InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ Pensive ( Chapter 83 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
Kagome sat in the grass enjoying the beautiful early July day. InuYasha sat in Goshinboku staring over the forest. She shielded her eyes from the bright sunshine and sighed. `It'd be easier to figure out what's bothering him if he'd talk about it,' she thought with a frown. Dropping her hand, she flopped onto her back, hands folded together on her stomach.
Something was bothering him. She knew it. It had been eating at him ever since the day they'd returned to find Shippou so upset about the zoo, and that was nearly six weeks ago. While she knew the idea of caging all those animals hadn't thrilled him, she had a feeling that there was more to it than that. Part of his irritation was due to the fact that he couldn't find Myouga anywhere, nor had he been able to uncover any leads as to Norimitsu's whereabouts. Splitting their time between here and her time, the longer he was made to wait the more frustrated he grew, and the more frustrated he grew, the further she felt him slip away from her. As though he was withdrawing into his own mind, Kagome couldn't help but feel a twinge of loneliness at times like this.
She sighed and stared at the fluffy white clouds slowly drifting past. `I used to lie for hours and watch clouds with InuYasha . . . .' She swallowed the lump that welled up in her throat.
“Getting lazy, wench?”
Standing with his face turned up to stare at the clouds, InuYasha towered over her, hands at his sides, an unfathomable restlessness tingeing the edges of his youki with a melancholy twist.
“Will you sit with me?” she asked softly, hesitantly.
Half expecting him not to, she was pleasantly surprised when he sank down beside her, stretching out on his side and propping his head on his raised hand. “I hate this,” he remarked with a scowl.
His words felt like a knife to her chest. She struggled to keep her breathing regular as she shifted her gaze to meet his. “I don't understand.”
Shaking his head, his scowl darkened as he dug his free hand into the grass. “This isn't how it's supposed to be,” he finally said, his tone rife with repressed anger. “Shippou's supposed to be our kit, and he's there . . . I can't find that fucking flea anywhere . . . Norimitsu's fallen off the face of the earth, which would be great but I owe him an ass-beating . . . . Damn it!”
Blinking quickly, Kagome tried to steady her voice before she managed to ask him, “Are you . . . sorry?”
`Oh, why does he have to make me spell it out?' she fumed and sighed. “About . . . us?”
“What?” he bellowed.
Rolling onto her side, she carefully kept her gaze on the grass between them. “I mean, you've been so distant, and . . . and you haven't wanted to . . . you haven't . . . . .” Unable to finish her sentence, Kagome felt her cheeks flaming hot as she bit her bottom lip, resolved not to cry.
“D-don't be stupid!” he yelled, shooting to his feet to stomp around, pacing back and forth as though he were trying to regain control of his temper.
“I'm not being stupid!” she maintained stubbornly. “I can't read your mind! I never know what you're thinking, and—”
“Wench! You are stupid if you think I regret us! You're the only thing I don't regret, and don't make me tell you that again!”
Kagome scrambled to her feet and stalked forward, poking InuYasha's chest to punctuate her words. “Then don't push me away!”
“I wasn't trying to!” he roared, “and stop poking me!”
Without thinking, she reached up and tweaked his nose. Golden eyes widening in shock, he stared at her as though he couldn't believe what she'd done. “Oi! You can't tweak me!”
Narrowing her gaze, Kagome stood her ground. “Funny. I just did.” To reiterate her point, she did it again.
“You've got till ten, wench,” he growled. “One . . . two . . . . three . . . .”
Kagome didn't wait to hear more. Taking off at a sprint, she bit her cheek as she peeked over her shoulder without slowing down. `That . . . might not have been a good idea . . .' she thought as she sped into the forest. With a wincing smile, Kagome choked out an incredulous laugh. `At least I got his attention . . . .'
InuYasha must have reached ten. Kagome shrieked as InuYasha caught her and bore her to the ground, rolling so that he took the brunt of the impact on the ground, holding Kagome against his chest as she struggled to breathe and to escape. His arms tightened around her, stilling her protests as his hips rose to press against her. She gasped.
Leaning up, he tweaked her nose with his. She tried not to giggle. It didn't work. “Oi! No laughing at your punishment, wench!” he growled, leaning up to do it again. Her giggles escalated then dissolved into a moan as he rolled, pinning her against the ground, mouth falling over hers. Ardent, hungry, his lips demanded as she whimpered, her hands trapped between them. Clutching at his haori, she matched his fervor with a ferocity of her own. With another growl, he nipped at her, telling her through his actions that he was definitely in charge.
