InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ Diary ( Chapter 12 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
Kagome smashed her finger under her nose to stave back the sneeze that she felt welling up. InuYasha shot her an irritated glance. “There it is! How are you going to hit it when you've got your fingers jammed up your nose?”
She scowled at him. “They're not up my nose, baka! They're under my nose.”
“They're supposed to be on your arrow,” he pointed out. “Damn it, look!”
She sighed as the rabbit disappeared into the underbrush. She let her hand fall and picked up the arrow she had dropped.
“You did that on purpose,” he accused, settling back and sticking his hands in his sleeves. “See if I care! You'll be the one moaning and groaning about being hungry when you've got nothing to eat.”
“I would have scared it off anyway if I had sneezed,” she shot back then sneezed anyway. “Told you!” She sneezed again.
“Keh! You'd better not be getting sick, wench.”
She shook her head. “As if I could help that, if I was, which I'm not. It's all these leaves! They're making my hay fever rea-a-achooo!”
InuYasha leaned toward her and sniffed. “You don't smell sick,” he accused, gaze narrowing suspiciously.
“I dold you, I'b dot sick,” she mumbled. `Oh, great! My nose is getting all stuffy!'
“Guess you're going hungry, then,” he goaded.
“I doh see why we habe do sid id the bushes,” she remarked with a sniffle.
InuYasha made a face. “Because if you don't hide they'll see you or smell you—hell, they'd smell you anyway. You smell like summer flowers, you know,” he pointed out with a reproving frown.
She blinked as she stared at him. The waning sunlight shone off his hair in silvery waves. He looked almost majestic despite the fact that he was sitting in the bushes beside her. Chin lifted proudly, eyes trained to the side as he scanned the clearing for their potential dinner, he had his hands up his sleeves again, and for once, he seemed calm. “Whad's wrog wid dad? You like da way I sbell,” she reminded him.
“Keh! It's not summer!”
“Mmmph.” She sniffled again.
“Kami, wench! That's disgusting! Can't you do something about that? You sound like a stuck pig.”
She grabbed a handful of leaves and chucked them into InuYasha's face. Seconds later, he sneezed. She grinned---until she sneezed, too.
He retaliated by tossing leaves at her. She threw some over his head. The dried leaves stuck in his hair. She giggled and sneezed again.
He rolled his eyes. “You'll never be a decent hunter.”
“That's why I keep you around, dog-boy.”
“Oh, is it? It's not to keep your pretty head on your shoulders?”
“Well, there's that, too,” she said then gasped softly as InuYasha's words soaked in. Kagome felt her heart leap at his backhanded compliment, and she rolled slightly to the side to gaze at InuYasha, ignoring the heat that surfaced on her skin. “Why, InuYasha! I never knew you thought so!”
He flushed and looked away. “Keh. Pay attention. I smell a wild boar.”
Kagome drew back her arrow as she watched the boar amble into the clearing. She carefully took aim. Then the beast turned and stared at her. It looked so sad, so helpless, and it wasn't very big . . . Kagome sneezed. The boar lumbered away, and InuYasha sighed.
“You did that on purpose,” he charged.
She rolled her eyes. “I can't sneeze on command,” she shot back as she let the bow and arrow fall to the ground. Actually, she could sneeze on command, sometimes. If she had already sneezed a few times, , all she had to do was rub her tongue against the roof of her mouth and she'd sneeze. But he didn't need to know that.
“If you ain't going to see your side of the deal through,” he began, “you shouldn't make the deal.”
“I didn't say I'd hunt dinner.”
“You said you'd take care of dinner. This is part of it, wench.”
Kagome made a face. `You didsay that. You said you'd do that if he'd let you rub his ears for five minutes.'
She sneezed three times in a row and sniffled for good measure.
“Ugh,” he breathed, looking rightfully appalled. He caught her hand and tugged her off the ground. “Come on,” he said with a melodramatic sigh.
“Where are we going?”
He shot her a dark look. “I'm taking you back to camp so I can catch our dinner without you sneezing away the game, and without you making those wild-pig noises.”
“InuYasha!” she protested, making sure her expression was properly affronted. She was smiling on the inside.
“Do you think you'll be able to find the journal?”
InuYasha shrugged. “I don't know. It doesn't look good. Katosan said he would look into it.”
His answer bothered her. He could tell by the way her back stiffened that she was worried about something. “I don't know . . . are you sure you can trust Katosan?”
He frowned and glanced at her. She was digging his nemesis out of her gargantuan bag. He growled. Something about that glossy blue book really irritated him . . . . “He served my old man for centuries. You heard him. I never said I trust him,” he grumbled.
She settled down with the hated school book but didn't open it as she stared at him. “You do, though. I can tell. I thought it normally takes you longer to trust anyone,” she remarked neutrally, toying with the pleats in her navy blue skirt.
