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Harmful Obsessions by TamashaToko

ACT I

After being helped out of the bath and put into some nice clean clothes Kagome curled up in bed ready for this day to end.  It was hard to think of herself as a lady of a royal family with the way she always laid about in misery, but she couldn’t help herself.  What was there to take pleasure in?

“It will be the best option for her,” Naraku had told his wife earlier that day unaware that Kagome had been near able to hear the conversation.

“She’s your daughter not mine,” Kagura had hissed not wanting to be bothered by a serious conversation, “but she might enjoy it.  No one will judge her or make her feel less in the chapels.”

“We can’t afford to attach a dowry to her even after we collect on Kikyo’s.  After the wedding we’ll send Kagome to a nunnery.  If she can’t marry someone of use than she’s nothing but a burden on our home.”

She’d never considered Naraku much of a father, but still his words stung.  She shouldn’t have been surprised seeing as how all of his wealth was based on relatives that had married beyond their means to collect dowries.  Naraku’s brother inherited this manor from his wife and soon after Naraku moved in both his brother and Kagome’s mother fell ill and died.  Soon Kagura, another heiress, became the new lady and brought her daughter Kikyo with her.

Kikyo would marry at the end of the week bringing Naraku even more money, but yet there would never be room in his perfect setup for poor disadvantaged Kagome.

She felt like screaming before there was a knock at the door.

“Lady Kagome,” a servant called, “your friend Saga is here to see you.”

Her face quickly lit up upon hearing the news.  Their visitor, a lord intending on marrying Kikyo, had been enjoying a long stay here and made sure to bring most of his staff with him.  Saga must’ve not had too many responsibilities, because when he wasn’t assisting in wedding preparations he was at her bedside.

“Lady Kagome,” his voice was always cool and collected.

“Hmm,” she tilted her head back to give a look of disinterest, “state your business.”

“The usual,” his voice didn’t change a bit despite her attitude, “I’ve come to entertain you in hopes you’ll remain silent.”

“What book?”

“A simple book of fairy tales.  Do you want Cinderella, or perhaps Rapunzel?”

“I hate Rapunzel and every other fairy tale that ends with a kiss saving the day.  Got anything else?”

“I came here with intentions of making you enjoy yourself and that’s what I plan to do; even if I must improvise.”

She could hear him cracking the book open despite the fact he wouldn’t read from it, “Can I be in it?”

“You sound like a three-year-old Kagome.”

“I want to be entertained my way.”

“Fine.  Once upon a time a prostitute named Kagome-

“What kind of fairy tale is this?”

“Not a happy one as you requested.  Be quiet.”

“Jerk.”

“Kagome was in a family full of prostitutes, whores that would do anything for money.  Her, Kagura, and Kikyo were related by marriage, but yet Kagome wasn’t treated the same.  All the best men with heavy pockets and shiny teeth were taken advantage of by the older sisters while Kagome was left to the poor, drunk, and handicapped.  The older two were able to buy gorgeous gowns and shoes while Kagome could barely buy food.

You sure you want to be in this story?”

She gave a small laugh, “Well I’m already invested.  What happens now?”

“The whores needed to work a fancy party, so, of course, you wind up at the ball where you try your hardest to get a good customer, so unlike your family and the guest you remain sober for the duration of the dance.  When everyone is passed out you stumble upon the attractive prince.”

“Oh look, a happy ending.”

“Women are you completely incapable of being silent?”

“Fine, go on.”

“You talk to the prince and he enjoys your company.  He knows you’re a whore and wants to sleep with you.  You agree knowing it will anger your family.  You both begin, but suddenly your self-esteem forces you to stop and run.  You don’t think your good enough for him so you forget about him and return to your old horrible life.”

“And then?”

“And then what?  You forced me to improvise and now you want an ending?  You remain a whore always getting the short end of the stick while the prince, after finally accepting he will never have you as his princess, marries another woman and is locked into an unhappy engagement.”

“I have no problem with a realistic ending, but after being called a whore so many times I need something.”

“Very well.  Both Kagura and Kikyo got chopped up into little bits by one of their customers.”

“How about just Kagura?  Kikyo has never wronged me.”

She heard him shut the book he’d never glanced at, “Too late.”

