It was an incredibly hot day where a familiar group of demon hunters travelled in the beating sun. Their designated camp leader was continuing to push them harder and harder, as if being hounded by a hoard of angry demons and not the open pastures behind them. Still they trudged on, no one wanting to go toe to toe with the determined half demon was already this exhausted.
"Why are we moving so slow!" yelled said irate half demon as he made the small band of humans continue to trudge across the budding forest.
Kagome had a deep desire to sit him for the sheer purpose of a respite in this death walk. Why in the world he was being this ridiculous about covering ground was beyond her comprehension. What were they, in the military? Kagome grumbled as she watched her best friend turn into a drill sergeant. She could see it now, him in one of those commanding officer outfits while he yelled at his subordinates to pick up the pace or face his wrath. Then finally, as the last test of their abilities, he would assess their self-control by allowing one tweaking of his adorable little ears. It would of course be a trap and those that would fall for it would be forced to continue on in his training for yet another grueling year.
She would so fail.
Kagome silently fell in step next to Miroku as Inuyasha continued to yell at them. He continued doing all of this while walking backwards in order to yell at them properly by facing them. Of course he couldn't slow down the group himself but he wasn't about to let the opportunity of yelling at them pass without being acted upon. How wasteful would that be? It was as if she could see the logic in his mind and jumped at the opportunity.
"Is it just me, or is he worse than normal as of late?" whispered Kagome.
Miroku huffed as they were forced to jump over a particularly large boulder, "Inuyasha certainly has been…demanding in the past few days."
"Just say it, he has been a total control freak. If I didn't know any better I'd say he was trying to kill us. Even Kilala had to transform into her larger state to keep up with him," argued Kagome. And she wasn't wrong. They had been at a back breaking pace for about three days now and the poor cat demon could not keep up with the needed strides without transforming. Her legs were just to small and everyone was to tired to take on extra weight.
"Perhaps he is just anxious about Naraku," tried to defend Miroku on his friend's behalf, but with a quick glare towards said monk from Kagome, Miroku immediately found his attempts stalled. She did have a point after all; Inuyasha had been rather dreadful lately.
"I don't hear you! You should be right behind me!" yelled Inuyasha one again.
Kagome rolled her eyes as she picked up her pace. When this was all over and she wasn't so completely exhausted, she was sitting his stupid self all the way to the afterlife. All the time Kikyo just needed to have Kagome kill him for her, no further attempts at hell dragging needed.
She could not wait until nightfall came and she could finally get some sleep. She just hoped, beyond all hope, that those stupid dreams of hers didn't come back. With a shover she recalled the overwhelming nature of them and how vivid they had felt. It had been a couple weeks now where the dreams plagued her and she woke with a looming sense of terror that overrode everything else.
Kagome had seen a lot of things while in this era. From demon crows who ate human hearts and nestled in dead bodies to have them act like puppets all the way to beasts the size of mountains charging at her full speed. But it was a different type of terror that look over. It was something primal that told her she was in the presence of true power. Only Inuyasha's presence seemed to comfort her and that was only because she knew he would protect her to his dying breathe.
Still, a part of her preferred this horrible pace. Maybe it was knock Kagome out so much when she was finally able to sleep that she would be too tired to dream. Still she was determined to remain vigilant. In their hunt for the jewel shards and Naraku nightmares were a thing to ignore. They could not hurt you and real demons were around every corner. Fiction had no place in her daily life.
So Kagome pushed herself forward and focused on all the reasons she was fighting. Her friends, her family and her world. Inuyasha was her best friend for a reason and if he had some sense of urgency about him right now she would match him step for step.
The woman with black, almost midnight looking hair, silently took in the sight before her. She wasn't sure whether to be shocked or physically sickened by what she was seeing. Before her was a field of massacred soldiers strewn about randomly, chaotically. Bodies lay only inches from her own frame, many being torn apart, limb from limb. Blood coated the field in thick pools, the smell of recent deaths lay heavily in the air.
It took all her self-control not to vomit. The gagging was unavoidable.
She looked further up the scene, silently holding in her scream, only to see a majestic looking beast staring straight at her. He was in the very middle of the dead body laced field and from the looks of it, he was the cause of the masses surrounding her.
Where various patches of blood didn't cover his fur she could see the beautiful white undertone covering his body. To say the least he was beautiful, no, he was more than beautiful, he was perfect. He had to be at least six or seven stories tall, his four legs alone would match the size of her house in the present era. His long tail gently swung back and forth as their gazes locked. The beast's long yet graceful snout turned towards her, but that wasn't what had caught her attention. The beasts eye's, they were gold. A golden pigment similar to the rising sun's rays, a gold she knew she had seen before.
"Sesshomaru?" she asked quietly to herself. No, she had seen Sesshomaru before while in his true form, heck, she had been attacked by Sesshomaru in his true form before. He was large, but not that big. Furthermore, the marking on the beast's forehead were different from what she knew to be Sesshomaru's trademark markings. No, this wasn't Sesshomaru, but then, who was it?
Without notice, the giant beast took a step towards her, in turn crushing various bodies with its naturally destructive paw. Kagome's terror suddenly came back full force. She could feel her own energy spike with fear. Another step was made in her direction as she took a quick but noticeable stride backwards.
