Kagome Higurashi, being the daughter of the town drunk, was often looked down on yet she never let it get to her. Before he was the town drunk he was a hunter, a defender of their village form things that went bump in the night. It was only after her mother was slain by a cold one that he had become a drunk.
Drowning his sorrows in ale and whatever other cheap liquor he could come by. It was no secret he blamed himself for her death, hated himself. Guilt ate at his soul and he could only numb it with liquor, it was so sad to watch. When her mother had been killed a part of him had gone with her, all that was left was a bitter shell.
Her parents had been so much in love, best friends since childhood and married when they were of age. Everyone had thought them cute and the wedding was celebrated for days. A fond smile curled on her pink plump lips as she recalled the way her mother would speak of it.
She had been dressed in white and blue a wreath of flowers decorating her raven locks. Her cheeks flushed with happiness, as would any brides would be. Her father had been dressed in fine robes, already by the time they were married he was a well respected man. He was a tall man standing at five feet eight, he towered over her mother who stood at only five feet two. She like her mother was short in stature, standing at only five foot three.
From her mother she was graced with dark thick raven hair, pale skin, and over all small portions. From her father she was blessed with dark blue eyes and his temper. It was often joked that she had taken after the better parent, she herself thought she had inherited all of their best qualities equally. For it wasn’t for the thick skin she had inherited form her father she would had snapped long ago.
How fickle people were, they turned on her father, the man who had protected them at the cost of his own wife. How quickly the pity had turned to disgust and amusement at his suffering. She was disgusted that she had ever been a part of their damn village.
She could hear their laughs as she bent over, her long raven hair in a lose braid brushed over the mud that they stood on. Her dark black calve high booths sunk in the wet earth. It clung to her dark blue dress, her dark green cape was also caked in it. She ignored it as she kneeled next to her father.
He was drunk and wallowing in the mud as he sang a happy tune an empty flask in his hand as he laughed not caring he was sitting in filth. His dark black locks were matted with clumps of dry mud. She had no illusions as to how he had ended up in the filth, the bar owner was known to toss him outside in it when he grew tired of him. His clothes were damp and clung to him, showing off his muscular build, despite no longer being a hunter he still retained his body.
His tanned skin was littered with scars to prove just how vicious the beasts he fought could be. With a sigh she tired to gain his attention, “Father.” Her voice was low but he heard it and stopped his singing to turn bleary dull blue eyes to her. He grinned broadly, his breath reeking of cheap ale.
“Ah, daughter!!” He laughed as he pulled her into a hug, marring her green cloak with even more mud. With a sigh she tried to help him stand up, he sloppily stood and leaned on her heavily and began singing merrily again. She bit her lip as he moved about trying to goad her into a dance, “Father come let us go home.”
He merely laughed as he slipped on some mud. With a straggled yelp from her and a hearty laugh from her father they went down. They landed in a tangle of limbs, hair, and clothes in the cold mud below them. As it was so close to winter the mud clung to them as the chilled air made the cold water sting their exposed flesh.
She flushed red as the gathered crowd roared in laughter. She glared daggers at them but bit her lip, she had long ago given up on them, the damn fools. Let them laugh; they would be oh sorry the next time a creature of the night came upon their village.
While she did not wish ill on them, for it was not her nature to do so, she knew it was only a matter of time before a demon, wolf, or cold one stumbled upon their village. While they were a small one, unlike the larger villages that decorated the land, they were well known because of her father.
How their village used to boast about him, the monster slayer, now they laughed in his face and spread horrid rumors of their town drunk. It would come back to haunt them, this she knew. While her father might be the town drunk he had been a renowned hunter and had racked up many enemies. Many who would wish to strike him when he was down; luckily she had been raised like no other young lady of heir village.
Instead of lessons on sewing and cooking she had been taught how to track, to hunt. Instead of singing lessons she had learned to word her words in a way that could be used when speaking to those more than human. Instead of learning the species of flowers she had been taught the various species of those not so human as well as their hierarchy. She was every bit as good as her father in theory, she had never had reason to test said theory. Yet, she knew that time would come soon, how viscous people were, spreading rumors and taking joy in his pain.
