InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ Uncle ( Chapter 24 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
“Uncle?” two voices echoed.
The youkai's smile widened just a little, obviously enjoying the shocked expressions on their faces. “And you must be the miko, Kagome. I am Nibori, son of Sesshoumaru. My father speaks highly of you.”
“Keh! Sesshoumaru speaks highly of no one,” InuYasha snorted.
Nibori grimaced. “Not so highly of you, I'm afraid,” he remarked, regarding InuYasha with his cool stare.
“Why doesn't that surprise me? This ain't a coincidence. Tell me where that bastard is,” InuYasha snarled quietly.
“This is neither the time nor the place to have this discussion,” Nibori stated. He gestured for them to follow him as he headed toward the doors, pausing only long enough to speak to a security guard before glancing back to see if they were following.
“Stay close to me, Kagome,” InuYasha whispered in her ear as they headed toward the doors. “I don't fucking trust him.”
“You don't trust anyone,” she countered softly.
Nibori was waiting for them in the middle of the sword display. Staring at one of the cases that held youkai weapons, Nibori looked vaguely distressed. InuYasha frowned. Did Nibori sense it, too? The mournful aura of the dying weapons?
“Father was going to be here today. He was called away on business. From what I've gathered about you, Uncle, that's probably for the best, wouldn't you say?”
“Don't call me that,” InuYasha growled. “So where the fuck is he? I haven't gotten to hack at him with Tetsusaiga in awhile . . .”
Nibori grinned. “Father told me of your great battles. So you are the reason Father has only one arm.”
Kagome rolled her eyes as she caught InuYasha's smug smile. They headed up the stairs to the next level of the museum. She contented herself with listening to their discussion.
“I thought Tenseiga was his pride and joy,” InuYasha said. “Why's he loaning it out?”
Nibori shrugged. “Father owed Mr. Yakamuso a favor, and it's very well protected. Unlike those other youkai blades, Tenseiga is allowed its freedom.”
Yakamuso Hitori was the museum's curator. Kagome had seen him once or twice when she'd visited here before. “Is he youkai?” she asked quietly.
Nibori laughed. “Oh, no. Mr. Yakamuso is one hundred percent human. There aren't many youkai left nowadays.”
“Why? Aren't youkai stronger and better than us `pathetic humans'?”
Nibori cleared his throat and looked away. “Some are, some aren't.”
She frowned. He was being vague on purpose. Why? “Who's your mother?” she asked, willing to change the subject and curious to see who Sesshoumaru had decided to marry. For some reason, she had trouble envisioning the stoic youkai with anyone. “Do we know her?”
Nibori shrugged. “In a way, I guess . . .” He suddenly chuckled, pushing his short silvery bangs back off of his forehead with a long-fingered hand. He didn't have claws, either . . . “I should let Father explain all that to you. I'm sure he'll wish to see you soon.”
“Keh! The feeling ain't mutual,” InuYasha scoffed.
“Why do you look human?” Kagome finally asked. They stood beside the banister that closed in the upper level of the museum.
“Human?” InuYasha said with a loud snort.
`He must see Nibori in his normal form,' Kagome realized.
Before she could remark on it, though, Nibori dug under the collar of his shirt to pull out a gold chain necklace with a single fang hanging from it. “Talisman . . . it conceals us from all but those of youkai lineage.” He tucked the charm away again. “Father's fang is strong.” Quickly checking his watch, Nibori inclined his head to both of them. “It was good to see you two,” he remarked as he stepped back. “I wish I could stay longer and visit but I've got a prior engagement. If you'll excuse me? I'll inform Father of our meeting . . . Uncle,” he said, bowing slightly. “Aun—Kagome . . .”
Kagome watched as the youkai ran lightly down the stairs then frowned before turning to look at InuYasha in confusion. “Did he just call me `Aunt Kagome'?”
“Keh! Of course not.”
Her frown deepened. InuYasha might have sounded positive but he hadn't looked nearly as sure of himself. `You're hearing things, Kagome. Maybe all of Grandpa's stories of your illnesses at school are starting to catch up with you.'
