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A Phobia By Any Other Name Is Still Just A Phear by tenchi no mai

A Phobia By Any Other Name Is Still Just A Phear

Disclaimer: The characters of InuYasha are not mine, they are property of Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Yomiuri TV, Sunrise, and Viz Media.   Only the plot to this story is my own intellectual property.  I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

A Phobia By Any Other Name Is Still Just A Phear

 

It started innocently enough, with a textbook, a laughing God, a pink mist, and the dawn of a cool summer morning.  

When the tachi woke that morning there was a very light mist hovering about three feet off the ground.  No one really noticed it until they stood up and it drifted against the upper half of their bodies.   It was a very fine mist and looked almost pink in the early morning light. 

As Inuyasha jumped down from his chosen tree, he fell through the mist, and it clung to his clothes and hair. 

"Keh...  what the hell is this weird fog."  He was roughly brushing off his fire rat and running his claws through his hair.

"Don't tell me you are afraid of a little bit of fog Inuyasha!"  Kagome laughed as she picked up her psychology textbook from on top of her sleeping bag.  'I must have fallen asleep while I was studying for my test.'   She was taking summer courses this year to try and lessen the course load for the fall semester at college. 

"You know, Inuyasha, there is a word for the fear of fog."  Opening the book she quickly scanned the glossary until she found it.  "Here it is; homichlophobia, the fear of fog." 

"I ain't afraid of no stupid fog.  It just feels weird."  He was still trying to get the last of it out of his hair. 

"You haven't forgotten that we are supposed to meet up with Sesshoumaru and his entourage today, did you?  It's not too far, I don't think we'll have to hurry.  We should have time for breakfast before we break camp and leave."  Kagome was busy trying to start the fire for cooking their food.  As she burned her fingers when the kindling suddenly caught, the first thought she had was that she was glad she didn't have pyrophobia.  Although if I was afraid of fire, I wouldn't have to start the cooking fires and burn my fingers all the time.  I'll be glad when Sesshoumaru joins forces with us, maybe we can get Jaken to start the fires with his staff of two heads.

And that was the start of the entire series of unfortunate instances.

"I'll take Shippo and we'll get water and catch some fish for breakfast."  Inuyasha walked off into the trees with Shippo scurrying behind him carrying the water containers.

"Kagome, tell me again what this 'phobia' is you were talking about."  Miroku questioned, picking up the textbook. 

Kagome took the textbook back and put it in her backpack.  "Phobias are a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurances that it is not dangerous.  The word comes from the Greek word phobos, meaning fear."

"Then, why does Inuyasha still seek out Kikyo?"  Miroko was having some difficulty comprehending the subject of psychology. 

"Because that is not a phobia.  That is a paraphilia, or a deviant sexual desire.  His fascination with Kikyo would be termed necrophilia, or attraction to dead bodies."   Kagome was blushing just thinking about Inuyasha and Kikyo together.  "Here is one you'll never have Miroku; paraphobia, the fear of sexual perversion."  She snickered rather loudly.  "Or how about ithyphallophobia, the fear of seeing, thinking about or having an erect penis." 

"That, my dear Kagome, is not phunny."  Miroku huffed as he watched Kagome and Sango laugh hysterically.

Several loud splashes and screams later, a soaking wet inu hanyou and fox kit came trudging back into camp.  Inuyasha was carrying the water containers and Shippo had two armfuls of fish.  

"Keh... stupid kit fell into the river while he was filling the containers, now he says he is afraid of the water."  Inuyasha dropped the water containers beside the fire.  

"Well, Inuyasha no baka was catching fish, when a really big one smacked him in the face with its tail, and he made me carry them all back here."  Shippo gave the fish to Kagome and Sango, then shook the water out of his fur. 

"Let's see, that would be hydrophobia and icthyophobia.  There, you can add two more to your list Miroku."  Kagome laughed again as she helped Sango clean the fish and put them on the fire to cook, being careful not to burn her fingers.

"Although when you think about it, everybody has some type of phobia.  The humans of this era have daemonophobia, and I guess you could say the youkai have hagiophobia.  That would be the fear of holy powers." 

"You have a fear of pain.  Is there a word for that one?"  Shippo asked as he took over turning the fish to keep them from burning.  

"Well, yes, that would be algophobia.  A friend of mine back home has alektorophobia.  How anyone can be afraid of chickens is beyond me."  Kagome suddenly got a serious look on her face.  "I am afraid of spiders, so I guess I also have arachnophobia.  Although a lot of people are afraid of Naraku.  I wonder if there is a word for the fear of tentacles?"

~*~

A number of kilometers away in a dark, depressing castle, Naraku had woken up and was screaming for help.

"Kagura, get in here and help me get rid of this disgusting fog."  He was standing in his bed chamber with a blanket in his hands trying to fan the fog back out the window. 

