InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ Tests ( Chapter 63 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
Kagome shut off the computer with a dejected sigh. `That's great. Last test, and you know you failed it. Let's not gild the lily here, Kagome. You not only failed those tests, you probably just succeeded in achieving the single worst grades ever, in the history of grade keeping.' She pulled a disgusted face and turned to stare out the window.
`Four more days . . . .'
It was a little perverse. Normally she argued with InuYasha to let her stay in her time longer than the couple of days to take her exams. Now that he'd all but shoved her down the well, she wanted to go back in the worst way.
`But if I go back now, I'll bet he'd still have something snide to say. What's wrong with him lately? If I went back now, he'd just growl at me, and then I'd be upset so I'd say something I don't mean . . . .'
Still, she couldn't deny how badly she missed just being near him. Even if he was acting strange, even if he ignored her completely, there was still a sense of being protected, of being sheltered. It was a feeling that she didn't have here when InuYasha was still five hundred years away.
A soft knock on her door drew her out of her depressing thoughts. “Come in,” she called, expecting to see her mother peek inside.
Souta pushed the door open and hesitated. Looking as though he expected Kagome to jump down his throat about the intrusion, he shifted from one foot to the other nervously. “You finished with your exams?”
She nodded and waved him inside. “I can go, if you're busy,” he offered.
Kagome shook her head and forced a smile. “Don't be silly, Souta. What do you need?”
Souta paced around for a few minutes then finally sank down on the edge of her bed. “What's it like to kiss someone?”
Blinking in surprise, Kagome watched as her `baby' brother's face shot up in embarrassed color. `Baby? Souta's nearly thirteen now . . .' she thought with a grimace. “Kissing someone?” she echoed, glad that she was already sitting down. “What makes you think I know?”
Souta frowned. “You mean you guys sleep all wrapped around each other and haven't kissed . . . ?”
It was her turn to blush. “W-well, it's, umm, uhh . . . nice.”
“Nice? That's it?”
“Not just nice, no . . . but if it's the right person, then it's special . . . . Why are you asking?”
Souta's blush darkened. “No reason,” he mumbled.
“Tell me the truth, Souta. You have someone in mind you want to kiss?”
“. . . Maybe.”
Kagome suddenly grinned. “Is she pretty?”
Souta scowled at her. “Of course she's pretty!”
“How pretty?” Souta abruptly shot to his feet and stomped to the door. Kagome giggled and waved her hand to stop him. “All right, I'm sorry! I was only teasing.”
Souta stopped and shot his sister a cunning look. “Kagome . . . have you and InuYasha . . . you know . . . ?”
Kagome's jaw dropped as she gaped at Souta. “No!” she gasped out. “Souta! I can't believe you'd ask me that!”
Souta grinned unrepentantly. “I was just curious!” he insisted.
She snatched up a paperweight and acted like she was about to heave it at his head. Souta laughed and ducked out of the room before she could carry out her threat.
Dropping the paperweight with a low groan, Kagome folded her arms together on her desk and dropped her head into the makeshift cradle. `Oh, be honest, Kagome . . . you aren't nearly as upset that Souta asked you that as you are that the answer was `no'. You want him so badly that it keeps you awake at night. He's everything to you; he has been since the beginning, or at least close to it. Just give him some time. Maybe he's as confused about everything as you are.'
She shook her head, unwilling to admit as much, even to herself.
With a heavy sigh, Kagome got up and emptied her backpack, taking inventory and making a list of the things she needed to buy before she headed back. As she reread her list, she couldn't help but wonder. `InuYasha . . . when I come back, will you be as happy to see me as I will be to see you?'
InuYasha watched as Shippou carefully wrote his letters in the notebook. Tongue sticking out of the side of his little mouth, brow furrowed in a concentrated frown, Shippou slowly and meticulously crafted the forms in the exact way that InuYasha had showed him.
Hiding his smirk from the kitsune, InuYasha turned his attention outside. `Two more days before Kagome will come back,' he thought with an inward sigh as his ears drooped. He'd known it was a mistake about the second she'd disappeared into the time slip. Stubborn pride had kept him from leaping in after her.
Shippou was the only one who dared remain anywhere close to InuYasha. Miroku had worn out his welcome the next morning when they had straggled back into the village demanding to know why InuYasha had grabbed Kagome and run. Sango wasn't much better. She'd pushed him to the brink of his patience by nightfall with her incessant commentary on how cold and cruel InuYasha had been to Kagome during the trip.
