InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ The Last Two Shards ( Chapter 2 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
~The Last Two Shards~
“Oi, Kagome! Long time, no see! Still hanging with the trash,” Kouga greeted as he stepped into the clearing. Ginta and Hakkaku straggled in after. “You're looking well. Guess scrounging around with dog-shit isn't hurting you at all.”
InuYasha growled. “Just hand over the shards,” he snarled.
“Take it easy, mutt-face. I'll give them to Kagome,” Kouga leaned to the side to peek around InuYasha. Kagome rose on her tiptoes to see over InuYasha's shoulder.
“Stay away from her,” InuYasha warned.
“I give them two minutes before InuYasha draws Tetsusaiga,” Miroku commented quietly.
Sango sighed and leaned toward the monk to make her assessment of the situation at hand. “Not even, if you ask me.”
Shippou hopped up on InuYasha's shoulder. “You're not still trying to steal Kagome away from InuYasha, are you?”
“Keh!” InuYasha growled, thumping Shippou hard.
“Ow!” Shippou whined as he dropped to the ground.
Kagome scooped him up and rubbed his head. “InuYasha!”
“That's mature, dog-shit,” Kouga remarked, crossing his arms over his chest. “See, Kagome? You'd be so much better off with me than with him. Come with me, and I'll show you how a real man treats his woman.”
Miroku and Sango sighed as InuYasha drew Tetsusaiga and swept the air slowly, deliberately before bringing it down before him. “Touch her and die, bastard. Now hand over the shards before I hack you to bits.”
“Ah, my lovely Sango, you would have won, if we had really made that bet,” Miroku muttered.
Sango nodded. Kagome shoved Shippou into her arms and stomped around InuYasha's back. “Stop posing before you start a fight,” she advised him.
“I told you to stay behind me,” InuYasha bit out.
Kagome sighed and rolled her eyes. “Let me get the shards.” Eyebrows drawing together and hands tightening on the sword, InuYasha ground his teeth together and opened his mouth, undoubtedly to tell her to get behind him and shut up. Kagome cut him off. “Don't make me say `it', InuYasha.”
“Like I fucking care if you say—”
The hanyou growled furiously as he smacked down in the grass. Kagome hurriedly turned to face Kouga. “Thanks for agreeing to give them up,” she said softly.
Kouga shrugged. “They served their purpose.”
Kagome smiled as she recalled her first meeting with Kouga and his tribe. She'd been scared at the time. Kouga had attacked InuYasha after the wolf tribe decimated a human village. Kouga kidnapped her when he learned that Kagome could see jewel shards, and if that wasn't enough of an insult to InuYasha since Kouga had managed to nab her out from under his nose—literally—then Kouga had made the situation infinitely worse by declaring his undying love and devotion to Kagome. When InuYasha came to save her, he was even further incensed when he found out that Kagome had agreed to help Kouga and the wolves in their battle against the Birds of Paradise.
Instead of getting better over time, the rivalry between the two had grown steadily worse, even though Kagome tried not to encourage Kouga at all since she really wasn't interested in him. InuYasha wouldn't listen when she said as much, and Kouga always thought she was playing hard to get.
“Can I have them?” she asked when Kouga made no move to hand them over.
Kouga grinned. “On one condition.”
“I knew it!” InuYasha fumed as he scrambled to his feet. He grabbed Kagome's arm to drag her back.
“What's your condition?” Kagome made herself ask, afraid to hear Kouga's terms.
“One kiss, Kagome, to tide me over until I can come and claim you. Until we can restore our lands, it isn't safe to bring you home. Once they are, though—” He took her hand and pulled her close. InuYasha growled, forced to wait for the effects of the submission to wear off. “So kiss me now, and I'll give you the shards.”
“Uhh,” Kagome hedged, positive her face was on fire. Her skin was burning, scalding her eyeballs. She could only imagine what her friends were thinking. She didn't dare look at InuYasha. On the one hand, kissing Kouga would only lead to trouble. Kouga didn't need any more encouragement, and InuYasha . . .