She growled under her breath as someone threw even more water on them. She shivered as it soaked them both, the chill of the approaching winter made her skin numb and sting as she struggled to stand up, her father now slightly sober because of the act stood and glared darkly at those that surrounded them.
Glazed dark blue eyes cleared and stared back at the jeering crowd a frown set on firm lips. His dark eyebrow furrowed as he stared them down. He said not a word but his posture and gaze said it all. He was not amused.
They stopped their laughing and slowly began to disperse, even now they feared him. They mocked him and jeered at him but deep down they still remembered who he was, what he was capable of. In truth they were lucky he humored them, took their jeering and laughter in stride for if he really wanted to he could shut them all up. Yet he didn’t he bore it, believed he deserved it, it was just another way to punish himself.
He only ever took action when they brought his daughter into it. With guilt filled eyes he glanced down at his daughter, an almost mirror image of her later mother. Her cheeks were flushed with the cold as her teeth chattered and her body shivered. Her locks were now wet as were her cloak and cloths and they clung to her as her breath puffed out and was made visible bit the cold weather.
He frowned as he pulled her closer, the cold not affecting him as much as it did her and he gave her a small smile as she looked up at him, looking much like the daddy’s girl she was.
“Let’s go home.” She nodded and retuned his smile as they began making the trek through town. Already she knew she would succumb to illness by the time they reached their home. A small log cabin built in the woods that surrounded their village. Her father had built it for her mother before they had married; it had always been and would always be home.
Their feet crunched the light sheen of snow that had fallen earlier to dust the ground. It was silent as they entered the woods and made their way down the worn path towards their home. The only sounds were that of the wildlife that surrounded them and the slight chattering of her teeth.
“I’m sorry.” It was a low somber apology she merely nodded, he was always sorry yet he still repeated his actions day after day. It was more habit that he apologized and her retort was also born out of habit, "I know papa. It’s fine.” She left it at that and retreated to her thoughts as they approached their modest home.
In truth it was probably better then the homes that housed the nobles of their village but she was a modest and humble girl. She had been raised right and never once let her status get to her head, nor did she really care for titles and such. With a smile she looked over the two story home, in truth it had three stories including the basement.
It was made of wood and had large windows, which were boarded up for the winter, and a large jutting stone chimney. After her mother’s death her father had let the upkeep of the house slip but she had taken it upon herself to get it back into tip top shape. She was quiet proud of her home and her work to keep it looking so nice.
With shaking hands she pulled the iron keys form her leather pouch and opened the door, warm heat blasted her in the face as she entered the doorway and moved so her father could enter after her. He did so and shut the door behind him locking it as he began taking off his shoes. Already she had hung up her dirtied cloak and was working on the laces of her boots.
Once her feet were freed of the slightly heeled boots she turned to her father to ask if he needed help. He was already at the table and she rolled her eyes as she made her way up the stairs towards her room. She shivered as she shut the door behind her and began disrobing the wet and dirty clothes. She stood in her undergarments and shivered as she grabbed a towel and dabbed at her wet cod flesh.
Once she was as dry as she would be getting she dawned a thick winter night robe and undid the leather throng that held her hair in its braid. Her lightly damp locks floated around her lightly waved due to being in the braid all day and being damp. She sat on her bed and pulled on a pair of thick socks, stolen from her father in her youth, and stood up. She gathered her wet and dirty clothes and made her way down the stairs.
She dropped the sopping mess in the basket that was used to hold their dirty laundry. With a smile, her cheeks still red from the cold; she entered the dinning room and frowned at her father. He was still in his wet and dirty clothes. She huffed and placed her hands on her hips, “Go change!” She felt like a mother hen scolding her father. Honestly.
He sighed but stood up knowing better then to argue with his daughter, she was a stubborn young woman that was for sure. With a grunt he made his way to his room, which was on the first floor, and ambled inside it shutting the door behind him.
She sighed and shook her head as she put a pot of water on the iron wrought stove that sat in the kitchen. She then began pulling out some herbs to make some teat that would not only warm them up but stop any sickness that was taking hold in the in its tracks. That done she set the two cups on the table, both only needed hot water added to them to be done, and turned to the fire pit, something her father refused to get rid of regardless of the fact that they had stove.
