...I got past the bone trap forest and darted into a giant whale skeleton with flesh still clinging to its bones. I saw a bowl in the middle, a strange torch of blue light and many grotesque white crabs that crawled all around.
"Hello?" I drifted to sit by the large bowl.
Suddenly, a piece of the darkness wrapped around my tail! I shrieked in fright.
"So...here is the little mermaid." I heard a low voice from above. "I knew you were coming to me."
Then Naraku descended from the ceiling. He had the lower body of an eel that intertwined itself endlessly about the whale's ribcage and ended in flukes shaped like fans. Fleshy, twisting tentacles extended from his back, one of which held me firmly still. Long black hair floated around his sickly white face. His narrow eyes reminded me of blood droplets that gleamed in cruel pleasure at my plight. His eyelids were pale blue like the unnatural torch. He might have been handsome if his eyes weren't so cold and mocking.
I felt his icy fingers wrap around my shoulders. Our faces were mere inches apart. My heart beat so hard I saw my left breast moving. "Please, Naraku...if you knew I was coming, then surely you know what I came for."
Naraku laughed softly. "You want to become human so that Sesshoumaru will love you enough to mate with you, thus granting the soul you desire. It is a foolish wish that can only leave you in pain, Rin, but...if you're willing to pay the price, I'll grant it for you." He smiled at me, his face so deceivingly gentle.
"Anything." I shivered. Fear twisted my voice small. "No price is too high for a soul."
"Good." The tentacle holding me up relaxed, letting me slip to the ground. Naraku tossed a serpent into the bowl to clean it and then began adding several foul ingredients. A tongue, serpent scales, the eye of a squid and crocodile tears. The last was some of his own dark blood. He looked up at me. "It is a good thing you came now. One more day and you might have ended up waiting a full year for my help. Now...this potion I am making will cause an alchemic reaction that will turn your tail into legs. Once you drink it, you will become human forever. You will never again be able to join your family in the sea."
"All right- "
"The potion will cause you agony when you swallow it. Every walking step will feel as if burning swords stabbed your feet. Shall I continue?"
I set my brow and pushed my hair out of my face. Grandmother once said one must suffer in order to be beautiful. Now I understood what she meant.
The whole story is here. I really had fun doing this fic. Really tested my imagination and my ability to take what Hans Christian Anderson wrote and flesh it out while mixing the story into the IY canon.