Kurayami no Naka de Hikari

The title means "A Light in the Dark" according to Google Translate. This is my first Inuyasha fanfic, though I've been writing fanfiction for a long time now. I've mostly written Sailor Moon crossover stories in the past, but I'm a big fan of Inuyasha and have been hooked on it for a while. I've seen the whole series subtitled and the movies. I'm currently watching subs of Inuyasha Final Act (can't remember the Japanese title off-hand. Would google it but I'm writing this on my android). I just finished the 'Final Act' fansubs and it was REALLY good! I'm so glad Rumiko Takehashi didn't leave this one unfinished! It's also unfortunate that I haven't had the opportunity to read much of the manga. Also please note I was really depressed and upset when I wrote this so if it's a big angsty and dark, that's why.

This story is AU, I'll try to keep them in character as best as I can. It takes place in the modern era but there are youkai in it. Humans and youkai live in peace for the most part. It takes place when Kagome is a bit older, early to mid-twenties and Kagome is in college (university).

Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha or any of the characters thereof. Even though that is the case, please don't steal my plot, concept, or story out of respect for my creative endeavor as I would not do this to anyone out there.

- l - l - l - Change of scene, time, etc.
'Thoughts/dreams' will be in single quotes (IE: ' ')

Prologue

Kagome sighed heavily as she walked down the crowded sidewalk toward her bus home. It was rush-hour so she was jostled left and right by the many city workers leaving the office for the day. She had already had her book bag knocked off her shoulder three times and her umbrella knocked from her hand twice. She was just glad the rain had finally stopped, though it looked like it could start up again at any time. A sudden frown crossed her lips as she glanced down at her watch. Her bus left in three minutes and she still had two blocks to go until she reached the stop. Unfortunately the city buses had been making massive cutbacks in their routes to save money. They had been crying broke for the last year to the point that they were bailed out by the government. It hadn't been reflected in the services as prices kept going up and service kept going down. If she missed this bus, she would have to wait an hour until the next bus came. That was the motivation she needed to tighten the straps on her bag and secure her umbrella so she could pick up the pace. She trotted as quickly as her full book bag and the packed sidewalks would allow, dodging the occasional stroller and plumes of cigarette smoke that issued from the crowd at varying intervals.

Kagome rounded the corner and bolted for the blue bus stop sign still doing her dance of duck and dodge. She received dirty looks as people were displaced by her rapid dash to catch the early bus.

The bus was just pulling up to the curve as Kagome reached the sign, panting from the exertion. Kagome raised her hand to flag down the bus but the driver didn't even touch the break as it sped by the stop.

"Wait!" Kagome called as she took several steps after the bus with her hand still raised. She could see in the windows of the bus as it flew by and her hand dropped to her side. From what she could see, every seat was taken and the aisles were packed to bursting with people. She let out an annoyed sigh as she watched the over-loaded bus turn the corner. Every time there was a game, her bus would be bursting at the seams. Any other day, it was virtually empty. Why didn't they run extra buses when the sports team played? The sky took this opportunity to open up and drop its heavy burden on the crowd of people at the stop.

Kagome fumbled with the buckle on her umbrella, managing to free it after a few tries and managed to push the button at the bottom to open the umbrella. Too bad for her that bad luck decided to rear its ugly head once more. A strong gust of wind kicked up the instant she released the latch and the umbrella was ripped from her hand forcibly. She watched as the wind carried her protection from the rain into a busy intersection and grimaced at the loud crunching noise of the semi truck's wheels crushing the umbrella.

Kagome stared in muted shock as the water slowly seeped into her clothes and dripped down her nose. She had had bad days before, but this one kept getting better and better. A bag full of heavy books from her college classes, pouring rain storm, an hour wait for the bus, and no umbrella. Just another typical day in the life of Higarashi Kagome...

- l - l - l - l -

Kagome walked up the hill to her small two bedroom apartment with dread in her heart. She would rather have the day she'd had downtown for a month than open the door to her apartment. She wasn't the only one who'd had a bad day that day. Her boyfriend slash roommate slash fiancé and she had been arguing off and on all day via text and email messages and she really wasn't looking forward to meeting him face to face just then. His temper was something that she tried to avoid, though most of the time it was unavoidable.

His very nature was unpredictable. One second he was a sweet caring man that made her laugh and filled her heart with joy. The next moment he was dark and angry and unstoppable. He would curse her name and yell out how ugly and worthless she was. He would attack every aspect of her from her face, to her body, her intelligence, to her friends and family whom she was convinced had abandoned her to this merciless hanyou.

