A/n: Holy shit, an Inuyasha fic coming from me, after all this time? Damn, and here I thought I had moved on… And it's not even romance! Usually my work has at least something to do with love. Not the case with this one.
Disclaimer: If I owned Inuyasha do you think I'd be living at home, going to school, and struggling to pay the bills? No. I don't own Inuyasha.
On with the show!
It was quiet. Too quiet, no animals skittering around in the underbrush, no birds twittering songs back and forth, no trees swaying in the breeze, no movement, no noise. The boy sat up quickly knowing that such silence had a deadly cost. The sudden cracking of a twig to the right had him up and running. He felt more than heard an arrow go whizzing past his left ear, nicking it slightly. He winced but kept running, zigzagging his path subtly. But his pursuers would notice, no doubt. They were after all, seasoned hunters. The boy knew this, only skilled hunters could sneak up on him now. After all he'd been running for his life for three full years at this point. And he wouldn't let them catch him now, at least not without a long chase and a desperate fight.
The trees flew past him as he increased his speed, but it wasn't enough. A searing pain in his right thigh caught him off-guard and he turned to look at it, slowing considerably and faltering in his steps. An arrow, rising from the flesh of his thigh, was what met his gaze. Soon he was reduced to a hobbling gait that the hunters caught up with immediately.
"Well, well, well, look what we have here boys. A half-breed whelp. How disgusting." The apparent leader of the group of four spat out. The boy turned toward the hunting party and stepped back until his considerably small frame hit the side of a tree, halting his steps.
"Eh, Hiro I think he's trying to run from us, should we teach him a lesson, eh?" Another sneered. The boy's gaze was cold, almost emotionless, but inside the fear was leaping in his chest, spreading and freezing his blood inside his veins. 'They're going to really kill me,' he thought, 'they're really going to kill me this time.'
He blinked and missed the sight of which one hit him. He felt his tooth connect with his lip and pierce it. He swallowed the scream that instinctively rose in his throat. The taste of blood nearly overwhelmed him but he held on, eyes screwed shut, fists clenched, clutching at his too-long sleeves. The next thing he felt was a blunt hit to his ribs, a hit that sent him to the ground with a small, muffled cry.
What he felt next he couldn't describe later even as it happened to him at least twice a month after the first time. The flurry of fists and feet, knives and clubs unbearable, forcing his childish mind to block it out, to try to forget. But he couldn't. He would never forget the way his own blood tasted, or smelled. Never forget that leering voice of that man who beat him so thoroughly, almost to death.
And as suddenly as it had started, they were gone. Scoffing, the men spit at him and left him to bleed out onto the forest floor. For a while he did nothing but lay there, acting as though he were already dead. It wasn't far from the truth, he could hardly breathe and he definitely couldn't move.
His breath came in fast, short bursts, often accompanied by blood. He coughed, trying to take in gulps of air, but his lungs burned as soon as they expanded even the slightest bit. He panicked before he realized to take shallower breaths. It wasn't enough though, his body protested, his lungs screamed for more oxygen. He was going to suffocate.
Gasping audibly, the young man shot up from his reclined position, breathing heavily. A dream, he wondered silently, or a memory? Either way, it didn't matter to him. The scene still stood out in his mind, playing over and over again until he was sure he'd be physically ill.
"Stop it," he hissed quietly to the darkness, "It's not fucking who I am anymore. It's not real anymore, stop it!"
"Inuyasha?" He looked down over the side of the branch he used as a bed to the girl huddling at the base of his tree, looking up at him with her sad blue eyes. He couldn't look away.
"Inuyasha, are you okay?" Her voice was soft, and concerned; it took him a minute to place that emotion, having not heard it aimed towards him in many decades. It baffled him for a moment, disorienting him a little.
"I'm fine," he lied easily, "it was just a dream. Go back to sleep. It was just a bad dream."
She looked up at him, furrowing her brow for a moment before nodding and smiling slightly, even though they both knew he was lying. "Good night then Inuyasha, sweet dreams."
He remained silent as she wandered back to her sleeping bag. He kept his mouth firmly shut until she burrowed under the covers, until her breathing evened out and he was positive she was really asleep.
"That's not me anymore…" He whispered to himself, "It's not real, it's just a dream… A dream. It was just a bad dream. They can't hurt me anymore. It's not real, it's not fucking real."
But despite all his desperate reassurances, he did not return to sleep. After all, his dreams, like his memories, were anything but sweet.
End Note: Well damn, that's not the ending I had planned on, but I rather like it nonetheless. This is rather plotless, but hell, I despise the fact that there is like next to no mention of Inuyasha's childhood in the anime (excluding the one or two flashback moments Inuyasha has). I mean, this is mild compared to what could have happened to him… Well, you read it, now review.