InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ Beautiful ( Chapter 64 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
Clean version of this chapter can be read here:
InuYasha awoke to an ache in his head that made him feel like he was going to be sick. Slowly opening his eyes, he gazed around at the empty meadow as the evening creatures stirred to life in the shadows. `What . . . happened?'
With a low groan, vague representations came filtering back to him. The well . . . Ayamakita . . . Katosan's message . . . that kiss . . . Kagome.
“Kagome,” he muttered, struggling to sit up as he dragged the back of his hand over his lips, trying to wipe the feel of the lynx youkai from his mouth. Grimacing, InuYasha rubbed his temple and pushed himself up against the side of the well. `Gotta . . . get to Kagome . . .'
Willing the world to stop spinning around him, InuYasha managed to push aside the nausea. Pure determination got him to his feet, and, blinking back the distorted fuzziness that impaired his vision, he closed his eyes and pushed himself over the wall. He dropped into the well as the portal opened beneath him.
`Don't hate me, Kagome . . . just listen to me . . . what the hell have I done?'
He landed gently at the bottom of the well as the pink light of the time slip faded, and he sighed. There wasn't any way he'd be able to leap out of the well. With a grimace brought on by disgust as much as it was by pain, InuYasha pulled himself up the ladder and out of the well.
It took him all of five seconds to figure out that he'd been locked into the well-house somehow. With a frustrated snarl, he threw his shoulder against the doors a few times, wincing as the jarring action hurt his entire body. `Damn it, wench! Did you do this?'
He sighed. Could he blame her? She'd seen him with that bitch smashed against him, and no matter how many times he told himself that she would have killed him if he'd tried to push her away, it sounded weak and pitiful. There was no way Kagome would believe that . . .
InuYasha stared at the doors for a minute, wondering exactly how much trouble he'd be in for doing what he was contemplating. `Who the fuck cares? I've gotta get to Kagome . . . I've got to make her understand . . .' Mumbling a quick prayer that no one was standing on the other side of the doors, InuYasha drew Tetsusaiga. The blade had completely lost any traces of the blue sheen. He winced as the wind wrapped around it, and he raised it over his head. “Kaze no Kizu!” he bellowed as he brought Tetsusaiga slamming down on the wooden steps. The Wind Scar flashed out, shot across the plank floor, smashed into the doors, and threw them wide open.
Dropping Tetsusaiga back into the sheath with a heavy sigh, InuYasha stumbled out of the well-house and into the courtyard. Vertigo muddled his mind, and he had to sit down for a minute to shake it off.
Sniffing the air as he stood back up, InuYasha frowned. `Kagome's not here . . . ?' He wandered around the courtyard, trying to catch her scent. Stopping near the gates at the back of the property, InuYasha understood. `She's gone into the forest?'
“Damn it,” he muttered as he lurched forward, into the forest . . . toward Kagome.
Kagome awoke slowly, head thick, clouded, and she stared at the forest around her with a puzzled frown. Slowly the memories came back to her, the reasons why she was here . . . why she felt so alone. Tears didn't come even though her eyes ached and burned. Throat tightening and breathing in harsh gasps, she wanted to cry all over again. She just . . . couldn't.
InuYasha, in the arms of that lynx youkai . . . she held him like she had a right to do that. Hand cradled against InuYasha's neck, fingers twined around the ear that Kagome adored . . . She was even purring, kissing the lips that Kagome had thought were hers . . .
A whine, a sob, a dry, rasping cry was torn from her, and still she couldn't shed a tear. The ache deep inside her was a strange thing. Hollow and empty, Kagome didn't know if it was a blessing or a curse. Dulled pain with the stabbing vindictiveness of a blunt knife, she clutched her chest, suddenly clasped the Shikon no Tama tightly. Squeezing her eyes shut, willing tears to come, Kagome gasped and tried to push the distorted images from her mind. `It hurts,' she whimpered. `Why does it have to hurt like this?'