Now if he could get Shippou to stop trying to sneak away to sit by the well—as though that would work to make her come back sooner, and InuYasha knew that, firsthand, since he'd done that every night—he would be one step ahead of the game. All he could think about was Kouga's dire prediction: `You can't let an unclaimed bitch run around smelling like that or she will be claimed in a second.' There was truth in that assessment. InuYasha only wished there weren't.
InuYasha got up. “Stay here and keep at that,” he told Shippou. The kitsune looked like he wanted to argue but didn't dare. InuYasha shot him one last warning glare before stepping out of the hut and heading for the well.
`So go get her, baka . . . do you really think she'd be unhappy to see you?'
InuYasha snorted as he leaped above the tree tops. `Keh! She's probably furious with me . . . and she is a little scary when she's that mad . . . . Not that I'm afraid of her. Keh! I'm not!'
As he burst out of the trees and into the clearing by the Bone Eater's Well, InuYasha dropped to a walk, approaching the structure with a sense of foreboding. `What do you think she's gonna do? She can't say `it' anymore. There's nothing else she can do . . . .'
InuYasha winced. `Oh, yes there is. She could purify me . . . .'
`Keh . . . well, there is that . . . .'
InuYasha stopped suddenly, eyes narrowing as a familiar scent came to him on the shifting breeze. Hand dropping to Tetsusaiga's hilt, he waited for the youkai to come out of hiding. “Show yourself, bitch,” he growled, knowing that she was near enough to hear him.
A husky laugh filled his ears as Ayamakita sauntered out of the foliage. The lynx youkai grinned at him, winking one of her emerald eyes as she raised her hand and blew him a kiss. “Ah, it's the sweet little nibble . . . I've missed you, InuYasha.”
Kagome shoved the last of the supplies into the bag and grunted as she shoved the top down and forced the zipper closed. `Whew! There! All ready!' she thought with a small grin as she stepped back to observe her handiwork. She'd gotten extra ramen and even some potato chips for InuYasha, just in case he wasn't as happy to see her as she was to see him. He did tell her to stay here a week. Waiting two more days, though, seemed pointless when all she was able to accomplish here was irritating the daylights out of her entire family, including her mother. Unable to do more than mope around and jump when she heard a door open or a window rattle, Kagome had single-handedly alienated Souta by the day after her exams.
Grandpa had been dragging things out of one of the store houses, claiming that it needed to be aired out for company since the little room was large enough to turn into a livable space. While digging through dusty boxes of shrine souvenirs, Kagome had ended up in a sneezing fit and had demanded that Grandpa stop keeping old junk around. He hadn't spoken to her since.
And Mama? Kagome sighed. Souta—the little rat—had let it `slip' that he'd seen InuYasha and Kagome snuggled together one night and that they had been a little too close. Mama had asked in her typical gentle way if there was anything that Kagome wanted to talk about, and Kagome had lost her temper then, too.
All in all, she figured they'd all be much happier if she left now before she ended up being permanently disowned.
Dragging the huge bag off her bed, Kagome made a face as she muscled it over her shoulder and headed for the door. She tromped down the stairs and paused to stick her head into the kitchen where Mrs. Higurashi was busy preparing dinner. “Mama, I'm going back,” she remarked.
Mrs. Higurashi smiled sweetly and set the knife she'd been using to cut up vegetables aside. She hurried to her daughter and hugged her tight, kissing her cheek and smoothing back her bangs. “Be careful, Kagome. I know you always are, but I do still worry.”
Kagome sighed. “I'm sorry . . . I've been so mean this time, and—”
“Don't apologize, darling. It must be stressful, dealing with everything you do every day. You'll be back for your next exams?”
Kagome nodded and hugged her mother. “Thanks, Mama.”
Mrs. Higurashi gave her a squeeze then stepped back. “You'd better go on. I'll bet your friends have really missed you.”
Kagome wasn't quite as enthusiastic about that but she waved at Mrs. Higurashi, smiled, and headed for the doors.
Souta and Grandpa's voices drifted across the courtyard as she stepped outside. They were obviously still cleaning out the middle storage building on the left side. Kagome frowned. She ought to at least try to tell them both that she was sorry for her horrible behavior, too, even if they weren't ready to forgive her for it.
