InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ Silent Night ( Chapter 35 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
~~Chapter 35~~
~Silent Night~

Sango replaced the hot compress on Miroku's shoulder, trying to be as gentle as she could.  He, in turn, tried his best not to make a sound as she administered treatment to his still-sore shoulder.  It was nearly impossible, she discovered as he hissed loudly as the tender flesh shot out dull waves of agonized pulse-beats down his arm and out to the rest of his body.

"Sorry," Sango said quietly, careful not to wake Shippou.  Asleep on the tiny pallet across the fire pit from them with Kirara curled around him, the kit had been on edge ever since they'd arrived at Katosan's castle earlier in the day.

"It's fine, Sango.  I'll pay better attention the next time we're training," he told her.

Sango wasn't reassured.  "Why do you suppose Katosan changed his mind about going after the book?  I mean, it doesn't make sense, does it?  He acted like we didn't dare wait for InuYasha and Kagome, and now he wants to do exactly that?  This isn't right . . . ."

Miroku sighed, staring pensively into the flames before him.  "I agree.  Best be on our guards.  Did you notice when we arrived?  There are more sentries out, but Kagome has said that InuYasha trusts Katosan, right?"

Sango nodded slowly.  She didn't want to say it out loud, but she knew that Miroku likely thought exactly what she did.  'It's a trap . . . for InuYasha . . . but why?  And how could we have been so stupid as to fall into it?'  Taking her time as she squeezed extra water out of a cloth to replace the one on Miroku's shoulder, Sango peeked up at the monk through her eyelashes.  "Do you think we can get out of here?"

Miroku glanced at the door and shook his head.  "Best we play along with it, for now.  Katosan doesn't know we suspect anything . . . we should keep it that way, at least, until InuYasha arrives."

"You think he'll come?"

Miroku snorted out a short laugh.  "You think he won't?"

Sango grinned despite her bleak thoughts.  "I suppose you're right."  She replaced the compress on Miroku's shoulder and turned, leaning over to retrieve the scarf she kept her belongings in.  No sooner had she leaned over than she felt the familiar rub on her rear.  Her smile widened just a little before she schooled her features and whipped around to pin the monk with a formidable glower.  "Watch the hand, monk."

Miroku held his hands up in silent defense but laughed.  "I couldn't help myself!" he told her.  "You're just so lovely, and I've been good for weeks . . . I've not rubbed a single rear since I vowed to have you train me."

Sango rolled her eyes but didn't clobber Miroku as she got the small bottle of mystical ointment out of her scarf.  Kagome brought it back not too long ago.  It was called Flex-All 454, and it did wonders to relieve aches and pains.  She hadn't tried it on Miroku's shoulder sooner since he hadn't been able to tolerate anyone even lightly touching it.

Seeing what she had, Miroku turned to give Sango better access to his shoulder.  His breath hissed as the cold gel touched his skin but soon relaxed as Sango's hands worked it into his injured appendage.  "This is nice," he commented.

Sango flushed, glad that he couldn't see her face, her expression.  His voice had been soft, husky, caressing, even if it hadn't been intentional.  Her belly erupted as a million butterflies invaded the confined space, and she struggled to keep her own breathing calm and even.  "I'm glad it's helping," she said, praying that the tremors in her body weren't evident in her tone.

Miroku turned to stare into Sango's eyes.  Those miraculous violet eyes were startling, an intensity in his gaze that didn't do a thing to calm the unsettling emotion that licked at her.  "I wasn't talking about that stuff," he remarked, his voice huskier, even more caressing.  Sango couldn't breathe.

He leaned toward her, his stare dropping to her lips—oddly dry, she realized in a dazed sort of way.  She licked her lips.  He groaned.  "Sango . . . ."

"H-Houshi-sama . . .?"

He leaned in a little closer, his mouth so close that she could feel his breath fanning against her lips.  "I want . . . to kiss you."

Her belly wrapped around itself, a lethargic heat filtering through her body, centering in her core, embracing her heart as she forgot to breathe.  "Houshi-sama . . . ."

For torturous seconds, he hesitated, his lips lingering close but not touching hers.  Her heart thumped almost painfully in her chest, heat ebbed and flowed, intensified to the point that Sango wanted to scream.  He was so close—too close.  As though every secret desire she'd ever had—every wanton thought that had ever crossed her mind had become a living thing, she wanted to reach for him, to call out to him.  His lips brushed hers, no more than a whisper in the dark, and then . . . .

