InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ Training ( Chapter 50 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
Kagome groaned as she sank into the water with a tired sigh. “Every single muscle in my body hurts,” she stated ruefully.
Sango grimaced for her friend. “It's hard, this miko's training, isn't it?”
Kagome sighed. Kaede was a veritable drill sergeant, rousing Kagome long before dawn to meditate then barraging her with tasks all day long designed to strengthen her spiritual power. In the three weeks since her training had begun, it was sheer determination that kept her persevering. Because she hadn't been trained as a miko from a young age, the training was much, much more demanding than it should have been. In any case, Kagome felt like she was ready to flop over and die by the time night came and she could drop on her pallet and sleep.
Still, she couldn't bring herself to admit to anyone else, how difficult the training was, either. Sango knew, only because she'd seen the numerous bruises on Kagome's back and hip she'd gotten as she worked with Kaede, sharpening her dodging skills. They'd recruited Shippou for that, and the kitsune had reluctantly agreed to help by shooting fox fire at Kagome, but only after numerous assurances that InuYasha would not pummel the daylights out of the kit for doing so—and a few dozen boxes of pocky. She still had a burn mark on her right thigh from a ball of blue flame that she hadn't been quick enough to dodge.
“It's not so bad,” she assured Sango with a forced smile.
The youkai exterminator saw right through that answer. “How are you going to explain all of this to InuYasha? He knows you better than anyone. You really don't think you're going to be able to convince him you're fine, do you? He's hanyou. He'll probably be able to tell that you're hurting by smelling you.”
Kagome shrugged. “He said I could train,” she hedged.
Sango shook her head. “He said you could train. He never said you could nearly kill yourself doing it.”
With a sigh, Kagome reached up to grasp the Shikon no Tama and closed her eyes. Part of her new routine was to purify the jewel every day, so that it didn't become tainted. Thanks to Mrs. Higurashi, a new chain had been purchased, and Kagome wore the jewel around her neck again.
Sango gasped softly as Kagome let go of the jewel. “Kagome?”
Kagome made a face as she reached for her body wash. “Hmm?”
“The jewel,” Sango said quietly, eyes wide, full of awe. “It's nearly white.”
Kagome frowned and lifted the Shikon no Tama to stare at it. Sango was right. The pink inside the jewel was diminished though traces of the color still filtered around inside. “I wonder what that means?”
Sango shook her head. “It means that you've nearly completely purified it. It has been said that the fully purified jewel will turn white just before it is dispelled.”
For some reason, Kagome wasn't pleased with that. Myouga's words came back to her, words spoken so long ago, `That's just it, my lord! You mustn't destroy the jewel, not yet; not until after you've completed your task!'
`We've recovered his mother's diary and read through a lot of it . . . was that what Myouga meant? Or do we need to finish reading the diary first?And what will happen once the jewel is purified? What will happen to Sango and Miroku and Shippou? What will happen to InuYasha . . . and me?'
Kagome sighed. She never liked to think about it, about what would happen once the Shikon no Tama was purified and gone. Easy to think that things would go on as usual, but she knew in her heart that it wasn't ever meant to be that way. Where would she be? And InuYasha? Panic welled up inside her, fear so strong even she could almost smell it. `Don't think about it, Kagome . . . Don't worry about that, because worry won't change anything that is or isn't meant to be . . . .'
“I wonder if InuYasha will be back soon,” Sango said, noticing the change in Kagome's mood and trying to raise her spirits by mentioning the hanyou.
It had the opposite effect, though, she noticed with a wince as Kagome's eyes suddenly filled with tears. Rising abruptly, Kagome floundered toward shore and struggled into her clothes without drying off.
“Kagome?” Sango called after her as she got up to follow.
Kagome waved over her shoulder and ran off into the woods.
