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A Changing World

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      "Mom, I have a big favor to ask," Kagome murmurs into the phone, self-conscious because the one thing Kagome never does is make a rash decision.  But... now she has to explain her new, hanyou, mate to her mother and that his family will be staying with them for some time.

       "Oh, my gods, Kagome.  Are you all right?  It's two thirty in the morning; you're never up this early."  Kagome fights the urge to roll her eyes because she can hear the real worry in her mother's voice.

      "I'm okay, Mama.  It's just," Kagome pauses.  How in the world does she explain te last twenty four hours?  Suddenly, a sob breaks from her throat and Kagome is crying, overwhelmed by the stress of the elevator attack, then the crazy attraction and mating to Inuyasha, and finally the bombing at the Inu-taisho house.  "So much has happened, Mama."

    "Sweetheart, Kagome, where are you right now?  Do you need me to come get you?"  Kagome shakes her head before remembering that her mother can't see her frantic head movements and forces her vocal cords to work.  "No," falls from her lips barely audible.  "I'm at the hospital right now."

     "Honey, why are you at the hospital at two thirty on a Sunday morning?"  Kagome doesn't have time to answer before her mother goes back to asking her more questions.  "Why aren't you at Sango's party?  When did you leave her house? Did you take the train this late at night? You know I don't like that Kagome.  It isn't safe for you to travel this late at night all alone."

     "Look Mama, I really am okay.  And I'm not alone."

      This just causes her mother to panic more.  "Is something wrong with Sango?  Oh my gods, her baby!"

    "No, Mama!"  Kagome wipes the tears furiously from her face.  Gods, she would have to call Sango too.  She was a horrible friend.  Sango must be worried sick after the explosion in the apartment building and she never called to tell Sango and Miroku that Inuyasha and she were okay.  "I, I saw this hanyou I knew on the way to Sango's place and we were.... attacked," Kagome braces herself on the last word expecting the screaming and holds the phone away from her ear.

      "HIGURASHI KAGOME!" Mama screams.  "When did this happen?"  Kagome can clearly hear her mother crying on the other end of the phone now and it renews her own tears.  "Why didn't you call me earlier?" 

     "I didn't call you because I'm perfectly fine," Kagome insists.  "Inuyasha, the hanyou I was with, protected me and... I can't explain it but we're since I met him, it was like magic... we mated Mama."  Kagome waits anxiously for her mother's response, wet drops continuing to fall silently from her eyes.

      "Kagome," Mama pauses and Kagome knows her mother is struggling to find the words.  "Are you sure that mating this boy was the right idea?"  Kagome swallows harshly.  She never told Mama that they met on Monday or that she had been dreaming about the inu hanyou for nearly a week.  Mama would assume, that given the situation, Inuyasha had taken advantage of her daughter.  The very thought made Kagome sick and she knew she had to stop this line of thought.

      "No, Mama.  It's not like that."  Kagome swallowed harshly.  Her mother would be wary of Inuyasha for quite a while, but Kagome had to be careful in the next few minutes for her to trust him ever.  "I met Inuyasha on Monday at work.  And ever since then I couldn't stop thinking about him."  Mama started to say Kagome's name, but she wouldn't let her mother interrupt her.  "No, Mama.  Please let me finish."  Kagome took a deep breath.  'Be strong,' Kagome thought to herself. 'This is for Inuyasha.'  Kagome cleared her throat.  "Inuyasha is a friend of Sango's and Miroku's.  They trust him and I trust him.  More than that, I love him."  Kagome wiped at her wet eyes.  "I know it's sudden, but I can't change the way I feel, Mama."

     Kagome sobbed into the phone receiver while her mother gently shushed her.  "It's okay, Kagome."  

    "No, it's not, Mama." Kagome protested shaking her head.  "He's a hanyou and they hate him and his family and they'll kill him, Mama."  By this point her voice is distorted.  Her throat became to horse to speak comfortably and her nose started to clog.  "I can't lose him.  I won't be able to handle it if I lose Inuyasha."

      "You won't, honey."  Kagome shakes her head through the entire utterance.  Despite her mother's attempt to soothe her, Kagome knows that they aren't safe.  They were attacked twice in one night.  Inuyasha had already spoken to the police along with Rin.  Once Sesshoumaru woke they would probably speak with him, too.  They had tried talking to Kagome but her thoughts were too scattered and she hadn't been any help.

