InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Transformations ❯ Epiphanies ( Chapter 43 )

[ Y - Young Adult: Not suitable for readers under 16 ]

~*~ Inuyasha & Kagome ~*~

"But lately I've begun to forget that detail. Is there a cure for my amnesia?"

The way he said that made her want to blush, laugh, and pounce on him in one. Instead she opted for wrapping her arms around his neck and smile, teasingly, at him. "I can think of something that might help."

He chuckled again and replaced his mouth on hers. Oh, tonight was going to be a good night.

~*~ Kagura ~*~

Her goal, of course, being to make keeping her more trouble than she's worth. So far it seemed he knew of this, and that is why he kept trying to beat some sense into her. He was as stubborn as she was on this point.

And she was loving every second of it.

Forty Three

~*~ Koga ~*~

Both angered and jealous, he watched as Kagome slipped away into the darkness with Inuyasha. He knew they were mates since he woke to find Inuyasha poking him, looking for injuries after that civil war. The smell was obvious - and if it hadn't been, Inuyasha's affections would have been. It hurt.

He couldn't measure how much he loved Kagome, or how much he felt she belonged with him. But it was too late now; he hadn't made a move for her yet, and Inuyasha had jumped in. Perhaps it just wasn't meant to be, but that didn't ease his pain.

He turned and left, returning to his cave as quickly as he'd come to check on Kagome and the pups.

He smiled. Those pups acted as though Kagome was their birth mother, and she acted like she was. Shippo seemed happy enough with them that he didn't mind sharing his surrogate mother; in fact, he seemed to like the idea of having siblings much more than he disliked having to share Kagome with the eight orphans.

But Inuyasha didn't act like much of a father. Sure, he watched the pups, doing head-counts and solving their feuds, but that didn't mean he was being fatherly. But he should be; as the Master of the pack - despite its depleted numbers - he should take the role of father for every member naturally. But then, Inuyasha was half human, had a bad life, and more or less didn't have a father of his own. It was natural for the hanyou to not know what to do.

Letting out a sigh, Koga walked through the waterfall and took his place at the head of the pack. He laid down and shut his eyes, wishing for sleep to rid him of thinking. Nearby, Ashira was asleep with a mother wolf and her cubs. Or she looked asleep. After a few restless minutes Koga sat up, rubbing his eyes. He wasn't going to get sleep anytime soon.

"You went back again, didn't you?"

He laughed. "Well, it's true that love makes you do strange things."

"I don't think you're in love with her," Ashira commented. She pet the runt of the litter, making it whine and curl up.

"Then what would you call it?" he asked, unoffended as always at Ashira's comments. She had a spark in her he'd only seen in Kagome before.

"Obsession," she offered. "Lust. Purely animal instincts. Maybe all three."

Koga sighed sharply and fell back. Ashira had a piercing gaze and uncommonly truthful words. When she wasn't arguing, that is. Only this time, he wished she were wrong. It was wolf instincts, after all, that made him believe Kagome was a perfect mate. When he told her he loved her, it'd been the truth. But after all this time, he understood his feelings for her clearly. What he thought was love growing was his own need for a mate.

Ashira had purposely dodged that detail. She always did. She was the only one of his pack that wasn't trying to get him a mate.

"Maybe now that she's mated, you can focus on finding someone really worth your affections." He knew what she meant. She was trying, above all else, to make him feel better. Her words meant no disrespect - she'd grown a great amount of respect for the hanyou miko Mistress. Nonetheless, he retorted sharply.

"I take back everything nice I've said about you."

She laughed. "But really, think about it," she told him, moving to sit beside him. "You've been the leader of this pack for quite some time, and in that time, you could've had dozens of mates and dozens of pups. And you've wasted most of it chasing Kagome instead of sniffing out the perfect woman for you."

"I thought she was the perfect woman for me," he argued, opening his eyes. "And you have no place to be talking about this."

"So?" she asked, harshly. Okay, so maybe her spark was more brazen than Kagome's. "It's my place to say what has to be heard, and you need to hear this."

