A/N: First Femslash story I've attempted to write, and it's been a while since I've watched or read anything Inuyasha related, so I ask (not beg) for forgiveness since this will likely be out of character (ooc); in fact I'm pretty sure it will be. But I hope you give it a shot—if not that's fine too. This is for my own enjoyment.
This chapter has been rewritten as of: 5/23/13
Priestess No More, a Demon Reborn
Her eyes followed the luminescent serpents through the forest, which a red blur obviously followed believing her asleep. The ghostly white creatures had once canvassed the area but now converged together and led the male to the their summoner.
Kagome was wary and unnerved by them, but also felt happy to see them—although, she had yet to understand why.
He's going to go see her again. . .
The thought hurt but no longer for the reasons it once did. She did not even know why this time. The scorching coals of jealously that once burned in the pit of her stomach dissipated like fire suffocating and now she only felt resignation and her attraction to the hanyou fading quickly. She knew that Inuyasha could never choose her. She was a mere reflection of Kikyou in his eyes, just a living one. The most he could ever see her as without feeling the guilt of loving an echo of his first and foremost love was as a friend. Perhaps even a sister.
She knew of Inuyasha's attraction to her and understood it was only because of how similar she looked to the elder miko. It was always because of that, wasn't it?
She mentally traced the moonlit scales of one of the retreating serpents. She watched them, bewitched as they flowed and curled as seamlessly as ivory ribbons, and startled when the one that currently held her attention turned towards her. Dark eyes boring into her own, it cocked its head, gaze imploring and almost child-like. She entertained the thought that it was staring into her soul rather than the shell that protected it, and wondered if the soul catchers were connected to her just as they were connected to the undead miko.
Seeing that the serpent still stared at her, Kagome dared to smile at it. She blinked in surprise when it nodded to her and swept after its kin. Blue eyes stayed locked onto it, both in fascination and confusion, before she sighed and returned to mulling over the undead priestess.
She no longer blamed Kikyou for it. Not anymore. It wasn't her fault that Inuyasha loved her more than he loved Kagome. Inuyasha loved Kikyou first, just as Kikyou loved him first.
Her heart throbbed.
Sometimes, she wished she was more like the older miko; graceful, mature, and skilled. Even powerful. Kagome had no delusions that she was as powerful as Kikyou. The undead miko was deadly and had mostly likely been trained since birth. Kagome knew she had potential but she'd never be able to fully realize it, having not been trained properly like all mikos in this age.
She felt longing in her heart but knew not what it wanted for certain. Was it for her to be more like Kikyou? For Inuyasha to love her, a mere reflection?
Or maybe. . .
Denial reared its head, and she forced the idea away. There was no possible way that she was. Besides, even if she was, it would never happen.
Soft fur tickled her forearm, bringing her out of her musings as her eyes landed on the boy sprawled out on her lap. Shippo's leg and tail twitched and then he mumbled something unintelligible. It was followed with something that sounded suspiciously like 'idiot Inuyasha'. She smiled at him fondly before letting her gaze sweep over her other friends in slight contemplation.
They lay sleeping, the demon slayer tucked in an extra sleeping bag, her demonic two-tailed cat curled up against her bosom. The monk Miroku was sleeping against the harsh bark of a tree's trunk, his head tilted to the side and mouth open as he subconsciously held his staff against his shoulder. He refused the offer for a sleeping bag, for reasons she did not know. Perhaps he felt confined and vulnerable within one.
The only one who wasn't here, sleeping, was Inuyasha. Off to go see Kikyou, wrap her in his arms and kiss her sof—
Woah, back up girl, Her head thumped softly against the tree she was leaning on in despair, closing her eyes, as the fire within the makeshift hearth danced and flickered, causing the wood to crackle and ash to float up with the smoke that reached for the night sky. Mirrored within her eyes, the fire burned and caused her face to become alight with warm shades of red and orange. She cast her eyes towards the stars that lay sprinkled across the sky.
Why am I thinking so much about Inuyasha and Kikyou? She had already come to terms with the fact that Inuyasha would not choose her, so why did she continue to feel that flicker of jealousy when she thought of them together?
