InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ Frustration ( Chapter 60 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]

~~Chapter 60~~
~Frustration~
 
Miroku swung the axe with a vengeance. InuYasha sat on the fence watching the monk-turned-exterminator with mild interest. “Tell me again why you're cutting firewood when the old woman's got enough to last her a few years now?” InuYasha asked.
 
“Because Kaede is convinced that I'll try something with Sango if I spend more than two seconds alone with her before the wedding,” Miroku explained as he heaved the axe again.
 
“Keh. Got you pegged.”
 
Miroku shot him a scowl for his efforts.
 
“Why you using that axe, anyway?”
 
Miroku paused long enough to wipe perspiration from his forehead. “Because it takes more effort, vents more frustration, and makes me tired enough that I might—might—be able to fall asleep sometime before dawn.”
 
“Frustration?” InuYasha echoed. “What do you mean, frustration?”
 
That earned him an even darker look. InuYasha leaned back in surprise. “Rub it in, InuYasha. Just rub it in . . . .”
 
“Rub what in? What the hell are you talking about?”
 
Miroku leaned on the axe and stared thoughtfully at the hanyou. “You mean you still haven't . . . ? You and Kagome haven't . . . ?”
 
InuYasha tried to fight his blush as he scowled at the nosey monk. “No, you pervert!”
 
“Then why aren't you feeling frustrated, yourself?”
 
“Frustrated? Fucking—I've past that, if you must know. Frustration is minor in comparison. I don't wanna talk about this,” InuYasha snarled as he hopped off the fence and headed for the forest.
 
Miroku chased after him. “You can't say something like that then take off! InuYasha! I thought we were friends!”
 
“Back off, lecher!” InuYasha snarled, jamming his arms up his sleeves.
 
“You have to explain!”
 
“Keh!”
 
“You want to talk about it, you know you do.”
 
InuYasha turned his head enough to glare at the monk.
 
“If you didn't, you'd be running.”
 
“I still might.”
 
Miroku sighed. “All right. I promise I won't say anything perverted . . . .”
 
“And I won't breathe.”
 
“What is it?”
 
InuYasha lifted his chin stubbornly but remained silent as the two men stepped into the forest.
 
“I can't make you talk, after all . . . guess I'll go back and chop more firewood . . . .”
 
“I can't be alone with Kagome.”
 
Miroku blinked in surprise and tilted his head to the side as InuYasha sank down on a rock beside the forest path. “Did Kaede find out about your extended kissing sessions?”
 
InuYasha glowered at the monk. “Kaede has nothing to do with it, baka. It's Kagome . . . . She smells nice, and I can't think straight, and when she looks at me . . . . And now she wants to come with me when I go looking for Norimitsu . . . .” His eyes widened as he stared thoughtfully at Miroku. “You gotta help me, monk.”
 
Miroku rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “Interesting . . . you have no real reason to stop, though . . . do you?”
 
“Aren't you the one who said I had to marry her first?”
 
“This is true . . . but you've also said that taking a mate is the same as marriage for your kind . . . .”
 
InuYasha narrowed his eyes on the monk. “You just want me to claim Kagome so you feel better about trying to do that to Sango.”
 
“Bite your tongue!” Miroku gasped. “I'm fully content to wait for our wedding . . . but a few kisses might be nice.”
 
InuYasha shook his head, ears flattening as he stared at the ground. “It's not that, anyway. There're just too many things I have to figure out first. That's one of the reasons I'm going to look for Norimitsu.”
 
“Sango and I could accompany you. Then you'd not be alone with Kagome . . . and I might actually manage to sneak a kiss or two . . . .”
 
Rolling his eyes, InuYasha snorted in disgust. “Spare me, monk.”
 
Miroku turned thoughtful, and InuYasha nearly groaned when he caught the look. “Exactly how close have you been to . . . that?”
 
InuYasha shook his head and clamored to his feet. For a moment, Miroku thought that InuYasha was going to take off. The hanyou leaned over, nearly nose to nose with him, and glared as he held up his thumb and index finger without much separating them. "About this close, Miroku. Really close."
 
Miroku sighed as InuYasha ran off into the forest, heading either to the well or toward Goshinboku. `That,' the monk thought as he turned and headed back toward the village, `was just mean . . . .'
 
 
:::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::8:::
 
 
“Kagome, why aren't you with InuYasha?”
 
