InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ Blackmail ( Chapter 18 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
“These are remarkable, Kagome. What was it you called them again?”
Kagome looked over at Miroku. Seated behind Sango on Kirara's back, the monk seemed very pleased. Kagome grinned. “They're thermal underwear. Glad you like them.”
Sango shifted uncomfortably. Kagome tried not to laugh. While Sango undoubtedly appreciated the added layer of warmth of her thermals, Kagome didn't doubt that the exterminator didn't care for wearing the extra garments.
“Something wrong, Sango?” Miroku leaned forward to whisper in the slayer's ear.
She could feel herself flushing and prayed that no one else saw it. Glancing out of the corner of her eye and then turning her head to blatantly stare, Sango nudged Miroku and nodded toward InuYasha and Kagome. The miko said something that only InuYasha could hear, and to Sango's surprise, the hanyou smiled. “What do you think happened between those two on the other side of the well?” Sango asked quietly.
“Your guess is as good as mine,” Miroku replied. “But it doesn't seem like a bad thing . . . have you noticed InuYasha's marked lack of real temper?”
Sango nodded and was about to comment when InuYasha suddenly stopped and snarled as he stared ahead at something the rest of them couldn't see.
“There's a youkai approaching,” Kagome said quietly as she slid off InuYasha's back.
“Yeah,” InuYasha agreed, pushing Kagome back without taking his eyes off the distant horizon. “Fucking mangy, hella nasty little—”
“Kouga!” Kagome exclaimed softly. She started forward only to be propelled back again by InuYasha's hand. “InuYasha!”
“Let me handle him, wench, and keep your damn lips away from him this time.”
Sango bit down on her cheek to keep from laughing at the blatant display of jealousy.
“I told you, I only kissed his cheek to get the shards back. Don't make me say `it',” Kagome warned.
“Oi! Kagome! What a sight for sore eyes! You really need some new travel companions,” Kouga said as he skidded to a stop and dealing InuYasha a blatantly hostile glare. “You look good, despite hanging around that loser. How about another kiss?”
“Eh?” Kagome squeaked. InuYasha snarled and shoved Kagome back again.
“Sango,” Miroku whispered in her ear, “I have a feeling that this is about to become very ugly.”
“I think you're right. Now hush! I don't want to miss it.”
“Get the hell out of here before I sharpen my claws on you,” InuYasha ground out.
“Outta my way, dog-shit. You can't stand between me and my woman,” Kouga commented as he glowered at InuYasha.
“She ain't your woman.”
Kouga's glare darkened. “Of course she is! She kissed me, dog-shit.”
“Keh! She kissed you because you blackmailed her, you bastard!”
“Jealous, mutt-face?” Kouga asked with a raised eyebrow.
InuYasha ground his teeth together and growled. “Why would I be jealous of a scrawny little wolf like you when—”
Kagome ducked under InuYasha's arm and stepped in front of him. “Well, Kouga, it was nice to see you but we really have to be going.”
“When what?” Sango muttered under her breath.
“Hmm. Your guess is as good as mine. We'll have to find out,” Miroku whispered back.
“Where are you off to, Kagome?” Kouga asked, deliberately ignoring InuYasha's growled warning to back off.
She forced a bright smile. “We just have to find something of InuYasha's. It's fine.”
Kouga rolled his eyes. “Baka can't keep track of his things? That doesn't surprise me. Are you sure you don't want to come with me yet, Kagome?”
She shot InuYasha a quick glance before turning to look at Kouga again. “I promised InuYasha I'd help him find it, so I can't go anywhere.”
“Yeah, just be careful that he doesn't `misplace' you, too, or I'll have to kill him.”
“What?” InuYasha bellowed. He shoved Kagome back and drew Tetsusaiga. “She's never going anywhere with you, shit for brains!”
“She's not marked,” Kouga said as he sniffed and crossed his arms over his chest stubbornly. “You haven't pissed on her yet, dog-shit. She's still fair game. Until I mark her, that is, which will be as soon as things are settled in the valley.”
“That's gross!” Kagome stated loudly. “No one is going to p—mark me like that!”
InuYasha's face was as red as his haori as he growled, “Wench! Do you think I'd actually pi—?”
Kagome looked positively green. She slapped her hands over her ears and squealed, “Eww! Don't even say it.”
“He said it, I didn't!” InuYasha snarled. “Nice, Kouga, you bastard!”
“Everyone knows dogs like you lift their leg and—”
InuYasha had heard enough. In a crimson blur, he raised Tetsusaiga and started to bring it down even as the youki started to wrap around the blade. “Kaze no Ki—”
“Would you two knock it off?” Kagome shrieked. Sango's jaw dropped. She couldn't remember ever having seen her friend quite so angry. The air around Kagome almost crackled with her rage, and her eyes were lit with furious fire. “You!” she commanded, pointing a finger at Kouga, “I'm not your woman! And you!” she went on, her finger swinging directly to InuYasha, who was still on the ground. “Do you always have to threaten Kouga? You're both disgusting males, and if you're so interested in marking something, why don't you—do that—on each other? Bakas!” With that, the miko turned and stomped away.
