Inuyasha belongs to Rumiko Takahashi.
Hello! I'm sorry that I've been away for so long, but on the bright side, it has given me a chance to see this story with fresh eyes and make appropriate changes. I'm sorry, but I had to take down previous chapters as they will all be undergoing edits.
"Stay focused on Jak, Inuyasha! Kouga has Muk pretty well so far, but there's a reason these two have made it this far in the league. You need to pay attention to where the sword goes." Miroku said as he came over to the bench with gauze in hand to at least put pressure on some of the deeper cuts on Inuyasha's legs.
"Yeah, I know." The fighter pulled the hem of his pants up so they could get bandaged and looked over at Kouga on the bench next to him. "Why do you think they got this far? I mean Jak has been cutting me up, but Muk seems to just be taking hits. Has he done anything with that pot of his?"
Kouga leaned forward and placed his elbows on his knees, watching as the other side scrambled with movement and hushed words. "I know that they've used poison in the past, but that asshole hasn't even tried to open that thing. I think they're waiting for something."
Both of them stood up as the buzzer rang throughout the stadium, and Kouga walked off to the arena. Inuyasha held back when Miroku grabbed his shoulder. Looking over it, Miroku sounded stern as he whispered, "These two have been penalized before for going too far with the win. There's double the amount of paramedics here than usual."
"Then I better not lose."
The rosary around her neck trembled as it always did when she got out of her car and started walking leisurely towards the hospital. There were always criminals and demons with awful intentions that made her rosary vibrate intermittently throughout her work day, but today it seemed to be different, as the vibrations were calmer than usual.
"Kagome!" The beautiful brunette turned her head at hearing her name, and walked briskly over to her boss at the side of the reception desk.
Starting with her usual smile, she responded, "Good evening, Kaede!"
"I only wish it were. I've been calling you for the past twenty minutes!" Kaede couldn't walk very fast for her age, but once she had gotten Kagome's attention, she waddled over to the emergency area of Shikon Hospital, already knowing the head SD would follow without a doubt.
Immediately shifting to doctor mode, Kagome scooted closer to the fast-paced elderly woman to read the clipboard over her shoulders. "On the one day I don't show up early…What's wrong?"
The pair slowed down once they reached Kagome's office, allowing the mentioned to put away her things and change into her appropriate scrubs and work shoes.
Shiori came in a moment later, completely ignoring the wrinkled woman in the chair as she handed the coffee to Kagome, "Hey, Kags! We're needed in the emergency room right away. It sounds important."
"Most emergencies tend to do. Kaede told me the second I got in, but I haven't gotten the details yet. How bad must it be if you can't use a newbie?"
Sliding the clipboard across the desk while Kagome finished tying her shoelaces, Kaede sighed, "I haven't seen anything like this in years, child. I need my best Spiritual Doctor out there now."
"Demons? The demons have poisoned each other?" Movement on the laces slowed down as she absorbed what was on the page.
"Aye, that's why they aren't healing properly, and I can't let the less experienced doctors deal with a situation this delicate and precise." Again, she sighed, knowing what Kagome might say next.
"I'll purify them too, Kaede!"
"They can heal from a small shock or burn, but what really needs your attention is at the bottom of the page, Kagome." The Chief of Medicine had never looked
Her eyes scanned the paper, being sure to pay attention to the little details of the injuries written on the sidelines before looking at the large words written on the bottom.
Blood drained from her face as the meaning seeped into her mind, the word passing through her lips in a daze, "Over fifty percent superficial coverage of atrovirens? They must be strong to have held up for half an hour."
"That's why you are the only person that can purify the green poison out of those boys without completely killing them."
Kagome stiffly got up from her chair, working her way slowly to the door. "How many are there? How deep has the poison spread?"
"Just two. From what the MRI revealed, none seem deep enough to require surgery, though many may have healed dermis over it. The wolf demon has significantly less severe lacerations, so he can be sedated and wait while you heal up the half-demon. Without your help, I doubt he'll live. Now make your way to O.R. five; Dr. Hojo will be waiting for you with both patients." Her elderly voice sounded more weary than usual, as she looked at the younger doctor hopefully.
"Let's go, Shiori. It's going to be a long day."
"It's a good thing I got you a double shot," she winked at her boss, hoping to lighten the mood.
As they rounded the corner to the room that held the patients, the door opened, and Dr. Hojo flung out, almost crashing into Kagome.
"Higurashi! I'm glad you're here."
After shrugging off the internal wincing at seeing her coworker, she lead the way briskly past the door to the prep room, trusting the other doctor to follow. "Yes, Hojo… Now, what's their condition?
