A/N: This is my very first Naraku/Kagome fic. I hope that you enjoy it and I'll update this when I update of AFF. Please read and review, and know that this is rated for language.

I don't own IY or anyone else from that series...or any series for that matter.

He could remember what it felt like to be loved. He remember what it felt like to be touched and kissed, though he didn't really remember ever hearing the words, "I love you", from either of his parents, but deep down somewhere, he knew that they did, in fact, love him.

His childhood had not been a horrible one, as most would like to believe. His father had been a merchant, and his mother took care of the home. His only sibling was his best friend and together, they imagined that they were two of the greatest samurais that ever lived in Japan. Beside their house, there was a large cherry tree that bloomed beautifully in the springtime and they would run to their mother with the blossoms in their small hands and adorned her hair with the pink and white blossoms before declaring her to be the most beautiful woman in the world. He could still hear the laughter that echoed throughout the air as their mother would hug them to her and shower their faces with kisses.

But, as he grew older, his heart began to change. He didn't really know when the idea of a quiet life began to bore him, but he would often stare at the visitors of his village with hungry eyes and listened eagerly to their tales of other villages and different people. Even the stories of dangerous youkai did not deter him from a goal that had been planted in his young mind.

He knew what he wanted, despite his father's reprimands for him to get his head out of the clouds. He wanted to visit other places, see sights that he had only imagined in his dreams. He wanted to be one of the story-tellers that returned to the village and entrapped others with his tales of greatness and conquests that he was able to obtain during his travels.

But, he simply could not see a way out of his village. His family needed him too much for him to simply run off on adventures. His mother needed help with the firewood while his father was at the village market, and his brother was involved with other chores that took him away from the home, so he was it.

Days turned into months, and months quickly turned into a year. Then, his entire world exploded. An army from a neighboring country invaded their small village and demanded supplies and money. He stood by and watched as his father, the elected spokesman, stepped forward and handed the general of the army a large bag containing all of the money of the village. The general opened the bag, peered at the contents, handed it to another soldier, then grasped his sword and neatly sliced his father's head off and commanded his army to destroy the small village and kill all of the occupants.

For nearly three hours, the foreign army mutilated the villagers, and it was by a miracle that he had been able to make it to the forest, hiding among the thick branches. He heard a familiar shout and looked through the branches to see his brother impaled upon the sword of the same general who had killed his father. Only a few feet away, the lifeless eyes of his mother stared at him in his hiding place, and he had to clasp his hand over his mouth to keep from screaming his outrage and grief.

When the army finally departed, leaving behind the bodies of their victims, he moved out of his hiding place and allowed the tears to fall. He began the long task of moving the bodies into one large pile, despite all of his own serious wounds, and when he finished, he set the pile of his friends and family ablaze and watched as their flesh melted and became ash.

As his loved ones burned, he made two vows. He would find the army and the general who had done this to him and his people and he would make the bastards pay. The second vow was that he would never love anyone ever again. Loving someone hurt and to watch loved ones die was not something he would ever do again. As far as he was concerned, his heart and emotions died with his family.

There was nothing left, so he didn't have to pack anything. Instead, he turned and began walking. Where he was going to go, he did not know nor care. All he knew was that he needed to get stronger, smarter, and more powerful. He would succeed.

A few years passed and he involved himself in a gang of theives who were the most clever of Japan. He quickly discovered the pleasures that a woman's body held, and enjoyed himself greatly as he rutted and drank saki until his heart was content.

But, when the fun was done and his mind cleared of the saki, he would often sit by the window and stare out into the darkened sky while the whore in his bed slumbered blissfully. He would allow himself memories of his youth and his family, but oddly enough, it was that cherry tree that he remembered the most. He never could understand why a damn tree would haunt his thoughts, especially at night, but he never fought them. Instead, he indulged the thoughts and it calmed him and soothed his tired body enough for him to finally sleep.

Then, he was betrayed. One of his own decided that he needed to be eliminated and so, set a fire to the building he was currently occupying. Badly burned, he managed to get outside and his last coherent thoughts were that of vengence.

His next thoughts were of pain. His entire body hurt and he could feel that his limbs and body were wrapped tightly in some sort of bandage. When a soft voice was heard, he turned his head and set his eyes upon a beautiful woman, who smiled kindly down at him.

