InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ The Monkinator ( Chapter 53 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
`I can't fucking believe he talked me into this.'
Ducking down behind the log on the edge of the clearing, InuYasha peeked over the top to see where Kagome was. Because he wasn't able to launch attacks at her, and because Tetsusaiga wouldn't attack her, they'd had to alter the plan for Kagome's training into something far more dangerous, to him, at least, than what Shippou had done by hiding and hurling fox fire at her.
And that, too, had been the damn monk's fault. `Speaking of that damn monk,' InuYasha thought threateningly, `if I get my claws on him any time soon, I'll show him a thing or two . . . .'
Kagome was meditating. InuYasha sank down with his elbow on his knee and his chin in his hand and sighed. Shippou sat in the shade of the cherry trees with Sango and the Shikon no Tama. During these training sessions, it had been decided that Kagome didn't dare keep the jewel around her neck. It had been a close thing—too close—but InuYasha's main concern had been that the jewel would end up being accidentally purified in the process, as had almost happened before.
The hut was quiet enough to hear Shippou's light, even breathing as the kit slept, surrounded by pocky boxes and the rest of his bounty. Having been asleep when InuYasha and Kagome came in, the hanyou had proceeded to create such a ruckus in dropping the makeshift bag slung over his shoulder and shaking things around that the kit had stirred. Cuddling the stuffed dog that Kagome had given him, the kitsune looked content and happy if not still a little peaked and basically exhausted. The silence was stifling, thick, heavy.
“So you're saying that it was almost purified, right?” Kagome asked slowly, staring from Kaede to Miroku. “But why? I didn't make a wish. I wasn't concentrating on it . . . .”
“When you purified InuYasha, perhaps the jewel sensed the vast spiritual energy it would have taken, and thus rendered enough power to nearly accomplish the deed without actually intending to do it.”
“I don't get it,” InuYasha remarked as he frowned at the Shikon no Tama. “How can someone accidentally purify something?”
Sango shrugged. “Because the jewel isn't supposed to exist at all, so no one really knows how to purify it. We've speculated that it should be used to grant a pure wish, but perhaps it is only purity of intention that is truly the key to it all.”
Kagome unhooked the chain and stared at the jewel. The orb was nearly entirely white now, glowing with a soft light, a pure light, as sparkles of pink swirled and ebbed. “What does it mean?” she asked quietly without looking away from the jewel.
“I don't know . . . as Sango has said, I've heard nothing that would explain precisely how you'd purify the jewel. It stands to reason that no one really knows,” Miroku admitted. “Have you heard anything, Kaede? Did Kikyou ever say anything about it?”
The old miko shook her head slowly as she stared at the jewel, too. “It was Kikyou's belief that the jewel should be used for the betterment of someone, as she had wished to turn InuYasha human. But she wasn't certain, and I believe in my heart that she was wrong in this.”
Kagome tried to fasten the necklace around her neck again. After a minute of fumbling with the clasp, InuYasha gently took the ends and fastened it for her. The enamored look the miko bestowed on the hanyou brought a dusting of red to his cheeks. Miroku coughed delicately. “ `Monk-in-Pain' . . . nice shade. Matches your clothes,” which only served to deepen the flush on InuYasha's face. For once, however, the hanyou let it pass.
Shippou stirred with a soft whine. To his everlasting surprise, Kagome and InuYasha both started to get up. InuYasha must have realized what he was doing and sank back down as Kagome retrieved the kitsune and returned to the group, settling the kit in her lap. Shippou smiled at her and closed his eyes again as Kagome stroked his hair.
“You never did say, InuYasha, why did you change back?”
“Keh. I dunno,” he grumbled as his cheeks reddened a little bit more.
“You don't know?” Sango echoed with a pointed look as Kagome's cheeks pinked, too. Miroku hid his smile. “What were you doing when it happened?”
Matching red faces avoided everyone's amused stares. “I see,” Miroku commented in the silence that followed. Trying to control his desire not only to laugh but to further any embarrassment, he cleared his throat and tried his best to broach the subject in the most delicate way possible. “Could it be—and this is just a thought—that maybe the provocation of very strong feelings could have triggered the reverse transformation?” InuYasha didn't look like he was going to leap across the room and rip him apart, so Miroku dared push the envelope just a little. “Of course, that would be dependent upon exactly what it was you were doing at the time . . . .”
InuYasha mumbled something that sounded suspiciously like, `perverted monk'. Miroku hid his amusement behind a judiciously placed hand over his mouth.
“So who will help you, Kagome?” Sango asked, breaking the stilted quiet.
Kagome shook her head. “I don't want to do it anymore,” she admitted. “After today . . . .”
