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15 July 2009 @ 03:54 pm
Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde  
Title: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Pairing: Suikotsu x Kikyou
Fandom: Inuyasha
Genre: Backstory, Tragedy
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 2,237

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

 

suppose i am stupid (am delusional)

you come my way, wonderful

and gallant and beau-ti-ful

like any woman, i let you in

i dispel my guard

i draw you towards

(embraces, chases)

 

and you enter

 

--it is mythical--

(but that was the first time)

 

i take all your little words

as mighty testaments

i erect monuments

(i clean your dirtied sheets)

and all the while, you think

"gee-whiz, this is it

have i got it made"

and i let you

 

(it doesn't matter)

 

you take and you take

and i give

(because it's really me--

who is cruel)

and i let you believe that

i am really, really, really that naive

 

then one day

 

--we all woke up--

(you were dead)

 

this was all perhaps [poetry in infamy]

 

“I never saw a man I so disliked, and yet I scarce know why. He must be deformed somewhere; he gives a strong feeling of deformity” --Robert Louis Stevenson

 

1.

 

The mother died when Kaede was born, burned for days from alternating chills and fires. She suffered tremendously, valiantly, and so, she was martyred. She had left behind two legacies and a legend. Kikyou, she once said, was destined to endure again and again and again.

 

--and even that will never be enough

 

(she will feel pain like second nature)

 

Kikyou took her baby sister into her thin arms and rocked her to sleep. Agitated and turbulent, disturbed by infantile nightmares and unrequited baby-love, Kaede thrashed her small body around. Hush.

 

And she did. Kikyou smiled. A baby was a baby and would never cause her trouble. This was the philosophy she rooted from (and later learned to regret).

 

As Kaede grew, so did Kikyou. She matured into a great beauty, was pursued by countless scruffy, gruffly groomed little boys. Kaede watched--backwards--with awe and envy. She tugged at her short, coarse hair and rubbed at her eyelids, but never ever did she appear tall and majestic (and deadly) like Kikyou.

 

But Kikyou was her mother and sister, and Kaede learned respect very young. And some days, she would cower and crouch, head tucked in, fearful as Kikyou slew another youkai.

 

"Watch."

 

She inclined her head.

 

"Strike for the heart."

 

She shuddered. Stop, I don't wanna think of that.

 

"Unless you mean to seal, then aim for a shoulder blade."

 

Lesson ended. They trekked back to the village covered in gore and mud, hands shaking, and neck sorely tense.

 

That was the first day: Kikyou ceased to be mortal. (Kaede elevated her to a god.)

 

2.

 

Her days were numbered. Kill kill kill. They had no souls (she lost hers long ago) and so, it was all perfectly fine. No qualms (blood juiced from her palms) and no rue.

 

Kikyou acquired the gift of not looking back. No second glances and no self doubts. And sometimes, she listened to so much adulation and taught herself so much confidence that she actually believed it.

 

Words had power...

 

--yes--

 

But she relied on an arrow and bow.

 

"Kikyou-sama, there is a youkai in a village north of us. They have sent word."

 

Words again.

 

"How far north?"

 

"Half a day's walk. We will more than gladly provide you a horse."

 

"No need. I will start in the morning."

 

The cycle continued. She kept on giving and giving until her body ran dry and brittle. And then, they would only devour the ashes from her cremated corpse. Greed was a destructively vile seducer.

 

-

 

Sometimes, she must have lost her mind.

 

She saw the world in two (hallucinations): the good and the bad. There was a thin, indistinct line separating them, but Kikyou painted it darker, brighter, lovelier.

 

Her hands constantly trembled now.

 

What's wrong with me?

 

The youkai fled upon sight of her fluttering white sleeves.

 

Why is there blood?

 

(She made sure death was accurate, clean, precise.)

 

-

 

There were stories (always were) of a group of thieves. More so, they slaughtered wantonly. Lusted for the riches and the vices.

 

And village heads personally requested for her help. Kikyou refused Youkai were youkai, and humans were humans.

 

She didn't have time to contend with both. There was too much evil in the world.

 

"I'm sorry" and she would shake her head sadly.

 

They glared venomously but shuffled back in defeated retreat.

 

3.

 

She didn't mean to do it. The arrow flung out before she could retract it, could not dissuade it from it's proper course. And it was so sudden, so tragic. And soon, they were both dead.

