InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ Musashi ( Chapter 41 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
“How about over there?”
InuYasha picked up the sofa and moved it according to Mrs. Higurashi's directions. She stood back and eyed the piece with a critical stare and finally nodded her approval.
“That's good . . . but would you mind helping me move the chair?”
Careful not to scowl, InuYasha obediently lifted the aforementioned chair. “Where do you want it?”
Mrs. Higurashi tapped her chin thoughtfully and pointed to a spot just slightly left of where it had been before. `Keh! Now I know where sneaky wench gets it,' he thought as he set the chair into place.
“Wonderful! Thanks so much, InuYasha!”
Mrs. Higurashi patted his arm as she hurried off. “Come! While you're here, I've been meaning to rearrange the guest bedroom so I can clean under the bed . . . .”
Rolling his eyes, he followed. `This is your own fault, baka. You just had to ask if she needed help with anything since Kagome was too busy to know you exist.'
He stomped up the stairs after Mrs. Higurashi, part of him sincerely hoping that he was making enough noise to remind Kagome that he was still here, after all.
`And you owe her anyway. She gave you `money' so you could take Kagome on that date, remember? Anyway, she's not asking you to do anything you can't do. Living in a house filled with pathetic humans, she can't just do this stuff any old time . . . .' That thought made him smile despite his irritation.
Besides, performing menial labor gave him time to ponder the two most important topics on his mind. Firstly, how to get his hands on Kagome's diary again so he could find out what other `weaknesses' the sneaky wench was hiding. Secondly, how to avoid hearing more of his mother's diary. For some reason, listening to Kagome read the entries in that one hurt.
Two diaries . . . how to avoid reading and still being able to read the other . . . . InuYasha hefted the double bed off the floor while Mrs. Higurashi swept under it with the horrendously loud vacuum cleaner.
`This isn't something new, you know. Just figure out what she wants, and trade her.' He made a face. She liked his ears. She didn't seem to mind kissing him, either. He nearly whimpered as memories of their shared kisses assailed him. `I don't think I'd mind if she wanted to trade for that,' he allowed. That was, if he could get her to pay any attention to him at all. He snorted. He hated her exams, he really did.
Mrs. Higurashi cleaned and rearranged the room in record time, or so she said. By the time he'd set the last piece of furniture in place, he wasn't any closer to figuring out either of his dilemmas, and he sighed. Mrs. Higurashi said she'd bring up a snack tray for Kagome as she hurried down the stairs. InuYasha headed down the hallway to Kagome's room to see if she was finished with her exams yet. He cautiously stuck his head in the room so that he wouldn't disturb her if she wasn't finished. She wasn't at her desk. Glancing around the small room, he finally found her only curled up on the bed, fast asleep.
The first thing he thought as he stared at her was that she was beautiful. The second thing he thought was that her diary was in the bag next to her bed.
It didn't take long for him to decide that the chance to read her diary was well worth any sort of irritation she might make him suffer for later.
It surprised him that her diary was right on top in the bag. He stared at it with a thoughtful frown. As much as he wanted to look for those `weaknesses' of hers, he also wondered what she'd written in there recently, too, especially if she had written anything at all about kissing . . . .
He glanced over his shoulder as he leaned against the bed and, satisfied that she was still sleeping, he carefully opened the book.
`I came home alone today. InuYasha is bound and determined that he wants to take Musashi. On the one hand, I can understand this. On a purely personal level, it is something that should have been his. But I can't see him being happy as the great overlord. I can't see him happy in the confines of the traditional society of the time. It's one of the things that set him apart. He is a free spirit. It would kill him, to take that freedom away from him.
`He followed me home, though. He was unhappy because he asked something of me that I just couldn't do at the time. Maybe it was underhanded of me to ask him to stay with me while I was crying. He hates it when I cry. I never tried to use that to my advantage. But he did agree to stay. I just wish he'd agree to read his mother's diary. It was written for him. There are things in there, I'm sure, that were meant for him to hear, things that might make a huge difference to him, if he only knew.
