Inuyasha's Mind, Consumed
'For an ice prince, Sesshoumaru sure is awfully curious…' Katsumi thought fondly. She thought it was kind of… cute… but if Sesshoumaru knew that, she had a feeling he'd leave her corpse for the crows to snack on. Katsumi inhaled the sweet fragrance of the forest around them. Ever since her power-up, she had felt a little more in tune with nature. It smelled so fresh and green, and she could feel a faint hum of power. One scent in particular stood out. It was a Japanese magnolia tree. Katsumi smiled. Magnolias, from both Louisiana and Japan, had always been her favorite flower.
"Your Chichi-gimi's acquaintance lives in such a remote forest?" Jaken asked. He was holding Ah-Un's reigns and 'leading' the dragon as Rin rode on it's back. Rin had gotten tired, so Katsumi put her on Ah-Un's back after they had asked the dragon's permission.
"…" Sesshoumaru said as he stopped in front of the old magnolia tree that Katsumi had smelled earlier. The leaves rustled.
"I thought you'd be coming to visit me sometime soon… Sesshoumaru…" An ancient voice said.
"A voice came from the sky…" Rin said in amazement.
"Hn? There's nothing here." Jaken said.
"I wouldn't say that…" Katsumi said. The tree's energy felt so very… alive.
"You know why I've come… Boukuseno?" Sesshoumaru said.
"That you've come to see me means, that you've come about the swords, haven't you." Boukuseno said as the tree's bark began to creak and form an old man's face. "It's about your Oyaji-dono's memento, Tessaiga huh?" Boukuseno glanced at Katsumi. "Or is it…"
"Wah! The spirit of a tree!" Rin said in surprise.
"Nice to meet you." Katsumi said politely.
"Sesshoumaru-sama, who on earth is this…" Jaken asked.
"A two-thousand-year-old Magnolia Hypoleuca tree." Sesshoumaru said.
"Really?" Jaken said in surprise. He hadn't expected a tree.
"Indeed, and also the scabbards of Sesshoumaru's Oyaji-dono's swords, Tessaiga and Tenseiga, were carved from branches of mine." Boukuseno said.
"The scabbards…" Katsumi said. 'No wonder Tessaiga's scabbard was so tough…' Katsumi thought, remembering how it had been able to block Tessaiga.
"Boukuseno, you'd know, wouldn't you. The connection between Inuyasha and Tessaiga, that is." Sesshoumaru said. Katsumi sighed internally. He still hadn't given up on the sword yet, after all.
"Inuyasha… you're younger brother, huh…" Boukuseno said.
"The first time was when Tessaiga was bitten apart by an oni… The second time, was when he relinquished Tessaiga in a battle with me. Inuyasha's blood changed." Sesshoumaru said. "It went from the smell of a hanyou's blood to same smell of a youkai's blood, like mine and Chichi-ue's blood."
"The same youkai blood… huh? I wonder about that." Boukuseno said.
"… What do you mean?" Sesshoumaru asked.
"Inuyasha is only a half-youkai, born between a youkai and a human… He can't become a true youkai." Boukuseno explained. "At any rate, Sesshoumaru, there is something you as a perfect youkai can do, but Inuyasha cannot do. That is… preservation of the self, you see…"
"Preservation of the self?" Sesshoumaru said.
"Indeed, for example, Sesshoumaru… when in the middle of battle, no matter how pressed you were, though your mind was cool… have you ever lost yourself?" Boukuseno said.
"Hmph, being pressed, is not something that's happened to me." Sesshoumaru said.
'Eh…? But Didn't Inuyasha seriously injure you before…?' Katsumi thought skeptically.
"Kukuku… maybe that's so." Boukuseno said, laughing. "But Inuyasha is different. When pressed and his life is in danger, to protect himself, his youkai blood controls his body and transforms it…"
'That's what happened then…' Sesshoumaru thought.