Kagome shrugged and smiled at Sango as they walked through the forest. “No reason. I just feel like we've not gotten to spend much time together lately, is all.” She glanced over her shoulder and sighed. `InuYasha doesn't seem to mind, anyway . . . he's acted weird ever since I came back . . . .' To top that off, her adored Shippou had abandoned her in favor of riding on InuYasha's shoulder, too. Kagome sighed again.
 
Sango didn't miss Kagome's meaningful look. “You two have gotten much closer, haven't you? Miroku and I both noticed. I'm happy for you.”
 
Kagome shrugged. “He acts like he doesn't want to be alone with me, Sango. He didn't even kiss me when he came to get me.”
 
Sango frowned. “Well, he does seem to have quite a bit on his mind lately. Maybe if you talked to him?”
 
“I tried last night when he went to fetch water for Kaede. Did something happen while I was gone?”
 
“Not that I know of . . . InuYasha didn't mention anything.” The exterminator made a face. That wasn't going to be much comfort since InuYasha rarely said much, anyway, at least about more important things. “Maybe you can talk to him this evening after we stop for the night.”
 
Kagome finally smiled a real smile. “I'm sure it's nothing. You're right. I'll talk to him later. Now tell me how the wedding plans are coming along?”
 
Sango rolled her eyes. “I don't know what to do, Kagome . . . Things keep getting delayed, and even though Miroku doesn't say anything against it, I can tell he's miserable. Did you know that Kaede won't let us go on our nightly patrols without Shippou?”
 
Kagome blinked in surprise. “Kaede won't? Why not?”
 
Sango grinned. “She seems to think that Miroku cannot be trusted not to try anything before the wedding.”
 
Kagome laughed. “I didn't realize she knew him so well.” Her humor died down though, as she stared at her friend's thoughtful expression. “You know, I've noticed that Miroku acts a lot different in his exterminator clothes. Have you?”
 
Sango grimaced. “Yes, I've thought as much, myself. Do you know he hasn't tried to grope me even once in his exterminator outfit?”
 
“Do you want him to?”
 
Sango blushed. “Of course not . . . but I do miss my houshi-sama . . . .”
 
Kagome shrugged. “But he can't be a monk and marry you, too.”
 
“I know . . . I do want to marry him . . . I just wish the wedding didn't keep getting pushed back.”
 
“Have you talked to Kaede about that?”
 
Sango shook her head. “One doesn't argue with Kaede.”
 
“InuYasha does . . . Miroku might, if you gave him a reason to.”
 
Sango's expression turned a little sly. “What do you mean?”
 
Kagome made a face. “I don't know . . . remind him why you want to get married, in the first place?”
 
The female exterminator's face reddened, and she glanced back to make sure the men weren't going to overhear them. “Do you mean . . . ?”
 
“Did you ever ask him to kiss you?”
 
Sango shook her head quickly.
 
Kagome shrugged again. “Maybe you should.”
 
Sango pondered that for a few moments then giggled as a flush spread over her cheeks. “Maybe I should . . . .”
 
InuYasha frowned as yet another glance came from the females ahead. “What do you think they're planning?”
 
Miroku leaned toward InuYasha. “I don't know . . . it doesn't bode well, does it?”
 
“Keh.”
 
“Those looks . . . worry me.”
 
“What do you mean, Miroku?” Shippou piped up.
 
Miroku sighed. “Shippou, I pray you never, ever learn what they mean.”
 
InuYasha raised his eyebrows and nodded. “You can say that again.”
 
Shippou shook his head in confusion. “I don't get it . . . .”
 
Miroku was struck by sudden inspiration. “Shippou . . . why don't you go see what the girls are talking about?”
 
Shippou hopped down and ran off to catch up with Kagome and Sango. InuYasha shook his head. “Keh. Sending the brat to do your dirty work, monk?”
 
“Not at all . . . I simply think that we should be prepared for whatever was behind those looks.”
 
InuYasha shot the monk a sidelong glance. “You're really sneaky . . . for a lecher.”
 
Miroku held his hand up before his face and bowed slightly. “Thank me later, InuYasha . . . as soon as Shippou finds out what their plan is . . . we can devise a plan of our own to counter it.”
 
“I still don't think I like this.”
 
“Trust me, InuYasha! Have I ever led you astray?”
 
“Keh! You want I should answer that?”
 
Miroku laughed as the two men waited for Shippou to report back.
 
 
:::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::8:::
 
 
The evening shadows were a comforting presence. InuYasha took Shippou hunting with him, and Miroku started the fire while the girls fetched water from the pond. Staring at the vivid colors painted over the horizon, the monk smiled slightly and leaned against a tree. It was peaceful, out here. He missed traveling, as they had while they searched for the jewel shards. The group of them had traveled all over in search of those missing pieces. It was hard to believe that the Shikon no Tama was complete.
 