Kagura came running in holding Kanna's mirror. 

"What the hell are you doing with that!  Why doesn't Kanna have her mirror?  Where is your fan?"  Naraku was waving the blanket around, somewhat like a bullfighters cape. 

"Kanna suddenly claimed she has kenophobia; a fear of voids or empty spaces.  How she knows this, I have no idea.  She was watching Inuyasha and his tachi and suddenly screamed and dropped the mirror."  Kagura tried to suck the fog into the mirror, but it clung to Naraku like a second skin. 

"Well, that explains Kanna's problem.  Where is your fan?  I need to get this fog out of here!"  He was desperately trying to brush the fog off his kimono. 

"I'm afraid to use it.  Kanna said it was anemophobia; a morbid fear of wind."  Kagura ran to find Kanna, who had her fan, before Naraku decided to become abusive.

~*~ 

"Kagome, aren't you afraid of your bicycle?  You took it home and haven't brought it back in a long time."  He had overheard the comments about Kikyo and wanted to get back at both Kagome and Miroku.  The monk would have his turn in a minute.

"No, Inuyasha, I don't have cyclophobia.  I just got tired of getting flat tires and bent rims.  It was too much trouble to use the bicycle here in the Feudal Era."  Kagome was beginning to regret bringing up the subject.

"Okay Inuyasha... what about you and your kathisophobia?  Hmm?  Or is it rupophobia?"  Kagome spit these out at him, knowing he didn't know the meaning of the words.  "Although you could say they are somewhat connected."

"I don't have either one of those things!"  Inuyasha screamed, looking around like something was going to attack him.

"Oh, you mean you are not afraid of sitting or dirt?"  Laughing at his sudden display of anxiety, Kagome sat down next to Sango.

"Keh... well monk, you're afraid of that void in your hand.  What's the name for that one Kagome?"  Inuyasha crossed his arms and stuck his hands in his haori sleeves.

"That would be kenophobia; fear of voids or empty spaces.  At least he doen't have porphyrophobia.  That's the fear of the color purple,  otherwise he wouldn't be able to wear his kesu."

Kagome decided to needle Inuyasha some more.  "And thank heavens he doesn't have ablutophobia like you do Inuyasha.  That would be the fear of washing or bathing.  Speaking of which, you should have taken the soap with you when you went to fight with the fish!"

"Yeah, well don't forget Shippo.  He's afraid of thunder and lightning, what the hell is that called?"  Inuyasha reached out to smack Shippo on the head.

"Inuyasha!  That's not fair, you would have keraunophobia too if you had been abused by Hiten and Manten!"  Kagome pulled Shippo over between her and Sango and rubbed the large bump on his head.

"You're awfully quiet hoshi.  Don't forget you're afraid of wasps."  Inuyasha grabbed a fish from Shippo and devoured it.

"You would have spheksophobia if wasps could kill you by being sucked into your wind tunnel.  Phobias are more of an irrational fear Inuyasha.  Something that has no basis in reality." Picking up another fish, Kagome handed it to Shippo.

Miroku came over and squatted down behind Kagome and Sango.  Leaning closer to Kagome, he whispered something in her ear.  Eyes widening, Kagome looked over to Inuyasha and grinned.

"You're right Miroku.  Inuyasha had better be careful he doesn't develop dendrophobia."

"Keh... I ain't got those flakes in my hair!  I used that shampoo the last time I was at your house."  Inuyasha shook his head, making his hair fly all around.

The rest of the group burst out laughing.  "No Inuyasha, not dandruff!  Dendrophobia is the fear of trees.  If you were to become afraid of trees you wouldn't be able to sleep in the trees, or run through the treetops."  Kagome was laughing so hard she was starting to cry. 

"You had better hope I don't develop a case of cynophobia.  If I do develop a fear of dogs, I may just go home for good, and leave you and Sesshoumaru to deal with Naraku all by yourselves.

~*~ 

Off to the west, heading towards Inuyasha and his tachi, the Lord of the West, Sesshoumaru-sama, and his small group had awoken to the same strange phenomenon that seemed to have the residents of Japan somewhat hesitant to resume their usual daily activities.

Rin was exceptionally quiet, and seemed to be afraid of the butterflies and didn't want to go pick flowers.  Ah-Un was acting skittish, both heads constantly turning to check to the sides and in back of himself, as though he was afraid of being followed.  Sesshoumaru was also on edge, and it made him angry when he was unable to figure out why.  The only one who seem unaffected was Jaken.  He was his usual complaining, squawking self.

~*~ 

Inuyasha and his tachi had finally broken camp and were heading west, towards the meeting place with Sesshoumaru. 