Despite his treatment of her, she couldn't find it in her heart to leave him. It was the sweet, caring, gentle side that kept her sane. He whispered to her at these times, promising to love her forever, to buy her everything her heart desired, to stay by her side and give her a family of her own to fill the gap the absence of her blood relatives had left when they abandoned her.

"You're late." The hanyou commented as she raised her key to open the lock on the door. He was sitting in the kitchen looking out at her through a crack in the blinds. She jumped at the sound of his voice and dropped her key. "Where have you been? You're late."

"I'm sorry. The bus didn't stop because it was full so I had to wait for the next one." Kagome explained as she reached up and grabbed her hair to wring the water out like a dish rag.

"That is unacceptable." He said as he rose from the chair and walked to the door. Kagome heard the lock snap open and the door open a crack. Kagome reached for the door and made to push it open so she could go in and get dried off and warmed up. It was still early spring so it was decidedly cool, especially when she was soaked to the bone with chill rain water. "You need to come up with a better excuse for cheating on me than that."

"What are you talking about?" Kagome questioned with a perplexed look on her face. "I've never even considered cheating on you. I love you."

While still holding the door mostly closed, her reached down and plucked her fallen key from the ground. He then slipped back through the door, drawing it closed behind him. Kagome's heart clenched in shock as she heard the lock slide back into place. She stood on the porch for several minutes staring at the closed door with her mouth ajar. She had no words for the indignation and disbelief she currently felt. Then the sorrow set in...

Kagome set her bag on the porch and slumped down next to it, tears brimming in her eyes and threatening to spill. It hurt that he felt she was capable of cheating on him, and she was still in shock that he had looked at her sopping wet form and consciously locked her out in the cold. He always spoke of her being family and how much he loved her, but then he would do something so hurtful and cruel that her heart would ache for someone to come and take her away. That thought made her shiver in fear. Then the loneliness would return. She shivered again at the thought of being abandoned again and the dam broke. She drew her knees to her chest as sobs racked her body and tears spilled down her cheeks. Her heart ached from deep within and felt like it was being ripped from her body. What made it worse was the fact that he didn't seem to feel any remorse for causing these deep wounds to the heart of the one he claimed to love.

After she had sat on the ground outside of the door sobbing for a good half an hour, she rose to her feet in a trance and left the safety of the porch and headed out into the pouring rain. Her bag full of books she left on the porch as she blindly made her way down the sidewalk. She felt numb inside and more than a little angry. She knew that would turn her anger and pain back against her if she expressed her displeasure. He was a master of manipulation. He continually amazed Kagome at his innate ability to relate to just about anyone and convince them to do just as he wanted.

Kagome was deep in thought as she made her way to the bus stop down on the main street of her suburban neighborhood. It seemed pointless to just sit shivering on the porch. Besides, she felt the urge to escape and be alone for a while.

She thought back to when she had first met her hanyou with a sad smile on her lips. He had sat next to her on their first day of class by chance. They were both in the same program at a tech school that kept all of the students in the same classes throughout the program. If you didn't pass a class, you would be forced to wait until a younger Class came in and take it then (AN: This is how the tech school I went to worked).

That first class was a General Education course called Critical Thinking, which was meant to teach them to think in new and innovative ways. Basically, it showed them different ways to think outside the box. They had been given a sheet of paper with various words written in different ways but represented common phrases (AN: you've all seen these. Example - ). He had been impressed by Kagome's intelligence and he told her so. Compliments continued to flow from the hanyou over the next few weeks and then months after that. They grew close... at least that's how Kagome felt. Her hanyou had a way of holding everyone at an arms-length but makes them believe that they are extremely close. Kagome witnessed this by observing the way he interacted with others. Women in particular. Women seemed to swarm to him even though he was a hanyou. The problem, and something that caused immense jealousy to boil in Kagome's chest, was that he didn't bother to tell any of said girls that he was involved with someone else. He let them speak to him any way they wished so Kagome was witness to more than one attempt to pick him up. It didn't matter to them if he spent most of his time with her or if they were on a date, he would still be approached in that manner.

Kagome's eyes narrowed when these thoughts passed through her mind. It was many of the tender spots in her heart. She dug into her pocket and pulled out her bus pass. She didn't know where she was going, she was just going away. Long enough and far enough away that he would be his normal sweet self again when she got back.

She flashed her pass to the driver and continued walking as she headed for an empty seat at the back of the bus. Her thoughts once again returned to her analysis of her love-hate relationship with her precious hanyou. She reached her hand up to squeeze some of the water from her hair as a smiling face filled her mind's eye.