“. . . Knock down this wall, and it'll be decent enough size,” Grandpa said as he examined the wall in question.
Souta shrugged. “I better get this sort of treatment when—”
“Guys?” Kagome interrupted quietly. “I'm going back now. I just wanted to say I'm sorry . . . .”
Grandpa came over and hugged her. “No one shows old men proper respect nowadays. Why should my granddaughter be different? Go on, Kagome!” he joked.
Kagome hugged him back. “I'm sorry, Grandpa.”
Grandpa shrugged. “Go on, Kagome!”
“Forget it, sis,” Souta remarked with a quick wave of his hand. “Better hurry. InuYasha probably doesn't know what to do without his `Kagome-bear'.” He ducked and skittered away before Kagome could catch him, and she growled in frustration as she turned on her heel and stomped out of the building. Souta's mad-cackling followed her.
“What the fuck do you want?” InuYasha demanded, glowering as the lynx meandered closer.
Pouting prettily, Ayamakita pursed her blood red lips. “I just wanted to talk, InuYasha . . . isn't that allowed?”
“Ah, a man of few words . . . .” She stopped, regarding him closely as she tilted her head from side to side. “You're not a man yet, are you?” She stepped closer, sniffing delicately as InuYasha's grip tightened on Tetsusaiga. “You're not . . . you're still just a pup! How sweet! You mean you've not claimed your bitch yet?”
Baring his fangs in an angry snarl, InuYasha growled a warning at the youkai. “Get the hell away from me.”
Ayamakita smiled, bringing her hand up to touch InuYasha's cheek. He jerked away from her and stepped back. She came forward again. “Aw, the puppy is scared of Aya? I won't hurt you, I promise—unless, of course, you want me to hurt you . . . .” He drew Tetsusaiga in a blinding flash of movement, leveling it directly at Ayamakita's chest. Her grin widened. “Want to play, do you? But if you hurt me, then I can't deliver my message.”
“Like I give a rat's ass,” he ground out.
Ayamakita's smile vanished as she blinked at him. “It's from Katosan. Are you sure you wish to ignore it?”
InuYasha snorted. “Keh! I don't much care what that bastard has to say.” But he sheathed Tetsusaiga and folded his arms together.
“Not particularly, but since he went to the trouble of sending a message, I might as well hear it.”
Satisfied that InuYasha wasn't going to try to hack her to bits, Ayamakita stepped closer again. InuYasha stood his ground as the lynx youkai leaned toward him. He schooled his features as he felt the abrasive scrape of her youki dragging over his. He wanted to shove her away. He waited for Katosan's message.
“Katosan says that he wishes to see you . . . and your bitch . . . at your convenience, of course.”
“Fat fucking chance,” InuYasha said quietly, eyes building intensity behind the cold stare. A hint of recognition filtered over the lynx's features, as though she had seen such a look, though perhaps in different eyes in another time . . . . “You look like you've seen a ghost,” he taunted.
“Doesn't everyone have a few skeletons rattling around somewhere?”
InuYasha narrowed his glare on the youkai. “Tell Katosan I'm not bringing Kagome anywhere near him.”
“Tell him yourself. I was only asked to bring the message this far.”
“You've told me what Katosan said. Now get the hell away from me.” InuYasha heard a familiar noise but didn't turn to look. The breeze shifted, signaling the change in the aura, the presence of light.
“You don't want me to do that, do you, InuYasha?” She ran her claws against his neck, reaching up to grasp one of his ears in her other hand. He jerked away as she dug her claws into his neck. “Why don't we see if you can make me purr?” she whispered as she latched onto his ear again.
InuYasha froze as Ayamakita's lips closed over his. The scent of his own blood registered in his mind even as he reigned in the desire to shove the bitch as far away as he could. Her claws were dangerously close to his jugular. If he moved, she'd kill him . . . . `Baka! If she kills you, it's no more than you deserve! Why the hell did you let her get so fucking close to you?'
A smothered gasp, a flash of light—a searing pain so vivid, so fierce that it cut through him like a knife. `Purified . . . ?'
InuYasha fell back and landed hard. Ayamakita was thrown in the opposite direction. With a high-pitched shriek that forced InuYasha to flatten his ears, the lynx youkai vanished in a hazy green light. Whether she was escaping or whether she had been purified, InuYasha couldn't tell as he forced his eyes open.