"See Kagome, I told you that you were afraid of the sun!  You keep slathering that goop all over yourself."  Inuyasha just wasn't about to let this drop before he managed to upset everyone in the group.  The only one, so far, he hadn't been able to come up with a fear for was Sango.  Although now that Kagome had mentioned it, he was keeping a close eye on the trees.

"Yes, Inuyasha, I know.  I am photophobic, although I prefer to use the word heliophobia, which has a more direct meaning of sun."  Kagome was busy putting on more sunblock.  After getting sun poisioning last summer, she had been very careful to keep several tubes of sunblock in her backpack. 

"Jewel shards, coming fast, from that direction!"  Kagome yelled, pointing towards the north. 

A few minutes later, Kagome cringed.  "Miroku how many are there?"  Her triskadekaphobia, or fear of the number 13, was kicking in.  

"I don't know, Kagome.  I'm afraid to count them.  You know I have numerophobia,  I'm okay with words, but numbers are a whole other story."  Miroku was going to avoid using his wind tunnel if at all possible. 

After Inuyasha and Sango finally defeated the group of boar demons, Kagome gingerly stepped through the blood and guts to pick up the Shikon shards that the two largest demons had in their foreheads.  "Eww, I guess I do have hematophobia.  This blood is disgusting!"

Gathering themselves back up into their by now strangely arrayed group, the tachi continued on to meet up with Sesshoumaru.

~*~ 

About two hours later, the groups come within sight of each other.  And what a strange sight it was.

Inuyasha was carrying Hiraikotsu, Sango was carrying Miroku's shakujo and Kagome's backpack.  Miroku was carrying Tessaiga as well as Shippo, and Kagome was carrying Kilala.  

"Inuyasha, what is the meaning of this."  Sesshoumaru's baritone voice rang out.

"You're a fine one to talk.  Look at your own group."  Kagome spoke out, since Inuyasha had suddenly developed logophobia, or fear of words.  Not just long words, which would have been somewhat understandable.  No, this was more along the lines of lahophobia; the fear of speaking.  He was refusing to speak, which was actually, at this point, a blessing in disguise.

Sesshoumaru was carrying Jaken's Staff of Two Heads, Rin was attempting to carry the long length of Mokomoko-sama, and Jaken was being frustrated, trying to pull Ah-Un along behind him. 

Rin came tripping up to Kagome.  "Did you see the pretty pink fog this morning Kagome-sama?"

"Yes, I did Rin.  It was sort of pretty wasn't it?"  Kagome was beginning to have an inkling of where the problems may have begun.

"This Sesshoumaru is thinking that the fog is where our problems originated today.  Rin is afraid to pick flowers and is scared of butterflies."  He watched the priestess as he said this.

"Oh, so she has botanophobia and lepidophobia?  That's rather odd."  Kagome suddenly realized that everybody was afraid of things that they normally liked or usually didn't pay any attention to. 

"Well, let me see if I can remember correctly..." and Kagome began telling Sesshoumaru of the days events.

"Hn."  Sesshoumaru wasn't about to give the miko any more information than he already had.

~*~ 

Meanwhile, back at Naraku's castle...

The servants were scurrying around, trying to stay out of everyones way.  Normally the servants were somewhat afraid and tried to be respectful of Naraku and his minions, but this now went beyond just that.  They were terrified of them.  Mostly because the master was acting in such a strange manner.

Naraku, Kagura and Kanna had retreated to their bed chambers and were refusing to leave, meaning the servants had to deliver their meals to them, as well as messages between each of them. 

Well, to be honest, Naraku hadn't left his bed chamber since he awoke to the strange pink fog seeping in through the windows.  Kami, he hated pink, or any other shade of the color red.  Kagura had said in one of her notes that this was called erythophobia.  Maybe this was one reason he hated Inuyasha so much; he was always wearing that horrible fire rat outfit.

When he questioned Kagura how she knew this, he was told that with Kanna's mirror she could see the book that the miko was reading from as she was apparently trying to explain something to Sesshoumaru.

Naraku was sitting, naked, in his bed at the moment, reading another of Kagura's notes, afraid to get dressed.  She was telling him that this was called vestiphobia; the fear of clothing, either your own or other peoples.  He couldn't understand what the hell was happening, or why.

The servant came in with another note from Kagura.  Apparently this fear he had of going outside today was called agoraphobia; the fear of open spaces.  How in the name of the Kami was he supposed to implement his plan for world domination if he couldn't get dressed or leave the castle?  As he turned his red, glowing eyes towards the servant girl, she turned tail and ran from the room.

~*~ 

Sesshoumaru had decided that everyone would make camp for the night, even though it was only the middle of the afternoon.  Several members of the tachi had suddenly developed hodophobia, or the fear of road travel, and Sesshoumaru didn't want to trek cross country.  It wasn't like he had hylophobia, or fear of forests, but with Inuyasha and his apparent dendrophobia, or fear of trees, he didn't feel like listening to the screaming that would ensue.