"I disagree," he replied, sitting up. "I don't think that -"

"Kagome wasn't right for you," she interrupted, hardly giving him time to speak. "Maybe at one time she was, but not anymore. Her spirit is much too strong for you to handle. And Inuyasha always has been stronger than you - don't try to deny it," she added when he tried to argue. "Just because you have shards doesn't mean that you're stronger. He's the only one with enough strength to control her when needed, and she is the same with him. They may be centuries apart, but they were made for each other."

He did a double-take. "How do you know about that?" he asked sharply, forcing his voice not to snap, not to wake the others.

Ashira bit her lip. Obviously, she knew she wasn't supposed to know, but as well she couldn't tell when or where she found out. "It doesn't matter. Now, listen," she added, grasping his hands, "there's a gorgeous young woman out there, demon or human, just waiting for you. If you're not going to go out and find her, then somebody else is going to - and that will doom her to having a mate she doesn't love."

"You're one to talk," he snapped.

"Yes, I am," she agreed. "Why do you think I've been turning down so many men? I, myself, am waiting for a man much like you - absorbed in another woman and oblivious to my presence on the planet. But this woman who's waiting for you, she just may have already idolized another, trying vainly to get a mate on her own - one of her choosing, because she is tired of waiting." She leaned back finally, releasing his hands. "Think on it a night." With that said she returned to the mother and cubs and curled up.

He stared at her for a few minutes, not seeing her at all, just thinking about everything she'd said. All this time he was so sure that Kagome was the only one meant for him, but he'd been making points on the wrong reasons. Loyalty, spiritual powers, age - in fact, that was all he could think for why he'd chosen her. Truthfully she was quite beautiful for a human - no, hanyou - but that had been like a plus for him. When it came to strong pups, beauty didn't matter all that much. He'd been thinking about pups with her powers, how many they could have, and how many shards - perhaps the entire jewel - that could be used to protect his pack.

Maybe not wrong reasons, he told himself, but they shouldn't be top priority.

"Think on it a night."

The words returned to him, encouraging him to go to sleep and see what could be sorted out in the morning. And, yawning, he did so.

And he could have sworn he heard Ashira laugh at him.

~*~ Kikyo ~*~

Groaning and rubbing her throbbing head, she sat up. For a suspended moment in time she couldn't remember why she on the ground, unconscious. Flashes came back, making no sense, until they fell into order. Her eyes twitched as they narrowed.

Kagome. . .

She'd come here, to the East Lands, where Kikyo had gone to in hopes of being left alone until she grew tired of living. She'd found surprises along the way - stronger demons, a Gold Pack, fierce villagers who lacked trust and the most frightening nights she'd ever come by. And then Kagome showed up.

With Sesshomaru, nonetheless. At first Kikyo had to glance twice to make sure her eyes were seeing Sesshomaru and not Inuyasha, but despite the similarities in the brothers' physical qualities, the two didn't even wear the same colors. Other than their hair and eyes, the only thing that both brothers had was a sword of their father's fangs.

She didn't even recognize Kagome at first. Sharing a soul, she'd felt the change in Kagome, but had no idea what she looked like. She knew before Kagome did what was happening in her body, but she'd left without a glance at her new features.

Now Kikyo stood, angry. How had Kagome caught her? Her arrows moved faster than anything could escape, even Sesshomaru or shard-enchanted demons. But the future girl had caught her by the neck and snapped a nerve, and Kikyo had unwillingly fallen into darkness. But though Kagome had said "This time I did you a favor; next time I won't be so generous," she couldn't feel Kagome's presence anywhere nearby. In fact, it felt nearly halfway across the country.

She won't catch me again, Kikyo thought, making it into something of a vow. Next time she will be the one unconscious at the feet of the victor. Straightening her back, resolve and strength, she began walking back to the area she'd claimed as her own. As she walked her Spirit Gatherers followed, holding new souls for her. They circled her like loyal cats, and for a moment she stopped and let them.