"However, the blood of a daiyoukai Inuyasha inherited from his oyaji-dono is too strong for a hanyou's body." Boukuseno said.
"… What happens then?" Sesshoumaru asked.
"Indeed… you could say his mind would be eaten away by the youkai blood." Boukuseno said.
"Eh…!?" Katsumi gasped softly.
"He wouldn't recognize anybody. He'd kill enemies and friends alike, and after transforming repeatedly… eventually Inuyasha's mind will be lost completely. He will be reduced to a monster that just fights, and will continue fighting until that body is destroyed." Boukuseno said.
'It's that serious? …Wait… I'm not full-youkai either… Is there a chance that might happen to me? What if I hurt Rin…' Katsumi thought, alarmed.
"Your Oyaji-dono didn't want that to happen to Inuyasha, of course. Which is precisely why, as a sword of protection, Tessaiga was given to Inuyasha." Boukuseno said.
'… I see… so Chichi-ue gave the Tessaiga to Inuyasha because he was weaker… not necessarily because he picked him as his main heir…' Sesshoumaru thought. Though he still wanted Tessaiga, Sesshoumaru found that to be an adequate explanation for his father's actions. Boukuseno could tell that Sesshoumaru had finished asking questions, but there was another that seemed to want answers. He looked at Katsumi.
"There is something you would like to ask of me, girl? What is your name?" Boukuseno said. Sesshoumaru glanced at her too. Katsumi fidgeted nervously.
"My name is Katsumi, Sir, and… well, Boukuseno-sama, I was wondering if you could tell whether or not I might have the same problem as Inuyasha… I'm not a full-blooded youkai either." Katsumi said. Sesshoumaru glanced at her. He had been so preoccupied thinking about Inuyasha and Tessaiga that he hadn't thought of the possibility Katsumi might be in danger of going berserk too. Boukuseno stared at Katsumi for a moment, evaluating her. The old tree-youkai took a deep breath and exhaled, smiling contentedly. Katsumi titled her head in confusion.
'His reaction just now… is that a good thing…?' Katsumi wondered.
"Come closer, child." Boukuseno said. Katsumi did as he asked and walked up to stand beside Sesshoumaru in front of the tree. "You don't need to worry, Katsumi. The faerie blood flowing through your veins will protect you. Inuyasha is dangerous because he is an incomplete youkai, and his two halves are at war with each other. While, it is true that you are also an incomplete youkai, you are a complete being. Your unique combination of faerie blood, human blood, and youkai blood complement each other perfectly. There is no danger of you loosing yourself." Boukuseno said. Katsumi's jaw dropped in shock, and Sesshoumaru raised and eyebrow.
"… How did you know she was part faerie, when she, herself, only just learned of it?" Sesshoumaru asked. Katsumi was too busy imitating a goldfish to ask the question herself.
"I have met one before. She was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen… Flaming, red hair… ivory skin… and her eyes were greener than any leaf I'd ever seen before. She was a feisty little thing, determined to see the world. We didn't speak with words… It would seem pureblooded faeries can speak to trees and other plants through telepathy, and understand us no matter what language we speak with our tongues. I new what you were because a faerie's presence is very soothing to the plants around them, and just feeling your aura makes this old tree feel young again." Boukuseno explained, smiling. Katsumi blinked.
"Um… wow… Thank you for explaining everything to me, Boukuseno-sama. I'm glad you're feeling better." Katsumi said, recovering from her shock. Boukuseno nodded to her.
"You are always welcome to visit, Sesshoumaru, especially if you bring this charming faerie with you." Boukuseno said, his eyes twinkling in amusement at the expressions on their faces.
They had stopped so that Rin and Katsumi could eat lunch, and Katsumi suddenly laughed, out of nowhere.
"What's so funny Katsumi-nee? Rin wants to laugh too." Rin said. Katsumi stifled her laughter and smiled at Rin.
"It's not really that funny. I was just thinking that all of Inu-Papa's old friends seemed to like me. They treat me just like my adopted grandfather did." Katsumi said.
