InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ Sesshoumaru's Deal ( Chapter 28 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
`InuYasha went to find Kikyou again. Beaten up and battered, he still had to go find her. He was badly hurt, having had the Kaze no Kizu turned on him by Kanna's mirror. But instead of resting, he went to her. Why does it feel as though a little part of me dies away every time he goes to find her? He tells me that he wants me to stay beside him, and yet he isn't really free from Kikyou. She has a hold over him that is frightening to me. I can't be angry with him, though, not really. The things I like the most about him are the things that make him go to her . . . .'
InuYasha stared at the entry. He'd known how much it bothered Kagome every time he'd chased after Kikyou. She'd never hidden her irritation. What he hadn't realized was that it hadn't only been irritation. The underlying hurt in her words stung him, the sense of hopelessness that surrounded the things she wrote in contrast to the things that he remembered her saying at the time made him question himself more and more often. How was it that he hadn't realized that he was hurting Kagome? Had he just not wanted to know?
`Or maybe those things were just easier to ignore at the time.'
His scowl darkened. Maybe they were. `Speaking of ignoring . . . .' He sat up. Kagome was taking another of her `tests', and he was getting restless. “You about finished with that?”
She glanced over at him and shrugged. “In a minute.”
He tried not to let her preoccupied tone bother him. `Baka! You can't always be the center of her world.' Stretching out on her bed, he spared a moment to bury his nose in her pillow, drawing in a deep breath as her scent engulfed him. Desire shot through him, and he ruthlessly stifled a moan. `Never should have kissed her,' he thought with an inward whine. `At least then I wouldn't remember those feelings . . . .' Both beautiful and frightening, the memory of that kiss had kept him awake late into the night ever since.
He had thought that he knew her before. It was so much worse now. More attuned to her movements, her moods, as though a part of him had become her in those moments, the sweetness of her kiss combined with the instinctive wish for more was enough to weaken his resolve, was enough to make him dare to hope for the things that had alluded him thus far. The question was, what did Kagome want?
InuYasha drew in a deep breath, closing his eyes as the smell of summer flowers and spring rain assailed him—the scent that was Kagome. He had tried to ask her what she wanted. The words had stuck in his throat. It wasn't asking the question that frightened him. It was what her answer might be that kept him silent, the fear that she would turn him away, reject him, or worse, that she would ask him to be something that he couldn't be.
`The time isn't right, anyway,' he told himself. `There're too many things that haven't been settled, like the Shikon no Tama . . . like Mother's diary . . . . We need to go back, we need to figure out what happened to the diary. If I can find that, maybe . . . .'
He rolled to the side, staring at Kagome for long moments while she clicked away on the button pad. She called it a keyboard and had tried to show him how it worked. He didn't have the patience for it. His claws got in the way and he'd hit two or three buttons when he meant to only push one. With a heavy sigh designed to let Kagome know what he thought of her `tests', he turned his attention back to her diary.
`When Goshinki bit and broke Tetsusaiga and InuYasha transformed into his `youkai' form, I didn't know what to think. I guess I didn't know it was possible before then. I don't think InuYasha knew it was, either. It scared me. I wasn't scared of him. Maybe it was stupidity or blind faith, but whatever the reason, I knew he wouldn't hurt me. His eyes had turned red, and he growled and glared at me. I think that was one of the few times that I said `the word' without being angry. I just didn't know what else to do, and I don't think that InuYasha liked being that way, either . . . .'
`It wasn't so much that I hated being transformed,' he mused. `It was the pure enjoyment I got from killing Goshinki that scared me . . . and the idea that I wanted to kill more . . . .' He shivered.
He sat up and set the diary aside. Feeling edgy, he tried to be quiet as he prowled around Kagome's room. She shot him a pointed look, and he made a face. She couldn't really blame him, could she? He'd been trapped far too long, first in the cave because of the blizzard, and now here while she took her tests.
“You didn't have to come with me,” she remarked, as though she could read his mind.
“Keh. Yes, I did.”