He didn't often give Kagome gifts like flowers or poetry, he would give her gifts often nonetheless. His gifts were always more along the lines of food or sweets that he knew Kagome enjoyed greatly or a cute pair of shoes. He really had good taste in clothes and shoes for a man. He always said if he was going to be seen in public with her, she had to look good. That didn't stop him from going out with her when her appearance was subpar, though. A lot of his personality was just talk. He would say what he would or wouldn't do but would rarely follow through.

When she had met him, he had been living with another woman. He would frequently tell Kagome about waking up and having his money missing from where he'd left it the night before. He knew she was the one that was taking it, he also knew she was a kleptomaniac. She was constantly devising new scams to rip people off. The people she ripped off included her family as one of the main victims. Apparently they were easier to trick because they were pre-disposed to trust her. He confided all this to Kagome, who was horrified at the behavior.

She had really begun to care about this man and he really seemed to be falling apart. He stopped going to class regularly and wouldn't show up until classes were over most days. Later he accuses Kagome of being the reason he stopped attending and eventually dropped out. The actual reason, though he still to that day denied, was that he had ambition and creative insight but he had no drive. Everything he started since Kagome had known him had gone uncompleted. He would get to the finish line but not cross it. And then he would blame Kagome as if she had distracted him from it and prevented him from finishing.

After years of these accusations ringing in her ears, Kagome had begun to believe him. That's why she didn't complain about him not being able to hold down a job. She took out more student loans to cover the bills that her meager salary from her part time job waitressing didn't cover. He always had big plans, talking about everything he was working on at the apartment while Kagome was in class or working. The ideas were great and might actually work... if he would actually follow through with them to the end.

He had told her a bit about his past and it wasn't unblemished like her one night of underage drinking that she got caught. Though that had since been expunged from Kagome's record with her completion of the diversion party. In all honesty, that night wasn't Kagome's fault anyway! Her boyfriend had told her the drinks were non-alcoholic since he was hoping to get lucky at the time, and she had stupidly believed him. By the time she realized he lied, she could barely stand. Needless to say, said boyfriend did NOT get lucky and instead got dumped. Kagome frowned as she remembered Hojo. He had been her first boyfriend and sometimes seemed a bit dull-witted and slow. It turned out they didn't have much in common so it was over within a few months.

The man Kagome was in love with had a criminal record and had spent 8 years in prison. It had shocked Kagome to her core to find out he had spent that kind of time locked away. He had such a gentle personality that she refused to accept it... until, of course, she found out about his temper. In the hanyou's younger days, he had been a local drug dealer in his hometown. He had told her he never messed with the hard stuff, he would only touch natural ones such as marijuana and shrooms. He had grown up around addicts and had seen the results of the harder stuff on the children of said addicts and, let's just say it was unpleasant and heart-breaking for those poor children. So he had promised not to go beyond the all-natural substances. It wasn't the dealing that got him locked up, though... There was a young woman who he was dating during that time in his life. While he was out of town down south, she went to someone else in town to get her weed. Unknown to her, it was laced with something she was unaware of and in her euphoria, her vehicle struck a tree and her fragile body flew through the glass, landing her body in one of the low branches of the tree. She was dead on impact... When he'd gotten back from his trip, he tracked down the guy that sold it to her and put him in the hospital... He slammed his face into an open brick of cocaine and caused him to overdose from inhaling the loose, uncut powder (AN: I think I watch too many movies to be able to come up with half of these terms). By the time the police arrived, all of the drugs and paraphernalia was stashed or removed and the police wrote it up as armed robbery even though he didn't own or believe in carrying a gun of any kind. They tracked him down quickly enough and locked him away.

Parts of her sweet hanyou were extremely hardened, but some of those rough edges had been polished since she'd met him. He would smile and tell Kagome that she was worth changing for. She would smile back and lay her head against his broad chest and breathe in his scent, memorizing it. He had seemed so vulnerable when he told her about what had happened back then that Kagome couldn't help but comfort him and stay by his side. At least he was trying to change his life around and he hadn't had any run-ins with the law since then. Nor did he partake in any other illegal activities like he had before prison.

Kagome shook herself out of her reverie as she realized she was back downtown. She had been so lost in thought, she didn't even realize she was back. Thankfully, rush hour was over so she wouldn't have to deal with massive crowds of people. She stepped off the bus with no real goal as to where she was going. The rain was still falling steadily, quickly soaking into her already wet hair and clothes, which had just gotten to the point where they were no longer dripping.