 

Crumpled in a heap, Kikyou felt her spirit rising (still waited for Inuyasha's) but she was alone. He was alive--sealed.

 

She would always be alone.

 

-

 

Inuyasha apologized and apologized (actually, that was what she took his prattle as) and Kikyou laughed brutally. He never did understand her: that love did not resolve every conflict, that love was not enough--

 

"Enough!"

 

He stepped back, evidently hurt.

 

"You betrayed me, Inuyasha. There is not enough 'sorry' in the world to compensate!"

 

He scowled. She's had enough.

 

This time, Kaede, aim for the heart.

 

But Inuyasha departed before she could draw. It didn't matter; it didn't matter. She didn't care, couldn't bring herself to find the emotions in her exhumed clay chest.

 

She walked onwards, no hesitating back-gazes. There was a village sick with illness and children. Kikyou smiled bitterly (she always did love Kaede best).

 

4.

 

Dr. Suikotsu was an accomplished doctor (she confirmed his selection of herbs and miscellaneous leaves). But he was shy and mysterious, and just couldn't fathom why the children flocked to him.

 

He petted their lice-infested hair awkwardly, as if scared. And the gesture would have softened any woman's heart (except Kikyou had none).

 

One night, he approached her, shrouded by whistling branches and unknown intents. She turned to him, suspicious and judiciously raised for the familiar feathered end of an arrow.

 

Second time's the charm.

 

"Wait!"

 

She paused, only momentarily. She was fast, and he didn't stand a chance.

 

"I just wanted to talk to you."

 

--maybe--

 

"I--I'm Suikotsu. I see you around the village sometimes. They say you're the 'other doctor'," he laughed and it wasn't entirely unpleasant.

 

Just cold and empty. (Now she understood.)

 

"Kikyou. You know medicine like the back of your hand."

 

He supposed it was a compliment and blushed, stuttering out thanks. She shrugged, nothing special.

 

"Kikyou-sama, I have heard great things about you."

 

Ethereal.

 

"And I have witnessed great things about you."

 

Surreal.

 

"I like to be plain and direct: I would like to work together with you."

 

"We will see."

 

"But--"

 

He stopped short. She had disappeared, vanished into thin air, just like a ghost.

 

-

 

She pondered and vacillated over whether or not to confront him. About the jewel in his neck, only that.

 

In the end, she decided it was best to feign ignorance. A trump card for later, Kikyou smiled kindly--

 

"There, your leg is all fixed."

 

The little boy looked up with absolute adoration in his eyes and hugged her tightly. Startled, Kikyou stiffened up automatically. For self-defense.

 

-

 

Suikotsu was incredibly persistent, obdurate some would say.

 

He knocked at her door every morning and begged for assistance. She would decline, knowing he didn't actually need it. But the weeks dragged on, and she grew weary and he became stronger.

 

He finally won her over. Kikyou relinquished (acquiesced) and agreed to help.

 

-

 

He had a supernatural gift. Just like me.

 

And he loved the children dearly, that was obvious, and Kikyou would try to emulate his compassion. She once loved children too. And joy was something rare to her now.

 

"Take splinters for an example, they're usually very harmless, but they can cause infection. Which leads to death. So, it's best to remove the shard before it becomes a curse."

 

Shard...

 

"Suikotsu."

 

"Kikyou-sama!" the village Elder arrived huffing and puffing. She nearly pitied him.

 

"My son's wife is giving birth, please, you must come."

 

And the shard went unmentioned (once again).

 

-

 

He tried to kiss her. She rejected him. Told him already she had no love left.

 

Suikotsu only laughed, brushed aside her hair, and said: that is pure nonsense.

 

He was a fool, liked to tell himself lies. But she knew better (experienced it) and understood that any trysts they had were only vicarious at best. Trysts were tricky, icky, tiresome, trying. They were both still dead (inside and out) and that was fact.

 

"I love you."

 

How cute.

 

"Did you prepare the poultice?"

 

He sighed. And that was more heartfelt than any stupid "I-love-yous."

 

-

 

Eventually, he realized what she meant and ended the flippant, retching, nastily coy attempts.

 

Instead, he began talking about blood. How it was so fluid yet sticky when touched, like a lover that cannot be caught. It slid and glided in dainty rivulets, over skin, silk, sin. Blood was essential to everything: the life-force humans and animals thrived on.

 

(And there was always blood on his--their--hands.)