Inuyasha belonged to Kikyou first, didn't he? Odd, that when she put it that way she didn't feel that pang of possessiveness.
Maybe. . .
Kikyou belonged to Inuya— There it was again, snarling within the depths of her mind.
No. She shut her eyes tightly and shook her head in refusal. No.
She suddenly had the urge to cry. There was no way she felt attracted to Kikyou. She was not gay. Maybe curious, but not gay.
How did this even happen?
Ugh, why does everything have to be so complicated? Kagome wondered. First I fell in love with Inuyasha, who's in love with Kikyou, and now, Kagome loathed to admit it, my attraction to Inuyasha has somehow shifted to her! Why, why, why! She's a priestess like me for heaven's sake! How could I get a crush on her of all people?! Priestesses aren't even suppose to fall. . . in. . . love.
Kagome felt that was very hypocritical of her.
But Kikyou was the one to fall in love first, she can do it again. . . she isn't even a true priestess anymore, is she? She's unliving. A rebellious part of her consciousness whispered enticingly to her, insisting she surrender to the possibility.
Kagome blinked, her mind whirling in other directions to ignore the urging, before turning to something completely unimportant.
Does anybody here even know what gay means, or do they simply think that loving the same gender is a sin? When does the word gay become an actual word? Is gay just a label for men attracted to men and lesbian for women?
She paused, before she slumped over in mental exasperation. Her back was scraped by the bark and the movement caused Shippo to grumble in his sleep. The fox demon then shifted into a more comfortable position on her lap. A diminutive fang poked out from his upper lip.
Why am I even thinking this! There are more important things to be thinking about. . .
She ignored the errant thoughts again.
You can't ignore her though.
Her eyebrow twitched at her rebellious mind's persistence. Treacherous thing. . .
You don't just like her, do you? You're in love with her! her subconscious continued to mock her.
SHUT UP! Besides, she loves Inuyasha! Kagome roared angrily within her mind, irritated beyond belief. Besides, how can I even love her when I hardly even know her?
Finally, the disruptive voice inside her head ceased. The priestess had the feeling it was amused.
Kagome sighed and closed her eyes, not even noticing that it the sky was beginning to meld into a lighter shade over the time she was arguing with herself.
I'm going crazy.
Ignoring her own doubtful sanity, Kagome shut her eyes and allowed the darkness to overwhelm her. It dragged her into a restless slumber and it was behind her closed eyelids that silver eyes tormented her. The devastating silver of the orbs caused them to shine like poised blades, and they loomed over her in a damp, black void.
Trapped. . . trapped. . .
In her slumber she failed to react to the cold, wet form that snaked around her arm, before retreating when another presence approached.
A figure padded silently into the camp, bare feet brushing against the dew-covered grass and golden eyes watching as the miko tilted her head. The girl had a distraught look on her face, eyes flashing beneath her eyelids. The golden orbs, which belonged to the man she watched leave earlier, softened. The dog ears atop his head twitched, and he glanced out into the fading darkness of the forest. His eyes narrowed in suspicion, waiting for some kind of sign as his hand clasped the hilt of his sheathed blade. With his eyes, nose and ears finding nothing, he relaxed and released his hold on the blade's handle.
Inuyasha turned his gaze back to Kagome and saw her trembling. He assumed it was from the cold; the fire had become nothing more than smoldering ashes in the time that he spent with Kikyou. He found Kagome's backpack and searched through it to for a blanket. Once he found it in his grasp he pulled out the dark blue blanket that was folded up neatly to conserve space.
He walked over to Kagome, leaned forward, and draped the blanket across her, completely covering the diminutive fox demon. He then stepped back. The hanyou coiled his muscles visibly and leapt into a tree. Grasping a branch he easily pulled himself up before settling down into a comfortable spot and folding his arms. His eyelids slid closed and he soon followed his companions into the arms of sleep.
Unnoticed, Kagome's shivering increased before her eyes snapped open. Her gaze was unseeing and flashed like steel when catching light. For a moment her eyes stayed like that, directed to some unknown point in the woods, before she calmed and slipped back into a more seemingly relaxed slumber.