She sighed inwardly. On the other hand, they needed those last two shards to complete the jewel, and that absolutely had to take precedence.
“Are you considering it?” InuYasha bellowed. The submission spell had obviously worn off.
She turned in time to see him stomping toward her, and he looked more angry than he had when they'd found Naraku days before. “Osuwari!” she said for the third time, flinching as InuYasha ended up on the ground yet again. `I'm going to have to apologize for that,' she thought as she turned back to face a very amused Kouga. `Do it fast, Kagome, or you're going to have to say `it' to InuYasha again, and he'll never accept your apology for that . . .'
Before she could talk herself out of it, Kagome braced herself against Kouga's arm and rose up on her toes to kiss Kouga's cheek. She'd kissed her brother, Souta longer than she did the wolf youkai. When she stepped back and dared to look at him, he looked like the happiest man on the planet.
He held out the shards and dropped them into her open hand then leaned in, kissing her cheek. With a jaunty wave, Kouga took off with his gaping-mouthed tribesmen in tow. Kagome stared at the shards in her hand, not daring to turn and see her friends' reactions.
Shippou was the first to break the uncomfortable silence. “Kagome? Why did you kiss Kouga?”
“We . . . we needed the last two shards, and it wasn't a real kiss . . .” She made a face. Her excuse sounded lame to her own ears. She could imagine how it sounded to everyone else. . . .
“You shouldn't have done that, Kagome,” Miroku commented. “It's hard enough to put Kouga off on your best days. With the added incentive of that kiss . . .”
Kagome sighed. “I know.”
Sango laid a hand on Kagome's shoulder. “Kagome, I think—”
“I know,” she interrupted. “You think it was a mistake too, but we had to have the shards, and—”
“No,” Sango broke in gently. “I think you'd better try to find InuYasha.”
Sango winced. “When you kissed Kouga, he left, and he looked furious.”
Kagome stifled a groan. “Which way did he go?”
Miroku shook his head. “I wouldn't, Kagome. I think you'd be better off to let him calm down. He'll come back when he's ready.”
Kagome sank down on a fallen tree and fitted the last two shards into the jewel. The Shikon no Tama erupted in the soft pink light of her miko energy, and the shards melted into the whole. The glow faded as Kagome stared at the newly completed jewel with a frown. Like colored water in a snow globe, hazy pink, iridescent purples, and pure white swirled and eddied inside the jewel.
`Good job, Kagome. I thought he'd want me to get the shards back. What does it matter anyway, if I kissed Kouga's cheek? I've seen him kiss Kikyou on the lips, no less. Still . . . Oh, what was I thinking? InuYasha is never going to speak to me again.'
With another long sigh, Kagome looked the jewel necklace around her throat and fastened it, wondering just how long InuYasha would be gone.
Kagome rolled over in her sleeping bag to stare at the dancing flames of the campfire. InuYasha still hadn't come back. `What if something happened to him? He gets careless sometimes, especially when he's angry . . .' She stared into the fire awhile longer then sighed. There wasn't any way she'd be able to sleep until she knew that InuYasha was safe.
Careful not to disturb Shippou, Kagome got up and grabbed her bow and arrows. Kirara mewed at her and ran to her side. She had just wandered a little way into the forest when she gasped in shock as InuYasha dropped directly into her path, hands on hips, eyes flashing in the darkness. “What the hell do you think you're doing?”
Kagome backed up a step and reminded herself that it was her own idea to go looking for the hanyou. “I was worried,” she admitted softly, feeling unaccountably flustered. Twisting her hands around her bow nervously, she couldn't meet his gaze.
“You sure you weren't busy dreaming about Kouga?”
“We needed the shards . . .”
“And you needed the excuse.”
Her chin shot up, and she pinned him with a suspicious glower. “What are you accusing me of, InuYasha?”
“Not a fucking thing, bitch.”
“I didn't want to kiss him!”
