InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ Breaking the News ( Chapter 79 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
~Breaking the News~
Kagome stared at InuYasha, her face registering both her shock as well as her confirmation that he had, indeed, heard the kitsune correctly. She wasn't sure why she hadn't noticed it, herself, but in any case, Shippou had called InuYasha `Father', and judging from the look on the hanyou's face, she wasn't so sure that InuYasha had any idea just what to do with that bit of information.
Miroku shook his head slowly, trying very hard not to laugh outright. Sango didn't look like she knew what to say. With an expression that was caught somewhere between shock and complete amusement, the youkai exterminator busied herself in putting a pot of water on to boil to make breakfast, instead.
“I think he did,” Kagome finally ventured to say. “But why?”
InuYasha snorted, cheeks blossoming in a lovely shade of `fire-rat-haori'-red. “Keh. I'll find out why . . . and I'll put a stop to it, too.”
“InuYasha, you know he only wants a family,” Miroku cut in quickly. “Perhaps he simply thought to ask you to be his father in that way.”
“Keh! Tell me something I don't know, monk,” InuYasha shot back as he stumbled out of the blankets and rummaged around for his undershirt. “That's not the point, anyway.”
“Then what is?” Miroku challenged with a marked frown.
“Keh! I'd better never hear him call me `Father', ever again.”
Kagome rolled her eyes. “That's what's bothering you? It's not freaking you out in the least that he thinks of you as his father now?”
InuYasha paused as he tucked in his shirts long enough to glance at Kagome. “Why should it? I'm like his old man . . . just not officially. I feed him, teach him, discipline him . . . . Anyway, stop saying that word, will you?”
“Why does it bother you?” Miroku asked.
Squatting down between Sango and Miroku, InuYasha shrugged. “I dunno . . . I guess it's just because Sesshoumaru used to rub it in so much, that Mother and I . . . . I just don't like it, that's all.”
Kagome knelt down behind InuYasha and gave him a little hug. “Well, I think Shippou made an excellent decision. You're the closest to a—” cutting herself short when she intercepted InuYasha's glower, Kagome grinned, “—papa that Shippou has.”
Shippou backed into the hut with the sloshing bucket, grunting under the strain of dragging the weight along as he tried his hardest not to spill it on the floor. Kagome moved to intercept the bucket and the struggling kitsune. InuYasha uttered a low growl to stop her, shaking his head slowly as she started toward the child. Kagome frowned but stepped back, allowing Shippou to drag the bucket closer to her. “There!” Shippou said with a relieved sigh as he leaned back against the wooden pail. “I did it, myself!” he announced proudly.
“Thank you, Shippou,” Kagome remarked with a bright smile as she ruffled his hair then set about filling the coffee pot.
“Shippou,” InuYasha remarked as he pushed himself to his feet, cautiously eyeing the kitsune. “Come with me.”
“Am I in trouble?” Shippou asked as InuYasha picked him up and dumped him on his shoulder. The hanyou grabbed Tetsusaiga as he pushed out of the hut, stalking out of the hut and down the path toward the river.
“We'll see,” InuYasha answered.
Shippou fidgeted but remained silent. InuYasha stopped beside the river and set the kitsune on the ground. Sinking down across from him, he shook his head and sighed, his countenance carefully blank, his tone wary. “Tell me, what, exactly, you said as you left to get that water.”
Shippou frowned in concentration, as though he didn't rightly recall. InuYasha knew better. Tapping his chin thoughtfully as he screwed up his face, the kitsune slowly repeated the words he'd said, omitting one very crucial one in the recitation, “All right. Be right back!”
“And the word you left out?” InuYasha asked slowly.
Shippou flushed slightly and wrinkled his face even more as he tried to think of the one word InuYasha was fishing for. “Umm . . . `in a minute'?”
“ 'I'll' be right back?”
“. . . `InuYasha'?”
