InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ Twenty Questions ( Chapter 9 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]

~~Chapter 9~~
~Twenty Questions~
 
“Do you remember the day we met?”
 
InuYasha cast Kagome a sidelong glance as they walked along the narrow path through the dense forest. After barely speaking this morning, it was the first full sentence she'd used, and that was enough to worry him since he normally couldn't get her to shut up. “Yeah.”
 
“I've always meant to ask you . . . what woke you up?”
 
“Keh!”
 
She frowned. He could feel the intensity of her stare penetrating into his temple. “'Keh?' What does that mean?”
 
“It means that you ought to know.”
 
“If I knew, why would I ask?”
 
“It means,” he began slowly, “that you brought me back.”
 
She shook her head, as though she didn't understand. “How did you know I was there?”
 
Thinking back over time to the day that had changed everything, how could he explain to her, what he had known, in terms she would understand? He had been dead, hadn't he? Yet he wasn't alive; he wasn't aware. He hadn't thought, hadn't felt, hadn't sensed a thing for those fifty years. He also hadn't changed. In his place, suspended by Kikyou's sacred arrow on Goshinbokuthe God Treethe Time Tree, he'd just stopped being . . . “It was like I heard you calling for help,” he said slowly. “Keh! I should have known then, that you were nothing but trouble. Pathetic human,” he scoffed. The dense canopy of trees blocked the sun. In the thick shadows of the forest, Kagome glowed, radiant and brilliant. `Beautiful human,' he thought with an inward smile.
 
“This pathetic human freed you from the arrow,” Kagome reminded him. He didn't miss the teasing in her tone. “Best you remember that, Mr. Dog-Man.” She rubbed her sweater-clad arms as though she was cold and stared up at the trees with a sigh. “Where are we going?”
 
He shrugged off the fire rat haori and reshouldered the backpack as he shoved the clothing under her nose, deliberately ignoring her question. “Put that on before you get sick.”
 
She blinked quickly as she stared at the garment. “Are you sure?” she asked as she hesitantly reached out to take it.
 
“Keh! I don't have time to run you back to the village,” he explained.
 
She was quiet for a moment. Her sigh was so soft that he almost missed it as she dragged the haori over her shoulders. “Yeah,” she agreed, “I wouldn't want to slow us down.”
 
He made a face. `Why can't you ever say what you mean, baka? Stupid, stupid, stupid!' He stopped suddenly and turned to face her.
 
She stopped, too, and shot him a questioning look. She wasn't smiling. She didn't have to. Her eyes glowed, sparkled, and he knew that expression. `It makes me happy, to be with you.' He reached over and gently tugged her hair out from under the fire rat haori. His hand lingered, touching her hair. She grabbed his wrist, clung to him.
 
In that singular moment, she was the most precious thing in the world to him. He saw something growing in her eyes, something warm and beautiful, something that touched him, something that he didn't dare hope for. `She . . . she wants . . . ?' He swallowed hard. `No . . . she can't . . . she doesn't . . .' He quickly turned away and started walking again. Kagome sighed and fell in step beside him. `You're seeing things.'
 
“Warm enough?” he asked, careful to keep his tone neutral.
 
“What? Oh, uh, yes, thank you,” she answered in an equally cautious fashion. “Are you sure you're not cold?”
 
“Keh.”
 
She giggled. “I forgot. Big, strong hanyou needs no coat.”
 
“Damn right. Only you weak humans need that.”
 
“Well, this weak human is grateful, anyway.”
 
He didn't know what to say to that, so he didn't answer. They continued along the overgrown path in silence, lost in thoughts all their own that still connected them in hushed whispers that neither could understand.
 
 
::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::
 
 
“So who's this `Katosan'?” Kagome asked as she washed the dinner dishes in the stream.
 
InuYasha sat on a rock, legs crossed, arms shoved into the sleeves of his haori with Tetsusaiga held protectively against his chest. “Myouga says he may know something about the book.”
 
She paused with a tin plate dangling from her hand as she stared over her shoulder. InuYasha caught the look but ignored it. He knew that look. She was about to launch into a round of Twenty Questions, none of which he wanted to answer. He grimaced as she fired off the first question. “What's so important about this book?”
 
“Not a damn thing.”
 
“Why go to the trouble of finding it?”
 
“Dunno. It's just a book.”
 
“Why do you need it so badly?”
 
“I don't.”
 
“Then why are we looking for it?”
 
“Nothing better to do.”
 
“You're an awful liar, you know?”
 
“So you've said.”
 
“And Sesshoumaru didn't know anything?”
 
“Nope, useless bastard.”
 
“He is your brother. You don't like him at all, do you?”
 
“Not even a little.”
 
“Have you ever gotten along with him?”
 
“Nuh-uh.”
 
“Have you ever gotten along with anyone?”
 