But the memories she wanted to forget crushed her, squeezed her, drew more pain from an already devastated soul. Things from the very beginning: InuYasha, pinned to Goshinboku, suspended in time by Kikyou's sacred arrow . . . Shippou's unforgettable appearance in his floating pink form . . . Miroku literally sweeping her off her feet in his quest to steal the Shikon no Kakera . . . Sango and her pain . . . Kikyou and her soul collectors . . . battling Naraku . . . all of them, and in all of the memories, InuYasha was a constant.
She wanted to be angry. She wanted to yell and scream and wail and sob. She couldn't do any of it. As though emotion, itself, was just beyond her reach, all she felt was the dull ache and the damning thought that InuYasha had betrayed her. `And the worst part,' she realized with a bitter laugh, an incredulous sense of self-disgust, `is that I still . . . why do I still love him?'
A low moan, a harsh, savage sound borne of utter despair welled up in her. Forced to the surface by the pain that took no prisoners, it burst from her in the stillness of the night. No answer came to her. No voices spoke comforting words. Alone in the darkness, alone with her relentless memories, Kagome squeezed her eyes closed once more, fighting against the encompassing desire to give up, to surrender herself to the melancholy.
“InuYasha . . .” she whispered, eyes still closed, “where are you?”
Her sharp gasp echoed off the surrounding trees as her eyes shot open. He leaned against a tree, head back. She couldn't see his face, but his eyes glowed, bright yet sad, and Kagome sat up slowly as she stared. The brightness looked false, strange, like diamonds in the moonlight. `He's . . . got tears in his eyes,' she realized slowly.
Another pain shot through her chest, through the void where her heart should have been. `I don't care! I don't want to care!' But the tears standing in his eyes were enough to remind Kagome's heart that it was there, and that it was okay to cry. With a soft sob, her chin dropped, her gaze fell as tears blurred her vision, as pain squeezed the heart she didn't want.
The shuffle of his feet on the ground, as though he couldn't manage to lift them. He dropped to his knees before her, tentatively reached out, fumbled as he lifted her chin, as he wiped her tears with his shaking hands. “Don't cry,” he whispered. “Hate me, or yell at me, or purify me again . . . I don't care . . . Kagome, just please don't cry . . .”
Shaking her head, Kagome tried to stop crying. The harder she tried, the more tears came. “I can't hate you . . . and I can't yell . . . and I didn't mean to . . . why?” Choking back another sob, she dared to life her gaze to meet his. “Why couldn't you just tell me?”
“It wasn't . . . I didn't . . .” he trailed off with a sigh. Hands dropping to the ground before him, his ears flattened as his shoulders slumped. “I'm sorry.”
She reached out to lift his chin, suddenly needing to look him in the eye. If he was sorry . . . if he was really sorry . . . couldn't she forgive him then? When she touched him, though, she jerked back. His face was saturated with sweat, dripping off his chin, down his neck.
With a soft sob, it made sense. The reason he'd waited so long wasn't because he hadn't cared. He'd gotten more of a blast from the purification than she had realized. Digging into her pocket, she pulled out her favorite white kerchief, and he let her wipe the perspiration from his face and neck. “I didn't mean to . . . it was an accident . . .” she whispered, her gaze dropping to the damp and rumpled kerchief. Her gaze narrowed as she stared. Holding up the cloth in the dim moonlight, the dark blotches on the pristine fabric made her wince. “Blood? Where are you bleeding? Did I . . . ?”
“It wasn't you,” he assured her quietly. “She dug her claws into me.”
Kagome's mind slowed as her eyes flew to meet his. A spark of hope, a wild yearning flared to life. Cautious, precarious but still giving her hope, Kagome swallowed hard before she dared to ask, “That's why you let her kiss you?”
His gaze fell away, and he sighed. “Sounds so fucking stupid. I let her get too close.” His lips moved though words didn't come. He sighed again and shook his head. “I just wanted to tell you . . . I'm sorry.” Using Tetsusaiga to push himself to his feet, InuYasha turned to go.
“Where are you going?”
She winced as he leaned heavily on the sword. “I'd rather die than hurt you anymore,” he admitted softly. “I'm going back. I'll tell everyone what I . . . what I did . . . Goodbye, Kagome.”