He sighed and retreated, an air of rejection suddenly engulfing him as he shot her an apologetic glance.

Sango held her hands, clasped to her chest.  Not trusting herself to speak, she snapped the cap closed on the bottle of ointment and dropped it on her belongings.

"I'll kiss you, Sango," he remarked softly, drawing her gaze.

"Will you?"

He grinned at the hint of sulkiness in her tone.  "When you ask me to."

She narrowed her eyes at the monk, shoving her hands under her knees before she gave in to the overwhelming desire to beat him black and blue.  "When I ask, huh?"  She pushed herself to her feet and stomped over to her futon, deliberately lying down so that she gave Miroku her back.  The hentai houshi chuckled.  Sango nearly growled out loud in frustration.  'Ask?  Ask?  Oh, just wait, houshi-sama . . . this is war . . . .'

"I'll show you the true meaning of 'Monk-in-Pain'-red," she mumbled.

"What was that, Sango, my sweet?"

"Hmm?  Oh, nothing . . . . Good night, houshi-sama."

She didn't have to look to know that he was smiling.  "Good night, Sango."


::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::


Kagome awoke in the cold cave, engulfed in darkness.  She shivered slightly and blinked, trying in vain to see anything at all.  Not wishing to leave the warmth of her blankets, she whined softly and braced herself with a deep breath before she threw off the blanket and sat up.  The cold air hit her like a dousing of water, and she squeaked as she felt around for her backpack.  'M-m-must find m-m-m-matches,' she thought wildly as she fumbled in the dark.  She found her flashlight first and sighed in relief as she flicked it on to aide her search.   She found the matches and in short order had a little fire going again.  Glancing at her watch, she was surprised to see that it was only one in the morning.  'Wait a minute . . . where's InuYasha?'

He was sitting in the entrance to the cave sleeping with his back against a boulder.  The fight with Mai came rushing back, and Kagome sighed.  'Poor guy . . . bet he blames himself, but . . . .' she dragged on her coat and snatched up her blankets before wandering over to him.  Arms wrapped around Tetsusaiga, he was asleep, as she had suspected.  He wouldn't have let the fire burn out otherwise, and Kagome frowned as she stared at him, a guilty pang twisting her stomach.  He'd slept here to keep anything that might attack at bay . . . away from her.

She sat down beside him, tossing the blanket so that it settled over both of them.  He awoke with a soft moan, eyes flashing open as his hand tightened on Tetsusaiga.  "It's just me," Kagome whispered.

InuYasha blinked groggily and scowled at her.  "What are you doing out here, wench?"

She shrugged as she let her head fall against his shoulder.  "I couldn't sleep," she replied, deciding it wasn't important to tell him why that had been.  "Why are you sleeping out here?"

"Keh!" he snorted then yawned.   "Someone had to keep watch, didn't they?  You were busy getting your beauty sleep."

She grinned despite his surly tone.  "Oh, well I need that."

"Like hell."

Her breath caught in somewhere between her lips and her lungs, and her back stiffened.  "InuYasha?"

He suddenly smiled in the half-light.  "Fishing for compliments, wench?"

She opened her mouth then snapped it closed again.  "No," she grumbled, wrapping her arms around her knees.  "Not at all."

"Keh."

Kagome stared up at the myriad of stars dotting the heavens.  "It's really remarkable, isn't it?  How far away do you suppose they are?  How long do you think it'd take to get to one?"

He followed the direction of her gaze.  "To the stars?"

She nodded.  "Um-hmm . . . We learned about them in school.  Somehow that takes all the wonder out of it though."

"I don't think they're so far away."

"You don't?"

He shook his head.  When she glanced at him, he was staring at her so intently that she could feel herself blush.  'Kiss him, Kagome!  You know he wouldn't mind . . . .'

Suddenly, he frowned and glared at the blanket, ears drooping ever-so-slightly.  "Kagome . . . I'm sorry."

"What for?"

His frown darkened to a scowl.  "What do you mean, what for?  You were in danger because of me."

"Hey!  I did manage to take out one of the youkai . . . besides, you came back."

She reached for one of his ears.  He leaned away and caught her hand.  "That's not what I meant," he said with a frown.  He stared at it, blue in the moonlight, so tiny in his.  "Every time I turn around, you're in danger.  Youkai after the Shikon no Tama . . . or youkai after me because of what I am."

She sighed softly.  "Maybe . . . but I'm here because I want to be."

Her answer didn't appease him.  "That's not the point!  You can't fight.  You've gotten better than you used to be, maybe . . . and I don't want you to, anyway."

