InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ Aoirotoku ( Chapter 65 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
Sesshoumaru leafed through the newspaper. Leikizu idly sipped her morning tea with a small smile as she stared at her mate. “Why don't you put that away and pay some attention to your mate?” she asked, arching her eyebrows as she stared at the youkai.
Sesshoumaru folded down the edge of the paper and peered over it. “Let me finish the business section.”
Leikizu uttered a low noise that sounded like, `hrumph' as she stood and came around the table, deliberately tugging the paper out of her husband's hands. “The business section? Is that more interesting than I am?”
Sesshoumaru gave up gracefully, leaning back to accommodate his wife. She sat down and draped her arms around his neck. “You have never possessed an ounce of patience, Lei. You know this.”
She grinned. “Not when it comes to you. Aren't you glad?”
Sesshoumaru was about to answer. The lazy smile that had spread over his features suddenly disappeared as his back straightened and he looked away, toward the windows and the world beyond.
Leikizu stood and wandered over to those windows with a thoughtful frown. “It's happened.”
Following his wife's example, Sesshoumaru came to stand beside her. A small nod, an indiscernible shift in his gaze. `So . . . it is done . . . .'
“Did you feel it?”
Sesshoumaru didn't answer right away. As though he needed a few minutes to assimilate the shifting memories, the youkai shook his head slightly and sighed.
Meeting his wife's concerned gaze, Sesshoumaru nodded once. “It is still too soon to tell.”
“What will you do now?”
“If I know that baka, he'll come to me.”
Leikizu leaned up, kissed Sesshoumaru's cheek. “And will you tell him the entire tale?”
He shrugged almost carelessly though his eyes remained solemn. “When and if he needs to know . . . .”
Kagome awoke to soft, feathery strokes as InuYasha traced little circles on her shoulder. Craning her neck back to look at him, she grinned when she saw that he still had his eyes closed though he didn't seem to be asleep. “About time you woke up, wench,” he grumbled as he popped an eye open to gaze at her.
She flushed, very aware that they were both still very naked. “You should have woken me up earlier,” she remarked.
“Keh.” Wrapping her hair around his hand, he brought a handful to his nose and breathed deep. “Happy birthday. I forgot to say it earlier.”
He flushed and scowled. “I'm not stupid,” he grumbled.
“I didn't think you were.”
“Besides, you had such a fit last year when no one remembered you said `it' too many times to count.”
“I said `it' because you wouldn't let Shippou have any of the cake I brought back,” she countered, “and then you thumped him quite a few times.”
She pinched him when he smiled proudly. He tweaked her nose. She returned the gesture before she snuggled against him again. InuYasha tightened his arms around her. “Oi! You can't tweak me, wench!”
With a giggle, Kagome covered her nose with her hand before he could tweak her again. He gave up with a loud snort. Her expression turned serious as the memory of the Shikon no Tama floating above them just before it purified flashed through her mind. “Do you think the jewel being purified changed anything?” she finally asked, giving voice to her own concerns.
“I dunno . . . maybe the old woman or Miroku might.”
She sighed. As loathe as she was to end the moment, telling the others about the jewel took precedence. Still she allowed herself a few more minutes of bliss since InuYasha didn't seem to be in any real hurry for her to move, either.
“We, uh, should go, then,” he said, his voice dropping in timbre, a certain huskiness creeping into his tone.
“InuYasha?” Pushing herself up on her elbows brought closer contact in other areas. He moaned softly then deliberately dumped her off of his chest as he shot to his feet to retrieve his pants. “Hey!” she complained.
He tossed his now-dry haori at her. “Cover . . . that, wench,” he remarked, waving his hand at her as his cheeks reddened.
Casting him a disgruntled stare, Kagome complied though she did take her time. “If you'd have let me help you, I wouldn't have to borrow this,” she remarked.
She stood up and wrapped her arms around his waist, pressing her cheek against his back. “Thank you.”
He turned his head to peek back at her. “For what?”
She shrugged and squeezed him. “For being you.”
He smiled almost bashfully then snorted. “Keh. Come on, wench.” Grabbing Tetsusaiga in one hand and Kagome's hand in the other, he stopped long enough for her to retrieve her clothes before they walked back through the forest.
Checking her watch, Kagome grimaced. Nearly four in the afternoon . . . it seemed like the day had slipped past without their notice. She grinned. `Well, if you have to lose track of time, that's a good way to do it . . . .'
He opened the gate for her and waited for her to walk through before he followed. Kagome's smile disappeared as she stared in shock at the well-house. The doors were hanging in tatters, as though they'd been shredded . . . or hit by another powerful strike. “InuYasha . . . did you do that?” she asked quietly.
“Oh, uh, yeah . . . .” he began nervously.
“InuYasha . . . .”
Suddenly he snorted. “Keh! You shouldn't have locked me in there.”
At that reminder, Kagome winced. She'd forgotten about the broom. Still . . . . “What did you do to it?”
“. . . Kaze no Kizu,” he mumbled. “I wouldn't have if I could have gotten out of there.”