Shivering under his touch as tactile feeling took control, she gave herself up to the flood of sensation as waves of fire coursed through her. An odd sound issued from him, a self-satisfied half-growl full of purely dominant pleasure.
“Kagome!” Miroku's voice, dim and far away, registered in her mind as her brain tried to ignore it. “Kagome!”
With an irate growl, InuYasha pushed off of her, dragged her to her feet. She stumbled and fell against him. He caught her and chuckled despite his rising irritation. “I'm going to fucking kill that monk,” he promised. Kagome couldn't summon the will to argue with him.
Miroku sped down the path toward them, skidding to a stop and taking no notice at all of their disheveled appearance. Kagome frowned as she took note of the wildness in Miroku's eyes, the flush that stained his normally pale skin. He looked wholly ruffled, and that was something odd, all by itself.
“You must come!” he gasped out, doubling over, leaning on his knees as he struggled to draw breath at the same time he struggled to speak. “Sango . . . she . . . pain . . . and bleeding . . . blood . . . .”
“Pain?” Kagome echoed as she started running. “What do you mean?”
“Stomach,” Miroku gasped out. “Says . . . it hurts . . . .”
Kagome shot InuYasha a quick look. It wasn't like Sango to admit that anything really hurt. That was more than enough to make them move faster. The hanyou grabbed Kagome in one hand and Miroku in the other, tossing them both onto his back as he gained speed.
“She said it's been hurting the last couple days but she never told anyone,” Miroku admitted, his face registering his upset. Kagome held onto InuYasha's shoulder with one hand and tried to pat the monk's back with the other. A half-sob escaped him, and Kagome winced at her friend's obvious pain. “Her pain is getting worse and worse . . . and I don't know what to do for her.”
“Shut up, Monk,” InuYasha tossed over his shoulder.
“InuYasha!” Kagome gasped at his obvious insensitivity.
“Keh! If you fall apart on your mate, who will she rely on then?”
Miroku's shocked expression faded as a steely resolve surfaced in its place. “You're right. Kagome . . . what could it be?”
Kagome shook her head. “I don't know . . . .”
Miroku's eyes bored into her skull, the intensity of his gaze daring her to lie. “But you can help her, right? With your modern medicines?”
She shook her head again, unable to make a promise she wasn't sure if she could keep. “I'll try,” she promised.
Miroku swallowed hard and nodded.
InuYasha let them off his back at their hut. Kagome darted inside. Miroku started to follow. InuYasha caught him and held him back. “Let Kagome see her,” he growled. Miroku started to protest. “Don't be stupid! Sango won't say what's wrong if you're there.”
The monk looked as though he wanted to argue with InuYasha. In the end, he nodded. “I've never been so scared in my life,” he admitted quietly, pacing the small yard before the hut. “InuYasha . . . what if—”
“Keh! Don't be fucking stupid,” InuYasha snarled, folding his arms together under his sleeves. “Sango's stronger than the both of us put together. She'll be fine.”
“InuYasha!” Kagome yelled from inside. Something scared, desperate in her tone . . . InuYasha ran inside.
The stench of blood, of death filled the small hut, the smell of something very different from Sango's normally mild fragrance. InuYasha wrinkled his nose as he hurried over to Kagome, who was kneeling beside the pallet where the youkai exterminator lay. Miroku hovered over their shoulders. The monk winced at the blood—Sango's blood—that soaked through the thin blanket covering her small form. Kagome eyes, awash with tears, met InuYasha's. “She needs a doctor,” Kagome rasped out, her voice shaking, her eyes desperately seeking reassurances that InuYasha couldn't give her. “She really needs a doctor.”
InuYasha didn't wait to hear more. Careful as he lifted Sango, he cradled her unconscious body to him. She burned with fever, and InuYasha winced as her skin seemed to scald him.
“Get to the shrine and tell Mama to call an ambulance. I think Sango's miscarrying,” Kagome called after him. “She'll understand. We'll be right there.”
InuYasha nodded as he sprinted back toward the forest. “Come on, Sango,” he mumbled, glancing down at the woman hanging limply in his arms. “If you . . . that pervert will fall to pieces . . . hang on!”
Eyes burning, stung with emotion that he blinked back with a vengeance, InuYasha leaped into the well as he heard the others coming behind him on Kirara.