“Ye must finish what ye started,” Kaede insisted. “Ye know too much yet not enough to control it, Kagome. `Tis a dangerous knowledge ye possess.”
“I can't . . . What if I hurt someone else? And besides that, there isn't anyone else who can help me.”
“Sure there is,” Miroku spoke up.
Miroku nodded at InuYasha, who was leaning back against the wall with his eyes closed and his arms wrapped around Tetsusaiga. “InuYasha could.” Kagome's eyes flared wide, and she looked like she was considering what would happen if she tried to purify him. He held his hands up in a defensive gesture and hurried on to say, “Now hear me out! InuYasha is hanyou, which means that you could purify him and the worst it would do is turn him human, whereupon you can use whatever action it was that changed him back this time to return him to normal, should the need arise. He's the only one that could endure it, really. Full youkai can't help you. Humans wouldn't be useful, either. Just think about it.”
“No,” Kagome stated flatly. “There's no reason to think about it, because I won't do it.”
That said, the miko got up and stalked over to her pallet. She lay down with a disgusted sigh and, with Shippou curled up in her arms, the two settled down to sleep.
Shaking himself out of his reverie, InuYasha glanced over the log again and sighed when he saw Kagome still had her eyes closed and her hands folded. `Still meditating.'
He really hated these training sessions.
Sesshoumaru sat back in the thickly padded desk chair and stared over the lights of the city in the distance. On the outskirts of Tokyo, he'd built his home long ago. `Musashi . . . .'
The office door opened as Nibori slipped into the room. “Any word, Father?”
Sesshoumaru didn't look at his son. Swinging his chair back around, he stood and crossed the room. “Not yet.”
Nibori nodded slowly. “How would this work? How will you know?”
Sesshoumaru frowned as he stared at the polished wooden box on the fireplace mantle. “I shall know because,” he answered as he lifted the lid on the empty case, “so long as it remains empty, then all is as it should be.”
Nibori considered that. It made perfect sense, of course. His father had centuries to figure this out. The time had come . . . .
“He really hates this,” Miroku idly remarked with a chuckle.
Sango shook her head as she glanced over at Shippou. The kitsune dozed with Kirara under the treetop canopy with the stuffed dog in his arms. InuYasha sat behind a log not far away as he waited for Kaede's signal. Her gaze returned to the much-too-happy monk, and she sighed. “Can you blame him? It is fairly dangerous.”
“InuYasha can handle it.”
Sango cast him a calculated stare. “How did you talk him into it?”
Miroku grinned. “I pointed out the benefits of helping, that's all.”
“Come now, Sango. You didn't miss the looks, the blushes?”
“What do you mean?”
Miroku lowered his voice and leaned closer to whisper his answer to her. “I believe that InuYasha is returned to his hanyou state by emotional passion.”
“Passion?” Sango repeated with a curious frown. Her eyes widened as understanding dawned. “You mean . . . ?”
Miroku shrugged. “Any passion, really . . . rage would work, too, but I'd venture to guess it was the other. They were both sporting very nice shades of `Monk-in-Pain'-red.”
Sango shook her head and tapped Miroku's chest before she walked back over to sit with Shippou.
Miroku chuckled as he thought about the conversation he'd had with InuYasha two days before.
“She won't do it.”
“Can you, at least, see the reasoning behind it?”
InuYasha shrugged offhandedly. “Maybe. Doesn't change the fact that she won't agree. You're wasting your breath.”
Miroku raised his eyebrows and plastered on an innocent expression. “Perhaps if Kagome thought you wanted her to do it . . . .”
InuYasha shot him a dark look. “I don't think I like where you're going with this, monk.”
Miroku put his arm around InuYasha's shoulders and leaned in close, as though he was about to tell InuYasha a secret. “We all know that she listens to you more than she does anyone else. Shouldn't you use this power of persuasion for something positive?”
InuYasha shook off the monk's arm. “Keh. Sounds underhanded, to me.”
“All the better for you to do it. Sango is too honest, and, well, I'm too . . . .”
“I was going to say misunderstood, but that works, too.”
“Keh.” InuYasha stared at Miroku for a few moments, gaze narrowed. “Why do I get the impression that you just want to see me get purified every time I turn around?”
“InuYasha! Of course not! However, I had the distinct impression that you didn't mind, how Kagome managed to unlock your youkai blood . . . or was I mistaken?”
InuYasha didn't answer as he stomped ahead.
Miroku chuckled as the memory faded. It had amused him to no end that InuYasha had secured Kagome's reluctant agreement by nightfall. Watching the hanyou dart out from behind the log straight toward Kagome and the cloth flags that he had to snatch along the way, he figured that this was the best solution, anyway. InuYasha wouldn't hurt her. With him as her training partner, she was absolutely safe.