All this time all she wanted was comfort. Comfort like she'd felt when she was alive, with Inuyasha sitting by her. They'd done that a lot, just sitting and enjoying each other's company. Despite the hatred and tainted love she felt for him, she missed him. She missed the only time when she found herself in his arms, when she'd tripped while exiting a boat. She more fell into his embrace than he caught her, but they'd stayed like that for over an hour. She felt more at ease at that moment than she could ever remember.

And the stark, painful truth was that there was no longer any comfort to be had. Her skin was dead and cold, her hair rough, her body aching to stop once and for all. But because she was not flesh any blood - not anymore - nothing on her deteriorated. Everything held together, the dirt and ash of her old body, the mud and stone used to erect her new body, and the herbs used to keep it all held together.

She blinked, surprised by the tears that threatened to be spilt. Anger and pain overrode her emotions and mind, and she began walking again, hoping in vain to see her mother or Kaede or perhaps the loving arms of Inu -

Shut up! she ordered herself. Now is not the time to be thinking about what you could have had. Just rest. She tried to obey, but with every step she took, her pain grew, and soon she found herself choking back tears. Just what had she done out of grief and hatred? She'd ruined what was left of her life, lost most of her soul, and recently she lost Inuyasha.

Even now she could feel his bond to Kagome. And even now she could feel that he'd forgotten about her. She wished she could replace that girl as easily as she had replaced herself in the hanyou's heart, but she was dead now. She had to steal souls to keep herself 'alive'.

And Kagome was a hanyou now, half wolf, a miko and a Mistress to one of the largest packs of demons in the country. At least, it had been. Kagome was mated with Inuyasha, and was growing his pups deep in her womb.

No dead woman made of clay could compete with all that.

Stumbling, Kikyo cursed and looked around. Her mindless wandering had led her back to her clearing, and now that she was here, she wanted nothing more than to be elsewhere, anywhere other than here. Letting out a sob at her predicament, she collapsed, crying harshly into her hands.

She was alone, cold, weak, unloved and unwanted. Nothing had ever burned her so greatly. And what made things worse, it was entirely her own fault. From the beginning she hadn't trusted Inuyasha enough to believe that he could be good to her, and in the end it damned her.

And the instant she was given a second chance at life, she attacked Inuyasha, lost nearly all of her soul, and died while remaining functional. She was a walking corpse made of clay and ash, useless and damned.

At the moment, all she could do was cry.

----------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------

Some insight into Kikyo's warped mind. After a full year, she was beginning to understand everything she'd done, to herself as well as others. Wow.

A few thoughts from Koga - *who bows* - and a nice, long lecture by Ashira - *hisses and smirks* - in hopes of making sense of everything that happened in the past two weeks. Imagine, all this happened in two weeks. Wow.

A reviewer (I don't remember who or from which sight) told me that glass wasn't invented yet, at least not in Japan. So let's play the Pretend Game to make up for my ignorance.

Let's pretend that Naraku went sniffing around other countries in the fifty years of near-peace, getting a good whiff of the world. And let's say that he found some glass in England, perhaps, and brought it back after learning how to make it. And let's pretend that he loved it soooooo much that he married a shard of glass and had little baby demon-glass kids who looked like they were made of glass - which they were. And let's also pretend that they were so fragile that when he tried to scold them for just sitting there and not doing anything that he struck them and they shattered. And let's pretend that he understood basically why glass can't have babies and decided to cut out pieces of himself a few years later when he learned how to. And then let's pretend that he's getting weaker because of it, and that without the nearly-full jewel that he's weaker than ever and I can swat him like a fly if I wanted to. But I'll leave that to Kagome. She deserves it most after everything he did to her friends and such. Let's also pretend that I'm trying to be fair to Kikyo by giving her thoughts, not just actions.

And you all can pretend that this fic will continue to go on forever. Deal? *Shakes on it*

I've wasted enough time. I swear that this time I'll make a list of given weapons. I swear it! All I have to do it get some paper and a pencil and upload the fanfic review page and - *Falls asleep and snores*

. . . . . . .Zzzzzzz. . . . .