"Inu-Papa?" Sesshoumaru asked, raising an eyebrow at her. His expression was very clearly demanding that she explain what it meant. Katsumi sweat dropped.
'Crap, did I really say that part out loud…? I hope he doesn't get pissed when he finds out how informally I've been calling his 'Chichi-ue' in my head. In this era, that could be considered disrespectful…' "Um… well, you already know what 'Inu' means… 'Papa' is an affectionate English way to address a father… I guess if the whole thing were Japanese, it would be like saying 'Inu–Tou-chan'…" Katsumi said, preparing to run. Sesshoumaru stared at her. His eyebrow twitched.
"How dare you be so disrespectful to Sesshoumaru-sama's Chichi-gimi!" Jaken shouted at her. 'She's in for it now…' He thought with glee.
"Oh, that's the word you would call your Otou-san by, isn't Katsumi-nee? I remember you told me you had a Papa and a Mama before, but I forgot what it meant." Rin said.
'Bless you, Rin!' Katsumi cried gratefully in her mind. When Sesshoumaru heard that she was treating his father with as much respect as she showed her own, his ire seemed to lessen from homicidal to slightly put out. "That's right, Rin. Since I grew up speaking English, I'm used to referring to my Chichi-ue as Papa and my Haha-ue as Mama." Katsumi said.
'Tsukihime doesn't even let Seigetsu, her own son, address her as anything less respectful than Haha-ue. If that strict and high-handed woman accepted 'Mama' then, it must not be as disrespectful as it first sounded…' Sesshoumaru decided. Katsumi would live to see another day. Sensing that his irritation had disappeared completely, Katsumi internally let out a sigh of relief.
'Dodged another bullet…' Katsumi thought.
"…Why did you add 'inu' to it?" Sesshoumaru asked, curiously. Katsumi almost face-faulted.
'Okay… so it wasn't completely dodged…' Katsumi thought, chagrined.
"Because he's the father of you and Inuyasha, who are inu-youkai, and he's called the great 'Inu no Taisho'… so… Inu-Papa..." Katsumi said, sweat dropping.
"… Refrain from calling him that out loud again." Sesshoumaru ordered. Sesshoumaru had a feeling that if his father had been alive to hear that, his Chichi-ue would've gotten a kick out of it, and insisted that Sesshoumaru address him by that as well. 'Over my dead body…' Sesshoumaru thought. Katsumi blinked.
'What? So it's okay to think it, as long as I don't say it? Sweet.' Katsumi thought. Jaken was flabbergasted.
'How does she manage to get away with these things!?' Jaken screamed in his mind. If he had done that he would surely be dead by now. A breeze blew threw the clearing, bring a new scent with it.
"… Inuyasha…" Sesshoumaru said.
"His scent has changed again…" Katsumi said, worried. "I'm going to go check it out—I'll be right back!" Katsumi shouted as she shed her haori and unfurled her youki wings, taking flight in pursuit of her troubled friend.
"Hmph! Good riddance." Jaken huffed. "Sesshoumaru-sama, if we leave now, we can finally be rid of her."
"Nooo! Don't say that, Jaken-sama!" Rin pleaded. She didn't want to leave her Katsumi-nee behind, but she also didn't want to be separated from Sesshoumaru-sama.
"Jaken. Stay with Rin, and don't leave her this time." Sesshoumaru ordered as he walked away.
"Eh? Where are you going, Sesshoumaru-sama?" Jaken yelled after him in confusion.
"Isn't it obvious, Jaken-sama? Sesshoumaru-sama is going to bring Katsumi-nee back!" Rin said happily.
Sesshoumaru walked a little further away before he too took to the skies.
'That foolish girl… She should not rush into danger like that. No matter, while I am there, I can use the opportunity to confirm Boukuseno's words.' Sesshoumaru thought.