Kagome shook her head, wondering just how irritated her mother was going to be about it. “Let me go change,” she said, “then we can go back.”
InuYasha looked like he wanted to argue. Then he shrugged and followed her toward the shrine house.
“Kagome!” Mrs. Higurashi greeted as she shut off the vacuum cleaner. Staring at her daughter's clothes with raised-eyebrows, she didn't comment though she looked like she wanted to. “Happy birthday, dear! What brings the two of you back so soon? And would either of you know what, exactly, happened to the well-house doors?”
InuYasha shifted uncomfortably as Kagome sighed. “InuYasha did that, but it was my fault. I barred the door.”
“I see . . . Well, I'm glad to see that you two have obviously cleared up your differences. By the way, Kagome . . . why are you wearing InuYasha's haori?”
“My shirt ripped,” she blurted quickly, trying to stave back the hot flush that shot to the fore. “I just stopped in to change, is all . . . .”
Mrs. Higurashi nodded as she stepped forward to pull a dry leaf out of Kagome's hair. “How about I draw you a nice, hot bath?”
Kagome and InuYasha exchanged quick looks. “Mama, the Shikon no Tama was purified. We've got to hurry back and see if anything's been affected by it.”
Mrs. Higurashi smiled. “All right. Why don't you come with me, InuYasha? You look like you could use something to eat.”
InuYasha didn't look like he was going to follow her. Kagome frowned at him. Rolling his eyes, he stomped off after Mrs. Higurashi as Kagome headed for the stairs.
It didn't take long for her to change into fresh clothes. Pausing long enough to stare out her window, Kagome frowned. Her grandfather was going all-out on the guest house. The plumber had arrived, so obviously they were putting in some sort of bathroom, too? `Strange.' With a sigh, Kagome quickly brushed her hair then looked around for her backpack. `Oh, duh! I dropped it after I got out of the well in the past . . . .' She shrugged. She'd just retrieve it when they got there.
Pausing a moment, Kagome stared at her reflection in the mirror. She didn't look any different. `Mates.' She smiled. The sound of that made her happy. Laughing at her own crazy thoughts, Kagome yanked her door open and hurried down the hallway toward the stairs.
“Would you care for something to drink?”
InuYasha shook his head as he caught himself staring through the doorway toward the stairs.
“Ramen,” Mrs. Higurashi said with a thoughtful smile. “Would that be better?”
He shifted his eyes to the side to glance at the woman. “All right,” he agreed slowly. Why did he have the feeling he was being set up for something?
Mrs. Higurashi said nothing as she prepared a cup of the modern wonder for him. InuYasha drummed his claws on the counter impatiently as he wished that Kagome would speed it up. Mrs. Higurashi set the cup of ramen on the table with utensils.
He sat down and started to eat.
“You left the gate open last night when you went after my daughter,” Mrs. Higurashi remarked quietly.
InuYasha nearly choked on his noodles. “You . . . knew?”
Mrs. Higurashi smiled almost sadly. “I saw Kagome when she returned. She was upset. My first thought was that I should follow her . . . but Kagome's at an age now where mamas have little say in their daughters' decisions, and . . . and they don't always like to tell their mothers what is going on. I was surprised that it took you so long to come after her.”
He didn't miss the subtle censure in her voice. “I couldn't. I wanted to . . . .”
She nodded. “I saw. Frankly I was surprised that you managed to go after her at all. Care to tell me what happened?”
He couldn't help the panic that swept over his features. It was one thing, to have finally claimed Kagome as his mate. It was something completely different to admit as much to her mother . . . . “I—we—uhh—”
She held her hand up to stop him. “Not after you found her . . . I meant, what happened to put you in such a state as you were in last night. We can cover the rest of it after you tell me why my daughter came home so upset.”
He winced. “She . . . she saw a lynx youkai kiss me. The lynx had her claws in my neck, and . . . . It was stupid.” Why did the entire situation sound even more stupid when he was trying to explain it to Kagome's mother? Unconsciously, he rubbed his throat where the bitch had dug her claws into him. The injuries were closed. He wasn't sure if that was because of his ability to heal so quickly or because of Kagome . . . . He had a feeling it was the latter.
“I take it Kagome forgave you.”
He nodded, unable to meet Mrs. Higurashi's knowing look.
She sighed. “InuYasha . . . I don't know what happened between the two of you in the forest, though I have a fair guess, given your discomfort as well as her behavior since the two of you returned. I feel like it's something I'm probably better off not asking, for my own peace of mind. I won't ask that you don't touch her. As much as I hate to admit it, Kagome's old enough to make her own choices. What I will ask, though, is that you don't hurt her, and that you don't dishonor her. I don't think that's too much of a problem, either. I know my daughter, and I know how she feels about you, and I think that you return her feelings.”
Again he nodded, trying not to blush under Mrs. Higurashi's frank gaze.
Mrs. Higurashi sighed. “Just . . . one thing?”
Why did he have a feeling that this last `one thing' was potentially worse than the rest of what she'd already said? He swallowed hard and waited.
“Would you promise you'll be careful? Kagome's still in school, and the two of you aren't married . . . .”
