Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha or any of its characters. If I did, Kikyo would still be dead and Inuyasha and Kagome would've been together a long time ago.

A/N: I'd like to appologize for the long wait and thank all of you for being so paitent with me. And to all of those who sent me reviews, thank you very much for your comments. They encouraged me to keep on writting, even as I was struggling through my grief. As a little thank you gift for all those who waited so paitently for me to update, I have completed writting the final chapter of Claw Marks On My Heart. I'll have it posted as soon as I finish typing and editing it. Hopefully it'll be up within a few day. Again, thank you all. Now on with the story. Enjoy - Desdemona

Chapter 3: Transformed

Kagome gasped.

It was too late.

Inuyasha had transformed.

His demon half had taken over.

The young priestess could only gape in horrified silence at the snarling face of the transformed Inuyasha. His pale hair whipped around him as a foul wind stirred. Wild, feral garnet and cerulean eyes were overflowing with hatred, vehemence, and bloodlust. Oversized fangs gnashed at the air as his lips curled back over his teeth. Animalistic snarling erupted from his chest, hair-raising and fearsome.

The creature trapped within the coiled of the snake demon was entirely different from the Inuyasha that Kagome knew and loved. In his demon state, Inuyasha was turned into a murderous beast. Unable to distinguish friend from foe, he took pleasure in slaughtering anyone or anything that got in his way.

This is bad. This is really bad, Kagome thought frantically.

She knew of only two ways to snap Inuyasha out of his demon state. Either use the "sit" command on him or bring the Tetsusaiga to him and allow its powerful magic to contain the demon. However, given the current situation, tapping into the subduing charm on the rosary he wore wasn't the best of solutions. The last thing she needed was to thrust Inuyasha deeper into the snake's coils. That only left Kagome with one option.

Casting her gaze quickly about the field, she took note that her companions were all vigorous attacking the enormous snake demon in hopes of freeing Inuyasha from its grasp. Not one of them was near enough to the fallen Tetsusaiga. And so, the responsibility fell to her.

Squaring her shoulders in determination, Kagome swallowed her fear. I have to get the Tetsusaiga to Inuyasha! It's the only way!

Breaking into a run, Kagome dashed across the field. The glint of the sword was her main focus, but as she sprinted over the grass, she kept one eye on her friends.

I've got to hurry or I won't be able to snap him out of it.

A petrifying roar split the air, causing the very ground beneath her feet to ripple with the force of an earthquake. Kagome skidded to a halt and spun in the direction of the earthshaking bellow, her black hair striking her face. With another ear shattering howl, the priestess's chocolate eyes widened in terror as the demonic Inuyasha slashed free of the snake demon's ropy coils.

Landing with a thud, the half-breed hunched over apelike, his claws extended. His clothes hung in tattered, burnt rags around his body from where the acidic poison seared through it. Every inch of his skin was covered in angry, red burns, painful sores, and shallow cuts.

The monstrous crimson demon unraveled its slinky body, its single, colossal eye flashing in annoyance. It hissed in displeasure.

Kagome started as she heard a round of triumphant shouts coming from the four tiny figures surrounding the creature. It took her a moment to remember that those minute specks were Miroku, Sango, Kirara, and Shippo.

Even from where she stood, she could hear their merry cries.

"He got loose!" Sango exclaimed joyously, catching her Hiraikotsu as it swung back to her.

"Way to go, Inuyasha!" Miroku cheered.

An icy ball of dread hit the pit of her stomach. They don't know that Inuyasha has transformed! Kagome realized with panic in her heart.

Sucking in a lungful of air, she screamed at the top of her lungs, "Miroku! Sango! Shippo! Get back here! Now! Inuyasha's entered his demon state!"

The trio froze, studying the shape of Inuyasha's back.

The half-demon glanced at them over his shoulder. Growling warningly, his eyebrows drew down over his crimson and ice eyes as he flexed his claws. They balked, and Shippo darted behind Miroku's legs, using the monk's robe as a shield when Inuyasha bared his fangs at them, twisting the violet streaks lining his cheeks.