`I've tried to talk him into reading it. I've read some passages to him. Still I wonder, since I know he loved her, if it is sadness that keeps him from reading it or if it is that he fears the pain that the memories might bring him. I'd be happy to just be here for him, if he asked me to. He doesn't have to share the whole story with me, if it was too much for him. But sometimes just knowing that you're not alone helps.
`I just can't help but see parallels. Whether he realizes it or not, he's so much like his father that it is almost frightening. Maybe there were things early on that made his mother think that InuYasha might one day need this book. Maybe she just worried that the future wouldn't be kind. In the end, I don't think it matters as much why she wrote the diary as it does that she did, and that she went to the trouble of making sure that InuYasha could read it when the time came. She must have loved him more than anything else in the world.'
InuYasha sighed, rereading Kagome's last sentence in that paragraph. `Mother . . . was that why? Because . . . because you loved me?' His ears drooped as he stared at the page. `She never asked anything of me. Even as a pup, she never expected me to do anything that she thought would make me unhappy . . . Mother . . . .'
He swallowed the small lump that swelled in his throat and made himself read the rest of Kagome's entry.
`Of course, who could blame her for adoring him? Even if he made himself sick on ramen broth, or called her a pathetic human, or even sneaky wench . . . even if he didn't know how to write poems and wasn't much for talking about his feelings. Even when he shows how much he cares about someone through his actions instead of with words, I think that's okay. I think that the people who really matter to him hear exactly what he is trying to say just fine.'
`Kagome . . . .'
He closed her diary and let it fall back into her bag before he turned around and leaned on the side of the bed, staring at her sleeping face with a small smile. When he dared to think of his life in the years to come, it never seemed to remain the same. No matter where he ended up, no matter where he chose to be, the one thing that remained constant was that Kagome was always there beside him.
“InuYasha, here's that snack,” Mrs. Higurashi said as she set a small tray down on the desk. She stepped over to gaze down at her sleeping daughter with a gentle smile. “Her exams must have been exhausting.”
He nodded and watched as Mrs. Higurashi left the room before turning his attention back to the sleeping girl. `Kagome . . . you never have asked much of me, have you? Just that I read Mother's diary, even if it hurts me.' He sighed, gaze shifting to the nightstand, and the diary in question. Slowly, hesitantly, he reached out, touched the cover.
He picked it up, brought it to his nose. The cover smelled old, dusty, like a thousand other old books, like things locked away only to be forgotten. He opened it, flipped through the pages. His mother's handwriting shocked him. After so many long years, the handwriting—the same that he remembered her using to teach him how to read—to see it once more . . . That hurt. Her scent permeated the pages of the diary. As she wrote in the book, as her hand had brushed the pages, the smell of her still lingered. A warmth, a sense of comfort that he hadn't felt in so very long washed over him. It was the same comfort he now felt with Kagome . . . .
Finding the page where Kagome had left off in her reading, InuYasha spared a moment to let his claws trace over the words his mother had left for him. Closing the book and using his finger to hold the place, InuYasha crawled onto the bed beside Kagome. As though she sensed his proximity, she rolled toward him, curled up to him and sighed in her sleep as he pushed her hair back, kissed her closed eyes, borrowed strength from her before he dared to read.
`Those first years were idyllic. For three years we lived together as husband and wife, as mates, as he called it. There were small uprisings here and there, and some of them kept him away for weeks at a time. But he always returned, and he always told me I was foolish for worrying, that no matter what, so long as he drew breath, that he would always come back for me. It was after one of these battles—a particularly fierce one during which Sesshoumaru was seriously injured—that he started to become a little more reserved, a little quieter, and when I asked him why, he would assure me that nothing was amiss.
`He still sang to me every night. He bade me always remember this song. He said that it was important, and that, should something happen to him, this song would remind me of him, of us. He said it was the lullaby that his family had passed down over the ages. Sesshoumaru knew it by heart. I should know it, too. Though I had mentioned a time or two that I should like to have a child, he never responded. I think he feared the life of a hanyou. I think he worried that it would be too much to ask of any child. I think he feared telling me the truth of it all. I learned those truths later, and later, I shall tell them to you. But for now, I want to impart to you the most critical information, the things you need to know.