Katsumi landed just at the entrance to a human village and followed the scent of the Inu-tachi. She arrived to see what looked like a group of bandits kneeling before Inuyasha.
"W-We were only following orders. P-Please forgive us." The bandits begged. Katsumi noticed that not only had the scent of Inuyasha's blood changed, but now he had a jagged purple stripe on each side of his face, and his eyes were red with blue irises.
'Is that really him…?' Katsumi wondered. She knew it had to be Inuyasha, but the look in his eye… She had never seen anything so savage before.
"Inuyasha, stop it!" Kagome yelled. Inuyasha flexed his claws.
"Run! Inuyasha's not himself!" Katsumi yelled.
"Eh! Katsumi-chan!?" Kagome said in surprise when she heard her friend's voice. That's when it happened. Inuyasha attacked, killing all of the bandits in seconds. Katsumi froze. She had already heard from Boukuseno what Inuyasha was capable of while in this state, but it still shocked her to see her friend slaughter humans… and smile while he was doing it…
"Even those people pleading for their lives…" Sango said.
"…Or Kagome-sama's voice won't reach him, huh?" Miroku said. One of the village women cried out in fear, drawing Inuyasha's attention. Inuyasha smirked and started stalking toward them.
"Oh no, you don't!" Katsumi yelled as she dropkicked Inuyasha away from the woman before he could strike.
"Katsumi!" The inu-tachi shouted in surprise when they saw her. Not only was she there, fighting a berserk Inuyasha, but her physical appearance had changed. They were curious, but now was not the time. They had to stop Inuyasha.
"Yo!" Katsumi said as she dodged Inuyasha's claws. "Dokugeshi!" Katsumi shouted and shoved her hand in Inuyasha's face, trying to knock Inuyasha unconscious with her sleeping gas. Inuyasha dodged and punched Katsumi. Katsumi into the air, but she flipped over and landed on her feet, sliding back a few inches from the force of her momentum. Inuyasha growled at her. "Damn, Inuyasha, that's a mean right hook you got there." Katsumi said, spitting the blood from her mouth. Her face was already starting to heal. "Guys, we need to get Tessaiga to him somehow!"
"Eh? How did you know that?" Kagome asked, surprised. Katsumi hadn't been with them when Totosai and Myouga told them about Tessaiga and Inuyasha's inner youkai.
"Kinda too busy to explain right now!" Katsumi yelled as she dodged Inuyasha's claws. 'What can I do? I don't want to use my sword on him… I might kill him by accident…' Katsumi thought. Inuyasha swiped at her, and she stepped to the side to avoid it. It had been a feint. Inuyasha grabbed Katsumi and hurled her into the side of a nearby house. The force of the impact caused the house to collapse on her.
"Katsumi!" The Inu-tachi yelled.
"I don't want to see Inuyasha looking like that. Kagome, hand Inuyasha tessaiga to calm him down." Shippo said, tearing up.
"O-Okay." Kagome said. She left Shippo with the others and ran towards Inuyasha. Inuyasha was approaching the destroyed house, moving in to finish Katsumi off. Katsumi threw the debris off of herself and jumped to her feet, ready for round two.
'Inuyasha… return to normal.' Kagome silently begged. Inuyasha froze momentarily, then jumped back, putting distance between himself and kagome and Katsumi.
"!" Kagome said in surprise. Then she saw what had put Inuyasha on edge.
"… Sesshoumaru-sama…" Katsumi said, surprised. She hadn't expected him to come too.
He glanced at Katsumi. She hadn't been seriously injured as far as he could tell, but she healed much faster now, so Inuyasha could have broken her jaw, and it would be fine by the time he arrived. He noticed the tiny smudge of blood at the corner of her mouth. 'He did break her jaw…' Sesshoumaru thought. "Hnn… Reduced to a monster that just fights… huh." Sesshoumaru said. Inuyasha growled. His savage new appearance reflected the hanyou's frenzied state of mind.