"Don't just stand there gawking at him!" Kagome shrieked. "Run away from him!"

But they wouldn't budge with Inuyasha's deadly stare fixed on them. Fright had them rooted to the ground. Any little movement could encourage an attack from the silver-haired dog demon. And none of them were willing to take that risk.

Snapping his teeth at them one last time, Inuyasha tore away from them to attack the snake with a roar.

The second Inuyasha was out of the way, Kirara shot out of the sky and alighted in front of the trio. Without hesitation, the three clambered onto the tiger-like cat demon's back, clinging to her ivory fur with shaking fingers. After a moment's glance back at the battling demons, Kirara's leg muscles bunched together and she launched herself and her passengers into the sky.

Kagome breathed a sigh of relief once they were safely up in the air, soaring away from Inuyasha and the snake monster. She followed the path the cream and black colored demon took with her eyes. When Kirara touched down on the hill behind Kagome, the girl turned to face them.

"When did he transform?!" she heard Sango exclaim as she slid from Kirara's back.

"Just now," Kagome responded, flinching as something heavy crashed behind him. Twisting around, she gazed off in the demons' direction, but only their outlines were visible through another cloud of dust.

Stroking his chin thoughtfully as he strolled up to Kagome, Miroku mused, "It must've been a very rapid transformation. Even I didn't feel the change in his aura."

"Neither did I," the older woman murmured, nodding her head. "That snake's evil power must have masked the exact point of Inuyasha's change."

Shippo shivered as Kirara shrunk down to her normal, kitten-like state. "This is bad," the fox kit whimpered, his sweet, high voice trembling. "If he keeps transforming like this, we're not gonna be able to revert him back to normal."

Beside him, Kirara meowed in agreement.

"That's why I've got to get the Tetsusaiga to him! I need to reverse the transformation!" Kagome exclaimed. Before they could stop her, she whirled around and hastened toward the Tetsusaiga.

"Kagome, he'll hurt you!" Shippo called, his voice growing fainter the farther the modern-day girl got from them. "Miroku, stop her!"

Throwing a quick glance over her shoulder, she saw both the demon slayer and monk chasing after her. Kagome twisted her head back around and redoubled her efforts to outrun them. Her feet carried her over the hard earth faster than she could've ever imagined. Determination and fear kick started her adrenaline rush, fueling her with the energy and speed needed to carry out her mission.

Spotting the Tetsusaiga laying futilely among the tall grass, Kagome stooped down and scooped the sword up into her hands without missing a beat or slowing down. Clutching the ancient, powerful blade to her chest, she dug her sneakers into the ground and sprung to the right, redirecting herself towards the demons. With the Tetsusaiga now in her grasp, hope was added to her adrenaline rush, powering her enough to leave Miroku and Sango far behind her.

As she sped over the field, aiming for the blood-red monster, Kagome watched Inuyasha fight with growing horror. He clawed and swiped at the snake demon, his fire and ice eyes blazing in fury. His talons and fangs raked harmlessly against the armored scales. The more he fought, the more injuries he obtained. The spines nicked his skin, opening more and more wounds. Teeth and fangs slashed over his body, and yet Inuyasha plunged on, fearless and bloodthirsty. Pain did nothing to stop him.

If he keeps this up, he'll end up killing himself! she thought frantically. I must save him!

"Inuyasha!" Kagome cried, ducking under the demon's tail as it swung it at the half-breed. "Stop it!"

Coincidentally, the dog demon crashed to the ground a mere foot away from Kagome. Before he could spring away again, Kagome rushed to him, holding out the Tetsusaiga to him like an offering

"Inuyasha, take Tetsusaiga!" she called. "Transform back! Inuyash-"

Inuyasha whipped around, fiendish eyes blazing and fangs bared. Faster than the eye could see, his hand lashed out at her, claws fully extended. Kagome cried out in pain as his dagger-sharp claws raked over the left side of her face and chest, tearing away the front half of her shirt. She backpedaled, frantically trying to keep her balance. But the force of the attack was too powerful for her stand up against. Losing her grip on the Tetsusaiga, it swirled away from her and she fell back onto the grass. Her bow was dislodged from her back and her quiver shattered as she landed heavily on it. Clutching her chest, blood seeped through her fingers and gushed out in crimson waterfall from her cheek.