InuYasha gnashed his teeth in determination as the bear youkai lumbered toward him. Drawing Tetsusaiga and raising it over his head as he leaped into the air, he felt the winds rise to wrap around the blade. With a slight smile of satisfaction, he arced the blade with a yell of, “Kaze no Kizu!” as yellowish-white flames shot through the void straight toward the hulking beast. The bear reared back and roared, and the manufactured wind blew the flames off course as he swung his huge paw, catching InuYasha in the chest and sending him careening back.
InuYasha landed on the ground and slid another fifty feet, leaving ruts in the earth from the momentum. “All right, bastard . . . come on!”
The bear lunged again. InuYasha flipped back away from the dangerously wide paw. He landed and pushed off the ground as he raised Tetsusaiga over his head again. “Kongousou—ha!” he bellowed, snapping the blade before him as diamond spears erupted from it, streaking over the ground and impaling the bear youkai in the head.
The bear shrieked once then fell as his body disintegrated.
InuYasha wiped his face on his sleeve and stared at Tetsusaiga with a thoughtful frown. `The blade . . . it's normal again . . . what the hell . . . ?' With a sigh, he dropped the sword into the scabbard and, after one last glance around to make sure there was nothing else waiting for him, he took off, sprinting through the forest.
He still couldn't find Katosan. `Shifty bastard! Where the fuck is he hiding?' he fumed as he leaped high, spotting the clearing where the Bone Eater's Well stood in the distance, spotting Goshinboku. `Home . . . Kagome . . . .'
He'd spent the better part of two weeks searching for the baka, another week for traveling in every conceivable direction looking for any traces of Katosan, and then home again, and it all added up to his being tired, irritable, impatient, and really just wanting nothing more than a few stolen minutes alone with Kagome. `Minutes, baka?'
`Keh! Stop living in denial.'
`Thought I said to shuddup?'
`Tell her what you want.'
`You afraid she'd say no? Or are you afraid she'd say she wants that, too?'
`Shuddup, damn it!'
InuYasha shook his head. Definitely tired. Why else was he yelling at himself?
`All right, sneaky wench,' he thought as he sprang off the ground again, `let's see if you missed me . . . .'
“Houshi-sama, have you seen Kagome?”
Miroku looked up from the sickle he was sharpening into Sango's concerned face. “No, not since the two of you went for your baths . . . how was that, by the way?”
Sango flushed but grinned. “It was very refreshing.”
He glanced around to see if they were being watched. Being satisfied that they didn't have an audience—namely a much too interested kitsune pup, Miroku pulled the exterminator down for a quick kiss and nuzzle. “Want to get dirty?”
“Hentai-houshi!” Sango gasped, as she jerked back, hands flying to cup her cheeks as she gaped at Miroku.
He blinked innocently. “Was it something I said?” he asked. “By the way, Sango . . . `Monk-in-Pain'-red really is your color. You should wear it more often.”
Her jaw dropped as she darkened a little more and turned to stomp away. Miroku chuckled and got up to follow, sticking the sickle through his belt before falling in step beside the agitated young woman. “Where are we going?”
Sango shot him a deliberate look. “To find Kagome. Where else?”
He didn't answer but the longing expression on his face was enough to make her smile.
Kagome stared down into the well with a sigh. She wasn't going to use the warp, not to mention that InuYasha had expressly forbidden her from going back alone since Katosan knew where she lived, and since InuYasha didn't trust Sesshoumaru to tell Katosan to stay away. Truthfully she wasn't sure why she'd come here.
`You know why you came here,' her mind prodded. Once more Kagome reached up and touched the jewel suspended by the thin gold chain.
She sighed again and sat down on the edge. `Fifteen years old . . . . That was a long time ago . . . before InuYasha, before . . . a lot of things. None of it makes sense anymore. Surely I can't have come all the way here, done the things I've done, felt the things I've felt, if it wasn't meant to mean something to me . . . and to him? But what if . . .' she trailed off as she stared at the jewel again. `What if I'm not meant to be with InuYasha? What if . . . he doesn't belong with me in my time, and I don't belong here with him in his time? What then? Is there a place where we were meant to be?'
