InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ Ground Rules ( Chapter 67 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
Mrs. Higurashi scooted the diary across the table to InuYasha. She sighed and sat back, staring from the hanyou to her daughter then back. With a slow shake of her head, she held her hand, palm up, as though she was looking for the right way to say whatever it was she wanted to say.
InuYasha shot Kagome a distinctly nervous glance. Kagome tried to smile in a reassuring way. The smile felt stilted, fake. Anxiety rose inside her as her mother continued to struggle for words. InuYasha, reacting to the obvious discomfort radiating from Kagome, scooted closer to her, growling slightly as he stared at Mrs. Higurashi. “Don't growl at Mama,” Kagome whispered, hoping that her mother didn't hear.
InuYasha blinked in surprise. Whether he hadn't realized that he was growling or if he hadn't expected Kagome to remark on it, he stared at her for a moment before he stopped the noise.
“I wanted to thank you, InuYasha, for letting me read your mother's diary. It was quite insightful, and it cleared up a few of my questions,” Mrs. Higurashi finally said. “And I understand that, according to youkai law, the two of you are . . . `mated'.”
Kagome winced inwardly. The way her mother had said the word seemed like `mated' had hurt her to have to say. InuYasha hadn't missed it, either. He sat up straight, back stiffening as his lips drew back just enough to resemble the near-growl that Kagome knew it was.
“Mama, it's not a bad thing,” Kagome spoke up.
“Oh, I know, dear.” Mrs. Higurashi sighed. “It simply makes me realize that you really have grown up.”
Mrs. Higurashi rubbed her temple. “Kagome, InuYasha . . . I'm trying to get used to this, because I care about the both of you. I trust you both to make adult decisions about your futures, and I know that things are difficult, especially for you, InuYasha. However, because I am still responsible for you, Kagome, such as it is, I think it is only fair that I give you a few ground rules, and that you abide by them.”
InuYasha didn't look like he was going to agree to anything. Kagome shifted uncomfortably.
“Rules?” InuYasha echoed apprehensively. “What kind of rules?”
“Just a few basic ones. Kagome, you may not drop out of school, under any circumstances. If the two of you have any future at all, you must finish your schooling. InuYasha, have you ever had any sort of schooling? I'm guessing you can read, but can you write?”
InuYasha snorted. “I can write,” he grumbled, a slight blush creeping up his cheeks. Kagome frowned. She knew her mother's intentions weren't bad. Still it bothered her. She could tell from his reaction that InuYasha felt like Mrs. Higurashi was belittling him, even if that wasn't her mother's objective.
“You've got to give some thought to what you could do, and perhaps I can help you with that. In this day and age, you can't just go out and hunt your dinner. You have to have a way to financially support my daughter since you can't go back through the well . . . and after Kagome finishes school, I fully expect the two of you to have a traditional wedding.”
“Keh,” InuYasha scoffed. “That it?”
Mrs. Higurashi grimaced. “There is the matter of children. Now, I understand from your mother's diary how that works. I also know how hormones work.” Kagome groaned. Mrs. Higurashi ignored her. “I would like you both to promise that you'll wait to have children until after your married.”
Kagome could feel the flush rising on her face. A quick glance at InuYasha proved that he was blushing, too. “Neither of us is ready for that,” Kagome hurried to say. InuYasha remained silent, eyebrow twitching and jaw clenched tight. Suddenly he shot to his feet and stomped out of the kitchen. Seconds later the door slammed. Kagome winced.
“I'm sorry, Kagome. I know you love him, and I know he loves you. I'm simply concerned.”
Kagome nodded. “I know . . . I'm going to go see if he's okay.” She got up and sighed.
She stopped and faced her mother again.
“If it means anything to the two of you . . . I think you do belong together, and I'm grateful that he allowed me to read the diary. I'm sure it was difficult for him to share.”
Kagome nodded and offered her mother a small grin before she hurried out of the kitchen. `Knowing InuYasha, he's sitting up in Goshinboku . . . .'