The beasts stiffened as it felt her fear. She watched as the creature deliberated taking another step towards her and eventually made its final decision after watching her for a good minute or two. Without hesitation the beast crouched down and charged towards her full speed. Kagome immediately let loose a scream and turned in a different direction, bent on getting away from the demon currently hunting her down. She didn't know what direction she was heading, she didn't pay attention to the pools of blood splashing across her lower and upper thighs, and she purposefully ignored the dead bodies she was forced to step through in order to get away.
She knew she was human, and she knew the creature was a demon, but damit, even if she didn't have a snowball's chance in hell, she was going to try.
Within an instant she was caught and thrown viciously onto her stomach. As soon as she gained her bearings she reached out and tried her hardest to pull away from the large claw pinning her to the ground. The harder she tried the more pressure she found being pressed but she didn't care. She needed to get away, so she feverishly pulled at the drenched grass before her as the roots for the small green plants became uprooted with each attempt she made.
A loud howl was heard right before she was flipped over on her back, but she didn't care. All she cared about was escape, all she cared about was warning Inuyasha. She needed to tell him to stay away, to get him and her friends out of the area; she needed to make sure this beast did not kill him like it would surely her. It was only after a few grueling seconds of realizing she was still alive that Kagome peered through her closed eye lids.
She had faced enough demons to know that 'any last words' was not an option they gave. When Kagome finally found the courage to look at her killer she was greeted with a very unusual sight.
Instead of the bloody battle field that the two beings had last resided in she was now in a lusciously green meadow and was surrounded by blue skies as a substitute for the dark reddish hue that had previously been staining the sky. The stench of death was no longer in the air, surrounding her, suffocating her, consuming her. The wetness that Kagome felt from before was no longer blood, but fresh morning dew. She cautiously looked at the beast pinning her with one paw only to be shocked speechless.
It was no beast before her, but a man. No, not just a man, it was a demon. He was tall with long silver hair that reached his calves, even while in the man's high pony tail. Markings adorned his face and claws graced his fingers. His armor was similar to Sesshomaru's, only more extravagant, as were his clothes.
But his eyes, his eyes were the same. They were gold, gold like Inuyasha's and Sesshomaru's. Suddenly she realized why this man looked so familiar. She had seen him before. He was there when the gates to hell had opened when that blasted sword took over Inuyasha.
This was Inuyasha and Sesshomaru's father.
The man leaned down slightly as he continued to survey her. With a final nod of approval he spoke, "You are going to help me."
"W-what?" needless to say Kagome was rather confused, and scared, and shocked, and apparently incapable of speech.
"You are going to help me little one," he stated once again in a nonchalant manner as if he was talking about the weather.
She wanted to say something along the lines of 'you're dead', she wanted to ask 'how?', she wanted to wake up from whatever dream she was in but before she could ask what the hell was going on the demon closed his eyes in concentration, effectively blocking out anything she had to say. Within a few seconds his golden orbs were once again fixed on her, "It seems my son is more impatient than normal. Do not worry, I will contact you. Your lack of knowledge of your heritage is surprisingly…beneficial."
He said the last part while smiling, which scared Kagome more than the deadly seven story dog demon that had charged her moments ago.
"Wake up wench, we have ground to cover." The words were the only things she heard, the voice registering as familiar at the same time their meaning reached her.
Within moments Kagome was awake and on high alert. She immediately looked around for the giant dog that seemed to plague her and only after a few seconds of reassuring breaths did she calm down. He wasn't there. Kagome, now determined to find out where exactly she was, looked down to see herself once again in her sleeping bag. From what she could tell the sun had been up for about an hour, maybe two at most.
She took in a deep breath of air and stopped herself from rocking back and forth in a comforting manner.
It was just a dream, a horrible, horrible dream that she had been having every night for the past two weeks. It didn't matter how many times she experienced the nightmare, it always scared her, it always left her terrified. Though, it had never ended quite like that before. Inuyasha's father had never been in her dreams and she had always woken when the bodies attempted to drown her in their own blood.
"Wench, you going crazy on me now?" came the same familiar voice from before.
Kagome looked up towards her best friend. His right eyebrow was raised in question as he stared at her. Apparently she had been sitting there staring out into space for quite some time. She shook her head, determined to get whatever repeating thoughts she had out of her consciousness. Kagome had not informedhim of her dreams, though she suspected he knew since his ears would have alerted him to all the times she woke in the middle of the night. But dreams were dreams, something that could nto physically hurt. Instead she focused on what was real and the comforting presence of her friend. "No Inuyasha, I'm fine. I'm getting up now."
He huffed and then she heard a silent 'good' come from his direction. As she finished scanning the field, quite similar to what she had been doing every morning for the last couple of weeks, her gaze rested on Inuyasha or more specifically, his claws. To be even more specific, the small object tightly being gripped in said claws.
Her eye's went wide, "Oh no Inuyasha. No way."
She pushed her sleeping bag down to her knees as she attempted to stand up. She was not going to let this happen. Not today. Inuyasha had been pushing the others like crazy and she was already tired because of her dreams and there was no way he was getting what he wanted out of the deal while he was working them this hard. She had her standards and he was not crossing this particular line.
Kagome was determined not to look at the lovable half demon as she tried to get ready for the day. Unfortunately the boy knew how to work her…to a degree, and this was a degree he had mastered. Two years will do that to a pair of friends. Knowing this said woman made herself busy and her eyes dart in any direction that was not his.
