Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha nor profit.
Author's Note: Sit back and Enjoy!
The Black Dog
"To Become the Black Canine"
The moon rested high in the starless sky. Its light created eerie outlines amongst the large maples and sporadic shrubs. Naraku floated above the canopies eyeing his prey. The sleeping six were oblivious to his presence. Even the hanyou remained at ease tangled in an old tree's branches. A smirk crossed the predator's features. Tonight would change Japan for the remainder of its days. Tonight, he would come in possession of the Shikon no Tama.
In his death grip, the dark half-breed held his youngest reincarnation's mirror. Naraku had been watching Inuyasha's pack for months during night. He had come to know each individual's strengths and weaknesses. They were careless when the sun set. Fatigue and battle weakened their senses. Kanna recommended stalking them for her mirror couldn't see everything. The Mirror of Illusions was like a living creature, fickle. If he wished to obtain the power of the jewel, he realized he couldn't rely on worthless objects and servants.
Landing silently, Naraku concealed himself behind the mirror. As Kanna taught him, he drew out its power and altered his appearance to that of a young human boy. The transformation appeared flawless. Naraku could see his new doe-like eyes and cropped black hair in Kanna's mirror. His smirk deepened. The miko was a fool to speak of her brother so frequently and openly. Unfortunately, she never discussed where to locate the sibling. He was about to discard his plan until she displayed a small painting of the boy in question. Even at a distance, he saw the boy's features and disgustingly bright smile. This Souta was the exact tool he needed to steal the remaining fragments.
Naraku hid the mirror behind his back and glided through the campsite. Smoke filled the air from the dead campfire, while crickets played a sweet melody for the tired group. The evil being stopped only a foot away from the miko and nudged her quietly. Kagome rolled in her sleeping bag muttering nonsense. The imposter nudged her again but harder. The miko peaked her eyes open and flipped her sleeping bag over. Her brown eyes went in and out of focus until she realized her younger brother stood above her. Naraku hoped the woman wouldn't squeal or shout, and to his pleasure, she didn't. Her lips only parted slightly in surprise.
The hanyou stepped away from her and towards the black forest. Kagome jumped from her laying position and followed like a moth to a flame. Another smirk crossed his features. "Souta," she whispered. Naraku kept silent and continued to draw her away. He didn't know the voice of the child. One word could ruin his only chance of claiming what should be his.
Minutes passed and the siblings had traveled nearly half a mile away from camp. Kagome no longer felt tired but confused. She couldn't understand how Souta traveled through the well. The boy had tried on several occasions, but never succeeded. Even if he had, how would Souta know where to find her? They were miles away from Edo. "Souta, how did you get here?" Her tone laced with curiosity.
Without a word, Naraku ran into the miko's arms. The mirror tucked in his waistband. Kagome returned his hug happily, a soft smile brightening her groggy features. "Well, hello to you too Brother." The words were light hearted and loving, making Naraku nauseous. He pulled away hesitantly playing his role. He batted the boy's brown eyes and gave the miko a fake smile like Souta had in the painting. "You sure are acting weird Souta," Kagome giggled.
Naraku glanced away from the miko's chocolate eyes and saw a glass vile containing a dozen jewel shards. Within a flash, he yanked the bottle from its possessor and spilled the contents in his palm. The magenta fragments instantly darkened from his touch. Kagome let out a gasp and tried to snatch the shards back. Naraku pushed her away and took Kanna's mirror from its hiding position. Kagome's eyes went wide with realization. "Oh yes miko, you have served me well."
The dark hanyou pulled out his chunk of the Shikon no Tama and fused the remaining pieces. The jewel glowed a dreary shade of violet and pulsed in his palm. After three years, the jewel was complete and in his possession. Japan would feel his wrath and crumble beneath his feet. "I am glad you are here to witness this event miko," he taunted.
Tears began to form in the corners of Kagome's eyes. Failure weighed her body down. She couldn't reach the jewel before he uttered his wish. Her body began to tremble and her mind went blank. Thousands of people would die because of her. She shook her head to get the thought of her mind. Something had to be done. Kagome glared at Naraku and truly noticed the mirror. The dark creature was harnessing the power of the mirror to exist at this point in time. If she could destroy it, the hanyou would be weak. She didn't waste a moment and leapt from the mossy ground on to Naraku. He released a horrid hiss and squeezed his hand into a fist over the jewel. "You cannot stop me," the boy cried. Determination filled her eyes as she grabbed the mirror from his opposing hand and smashed it on the ground.
