Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha.
: She had been brutalized, her small form doing everything it could to protect his ward from sharing her fate and for that he was forever in her debt and swore to do all he could bring back the miko that offered bright smiles and cheery laughter.
Chapter Four: Dastardly Decisions
Chapter Song:: 'Damage' - Fit For Rivals
"Steady damage, cross the line. What's become clearly defined."
x . . . . x
Days bled to nights and nights bled to days and they did bleed.
Or maybe that was just her imagination.
She didn't know.
Shadows took form when the lights were out - forms without names - without faces.
She suffocated on darkness and on light; a constant stream of claustrophobia filled her senses and for several minutes every hour... she even forgot how to breathe.
Screams became a constant companion, filling her head, her room fueling her nightmares, her dreams.
Was she going crazy? She couldn't say yes or no.
Every time she woke clawing at her flesh, what was she really trying to claw at? The impressions of their hands upon her skin? Or the dirtiness she felt every second of every hour of every day?
Which by the way - days bled to nights.
Which brought the shadows and the screaming and the bleeding.
Conveniently, this also brought Rin to her side. When she woke in the mornings, voice hoarse, eyes wet with tears, tear tracks dried on her skin, Rin would be curled sound asleep by her side. This would bring a whole new round of hysterics because Kagome would remember them trying to touch Rin too. It wasn't the loud hysterics but rather the soft hyperventilating ones that would fill the quiet dawn. She would pat the child down with tentative, shaking fingers and reassure herself that Rin was not a broken thing like herself. This would eventually wake Rin up and the young girl would blink bleary eyes filled with sleep at the miko. Each morning she would grip the probing hand and overlap it with her own and cradle it against the pillow between them. The younger girl would whisper as the birds began to wake to the miko the things she needed to hear most.
"You're not broken, Kagome-sama. You're okay. I'm okay. We're okay. Shhhh. Be calm and breathe. Those men are dead and they can't hurt you anymore."
"I wasn't as bad the first few days, Rin-chan, why is this getting worse?" Kagome would ask softly as she would every morning, voice cracking and upset.
Rin could only smile sadly and respond, "Everything always gets worse before it gets better, Kagome-sama, and I'll be here every step of the way."
It was the same thing said and Kagome wondered if Rin ever got tired of saying it.
Several weeks and a handful of days passed with the miko not leaving her room, not leaving her bed, and having to be forced fed.
Unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you viewed it, Sesshoumaru was not a patient man and to be honest, he wasn't very understanding either. So when day seventeen rolled around, Sesshoumaru took action.
Kagome jumped at the sound of the shoji screen door to her room slamming open. She sat up, bringing the covers to her chest in fear, her heart banging in her chest. Looking at the open door, cerulean met cool gold and Kagome frowned with a sigh. "What are you doing, Sesshoumaru-sama?" Kagome asked softly.
The taiyoukai entered, a slow growl working from his lips, "Stand, miko." Kagome gave the Western Lord a blank look and he began again, "I do not repeat myself." Legs weak and body somewhat trembling from exertion, the miko stood in her sleeping yukata. The inu wrinkled his nose in distaste and gave her a look that clearly stated he was displeased. He knew the situation and knew she had been sponge bathed on a daily basis considering her lack of desire to move but sponge baths could only clean so much. Her hair was flaxen and somewhat greasy, lacking its normal luster. Her skin had a wax like tint to it and seemed paler the before and her eyes had large dark bags beneath them. "Follow me."
For a split second Kagome considered telling Sesshoumaru to shove his orders up his ass but thought better of it, "I really rather not leave, Sesshoumaru-sama." she murmured instead.
Sesshoumaru snorted and turned to look at her, "You sound as though I have given you a choice. I assure you that I did not. You move on your own accord or you will be dragged."
Kagome gave another sigh, this one heavier than the last and a spark entered her cerulean gaze, a spark of fire that seemed long dead. Sesshoumaru nodded, approving of the momentary look in her eyes before the miko took several steps forward. Her legs shook seeing as how she hardly moved or really ate at all the past two or so weeks and with just those few steps she was exhausted and dizzy. "Can you give me a hand?" she asked softly and Sesshoumaru shook his head at her, gaze impassive.
