Dark Beauty by feminafures


Dark Beauty

By: Feminafures (Lady Fury) aka shenronprincess

Chapter 1

A strange anticipation twinkled in the miko's young eyes. The object of her attention shined with bright, red malice as it bounced against a nearby rock and slowly rolled to her open palms.

She eagerly awaited her prize and cupped both hands closer together to receive the round sphere securely. Red light shined brightly from the jewel's surface, the brilliant specks blinding her momentarily with their intensity. She looked away as the ball rolled closer to her crouched form, but sighed in relief as it came to a halt against her hands.

She clasped her tiny palms around the Shikon and released the breath she was holding. But her feelings of relief would not last very long.

Kagome held the tainted Shikon, channeling her miko powers to purify the darkness and bloodshed surrounding it. The ki in her body was gathered from her soul and pushed first toward her center of gravity. She felt the pure energy swirl in her belly, gathering the strength needed to accomplish the task.

She inhaled the crisp air one last time before channeling the miko power to her hands. A surge of light flowed through her body and glowed brightly from tiny fingers. The Shikon's aura clashed with her purifying energy and fought her vehemently for control.

A burning spread through her quickly as the Shikon's fading powers clenched her tightly and a flash of scenery played out in her mind.

Blood....there was so much blood.

Inuyasha was covered in blood and his clothes lay in colorful tatters around his body. The earth was scorched and burned with the cuttings of the wind scar. All that surrounded the injured hanyou was reminiscent of a deadly battle. A group of mournful eyes looked toward the battleground before following the trail of blood straight to her position on the ground.

She reeled in shock at the sight of her traveling companions and the ominous gaze of Kikyo. She shut her eyes trying to push out the strange visions but another feeling, equally disturbing, replaced the one before.

There was a strange pain in her soul and something else she couldn't quite make out. She was there on the bloodied earth, holding a soft body with her arms. A male spirit pulsed with slow life and was nuzzled safely against her as she stroked his smooth hair. It was another being familiar to her, yet she couldn't see his face and only a white shadow stood in her sight.

She concentrated harder, trying to make out what it was, but the Shikon shifted to another time and place.

She was running this time, and was weary with her labor. A flash of something brought a sad smile to her face and warmed her soul momentarily.

A tree shined through the thickets of forest life. The leaves were a strange color of red, almost like the fire-rat haori of her Inuyasha. They seemed to hold some kind of mystical aura and when she approached they slowly began to pulse with ancient life.

She was awestruck and utterly surprised by the tree's beauty. Her hand reached out to touch the strange bark and feel the humming vibrating from its base, but just as she got close enough, her vision came to a halt.

She smiled as the last of the Shikon's tainted aura disappeared and the pink glow was restored to its surface. The strange vision lingered through her mind for a short time, but disappeared when a voice shouted something to her crouched form.

"Kagome-chan, are you hurt?" Sango called out.

She held the jewel tightly in her palm before looking up toward her female companion and waving with the other hand that she was indeed unharmed.

The battle with Naraku was a long and drawn-out match of wits and strength. Their small group had fought hard against the spider-hanyou, finally defeating him with their combined strength and skill.

The air was once again clear as the clouds of miasma slowly rolled into the distance, allowing the sun to shine brightly in the forest clearing.

She released a weary smile and scanned the area for the rest of the group.

Her eyes watched in happiness as the weary figures of her traveling companions gathered together. Inuyasha sheathed his Tetsaiga and Sango hitched her trademark weapon onto her back. Kohaku was safe at last and Sango eagerly embraced her brother in a tight hug. Miroku, of course, was elated that his wind tunnel disappeared and his hand was free of Naraku's curse.

Kikyo, shaded by the clearing smoke with a bow in her hand, had been the one who struck the final blow, the one that sent Naraku to hell. Her eyes gleamed with unnatural light and miko power flowed from her body, gathering around her like a tempest.