Closing her eyes against the pain that swelled in her heart, she willed away the torment at the very idea that she didn't belong with him. `If not with him, then where?'
A silent sob welled up in her throat, choked her as she struggled to swallow it, to breathe. `InuYasha . . . where are you?'
Wiping her tears with the back of a trembling hand as the other clutched the jewel tightly in her fist, she stared at it through a blur of tears. As her heart clenched, contracted, Kagome stared as the Shikon no Tama started to glow. Growing brighter and brighter with the what seemed like the steady beat of a drum, it raised off her palm, floated in the air as though suspended by invisible strands. `It's . . . . No! It can't! Not until I see InuYasha! Not until—”
“Oi, wench! What the hell do you think you're doing?”
Startled out of her reverie, she whimpered as InuYasha lit on the ground next to her. He stared from her to the jewel and back again as he slowly reached out and covered the jewel with his own hand, forcing it down against her palm, forcing it dormant.
“What were you doing?” he asked quietly—too quietly.
“I . . . I don't know . . . I didn't do anything . . . .”
“You can't purify it yet,” he said as he suddenly reached for her, dragging her into the protection of his arms. “You can't.”
Kagome closed her eyes. `He . . . he's scared, too . . . he's scared that if I purify the jewel, we'll be separated . . . .'
“What if it happens?” she asked softly. “What if I finally do purify the jewel, and—”
“Keh! It won't happen. I won't let it.”
“No! I won't fucking let it happen that way! I won't! If that means you never purify the damn thing, then you never purify it because I can't . . . .” he trailed off with a sigh. He pulled her closer, hugged her tighter.
Kagome couldn't help it. With a loud yelp, she pushed away from him. “I'm sorry. I was just—” she trailed off when she saw the hurt look on his face, the raw anguish. “InuYasha?”
He stepped back away from her. Kagome shook her head. “Wait, it's not what you think,” she blurted. “I wasn't pushing you away! You just squeezed a bruise, and—”
The expression on his face changed when he heard the word `bruise'. The pain was replaced by a fierce anger as he stepped closer again and started sniffing. When he reached over to pull up her blouse, Kagome backed away. “It's okay, I promise! Just a few little bruises . . . .”
His eyes shifted from anger to flat-out rage, brightening to a flash of golden yellow, and he growled at her as he reached for her blouse again. “Don't give me that! You fucking smell like you've been tossed around like an apple,” he snorted, tossing her blouse up as he turned her around to stare at her back. Kagome cringed and waited for the string of explicatives that she knew was coming. She didn't have long to wait. After the first fifty swears, he finally got around to saying something she could respond to. “Who the hell did this to you?”
Reaching back to tug her blouse back down, she grabbed his arm as he stomped toward the forest path. “InuYasha! It's nothing! I'm fine! It's part of the training!”
“The fuck it is!” he snarled as he jerked his arm free and kept walking.
Kagome ran around him, planting both of her hands in the center of his chest. He didn't stop, and she back peddled as he kept moving. “I'm fine,” she insisted. “Just sore.” He finally stopped but didn't look at all happy. “I missed you.”
He stared at her for long seconds as his irritation dissipated. He caught her hand and dragged her down into his lap before pushing her forward and tossing her blouse back up over her shoulders. She wasn't sure what she expected him to do but she gasped softly as his lips kissed each bruise.
She leaned into him as he took his time. Peeking over her shoulder, she blinked back sudden tears at the tender expression on his face. Eyes closed, concern furrowing his brow, he turned his face to lay his cheek against her back, as though he was trying to soothe her. She turned and pulled him close, his cheek resting over her heart. “I'm glad you're back.”
“Did you find him?” she asked as she idly rubbed his ears. `I missed these.'
He sighed and held still so that she could rub as much as she wanted. “Fuck, no. I don't get it. He's gotta be somewhere . . . . Left.”
Kagome smiled but moved her hand to rub behind his left ear. “Is that better?”
He caught her hands and lifted his chin. “Kiss me.”