“Hey, up there . . . want some company?” Kagome called, shielding her eyes from the glare of the afternoon sunshine with a hand.
InuYasha didn't answer out loud. He hopped down, scooped her up, and leaped back into the tree.
“I get the feeling that you're upset about more than just what Mama said,” Kagome remarked after he let go of her and sat back, arms folded together under the generous sleeves of his haori.
He shook his head slowly. “Pups,” he grumbled. “Does she think I'm fucking stupid?”
“She doesn't think you're stupid at all . . . and you're the one who said before that you didn't want them yet, anyway . . . what's this really about?”
InuYasha snorted. “Keh.”
Kagome sighed. “What is it?”
“I just . . . I can't . . . damn it!”
Staring at him in the sunshine patched by swaying tree branches, Kagome felt his turmoil. Eyes full of dread, of sorrow, what ghosts haunted him? “InuYasha?”
“There were so many things I didn't get a chance to teach him, Kagome.”
She frowned. “Who?”
Leaning forward and digging his claws into the branch, InuYasha grimaced as his ears drooped. “Who's going to teach Shippou the things he needs to know? Miroku's there, sure, but he's human . . . I thought I'd be able to show him the things he needed to know. I thought there was plenty of time.”
A slow understanding washed over Kagome. She smiled slightly even as tears welled in her eyes. Blinking quickly, struggling to keep them from falling, she sighed and shrugged. “When did that happen?” she asked softly.
“When did you start thinking of him as your own?”
“Keh! I don't know what you're talking about,” he protested.
“It's okay to feel like that. I'm worried about him, too.”
InuYasha stared out over the city with a sad longing. `He's remembering when there was no city here . . . when there was nothing but trees . . . and he misses it.' Another look filtered over his face. A pain so deep that he winced clouded his expression, lent a glimmer to his eyes, a suspicious brightness to his gaze. “I know what it's like, to grow up without a real family, without a father. Shippou . . . I didn't want him to know that, too.”
“I wish I had known,” Kagome remarked, “I would have taken off the jewel . . . I should have taken off the jewel . . . .”
“And you think that would have stopped it? It still would have purified, if it was meant to.”
She sighed. He was probably right about that. “I guess so.”
InuYasha held Tetsusaiga, wrapped his arms around it as he frowned in thought. “I think Sesshoumaru wants me to go see Totosai.”
“Will you do it?”
InuYasha shrugged. “Even if I don't want to, I have to. There're things I don't understand about Tetsusaiga, and that old codger's the one who did it.”
“How do you know where he is?”
“Sesshoumaru said that I should know. Guess that means the old man's still living in his weird cave.”
“When are we leaving?”
“I could go alone,” he remarked. “It'd be faster.”
She shook her had stubbornly. “I'm going, too. You're not used to this time yet, remember? Besides, I forgot how crowded my time is.”
“Might as well wait till morning,” he finally agreed. “I wouldn't get far, waiting for you to keep up.”
She didn't miss the teasing note in his voice. She grinned and scooted closer to him. Shoving the sword through his waist band, he settled back and pulled Kagome against his chest. “Pathetic human?”
She snuggled closer but made a face when the hard edges of something poked at her. Leaning back, Kagome reached into his haori and pulled out the wooden box. “Should you wear this?” she asked as she opened the lid and pulled out the fang necklace.
“Keh. You've got to be kidding. Sesshoumaru probably had a curse put on it, just to piss me off.”
“I don't feel anything bad surrounding it,” Kagome insisted.
“I'm not wearing it. I'll wear the stupid hat, but I ain't wearing that.”
“Maybe he was telling the truth. Maybe Leikizu just wanted to make sure you had a concealment charm . . . I mean, I love seeing your ears. They were a major selling point. But you'd probably draw a lot of unnecessary attention if you run around Tokyo with them showing . . . .”
“Selling point? Keh.”