A menacing howl escaped the hanyou's lips. The vision of Souta disappeared and became the evil half-demon. His limbs contorted in agony, but his hand still clutched the Shikon jewel. "You bitch," he screamed. Kagome scooted away from him kicking dirt at his torso. A brilliant purple glow burned through his claws. The miko shielded her eyes and waited for the light to die. As she waited, she felt her body twist and mutate. Her bare arms and legs grew lengthy ebony hair. Her bones cracked and shifted pushing her on all fours. A large, elegant black tail swished behind her, while her ears moved to the top of her head. Terror consumed her.
The jewel dropped from Naraku's claws and landed only four inches away. Without hesitation, Kagome jumped over the hanyou and caught the Shikon no Tama in her new, canine jaws. Her silky tongue swallowed the curse and finished what she had started years ago. Naraku cursed and disintegrated before her eyes. Only a baboon pelt and ash resided on the forest floor. Kagome released a deep sigh; she didn't know she was holding.
Hard footsteps sped behind her making her new pointed ears twitch. Inuyasha busted into the scene moments to late. His gold eyes surveyed the area and hardened when they landed on the hanyou. With youkai grace, he quietly walked to the pile that was Naraku and sunk his claws deep in the ash. His slender nose sniffed the grey substance and dropped it in horror. Kagome released a low whine catching the hanyou's attention. He crossed his arms in front of his chest and lifted an eyebrow. "What do you want mutt," he jested. Kagome trotted towards him and rubbed against his thigh. Inuyasha pushed her away and released a low growl.
"What happened," a female voice asked. Inuyasha turned to Sango and shrugged his shoulders. The demon slayer repeated the hanyou's previous actions and then stepped alongside of him. "Is Naraku dead?" Kagome barked a yes, but Sango merely tilted her head to the side. "What's a dog doing here," she continued.
"How the hell should I know? I heard screaming and find the asshole incinerated, and have this mutt rubbing against my leg."
Sango kneeled and whistled Kagome to her side. The miko released a chipper bark and nuzzled her way into the demon slayer's chest. The woman smiled and patted the dog on her head. "She seems harmless to me Inuyasha. She was probably at the wrong place at the wrong time."
"Whatever," he muttered. "Let's go find Miroku and see if his wind tunnel is gone. We can finally get some fucking answers." Sango nodded in agreement and headed back to camp with Kagome at her side.
The walk towards camp was quicker than Kagome remembered. Her canine eyes saw every plant and bump along the way. Sango stumbled a couple times over her feet, but Kagome kept the demon slayer balanced and straight. She would whisper thanks to large dog, which annoyed Inuyasha. After the fourth thank you, Inuyasha couldn't keep to himself. "Why do you keep thanking the bitch? It's not like the beast knows what you're talking about."
Sango hitched her eyebrows and frowned. "Inuyasha, don't talk to her like that. She's helped me through the darkness. Despite what you think, I believe she can understand us. Aren't you half dog demon?"
"Feh, but that's a dog-dog, not a youkai. That mutt doesn't understand language," he grumbled. Kagome hissed hearing his explanation. The hanyou glared at the canine and crossed his arms once more. Sango's lips curled in a smile. It would seem that the dog knew exactly what was being said.
Miroku was the only awake being at camp. The monk paced in circles around the dead campfire. Sango let out a laugh at the ridiculous sight, which stopped the man's antics. "What did you find," the monk asked, his violet eyes eager to hear anything relevant.
Inuyasha went to the monk and grabbed his hand. Miroku pulled back reflexively, but a deep throated growl from the hanyou made him pause. Inuyasha unwrapped the monk's wooden beads and saw a normal palm. Miroku stared at his hand unbelievingly. The half breed released him and looked around the campsite. Kagome's screams were missing from the group. The hanyou sniffed the air and released her scent was gone. "Where's Kagome?"
Sango and Miroku shook their heads and looked around. Her sleeping bag was turned over and there were no signs of struggle. "I don't know," Sango breathed. "What if Naraku took her? Can you smell her out?"
