Caught In The Spider's Web
"Kukuku, Sesshoumaru-sama, I'm honored that you've finally come to visit me…" Naraku said. "I, Naraku… shall give you an appropriate welcome." Naraku said. There was a stir of power from Naraku, and strange creaking and cracking sounds were heard as multiple grotesque, insect-like youkai limbs and tentacles sprouted from underneath the baboon pelt. Naraku's lower half was now some kind of strange, almost plant-like pile of disgusting tendrils. Sesshoumaru's eyes narrowed slightly.
"Geh!?" Jaken said, recoiling in disgust and surprise.
"… Yeah… I might've been out of line with that whole 'baboon suit' insult before… I totally understand why you might wear it now." Katsumi said.
"Hnn, Scrap youkai miss-mashed together… " Sesshoumaru observed. "Naraku… so that's your real form, huh."
"Real form…? No, this form is… still a work in progress." Naraku said as one of his tentacles struck at them, quick as lightning.
"Yeek!" Jaken squeaked as they all dodged it.
"Heh. So your objective is the life of this Sesshoumaru… huh." Sesshoumaru said.
'I don't get it… Why is he suddenly after Sesshoumaru, now? Why did he wait all this time…?" Katsumi thought. Katsumi wasn't the only one puzzled about that. Kagura was watching them all from a safe distance.
'I don't get it… killing Sesshoumaru… What does that gain Naraku?' Kagura wondered. '…! … Could it be that Naraku is…!?'
"Hmmm… so, you don't remember anything, Kohaku?" Rin asked. After she had mentioned that she was scared, the boy, Kohaku, had started talking with Rin, and she learned that his name was Kohaku.
"Yeah." Kohaku said. Rin thought he sounded a little lonely.
"What about your Ma and Pa?" Rin asked.
"… I've forgotten." Kohaku said, not looking at her.
"Hmmm." Rin said thoughtfully. 'I wonder if it's like that…' Rin thought.
'It's not that I've completely forgotten… but… I seem to remember something terrible…' Kohaku thought.
"Something you don't want to remember is it, isn't it." Rin said as she munched on her melon.
"Eh…?" Kohaku said, turning to look at her. 'How did she know…?' Kohaku wondered.
"Rin is the same you know, my Ma, Pa, and brothers… were attacked by bandits and all killed…" Rin said a little sadly. "Even now, I see dreams about that time. It's bad, isn't it."
"…" Kohaku said. 'I see… she's small, but she's been through a lot too…' Kohaku thought.
"… Did I say too much? I'm often told to shut up, you see." Rin asked.
"It's okay." Kohaku said. "It's just been a long time… since I've last talked to someone like this…" Kohaku said. He heard a rustling sound outside. "!" Kohaku quickly went over to the oil lamp and blew it out.
"What's up?" Rin asked.
"Be quiet." Kohaku said. He crouched down and looked through the air vents in the door. Sango, Miroku, Kagome, and Shippo were approaching.
'That person is…!' Kohaku thought as he felt his heart thump painfully in his chest.
'Kohaku, are you inside?' Sango wondered.
"You stay out of this." Sesshoumaru told Katsumi. Katsumi's intuition told her that was a bad idea, but she knew Sesshoumaru wouldn't listen, and telling him so would only spur him on to fight Naraku more. So, she did as he asked and stepped aside.
"Oh? You're not going to aid him, Katsumi?" Naraku said.
"Sesshoumaru can more than take care of himself, and I'd appreciate it if you'd refrain from speaking to me unless it has to do with Rin's location. I hate your guts." Katsumi retorted.
'Hmph, I'm going to enjoy the look on her face when she finds out what I have in store for Sesshoumaru…' Naraku thought. It was obvious to him how much Katsumi cared for Sesshoumaru. Sesshoumaru drew Tokijin and slashed Naraku's tentacles as they shot towards him. The sliced off tentacles fell to the ground with a thump.
'That's weird… normally Tokijin would've completely destroyed something like that once it was cut…' Katsumi thought.
"Naraku… a mere low-grade youkai like you… won't even be able to lay a finger upon I, Sesshoumaru." Sesshoumaru said coldly.
"kukuku…" Naraku laughed, smirking.