 

He talked about seeing it everywhere. In his sleep, during meals, even when attending to the coughing and tearing children.

 

She dismissed them as dreams, said she occasionally thought she saw images too (of a dog-eared white devil and a girl who looked like her). But Suikotsu wasn't amused or comforted.

 

And the rants increase in intensity. He brusquely brushed off scampering hands grabbing for sweets or a piece of fish. Neck muscles rigid and shoulders squared, Suikotsu marched with the unholy will of an undead shell.

 

-

 

He had a predilection no one understood quite right.

 

Morning, day, and night, he would wash, scrubbing hard until the skin was raw, his hands copiously. He lathered on lye and other corrosive--even acidic--

ointments. Some days, he stopped working all together: in the middle of plucking vegetables for watering fruits, he would rise from the ground like a skeleton-man and walk.

 

Always to the east (where he said he came from).

 

Against the blazing sun, high in mid-morning, he took no notice of the children gathering around him, begging for love and attention.

 

-

 

"Kikyou-sama, there is something wrong with Dr. Suikotsu."

 

"Yes."

 

"Why won't you help him?"

 

"There is nothing I can do."

 

-

 

The demons came sporadically, ravaging his mind and body every time. He writhed in his sleep, kicked the blankets around his feet, moaning and shrieking in imagined pain. Kikyou saw this and almost smirked. Misery loved company.

 

But she was kind when he was in desperation, frantically prying out of the sandy, grainy tomb he dug for himself. She held him close to her chalk-dust breast and fed him stories of better-days.

 

Suikotsu believed every lie but knew deep down: he was going crazy.

 

She pushed, and he pulled. But he had the upper hand, and he would pay the price.

 

There was no such thing as happiness.

 

(The children have long abandoned him to his mumbles and wails.)

 

5.

 

He snapped one night, just like that. Something ferocious and animalistic was unleashed, and Dr. Suikotsu was no more. Faded into oblivion, gone like the maudlin verses of sentimental poetry. Transient and unfortunate.

 

He was meant to suffer. And he did.

 

Methodically, Suikotsu polished his claws and clasped them against his knuckles. The snarled and snagged at his skin, pinching the flesh, swelling and rising in angry red blotches. Excellent. The old, newly resurrected sensation of masochism before a massacre.

 

"Dr. Suikotsu?" the Elder inquired, hissing out a yawn.

 

"Dr. Suikotsu isn't here."

 

And five claws stabbed through the straw screen. And one old man fell down dead, eyes still wide open and one last gasp hanging over his limp body.

 

-

 

Someone started a fire and it consumed and consumed. Houses went up in flames, smoke rising high into the night: washed black against matted ink.

 

And then there was genuine fear.

 

Shichinintai!

 

The world went quiet.

 

-

 

Kikyou stirred from the commotion, rose quickly and dressed with haste. She gathered her arrows and bow and readied herself to fight.

 

-

 

On the opposite side of the village, Suikotsu had five children (aged two to twelve) all lined up. He cajoled them to come closer, closer I don't bite you know me. And they did.

 

Walked right up to him, running to kiss him and--

 

off with their heads.

 

He laughed and laughed, tasted the prettiest girl's blood. Delicious. Better than thousand-year-old wine and roasted duck. He could gorge on it until the wee hours of daylight, but he won't. He will show restraint and moral conscience. They deserved to be buried.

 

And so, he dug a trench and dumped their hacked off pieces inside. (No one ever said anything about separate graves.)

 

-

 

For some reason, he could not remember what happened. It had been so fast, so immediate.

 

There was another kid, a girl, very lovely and feisty (his favorite dish). He had her by her little-itty-bitty arm, ready to kill. And then--

 

something flashed by.

 

And he was dead.

 

And there was Kikyou's face. Stormy and indomitable.

 

But he was dead.

 

-

 

"I don't want to be remembered like this. I don't want to die like this."

 

She already knew. He was just like her. At least he died with dignity and goodness. And alone.

 

And she will die alone too. That was her destiny.

 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
Chicken of the sea: kurama 5lucridlucifel on December 19th, 2012 04:42 am (UTC)
I love how beautifully this was written.
Y U no auto-translate?: echelonlye_tea on January 2nd, 2013 10:40 am (UTC)
Sorry for the late reply -- thank you for reading. :)
Chicken of the sea: kurama 5lucridlucifel on January 3rd, 2013 04:57 am (UTC)
No problem. I really enjoyed the story.