Kagome wandered down the street sluggishly, not bothering to pull up the hood on her hoodie since she was already soaked to the bone. She shivered involuntarily and flexed her cold fingers, trying to regain some circulation in them. She continued to amble down the street deep in thought as she sunk into her memories.

Her sweet hanyou had vocalized that he shouldn't call her names when he was angry. Even though he was conscious of his actions, he didn't seem to be able to or care to get them under control once they were sparked. Some days when she came home from school or work, tension would hang heavily in the air like a suffocating blanket. Those were the days that Kagome tried to walk small... though it rarely worked... No matter how low-key and quiet she was, something she would say or do would spark an ugly anger border-lining hatred and he would go into an insatiable rage for hours on end.

Kagome had tried everything she could think of to calm him when these rages filled his character, but nothing had ever worked. She had tried just agreeing with whatever it was he was saying, she had tries standing her ground and fighting back, she had tried to leave the room until he'd calmed down. The latter seemed the worst... Whenever she tried to escape the hateful tirades, he would either follow her and keep on, or he'd wait for her to come back into the room and scream at her that much more! She hated days when she could feel that tense aura...

The worst part about these rages of his was the fact that anything could set him off! If he didn't like the way Kagome looked at him or if she sighed in frustration and shook her head when he was on her case nit-picking everything. There was no telling what the spark would be any given day. What she did one day that was okay could be the thing that set him off the next day. There was just no telling with him... the inconsistency kept her on a roller coaster. He would call her his family one day and whisper beautiful words to her and the very next day tell her that's she was worthless, no one wanted her, and that he could replace her in an hour and feel no remorse. Her tears didn't seem to affect him at all... She had perpetual bags under her eyes from all of the crying she did at home. Her once top grades were slipping as well as she struggled to find motivation to study and work on her assignments. Most of the time, she wanted to just curl up in a ball and sleep so at least she could escape the loneliness in her dreams.

The longer she was with him, the worse he'd become... It was almost unbearable to remain in that situation... and yet? Kagome was more afraid of being left all alone...

Kagome felt her body boarding another bus, she didn't bother to even look and see where it was going. It didn't matter where she went, she wasn't planning on going back until he was asleep. Then she would curl up on the couch and try to be out the door in the morning before he awoke. She definitely didn't want to approach him until this current anger was out of his system and the man she loved returned. With this recent accusation, though, it could be days before he came back to his senses. Kagome was perplexed as to what caused him to think she was cheating. Kagome didn't talk to men at all! And she sure as hell didn't ogle other men when she was out. Sometimes someone would try to talk to her, but she was quick to inform them that she was in a relationship.

Her boyfriend, on the other hand, had no such actions. He had even spent around seven months hanging out with a married lawyer at bars every night until at least 2:00 AM. This had hurt and angered Kagome deeply and no matter what she tried, it didn't keep him home. He had told her later that he had had a relationship with her in his drug dealer days. He had even gotten her pregnant at that time, but her parents forced her into an abortion since she was still in high school. That didn't stop her obsession with him though... nor did the fact that she was married with two children... This woman tried to get him to leave Kagome. When her advances weren't reciprocated, she resorted to a new tactic... She began to make threats... She would say she wanted to kill Kagome, that she would kill him since she couldn't have him, and chillingly, that she would burn the house down with Kagome inside.

This, of course, is what prompted the recent move. The apartment was much smaller than the last one but further away from the city, and the rent was, thankfully, almost a quarter less per month. So all in all, Kagome wasn't upset about having to move. At least there was no longer a black SUV sitting in the parking lot across the street waiting for Kagome's boyfriend to come outside.

Kagome was jolted out of her thoughts ruthlessly when she felt the bus stop and the driver yell back that this was the last stop. She rose to her feet in a haze, she was feeling decidedly warm even though she was still soaked to the bone. She decided to ignore the false set of warmth as she stepped off the bus onto the pavement. One step took her to a narrow, cracked sidewalk. She glanced around and realized she really had no clue where she was and part of her vaguely asked if this was a good neighborhood to walk around in. She was answered pretty quickly, though, when an elderly couple walking down the street hand in hand walking their small dog caught her eye. An old couple wouldn't be walking the dog near nightfall in the rain if it was a bad neighborhood. After that thought sunk in, she sunk back into herself as the last five years continued to play through her mind.