Nothing could beat the old ways, as he often said.
She grabbed a nearby cloth and lifted the lid, her stomach growled as the scent of the beef stew washed over her. She had just set it to simmer when one of the village children had knocked on her door warning her that her father was piss ass drunk at the tavern.
She scrunched up her face at that thought, they were lucky the house hadn’t burnt down while she was tending to him. With a shake of her head she stirred the beef stew with a wooden spoon before replacing the lid. She turned from the fire pit and strode over to a small table and grabbed two wooden bowels. She placed them on the dining room table and moved to grab a loaf of bread and a knife.
So busy was she puttering around the kitchen that she didn’t notice she was being watched by her amused father. He had changed into a plain white shirt and tan pants. He smiled, his buzz now mostly gone, as he watched his only daughter move about the kitchen like a pro. As much as she lamented about doing ‘womanly stuff’ she was right at home in the kitchen. Though he would never voice it out load, she hated stereotypes. She was truly made for another time then the one they lived in.
By now, at the age of twenty, she should have been wed and pregnant. Instead she still lived at home and was cast a pariah not only for who her father was but because of her ‘strange ways’. She was an old maid, by the standers of the village and society as a whole. He himself though it was stupid that women were supposed to be wed off at eighteen to whomever their parents chose and were to be made to be blunt slaves to their husbands.
Then again that could be because he was accustomed to thinking well not like a human man. The trick to being a great hunter was to think like the prey you hunted. The only issue was that his prey usually turned out to be deadly predators. He had enjoyed the hunt in his younger days simply because of the thrill of tracking and fighting something more then human regardless of the situation.
In his old age he had mellowed out and often found himself thinking like those he hunted. While humans only saw them as dangerous monsters he had come to a better understanding of them. Not all of them were blood thirsty monsters, just like humans they had those that were like that but the actions of a few did not represent the species as a whole.
Sure there had been a time after his wifes death that he had gone a on rampage killing anything that crossed his path that was not human. Those were dark days, he had earned himself many an enemy in those days, but as the rage settled he was able to see the errors of his ways. To blame everything non human for the actions of one damnable vampire was wrong. He had hung up his ax and taken to the bottle.
Sure, his baby girl did not like it but she respected his decision and did her best to keep him healthy and alive. She was not above voicing her opinion when she thought he went to far. A small smile quirked on his lips. In all honesty she had been born the wrong species, as a human woman those traits made her a pariah, made her odd. If she had been born a demon, or even a wolf they would have been admired, they would have attracted a strong male that would able to handle her and love her as she was.
Sadly she had been born human and was labeled and outcast just like he had been. It made him sad but he knew all things happened for a reason, he just hoped she would find happiness. She couldn’t spend her life looking after him, she had to live her own life.
“Papa.” He blinked out of his thoughts and turned to his daughter a bright grin on his face. There she stood a bowl of beef stew in her hand waiting for him to take it. He did so happily, as much as she said she hated cooking she was a damn fine cook. He dug into his food with gusto and grinned as his belly was filled.
She rolled her lips as she ate her own food at a much slower and civilized pace, honestly at times he acted like he was born in a barn. She smiled as she sat her spoon down to take a sip of tea, she let out a happy sigh as it entered her body and warmed it, relaxing as the warmth it provided snaked through her body. How she loved tea, it brought back fond memoires of days spent with her mother sipping at it as she told her stories of her father’s adventures.
She shook the fond memories away and picked up a slice of bread and dipped it in her stew before popping it in her mouth. Nothing beat freshly baked bread and beef stew. She rolled her eyes at her father as he made a choking sound, he had been shoving food into his mouth like a starving man. She watched as he reached for the tea and chugged it trying to clear the blockage in this throat only to spit it out as it burned his tongue.
“Ow!!!” She sighed in amusement as she stood up and grabbed the now empty pail that usually held their drinking water. She had used the last of it to make the tea she glanced at her father as he whimpered sticking out his brunt tongue, like a child.
“I’ll be right back…try not to hurt yourself more.” She gave him a cocky smile as she paused by the doorway and pulled on her shoes and grabbed her father’s black cloak. It dwarfed over her yet she smiled as his scent warped around her and with a wince she unlocked the door and entered the cold chilled air.