Waking with a soft groan in the pervasive silence, she squinted at the bright light filtering through the open window. `Where am I?' she thought, her mind dazed, foggy. `How did I . . . ?'
A soft knock announced the visitor. “Come in,” she called and winced, feeling her head throb against her own raised voice.
“You're looking much better. Do you know where you are?”
Stifling a moan, Ayamakita rolled over on the pallet. “Katosan . . . what are you doing here?”
His soft chuckle was somehow soothing to her. “I live here, Aya.”
She struggled to sit up, her face contorting in a mask of pain. He reached over to help her. For reasons she didn't dare consider, she allowed him to do it. “Why?” she finally asked, her tone almost petulant, avoiding his gaze as she stared at the blanket that covered her. “Why didn't you let me die?”
Katosan shrugged as he leaned back on his heels. “Am I cold enough to do something like that?”
“I thought you hated me,” she countered.
“I don't like you but I don't hate you,” he replied lightly, almost teasingly. Ayamakita shot him a quizzical glance.
“That isn't very comforting,” she remarked with a more pronounced frown. “How long have I been here?”
Katosan shrugged. “Awhile. I was starting to wonder if you'd ever regain yourself.”
“It was that miko . . . she tried to purify me,” Ayamakita stared, her tone dull, flat.
“Did you deserve it?”
She winced at Katosan's too-reasonable question. “Perhaps,” she admitted, her expression pouting.
Katosan chuckled. “I never thought you'd admit to that.”
She sighed. “I had to do it. I made a pact with Norimitsu. If I don't, he'll kill me.”
“And if you go after InuYasha-sama again, his miko will kill you, if he doesn't, himself.”
Ayamakita shifted her gaze to meet his. “And you would let her.”
“Do you believe I could stop her?”
Shrugging in what she hoped was a show of nonchalance, Ayamakita flicked her hand dismissively. “You should have let me die.”
Katosan's eyebrows rose. “Would I do such a thing?”
Shaking her head, she blinked innocently at him, absently noting the way the light played off his hair, the way the golden sheen seemed to caress him. `Still beautiful,' she mused with a frown. Shifting her gaze away once more, she shrugged and said, “And you shouldn't be in here . . . alone with me.”
“You've never really cared for convention, Aya. Don't tell me you're going to stand on it now.” She didn't correct him. His eyebrows drew together again when he noticed her fatigue. He helped her lay back down and pulled her blanket up under her chin. “Go back to sleep. I'll check in on you later.”
“Katosan . . . what went wrong?” she asked quietly, catching his hand, all traces of her carefully constructed façade stripped away.
He looked away, remembering the past, a time so long ago . . . a time when they were the best of friends. How many times had they walked through the gardens? How often had he laughed with her, smiled with her? How much anger had she hidden from him, pretending not to care . . . and he had never known . . . .
A discernable sadness in his gaze, the passing years seemed to fall away. As he brought his eyes back to meet hers, she winced to see the pain that the memories caused him. “You chose Sesshoumaru,” he answered quietly.
“I chose Sesshoumaru because I couldn't have you,” she whispered, fighting to keep her expression blank, fighting to keep the waning hurt from resurfacing again. It was a futile effort.
“It was a long time ago,” he mumbled. “Best to leave it in the past.” He let go of her hand and left as silently as he had come.
`In the past . . . .'
In that time when they ran together, reaching for the ends of the earth, laughing as they chased each other through the hills, through the mists. She still wasn't certain when everything had changed.
Ayamakita watched him go, a suspect hotness, a prickling sensation behind her eyes. `After all these years,' she marveled with a bittersweet smile, `I didn't know I could still . . . cry . . . .'
Kagome rubbed Miroku's back as they sat in the waiting room. InuYasha paced the floor, unable to stand still, while Mrs. Higurashi sipped tea from a paper cup and did her best to offer smiles of encouragement to those assembled. Miroku's face was pale, drawn, ashen, and he clutched his prayer beads in his hands, between his palms, muttering prayers over and over.
“This is my fault,” he rasped out quietly. “They say monks who turn their backs on the teachings . . . .”
“Don't say that,” Kagome insisted, “she'll be fine . . . you just have to believe.”
Miroku nodded and resumed his prayers.
“Sir, you really can't be in here without shoes,” a nurse remarked to InuYasha, who slowly turned to stab her with a fierce glower. She blinked in surprise and stepped back before mumbling something about, “fine for now,” before she hurried out of the room again.
