but Inuyasha pulled roughly at her arm instead.
"We can't rest, Mother! They're following us!" he chided desperately. She nodded, tears welling in her eyes from the pain in her lungs and feet. Then, horror struck him as a flaming arrow hit the dirt at their feet.
They were shooting at them!
"Now! Come!" Inuyasha pulled and pleaded. His mother wobbled on her feet. He couldn't believe she was this weak.
"You have to! They'll kill us!"
"Just go – you're much faster. Leave me and save yourself…"
Inuyasha couldn't believe what she was saying, and it was making him angry and terrified. "I'm not leaving you, not ever, mother! I'll never leave you! I can't! You can't!"
He had rarely cried. He was a boy trying to be a man after all – and a demon too. Men and demons didn't cry – they didn't cry in front of others! But he couldn't help it. Tears fell as his mother's step fell slower and slower. Arrows flew past them as they continued slowly along. One had hit him the shoulder, and the pain seared into his nerves and flesh, causing him to shout in agony. He, too, was fleeing much slower.
And the dread that balled up in his stomach and throat had suddenly burst.
His eyes widened, and he screamed. A streaming arrow came – darting through the air with a high pitched wail that stabbed though the night and pieced through delicate flesh – into the back of the only person he ever knew to love and accept him.
"Mother!" he screamed, and she fell limply into his quick arms. He raged, and let out a bellow through the night that made the world stand still and the night buzz in a temporary mute.
The arrows froze in the fractured night.
Blood – his mother's blood – painted his small hands. A beast awoke from its slumber.
Red filtered into gold, and claws sang for the taste of blood. Sucking in the scent of his fallen loved one; he paused, his energy rising to accost the still of night. The blood moon reflected his intentions in his eyes, and he stared down those who oppressed them. They looked at him in awe, their zenith of fear feeding to his abounding rage.
He was no longer small. He was no longer a child. He was no longer a human.
In his mind, he was now only a demon.
The first person that screamed got a taste of his claws to their throat. When the first kill was made, the humans scattered without direction and ran for cover from the rampaging monster.
They screamed, and their howls were the satisfaction to his mourning heart and avenging blood. His only intent was to kill – pay them all for murdering his kin and burning down their home. If they would not submit, they would die.
And he preferred them to die.
When he had taken care of the men, all that was left were the few women that had bravely come to lynch on their children's behalf. And with the first woman he cornered, he wrapped his small, powerful hands around her throat and began to squeeze – his eyes red as he channeled her fright and pain.
"No, please," she managed to choke out. Tears and saliva cascaded down over his hands. "I have sons. They need me."
Then, he stopped, and his grip was slacked. The beast was paused, and inside him, young Inuyasha was pounding to get through. Somehow, in a tiny part of his mind, he knew that what he was doing was not right.
The beast inside him had overtaken his senses. It had caused him to spill the very blood his mother had begged him not to.
His mother wouldn't what him to kill another mother – a mother just wanting to protect her sons just as his mother had wanted with him.
"You can't kill them – you'd be killing a person just like me. I'm human too, Inuyasha, and I have fears like them."
His mother's voice echoed in his head. He released the woman, and leapt away into the thick forest, covering his ears from the voices in his head. He could hear his mother's desperate voice, his own frightened childlike voice, and then the beast growling for him to submit to him again – to break him free and fulfill the bloodlust.
"No!" he cried as the blood of his victims dry and cracking on his small hands.
Tears fell as easy as blood, and the quick, recent past deeds of the beast filtered through his mind, tugging at him – reminding him of his greatest sin.
Young Inuyasha hugged himself. He watched as the villagers quickly scattered and were gone. His mother's body lay beneath him as he wept in the branches of the tree.
His eyes blurred from his tears, and he felt scared – too scared to accept the raging truth in front of him.
His mother was dead, and he had killed others in her name beyond her principles. And as he sat in the tree, looking down at her body and coming slowly close to accepting her death – he felt useless, confused, and so very alone.
Inuyasha never wanted to imagine a life without his mother. And now that life was real.
That dire night had passed by, and Inuyasha had braved clutching his mother's lifeless body next to his chest and carrying her with his large strength and small body to an ideal resting place.
He walked and walked, and he seemed to travel forever to find a suitable place. As he walked, his mind was dulled from such an overexertion of pain, and he struggled to keep the demon of his rampage at bay. But the bloody events stayed with him, and the horrific images of murder and fear were glazed steadfastly over his brain.
Then, he stopped, and the bright light of the morning painted a tranquil scene in front of him. As far as his eyes could see he found a meadow of wild yellow and white lilies. Loose petals danced in a morning breeze and he felt the damp dewy earth sift between his bare toes.
He felt at peace, and his mother's body in his arms started to feel light.
She would be safe here – he hoped – and no more evil, no more oppression would disturb her somber spirit.
His fingers were cold from the morning soil. Underneath a weeping willow among a sparse knoll he buried her – the vast meadow of lilies stretching out from her feet.
Inuyasha erected a little shrine of stones against the tree. For many long hours he sat and remembered her – prayed as he knew she would never come back to hug him.
He could never run his fingers through her hair. He could never learn the valuable lessons a mother had to teach her son.
All of that had been taken away from him – all because of them.
And though he had killed them for her sake, it nonetheless made him feel worse. His mother had pleaded not kill them, but something inside of him had taken over anyway – beyond his will, feeding on raw unrestrained rage without the strength of human compassion or control.
By killing them, he had turned into the very beast they had initially feared.
Great agony fell over his shoulders to such a revelation, and Inuyasha took one last look at his mother's fresh grave. In her death, he hated to think that she died because of him – but he couldn't think of anything truer.
Tears poked at the edges of his eyes, but he stopped them. He felt tears were wasted now – fake and meaningless. Shame for the creature he had been born was everlasting – no tears could change that.
His mother's residual scent began to fade in his nose. The chilling events of her death froze constant in his heart. In the end, he felt it was as it should be – that he'd just have to go alone from here.
Undeserving of pity, undeserving of love – he felt he could never show his tears again.