The Wrong Beginning
"There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart's desire. The other is to gain it."
-George Bernard Shaw
He was going to become human for her. They were going to live together. They would be happy… he would be happy, loved, accepted. Friends, family… all he ever wanted was just a day away.
Then she came at him with her arrows, shouting hateful words.
Now her village was going up in flames. 'Serves 'em fuckin' right anyway,' InuYasha thought as he made his escape.
"I'm taking the Shikon no Tama! Too fucking bad, guys!" He landed and pushed off again. Almost to the forest… 'Now that I have this… I can become a real youkai.'
The arrow collided with his heart, shocking him to near silence. Kikyou, bloodied, stared at him, bow in hand. "Bitch… how dare you…"
"The Shikon no Tama?" Kagome held out the pink bulb for Buyo to play with, kami know the fat cat needed more exercise…
Jii-chan looked affronted. "As long as you keep this, your house will be safe and your business will prosper!"
"Buyo…" In what seemed like just a second, Kagome was pulled down into the well by a creepy centipede woman, who licked her and said she had… a jewel?
"Oi. This arrow. Can you pull it out?" The gruff boy was actually being serious…
The old woman who helped Kagome earlier shouted at her not to do it. "You must not pull it out! That arrow is InuYasha's seal… he must not be freed!"
But in a choice between death and freedom, Kagome wanted to live… and freed the dog-eared boy. He slew the centipede easily (if not scarily) enough. Kaede showed her how to find the jewel, and then it was in Kagome's hands.
'The Shikon no Tama… it wasn't just a myth?'
"Now, unless you want to be victim to my claws," the boy with the dog ears cracked his knuckles obscenely, "Be a good girl and hand over the Shikon no Tama."
"Kagome," Kaede warned insistently. "Never hand that over."
InuYasha's warning was more of a threat. "I won't go easy on you. I especially…" He pounced, claws extended, "won't for a woman who stinks like you!"
With one slash, Kagome fell to her knees, her stomach spouting blood. InuYasha had learned his lesson last time; he grabbed the jewel and whispered his wish at that very moment. What could the humans do to him as a full demon?
Kagome cringed; Kaede cried out as pure youki rolled of the boy in waves. Purple jagged streaks carved themselves across his cheeks. His pretty sunshine-colored eyes took on the hue of a bloody sunset, broken only by bright teal irises and black pupils.
His first action was to lunge at the old woman who had shouted. Within moments, she lay in pieces on the ground. The other humans shouted and ran; they didn't stand a chance. Dropping the bauble in his haste to kill, to rip, to tear and taste flesh, he took off.
The moment he left the clearing, Kagome grabbed the jewel and raced away at an angle, tears streaming down her face in fear, pain and horror. 'Get away,' she chanted mentally. 'Got to get away…' She didn't realize she was at the village until she looked up and saw… red. Everywhere. Blood and muscles everywhere, Kagome heaved at the sight of body parts painting the wooden huts in the once-peaceful village.
Fearing for her life, she ducked under the bridge by the river, shivering at the chill, clutching her stomach as blood-loss made her dizzy. Then everything went black.
Kagome came to with a start. She let out a choked scream – somewhat stifled by the way her body shook, whether from fear or cold she wasn't positive – as a decapitated head stared unblinkingly at her. Though there was nothing in her stomach, Kagome heaved, then scuttled backwards, somehow knowing that if she just made it back to the well, she could get home. She cried out as her movements tore her shirt from where it had caked with blood to her stomach wound.
Kagome shrieked as she was set upon by a peck of disgusting-smelling, huge, multiple-eyed crows. They swooped at her, tearing at her shirt, grabbing her by the hair, and pecking at her arms. Eventually she noticed they were all going after her right hand; clenched in her fist was that frightening jewel that had been torn from her body, now a threatening blackish-purple… a similar color to the crows, come to think of it.
Tears rolling down her cheeks, Kagome just wanted to go home. She sobbed as another crow tore at her body and, giving into her temptation, she chucked the jewel as hard as possible while wounded.
The crows let out deafening screeches as they began to fight each other for the bauble. Kagome made tracks into the forest as quickly but quietly as possible, diverting her eyes from the gore that lay all over the village and swallowing compulsively.
When she heard a shattering crack echo through the forest, she refused to turn around. Kagome never took notice of the fireworks in the sky behind her.