"We gave them both 30cc's of morphine to ease the pain until you got here, but it hasn't done much to help. In fact, we think it might be hurting Mr. Taisho. He is a male half dog demon, age is over 200. Mr. Kouga is a male wolf demon, age is over 250, I believe. They are part of the Demonic Fighting League and their opponents poisoned them once they were beaten. The dog demon got poisoned first, and has emitted a strong, repellent aura since he arrived. Only other canine demons have been able to even touch him to put him on a gurney. I can't get close though I've tried. The wolf demon is more conscious and has accepted treatment." Hojo gave her and Shiori the rundown as they donned surgical masks and gloves after thoroughly washing their hands.
After thoroughly planning a strategy for neutralizing the demonic poison with the MRI, they were standing in front of the doors to the OR. The current charm to prevent anything from leaving the room was inactive, and once they entered, it was obvious why. The patients could barely writhe on the gurney, much less run out of the room. All of the usual flurry and commotion that came along with these situations was oddly absent due to the heavily permeating youki coming from the patients that barely let the physicians in the room. Both were already prepared in hospital gowns, and from the smell lingering in the room, Kagome could tell most of the clothes they came with had melted or burned off. The one dog demon was closest to her and though he was quieter, his cuts were bigger and some had gone past the lime-green stage and had progressed to the sticky black color found in any nightmare.
Kagome knew that if it would only be the three of them working on two patients, she would have to take Kaede's advise and sedate the wolf demon until after the other patient.
"Shiori, get Rita to anesthetize Mr. Kouga properly. I'll get to him once I finish . It may be well over two hours."
"At least for our first patient, the second might be half the time."
The usual 'thud' was heard, and she turned to Dr. Hojo, who was getting the operating table ready and the tools into place.
"Rita will have to stay nearby after she puts Mr. Kouga out so she can help if we need her with ."
Even with his charming smile and the fact that he came closer to her side, Kagome couldn't help but to speak with a little bit of contempt as she addressed him. "Thank you, Hojo. Shiori will have to be careful while she is nearby during the purification so she doesn't get hurt."
"You can call me by my first name, you know. And if there is another way to spend four hours with you, Higurashi, you should tell me. You're always so busy…"
A sigh escaped her lips at first, but before it ended, she was sure it sounded more like a growl. "Not now, Hojo. We need to begin. Stay on that side of the gurney, and keep the tray close in case we need to make an incision."
By then Shiori returned with the anesthesiologist, and immediately the moans on the other side of the room from the wolf demon began to quiet.
She approached the other patient cautiously, allowing his youki to read her intentions and allow her to get close. When a demonic patient was that close to harm, the last thing they would want nearby would be a priestess.
It was a good thing she had worked in this type of situation for so long. "Mr. Taisho? I am Doctor Higurashi. I'm here to help you, but I need you to let me get close."
His tortured whimpering calmed down, and he gritted through his teeth the only word he could to question her, "Priestess?"
"I am not here to harm you. I am here to purify the toxin from your body. Please let us get close so we can help."
A choked sigh escaped him at hearing her sincerity and reading her own aura, and the hostility enveloped in his surroundings dissipated enough to let them through. There was almost silence in the room now, as the full demon had reacted well to the sleeping aid, but she still bent down to whisper in her patient's ear. His pain might block out the information he would need to get through this.
"Listen carefully, Mr. Taisho. I am going to purify the poison out of you. Your youki will tell you to push me out again, but I need you to suppress that instinct, do you understand?" -He nodded vigorously, the pain making him writhe more than he was earlier.- "Good. Now this will sting more at first, but I will need you to hold as still as possible, to make that initial pain leave quickly. After that, the pain will be more like getting lots of tattoos with a hot needle."
Another nod, but it was accompanied by some hissed words, so his continued fight against the pain was evident, "Why…awake?"
"I can't see how far inside of you the poison has reached since it tends to stay on the surface, so I need you to tell me if there is some under a patch of healed skin or if I haven't purified deep enough." Repeating the possible mistakes to her patient just brought out all the fears she had to light again from where she had buried them in the dark recesses of her mind, but he had to know them, even if all she wanted to do was forget.
Every second now was crucial, so she spared a quick moment to relax with a deep breath, and directed Hojo to the cuts on the patient's chest while she placed her own hands on his head. First to cause problems with this kind of poison was the brain and heart, they could necrose them instantly once in contact. The best would be to start off easy, and only allow a small fraction of her power to steep through and begin purification. Once his body relaxed to the pain, and embraced it, she could channel more power to her hands, and help this go faster.