Shippou flopped down and stared at his feet as his face colored a little more. “Would you believe it if I said I can't remember?”
“Okay, okay! I said . . . `Father',” he mumbled.
InuYasha nodded slowly without taking his eyes off the kitsune once. “Is there a reason you said that?”
Hesitantly, Shippou reached into his shirt collar and pulled out the gleaming fang. InuYasha frowned as he stared at it. Dangling from a silvery strand, he recognized the fang immediately . . . and he recognized the hazy pink aura that wafted around it, too. “Sesshoumaru asked me what I wished for,” Shippou said quietly, still unable to meet InuYasha's gaze. “I told him I wanted to be a family . . . with you and Kagome.”
InuYasha reached out and touched the fang, turning it over in his fingers. Unable to hide his incredulity, he stared at the fang with obvious amazement. “Sesshoumaru did this? My brother? That Sesshoumaru?”
Shippou nodded. “In his kitchen. He said that I should tell you whenever I wanted . . . are you . . . are you mad at me? If you don't want me—”
Wincing as the kitsune's eyes filled with tears, InuYasha snorted, dropping the fang and settling back with his arms folded together. “Keh, knock that off. No pup . . . er . . . kit of mine is gonna be bawling all the time, you got that, runt? And no more of that `Father' crap, either.”
Shippou sniffled and finally dared to peek up at InuYasha. Catching the small smile on the hanyou's face, Shippou dared to smile, too. “What should I call you then?”
InuYasha shrugged. “Don't rightfully care, runt . . . just not `father', all right?”
Shippou frowned thoughtfully again. “Well, I called my real father, `Father' . . . .”
“Give it some thought, Shippou. You can call me the same as you have been, if you want.”
InuYasha reached over to flick the kitsune's nose. Shippou hurriedly covered it with his paws. “Just joking!” he squeaked.
InuYasha finally cracked a smile. “Come on, runt. I think you need to talk to Kagome . . . oh, and one more thing.” Shippou stopped and stared up at his adoptive father. “You start talking like me, and I'll tweak you.”
“Okay,” he agreed easily enough. Shippou got up and ran along beside InuYasha, obviously happy about the turn of events. InuYasha watched as the kitsune ran back into the hut. Somehow, he didn't figure Kagome would have a problem with it. In fact, he had a feeling that she'd be pleased. She'd thought of Shippou as her own for long enough. He might as well be theirs.
The only troubling thing was, why would Sesshoumaru do something so . . . nice? InuYasha had to admit, he was having a lot more difficulty of late, trying to figure out his brother—at least the Sesshoumaru that existed in Kagome's time. The one he better knew was easy to figure out. All he had to do was draw Tetsusaiga and whack at him a few times. Future-Sesshoumaru, though . . . . Everything he said was a riddle, and everything he did contradicted his self-professed hatred of InuYasha. It made no sense. Then again, when had Sesshoumaru ever really made sense?
Kagome and Shippou stepped outside. The kitsune was hopping up and down very happily, assuring his new `mother' that he would be on his very best behavior for them. InuYasha stifled a snort. `Fat fucking chance,' he thought with a grin, `that kit is always in trouble.'
“InuYasha?” Kagome asked quietly as Shippou darted back inside. “Is this all right with you?”
InuYasha shrugged. “Too late now, ain't it?” Her eyes took on a more guarded expression, and he relented with a little chuckle. “Didn't I just say that he might as well be ours? Damn, wench, clean out your ears.”
She finally grinned and hugged him. “I just wanted to make sure you were okay with it, that's all.”
“Keh. It won't make that big a difference, will it? I mean, we already do take care of him.”
She nodded. “Thank you.”
He stared at her, a slight frown drawing his eyebrows together. “What for?”
She shrugged. “For being you.
“Keh,” he snorted, feeling the burn of embarrassment filtering into his face yet again. Catching the look in Kagome's eyes, InuYasha swallowed hard. She gazed at him as if he was the only man on earth. “Kagome?”