Kagome grabbed her brush in an attempt to comb out her hair all the while picturing in her head everything she was currently trying to avoid.
She could see it now, his eyes would widen slightly, and then when he felt it appropriate his adorable little ears would flatten themselves against his head. Then finally he would get this dejected look on his face and mumble something about his childhood. It didn't matter how many times she had seen it, it always worked, and Inuyasha knew it.
All she had to do was let a good five minutes pass before she looked at him again. By then he would have given up and deemed it not worthy to try any harder. That was all she needed, but damn, Kagome for the life of her, couldn't figure out what to do to keep herself busy.
After living in the feudal era for so long one learned that unless in a hut, it is best to sleep in ones clothes. One too many demons had come upon her while changing and it was too embarrassing to live through yet again. So, Kagome did not have to change her clothes, which at this point and time would have been a nice distraction because she could have dilly dallied to her heart's content while waiting for him to give up.
Deciding that something in her bad could distract her, most likely her tooth brush and maybe re-organizing her medical supplies, Kagome when on the hunt for her trust bag. While quickly gliding past the part dog demon who was still waiting for her to relent, she reached into her bag and pulled out her toothpaste and toothbrush. After poring some of the water from her canteen onto her tooth brush she began her daily ritual.
She brushed, and brushed and brushed. By the end of it she felt like her gums were going to fall off. Honestly, it had to of been four minutes by now and he was still standing there. Damn, she needed a new plan. Quickly spitting into the fire pit they had made last night she turned around to reach again for her bag. Unfortunately it wasn't where she had left it.
She was positive it had been at the end of her sleeping bag though. So where was it? Rather feverously, and quite thankful she had something other than Inuyasha to focus her attention on, she looked around the camp site, all the while avoiding her friends gaze. She quickly discovered it was nowhere to be found.
"Damn, where is it?" she whispered to herself.
Before she knew it the bright yellow bag was thrusted in front of her face. In a moment of what she could only describe later as insanity she looked up at her savior to say thank you. It would have been really bad to have lost her yellow lifeline to future advancements in technology after all. When she did look up Kagome found herself inwardly cursing, using every four letter word Inuyasha had taught her throughout the years.
"Looking for this?" came his gruff voice.
Their eyes locked as she realized he had taken the stupid yellow thing in order to get her attention. He was such a child some times. Honestly, if he was in her time he'd be one of those delinquents who only broke the law for the inevitable attention he'd receive once his crimes became bad enough.
Before he could say another word she grabbed the bag and threw her toothbrush in the first compartment. "The answer is still no Inuyasha."
She locked gazes with him, determined to make today the day that she overcame this weakness. Yes, it would be today.
Immediately Inuyasha's eyes went slightly wider, and she felt her stomach sink when his ears flattened. As if on cue the dejected look overcame his regular features and at last it happened, the thing that always did her in, "I get it, it's not like I ever got what I wanted when I was a kid either. I guess I should be used to it."
Miroku, Sango and Shippo each re-entered the campsite with piles of wood in their hands. Miroku was the first to stop in his tracks, "Inuyasha, if we already had wood for breakfast why did you wake us up early and then send us out to get more?"
Inuyasha, being Inuyasha of course, gave no real response. He made a quick 'feh' sound before returning to his meal.
Sango dropped her pile on the ground as she turned to see whatever Kagome happened to be cooking. She had been starving since she woke up and it didn't help that Inuyasha had woken everyone up bright and early to gather wood for breakfast. No, she took that back, not everyone was woken up. He had specifically said that Kagome needed her rest as he sent her, Miroku and Shippo out.
Inuyasha was a far better planner than anyone had given him credit for, this had clearly been a set up to get Kagome alone and without distractions.
She peered into the pot with interest, Shippo was right beside her, having forgotten his pile of sticks as well.
Shippo jumped onto his surrogate mother's lap and looked at her in question, "Mommy, we're having Ramen for breakfast?"
Everyone noticed the glare Kagome sent Inuyasha but he just ignored it as he asked for his fourth bowl of the futuristic substance. Kagome looked down at the little fox kit in her lap, she tried to hold back a frustrated growl, "Mommy doesn't want to talk about it right now."
Kagome couldn't believe it, he was so manipulating they should just rename him Naraku and be done with it. Honestly, how long had he thought this plan through? He had to of known that the others would have given her an excuse to ignore him so he sent them away. He sent them away to do something meaningless like gather firewood, so he could bully her into making his stupid Ramen.
Inuyasha had to have thought about this really hard too. He would have had to gather enough sticks to place in the extra blanket to make it look like there wasn't anything under it so he could send the others away but still have enough firewood that she could heat up his water. He would have also had to of cleared the clearing of all potential firewood so they didn't return to soon and interrupt his little 'guilting Kagome into what I want' session. It wasn't like the sleeping Kilala was going to help her out, but they would have.
When this was all over, she was frying his ass along with all the ramen she could find. And if she had been able to sleep at all for the last couple of weeks she might have had the energy to sit him, but as it stands, she was too tired to even do that. What a sad day this was turning out to be.
She looked up at her best friend as he slurped down another bowl. He placed it down ungracefully as he ladled out another helping for himself. She honestly couldn't decide which had more soup, the remaining pot or his face. He was absolutely covered. Then again…Kagome looked over to her right, Shippo wasn't doing much better either. But he was a child, and for now, that was tolerated. Inuyasha on the other hand should have known better than to act like some barbarian who had never seen food before.