Said hanyou was currently sitting indian style in the middle of the clearing, clutching Tessaiga, and keeping one eye on the trees and the other on Jaken.  Kagome had told him that bufonophobia was the fear of toads, and that was as close a guess as she could make, considering no one was quite sure what kind of youkai Jaken really is.

Sesshoumaru was sitting, leaning against a tree, watching while Kagome made notes on a bound scroll while reading from the other strange scroll she called a textbook.

Kagome, meanwhile, was deep in her thoughts about said striking demon lord and his rather sudden, apparent aversion to fur, or doraphobia.  Although to be correct Mokomoko wasn't technically just fur.  Maybe she should call it Mokomokophobia, even though that sounded somewhat like he was afraid of the coffee and chocolate concoction.  But that would be more like mochaphobia, unless, of course you were afraid of drinking two, then it could be mochamochaphobia.

She then started thinking about his name, Sesshoumaru means Killing Perfection.  Therefore, if he is perfect does he have atelophobia, or the fear of imperfection?  And he is absolutely gorgeous, could he also have cacophobia, or fear of ugliness?

Now that she had started thinking about it, he had gone and gotten changed out of his white silk outfit.  He was currently wearing all black.  How about leukophobia, or fear of the color white?  He had better not develop chaetophobia, or fear of hair.  She didn't want to see what he would look like if he decided to cut his hair off.

Everyone knew that Rin had lupophobia, or fear of wolves.  She was still scared to death of Kouga and his cohorts. 

Come to think of it, they hadn't seen hide nor hair of Kouga all day.  Which to Kagome's way of thinking was a good thing.  That was one less problem to deal with.

With her pyrophobia, and Sango's mageirocophobia, or fear of cooking, they were going to have to have a cold dinner.  Between  the lachanophobia, or fear of vegetables, and the carnophobia, or fear of meat, as well as the icthyophobia from the earlier problems with the fish, there wasn't much to choose from.  At least she had a large number of energy bars in her backpack.  She hoped no one would think she was trying to poison them.  Oh, that would be toxicophobia.

Several hours later, as everyone began to settle for the night, she decided to ask the question on the top of her list.  "Sesshoumaru-sama, do you think after a good nights sleep everything will be back to normal in the morning?" 

"Indeed.  One can only hope so miko." 

Really this day was an absolute disaster.  She didn't know how much more she could take.  After all what could wrong during the night?  Then she started thinking about it.

Somniphobia, the fear of sleep.

Clinophobia, fear of going to bed.

Lygophobia or Nyctophobia, the fear of darkness.

Noctiphobia, fear of the night.

Sciaphobia, fear of shadows.

Spectrophobia, fear of ghosts.

Vespertiliophobia, fear of bats.

The list suddenly seemed endless.  Maybe she would stay awake for a while longer.

Sesshoumaru sat in his spot, leaning against the tree, watching the miko struggle to stay awake.  Finally her eyes blinked shut and she joined the rest of the pack in slumber.  Thank the kami he was full youkai, he didn't need much sleep.  

Besides, he had sensed a presence approaching the clearing.  It wasn't human, animal or youkai.  The presence was almost kami-like, but more jovial than most kami of which he had heard tell.

A strangely dressed man wearing an odd helmet with two curving horns on it, one above each ear, suddenly appeared.  He leaned down and picked up the mikos book, waving his free hand in a circular motion over the top of it.  After putting it back down beside the miko, he disappeared in a swirl of light blue mist, all the while laughing maniacally.  The mist thickened and began to spread until it appeared to cover everything, much like the pink fog from yesterday morning. 

Sesshoumaru closed his eyes and rested, waiting for the miko to awaken.

Kagome awoke sometime later.  This was her favorite time of the day, just before dawn.  Everything was still and quiet, she could watch the sunrise in peace.

"Miko, come here."  Sesshoumaru pointed to a spot near him, obviously wanting her to come sit beside him.  After she moved closer, he told her of the strange visit from what he supposed to be a kami.

"Oh, now it's beginning to make sense.  That sounds like it was Loki, the Norse god of mischief."   Kagome whispered back, looking around the clearing. 

Getting up, she started the fire to make breakfast, burning her fingers in the process.  Some things never change.

~*~

Which brings us to the end of this little tale of the Japanese Feudal Era, Norse Gods, and phobias. 

The combined tachi, as well as Naraku, gained a healthy fear of the Norse shapeshifter, which Kagome decided to call Lokiphobia.  Not to be confused with lockiophobia, or the fear of childbirth. 

~*~

 Fin

~*~

 

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