InuYasha frowned, having not quite grasped Mrs. Higurashi's meaning. “Be careful?” he repeated. “Careful of what?” Damn, he'd just spent months being `careful'. He was always `careful' with her! He'd pretty nearly driven himself and her insane with his determination to be `careful'! What did her mother think? That he'd woke up this morning and suddenly decided that Kagome might as well be his mate since she was always hanging around? `Keh, baka! Her mother just doesn't understand. Maybe she's not trying to offend you so much as she is trying to protect Kagome . . . like you do . . . .'
“You think I'd hurt her?” he demanded, unable to keep the irritation out of his tone, the incredulity that, after all this time, Mrs. Higurashi could doubt his intentions toward Kagome. “She's my mate. No one will ever hurt her.”
“What does that mean to you, InuYasha, that she is your mate?”
“Mama!” Kagome gasped as she stepped into the kitchen. Her face was almost as red as the fire rat haori she held in her arms.
Mrs. Higurashi shot her daughter a pointed look. “It's true. I was just saying that I don't think either of you is ready for children.”
“Pups?” InuYasha choked out as his face shot up in mortified color. “You were talking about pups?”
Mrs. Higurashi looked duly confused. “What did you think I meant when I asked that you be careful?”
“Mama!” Kagome complained. InuYasha stood abruptly and stomped out of the kitchen.
Mrs. Higurashi watched InuYasha's rushed departure before she directed her words at her daughter. “Kagome, I'm trying to be understanding. I know that he's hanyou, so his entire outlook on marriage is probably quite different, but you're human, and you're not married . . . and you're still in school. If you want to be with InuYasha, I understand that. As I've told him, you're old enough to make your own decisions on that, and as much as I wish you'd talked to me before . . .” she trailed off with a sigh. “I just want you to be happy, Kagome.”
Kagome smiled shyly. “He makes me happy, Mama . . . and you're right. It is different for him. Youkai take mates, for life. For him, it is like being married.”
Mrs. Higurashi's response to that was cut short when InuYasha stomped back into the kitchen and set his mother's diary on the table in front of her. “What's this?” she asked, shooting him a puzzled look.
InuYasha shrugged. “It's my mother's diary.”
“InuYasha? Are you sure?” Kagome asked softly.
“Keh. Come on, wench. We ain't got all day.” He left the kitchen without waiting to see if she was following.
Kagome frowned. “Mama, you've offended him.”
“I wasn't trying to offend him.”
“I know, and I understand. Maybe you ought to read that, though. It explains a lot. I've got to go.” She hurried over and hugged her mother before dashing out of the kitchen to find InuYasha.
He was halfway to the well-house before she caught up with him. His expression was completely blank, and had it not been for the slight pink dusting his high cheekbones and the telling brightness in his gaze, she wouldn't have been able to tell that he was upset at all.
She stopped him with a hand on his forearm. “I'm sorry.”
He shook his head slowly. “Keh. It's alright.”
“No, it isn't. She just doesn't understand. Hopefully your mother's diary will help her. Thank you.”
Leaning against him as she pushed onto her toes, she kissed him. The familiar lurch in her belly, the inviting crush of his lips over hers made her lean into him. He caught her and held her close, sighing as he pulled back and hugged her. “Warn me before you do that, wench,” he grumbled.
She laughed weakly, trying to control the tremors ricocheting around her body.
He sighed again. “After we talk to the others, I guess I should fix that,” he remarked ruefully. She turned her head and giggled at the wreckage of the well-house doors. He let go of her as the two headed for the well.
Kagome stopped abruptly and gasped, her hands flying up to cover her mouth as she gaped in horror at the well. “I thought you just hit the doors!” she accused.
InuYasha stared, as shocked as she was. “I didn't do that . . . I only hit the doors . . . .”
The entire well had been demolished. InuYasha leapt down the steps and tossed aside the wreckage, looking for the hole, the time slip. Kagome ran down to help him. “It's . . . it's gone!” she whispered as she stared at the solid ground under the pile of debris. “How can it just be gone?”
“We . . . we can't go back . . . ?” InuYasha murmured, frowning at Kagome as though he expected her to argue with him.
Kagome shook her head as she dug at the hard-packed earth—as though it had been solid for centuries—as though there never had been a well standing there the day before. “Sango . . . Miroku . . . .”
“Shippou!” they both exclaimed.
“Don't just sit there! Help me!” Kagome rasped out as she dug faster. “It just caved in . . . it just—”
InuYasha started to reach for her. Tetsusaiga suddenly pulsed. They stared at the weapon as InuYasha slowly grasped it. `It's calling to him . . . .' Kagome realized. `Why?'
He stood and shot her a nervous glance as he slowly drew the sword.
Kagome's eyes rounded in wonder as she stared the vibrating blade. Glowing a deep, sapphire blue color, the power seemed to radiate from Tetsusaiga in waves. He glanced at her again and narrowed his gaze in confusion. “Kagome?”
Dragging her eyes off Tetsusaiga, she followed the direction of his stare. Her body was glowing in that same blue sheen—and so was his.
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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.