'What's he so smug about…?" Katsumi wondered. The feeling she had that told her something was about to go horribly wrong increased. There was a stir of power from the detached tentacles, and they fused together to form one lager one before latching onto Sesshoumaru's leg.
"!" Katsumi said in surprise. Sesshoumaru stared at the tentacle. Naraku attacked with his other tentacles again, but Sesshoumaru effortlessly sliced them off too. As they fell to the ground, there was a stir of power, and the newly detached tentacles also latched onto Sesshoumaru's empty Kimono sleeve. Sesshoumaru did not look pleased.
'What the heck…?' Katsumi thought.
'kukuku… The pieces of me you are mincing are being wrapped around you.' Naraku thought smugly as he smirked at Sesshoumaru. 'And so…'
'I'm certain! Naraku is… planning to take in… Sesshoumaru's body into his own!' Kagura thought in alarm. They all felt the barrier weaken and then collapse.
"!" Naraku said in alarm. 'Who is it!? This person that can damage my barrier outside the castle…?' Naraku wondered. "Go, Kagura!" Naraku ordered her.
"!" Kagura said in surprise. 'He knew I was watching…?' Kagura thought.
'Kagura!?' Katsumi thought in surprise when she saw Kagura step out from her hiding place. Kagura's scent was so similar to Naraku's that she hadn't noticed her… Kagura was the one who kidnapped Rin in the first place, maybe she could tell Katsumi where Rin was…
"Kagura! Where's Rin!?" Katsumi yelled as she ran towards her. Kagura quickly took off on her feather, but Katsumi shed her haori, and unfurled her wings to pursue her. Naraku shot a tentacle at her. "Tetsuren!" Katsumi yelled as she used her claws to slice it. The sliced tentacle simply shot forward, and wrapped itself around her. "Aah!" Katsumi yelled in surprise as her wings were extinguished and she fell harshly to the ground. Naraku was intrigued when he felt the energy his tentacle had absorbed from her. It was unlike anything he had ever felt before. It wasn't as powerful as Sesshoumaru's youki, but it might be worth absorbing to test it out… The tentacle tightened around Katsumi as she struggled to get free.
"A visitor, eh Naraku… I feel sorry for the person. After coming all this way to visit…" Sesshoumaru said. "They won't be able to meet you alive!" Sesshoumaru swung Tokijin, releasing a powerful burst of blue energy at Naraku. It hit Naraku full force, and sent more of his body parts flying. They landed, scattered around Sesshoumaru.
'Kukuku, just a bit more…" Naraku thought "Sesshoumaru, before long, you will be eaten by the flesh of me, Naraku… and become part of my body!" Naraku thought triumphantly. The tentacles surrounding Sesshoumaru began to creep closer to him. Naraku felt another presence approaching him. 'It's coming closer. That damn Kagura, she failed to kill it, huh?' Naraku thought.
"Naraku… you seem to be concerned about the outside of the castle." Sesshoumaru said. Katsumi picked up a familiar scent just then… it was Inuyasha.
"Sesshoumaru-sama… I'm afraid I'll no longer be able to leisurely battle with you. That perfect youkai power of yours… Shall all be devoured by me, Naraku!" Naraku yelled as all his discarded body parts suddenly flew at Sesshoumaru all at once, and wound around the daiyoukai, completely encasing him to the point where they couldn't even see his face any more.
"Se-Sesshoumaru!?" Katsumi cried in alarm as she desperately struggled to get free. She knew she shouldn't have ignored her intuition!
"Sesshoumaru-sama!" Jaken yelled. He tried to run to assist his lord, but a spare tentacle inched its way towards him. Jaken tried to burn it with his staff, but that only made it chase him more. Jaken ran around like a chicken with its head cut off as he tried to keep from getting captured too.
"Kukuku… Watch Katsumi, as I absorb your beloved Sesshoumaru-sama into my own body!" Naraku said as he smirked mockingly at her. Katsumi's eyes widened in fear for Sesshoumaru. He should have been able to break out of Naraku's hold by now, but he hadn't… She was a little disturbed that Naraku had seen through her feelings for Sesshoumaru like that, but there were more important things to worry about… like Sesshoumaru and Rin. Katsumi grit her teeth.