“Keh.”
 
“Maybe we could ask Miroku. He knows a lot of weird stuff. What do you think?”
 
“Useless monk's only good for grabbing butts.”
 
“Don't you miss the others at all?”
 
“Do you want me to answer that?”
 
“Don't you?”
 
“A little. A very little.”
 
Her chin dropped as she shook off the plate and she studiously kept her face down as she asked, “Are you sorry I followed you?”
 
“Keh,” he replied. “Can't get rid of you. I've tried, remember?”
 
She giggled. “Poor InuYasha . . . I could have left you stuck to Goshinboku. Would that have been better?”
 
“Of course.”
 
Her giggle escalated into a full-blown laugh. “I could re-pin you . . .” she offered generously. “As soon as we get back . . . then I get free access to your ears.”
 
“Keh.”
 
“So what's in this mysterious book?”
 
“The secrets of life and death.”
 
“Seriously, InuYasha. What's so important?”
 
He shrugged. “Nothing.”
 
“Then why do you want it?”
 
“I told you, I don't.”
 
“What'll you do with it when you find it?”
 
He cracked his knuckles. “Sharpen my claws on it.”
 
“Then why look for it?”
 
“Because no one needs to see it.”
 
“But why?
 
“I told you. It shouldn't have been written.”
 
“But—”
 
He stood abruptly. “You got your twenty questions, wench. Come on.”
 
He heard her frustrated sigh as she gathered up the clean dishes and followed him back to camp. She deliberately ignored him while she put the items back into her bottomless backpack and dug out her school book.
 
“What are you doing?” he asked, squatting beside her.
 
She spared him a cursory glance before turning her back toward him just enough to let him know that she needed quiet so she could study.
 
“You're in the middle of the forest, Kagome. Do you really need to do that now?”
 
“Shh.”
 
InuYasha sputtered indignantly, back straightening as he drew away with a shocked expression on his face. “Did you shush me, wench?”
 
“Shh!” she repeated without so much as glancing at him.
 
He dug his claws against the ground with a glower at the offending text book. “Keh!”
 
She finally did look at him. His satisfaction only lasted until she burst into laughter. “Stop pouting, InuYasha. I've got an important exam coming up. I've got to study, so shhhh!”
 
“I don't pout!” he remarked with a loud snort. Kagome giggled harder. He shot to his feet and stomped to the other side of the fire, drawing Tetsusaiga. He closed his eyes for a moment, then grinned as he yelled, “Kongousouha!” and brought the sword slamming into the earth. Kagome yelped behind him, and his grin widened.
 
“Put that away!” she scolded. “You're wrecking the forest for no good reason.”
 
“There was a mouse, and you hate mice.”
 
Kagome rolled her eyes and dropped her gaze back to the book in her lap.
 
InuYasha flopped down to sharpen Tetsusaiga with a very loud, very pronounced sigh. Kagome continued studying, muttering under her breath as she tried to memorize the things in the book that were obviously much more interesting than someone who kept her head on her shoulders daily.
 
`Stupid girl! Who cares if she's more interested in stupid paper than she is in me?' His ears drooped. `I do, damn it.' He glanced up at her again, narrowing his eyes as he stifled a snort. `Did she follow me just so she could study that fucking book? Keh!'
 
“Shouldn't you go to sleep now?” he asked, unable to keep the belligerence out of his tone.
 
“In a bit. I'm not tired yet.”
 
He stood up and jammed Tetsusaiga into the sheath. He glared at her, sitting there all calmly, as though there wasn't a thing wrong in the world. `I can't believe she's ignoring me!' he fumed.
 
“If you don't stop glaring, your face will freeze like that,” Kagome remarked without looking up.
 
“Keh!”
 
She reached over and located her water bottle by feel, managing to open and drink half of it without taking her attention of the book. He could always toss the offending book into the fire . . . and be osuwari-ed straight into the center of the earth. `Think, baka! How do you get her to stop staring at that damn book?'
 
InuYasha considered that a moment longer. `Beaten by a fucking book,' he thought. `Unless . . .'
 
Very slowly and deliberately, InuYasha dropped his arms and wandered back over to Kagome, sinking down beside her. “Okay,” he said mulishly.
 
“Okay?” she repeated. She did, however, look away from his nemesis.
 
He lowered his head, as much to hide his triumphant smirk as it was to offer her the one thing he knew she'd never be able to resist. “Go ahead.”
 
Her tone was suspicious, reluctant. “And do what?”
 
“Just remember, wench. They're sensitive.”
 
He peeked up at her but kept his chin lowered. She was smiling, and she let the book fall off her lap as her fingers latched onto his ears.
 
She didn't see his little victorious grin.
 
`I win.'
 
 
~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~ *~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~
A/N:
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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.
 
~Sue~
Chapter 8
Chapter 10
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