She leaned up to kiss his cheek. He turned his head, capturing her lips with his. With a soft sigh, she instantly relaxed against him. Coaxing her lips to part with a gentle claw tugging at the corner of her mouth, she gasped as his tongue invaded the recesses of her, tasting her, enticing her, reveling in her . . . .
“Kagome! InuYasha! Dinner's ready!” Mrs. Higurashi called as she leaned out the back door.
“She hates me,” InuYasha complained as he dropped his head back against the tree trunk.
Kagome giggled as she fought down the swell of heat that InuYasha's kiss had inspired in her. “She doesn't hate you.”
“Wanna bet?” he grumbled as he gathered her up and dropped out of the tree. He followed Kagome into the shrine with a last long look around at the world he didn't really know.
InuYasha stared out Kagome's window staring out at the night sky. She was taking a bath, and he was alone. The modern world was awash with fake lights. He'd seen it many times, the wonders of Kagome's time. They could light up a room as though it was still mid-day. It seemed so unnatural.
The soft knock on the door caught InuYasha's attention. He turned in time to see Mrs. Higurashi step into the room with a stack of laundry. She smiled at him before she busied herself, putting away the clothes. InuYasha continued to stare outside.
“How far is it to this `Totosai' fellow?” Mrs. Higurashi asked, drawing his gaze again. She offered him a shy smile that so resembled Kagome's that he blinked in surprise.
InuYasha turned away from the window. “About a day.”
She nodded. There was something else on her mind, he could tell. He waited. “I know you were upset about our talk earlier. I wanted to tell you that it wasn't my intention at all. I think you and Kagome . . . you two belong together. I should have seen it coming. I just . . . . You just took me by surprise.”
InuYasha cleared his throat nervously, ears twitching, unable to meet Mrs. Higurashi's steady gaze. “I want her to be happy.”
Mrs. Higurashi giggled. “I know you do. I don't think I've ever seen my daughter as happy as she is when she's with you. “
He didn't know what to say to that. He gestured at the window, at the world outside. “I'm never going to fit in here.”
“You could, if you wanted to.”
He shook his head. “I don't have a choice. There's no way back.”
“And if you could go back? What about Kagome?”
He frowned. “What do you mean?”
Mrs. Higurashi shrugged. “I mean, if you could go back but Kagome could not . . . what would you do?”
“Keh! She belongs with me. If she couldn't go, then I wouldn't, either.”
She seemed to be pleased with that answer. “Well, I've got a few things I have to get done bright and early tomorrow. I think I'll be going to bed.” She headed toward the door then stopped to glance back at him one last time. “And, InuYasha? I know you'll be careful with Kagome.”
He nodded in response as she backed out of the room.
Gaze falling on the small wooden box that held his fang, InuYasha frowned and slowly picked it up. `A concealment charm? Keh. Why would Sesshoumaru have bothered? He hates me, not that I care. Fucking bastard, I know he did something to this . . . .' He frowned as he held the chain before his face, eyes fixed on his fang. `Kagome didn't sense any bad energy coming from it . . . still . . . what the hell did he do to it?'
“You going to wear that?”
InuYasha started. Kagome entered the room as she rubbed her hair in a towel.
“Keh,” he snorted, dropping the necklace back into the box before snapping it closed and letting the box thump onto the desk again.
Dressed in an oversized tee shirt and shorts, Kagome draped the towel over the back of her desk chair and dug out her hairbrush. InuYasha made a face. He could tell from her scent that her body was still reacting to her mortal cycles. He'd discerned the rich smell of fertile blood just before she headed off to take her bath. He sighed. Everything was conspiring against him. The well closed up . . . Sesshoumaru was still alive . . . Tetsusaiga turned blue . . . he was being forced to hunt down Totosai . . . Kagome's mother hated him . . . and, of course, Kagome's body was thwarting him, too . . . .
“It's been five hundred years, InuYasha . . . maybe Sesshoumaru has changed.”
