InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ Museum ( Chapter 23 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
“Have you seen him?”
Flexing claws crackled, popped as he waited for an answer. “Do not trifle with me. Did you test him?”
The answer was longer in coming. Measuring his words, answering in riddles, he smiled enigmatically. “Tested him? Surely you jest. You've been trapped under the paw far, far too long.”
“Mock me, little one, and you'll force me to clip those wings.” He leaned forward, amber eyes locking with bright gold. “Tell me what you have learned, Waku.”
The hawk youkai's smile was condescending, arrogant. “Ask me nicely.”
A warning growl, nothing more. It was enough. “Do not presume to trick me, Waku. I could kill you in less time than it would take to clean your blood from my hands.”
Waku regarded him coldly and finally answered. “He has a weakness. All of his kind can be exploited. Tainted blood, you understand. InuYasha and his brother . . . They need to be humbled. How I hate their miserable stench.”
“You have no love of mortals?”
“Do not mock me. The Inu no Taisho's sons will fall.” Waku detested the man, but he detested InuYasha more. He had nearly humbled the half-breed once. The next time he'd have to make sure that Katosan wasn't around to save the hanyou. “Did you know? They both keep human pets. Fools . . . just like their father.”
He sat back with a marked lifting of his eyebrows, mock surprise adding a cold sheen to his intense gaze. He curled his lips. Just thinking about the Inu no Taisho was enough to sear his blood as hatred erupted inside, vile, bitter, and only to be appeased by the downfall of the two. “Do they? And it is your belief that this could be used to our advantage?”
Waku shrugged, his expression pensive as he stared at the other youkai. “There is a problem,” he finally remarked, gauging the reaction his words garnered.
“And you'll tell me before I lose my patience?”
With a curt nod, Waku hid his humor behind his blank façade. “Katosan.”
“Katosan? The old dog isn't dead yet?”
Waku shook his head slowly, keen gaze scanning the landscape, ever watchful, ever vigilant. “You know he lives . . . but then, I'd wager there isn't much you don't know.”
The low resonance; a laugh that sent shivers up Waku's spine. “You flatter me. I kill those who flatter me. Best you remember that, ne?”
Waku didn't react to the insinuation. “What would you have me do about Katosan?”
“And this you must ask? Kill him. Katosan's been a thorn in my side for far too long as it is. I will not have him interfering again.”
Waku nodded. “As you wish,” he remarked. With a low bow, the hawk took to the air. It was growing late, and home was too far away . . . .
“Tell me again, how did you trick me into coming with you?”
Kagome hid her smile as InuYasha grumbled. “I don't know what you're talking about, InuYasha. I didn't trick you.”
She didn't. All she did was mention that she had to go home. InuYasha hadn't been very happy about that, insisting that they had things to do and that she didn't have time to go running home every time they turned around—till she reminded him what he'd done to her calculus book. He hadn't been gracious when he'd finally relented, but he had offered to come with her, and that was enough to shock her completely.
His soft whine drew her attention, and she glanced over to see what was bothering the hanyou. Stretched out on her bed with his back toward her and his cheek cradled in his raised hand, she couldn't see his face. Her hand dropped away from his head as she leaned forward to look over his shoulder. “Something wrong?”
“Two hands, wench,” he growled, irritation apparent. “Two ears, two hands.”
“One's fine,” she argued, settling back again.
“It's not! It throws off everything! Makes me feel all lopsided. You don't want me to fall off your bed, do you?”
She rolled her eyes, not buying a bit of his reasoning. “You're spoiled, do you know that?”
“Two ears, one hand, and one calculus book. Get over it, InuYasha. I've got to study.”
He growled low in his throat. “All right,” he grouched, “I'll remember that the next time I'm busy, and you want me to drop everything to save you from some youkai.”
She sighed but smiled. “You're such a baby,” she remarked as she closed the book and set it aside. He glanced over his shoulder and growled again. Her eyebrows arched in surprise. “Are you growling at my calculus book? You're jealous of my math book?”