Watching him go, Kagome shot to her feet. The rawness in his tone cut through her. She tried to call after him once, but her voice couldn't get past the swelling in her throat. She ran after him, cutting him off. “No,” she whispered just before she threw herself against him, locking her arms around him before he could protest. “You can't leave,” she choked out. “You promised! You promised you'd protect me!”
“Kagome . . .”
“Just don't . . . don't push me away again,” she begged as she held to him. “Please . . .”
He sighed. “You don't hate me?” he asked quietly.
She leaned back. “No . . . of course not.”
InuYasha didn't look convinced but he nodded. “Come on. I'll take you back.”
He took her hand and started forward again. She didn't move. “I don't want to go back yet.” He nodded and sat down under a tree, pulling Kagome down next to him. She leaned her head against his chest. “I'm sorry,” she apologized again.
“Keh,” he muttered, sleepiness creeping into his tone. “Don't apologize again. Hear me, wench? I'll tweak your nose if you do.”
She smiled slightly, enjoying the feel of his arms around her, the arms she'd thought she'd never feel again. She sat up straighter and tugged at his shoulders until he complied, laying his head in her lap as she gently rubbed his ears. Within moments the sound of his contented rumbling filled the air. `I never should have doubted you . . . and even if you don't want to hear it, I really am sorry . . .'
InuYasha awoke in the stillness just before dawn. Not a whisper of a breeze, not the chirp of a bird, not even the slosh of the pond that he knew was near could disturb the quiet. He sat up slowly as Kagome's hands fell away from his ears. She was slumped against the tree, and he flinched as he gently pulled her into his arms. She sighed but didn't wake as he adjusted her against his chest.
He felt surprisingly good, considering. Almost completely rejuvenated, actually. He had a hunch that it had everything to do with the young woman in his arms and nothing at all to do with the short nap he'd managed to get. `I promised to protect you, didn't I? That means more than just cutting down youkai that come after the jewel, and more than making sure you've got food every night. To protect you means that I have to love you, too, doesn't it?' he thought as he smoothed back her hair. `I think I can do that.' He grinned.
He made a face. `Baka . . . you reek of that youkai bitch.' InuYasha sighed. Though he didn't want to do it, InuYasha gently moved Kagome onto the ground and, after kissing her cheek, he got up and ran off toward the pond.
His haori and undershirt smelled bad, too, InuYasha decided with a grimace. With a sigh, he stripped off his clothes and stretched before swiping up his shirts and striding into the cool water. He used a couple of smooth rocks to wash the garments before hurling them back to the shore then dove under the water and swam the width of the pond.
Twenty laps later, InuYasha stood and wiped the water out of his face. `Wonder if sneaky wench is awake yet?' He stretched once more and headed back to the shore. Dragging his pants back on, he frowned at the still-wet shirts. Kagome had seen him without his shirt too many times to count. Once more wouldn't kill her . . . He grinned and swiped up the shirts before heading back to the tree where he'd left her.
Kagome hadn't moved at all. In the early morning light, her skin looked almost silvery, luminous. He stared at her for a few moments. She didn't move. `All right,' he thought with an inward sigh. `She asked for it . . .'
Shaking his head as vigorously as he could, InuYasha could feel the water flying off his hair. The fabricated wind dried him almost instantly, and by the time he was finished, Kagome had her eyes open and her hands raised to shield her face from the flying water. “InuYasha!” she protested in a sleepy voice. “You're so rude.”
He didn't miss her little smile. “Oh, so you did decide to wake up. I was starting to think you were dead, wench.”
“Hmm, no such luck,” she murmured as she sat up and stifled a yawn. “Why are you all wet?”
“Because,” he admitted with a grimace. “I needed a bath.”
She stared at him a moment then leaned forward, her eyes sparkling with mischief. She sniffed then wrinkled her nose. “Didn't you use soap?”
She backed away as he rose up on his hands and knees to come after her. “I asked if you used soap,” she repeated.
He prowled closer. “Are you saying that I stink, wench?”
“I didn't say any such thing,” she argued as she pushed herself backward.
