Turning the Tables
Blanket Disclaimer: Rumiko Takahashi created InuYasha. I am not Rumiko Takahashi. If the previous two statements are true, then I do not own InuYasha and I am not making any money from this story.
Authors Note: Just wanted to say a big thanks to everyone who confirmed that Kikyo had not seen Inuyasha in his full-demon state in the manga. Not that I was too concerned about going against canon, mind you, but it's still nice to know that I'm at least not completely contradicting Ms. Takahashi's work, at least not yet, anyway.
I had forgotten to mention in my previous chapter that all spellings and characterizations are taken from the English anime dubs.
"Lady Kikyo," Miroku said as he approached the motionless figure. "We are going back to our camp. Would you like to join us?"
Sango barely restrained herself from knocking the monk out with her weapon. Why on earth would he invite her back to their camp? Kikyo was obviously there to see Inuyasha, and past experience had shown that Kikyo was never very talkative around the rest of them. What could Miroku have been thinking?
Finally the woman spoke. "I've never seen Inuyasha like this before," she said in her usual cold, serene voice.
"Yes," Miroku said patiently. "Inuyasha, in his full demon state, is quite ter—"
"He didn't recognize me," Kikyo interrupted. She didn't look at Miroku or Sango, but continued to stare out at Inuyasha, his body blocking Kagome from their view.
Sango noticed that Kikyo had been holding her bow as though she was readying it to be fired, although she had not yet drawn an arrow. As calm and serene as Kikyo's voice and expression was, Sango wondered if the once dead miko had felt any fear. Kagome was the only one who hadn't seen Inuyasha snarl fiercely at Kikyo once she had come into view.
"Come, Lady Kikyo," Miroku said again. "We dare not linger here much longer."
"What about Inuyasha?" Kikyo replied, still watching Inuyasha as he held Kagome.
Sango couldn't repress the small twinge of satisfaction as she too, glanced in their direction. From this particular angle, it seemed as though Inuyasha was actually kissing Kagome, although Sango knew that probably wasn't the case at all; more like he was still licking Kagome's wounds. However, Kikyo hadn't seen that and from this angle… Sango bit back a small smile. How many times had the situation been reversed? How many times had Kagome been hurt and upset over seeing Kikyo and Inuyasha together?
If Kikyo is capable of feeling human emotions, Sango thought, I hope she feels at least half of the pain that Kagome felt every time she saw them together.
Wanting to rub it in further, Sango couldn't help but reply, "Inuyasha will be fine. Kagome's the only one he will respond to when he's transformed." And with that comment, Sango turned and started back towards camp, finally giving into the smile she'd been holding in at the strange glimmer in the miko's fathomless eyes.
The procession back to camp was subdued. Shippo was softly crying in Miroku's arms, his bushy tail twitching nervously.
"Don't worry, Shippo," Miroku stroked Shippo's back, trying to comfort the small kitsune. "You know Inuyasha would never hurt Kagome."
"I know," Shippo replied tearfully. "But he…Myoga said the Tetsusaiga kept Inuyasha's demon blood in check. Why did he transform?"
"We're all wondering that as well," said Miroku. "Perhaps Myoga might grace us with his presence soon, and help clarify this."
"We killed the scorpion," Sango added. "Once he senses the danger is gone, I'm sure Myoga will show up. Especially if he can smell when Inuyasha's blood changes."
When they had arrived at the camp, Sango immediately began to tend the monk's wound, while Kirara and Shippo rummaged through Kagome's bag for food. Sango tried to ignore the silent figure of Kikyo as she stood just beyond the light of the camp fire. She bit her lip nervously as she carefully secured the last of the bandages and glanced at Miroku. His eyes were closed, and Sango could tell he was deep in thought.