“Beautiful, isn't it?” Sango said quietly as she stepped up beside the monk.
 
“Not nearly as beautiful as you are, Sango,” he answered with a gentle smile.
 
Sango flushed and lowered her gaze, staring at the ground with a smile of her own. “After dinner, could we talk? Just . . . us?” she asked, repeating the words that Kagome had told her would work.
 
Miroku looked surprised. “Just us?”
 
Sango nodded, her nervousness apparent in the rough jerking motion of her head. “Please?”
 
Miroku nodded once then winced and shook his head. Sango stared in disbelief. “I see,” she said slowly, turning to hurry away.
 
He caught her hand and pulled her back. “I promised InuYasha that I wouldn't leave him alone with Kagome.”
 
“Why would you promise him that?”
 
Miroku made a face. “It doesn't matter. But I did promise him . . . .”
 
Sango considered that then shrugged. “Well, Shippou's here, too . . . .”
 
“So he is . . . Ah, Sango! As wise as you are beautiful!” He started walking away but turned back to wink at her. “Until later . . . .”
 
“Miroku!” Shippou hollered as he ran out of the forest and vaulted onto the monk's shoulder. “I caught dinner! I did it all by myself!”
 
“Did you?” Miroku remarked as InuYasha stepped out of the forest with a skinned and cleaned rabbit and two birds.
 
“Didn't I, InuYasha?”
 
InuYasha cast the kit a quick glance and nodded once as he headed over to hand Kagome the meat. The kit hopped down and ran over to watch Kagome prepare his first kill as InuYasha came back to stand next to Miroku. “You did it, didn't you?”
 
“Keh.”
 
“Fox fire?”
 
InuYasha nodded. “Strong enough, but it's just an illusion. I got `em before the illusion faded out.”
 
Miroku clapped a hand on the hanyou's shoulder. “You'll make a fine father one day, InuYasha.”
 
InuYasha flushed. “Keh. You won't, unless you want a house full of perverts.”
 
Miroku sighed. “Sango won't allow that, I'm sure.”
 
InuYasha narrowed his gaze on the monk. “Why is she marrying you?”
 
Miroku grinned. “I don't know but it may have something to do with why she wants to talk to me after dinner . . . alone.”
 
Panic registered behind InuYasha's golden gaze, and he stared at the monk as if Miroku had just announced that the sky was falling. “Now, wait a minute—”
 
“Calm down, InuYasha. Don't forget, Shippou is still here.”
 
InuYasha didn't look at all pacified. Miroku didn't have long to wait for the reason. “Shippou's youkai, monk. He's already been able to smell me all over Kagome. He won't care one way or the other what we do in front of him.”
 
“Maybe Shippou wouldn't, but you would, and you know Kagome would, too.”
 
True as that may be, InuYasha still felt as though he'd been set up.
 
 
:::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::8:::
 
 
The quiet hillside provided a beautiful view of the surrounding forest in the halcyon moonlight. Miroku leaned back on his elbow, surveying the campfire that peeked through the trees. Content to be alone with Sango, trying to remember that he didn't have to hurry, he concentrated instead on the unforced solitude of the land, the unbroken tranquility of the spring night.
 
Sango sat with her knees bent to the side, hands folded together in her lap. Easy to want to take Kagome's advice, it was much harder to act upon the impulse. Trying to find the courage to ask Miroku wasn't an easy thing. She had been raised to keep many of her emotions in check, to hide some of the feelings that could be considered as showing weakness. Miroku understood this but it didn't help her as she struggled to find a way to voice what she felt.
 
`I've missed being with him, talking to him, just sitting in silence and saying nothing . . . . He's always known when something was on my mind . . . . Why doesn't he realize now?'
 
“I've missed this,” Miroku remarked, drawing Sango's attention off her present predicament.
 
“Missed this? You have?”
 
He nodded. “Of course. I worship you, Sango . . . a man shouldn't have to worship from afar.”
 
She blushed and smiled. “I'm glad we came along this time,” she agreed. “It seems so strange, for all of us to be traveling together again.”
 
“What seems strange is that Kaede isn't here trying to separate us,” Miroku remarked with a grimace.
 
“That, too.” She sighed and gathered her courage to approach the next subject in her mind. “If you object to it, then why don't you talk to Kaede? I know you respect her, but she has delayed everything a few times . . . .”
 