    "Mama, turn on the news.  There should be a report about the Inu-taisho home."  Kagome waits patiently listening to the faint rustling in the background then the murmur of voices coming from the TV. This continues for a few minutes until her mother's voice returns to the phone.  Her voice is shakey.  This was almost worse than when they arrived at the hospital and Inuyasha had fainted from the blood loss that had been unknowingly flowing from the wound on his side.  Kagome was horrified that she hadn't noticed he was injured and even more disgusted that Inuyasha would hide such a serious wound from her.  Kagome had vowed that it would never happen again.  She would protect her mate from everything.  The traditionalists who would attack him and even Inuyasha himself.

     "Oh gods, Kagome.  You sure have had a exciting night."  Mama is sniffling into the phone and Kagome can feel her heart breaking.  Her mother doesn't deserve to be woken in the middle of the night and terrified for her daughter's safety.  "And that poor family," Mama sobs.  "Their home is destroyed."

       "About that, Mama, could Inuyasha and his family stay with us?" Faced with her mother's silence, Kagome rushes to add,  "Only for a little bit," Before her mother can make up her mind.

                                          ...

       Inuyasha sits outside of Sesshoumaru’s room absolutely defeated.  He had thought that he was doing the right thing.  It certainly had felt like it was the right choice when he had pulled Sessh's body from the wreckage and jumped through the wall, getting impaled by a jagged piece of wood on the way out of the burning wreckage of a house.  Had it really been so wrong when he hid his wounds in order to take care of Sesshoumaru?   Kagome had certainly thought so.  Though apparently that wasn't his worst offense.  

      No, according to Sesshoumaru, the worst offense was taking care of his half brother.  That he would dare to try to help his brother in healing was such a wrong move, and Inuyasha hadn't even known, disgusted him.  It had seemed so obvious to Inuyasha.  Sesshoumaru was bleeding and it was simple instinct to lick at his wounds to seal them in inu yokai spit.  Fucking hell.  Inuyasha was a failure.  He failed at being a yokai and he was especially terrible at everything human.  He couldn't fit in and no matter what he did, Inuyasha would never be part of the family. He didn't belong anywhere and he had just cursed Kagome to the same fate.

       Falling back into old habits, a single clawed hand reaches up under his torn shirt and begins to tear into the skin at his chest. At first the cuts are shallow, but it isn't enough.  It's been years since Inuyasha did this last.  Ever since he met Miroku he had stopped, the psychologist having convinced him that cutting wasn't worth it.  And in his darkest moment reminding him that death wasn't the answer.  But now, no matter how hard he tries, Inuyasha can't hear those comforting words.  He can't remember the joy and love Kagome had given him during his mating.  The only thing he saw was the blank look in Sesshoumaru’s eyes, the same look Kikyo had worn all those years ago when her arrow pierced his chest.  The only thing he could hear was the pooling of blood into his hands along with the sound of the words being spit at him.  "Freak, worthless, weak."  An abomination to humans and to yokai.  

      The fact that Sesshoumaru would taunt Inuyasha about throwing himself under a hacksaw after what had happened all those years ago had hurt.  It had been years since Inuyasha had last connected with anyone besides Sesshoumaru and Kikyo.  Except for the occasional conversation with the old man from the shrine, the only people Inuyasha had talked to in years was the married pair.  Desperate and alone, Inuyasha had asked for only one thing from Sesshoumaru.  The only request he had ever made to his brother had been rejected.  If Inuyasha wanted to die, it wouldn't be by the inu yokai’s hands.  As Inuyasha had crept away from their old home, Sessh had called after him.  Inuyasha would never forget... 'If you want to die I won't stop you.  Just throw yourself under a saw for all I care.'

    Inuyasha's absentminded clawing kept ripping deeper and deeper into the unprotected flesh.  Blood ran down his body, unnoticed by Inuyasha, but very VERY noticed by a certain someone.

    "Inyasha!" Kagome screamed, her footsteps echoing as she ran down the tiled floor.  Grabbing a first aid kit off the wall she fell to her knees in front of Inuyasha.  "Did your stitches rip?" She asked frantically digging through the first aid kit.  Finding antiseptic and gauze, Kagome's hands emerge from the kit and reach for Inuyasha's chest.  He thinks about pulling away and hiding his wounds - his shame - from Kagome, but he doesn't.  Kagome deserved to know that she married a failure.  A hopeless excuse for a man.  Kagome deserve the chance to change her mind and leave him before their mating bond became any stronger.

    Ashamed, his bloodied hands fall away from his abused flesh.  Inuyasha's eyes fall closed, not meeting Kagome's eyes when she gasps.  Or when she whispers his name.  Or when she grabs his head and presses kisses all across his face.  Inuyasha wants to protest that he doesn't deserve it.  None of it.  Not her concern or her kisses or her care or her love.  But when Inuyasha opens his mouth a strangled cry exits his lips instead of words.