She had been the strongest one in the end; it was her arrow that decided the final outcome of the fight. Yet her miko aura was impure and the body she now had was kept alive by the souls of the dead.

Kagome shut her eyes in a desperate attempt to reign in her feelings. The past few years weighed heavily on her mind and brought painful memories to light.

It had all begun two years ago, the quest to destroy Naraku. She recalled the memory clearly now, how their small group was struggling to fight and survive each battle.

Naraku came into the picture right after Miroku joined Inuyasha, herself, and Shippo on their journey to gather the jewel pieces. Some battles later and several injuries, Sango and Kirara also joined their little group as well.

For a while, they were just learning how to cope with each other and fight as a whole.

Inuyasha was headstrong and unmoving at times and it led to many dangerous encounters with the enemy. It took more than a little discipline and "Sit" commands from her to control his wild temper. Yet, her hanyou companion had been with her since the beginning and she loved him dearly with all her soul.

Sango was the demon exterminator of the group and like a sister to her. The taijiya's main concern was rescuing the little brother that Naraku had under his control. This often led to many setbacks when fighting him because Kohaku's life depended on the presence of a jewel wedged in his back.

Miroku, well, was just a lecherous monk seeking the death of Naraku to save him from an untimely death. The wind tunnel on his hand was inherited from his cursed ancestors and threatened to overwhelm him one day if Naraku was not destroyed.

Shippo, who was like a son to her, was a true and gentle companion and Kirara was Sango's constant friend and a noble fighter.

Finally she was the shard detector and the user of the sacred arrow. As the supposed reincarnation of Kikyo, her job as a miko was to guard the sacred jewel with her life. Fate, however, had a way of dealing strange hands to her and she was no exception to the growing pains affecting the rest of the group.

Her archery and miko powers steadily improved over the years, but it had been a long and unsteady rode for her to follow.

Their quest was carried over from the year before, the same year that her arrow shattered the jewels into tiny pieces.

Inuyasha led them through mountain after mountain, following even the tiniest of leads that would indicate the presence of their enemy.

After a year of travel and the addition of several companions, they had all grown to accept their fate and become stronger through each battle. Inuyasha learned to use his famed Tetsaiga, Miroku mastered the power of his wind tunnel, Sango learned to trust others and work together with them, and Kirara and Shippo became constant companions and guides.

But as fate had it, this would not be enough for the growing problems that surrounded the group. As Naraku gathered more shards of the sacred jewel, he became stronger. With this growing strength, he created many incarnations of himself and new enemies for the group to battle.

More help was needed and soon they would get more than anticipated.

During that time, Inuyasha's older brother, Sesshoumaru, was fighting with Naraku for his own reasons.

Though the brothers were on bitter terms, the only hope they had for victory was to join forces. Inuyasha was unwilling at first and hated the idea all together, but with a little convincing by the group, he slowly began to accept it.

Kagome would never forget the day Sesshoumaru joined them and made a promise to aid their group.

He, of course, demanded a request in exchange for his alliance. Inuyasha jumped to conclusions and assumed he wanted the Tetsaiga, but oddly enough what came out of his mouth had nothing to do with the sword.

"Miko, in exchange for my service, I want you to regenerate my arm," he stoically whispered as he turned around to face her direction.

She froze, his amber eyes fixing her to that very spot on the ground. Their gaze spoke of unmoving resolve and demanded her attention.

With a quick nod of her head, she agreed to the terms, knowing he would broker no argument. One did not trifle with the wishes of demons and he was definitely a great and powerful one.

They needed help at the moment and he was their best chance for victory. So with that thought plaguing her mind, she motioned for him to come closer.

He took a few steps in her direction as she sunk to the ground and waited for him to join her.

"Sesshoumaru," she spoke, looking toward his crouching form, "I've never attempted this before, but I promise you to try my best."

"If you want this Sesshoumaru to join your group, you will find a way," he replied firmly, never breaking contact with her eyes.