"No. Do this on your own. You have done this to yourself and these are the consequences." he informed her lightly. Kagome scowled and took several pain staking slow steps forward. It was several minutes later that she found herself outside her door and partially down the hall. She had to pause to take a momentary breath and lean against a small table with a vase of flowers. Sesshoumaru seemed perfectly content wait for her a few feet away, golden eyes boring into her flesh. Kagome did not shiver and she did not shake because this was Sesshoumaru and there was no hunger in his gaze. Pushing away from the wall but keeping her hand along it to steady herself, Kagome began again, following Sesshoumaru once more, firmly determined to make it to wherever they were going.
Twenty-two long minutes later, Kagome found herself in front of a door that looked vaguely familiar, sweat gathered on her brow and dripping along her back, cooling her skin. The warm steam from the cracks at the bottom of the door warmed her chilled flesh and she looked at Sesshoumaru who pushed open the door. The sight of the hot springs met her eyes and she turned a curious gaze on the taiyoukai. "Why are we here?"
Sesshoumaru wrinkled his nose at her once more, "You reek of illness and filth. Take a warm bath and relax. I shall send Rin to you in a moment." The feel of the heat from the hot springs made her long for its warmth and she realized just how much she missed having an actual bath. Nodding her head, Kagome made her way to the edge of the hot spring but without the wall to help steady her she began to fall half way there. A small sound of dismay fell passed her lips and a warm hand was around her waist holding her still. Kagome frowned as she looked at the taiyoukai who merely arched a brow at her, set her on her feet, and sent her on her way. Was she really so weak she couldn't even walk the short distance from her room to the bath?
The door closed behind her and Sesshoumaru was gone the moment she reached the edge. Shedding her body of its sleeping yukata, she dipped her feet in the water. Wasting no time, she carefully lowered herself into the warm water that smelled distinctly of herbs. Sitting on carved rock steps, Kagome sighed softly, allowing the warmth to soothe over her aching and over used yet also under used muscles. Leaning her back, Kagome looked at the ceiling and for a moment she closed her eyes. When she opened them once more - Rin was lowering herself into the water and Kagome jumped slightly startled.
"I'm sorry for frightening you, Kagome-sama!" Rin immediately placated. "I didn't realize you were so deeply asleep!"
"No, no! It's alright, Rin-chan! It's bad to fall asleep in hot spring anyway!" Rin gave a soft smile and made her way toward Kagome, holding an assortment of lovely jars and bottles. "What are those?"
"Sesshoumaru-sama values cleanliness above all else when it comes to personal hygiene and when he found out that ningen did not use special soaps and pastes, he immediately bought me some! There are so many though that I haven't had the chance to use them all!" Kagome immediately brightened, truly excited to have such a luxury, unaware that youkai had used the stuff. She had always brought her own items from home. "Come Kagome-sama! I'll wash your hair!"
Rin gripped a small bowl and filled it with water. She gently poured it over Kagome's eyes and grabbed one of her many bottles and dribbled a large amount of the solution in her small hands and lathered it in Kagome's hair. The scent of strawberries and lavender teased her nostrils and Rin's fingers massaged into the oily strands, washing away the grime and sweat. Rin's touch was gentle and she hummed while she worked, small hands lathering her shoulders and massaging away the tension Kagome didn't know existed. The miko was not surprised to find herself silently crying and Rin - if she noticed - said nothing.
Several hours had passed and the taiyoukai had heard not a peep from either Rin or the miko since he had sent them off to the bath. Standing from behind his desk, citrine eyes narrowed, he went in search of the two, hoping the miko had not drowned in her bath water when he left her behind. Rolling his gaze upward the Western Lord walked through the halls of his home, nose sniffing delicately, senses expanded to reach. Turning here and there he paused as he met the door that led to the central gardens. Lips turned into a frown, he pushed the door open and was greeted by a shaft of sunlight streaming into his eyes. As his eyes adjusted to the bothersome light, the taiyoukai's senses continued to work, ears twitching as he heard Rin's soft humming.
