I sat in a smokey room staring down at my empty glass. Low jazz music drifted in the background intertwining with the clinking of glassware and the hum of conversation. The normally dark bar was brightened up by the sunlight streaming in through the windows. I had been sitting here for almost an hour waiting for her, it was pathetic how many times this had happened. The bartender, Sango, had become a good friend of mine just based on that fact I was left here alone so often.
"Need another?" I looked up to see the said bartender holding a bottle of rum in her hand. I nodded and she pour me a fresh glass. She set down the bottle and rested her elbows on the bar, fixing me with a stern look. "Look Inuyasha, you're starting to scare my customers, why don't you just go home?"
"She'll show up," I mumbled before taking a swig of the dark brown liquid, wincing as it burned going down.
"You'll become an alcoholic at this rate," Sango sighed and pushed away from the counter as another customer walked in. I looked across the circular bar as Sango went to take the new patron's order. My breath hitched as my eyes rested on her. She looked just like her only darker, more sinister.
Blue black hair cascaded down around her, casting a shadow across her face causing her brown eyes to look black. Her pale skin seemed to glow in the dim bar. A black long sleeved v-neck sweater hugged her torso but the bar hid the rest of her body. A silver chain hung around her neck with what looked like a pink pearl dangling from it. She shook her head as Sango offered to take her order and turned to watch the television to her right that was playing muted evening news.
"Who is that?" I asked as Sango walked past me with a wet rag in hand. She looked back over her shoulder as a man joined up with the mysterious girl.
"Kagome, stay away from her Inuyasha. If Kikyo isn't bad already Kagome will only be worse for you," Sango warned in a low whisper, eyes darting to look at the couple across the way again.
"How do you know?"
"She's my best friend," she continued toward the dirty booth she had set her sights on with the rag. I hopped off my stool as she collected the dishes up and started to wipe down the table.
"If she's your best friend why should I stay away from her? It's not like I stay away from you," Sango sighed but kept her back turned towards me while answering my question.
"The man she is with is named Naraku, he's the epitome of evil. Kagome didn't used to be so bad until he got his claws into her," she explained in a low voice, "he has something on her but I just don't know what. She's asked me to stay out of it so I do, no matter how much I hate him." I caught a smirk flash across Naraku's face and I turned back towards Sango.
"He's a demon," she nodded. That would explain the smirk, he had heard everything she said. I looked back at them, making eye contact with him and received a curt nod. Something that said 'you understand'. He had staked his claim on this girl Kagome, the girl who looked identical to Kikyo.
"Inuyasha, pick up. I'm sorry I missed your date, I had a rough day and it slipped my mind..." there was a pause in the message as she waited for me to answer. She sighed into the phone before hanging up. I had waited at the Wondering Room for 3 hours before I had given up on her. This was the fourth time this month she had stood me up, and love made me a fool because I knew we'd go through this again.
She won't call anymore after that initial phone call, she'll wait for me to call her. Then I will get the story of how I should be more understanding of her, that life as a high priestess is challenging for her and the people in her life and I'd have to deal with it if I wanted to be with her. I will then eventually apologize for my inconsiderateness and promise to be more patient with her and accept the trials that come along with out relationship with more grace. She had given me that exact speech to say once, as if I couldn't come up with an apology on my own.
Sometime I think Sango is right. That Kikyo and I should part ways and forget about this forbidden romance, but my heart aches when she's not around. There is a hallow inside me only she seems to fill. There have been many others besides Kikyo, but after them I always return to her, feeling fuller with her the any of the other faceless girls from my past. It was almost 6 months now that there had only been her, and those 6 months have been my loneliest.
My phone rang again startling me out of my depression like trance. I laid my head back on the cushions of my couch waiting for the machine to get it.
"Inuyasha, man it's Miroku, pick up would you?" a pause followed, "Ok well Sango and I are heading to the Whisper Fountain, maybe we'll catch you there." The Whisper Fountain was a sister bar to the Wondering Room. Sango's parents own both I had learned after my second time waiting for Kikyo, which sadly had been half the day. Sango would one day inherit them along with a small fortune that would allow her the luxury of never having to work a day in her life if she chose not to.