"His manners are quite appalling aren't they?" came a masculine voice from her left.
Kagome absentmindedly nodded her head in agreement as she dazed quietly in the sun while sitting up. It was only after a few seconds of silent bliss that she realized something was wrong. Her eye's snapped open immediately as she took in her situation.
The familiar tone equally soothed her erves with the comforting baratone and caused her hairs to stand on end. She knew that voice very well, she had heard it just last night so it was quite fresh in her more while they were similar in their fluctuations Inuyasha sure as hell didn't just say that about himself of all people. Three, Shippo's voice wasn't that deep and four, Miroku was sitting across from her and he was eating, therefore, no talking.
Her dream immediately came back to her full force. It was unmistakable, that was his voice. Very slowly Kagome moved her neck so she could look to her left, praying that she was crazy and just hearing voices. Her eyes went wide with terror when what she was seeing registered in her brain.
Before her was the legendary dog demon in all his glory. Bright gold eye's, silver hair done up in his signature high pony tail and the intricate markings adorning is smooth face. He was crouched down and resting on the balls of his feet, both elbows resting pleasantly on his knees while his hands formed a fist underneath his chin. The dog lord was looking at the oblivious Inuyasha and no one else; eye's locked on his son. The same eye's that had pinned her down just moments before in her dreams.
"I-I-" was all she could manage.
With her stutter the demon's gaze shifted on towards her once again, "It is odd isn't it? It is almost as if his jaw becomes detached as he eats this Ramen substance of yours. Something in his demon senses must be drawn to it, with the way he begs for it. I wonder if it is from my side. Perhaps Sesshomaru would react in the same way," the demon paused for a moment as he contemplated what he had just said. Before he spoke he turned back towards Inuyasha, "No, Sesshomaru has too much control to ever be seen with manners like that, no matter how much he might like your Ramen."
A few seconds passed as the demon continued to watch his son and Kagome just sat there in bewilderment, on her own little log, to shocked to do anything about it. It wasn't until Shippo asked for seconds that she was knocked out of her fragile state of mind.
She immediately lost it.
With an ear piercing scream that made Inuyasha fall backwards due to the frequency of the pitch as well as the unexpectedness, the group quickly turned their attention to Kagome. Kagome, tripping while trying to stand up, fell backwards as well and right onto Shippo. His bowl immediately went flying out of his hands as the five foot six woman landed on him. It was as if her internal chaos and fatigue had finally come full circle and she could not even stand properly. Her lung still worked though and Kagome let all of her surprise and terror out in that yell.
Before she could start her screaming again Inuyasha jumped in front of her and covered her mouth. It was in part and effort to protect his ears and also to calm her enough to find out what had occurred. His senses had not picked up anything out of the ordinary that would cause his best friend to have such an obvious reaction. "What the hell woman!"
She tried to scream again but it only came out as muffled protests. Breathing as deeply as she could with his hand still covering her Kagome attempted to calm her racing mind. After a few seconds of gathering herself she tried peering around Inuyasha to see if, well, whatever it was, was still there. As she was looking frantically she tried to calm herself. She had within that time convinced herself that she was probably just seeing things, and hearing things, and dreaming things too.
As soon as she calmed down a little bit the bane of her existence, which she was currently blaming on her over active imagination, decided to re-appear. The silver haired figure, who was a good couple of inches taller than her friend currently holding her down, walked around Inuyasha. His beauty was almost as stunning as the armor on his body. Regal silk and a posture that screamed warrior overwhelmed her vision. The long silver hair tied up in a high ponytail pulled the flowing silver from his face showing some of the healed scars around his neck. They were undoubtedly from the wars he had served in and did nothing to quell her fears in the moment.
The creature was holding onto his pointed ears as he looked at her, "Now that hurt. Was there any particular reason for doing that? I mean, I know I'd dead and all but I do still have some hearing."
The blankness that overwhelmed Kagome's mind with those words could have temporary stalled a planet. After re-gathering herself Kagome quickly decided that her imagination was going completely overboard here. Inuyasha's dead father was lecturing her about keeping her voice down. She chaotically looked around the camp site, trying to find at least one reassuring face among the bunch, but all she was given was a bunch of confused stares.
Kagome quickly realized that no one else could see this man. In that moment she realized just how crazy she must have become with all of her adventures and time travel catching up to her. She knew it would hit one day, one can only live in two different time periods and witness so much before they went completely insane but she at least thought it would come after Naraku's defeat. They were so close too, no more jewel shards to hunt down, just the evil half demon to kill. What, she couldn't have held out a little longer? If it was possible to feel disappointed with yourself for being crazy she was defiantly experiencing it.
The figure that apparently only she could see finished walking over towards her, "I bet you think you are insane, don't you? While your life would probably be much simpler if I agreed with you, that is not the case. I am really here and only you can see or hear me."
"Woman!" her wide eyed gaze immediately traveled back to Inuyasha who had, unknown to her previous knowledge, let go of his grip over her mouth, "is there a particular reason you decided to do that?"