Turning in the direction it came from, he walked along a well-worn path lined with brightly colored different flowers. The heat was stifling and pressed against him but he continued onward, used to such conditions considering it was a garden and gardens seemed to have a more humid temperature no matter where you were. Veering from the path, he continued to listen to the soft humming. It was a habit that Rin had yet to break and Sesshoumaru just didn't bother to tell her to cease. The foliage thickened and waned and soon he found himself before a small grassy area surrounded by light blue, pale pink, and soft yellow flowers. The small area not filled with the flowers was roughly an eight by eight patch of grass with a tree at the edge and the miko sitting among its gnarled roots.
Rin was beside her, partially in the flowers and partially out, weaving together flower wreaths. The miko had found a somewhat comfortable spot and was curled amongst the roots sleeping soundly, breathing pattern deep rather than the usual irregularness that he had grown accustom to. Rin looked up and met the eyes of her lord and offered him a small smile. When she spoke, it was soft as to not wake the miko and she knew he would hear her with his delicate senses, "Kagome-sama has fallen asleep. After the bath I insisted that we go outside and I show her my special place." she confided. "Then she fell asleep!"
Entering the small place of serenity, he crouched beside Rin, "No whimpers or struggles?" he inquired slowly. Rin shook her head back and forth.
"I think the walk to and from the springs exhausted her." Sesshoumaru nodded his head and his gaze briefly flickered over the young woman. The sunlight streaming through the trees touched her skin and she seemed even paler then she had in the room. The youkai frowned lightly and slowly began to walk toward her, "I shall send for fruits, cheese, and bread to be brought to you. Ensure that she eats." He crouched in front of the young woman, his nose twitching. He could faintly smell the physical sickness due to her lack of proper nutrition, but no longer did she smell dirty. He could scent her natural pure smell beneath the soaps, symbolizing her purity as a miko. She no longer looked like a street urchin either. Her skin was no longer waxy tinted but her hair seemed less full despite the way it shined.
Turning, Sesshoumaru retreated, but Rin stopped him with a soft, "Wait!" Sesshoumaru stopped and turned his head to face his ward, inclining his head to signal her to speak. "Sesshoumaru-sama, I think that you should visit Kagome-sama more often. It would be good for her. The maids are all youkai and they fear her miko powers and I have been her only companion since her arrival."
Sesshoumaru raised a brow at her and then continued his trek back to the Western House and his office, away from the peacefully sleeping miko and all her baggage.
She was considered pack, yes, but she was more trouble than she was worth and he knew that eventually all hell would break loose where she was concerned.
Inuyasha was inconsolable. His rage was a wild thing and temper unbaiting. He snapped at everyone to the point where the villagers avoided him like the plague and his normal resting spot, the Goshinboku. None dared enter his place of refuge. The boy constantly warred with himself. Hana was with child and it would be awful of him to leave her behind and check on Kagome and bringing her along would endanger her and the pup's life but - it was Kagome. Growling, the hanyou brushed his bangs from his constantly crimson tinted orbs, fangs and claws semi-longer than before. His sorrow was real and everything about him was completely on edge. During the day he helped Hana with her duties and any heavy lifting even if she was newly pupped and at night he disappeared into the clearing where he and Kagome first met. When he closed his eyes in the dim of night and concentrated, he could still smell her scent and hear her tinkling laughter.
It wasn't that the hanyou didn't love Kagome - Kami that wasn't it.
He loved her more than he had loved anything else in the world but she had been gone and as far as he knew, she was gone forever and there was no guarantee that he would live for eternity and see her time or that he wouldn't have aged to be an old man. He had moved on and it wasn't that he didn't love Hana. He did love her but it was a different sort of love. Rubbing exhaustion from his eyes, Inuyasha sighed softly, lips pursed after a few moments and he turned his gaze upward into the evening. His fingers twitched with need to do something and his heart ached with the need to see with his own eyes that Kagome was alright.