Sighing I looked at the clock, it was only 8 o'clock on a Saturday. School was starting back up in two weeks and I had spent most of my break trailing after Kikyo like a little puppy, which annoyed me since I am half dog demon. I groaned and forced myself off the couch. How bad could a night out with friends be?
The Whispering Fountain was more of a night club then a bar. The line to get inside was concealed by a waterfall that flowed off the roof and into sparkling grates that recycled the water back up into the fall. Whispering Fountain was scrawled in neon pink lights on top of the building with a fountain of lights behind it. Pop music blared from inside giving the surrounding area and upbeat vibe.
"Inuyasha!" he turned as Miroku came up to him slapping him on the shoulder, "I must be hallucinating, I haven't seen you outside of your house in months other then the Wondering Room." I growled at him but couldn't help a grin. He was right, I had practically been hibernating all summer.
"Give him a break Miroku," Sango came up and wrapped her arm around his waist and smiled at Inuyasha, "come on guys, lets go." Thankfully they had shown up at the same time as him because he had not looked forward to waiting in line. Instead they started heading towards the head of the line. A black car pulled up in front of them blocking their way across the street. Naraku and Kagome both stepped out, Kagome's brown eyes scanning the area before giving a nod to the driver. The car took off leaving them behind.
Kagome was wearing the same thing from earlier, but now I could see her bottom half. She wore leather pants that hugged her like a second skin and knee high boots with silver buckles down the side. Naraku was wearing a emerald green silk shirt and black slacks, his hair tied back in a low ponytail.
"Kagome," she looked back as Sango called her name and a flash of surprise came across her face. "What are you doing here?"
"I decided we needed a night out," Naraku slipped an arm around Kagome's waist and her expression darkened. He made sound and she closed her eyes, when she opened them again they were void of emotion. Sango seemed to vibrate with anger as she looked at her best friend to Naraku.
"I should have them keep you out of my club Naraku," Sango growled taking a step towards him. He laughed at her and turn away, walking straight into the club without even looking back.
"I could just punch that guy," Miroku took Sango's hand to calm her down as I just watched from behind. Who was this guy? What hold did he have over Kagome?
"I know that look, stay out of it Inuyasha," I nodded and followed the couple in. Maybe a night out was just what I needed.
Kagome sat at a table in the back of the VIP lounge with Naraku at her side, along with multiple other girls who clung to him like honey. Honey may be the wrong word for them, that implied that they were sweet but these girls were part of the low ranking demons, the one's who were out to climb the social ladder of protection and power. They were more like sludge.
"She is bound to show herself tonight Kagome," Naraku said before sipping his drink while scanning the room. She nodded and continued to look around for herself. She knew there was little to no chance of finding the other half of the jewel on the priestess but she had to come at Naraku's call. Sometimes she was sure he had her accompany him on outings just to annoy her. Her eyes fell upon a silver hair demon, the same one who had been watching them at the Wondering Room earlier that day. His gaze locked with hers as Sango and Miroku chatted away next to him.
How does Sango know him? She wondered and tore her eyes away from him to look through the sway of bodies on the dance floor. She doubted that a high priestess would be a regular at these night clubs Naraku kept dragging her to. If he didn't own her soul she'd purify him in a flash and rid herself
of his presence, but unfortunately he did so she was doomed to follow him around anytime he asked her to, which was becoming more frequent.
"Try to enjoy yourself Kagome," he whispered into her ear making her cringe on the inside. She had learned her lesson in displaying her dislike for him outwardly, a daily reminder of it in the form of scars. She nodded her head and swirled the straw that stuck out of her drink before downing it. This had been how she got through most of her days, dulling her senses in alcohol but unfortunately it never lasted long. Her spiritual powers burned away any contaminates in her body, wonderful for flu season horrible when you were trying to drown yourself in the vodkas of the worlds. She became alert again as she felt him tense. I feel her too, she thought sliding from the booth and stalked her way towards the source of power.