Never before had her sweet hanyou been violent with her. It had always been words he used as weapons, not his hands. He would beat her into the ground with his words, leaving her feeling that she was worth nothing and was just lucky he was sticking around. Ever since they'd moved, things had gotten worse... The first incident had occurred about a month ago right after they moved in. She had been late because the bus had been overloaded that day. When she got home and came inside, he'd slapped her across the face and called her a slut before going into his normal, vicious tirade. Kagome has been so stunned as she touched her stinging cheek, that she hadn't even heard the awful things he yelled at her. It had quickly gone downhill from there... Kagome realized she didn't like to be manhandled and decided she was going to fight back. The next time he put his hands on her, Kagome summed up all of her strength and slapped him back. This was the wrong action to take, though. Before Kagome even knew he'd slapped her back, she found herself on the floor with a strange ringing in her ears. It turned out he had ruptured her ear drum and she was unable to hear properly for the next few weeks.

Honestly, Kagome blamed herself. She had learned long ago that when he did something, not to fight back or argue because it always just made things worse. The physical attacks were getting much more frequent and much more severe. Not that he really left marks... at least not where you could see them. In one of his worst rages, he had thrown her on the bed and punched her in the back of the head three times before he managed to get control of his anger. Kagome had sobbed for hours and hid in the closet, the splitting headache that accompanied it remained for at least a week. She was too afraid to go to a doctor so it's lucky for her she didn't seem to have a concussion, though she did had a knot on her head the size of a softball and had trouble finding a position to sleep in at night that didn't put pressure on the tender area.

As Kagome walked, a wave of heat washed over her and she unzipped her hoodie and pulled it off. She slung the sopping wet garment over her arm and continued to walk. For some reason, Kagome felt like her body was moving on its own as she walked down the cracked cement sidewalk. She was extremely hot, despite the steady rain that continued to fall, dripping down her cheeks and off of her nose and chin. She made no move to wipe it away, her arm seemed too heavy to lift. Besides, there was no point with the rain still coming down, it would just makes new water tracks down her face.

Hurt tears still poured from her eyes, causing her face to feel even more unbearably hot. It suddenly felt like a summer day to Kagome. Her mind was too muddled to understand why it had gotten so warm. She continued to walk and found herself in the middle of a bridge. She stopped and leaned over the side, trying to see what was beneath her. Far below the bridge, there was a river churning its way through the landscape. Kagome smiled to herself. A sudden thought had penetrated her hazy consciousness. Just like you go swimming in the summer to cool off, Kagome decided she was going to take a dunk in this river.

She looked to the sides of the bridge and saw there was no path down to the river so she came to a quick decision. What if she just jumped into the water from the middle of the bridge? Kagome was deep in a haze and didn't take into count the height she'd be jumping from, nor did she consider the depth of the river, which she didn't know, nor did she consider the swift currents that were crashing branches up against the jagged rocks.

Kagome climbed clumsily up onto the railing, her sneakers squeaking on the wet metal. She was completely oblivious to the world around her and she allowed a small smile to grace her lips, eyes slightly glazed. She brought her arms straight out to either side, closed her eyes, and breathed in the fresh spring air deeply. The air smelled so clean outside of the city and Kagome finally felt her stomach unclench. One of the things that always relieved stress for her was swimming. It was so relaxing and calming being in a large body of water. She was unaware of the squealing tires on the bridge, or the voice that yelled trying to get her attention. She was even unaware of the hand that enclosed on her wrist as she tumbled over the railing. Everything had gone completely silent... everything was fuzzy like a dream...

"Oi!" Kagome could hear muffled voices. Some of the words registered but it was hard to understand since it sounded like a badly tunes radio. She grimaced and made to pull the thing that was restricting her arms from moving off. It was just too damn hot! "What the... ell... do... n... ail..." The voice tuned in and out. Kagome forced her heavy eyelids upward and at first only saw white. As she moved her eyes, she could see a few tree branches above her. It took her a long moment to realize that there was something cool on her cheek that was tipping her face down. It was a hand... correction... a man's hand with calluses from working with them. The last thing Kagome saw before darkness swallowed her up was a pair of concerned golden eyes framed by a curtain of long, silver hair and a pair of soft, triangular ears perked on top of his head. She could see his lips moving as she reached up a hand and gently rubbed one of the soft ears before the blackness encircled her senses...

::FIN::

That's the end of the prologue! I hope you stuck with me to the end! So how many of you thought Inuyasha was the 'hanyou' she's dating? I hoped I tricked some of you! That was my intent ~.^ Anyway, please review and let me know if you liked this. I'd like to continue it, but if I don't get a huge turn-out, I might not be as apt to update it (it's discouraging when people don't review and let you know how you're doing!). Anyway, thanks for sticking with me to the end of the Prologue! It's 8 pages long, Arial at 10 pt font. I try to do 10 page chapters for every update so if it takes me a bit to update, sorry!