InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ Keeping Secrets ( Chapter 19 )

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

~~Chapter 19~~
~Keeping Secrets~
“InuYasha! Watch out!”
With a quick glance over his shoulder, he leaped out of the way just in time to avoid being swatted by the tigress youkai's razor-sharp claws. “Useless monk!” he growled as he turned to lunge at the youkai. “Sankon-tetsusou!
The tiger caught InuYasha in mid-air by the throat. The piercing claws cut into InuYasha's skin, and the youkai heaved him back. InuYasha slammed into a tree as a flash of pain shot from his back to his brain. InuYasha ignored the ache and forced himself to his feet again, absently wiping blood off his neck with his sleeve.
“Give us the Shikon no Tama, hanyou!”
InuYasha drew Tetsusaiga with a condescending, “Keh!” In a flash of yellow-white light, the rusty blade transformed into his father's fang. “The jewel wasn't made for pathetic youkai like you,” he snarled as he gripped the sword with both hands.
Miroku grunted as he threw an Ofuda at the tiger youkai. The tiger shrieked as the paper-charm struck his back. Tendrils of smoke punctuated by the smell of burning flesh rose from the spot. The tiger youkai struggled to reach the Ofuda, trying in vain to pull it off of himself.
“Now, Sango!” Miroku yelled.
Hiraikotsu!” Sango yelled, unleashing the giant boomerang. Whistling as it spun through the air, the weapon took the youkai down. Impaired by Miroku's Ofuda, the beast was easy pickings for the youkai exterminator. The boomerang flew back to her, and she caught it above her head with a satisfied smile.
The female tiger youkai stared at the slain body of her mate and shrieked in rage. “You! You killed him!” the tigress youkai howled as she lunged at Sango. Miroku blocked her, holding her off with his Shakuju. “I'll kill you!” she spat, struggling to reach past the barrier of the staff, swinging her claws frantically at the holy man.
“Sango! Get back!” Miroku ground out, gritting his teeth together in his effort to hold the tigress back.
Sango ran forward, drawing the small sword she always wore on her lip instead of heeding Miroku's warning. She stopped suddenly as the sing-song hum grew louder and louder. “Kagome . . .” Sango breathed, in awe of the sheer volume of spiritual energy contained in that one miko's arrow.
The high-pitched hum whipped past InuYasha's head as the flash of glowing pink barely missed his cheek. His hair whipped forward in the fabricated wind that trailed the arrow. He didn't blink, and he didn't flinch as the arrow ripped through the air straight toward the youkai.
“Good shot, Kagome!” Shippou encouraged as her sacred arrow tore through the tigress' arm. The arm disintegrated in the purifying power of Kagome's miko energy.
The youkai fell to the ground with an agonized howl as InuYasha slammed Tetsusaiga into the earth. “Kaze no Kizu!
The flames tore up the ground in its path and hit the injured tigress. Her shriek grew louder, echoing off the trees surrounding them as the youkai was enveloped in the white-hot flames. Her cry died away as her body was consumed and left in ashes to blow away in the chill wind.
InuYasha slowly sheathed Tetsusaiga as he turned to stare at Kagome. “Keh!” he snorted. “Waited long enough, didn't you?”
Kagome made a face as her bow dropped to her side. “I hit her, didn't I?” she shot back with a grin.
“Pathetic humans,” InuYasha grouched. “I could have taken them on my own.”
“Sure you could have,” Miroku agreed, catching his breath as he rotated his right arm, holding onto his shoulder. “Aren't you glad you don't have to?”
InuYasha turned back to face the monk. “Yeah, fine.”
Kagome ran down the hill and touched InuYasha's shoulder gently. “How's your back?”
“Keh. I'll live, wench.”
She gasped and dug into her pocket to retrieve her kerchief. “Hold still. Your neck's bleeding.”
InuYasha lifted his chin, allowing Kagome to dab gently at the flesh wounds. They missed the amused look passed between the monk and the exterminator. Shippou hopped onto Miroku's shoulder, and all three stared at the couple with varying degrees of interest.
Kagome scowled. “The one cut is pretty deep,” she remarked. “Let me get a bandage for that.”
“I don't need it,” he scoffed.
“You're still bleeding, and—”
She rolled her eyes. “At least let me clean it then.”
Miroku and Sango's mouths dropped open as InuYasha sank down on the ground and waited for Kagome to retrieve her first aid kit.
“I've seen him refuse to let her look at much more serious wounds than that,” Sango muttered.
“Yes. Odd, indeed,” Miroku agreed.
“I can hear you,” InuYasha hollered.
“Why don't we camp here for the night,” Miroku suggested. “We `pathetic humans' could use a breather after that.”
Miroku sank down next to the stream beside Sango. She leaned forward to fill the water bottles. He refrained from groping, barely. Sango had been preoccupied since they'd left the campsite. “Something bothering you?”
Sango sat back on her heels and stared at the monk. “What do you suppose is going on?”
Miroku didn't need clarification. He'd been wondering that, himself. “It's obvious to me. It looks like InuYasha might have finally found the courage to tell Kagome how he feels.”
Sango shook her head. “We're talking about InuYasha. He's as stubborn as they come. He wouldn't have just told her.” The longer Sango thought it over, the more positive she looked. “But something had to have happened. He's much more relaxed.”
“Ah, my Sango. As wise as you are beautiful . . . and I hope our children inherit this from you.” He sighed. “I want you to teach me.”
“Teach you? Teach you what?”