She shook her head and shrugged. InuYasha was scowling at his nephew's retreating back, too. Kagome grabbed his arm. “Come on, Uncle. There's lots more to see in here.”
He let her drag him off, though.
`Well, I'm home again, and this time I don't care if I ever go back! InuYasha makes no sense—none at all! One minute he's bent on finding Kikyou, and I could just fall off the face of the earth. He'd never notice. The next, he's having a fit because Kouga pays a little attention to me. Granted, I didn't really want his attention. Still . . . I'm glad InuYasha came for me. For awhile there, I was a little scared of what Kouga and his clan would do with me after I helped them find the shards. Then I was scared for totally different reasons. Well, not so much scared as I was anxious. It isn't every day some guy declares his love for me. But I have to wonder, as much as InuYasha needs me around to detect jewel shards, is that the only reason that Kouga says that he loves me?'
InuYasha glowered at the diary. He wasn't sure what bothered him more: the idea that Kagome thought that the only reason he wanted her around was because of her ability to sense the jewel shards or the idea that Kouga had said that he loved her.
Ears flattening as a low grow escaped, Kagome leaned over his shoulder to see what had brought on such a reaction. “Still reading about Kouga?” she remarked dryly. “You could skip those entries, if they bother you.”
“Keh! Fucking wolf . . . I'm going to cut off his hairy legs and shove them up his—”
“You will not!” Then she giggled and leaned on his shoulder, her eyes light with a mischievous glint. “Jealous much?”
“Gee, InuYasha. A little redder, and you'll match your haori.”
“Wench! Leave me alone and let me read, will you?”
“Oh! `Monk-in-Pain'-red looks good on you,” she teased.
He jerked his shoulder to dislodge the girl and made a point of staring at her diary instead of at her.
Kagome relented with another giggle and resumed her attention on his ears.
`Kagura called herself the Wind Sorceress. Sure, she is one of Naraku's incarnations but even so, there's something so regal about her that it makes me wonder why Naraku would care to create something or someone so elegant. She killed Kouga's clan and then brought them back as zombies to make it look like InuYasha had done it. Kouga believed her, and he challenged InuYasha. Thank the gods that InuYasha is a decent person. The fighting was fierce, and I didn't want to watch. In the end, Kagura had given Kouga a fake shard that had been poisoned with Naraku's miasma. InuYasha offered to help, and though his solution was to cut off Kouga's arm, it showed that InuYasha has far more honor in him than many more powerful beings. I think that it is this—InuYasha's strength and belief in his own code of honor—that sets him apart and makes others want to be near him, like me . . .'
InuYasha stared at the last line of the entry, blinking in surprise as he re-read the words. `I think that it is this . . . that sets him apart and makes others want to be near him, like me.'
Slowly he closed the diary and set it on her nightstand before rolling onto his back. She didn't stop playing with his ears, and her gaze was fixed on them.
“What are you thinking about?” she asked softly.
He made a face. “Hacking that damn wolf limb from limb and scattering the pieces all over Musashi.”
She rolled her eyes. “You're a little too bloodthirsty, you know.”
He caught her hand and held it. Her eyes finally met his. Burning bright and unafraid, her gaze shot through him, obliterating his senses in a rush of impetuous sensation. Her pulse raced through her veins, he could feel the rush under his fingertips. Her mouth opened slightly, the tip of her tongue flicked out to moisten her lips. The change in her scent hit him hard, and suddenly, he felt as though he were falling.
“Kagome . . .” he whispered.
Her answer was a soft exhalation.
He swallowed hard. He wanted to forget the things he knew. He wanted to ignore the voices in his mind, the ones that told him that she was too good for him. He wanted to push aside the taunts and the jeers, `Hanyou! Half-breed . . . loathsome half-man . . .'
“I . . . I'm hungry,” he muttered as he let go of her and sat up.
Kagome sighed loudly.
She scooted off the bed and hurried out of the room. He caught the look she shot him as she opened the door and winced. She was furious. He could sense that from her without seeing it in her face.
It was the underlying pain that tore at him, the accusing in her gaze, the feeling that she thought that he had somehow rejected her. He hadn't rejected her.
He'd rejected himself.
NIBORI: rising to eminence.
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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.