“I didn't!” she insisted. Her hand got tangled with a tree root, and she caught herself—but not before InuYasha lunged forward, catching her around the waist and pulling her up against him, against his chest. She gasped as she caught herself with her hands against his bare chest. He moaned and fell back. The intensity glowing in her eyes made his breath catch. Her scent shifted so quickly that InuYasha barely had time to register the difference before she dropped her lips to his throat, covering the punctures and scratches—the lingering reminders of the youkai's claws. He let his head fall to the side, allowing Kagome to dominate in this. Her fragrance shifted, twisted, entwined with his senses, forged itself upon his brain as he memorized the feel of her lips on his skin.
Her mouth opened against him, hot breath burning against the raw scratches. Wet kisses, the scrape of teeth, as she took her time, kissing every wound, healing him with her touch. Her hands pressed against his chest, kneaded the muscles that rippled as he fought to stay still. Losing that battle, reveling in the tactile emotion, he dragged his claws against the silken flesh of her sides, pushing up her blouse to reveal her flushed skin beneath.
Tilting her face up with his index finger hooked under her chin, he stared into her eyes for a moment, her lips quivering, darkened from kissing. “Kagome,” he forced himself to say, forced himself to tell her before she succeeded in making him forget everything else. “You know . . . this is forever.”
Her lips moved, her heart thumped so hard that he could feel it against his chest. In the end, she couldn't find her voice. All she could do was nod.
As if that was what he had been waiting to hear, he caught her around her neck, pulled her down to meet him. Hunger met with hunger, a burning tide of desire ran through him with unyielding abandon. She met him with an equal fervor, her tongue delving into his mouth, searching him out, leaving him breathless.
Every defense he'd ever constructed, every barrier that had ever been used, Kagome tore them down. The woman he thought was so gentle, so kind, destroyed them all with the brush of her fingers, with her soft sighs against him. The vulnerability she uncovered was a beautiful thing. The feeling of being completely at her mercy didn't frighten him, didn't compel him to hide himself away. He wanted to give her the world. The only thing he had to give her was his heart, and that had been hers long ago. Somehow Kagome believed that was enough . . .
Her body called to his, pressed against his. The yearning, the wanting, the dreaming, and the burning intensified and released, constricted and stretched. Time and again, she ran her hands up and down his chest, and each time, he felt like he was dying. His youkai wanted her, needed her. His human heart tempered his will.
Rolling her gently onto her back, InuYasha leaned away to work the buttons on her blouse. Fumbling with fingers that trembled too much to cooperate, InuYasha growled as one of the delicate buttons popped off. Kagome giggled softly and tried to help him. Her hands were shaking, too, and he slapped them away. `Mine,' his youkai growled. He shook his head quickly. How stupid . . . Kagome was just trying to help . . .
With a frustrated grimace, InuYasha shot her a quick glance as he split the front of her blouse with one claw. She gasped as the humor dissipated only to be replaced by a deeper emotion, one that InuYasha didn't fully understand. Kagome rose up on her hands, letting the blouse fall off her shoulders. He stared at her as he forgot to breathe again. Blood rushing through is body as his youkai goaded him to claim her, InuYasha closed his eyes and sat up, trying to forget how she looked, trying to push aside the expression in her gaze. If he could do that, then he had a chance to keep control of himself. Fighting back the youkai blood that fought so desperately to take over, InuYasha struggled to find the human in him, for the tenderness that she deserved, for the love that he wanted her to have.
The soft rustle of fabric, the whisper of air as the material fell away from her. He knew what she was doing without opening his eyes. “InuYasha.” He shook his head quickly, a low whine escaping as she called his name again. The scent of her was magnified, radiating from her bare skin. The press of her body against his wrung a growl from the depths of his soul. She crawled onto his lap, straddling his hips as she held him, kissed his jaw, surrounded him in her aura. He sought out her lips without opening his eyes, pulling her against him as the heat that siphoned through his body exploded in his brain.
“Sneaky wench,” he mumbled between kisses. She shuddered under his claws, arched against him as her body reacted with a will of its own. “You're making this difficult.”