Miroku took a moment to gather his thoughts. Sango looked puzzled but she remained silent, waited for him to speak. “I would like you to train me as a youkai slayer, as well.”
He put a finger to her lips to quiet her protests. “I want to be with you, Sango, no other, but I cannot dishonor you. I want to marry you. If we do this, I . . . I cannot remain a monk. For this reason, I want to learn your skill.”
Her cheeks pinked up as she shifted her gaze shyly away. “Houshi-sama . . .”
“Will you?”
She grinned. “Marry you? Or teach you?”
He chuckled. “Both, of course.”
“ . . . Yes. Both.”
Miroku scooted closer to Sango and gently lifted her chin to kiss her. “Do you suppose we ought to go back to the camp now?”
Sango smiled as she stared over the flowing water. Leaves fell off the trees and drifted down to float off into the distance on the current. “Let's leave those two alone awhile longer.”
“Your wish is my command. Can we keep your training of me a secret for now?”
Miroku sighed. “You know InuYasha. He'll make light of my being a `pathetic human'.”
Sango nodded. “All right.”
“So,” a new voice piped up behind them. “What do I get if I keep quiet?”
Sango and Miroku turned slowly to stare at the kitsune. Shippou looked like the proverbial cat that ate the canary . . .
`InuYasha and I set out alone today to find someone we heard grew a special herb that would help Kirara. She was poisoned in Naraku's shouki in the last battle with him. At the village, we met another hanyou. His name is Jinenji. The men in his village were accusing him of attacking them. It seemed that someone or something was responsible but instead of looking for the real culprit they chose to pin the blame on Jinenji, instead. It turned out that it wasn't Jinenji at all. It was a youkai. But the entire episode made me wonder about InuYasha. He doesn't like to talk about his past, and I can understand that. I know he didn't have a good childhood. Somehow, though, seeing how the villagers treat Jinenji makes it that much clearer. I can't even imagine how it felt, to be so much of an outcast, all because he was born different . . .'
“InuYasha . . .”
“Do you think Sango and Miroku suspect anything?”
“Like what?” She traced little circles around his ear with her index finger. A distinct shiver ran down his spine. `Concentrate, baka! What the hell is she saying?'
“. . . I just think they know something.”
“The only way they'd know anything is if Shippou told them, and if he did, I'll cook him for dinner,” InuYasha remarked.
The look she sent him was a warning. He blinked rapidly. She shook her head.
Her finger lightly brushed against the downy hairs inside his ear. He yelped and jerked back, losing his balance at the sudden shift. It might not have been so bad, except in his panic to get away from her ticking fingers, he'd also forgotten where they were . . . `Oh, hell,' he thought wildly as he started to slip off the branch. Kagome tried to grab onto his arm. “No, don't!” he hollered a second too late as they both tumbled out of the tree. He landed flat on his back and moaned. That quickly turned into a whoosh of breath as Kagome landed on him.
“Oww,” Kagome whimpered as she slid off him and struggled to sit up.
“What do you mean, oww?” he growled after he'd gotten his air back. “Damn, wench! What the hell do you think I am? A pillow?”
She suddenly giggled. “Sometimes.”
“Yeah, you're lucky I don't break as easily as you pathetic humans.”
Her laughter soothed his irritation. He sat up quickly. Kagome stopped giggling as quickly as she had started, and he looked up to see why. Staring at him with a slight smile, a mysterious expression in her gaze, she reached up and pulled leaves out of his hair. Slowly, hesitantly, he touched her cheek, running his fingers over the rise of her cheekbone, the hollow beneath. She closed her eyes, leaned into his touch.
Her hands fell to his arm, clutching the sleeve of the haori tightly in her small fists. Staring at her hands, he gasped and jerked his hand away from her face. He caught her hands and held them, finding it somehow easier to stare at her hands in his than to look her in the eye. His pulse thundered in his ears, and he shook his head, trying to clear his mind before he did something potentially stupid, like drag her into his arms and— `Don't finish that thought, baka!'
“Run, Kagome,” he rasped out, letting go of her hand and pulling away.
He didn't dare look at her. “We have to leave early tomorrow,” he clarified. “You'd better get some sleep.”
He heard her stand up, heard her soft sigh. “Goodnight,” she whispered. He heard the crunching leaves as she walked away.
Letting his head fall back, InuYasha stared up at the stars. He wanted to run after her. He couldn't. It had been all he could do to let her go. He winced as he remembered her diary entry. Even if Kagome didn't reject him, he, better than anyone, knew what the rest of the world thought. He was an abomination, unnatural. Not human, not youkai, there wasn't a place in the world that would accept him. The life he knew of incessant fighting and constant movement . . . it wasn't something he could ask, not of her.
`No one chooses a hanyou.'
Balling his hands into tight fists, he sighed and leaped back into the tree.
`Kagome . . .'
~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~ *~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~
Kaze no Kizu: Wind Scar
Sankon-tetsusou: Iron Reaver, Soul Stealer
Hiraikotsu: Sango's weapon
Shakuju: Miroku's staff
Shouki: miasma-energy
Action sequence dedicated to BakaBokken
Miroku/Sango moment dedicated to Sari15
The rest of the chapter dedicated to the rest of y'all!
== == == == == == == == == ==
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.

Chapter 18
Chapter 20
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