For the longest time this was a one shot, but after many requests I decided to continue with this story....
1. How it all Ended by Jessie Angel
2. How it all Began by Jessie Angel
3. I Am Lost, So I Am Cruel by Jessie Angel
4. Past, Present and Future by Jessie Angel
[Update: I have been reviewing this story and have enlisted the aid of SilverLunarStar to help beta this story. She’s been great! Also, as you can see, due to personal issues, I have not been able to update often and for that I am sorry.]
A lot of people have requested that I continue with this story. I was finally able revise this story and change a few things that I had written when it was a One Shot so that I can touch on them later on as the story evolves. I hope you guys enjoy this one, and I can't wait to post chapter one of this story. I hope to make at least bi-weekly updates, but we’ll see how that goes.
Broken Dreams and Demon Nightmares
Prologue: How it all ended...
"Hell is empty and all the devils are here."
-William Shakespeare, ‘The Tempest'
A haunting howl could be heard throughout the forest. An agonizing howl that was full of pain, anguish, suffering... and something so completely primal that it sent a chill right down to the bone of every creature living and breathing. No one dared to utter a word about it; and no one dared to step into InuYasha's forest-- not man, demon or beast.
In the distance, perched on one of the branches of the God Tree, two lonely figures could be seen. The black haired beauty seemed to be sleeping peacefully, while the creature with flowing silver hair and blood red eyes cradled her close to him in a loving and tender embrace. Her pale face almost had an iridescent glow under the moonlight... she looked like an angel, a very beautiful angel. Softly, they swayed back and forth atop the highest branch.
Suddenly the creature shuddered and let out a chocked cry as he allowed the tears to flow once more. He held on to the beauty like a lifeline, burying his nose against her hair and letting the sweet lingering scent fill him and overwhelm him. The remnants of his heart breaking even more with each and every breath he took. Even in his current state, he could remember every single thing about her and that made it that much more painful for him. Somewhere deep down inside of him, his human spirit wept with the same force like that of his demon side.
He continued to howl as he had done for many days and kept on shedding tears for the loss. He cried for all the things that had been left unsaid and for all the years that they had spent together... He cried for all their fights and all their laughs...cried for all the tender moments they shared and for all the memories that filled his mind; the good and the bad.
His heart and soul knew no comfort. There was only grief.
The creature's mind was so completely lost to the world around him that only the darkness of his life's misery and the pain and sorrow he felt for his beloved filled his mind, heart, and soul. Only the tiniest bit of light seemed to remain and it refused to let go. However, that same light that had once burned bright and had been his reason for living was now slowly diminishing and decaying, becoming a black hole of nothing in his arms with the passing of time.
There was nothing else to offer the wretched world he lived in. Without her, there was nothing else for him anymore. The only thing that kept him from completely losing himself to the shadow of darkness within him was the girl that he cradled so delicately in his arms. Her sweet face being the only thing that kept him alive...a loving face of an angel and the memory of a smile that was brighter than the sun itself. A sweet face...and a name...
For many days he sat there with her... holding her, loving her, drinking her scent.
He sat there until he lost all sanity...
Sat there until there was no more of him left...
Sat there until there was nothing else to give...
Sat there until there was nothing left to live for...
Naraku had finally been defeated by his adversaries. In the end, everyone who was an enemy of Naraku was considered an ally.
The battle had been grand and demons, as well as humans alike, fought side by side to defeat the evil half demon. The Sacred Jewel of Four Souls had also been completed then and, in the end, the true power of the living jewel had been unleashed...a power so bright and pure that was too great for Naraku to fully control.
Once the jewel was complete, Naraku swallowed it whole and wrapped his evil aura around it, turning it black with his twisted hate, malice, and thirst for power. However, buried deep inside the jewel's core there was the tiniest bit of light that remained untouched and pure, as if Midoriko herself merely waited for the catalyst that would unleash the jewel's true power.
This thirst for total control of the jewel was Naraku's mistake and his ultimate undoing and it cost him everything.
In the end, the jeweled betrayed him as the light that waited within the jewel itself began to grow with Kagome's help. In the last hour, Kagome's powers, which had once been sealed by Magatsuhi, came back to life and with full force. Slowly, that tiny speck of light began to grow, consuming Naraku from the inside out until it weakened him. Naraku's evil wasn't vast enough to taint the jewel that slowly purified him from within. This gave Sesshomaru and InuYasha the opportunity to draw Bakusaiga and Tetsusaiga one last time and destroy him for good.
The blast of Bakusaiga kept Naraku from regenerating, but the blast that emanated from Tetsusaiga burned so bright that it illuminated the whole battle field for several seconds before dying out like a flame in the dark, leaving absolutely nothing but destruction in its wake.
Naraku was finally gone. And nothing- not even his dust remained.
However, the victory had been short lived, and as victories go, it was also bittersweet...
InuYasha lay on the battlefield semi-unconscious and badly injured. His body was a canvas of bruises and deep gashes that bled to no end. His body was also adorned with oozing angry burns that had just barely started the healing process. Slowly, he came to- his mind still a bit hazy from the battle. He managed to get up and look around. For a second, he couldn't remember where he was or what he had been doing, but slowly, the images of the battle began to seep their way back into his memory.
Somehow, at some point during the battle with Naraku he had transformed into a full demon. That he vaguely remembered. At first, this transformation had been just like every other, but somehow he was able to take control of his mind and soul. Soon after, he realized that he was no longer the mindless creature with a thirst for blood. He had in fact turned into a true demon, a similar transformation like the one he had once before when he used the jewel shards to break through a stone demon's belly to save his friends. He bore his father's markings on his face and body, his power had increased tenfold and his mind was sharper than it had ever been. He didn't know how it had happened or why, the only thing he knew was that it had, and that was enough for him.
Suddenly he felt a chilling pang at the pit of his stomach... ‘Where is Kagome?'
"Kagome!" he called out over the settling dust and morning fog.
His eyes scanned the surroundings frantically and he called out to her once more with urgency. "Kagome!!"
Reclaiming his composure, he allowed his senses to take over. Closing his eyes and letting his senses guide him, he tried to catch her scent through the thick air. The stench emanating from the battle field was enough to make him gag, but he steeled his resolve and took a few tentative sniffs. Slowly, his nose and ears began to pick apart all kinds of different things. Somewhere, he could smell Sango and Miroku along with Shippou and Kirara. They were safe; injured, but safe nonetheless. His keen hearing picked up their strong heartbeats and the sounds their bodies made when they shifted and moved around as they too tried to find one another.
Kouga and his pack brothers were still alive; Ginta lay somewhere unconscious in the battle field, with Hakkaku trying to sniff him out. They all had great injuries which would take some time to heal, but they seemed to be doing just fine otherwise.
Sesshomaru's scent still lingered along with the scent of his human ward, Rin and the annoying toad, Jaken. He knew his brother was injured, perhaps just as badly as he was. He could smell it, but he could also smell the girl's blood and there was a lot of it. ‘Too much, in fact.'
"Keh." ‘So the girl was badly injured too. That's why the bastard left in such a hurry,' he thought to himself quickly.
He continued to search the grounds, his own heart hanging on by a mere thread in his chest.
"Kagome!" he called out once more. After just seconds, he caught up with her scent and he let a very small wave of relief wash over him.
His body quickly began to react to his heart's excitement and his legs moved on their own taking him to where Kagome was.
From the corner of her eyes, Kagome could see him, just a flash of red and silver at first, then her eyes slowly began to focus until she could almost see InuYasha's figure completely. He was coming closer and closer towards her. For a moment she thought it was a dream, maybe she was still dreaming. In her heart, though, she knew that she wasn't.
She smiled weakly and tried to raise her hand, but her body wouldn't respond. She let out a small sigh through her nose and smiled once more. It was all finally over...wasn't it? They had finally won and the jewel was finally complete.
She felt a sudden sting of panic before she realized that she was holding the jewel in her hand. Somehow she had managed to hold on to it.
Her thoughts were interrupted when she suddenly felt the wave of pain that radiated throughout her body, leaving her completely paralyzed in shock more than the actual pain itself.
She closed her eyes for a moment and tried to control the sudden affliction. She didn't want him to see her this way- in so much pain. She wanted to be strong for him; she wanted to be everything she thought she should be- for him.