“Hell, no! It smells funny,” he grumbled. Kagome grinned as he turned away. She didn't miss the telling hint of pink that crept over his face.
She rubbed his ears as he turned his attention to her diary again. He hadn't wanted to read much of it since he'd read the entry when he'd found out exactly what had happened with Kikyou in the miasma. She hadn't looked to see where he was.
His customary low rumble filled the small room, and Kagome sighed happily. What was it about that sound that she found so soothing? `Maybe it's just knowing that he's content.' Her smile widened.
Abruptly the sound stopped only to be replaced by a low growl that sounded much different from the one he'd directed at her book. More menacing, almost as though he was issuing some sort of warning, Kagome stopped rubbing his ears and leaned to the side, trying to see his face.
He slammed the diary closed and shot to his feet before grabbing Kagome's hand and pulling her off the bed. “Come on,” he growled as he headed for the door.
She tried to tug away. She should have known better. `He's just a little too strong,' she thought with a grimace as he tugged a little harder. “Wait! Where are we going?”
“Keh!” he snorted, as though she ought to know the answer to that. “We're going back.”
Somehow she managed to pull her arm away, and she crossed her arms, tucking her hands under her elbows for good measure. “I'm not going back until you tell me why.”
The disgruntled hanyou looked fit to kill. “That's easy. I'm going to find Kouga and shove Tetsusaiga up his scrawny ass.”
He glared at her, obviously thinking that she should know the answer to that. “What do you mean, why? Did you read your diary?”
“I suppose, since I wrote it,” she countered. “What's this all about?”
For a moment, Kagome didn't think InuYasha was going to answer her. Features set into the familiar stubborn scowl; he glared at the wall, trying his hardest to drill a hole through the wall with his eyes. “You told him you were seeing me, and he still tried to claim you! I'm going to fucking kill him!”
Kagome felt her face grow hot. `I forgot about that . . . .' When Kouga had decided that she would be `his woman' she told him that she was `seeing' someone already. Kouga had figured it out quickly enough. He was just too obstinate to give up. Still, she'd forgotten that she'd written about that in her diary, and InuYasha wasn't taking it well at all . . . `Wait . . . InuYasha isn't mad that I said I was seeing him, he's mad because Kouga ignored me about it . . . but that would mean . . . .' Her eyes widened at the realization, and she was sure her face darkened to a very nice shade of `Monk-in-Pain'-red.
InuYasha was still blustering about ripping Kouga limb from limb. It really was amazing, how his eyes flashed and sparkled, catching even the tiniest bit of light. He prowled around the hallway flexing his claws as he struggled to control his irritation, and Kagome noticed again, the odd grace in the hanyou's movements. It was beautiful to watch. It was impossible to ignore. Ears twitching like tiny radars, Kagome could almost feel the pent-up frustration behind his rapid pacing. `Poor guy,' she thought with a grin, `he really does try to keep his temper in check, even if he still hasn't quite gotten it yet.'
`I'd better distract him before he does drag me back to the past and go after Kouga. I don't remember ever seeing him quite this upset over the wolf . . . .'
Sudden inspiration struck her, and Kagome reached out, grabbing InuYasha's arm as he stalked past. The look on his face told her that he thought she was about to tell him that he couldn't kill Kouga, and he snorted. “Fine!” he snarled, “I won't kill him but I ain't promising I won't maim him.”
“InuYasha, come on.” Her hand slipped down his arm to grasp his hand in hers, and she headed toward the stairs.
He followed slowly. “Where?”
She smiled shyly and cleared her throat. “I owe you a date.”
His irritation dissipated as his eyebrows shot up then drew together. He seemed to be considering her offer even though a light flush crept up his skin. “Another date?”
“Just come on.” She stopped abruptly and shook her head as she regarded him. “On second thought, you'd probably better change first. You'll draw enough attention with Tetsusaiga, and you really do need to wear shoes.”
He growled. He really did hate his shoes, and she knew that, but here, in the modern world, he just couldn't run around barefoot . . . .
“Lighten up a little. You look like you think someone's going to attack us.”