Maybe it was just her but she could have sworn his father had just said something incredibly similar for screaming at him. Nausea hit her full force as the real life dejavu became even more palpable. But the woman was determined to keep what she could of her sanity, to rationalize this moment into something productive and helpful. She could not betray her friends when so close to ending this crusade to rid the world of Naraku. She could not let them down and be weak. This thing was not Inuyasha's father, and while she didn't know what it was she was positive it couldn't be real. So in an effort to test reality she tried to gather what information she could. "Inuyasha…do you see anything…unusual?"
His face went from confused to on the lookout in an instant. He sniffed the air and his previously flattened ears were on high alert, swishing every which way imaginable, "Why, you sense something?"
She looked over at the full blooded demon standing in front of her, "God I hope so." And she really did, she hoped beyond all rational reason that her powers were picking up on something that was needing to be exterminated. A wind scar would do wonderful for her sanity and all she needed was a direction. Perhaps to an illusion based demon intent on stealing their half of the jewel.
Inuyasha gave another sniff and then crossed his arms, "I ain't smelling nothing wench."
She immediately turned towards Shippo and the now very awake Kilala, "What about you two? Anything?" She knew Shippo would recognize illusion magic more than the others and was attune to it. Kilala had an amazing nose but nothing in comparison to Inuyasha. It was still worth a try though and Kagome would follow any lead someone could give her.
She was having a hard enough time controlling her wavering voice as it was and Kagome's situation didn't get any better as they both shook their heads no. After a few moments of contemplation she stood up and grabbed Inuyasha's hand. This was not a battle to lose and Kagome was not one to take something lying down. She immediately walked him over to where the corporeal figure stood, "What about now?"
Inuyasha hesitantly sniffed the area once again but shook his head no. Kagome very calmly, in her perspective anyways, looked over towards Miroku pleadingly. "Miroku please tell me you sense something, anything will do right now. I'll even let you grope me if you say yes."
For an instant the lecherous monk's eyes lit up but she quelled it with her serious glare. It was quite clear that he put a large amount of effort into scanning the area with his holy powers. He made the familiar chants, pulsed his energy and checked the clearing for demonic symbols on anything they may have slept near. After clearing his throat he shook his head, "Sorry Kagome, there is nothing out of the ordinary."
Determined for her day not to get worse she slumped down on the nearest log, "Well that just sucks now doesn't it."
Sango walked forward in hopes of comforting her very depressed friend, "Is everything alright Kagome?"
"No, I'm seeing things and I don't particularly like it," was her reply.
Sango turned towards Inuyasha skeptically, "I'm starting to think you have been working us to hard if Kagome is seeing things."
"What? No way are you blaming me for Kagome's problems," he argued.
Kagome just wasn't sure what to do anymore. Truthfully Kagome had always figured Inuyasha would be the first to lose himself out of everyone else in the group. She loved him beyond compare but Inuyasha was way far more prone to abnormalities than she was. While yes she had been pulled down a well that connected her time period to this time period and had been forced to meet her resurrected past self, Inuyasha was way worse. He quite literally had three different personalities depending on the placement of the moon, his connection to his sword and everyday travels. Between the changes in his blood and his traumatic upbringing it was a wonder he still functioned.
Let's see, he had his half demon side which was gruff, guarded, demanding and one of her favorite people around. Then there was his human side who was open, kind and affectionate. And then there was his demon side who wanted to bless the world with untold amounts of bloodshed and living sacrifices. Again, the scenario made absolutely no logical sense. To be fair their entire rag tag group had quite a few trauma's among them. Perhaps it was a random dart throw to find out who broke first. Miroku's entire family had been cursed to be swallowed whole by a black hole in his palm, something he had witnessed happed to his father at a horribly young age. And Sango had watched her entire family be murdered and then her brother resurrected only to be a puppet by a mad man.
As always though Kagome would fix this problem. She was good at finding and solving issues, she was talented in finding creative solutions to completely unforeseen events. If anyone could get themselves out of seeing and hearing things that were not present it was her.
She needed a solution. Kagome could not afford lose herself right now. Maybe if she ignored him, the result of her overactive imagination, he would go away. It was a possible scenario and greater people had faced and overcome more. Her school history books were filled to the brim with people who had faced overwhelming odds and mental health issues. Crazier things had happened. Her very existence in the feudal era was proof of that.
Her friend seemed to pick up her the panic though and fully assessed the frustration Kagome must have been conveying. Inuysaha was not one to be nice off the bat but she could see the effort. Inuyahsa remained true to his personality though and put a playful spin by adding an insult, most likely attempting to ease his own concern though name calling. "Wench, you sure you're okay? We can only travel half of the day if you need a break. You'll slow the whole group down but I guess I could fit it in," he said almost sincerely.
She placed her hand on her head and closed her eyes. Trust Inuyasha to only allow half a day off as his best friend was quickly losing all sense of self right in front of him. Still she saw the kind gesture for what it was. Only Inuyasha could say something like that and still make it sound sweet. It was one of things that she absolutely adored about him.
She once again opened her eyes to see the annoying figure that she was really coming to despise standing right behind Inuyasha, looking over his son's shoulder. Kagome took that moment to chant to herself that this was not real, that he was a figment of her imagination and would go away with proper rest. She stood up and brushed her clothes off as she considered her options. Even while delusional she was not going pass up an offer like Inuyasha's, he had been driving them like cattle with a cause and there was no way she was going through another day like that if she could get out of it.
"Yeah, could we only walk half the day, it would really clear my head," spoke Kagome sincerely.
