InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ A Tale of Ever After ❯ Chapter 2
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
I do not own InuYasha or any of the characters created by Rumiko Takahashi
InuYasha and Kagome rounded the bend where the path from Miroku’s house joined the trail that lead both to the village and further into the woods, to the Goshinboku and places beyond.
Once he was sure they were out of sight, the hanyou stopped and leaned against a tree, taking Kagome by the hand.
“Let’s stop a moment,” he said. He gave her a little smile, a bit wistful a bit nervous, but happy.
Kagome nodded, and stood beside him. Off in the distance, they could see the village, with its scattered huts and its fields now green with young barley instead of the rice that would be planted later. The light was quickly fading from afternoon to twilight.
“Anything wrong?” she asked. He shook his head, and and gazed down at her. The look in his eyes, intense, otherworldly, was everything she remembered, but his face was calm, at peace. Looking at him, and the aura he gave off, she felt like nothing could be wrong again ever.
“Just glad to have a moment’s quiet,” InuYasha said. “I know everybody meant well, but . . . ”
“So many questions,” she said, resting a hand on his arm. “So much talk.”
He nodded. “It’s just nice to be alone.”
“It is, isn’t it?” She dropped her eyes and chewed on her bottom lip. “I know everybody wanted to say hello, but I don’t know how much more I could have taken.”
InuYasha laughed at her admission, and she looked up at him and smiled.
They were standing very close. InuYasha could feel her breath on his face. Her scent was like fine wine, stirring things in his mind and his heart and his body. He lifted his hand and ran a finger over Kagome’s cheek.
“Kagome,” he said. “I...” His tongue seemed to cleave to the roof of his mouth.
She brushed her fingers over his lips. “I missed you, InuYasha.”
He caught her hand, and rested his cheek in it. “Every day, Kagome.”
“I'm here now,” she said. Her blue gray eyes gazed at him, getting lost in the moment.
He caught his breath.“Yeah,” he said, wrapping his arms around her, and her arms circled his waist.
“Don't leave me again, even if it's for my own good,” she said. “I'll always find a way to come back.” She reached up and tugged on his ear for emphasis.
“Never.” He pulled her hand off his ear, then pulled her closer. “I don't think I could ever do that again.”
“Good.” He looked at her with such wanting, needy eyes, it made her breath catch. In return, she gave him an encouraging smile. “So where were you going to take me? It wasn’t to Kaede’s, was it?”
InuYasha dropped his arms. Taking her right hand, he backed away a step, giving her a little, sheepish grin as he shook his head. Tugging on her hand, he began to lead her a little further down the path, away from the village. “There’s this place in the forest I’d like to show you.”
“All right,” she replied. “Let’s go.”
They headed deeper into the woods, away from Miroku’s house and moving in the general direction of the Goshinboku and the well, down a path that branched off from the road that lead up the hill and into the deep forest.
“So what are we going to see?” Kagome asked.
“It’s just up ahead,” InuYasha said, and then they left the cover of the trees for a clearing in the forest.
A small stream ran across it to one side, coming down from its spring in the hills to join the river below. In the clearing was a small house, much like all the houses in the village.
The ground around it was uncluttered, no garden, no farm tools. There was a wood pile to one side, and a few dry weeds poked up around it, but not much other sign of domestic life.
“I know I’ve walked this way before,” Kagome said as they neared it. “But I didn’t know there was a house here.”
“Wasn’t here then,” InuYasha said. He dropped her hand, and stuffed his own in his sleeves, suddenly uncertain.
“Whose house is it?” she asked.
“Mine,” he replied, not meeting her eyes. For some reason, his cheeks colored, and one of his ears twitched.
Kagome rested her hand on his arm “I was wondering why we were coming here.”
“I thought you might like to see it,” he said, keeping his eyes focused on the small building. “Get away from everybody for a while.”
“I’d like that,” she replied.
Letting out a breath, he wrapped his hand around hers again, and visibly relaxed. “Good. Just don’t expect too much.”
She nodded, and they walked up to the small building. Like most of the other houses in the area, it was plank roofed, with solid wooden walls and small shuttered windows, and had a bamboo mat door. InuYasha lifted up and held back the door. It was nearly sunset, but there was still enough light for Kagome to find her way to the raised wooden floor and take off her shoes, but not much more.
“I'll start a fire,” InuYasha said. “You'll be able to see it better.” He walked over to the fire pit, took his sword out of his belt and laid it next to him, and began sorting wood.
“All right,” Kagome replied as she put her shoes near the door.
With the skill that comes from long practice, InuYasha struck flint to steel and soon had a fire burning in the fire pit. It cast a warm light in the small house, chasing away the spring chill.
As the room lit up, Kagome could see that the house was a little smaller than Kaede's hut, and much smaller than Miroku's. There was a folded pile of bedding in one corner and a couple of storage boxes, and by the fire pit, there were a couple of cooking pots and a low table that held a few dishes.
“How long have you had this place?” Kagome asked, shrugging off her sweater and laying it on the floor next to where she was sitting.