He came closer and moved his hand down her face and to her neck line.  His touch was not foreign to her after getting to know him over the last couple of months, but every time his skin met hers her body jerked forward in excitement not use to being handled so tenderly.

“This necklace,” he admired a silver pendant with a heart shaped ruby in the middle, “it’s beautiful.”

“Is it?” she asked, “it was a gift from a stranger.”

He nodded as he couldn’t remove his gaze from her, “You’re beautiful as well.  Your eyes are brown, but manage to light up in an interesting fashion.”

“Okay,” she quickly snapped her eyelids shut, “you can stop.”

He didn’t stop as his palm continued to caress her cheek, “I am free to discuss my opinion.”

Her brain almost froze as his lips met hers and stole a kiss, “My opinion is that you’re breath taking, and I want you to be mine.”

She didn’t know how she was able to pull it off, but with one movement her hand connected with his face probably leaving a mark.

“Saga,” she spoke sternly despite the paralyzing words he’d used against her, “I have to get ready for dinner.  After I am done I expect you in here with a better story, and it better be something good that will make up for that.”

“I don’t owe you anything for that Miss. Higurashi, but if it will help me earn your affection I shall try harder to entertain you.”

She smiled, “Until then.”

“Until then.”

After taking one more glance at the girl the man finally retreated into the hallway and towards his temporary quarters.  He meant what he said…he wanted Kagome and would do anything to prove that fact.  Too bad his moment with her hadn’t been entirely private.

Scene 2: Sesshoumaru

“Who is Saga?” his annoying half brother asked.

“I’m not I the mood for you Inuyasha,” he attempted to walk past making it known that the best was not welcome.

Inuyasha stood in his way with a smirk, “I thought you had high standards Sesshoumaru.  Snobby elitist like you shouldn’t be caught sleeping with blind girls.”

“Inuyasha,” Sesshoumaru spoke in an eerie tone that reeked of nothing good to come, “in a few days Kikyo Higurashi becomes my bride, and you’ve been carrying on an affair with her for two years now, but yet I don’t smirk and rub it in your face.  You have your private matters and I have mine.”

He shrugged, “It’s different.  I’ve known Kikyo since we were five and fell in love with her while you kept to yourself, and now all of a sudden your obsessed with Naraku’s lame castaway child-

Inuyasha, though stubborn and headstrong lowered his voice a little after seeing Sesshoumaru’s reaction to that comment.  His eyes almost lit up with a fury that was now aimed at him.

“Kagome is blind,” Sesshoumaru lightly whispered trying to control himself not wanting to damage a home that was not his, “she is educated, mannered when she needs to be, and quite attractive.”

Inuyasha crossed his arms still with a confused look on his face, “Obviously someone does care, because no one has expressed any interest in marrying her and I don’t see you going for her hand.”

Inuyasha had decided it would be wise to stop talking and leave his brother in silence.  Sesshoumaru didn’t really want to marry Kikyo or have any relations to Naraku, but he needed a heir and if Kikyo provided one she was free to carry on a secret relationship with Inuyasha, who wasn’t qualified to marry her due to him being a bastard child.

The moment Sesshoumaru was free of his dreadful younger brother he rested on his bed and thought about Kagome Higurashi, his obsession. 

It was true.  Naraku was unable to marry her off, because her disability made it so she was no longer perfection, and Sesshoumaru could have swooped her up without paying a dowry just to lessen a burden.

The only thing that was stopping him from getting what he wanted was guilt.

Five years ago on Kagome’s tenth birthday Sesshoumaru had been in attendance.  Everyone had been there to shower the girl in presents and comments about how she was going to make an eligible bachelor very happy one day.

His reasons for being here that night had nothing to do with the girl, but yet in the end she was the only one hurt.

This manor and the land that surrounded it was once in his family until a cousin married Naraku’s brother.  He’d accepted the loss back then since his family still had a bit of claim, but things changed when the brother had Naraku’s wife mysteriously dropped dead.  It had clearly been foul play in an attempt to not only get the inheritance, but gain more power which he proved by marrying Kagura.

Naraku’s actions would not go unpunished, which is why Sesshoumaru brought a single gift, a bottle of wine tainted with a poison that would slowly attack and shut down all the senses in a human body leaving them alive, but yet forever paralyzed.