Kagome tried not to take offense to InuYasha's unkind assessment.  "You make it sound like I can't hit the broad side of a barn," she grumbled.

InuYasha ignored her to say, "I want you safe, Kagome, even if that means you're not with me.  Can you understand that?  This life . . . fighting youkai and running from danger . . . never knowing who's going to attack you . . . my own brother tries to kill me.  You've seen it, and . . . I can't ask you to do it."

He dropped her hand and shot to his feet, stalking over to the trees.  He seemed like he wanted to leap into them.  He didn't.  "I've heard it my whole life, you know?  I'm a worthless half-breed.  I'm not human, and I'm not youkai, and I have nothing to give you."  She stood to go to him but the look he shot her stopped her.  Eyes glowing, a fierceness in his stare that she didn't recognize, Kagome couldn't move.  InuYasha's voice dropped to nearly a whisper.  She barely heard him when he spoke again.  "I'm going to take you home, and this time, I want you to stay there.  Don't come back, Kagome.  You don't belong here.  You never really have."

Tears rose to choke her, and she tried to blink them back.  Angry, bitter, they came with a will of their own, a vengeance that tore her soul open and left her heart shattering into countless shards.  She whimpered then cut the sound off with a deep breath before she swallowed hard, pushing down the hurt, the ache, the feeling that a part of her was dying, and that part was her heart.

"You're so stupid!" she choked out with a small sob.  "Does it make you feel better, to push aside every single person who's ever tried to care about you?  You say it's for me but it's really for you, isn't it?  Are you scared, InuYasha?  Are you so sure that the second you let someone care about you that they're going to leave?  I hate you . . ." Another sob welled up inside her, and Kagome turned, running blindly into the cave.  "I hate you," she whispered again as she snatched her backpack.  She didn't care that it was the middle of the night, that she didn't know the way back home.  All she knew was that he was breaking her heart, and she was dying a little more inside, with every second that ticked away.

She whirled around to run and slammed right into InuYasha's chest.  He caught her arms gently but firmly, made her look up at him.  The hurt in his eyes cut her deep.  "You hate me?"

"What do you care?" she asked miserably.  Her words were bitter though her tone was full of ache, of misery.  "You don't care.  You said—"

"I said I want you to be safe, Kagome . . . I never said I hated you!  How could you even think—?"

She tried to pull away from him, jerked against him.  His hands held her.  "Let go of me!  You can't do this, and I . . . I—let go!"

He did—long enough to drag her forward, into his arms, against his chest.  "I can't," he admitted, his voice weak, whispering.  "I can't."  She raised her chin, leaning back to look at him.  He wasn't crying but it didn't look like it was far off.  He shook his head slightly, staring at her, as though he was willing her to read his mind.  "Why would I rather die than let you leave?" he asked quietly.

"Don't make me go," she whispered, burying her face in his chest.  "I want to be here . . . . Please."

His arms tightened as her words registered.  He sank down on her bedroll with Kagome in his arms.  "Don't cry," he pleaded, fumbling as he tried to wipe her tears.

"I'm sorry," she wailed, sobbing harder against his chest.  "I don't hate you . . . I  . . . ."

"Please don't cry," he begged.  "You . . . you can say 'it' as many times as you want, just stop . . . ."

For some reason, that only made her cry harder.  InuYasha was closing in on flat-out panic.  "Kagome?"

"I don't want to say 'it'," she sniffled.  "I just want to be here, with you."

Hooking her chin with his finger, he tilted her head up to look at him.  He looked like he wanted to say something to her.  He stared at her, using the pad of his thumb to wipe away the remaining traces of her tears as she drew in a shaking breath as he dropped his mouth over hers.  Lying in his arms was enough, and Kagome let him kiss her, let him tease her, his fangs scraping against her mouth.  He slowly nibbled on her bottom lip.  She shivered in his arms, clinging to him, hands tightly gripping his haori.  He kissed her cheeks, her eyes, her jaw.  Lost in a tide of emotion, she didn't fight him, accepting what he offered her without hesitation.

Thought faded as sensation took hold of her.  The feel of his mouth, the demanding tug of his lips, he drew her out, pulled her back, scattered her senses with too many emotions to count, as innumerable as the stars in the sky.  Every touch of his lips was another stone in the pond as the ripples spread outward, centering around the one spot in her mind, the one word she knew, the one central feeling, the knowledge that she held to with a ferocity, a need, an increasing desire.  'I love him . . . .'

