Cruel Reality


Disclaimer: Don't own Inuyasha and Co

There once was a girl, who wished she had all she could ever desire, but was just beyond her reach. Though many called her beautiful and graceful, she thought herself plain and clumsy. Though many men desired her and many women envied her, she saw none of their yearning glances and only saw those of hate, those of contempt.

Her family knew her to be a happy, outgoing girl, but as time went on, the hateful glances withered away her sunny disposition and she turned into a timid girl. She kept her head lowered, her eyes centered on the ground. Her pride was gone and in its wake only shame remained.

None knew what happened to her, as one day she thought she had met her one true love. How naive she once was, how innocent. She thought him perfect. He was kind and caring, never very far from her sight. But she could never have him, as she could never have many things. He was not interested in her as a person, only as a woman, one to sooth an itch, nothing more. Desperate, the girl took what she could until soon enough her heart began to feel weary from all its pain. How he could so easily throw her aside, ignore her in favor of something more to his taste always continued to baffle the poor girl, but she held on tight, held on to what she knew she didn't deserve.

Until one day, she'd finally had enough. That is where we begin….

Chapter One

Kagome stared at the chipping and deeply stained rock sheet above her. The ceiling looked familiar to her and strange to her all the same. She never had been able to keep track of the places she'd been in, the nice ones and the ones like she was in now, the questionably-run ones. All the places blurred into one shameful, awful mass of meaninglessness.

She turned to her head to look at the pillow beside her head. A man lay sprawled on his stomach, his face pressed deeply into the pillow. His mussed raven hair fell over the back of his neck and forehead, leaving his angelic face looking young and peaceful. She yearned to reach over and brush the locks from his eyes but knew her touch would be unwelcomed.

She turned to stare at the ceiling once again and could feel the shame, the self-pity begin to rise in her throat but swallowed it. She'd had no illusions when she'd agreed to this. She had only herself to blame. But that didn't stop the hurt, the worthlessness she felt whenever she felt his cold condemnation outside of the bedroom. She tried to tell herself that she was a woman now, she could take this; she wasn't a starry-eyed school girl anymore. And this was what grown-ups did. However, no matter how much he disgraced her, how much he shunned her, she loved him still, like a fool.

Sighing, she set up and watched as the sheets pooled around her waist. She had lost her modesty along with her respect. The carpet was better than she'd seen before, only small spots of unidentifiable stains along its surface. The clothes scattered on the floor, both hers and his, were strewn across the grungy carpet, staying where they had landed after impatient hands had thrown them away.

Getting to her feet, Kagome didn't bother to be quiet as she made her way to the bathroom. He never stirred after their activities for at least an hour. She flipped on the light and braced her hands on the yellowed and cracked marble of the sink. She looked at her reflection through the scratched mirror and didn't recognize herself.

The woman in the mirror looked tired, looked beaten. Her eyes were hollow, bottomless pits of brown. Her black hair fell in clumps around her gaunt and haggard face. Her mouth was turned down at the corners and looked as if it hadn't smiled in a long time. This woman was a stranger; this was not the woman Kagome was supposed to be.

"Who am I?" she whispered and even her voice sounded foreign. It was scratchy and unused, nothing like the lilting melody it had once been. "He did this to me." She narrowed her eyes at the woman in the mirror as if in accusation. "He did this to me and I let him. I can't keep doing this. I can't be who he wants me to be."

With this realization came the crushing acceptance. She couldn't be who he wanted to be. He wanted the perfect girl. He wanted a woman that wanted him for reasons she didn't want him. He wanted a play thing, a soulless body to show off.

That woman was not Kagome. Kagome had standards; Kagome had respect. Kagome was not this woman!

Her eyes hardened and the first real emotion flared to life in their depths.

I am not the woman he wants me to be. I'm better than that!

She straightened her shoulders and strode into the bedroom once again. Gathering up her clothes she didn't dare glance in the direction of the bed. If she did, all this resolve, all her determination would vanish into the recesses of her mind once again.

She dressed in a hurry, afraid that he would awaken and attempt to stop her. A part of her hoped he would but she knew in her heart that he wouldn't have stopped her even if he had woken. He would have watched as she packed and said nothing. There would be no professions of love, no pleas for her to remain; only damning silence.

Finally dressed, Kagome grabbed her purse and paused. In the depths of her purse, lay the only thing he had ever given her. She pulled the golden locket by its thin chain. On the cover were engraved flowers that framed the heart shape and two entails etched into the center: K & I.

She wedged her thumb nail into the side to pop it open and felt a rush of pain at the sight that greeted her. On one side lay a picture of them when they'd first met. Kagome was the tender age of sixteen with long, untamable raven hair, her smile bright, confident. Next to her, his arm wrapped around her shoulders with a rebellious smirk stood him. His hair was much longer back then and pulled back into a ponytail, his broad shoulders incased in a beaten and ragged leather jacket.

They were young, they were happy. That couple had died along with Kagome's innocence.

This was the man Kagome had fallen in love with. This was the man Kagome clung to each time she looked herself in the eye and saw the disappointment. This man was long dead.

On the other side of the locket was a much more recent photo of them. Kagome stood stiffly to the side, her eyes not on the person taking the picture, but on the man next to her. In her eyes was an aching longing that could be felt to her soul and there was an empty smile on her face. Next to her, he stood with the same cocky smirk as always but there was an edge to it, a harshness that hadn't been there before. They stood apart, not touching each other. The tenseness could be read in every line of their faces, in every rigid position of their bodies. The love they had shared had been gone long before that picture had been taken.

Kagome snapped the locket shut with definitive movements, her heart shattered at her feet. She mourned for that youthful couple they had once been. But they were gone and in the wake stood the shell of who they used to be. Kagome placed the locket on the nightstand next to his still head. The locket would say what she couldn't.

Striding to the door, Kagome had to stop herself from looking over her shoulder one last time. But with a pounding heart, she opened the door and walked into the cool night, closing the door softly behind her with finality.

Kouga cursed his luck as his car shuddered, smoke billowing from under its gray hood. His calloused hands gripped the wheel tightly, willing the car to keep going through the night, even as the dial surged past the H on the dash.

Come on, you pile of scraps…A few more miles. Just a few more fucking miles…

But as if in defiance, the car finally coughed wearily and slowed to a stop in the middle of the deserted street. Around him, the night air seemed to press closer as if it sensed the weakness.

Cursing his luck and his choice in cars, he banged his curled fists against the wheel to let out his pent up frustration.

This is just what I fucking needed!

He sighed and put his forehead on the wheel. Just two miles from his home and the damn thing had to go and die on him. He'd been waiting weeks for it to die, but it had been stubborn and lasted this long. Kouga grumbled under his breath as he got his bag from the back seat of the car and climbed out reluctantly.

The sound of a lone owl broke the silence of the dense night, making waves of unease slide down his spine. He shook it off as paranoia and began the trek home. Shining brightly above his head, stars twinkled mockingly at him, making his frown intensify. Luck just wasn't on his side today…

(AN: I am finally editing this! I'm actually pretty proud of myself for keeping myself as close to the original plot line as possible. I hope I don't disappoint anyone with the changes that I've made. If you have any suggestions, feel free to tell me. Thanks for reading!)