Naraku opened it ready to drink it seeing as how it was his favorite red wine, but decided as a formality to let Kagome have a small glass.  Sesshoumaru knew it would harm her, but he made no motion to prevent it.  He hoped Naraku would take a long hard swig before he noticed something was wrong, and this grand plan for revenge could not be compromised on behalf of a little girl.

There was a miscalculation.

In Kagome’s small body it didn’t take long for her to go in shock for the small amount of poison.  She could have died that night meaning he could have moved on, but the staff had acted just in time to stop her from going brain dead, but her sight would never return.

Sesshoumaru didn’t want to care about the little girl, but yet he thought her disability would be enough punishment for Naraku and that he no longer needed to make attempts on his life.  If only he’d known Naraku had no heart and seen his daughter only as an objection that could be traded away this whole time…then maybe a blade to the neck would have done the trick that night.

Instead Naraku was still alive selling him a step daughter and Kagome had been suffering for all these years.

Sesshoumaru was told by his father a long time ago that he wasn’t meant to be human, and it was best to not be one and feel the emotions due to how many had died at his hands on the battlefield in time of war.  Kagome stirred up those emotions though.  At first it was guilt, and since he was already in a place of vulnerability he now felt love for this human he’d heart.

Being blind and replaced Kagome had started getting pushed to the side years following the accident, and Sesshoumaru took it upon himself to send anonymous gifts to her every year to let her know someone cared.  The necklace she continued to wear around her neck was the very first one he sent and was meant to relieve his guilt, but it never did.

He realized that when he came here to get prepped for his wedding.

He told himself to stay away from the girl he’d been watching from afar, but he couldn’t.

There was no proof that he’d been the one to have poisoned that wine a long time ago, but enough rumors flying around that he knew Kagome would hate him if she knew his identity, so he became Saga, a mere servant.  They’d met in a library where she needed help finding and reading a passage in a book, and he’d been reading for her ever since.

Material goods and clothing was all young wealthy women like her cared about, but being unable to see the things others desired he made her day by reading her stories she could see in her head and imagine herself in.

As Saga he brought her so much pleasure and since she didn’t know his true horrible identity he was free to bring down his cold wall around her.

Everything was perfect between her and Saga, but soon it would have to end.

Not only would he be marrying Kikyo and returning home, but in his hand he held Kagome’s cure.  She would be able to see and have her life back, but the man she loved wouldn’t be there when she returned.

 Scene 3: Kikyo’s Promise

Kagome’s hand rested against the window above her bed.  It felt cold, and since they were in the middle of summer she assumed it had been raining outside.  This window had become her world before Saga came along.  She used its temperature to determine the weather and had been planning to use it to end her life.  She knew it was three floors up and the fall combined with a trip through the shattered glass would have been enough to kill her.

She’d decided to take this plunge before Naraku announced getting rid of her for her life of fake pity and being pushed to the side had been wearing at her sanity.  Her past was so vivid with images she didn’t want to let go of, so it wasn’t hard to forget the times she was treated like a princess and almost arranged into a different marriage every day.

Everyone in this world was fake, the moment her use was gone backs were turned to her.

Kagome wasn’t able to write and had no passion to try if she couldn’t see her words on the paper.  What she needed was a poetic passage to leave behind to perhaps force those who found it to know how two faced they were, which led her to the library where she met Saga.

He found her a passage that would be fitting her suicide and to her pleasure asked no questions.  Instead of looking into this depressing poem he instead read the rest of the book to her wanting to see if there were any better poems.  As she heard him speak she saw the words in her head and felt normal again during those moments.  She had her poem, but why let this bit of happiness end?  Knowing he was nothing more than a servant she ordered him to read her another book and then another forgetting why she’d come to the library in the first place.

As long as Saga was at her side her desire to kill herself remained dormant, but the overall bitterness of what got her to this point would not diminish.

Saga brought her happiness, but it would be only temporary.  He would return home after Kikyo’s wedding and marriage between them would be out of the question.  Naraku would be happy to her away even if it was to be a servant, but now Saga would be burdened.  She couldn’t pull her weight and earn the right to live in the Murashu’s home.  It wouldn’t be best for her either if he was unable to care for her.  She got around the castle well enough on her own memorizing where every room was, but being thrown into a new environment would leave her quite disabled.