Inuyasha snorted. "Her smell is stale. She left here almost an hour ago." He walked across the camp and looked back the direction Sango and he had gone. "She went that direction," as he pointed into the forest. Kagome barked fiercely catching the group's attention. Sango patted her head trying to silence her, but the miko continued on. Shippou and Kirara woke from the drumming noise. "Shut up," Inuyasha cried. "Do you want the entire forest to hear yah?" The miko lowered her head in defeat and silenced herself.
"We've got to find her," Sango cried. "She's all alone in the middle of a youkai filled forest! Everyone pack up camp. We've got to track her before her scent disappears completely." The group didn't hesitate. Shippou rolled up the sleeping bags, Miroku cleaned the fire pit, and Inuyasha stuffed and grabbed Kagome's yellow backpack. Kagome lay next to Kirara watching the spectacle. The neko youkai didn't seem to mind her presence. The miko thought it had something to do with her just waking up.
Inuyasha's golden eyes made sure everything was packed and then followed Kagome's frail scent. The miko wondered why the hanyou couldn't smell her as a dog. Surely her scent was unique and would be the same no matter the species. She shook her fur and let her tongue hang from her jaws. Kagome remained next to Sango, being her support when she tripped. Miroku hadn't mentioned the dog but his eyes would constantly look in Kagome's direction. Shippou hadn't seemed to notice her at all. He lagged behind the group wiping sleep out of his eyes. The miko hoped this transformation wasn't definite.
"This is where her scent ends," Inuyasha said softly. The group had arrived once more to Naraku's gravesite. Sango choked back tears. Her hands began to shake trying to hold back her raw emotion. Kagome pushed herself against Sango's calf and rubbed her head into the demon slayer's hand. The woman scratched Kagome's head gently, but didn't speak. "I don't understand. Where could the wench have gone?"
Miroku walked passed the group and kneeled beside Naraku. His new hand punched the evil hanyou's remains with strong force. He pounded into the earth until his knuckles began to bleed. Kagome had never seen this side of the monk, his anger. "The creature did something to her," Miroku claimed. "Something happened to her. Kagome couldn't disappear out of thin air." Sango nodded her head in agreement.
"We'll just have to keep looking." Inuyasha responded. Fear plagued his sunny eyes. "Kagome can hold her own. She may be human, but she's got holy powers at her side."
"Let's continue west and see if any villages have come across her," Sango suggested. "If she disappeared over an hour ago, she couldn't have gotten very far."
The group left in silent agreement and headed into Lord Sesshomaru's territory. Kagome couldn't believe Inuyasha hadn't argued. A warm feeling surged her canine body knowing Inuyasha cared. If she was human, she'd have a huge smile on her face. The miko thought about pouncing on the hanyou and licking him to death, but Inuyasha didn't seem too fond of dogs ironically. Sooner or later, she'd have a chance to show her appreciation.
The moon began to lower as they continued their journey. Shippou had finally awakened and continually asked questions about Kagome. Inuyasha eventually told him to shut up, which only made the kitsune worse. Miroku finally intervened and answered the kit's questions. Kagome watched his smile drop. Salty tears fell down his puffy cheeks. The miko's heart wilted seeing the child youkai so crestfallen. She abandoned Sango's side and took Shippou's. Her pink tongue kissed every tear away. Shippou smiled slightly, but his aura remained melancholy. The miko abhorred not being able to communicate effectively.
"Guys, wait here," Inuyasha ordered. Sango's face lit up thinking Kagome was near. Kagome, however, was curious. She lifted her wet nose in the air and smelled lilacs and death. The canine released a low growl. Her long legs moved on their own accord and followed the hanyou. The remaining group fought the urge to follow.
As they ran, Kagome fought the urge to vomit. The stench of death was revolting. Naraku's ashes were rose bushels compared to Kikyo's scent. Inuyasha halted when a brilliant, blue light surrounded the pair. Souls hovered above them trying to escape, but caught in the witch's web. The undead miko strolled towards them clutching a young, human girl. Kikyo tightened her lips at the intrusion and glared at the hanyou in spite. "Inuyasha," she purred.