She turned in her chair, staring at him with a slight frown. “You really think something's up?”
InuYasha shook his head and sank down on the bed again. “I don't know . . . Something just doesn't seem right . . . you can't feel it?”
A fleeting glimpse of worry flashed across her features. When she raised her eyes to lock with his, though, it was gone, and she forced a smile. “Everything's fine,” she assured him. “Anyway, my tests are finished, if you want to go back now.”
InuYasha flattened his ears as the telephone rang downstairs. He hated being beside those things when they rang. More often than not he'd threatened to beat the thing to death, and had it not been for Kagome or Mrs. Higurashi's presence, he might have actually done it.
He snorted and grabbed Kagome's freshly packed bag before heading into the hallway toward the stairs. “I can carry that,” Kagome called as she followed him out of the room.
“Then at least let me put this in there,” she said, waving her diary. He stopped long enough for her to tuck it into the bag.
She squeezed past him and turned back to cast him a quick grin before hurrying down the rest of the staircase. He rolled his eyes but grinned slightly as he followed her.
“Going back so soon, InuYasha?” Mrs. Higurashi asked as he set the bag on the counter and leaned against the cabinets.
“Yeah . . .” he trailed off when he caught the odd look on Kagome's face. She looked a little stunned, and he folded his arms together as he scowled.
“Let me get some stuff together for you to take back, then. You have room for more, right?”
InuYasha didn't pay any attention to what Mrs. Higurashi started pulling from the refrigerator as Kagome's stunned look gave way to one of confusion. When she finally said goodbye and hung up the phone, InuYasha was flexing his claws under the cover of his haori sleeves.
“That was Sesshoumaru,” Kagome said quietly.
“He's sending Nibori to get us.”
“There ain't no fucking way I'm going anywhere near that bastard,” InuYasha growled, snatching the bag off the counter before he grabbed Kagome's hand. “Come on!”
She tugged away and ran around him to plant her hands on his chest, stopping him in his tracks. “Wait! He said he found something that you've been searching for, and he said that he wants to make a deal with you.”
InuYasha prowled around the opulent room, bearing his fangs and growling low in his throat, like he couldn't help but make that noise. Kagome sighed but kept quiet. She could understand his reticence. To say that the brothers were on shaky terms was putting it mildly. Still, Kagome had to wonder what Sesshoumaru would be like now, five hundred years after she'd first encountered him.
Nibori watched his uncle with undisguised amusement lighting his golden eyes. “How do you put up with that?” he muttered to Kagome.
She shrugged. “It's not so bad . . . normally he yells.”
Nibori made a face. InuYasha snorted. “Keh! In case you're wondering, I can still hear you!”
“Uncle—” InuYasha interrupted Nibori with a louder version of his growl. “Would you care for something to drink while you're waiting for Father?”
“I already told you! Stop calling me `uncle'.”
Nibori bowed. “Pardon, I forgot.”
The doors at the far end of the room opened, and Sesshoumaru strode in followed by . . . Kagome's eyes widened in shock. InuYasha stopped abruptly as he caught sight of the woman, too.
“Kagura?” InuYasha asked incredulously. “You died . . . how . . . ?”
The woman smiled slightly and nodded. “I'm not Kagura, though I've heard some interesting things about her. My name is Leikizu, and you must be InuYasha. Sesshoumaru has told me . . . some about you, though not nearly as much as he could have.” Her magenta eyes shifted to meet Kagome's still-shocked expression. “And you must be the miko, Kagome. Welcome to our home. Would you care for some refreshment?”
“This ain't a social call,” InuYasha remarked. “What the hell do you have that you think I'd want, bastard?”
Sesshoumaru very deliberately ignored InuYasha's slur and strode over to a thickly padded black leather sofa. He hadn't aged at all in his looks. In his human disguise, his youkai crests were hidden, and his hair was much shorter. But his eyes were the same cold amber, though maybe not quite as cold as they used to be. He still possessed his regal bearing, and his demeanor still demanded a quiet sort of respect. `Does he still dislike InuYasha?' she couldn't help but wonder.