With a small huff she made her way down another beaten path. It wrapped around the back of the house and lead into the woods, she followed it as she took in the beauty of the world around her. The trees were bare and a light sheen of snow dusted the ground. This was her favorite time of year and with a smile she let her feet walk the path.
She knew the path by heart and smiled as she came upon the glistening river that cut through the woods. She walked to the edge of it and cast a glance around just to make sure she was alone. She kneeled next to the river and dipped the bucket in the cold chilly waters. She frowned noticing a light sheen of ice was already forming on the river. She would inform her father later. He would have to fill the barrels that lined the side of their house before it froze over completely.
She hated having to chip through the frozen ice just to get drinking water, the barrels made it easy to store water. Though they to could sometime freeze it was easier to roll a barrel into the house and warm it enough that they could drink it. Then once that barrel was empty they would switch it out with another one form outside.
She was so caught up in her planning for the winter that she didn’t notice the pair of glazed jade green eyes watching her. She didn’t hear the light sound of the snow as it crunched under the weight of the large bulky black wolf. She didn’t hear the pained pants until it was to late. With a scream she was attacked from behind, the bulk of the overly large wolf slammed into her and she flew into the freezing water below.
With a gasping breath she breathed the freezing water and struggled to right herself, thank god the water only came to her thighs though it was freezing and pricked at her skin like needles. She froze as she heard a low threatening growl, it sent shivers down her spine. Her eyes took in the semi mad wolf, he was no normal wolf his stature and size gave him away as a shifter. He was large yet lithe, his fur was as black as night and his green eyes seemed to shine at her from under the mass of fur.
She gulped trying to plan out her next course of action. Most would scream, which would be the worst thing one could do. It would only serve to startle the wolf and he would attack in order to shut her up, lest she draw more attention to him. She sat in the water her skin going numb, her teeth chattering as the cold sapped her energy, if she didn’t get out of the water soon she would not be getting out of it ever.
She lowered her gaze from his at the low warning growl, he wanted to know if she was a threat, she wasn’t. She lowered her gaze even more to stare at his large front paws and titled her head in submission. She was no threat to him, her eyes widened as she took in the puddle of crimson blood forming under him. He was injured! It would explain why he hadn’t just attacked her out right, instead he had gotten her away from him.
She didn’t move as he gave another low warning growl and slowly limped his way to the water and lapped at it. His eyes didn’t leave her shivering form; she could feel his gaze bore into her. She knew she would be stuck in the water until he left, an injured animal supernatural or not was not something you ever wanted to cross paths with. Yet she knew she could not last much longer in the freezing water.
She shifted lightly yet froze at the low barking growl that met her ears. He had pulled away form the water's bank and was growling at her his fur and hackles raised as he bared his teeth. She merely bared her neck and let out a low whine, something a pup would do if distressed. His snarling ceased yet a low rumble still echoed around them. She closed her eyes as he entered the river his large body making it shift around her and lap even higher up her body and she whimpered as the frigid water sapped her heat.
She froze as his snout poked and prodded her, his warm breath wafting over her as he scented her, trying to figure out if she was a threat. She closed her eyes as he moved even closer, his fur brushing her frigid form as he shoved the cloak away to get her scent and not that of her fathers.
She whimpered as he let out a low rumble and the next thing she knew she was on the bank of the river on her back. He had moved far too fast for her to see or even follow but judging by the strong hold on the end of her cape he had somehow grabbed hold of it with his massive jaws and flipped her onto the bank of the river.
She winced in pain as he body slowly began to regain feeling and grit her teeth at painful tingling sensation. She was still locked in place though, knowing better then to move or even try to escape. One, he would easily out run her, two, her body was still numb and she doubted it would even listen to her at the moment. She would more then likely end up a tangle of sprawled numbed limbs.
Eyes still closed she rolled over and got to her hand and knees, in an instant he was on her, his heavy body weight pressing into her trying to push her to the ground. His warning growl echoed in her ear. She stilled and bared her neck again. His cold nose prodded at it and pulled back as he slumped a bit. She furrowed her eyebrows as hot wet liquid seeped into her back. It flowed down her left arm and puddled around her hand.