Soft rustling below caught his attention and his nose twitched. Looking down, Hana was scaling the tree with her claws. Moments later she joined him on his perch, sitting beside him though not touching him which was odd because normally she always had a hand on him here or there for comfort more than anything. Flicking his eyes toward her he grunted a greeting and she inclined her head. Though an outcast like him, Hana was the child of a minor lord and she had been taught by her ningen father the finer points of life. She had been educated and taught how to be refined. She was sheltered most of her life and when she was let out into the world, she found that mankind's cruelty toward her was unjust and didn't want to be a part of the place she had been denied. So she became a reclusive hermit, rarely leaving the shelter she called home until her parents had been killed sometime in her teen years. Cast from her family home she found herself in Kaede's village and that was that.
Inuyasha cared for her but he cared for his guilt more and he definitely felt guilty.
It was his fault that Kagome had been hurt.
He should have insisted she stay or take Kirara with her.
But he understood her need to be away from him. He understood that at the moment he told her about Hana nothing would be the same and that her heart, bruised and battered by his previous abuse, was officially cracked and broken by his hands and that she needed to leave him. Be away from him and everyone that reminded her of him. So she fled and he let her because there was nothing else he could do and he had felt he owed her that. Especially since she had returned for him, leaving her family in the future. Her love for him had condemned her to this terrible place filled with war and disease. In the future she had been safe from youkai and the Shikon no Tama was little more than pretty trinket to most ningen but in the past, everyone knew of the Tama and the power it held.
She would fight for the rest of her life and it was his fault.
Hana reached over and placed a hand on Inuyasha's thigh. He jumped at the contact and she looked at him through soft eyes, pained yet filled with love and he felt sick.
His love for Kagome was damning Hana to a life of pain and he knew it. She knew it. Half the damn village knew it!
Another reason Kagome fled - she had refused to be the Kikyo to Hana that Kikyo herself had been to Kagome.
"Inuyasha." Hana began softly. "Do not worry yourself with such troubling thoughts. Sesshoumaru-sama will take of Kagome-sama."
Inuyasha's growl was loud in the silence of the night, "He shouldn't be fuckin' takin' care of her, Hana."
"But he is and nothing else can be done." she responded softly, hazel orbs willing him to understand. "Let her go. Something terrible has happened to her, yes, but it was not your fault."
"No, Hana! It is! I shoulda known better! She doesn' have it in her take down ningen! She never did and she's always been so damn naive! She took fruit from an old lady on the side of the road and was poisoned, kidnapped, and almost sold one time! She knows the horrors of the world but refuses to see them. I shoulda made her stay." he ended softly, shaking his head.
In turn, the other hanyou sighed, "And what? Keep her locked up forever? Inuyasha she will never love you like she did once before! That is why you are so upset - because your love for her makes it that much harder on you!" Inuyasha looked, eyes shocked. He had seen Hana raise her voice a hand full of times but never had he seen such anger and sadness on her pretty face. "Stop loving her, Inuyasha! Stop!"
Inuyasha dug his nails into the bark of the tree and shook his head, "It's not that easy, Hana." he murmured gently, voice rough.
"Yes it is!" she yelled back, her small wings stretching behind her in her anger, hazel eyes swimming with tears, snow white hair falling into her face.
Inuyasha gripped her hand in his, "Then stop loving me, Hana, if it is that easy."
Hana shook her head furiously, cheeks flushed with anger and coated in tears. "It's not the same! We are having a child!"
"It is the same. Stop loving me." he murmured seriously, more serious than Hana had ever seen him.
"I-I can't." she stuttered softly, "I can't!"
"Exactly. You can't." he responded. "I can't turn these feelings off over night. It'll take time."
"I love you." she whispered vehemently.
Inuyasha's were soft and he leaned over, brushing her temple with his lips, "I know."
Hana cried softly, throwing herself into her mate's arms and Inuyasha patted her head because Kami knew that Inuyasha loved her too.
Eyes cast to the West, Inuyasha prayed that Kagome was alright and though he itched to see her more than anything, instinct held him here with the woman carrying his pup and he had betrayed women enough in the past and he wouldn't condemn Hana to the pain Kikyo had gone through and the pain Kagome was still going through.
When Kagome woke the next morning, eyes tired because her evening had been plagued by nightmares but the usual exhaustion considering her nap yesterday, she was surprised to find a fresh kimono at the edge of her mat with a note.
You will join me today. This is not a request but an order. Considering how slow you have become I suggest you dress quickly and meet me in the informal office. All servants have been instructed to not help you walk but rather help you find your way.