“Ignore InuYasha,” Sesshoumaru commented to Leikizu. “He's always had the manners of a common mongrel.”
“What do you want?” InuYasha demanded again.
“On the contrary, baka. It isn't something I want. It's something that you want. Surely the miko told you this?”
“Don't look at her,” InuYasha growled when Sesshoumaru's gaze settled on Kagome. “She said you had something. Now spit it out or we're leaving.”
Sesshoumaru took his time rising out of the sofa and gliding over to the desk behind him. Kagome shook her head, wondering why it was that, of all the people she'd ever seen, Sesshoumaru was the only one whose gait could be considered `gliding'. He moved so slowly, so elegantly, with such fluidity that watching him walk was like watching a wild horse gallop over the open landscape.
The youkai turned back from the desk holding a very old-looking book in his hands. Slowly he opened the cover and glanced up at InuYasha before studying the first page and snapping the book closed once more. “Know you what this is, InuYasha?”
An odd sense of recognition filtered over InuYasha's features, as though he had seen the book before but was only now remembering it. Eyes colliding between the two men, Kagome could feel the tension in the air rising thick like fog, like a blizzard, like a storm cloud rolling over the horizon.
“Mother's diary,” he whispered. “How the hell did you get it?”
“Do you want it?” Sesshoumaru countered.
“Did you read it?”
Sesshoumaru leaned back as though InuYasha had offended him. “Be not a fool, InuYasha. I have no desire to read the mindless chatter of a mortal woman.”
InuYasha started forward, hand on Tetsusaiga, ready to whip it from the scabbard without a second thought. Sesshoumaru set the diary aside before raising his hand, poised to strike with his energy whip. Kagome felt warm hands on her shoulders, and she jumped. Leikizu leaned down, eyes still trained on the men. “Come, Kagome. I think this is going to be ugly. Best we aren't here to witness it.”
Hesitantly, Kagome got up but didn't move. “I can't leave him,” she said softly.
Leikizu smiled. “Sesshoumaru has no desire to hurt InuYasha, though it may seem otherwise.”
“InuYasha's not the one I'm worried about,” Kagome remarked. She'd seen the brothers fight far too many times. More often than not, it was Sesshoumaru who came out a little worse for wear. Though she had a feeling that Sesshoumaru hadn't ever truly intended to kill InuYasha, she couldn't honestly say the same about InuYasha.
“Sesshoumaru will be fine. Come.”
Kagome followed Leikizu out of the room but paused in the doorway to look back again. InuYasha and Sesshoumaru stood less than four feet apart, glowering at one another as though they'd both rather tear into the other. Nibori was sitting in one of the overstuffed leather chairs with an amused expression. `Give him a bowl of popcorn, and he'd be good to go,' Kagome thought with a frown.
Leikizu lead Kagome through the mansion, pausing here and there to show her a painting or an artifact. Sesshoumaru had amassed quite an empire over the centuries. It was like walking through a private museum.
“Where did Sesshoumaru get InuYasha's mother's diary?” Kagome asked during one of the short lulls in the tour.
Leikizu gestured for Kagome to follow her into the kitchen. “He bought it a few days ago at the annual antique auction,” she explained as she opened the refrigerator. “Water? Soda? Juice?”
“Water's fine, thank you,” Kagome answered. She sat down in the breakfast nook with Leikizu. “Why would he buy it? He and InuYasha haven't ever gotten along . . . . I don't understand.”
Leikizu smiled almost sadly as she stared out the window beside them. The perfect blanket of snow was untouched except the path that had been cleared to accommodate vehicles.
“Sesshoumaru has changed much over the years. You could say that he learned some things the hard way. He's learned to appreciate things that he took for granted long ago.”
Kagome stared at the wintry world outside the window without actually seeing it. “It makes sense, I suppose. People change over time . . . but you don't know about Naraku?”
