Footsteps echo. The walls drip an eerie, thick, oozing green liquid. There are organs of youkai splayed about the ground. Kagome narrowly sidesteps as one comes crashing down. She lets out a huff of annoyance. But even she is hesitant to say her complaints, since tension is hanging thick in the air.
A flash of red catches her eye. She watches as her companion, InuYasha attempts to venture further to investigate but he sent back by a wave of stinky miasma. He growls, sheathing his Tetsusaiga and using his sleeve to cover his sensitive nose.
The group remains silent until Sango tightens her grip on her Hiraikotsu. "Is this it? How are we going to get through?"
Shippo shakes his head from his perch on Kagome's shoulder. "We've come this far!" he protests. "We can't just turn around!"
Miroku doesn't comment and Kagome notices him studying his Kazaana. Sango notices too.
"No, Houshi-sama," she warned. "It's not worth it."
He doesn't answer but his lips purse as a sign that he heard her. Kagome turns when she hears low growling, gradually loudening.
"Damn that Naraku!" InuYasha curses. He whips around to face his group. "He's behind this wall of miasma, I know it!"
Kagome taps her chin. "You're right... And when we get to close, it seems to spread. Maybe as an attempt to stay away in order to protect our friends."
Miroku's eyes sweep over his friends. "The only way to get through is by using my Kazaana-"
Sango opens her mouth to snap but everyone is surprised when InuYasha beat her to it. "Put a sock in it, will ya, bouzu? You're not using that damn thing as long as I'm here and I can prevent it!"
Kagome's eyes widen before her mouth breaks into a grin. She suddenly got an idea. If Red Tetsusaiga could break barriers, couldn't it bring down the miasma? Naraku is using it as protection. She steps up to stand next to InuYasha.
He glances at her. "Move back, Kagome. The smell is toxic, you know that."
She snorts. "Says the guy who has a much sensitive nose than all of us!" Her eyes become serious. "InuYasha, do you think you could take this down with the Red Tetsusaiga?"
His eyes flash. "Maybe. Are you suggesting I use it?"
Kagome nods. "It's better than using Kaze no Kizu, which I know is what you were planning to do." InuYasha rolls his eyes and Kagome huffs. "You know I'm right!"
InuYasha's ear twitches. "Yeah, yeah." He unsheathes Tetsusaiga.
Shippo sees InuYasha preparing to strike. He had jumped onto Sango's shoulder when he saw Kagome heading over near the miasma. He turns his head to whisper in Sango's ear. "What's he gonna do, Sango?"
She glances at him, her eyes sparkling with curiosity. "I have no idea. I think I heard Kagome mention the Red Tetsusaiga."
Kirara mews and transforms, ready to help InuYasha with any danger that is on the other side of the barrier. Sango feels her partner brush up against hers and she silently thanks her furry friend. She clutches her weapon and sees Miroku do the same.
Please... Don't make any foolish decisions, Houshi-sama... She bites her bottom lip with anxiety as InuYasha lifts up his Tetsusaiga.
InuYasha summons the energy to his sword. It begins to glow red, and starts to pulse. He feels as the energy stores and he swings it down, shouting the command. "RED TETSUSAIGA!"
Kagome shields her eyes as a bright light shoots from the sword and she hears a faint whistling sound. She uncovers her eyes to see the miasma slowly departing.
Miroku notes, "Naraku must've forgotten that attack of Tetsusaiga."
"We even forgot," Sango replies, taking a step forward.
"Feh! Let's go then." InuYasha leads his groups deep into the cavern. Kagome takes in her current surroundings. There is no more body parts littered on the ground, just acid. A lot of acid. She winces as a drop falls onto her hand and it starts fizzing. She bites her lip as tears spring into her eyes. She barely holds them back.
The group had gotten used to the silence, apart from the clacking of their footsteps. They all jump when a voice booms,
"You've found me."
InuYasha growls. "Show yourself, Naraku!"