One of Kikyo's soul collectors hovered overhead, a glowing ball of light clamped between its arms. Sango barely managed to suppress a shiver. In spite of all that the demon-slayer had seen and done in her short lifetime, she still found those things disturbing. Not wanting to see Kikyo absorb the soul into her body, Sango kept a close eye on Shippo as he began boiling water for ramen. Shippo was very close to both Kagome and Inuyasha—although Inuyasha and Shippo would both fervently deny that claim—and she knew he was greatly upset about what had happened.
Sango sighed and stretched, wincing at the movement. She'd not been hurt like the others, as she and Kirara had been circling the scorpion overhead, but with all the traveling they'd been doing lately, she was a bit sore. Feeling a sharp sting on her neck, she rubbed the area.
"Ah! Sango, you taste just as delicious as Kagome," said Myoga, jumping to land on Miroku's shoulder.
"Myoga!" Shippo, Sango, and Miroku all exclaimed.
Kagome had absolutely no idea how long she'd been standing there with Inuyasha—time seemed to have frozen from the moment Inuyasha wrapped her in his arms, and she was thankful for the support they offered, especially when she felt his warm, moist tongue gliding across the scrapes on her forehead. He continued to growl softly, and the sound was strangely soothing, almost comforting.
But as nice as being held by Inuyasha was, the pain in Kagome's abdomen was swiftly overriding all other sensations. She needed to get her wound bandaged quickly, and she knew that he had injuries that needed tending to as well.
"Inuyasha," she hissed softly as a sharp pain arrowed through her, "We're going to have to get ourselves seen to."
"Hurt." His voice was low and scratchy. Astonished at the sound, she met his eyes, and while he still bore the signs of his demon blood, it appeared that he had not been completely consumed by it. His eyes were still a fiery red, but somehow he seemed to be a bit calmer. The fact that he was speaking and clearly seemed to understand her was a good sign.
"Yes," she replied. "See that first aid kit that Sango left us? It's right over there." She pointed just a few feet away to the white box that held her first-aid supplies.
Suddenly, before Kagome could even move, Inuyasha swooped her up in his arms and placed her on the ground next to the kit. "Uh…thanks." She grabbed the necessary items and faced him. "Let's get you cleaned up and see how bad your wounds are."
Inuyasha shook his head, leaning away from her. "You first," he growled. Kagome blinked then let out a startled shriek as his claws shredded the rest of her shirt, gently tugging the cloth away from the gash on her stomach. The rush of cool air on her wounds made her hiss with the pain. Inuyasha let out a soft rumble in response and handed her the first-aid kit.
"Ok, I guess I'll go first then." As Kagome began cleaning the blood from the gash, she was thankful to note that the wound didn't look half as bad as it felt. It began just below the small scar where the Shikon jewel had burst from her body and ran all the way to the other side.
"Thank goodness that I won't need stitches for this," Kagome sighed as she taped the last of the bandages over the cut. "When I took that emergency medical class at the health clinic a few months ago, I really wasn't intending for me to be the very first one to get hurt, you know."
"Ok, now your turn," she said as she pulled out another clean cloth and began to clean the blood from Inuyasha. A deep purr rumbled from his chest and Kagome carefully gauged his reactions, hoping not to cause him any more pain. Inuyasha watched her closely as she worked, and Kagome would pause to give him a reassuring smile, hoping to calm him. His upper body was covered in blood, although most of it had dried. Biting her lip in confusion, she noticed that most of the cuts weren't really even bad enough to bother with bandaging. Fast healer Inuyasha may be, but the small cuts couldn't have been bleeding that badly.
"These aren't bad at all," Kagome murmured, spraying a bit of antiseptic on the worst of them. "None of them seem to be bad enough to cause you to change. And you have the Tetsusaiga with you, so that's not it either."
Now that she'd managed to take care of their wounds, Kagome sat back and stared at Inuyasha, gazing directly into his eyes, willing him to change back into the half-demon she knew and loved. Her eyes ran over the beads around his neck.