There was no signature but the arrogance was Sesshoumaru's. The miko scoffed lightly and her eyes moved over the lovely kimono. Crawling toward it, she reverently touched the soft pale green silk. It was so soft. She had never quite had something so beautiful before and nothing in the future could compare to the texture. Abruptly, she choked on a sob - was she even really worthy of wearing such a thing of beauty when she herself was so wretchedly ugly? Holding back her tears, she placed the kimono back at the edge of the bed and stood, beginning to make her way from the room.
He scented her just outside the doorway and the taiyoukai placed down the scroll he was reading over, tucking it neatly under several other parchments and scrolls. He could smell the exertion that flowed off her in waves, the slight scent of sweat clinging to her skin. Her breathing was minorly labored and he imagined that by now she would be feeling quite dizzy. He had specifically chosen the furthest office area from her room so that she could truly see what she was doing to her body. He could demand that she wake, stop moping, and fix herself but no one truly changed or became better unless they wanted to. The door opened and he by the tired look on the miko's face he knew that she was too exhausted to even properly enter the room or greet him. Shutting the door behind her, she leaned against it, and slid to the floor.
Pale lips turned into a minute frown as he observed her wardrobe. Her hair was haphazardly tossed into a bun while she was still in her sleep yukata. He allowed her a few moments to regain her breath before he greeted her, "Miko, why is it you are not attired properly?"
Her narrowed eyes were a welcomed response rather than the blank look he had grown accustomed to, "I didn't want to wear it."
At that he adjusted himself in the rather Western styled chair and had propped his elbow upon his desk to cradle his head, "So rather than wear it, you decided that prancing around in sleep clothes was acceptable. Your thinking fairly flawed would you not say so?"
His golden eyes lazily took in the soft sigh and the way her shoulders seemed to slump and for a moment he thought that she would allow his words to affect her drastically. In a way he was almost disappointed. He had not known the miko on a personal level which was fine with him but he had seen multiple times on the battle field, fighting for her own life and those she cared for. She was honorable and she was the one that had dealt the final blow to the bastard hanyou Naraku. He was... displeased to see her the way she was now, a cowering, simple girl and no longer that creature bathed in the light of her powers, covered in the blood of her enemies, and fighting desperately for the peace she sought. Lips pressed in a firm line he stood and walked toward her current fallen position.
Kagome looked up and her eyes were dark, fathomless pools, filled with a deep pain. Sesshoumaru could either acknowledge her pain or ignore it so he ignored it and offered her his hand. Her eyes darted to the hand offered and back up at him and he was almost tempted to sigh. Tentatively she brought a weak and trembling hand to his and he hefted her up. She stood unsteady on her legs, limbs shaking like a new born fawn's, and he guided her to one of the chairs opposite his across the desk. She flopped down almost immediately with a grateful sigh and a quick smile toward the taiyoukai. It was a shadow of her old smile, the one filled with life and he found that he hated it on sight. "Do not smile unless you mean it." he informed her taking his seat.
"Pardon?" she inquired softly, wearily.
"Do not smile unless you mean it. This is last time I shall repeat myself. These smiles you give are falsities and no one enjoys being lied to, not even through facial expression." he informed her lightly. He turned behind him and pulled a thick red cord that hung from the ceiling. Moments later a maid appeared, bowing lowly as she entered the room. "Bring us breakfast - we shall dine in here." The maid nodded quickly, bowed once more and sped from the room.
The puzzlement on the miko's face was clear, "I'm not very hungry - "
"Regardless you will eat." he informed her, taking her sallow features. "You lack strength and you disgrace your own name."
Her bottom lip trembled and she gave a hard glare to Sesshoumaru and he leaned back, waiting for her reaction, "I do not disgrace my name. I am not weak!"
The taiyoukai nodded his head, "Ahh. So you are not quite dead after all and fire still lingers somewhere within. You cannot be trained until you have your strength back."
"Trained?" Kagome inquired lightly.
"Yes - I have promised to train you to protect yourself from those bigger men that threaten your weaker sex - " he iterated with a wave of his hand.