She squinted her eyes open and frowned when she realized it was blood, the scent of infection wormed its way into her nostrils and suddenly it all dawned on her. He was in the throes of a fever brought on by the infection of whatever wound he had sustained. He had more hen likely come to the river to not only parch his thirst but clean said wound.
Her father had once told her shifters even when injured would stay in their animal form in hopes of healing faster it was a gamble. If a fever set in they became more animalistic and lost touch twitch their human side.
Survival instinct took over.
Judging by the growing puddle of blood he had torn his wound open and with a sigh she gathered her wits. She was still soaked to the bone and truth be told if she didn’t get to the warmth and safety of her home she would fall ill anyway…
She sat there, completely at the his mercy, honestly she had thought she would die in a better way. Then again this fit her character to a T, slain trying to help a wounded shifter…
“Please let me help you. I give you my word I will not harm you.” Her words were low and unthreatening, yet he growled in response. She waited with baited breath and let out a sigh as his weight let up yet she didn’t move. She jumped when a hand, warm with fever, touched her shoulder. She yelped as she turned around and blushed a bright red when she realized he was naked. Before she could utter another word he dropped, his body giving into the fever that ran rampat and the infection that ate away at him.
She quickly rolled him over and brushed shaggy black bangs from his closed eyes . His cheeks were flushed with fever and his brow was dotted with sweat. She quickly shed her father’s cloak, while still damp it was better then him laying there naked. She bent over to wrap it around his fallen frown yet froze as his hand grasped the base of her neck and pulled her down so that his heated breath fanned over her ear.
“I place my trust in you, if you betray it your life will be forfeit.” His voice was low and rough. She merely nodded knowing he was seeking her aid and her word that she would not hurt him. Having been drilled into her since a young age she merely nodded and bared her neck, shivering as his breath fanned over it. It would be so easy for him even in his human form to tear out her throat.
“I shall treasure your trust and honor my word, no harm will befall you in my care. My life is yours to claim.” She hopped it was the proper response, it must have been for he let out a low chuckle before letting her go and falling limp under her. She bit her lip as she looked down at him, his skin was so deathly pale!
She quickly maneuvered him into a sitting position and used every bit of her strength to stand up and bear the brunt of his weight. With slow shaky steps she started dragging him towards her home, hoping to god her father would have been worried enough to come looking for her. Her muscles burned, while he was not heavy because of fat it was the muscles that laid just under his pale skin that made him heavy.
She was half way down the path when she viewed her father lumbering towards them. As soon as he caught sight of her he picked up his pace and was at her side. “Kagome!” She merely gave him a huffed reply, breathless from their trek. “He’s injured father.”
He ignored her as she stated the obvious and took in the male youth, from here he could smell the stench of wolf, old habits died hard. He leveled the unconscious male with a hard glare. Noting the small bumps, bruises, and scars that littered his flushed wet skin.
As if reading his thoughts she looked up at him dark blue eyes tired and full of worry. “I gave him my word father, a vow has been made.” With a low crude curse he grabbed the youth and slung him over his shoulders. He never should have taught her about vows and oaths! He just hoped that whatever she had done, that it was done right.
With a low grumble he let his daughter lean her small frigid body against his and began leading them towards their home the wolf slung over his broad shoulders like a sack of potatoes. Once he reached the door he let her open it and followed in behind her. He stalked towards the low couch and dumped the wolf on it not caring how he landed. He quickly turned to his shivering and teeth chattering daughter.
“Go change, better yet take a warm bath I will tend to the boy.” He rolled his eyes as she worried her lip and glanced between the wolf on their couch and him. He sighed. “He’ll be fine. The faster you go bathe the faster you’ll be done.” He huffed as she nodded and placed a small kiss on his cheek, her lips were blue and freezing to the touch. He quickly shooed her off and turned to the male.
With a sigh he crouched down in front of the male, his skin was pale and slick with sweat. His face was scrunched up in pain as a flush dusted his cheeks from the fever. His hair was inky black and fell to his shoulders in a tangled mess. His face was strong, his jaw chiseled, he no doubt came from a long line of shifters, and he had a light black stubble on his chin.