“They'll never learn, will they?” Shippou mourned with a shake of his head.
InuYasha stumbled to his feet and stabbed Kouga with a menacing glare as he dropped Tetsusaiga into the scabbard. He made a disgusted face as he squeezed his hands closed and flexed them open a few times. “Look what you did!” he snarled at the wolf youkai.
“What I did? I wasn't the one drawing my sword, dog-shit!”
“Keh! I don't have time to argue with you,” InuYasha growled as he turned and stomped off after Kagome.
Kouga rolled his eyes. “Tell Kagome I'll be back,” he called over his shoulder as he turned and sped off in the direction he had come.
“That was the weirdest meeting yet,” Shippou remarked.
Sango nodded in agreement. Moments later, Kagome's voice rose above the other sounds of the forest. “Osuwari!”
Miroku winced and jerked back as the ground beneath them trembled. “Ouch! InuYasha will be smarting from that one for days.”
Sango nodded. She knew that Kagome was just trying to appease Kouga into leaving. Still, InuYasha wouldn't see it that way, and who could blame him? Add to that the verbal set-down she'd dealt the hanyou, and Sango sighed. “We might as well set up camp. We need a fire. I think the temperature just dropped,” she commented, thinking of InuYasha and Kagome.
“And growing colder by the second, Sango, my sweet. Don't worry. I'll keep you warm.”
She felt the unmistakable warmth of his hand on her bottom, and she gasped as instant color flooded her skin. “Hentai!” she exclaimed and slapped him hard enough to knock him backward off the fire-cat youkai as she slid off Kirara's back.
Shippou rolled his eyes and stroked the transformed Kirara. “I think we're the only normal ones left,” he remarked. Kirara mewed in reply.
Kagome dropped her backpack on the ground and sank down on a boulder beside the rushing stream and sighed. `Why did Kouga have to show up? Every time I think we're getting closer, something always has to interfere,' Kagome thought with a frown.
`Oh, that's not it. That's not even close to the truth of it.'
She sighed and leaned her elbows on her knees, letting her cheeks drop onto her raised fists. If she were honest with herself, she'd have to admit that she missed being alone with InuYasha. Sure, she had thought it was a good idea at the time. Because of InuYasha's past, he was always reluctant to show any sign of vulnerability to anyone, even those he considered friends. That, to him, would extend to the deal they'd made about her diary. He wouldn't be as likely to overreact about her entries regarding Kikyou as he might have been had they been alone simply because he wouldn't want to admit to allowing Kagome to stroke his ears.
She groaned. She missed his ears, too.
Still, there was a sort of distance between them now that Kagome hated. `I know why he feels the way he does,' she thought with an inward sigh. `I know why he feels like he has to hide his `weaknesses'. I just wish he didn't feel like he had to.'
“Don't say `it'.”
Kagome shifted her eyes to the side to stare at InuYasha. He looked wary, guarded, and she sighed. “Can you not fight with Kouga? I'm not planning on running off with him.”
The infamous pout was back on his face. Kagome watched in silence as he stomped over to the stream and started rubbing his hands together in the water. “Damn him!”
She straightened up. “InuYasha? Did Kouga come back?”
“Keh! Not that mangy wolf.”
She frowned. “Then what is it?”
“Your fucking grandfather and his damn tape from hell,” he growled, squeezing his hands closed and opening them wide. “Tetsusaiga's all sticky, and now my hands are, too.”
Kagome tried not to laugh. She really did. But the irritation mixed with pouting expression on the hanyou's face was just too cute, and she couldn't help herself. When he glowered at her, she ducked her head as she rummaged around for the first aid kit. “I'm not hurt,” he scoffed as she opened the lid. “Can't guarantee your grandfather will be as lucky next time I see him.”
Ripping open the small packet, Kagome pulled out an alcohol soaked towelette. “Here,” she said, holding out the cloth. “This might help.”
He made a face but took the cloth. After rubbing it on his hands and finding that the mysterious stickiness was gone, he set to work on his sword. Kagome dug out another couple of packets and tossed them down in InuYasha's lap. Scooting forward, she reached out and caught one of his ears. He jerked away and snorted.
“You owe me,” she remarked as she leaned forward to grab his ear again.
“How do you figure?” he shot back but didn't pull away.
“Because between you and Kouga I was completely grossed out.”
“I didn't say it! He did!”
Kagome lifted her eyebrows at his emphatic disclaimer. “You want me to go find Kouga and rub his ears?”
“Keh.” He turned so she didn't have to stretch to reach his ears. She rubbed his ears while he rubbed the duct tape residue off Tetsusaiga. Finally he laid the sword aside and reached back over his shoulder, his empty fingers wiggling as though he was waiting for something.
Kagome grinned and dug into her bag for the diary. `Predictable as ever, eh, InuYasha?'
He sighed and turned to look at her. She didn't miss the blinking, either. “We don't . . . I mean, what Kouga said. We don't . . . I wouldn't . . .”