As he got closer to her, the scent of death mixed in with Kagome's own natural scent became stronger. At first, he tried to ignore it, tried to make excuses for it. He tried really hard not to believe what his nose was picking up from the girl that was just mere foot away from him. He tried to tell himself that he was wrong, that she was okay...that this wasn't really happening and that it was just some sick joke his own mind was playing on him. Maybe it was a bad dream- a nightmare. It had to be and he'd be waking up soon, right?
‘No... don't let it be true...'
Slowly, he dropped down in front of her, his eyes refusing to fully focus. Taking her hand in his, he hoped to feel the old familiar warmth. But there was none. She felt like ice. He looked down at her fingertips in fear of looking anywhere else and saw that they had turned slightly blue.
Gathering all the courage he could muster, he finally allowed his gaze to clear and really look at her for the first time since those last moments in battle. His heart suddenly felt as if though it would stop beating when his eyes finally came to rest upon her face.
"Kagome..." The words were softer than a kiss in the wind.
He had failed her. He had promised her that he would protect her, that he would keep her safe, and he had failed her. He felt the gut wrenching guilt rip through him. He loathed himself. How could he have failed her? How?
He thought he'd lost everything that mattered to him in that one moment. Thought that he would never get to hear her sweet voice or see her beautiful eyes filled with life again... He was breaking... all was lost. And it was his fault.
Then, she stirred.
For a brief second there was a glimmer of hope. For a brief second, life would go on and things would be okay. For a brief second...he allowed himself to be relieved and feel happy- truly happy.
She had been in so much pain, that she didn't notice InuYasha kneeling in front of her, with her hand in his. But the sound of his voice was able to break through her pain. "In- Inu...Yasha..." It was barely a whisper. Even with his perfect hearing, he almost missed it.
"Kagome..." he managed to say again, brushing away the stray hairs that clung rebelliously to her beautiful face.
She tried to smile for him through the pain. "Y- You're... okay," she said. "Is- is... e- everyone else... okay?"
He placed a clawed finger to her lips and genuinely smiled, his face the perfect picture of unconditional love and concern, "They're okay, Kagome. They're all okay. Your barrier worked and you saved them. They're all okay."
She let out a soft sigh and opened her eyes to look at him. "I'm- glad." She felt another wave of pain engulf her body, making her shudder and whimper in agony against her will. "Ug- uggh... uggh... Hmmp." She cried out unwillingly and swallowed hard. Eyes tightly shut, her face the perfect picture of pain and agony.
And then the pain subsided once more, leaving her body comfortably numb. "That- that was b- bad," she managed to say through gritted teeth, eyes still shut. "But it's...its better now."
"Shh... Shh... don't strain yourself. It'll be okay, Kagome... Just- just, hang in there. It'll be okay, alright?" InuYasha said through a chocked sob as he desperately tried to swallow that lump that had formed in his throat.
There were so many emotions running through him...too many for him to control. Just seeing her this way- it tore him apart inside. He had promised to keep her safe, promised to protect her, and he had failed her miserably; failed her more than he had ever failed anyone else in his life. Pain and sorrow weighed heavy on him, but heavier was the guilt he felt inside.
"My InuYasha," she said softly after a short pause; her eyes fluttered open and tears began to form on corners of her gray blue orbs.
The sound of her voice forced him to push his own feelings aside for the moment so that he could only focus on her. Only her.
"My best friend," she continued. "My beautiful half demon, my...my...one true love."
To InuYasha, it almost felt like a bomb the size of the world had gone off in his ears. His heart raced and was just about ready to explode, his mind trying hard to keep up with the pace. His mouth attempted to find the words to respond, but it failed.
She called him, her love. He was...her- her one true love.
She knew she was dying, she understood that now- she didn't have too much time left, and didn't want to leave with regrets.
So now here she was, at the end of her long journey, trying to find the courage to tell him what had always been in her heart. InuYasha was her everything. He had always been her one true love. Why did she always try to deny it or hide it before? She had always loved him. Deep down, she had always known, yet she never told him. Never really said exactly what was in her heart of hearts and she regretted that. Even after Kikyou was gone, she never really said a word about it in fear of what could happen if she ever did.
Maybe things would have been different if she had. Maybe he would have accepted her love either way, but now she would never know what could have been.
Now that things were going to end like this, what did she have to lose? ‘Nothing. I have nothing to lose.' "I- I'm sorry Inu...Yash..." she said closing her eyes and opening them again, tears falling against her will. "I always...wanted you to know...but I was- I was afraid that you wouldn't feel th- the same. Now I see- I see that...that I should have t-told you either way. I should- have- said it sooner. I should have..."
Finally, InuYasha let the tears he didn't know he was holding freely roll down his cheeks. Each one that landed on Kagome's pale face felt like hot rain on a summer day. How could he have been so blind? How could he have been so stupid? Why didn't he allowed himself to see what was right in front of him instead of chasing after ghosts or long forgotten dreams of a love that was never meant to be? Why had he hurt her so much? Why did he have to always be so stubborn? Why didn't he tell her what he truly felt inside? ‘Why? Why!? Why!' The word echoed in mind over and over again, resonating like thunder.
Kagome's pain returned once more with full force. Her whole body began to convulse making her cry out in agony as the pain made her body twist somewhat awkwardly.
InuYasha became distraught and felt helpless as he watched Kagome in so much pain- a pain that he could certainly feel as well as her. If he could, he would trade places with her in an instant. As he watched the love of his life suffer and slip away from him like sand through his hands, he prayed to any God that would listen to let him trade places with her and take his life so that she may live.
But as most prayers go, his prayers went unanswered.
"I'm not scared... InuYasha. I'm not scared... not scared..." she repeated over and over again. "I can't... I won't. I am...not scared anymore..." She sobbed trying to find her own courage after the pain had somewhat subsided.
Finally, her body stopped shaking and she let out a long sigh of relief. Gradually, she opened her eyes and focused on the troubled amber orbs that gazed back in anguish and a deep sadness that made her heart break. For what seemed like an eternity, they looked into each other's eyes, trying to find solace, trying to find a glimmer of hope. Trying to find something to hold on to, but everything was just too real. The pain was too real. Deep down inside, they knew what was to come.
"Will you kiss me?" she suddenly asked, breaking through the veil of silence that had fallen around them; a soft and sad smile adorning her pale face.
Without hesitation, InuYasha complied and kissed her tenderly, but passionately at the same time, as if trying to breathe life back into her. The kiss was everything and more than they had ever imagined it would be. There was a raging fire behind it. It completely consumed them until there was nothing left of them, but their souls- entwined.
InuYasha was the first to break away from the kiss to look upon her face. Then, almost absentmindedly he began to place soft butterfly kisses on her face as he cradled her possessively and more lovingly than he ever had before, as if trying to shield her from the world around them. Almost as if he was trying to steal her away from the clutches of death itself.
Kagome sighed softly, the warmth of the kiss still lingering on her soft, pale lips. "But I wonder..." she whispered softly, so softly that not even InuYasha could truly hear it. "Would... would you have loved me?" she asked, letting out a breath.
"Kagome," he finally managed to say as he ran his clawed fingers through her hair soothingly; his voice finally finding the courage that it had lacked before. "I... I loved you from the very moment I laid eyes on you." He paused as if trying to find the right words and looked into her eyes, those deep dark pools of emotion burning right through him. "No...that's not true..."
He closed his eyes and thought hard, real hard... and then a memory, something that had been locked somewhere in his mind for far too long began to take form. His eyes opened and he looked at her once more, almost in wonder. "I think I loved you even before that... You were in my dreams, Kagome. While I slept, pinned to the God Tree, I dreamed about you. I could hear your voice and sometimes see your smile. I knew you all your life, Kagome- and I fell in love with you then. I just didn't know it. And I was afraid, so I pushed you away. But now, now everything is so clear to me. You're everything to me... Always were. Please, Kagome. Don't say your goodbyes. Not like this... Not now! Please don't..."
He loved her. He truly loved her. Those three little words were all it took to make her happy...happier than she had ever been before in her life. Nothing mattered now that she heard what she had been waiting to hear for all these years. That gave her a peace of mind.