Laying there in numb shock, she didn't see the dog-eared shadow fall over her. She yelped, her eyes watering at the pain as a clawed hand fisted in her hair and jerked her head back, arching her throat.

Maniac laughter sounded above her, and she cracked a brown eye open. Crazed eyes the color of frost and flames stared down at her. Sharp, white teeth pulled back into a menacing sneer.

"You smell good," Inuyasha purred, his voice harsh and deadly. He released her hair and brutally shoved her to the ground, snickering sadistically as she whimpered. Dropping to his knees, he planted one arm on the other side of her body to brace himself over her. His hand found her hair again, digging into the thick ebony locks and yanking her head back again. Leaning close to her, he whispered in her ear, "But I bet you taste even better."

His tongue slid over the bloody scratches over her cheek, the very tips of his elongated fangs grazing her flesh. Kagome sobbed in agony, fresh, salty tears leaking from her eyes as his fangs dragged over the raw wounds.

Closing her eyes, she struggled to get away from him, pushing on his shoulders. "Inuyasha! Snap out of it!" she screamed. "Think about what you're doing! Quit saying those kinds of things! You're not yourself!"

"Heh," the dog demon sneered, his demented eyes flashing. He drew a long, taloned finger down the uninjured side of her face. "What're you yappin' about, bitch? I've never been more honest with you than I am right now."

Inuyasha's demon eyes fell to the warm, wet blood blossoming from Kagome's chest. His vicious leer widened.

"I'm feeling a little vampiric today," he snickered, licking his lips. "I think I want another taste."

Lowering his head, he descended upon the bloody gashes gouged into her chest, his teeth bared hungrily.

"Inuyasha, stop!" Kagome panicked, catching his shoulders with her hands in attempt to shove him away.

A blast of air buffeted them as the snake demon's tail whipped overhead, narrowly missing Inuyasha's silver-haired skull by little more than an inch. The transformed half-breed's head snapped around, his nose twitching as he caught his opponent's stench. Bloodlust sparked in his eyes as he was reminded of his quarry, and a low, rumbling snarl rose in his throat. His upper lip curled and trembled, baring his fangs and warped his face into a twisted grimace. The jagged, violet streaks across both cheeks were stretched and distorted.

With the single-mindedness of a bloodthirsty hunter, Inuyasha lost all interest in the young priestess beneath him. Crouching low, he propelled himself away from Kagome and hurtled toward the snake demon.

Dazed, Kagome staggered to her feet, wobbling unsteadily. Blood splattered down the front of her shirt, staining the while fabric of her school uniform crimson. Instinctively, she covered the open, bleeding wound with her small hand. The pain was so intense that she almost blacked out when her hand made contact with the raw flesh. Kagome heard faint yells over the tremendous noise of the raging demons, but nothing legible. Another wave of dizziness crashed over her, and the next second, she found herself flat on her back, staring up at the sky.


The anxious faces of Miroku, Sango and Shippo swam into view. Careful hands were helping her into a sitting position. Soft, gentle feet padded across her legs as the fox kit scampered into her lap and Kirara planted her front paws on her thighs.

"Kagome, are you alright!" Shippo exclaimed, his voice thick with tears.

"I… I think so…." she murmured, leaning back into Sango's comforting arms, allowing the older girl to support her.

"Gods," Miroku cursed, his violet eyes trained on the injuries made by Inuyasha's claws. "He has to be subdued! He nearly killed you!"

Standing swiftly, the monk adjusted his staff, taking it more firmly in his hand. "Sango, you and Shippo patch Kagome up. I'll see if I can snap Inuyasha out of his demon state."

The demon slayer nodded without complaint. "Be careful," she advised worriedly.