The hanyou didn't speak but stared at her in awe. Kagome looked at him and then back to the undead woman. A deep growl rumbled throughout her body. Inuyasha didn't seem to notice the poor child in her clutches. Kikyo turned her attention away from the inu half-breed and towards the dog. Kagome bared her fangs and lowered her body to the ground preparing to strike. The dark miko's tight lips smirked and dropped the girl to the floor. "Attack me beast."
Kagome lunged at her with no remorse. Kikyo fell hard to the floor with her reincarnation's fangs deep within her thigh. The undead priestess screamed and threw her holy energy in a shape of a ball straight at the canine. Kagome didn't move. Her teeth deepened further trying rip off her limb. The ball of energy hit its target only be absorbed. Kikyo's eyes widened and finally looked at the beast. The dog was larger than a wolf and covered in fine, ebony fur. Its eyes were a deep, warm chocolate shade exactly like Kagome's. The miko inhaled deeply trying to hide her realization. Kikyo searched the girl's aura and found a hidden power residing in the creature's soul, the jewel.
"You stupid cur," Inuyasha screamed. He grabbed Kagome by her neck and pulled her off the undead woman. Kagome cried in pain and landed next the human girl. The small child hid behind the dog frightened. Her tiny arms wrapped themselves around Kagome's neck and held her close. The miko nuzzled into the girl's chest to comfort her.
"Inuyasha, hand me my arrows. I shall rid of this creature." The hanyou searched the grounds and gathered the requested weapon. Kikyo smirked once again and notched a long arrow into her bow. She raised the arrow and aimed it at Kagome's heart. The dog growled and moved to shield the girl away from harm. The arrow flew from the miko's fingertips only to be stopped by a large youkai. The magnificent, white savior clutched the weapon in his clawed hands, eyes bleeding. The small girl hiding behind Kagome let out a sigh of relief and stood.
"Sesshomaru-sama, this lady tried to hurt Rin," the girl chirped. The lord nodded his head once and took Tensaiga from its sheave. Kikyo backed away in fear, while Inuyasha pulled out his sword.
"What do you think you're doing asshole," Inuyasha asked. His blade still in its unimpressive, rusty form.
Sesshomaru flew past his half-brother and cut Kikyo in half. The dark miko howled in agony and then turned to dust. Inuyasha scrambled to her remains, while hundreds of blue souls evacuated the area. The lord returned his sword to its home and turned his back to the scene. His regal, honey eyes analyzed Rin for wounds. The small girl gave the lord a large smile and waited patiently. When he found no injuries, he took the small child's hand and began to walk away. The hanyou released a furious growl and charged at Sesshomaru from behind. Kagome jumped between and them and howled. The lord turned around to see Tetsaiga a foot away from piercing the large, black dog's chest. Rin released his hand and tried to stop the canine from getting hurt. Sesshomaru pushed the girl away and released a green acidic whip which wrapped around the half-breed's neck. Inuyasha fell to the floor gasping. His paws attempted to loosen the vine, but failed. "Do not attempt to kill this Sesshomaru Half-breed."
"You fucker," Inuyasha choked. "You killed her."
The lord's face remained stoic. He gathered Rin's hand once more and turned around. "The miko was already dead."
Kagome continued to watch Inuyasha suffer and didn't try to stop the pain. So many emotions filled her being. Seeing Inuyasha help murder innocence for the whim of his dead lover made her sick. She held no grudges for him attacking her. The hanyou didn't know that she resided in this animal's body, but Rin was just a child. He wouldn't have stopped Kikyo from stealing the child's soul and he had even left the group in the middle of nowhere selfishly seeking comfort from the bitch. They thought he was searching for their sister. Kagome was utterly disgusted and torn as to where to go. Rin was beckoning her to follow with whistles and pats. The canine whimpered and took the small girl's side.
When Inuyasha was long behind, Sesshomaru released the girl's hand and stopped in a clearing. The lord allowed the girl to rest and eyed the bitch carefully. He had never seen a dog of its breed before. It stood as tall as Rin with black-blue fur flowing from its body. The creature resembled a wolf more than a typical dog, but its patient, domestic nature cleared the confusion. Rin cooed and baby talked the creature insufferably. The dog didn't show any annoyance and took the attention appreciatively. Its brown eyes shifted as if analyzing its environment. Sesshomaru didn't know exactly how he felt of their new companion.