She leaned up closer, brushing her lips over his cheek. “Think you could make some time later for us?”
Her contentment wrapped around him like a warm blanket. She smiled at him, letting her head fall against his shoulder. He breathed in the scent of her hair, savored the welcoming aura surrounding her. InuYasha wrapped his arms around her waist, as much to keep himself standing as it was to hug her back. “What did you have in mind?” he asked quietly, hoping it was the same thing he did.
Last night had been torturous, having Kagome so near yet being unable to so much as touch her. The full moon nights were worse than any other. As though his youkai blood was closer to the surface, he had spent the entire time digging his claws into the pallet, trying his best to ignore the call of her body to his. It hadn't been until the sun rose this morning that he had been able to sleep at all, and then, of course, the lecher had to come in . . . .
She blushed, eyes sparkling. “I thought maybe the three of us could go on a picnic or something?”
He sighed and shook his head. That just wasn't what he was thinking, at all . . . .
“Papa!” Shippou yelled as he darted back outside. “Will you take me hunting later?”
InuYasha made a face and shot Kagome an apologetic glance when she poked him in the ribs for his efforts. “This is going to take some getting used to, wench,” he remarked. She giggled.
The smell of a strange youkai came to him on the breeze. “InuYasha, what—?” Kagome asked as he suddenly straightened his back, turning his head slightly and twitching his ears like little radars.
“Youkai,” he answered, absently grabbing Kagome by the hand and dragging her up onto his back as Shippou hopped up onto his shoulder. InuYasha turned to follow the smell. “Oi! Miroku! Get off your lazy ass! It's time to play!” he hollered as he lit out at a dash in the direction of the scent. `This one's mine!'
Bounding toward the smell, he drew up short when he reached the fields beside the river and bent down to let Kagome and Shippou slide off his back. Miroku and Sango, probably on Kirara, were close behind, but he wasn't waiting.
Spotting the lumbering ox youkai as he pawed the ground, ravaging the fledgling crops, InuYasha drew Tetsusaiga. “I'll give you one chance to leave,” he called out, brandishing the sword before him as he stepped in front of the ox. The ox youkai snorted, blowing clouds of dirt into the air in response to InuYasha's warning. It stomped its huge hooves, trampling more of the crops into the ground, daring InuYasha to come and get it. “All right. Don't say I didn't warn you.”
Charging forward, Tetsusaiga slung over his shoulder, InuYasha let out a loud yell. The ox youkai swung his head, trying to warn him off before it attacked. InuYasha was blown back by a mighty gust from the beast's nostrils. He landed on his feet and pushed off the ground, straight for the mighty youkai. The ox pawed the ground, readying to charge InuYasha.
A strange smile broke over the hanyou's face. `Come on, you clumsy bastard. Let's see what you've got!' Cleaving the sword in a wide arc, Tetsusaiga exploded in a flash of sapphire, the energy wave that shot out engulfed the field and the youkai. With a howling shriek, the ox youkai exploded in a flash of light and dissolved in the breeze.
InuYasha landed and sheathed Tetsusaiga with a derisive snort. “Keh! Too easy.”
“Wow, InuYasha . . . I'm impressed,” Kagome mumbled, her voice a little breathless.
With an almost embarrassed grin, InuYasha turned at the sound of his mate's voice. Standing not far behind with Shippou in her arms, it struck him how perfect the whole scene was. She looked so happy, almost . . . worshipful? He frowned and shook his head. `Keh! That can't be right! Why would she look at me like that, anyway?' Gazing back at her, though, InuYasha was sure that he'd read her expression correctly. `She's staring at me like she really believes I can do anything . . . .'
Sango and Miroku ran up behind, and InuYasha didn't miss the monk's grumbling complaints that InuYasha hadn't bothered to save any for them.