I could "Sit!" him, I suppose, she thought. Especially as he's not as injured as I had originally feared. But what happens if the spell won't snap him out of it? Will he get angry? What if he can't change back? What am I supposed to do? I feel so helpless!
Sick with the thought of losing Inuyasha forever, Kagome suddenly launched herself at him. She wrapped her arms around him tightly, as though that small act would return him to his half-demon self. In reaction, Inuyasha let out a startled growl and clutched her close to his body.
"Inuyasha," Kagome whispered, stroking the jagged stripes that graced the sides of his face. "How am I going to get you back?" His eyes flared at her touch, and Kagome shivered at his intense gaze.
"Kagome," he said gruffly, just before lowering his lips to meet hers.
"Hmmmm…" Myoga sat on Miroku's shoulder, his tiny brow furrowed as they told him the events of the afternoon. "Master Inuyasha had the Tetsusaiga with him, and he still transformed. This is interesting. Most interesting."
"Yes," Miroku said. "I couldn't see everything that happened, as I was too busy with one of the scorpion's heads."
"Had he been injured?" Myoga asked.
"Nothing out of the ordinary," Sango replied, frowning. "At least from what I could see. There was blood covering him, but I think most of that was from the demon when he chopped it in half with the Tetsusaiga."
"Hmmm…" Myoga hummed thoughtfully. "There has to be a cause for his demon blood to dominate his human side. How did he seem once he'd transformed?"
"It was…different," Miroku said slowly. "Inuyasha mostly just snarled and growled at us, although there was a moment when I thought he was going to attack…" Miroku let his voice trail off as he glanced to the figure of Kikyo still standing in the shadows just beyond them. "Um..," he cleared his throat nervously, "That is he seemed more in control of himself this time."
"He was really scary though," Shippo added. Shippo had been unusually quiet as they had talked, tucked against Sango.
"What about Kagome?" Myoga wondered. "How did the Master react to Kagome?"
"He didn't try to hurt her, if that's what you mean," Sango said. "She'd been hurt, and was thrown against a tree when Kirara and I landed."
"That's it!" Shippo exclaimed excitedly, jumping up and down on Sango's lap. "I remember! Kagome was trying to fire one of her sacred arrows at the scorpion, but she missed. Inuyasha yelled at her to get away, but the scorpion grabbed her with his claw and threw her before Inuyasha could get to her. I don't think it was until after she'd been hurt that Inuyasha transformed!"
"Hmmm…," Miroku cocked his head and stared into the fire. "It did appear as though Inuyasha thought we were a threat…"
"But not to him, to Kagome," Sango finished.
"He was protecting her," Shippo added. Kirara let out a small mewl as though she agreed with the others.
Everyone was silent as they mulled over that bit of information.
Myoga plucked at his whiskers, his tiny brow furrowed in deep concentration as he paced back and forth on Miroku's shoulder.
"What are your thoughts, Myoga?"
The flea briefly paused as he met the monk's gaze. "Was Kagome bleeding?"
Miroku and Sango exchanged puzzled expressions. "Yes, she was," Sango said. "But none of us could get too close to her with Inuyasha transformed to see how badly she'd been hurt."
Myoga frowned. "Well, I'm not sure—this is just a theory, mind you—but it could have been that the smell of Kagome's blood, especially if Master Inuyasha thought she was gravely injured, that could have caused the transformation."
"What does that mean?" Shippo asked.
"When Inuyasha has transformed in the past, it was because his life was in danger and the Tetsusaiga was not with him. However, from what you've just told me, what happened this afternoon was different. He had the Tetsusaiga. He didn't appear to have a life-threatening injury. He transformed, but for the most part, he had a measure of control about him, am I right?"
"Yes, but what does that have to do with Kagome?" Sango asked.