'Just get to the well!'
Sesshoumaru's nostrils flared; a split-second later, his eyes widened slightly. The scent of blood… a full-blooded youkai, his weakened younger half-brother, the stain on his family's honor…
Sesshoumaru halted and let the impetuous whelp come to him. The immature hanyou had been weak enough to allow a human wench to seal him to a tree; last he'd heard, InuYasha had been attempting to lay his hands on the Shikon no Tama to become a full-blooded youkai.
Apparently (to Sesshoumaru's never-ending surprise, although he would never admit it), the pathetic creature had been successful.
"Whelp," Sesshoumaru greeted quietly, refusing to acknowledge the youkai any other way.
InuYasha snarled. His blood boiled in hatred at this youkai's scent. This was his family; why had he not rescued his brother from the trap he'd lay dormant under for who knew how long? It did not matter – in moments, this traitorous youkai's blood would stain his hands!
"Give me the Tetsusaiga and die!" Sesshoumaru snarled, incensed that the younger youkai would dare – dare to attack him.
InuYasha growled low in his chest. He had no clue what Sesshoumaru was speaking of. No matter, though – his half-brother would not be alive to explain. He swung again and again, seething, roaring rage as Sesshoumaru continued to easily fight off his advances.
Had Sesshoumaru been the type to feel pity, he would have pitied the young man standing before him. It was clear he was out of his mind, fueled only by a need for blood and hatred. As it was, Sesshoumaru was growing irked. InuYasha obviously had no knowledge of the Tetsusaiga. Even if he had, it was locked so deep inside the once-hanyou's head that it would never be discovered.
With a final growl, Sesshoumaru flicked his wrist and sliced InuYasha's head from his body.
Recalling his poison whip, he turned on his heel and walked away.
Weeks later, a young kitsune huddled at the back of his family's den, sobbing his heartbreak. He'd just been forced to watch his father be skinned alive for finding a shard of the jewel. Now, out of pure luck, he grasped another in his hand.
Debate raged within him. On one hand, the jewel had drawn enemies and been the reason for his father's death.
On the other, perhaps this would give him the power he needed to seek vengeance. Then he would go on to be a force for good in the world! Shippou, the mighty kitsune warrior! He'd have a cool sword and do special kitsune magic and all the pretty girls would swoon over him and he'd have all the food he could eat and more!
Well, that made that decision easy enough.
Cringing just a bit, Shippou slipped the jewel in at the base of his tail. He immediately felt more powerful, as though he could take on the world!
Lightning struck outside the den – it appeared the evil youkai that had killed his father had returned, lured by the power of the jewel.
He'd show them. He lunged!
Manten was thrilled with the new addition to his kitsune-fur ensemble. He handed the shard to Hiten willingly enough; perhaps with riches like his wardrobe, he'd find it easier to catch wenches for his hair solution.
The two would never know. Several days after they slaughtered the last of the small kitsune family, they were devoured by a laughing hanyou with red eyes.
Miroku sighed, rubbing the back of his neck as he requested refuge at the strongly-warded village. The jyaki seeping across Japan had him consistently tense; he was in need of a massage and a hot bath.
All the women here were armed. Well, that was just perfect. He'd get nowhere at this rate!
Naraku was growing ever-stronger, and he still had no idea what the hanyou looked like. Perhaps here, at the birthplace of the jewel, he would find his answers.
Asking around carefully, he was first told the story of the jewel, and then directed to a cave behind the village to verify the authenticity for himself. Outside the cave laid a tiny two-tailed neko youkai, who "mew"-ed at him and twitched her nose before leading him inside.
The statue of the woman with a hole in her chest was crumbling to dust. A sense of wrong permeated the cave; it appeared the youkai around her were glowing. 'Is something happening to make them grow stronger?' He'd seen the few shards the taijya had been able to collect; each glistened as though dipped in ink.
If only he knew how to purify the shards…
Screams echoed from the village. The neko youkai let out a low growl and startled him by wrapping herself in an aura of fire before turning into the size of a small pony. She motioned with her head for him to join her; she carried him out of the cave and to the village, which was absolutely overrun by vicious youkai.
"Stand back!" he warned some of the taijya and the now-vicious neko. Miroku removed the beads and glove from his hand and began to suck in the small fry at an alarming rate.