Moving through the crowd she identified each pin point of power she felt. Scattered throughout the club was the band of seven disguised by Kaede's pendents to blend in, their power was a dull throb compared to Naraku's at her back. Miroku's spiritual power was barely a blip, nearly unrecognizable due to the dog demon's radiant aura near his. A pure power pulsed near the back entrance, it called out to her own, luring her in the correct direction.
"I didn't realize Naraku had a priestess on his payroll," she gasped and turned towards the voice. Her replica stood yards away yet sounded like she was only inches from her. She could see the glow under the girls clothes indicating where the jewel was. "You will never complete the jewel for him, I will not allow it."
"That isn't you choice priestess," something flashed in her eyes and Kagome knew she had angered her.
"Do not call me priestess as if it is an insult, you are one as well Kagome," suddenly she was standing inches from her face. Kagome gasped but did not back down, feeling Naraku near her, his evil aura burning along her back.
"I gave up that title long ago," she whispered feeling a lump in her throat.
"Kikyo, so nice of you to join us," Naraku placed his hands on Kagome's shoulders and smiled at the priestess.
"Good to see the both of you again," his nails dug into Kagome's shoulders making her tremble. "I see your minion didn't tell you I sought her out recently."
"Kagome seems to have failed in divulging that bit of information," Kikyo smiled at them both.
"At that time I did not realize she was working for you as I had sought her out for help to claim what you had that is rightfully mine," Naraku chuckled and pulled Kagome closer to him, "nothing you offer me will make me turn the sacred jewel to you." Kagome felt a pull in her gut. She had done just that, she had done one better. She had gone to Naraku without any prompting to bargain with him, sold her soul to the devil himself.
"Kikyo!" all three of them turned to see the silver haired demon pushing his way through the crowd to get to them.
"Inuyasha," she looked pained as she whispered his name. Suddenly Kikyo was engulfed in white flames, blinding everyone and disappearing.
"Kikyo wait!" Kagome felt his aura brush against her's as he reached out into the flames to grab her. I didn't know!
"No!" Kagome grabbed his arm and pulled him back, "you will be purified." Half-demon? He yanked away from her as the light died down. He looked around frantically, and as he did so Kagome felt Naraku's nails bite into her shoulder and the world spin and the floor fell from under her.
I looked around, all three of them had disappeared before his eyes. He had sensed Kikyo while downing shots with Miroku. Sango had left to help someone in the back with inventory, the whole reason they had come tonight. Once I had spotted her talking to Kagome and Naraku I knew I had to go help her. Sango's warning about Naraku being the epitome of evil kept playing in my head as I tried pushing I way through the crowd. Everything seemed to go in slow motion as I reached for Kikyo.
When Kagome had grabbed onto my arm I felt a mixed power course through my body. She definitely had a type of spiritual power, but it was tainted now. It most likely came from being in close contact with Naraku for a prolonged period but it felt deeper then that. Was she in love with him? That monster that was after Kikyo? I shook my head to clear those thoughts as I slowly made my way back to Miroku who was leaning close to Sango, filling her in I assumed.
"Inuyasha, are you ok? Kikyo looked like she was going to purify you," Sango reached out to me, feeling along my arms for any damage. I just laughed a sad laugh and shook my head.
"I'm fine, I just don't understand what Naraku wants with Kikyo," I muttered and sat back down at the bar.
"I don't know but I think I can find out once I see Kagome again," Sango glanced back at Miroku, "will you come stay with me tonight? She's bound to show up in the next 24 hours," Miroku wiggled his eyebrows.
"Of course I'll stay with you tonight,"
"On the couch you lecher," Sango snapped and turned towards me, "you're more then welcome to come too, my love seat is pretty comfortable and I know you must be dying to get some answers."
"I'll come over for a little while, keep Miroku in line until Kagome gets there," I smiled at them. I hadn't realized they didn't live together. From what Sango had told me her and Miroku had been dating on and off since high school, so I was surprised to find out Kagome was Sango's roommate.