"Fine, but we pack up now, we can stop at dinner," he said while grabbing her yellow bag and stuffing it with the remaining Ramen. He had clearly taken his solution as the fix all and dismissed the situation as dangerous when his senses had not picked up on anything.
It was to much to ask that the others were just as hard headed. Losing ones mind was not something she wanted to discuss right now but there was no way to avoid her male friend's inquisitive gaze. Miroku walked up to her as he watched his fellow spiritual rebel, "You sure you are alright Kagome? You were just talking about seeing things."
She looked at the silver haired projection that was standing in the same place. Kagome quickly decided that in order to ignore the situation properly it was best to ignore the projection. Under no circumstances would she acknowledge the existence of this distracting creature, "I'm fine Miroku, I just wanted to get out of walking all day."
Miroku laughed, "Could have fooled me, it was a great plan though. Lately he keeps us walking until late at night."
Both Miroku and Sango left as she continued to rub the base of her head. She was going to have a migraine if her day continued on like this.
"Kagome, do you need any help with your sleeping bag?" asked Shippo.
Releasing her hold on her head Kagome looked at her adopted son. For some reason Shippo absolutely loved playing with her sleeping bag. She had watched as he attacked the poor thing with all of his strength, trying to best the strange contraption. She couldn't really blame him. It was hard enough for most people in her own time to try and get the giant thing in its little bag. For him it must be like defeating a demon twice his size. It was a fault of her's how much she coddled him. Inuyasha had pointed it out to her numerous times and a very large part of her wondered what would happen if she did not survive this era. If her mind was truly giving out on her perhaps it would be sooner than she imagined.
"Go ahead, I'm just going to lay down a minute," and pretend this day never happened she added on in her head. One of these day's she swore she was going to have a normal day.
Halfway through the day Kagome quickly realized that normal day's were outside her realm of possibilities. There was no conceivable way to ignore this thing when it kept talking to her. Honestly, this thing really had to be something only she could have thought up because neither Inuyasha nor Sesshomaru had ever spoken this many words in the time that she knew either one of them.
"One of these days you are going to have to listen to me little one," said the voice to her left.
She continued to ignore it.
"You know for a human you are rather stubborn as well as resilient. Good because both of my sons are daft and you will need that in order to get through to them. I find your traits rather admirable," he continued.
If this man was a figment of her imagination, which is what she was still going with since none of her friends had picked up on any demon characteristics or spiritual interference then she was more lost than Kagome had presumed. It did not take a genius to know that it was never good when projections started complimenting you or making statements about people that you knew. Something was wrong with this entire picture. Rubbing her eyes cautiously Kagome tried to imagine how her day would go if someone that only she could was not talking to her.
She just wasn't sure what to try anymore. She had tried covering her ears but she was just given weird looks from the others, she had tried closing her eyes but in case no one knew, that didn't really work while walking. She had even tried counting random numbers in her head but as soon as the stupid projection of a demon figured out what she was doing, she could only guess that she was mouthing the numbers, he purposefully threw her off by spouting off random figures.
She just couldn't take it anymore. Kagome looked up towards Inuyasha's leading figure, "Hey, can we take a break? I'm hungry. There has to be some type of river around here. What do you think about fish for lunch?"
Inuyasha stopped and turned around, "Alright, we can take a break."
Miroku and Shippo immediately fell down onto the ground in exhaustion while Sango slumped down, giant boomerang in hand. She had to try not to laugh, who would have thought that her, the girl who grew up in the city, had more stamina than them? Now that was just ironic.
"Finally going to listen to me? Good, because I was running out of things to say," came the same voice.
Kagome felt her eye twitch in annoyance and she immediately swung around, "You are not here, I am not talking to you and eventually I am going laugh about this but until then, don't mess with me."
Kagome turned back around to face her friends. Luckily they were too busy catching their breath in order to see her little outburst. Inuyasha on the other hand was staring at her openly.
"What?" she asked.
"You were just whispering…to a tree," he finished. They had all seen Kagome do odd things throughout her time with them but that would make the top of the list.
"It's a futuristic thing," she said quickly. Kagome knew it was a lame answer but nothing else came to mind that Inuyasha wouldn't question. The boy was quite clear about his hatred of her time and all things futuristic. He wanted nothing to do with her world and the strange objects he consistently found in her house. Car's and buses were an entirely different story that needed no explanation. The smog alone was enough to make him attack, let along those noise.
He shook his head, "Then I don't want to know, your time period is weird. Look, I'm going to go get some fish. Stick around, these forests are thick and I don't know if I'll be able to hear you if you scream in case you wander off."
She saluted him like she would a drill captain and he once again let it slide without asking questions. Quite quickly he left the open space and as soon as she knew her friends weren't looking Kagome left the clearing. She needed to vent her frustrations and a really good scream was in order here.
"So are we finally going to talk about what we need to do?" came his smooth voice.
She ignored him. Once she was far enough into the forest that she felt secure to let loose another wild and ear piercing scream, quite similar to the ones she let out when she first caught on that she was crazy, she turned around and faced her advisory. "I'm going to get rid of you."
"W-" he started but she cut him off with the scream she had needed to get out since Inuyasha had covered her mouth earlier that day. Kagome closed her eyes and continued to screech until her voice went hoarse. She opened her eyes cautiously. Someone had told her after her father had passed away that screaming could be therapeutic and now seemed like a rather opportune moment to practice the skills. But after the release of energy and effort Kagome found herself feeling just as drained and overwhelmed. The physical fatigue was enough to make her collapse but beyond reason Kagome remained standing.