"You saved Rin from the scary lady Puppy," she giggled. "You have such pretty fur. Are you a youkai like Sesshomaru-sama?"
Kagome shook her head side-to-side. Lord Sesshomaru arched an eyebrow. The beast understood his ward. Something was very off with this creature.
"I can make you a crown," the girl cried. "Would like one?"
Kagome nodded her head and released a playful bark. Rin gathered the bottom of her checkered kimono and went searching for flowers. The lord took a seat against a great maple and continued to watch the dog. Kagome returned his gaze and lay on the cool ground. The sun rested high blanketed by several white clouds. Its rays warmed her fur. Reflexively, the miko stretched and yawned. It'd been hours since she could relax. In less than a day, she'd destroyed Naraku, completed the jewel, and helped preserve an innocent. Kagome mentally drew a tally on a chalk board. Hopefully for her next fete, she'd jump out of a box screaming "Ta Da" as a human.
Rin returned shortly covered in grass and pollen. Her orange and white kimono stained from the forest. In her small hands, she carried a beautiful wreath in shades of pink and yellow. The girl trotted to the dog and placed the creation on top of her pointed ears. Kagome tried to give a smile the best she could with her long snout. Rin caught the gesture and wrapped her thin arms around the miko's neck. "You smiled," she laughed. "I'm glad you like Rin's crown."
Sesshomaru wrinkled his nose at Rin's scent. He was struggling against sneezing. "Rin, go bathe." The small girl clung to Kagome but nodded her head. The miko lifted her body from the ground and sniffed out for water. Hundreds of smells hit her at once. She realized then why Inuyasha always complained. Being a dog magnified everything by a hundred. The soil reeked of mold and ancient roots. The trees were shrouded with sweetness but also a indescribable waxy stench. Finding water would be impossible.
The lord watched the beast struggle. It was curious that the bitch couldn't find water. Every animal knew the pure scent of water. If you wished to survive in wild, one must always know where to obtain the gods' gift. "I will lead you."
Rin followed her guardian and tugged Kagome along. Bathing sounded wonder so she didn't object. Within moments, she could hear rushing water. She stuck her snout in the air once more and inhaled the sharp scent. Water was relaxing to her senses. Unlike every other living thing, its scent was bearable. Lord Sesshomaru didn't continue towards the spring. "You will stay with her," he commanded. Kagome looked at the tai-youkai and realized he was talking to her. She nodded her head and barked a yes. The lord nodded his head and left the girls to bathe.
Rin undressed with delicate precision. She folded her obi and kimono neatly and set them on the ground as if they were clean. The girl didn't seem modest standing naked by the spring's bank. Kagome wished she was that confident. Spending weeks at a time in the feudal era made her utterly paranoid. Sango had no problem standing in her birthday suit in the middle of a forest, but the miko wouldn't stand for it. Kagome ended up buying and bringing several different bathing suits for the ritual of bathing. The demon slayer always gave her strange looks, but Kagome dealt with it.
The water splashed bringing the dog out of her thoughts. The girl smiled widely and swam on her back in the pool. Kagome's eyes twinkled in the new found fun. Her padded feet carried her to the muddy edge, but stopped when she saw her reflection. On the water's surface, the woman saw her normal, naked self. Her black hair hung in waves down to her lower black, her light olive skin glowing in perspiration, and her doe-like eyes analyzing herself. Sadness weighed at her soul. The canine Kagome howled as if it would be the last sound she'd utter. Rin hopped out of the water and stared down at the dog's reflection. Her eyes widened and then looked back to the dog that stood before her. "Kagome-sama?"
Lord Sesshomaru appeared out of thin air as a pristine blur. A frown crossed his usual stoic features. "What beast," he asked. The small child pointed to the spring with a tiny digit. The tai-youkai stepped closer and saw the half-breed's companion on its surface. His previous questions were instantly solved. Kagome shook Rin off her torso and let her long legs carry her away. The need for speed and wind filled her abnormal body. Branches slashed at her, rocks attempted to make her trip, and the earth, itself, twisted its paths to lose her. Soon her will gave out and her four legged body crashed to the floor. The miko panted without resolve and hungered for water. The run cured nothing.