`One night—on the night of the new moon, as I recall—he told me that he had been thinking, and that, even though he knew that the world wouldn't understand, that if I was willing, that he wanted to give me a child. For hours he told me things he said I needed to know before I decided. He told me of the ridicule you would undoubtedly face. He told me of the cruelties that both humans as well as youkai would deal you. But he said, too, that because of your mixed blood, that you would have an understanding that few in this world would ever have. You would learn to accept your youkai just as you would learn that possessing human emotions was not a weakness. I was optimistic. I thought that being raised with joy and love, with him and with me would make a difference, and make no mistake, InuYasha. I wanted you.
`If you are reading this book instead of hearing this from my own lips, then it means that my optimism was indeed short-sighted. For that, child of my heart, I am eternally sorry. I have learned, however, that some things must be, and you, InuYasha, were meant to be. Easiest to say that your father wanted you in case something befell Sesshoumaru. The line of the Inu no Taisho had to survive. I would be lying to you if I told you that was his only reason. Understand that your father rarely told me exactly what was on his mind. But I know now as surely as I knew then that you were the child of his heart. You see, for a hanyou to be born, they must be chosen. Youkai can choose to have children. That is why there are so few hanyous, coupled with the fact that the world is unkind to them. But I have seen it in you, young as you are. You've your father's strength, and often is the time when I wonder if you are him reborn.
InuYasha closed his eyes, let his mother's words sink in. `Chosen? What the hell does that mean? They chose to do this to me? To make me an outcast? To make me less than nothing? To make me—'
The overwhelming desire to tear the diary to shreds flooded over him. He sat up, cracked his claws, ready to rend the bindings, ready to leave it in dust with the rest of the bitter memories. Anger and resentment coursed through him, and as he raised his claws, Kagome sighed in her sleep.
His gaze fell on her, his hand stopping in mid-air. She smiled slightly. He wondered what she was dreaming, to bring that look of contentment to her features so easily. “Inu . . . Yasha . . .” she mumbled as her smile grew brighter, and he blinked in surprise.
`To make me the one that Kagome . . . loves?'
A curious calm, a feeling of complete acceptance, a quiet fulfillment settled over him, and he lay back. Staring at the diary, he started to smile. `Mother . . .' he thought as he stared at the worn cover, `thank you.'
InuYasha landed on the ground outside the well, eyes narrowed as he cautiously sniffed the air and brandished Tetsusaiga before him. `There's been a youkai here . . . and a helluva lot of blood . . . .'
“Can I come up yet?” Kagome's voice drifted out of the well.
Satisfied that the area was safe, InuYasha sheathed Tetsusaiga and leaned over the side to catch her hands and pull her out of the Bone Eater's Well. “Don't let go!” she said with a giggle.
“Keh! Have some faith in me, will you? Woo—oo—oops!”
Kagome squealed as InuYasha's hands loosened for a moment then tightened again. “You'll pay for scaring me like that, Dog-boy!” she threatened as she giggled again.
“Keh! You can't hurt me, sneaky wench,” he shot back.
He pulled her out of the well. She swung her legs over the side and shot him a sidelong glance before throwing herself against him. Ordinarily it wouldn't have done much but since he was busy looking around again, she managed to catch him off-guard. Miko and Hanyou rolled across the snow a few times. Kagome was the first to recover, and she took full advantage of the situation to straddle InuYasha's chest as she leaned forward to capture one of his ears.
“Say you're sorry,” she insisted as she barely touched the tiny hairs at the base of his ear.
She touched the hairs again. “Waiting.”
“Keh!” he insisted again but couldn't contain his soft whine as he tried to jerk his head away from her.
“Come on, InuYasha. Just two words.”
His whine became a low growl. “Sneaky wench!”