"Sesshoumaru…!" Kagome said, shocked.
"Why is he here…" Miroku said.
'So far, it is just as Boukuseno said… if that is the case, it is only a matter of time before Inuyasha's mind will be lost completely.' Sesshoumaru thought. Sesshoumaru approached Inuyasha.
"Sesshou—!" Katsumi said. Sesshoumaru gave her a sharp look. She was already in deep trouble with him.
"Don't interfere." Sesshoumaru ordered coldly. He knew Katsumi would never draw her blade against Inuyasha. In his present state, Inuyasha would not hesitate to kill her if she faltered. Inuyasha growled and flexed his claws.
"Prepare yourself, Inuyasha. Let's test the extent of your strength while transformed." Sesshoumaru said. Inuyasha growled and dashed toward Sesshoumaru. Sesshoumaru drew Tokijin and pointed it at Inuyasha. Inuyasha jumped at him, but Sesshoumaru sent a blast of kenatsu at the hanyou.
"Inuyasha!" Kagome yelled.
"Don't Inuyasha!" Miroku yelled.
"Stop! Come back to your senses, Inuyasha! You'll be killed by the kenatsu long before you can reach him!" Katsumi yelled. Inuyasha growled and punched the sword aside.
"!" Sesshoumaru said in slight surprise. Still, he remained calm.
"Ahh!" Shippo and Kagome gasped.
"He hit aside the sword!?" Sango said. Cuts appeared on Inuyasha's arm and blood spurted from the wounds that had been made by the kenatsu when he punched the sword aside. Katsumi bit her lip. If Inuyasha kept fighting like this, he was going to get himself killed. Sesshoumaru wasn't even going all out on him. Katsumi didn't know why Sesshoumaru was going easy on Inuyasha, but she was grateful to him for it, whatever his reasons.
"Hmph, a wasted effort…" Sesshoumaru said. Inuyasha lunged at him, but Sesshoumaru dodged the attack easily and gracefully. Inuyasha hit the ground, his claws swiping the earth, throwing up rubble from the damaged ground. Sesshoumaru held out Tokijin and the kenatsu sliced Inuyasha when he tried to rush him again.
"Aaah! He's covered in blood!" Shippo cried.
"Stop it, Inuyasha!" Kagome yelled.
"Kagome, can't you make him sit!?" Katsumi yelled.
'Inuyasha, don't you feel fear… No, even more than that… you don't even feel fear, huh.' Sesshoumaru thought. 'His mind would be eaten away by the youkai blood, he wouldn't recognized anybody, and will continue fighting until that body is destroyed.' "Hmph, how pitiful… I fully understand…" Sesshoumaru said, looking down on Inuyasha. 'You, now, are not a full youkai. In the end, you're nothing but a hanyou.' Sesshoumaru thought. "Realize your own worth." Sesshoumaru said as he swung Tokijin, and Inuyasha tried to jump him again.
"Ah!" Katsumi cried.
"Inuyasha!" Kagome yelled.
'Inuyasha…' Sesshoumaru thought. '… be like your hanyou self, and…' "Crawl on the ground!" Sesshoumaru said, finishing his thought out loud as his sword flashed and an extra large wave of kenatsu blew Inuyasha back, streaks of red blood flew from him as he fell. Katsumi's eyes widened as Inuyasha's body hit the ground with a thud, and he lay there, motionless. She knew he wasn't dead because she could still hear his heart beat, but he was bleeding heavily now.
"Inuyashaaa!" Kagome screamed. "Stop this nooow!" Kagome yelled as she ran, holding Tessaiga, and threw herself on top of Inuyasha, trying to shield him.
"Kagome!" Katsumi yelled. Katsumi ran to them, but Sesshoumaru held his arm out, cutting her off… well, almost. Katsumi was so short, especially compared to him, that she had run right under his arm before she realized what had happened. She stopped and looked back at him. Sesshoumaru turned his gaze on Kagome once Katsumi had stopped.