“What the fuck is taking them so long?” InuYasha growled, gripping the window sill and scraping his claws against the metal frame. Kagome gritted her teeth but remained silent as the sound cut through her, making her wince.
“Sometimes it takes awhile,” Mrs. Higurashi remarked in her calm voice. “It's good. It means they're helping her.”
“Uncle? What are you doing here?”
All heads turned to stare at Nibori, who had stepped into the waiting room with a curious frown on his face.
InuYasha made a face. “It's Sango,” Kagome spoke up since InuYasha looked like he'd rather tear into his nephew than talk to him. “The doctor hasn't been out to tell us anything yet though.”
“Sango?” Nibori repeated, and oddly alarmed look surfacing on his normally friendly face. “It must be serious, if you brought her here.”
“We don't know . . . .”
Nibori nodded and pulled his cell phone out of his pocket. Dialing a number, he waited only seconds before he spoke into the device. “Father . . . yes . . . no, Mother's fine . . . Uncle is here . . . yes, that's right . . . . All right . . . of course . . . I understand.” Clicking the phone closed and stowing it back into his pocket, he rubbed his forehead and bowed. “I'll be right back.”
“What the hell was that all about?” InuYasha grumbled, narrowing his eyes as he watched Nibori's hasty retreat. “Why'd he call that bastard?”
Miroku shot to his feet. Mrs. Higurashi, having realized that Miroku and Sango didn't actually have a last name, had given that as Sango's when the ambulance had arrived. The doctor offered Miroku a slight bow. “How is she?” Miroku demanded. “I want to see her.”
The doctor sighed and shook his head slowly. “It's complicated. Your wife has suffered an ectopic pregnancy.” Seeing the confusion on Miroku's face, the doctor drew a deep breath. “It means that she conceived but that the fetus isn't in the right place to allow it to grow.” Miroku uttered a sick sound, a mix of a sob and a groan. “The fallopian tube burst, and they're prepping her for surgery now. We're doing everything we—”
“Thank you, doctor. I'll be taking over this case, if you please.” Staring at the newest doctor to enter the room, Kagome frowned. “I'm Dr. Yukina.” The other doctor seemed a bit irritated but he nodded and left. “I just wanted to stop in and introduce myself. I'll have a nurse come in to explain anything you don't understand. The surgery could take awhile. May I suggest our excellent cafeteria? I can have you paged when there is word.”
Kagome watched the doctor leave with a marked frown. “Why did they switch her doctor?” she muttered as Miroku collapsed back into his chair. “Miroku? I'm so sorry . . . .”
“I don't understand,” Miroku admitted, “What did he mean?”
Kagome swallowed hard. She had learned about some of these things in health class before. “It means that Sango was pregnant but the baby wasn't in the right place,” she explained quietly. “The baby must have gotten too big in that place, and it tore open inside her. I'm sure the doctors can help her, Miroku.”
“I'm so sorry to hear about your misfortune.”
Kagome glanced up and stood as Leikizu, with Nibori beside her, hurried over to offer Miroku a reassuring pat on the shoulder. “Rest assured, Dr. Yukina is one of the best there is anywhere. He's my doctor, and I asked him to take care of Sango for you.” Miroku closed his eyes, focusing his attention on his prayer beads again.
InuYasha strode over to Nibori, crossing his arms over his chest. “Why did you call Sesshoumaru? Why would he care what's going on with Sango?”
Nibori shrugged. “Surely you wanted to best care for her, didn't you? Ectopic pregnancies aren't something to take lightly.”
Kagome frowned. “How did you know that's what was wrong?” she asked.
Nibori shifted uncomfortably and forced a weak chuckle. “I didn't,” he remarked. “I simply thought she would benefit from a specialized doctor. We were here to see Mother's doctor.”
“Is something wrong?” Kagome asked.
Leikizu shook her head. “No, everything's fine. Sesshoumaru and I decided to have another child.”
InuYasha opened his mouth to speak but stopped, his face registering surprise as he slowly turned to stare at Leikizu. Deliberately sniffing, his eyes flared as he stepped back, a look of nearly comical horror surfacing. “Keh! What'd you do a thing like that for?” he growled, staring at Leikizu in abject disgust.
“Still a baka, aren't you?” Sesshoumaru drawled as he strode into the waiting room.
Leikizu finally noticed Mrs. Higurashi, who was still sitting in the same chair, patiently waiting. “You must be Kagome's mother! I'm so pleased to meet you! I'm Leikizu, and we're so happy to have Kagome in the family now.”