He groaned and kissed her, nibbling at her lower lip as she wrapped her hands around him, gently rubbing the base of his neck, as though she understood the turmoil within him, she subdued his youkai blood without diminishing his desire for her. Tilting her head back, InuYasha brought her closer, attacking her neck with a brutal tenderness, a burning calm. A weak growl reverberated in her throat, tickling his lips. He opened his mouth against her, tasted her flesh, nipped at her as she gasped. Supporting her neck in the cradle of his palm, InuYasha let his other hand drag down, over her shoulder, along her collarbone, against the rising swell of her breast. Closing his palm over her, she cried out softly as she swelled under his touch, her body suddenly weakening in his arms.
He lay her down and fumbled with the ties on his pants as he stood. Finally struggling out of them without tearing them to shreds, he glanced back at Kagome only to find her staring at him. Solemn, serious, her eyes were shining and bright, awash with a curious mix of passion and wonder. “You're beautiful,” she whispered.
“Keh,” he muttered as he stretched out beside her. Pushing the hair out of her face, he kissed her gently, tenderly, softly, a whisper of a kiss that she understood.
Leaning over her, pressing kisses against her breasts, lathing her flesh with his mouth, Kagome whimpered, tossing her head back and forth as she mumbled incoherent words. The human part of him told him to take his time, to memorize her body, her reactions, everything about her. His youkai blood still whispered to him. He ignored it.
Kagome was lost in a wash of emotion, the lure of the unknown unfurling as an electric lethargy seeped into her bones. As though her body couldn't move without his dictates, she was powerless to do more than lay there while he took his time exploring her. She tried to tell him what she wanted. She tried to ask him to make her stop aching. The ache became a burn, the burn swelled into a hunger, and the hunger resonated with the beat of his heart. Gentle hands kneaded her skin but didn't come close to the place where the pulse culminated.
Driving against him didn't work. Tugging on his ears didn't faze him. Digging her fingernails into his shoulders went unnoticed. She felt like crying in frustration even as he discovered sensations hidden in places she hadn't thought of. Wet kisses against the crook of her elbow sent shockwaves up her arms and through her body, adding to the tightness that wound itself around her center. Careful claws grazing the backs of her knees caused her bones to dissolve under her skin. Palms stroking her hips brought her arching off the ground with a soft hiss, and all of the touches, the kisses, the caresses, merged together into an ache that consumed her.
He pressed kisses down her belly, along the hollow of her hipbones. She cried out again, rasping out the words that had eluded her for so long. “Please,” she gasped. “I . . . need . . .”
And suddenly his body was gliding over hers, his skin stroking hers, her body erupting in a conflagration of gooseflesh and violent shivers. He stopped and leaned on his elbows, supporting his weight as he stared at her. “Kagome . . . are you sure?”
She blinked to clear her vision as she gaze at his serious face. Tears rose behind her eyes, tears that he would care enough to ask her now, after she'd already given him her answer time and again. “Forever.”
InuYasha didn't need to hear anything else. Lips against hers, he smothered her moan as he slowly pressed his body into hers. That incessant throb burgeoned, escalated as he slowly pressed his hips against her. Lifting her hips instinctively, she tore her mouth away, gasping for breath as her body stretched around him. A million nerves centered around him, sending ripples through her, a completeness that still felt somehow empty. The illusion of need, the crush of desire, the culmination of absolute love fell on her, left her weak and trembling even as he raised her up to a time and a place where beauty was a corporeal thing, and it all met in InuYasha's gaze.
She felt the barrier inside her as he stilled his movement. The reluctance on his features brought her hands to his cheeks, a surge in her heart as she tried to understand what stopped him. She wanted him, all of him, needed him to help her because she wasn't sure if she could. Arching her back, lifting her hips, rising against him as a small pressure gave. A sudden gush of liquid heat seared through her as she held him, kissed him, provoked a new kind of fire that goaded her further, demanding and relentless, frightening and overwhelming, intoxicating and wanton. He trembled against her, a soft whine torn from him as his muscles strained, as his body tensed. A fine sheen of sweat broke over his brow, and he moaned as Kagome shifted her hips, reveling in the strange new sensation that crashed over her in wave after tumultuous wave.
“Damn it, wench,” he growled jaw clenched in his epicurean efforts to restrain himself. “Stop moving.”
Dropping his mouth against her throat, he nipped her gently with his fangs. She understood that for what it was: tender censure, and even though she didn't want to comply, her body responded to his dominance. Her own breathing was rushed, shallow, and she shuddered under him, around him. She felt like she was burning, feverish. The wash of emptiness grew, as though there was a part of her that he had taken, a part she needed and wanted.