“I'm sure she's fine. She probably just wanted some time alone,” Miroku pointed out reasonably.
Sango shook her head as they headed into the forest. “You didn't see her face, houshi-sama . . . she was really upset.”
“Likely worried about InuYasha . . . he's been gone longer than I thought he would have been.”
“Maybe he's having trouble locating Katosan.”
Miroku shrugged. “Could be. Could be that he's had other trouble.” He frowned.
Sango caught the expression. “What?”
Miroku shook his head slowly. “He was gone over his night of vulnerability . . . .”
Sango sighed. “I know, and if we know, then you know Kagome had to have realized it, too.”
Miroku put a comforting arm around Sango's shoulders. “That may be, but InuYasha's had to deal with that all of his life. I think he'd be careful.”
“Houshi-sama, there are too many who know of it. Waku knew, and he'd only met InuYasha a few times. It makes no sense.”
“All we can do, Sango, is back them both in whatever capacity as we can, as their friends. There isn't much more to it than that. I know that's little in the way of consolation, but that's really all we can do.”
Sango let her head fall against his chest for just a moment, accepting the comfort he offered as they headed toward the clearing. “Still, if Kagome needs someone to talk to, the least I can do is tell her that I'll listen. She's always been so good to me, with Kohaku . . . and other things . . . .”
Miroku suddenly grinned. “Other things? Meaning other people? Maybe a man? Maybe a monk? What was it Kagome called me? Ah, yes . . . the Monkinator?”
Sango lifted her gaze to stare across the meadow as she opened her mouth to retort. She gasped as her eyes widened in surprise just before she grabbed Miroku's hand and dragged him toward the bushes.
“Dragging me off to have your way with me? All you had to do was ask,” he quipped.
Sango waved a hand at him as she peeked through the bushes. “InuYasha's back,” she remarked with a slightly embarrassed grin.
Miroku leaned in to have a look, himself. The hanyou held the miko in his lap and was busy kissing her senseless, judging from the looks of it. “You know, Sango, I think InuYasha might have the right idea for once.”
“You really want to kiss him?” she asked with a soft giggle.
Miroku affected a shudder. “Good heaven's, Sango!” He tilted his head as he stared into her eyes. “I'd much rather kiss you . . . .”
“But . . . I didn't ask.”
He groaned softly as he leaned forward, capturing her lips under his. Reveling in the sweetness that was Sango, he put a hand on her waist, drawing her just a little closer. She sighed, her lips opening under his as he took his time getting to know the intoxicating effects of her proximity. Like a giddy child, she rendered him incapable of thought, reeling in the essence of her.
She slowly, hesitantly reached up to circle his neck with her hands, holding him close, sighing against his lips as he kissed the corners of her mouth. He worshipped her silently, drawing her out, calling her soul home. She accepted what he offered and gave it back, tugging at the small tie that held his hair back. The cool length of it fell over her fingers, and she grasped it, holding his lips to hers as he forced layers of emotion on her, pressing down on her as her chest constricted and then exploded in a rush of primitive heat.
Vaguely aware as Miroku dragged her into his lap, against his chest, Sango felt her body fall against him, a sudden languor, a liquefying of her limbs that made resistance impossible. He accepted her acquiescence in silent triumph as his kiss deepened, shocking her and soothing her at the same time.
Sango kissed him back, shy, awkward, and wholly endearing. He tightened his arms around her, offered her his strength to support her, to guide her. Her fingers touched his cheek, trembling and shaking, a beautiful sensation a wealth of emotion, of tactile contact and hesitant caresses. Encouraging her with a soft moan against her lips, Miroku fanned the flames of her burgeoning desire with soft nibbles, with kisses lined by the tip of his tongue.
He kissed her without hesitation, fully, completely, without the monk's mercy and with the true mark of the youkai exterminator, the fierceness that didn't pause, didn't falter. She kissed him back with the same quiet desperation of the woman who had lost so much but was willing to open herself to love again.