InuYasha's scowl darkened. “This is weird, Kagome.”
“You want to go somewhere else?”
He made a face. “I meant the clothes, wench!”
She giggled. “Oh . . . Well, there's not much we can do about that.”
He narrowed his gaze on her. “You owe me.”
He snorted in reply and strode over to a display of ancient katanas mounted on deep black velvet and encased in glass. He stared at the blades as a small smile surfaced. `Tetsusaiga's much better than these pathetic human weapons,' he thought as his grin turned smug.
“Why is everything put up so you can't touch them?” he asked as Kagome stepped up beside him.
“It's a museum. You're not supposed to touch most of the stuff.”
“Keh. Why have weapons you can't use?”
She shrugged. “Well, for starters, we're not living in fear of being attacked by youkai here.”
“Like to see them try to put Tetsusaiga behind glass,” he scoffed as he turned and dragged Kagome over to look at more swords.
He realized that he was acting like a pup as he pulled Kagome around the ancient weapon display. He couldn't help it. He hadn't realized that there was much in Kagome's time that he was familiar with, other than her. It made him a little sad, though. Some of the weapons were youkai weapons. Of course the humans probably didn't recognize them for what they were or they'd have sealed them behind more than just the glass casings.
Still youkai weapons were meant to be used. If they weren't, the soul of the weapon died a little more with the passing of centuries. He could see the auras surrounding the pieces, no more than thin whispers escaping, mingling into one melancholy sound too weak for human ears to discern.
“Look,” Kagome said as she put a hand on his arm. “They're having a private showing! Want to go in?”
He didn't understand exactly what she was talking about. He glanced over where Kagome was looking and noticed that people were filing through doors that were closed a few minutes ago. “What's that?”
She took his hand and dragged him behind her. “A local weapon collector has loaned some of his swords to the museum for a few hours.”
He didn't say anything as he followed her into the room. Men stood around with patches on their shirts that proclaimed that they were the museum's security team. InuYasha ignored them and let Kagome lead him to the nearest display cabinet.
The first case only contained daggers and small handswords with jewels embedded in the hilts and intricate carvings. InuYasha shook his head. “Those are useless,” he commented to Kagome. “You'd cut your hands on the jewels, and the others would slip out of your grip too easily.”
Kagome grinned at him. “Those were probably women's weapons and more for show than for actual use.”
They moved from one display to the next with InuYasha supplying a running commentary on exactly how useless many of the pieces were. They stopped before the highlighted showcase, and InuYasha blinked in stunned surprise. It couldn't be . . . . “What the fuck?”
Kagome gasped as she stared at the lone sword in the case. She looked about as shocked as InuYasha was. She shook her head, as though trying to convince herself that she wasn't seeing what she thought she saw. “That's . . . .”
“Tenseiga,” InuYasha finished for her.
“I see you remember this sword . . . InuYasha.”
InuYasha shifted his eyes to the side to stare at the man that had just spoken. “I'd know that sword anywhere,” he remarked tightly, frowning at the man's stature, his bearing . . . his silver-white hair. “How did it get here?”
The man bowed slightly. “It has been graciously lent to the museum for the day.”
Kagome retreated a step, drawing closer to InuYasha's side. He could sense her reticence, and he gently pulled her back a little more. “Who the hell are you?” he growled low enough that only the man could hear the question. Whether Kagome heard it or was just worried, he wasn't sure. She pressed closer to him. She wasn't scared. Kagome didn't get scared often. She was worried, though, and InuYasha didn't like that at all.
“Yeah, I know,” he told her. `She can tell . . . She can sense what I can smell . . . .'
“This isn't really the place to discuss that, is it?”
“No time like the present, youkai,” InuYasha assured the stranger as his hand gripped Tetsusaiga. “And you can tell me why you smell like that bastard of a brother of mine.”
The man glanced around. He broke into a tight smile—one not nearly wide enough to show his fangs. “Suffice it to say that, though I didn't expect to meet you today, I can't say that I am displeased, either . . . Uncle.”
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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.