Miroku's amethyst eyes softened, and he smiled reassuringly at her. "I will. I promise," he swore solemnly.

Turning, he plucked the fallen Tetsusaiga from the ground and raced towards the warring demons, his robe flapping in the wind.

Sango watched him leave with concerned eyes, before firmly shaking her head and reverting her attention back to Kagome.

"Shippo, help me out here," she commanded. "Dig around in the bags for that roll of bandages and that jar of healing salve that Jinenji gave us."

The fox kit saluted her and dove into the bags, his little paws failing as he searched through the multiple items stuffed inside their packs. Kirara transformed with a flare of fire, and padded around Kagome's back. Nudging her master out of the way, the cat demon settled behind the reincarnated priestess to act as a means of support and a soft, warm pillow, freeing up Sango's hands.

Kagome didn't resist as her friends tended to her. The young girl's eyes were plastered to the bounding red-clothed figure as Sango carefully removed the tattered shirt from her body.

"Inuyasha…." Kagome whispered. "Please. Come back to me."

The modern-day girl wasn't the only one who was apprehensive. As Shippo spread the stinging salve onto Kagome's cut cheek from his perch on her shoulder, Sango threw furtive glances over her shoulder at Miroku. She visibly winced whenever he narrowly avoided an attack. Then she would shake it off and turn back to wrapping the white cloth bandage around Kagome's torso before sneaking another peek.

"I'll keep an eye on him for you," the younger girl offered quietly after the demon slayer did this for the seventh time.

She started, then sighed. "Thank you, Kagome," she murmured.

As Kagome watched, she saw that Miroku was making no headway in getting the Tetsusaiga to Inuyasha. Either the snake demon cut him off with its body or Inuyasha sprang out of the way, all the while she reported back to Sango and Shippo what was happening.

After darting away from Miroku, Inuyasha leapt at the snake demon's eye, his claws extended. Instead of evading the attack, the crimson monster lashed out at the half-demon with lightning fast speed, mouth open wide.

It took a second for the terror to settle in Kagome's heart.

Before she could utter a warning cry, one of the demon's enormous fangs drove cleanly through the middle of Inuyasha's stomach. There was a shower of blood, splattering the yellowed fang above him. The very tip of the long tooth was protruding from his back. A choking cough escaped Inuyasha with a spray of blood. Crimson and pale blue eyes widened. For a fraction of a second, his eyebrows pulled down over his demonic eyes and he gritted his teeth, an expression that wordlessly articulated his will to continue fighting. Then, his eyes glazed over, reverting back to their amber color before they slid shut. His head lolled, drooping languidly and his body slumped, all the spring drained from his muscles.

Time stopped.

Kagome stiffened, her mouth agape in horror and her eyes impossibly wide. From across the field, Miroku skidded to a halt, his arms falling listless by his sides and took a step back in shock. Kirara was the first to notice Kagome's numb distress. The cat demon turned her great head, following the direction of her terrified gaze. Her gentle ruby eyes widened, and she meowed mournfully. This caught Shippo's and Sango's attention, and they too refocused their attention. Sango gasped, covering her mouth with her hands and Shippo dropped the patch of cloth he was holding to stare in dumbfounded shock at the dog demon's limp body, speared by the snake demon's fang.

Shoving Sango away from her, dislodging Shippo from her shoulder, Kagome staggered to her feet, seizing her bow and an unbroken arrow. Then, the silence was shattered as she straightened, nocking her arrow and screamed as high as her voice would allow, "INUYASHA!"

Disregarding the tears that clouded her vision, Kagome pulled back on the bowstring. The arrow shot like a bullet from the bow. Fuchsia light enveloped the Sacred Arrow as it sliced through the air, aimed straight for the demon's enormous eye. Unable to defend itself against the streaking arrow, it struck the snake's unprotected eye with a blinding burst of rose-colored radiance. The monster shrieked in agony as its entire body was encased in the glow of the Sacred Arrow before it disintegrated away into ashes.