She turned, falling between his raised knees, pulled herself up against him as she sought out his mouth again.  InuYasha groaned, growled, tasted her as she collapsed against him.  Rising up inside her, something wanton, something beautiful, a connection between herself and him, something that burned like a beacon to a ship lost at sea, converging in one thought, one word, one hope, "InuYasha . . . ." In the ebb and flow of the tides, he sheltered her against the waves that licked at her skin, that broke over her body, that threatened to drag her under.  

And yet, as beautiful as the kisses were, something was missing, something that tugged at her more and more insistently, something she needed to soothe the ache that welled up inside her.  If he stopped barraging her senses, she'd probably know what it was.  He wasn't finished though.  His fangs were his ally—her enemy.  Trailing against her jaw, running along the sharp angles, he kissed her.  Nuzzling against her cheek, she felt as though something inside her was dying and yet she'd never felt quite so alive, either.  The contradiction in emotion drew a soft whimper.  That sound brought his lips back to hers.  "I can't let you go," he whispered against her mouth.  "I . . . will you stay?"

"Baka," she whispered back, a tiny smile curling the corners of her lips.  She ran her fingers over his mouth.  He shuddered.  "You have to ask?"

Obvious relief washed over him, lighting the depths of his gaze.  "Do you still hate me?"

"Yeah," she remarked, her smile slowly widening.  "About as much as you hate me."

He sighed, dragging her blanket over them.  She hadn't realized he'd brought it in.  "Sneaky wench."  

He smoothed her hair, pulled her close, cradled her head against his chest, tucked under his chin.  Through his layers of clothing, she could hear the erratic beat of his heart.  She snuggled against him, reveling in the feel of being so close to him.  "InuYasha—"

His lips brushed against her forehead.  "Go to sleep, Kagome."

"But—"

"Anyone ever tell you that you talk too much?"

She heaved a loud sigh to protest his accusation.  He chuckled.  Lulled by his heartbeat under her ear, she closed her eyes.

Softly at first, and then a little louder, InuYasha sang to her in the quiet of the cave.  As she drifted off to sleep, she smiled.  'This is how . . . Izayoi must have felt . . . .'


::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::


InuYasha finished the song and smiled as he stared at Kagome, her face buried in the crook of his neck, her breath tickling his skin.  Why did looking at her fill him with such a feeling of well-being?  'She belongs with you, baka.'

'I don't deserve someone like her . . . I don't deserve someone who looks at me the way she does, like I can do anything, like I can be anyone, just for her . . . and if I know that now, how long before she starts to realize it, too?'

He swallowed the lump that choked him as he stared at her in his arms.  Hurtful things said over the passage of years reminded him over and over how unworthy he was.  Too hard to forget those things.  He hadn't realized that, after hearing something enough times that it was easier to believe it than it was not to.  'But she knows what you are, and she still believes in you.  Shouldn't that mean something?'

Kagome's written words were whispered to him in the half-light as he stared at the shadows dancing over the cave walls.  'I love him.  I can't regret anything, because being with him, being near him, being close to him makes me happy, and even if he never loves me the way I love him, I think that is enough.'

Was it enough?  Would it be enough?  For how long?

He sighed.  When they had returned through the well, they were supposed to head out to find Waku so that InuYasha could settle the score.  Instead they were chasing down a lecherous monk, a youkai exterminator, a fire cat, and a little pain in the ass, and as much as he hated to admit it, it did seem a little strange, that Katosan had finally found the whereabouts of the diary he had failed to mention before.  He shook his head slowly.  Was he letting Kagome's distrust jade his view?  Then again, he also had to admit that Kagome normally was a fairly good judge of character . . . .

Kagome whimpered in her sleep, nudging just a little closer to him.  He tightened his arms around her.  'If we aren't meant to be together, like this . . . then holding her wouldn't feel so perfect, would it?'

He smoothed her bangs out of her face and kissed her forehead again, unable to stop himself.  The invisible draw of her was enough to make him want to wake her up, to hear her laugh, to make her smile, to kiss her lips.  He wished someone could tell him what to do.  He wished he knew where to look for answers.

InuYasha was still awake hours later as dawn broke over the distant horizon.





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A/N
:

The god (aka sari15) that govern the prolific and copious usage of fluff have spoken . . . so here ya go . . . all warm and fuzzy and fluffy, and . . . angsty . . . Let's move on!  LoL!

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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.

~Sue~
Chapter 34
Chapter 36
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