"Stop this nonsense," a masculine voice hissed. Kagome turned her head to see Sesshomaru standing beside her. His face smooth and breaths regular. The miko instantly felt a pang of jealousy for his strength. "Running will do nothing."
Kagome whined and let her head drop to the ground. He was right, but he couldn't understand what she was going through. The jewel had been wished upon, and by mistake, she was turned into a dog. She was sure nothing could reverse the insufferable wish. Naraku didn't receive Japan on a platter, but he did get vengeance.
"Do not mope in self-pity. How did you come to be this way?"
The miko's ears perked up. Maybe Sesshomaru could understand her. He was an inu-youkai after all. Kagome released several shrills and barks narrating her tale. The tai-youkai didn't interrupt and took a seat among an old tree's roots. When she finished, the miko bore her brown eyes into his. He remained silent, contemplating the bitch's story. He found no lies and couldn't believe any other explanation for a human to change into an animal. "Return with this Sesshomaru. Rin cannot be left unattended." Kagome watched him rise and followed him back to the spring.
Rin jumped up and down upon their return. Joy glazed over her bright eyes. "Rin was so worried Kagome-sama. Rin thought you had gone forever!" Kagome shook her head and nuzzled into the child's chest. The girl wrapped her arms around her once more stroking her back. The lord watched the display and decided to return the bitch to the hanyou. The miko did not belong with them. Their pack would need an explanation.
"We are traveling back to the half-breed," he announced. "They will be searching for the miko." Kagome lowered her head again, but nodded. Not being understood was something she was going to have to overcome.
Lord Sesshomaru picked up his brother's scent easily. The dead miko's stench covered the half-breed along with his natural musty odor. The miko's pack was heading towards their village in Edo. The lord kept a quick speed throughout their travel. Rin had slowed down greatly but Kagome hoisted the child on her back. The girl enjoyed the ride immensely. Her tiny hands clutched chucks of the miko's fur and pretended the dog was a horse. Sesshomaru mentally complimented the woman's patience. Even though he disliked the miko, she was displaying great honor despite the day's events. His mind could be at ease knowing the filthy hanyou no longer tainted his lands. In truth, he owed the human.
The sun was setting when they reached the pack. Inuyasha noticed them immediately. His Tetsaiga transformed and aimed in their direction. Lord Sesshomaru shielded the girls and waited. "What the hell do you want Jackass? Are you coming here to fight me," the hanyou jested. "I can't wait to kick your sorry ass!"
The remaining pack entered the scene confused. Sango's eyes landed on Kagome and released a gentle smile. "You've come back," she asked. "I was getting lonely without you by my side." The miko barked and started to take the demon slayer's side once more, but Inuyasha stopped her.
"What do you think you're doing bitch? Take another step and I'll cut you in half." The hanyou twisted his sword in her direction displaying the truth behind his words. Sesshomaru eyed the situation and felt fury boil within him. The miko, no matter what her appearance, deserved respect. The whelp should have used their father's talents to recognize a member of his pack. She did not need such treatment.
"Come," the lord demanded. Kagome looked behind her shoulder with confusion. Didn't he just bring her here to rid of her? Her warm eyes looked back to Inuyasha and obeyed the western lord. If she was left with the hanyou no doubt he'd kill her.
"What the hell are you doing Inuyasha," Sango cried. "The dog did nothing wrong. Get that sword away from her!"
The half-breed shook his head and continued to raise Tetsaiga high. "That stupid bitch helped kill Kikyo and protected that bastard. I think that stupid mutt's Naraku or something." Kagome growled at his words and bared her teeth. How dare Inuyasha make such a conclusion. Did he not remember her affections to him earlier? Seeing the hanyou through her canine eyes painted a horrid and yet realistic picture of the jerk.
Sesshomaru took Rin's hand and beckoned Kagome to follow. The miko responded with a sharp one-eighty turn and cantered to the lord's side. Inuyasha hollered obscenities behind them only making the tai-youkai's fury worse. "Miko," he started, "I will assist you for destroying the evil hanyou. This Sesshomaru has an idea." Kagome listened intently, but didn't respond. She knew the youkai never needed one.