She smiled nervously and waited for him to pull up the sleeve of his haori. Her heart pounded in her chest as she watched him draw the white material upwards with his other hand.

Kagome only prayed this would work and that her miko powers would stand the test.

With a quiet sigh of self-reassurance, she gathered the miko strength to her core, pushing the power that tingled through her body all the way to the tips of her fingers.

A burning sensation worked its way upward and extended throughout her limbs. A pink aura glowed from her fingernails, casting an iridescent glow over the stoic lord and herself.

Slowly she reached toward the severed limb, fixing her gaze on him to make sure he wasn't apprehensive.

To her surprise, his stoic face didn't change to reflect any emotion. Despite the added danger of her purifying powers, being so close to a miko didn't faze him a bit.

She wondered at such a display. How could he just sit there and allow her to get so close to him?

Was a missing arm that important?

Perhaps he had read her emotions and understood that her intention was good. But still...she didn't fully master her powers yet and they could still attempt to purify him.

At that moment, the worry crept into her features and she began to lose her nerve. The only thing stopping her from drawing back her hands was the steady, unwavering voice of Sesshoumaru.

"Woman, do not waste my time," he spoke, finally breaking the spell of silence between them and fixing her with his predatory gaze.

She mumbled a quick apology, before reaching out to clasp her hands around the stump just below his shoulder.

The power encircled the limb, creating waves of pure energy as the flesh extended and began to mesh with its aura. A burning throbbed from her fingers as she watched it multiply and extend into an elbow.

Weariness now battled with her body for control, yet her task was not done.

Pushing herself a little more, Kagome felt the stirrings of her power meshing to create a forearm and a slender wrist. She was so close now, the aura of the jewel shards around her neck were pulled into the force field, lending her added strength.

With the last burst of her energy, the demon's long and slender fingers extended from the glow of pink light.

The last thing she remembered was two eyes starring at her with a lustful gleam, as the energy pulsed and found its way back to her soul.

Oddly enough, that was the only emotion Sesshoumaru had ever allowed her to witness and perhaps it was for the best.

Inuyasha would never-

"Kagome, why are squatting there like a dog all day? Snap out of it, woman," a voice hollered with amusement, breaking her train of thought.

She shook out of her reverie and looked toward Inuyasha, giving him the brightest smile she could muster. His face beamed with so much happiness that it took her very breath away.

The golden hue of his eyes became brighter as they looked upon her smiling face with amused interest. Behind him, Miroku practiced the use of his hand by groping Sango, which she heartily answered by hitting him on the side of the head with her weapon. Kohaku and Shippo were fast asleep against Kirara's fur and only Kikyo stood gravely at a distance.

She blinked in surprise as Kikyo's eyes fell upon her position near the ground.

Her heart faltered at the strange look the miko was giving her. The coldness of those coal-black eyes bore into her soul and made it quake with apprehension. No matter how long the dead woman traveled with them, she could never be comfortable around her.

Deep in her soul, she knew Inuyasha was still torn between her and Kikyo, yet she could never come to terms with that. Given time, she felt, he would realize how much he loved her and give up on Kikyo all together. She believed this with all of her heart and Sango often encouraged her to believe it as well.

Now that Naraku was dead, their lives would go back to normal and perhaps she would finally get a chance to be with Inuyasha.

The only thing left to do was make a wish on the jewel and erase it from this earth forever.

As the Shikon's protector, Kagome had the final decision on its use. This weighed heavily on her mind, but she knew it had to be done.

She smiled at her reflection bouncing of its pristine surface, before looking toward a certain silver-haired male in the distance.

There was only one person who deserved a wish upon it, the hanyou who she loved so dearly.

"Inuyasha," she called out, "Do you still want to be a full youkai?"

She watched as he stopped and turned to look at her with a pained expression, speaking the words that destroyed all of her hopes and dreams.

"Kagome, don't make me a full youkai. Give Kikyo flesh and blood again."

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