He desperately tried to hang on to her, to keep her here. He desperately tried to hold on. "I've always been so fucking stupid! Stupid! Stupid! I've been a fool!" he yelled, more to himself than anything else. "I failed you Kagome. I failed you." He cried to her. "Forgive me. Please...forgive me. Don't go. Don't leave me! I can't be without you. I- you... please, Kagome. Don't go. Not now, not ever!" He sobbed.
"There is... nothing to forgive. You've always been there f-for me. A-always..." she said tenderly, trying to comfort him.
"Kagome...I love you. Kagome, please don't leave me. Don't go. Stay with me. I am who I am because of you. I am a better person because of you. You changed me. You taught me everything. You're- you're the only one I ever really and truly loved. I was just too stupid to see it, to admit it to myself. To admit that you could love someone like me and now- please...don't- don't go."
Foolish. That's how he was acting, foolish. He knew it, but what else could he say? He knew they had no control over what was happening and yet he pleaded with her. Kagome's heartbeat just a bit faster and for a brief moment, as she heard his words, tears formed once again.
"I... I'm so sorry... InuYash...a." She sobbed, trying desperately to hang on just a bit longer.
"No. Kagome. Don't. Don't say you're sorry. This- this ain't your fault. It's mine. You hear me, wench! Just don't... don't." InuYasha all but wailed.
It was getting harder for Kagome to hang on. She could feel herself slipping away and InuYasha could feel it too.
"Please Kagome, you promised you'd always be here for me. You promised Kagome!! You said you'd stay with me! You can't leave me...you're mine. Please... Kagome, please, stay? Stay with me? Be with me. Be my love, be my wife... my mate for all eternity. Please Kagome... Stay... stay with me forever?" He pleaded with her. He knew he was being irrational, but she was so close to him and yet so far away. Soon, she was going to be gone forever. He couldn't imagine a life without Kagome in it. He simply couldn't. He didn't want to let go. He wasn't ready to. He wasn't gonna let go.
‘I'm never letting you go, Kagome. Never. Never. Never!' His stubborn mind yelled.
Kagome started to lose her vision, she couldn't see him anymore. There was only his voice. He was pleading with her, asking her to stay, to be with him, to be his wife...his mate. She smiled or, at least, she thought she did. The truth was she had always been his.
Even though they had never realized it themselves, they had always belonged to each other. They were more than soul mates. Each one was half of a soul that had somehow split apart from the moment it was created. Together, they were one. From the moment they found each other, on the day Kagome found InuYasha pinned to the God Tree, their souls had formed a bond with one another. They could feel the connection now, through their pain and their grief, they could feel the strength of the deep bond they both shared.
Funny how things made sense in the end.
"Yes," was her weak reply. ‘I'll stay...' "Always yours...Inu- Yasha... I've always...been yours... yours... forever... always," she said, her voice cracking and sounding more and more distant with each passing breath of air.
InuYasha held her close to him, cradling her limp body against his. He buried his face on the crook of her neck and kissed her softly between sobs. "Kagome...my Kagome..." he said between soft sobs and kisses.
Kagome could feel the heat that emanated from InuYasha's lips. It burned against her cool skin, warming up her soul to its core. She tried to say more, tried to stop time, but there was nothing she could do now but let nature take its course.
He continued to kiss her, to cradle her, to try and do anything that would breathe life back into her. His demon side pounded wildly against his soul, his human side mourned. Everything was happening so fast, he was losing her, losing her for good. Forever.
Yet, he refused to let her go.
‘She's mine! Mine!' The demon inside him growled. ‘I won't let you go!'
Finally he let out a piercing howl out of anger and agony, out of pain, and out of frustration. He then nuzzled against her neck, breathing her in. He kissed the curve of her neck once more, his eyes dangerously flashing between crimson red and melted gold. Then he began to lick and nip in between kisses and before he knew it, his sharp fangs had pierced her fragile skin, her sweet blood trickling out into mouth. Kagome felt the heat of his lips and his fangs upon her neck; so sweet, long lasting, nearly pulling her from oblivion. Almost instantly their souls began to merge together more deeply than before and she felt her aura stir and then lace itself against his without protest. She felt the way his soul and his aura wrapped themselves completely around her lovingly, protectively, making her warm all over.
The jewel in her hand began to glow suddenly; turning almost white and then it began to dissipate within her. No wish had been made and yet the jewel had acted of its own accord. Neither one seemed to notice or care.
Unexpectedly, her own powers began to flicker and then, as if driven by instinct alone, it vividly manifested itself in a pinkish, white light that emanated from her body, and surrounding InuYasha in its light. Kagome's own energy seemed to infuse itself into his very veins, into his demonic blood and aura and filled every part of his being right down to his soul.
How he was not purified by it would never be known. Maybe it was because their souls were one and the same, and had been for a long time. Maybe it was due to something else all together.
In turn, InuYasha's demonic blood and aura laced themselves with Kagome's own making her body even warmer than before. For one brief moment, everything was okay. They felt no pain. There was just their love and nothing else.
They held each other in this way for what seemed like an eternity. Until finally, Kagome's energy subsided and released its hold of InuYasha. He too, let go, not really comprehending what it was that they had just done.
He focused back on her and touched her cheek. His whole body tingled; he could feel her energy and essence surging through him. His eyes looking over her face lovingly and then lower to her neck. He noted how she now bore a mark, and felt his own burning against his skin... ‘Mating marks', and how their scent became one of a kind. How that had happened, he couldn't begin to explain. Kagome's scent was no longer her own and neither was his own. It was more like a mesh between the two. Neither one said anything for a moment as they tried to take everything in.
Finally InuYasha broke the silence by softly and soothingly whispering in her ear, "I love you Kagome." They belonged to each other now; he was hers and she was his. It was a bond much stronger than any demon or human could have ever formed. Of that he was sure.
But despite everything, Kagome was fighting a losing battle. Her body was too far gone to be brought back, even with the bond that they shared. She knew this and realized it long before InuYasha did.
She smiled weakly- wishing she'd be able to see her beloved one last time. "F- Forever...yours..." she managed to say. "Love you... InuYasha... there's only love..." She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. "T- tell everyone... that I- I love them, that I'll miss them. Tell them I wasn't...scared..." She breathed deep trying to fill her lungs. This was the end. She knew it was. "...love you...my...Yashs- a...my...love."
And slowly she exhaled one. last. time.
InuYasha blinked. Almost in disbelief. Something inside him began to break... Something he couldn't understand. He knew what his senses were telling him, but he refused to believe it, refused to accept that his Kagome, his love, his life...his mate, was dead.
"Kagome?" he asked tentatively. "Kagome?" But she didn't answer.
"Come on Kagome, don't go to sleep. Wake up. Kagome..." He couldn't hear the soft murmur of her heart anymore. Her chest wasn't rising. She was gone.
He began to shake his head violently, the tears in his eyes beginning to spill once more. His amber orbs flashed red again. His soul breaking, his demonic aura raging, his human side going mad with grief and guilt, his heart falling to pieces, his mind losing itself somewhere deep down inside of himself.
"No. No. No! No! No!! No!! NO!!" He growled his body shaking in pain and heartache for the loss. "Kagome! Wake up Kagome! Please. Kagome! Wake up! WAKE UP! Kagome! Kagome! Kagome!! KAAGOOMEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
The demon in him snapped.
There was no right and no wrong anymore. No good or evil, there was no happiness anymore; there was nothing that mattered to him anymore but his Kagome. Only his Kagome.
The others watched from afar, they had been watching everything unfold since the beginning, their own grief and sorrow paralyzing them where they stood. They felt powerless, a piece of themselves breaking inside.
They had tears in their eyes, and fear in their hearts. InuYasha was beyond consolation, beyond control and beyond any rational thought. He was lost. Soon, he would be lost to the world completely. None of them would be able to bring him back. They could see it. They all could see it.
As the hours passed, InuYasha began to change...the demon inside of him slowly taking over.
Day turned into night and night soon turned to dawn.
After almost a day and a half of waiting, his friends slowly tried to get close to him, to offer some comfort. At one point, they tried to take Kagome's body away, explaining that all they wanted was to give her a proper burial and to lay her body to rest, but InuYasha had violently refused.
"Don't touch her! Don't you dare TOUCH her!!" He growled taking a swipe at them with his claws, his eyes flickering from a dark fiery amber to red and back to a deep sunset gold.