Miroku sat up a little straighter. “You . . . wouldn't mind? If I told her to hurry it along?”
 
Sango hid her smile. It might be easier than she thought to ask him, after all . . . . “No, I wouldn't mind.”
 
“The gods are smiling on me,” Miroku mumbled. Sango flushed. “Blushing becomes you, Sango,” he remarked, his tone teasing, casual as her belly turned over in an enchanting sort of way.
 
She swallowed hard as she shot Miroku a stealthy glance. Her heart lurched, lodging in her throat, as she intercepted the steady violet gaze he used to completely unsettle her. Mouth dry, lungs constricted, Sango didn't trust herself to speak. His very presence deluged her, his parted lips inundating her with a cataclysm of longing. She licked her lips once before she could make them move, cleared her throat before she could find her voice. “Miroku . . . would you . . . k-kiss me?”
 
Eyes darkening to midnight hue, he reached for her with a ragged moan. Tenderness was lost to a flux of heat, an absolute desperation as he laid claim on her. Sango's heart pumped with relentless fervor, pounding in her ears as white hot flames ignited in her. It had been too long since she'd felt the crush of his mouth, too long since she had succumbed to his kiss. Thought faded into memory, the only truth was the palpable feel, the tactile emotion, the fissure of energy as he pulled her down on his chest. Gone was his cautious coaxing replaced by a fierce need that sank into Sango's very essence, centering in a part of her that was frightening in its demands. Confused by the warring perceptions, she clung to him, letting him take and plunder as he fueled the burn inside her.
 
Miroku wrapped her hair around his fists as he cradled her head, tilting her face, kissing her deeper, seeking out every secret she possessed as he barraged her mind without a trace of his normal subtlety. Breaking through the barriers of what she might have considered proper with relentless abandon, tongue darting into her mouth only to retreat before she could capture him. She whimpered in abject frustration only to be soothed by the shocking feel of his hands on her shoulders, her neck, her back. The calm only lasted a moment as liquid heat siphoned through her veins, just under her skin, fired by his touch, fanned by his kisses.
 
He moaned against her lips, pulled her closer to his body. Devastating her senses as he dragged his mouth away only to kiss his way along her jaw, her neck, trailing lower as tiny sparks grew into a brutal rage. `Not . . . enough,' she thought weakly as he rolled them to lean over her. Her body arched against him, shaking with instinctive need, unsure what it was she asked of him yet knowing that he, alone, could soothe her. She trembled in his arms, held him close when words failed her. A centrifugal heat that ached, throbbed, ebbed outward, filtered to the rest of her body, drew a flush to the surface of her skin. A driving necessity goaded her as the ache grew into an almost painful rhythm, and the rhythm of her body seemed to be calling his name.
 
His hand covered her breast. Through the abrasion of the cloth between his palm and her skin, the caress was shocking and entirely too inviting. With a sharp inhalation, Sango leaned against him as he bathed the gentle curve of her neck with the heat of his breath, the press of his open mouth against her pulse. He squeezed her gently, and she cried out. Her body was beyond her control. She tried to hold onto him, tried to drag him closer. “Please,” she mumbled, hoping he understood.
 
He resisted, suddenly letting his forehead drop against her shoulder, breath stuttered, shallow, rough. His hand fell away to support his weight, and when Sango managed to lift a hand to his cheek, she was amazed to find that he was trembling. “Miroku?” she whispered, struggling to clear her mind.
 
He sighed and shook his head slowly. “Sango . . . I want you more than I've ever wanted anything in my life . . . .”
 
She frowned, sensing that the emotion was past, that he had ended that kiss on purpose. “I don't understand,” she admitted.
 
He leaned up on his elbows, staring down at her with a bittersweet smile, stroking her cheeks with the backs of his hands. “Sango, from the moment I met you, I knew that you were everything that was beautiful and pure in this world. I want you to remain that way until we are married. I will not taint you . . . even if it kills me.”
 
“Houshi-sama . . . .”
 
He closed his eyes for a moment then grinned wryly. “But it better be soon . . . .”
 
Suddenly she giggled unevenly. She knew exactly what he meant . . . .
 
 
:::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::8:::
 
 
InuYasha dragged his claws methodically over Tetsusaiga's blade, sharpening the fang to perfection as he intercepted yet another of Kagome's long-suffering glances. She sat on the other side of the campsite on her bedroll with the resurrected calculus book open in her lap. Shippou had chosen to sit next to InuYasha, and he stared from the hanyou to Kagome then back again, a look of intense concentration on the youngster's face. “InuYasha?”
 