"NOOOO!" She shouted in frustration and fear for her loved ones. She felt a pulse of energy from with in herself, and a brilliant energy glowed, and burst forth from within her, instantly disintegrating the tentacle Naraku had wrapped around her. Naraku's eyes widened in shock. Katsumi, barely even registering what had just happened—apart from the all important fact that she was now free— sprinted towards Sesshoumaru. "Sesshoumaruuu!" Katsumi screamed as she leapt onto the mound of Naraku's flesh and began desperately trying to rip the flesh away, and free Sesshoumaru. She didn't want to use her sword incase the attack went through to Sesshoumaru.
'This girl…!?' Naraku thought, stunned. He chuckled in dark amusement. It seemed she wasn't even aware of the power she possessed. "Katsumi, do you think that Sesshoumaru will return your feelings if you save his life?" Naraku taunted her. They both knew how Sesshoumaru felt about those of mixed blood. While he had tolerated Katsumi, she knew that it was so unlikely he would ever care for her in return, that it could probably be seen as a sign of the apocalypse if Sesshoumaru ever even considered loving anyone who was not a pureblooded youkai… but that didn't change the fact that she still loved him.
"Shut up! I don't care if he doesn't feel the same! I'm doing this because I love him!" Katsumi shouted at Naraku. Naraku smirked.
"…In that case… it would be a pity to separate the two of you…" Naraku said, and Katsumi was suddenly aware that she was being sucked inside of the cocoon of Naraku's flesh too.
"!" Katsumi cried in surprise right before Naraku finished completely sucking her in.
"This can't be happening!?" Jaken cried.
"Naraku!" They heard Inuyasha yell as he arrived on the scene. "So, that's… your real form, huh!?" Inuyasha yelled when he saw Naraku's grotesque appearance.
"Inuyasha…!" Naraku said in surprise. He hadn't expected him to be the intruder.
"Take this… Kaze no kizu!" Inuyasha shouted as he swung Tessaiga and unleashed the massive attack.
"Damn!" Naraku said and quickly raised a barrier around himself, but Inuyasha's Akai Tessaiga cut right through it. "!" Naraku said in surprise when he was hit by the Kaze no kizu. 'What…!? My barrier was….!" Naraku thought, stunned with shock. Kagura flew back to see what had come to pass.
"Aaah! Sesshoumaru-sama…!" Jaken cried in despair, tearing up when he saw Inuyasha's attack hit Naraku and the area around him. The imp didn't think there was any hope left that Sesshoumaru would survive… Katsumi was definitely a goner in his mind.
'Sesshoumaru is…!' Kagura thought when she saw the mass of Naraku's flesh that encased Sesshoumaru and Katsumi.
A flash of blue energy shot out from Naraku's flesh, and sliced it open from the inside, revealing Sesshoumaru and Katsumi, completely unharmed. Sesshoumaru was holding Tokijin, and Katsumi was holding Sesshoumaru. The gentle emerald green kekkai surrounding them, that she had some how erected around them when she had been pulled inside with Sesshoumaru, had kept them from being absorbed. It faded away, now that it was no longer needed.
"Sesshoumaru… Katsumi…!" Inuyasha said in surprise. Katsumi removed her arms from around Sesshoumaru as he stood up. Katsumi stayed down. She wasn't sure how she did it, but holding that barrier had taken a lot out of her.
"Heh, isn't it ironic, Naraku?" Sesshoumaru said, mockingly, clearly pissed off despite the slightly amused expression on his face. "It seems Katsumi, whom you absorbed in order to prevent her from freeing me… managed to somehow erect her own barrier once she was inside your flesh which prevented you from absorbing us, and the bit of your flesh wrapped around us… served as a shield against Inuyasha's Kaze no kizu."
'I miscalculated… to think that Inuyasha could break in this far.' Naraku thought. "Kukuku… Inuyasha, you… have become able to cut barriers now, eh." Naraku said bitterly. He had been reduced to little more than a glorified torso now.
"Naraku, you bastard… this time, for sure, you're not getting away." Inuyasha said determinedly. "Prepare to fucking die!" Inuyasha yelled as he raised Tessaiga and charged. Sesshoumaru swished past him.
"He is my prey!" Sesshoumaru said as he swung Tokijin and unleashed an attack upon Naraku that could rival the Kaze no kizu. Katsumi sweat dropped. She thought they had moved past that after they defeated the Oyakata-sama together… Naraku released a burst of miasma that rolled towards them in a huge wave.