`Thank me later, InuYasha . . . thank me later . . . .'
“We s-s-seek the hanyou InuYasha! Bring him forward, if you dare!”
Women and children ran for cover as the two snake youkai slinked into the village. Most of the men waited to see the fight that was brewing.
In Kaede's hut, Miroku glanced at Sango. “Go see if InuYasha's returned yet.”
Shippou tried to get up. “I can go,” he offered.
“You're still too weak, Shippou,” Miroku said quietly. Sango was already heading out the door in full exterminator dress with Kirara on her heels. “Stay here with Kaede,” he told the pouting kitsune as he grabbed his sickle and stalked toward the door, too.
InuYasha had taken Kagome back to her time for exams. Since Shippou was still weak, InuYasha had agreed to stay behind, for Kagome's peace of mind, or so the hanyou claimed. Interestingly, InuYasha had been exhibiting much more patience with the kitsune since the incident, which was a welcome thing, especially for Kagome. She hadn't had to get between them to save the kit once since then.
Miroku stopped before the two serpent youkai and crossed his arms over his chest. “What business do you have with InuYasha?”
“Who are you?”
“Answer my question first.”
“He murdered our brother.”
Miroku frowned. “The only time InuYasha takes a life is when they threaten others.”
“Oi, monk! Leave some for me, will you?” InuYasha hopped off Kirara's back and landed on the ground beside Miroku. Leaning in slightly, InuYasha asked, “Who are they?”
“They claim you killed their brother.”
Sango ran over to stand beside Miroku, Hiraikotsu suspended over her shoulder.
“Their brother? The only other serpent youkai I've killed came after Kagome and the Shikon no Tama.”
The serpent youkai exchanged interested glances. “Shikon no Tama, you s-s-say?”
“Yes-s-s . . . why don't you hand that over, and we'll leave your paltry village s-s-standing.”
InuYasha whipped Tetsusaiga out of the scabbard as the fang transformed. “Why don't you shut the fuck up and come get me if you think you can! Your brother didn't last long, and neither will you.”
“Houshi-sama! Look at InuYasha's sword!”
Miroku glanced at Tetsusaiga and blinked in surprise. “Interesting,” he mused absently. True enough, though InuYasha had said before that the sword had been given the ability to cast a protective barrier around Kagome, he hadn't mentioned that the sword itself had somehow turned blue. He filed the information away to ask InuYasha about later as he pulled his sickle and stood in ready.
One of the serpent youkai flashed forward, stretching from his place to strike at Sango. She whirled around, cleaving a wide arc with Hiraikotsu. The youkai retreated just in time to avoid being struck.
Rage erupted in Miroku and though he contained it well enough. That the youkai would strike at Sango first brought him forward. Hurling the sickle, he sliced the youkai's arm deep enough to impede him but not enough to sever the limb. With a snap on the chain, the sickle flew back. Miroku caught it as he ran closer.
InuYasha held off the other youkai, blocking his hissing tongue and lunging body with Tetsusaiga's blade. With a heave, he sent the youkai skittering back. “Get the fuck off me!” he bellowed as he hacked at the enemy but missed.
“You're just a weak hanyou!” the youkai hissed. “S-s-surrender or die!”
InuYasha snapped Tetsusaiga before him. “I'll never surrender to the likes of you!”
“Prepare to die!”
Lurching forward in a flash of movement, InuYasha sidestepped the attack and slammed Tetsusaiga into the ground. “Kaze no Kizu!” he yelled as the Wind Scar raced outward, engulfing everything in its path in the flash of flame. The youkai dodged but not in time to completely avoid the flames. With an agonized shriek, the youkai fell on his side as the Kaze no Kizu grazed his thigh.
In a blind rage, the youkai lunged at InuYasha. Sango unleashed her weapon as the wind whistled in its wake. “Hiraikotsu!” the exterminator hollered.
Hiraikotsu whizzed through the air, slicing the wind. The huge boomerang abraded the youkai's arm, bringing on another round of angry shrieks as the weapon flew back to its owner.
The youkai shot off the ground, lunging at Sango. Miroku shoved her back and cleaved the sickle in a clean arc. With a grunt, the blade stuck deep, embedded in the youkai's head. He jerked on the chain as the youkai screeched and stumbled back. Black blood spurted from the wound, spraying him with the hot mist. Grimacing with the effort, Miroku jerked again. The scythe rent the beast's head down the middle and in an explosion of black ash, the youkai disintegrated.
InuYasha sprang forward, Tetsusaiga suspended over his shoulder. The remaining youkai hissed as he shot up and met InuYasha in the air. His venomous fangs caught the hanyou's side. InuYasha screamed as the snake youkai flung him back. InuYasha landed on his feet and slid back as the youkai turned to go after Miroku.