"I'll kill you! Hunt you down, kill you all if you dare take her away from me!! Do you fucking hear me?! I'LL KILL YOU!"
Wearily, they all backed away with heavy hearts and tears in their eyes. Their friend's misery was so great that it seemed as if he had gone insane with pain and grief. His suffering was palpable. He was completely lost to the world around him and there was nothing they could do to help him.
He held on to her. He wasn't letting go. He was never letting go.
Into the wind he howled...howled until the demon in him completely surfaced, howled until the sun began to set once more.
In his madness, he let his instincts guide him.
Before he even knew it, he was running through the woods, leaving everything that he was behind. His pack, his friends, his life, his humanity.
He ran without any specific direction with his beloved protectively cradled in his arms.
Soon, the scents of the forest became familiar, his own soul showing him the way where he needed to go.
To where it all began. The God Tree.
On this tree he now sits with what remains of his love as he waits.
But for what? Another life? Another time? He wasn't sure.
All he knew was that this- this was where it all began. This was the place where after fifty years of being trapped a death-like slumber he first saw the angel that had breathed life back into him and given him all of her unconditional love. She had been his salvation. Here, he felt truly loved.
This was home.
They were home.
[Update: I have been reviewing this story and have enlisted the aid of SilverLunarStar to help beta this story. She’s been great! Also, as you can see, due to personal issues, I have not been able to update often and for that I am sorry.]
I hope y'all like this chapter. It was a bit difficult to write, but I think I'm happy with the way it turned out. Let me know what you guys think. `Till next time...
Broken Dreams and Demon Nightmares
Chapter 1: How it all began...
"We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell."
-Oscar Wilde, `The Duchess of Padua'
There was a chill in the air, a cold, bone-chilling breeze that slowly spread through the land like a plague. To anyone familiar with these parts, the change in weather was obvious. Winter was fast approaching, bringing with it an ominous fog that had settled over the forest like a smoky veil promising death to any who dared to disturb it.
"Hiraikotsu!" a female voice boomed as a flash swooped by, cutting through the dense mist. The giant boomerang plowed through the woods, the swooshing sound of the weapon reverberating through the empty forest as it destroyed everything in its wake before returning to its master.
"Sango, behind you!"
From the corner of her eyes, the demon slayer noticed a flash of red and silver cut through the fog like a hot sword through wax...and it was heading straight for her. Time seemed to stand still for a moment and, before she was able to asses her next move, a massive cat demon jumped in front of her line of vision with a fierce roar, putting itself between its master and the raging beast that was fast approaching.
"Fox fire!" Echoed through the thick mist, just as bluish flames sprouted out of nowhere, effectively diverting the demon's trajectory from the surprised slayer's path.
Without a moment to spare, the bewildered slayer managed to jump atop the massive cat demon, her friend and companion, and flew off to safety.
Unfortunately, the angry monster turned its attention to the small fox demon that had, up until this moment, been hiding behind a rather large bush. The monster sneered. He could smell the unadulterated fear on this one. It thrilled him to the point of almost tasting the fox demon's blood in his mouth. Licking his deadly fangs with his tongue like a hungry rabid dog, he gave chase. Soon, it caught up with the slower fox demon-child, the thrill of the kill making the beast smirk and snap his powerful jaws hungrily with anticipation. Taking his chance, the beast leaped in the air and took a swipe at the fox with his long, lethal talons, nearly ripping the youngling's tail off, but the little pest managed to narrowly escape his grasp. He snarled in annoyance...
And just as he was about to leap once more, his own momentum was cut short by the long staff that hit him from behind.
Getting up slowly he growled deep and dangerously at his new attacker, his eyes covered by a curtain of silver bangs. Slowly, he looked up; his blood-red eyes filled with hatred and an insatiable thirst for blood- any blood. If looks could kill, the monk standing in front of him would have been dead ten times over by now.
The vicious growl almost turned into a macabre sort of laughter as he smelled the fear on the filthy human too. He liked that, but there was also something else mixed in with it...
It didn't matter.
Blood was blood and he wanted the blood. He needed it.
Flexing his claws, he gave chase again.
"Miroku!" Sango cried from her spot in the sky as she and Kirara followed right behind them.
"We're not gonna make it, Miroku!" the young fox shouted, suddenly running next to the monk as he appeared almost out of nowhere.
"Just keep running!"
They didn't know what else to do. Everything had been so unexpected and yet, they had seen it coming from a mile away. Why didn't they prepare for it when they had a chance?
They knew why, though... Somehow, they had clung to the notion that their friend would not lose himself to his own madness. They had lied to themselves when they thought that he would pull through this like he had when he had lost his first love...
However, this wasn't then.
Things weren't the same.
This time around, they were hurting too; he hadn't been the only one in pain.
Each and every one of them had lost something on that fateful day as well.
A friend... a sister... a mother...
Now, here they were, battling against a trusted friend... a brother... a father...
The pain that they had all felt on that unfortunate day had made it so difficult to see things clearly for what they were.
How did it come to this?
One day they were trying to move on with their lives, trying to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives, and the next they were frantically trying to lure the vicious beast away from the village they had come to call home- desperately trying to spare the lives of more innocent people.
Things weren't supposed to be this way. This was not how they thought the fairy tale would end.
How did things get so bad?
Why did winning the final battle feel like they had lost the whole war?
Why did trusted friends become mortal enemies?
Why did fate have to be so cruel and heartless?
(Three days earlier)
The soft evening breeze carried the scent of death throughout InuYasha's forest. The scent wrapped itself around every rock and every tree- right down to the roots of every living thing with the exception of one... the God Tree.
Its scent was soft and...soothing, just as it had always been.
Atop its branches, the mourning dog demon still held onto his lost love. Its resolve focused simply on staying with the lovely corpse it held in its arms. His eyes were closed as he waited for death itself, so that he and his eternal love could once again be reunited in the afterlife.
Patiently, he awaited his death. Embracing his fate and allowing himself to die slowly.
Nothing in this world mattered anymore. There was nothing left here. Nothing. There was just no point in living if his beloved was not there with him. He had already lost himself in his own madness and despair long ago. And there was no turning back from that. Not now. He was simply an empty shell waiting to be swallowed whole by mother earth itself.
As he waited for his own death, something unexpected began to happen...something he could not understand.
Deep within him, he began to feel a pull. The faint feeling began to grow and grow, until it almost suffocated him.
Opening his eyes to the world for the first time in days, he looked down at the girl he held onto so delicately, just as something strange began to take place. There was a soft glow that began to form all around her pale form, surrounding her in a warm light.
He blinked as he tried to understand what was happening. Right before his eyes, his mate, his love...his very life line began to disappear into thin air. He wrapped his arms tighter around her, but her body simply began to dissipate, leaving a feeling of emptiness and loneliness in its wake. Just like that, she was no more. It was as if though she had never really existed.
Clinging onto empty air, he tilted his head again and blinked.
With one last shimmering spark she was gone and out of his life again. He felt the void in his soul, a void so vast that he felt like he was drowning. She was gone, truly gone. There was nothing left, nothing at all. There was nothing left to hold onto.
The feeling that slowly crept inside of him threatened to spill and overflow. He felt as if though a part of him had been forcefully ripped away and shredded into a billion tiny pieces that were scattered away by the cold winter breeze.
His whole body began to shake suddenly and his eyes held a rage that promised murder to everything in sight. A low growl began to grow deep within him until it couldn't be contained within his chest any longer.
"N-n-nn-n-n-n-n-n-n-noooooo! No! No! No! Noooooo!"
InuYasha's body trembled under his uncontrolled rage. He could feel the anger, the hate and the loneliness as it slowly swallowed him whole. He could also feel a thirst building up inside of him, breathing new life in him. He had lost everything and there was nothing to hold onto anymore. The pain he felt was unbearable, it was all too much to control.
He clenched his fists in a fit of rage until blood began to ooze from his palms, his long claws deliciously digging deep into the skin. With one leap he landed on the cold, muddy ground and began to run, his claws wreaking havoc to anything that crossed his path.
He wanted death; he could taste it as it hovered around him- so close, yet so far away. He clawed at anything that stood in his way as he ran through the forest, down to the river. Blood dripping from his battered hands, forearms and face, but he wanted more.
He wanted the blood, his blood.
He wanted life to end.