InuYasha paused in his work to glance at the kit.
 
Satisfied that he had InuYasha's attention, Shippou scrunched up his little shoulders and wrinkled his nose. “Kagome smells funny.”
 
“Funny?” he echoed.
 
Shippou nodded. “Not bad, just funny. Go sniff her.”
 
InuYasha felt his face blossom in color. “Keh!” he snorted, hoping that Shippou would drop it. Unlike the kit, he knew what that smell emanating from Kagome was, and if it was strong enough for the kit to pick up on it, then there wasn't any way in hell he dared get any closer to her than he already was.
 
“Why does she smell like that?” Shippou pressed, brow furrowing in confusion.
 
`Because,' InuYasha thought with an inward grimace, `she wants the same thing I do, and we can't . . . damn it.' He sighed and shot the kitsune a glower. “I don't smell anything.”
 
That seemed to perplex the kit even more. “You know, I remember my mother smelling like that sometimes . . . Father always took her swimming to wash it off.” He trailed off then suddenly grinned. “InuYasha, there's a pond over there. Maybe Kagome can take a bath?”
 
It didn't really help, to tell himself that Shippou really didn't know what he was saying. For the first time in weeks, InuYasha was sorely pressed not to thump the child on the head. “It won't fucking help,” he growled.
 
Shippou sighed, and, giving up getting a decent response out of InuYasha, the kitsune scrambled to his feet and swaggered over to Kagome. “Oi, wench! You got any pocky in that bag of yours?”
 
Kagome's mouth dropped open in surprise. InuYasha shot to his feet. “What do you think you're doing, runt?” he bellowed. “You don't talk to Kagome like that!”
 
Shippou scampered over and hopped into Kagome's arms. “You do!”
 
“He's got a point,” Kagome remarked.
 
InuYasha opened his mouth to argue then snapped it closed when he realized that the kit was right. “I can do that. I'm older than her. You're not.”
 
“I just want to be like you,” Shippou explained.
 
InuYasha's eyes widened in alarm. “The hell you do!”
 
“What's wrong with that?” Kagome asked neutrally.
 
“What do you mean, what's wrong with that? You want him to end up like me? Keh!”
 
“Keh!” Shippou repeated.
 
“Knock that off!” InuYasha snarled.
 
“Keh!”
 
The look InuYasha shot Kagome was one of blatant warning. His meaning was clear, and she shook her head quickly. Narrowing his glare on her, InuYasha leaned forward and flicked the kit's nose while Kagome flinched as Shippou dissolved in heartbroken sobs.
 
Kagome patted Shippou's back to comfort him as she glared back at the hanyou. “Don't comfort him, wench! He overstepped his bounds, and—”
 
“And he's a child!”
 
“That won't learn if we don't teach him!”
 
“That's so mean! How could you? He didn't do anything that you don't do!”
 
“That's the whole fucking problem!” InuYasha turned on his heel and stomped away. “And you'd better not comfort him when he's being punished or he'll never listen to you!”
 
“But—”
 
InuYasha stopped and glared back over his shoulder. “We're as close to parents as he's gonna get, and you need to learn not to let him get away with that.”
 
Obviously stunned by InuYasha's outburst, Kagome fell silent though she didn't stop rubbing Shippou's back.
 
Satisfied that he'd made his point, InuYasha disappeared on the path that led to the pond.
 
 
:::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::8::8:::
 
 
InuYasha sat on a large, flat rock that extended over the pond. Staring sadly at the moon above, he sighed. He wasn't a father. He wasn't even close to being a decent example for a kit to want to emulate. Didn't Shippou know that? And Kagome . . . what was she thinking, encouraging that? She, better than anyone, should know that he was a horrible role model. Then she undid everything he tried to accomplish with Shippou by babying him. The kit was going to grow up all confused, and it would all be their faults.
 
She flat-out refused to discipline Shippou, too. `Our pups are going to be really bad,' he thought with a grimace. His eyes widened incredulously as he swallowed hard. `Pups? Our pups? I'm thinking about pups now? Keh!'
 
Deliberately pushing those thoughts aside, InuYasha shook his head. Kagome and the kit were close and coming closer. He didn't turn to look at either one.
 
“Go on,” Kagome whispered to the kitsune.
 
Shippou sighed then scampered up beside InuYasha. “InuYasha? I'm sorry . . . I won't act like you, if you don't want me to,” Shippou said quietly as he sat down beside the hanyou and stared at his hands.
 