"Let me get my stuff and check in with the crew in the back and we'll head out," she darted off without waiting for a reply.
I hoped Kagome would come home soon. I always feel useless waiting around, especially now that I know Kikyo is in some kind of trouble. Sighing and signal the bar tender for one last drink, it was going to be a long night.
"You dare defy me again!" Kagome gasped in pain and Naraku lashed her again with one of his tentacles. She would not show him pain, she would not cry because of him again. His true form was hideous, she longed for his concealment charm again. One tentacle wrapped around her waist, lifting her high into the air to face him. She made a small noise as she felt some ribs crack, all the while maintaining eye contact with him. "I may have taught you to well my little priestess."
"I-didn't-know," she bit out between gasping for air, "I hadn't seen her before."
"And you just happened to forget that you ran into a priestess that carried the sacred jewel as well?" he hissed in her face before tossing her to the ground. Kagome stayed on her hands and knees struggling to breath. Multiple lashes decorated her back and arms. An angry red and purple bruise was forming across her cheek from his initial strike.
"She didn't say she had any of the jewel," she wheezed, "she only asked me to aid her in getting the one you have."
"The one you wear," he yelled striking her again. Kagome went flying across the room into the wall. Finally showing a sign of emotion she cried out as she slumped to the floor. Glaring up at him from under her bangs she spat out a mouthful of blood.
"The power of the jewel is concealed and you know that, you made it that way Naraku," his eyes flashed a bright purple before descending on top of her.
"I will teach you, and next time you will remember my lesson."
"Kagome!" Sango screamed running up the steps to Kagome's fallen form. Miroku and I were right behind her. Sango cradled her friend and wept, burying her face into her hair. "No, no, no, what did he do to you?"
"Sango let me see her," Miroku gently pried Sango away from Kagome and checked for a pulse as he nodded in satisfaction, "it's thready but there. Help me get her inside Inuyasha." I nodded and scooped her up as Miroku unlocked the door for a semi-hysterical Sango. He quickly maneuvered throughout the house gathering the necessary supplies to clean her up.
"Why can't we take her to the hospital? Call the police! Naraku has to be stopped, he's gone to far this time," Sango was pacing the living room muttering to herself as Miroku laid out a sheet on the couch for me to lay Kagome on. I gently put her down and quickly started to assess her wounds. Using a claw I sliced open her shirt and sucked in my breath, "oh God." I heard Sango squeak before running from the room. Kagome's stomach was a bloody mess, she had a gaping hole through her abdomen which was slowly threading back together. How? She's only a priestess. I thought as I ripped away the rest of her shirt to inspect her arms.
"Oh my," Miroku mumbled as he handed me a wet cloth looking a little pale.
"If you can't handle this go ahead and leave, I can take care of it," he reluctantly nodded and headed into the back of the apartment to sit with Sango. I hadn't expected either of them to be the queasy type, but then again I doubt they had ever seen someone they knew this badly injured. After being alive for a couple hundred years you've seen it all, but the rate she was healing for a human was impeccable. After dressing her abdominal wound I carefully rolled her to her side to look at her back. At least a dozen gashes were visible through the blood, so I set to work on those. About 45 minutes later I had Miroku double up her sheets on her bed and had tucked her away for recovery.
As a group we moved to the living room in silence, the only sound audible was Sango's quiet hiccups. I couldn't understand why Naraku would do something like this to her. Wasn't she practically his mate? He had heard about dominant mates but not to this extreme.
"Why don't you guys get some rest, I'll stay up as long as I can to check on her," Sango and Miroku nodded and Sango gripped Miroku's hand and pulled him to her room with him. Guess Iwould be getting the couch tonight. The bloody sheets had been removed and everything was spotless as normal. I sighed leaning back and rested my eyes shut, I remained that way for a few hours Early morning was approaching, the sky outside was lightening from pitch black to a smokey blue.
"Who are you?"