InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Broken* ❯ Confession ( Chapter 10 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Chapter Ten

"I'm going for a walk," Kagome announced as she helped Kaede finish the remainder of the morning chores. "I know what you're going to say," she hastily added, seeing the expression on the miko's face, "but you don't need to worry. I'll be careful. I won't go far and as soon as I start to feel tired, I'll come right back and rest, okay? I just want to walk around for a bit; I've been bedridden for weeks!"

Kaede reluctantly conceded, and Kagome eagerly made her escape. She doubted she'd feel tired anytime soon. The spring air was fresh and fragrant with green, growing things, and a warm breeze tugged at her hair and clothes playfully. She loved this time of year, especially with such nice weather that urged her to skip and turn cartwheels and frolic in fields of daisies and other such nonsense.

Shippou was asleep inside the hut, which baffled her—How a child as energetic as that kit could sleep on such a glorious morning would forever remain a mystery—and Inuyasha was … well … Who knew where Inuyasha was? Probably off chasing the squirrels or something, she thought with a little smirk. For the first time in a very long while, Kagome found herself completely alone, and she intended to relish it. As much as she loved to be around people, sometimes absolute solitude was good company in and of itself. So, clearing her mind of everything but enjoying every moment of the bright day, she continued her leisurely stroll and simply allowed her feet to take her wherever they would, unknowingly leading her in one certain direction, into the forest.


She was in so much trouble.

If she got caught, that is.

Kagome stared in horror at the scene before her; the all-too-familiar clearing with the all-too-familiar well situated right in the center of it. She mentally kicked herself; that was the last time she let her feet do the walking instead of her head! She had better get the hell out of there before Inuyasha showed up. He always seemed to have the nasty habit of being exactly where she didn't want him to be, and it would be a disaster if he ended up being there. As long as the well remained intact, there was always the slim possibility that he'd change his mind and let her go home. But if he actually carried out his threat and destroyed it, she could consider herself to be pretty much screwed for life.

On the other hand…

She stilled as another thought hit her. The possibility of not running away, of instead running toward the well and throwing herself into it. She was there. She was alone. Nobody was there to stop her, and she … she could finally go home. She could finally be with her family again, and she could reassure everyone that she was fine and dandy and go back to school and see her friends and … and…

And it would never work.

Her shoulders slumped as hope packed its bags and fled as quickly as it had come. Chance or not, there was no point because as soon as Inuyasha figured out where she'd gone, he'd just go in after her, drag her back by her hair, and then destroy the well for good. She was far from being a trained miko; she had no idea how to go about sealing the well once she got to the other side of it. Her grandfather, well, he had about as much spiritual power as your average doorknob, so he'd be no help either. Besides, she didn't want to return for good. Well, she did, but her conscience would never let her live it down. She had shattered the jewel; like it or not, it was on her shoulders to clean up her mess. Who knew what sort of havoc it might cause in her future to just let things as they were? And she'd miss everyone. Kaede and Shippou … and even Inuyasha. Could she really just leave them without even saying goodbye?

Muttering under her breath, Kagome whirled to leave the clearing, to run the entire way back to the village, if she had to … and abruptly froze in her tracks.

It really shouldn't have surprised her to see him standing there. It really shouldn't have. This was exactly like some scene out of a novel, after all. Of course the antagonist has to be where the heroine is, she thought bleakly. What kind of a story would it be, otherwise? All she knew was that whoever was up there writing this particular story, they were one hell of a sadist.

Inuyasha seemed just as surprised to see her as she was to see him. His golden eyes kept darting from her to the well and back again, widening a little before narrowing, a strange look beginning to cross his features as he apparently jumped to the most obvious conclusion.

And Kagome panicked.

"Inu-Inuyasha, wait!" she cried, throwing herself at him and latching her arms tight around his waist, hard enough to make him grunt from the impact. "Wait, please! I-it isn't what it looks like! I wasn't going to—I was just walking and I didn't pay attention to where I was going and … and I just ended up here but I swear I wasn't going to go through! Please don't destroy the well!" she pleaded desperately, gripping his haori with both fists and raising frightened, tearful eyes to meet his startled gaze. "I-I'll never go near it again, I swear, but don't destroy it! If you do that then I've got nothing left to hope for!"