InuYasha wasn't sure what to do. Apparently the child had taken the punishment to heart despite Kagome arguing against it. Still, he wasn't great in this sort of situation. But even an orphaned kitsune youkai had to be taught certain things, and even if InuYasha didn't want to have to be the one to do it, there really wasn't anyone else. `What do I do?'
 
`Keh. Just do the exact opposite of what you'd normally do.'
 
On that advice, InuYasha hesitantly, clumsily, reached over and patted Shippou's head.
 
“You don't hate me?” Shippou squeaked.
 
“Keh. Don't be stupid, runt.”
 
Shippou slowly picked up the box of pocky that he'd brought with him and offered InuYasha some. The hanyou shook his head but watched as the kit thoughtfully chewed one. “So are we going to be a family, then?”
 
InuYasha shrugged. “Only if you swear you'll never try to be like me again.”
 
Shippou nodded. “All right. I promise.” A mischievous smile lit the kit's eyes. “Does that mean I can call you Father?”
 
“You'd better never,” InuYasha snorted.
 
The kitsune yawned. “I'm going to go to bed. Sure is a nice night. Think I'll sleep with Kirara . . . .” He leaned closer to InuYasha to whisper, “and will you do something about the way Kagome smells?”
 
InuYasha grabbed at the kit but missed as Shippou darted away, past Kagome and back toward camp, leaving the sound of childish giggles lingering in his wake.
 
“Shippou forgot his pocky,” Kagome remarked, gesturing at the box beside InuYasha.
 
InuYasha turned back to stare at the pond. “That kit is pushing his luck. You've got to discipline him, too.”
 
“I will,” she agreed. “But he wasn't doing anything wrong. He just wants to be like you.”
 
“And that isn't wrong enough?”
 
She giggled. “Not in my opinion.”
 
“Then you're nuts.”
 
Kagome wandered over to lean against the rock. Bent at the waist with her elbow resting by his knees, InuYasha couldn't help but stare at the way she'd positioned herself. Had she done that on purpose? He stifled a groan. Sure that she hadn't, he still couldn't ignore the provocative pose, or the cleft between her breasts that showed only too well as her neckline opened to his gaze. The Shikon no Tama dangled in the air, suspended on a chain so fine that it could barely be discerned. The swirl of white and pink, the ebb and flow of the nearly pure jewel held and protected by the purest of souls, by the giving heart of the strange and beguiling miko.
 
The little pink skirt she wore lifted in the breeze, bore her scent to him as a he dug his claws into the rock. That was the reason Shippou could smell her. Her scent was so strong, so overwhelming, so powerful that it made him dizzy. But it was the underlying scent that held him. As she stared at him, that scent impaled him, wormed its way so deeply into his brain that he nearly gave in, nearly reached for her.
 
“Why are you ignoring me?” she asked softly.
 
“I'm not,” he countered gruffly, forcing his gaze away from her, away from the things her posture spoke of, even if her mind didn't.
 
With a sigh, she stood up and turned around, easily pushing herself up onto the rock, within his grasp. “If you're not,” she said slowly, “prove it.”
 
Unaccountable nervousness crashed over him, and InuYasha leaned away. “What . . . how?”
 
“Stop acting like you think I'm going to bite you, for one,” she commented dryly. She shook her head and hopped down. “Goodnight, InuYasha.”
 
He sighed as he watched her leave. `Baka . . . why are you doing that?'
 
Her scent lingered. He shuddered as he breathed her in again. `Damn it . . . this isn't the time or the place for that . . . .' Too many things still threatened them, too many things kept him from being able to feel as though claiming Kagome would do anything other than put her in even more danger. No matter what he wanted, despite whatever she might want, he couldn't let her be put in that sort of position . . . .
 
Still, his human side spoke to him. `She only wanted you to hold her, baka. Would that have been so difficult?'
 
He made a face. That would have been damn near impossible. Being that close to her would be akin to standing next to the sun, close enough to feel the burn, far enough away that he couldn't touch it . . . . `Keh! I can't just hold her. I can't hold her without wanting to . . . .'
 
He grimaced. Was he really as selfish as that? Just because she drove him to the brink of his self-control he couldn't give her what she needed, too? She wanted his reassurance that everything was all right, and . . . . `Keep pushing her away, and you'll end up alone.'
 
Coldness gripped his heart at that thought. That was the thing he feared above all else. He didn't want her to leave him alone.
 
 
 
 
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A/N:
 
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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~
 

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Chapter 61
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