Shippo blearily opened his eyes, wondering what had pulled him out of a nice dream of defeating Inuyasha and Kagome teaching him how to 'sit' him, before realizing he couldn't see. He nearly jumped up when he found it was just a cloth obscuring his vision and that he had strong, feminine arms wrapped around his frame protectively. His heartbeat took a more healthy pace and he pulled down the covers to see his surrogate mother, making him smile innocently.
Sometimes he wished his Mama was a demon too, just like him so he'd have something in common with her. He wrapped her arms around him - he vaguely noted her forearm being wet - and went off to sleep. He did not see that his Mama, Kagome, had tears sliding down the slope of her cheek.
The lithe arms coiled around Shippo tightened just the tiniest bit and Kagome whispered in distress.
"Mama, Grandpa, Souta. . . come back, please. . ."
The next morning Kagome was the first awake and had no recollection of the nightmare that previously claimed her. She felt so very weak, so very tired, that she had trouble standing on her own two feet after having just woken up. She had set Shippo down and covered him with the blanket, finding that she could not get anymore sleep. After waking herself up good and taking a few minutes to relax, she got up with only a hint of difficulty.
Taking a quick glance around her she saw that everyone still slept. Inuyasha had returned, she having caught the flash of red up in the tree she had taken solace beneath. She furrowed her brow when she realized that even he was asleep.
Kagome glanced at the sky, dim, scattered sunlight filtering through the trees, and calculated that it would probably be around five or six. Her internal clock had improved since her near constant stay in an era where people usually relied on the sun's positioning to know what time of day it was. Twisting her focus to something else, she wondered why she felt so miserable and why she woke up so early. Usually she'd be around the last to wake up.
The sky was almost entirely blanketed with clouds. The sun hung above the horizon, bathing whatever it could reach with warm rays of sunlight. It was partially hidden by dark cumulus clouds, forewarning her of storm.
She jumped suddenly, almost giving a yelp, when she felt something wet curl tight around her abdomen. Her heart pounded furiously in surprise as a chilly sensation consumed her. She trembled, her mouth open and tongue wagging, but no sound formed from her throat. Kagome reached out on reflex and groped for her assailant much like a blind beggar, only to find her hand going through it and becoming soaked with liquid. A peculiar smell permeated in the air, forcing her fear and tension away. While her body relaxed, she internally cried out in distress and confusion.
The coil gave a tug.
The raven-haired girl began to walk. Why was she was allowing this thing to tug her along and why she couldn't find it in her to call out for her friends? A buzz filled her head and she guided towards the woods. Her legs refused to obey her command to stay firmly planted against the ground, instead submitting to the leash that pulled her and demanded her to walk into the foreboding forest. She could no longer see the beauty of the wildlife as she was possibly being pulled into the maw of death.
What's going on?! Is it Naraku? Why?! I don't even have the jewel shards on me! True, she had left the jewel shards in her backpack. Did whatever this thing enchanting her want them, presuming that she had them on her?
As she strode through the thick brush, unable to focus on any of the passing scenery, she followed the force demanding her obedience. Each step was laden with a heaviness only prisoners could understand.
Finally, after what seemed like hours, the liquid collar around her waist recoiled from its grasp on her. It distorted the air and receded into the dark, inky surface of a pond. Kagome trembled; she was at the edge of the waters and she could not move.
No demonic aura could be sensed. She looked around as much as her unseen binds would allow. Her limbs stayed locked at her sides; she was frozen stiff. Whatever spell the whip placed on her still remained.
Her eyes centered on the oil-like depths in front of her.
The pond did not ripple. It was but a dark sheet—impossible to discern how deep it went. The priestess nearly jumped when it started to bubble and spiral, liquid being thrown into the air. Then the center swelled, bulging upwards and sprouting like a fountain. The water rained across the entire clearing and left the pond several inches shallower.
Within the pond a feminine figure rose, not a drop on her—unlike Kagome, whose clothes were soaked.