Kagome made a face. “I hoped not.” She dropped the diary over his shoulder and he sighed again as she started scratching gently at the base of his ears. Almost instantly his low rumbles rewarded her efforts.
The rush of water mingled with his sounds of contentment soothed the remaining ragged edges of Kagome's nerves. She idly toyed with his ears, and it took a moment for her to realize that he'd stopped making the happy noise. “Why didn't you ever tell me?”
“What?” Kagome asked as her hands fell away. “What didn't I tell you?”
He turned his head to stare at her, his expression dark, eyes fierce, glowing. “Didn't you think that it might have mattered to me?”
She drew back at the understated vehemence in his tone. “What are you talking about?”
“About the spell Kikyou put on me!”
“What spell?” she asked, her mind blanking as he grew more and more irritated.
“Keh! When she tried to drag me to hell, wench! That one!”
Kagome shook her head slowly and frowned. “How could you not have known you were under a spell?”
He snorted. “Obviously because I wasn't meant to know. That's not the point!”
“What is the point?”
InuYasha dug his claws into the ground and growled in frustration. “Nothing. Never mind.”
“You brought it up.”
“You just should have told me, wench,” he grumbled. “You should have let me judge it if was important or not.”
Kagome sighed and frowned, staring hard at him while she tried to discern what was really bothering him about it. It was more than just the spell, she was sure. He was too upset, too agitated. She just didn't know why. “What would it have changed, InuYasha? I knew you wouldn't have willingly let her drag you to hell,” she countered softly. “But she was your first love. I knew that. What I wrote in there were my feelings at the time.”
For some reason he looked more irritated with that.
“Why didn't you mention it, in here?” he said slowly, softly, holding up her journal, “that I . . . kissed her?”
Kagome sighed as it made sense to her, at last. It wasn't really the spell that was bothering him. It was the guilt of the memories that was. “Because I didn't want to remember that. That was . . . it was your memory, not mine.”
He nodded slowly. Finally he turned again and leaned back to look at her. “My right ear itches,” he stated with an accompanying blink. Kagome rolled her eyes but complied as he opened the book once more. “Hmm, Sango, huh? This should be interesting.”
She grinned as he resumed reading, having obviously gotten to her entries about her first impressions of Sango, which, in her opinion, were completely safe, as far as InuYasha's feelings. Within moments of her attention on his ear, he was rumbling again, and Kagome's smile widened.
“Here you are! What are you doing?”
InuYasha sat bolt upright. Kagome gasped and barely caught the diary that flew at her. She jammed it into her bag as Shippou scampered over to them. “Shippou! What are you doing?” she asked, trying hard not to flush. She glanced at a very red-faced InuYasha. He was taking his time fiddling with Tetsusaiga.
“I volunteered to gather firewood . . . why was InuYasha reading your diary? You never let me look at it,” the kitsune pouted. His head turned to stare at the hanyou. “Can I scratch your ears, too?”
“No!” InuYasha snarled and lunged for the kit. Kagome tried to stop him but InuYasha grabbed Shippou before she could do anything about it, and with Shippou in his arms, she couldn't say `it', either. “Listen, runt. If you say a thing to Sango or that hentai monk, I'll skin you, gut you, cook you, and eat you. Got that?”
“I won't!” Shippou promised in a squeak.
Apparently satisfied that Shippou would keep his word, InuYasha let go of the youngster. Shippou wasted no time escaping. He raced toward the woods then stopped and slowly turned around to face them again. “I might slip,” he remarked a little too casually.
“InuYasha . . .”
“I might be more inclined to remember . . . if . . .”
InuYasha cracked his knuckles menacingly but didn't move to intercept the child. “If what, runt?”
Shippou grinned. “If you're re-e-e-e-eally nice to me.”
Kagome could feel the tension in the hanyou. It did amuse her, though, that he was able to keep his temper in check. “Nice, how?” InuYasha growled.
“No more thumping, no matter what,” Shippou said, “and, umm . . . I want half of your ramen.”
The growl escalated into a very low snarl. Kagome quickly hid her smile behind her hand before InuYasha saw it and vented his frustration on her. “That sounds fair,” she couldn't help but say.
“Fine,” InuYasha ground out. “Fucking kit . . .”
He stomped away. Shippou watched him go before running and barreling into Kagome's arms. The two burst into laughter, and Kagome rubbed his hair. “It's about time you got him,” she whispered.
Shippou positively beamed. “Now off to gather the firewood,” he quipped as he hopped down and ran off.
Kagome shook her head but remained smiling. For as often as InuYasha had thumped the poor kit over the years, she couldn't rightfully blame the child for wanting a little bit of retribution . . . and it wouldn't hurt InuYasha to learn some self-control with that, anyway. As for the ramen . . . that was a whole different ball game . . .
I had to think about the whole Kikyou/InuYasha/Kagome journal entry here. Because this chapter isn't in his POV, we don't see exactly what she did write. I hope you understand what he got out of it though, because I was more interested in some of her reaction in this chapter, in particular . . . I have a feeling his reaction might be a little more intense when he finds out that Kikyou really did try to kill Kagome later on . . .
== == == == == == == == == ==
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.