Myoga blew out an exasperated breath. "Everything! You all know as well as I that the Master has feelings for Kagome," Myoga paused while they all exchanged knowing looks. Sango couldn't help but glance over at Kikyo, who had continued to stand off to the side. Orbs of light from disconnected souls floated around her, casting the dead priestess in an eerie glow. It was obvious from the tilt of Kikyo's head that she was listening to the conversation, and Sango wondered what the woman thought about what Myoga had just told them.
"I still don't get it," Shippo said, pulling Sango from her thoughts. "You're saying that because Inuyasha is in love with Kagome, he transformed into a demon because she got hurt?"
"I'm saying that was the smell of Kagome's blood and his feelings for Kagome that caused him to transform," Myoga said, waving his four arms in frustration.
"But that doesn't quite make sense," Sango added. "Kagome's been hurt pretty badly before, without Inuyasha transforming."
"It's been a long time though, since Kagome's been hurt," Miroku said. "Inuyasha's feelings for Kagome have grown in that time as well."
"He still sometimes acts like an idiot though," Shippo complained.
"You are all missing the point!" Myoga cried, jumping up and down in exasperation. "In the past, when Master Inuyasha has lost control to his demon side, Kagome has been the only one who dared approach him. Even in his demon form, he knows who she is. I believe that Inuyasha's feelings for Kagome are so powerful that even when he transforms, he retains them. Much like when Inuyasha's demon blood takes over when his own life is threatened, it sensed that Kagome's life was in danger and reacted the same way. Inuyasha's demon heart accepts her just like the rest of him does."
"That makes sense," Sango murmured, thinking back to the earlier scene of Inuyasha licking Kagome's face. Sango remembered all the times before, when Inuyasha had transformed, Kagome was the only one who dared approach him, and she was the only one whom he would let near. And although Sango, Miroku, Shippo, and Kirara had long known of Inuyasha's feelings towards Kagome—and vice versa—Sango didn't quite understand the full impact of how much he did care for her.
Once again, she found herself looking over to Kikyo to gauge her reaction to Myoga's words, but this time the miko was no where to be found.
"Hey, where did Kikyo go?"
"I don't know," Miroku replied. "She was so quiet, I forgot she was here."
"Lady Kikyo was here?" Myoga squeaked, looking around anxiously. "I didn't notice her."
"Well, she was being even more quiet than normal," Shippo said. "I'm glad she's gone though, those soul collectors were making me nervous. You don't think she went off after Inuyasha and Kagome, do you?"
The first thing Inuyasha remembered feeling was the press of soft, warm lips against his. As the haze slowly lifted from his mind, he realized several things all at once, and he felt overwhelmed with the sensation. He was holding Kagome tightly against him, her arms wrapped around his neck. It wasn't even her scent that gave her away, but the body just fit against his in a way that only Kagome's small frame could do.
Inuyasha breathed her in, a combination of her own sweet scent mixed with the smell of tears, pain, and blood. Pulling away, Inuyasha gaped down at Kagome, a blush staining his cheeks a deep red as he immediately saw that she was clad only in a bra and her skirt.
"Kagome," he whispered. "What happened?"
Kagome blinked rapidly, her brown eyes wide as she gingerly touched her lips. Her mouth worked wordlessly for a moment, then she whispered, "You kissed me." Suddenly, she let out a hoarse cry and threw herself back into his arms, the force of her blow knocking him against the ground.
"I was so scared!" Kagome sobbed. Inuyasha could smell a fresh flow of tears. "I didn't know what to do or how to bring you back, and you had the Tetsusaiga with you the entire time and I thought I'd never see you again…"
Inuyasha frowned trying to make sense of her words. Suddenly, images flashed in front of Inuyasha's eyes. The scorpion! He remembered the scorpion snatching Kagome in its claws, her scream of pain, the smell of her fresh blood, the resounding crash as she was thrown against a tree.
Then his memory went black.
"I transformed again, didn't I?" Inuyasha immediately felt sick at the thought.
He felt her nod in reply.
"Did I…I didn't…hurt anyone, did I? Where are the others?" He glanced around, looking for the rest of their group.