Kagome looked around the deserted clearing surrounding her to sigh in relief. Even if the screaming didn't help emotionally it certainly got rid of the demon with a stalking habit and that certainly made her feel better.
"Humans are far louder than I recalled," came the same smooth voice from down below.
Almost in denial Kagome cautiously looked down. By her feet and lying down on his stomach, his hands' covering his pointed ears, was the silver haired demon. Almost instantaneously the happiness that was slowly returning vanished. It was far to much for her to handle and the pressure behind her eyes started to swell.
"Why aren't you going away?" she almost cried. She was tired, hungry, delusional and her day was not getting any better.
"Because I chose you to help me," came his reply as he tried to sit up.
Kagome immediately slumped down onto the ground so she could sit across from him. They were eye level now and Kagome knew exactly what she had to say, "Alright, obviously you are not leaving until I deal with you, but what I can't figure out is why you are here. I know I have problems in my life and all but I always thought I dealt with change pretty well. I see no need for Inuyasha's father of all people, for my brain to dream up in order to help me."
"I am not your imagination little one. I am really here, flesh and blood, aside for the flesh and blood part. I am actually only a spirit with no body to speak of. I have traveled from the afterlife in order to fix a…little problem than has arisen through the years." His tone had an understanding quality to it that almost made her want to give in. It held a part of her that she wanted to be real but knew better than to take at face value. Nothing came for free or without serious repercussions in this era. A fictional character in her mind who was offering compassion felt like a trap designed to maim and murder her in the end. Still, the fatherly tone rang true in her ears.
Determined to take from the situation that she could Kagome nodded her head as she tried to piece together what would be true for her. Coming to the conclusion that hinted at her own suppressed thoughts and fears Kagome tried to stick to that path. "So basically, I have an issue with my own father than needs to be resolved. Thank you for telling me that, you can go now."
She immediately stood up and left the clearing, determined to solve her little problem. So she wasn't going crazy, she just had some type of internal conflict that needed solving. Before she could finish the thought her mysterious friend suddenly materialized in front of her.
She bit back a yelp as the figure stood before her and no longer behind where she had left him, "You have a tendency to only hear what you want to hear don't you?"
Kagome closed her eyes and rubbed her forehead, "And here I had just convinced myself that I wasn't loosing it."
She took a step forward but tripped over a vine. Kagome half expected the creature of her imagination to catch her but instead she felt a cool breeze rush thought her body as her own figure went straight through his. With a thud she landed on the ground.
Twisting her head to the side Kagome looked at her would be savior. If she didn't know any better she would have said he was smirking, "So you're clumsy when the time is appropriate. It seems your body knows when it can relax and that is when you fall. Good, I can use that, it's less suspicious."
She didn't even want to know what he meant. Kagome immediately stood back up and headed for her group. She did not want to deal with this right now. She burst through the clearing where she knew Inuyasha and the others were waiting for her and just as expected Inuyasha was giving her a menacing glare.
"I told you not to leave the clearing," he said fiercely.
"And I always listen to what you tell me to do. Any more fish left over?" she asked politely. It was with great difficulty and inner turmoil she was determined to keep to herself that Kagome kept the biting notes from her voice.
Inuyasha huffed and handed her a grilled fish. Before she could take a bite the silver haired demon rematerialized next to her. "I would think that a girl who travels though time would be more accepting towards spirits."
She ignored him and took a bite out of her fish.
"What if I could prove to you I'm real?" he asked suddenly.
Kagome stopped mid chew and looked at him. It was the first time since this morning that she had truly done so. The same delicate silks and armor graced her vision. The determination in his voice and new found fatigue in his eyes was what caught her. He was not wrong, crazier things had happened and if this was something that meant she was not a burden to her friends she would take it. For the first time she thought of the idea, of him being who he was claiming to be. If it was true on any level this needed to be explored. Partly because it would mean she was not absolutely insane and partly because it would mean that Inuyasha's father, or at least someone that knew him very well, was now intertwined in their life. With a deep breathe she considered her options and took a leap of faith, "Alright, try me."
The demon Lord pointed towards Inuyasha, "I know everything there is to know about him. I have watched him for most of his life. Ask a question you don't already know and I'll answer it."
Kagome took another bite out of her fish. Even she had to admit this was a very good opportunity. If she was seeing things then the answers wouldn't be right, if they were right then he was really there. If he was right, everything that she had ever wanted to know about Inuyasha would be fair game.
Kagome turned towards her best friend, "Hey Inuyasha, how old are you?"
Inuyasha pulled away his fish from his open mouth and looked at her skeptically, "I don't remember."
She looked towards her friend's supposed father. He smirked, "Two hundred and fifty seven years, nine months and seven days."
She turned again, "You wouldn't happen to be two hundred and fifty seven years old would you?"
Inuyasha's fish fell to the ground as his eyes widened and mouth flew open, stuttering in disbelief, "How-"
She immediately cut him off, "How is not important. What I want to know is why you didn't tell us about at least two of your birthdays!" yelled Kagome as she lectured Inuyasha. The moment she said this it hit her how no part of her would have known that. Nothing on her search engines or books had reference him in history. This knowledge was Inuyasha's and not something her mind could have made up, at least to that precise level.