“You killed my brother!” he hissed.
“You're next!” InuYasha snarled as he ran after the youkai. The youkai swung his arm, sending InuYasha crashing back again. He hit a tree hard and slumped to the ground.
Miroku helped Sango to her feet and pushed her away. “Check InuYasha!” he demanded. Sango nodded. Miroku raised his arm, ready to hurl the sickle again.
The youkai advanced on him as a reddish-brown blur zipped over the ground and bounded onto the youkai's back. “You! You hurt InuYasha!”
“Shippou!” Miroku gasped, stilling his blade as the kitsune bit into the snake's back.
The snake shrieked in anger as he swiped at the child. “Shippou!” Sango screamed.
The youkai managed to latch onto Shippou's arm. The kit growled as the snake tried in vain to dislodge him. Miroku rushed forward, swinging the scythe at the snake's legs.
“Damn you! Shippou, get the hell outta there!”
Miroku glanced back as InuYasha stumbled to his feet. Shaking his head to dispel the effects of the hit he'd taken, InuYasha pushed Sango away when she tried to hold him back. `Venom,' Miroku thought suddenly. `InuYasha's been poisoned . . . .'
Shippou let go of the snake and fell. Still weakened from the purification, he wasn't able to get up and run fast enough. The snake youkai caught him and raised his scaly hand to slice the kit to pieces.
InuYasha snarled and lunged. Tetsusaiga cut through the youkai's arm, severing the limb as he wrenched Shippou out of his grasp and leapt back.
The youkai screamed in pain as Miroku unleashed the sickle blade. Embedded deep in the youkai's back, Miroku held on tight. “InuYasha!”
The hanyou raised Tetsusaiga and brought it down with a shriek of, “Kaze no Kizu!” The youkai was surrounded in the blast even as his scream died away.
The sickle fell to the ground as the youkai dissolved. Miroku pulled the chain and turned to survey the damage left behind. One hut had been leveled but it didn't seem as though anyone was hurt. When he turned around again, it was to find InuYasha hunkered down on the ground with Shippou nestled against his chest.
“Are you fucking stupid? I ought to beat the shit out of you, kit!” InuYasha yelled at the barely conscious child.
Sango touched InuYasha's shoulder. “Let me—”
“Back off, Sango!”
Miroku ran over. “InuYasha, calm down.”
“Go to hell, monk!” InuYasha snarled. “Do you hear me, Shippou? When you're better, I swear, I'll—”
“He was concerned, InuYasha!” Kaede said as she hurried toward them.
“Like I give a damn! That was stupid, Shippou, stupid! Don't do that again!” The hanyou raised his hand. Three people lunged to stop him. Before anyone could grab him, InuYasha flicked Shippou's nose. Incredibly, the kitsune's eyes welled with tears. “You hear me, runt?”
Shippou nodded miserably. InuYasha, obviously satisfied that he'd gotten his point across, struggled to his feet and staggered back toward Kaede's hut, leaving three puzzled humans behind.
Sango was the first to recover from her shock. “What was that?”
Kaede shook her head. “Mayhap InuYasha has begun to learn some much needed self-control.”
Miroku frowned. “It almost seemed like some sort of discipline . . . but it was a bit odd, wasn't it?”
Sango hefted Hiraikotsu over her shoulder and shrugged. “InuYasha didn't thump him . . . .”
Miroku suddenly grinned as a wave of fatigue rolled over him. “Remarkable . . . I've seen InuYasha strike the kit and not draw that sort of reaction.”
Kaede led the way back to her hut. “I must see to those wounds . . . InuYasha took in venom, did he not?”
Sango stopped Miroku with a hand on his arm. “What do you make of it?”
“Of InuYasha's behavior?” Sango nodded. Miroku chuckled. “I haven't the faintest idea, Sango, though I must admit, the changes don't seem to be a negative thing.”
“Still,” Sango went on dubiously, “don't you think it odd that he's being nearly as protective of Shippou as he is of Kagome?”
Miroku sighed, catching Sango's chin and lifting her face to look up at him. “Must we discuss InuYasha? Surely you can think of other things that might be more interesting than him . . . ?”
Sango blushed but smiled shyly. “Did you have something in mind?”
Miroku kissed her lightly. “I was thinking, Sango . . . how would you feel about a wedding?”
Her breath caught as she stared at the monk-turned-exterminator. “It would depend on whose wedding you speak of,” she whispered.
“Perhaps a certain youkai exterminator would consider marriage to another certain exterminator . . . who used to be a monk . . . ?”
Sango swallowed hard. Unable to speak, she stared at him for a few moments before she nodded. “I think the youkai exterminator might like that.”
Miroku grinned. “I think the ex-monk would like it much, much more.”
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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.