Leikizu sighed. “I know only that which has been told to me. I wasn't born until after Naraku's demise, and I didn't meet Sesshoumaru until later, either. He has told me of your quest for the Shikon no Kakera, and of your triumph over Naraku.”
“Still, whenever they crossed paths before, they normally ended up fighting. That was how Sesshoumaru lost his arm,” Kagome explained.
Leikizu chuckled softly. “Many things happened, you see. After Naraku was defeated, there were many things that I cannot tell you because I knew nothing of them, and there were other things that I cannot tell you because, when you travel back to that time, they've not yet come to pass there.” Leikizu's eyes shifted to stare at Kagome, as though willing her to understand what Leikizu couldn't say. “Do you know the difference between fate and destiny?”
“Fate is what you're meant to do, and destiny is who you're meant to be,” Kagome answered simply.
Leikizu shrugged. “True. You're wise for one so young. Just remember, you cannot change your fate, but you can change your destiny.”
Kagome stared at the youkai with a confused frown. Her words made sense. But why did Kagome feel a sadness underlying Leikizu's words? She sighed. It seemed as though Leikizu was speaking in riddles, saying things that Kagome ought to understand but didn't quite grasp.
“You look exactly like Kagura,” Kagome couldn't help but say as she stared at Leikizu. It amazed her, actually. While she, herself, might have had a remarkable resemblance to Kikyou, she also knew there were very marked differences in their looks, too. Kagura and Leikizu, however, could have been identical twins.
Leikizu laughed. “Does it bother you, that I so closely resemble Kagura? Don't worry. Sesshoumaru told me about her. I didn't understand, in the beginning. From the first time I saw Sesshoumaru, there was something about him. I felt as though I needed to be with him. His soul spoke to mine, as though he knew me. I came to find out that I am, indeed, Kagura's reincarnation. I'm not her, and she wasn't me.” Leikizu sat back then suddenly smiled. “Then again, perhaps you understand this better than anyone?”
Slowly, Kagome nodded. “I think . . . I do.”
“Certain souls gravitate to each another. Yours and InuYasha's. Mine and Sesshoumaru's . . . some things are meant to be. It was my fate to meet Sesshoumaru. It is my destiny to be his mate.”
“Answer me, bastard. Why do you have my mother's diary? Why didn't you let me have it before, when I came searching for it?” InuYasha ground out, teeth clenched together as he struggled for a calm that he didn't have.
Sesshoumaru shook his head and flexed his fingers in obvious anticipation. “I did not have it back then. It has recently come to me. Do you truly wish to challenge me? Or do you wish to have your mother's memento?”
InuYasha straightened his back, staring at Sesshoumaru with a heavy dose of suspicion. “What do you want for it?”
With an insincere smile that set InuYasha's teeth to grinding, Sesshoumaru chuckled nastily. “Everything has a price, InuYasha. Surely you know this by now. Though you possess nothing I truly desire, I do have an offer for you. Give me what I ask, and you may have your mother's diary. If not, the book shall be destroyed.”
InuYasha glared at his brother for another minute. Sesshoumaru's expression was impassive. “You ain't getting Tetsusaiga.”
“Don't make me laugh, InuYasha. I've no desire to possess that tainted sword.”
“This `tainted sword' has more power in it than you'll ever know.”
Sesshoumaru let his hand drop as he shook his head slowly. “I think not, InuYasha. Tainted by the fang of a half-breed like you? You disgrace our father.”
“And you think I've ever cared?”
A fleeting glimpse of emotion filtered through Sesshoumaru's gaze. InuYasha leaned back in momentary surprise. Sadness? Sesshoumaru was sad? About what? The emotion was quickly covered up, buried under the more characteristic arrogance, the hard bitterness. “That is how you disgrace him.”
“Keh! I don't care! I've never cared! Just tell me what you want, if not Tetsusaiga.”
Sesshoumaru regarded InuYasha. Finally he nodded once, blinking in acknowledgement of InuYasha's question. “So be it. It's simple, InuYasha. In exchange for your mother's diary . . . I want your fang.”
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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.