By: Brynn Parker
Inuyasha's ears twitched, moving his hat around, almost immediately after we began walking down the street, his arm tightening around my waist. I could easily tell something was wrong. "Do you hear that?" he asked me, pressing a hand to his skull. He frowned. "Damn...what's that noise..."
"What?" I asked, narrowing my eyes and listening hard for any sound. I didn't know what he was talking about; I couldn't hear anything except for the people talking around me.
He shook his head in a very dog-like manner, wrinkling up his nose in distaste. "Eh, I can't place it. Don't worry about it Kagome."
I tried to blow it off, but I was still concerned. Inuyasha's senses were keener than mine, and it worried me that there was something bugging him so much that I couldn't hear. "Maybe it was a dog whistle," I suggested. I wasn't kidding, but Inuyasha seemed to think I was, turning and scowling at me a little. He'd gone back to his normal self in the time we'd spent together over the day, even if he was more possessive with me.
"There's lots of different foods here," I told him after a few minutes, since it seemed like he hadn't heard the sound for a while, "I don't think I can afford anything really expensive, but we can go mostly anywhere."
"Wherever you want to go," he said affectionately, smiling down at me. I was a little taken aback; he'd never been this kind to me, and it was a sudden change. I was still getting used to the fact that he was here with me.
"Well," I said slowly, taking in the fact that he wasn't being as stubborn as usual, "We could go to this cafe that I go to with Tiva a lot. They've got really good food there, you'll like it."
"Sure," he said, looking around. Maybe he wasn't done searching for that sound anyway.
A few minutes later we'd walked to the restaurant, and were seated quickly, not having to wait for a table. "What do you think?" I asked as Inuyasha started shoveling nachos into his mouth.
He grinned at me after gulping down another handful of the tortilla chips. "This is really good!" he said. I ate a few chips myself, stopping and looking up at him when I noticed that he hadn't taken any more for a while. He was staring across the table at me, my image mirrored in his eyes.
"What is it?" I asked, tilting my head a little in confusion.
He scowled. "Nothing," he said.
I rolled my eyes. "Inuyasha!"
Leaning forward a little and taking my hand, he said quietly, "You know that Kikyo doesn't measure up to you at all."
OK, that was unexpected, even if I was happy to hear it. "What do you mean..."
"You left because I said something about Kikyo," he stated simply, "For a long time, I thought I loved Kikyo...but it was only my guilt driving me to take care of her and try to protect her." I tried to interrupt but he stopped me. "You're the only one for me, Kagome."
"Why are you telling me this?" I asked, "Inuyasha, I was being a stupid, immature brat...I shouldn't have left like that, it was silly."
"No, I don't want you to feel guilty," he said. Of course, I should have known he was trying to place the burden on himself. Always taking responsibility for the really important things...
"Inuyasha," I said sharply, squeezing his hand. He looked up at me, his eyes wide, surprised by my severe tone. "You're not alone anymore. I'm here to share burdens and take them all on my own shoulders sometimes."
The waiter interrupted us as he put our food down on the table, muttering a quick apology and rushing off quickly. It completely broke the solemn energy as Inuyasha's hunger overwhelmed him and he dug into his meal.
When he was done, he pushed his plate out of the way, looking up at me again. "Sorry," he said honestly, "I was pretty hungry."
I burst out laughing and he smiled at me, his golden eyes warm and loving. "I know I said this already, but I love you Kagome, and I'm so, so glad you're the one that will...share my burdens." I looked back at him and took his hands, intertwining my fingers with his.
"I love you too," I said, my heart feeling like it was doing flips in my chest. I don't think I'd ever been happier in my whole life.
He suddenly frowned and I followed suit, worried. "Do you hear that?" he asked for the second time that day, his hat wiggling on his head.
"It's that noise again?"
"Yes." He seemed really freaked out, and I had no idea what could be bothering him so much. I wanted to blow it off and just say it was probably some stupid dog whistle or something like that, but my gut was telling me otherwise.