Mrs. Higurashi, staring over at the brothers who were standing toe to toe, neither looking pleased by the other's appearance, shook her head. “Yes, Kagome speaks highly of you.”
Leikizu peeked back over her shoulder at the men and rolled her eyes. “Ignore them. They always get territorial whenever they're in the same time period. In any case, Kagome's just a lovely girl, and we're so proud of InuYasha for making such a perfect choice in taking a mate.”
Mrs. Higurashi blushed. Kagome's blush was darker. “I still expect them to marry,” Mrs. Higurashi commented with a marked glance at her daughter.
Kagome winced as Leikizu turned to eye her critically. “Kagome, when are you and InuYasha going to give Shippou that brother or sister he's been wanting?”
“Uh . . . .”
“He's mentioned that to me, as well,” Mrs. Higurashi said with a giggle. “But Kagome has promised to wait till after she's done with school before they think about having children.”
Kagome made a face as the other two women seemed to forget that she was standing right there beside them. She shook her head slowly and turned to grab Miroku's hand. Her mother was still chatting with Leikizu, probably about things that Kagome didn't want to hear, and InuYasha was preoccupied with his and Sesshoumaru's snarling contest. “Come on. You look like you could use some fresh air, and so could I.”
“Do you think it was a good idea to leave him there?” Kagome ventured as InuYasha paced the bedroom floor. His raven locks seemed darker in the wan light, and she wondered if his humanity had affected his hearing worse than usual since he didn't answer right away. “Miroku's not that familiar with my time, and—”
“And he'll be fine. Besides, do you honestly think we could have gotten him to leave?”
“I suppose,” she agreed with a sigh. Hugging her raised knees, her eyes fell on the opened calculus book on the bed. She'd given up studying after five minutes. Her mind was still in the hospital with her grieving friends. Sango had been in surgery for nearly four hours as the doctors worked to repair her torn fallopian tube. In the end, they'd failed. When Sango woke and listened to the explanation, Miroku had looked so helpless as he held her while she sobbed, mourning not only the child she had lost but also the idea that she might never have children at all.
Worse had been when Dr. Yukina had come in and explained in hushed tones and in simplest terms that Sango suffered from a condition called a `septate uterus', which basically meant that there was an extra wall of skin inside her uterus that, in her case, seemed to prevent normal pregnancy. Even if she succeeded in getting pregnant without the surgery, it was highly probable that she would miscarry the baby in the first trimester since the septate would prevent adequate room for growth. While the anomaly could be removed with surgery, because of the ruptured fallopian tube, it was very doubtful that Sango would be able to have children regularly, without the use of fertility drugs since, and those were definitely not available in the past.
InuYasha had been even more withdrawn since they left the hospital. Kagome stared at him. Staring out the window at Goshinboku, he seemed to be deep in thought. She wondered if he remembered she was there, at all. “InuYasha?”
“What are you thinking about?”
InuYasha sighed then shrugged. “I never realized there was so much danger in having pups,” he admitted. “Sango could have . . . she almost . . . .”
Rising off the bed, Kagome went to him, wrapped her arms around him. He hugged her back, his upset touching her, and she closed her eyes against it. Was it more acute because of his human status for the night?
“She'll be fine, though . . . and it isn't always so risky.”
“Kagome . . .” he mumbled, burying his lips in her hair. “I just keep thinking . . . what if it had been you? I can't . . . .”
She sighed and tightened her arms around him. “Don't think that way, okay? The doctors can help Sango and Miroku . . . it's not hopeless . . . .”
He didn't answer as he rested his chin against her hair. She could sense his fear, the blatant worry that Sango had inspired in him. “It'll be all right, you'll see,” she assured him quietly. “Everything will be exactly how it was meant to be.”
InuYasha's back tensed. “How do we know? How do we know what is supposed to be?”
She shook her head. “I don't know. We just have to believe.”
He nodded slowly. “Believe, huh?” They stared outside for a long while, the ticking of the clock the only sound to be heard. “I don't always know what to believe,” he finally whispered. “But I believe in you.”
Kagome leaned up to kiss his cheek. He pulled her close, her cheek against his chest, her forehead nestled in the crook of his neck. “I believe in us,” she replied.
She smiled vaguely as the tension eased out of him.
Goshinboku swayed in the night.
== == == == == == == == == ==
Final Thought from Sesshoumaru:
InuYasha no baka . . . he never appreciates anything, does he?
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.