“Keh. If you didn't want to, then you should have told him to go to hell!”
Kagome turned on her heel and headed back toward the camp. “Baka! I don't know why I even bothered feeling bad for saying `it' so many times!”
“Well, what's stopping you? Say it a few more times, why don't you?” he bellowed. Sango sat up. Miroku was leaning on his elbow, blinking away the remnants of sleep from his vision.
“Don't tempt me!”
“Osuwari! Osuwari, osuwari, osuwari, osuwari!”
She heard him hit the ground. She didn't bother to inspect the damage she'd wrought.
“What happened?” Shippou asked with a yawn.
Kagome flopped down next to the fire. “Nothing, Shippou. Go back to sleep.”
InuYasha managed to pull himself out of his osuwari-pit and stomped over to tower over Kagome. “Don't you realize how dangerous it is for you to go wandering off into the forest in the middle of the night completely alone?” Though he had started his tirade in a low albeit clipped tone, by the time he reached the end, he was shouting.
“I wasn't completely alone,” she explained, careful to keep her tone level while she told herself, `I will not lose my temper, I will not lose my temper,' again and again. “Kirara was with me, and I had my bow and arrows.”
“InuYasha,” Miroku broke in cautiously, “aren't you overreacting just a little?”
InuYasha shifted his glower to the monk. “No, I don't think I am,” he bit out.
“Kagome did what she thought was right,” Sango spoke up. “We did need those shards, and Kagome made sure we got them.”
InuYasha growled in response.
“What does it matter?” Shippou asked with a smirk. “Are you jealous?”
“Keh! Why would I care who she kisses? I'm not jealous!” InuYasha roared.
“Then what is bothering you, InuYasha?” Miroku pressed.
He stomped around the fire and plopped down away from everyone, jamming his hands up the sleeves of his haori. “I could have gotten the shards from that mangy wolf,” he stated haughtily. “You let him blackmail you!”
Kagome shook her head. “What does it matter? We got the shards. The Shikon no Tama has been restored. All we have to do now is ask Kaede if she has any idea how to purify it, and—”
“We can't purify it right away,” InuYasha cut in with a loud snort.
Silence fell over them. Kagome remembered Myouga's words that she'd overheard the night before. `You mustn't destroy the jewel, not yet; not until after you've completed your task!' Stealing a furtive look at the hanyou, Kagome stifled a sigh. He'd never answer her, if she asked him about it now.
“I thought you weren't thinking of that any longer,” Miroku finally said, measuring his words and his tone to keep from irritating InuYasha even more.
“What the hell are you talking about, monk?”
“Are you not speaking of using the jewel to become youkai?”
Kagome was surprised to hear InuYasha sigh. “No. I have something else I've got to do first though.”
Shippou bounded over and hopped onto InuYasha's shoulder. “Another quest? What for? When do we leave?”
InuYasha shot the kitsune an irritated stare. “We aren't. I'm going alone.”
“Alone?” Shippou echoed.
Kagome could feel Sango's gaze on her. `She thinks I know something, and I really don't,' Kagome thought then wrinkled up her nose.
`You're going back to your time where you'll be safe while I go alone.'
Kagome sighed as she stubbornly refused to look at anyone. `Fine, InuYasha. Be stubborn. I don't care. Why should I care? I didn't want to go with you, anyway.' She crawled over and wrapped herself up in her sleeping bag. Under the cover of the blankets, she clenched the jewel in her hand. It pulsed under her fingers, and she closed her eyes. `If I tell myself that I don't care enough times, maybe I'll start to believe it.'
She sighed as Shippou curled up beside her. `And while I'm at it, I might as well convince myself that I don't need to breathe, either.'
== == == == == == == == == ==
Blanket disclaimer for this fanfic (will apply to this and all other chapters in Chronicles): I do not claim any rights to InuYasha or the characters associated with the anime/manga. Those rights belong to Rumiko Takahashi, et al. I do offer my thanks to her for creating such vivid characters for me to terrorize.