Shippou hopped out of Kagome's arms and ran over to Sango and Miroku. “Did you see that?” Shippou hollered. “Did you see? InuYasha—err, Papa . . . ! He took out that youkai in one swing!”
InuYasha blinked in surprise as Kagome ran to him, leaning up to kiss his cheek as he stared in surprise as Shippou jumped around, re-enacting the pitiful battle to show the newlyweds how InuYasha had taken care of the ox youkai. He shook his head. Shippou made it seem like the ox youkai was tougher than Naraku.
“He's so proud of you,” Kagome murmured as she hugged him.
She giggled. “So am I.”
He could feel his face redden as she squeezed him tighter. “Keh.”
“You just couldn't wait for the rest of us, could you?” Miroku called.
“Oi! It's not my fault you're a slow, pathetic human . . . not to mention all the noise the two of you made last night . . . it's a miracle anyone got any sleep.”
“InuYasha!” Kagome gasped, clapping her hand over her mouth.
Sango flushed and buried her face in Miroku's chest as the monk grinned from ear to ear. “We'll see who gets the last laugh,” Miroku taunted. “I don't have to go tell my mother-in-law that I've suddenly got a son . . . .”
InuYasha's good mood deflated at that reminder. Shooting Kagome a questioning glance, he was anything but reassured by her half-hearted smile.
`Keh,' InuYasha thought as he sighed and stalked away, toward the forest—and toward the well. `If Kagome's mother didn't hate me before, she will now . . . .'
InuYasha was just quick enough to intercept the bags of groceries as Shippou launched himself at Mrs. Higurashi as she approached the shrine doors. “Shippou! I think I bought some pocky for you!” The kitsune positively beamed as he ran ahead to hold open the door. “What brings you all back? I wasn't expecting you for another few days!”
Kagome sighed and smiled. “Well, we sort of needed to talk to you, Mama.”
InuYasha snorted as he headed to the kitchen with the bags.
“You sound serious, Kagome.”
Kagome winced. “Well . . . .”
Mrs. Higurashi suddenly turned very serious. “Kagome? Tell me you didn't . . . .”
“Not exactly,” she hedged, knowing where her mother was going. “Let's go in the kitchen, and I'll explain.”
Mrs. Higurashi didn't look appeased by Kagome's elusive answer but she followed her daughter into the kitchen. InuYasha dug a box of pocky out of a bag and handed it to Shippou. “Beat it, runt,” he ordered.
“All right, Papa!” Shippou ran off with the treat as Kagome winced at the kitsune's choice of words.
“Did I hear him correctly?” Mrs. Higurashi asked in a carefully neutral tone.
“We adopted him,” Kagome blurted out and rushed on to say, “but we didn't really know we were doing it. InuYasha's half-brother, Sesshoumaru sort of did it, and we didn't know about it . . . . I'm sorry, Mama, I know we promised you . . . but Shippou needs us, too. He's not a problem. We've already been taking care of him for so long, it's normal for us . . . . We just wanted to tell you.”
“Goodness, Kagome,” Mrs. Higurashi remarked with a wry smile. “That was certainly a mouthful . . . . InuYasha? What do you think of all this?”
InuYasha shrugged, staring at the floor as his cheeks reddened slightly under Mrs. Higurashi's scrutiny. “He's ours. I won't abandon him.”
“Of course not,” Mrs. Higurashi said with a sigh. Shaking her head slightly, she offered Kagome a small smile. “My main concern with children, Kagome, was just, with your schooling, that a pregnancy on top of that would just be a little too much, and once the baby arrived, it would simply be more difficult to take care of all your responsibilities. Shippou has been a very large part of your life for a very long time. I certainly don't think it's a bad thing, that you've decided to take real responsibility for him, especially if, as you say, you didn't really have a choice in it. I think he's absolutely adorable—of course, as his grandmother, I am a little biased.”
InuYasha blinked in surprise. “You mean, you're not mad at me?”