"As you wish, InuYasha," Naraku chuckles, before stepping out into the open.
Kagome looks over his appearance. He is wearing his usual getup. The eyes on his hands and in the center of his torso still manage to give Kagome the creeps. But she can't be afraid of him. Because he is afraid of them. She shivers as his eyes meet hers. The cold sinister and evil look in those red orbs were making Kagome feel sick. She turns her eyes away so that they rest on InuYasha.
"This ends now, you heartless freak!" InuYasha yells. He lifts Tetsusaiga, and his lips pull back into a snarl. "KAZE NO-"
"Wait a minute," Naraku orders, shocking InuYasha and his friends.
Kagome's eyebrow lifts. Huh?
InuYasha blinks in confusion before yelling, "Why the hell should I wait?!"
"Because... I have a deal." Naraku grins wickedly. "And I know how much you like deals, InuYasha."
InuYasha's eyebrow twitched. "Who says I do?"
"Your antics do." Naraku steps forward and everyone instinctively takes a step back, except InuYasha. "I will give you the jewel..." He doesn't get to finish as InuYasha unexpectedly yells,
"KAZE NO KIZU!"
The sword sliced through Naraku, whose eyes widen. He clenches his teeth. "Why you-"
Kagome watched as Naraku is absorbed in a blinding yellow light. Naraku won't die from an attack like that...
And he doesn't. The light slowly fades to show a Naraku torn to pieces, but he easily pieces himself back together. Once in one form again, he smiles evilly. "That was a nice trick you played back there, measly mutt. But sadly, it didn't work." His arm stretches and wraps around InuYasha's neck.
"InuYasha!" Kagome calls, hitching an arrow. "Let him go!"
InuYasha growls. "Let go of me."
Naraku tightens his grip and lifts InuYasha off the ground. "And if I don't?" His eyes narrow.
InuYasha lifts Tetsusaiga up, only to have it knocked from his hands. He snarls but ends up coughing. "Let... go..." he says a bit more weakly.
Kagome gets ready to fire a purifying arrow when Naraku's eyes flitter to hers. She sucks in a breath and tries not to drown in the depths of his red orbs. He's never looked at me directly before... Why can't I look away? She pulls the arrow back and attempts to shoot, when she feels her limbs freeze. What is he...?
Naraku smiles and returns his gaze back to InuYasha. Now that I have that girl in a trance... I can deal with InuYasha with no interruptions... "You see, InuYasha... You have something I want."
InuYasha snaps, "I know I do! The shikon no tama shards!"
"No," Naraku answers, causing gasps to echo throughout the cave. "Something... else."
Sango speaks up, "What could we possibly have that you want?"
Naraku chuckles darkly, causing shivers to race up everyone's spines, even InuYasha. "Maybe I should rephrase my statement." He squeezes InuYasha's throat and the said hanyou's eyes nearly roll into his head. "You have someone I want."
No one speaks. Kagome clenched her teeth. Who could he possibly mean? He couldn't want... Me, right? The thought almost made her retch. She laughs it off inwardly. No, not possible...
Miroku's eyes harden. "Naraku." He steps forward, his eyes glittering dangerously. "Who exactly do you have in mind? I won't let you lay a finger on San-"
Naraku silences him with a glare. "Do not fret, houshi. I have no interest in that tajiya whatsoever."
Sango is silently offended, but relieved. She feels tears surfacing. "Houshi-sama..." she whispers.
Shippo can barely contain his anger. He knows who Naraku wants. How could his friends not see it? Naraku had been staring at Kagome for ages! He clenches Sango's shoulder before making his outburst. Shivering slightly, he yells, "You can't take Kagome away!"
Naraku's eyes widen so very slightly and InuYasha's eyes move left to glance behind him, disbelief clear in his golden orbs.
Sango looks at Kagome, who's recumbent in fear. Sango scolds, "Naraku doesn't want Kagome, Shippo!" But even her statement lacked belief. Something in her gut told her what Shippo said is true. Miroku remains silent, his eyes narrow.