"Ready, you two?"
The patient nodded slightly, his eyes staring at her decisively.
"Ready." Hojo agreed.
Her palms started to glow pink, and it took about four seconds for him to feel it. There were no sounds escaping his mouth to let her know, but by the way he completely stiffened and then shuddered violently a second later, she knew he was reigning it in. Shivers continued to flow through him for another few minutes until Kagome saw clean blood flow from the wound and the edges begin to singe, and she moved both hands to the next large cut on his abdomen. Shiori quickly pulled out gauze and began to follow both doctors after their purification so she could apply stitches if necessary, or at the very least cover each singed wound.
Kagome whispered to her patient after several minutes into the procedure, noticing his eyes still uncomfortably on her, "Better?"
"Keh, I'll live." He moved his attention towards the ceiling then, only occasionally speaking to direct the doctors if they had missed something.
About halfway done however, all of the conscious people in the room turned their heads at the sound of the heavy door opening and slamming shut behind them but no one was there. With a quick shrug, they went back to work, though their patient tensed up even more, with flared nostrils and his eyes anxiously swept the room several times. A few minutes after that, the phone in the corner next to the door rang quietly.
Looking down as apologetically sincere as she could be, Kagome spoke through the mask, "I'm so sorry about that. Shiori, will you please?"
Putting down the equipment on the tray, she pulled the headset for the phone over her head and answered. "Nurse Akana speaking... Ummm, we haven't seen anybody... Well that's stupid, how could a boy get all the way over here without someone—"
"Shippo!" The man on the gurney yelled out, and even though no one was expecting an answer, after a moment a timid whisper came from the corner, "Yeah, Dad?"
Mr. Taisho growled lowly, "This ain't the time to play games, boy. Show yourself."
The air next to Mr. Kouga's gurney vibrated for a moment, and then a little boy with brilliant red hair popped out with a leaf on his head. Everyone jumped a little in surprise, but then stood aside to let him get close to the man calling him. The claws and fangs were to be expected, but the rosary around his neck that Kagome recognized for hiding more demonic features caught her attention. She focused on his features to try and glimpse what kind of demon he was and the fox tail behind his back stood out.
"Found him! Remember, we're in O.R. 5. Oh! Can you send Lucinda here to take him back to the waiting room please?" Shiori clicked the button again and took the headset off.
Since she had put her arms down, Kagome walked to the other side of the room, just realizing how little movement she had gotten in that time. She hated wasting time during a session, but she couldn't work on her patient while a child was in the room.
"I'm sorry, Dad, but I had to find out if you were okay." The little clawed hands wrung each other viciously, the sweat from his palms having spread to cover all the stubby fingers.
"Where the hell is Miroku? I told him to take care of you, not bring you here." Mr. Taisho struggled, but got up onto his elbows to look angrily down at the boy coming towards him.
Shippo spoke again, this time a warm blush coloring in his pale cheeks, "He couldn't get in to see you and wondered if maybe my fox magic would get me through the doors and find out if they were helping you. I can't believe no one saw me get all the way up here!"
"This still isn't the place to be sneaking around. I can't get better if you're here though, so get back to the waiting room. And tell Miroku I'm kicking his ass once I get out. You should be at home, doing homework—" The nurse came in then, a butterfly demon from the children's ward, and soothed the atmosphere to the room so easily, that all she did was touch Shippo's back and he willingly turned to grab her hand.
Shiori waved nervously at her colleague, but Kagome verbally greeted her. "Thanks for being so quick, Lucinda. Be sure to deliver him to a Miroku…?"
"Nagasaki. The small Asian with a retarded looking ponytail. Be sure to tell him that if he comes back before I call him, he will be cut up into pieces so small, molecules will be jealous." Maybe he had a throat condition that made all his words growls; ever since the child stepped into the room, that seemed to be the only way he spoke.
Lucinda grimaced at the threat, but walked out with the child in hand silently, stopping only when he turned around to ask, "When will you come home, Dad?"
"Soon. Go do your homework, and stay away from Uncle Miroku's DVD collection. You don't want to end up like him."
That answer satisfied Shippo and he left willingly with the pretty nurse, asking her almost shyly how old she was on the way out.
Kagome walked back to her previous spot next to the gurney, stretching her back and arms on the way, unaware that Mr. Taisho's eyes watched her every move then went back at the door the instant her attention was back on him.
"I'm sorry. I was sure our doors had more security to prevent that." Sensing that her apology was not enough, she smiled bashfully, hoping that he would find her genuine and would not complain to Kaede.