“Keh,” he replied again as he pulled the brush out of her hand and crawled onto the bed. Kagome sat between his legs and leaned forward so he could work the tangles out of her hair. “Fat chance.”
She raised her knees, wrapping her arms around her legs, and rested her cheek against them as he brushed her hair. “People can change . . . You've changed since we first met.”
“I have not,” he argued. His hand stilled as he sniffed. “Oi, wench, why can't I smell you?”
Lifting her chin to look over her shoulder at him, she frowned. “What are you talking about?”
He grimaced then stabbed her with a narrow-eyed look that was full of suspicion. “Blood, Kagome. I can't smell it. What did you do?”
Face reddening as she comprehended what he was asking, Kagome shot off the bed and grabbed her robe. “I'd think that'd be a good thing,” she mumbled, cheeks darkening as she tied the belt closed.
“It might be,” he agreed slowly, “if you explain why I can't smell it anymore.”
“Because,” she gritted out as she grabbed the brush and tossed it into the drawer again, “I use tampons, that's why.”
“And that means . . . ?”
With a heavy sigh, Kagome dug into the new backpack and pulled out a box. After opening the box, muttering under her breath about possessive mates, she jerked out a folded up bit of paper and dropped it in InuYasha's lap.
He cast her one last suspicious glance before unfolding the paper and reading it over. His cheeks reddened about as quickly as hers had as comprehension dawned on him.
“Wha . . . ? You . . . ? Oh hell no, wench! No!”
“InuYasha!” she gasped as he dragged the box out of the bag and proceeded to destroy both the box as well as the contents. “I need those!”
“Keh!” he snorted. “Think again, wench. You're not sticking those things . . . no!”
“Fucking find something else! Use leaves for all I care, but you aren't using those,” he growled.
She drew a deep breath and narrowed her gaze on him. “Why are you so upset about those?”
“Do you know where they go?”
“Actually, I do.”
“Keh! Then you know why I said no!”
“That—” he growled, waving his hand toward her, “is mine. You can't use those things!”
“Can we discuss this?” she asked.
“No . . . wait . . . are you using one of those damn things now?”
Kagome suddenly looked very nervous. “It doesn't matter.”
He leaned forward, ready to pounce. She held out her hands to stop him. “You've got two minutes to get rid of it,” he snarled. “No arguments.”
“InuYasha! Now you're being ridiculous, and—”
“And you're wasting time.”
With an exasperated sigh followed by a frustrated growl, Kagome jerked open her bedroom door and huffed out of the room.
Settling back against the wall with his arms wrapped around Tetsusaiga, InuYasha couldn't help but be a little smug that he'd effectively won that round . . . .
Kagome stomped back into her room a few minutes later and reddened as InuYasha made a point of sniffing. Satisfied that she'd removed the offending `tampon', he dared a grin—until she picked up the little wooden box and tapped it against her empty hand.
“Ok, Mr. Dog-Man, you win that round . . . but . . . .”
He had a feeling he wasn't going to like what came after that `but'. “But what, wench?”
“This is what we call `quid-pro-quo'—”
“Quid-pro-quo . . . it means, if I agree to your terms, you have to agree to mine. I won't use tampons ever again if you agree to wear the necklace.”
She narrowed her gaze. “Hmm. If this—” she said, gesturing at her body, “is yours, then those—” she went on, pointing at his ears, “are mine. No one else can touch them if they can't see them . . . .”
InuYasha growled low in his throat. On the one hand, he would be damned if he would willingly allow her to use anything like those tampons inside her body . . . on the other hand . . . . “And you're positive you can't sense any curse on that thing?”
“It's fine,” she said as she dug the necklace out of the box and held it out to him.
With a heavy sigh, InuYasha glared at the necklace. “Sneaky wench,” he muttered as he jerked it out of her hand. “If this kills me . . . .”
`InuYasha—four, sneaky wench—one,' he thought with a grimace as he dropped the necklace over his head.
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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.