InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ Comeuppance ( Chapter 62 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
“What are you afraid of?”
InuYasha shot Miroku a sidelong glare. “Keh. I fear nothing.”
Miroku sighed and straightened the sickle on his belt. “Whatever you say . . . though if you really weren't afraid, you'd let me read it.”
“It's none of your fucking business.”
“But perhaps there are things in it that you've not realized, hints about Tetsusaiga, perhaps? How to achieve this ultimate power?”
InuYasha snorted indelicately. “Shut up, monk. Drop it. You ain't reading it.”
The men stopped and turned around. Kagome sat on the ground holding her knee. Sango knelt beside her. Shippou ran to InuYasha, hopping up and down in his worried state. “InuYasha! Kagome hurt her knee!”
Miroku hurried over to the women. InuYasha caught Shippou. “How'd she do that?”
Shippou shifted his eyes from side to side. “Well . . . we were walking . . . .”
InuYasha rolled his hand, as though the gesture would hurry the kitsune along. “Did she step in a hole or something?”
Shippou nodded quickly. “Yeah! A hole!”
InuYasha narrowed his suspicious gaze on the kit before he dropped Shippou onto his shoulder as he strode back to Kagome and the others. “What'd you do, wench?”
She stared up at him. “I tripped,” she replied with a scowl, “over a stick.”
“Are you sure it wasn't a hole?” Shippou asked loudly.
Kagome's eyes widened, quickly followed by a nervous laugh. “Oh, yeah, a hole. Clumsy me!”
He stared at her, arms crossed over his chest, a small grin toying with the corners of his lips. `Sneaky wench thinks she's going to fool me? There's not a damn thing wrong with her. I'd smell it if there were . . . . Keh!' Slowly, deliberately, he turned around. “Oi, Miroku! Toss her over my shoulder, will you?”
Kagome gasped and blushed. Sango sputtered indignantly. Miroku chuckled. “All right—why?”
InuYasha pointed at Shippou. “I've got the kit.”
“I'll walk,” Kagome grumbled.
“And don't touch anything or I'll shred you,” InuYasha warned.
“How am I supposed to pick her up if I can't touch anything?” Miroku asked reasonably.
“Keh. Lecher. Use your brain.”
Miroku's chuckle grew into a full laugh. He caught Kagome around her waist and stepped over to the hanyou. InuYasha caught her against his chest and draped her over his shoulder despite her protests.
As they started walking again, InuYasha frowned. He'd meant to make Kagome admit that she was faking her injury. Instead he was being subversively besieged by her scent. Entirely too close for his comfort, there wasn't any way he could possibly move her without making her more comfortable and ruining the comeuppance he was shooting for.
“InuYasha, I can't breathe,” she complained, bracing her elbow against his back and leaning up to talk to him. “Your shoulder is squashing me.”
“Then stop wasting your breath by blabbing.”
“You don't have any compassion, do you?”
“I think I'm getting motion-sick.”
“Aim away from the clothes.”
“I ought to purify you,” she pouted.
“Keh. Then who'll carry you?”
Shippou sighed. “If you two are just going to argue, then I'm going to walk with the normal ones.” With that, the kitsune hopped off InuYasha's shoulder and ran back to Miroku and Sango.
“Keh! The day the monk's the normal one is the day I keel over dead,” InuYasha snorted.
“Ready to admit it yet, wench?” he muttered so that only Kagome would hear.
“Admit what?” she asked a little too innocently.
InuYasha moved his hand to get a better hold on her before she slipped and really did end up injured. His claws accidentally dragged over the backs of her bare thighs, and she gasped. The change in her scent hit him hard, and he nearly stumbled as he stifled a low growl. “That you're faking,” he finally remarked.
“What makes you think I'm—?”
He cut her off with a vicious snarl. “Fucking Kouga,” he bit out as he stared toward the ravine. In order to save some time in their return trip, they were cutting through the wolves' territory. InuYasha wished they'd taken the longer way, though, as Kouga sped down the side of the mountain with a superior grin and a condescending air.
Kouga's grin widened as he raised his eyebrows in obvious amusement. Stepping around InuYasha to look at Kagome's red face, the wolf laughed outright. “Oi, Kagome. How goes it?”
She forced a weak laugh. “Hi, Kouga . . . never better.”
“Stop fucking talking to her,” InuYasha snarled.
“Something bothering you, Kagome?” Kouga went on, ignoring InuYasha.
“Hmm, nope. Not a thing.”
The wolf youkai chuckled and finally deigned to look at InuYasha. “You still haven't done it, have you?” he asked with a shake of his head. “Well, either you're too much of a gentleman—which can't be true—you're scared—which could be true—or you just don't know how—which is probably absolutely true.”