“I started building it before the twins were born,” InuYasha said. “Some of the men in the village helped me with the framing. I never knew there was so much work involved, even in a place this small.” He bent over the fire, feeding it small pieces of pine wood to give off more light. “Old Tameo, the headman - one day, he walked me here and told me I ought to have a place of my own. Said it was so I could keep an eye out for bandits. We had a problem with them for a while the year after Naraku died. But to be honest,” he said, looking up at her, “I think he just felt sorry for me being around Sango when she was carrying the twins.”
“Was she that bad?” Kagome moved from the entrance to sit down on a mat near where he was working.
He nodded, poking the fire to get the larger pieces to catch. “She got really moody, especially the last few months. Miroku even had Kaede lock up the Hiraikotsu up at the shrine, just to be safe.”
She laughed a little at that, but then fell silent as InuYasha finished building the fire. Drawing her legs up she rested her head on her knees. “Things have changed since I left.”
“Some,” he said, tossing in the final piece of wood. That done, he put down the fire poker and sat down beside her. His right ear twitching again, a nervous habit when he felt tense or uncertain, he took a deep breath and wrapped an arm around her waist. “Some haven't changed at all.”
Kagome looked up at him. The amber gaze that her eyes met was warm. She smiled a little, then sitting up, she rested her head lightly against his shoulder. “Have you?”
“Maybe,” he replied.
“Yeah,” Kagome said, “Me too. These last three years . . . I’m sorry it took so long for me to come back. You must have been terribly lonely.”
He stared into the fire as he searched for words. “It . . . it was hard, yeah. I can’t lie. But I knew you were safe, and there was so much to do at first - putting the village back to order after what Naraku had done to it, especially Kaede's house, and then building Miroku’s house. Did you see he actually has built something he calls a temple? Not much more than a shack if you ask me.”
Kagome shook her head.
“I’ll have to show it to you tomorrow. And right afterwards, a bunch of stupid youkai seemed to come out of the woodwork. It didn’t take long for me and Miroku to get busy in the youkai exterminating business. It wasn't like when my mother died. I wasn't left alone. But still, at night and . . . “ His throat grew tight, and he swallowed, trying to get the words out. “Feh,” he finally managed to say. “That doesn't matter. You're here now.”
Kagome picked up his hand, studied the claw-tipped fingers that could look so threatening. It was a fighter’s hand, some might say a monster’s hand, but to her was the hand of the man who saved her, protected her over and over, the hand of the man who loved her enough to be there when she returned, the first thing she had glimpsed at her return. She laced her fingers into his.
“I thought about you every day, and especially on new moon nights,” she said, not meeting his eyes, her voice small and distant. “I missed you so much, but I was so frightened, InuYasha. I didn’t know how exhausted and frightened by the battle I was until I was home. I tried to get through the well, but when I did, it didn't let me through.” She sighed. “I had nightmares a long time.”
He rested his chin on her head. “I'm sorry.”
She leaned back into his chest. “Don't be sorry, InuYasha. If it hadn't been for you, I wouldn't have made it out of there, or made the wish that destroyed the jewel. But it all left me feeling so empty. When I was trapped in the darkness, before you showed up and I thought I was all alone, the jewel showed me a vision, the world it was offering me - friends and school and family. In the vision I had, I always knew something was missing, but I didn't know what. I was going to school and doing things with my friends, but something wasn't quite right. There was an emptiness in my life that spoiled everything. It wasn't until I was walking by the sacred tree that I knew what was missing - it was you.”
Kagome straightened up to look at InuYasha then, her eyes damp and shimmering in the firelight. “The jewel was trying to trick me into choosing that life, for wishing for it - all the things I thought I wanted once upon a time. It's funny, really, that after I returned, that was the life I lived - school and friends and family. But it wasn't the life I needed any more. I had grown too far apart from my friends. My family, they loved me, but really didn't understand what I had been through. There was always this empty place inside me, but this time I knew what was missing. I had changed and done too much to really belong. And I was living in a world without InuYasha.”
It hurt him to hear the pain in her voice. “Kagome,” he said, softly, searching for something to say, to take that hurt away. He couldn’t find the words, so he did what he knew to do, pulling her tightly into the circle of his arms.
She sighed as his arms wrapped around her and the fabric of his sleeves blanketed her and leaned her cheek against his chest. “This feels right, doesn’t it?” she said.
“More than right,” he said, not making any moves to let her loose until a piece of wood in the fire pit loudly popped, exploding with a spray of sparks. Both InuYasha and Kagome turned to look, and she began to giggle.
“Oi, woman, what's so funny?” the hanyou asked. He unwound his arms reluctantly from around her to lean over towards the fire pit. Poking at the burning wood with a stick, he stirred it, and looked back over his shoulder. “Well?”
“It made me think of fireworks,” Kagome said, smiling. “Our own private fireworks for our own private celebration.”
“After all we’ve been through, we deserve some fireworks,” InuYasha said, amused. “Today’s the first thing I wanted to celebrate in a long time.”