Understanding dawned in her eyes as well as the memory of her agreement, "Ahhh - that's right. All this pack business and honor and how you must correct the stain. I remember now."
He continued as though she had not interrupted him, " - and we will have you on a strict diet. You will be given three small meals a day as to not over feed you and make you ill. You will eat every last bite and from the food get the nutrients required for your strength to return. Over the course of the next few weeks, you will be leaving your room after you are properly attired and will not return until afternoon where you will be able to rest for a given period of time and then once more you will leave."
"Are you serious? I feel like a child!" she growled out.
His gaze flickered over her once before responding, "Then do not act like one. You have treated your body with disrespect and therefore it is now in its current state. You still have wounds that have not entirely healed over due to lack of nutrients and proper rest. By the end of the day you will be exhausted enough that you can sleep dreamlessly and rest. None of this would be required had you had forced yourself to eat and leave the bedroom." Her snapping glare had an internal smirk fill the taiyoukai, begrudgingly agreeing with Rin, 'Perhaps spending time with miko and ordering her about will help her get over this depression she seems hell bent on tightly wounding about herself.'
"I cannot believe this." she softly seethed. "You are so completely and utterly arrog - "
She paused abruptly as Sesshoumaru flickered his gaze over her form, a snarl curling his lips. She shuddered lightly at the darkness within his gaze, "You will quiet, miko. I understand your anger in this matter, however, I will not allow you to disrespect me."
With a petulant pout she sniffed, arms crossed over her chest, "What are you going to do, Sesshoumaru, hit me if I don't do what you want? Better yet - rape me? Been there, done that." she hissed and then she stood, unsteady, wobbly, and made her way to the door, turning her back on the inu and his deep growl. The moment she reached the door, she jumped back for leaning his back against the polished wood was Sesshoumaru, lazily brushing his claws along his covered chest as though to ensure they continued to shine. The look in his eyes was anything but lazy.
"Let us try this again, miko." he began slowly, a small part of him enjoying the spike in her scent as fear filled her senses. "Why don't you ask your question once more?" Kagome gulped slowly but she said nothing. "I insist you once more question my honor. Do it. Say it, girl." his growl was low, his words forceful and her lips were not moving, she was not moving. Sesshoumaru nodded his head once, "I thought not. Do not do it again - your lack of respect is appalling and to be quite honest... I am disgusted with you. Not for what has happened but for how you have let it affect you. Pathetic. You were once a warrior - not a good one - but one nonetheless and now you are a simpering child. Figure out what you will do. Honor will not allow me to throw you out but if you are so insistent on this behavior - then leave. I allow you to stay because you are pack but nothing more."
That said, Sesshoumaru's lips curled and he turned his back on her, opened the door, and left regally through it, leaving the door open so that she could watch his retreating back.
She could only gape wondering if what he said was true.
Sesshoumaru on the other hand internally nodded to himself knowing that it would be the last straw on the miko's part. He knew her type, her personality, and he knew that she would feel the need to prove him and his cruel words wrong.
Personally - he wouldn't allow those bastard, dead bandits to win and allowing her to wallow in this mess of emotion was doing just that.
Soon enough the miko would be back to bright and cheery self.
It almost made him want to sigh.
The things done for pack were simply disgraceful as far as he was concerned and his inner inu could not stand the depression she wallowed in.
The things done for his inner self were simply humiliating if the things he did for pack were disgraceful.
'Gome Yuki:: Heeeey guys. It's been awhile but you know how it goessss :3 Here is an update for you! Alright - just so you guys understand once more. The DC verse differs from ADLC verse because in ADLC Rin left behind a cold man. Here she has had time to soften his heart, understand? Plus she is pack and as far as he concerned, pack is to be treated well and taken care of. That's all he is doing. Taking care of her. Got it? :3 Lemme know what you guys think and thanks to any that nominated A Demon Lord's Cry at Dokuga! Once more - I am not a rape victim and to those that have suffered please DO NOT share your stories with me. I am not trying to make light of this but I also do NOT want to know. I am aware that each woman handles this differently and so please - do not make light of this either. I aware that some of you may go about and say this unrealistic but it is in fact not. Reactions to trauma are different but a majority have the same elements and signs. Thanks guys!