He moved his gaze lower and sighed as he parted the cloak that covered him. He let a out low whistle as he caught sight of the large infected wound on his side. Puss and blood leaked from the puckered red flesh. From the looks of it he had gotten into a spat with another wolf, the claw marks were deep and long. He had no doubt it had been healing fine until the infection set in, he had seen the outcome of two wolves fighting.
Most time chunks of flesh were missing or the gashes were to the bone. With a sigh he stood up, covering the males lower half up, for he did not want to see that nor chance his daughter seeing it either. With heavy steps he paced the floor waiting for his daughter to finish her bath. He needed to fetch water but he would not leave an unknown male, wolf or no wolf, alone with his daughter while she was bathing.
He waited no longer then ten minutes before she was at his side, freshly washed an wrapped in thick warm clothes. They were his clothes but he didn’t comment on it, she had a habit of stealing his clothes since she was but a child. He gave her a grim look as she looked up at him, her blue eyes asking him to fix it. He ran a hand though his own black locks. “I’m going to go get some water, his wound needs to be flushed out and cleaned. I want you to stay here but if anything happens come for me, I don’t care if you have to run barefoot.”
She nodded, she knew he didn’t want to leave her alone with the male but he didn’t want her to go back outside either. He chose the lesser of two evils and with a nod she let him know she understood. “Okay papa, I’ll get the other supplies ready.” He nodded and turned from her and quickly left the house to retrieve the water, the faster he went the faster he would get back.
With practiced ease she began gathering bandages, cloths, and other things needed to treat wounds. Her father being a ex hunter often came home injured and she had gotten used to seeing blood and gore and had gotten past being squeamish in order to get what needed to be done, done. Her supplies gathered she placed them on a small table and sat on the couch next to him. She dabbed at his furrowed brow with a dry cloth.
She looked over his wound and winced it was badly infected she didn’t even know if cleaning it would help any but she had given her word and she would do her best to keep it. She didn’t even glance up when her father lumbered back into the house two pails of water in hand. He quickly poured one pail in a kettle and set it on the fire pit to warm it. He brought the other to her and watched as she set to work.
She cleaned the flesh around the wound, her face set in stone as a mixture of blood and puss got on her. She didn’t care, she was set in her task and he was in awe, never had he seen her treat a wound. He had always been on the receiving end of such treatments, from both her and her mother so to see her eyes alight with determination as she did everything with practiced ease made him proud.
In no time the wound had been bleed all the infected blood and puss was gone, the wound was stitched and lathered in a healing salve and then bandaged.
She sighed wiping her forehead with the back of her hand as she took a breather. All around her were used cloths and bandages and basins full of water and blood. The scent of infected flesh was damped by the even stronger scent of medicine and with a groan she stood up and began gathering the used cloths and bandages. She tossed them in the fire and then moved to toss the used water outside.
Once she was done she washed her hands in another small basin of water and let her shoulders slump. That had been hard work! When she had started to apply pressure to his wound to get out the puss he had thrashed in his sleep, her father had to hold him down and truth be told she had seen that!
While at the time she hadn’t even dwelled on it now that he was all stitched up and sleeping his fever off she could dwell on it. Her cheeks flushed red as her face heated. She flushed even more as her father gave her a dry look no doubt knowing why she was blushing.
She huffed at him as he shook his head at her a frown on his lips, no doubt slipping into over protective father mode. She rolled her eyes as he glared at the man, still only clothed in his cloak and turned to her.
“I’m going to get him some clothes, try not to molest him in his sleep.” He chuckled as she threw the rag she had been drying her hands on at him. He easily caught it went into his room to grab the man some clothes to sleep in, he didn’t like the idea of a naked man in his living room with his daughter.
She rolled her eyes at her father's back and moved to check on her patient, she rested her hand on his forehead and smiled his fever was not as bad as it had been before… She gasped as dark green eyes bore into her. Before she could pull her hand back she was pinned to the couch he had been laying on not even seconds ago, one hand around her throat, his other one supported his body as he hovered above her. She could only breath as he inhaled her scent deeply, his breath fanning out over her as he sat crouched above her, not touching her as he glared down at her.