Suddenly, he caught a glimpse of his own reflection in the river's edge and he became enraged. Why was he still here? Why couldn't he just die...why couldn't he be with her like he wanted to be?
Crying and snarling, he began to claw and slash at himself maniacally; trying to find solace in the pain, but it brought none. Deep gashes covered his face and chest, but it wasn't enough. He couldn't numb the pain. His wounds were healing too fast and the smell of his own blood maddened him even more, bringing him into a crazed frenzy.
He wanted more. More blood to ease the pain.
He wanted death. If not his own, then he wanted the death of everything around him.
Everything would pay.
Life would pay for taking everything from him.
For taking her away...
The world would be his hell; he would make sure of it.
(Three days later)
They were still not far away from the village, not that it mattered much how much distance they put between themselves and their home when InuYasha could easily make his way back at any time, if he really wanted to. However, the purpose here was not to try and kill the beast, but simply to get him to focus on something other than their village. That would give the old priestess enough time to erect a barrier around it that would keep InuYasha out- for a time.
It could kill the old woman, but it was a risk they were all willing to take. Also, they couldn't give up on their friend- not yet. Not until they had exhausted all their options.
"Come on Kirara! Hurry, we have to get close enough for me to throw Hiraikotsu again."
Kirara simply roared in acknowledgement and increased her speed.
Gripping the giant boomerang tighter, Sango braced herself as Kirara made her decent. "Miroku! Shippou! Now!" Sango yelled.
Afraid as he was, Shippou managed to muster all the courage he could and used his Bunshin to multiply himself and distract the rabid dog demon. In just seconds, the young fox had turned into fifty, but as great as that trick was, they all knew that his fox magic would only serve as a temporary distraction.
Quickly, Miroku seized the opportunity and attacked as well. "Please let this work," he prayed to any deity that would listen. Pulling out four spell scrolls, he tossed them in the dog demon's direction, momentarily immobilizing him. "I'm sorry InuYasha..." he whispered to his friend, brother even, if really thought about it, now-turned enemy, before shouting, "Now Sango!"
"D-do you think he'll be okay?" a scared Shippou asked. He had lost a family again the day they defeated Naraku. He had lost both a mother and a father again. It hurt, it hurt much more than he cared to admit.
"He'll be fine Shippou," Sango replied with a small, sad smile. "I only hit him with enough force to knock him unconscious. He won't be waking up anytime soon, but he'll be out for a while."
The young fox demon was skeptical and he sadly looked at the unconscious dog demon.
"That should hold him for some time," said Miroku as he placed the last spell scroll on InuYasha.
"You really think so?" asked Sango.
He looked thoughtful for a moment, maybe unsure of himself even. Would the scrolls hold InuYasha for long? "I- don't know."
A low growl caught their attention and all three companions turned to look at the bound dog demon a few feet away.
"Stupid humans," InuYasha said in low menacing voice that sounded nothing like they had heard before. It was more like a growl than anything else. "You can't stop me." His blood-red eyes shimmered in the night light.
His aura began to flicker and an evil grin spread across his lips. "You. Will. All. Die!"
Completely surprised, their eyes went wide in astonishment.
That was the only thought they could form at the moment. Miroku staggered backwards, while Shippou clung to Sango for all he was worth. The spell scrolls should have immobilized him for an at least an hour. Yet...he was moving, getting up slowly.
He lunged at them, his claws ready to rip their throats out. Kirara jumped in between them blocking InuYasha from them. She roared as his claws dug deep into her shoulder, but didn't stop her attack on the dog demon.
Thinking quickly, Miroku pulled out three spell scrolls and tossed them in InuYasha's direction. This time, he was frozen in place for a few seconds before the scrolls began to smoke against his skin. "Your tricks won't work anymore, filthy human." He spat in disgust.
He grabbed the scrolls with his clawed hand and all three watched as he ripped them to pieces with his claws before tossing them aside.
"It can't be," a stunned Miroku muttered.
Noticing an opening, Sango threw Hiraikotsu again, giving them an opportunity for escape.
InuYasha jumped back as he tried to avert the blow of Sango's giant boomerang and allowing Kirara to gather the trio as she quickly took to the skies, where InuYasha couldn't harm them.
"H-he's too strong for us, Miroku," Sango said, visibly shaken by what had happened.
Shippou trembled in fear as he held onto Kirara for dear life. 'W-what's gonna h-happen now?' he thought.
Miroku just looked down at InuYasha. The dog demon simply looked up at them as they flew away to safety, his eyes cold and empty of any emotion, not even the rage and hate he had shown them before. It was a disturbing sight.
"We need to go back to the village and warn Kaede. I'm pretty sure he's going back there. We'll need to be prepared. We need to help her keep the barrier in place."
"But it's InuYasha!" Shippou yelled suddenly. He couldn't hold back the tears anymore. "He wouldn't- he couldn't- he..."
"He is not the InuYasha we knew anymore," Miroku said softly. "The InuYasha we knew died in that battlefield."
"But- but... there must be away..." The young fox demon tried.
"Yeah Miroku, there must be away to change him back."
"I don't know Sango. I just don't know."
Wow... it has been a long time since I have updated this story. I'd like to apologize to you all for the lack in updates, but as always, life gets in the way. But I have not forgotten this story and I will continue with it. When I originally posted this chapter, I was really... really unhappy with it. I didn't like the way it had flowed, and I didn't like the way I had written the parts for Sesshomaru. So I went and changed a few things. Added a few things. Jazzed it up a bit.
I'm happy with the way the chapter turned out. Really happy. The next is already half-written, so hopefully it will be up and running soon.
Any suggestions, questions, flames, etc. are appreciated. Oh! And before I forget, thank you everyone who has reviewed up to this point. I truly appreciate it.
[Update: I have been reviewing this story and have enlisted the aid of SilverLunarStar to help beta this story. She’s been great! Also, as you can see, due to personal issues, I have not been able to update often and for that I am sorry.]
Broken Dreams and Demon Nightmares
Chapter 2: I Am Lost, So I Am Cruel
"Abandon hope, all ye who enter here."
-An inscription at the entrance to hell as described by Dante in `The Divine Comedy'
InuYasha looked up just as his targets took the skies running away from him like cowards. Ruby orbs followed their path until they disappeared between the clouds. His stare was cold, vacant, and void of any emotion. He almost looked like a statue and it seemed as if his entire being was filled with nothing but a black hole of emptiness that had swallowed him whole, slowly and silently from the inside out.
However, if you stared long enough... if looked real carefully, past the vacant, cold expression that those blood-red eyes desperately tried to convey, you could almost see the smallest flicker of pain there. It was settled deep within a soul that was slowly dying...withering away to nothing every second of every day. If you really looked, you'd see a lost soul hell bent on the destruction of everything around him; that, and a desperate need to end the pain that was felt every damned waking day and god-damned sleeping hour.
Closing his eyes and lifting his nose, he began to sniff. The air smelled crisp and clean with the tiniest bit of the God Tree's cherry blossoms mixed with it. He basked in the scent for a moment, content to simply stand there, until another scent reached his nose. This one was weeks old, and it was also laced with death. Even so, he found the fragrance alluring, soft, even soothing...
Summer's rain, jasmine, honey, and vanilla... Kagome...
The winds picked up and shifted directions, carrying the soothing sent away just as quickly as it had appeared. He growled low, his mind filling up once more with an uncontained rage that made him blind to anything but his own twisted thoughts of hate and murder once again. As abruptly as the growling had stated, it stopped and InuYasha smirked. His eyes snapped open as the smell of the human village filled his senses.
Time to get back to the hunt.
A thick fog spread through the forest and a ghostly flash of red and silver could be seen through the trees as a phantom laughter echoed ominously... It sounded cynical, sinister, and purely evil.
Somewhere to the west, another figure watched vigilantly as a child appeared to be sleeping peacefully on a majestic bed of satin and lace. Deep amber colored eyes watched impassively as it committed to memory every soft line, every faint scar, and every minuscule blemish that made the young girl who she was.
His face was a visage of calculated calm and indifference, but the mask he wore betrayed the tumult of emotions he felt deep inside. Centuries of wearing such an apathetic façade would not allow him to display anything but that flawless stoic mask he had so masterfully perfected.
His eyes, however, told a different story.