With that, he became a target.
The taijya rallied to protect him, but were overwhelmed. The neko was the next to be destroyed as she moved to pull the monk to safety and strayed too far: she was sucked into the void.
A mantis youkai and its mate flailed as they entered the void. The kazaana expanded until it sucked Miroku in, years before he expected to face such a death – the last of his line, destroyed by the curse Naraku set upon his family.
Only a quarter of the village remained.
Air… precious air…
Her body screamed in defiance of the dirt covering upon her. She thanked the kami in a small corner of her mind that those who had buried her had not done a proper job. The soil was not packed but had been apparently just shoved on.
Sango swallowed as her fingers brushed against cold, unforgiving skin. She kept her eyes shut.
'Don't think about it. Just get out…'
She gasped, both from the pain and to gulp in clean oxygen, as she finally reached the surface. Tremors wracked her body as her muscles spasmed. Each twitch felt like somebody stabbing a brand into her skin.
Sango felt as though she had just fought her way free from hell.
The dark chuckle behind her made her freeze. Perhaps she had only just arrived.
An hour later, she lay panting for breath yet again; this time, she wished she could reach her weapon and put herself out of her misery. Above her, the young prince grinned sadistically and trailed his knife down her naked flesh, delighting in the crimson tears her body shed.
He thrust into her again, a bit disappointed that his most recent release had slickened her and taken away that delicious friction. She'd stopped screaming, he noted, and his eyes grew dark.
That wouldn't do at all.
Staring into cinnamon eyes, Naraku cackled as he began to let a few of his favorite features take form. Those beautiful eyes widened in fear and shock as tentacles began to emerge from his body… they wrapped around her, clenched at her breasts and strangled her neck until she began to shake from oxygen deprivation.
Naraku let out a groan as denying her breath caused her body to spasm around him. She flailed, unwilling to give in to welcoming black death but wishing for the pain, the absolute horror to end. He smirked, feeling the battle between her stubborn pride and her broken spirit and reveling in it.
More tentacles wrapped around her upper legs; he thrust deeper as they wrenched her legs wider. Sango screamed as a femur snapped – she choked on the tentacle that forced itself down her throat.
Her dying thought was how much she wished she had not dragged herself out of that grave.
'Run! Run! Faster…' The little girl's chest tightened as she stumbled, hearing growls echo behind her. She'd almost gotten back to her feet when sharp teeth dug into her shoulder.
Her shrill scream turned into a gurgle as fangs tore her esophagus into pieces. Blood filled her lungs, hastening her death as the child simultaneously bled to death and suffocated.
Wolves chomped at the body. Feral grins turned into loud howls of a victorious hunt; as they signaled their leader, the blood of the innocent rolled down their muzzles to darken the fur of their throats.
Days later, Sesshoumaru paced past the rotting corpse, eyes narrowed slightly in response to the rank smell. The sword on his hip rattled; his lips thinned imperceptibly as he studiously ignored it and continued onward. An inanimate object would not make decisions for him.
Kouga grinned cockily as he looked behind him; these jewel shards made him faster than any youkai he'd ever met! He was sure to win the hand of the ookami princess now – he'd rule all the ookami as her alpha, and all the power he could have ever wanted would be his for the taking!
His thoughts ended as quickly as his dash; in daydreaming, he'd never noticed the hanyou ahead of him.
Or perhaps it was the eerie way the hanyou was able to mask his aura.
Either way, the ookami prince barely had time to scream before a dark mass wriggled around him.
Moments later, Kouga was gone.
The inu youkai snarled as an unknown hanyou began to melt the fang holding the dragon youkai immobile. The hanyou disappeared without a trace as the dragon's eyes opened wide.
"Ryukotsusei," Sesshoumaru snarled before beginning his own transformation.
The two battled for days, neither giving in. Sesshoumaru was slightly smaller and able to move faster; however, his fangs and poison did nothing against the dragon's rock-like skin. Eventually, the younger youkai began to falter, moving slower and getting caught by blasts he'd originally been dodging handily.
With a yelp, Sesshoumaru was flung backward. A glowing ball of energy followed him. Sesshoumaru cursed his dead, useless half-brother and his traitorous father for never giving him the key to defeating the enemy that had been the primary cause of his father's death.