As the fang embedded in his stomach vanished, with nothing left to support Inuyasha's weight, he fell solidly to the earth.

Struggling to keep upright, Kagome pushed past Sango and Shippo, ignoring their displeased exclamations. Tossing her bow carelessly in some unknown direction behind her, she raced, tripped, and stumbled towards Inuyasha's collapsed figure.

When she reached the spot where he lay, she collapsed to her knees beside him. Kagome cradled his head in her lap, his silver hair strewn across her legs. Blood spilled over her hands and legs from the hole in his chest, but Kagome heeded no attention to it. Violently shaking, she stroked his still face with her bloodied hands. Anguish and pain welled in her heart, but her mind was still numb with shock, and she couldn't find the tears that so desperately wanted to fall.

There was a patter of feet behind her and a collective gasp as her companions beheld the sight before them. However, she couldn't detach herself from the dying half-breed to turn to them. Kirara meowed mournfully, her voice sweet and morose. Sango let out a strangled sob and buried her face in Miroku's chest. The monk lightly touched the demon slayer's back, his head bowed in regret. For once, he didn't revert to his lecherous actions, and his hand remained high on her shoulders where it belonged. Shippo bound over to Kagome, his green eyes wide in disbelieving shock.

"Inuyasha…?" he questioned timidly, gently pushing the side of the dog demon's head. When his head flopped lifelessly and didn't respond, the fox kit burst into tears.

"Inuyasha, you can't be dead!" Shippo wailed, beating on the half-breed's shoulder with his small hands. "Who am I gonna pick on if you're gone? Who's gonna teach me to be a true demon when I grow older? Who else am I going to be able to look up to as my big brother?"

Upon hearing the young fox demon's words, Kagome's dam shatter, releasing a raging river of emotion.

Tears cascaded down her cheeks and screaming sobs tore from her lips. Hunching over Inuyasha's body, Kagome wept uncontrollably and hugged his broken, bleeding body to hers.

"I-Inuyasha, you idiot!" Kagome sobbed, touching her forehead to the dog demon's. "If you had j-just stopped to think things th-through a little instead of rushing r-recklessly into battle, then you w-wouldn't be laying at my feet like th-this! How could you b-be so careless?! Wh-what am I s-supposed to do without you?"

She broke down into hysterical tears. Violent tremors rocked her body and she was unable to get a coherent word out through the blubbering.

Underneath her hands, Inuyasha's eyebrows twitched.

"A-And to t-think that the l-last thing you h-heard me s-say was me calling y-you cruel names," she cried, her body completely out of her control as she shook. Shippo wailed wordlessly beside Kagome, and Sango wept silently Miroku's arms.

"I'm sorry, Inuyasha," Kagome apologized weepily. "I'm s-so sorry. I d-didn't mean any of it. I was j-just so angry I-I didn't stop t-to think. Th-this is all my f-fault! I-if we hadn't gotten into th-that stupid fight, you w-wouldn't have g-gone into battle angry! It wasn't s-supposed to h-happen like this! I d-didn't even g-get to tell you th-that I l-"

"Wench…. Stop… your crying. It's… pathetic."

Kagome's brown eyes flew open and she sprang upright, staring down in amazement at the pained, half-lidded, but open golden eyes of Inuyasha.

"Inuyasha!" Kagome screamed, tears splashing down her face as she crushed his blood body to hers. "You're alive!"

"Ow, ow, OW!" he protested, squirming frailly in her arms. "That HURTS, Kagome!"

"Oh! Sorry."

Inuyasha leaned back against Kagome's legs and closed his eyes. Instantly, she knew that there wasn't a light at the end of the tunnel yet. Inuyasha's breathing was extremely labored and ragged. He was panting as if he couldn't fill his lungs with a sufficient amount of oxygen. Sweat was breaking out over his forehead, making his fair skin clammy. A pale gray pallor had crept into his face, giving him a corpse like appearance. Involuntary tremors wracked his body, and his face was twisted in a grimace of pain.