Those golden pools showed an undisguised affection and concern for the young girl, who was on the cusp of becoming a woman now. Those eyes hid nothing from the little girl that had followed him to the ends of the earth- to hell and back again without a second thought. Those golden eyes showed an emotion that could not be named, an emotion that ran so deep that not even the great dog demon lord could begin to comprehend.
Or even wanted to.
Emotions were a weakness, or so he kept telling himself, but he could not help the small and steady flow that had seeped through the cracks of his indomitable will. She had created those cracks...with her soft smile and cheerfulness. With every laugh and her unwavering faith in everything that was him. Never doubting and always believing in him.
She knew him well. Perhaps better than he knew himself, if he dared to admit it.
It had been a week since the defeat of Naraku, a week since this child had been caught in the heat and cross fire of the final battle and almost lost her life for the third time.
'You humans are such fragile creatures,' he mused, remembering that ill-fated day.
(One week earlier)
"Lord Sesshomaru! Lord Sesshomaru!" Rin cried as she was dragged deeper and deeper into Naraku's body. "Help me, Lord Sesshomaru!"
The demon lord soared through the air faster than the wind itself as he tried to reach Naraku's body and retrieve his ward. Sesshomaru's eyes flashed dangerously red for a fraction of a second, filling his line of vision with a blinding rage of crimson, but he managed to keep his beast at bay and focus on the task at hand: retrieving Rin from the clutches of Naraku.
He was livid and tired of playing games with the half-breed. He was going to destroy Naraku once and for all for everything he had done.
Naraku's laughter and Rin's scream echoed through the forest; within seconds, the demon lord caught up with the evil half-demon and his young ward.
"You have become weak. The great lord Sesshomaru reduced to a pathetic demon... it does not become you Sesshomaru, following a little girl such as this little filthy thing like a lost dog to its master. This human has made you weak." Naraku sneered. "But I can remedy that... watch as I destroy that weakness for you..." he said with a smirk as his tentacles squeezed the life out of Rin, while massive amounts of miasma dispersed around her, filling up her lungs with its deathly poison.
In less than seconds, Sesshomaru had cut through Naraku's tentacles with his Bakusaiga and caught Rin as she fell from Naraku's clutches.
Even as part of his body disintegrated, Naraku laughed. The damage had already been done as Rin's small body lay almost lifeless in the arms of Sesshomaru.
He breathed in deep and exhaled slowly, as he tried to rid himself of the images of Rin's pale face on that day as he cradled her limp body. He inwardly sighed and moved closer to the pale girl on the large plush bed. She looked as if though she was sleeping peacefully, but in truth, she had been fully unconscious for a little more than a week now.
Many of the injuries she had sustained were already healing, albeit, slow, but healing nonetheless. However, the poisonous miasma gasses she had inhaled had almost killed her. For days after her encounter with Naraku, she lay in a state of pure agony, every breath causing her some of the most excruciating of pains. Even while unconscious, her lovely face showed nothing but pain. Sometimes she cried, sometimes her breathing was so shallow that even the demon lord had to concentrate just to be able to hear it.
He had called for the best healers in the Western Lands and beyond, demon and human alike (to the surprise of many in his court), hoping that they would be able to aid his young charge...and even though they were able to heal most of her physical injuries, they had been most unsuccessful in fully healing her internal injuries.
And now...now, she lay there, in eternal sleep and no one seemed to know how to help her, or how to bring her out of that infernal rest.
He had almost lost her once... He would not allow her to die again. The thought alone made the demon lord want to eviscerate everyone out of frustration.
Deciding that perhaps the strange priestess in the village his brother protected could help more than the incompetent healers in his lands, he sent Jaken out to find his brother's 'pack' and request their presence in the Western Lands immediately.
Several days had already passed without word and the demon lord was beginning to get restless. Perhaps he should have made the trip himself, but his possessive need to protect Rin and not leave her side had won out, so he had sent his loyal servant instead.
Using the pads of his fingers, and being mindful of his deadly claws, he lightly touched the girl's cheek. His intense gaze seemed to be almost commanding the girl to wake from her deep slumber as he moved a stray hair that had fallen on her face and placed it behind her ear before he could stop himself. 'Why won't you wake, Rin?'
His eyes unfocused for a few seconds, and then he had to blink a few times just to clear his vision. For the first time in his long, long existence, Sesshomaru found himself with an emotion that he had never, ever felt before. He felt an overwhelming wave of fear...fear laced with something else that he couldn't quite name, at the thought of losing something that, up to this point, he had furiously denied its true importance. He had never bothered with feelings before.
He was a demon after all. He was Sesshomaru, lord of the Western Lands, son of one of the greatest Dog Demons in all of history. Feelings were for the weak and Sesshomaru was anything but weak.
Other demons were weak.
Humans were weak...
They were all beneath him. They were a nuisance, insects meant to be stepped on...but, if he was honest with himself, these were merely half truths, weren't they?
Then, there was... Rin...
Was she not human as well? A small girl whose own weak disposition had landed her in her current state?
No... If he was being honest with himself, he had never seen her as such. She was just... Rin.
He inwardly sighed once again.
The feeling, this unadulterated thing that squeezed his heart and made his chest tighten like a fist...this clear knowledge of something so catastrophically unmistakable, didn't make him angry. No. This singular emotion was so overwhelmingly suffocating that it shadowed everything else he could have ever felt.
The steel walls around his heart and soul cracked just a bit more than before and they opened a small, but clear path straight to into the deepest part of his ice-like heart.
It was all because of her...and he didn't mind.
'Hn. Just like father...'
A light knock on the door interrupted his next set of thoughts.
He didn't move from his place nor did he acknowledge the sudden intruder when he tentatively opened the door. He had smelled him and had felt his presence well before he had turned the corner down the hall.
"Uh- Lord Sessho-" the imp began.
"Jaken," was all the regal demon said in acknowledgement before the small demon could even finish his sentence.
"My Lord," the intruder called softly. "I...I'm sorry to intrude, my Lord. I bring news f-from InuYasha's forest."
His brother. Half-brother. His father's greatest mistake in life. Or was it? He had believed that once, but now...
Maybe he had misjudged.
During the battle against Naraku, he could not deny his surprise when his half-brother had transformed, for InuYasha had not been the same mindless beast he had seen before. No, he had turned into something else entirely. The transformation had been a sight to behold, and for a moment, he had almost confused InuYasha with his own father. Their resemblance was uncanny...from his scent, to the stripes on his face, right down to his mokomoko-sama.
Since then, there had been an unspoken understanding between servant and master in regards to InuYasha. Soon after the fall of Naraku, while on their way to the Western Lands with their precious cargo, Sesshomaru had somewhat acknowledged InuYasha as more than just a half-breed nuisance, a symbol of his father's greatest mistake. InuYasha was his brother and the fact that the thought didn't make him as angry and repulsed as before made the demon lord frown.
Jaken had made a comment in regards to the half-demon's transformation and Sesshomaru had simply replied that InuYasha had been 'A formidable adversary' and could become 'A strong ally, fighter,' and, much to Jaken's dismay, 'An honorable being worthy of his father's fang, Tetsusaiga.' He could no longer see him as the bastard half-breed that had tainted his father's name.
The whole trip home, the demon lord had struggled to understand his own words and that was another troubling thought. 'Just how much have you changed me...Rin?'
Sesshomaru briefly turned his head to the side to spare a glance at his long time servant, his features schooled to appear uninterested in what the little toad had to say.
"It seems that the half-demon- your brother... he has gone mad, my Lord. I saw it with my own eyes. He was attacking his own pack, his eyes were red and he bore markings on his face. But it wasn't like before, my lord!" Jaken said nervously.
"And the girl? The young priestess that traveled with him?"
The small demon fidgeted in place, wondering how his lord would take the news... Not that his lord would openly show that he cared one way or another, but his master had hoped that the young priestess could come and help Rin.
"Dead, my Lord. It seems she died shortly after the battle."
Sesshomaru's eyebrows raised just a fraction at the news. "Hn."
Jaken was quiet for a moment as he wondered what his lord was thinking. As much the little imp hated to admit, Rin had become more important to him and his lord over the years, more important than anyone else in their lives. He missed her smile...and her laugh; he missed her silly human games and silly made up songs. He, too, longed to hear her cheerful voice and he wondered if she would ever wake up from her sleep.