“You don't, do you?”
“I never said that,” she answered slowly.
“Keh. You didn't have to. I can tell by your reaction,” he scoffed. “You don't trust him.”
She sighed. “What I think isn't important. What do you think? Are you sure you can trust him?”
It was his turn to sigh. He sat back and stared pensively at the fire. “I don't know.”
He could feel Kagome's gaze on him. She wanted to ask him something, he could tell. He also knew, too, that she never took that long in asking something unless she knew it was something that he wasn't going to like or that he flat out wouldn't answer. He waited for her to bring it up.
“Will you read it, if you find it?”
He shrugged. “Don't much care to. No good can come of it.”
Kagome took her time as InuYasha braced himself for whatever she was thinking. The only times she was ever this careful was when she was about to say something that she knew he didn't want to discuss. “I was thinking . . . do you suppose she wrote it for you? That she knew that she might not be able to tell you things that you should know?”
“Keh . . . like she knew she'd die?” He snorted indelicately and shot to his feet. Kagome had an uncanny way of putting things into words that he'd already wondered, himself.
Kagome stood and grabbed his arm gently, stopping him before he could leave camp. “No, not that . . . I'll bet she had no intention of dying and leaving you alone. A mother wouldn't do that.” She sighed and let go of him.
“I don't want to talk about this,” he remarked, struggling to keep his tone from escalating.
She crossed her arms over her chest and stared at the fire without seeing the flames. She wasn't finished. He braced himself for the rest of her assessment. “Mama told me once that sometimes there are things that a mother wants to say that she just can't articulate to her child because she knows it's painful. Maybe . . . Maybe that's what's in the journal.”
“Maybe,” he agreed. He shook his head slowly and lifted his gaze to the skies. `Or maybe the journal was the reason that she died.'
With a deep breath, InuYasha turned and walked out of the circle of light.
Leaping into the first tree he came to, InuYasha settled against the trunk to watch as Kagome stared at the fire a little longer. He couldn't hear her sigh but he knew she'd done that as she sank back down on her bedroll with that damned calculus book.
He didn't remember much about his mother. He didn't remember anything at all about his father. He'd only seen a vision of him once after Sesshoumaru and he had banished the blade of hell, and that was a memory that InuYasha held dear, even if he refused to admit as much to Kagome or even to himself.
`Do I even want to know what's in that journal?' He winced. Why was it that the memories of his mother's tears were the only ones he could bring to mind when he thought of her? `Just . . . painful things . . . .'
`Keh! They're just words! Words can't hurt me! Words can't break me or change me . . . words can't do a damn thing, and words can't change the past.'
A sudden loneliness swept through him, and he shivered despite the mild night air. Kagome looked up. He was sure that she couldn't see him yet she seemed to be looking right at him, too. She smiled shyly and ducked her head. InuYasha suddenly felt warm again, as though the sun was shining on him despite it being the middle of the night. How did she do that?
He cocked his head to the side and leaned forward, squinting as he watched her fish another book out of her bag. He'd seen the small brown book before. He'd never paid much attention to it. She leafed through the pages and chewed on the end of her pen as she stared thoughtfully at the pages. Then she hunched over and started to write.
“What do you want?” InuYasha asked, his preoccupation with Kagome and her book apparent. Myouga took the opportunity to suck blood from the hanyou's throat. InuYasha smashed him but remained silent.
“Ohh,” Myouga complained as he settled on InuYasha's knee. He glanced up at InuYasha then over toward Kagome. “And what is our young Kagome-sama doing there?”
“Apparently she's got a damn journal, too,” InuYasha remarked with a snort.
“A journal, you say? Oh! Do tell!”
InuYasha's frown darkened as Kagome diligently turned the page and kept writing. “Keh! Who cares! It doesn't even interest me, not in the least! Let Kagome write her useless words.”
“And if she's written stuff about you, InuYasha-sama? Wouldn't you like to know? I know I would, if I were you . . . .”
He hadn't thought of that. Stubbornness dictated his reply, “Not at all. Why should it matter to me?”
Myouga sighed as he stared at Kagome. “She reminds me of your mother.”
“Keh! They don't look anything alike.”
“No, InuYasha-sama! I meant that her heart is like your mother's: gentle, kind . . . tasty . . . .”
Wrinkling his nose, InuYasha snorted as he considered flicking the flea youkai into next month. “Keh! Did you find out anything useful or did you just show up to irritate me?”
Myouga finally dragged his attention off the miko and turned to face InuYasha. “I wondered how your meeting with Katosan went.”
InuYasha snorted and closed his eyes. “Fine, I guess. He said he'd look into it.”
“Where are you heading now, then?”