"Miasma!" Inuyasha yelled as he covered hi nose and mouth and jumped back to avoid it. Sesshoumaru jumped back too, but he didn't have to cover his nose or mouth.
"Sesshoumaru-sama… I shall withdraw for today." Naraku said as he flew away in a swirling cloud of miasma and saimyosho. Katsumi and Inuyasha felt a stir of power come from Sesshoumaru.
"You fool… You think you can escape, from me?" Sesshoumaru growled as he started to transform, ready to pursue Naraku. The whites of his eyes glowed red, the stripes on his face became jagged, and his fangs extended in length as the air around him crackled with demonic energy.
"Kukuku, Sesshoumaru-sama, rather than transforming and chasing after me, it would be better to quickly go find your little girl companion…" Naraku said. Katsumi's eyes widened.
"Rin! What did you do to Rin!?" Katsumi demanded as she staggered to her feet. The red faded from Sesshoumaru's eyes, and he stopped his transformation.
'Little girl companion…? What's going on!?' Inuyasha wondered as he glanced at Katsumi and Sesshoumaru.
"Rin is currently… together with the one called Kohaku…" Naraku said as he flew further away.
'Kohaku!?' Inuyasha thought in alarm.
"The meaning of which… Inuyasha… I'm sure you can imagine…" Naraku said, disappearing from sight.
"Kohaku… what's wrong?" Rin asked when Kohaku suddenly fell eerily silent. The jewel shard in the back of his neck glowed as Kohaku stared vacantly at the door in front of him.
'Kohaku is being controlled by Naraku… with the Shikon fragment inside his back… If Naraku orders it… Kohaku would kill, no matter who they are…' Inuyasha thought grimly as he sheathed Tessaiga. "Hey, Sesshoumaru. Even you can be held hostage?" Inuyasha asked.
"Inuyasha, who's this 'Kohaku' person?" Katsumi asked as she stumbled over to them. She was going to need lots of food and rest to recover her spent energy.
"Well… he's… Sango's younger brother, but…" Inuyasha began explaining.
'Kidnapping Rin was to buy time when run away… huh. Naraku… he's a despicably underhanded guy.' Sesshoumaru thought in irritation. Mokomoko-sama swirled around him, lengthening and trailing behind him as Sesshoumaru began to take flight.
"Hey, just a sec!" Inuyasha shouted, abruptly bringing his conversation with Katsumi to and end.
"Ah! Wait for me!" Katsumi cried as she quickly grabbed onto mokomoko-sama, and held on tight as Sesshoumaru flew away. She didn't have the energy to fly on her own, and she was not going to just sit there while Rin was in danger.
"Ah." Jaken said in realization, peeking out from behind the rock he had been hiding behind. "Se-Sesshoumaru-sama, don't leave me behind—deh!?" Jaken yelled and grunted in pain when Inuyasha stepped on the imp to keep him from escaping. "I… Inuyasha!" Jaken said in surprise when Inuyasha grabbed him and held him up by the collar of his kimono.
"Hey, Jaken." Inuyasha said. "Explain. What happened between Naraku and Sesshoumaru?"
"I'll never talk to some measly hanyou like you." Jaken huffed. Inuyasha gave Jaken several lumps on the head. "… It's a long story…" Jaken said.
"Make it short." Inuyasha deadpanned. Jaken quickly launched into the story of how Rin and Katsumi had come to travel with them.
The youkai surrounding the house Kohaku and Rin were in, who had simply been casually loitering around the place up until now, suddenly launched themselves at the rest of the Inu-tachi.
"They're coming this way!" Shippo shouted in alarm.
"Hiraikotsu!" Sango yelled as she hurled her giant boomerang at the incoming youkai.
"It figures, this bunch…" Miroku said as he took a few out with his staff. "Are here to stop us from getting near there…"
"Ah…!" Kagome said when she saw two small figures running from the house. Kohaku jumped onto a long, serpent-like youkai with a small girl. 'It is Kohaku-kun! He's taking a girl with him!?' Kagome thought.
"Kohaku!" Sango yelled when she saw her brother. Another group of youkai flew at her. "Dammit, you're in the way!" She yelled as she whacked them with her Hiraikotsu.