He was startled and almost fell backwards when Sesshomaru rose from his place, sparing one last glance for the girl.
Sesshomaru was deep in thought. He knew that his brother's odd pack could help Rin somehow...he had watched them over the years and saw how they had been able to heal even the worst of injuries. Even if that odd human woman was dead, there was still the old priestess.
He also wanted to know what had happened to InuYasha. What had made him lose his mind and made him revert to a mindless beast instead of the full demon he had seen in battle. He had an idea that the reason for his brother's state had to do with the death of the young priestess his brother traveled with, but he had to find out what had exactly happened for himself.
It would be a shame to lose such a strong ally, or so the demon Lord tried to tell himself. In truth, deep down he knew that those were just excuses he tried to make himself believe. The reality was that times were different now; he was a different demon than he had been all those years ago, and months before, even. After all, InuYasha was his younger brother, and he would not forsake him any longer. The same blood ran through their veins, their father's blood.
For too long he had ignored the guilt that had somehow seeped into the deepest darkest corner of his heart. Another thing that Rin was to blame for as well. She had made him soft. He almost scoffed at the thought. But, it was useless to lie to himself. It was time for him to- perhaps right the wrongs he had bestowed upon his younger brother.
In addition, it would help him find away to help Rin in the process, for he knew that his brother and his pack would be able to help her in some way.
"Yes, my lord?" the small demon replied.
"I will investigate the matter of InuYasha personally. Guard Rin with your life." The underlying threat of 'Or else', behind the statement was not lost to the small demon, for he knew if anything were to happen to Rin while his lord was gone would mean his own life.
Without a backwards glance, Sesshomaru left the room, leaving Jaken in charge of his ward.
I am so very sorry for not updating for like... ever. I have been battling cancer for a few years now and well, it's hard to find the motivation or strenght to update. But, I think I can do this... Thank you for those who have been patient enough to keep with the story. Thank you for all your reviews as well. XOXO.
This chapter was inspired by Maiden of the Moon's "Blue Eyes" one shot. As soon as I read it, I had to email her and asked if I could use it in my own story. She graciously agreed and I couldn't be more grateful. I incorporated a few direct pieces from her story... let's see if you can spot them, yeah?
I had always toyed with the idea of InuYasha dreaming or 'knowing' of Kagome before he actually met her, while pinned to the God Tree. It wasn't until I read Maiden of the Moon's one shot that I was actually able to visualize my own floating thoughts. I had wanted to use this one shot as the basis for a different story, but after thinking about it some more, I decided that it would fit this story better.
Also, throughout the story there are many time jumps that are bound to confuse many people, but these are vital to the story. So, please, just read them carefully and ask me questions if you are confused about anything. There will be more throughout the story, but just not as many as in the first few chapters.
Also, I would like to apologize for the lack of updates and such. I've been quite ill for some time and it's been hard to do much of anything much less write. To those who have stuck around, many... many thanks!
I hope you really enjoy this chapter.
Broken Dreams and Demon Nightmares
Chapter 3: Past, Present and Future
"Where does one go from a world of insanity? Somewhere on the other side of despair."
- T.S Elliot
(In the beginning... some fifty years ago...)
As the young half-demon waited for his beloved, an arrow flew past him, almost hitting its mark with deathly accuracy. A look of confusion quickly morphed into astonishment, then anger and lastly, betrayal. Hiding between the shadows of the tall forest trees, a young priestess held her bow in front of her aiming for the half-demon's heart, ready to shoot again and take down her enemy. Her face held no emotion other than that of hate and disgust as she faced off against him.
Heartbroken, the young half-demon ran...he ran as fast as his body could take him. His eyes almost seeing red with only one goal in mind.
Slowly, the scene dissipated, leaving only darkness in its wake...and then, after what seemed like an eternity later, the same infinite darkness morphed once more into yet another memory, just as it always did.
The same half-demon ran though the forest with the jewel of four souls in hand, a wicked smile spreading across his lips as he thought about how easy it had been to steal the jewel. He wanted the power the jewel would provide once he made his wish, a power that would finally allow him to live the life he had always wanted to live, that of a true demon... No longer would he be a filthy half-breed. No longer would he have to suffer for being only half of a whole... He would be feared and respected by everyone. His heart would feel nothing- nothing at all, just like it had before he met her. The priestess who had betrayed him.
He was a fool. Such a fool.
'I believed her every word... I trusted her. And... She...'
Suddenly, from the corner of his eyes he saw her again... Kikyou. He could smell her blood in the air and for a moment he felt a twinge of concern for her, but he buried that feeling deep inside before it had a chance to become more than just a fleeting thing. Too angry to care about her injuries he turned to her, ready to face her as he would any other enemy just as she aimed her bow and arrow at him again. 'She is still beautiful,' he thought, but as soon as that repulsive, wayward thought crossed his mind, he crushed it with his anger.
"InuYasha!" the young priestess called out from across the field, her weapon ready to be fired once more. He felt a sense of déjà vu, for this had been almost the exact same scene he had been in before.
Her voice held so much unadulterated anger that it almost made him pause before he leaped into the air in order to dodge her attack. He vaguely wondered how things could have come to this... What had he done wrong? He had believed her...he had trusted her... Oh, how he wished for this to be some horrible nightmare.
He had promised her, didn't he? He wanted to be with her, even if it was as a human. His honor- his word was all he had to offer... How could she use him in this way? But did he really have to ask himself why? He knew the reason... A lowly half-breed like him wasn't worthy of anyone or anything. If he was honest with himself, it was his own traitorous heart who had betrayed him in the end. From the beginning, he had been weak. His filthy human heart had been weak and now- now he would have to end it here. He would have to...
But could he?
'Fuck! Fucking, weak human heart!'
Her face looked so angry...and...and her brown eyes... They were so- sad.
She was crying.
He was not prepared for the stab of pain that shot straight to his own wounded heart. He didn't want to see her cry. So, in a moment of weakness, he let his guard down. He wanted to protect her. Even now, after everything...he wanted to protect her. He couldn't help himself from calling out her name ever so softly; the hateful scowl and angry eyes that marred his features disappeared from his handsome face, leaving only a hurt and sad expression in its wake. "Kikyou..."
The priestess faltered, slightly confused by the look in his eyes, before steeling her resolve once more. He had been the one who betrayed her and now he had stolen the jewel, she could not let him get away. She would not allow for his crimes to go unpunished. He had toyed with her, used her...and was trying to lure her into his trap again. She would not allow herself to fall for his tricks again. This was his judgment day and she would be his jury, judge and executioner.
Hate. Mistrust. Betrayal. Revenge...
She would not allow him the commodity of a quick death...no- she would do far worse than that. And after she was through, she would follow him in death- for somewhere deep down, she cared for him still and could not live with herself after what she was about to do. His fate was sealed. She would bind him to this world forever- never again to be reborn. His soul would be trapped for eternity within the depths of his own private hell where he would always stay and always suffer... And when his mind and soul could suffer no more, the true gates of hell will open to take his life and soul away in order to wipe them out of existence forever; that would be his punishment. None would be able to save him, for this curse could only be lifted by her own hand.
Without further delays, she fired one sacred arrow, infusing all her power, anger, and hate into it. It traveled faster than the eye could see and, within seconds, the young half-demon found himself pinned against the God Tree, the cursed arrow having pierced straight through his broken heart.
He didn't flinch. He didn't even feel the pain. Her betrayal had hurt much more than any physical wound ever could.
So broken. And so sad.
'Why- did you... betray me...?' Those were his last thoughts before darkness engulfed him.
For thirty five years, horrifying nightmares plagued InuYasha's mind... The pain magnified by a thousand times every hour of every minute of every second until eternity; that was his punishment. He couldn't close his eyes...for there was no rest for the wicked. He was trapped...trapped in eternal death. His soul shattering little by little...and soon nothing would be left.
Living in a world of broken dreams and demon nightmares.
And then, one day...one day the nightmares changed.
They always started off the same, with his own death, but then, on one particular day, he began to feel a soft beat...so warm, so soothing and inviting as it spread throughout his entire being. It was faint at first, nothing more than a whisper of a kiss in the darkness that surrounded him. Slowly, the warmth began to grow and as the years passed the warmth managed to penetrate through all the barriers that death and his curse had created around him, until it reached him completely.