InuYasha finally lowered Kagome back to her feet and pushed her behind his back as he drew Tetsusaiga. “I've been looking for a reason to shove Tetsusaiga up your ass. Bend over, Kouga.”
“InuYasha!” Kagome yelled, ducking between the two adversaries.
“Thought you twisted your knee, wench.”
She made a face. “It's suddenly all better, thanks.”
“Keh!” he snorted, tweaking her nose. “That's for lying.”
She tweaked him back. “And that's for being a baka. Stop threatening Kouga, will you?”
InuYasha stopped mid-tweak as Kouga tossed his head back in laughter. “You two want to borrow my cave? It'll take what? Thirty seconds? A minute, tops. Just clean up after you're done. Ayame hates it when visitors leave messes.”
Kagome frowned in confusion. “Thirty seconds? For what?”
InuYasha's growl escalated into a snarl.
Kouga laughed even harder as Ayame ran down the mountain and stopped next to her mate. “InuYasha! Kagome! How are you?”
Kagome's eyes widened as she gaped at the female wolf youkai's distended belly. “You—you're—wow! Kouga, you didn't tell us that Ayame was going to have a baby!”
InuYasha rolled his eyes and dropped Tetsusaiga into the scabbard.
“What are you doing? You can't go running around the mountainsides in your condition!” Kouga blustered, tweaking Ayame's nose. “What if you hurt the pup?”
“Get over it, Kouga. I'll die if I don't get out of the den once in awhile.” Ayame wrinkled her nose and grabbed Kagome's arm. “Let them piss all over each other,” Ayame whispered as she dragged Kagome toward Miroku and Sango. Miroku nodded his greeting as he passed them on his way to intervene between InuYasha and Kouga.
“Ayame, I mean it!” Kouga hollered. She waved her hand at him. He sighed, obviously losing that round with his mate. Turning back to InuYasha, the wolf youkai's smile faded. “What the hell are you doing, dog-shit?”
InuYasha bared his fangs in a grimace. “Shut the hell up, mangy wolf, or I'll shut you up forever.”
Kouga didn't back down. “I always knew you were a baka, but don't you realize what you're doing?”
“Stay out of it, Kouga. It's none of your business.”
Kouga shook his head. “You've got serious impulse control problems, you know that, mutt-face? That ain't going to solve the problem. You can't let an unclaimed bitch run around smelling like that or she will be claimed in a second.”
“Of course I know what the fuck I'm doing . . . and if any of `em tried it, I'd rip out their guts.”
“Kagome, you mean? Interesting,” Miroku piped up.
InuYasha shot him a glower as he stifled a groan. `Fucking outnumbered again . . . .' He crossed his arms together and snorted. “Keh. I'm protecting her.”
“The hell you are! Look, I don't care if you claim her right here, right now, fact is, you gotta do it, InuYasha, or you're going to lose her. Her scent—”
“Don't even say it.”
Kouga grimaced. “Someone's gotta tell you since you're not taking clues from her, baka!”
“I get her fucking clues just fine!” InuYasha snarled. “I get them loud and clear, all day, all night, every day and every night! I've gotten all of them! Now shut the hell up and get out of my way before I make your pup an orphan before it's even born!”
“Well, it's obvious to me that you plan on making her your mate sometime—unless you're disciplining her for kicks?”
“The nose tweaking?” Miroku piped up.
InuYasha pinned the monk with another glower, and confirmed Miroku's assessment in the doing. “I don't want your advice, Kouga. I don't need it. Now back off. We've got a long way to go.”
Kouga leaned in, standing nose to nose with InuYasha. “Do something about it, InuYasha. Stop acting like a fucking pup and do something before someone else comes along and does it for you.”
“That won't happen,” InuYasha snarled quietly. Drawing Tetsusaiga, he held it on the wolf with every intention of using the blade. The wind wrapped around it. “Now back the fuck off.”
Kouga frowned as he stared at Tetsusaiga. Suddenly he nodded, as though something made perfect sense. “Hm. As usual, you're the last to figure it out, huh?”
InuYasha ground his teeth together as he struggled for a measure of patience he didn't have. “What the fuck are you talking about now?”
“You and Kagome not getting along too well, dog-shit?”
InuYasha's gaze narrowed.
“Not really,” Miroku answered.
“Shut the fuck up, Miroku! What do you know?”
Kouga shook his head slowly. “You're some piece of work, InuYasha. You're about to lose her forever, and you're too fucking stupid to know it.” He turned on his heel. “Ayame, come on,” he called out to her. Kouga swept Ayame into his arms before he sped up the canyon walls again.
InuYasha's scowl dropped to Tetsusaiga. The color was lighter, the same as it was when he'd first realized it had changed. The last time Kouga had seen Tetsusaiga, the blade was much darker. What did it mean?