Grasping for breath, he cracked his eyes open, his irises only small slivers of gold as he stared up at Kagome. He smiled weakly.

"I'm… not gonna… last much longer… Kagome…." he whispered brokenly.

"Don't say that!" she scolded fiercely, a hint of panic coloring her tone. "You'll pull through! You're awake now, aren't you?"

He rocked his head slowly right and left in her lap. It took Kagome a moment to recognize that he was shaking his head. "Doesn't matter… if I'm conscious… or not. The poison's… still in me. And a lot… of it, at that."

Ice froze her insides and chilled her blood at his words. She had forgotten about that poisonous, acidic black sludge that had secreted from the demon's scales.

A small, sad smile graced his lips as his amber eyes slid closed. "At least…." he murmured, his voice faint, "I got… to see you… again…. It's more… that I… deserve…."

His head slumped back into her lap, sending Kagome into a frenzy.

"Inuyasha? Inuyasha?! Wake up! Inuyasha!" she pleaded, lightly shaking his shoulders.

Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a squirrel came racing by and a recognizable, microscopic figure leaped from the animal's gray fur. It landed on Kagome's knee, and she heard someone crying, "Master Inuyasha! What's happened?!"

Miroku was the one who identified the voice. "Myoga?" he questioned, peering over the priestess's shoulder. "Is that you?"

Struck by the well-known name, the young girl glanced down at her knee. "M-Myoga?" Kagome stammered, her voice wavering uncontrollably, squinting at the tiny form through the tears in her eyes.

"Yes, of course it's me!" the flea demon exclaimed, agitatedly bouncing up and down. "Now tell me what's happened to Master Inuyasha!"

"H-he was fighting a p-powerful d-demon. O-one th-that was w-way out of his league, a-and he lost the T-Tetsusaiga in the b-battle and he t-transformed into his d-demon state. A-and he kept on f-fighting recklessly and was s-speared by the d-demon's fang. H-he was awake a s-second ago, b-but that demon was v-venomous and I-Inuyasha has a lot of p-poison in his body. I-If he wasn't p-poisoned, then he c-can recover, b-but there's n-no way to get it out…." Kagome quickly and tearfully reviewed.

Myoga puffed up his chest. "I can do more than flee from battles, you know! Stand aside, young lady. I'll save Master Inuyasha for you. Have no fear, for Myoga is here!"

And without another word, the flea demon leapt onto Inuyasha. Attaching himself to the side of the half-demon's neck, he began drinking Inuyasha's blood, drawing out the poison from his body. Kagome watched as the tiny flea grew larger and larger in size until he was roughly the same mass as Shippo. Swollen with Inuyasha's blood, Myoga rolled away from the dog demon lethargically.

"Ahh," he sighed, patting his engorged stomach. "That's good blood. Although, that poison's gonna cause me some grief later."

"It won't hurt you will it?" Kagome asked worriedly.

Myoga brushed it off with a carefree wave of his hand. "Nah. It'll just cause a little indigestion."

"What about-?" She lightly touched Inuyasha's forehead.

"Lord Inuyasha will be alright now," he assured her. "I got rid of most the poison. His body should be able to take over from there. He'll recover, but it'll take some time. He's lost a lot of blood, but nothing that'll kill him. Now, you four better start bandaging those wounds of his if you want him to heal."

Shippo scrambled to grab the pack from atop of the hill. As Miroku moved to follow him, he paused beside Kagome and bent down, taking her hand. Something hard and cool touched her palm. When he pulled away, she glanced down to see a rather large Shikon Jewel shard resting against her hand.

"I pulled that from the snake demon's ashes before I came over here," he told her softly. "I thought you should hold onto it."

She closed her hand around it as he walked off. Glancing quickly at the now snoozing Myoga, Sango knelt beside Kagome, placing a hand on her shoulder and said, "Don't worry. He'll be fine."

Kagome cast a glance at the unconscious dog demon resting against her lap.

"I hope you're right," she sighed.

As always let me know if something can be changed. The romance is in the next chapter. I promise. :)