He nodded, "It's fine. He's a smart kid for his age, that's all."
Other than the interruption, the procedure went on for about two hours, like she predicted. His youki had been difficult to work around, but it was hardly noticeable by the time they finished working on his front and needed to flip him over. The worst spots were a large gash on the side of his torso that exposed a rib, but had little toxin embedded in it otherwise, and a smaller cut near the base of his throat that was not large. It worried Kagome a little as it was deep and required a second incision to expose the now black poison near the carotid artery. Hojo kept to the lower half of their patient's body due to the shallow, smaller cuts, and for 's modesty.
When they finished with the procedure, Shiori called for a nurse to take the patient to a room. Rita then came in to carefully wake Mr. Kouga, and the two doctors took that time to take a seat before they started again.
Mr. Taisho waited in an almost obstinate silence, though before the nurse wheeled him away, he asked quietly if Kouga would survive the procedure.
"Yes, Mr. Taisho. I believe the purification will burn more, but he should heal up just fine with some rest." Kagome replied.
An amused expression came over his face shortly, "That wolf will be so distracted, he won't care about the pain."
Before Kagome could ask for clarification, the nurse came and she knew she'd just have to figure out for herself what he meant.
The other patient refused to go by anything other than his last name and was more vocal during the procedure. He not only answered all of her questions as to how they both got injured, but kept up a constant flirtation that angered Hojo a couple times.
"So you two work for an MMA fight company, Mr. Kouga?"
"Sweetheart, now you're refusing to drop the 'mister' just to piss me off." His tone came out harsher than his expression, which had been nothing but a smile since his anesthesia wore off. "But yeah, that furball that I came in with was my teammate for the battle, and once the other two assholes—forgive my language, babe, but that's what they were- knew that they were beyond hope, they cheated and pulled knives and poison against us. One would cut us open, and the other shot poison into the scratches."
In the background, Hojo became redder and redder at every endearment Kagome took without comment, but stayed quiet at the face she made when he had interrupted earlier.
"Why didn't anyone stop the fight when they did that?"
"They tried, but anyone getting close got either a scratch or a mouthful of poison. Everyone else is lucky that they didn't get both." For one second, he lost the smile and looked away in remorse, though from what exactly, Kagome couldn't tell.
"Right, this type of poison is only harmful when in contact with internal tissues…" She was only thinking aloud, but this didn't stop Kouga from making her focus return to him.
"Since you're helping me with my insides, doc. You should let me return the favor and check out yours." Wink.
Internally, she cringed at how tacky the pick-up line was, especially considering that she was removing the poison from a scratch right above his groin when he said that. But she was still interested in him and the man who came in with him. Kouga claimed they were both good fighters (himself being better than Mr. Taisho), but both of them were so intriguing in different ways. Maybe their medical records could explain something…
She smiled at him anyway, hoping he didn't catch any of her aloud thoughts this time, "I really don't think so."
"It's unprofessional for doctors to date their patients, Kouga." This time Hojo's intrusion was welcome; her patient had to understand just how unwise it was for him to flirt with her while she was on the job.
"I can't just ignore the rules, Mr. Kouga. I can't date a patient."
He looked very sly in the next few seconds, his mind clearly on how to make the situation work.
"How about," he spoke slowly, almost tasting the words before they left his mouth, "If we met in a pedestrian setting outside of work, in a completely accidental way? Then I wouldn't be your patient, and it would be alright for me to ask you on a date?"
"Kagome! Are you seriously considering dating a patient!" More than astonished, Hojo looked completely outraged, though maybe for different reasons than just a breach of protocol.
"Didn't you hear me, numbnuts? If I saw her on the streets again, then I wouldn't be her patient." He rolled his eyes at Hojo, looking more than a little annoyed and ready to land a punch on him.
"You wouldn't stalk me, right? Because if I did see you at my house or wandering around the hospital building, then I would have to call the police. It's happened before." If he really wanted something to happen at this point, it would have to be purely coincidental, especially since her gut instinct was warning her that he was persistent.
"Nah, I couldn't stalk you even if I wanted to. I have a job, Kagome, and it happens to pay pretty well." He flashed a brilliantly arrogant smile as his hand wandered to her hip, beyond the others' line of sight.
Kagome jumped at the contact, then she forcefully put his hand back on the gurney at his side. "Dr. Higurashi, Kouga. Let's not get in the way of formality."
Thanks for reading. I'll be working on the next chapters. Let me know if there are any mistakes.