`It has something to do with Kagome and me? Keh . . . that can't be true . . . . Kouga doesn't know anything . . . .'
He sheathed Tetsusaiga and called for the others to follow. Miroku started to speak. The look InuYasha shot him silenced the monk.
Unfortunately, InuYasha had to admit, Kouga did know something, at least about Kagome's scent. If it weren't bad enough that she was already a walking, talking youkai magnet because of the Shikon no Tama, her scent was enough to lure in youkai by the droves, and Kouga was right, damn it. All it took was one moment for one of those youkai to get his hands on Kagome, and it would all be done but the crying . . . .
He growled and stomped back, grabbing Kagome's hand and dragging her up onto his back as he took of at an all-out sprint. Leaving the others behind without another thought or any explanation at all, InuYasha pushed them faster and further. `The only place she'll be safe from that is in her time . . . alone.'
`It's almost time.'
Sesshoumaru leaned against the balcony railing, staring out over the mid-afternoon city. Alive, throbbing with a mechanized rhythm, the beat of the city pounded in his skull. `Is this truly what I desired so long ago? This filth? This stagnant air that stifles me?' He shook his head slowly.
From this place, he could see the top of the Sunset Shrine, the majesty of Goshinboku. He grimaced. `That I must leave everything in the hands of that baka half-breed brother of mine . . . . Do not fail, InuYasha . . . .'
“Father, pardon my intrusion. Jaken gave me this. It arrived earlier.”
Sesshoumaru turned and accepted the small wooden box that his son extended toward him. “Thank you, Nibori,” he remarked as he careful lifted the hinged lid. The fang gleamed, nestled in the folds of wine colored silk. The thin gold chain glinted in the daylight as he lifted the necklace with the singular fang.
`Totosai . . . you have served me well . . . .'
Slowly, deliberately, Sesshoumaru plucked one strand of his silvery hair. Nibori did the same and offered it to his father, as well. Narrowing his gaze on the two strands of hair, a pale green light enveloped the strands, merging them together, fusing them into one. Sesshoumaru took his time wrapping the hair around the fang.
“So it isn't meant to be a simple concealment charm.”
“InuYasha needs no concealment charm. The miko could do that on her own.”
The two watched in silence as the fang absorbed the hairs. Pulsing with a ruby light, the fang shined, glowed, then faded back to normal. `Imbued with the strength of the inu youkai . . . .'
“When will you see that he gets it?” Nibori asked as Sesshoumaru dropped the dormant fang necklace back into the wooden case.
Sesshoumaru sighed and stuck the box in his pocket. “As soon as we are certain.”
Nibori stared at his father then nodded. He turned to go but stopped at the threshold. “This could backfire, Father. Uncle InuYasha doesn't seem to like you very much, does he?”
Sesshoumaru broke into a slow grin, the depths of his amber gaze awash with ironic humor. True enough, it could blow up right in their faces, if InuYasha didn't keep his renowned temper in check. Still, it was a risk that they had to take. There was far too much riding on this one thing for it to fail.
“And that is the reason we wait.”
Kagome sat on the edge of the Bone Eater's Well and sighed as she stared at InuYasha. Standing about ten feet away with his arms crossed, he was gazing off toward the forest. “Well, I guess I should go back now,” she remarked in an overly happy tone.
“A week, all right?”
She blinked in surprise. “A whole week? It'll only take me two days to finish . . . .”
He shrugged. “Just take the week. You haven't been there much lately, anyway.”
`Why's he being so nice about this? Normally he has a fit when I want to take the two days for the tests . . . a week?'
“If you're sure you won't be mad . . . .”
“Keh. Just go already. I got things to do.”
Kagome tried to brush aside the hurt InuYasha's harsh tone inspired. “Will you . . . would you . . . will you come with me? Just for awhile?”
She sighed. Her eyes were hot, prickly. No tears came. Maybe she'd already cried too much. She felt curiously numb instead. “I'll see you in a week, then.”
“Kagome . . . .”
She stopped, not daring to look at him. Back stiff and straight, the strain between her shoulder blades was painful. His arms wrapped around her, his cheek rubbed against hers. “Be safe.”
She started to relax against him, relief coursing through her in waves. “InuYasha—”
He let go of her and stepped back. Kagome closed her eyes against the overwhelming sense of loss. “You'd better go.”
Stifling a whimper, Kagome pushed herself off the side of the well, dropping into the warmth of the time slip as tears formed in her eyes. Why was he doing that? Why did he feel so far away? Why did she feel like he was saying goodbye?
All too soon, she felt her feet land on the ground on her side of the slip. With a defeated sigh, she pulled herself up the ladder and out of the well. The last things on her mind were her tests. She just knew she was going to fail them all.
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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.