Ryukotsusei took Sesshoumaru for dead and made his escape; he would go back to the mainland, where his father had been revered as a dragon. He would follow in his father's footsteps, and escape the growing jyaki that had begun to infest all the corners of Japan. He'd seen it in Sesshoumaru's eyes: even the young inu youkai knew that such an injury would render him helpless against the owner of that evil feeling…
Sesshoumaru snarled and fought weakly, but was the most satisfying victory Naraku had ever faced. There was only one death that would trump the youkai's…
Crying out in pain, Kagome finally heaved herself over the edge of the well. It was silent outside… where was her family?
Taking tentative steps to the well house door, she opened it and swayed on her feet; her shaky legs gave way and she slumped to the ground, eyes blank and unseeing as she tried to process the sight of her family…
Or what was left.
If she hadn't seen her house, she could have convinced herself she was still in the past.
Her mother lay in pieces, her face the only thing left intact - frozen in a horrified scream. Kagome could almost make out the outline of a young boy in the blood and gore spattered against the once-white walls of her house. Brown and white fur was scattered in clumps around the shrine yard… Kagome heaved at the coppery smell of blood and death.
Nothing remained but his robes and various, broken spiritual knick-knacks he had toted around so proudly.
Night fell as Kagome sat dazed, tears running unchecked down her face. Eventually a pull, almost like a tug at her brain, dragged her from her stupor.
'It feels so wrong,' she thought, not knowing how she knew but unable to stop the feeling from running through her. She had to find it… it was calling her.
Stumbling, averting her eyes from the blood, the organs, the body parts strewn across the yard, she moved like the zombies that had so often scared her friends and her at the movies. Eyes dead, Kagome tumbled down the shrine steps, not noticing the skinned knees or bruises. The pain was dulled by her losses.
The streets were empty; the tug on the back of her mind grew stronger as she approached it. As it became a presence in her head, evil laughter echoed through the night.
Kagome gasped as something slimy, like an octopus or squid, curled almost lovingly against her cheek, wiping away the tears. As she took in a shaky breath, she realized… he smelled like the shrine's courtyard. She screamed.
"That's right, little miko. I have you to thank for everything."
Kagome's eyes shot open. 'Everything?' She shook. "W-what do you m-mean?"
"Had you run when that pathetic hanyou came after you… you could have escaped. You were weak. You were frightened and let that fear overwhelm you. Do you know how delicious the taste of your fear is, miko?" Red eyes flashed with a sick pleasure.
Kagome's breath came in pants as he continued. "It was so very, very difficult, my pet… to let your family live, I mean. I had to wait until you fell through the well to destroy them. I could feel the power growing with each generation of your family… until you were finally born." He rolled a blackened pearl along another tentacle. "This jewel nearly disappeared when you were born. I was very upset, miko, until I realized why. Then… I waited." Kagome hiccupped, clenching her eyes tight when she noticed a brown eye stuck in blood near the jewel. "Their screams were quite beautiful, you know… much like you." His voice was like velvet… how could something so beautiful be the stuff of nightmares?
"Y-y-you… you k-k-" She couldn't finish. She fell.
"Much like I will you. So much as I would take great pleasure in prolonging your pain… you brought me what I wanted most. And so I shall show you mercy." A slimy tentacle wrapped around her throat, forcing a gurgle from her as he cut off her air supply. "I shall kill you and send you to your loved ones… with the knowledge that had you been stronger, none of this would have happened."
A sick crack echoed through the empty streets. Her body went limp.
I'm going off a statement Jii-chan made about the Shikon… "When the right wish is made, the jewel will disappear." I'm assuming it will *not* disappear with the wrong wish, thusly.
A nod goes out first and foremost to my beta, angelia incarnate. We have a love/hate relationship… she loves to find quotes to poke my plot bunny with, and I hate her for encouraging one-shot plot bunnies when I should be working on other fics! (I really do adore her, though, and doubt I'd be anywhere without her.)
A second nod goes out to Lady Griddlebone, whose one-shot "The Wrong Ending" inspired my title for this piece. Thank ya kindly!
As you can see – when I get upset, I tend to write it out. Let's hear it for being inundated with drama both in real life AND online! It leads to death and destruction, apparently.
Disclaimer: I do not own InuYasha or any other characters from the anime/manga. They all belong to Rumiko Takahashi. I just play with them… and kill them -_-;;