"Gotta go after him!" Kagome yelled as she took off running after Kohaku.
"Kagome!" Shippo yelled in alarm as he held onto her. Two youkai were headed straight for them.
"!" Kagome gasped.
"Kagome-sama!" Miroku yelled. He couldn't get to her. Both he and Sango were being attacked by youkai too.
"Sankon-tessou!" Inuyasha yelled as he slashed the youkai with his claws.
"I-Inuyasha!" Kagome said in relief.
"Kagome, wasn't Kohaku around here!?" Inuyasha yelled.
"We can still make it! The Shikon fragment isn't that far away!" Kagome said.
"Inuyasha…" Sango said. She was still surrounded by youkai.
"We'll go ahead! It seems we'd better rush!" Inuyasha said as he took off with Kagome.
Katsumi clutched mokomoko-sama as they flew through the air. What ever she had done to blast off Naraku's tentacle and make that kekkai, had really done a number on her. Katsumi felt like she was going to pass out soon, but since that would mean letting go of Sesshoumaru's mokomoko-sama, and falling to her doom, Katsumi was desperately trying to stay conscious…trying being the keyword. Sesshoumaru glanced back when he felt Katsumi's hands loosen their grip on his mokomoko. She was falling. Sesshoumaru swooped down and scooped her up before she could fall any farther. As he continued flying towards the direction Rin's scent was coming from, Sesshoumaru glanced down at the unconscious Katsumi, who was now safely tucked under his arm. Though he had been trapped within a layer of Naraku's flesh, he had still heard everything that was going on around him… including Katsumi's confession of her feelings for him.
"Fool…" Sesshoumaru said as he gazed at her.
"The girl Kohaku-kun took away was… with Sesshoumaru and Katsumi-chan?" Kagome asked, surprised, as she clung to Inuyasha's back. On their way to intercept Kohaku, Inuyasha had told Kagome what he heard from Jaken.
"It's hard enough to believe he would let Katsumi, who's only three-fourths youkai, travel with him, but that Sesshoumaru, who considers mere humans to be nothing but insects, would take a human with him is unbelievable, but … Whatever happened, it's a bad combination." Inuyasha said. "Most likely, Naraku would have planted a suggestion in Kohaku's mind… to kill the hostage."
"Say, why did you run away to here? There was somebody outside the house, wasn't there." Rin said as Kohaku held her hand and led her through the woods in the mountain. "Where are we going now? "Ne, Kohaku…" They reached a clearing, and the jewel shard pulsed with energy.
'Kill her.' Naraku's voice echoed in Kohaku's mind. Kohaku stopped walking. He turned to look at Rin and raised his kusarigama. 'Kill her.' Naraku's voice echoed again. Kohaku stared numbly at Rin. She was staring up at him, confused and concerned. Kohaku sliced at Rin with the scythe part of his kusarigama. Rin fell backwards as she dodged the attack.
"Ko… Kohaku?" Rin asked. She didn't understand what was going on. Kohaku had been so nice to her. 'W-What's happening to Kohaku…?' Rin wondered, concerned. Kohaku swiped at her with his weapon again. "Kyah!" Rin cried and covered her head as she ducked. The blade of the scythe sliced a few hairs off the top of her side ponytail. "W-What's wrong, Kohaku?" Rin cried as she scrambled away. 'His expression's changed…' Rin thought as she tried to run away. Kohaku threw his kusarigama's chain at her, and it wrapped around her ankles. Kohaku yanked the chain back, and Rin fell. "Gyah!" Rin yelled as she face-planted in the ground. Kohaku knelt down beside Rin and rolled her onto her back. She had been knocked unconscious when she hit the ground. Kohaku raised the scythe, but paused when he heard the grass rustle behind him. It was Sesshoumaru.
'I hope I can make it in time…' Inuyasha thought as he ran.
Hi there, I'm sorry if Katsumi's confession seems sudden, but please remember that she's been hiding her feelings from Sesshoumaru this whole time out of fear of rejection, and she didn't think Sesshoumaru would hear her.
I found out that the Japanese name for Kohaku's sickle and chain weapon was 'kusarigama.' So, naturally, I couldn't resit using it's Japanese name ^_^