Sango and Miroku looked on in disbelief. How had Kagome learned such information? They knew their friend had her ways but that had to be magic.
Inuyasha carefully, and without lifting his gaze from Kagome's form picked up his nearly forgotten fish. If she didn't know Inuyasha's personality so well she would have said his outstretched arm was shaking.
"It seems you have ruffled up my boy's fur," spoke her new found friend in an amused fashion. And Kagome had, Inuyasha looked as if she had somehow caught him by the scruff of his neck and swatted his nose.
"Alright, my interest is caught," Kagome directed towards her informant. The idea of learning about her best friend was to tempting to pass up. If this was indeed a person who could be Inuyasha's father then she would take that over sanity slowly getting away from her. And no one would believe her anyways, she did not even believe herself and she was witnessing this first hand. "Inuyasha, is there a particular reason you never change out of that outfit? Almost every time I try to clean it you bite my head off," she asked.
"…I gave it to him, the cloth anyways. His mother hand stitched it for him as he grew older. It is one of the only things he has that both of us have somehow contributed in giving him," said the older man.
Kagome looked over at Inuyasha, "Either you tell me or I tell you. Your answer is more important than you think."
"I-I…my old man left it with my mother when I was born. My mom had me wearing it ever since," he finished.
She knew that had to have been hard for him. He was never one for talking about things related to his parents and she deeply respected him for being honest with her. Although Inuyasha had left some details out Kagome could tell what the spirit had told her was true.
"Last question, when was the first time you met Sesshomaru?" she asked. The tall silver haired demon had been a mystery to her in more ways than one. She understood sibling hatred to a degree Inuyasha would never know but Sesshomaru took things to an entirely different level. How someone could be that cruel to another person was beyond her limit of imagination because despite his actions Kagome had never sensed evil within him. Just anger, pain and hatred. Something had to have happened at one point or another in her mind.
"He was about five in demon years. Sesshomaru was…not kind. It was recently after his mother's death and Inuyasha was running from a group of demons intent on killing him. He ran into Sesshomaru's legs. Both immediately recognized the other as family, pack members if you will. Sesshomaru…sidestepped Inuyasha and let the demons continue to chase him, my eldest going his own way," said the spirit, his voice laced with regret.
Kagome continued to look expectantly at Inuyasha, "I was little. No older than five in demon terms."
Kagome closed her eyes as she contemplated all she had just learned. One, Inuyasha really did have a rotten childhood, two Sesshomaru had never given Inuyasha a chance, she wasn't crazy. Out of the three revelations the last one seemed the most positive which was sad in itself.
Putting the remainder of her fish down she stood up and headed over for the tree line, "I'm going for a walk, I think I need one. I'll be back in a little bit so don't worry."
With that said she headed into the tree's, her stalker of a spirit right behind her. The walk could not have been long but her mind wandered to all the possibilities of what was occurring. How had this happened? What was she supposed to do with this information? Could she tell others? Would they even believe her? Once she knew she was out of hearing distance, over the years she had made sure to learn Inuyasha's limits, Kagome turned towards her spirit.
"Before we start I want your name. I don't know what to call you."
He smiled, "You can call me Touga little one."
"Alright Touga, what exactly is going on?" she asked. Kagome could be more than practical when the situation called for it and right now needed to be an information gathering session. Her attempts at avoiding him earlier today were swimming throughout her mind as she tried to piece together what she could. It was to much of a blur and shock though.
"I have something I need fixing and only you can help me. You are a very powerful priestess and trained or not you still have that power. It is through that power that I was able to connect to and then lock onto you. Only you can see and hear me because you are my connection to this world. You are the only one strong enough to sustain my spirit," he concluded.
"Why did you seem happy that I didn't know how to control my powers?" asked Kagome.
"Two reason's mainly. The first being that it is quite sweet how my son wants you dependent on him for protection, if not counterproductive. He rather likes being needed by you. This speaks volumes about how much he cares for and respects you. The second one is more for my own personal gain," he said with the same conniving smile.
"Personal gain?" asked Kagome.
"Yes, you see, without knowledge of your powers there is very little you can do to block me from this world. You see, while in the afterlife a demon of my caliber can tap into an untrained miko's power through their bond. Priests and priestesses were not originally meant to be the enemy of demon's, in fact they were originally designed to help progress the species. I believe it was only until demons saw human's as inferior and worthless that there has been a drift between our species. In truth your kind has a very long history with demons, one which I'm afraid to say, both sides have forgotten. Luckily, this particular mishap seems to be in my favor," he stated smugly.
Kagome's eyes grew. What? To many possibilities surrounding his words crossed her mind. Did this mean he could hold some type of sway over her? Or manipulate her on a different level? How was it he could do that when all she could do is shoot only a half decent arrow?
"I didn't use it before because I didn't want to frighten you, but I will get you to do what I want," he said fiercely.
Kagome believed him to her core. He may present as a kind older man but she saw the power in his gaze. Whatever he was here for was his number one priority with no detours in sight. Suddenly Kagome found herself wishing that her mental decline was true rather than facing off what he had in store. She braced herself though to hear words that would undoubtedly change everything, "And what exactly is it you want me to do?"
"You little one, are going to fix the gap between my sons. You will make them the brothers they were meant to be."