"No, you didn't hurt anyone," Kagome replied, raising herself up on her elbow to look down at him. Her eyes were bright with tears in the fading afternoon light. "It was different this time. You were different. Inuyasha, you had the Tetsusaiga with you the entire time."
"I did?" Inuyasha closed his eyes, trying to remember. Emotions rather than memories were what he recalled; fear and rage at seeing Kagome in the claw of the demon followed by a fierce sense of protectiveness. He inhaled deeply, scrunching up his nose as the scent of the dead scorpion pervaded the air around him.
Suddenly, a memory flashed before Inuyasha. Kagome, holding out her hand to him, calling him. Telling him everything was going to be ok. He could smell the blood, sense the danger around them. The scorpion was dead, but there were others there that might hurt her. She was wounded and in pain, and it was his duty to protect and care for her.
"Your wound, does it still hurt bad?" He reached out and ran a hand gently over her abdomen, feeling for any other injuries. She flinched slightly, wincing.
"I think you've got some bruised ribs. We'll need to get you back to Kaede's."
"I'll be ok." Fresh tears welled up in Kagome's eyes. "I thought I'd lost you. Are you sure you're all right?"
"Yeah. I'm sorry that I upset you. I'm just…I don't understand why I transformed," Inuyasha confessed. He pounded his fist into the hard ground in frustration. "I hate this."
"I know. I'm sorry." Inuyasha felt Kagome's hand on his shoulder as she leaned into him. He pressed back against her, then stiffened, suddenly remembering she was clad only in a white lacy bra. Of course, he'd seen her in less, much less, but that was a long time ago, and she'd certainly…grown in certain areas. Inuyasha swallowed nervously.
"Come on," he said, hopping up and holding out a hand to her. "We need to get back to camp, and find my fire-rat before you freeze to death."
Kagome blushed, as though she too just realized her state. "Yeah."
They found his haori and undershirt a few yards away. Inuyasha shook them out, handing Kagome the red haori and donning the undershirt. Looking at Kagome, clad in the fire-rat that was much too large and hung down over her skirt, Inuyasha suddenly had another vision flash before him.
Red and white. The clothing of a miko. Someone standing in the shadows. Someone who looked an awful lot like Kagome. No, not Kagome. Kagome was behind him, begging him to turn to her, but he couldn't, not while there was still danger. He didn't recognize the other woman; her scent was unfamiliar to him. She was holding a weapon; he could see the long bow. She was a threat. He snarled at her, warning her to stay away from Kagome.
"Inuyasha?" The image faded before he could identify the other woman. "What happened? Did you remember something?"
Inuyasha frowned slightly. "Yeah, but I'm not sure what it was. I remember feeling like we…that is you….you were injured and I had to protect you."
Kagome smiled softly. "You did. You did protect me."
Inuyasha wrapped his arms around her, pulling her close and tucking her head under his chin. "I'll always keep you safe."
Neither one of them noticed the soul demons swirling high above the trees, nor did they sense the presence of the other figure silently watching them.
Standing in the shadows, making sure she was downwind, Kikyo heaved a sigh of regret as she watched the two figures embrace. She lingered a moment longer, then turned and faded into the forest.
Author's note: I really apologize for not getting this out sooner than I had initially intended. This little story turned into quite a monster for me to write, and I really had a time with it. sigh Thankfully, this is now finished and I can concentrate on the sequel to Mamorinuku.
This story came to me while I was watching the anime, and I just got a bit fed up at how Kagome always seems to stumble across Inuyasha and Kikyo together and I wanted to see if I could turn the tables on Kikyo. Not that I hate Kikyo, (I actually pity her more than anything else), but this little plot bunny had its claws in me and wouldn't let go.
Thanks to everyone who read this, read it and liked it, and a big thanks to everyone who read it, liked it, and took the time to leave me a review. Nindeoronra.