The priestess's eyes widened and a touch of familiarity rose like bile within her. The nightmare she had as she stared into the woman's eyes.
Silver eyes gleamed at her, pupils mimicking a cat's, surrounded by a pale white but beautiful face that crimson locks framed. The woman, or more accurately demon, smiled at her, brandishing pearl white canines that would have made Kagome flinch if she could have. But she could not: she was ensnared by some sort of trance which sapped her of her strength and free will.
Besides being dressed garishly in red clothes lined with gold, the woman had pointed elf-like ears. They were far longer that Sesshomaru's or Koga's and had beautiful gem earrings curling around her earlobe like a band. She looked like nobility. While her gaze remained fixed on her, the demon raised a clawed finger, her nails so long and deadly looking that they contradicted her delicate looking hand. She curled the finger repeatedly in a "come hither" way.
"Come here. . ." the woman crooned.
Kagome had truly, never felt more helpless than she did now, not when she was captured, not when she was held hostage or being unable to stop Inuyasha from loving Kikyo. She struggled frantically against the unyielding hold. Her body slowly but surely made its way to the edge of the pond, although visibly jerking. The woman pouted, acknowledging how adamant Kagome was against her command, even though she couldn't stop her if she tried.
"Come now, caged bird, don't fight. It'll only make my experiment more difficult and painful." the demon hummed, smiling in humor when Kagome's struggle for freedom increased due to desperation. The young priestess internally cried out questions, still silenced by the hold that was placed on her. Kagome wanted to scream, but could not. No sound escaped her lips.
Water pooled beneath the crimson-haired woman's feet and took her closer to Kagome. It was obvious the demon either found walking—or maybe swimming—towards the girl too much work, or merely enjoyed showing off.
"Hmm. You really have the potential, little priestess. Just as I need." The demon smirked as Kagome stiffened, her fear subsiding momentarily and being replaced with confusion. "I don't expect your primitive human mind to comprehend exactly what I'm going to do to you, so I'll try to explain it in the simplest way possible without spoiling it for you. . ." A finger twisted Kagome's ebony locks around the digit. Her nails looks so sharp that Kagome was sure that her hair was being cut. "I am going to have the pleasure of destroying the purity within you. I'm going to go against Kami's will and rewrite you're very soul. Doesn't that sound interesting?"
Kagome's expression was one of terror. What are you going to do to me?!
The crimson-haired woman did not clarify further.
"Don't worry so much. There's only a slim chance of this procedure failing." she drawled, placing her palm against Kagome's face. Her eyes glowed much like the moon. Her other hand came up and grabbed her arm roughly, using her talons to carve a symbol—a rhombus with a cloud surrounding the kanji for rain within—into the back of Kagome's hand, making her whimper even within the trance as bright crimson dripped into the edge of the pond with a 'plip'. Kagome faintly noticed a tail slipping out from behind the demon's dress, scales of ivory and seaweed green wrapping around it in intricate patterns. It snaked around her and bound her even further like whatever enchanting her wouldn't be enough.
Kagome understood why when an overflowing pressure built up behind her skull.
And then it burst. She could not only feel pain, but hear and taste it as well. Sheer, unadulterated agony imploded within every sensory nerve inside her body. She could not tell if her eyes were shut tight or open. Everything flashed white, black, and red like some corny horror show trying to incite fear within an audience. White noise blared through her eardrums and blocked out all other sounds besides the thick, rushing sound of her blood that flowed through her veins.
Kagome wanted to scream, but could not. While a hand clamped over her mouth the moment she opened it, she doubted she could anyway. Everything was both far too loud and far too quiet. The noise, or perhaps lack thereof, drove her mad. It felt like fire streamed from her eye sockets and it took her a while to realize that they were tears. Her pain was too much; she didn't even have the release that was screaming to somehow soothe some part of the pent-up strain. Her eyes burned, aching when she so desperately wanted to claw them out of her head. She felt something else, too, something that reminded her of when fragments of her soul had been extracted from her to revive Kikyou. Everything felt like needles dragging across and penetrating her skin, even the sprinkles of water now falling on to her flesh from the heavens.