Leaning on one arm, he reached back, cradled her leg, eased out of her with such a languor such a maddening slowness, that she cried out again. Her mouth was dry, she couldn't speak, but the bitter disappointment that enveloped her was impossible to ignore. `No!' her mind screamed, `Don't leave me! Not now . . .'
He growled, forced her to open her eyes, to look at him. The liquid gold of his gaze pierced the fog around her mind, burned it away like the sun. Fierce, determined, there was something else, something she couldn't define. As though he was trying to see into her mind, to know what it was she thought, as though whatever it was he saw pleased him. She couldn't dwell on it. He pushed against her again, and she felt her eyes closing as she gave herself up to pure sensation.
His body fed on hers, dispelling the ache yet deepening the need. The understated power in his very being broke against her, as though she had the ability to temper him. One feeling passed into another, a beautiful spiral, a convergent circle. The sphere of time where they existed precluded intrusion. She lifted her body only to be met by his thrusts, his growls softened into the rumble that soothed her even as his body drove her higher. Gaining momentum, unleashing the landslide, the torrent of touch, of feel, became a fissure of heat and energy.
He drove her down, subdued her, then goaded her higher, cradled by his love as he promised her the world with his unspoken words. A slow ache, a constant pressure, a visceral need that built. Slowly at first but quickening with their movements, she balanced on the cusp of something both exhilarating and frightening, something that she wanted but was afraid to reach out to take.
His mouth fell over hers as she cried out, a final burst that forced both of them into the vortex. Kissing her as he quaked in her arms, kissing him as she tumbled off the precipice, into the darkness that suddenly filled with light. The culmination of their silent claim on one another was complete, and yet . . .
And yet something else was happening, too. InuYasha collapsed against her heart, breathing in ragged gulps of air. Kagome opened her eyes slowly. Something was whispering her name. She gasped softly, eyes widening as she stared, unable to comprehend what was happening, unable to grasp what it meant. “InuYasha?” she whispered. “What—” He gasped, too, as he saw it.
The Shikon no Tama hovered over them both. Having somehow escaped the chain that held it on her, the jewel seemed to be swirling, opalescent, shimmering, the traces of pink were gone. It exploded in a flash of pure light, scattering glittering sparkles over them both. `Midoriko's blessing?' Kagome mused. It had been the completion of the bond between InuYasha and herself that had ultimately brought the clarity needed to purify the jewel . . .
Suddenly, InuYasha's arms tightened around her. Eyes closed tightly, he held her with a ferocity, a fear so strong that she could almost smell it. Pushing back his damp bangs, stroking his cheeks, Kagome tried to reassure him. “What is it?” she finally asked.
He shook his head stubbornly. “If I . . . if I let go, I'll disappear,” he whispered. “I . . . not alone, Kagome . . . I can't go back without you.”
She shifted to draw him closer, the movement a reminder that they were still joined. A delicious shiver ran up her spine, through her limbs. She tried to ignore it. “I don't think you will,” she remarked softly. “I think . . . I think that was a sign that we are supposed to be together.”
Forcing himself to lift his head, to look into her eyes, he saw her absolute faith, her conviction, her belief. “Kagome . . .”
She smiled. Covered in glittery dust from the Shikon no Tama, he blinked at her, silently asking for her reassurances. She hugged him, kissed him, nuzzled against his cheek. Slowly the tension eased out of him, draining away as he rolled onto his back. Dragging her onto his chest, he wrapped her in the protection of his embrace. Kagome sighed, lulled by the beat of his heart under her ear.
“Should we go back? Tell the others what happened?”
“In awhile,” he agreed.
“But the jewel was purified . . .”
“And I'm exhausted. The jewel will still have been purified in an hour or two.”
“Go to sleep, wench,” he growled though she could discern the contentment underlying his tone. “You wore me out.”
He yawned. “You can't argue with your mate, I told you.”
`Mate . . .' Kagome grinned and closed her eyes. `Just this once, InuYasha . . . I'll let you win . . .'
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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.