Inuyasha said nothing, merely stared down at the girl struggling fiercely to back him away from the well; wasted effort as he didn't move an inch. He could feel her fists shaking where they pressed against his chest; her entire body was shaking, and he felt a jolt of alarm. If she kept this up, she was going to get sick again. "Kagome, calm down," he commanded sternly. "You're actin' hysterical."

She didn't seem to hear him, still babbling at him not to destroy the well. He swallowed, hard. Is this what I've done to her? he thought. She'd tossed away all of her pride, begging him like a condemned prisoner begging for her life. But instead of the satisfaction of finally having her prostrate herself at his feet after all the humiliation she'd repeatedly dished out to him, he felt only shame. This wasn't what he wanted at all. It wasn't right. It just wasn't like her. Where had the laughing, cheerful, confidant girl he'd come to know gone? Had he really broken her so completely?

He couldn't take it anymore. Without warning, his arms swept around her and pulled her tight against him, effectively cutting her words on a startled squeak at the unexpected action. He dropped his head to bury his face against her hair as he sought to gain control over his emotions. "Stop," he whispered hoarsely. "Just stop."

Kagome blinked, mouth slightly agape as she struggled to understand just what was going on. Her eyes were level with his throat, nose almost pressed into his sternum; she could see his Adams apple flex as he repeatedly swallowed. His arms were tight around her, encompassing her in a dizzying array of warmth and scent. He smelled like the trees, like the wind and sunshine and everything nature. Long moments passed, and he didn't seem inclined to release her anytime soon, so she slowly relaxed against his arms. In response, he held her even tighter.

This embrace was as disturbing as it was pleasant, she decided uneasily. Inuyasha wasn't being himself at all, or maybe he'd just been desperate to calm her down a little. He'd never been good at handling her tears, and she had been a bit hysterical, she supposed. “U-um, I'm okay now,” she mumbled, blushing. “Y-you can let go of me.” He didn't reply. Or comply. "Um, I-Inuyas—"

"I'm sorry."

The words startled her into silence. She drew back as far as she could to give the hanyou an astonished look. His expression was serious and pensive, intense eyes staring into hers, locking her in a deep, golden gaze that she was helpless to withdraw from. He seemed to be trying to communicate something through them, but she was hopelessly confused and couldn't begin to fathom the emotions she saw churning in the brilliant depths. She opened her mouth to speak, but a clawed finger pressing to her lips—as soft as a kiss—again silenced her, and set her stomach to fluttering like a flock of rampaging butterflies.

When he finally released her and stepped away, she almost wanted to cry. Even more, she wanted to throw herself back into his arms and hold on tight. It was only through the greatest force of will that she stayed where she was, watching as he reached into his haori and searched around. When he extracted his hand again, she gaped with open bewilderment.

A rosary dangled from his clawed fingers.

When he reached out to take her hand and press the beads firmly into her palm, before closing her fingers over it, she thought she might actually faint from the shock.

"Put it on me," he commanded her, as serenely as if he'd just commented on the weather, or demanded a second helping at dinnertime.

If her jaw dropped any further, her chin would be in the dirt. "Wh-what?" She was certain she'd heard wrong. She must have.

He sighed heavily, head lowering until silky bangs shadowed his eyes. "I'm sorry," he repeated quietly. "For everything that happened … since that day … I'm sorry. Because of me, horrible things happened to you. You got hurt. You got sick. And I … I didn't do anything but hurt you even more. So I'm sorry."