The nightmares soon morphed into lovely dreams of ebony haired angels, with eyes so blue and clear that he could have sworn he saw heaven in them.
However, he couldn't help but notice how much this lovely angel resembled her. Baffled, he wondered... 'Since when have your eyes been so blue?' As soon as the thought crossed his mind, he realized that this angel and her were not the same person, for the angel was all smiles and sunshine in a world full of death.
Many years went by and for InuYasha; it felt like a lifetime passed before his very eyes. He saw what was, what is, and what could be...all so inviting, and yet- still so out of reach.
Thump thump. Thump thump. Thump thump.
The warm beat was much stronger now... so strong in fact, that he could almost hear its rhythmic song pulsing loudly through his ears.
A sudden panic rose in his chest and he began to feel the one thing he had not felt for some fifty years...his own heart beat.
Suddenly the hell around him began to fall part, as a soft light seeped through the sea of darkness. There was a roaring sound that broke through the nothingness and he was able to make out a scream...
"...help me! Somebody help!!"
The voice sounded strangely familiar and, for a few precious seconds, he was afraid. Of what, he was unsure, but he knew that if he didn't do something fast, something horrible would happen to the voice...
Willing his mind and body to wake from its eternal slumber, his world exploded into a sea of lights and sounds and smells, making him almost dizzy and nauseous.
'Where... am I?'
Through the haze of his mind, he tried to figure out what was going on... 'The God Tree...? Why can't I move? What am I- ?'
And just like a clear and sunny day, he could remember everything that he had seen in the last fifty years of his death-like-sleep. Every nightmare, every dream, every feeling...engraved into his very soul and in his heart. Though, just like any dream, the fleeting memory only lasted mere seconds before disappearing into the deepest and darkest corner of his mind and soul.
Without warning, the life he lived before his curse came rushing back like the roaring rapids of an overgrown river.
Kikyou. Betrayal. Jewel. Arrow. Sealed.
He snarled with an uncontained rage as a pungent odor hit his nose, making him forget about all his dreams and everything that he had seen inside them. "That smell..." He spat, narrowing his eyes. "The smell of the one who killed me... is coming closer!"
Yet he couldn't help but wonder behind his mask of fury as his cold, unforgiving eyes stared into the forest, 'Is it really her scent? If it is- then why is it so sweet...?'
And... Within moments... He found himself staring into deep azure eyes of an unfamiliar girl who called herself, 'Ka. Go. Me.' Her name sparked one small memory from his forgotten dreams, causing it to seep back into his consciousness.
'This woman is not Kikyou.'
'Her eyes are too blue.'
(Back to the present...)
"He's coming! Kaede! He's on his way here!" Shippou called out as he ran towards the old priestess, the look of fear etched in his bewildered eyes. "We couldn't stop him. He- he was so angry and- and he didn't even remember us!"
The old woman knew exactly who the young fox demon was speaking of. After all, she had felt its familiar, yet malevolent, aura getting closer and closer sending chills down her old bones.
From the moment she felt the ominous presence in the forest, she began to alert the villagers, making sure they all stayed out of harm's way. There was no time to evacuate everyone from the village safely so she instructed all of them to stay indoors until the danger had passed.
"Kaede!" a tired looking monk and demon exterminator exclaimed in unison.
"InuYasha- he..." Miroku began to explain but was cut off by the old priestess as she met them half way.
"Quickly monk! We must erect a barrier. I have placed sacred scrolls all around the village to anchor the barrier and make it more powerful, but it will take both of our spiritual strengths to activate it and maintain it. Come now, we must make haste!"
Within moments and with much difficulty, Kaede and Miroku were able to erect a barrier which engulfed the entire village. In the meantime, Sango and Kirara began to patrol the barrier's border in order to ensure that it was holding strong and true. Once they were sure that the barrier would hold, they made their way back to the group in order to wait for the inevitable encounter with their old friend, now turned foe.
"Do you think the barrier will hold, Sango?" a scared looking Shippou asked from his small hiding place.
Eyes trained to the forest and a frown on her face, a hesitant Sango simply replied with an uncharacteristic grunt.
"You saw what he did to Miroku's spell scrolls... They didn't work on him at all... What if- what if he just walks in here like it's nothing? What are we gonna do then? What-"
At the panicked sound of his voice, Sango did turn, with an indescribable look on her face. "If that is the case, then there's not much else we can do other than fight, Shippou."
"But this is InuYasha! He's our-"
"I know Shippou!" She yelled cutting the scared fox demon off.
Frowning once more, she turned her attention back to the forest.
He was here.
'I know...' She repeated to herself.
Moments later, the forest grew quiet. The only sounds made were the soft chanting murmurs from the monk and priestess.
However, the devil could hear even the tiniest intake of breath.
Just beyond the darkness, a pair of glowing red eyes surveyed its target. An elongated fang peaked out from soft, but pale looking lips as the corners curled up in a menacing looking smirk.
"Pathetic..." His voice rumbled, the sound a mixture between a laugh and a growl.
Without waiting a moment longer, he went in for the kill. Fangs bared, claws poised to strike as he made his move, but he was met with an invisible resistance which, upon impact, threw him back into the dark forest with a force he hadn't been expecting.
Puzzled, he striked again, and again...and again until he was howling with rage. The blood was so close, he could almost taste it. He could feel every single living thing just by the fast thumping of their weak, mortal hearts.
Pausing mid-rage, he smirked. If these humans thought he would give up that easily, then they were in for a surprise.
With renewed vigor he slashed at the barrier. With his mate's power coursing through him, he could feel where the barrier was anchored and he began to attack there.
Sensing the weakening barrier, Miroku and Kaede renewed their chanting with much more fervor and prayed to the gods for a small miracle, doubtful that they could keep the barrier up for much longer.
On this day God was merciful...
Mid-swipe, the demon stopped and shook his head, trying to clear the fog that threatened to overcome his senses.
Bewildered, he looked around trying to find the source of the voice he knew so well...see her face, feel her touch, but there was nothing.
The voice kept calling out to him, making his head hurt. It was like a pounding that would not cease. It clouded everything else, leaving no room for anything else.
"No! You're not here! You're gone! You're not here!" he shouted holding his head in his hands and dropping to his knees. "You're-you're not real! Not real..."
'Please InuYasha...come back to me...come back...'
"Not real...you're not real...you're not real...not real...not real!!!! No! No. No. No. No. NO!" he cried out into the night, tears falling from his crimson eyes. His claws dug deep gashes into his scalp and his face as he tried desperately to block out the pain.
Leaping blindly in the direction of the forest, he tried to out run the voices in his head, leaving his prey behind with bewildered looks on their faces.
(Five hundred years in the future...)
From the kitchen window, just as Mrs. Higurashi was finishing the last of the dishes she began to notice a soft blue light swirling around the direction of the shed which housed the old well. In time, the light became brighter and brighter until the entire shed was illuminated in an eerie whitish-bluish light. Running out of the house and towards the well house, Mrs. Higurashi tried to swallow the lump that had somehow formed in her throat. She couldn't tell why or how, but she had this growing feeling inside that something had gone terribly wrong.
Call it a mother's intuition.
Slowing down as she got closer to the well, she tried to steady her nerves, not knowing what she would find if she looked down below.
Swallowing hard, she steadied her hands on the ledge and steeled herself for the worst. Slowly, ever so slowly, she made herself look down into the well's empty depths. There...just beyond the darkness she saw her...her precious baby girl. Her old school uniform was torn to shreds and she was covered in mud.
She hurried down the ladder with her heart threaten to burst from her chest. Seconds felt like hours and she felt as if though she couldn't get down there fast enough. 'Please God, please...not my baby girl. Please...not her,' she repeated over and over again. Once she reached the bottom, she could do nothing more than just stare at her daughter's form for what seemed like the longest time. Tentatively, with trembling hands, she reached out to touch her.
'Please. Please. Please. Please...'
Finally her fingertips grazed her soft cheeks.
'She's still warm!' Moving quickly, she checked her pulse and it was then that the realization hit her like a ton of bricks making her fall to her knees. Her daughter was alive.
Small rivers of tears fell from her eyes, tears she didn't know she had been holding in. Pulling her daughter in a soft, but tight, embrace she cried even harder still.
Kagome was home. She was alive. She was home.
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InuYasha © Rumiko Takahashi.
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