Kagome looked up at the sound of oak sandals against the floor, “Kikyo?”

The older step sister nodded as she found a seat in Kagome’s room.

Before sitting down to have a conversation with Kagome, Kikyo had done well to make sure no one else was around.  No one really knew about the relationship between the two girls, and that would be helpful for what was planned.

“Enjoy your time with Inuyasha?” Kagome asked weakly.

Kikyo usually answered in a quiet nod, but would be unable to considering the circumstance, “We went outside.  You should try it sometime.”

Kagome sighed and her older step-sister had a glint of disgust in her eye.

Though they didn’t show it much in public the two had a strong bond with each other, which had begun right after Naraku married Kagura.  They were both rushed out of mourning their lost parent and forced into a new life.  Kikyo thought nothing of her at first predicting she would be like her father and happy to move here for the riches that it would bring, but Kagome never cared about the money.  She’d always been strong and able to create her own happiness.

Now it was as though she were dead.

All Kagome did was curl up in bed thinking about how her use in this world was gone rather than trying to make a new use.

She handled the blindness well after the accident teaching herself how to maneuver around the castle and doing whatever she could to keep her independence, but people were cruel.  When the pity wore off all that was left was the reality that she could no longer fit into their society resulting in all of this.

Kikyo had never expected this, but was prepared to make it right again to have her sister back to normal.

“Father seems excited to have you shipped off,” Kikyo spoke her voice showing how much hate she indeed had for her stepfather, “so I’m going to have to change my plans.”

Kagome shook her head, “I thought you were going to do it after the wedding.  Don’t do it here.”

“And let Naraku have my dowry?  I’d rather do it this way Kagome.  No one will suspect a thing.  Why?  Having second thoughts?”

Kagome turned over with a sigh, “Maybe.  We have no proof that Sesshoumaru is the one who did this to me.”

“I’m the one whose engaged to him,” Kikyo reminded her, “his cold, uncaring, and has performed assassination attempts before.  Your dad ignores that only seeing the money that comes along with this marriage, but his the one who poisoned you Kagome.  You’re not going to get shipped off.  I won’t let that happen.  I will marry Inuyasha eventually and you can come with me.”

“And?”

“I won’t you happy again.  You do no one any good like this-

“I can’t see anything.  I’m no good period-

Kagome felt Kikyo swiftly smack her in the face to silence her.

“You have everything Kagome.  You can’t see your own reflection, but you are beautiful and you can still live your life.  You’re not throwing that away.”

Kagome sat in silence knowing it was true.  When she wasn’t planning to kill herself she was mopping around in her own misery.  Why should anyone act kindly towards her?  She gave nothing in return blindness or not.

“You need to work on yourself,” Kikyo continued digging into her pocket, “but before we do that you need to get your revenge.”

Every human had their flaw, and no matter how true Kikyo’s words were about Kagome’s condition she was showing her weakness right now.  There were many ways to solve things, and Kikyo’s answer to everything was straight up revenge with bloodshed.  She’d always been a warrior at heart.

“Sesshoumaru did this to you Kagome,” Kikyo whispered, “all this hurt you feel was caused by him.”

“Yeah but-

“We already talked about this, and you agreed to it before.  Just give me your blessing and our plan takes effect.  This is the only reason I agreed to marry Sesshoumaru you know…so I could get a good shot.  I love Inuyasha and by doing this not only will I risk losing him, but even my life.”

“Yeah so maybe you shouldn’t risk it.”

Kikyo shook her head, “I know that you tried to kill yourself Kagome.  By doing this I’m saving you.  When it’s done, if I succeed, I will take you away from here and you can start over, but we need to get rid of your bitterness.”

“Okay,” Kagome finally agreed her voice weak from her overwhelming thoughts.

She would always be blind.  Nothing could change that, but what she could change was how she saw herself, and according to Kikyo the only way to begin healing was to get the glorified feeling that came with revenge.

Kagome would assist Kikyo in killing Sesshoumaru Murashu, and in doing so Kagome would be free to start a new life possibly with Saga…

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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