Her soft words and gentle touches stirred something deep within him, something he thought had been long dead. It was not love, but rather a feeling of safety. But, somewhere deep in his mind, the darkness that had slowly eaten away at his soul began to fester within him and thoughts of sex and lust surfaced. No, he didn't love the woman named Kikyo, but he wanted her and vowed to have her.

Calling out, he summoned several different youkai and made a pact with them. Join with him and give him their strength for his damned soul. It was a good trade, or so he thought. And so, the hanyou Naraku had been born and the man known as Onigumo was just like his family. Dead.

Or so Naraku thought. He wanted the Shikon Jewel for himself, and wanted nothing more than to become a full youkai. The shikon would give him unimaginable power and he would finally have the strength to go after those who dared come to his home and destroy it. He made several incarnations, and only a couple such as Kanna and Kagura proved useful. But, it was the incarnation named Muso that started his descent into madness.

Muso was created from the leftovers of Onigumo. Mainly his heart. The same heart that still desired and lusted after Kikyo. He continued to pursue the dead miko, and found the dead miko's reincarnation instead. Mistaking the younger miko for Kikyo, he stalked her, and it was only due to Inu Yasha's interference that the younger miko named Kagome escaped.

But, like most of his incarnations, Muso proved to be a serious disappointment and so, he reabsorbed him. But, something had changed. The heart of Onigumo had grown stronger and he could feel its horrid beating in his breast as though it were trying to remind him that it was still there and still working.

He did his best to ignore it. Kami knows he tried. But, he would eventually come to realize that despite his best efforts, the mortal within him was simply too stubborn to be so easily forgotten. So stubborn that finally, memories that he thought long dead resurfaced, and that damn tree blooming in the springtime came to the forefront of his mind, giving the creature named Naraku a moment's peace.

There was a saying: "If you can't beat them, then join them". And so, he gave up trying to suppress the dreams. Instead, he embraced them and found that the memories fueled his desire for vengence against those who tresspassed against him. Onigumo was screaming for revenge and he would get it.

The shikon jewel would be his greatest weapon. But, he needed a way to gain control of all of it. That stupid wolf, Kouga, had two shards in his legs, that little group of Inu Yasha's had some shards, Kikyo had a shard or two, and who knew how many other shards there were. He would just have to be patient while gathering them.

Ever since the memories surfaced, he grew quiet, causing Kagura and Kanna to wonder what he was up to. Sure, he knew that both of his incarnations hated him dearly, but who cared? As long as they did as he said, he would not harm them. He really didn't like hurting women, as many thought, but seeing as how Kagura and Kanna were not really women and only a small part of him, he didn't give it too much consideration.

Noone dared come to his private chambers. Noone dared because he would kill them instantly. He kept a dark miasma around his palace, but kept the air fresh and clean in his private area. The miasma was for his protection, and nothing more. It kept those who he didn't want around from coming near. It was actually quite clever, if he did say so himself.

His plans were carefully laid out. He would use the jewel to become a youkai, find the general and slay him, then he would take control of Japan and kill any who was stupid enough to try and defy him. But, there was one problem. The human miko that was Kikyo's reincarnation could cause him some problems. With her talent for purifying shards, she was a threat to his plans. So, he would have to do something about her.

It was on a quiet evening as he stared up at the lonely night's sky when a plan came to him. The young miko was a romantic in every way and longed to have that hanyou, Inu Yasha, return her feelings. But the inu hanyou simply could not. He loved Kikyo, and could never turn from her to the younger girl. He would use her feelings and make her hate the inu hanyou so much that her heart grew just as black as his. He would kill her ability of purifying by killing her ability to love.

A small smirk crossed his lips and he stood up, taking in a deep, calming breath. The fragrance that wafted through the air was pleasant and he swore that he could hear laughter. Memories had a way of making a person feel both happy and sad at times, he supposed. But, in this one place, his private sanctuary, he could afford these memories. Before he turned and retreated into his chamber, Naraku's red eyes moved slowly over the small garden to a small cherry tree that stood at the center. The blossoms were in full bloom, untouched by the poisonous miasma that circled the palace. This was Naraku's paradise.