InuYasha shrugged and cracked an eye open to stare at the flea youkai. “Kagome's got an exam—” he was unable to keep the bitterness at the word out of his voice, “—and she didn't tell her mother that she was chasing after me, so she was worried that her mother might be mad at her for disappearing, so I'm taking her back to the village.”
Myouga sighed, his attention wandering to Kagome once more. “Maybe she wouldn't notice if I `borrowed' just a little of her blood . . . .”
“Scram, and keep away from Kagome.” That said, InuYasha sent Myouga flying with a flick of his claw and dropped out of the tree.
`And if she's written stuff about you, InuYasha-sama? Wouldn't you like to know?'
`Keh! Like she's going to let you read that, baka! She'll osuwari you if you even try to get a peek!' He made a face. “Damn!”
`Offer her something she wants, then! Something she can't resist.'
“Something she wants?” he muttered as he wandered closer to the campsite. “Like what?”
`Don't be stupid, InuYasha! Think!'
`Something she wants . . . .' A slow grin spread over his features, his eyes glowing as his determination grew. `Hmm . . . this might work . . . .'
Kagome recapped her pen and dropped her diary in her backpack with a sigh. Her neck hurt from bending over the book, but it was good therapy to keep a journal of her travels. Her mother had bought the expensive book the second time she'd come home from the feudal era. Mrs. Higurashi thought that it would be an interesting way to remember her adventures.
`Funny that my diary has helped me in history class,' she thought with a wry smile. Her gaze fell on her calculus book, and she made a face. She rolled her neck from side to side before lifting the textbook and opening it.
A shadow fell over the pages, and Kagome lifted her chin to gaze at InuYasha, who had been way too quiet in his approach. Her expression turned suspicious at the knowing look he gave her.
“Why are you looking at me like that?” she asked slowly.
He didn't smile but she could tell he wanted to. That worried her even more. He knelt down and reached over, plucking her diary off the top of the bag's contents. Kagome stared at the leather-bound book. “I want to read this,” InuYasha remarked but didn't open it.
“Give it back,” she said, willing her voice to remain calm. “I'll say `it'.”
He relented and handed her back the diary. She clutched it against her chest as if she was trying to protect it. “We could trade,” he remarked casually---a little too casually.
She was positive now. She really didn't like that glint in InuYasha's eyes.
The glint brightened. He leaned forward for good measure. “Ears for journal.”
Her eyes widened and she leaned back. Her mouth fell open in shock, and it took a few moments before she could make her voice work. “No! I can't believe you---No!” He blinked at her. “Stop that! No!”
He blinked again. “Stop what?”
Kagome snapped her mouth closed so hard her teeth rattled. He really didn't know what he had just done, but there was a very good chance he did now. His gaze suddenly grew brighter, and he blinked---again. She stifled a groan. “No.”
He seemed to think that over. Finally he frowned and sat back. “All right, Kagome. I didn't want to have to resort to this, but you're forcing me to.”
For a moment, she thought he meant to take the diary by force. Her arms tightened. There were things in there that he didn't need to see; things about him, and about her feelings. He wasn't getting it without a fight. Her gaze narrowed. `I'll say `it' so many times he'll have to wait five hundred years for a backhoe to dig him out . . . .'
“Do you want to read my mother's journal, if I find it?”
Kagome frowned. “I thought you didn't know if you'd read it or not.”
He shook his head slowly. “I don't know if I will.”
“But you'd let me read it?”
He nodded and sighed. “I always thought it was weird, why she was so determined that I should know how to read. Guess now I know why.”
Kagome digested his offer a moment. Hard enough to pass up the idea of being able to play with his ears. `Maybe there's some sort of strange drug on them that absorbs through my fingers,' she thought with an inward giggle. `Yeah . . . I'm addicted to his ears . . . .' Then he had offered to let her read his mother's journal . . . that was huge. `He really does trust me, doesn't he?'
Her gaze dropped to the diary she still held against her chest. Sure it was full of personal things, but his mother's journal was bound to be, too, and she trusted him. Just to clarify the deal, though, she sighed. “If I let you read my diary, then I get to rub your ears and read your mother's journal when you find it?”
InuYasha looked up as he thought it over. “Yeah, that sounds about right.”
Kagome made a face. “I have a condition of my own.”
He blinked at her again. She nearly growled in frustration. She really shouldn't have let that slip . . . . `You've let a lot more than just that slip, if you're really going to let him read your diary, baka!' She wrinkled her nose. “You have to start at the beginning and read straight through. No skipping around.”
He considered that then held out his hand.
Kagome hesitantly held out the diary but didn't let go. InuYasha got the hint and lay down on his side, facing the fire, then held out his hand for the book. With one last sigh, Kagome handed it over before turning her attention to his ears.
`Maybe,' she allowed as his rumbling started almost immediately, `this wasn't such a bad trade, after all.'
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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.