"Inuyasha," she breathed, her wide eyes trained on him intently. "You—I—"

"Let me finish," he interrupted, somewhat impatiently. Taking a deep breath, he let it out and glanced at the blue beads fisted in her hand. "I destroyed your trust in me, your friendship." For a moment, his stoic expression crumbled in an expression of intense pain. "I made you miserable. I … I made you fear me." His fist clenched at his side, claws breaking skin to draw blood. He didn't notice. "I dunno how to get it back again. I dunno how to make you trust me again, except for this. So go ahead, put the rosary on me. It's already spelled so all you gotta do is say the word. When you got me collared again, you won't have to be scared of anything I do, Kagome. You won't have to be scared of me destroyin' the well anymore."

"But … you hate the spell. Why would … you do that?"

His reply, when it came, was so soft she barely heard it. "Because compared to losin' you, the spell don't mean anything to me."

Kagome stared at him, at his downcast eyes, and felt her own eyes burn as tears rose to their surface. She clutched the rosary in her hand, feeling a tooth dig into her palm, before abruptly hauling back and flinging it away from her with all her might. It landed with a faint rustle of leaves and twigs somewhere in the trees, and she turned back to witness Inuyasha's astounded expression. He blinked several times, jaw hanging open as his eyes fixed on the area where the rosary had landed, before snapping his gaze back to the girl. "What'd you go an' do that for?" he barked, but beneath the harsh words, Kagome could hear the worry.

"It doesn't really prove anything, you know," she replied, ducking her head shyly beneath his cautious gaze. "Collaring you again won't prove I can trust you," she elaborated. "It doesn't really mean much, knowing that I could stop you with a word whenever I wanted to. It'd mean a lot more to me if I knew I could trust you without the help of some stupid spell. Besides, how else can I tell that your friendship is real, and you're not just pretending to be my friend to avoid being sat? I-I'd rather you give your trust to me freely, instead of me having to force it out of you."

Inuyasha was silent in the face of this admittance. He had that odd look on his face again, as though he was pondering something very important. After a long moment, he nodded slowly. "Okay, then," he said, his voice laced with conviction. "If that's what you want, I'll show you on my own you've got every reason to trust me, and I'll prove how much I trust you."

With a sudden move, he swept Kagome into his arms, ignoring her startled squeak as he strode gracefully toward the well. "I'm sendin' you home," he said simply, in response to her protests, which abruptly died. He paused just beside the well, but rather than put her down, as she'd expected, he merely held her closer and met her gaze with serious eyes. She was dismayed to see an odd trace of sadness in their depths.

"I gotta tell you something," he said softly. "When you were sick, I tried to go to your family an' ask for help, but the well wouldn't let me through." Her eyes widened at the admission, but he hurried on to silence her questions. "I dunno what happened or why I was blocked. I guess it might be 'cause the rosary got broken, but I'm not sure." His expression was guarded. "If I send you back now, I don't got any way to retrieve you again," he admitted quietly, wanting to make sure she understood. "If you chose to never come back again … there ain't anything I can do about it. But I'm gonna send you home, 'cause it's where you belong. And … I'll trust that you'll come back again."

"But what about the jewel? You don't—"

"Never mind about the jewel," he growled with a shake of his silvery mane. "It ain't important." He blushed a little under her disbelieving stare, but he was determined not to falter in this. "In case I never see you again," he added firmly, "this is … goodbye." He shifted a little, and looked decidedly uncomfortable. "And … know that—" The blush in his cheeks grew more pronounced as he struggled against his very nature to speak his deepest feelings. "Just know that you're … in my heart."

And before his pride could once again get the better of him, he held her tight, ducked his head, and pressed his lips to hers in a soft, caressing kiss.

When he withdrew a long, heady moment later, her breath was unsteady and her eyes glazed with tears. He could feel her heart pounding against his chest, and he smiled sadly at her. "Goodbye, Kagome," he whispered, nuzzling softly at her ear.

Then he leaned over the well and released her, allowing her to drop silently into its depths, her wide-eyed gaze still locked on his until the blue light flared to engulf her form. When it faded again, she was gone, and the strength bled from Inuyasha's legs as he slumped against the side, staring in despair into the empty shadows and wondering if he just made the biggest mistake of his life.