InuYasha turns his gaze back to Naraku, his cheeks tinted blue. "Is..." he panted for breath, "it true, Na... raku?"
Before Naraku can answer a blue light races toward the two. Naraku grunts as an arrow pierces his heart and his eyes move to Kagome to find her standing her ground.
Her brown eyes flashing, Kagome shouts, "You can't have me, Naraku! I will do nothing for you!" A pink ball surfaces from the palm of her hands and her hair begins to lift in anger. Her friends' eyes widen.
"Kagome, calm down," Sango tries to soothe but Kagome ignores her.
"I'm tired of you manipulating people and using them for your dirty work!" She took a step closer, the pink sources of her power continuing to grow.
"Kagome..." InuYasha manages to breathe out, before his eyes roll into his head and he falls limp.
Kagome takes another step forward. Her eyes move to InuYasha before setting back on Naraku. "And..." She lifts up her palms so that they face Naraku. "NEVER TOUCH INUYASHA EVER AGAIN!" Her power shoots forward and pierce beams of light into Naraku, all aiming for his heart.
He coughs as he drops InuYasha and blood escapes his mouth. InuYasha falls to the floor with a hearty thump.
Shippo's eyes widen as the light dims. "Did Kagome just...?"
Sango clutches her weapon and throws it. "Hiraikotsu!"
Naraku snarls as the boomerang flies toward his weak body and slices him in half. A clean cut.
Now would be the perfect time... Miroku thinks and he is so very tempted to use his Kazaana. But Sango... He shakes his head. Naraku could be defeated now! I just need to...
Unfortunately, Miroku made his decision too late. Naraku puts himself back together and immediately his arms fly to Kagome, who shrieks.
I don't know what came over me... Kagome thinks in fright as the arms wrap around her torso.
To her surprise, Naraku grins. "You see, Kagome?" He pulls her toward him. "That is what I need from you. Your bravery."
Kagome struggles in his iron grip. "Let go!"
Naraku's eyes slide past hers to the unmoving hanyou on the ground. He kicks InuYasha and walks forward, toward the rest of the group, who watch his every step with wary eyes. "I'll be taking the miko now."
Sango positions herself to throw Hiraikotsu. "Do you think we'll let you take her without a fight?!"
Naraku's eyes begin to glow red. Miroku realizes what he's doing a second after Sango does.
"Sango!" Miroku pushes her out of the way, Shippo falling off onto the ground, only to find himself flipped over and Sango straddling him. Her Hiraikotsu is over her head, pointing downwards. If Sango strikes that boomerang down, she'll split my skull in half. Her eyes glow a mindless red and her lips are slightly parted.
"Houshi-sama..." she squeaks out as a tear runs down her cheek and drops onto Miroku's face. "I'm sorry."
"NO!" Kagome and Shippo yell.
Miroku's scream is the last thing Kagome hears as Naraku carries her out of the cave.
"Put me down, put me down," Kagome bawls, beating her fists against Naraku's shoulder blade armor. "How could you...?" She sniffles.
Naraku tunes out Kagome as much as possible. The whole time all she'd done was cry and insult him! He snarls as she begins to cry loudly again. His eyebrow twitching, he fixes his eyes on her and orders, "Stop crying right now."
She glares at him through watery eyes. "Don't tell me what to do, Naraku." She pushes against his chest, trying to avoid touching the hideous eye in the center. "Let me down."
"No, miko," he growls. "You're traveling with me to my lair. Do you understand?"
"No, I don't!" Kagome protests. "Why do you have a sudden interest in me?" Kagome pouts, turning her attention to the grass swaying beneath their feet.
Naraku looks at the confused miko before stating bluntly, "I want you dead."
Kagome looks up with shocked eyes laced with fear. "W-w-what do you..."
Naraku locks his eyes with hers, anger now in them. He admitted,
"You have made unwanted feelings arise that I have not felt since Kikyo lived."