"What does it sound like?" I asked, hoping I could place it for him.
"Like...like singing," he muttered, his eyes looking nervously from side to side. "But it's weird...I don't know...it's just real weird."
I started to worry even more. Singing...that Inuyasha could hear, but I couldn't. What was going on?
He suddenly let out a sharp groan, clutching his head, and I stood up, running around to his side. He looked up at me, his face contorted in pain, his eyes fading to a vivid red that made my stomach churn. "I can't stand it..." he growled out, "Kagome, we need to get out of here..."
I helped him up and grabbed my purse, walking out with Inuyasha grasping my shoulder tightly as I tried not to draw attention from other people at the restaurant. This was all too weird, and I didn't think it would be a good idea to have someone call an ambulance for Inuyasha or something. We started our walk through the park to the dorms as he let out another pained groan. "Kagome..." When he staggered against me I couldn't hold him up, and he sent me running into a tree as he fell to the ground.
I quickly ran to his side, ignoring the pain from my own fall as I touched him to find no movement at all. His skin was growing cold, and I didn't know what I was supposed to do.
Suddenly, his eyes popped open and he sat up, his eyes a bizarre quicksilver with cat-like pupils that I'd never seen before. "That voice..." he muttered, the normal gold swirling through the dominant silver. "Kagome, don't let go, whatever happens."
I wrapped my arms around his neck quickly before he hauled me onto his back and jumped into the trees, heading towards the unknown. The wind whipped my hair around, and I struggled to hold onto Inuyasha as we left the city and the dark night closed in around us. "Where are we going?" I asked, the stars and moon my only source of light.
"To that voice," he said, "It's getting closer...can't you hear it now?"
That's when I noticed it; even with the wind blowing in my ears loudly, a clear, distinctive voice rang out over the treetops. It was chilly up here, and the voice only added to the cold. My teeth chattered as Inuyasha finally stopped and clambered down onto a branch. He turned towards me, his bizarre silver eyes glowing like the stars, and took off his haori, wrapping it around me as another swirl of warm gold danced through the silver. "Your eyes," I said, "Are you still you?"
"My head feels funny, but my demon side is still dormant," he whispered, "Quiet...and follow me."
He wrapped his arms around me and dropped down to the ground, then took my hand and led me through the trees, stopping and putting a finger to his lips as we came to a clearing. I gazed out after him.
What I saw was astounding.
Lots of animals and a few humans were in the clearing, surrounding a white woman that emitted a strange silvery light. Their faces were blank, and in their eyes was the same quicksilver that Inuyasha had had way back in the park. I had no idea where we were; probably back in the hills...but I didn't really care. All I could see was the beautiful white woman in the middle of that clearing. My head swam...
Inuyasha caught me as I tried to walk into the clearing. "Your eyes," he whispered. Of course...it was some kind of spell, I guessed.
The woman began singing again, and the people and animals began to dance. I couldn't understand her words, but it seemed sinister, beautiful, and alluring all at the same time. Inuyasha simply stared into the space, a terrified look on his face. I'm sure I looked the same.
Because the people were growing older.
She glowed brighter and brighter as the people, still dancing, lost all of their energy, some of them eventually turning to thin, frail people and collapsing to the ground. I was mortified...what was she doing? I wanted to run, but I was glued to the spot, fascinated with the morbid scene.
As the last of the creatures fell to the ground at the woman's feet, she laughed a high-pitched, youthful laugh, looking straight into the trees at us. Inuyasha gasped and stood in front of me, backing us up.
"Who are you?" Inuyasha yelled, the terror evident in his voice. I'd never seen him so afraid before.
She laughed again, slowly floating towards us. "Come join the dance, my hanyou and miko. You two did bring me here, after all..." She opened her hands and revealed a soft pink stone glowing in her hands.
The sacred jewel.
Inuyasha finally turned, hauled me up onto his back, and ran.