Mrs. Higurashi laughed, covering her mouth with her hand as though the action would stave off her amusement. “Oh, no, InuYasha! Of course not!”
Kagome sat back, visibly relieved. “We just found out this morning, actually. Shippou called InuYasha—”
“Keh! Don't say it, wench.”
Kagome shrugged and rolled her eyes. “Anyway, he's been calling InuYasha `Papa' ever since.”
Mrs. Higurashi's expression clouded a little and she shook her head. “What, exactly, does this adoption entail? I know that it was apparently a youkai adoption, but what does that mean, as far as your rights and responsibilities?”
Kagome turned to look at InuYasha, who blushed a little more and twitched his ears. “I don't know,” he replied. “I didn't know it could be done.”
Mrs. Higurashi stood up to pour herself a cup of tea, offering some to Kagome and InuYasha, who both declined. “You said your brother was the one who sanctioned this? Maybe you should ask him?”
Kagome could tell from the look on InuYasha's face that he really didn't want to ask Sesshoumaru any such thing. He also looked like he could see Mrs. Higurashi's reasoning, though, and in the end, he sighed. “Keh. Like that bas—” he cut himself off with a slight flush when Mrs. Higurashi cleared her throat loudly. “—Sesshoumaru will give me any answers.”
“And what about schooling? Shippou is old enough to go to school . . . .”
Kagome shook her head. “I don't think he knows how to read or write. He'd be so far behind the other kids, at least to start with . . . .”
“Keh. The runt can read and write, some.”
Kagome blinked in surprise. “He can?”
Surprised at his flush, Kagome stared in silent wonder as InuYasha shrugged. “Yeah . . . I've been teaching him, some. Is there a problem with that?”
Shaking her head quickly, Kagome schooled her features and tried not to laugh at the mulish expression on his face. “No . . . I just didn't realize you had.”
InuYasha clicked his claws against the countertop, looking as thought he was trying not to be offended. “Well, I have,” he replied stiffly. “But school? Keh! Bad enough I have to keep bringing you back time and again for your stupid tests. Now you want I should do the same with Shippou? Youkai aren't meant to be cooped up in a classroom, wench.”
“Oh, please! You make it sound like I'm trying to put him in a zoo!”
“Keh!” InuYasha frowned. “What's a `zoo'?”
Kagome waved her hand. “Never mind, I'll explain it later.”
Mrs. Higurashi smiled gently. “Surely you want what's best for him, right? Education is very important, especially if you're going to remain in this time for any extended periods. Besides, I'd be happy to keep him here during school . . . .”
Kagome shot InuYasha a questioning glance. He was staring at his claws again but finally heaved a long-suffering sigh. “Come on, Kagome . . . might as well see what that bas—brother of mine has to say for himself. He goes out of his way to make my life a living, breathing hell, and I get growled at for calling him a bas—”
“InuYasha! Are you saying that adopting Shippou will make your life a—” Kagome cut in, exasperation heavy in her tone as he reverted to his infamous pout.
“Did I say that?” he grumbled. “But he could have told us, don't you think?”
“I'll make a special dinner to celebrate,” Mrs. Higurashi offered happily, effectively ending the altercation before it had a chance to escalate further. “You will be staying overnight, won't you?”
InuYasha looked like he wanted to argue that, too. In the end, he sighed and nodded curtly. Kagome winced. So much was happening so fast, it was hard not to be a little overwhelmed, herself. She could only imagine what InuYasha must be feeling . . . .
`Maybe,' she thought with a slight grin as InuYasha stomped off to locate their new son, `I should do something really special for him . . . but what?'
I just wanted to say that, though I could only select two main characters on FFnet for this fic, it really does center around everyone, not just InuYasha and Kagome. I'm sorry to those of you who feel that Sango and Miroku weren't worth the time. I like them and felt as though they deserved the spotlight for a chapter . . . .
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Final Thought fromShippou:
Well, I'd say he took that rather well . . .
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.