"He's finally stopped moving, huh…?" Sesshoumaru said, stepping in front of Katsumi.
'Eh… did he come here just to stop Inuyasha from going berserk? Is that why he was going easy on him?' Katsumi thought. She hadn't really expected that, but she couldn't really find any other explanation for Sesshoumaru's behavior, apart from a theory that involved alien abduction…
"Stay away, idiot!" Kagome yelled, tearing up. Katsumi gaped at Kagome.
"Kagome, don't—!" Katsumi warned. 'He's actually being nice for once—well, nice for him—Don't piss him off!' Katsumi yelled in her mind. She didn't want anymore of her friends to get hurt.
"W-Watch out!" Shippo said as he clung to Miroku's shoulders as the rest of the gang ran over to Kagome and Inuyasha. "He'll even kill Kagome along with…"
"If you want to stop him, use Tessaiga to undo the transformation. If regains consciousness now, he'll attack again." Sesshoumaru told Kagome.
"Eh?" Kagome said. 'He doesn't intend to kill him…?' Kagome thought. Sango and Miroku ran to stand between Sesshoumaru and Kagome and Inuyasha.
"Earlier, you could have cut Inuyasha in two if you'd chosen to, but instead, you just blew him back with the kenatsu." Miroku said. "Why did you hold back? I thought you detested Inuyasha. I hardly think that brotherly feeling's returned, but…"
"I'll Kill him eventually… but at the moment… for someone who doesn't realize anything at all, killing him has no value." Sesshoumaru said. Katsumi was relieved to hear that Sesshoumaru was going to spare Inuyasha, but that 'eventually' part had her worried. Sesshoumaru turned, and started walking away. Katsumi moved to check on Inuyasha, but she felt something soft and warm wrap around her waist and pull her back as Sesshoumaru passed her. She was spun around, realized it had been Sesshoumaru's fluff. She glanced back at the others. Inuyasha was waking up, and it looked like he was going to be fine, so she hurried after Sesshoumaru.
They were getting close to where they had left Rin, Jaken, and Ah-Un now.
"… Can I ask you something?" Katsumi said. Sesshoumaru glanced at her out the corner of his eye. If it was about the event that had just transpired with Inuyasha, he wasn't going to answer it. Since he didn't say no, Katsumi decided to just go ahead and ask her question.
"I've been wondering for a while now, but… what is that fluffy thing you're wearing? It looks like a fur pelt, but sometimes, it seems alive…" Katsumi said. The corners of Sesshoumaru's mouth twitched, almost forming a wry smile. Almost. He hadn't expected her to ask him about his mokomoko, and she had called it 'fluffy'… granted it was soft, but fluffy? She certainly was strange.
"This 'fluffy thing' is my mokomoko. It's a pelt of fur to show my high status as a daiyoukai. The reason it seems 'alive' is because it has been infused with my youki, so I am able to move it at will." Sesshoumaru explained, deciding to humor her.
"Oh, I see, so it's mokomoko-sama." Katsumi said nodding in understanding. Sesshoumaru raised an eyebrow.
"… Mokomoko-sama?" Sesshoumaru asked.
"Why not? Everything about you just screams 'sama,' hence, mokomoko-sama." Katsumi said frankly. "… Can I pet it?"
"Hn. Don't push your luck." Sesshoumaru said.
1) Chichi-gimi is and older version of Chichi-ue.
2) I know Chichi-ue and Haha-ue are more formal than Papa and Mama, but what Sesshoumaru doesn't know, won't hurt Katsumi.
3) I know there are a lot of theories floating around about what mokomoko-sama is, but I heard that Inuyasha's mangaka said in an interview that it was just a fur pelt that was used as status symbol among demon tribes, or something. Please don't flame if I'm wrong, but I understand if you want to politely tell me I screwed up. Either way, what I currently have mokomoko-sama down as works for my story, so I'm probably leaving it as just a piece of glorious fluff.