Where was Inuyasha? Surely he would be awake by now? It felt like hours—days, even!—had passed. Did anyone care that she was in pain inside her own mind, unable to do anything to ease the flames scorching her insides? She could feel something twisting and churning beneath her skin, rushing sluggishly through her veins. She could even feel it coil around something within her and smother it, attempting to extract it from her body as it fought back like a cornered animal.
After what felt like an eternity of pain Kagome slumped over, her mind and body exhausted. Whatever entered her body had smothered that flare in her soul. She vaguely realized she was still standing, the tail holding her up. Her eyes felt like lead, unable to open to see her tormenter. Her body could not move, like a puppet whose strings were pulled taut and forcing her to stand up even though her legs were about to snap from how heavy she felt.
She felt hollow.
A palm turned her face in the direction of the monster as she began to speak.
"The pain and numbness are only temporary and when you awake you will no longer be a priestess."
What? Kagome's mutely wondered. Thunder was booming high in the sky, echoing. She just barely managed to decipher the words being said.
"I took away your powers that make you a miko, and replaced them with something more, as you might say, demonic." the monster explained, and Kagome could just feel that damned grin creep on the demon's face, twisting it into something ugly. "Who knows, maybe you might end up liking this change. All I care about is making sure the experiment is a success, so don't go dying, alright?"
But living didn't matter, did it? She could no longer sense anything. What use was she to her friends now when she couldn't sense demons? She didn't even feel the jewel shards back at the camp like she normally could.
Would Inuyasha want her here anymore? Would he discard her like a broken tool? What about Miroku, Sango, Shippo? What would they think?
"How ironic, becoming the very thing you priestesses train to fight against. Priestess no more, demon reborn. . . fufufu!" The woman broke into fits of lady-like laughter at her silly but accurate rhyme.
It all seems like some game to her, Kagome mused brokenly, unable to truly comprehend the words that just left the demon's mouth. But she could see her laughing, and that was enough. Is my pain nothing?
"Now that that's over and done with, I'll tell you my name, just so you can know who to thank for the rest of your demonic life."
Kagome did not want to know. She didn't want to remember this at all. It would be easier to let go, to forget if she didn't know this woman's name.
"My name. . . is Michiyo." she had paused arrogantly for dramatic effect, which only served to anger Kagome. "Remember it, hatchling. Remember it and let everyone know just who defiled your soul; the one who did the impossible and replaced a miko's purity with a demons corrupt nature!"
Michiyo growled suddenly, primal and alluring even though Kagome wished to deny it. Kagome heard feet pounding against the ground, sounding as if they were coming towards her and the demon.
She felt hope bloom inside her chest. She wasn't able to see but she could just tell it was her friends.
There was a pause.
Suddenly, as several pairs of feet pounded on the ground, Michiyo lifted her higher. "Farewell, little hatchling. I will be seeing you later." Dread replaced her hope.
And with that Kagome felt herself fall on to the ground, the sound of water shooting up in torrents and a hazy, drowsy sensation washing over her. Everything blanked out for just a second, and then returned. Numbly, she found that she no longer felt the grass which would surely be beneath her. Instead, warm sand grated against her skin and the sound of waves rushing up against a shore filled her ears.
She struggled to raise her head and made an attempt to open her eyes. After a few good minutes she succeeded, and saw that she was not in the same place as she was before, mountains looming over in the distance. There was a large cliff far off to her left and there didn't wasn't any signs of a human settlement nearby.
She struggled to lift herself, but failed and decided to merely lay there ungainly sprawled out on the sand. Exhaustion hit her and her eyes fell shut, her body feeling heavy from the pain she endured.
Relief hit her as she realized she was free from her tormentor, if only for the moment. She gave a groan, and found that she could finally project her voice once more. A puff of air sent sand across her face but she could care less.
She was free of the pain! Free of her!
And. . .
Kagome slipped away from reality and into a dreamless sleep, a sleep she would consider one of the best of her life after suffering through an ordeal that signaled the greatest critical point of her young life.