He hadn't been purified completely, but it didn't matter since the result was the same. He felt as though he were going to be ill, stomach rolling, body aching. His head throbbed as bile rose thick in his throat. Swallowing it back as he willed his mind to clear, InuYasha shook his head then groaned as the pressure inside his skull increased. He was still in his hanyou form, he realized as he stumbled to his feet. Dazed, confused, he refused to give in to the whispering voices that told him to rest.
Turning to find the source of the explosion, InuYasha groaned and stumbled, eyes trying to focus on the girl that stood before him. “K-Kagome,” he mumbled as he staggered forward. She backed away, shaking her head as her hands rose to cover her lips. Eyes wide, stricken, her face was deathly pale, she uttered a pitiful whine as she blinked away rising tears. “It—wasn't . . . . It's -not—Kagome . . . .” InuYasha fell to his knees. Kagome choked out a sob as she turned and ran.
Seconds later the breeze shifted once more as InuYasha pushed himself off the ground again. The air felt void, empty, and he knew that she'd jumped into the well again.
Shaking his head to stave back the beckoning obscurity of oblivion, InuYasha managed to push himself to his feet, managed to force himself to the side of the well before he collapsed again. `Must . . . get to . . . Kagome . . . .'
And the comforting darkness came crashing down as the pain faded away. Lost in the realm of unconscious, the hanyou slept.
Kagome forced herself up the ladder and out of the well. She ran out of the well-house and shut the doors, forcing the handle of a nearby broom through the handles to keep it closed. Small protection against the hanyou, if he bothered to come looking for her. At least she could put a little more distance between them, if he did. She headed toward the house as tears flowed down her cheeks but stopped. The shrine . . . it was the last place she wanted to be. It would be the first place InuYasha would come looking for her.
Shooting her wavering gaze around in a pathetic attempt to find an escape, Kagome choked back another sob as she stared at the gates that led into the forest—InuYasha's Forest.
Through the gates, into the forest, deep into the trees, across small streams, up hills and across small dips, she ran. `Don't think, Kagome . . . . Don't think about what you saw . . . .'
Choking out a hysterical laugh, she jammed the back of her hand against her mouth. `Don't think . . . don't remember . . . and don't breathe . . . I'm such a fool!'
Vindictive, hateful, the image wouldn't go away. The lynx youkai with one hand on his neck, the other on his ear—her ear—and he stood there, letting her kiss him, as though Kagome didn't mean a damn thing to him, as if he hadn't made her any promises at all . . . . A rage had built inside her, an uncontrollable, disgusting feeling, that she'd been used, that she'd been pushed aside—that she didn't matter at all. It had culminated in the blast of energy that had shot out of her body, out of her heart. Yet in those last few seconds when she knew that her body was reacting with a will of its own, she'd kept thinking, `I love him . . . I love him . . . .' Maybe that was the reason he'd been able to get up.
As suddenly as she had started to run, Kagome stopped. Dropping to her knees under the shelter of a magnolia tree, Kagome wept. Screaming, raging, begging for someone to explain it all to her, Kagome called out time and again, only to be answered by the silence of the forest and the pain in her soul. Angry tears gave way to bitter sobs that shook her entire body until her very bones ached. Every time she thought about what she'd seen, she felt a little more nauseous. With every wave of nausea came another round of sobs.
And strangely, she could feel her heart cracking, crumbling, shattering, falling away one shard at a time, and those shards dug into her. Every tear that fell was a piece of her heart. How much more was left to break?
The call of the evening birds registered in her mind. Kagome's body hurt from hours of sobbing. Her eyes hurt from weeping out the fragments of her heart. Her mind hurt from the weight of the image that she couldn't shake. But her heart . . . . It was incongruously numb.
`InuYasha didn't follow me . . . .' Kagome thought with a humorless laugh that might have been a sob, if she had any tears left. She fell into a dreamless slumber as the moon rose over the trees.
Before I get CLOBBERED for this, please remember . . . I REALLY am a fan of the happy endings . . . And with any luck at all, the next chapter should be much fluffier :0) Oh wait . . . did you all think it was a bit too easy for Shippou to get that diary? Hmm . . . . . . . .
Special thanks on this chapter to piscesanela for her aide in edit . . . you SO rock!
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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.