“Wrong two words.”
“That's only one.”
Suddenly he stopped struggling. His eyes brightened as he stared at her. Kagome felt her heart thumping wildly in her chest. “Kiss me,” he whispered.
“Those . . . aren't the right ones, either,” she pointed out as she lowered her lips to his anyway.
“But . . . they . . . worked . . . .” he mumbled between kisses. “Inu . . . Yasha . . . Two . . . Sneaky . . . wench . . . none.”
She leaned away, eyes bright with amusement. “Really.”
He grabbed her around the waist and pushed her to the side before rolling so that they'd switched positions. Leaning in for a quick kiss, InuYasha grinned unrepentantly. “InuYasha—three, sneaky wench still nothing.”
“Sneaky wench doesn't agree,” she argued, yanking him back down with her fists wrapped in his haori. “Sneaky wench wins, too.”
Miroku held a finger to his lips as they walked through the forest. “I swear I heard something,” he whispered to Sango.
Sango nodded. “But there's been no sign of youkai activity around here since the boar you killed.”
Miroku grabbed Sango's hand as they carefully crept down the path. They did the rounds around InuYasha's Forest every day to make sure that there wasn't anything dangerous. Today was just like yesterday. Nothing. Still, he could have sworn he had heard something.
They stepped out of the trees into the clearing near the Bone Eater's Well. Sensing nothing, Miroku sighed and turned to face Sango with an apologetic grin. “You were right, I must have been paranoid,” he began.
Sango's eyes grew wide, and she gasped, slapping one hand over her gaping mouth as she grabbed Miroku's arm with her free hand and wheeled back around toward the forest path. Cheeks bright red, the exterminator broke into a run until Miroku stopped and pulled her hand. “Sango? What's wrong?”
Sango's eyes were still huge, and she didn't answer out loud. She used the hand that had been plastered against her mouth to point toward the well before grabbing Miroku's hands and attempting to drag him off again.
Miroku's interest spiked with the added impetus of Sango's unorthodox behavior. With a calculated grin, he pulled his hands away and deliberately headed back into the clearing.
“No!” Sango hissed, grabbing his arm and trying in vain to drag him back toward the forest before he saw whatever it was that she had seen.
“What? It can't be that ba—oh my . . . .”
“Houshi-sama!” she hissed again as Miroku ducked behind a nearby bush.
Miroku pulled Sango down beside him. “Shh! Do you want them to hear us?”
Sango's cheeks were as red as the hanyou's clothing. InuYasha was lying in the snow with a very happy-looking miko sitting on his chest. “We shouldn't be watching this,” Sango pointed out. Miroku noticed with a secretive smile that Sango couldn't make herself look away, either. “Oh, my . . . did he just . . . whine?”
“Scoot over,” Miroku said, trying to see through the bare spot in the bush. “Interesting . . . Funny. They don't seem to notice the cold at all.”
Sango shot Miroku a dark look. “Well, no, I don't imagine—oh!”
Miroku's mouth fell open in shock. Kagome leaned down and kissed InuYasha. He seemed to be saying something between kisses though his words were muffled enough that they couldn't make them out.
They watched in stunned silence as InuYasha pushed Kagome off his chest, but instead of getting up and stomping off to pout or hide—which was what both Sango as well as Miroku half-expected, InuYasha straddled Kagome and returned the kisses she'd just given him. “I don't believe it,” Sango whispered.
Miroku shook his head slowly as another thought occurred to him. “Sango . . . why aren't we doing that?”
Sango gasped as her cheeks grew even deeper crimson. “Doing . . . ?”
Miroku waved a hand toward their still-kissing friends. “That!”
A sudden recognition filtered over Sango's face, and she smiled as he face remained prettily flushed. Eyes bright, mischievous, she blinked at Miroku before answering. “Because, houshi-sama . . . I've not asked you to.”
Miroku let her words sink in. With a weak groan, he flopped backward in the snow and closed his eyes as Sango's soft laughter reverberated in his skull.
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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.