Soft sighs countered by gentle fingers that played along the nape of his neck, InuYasha shivered under the total oblivion that beckoned him. She smelled so comforting, the wings of the dove, the power of the wild birds' song that filled the clearing. Cherry blossoms fragranced the air, perfumed her hair, embraced the balmy skin, the gentle warmth that he held against his heart. She was everything that tugged the corners in his mind, the gentlest one with the will stronger than Tetsusaiga. Kagome possessed the rare ability to banish darkness and to melt the heart of the strongest, the innate ability given to her from the beginning, the art of healing. In conjunction with her giving nature, it was a lethal combination, and one he'd never change.
She filled his mind with a myriad of images, more thoughts than he could contain, a million times that he noticed the things about her that drew him. Bound to her so tightly that he couldn't help but feel entirely lost, completely alone when she wasn't near, he held her close, murmured against her ear, kissed her softly, kissed her because words alone weren't enough. He'd never be able to tell her the things he felt, he'd never be able to say anything in a way that she would understand meant so much more, and he held her tenderly, gave her the side of him that she always wanted but that he couldn't let her see, but maybe—just maybe—it was all right to show her instead.
Cradled in his arms, Kagome whimpered softly, her lips dancing against InuYasha's like a butterfly's wings. He wanted to cherish and protect her at the same time he wanted to possess her. The warring emotions were battling inside him for dominance, and InuYasha shuddered as her fingers sank further into his hair. “Kagome,” he whispered as he pulled back to rub his cheek against hers. She sighed happily.
Her fingers stroked the base of his neck as his eyes closed again. The action soothed him, calmed him, comforted him, tempered his desire to consume her. He turned his head to kiss her forehead. The subtle shift in the wind made him sit up straighter even as Kagome let her head fall against his chest. `No fucking way,' he thought with a low growl. Kagome's back stiffened. He clamped his hand over her mouth and stood, setting her on her feet and shooting her a warning look before he let his hand fall away.
“What is it?” Kagome whispered as she straightened her blouse.
InuYasha cautiously closed in on the bushes—on the source of the scents that he'd caught on the wind. Crossing his arms over his chest, InuYasha schooled his features and cleared his throat—loudly. “Keh! What the hell do you two think you're doing?”
Sango gasped and shot to her feet, face bright red, as Miroku slowly stood up with an inscrutable expression on his features. “InuYasha, that wasn't very nice,” Kagome pointed out.
InuYasha glanced down at her, noticing that her cheeks were a nice shade of `Monk-in-Pain'-red, too.
“You're one to talk. We came looking to see how Kagome was, but she looked fine,” Miroku shot back.
It was InuYasha's turn to flush. “I was looking at her bruises,” he snarled.
“With your lips?” Miroku countered.
“You two were watching?”
“Not watching, exactly . . . we happened across the two of you . . . that's all, I swear . . . . Now, InuYasha . . . . No need for violence . . . .”
“Wanna bet, pervert?”
Kagome motioned for Sango to follow. The exterminator did, and the two women headed back toward the village, leaving the rapidly rising voice of the hanyou and the laughter of the Monkinator behind.
“So,” Sango said slowly as the stepped into the forest. “Now you know.”
Kagome cleared her throat nervously. “Yeah . . . and so do you.”
Sango kept her eyes on the path under their feet as her cheeks darkened a little more. “We haven't—we aren't—we've only . . . kissed.”
Kagome grinned a little self-consciously. “We haven't . . . umm . . . .”
Sango suddenly giggled. “So . . . how's that training going?”
Kagome's grin widened. “You know, I think it's going well . . . .”
I've gotten a few inquiries as to whether or not I was planning on entering this or any other fics into Media Miner's Big Ass FanFiction contest. No, I am not. It isn't that I don't feel that the competition isn't worthy. I simply don't feel the necessity to enter the contest, myself, not to mention that I sort of feel that doing so is akin to blowing my own horn, and quite frankly, I don't feel that my work is really that fantastic . . .
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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.