InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ The Phoenix ( Chapter 86 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]

~*~*~*~*~*~Lemon warning~*~*~*~*~*~
 
Rebirth . . .
Clean version of this chapter can be read here:
http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2068095/86/
 
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~~Chapter 86~~
~The Phoenix~
 
Pushing through the trees was a struggle. Vertigo still hung around him like a stupor that he couldn't shake off. The cloying darkness that had tried to crush him wouldn't release his soul, like a parasite that just wouldn't let go.
 
Confusion as daunting as a frigid winter wind cut through him. It was good to breathe free air and yet the pervasive aura of sadness, as though the very earth was mourning . . . as though she was mourning . . . .
 
`Kagome.'
 
That one word, that one name, that one brightness, his shooting star. Shaking his head to clear the haziness from his mind, he stumbled forward, his instinct guiding him as his other senses failed.
 
Buried in the blackness, in the stifling dirt . . . caught between two worlds where nothing made sense, where nothing else existed . . . how long had he been suspended there, lost in a void of nothing? How long had he lain dormant, unable to make sense of the basest of thought? Until the oblivion of unconscious had taken him, until he had seen that face . . . and he told him . . . .
 
He scratched his head as he tried to remember the whispered words. They were dim, soft, no more than a whisper in his clouded mind . . . .
 
`Did you find her?'
 
`Yes.'
 
`Will you protect her?'
 
`Yes.'
 
`Do you love her?'
 
`Yes.'
 
The deep chuckle, the golden eyes that burned bright, burned with an inner light. `Then what are you doing here? You must fight for her.'
 
`. . . Yes.'
 
The flash of pain as he awoke, crushed by earth, torn by centuries. Feeling the blood pulsing in his veins, the hot rush as his youkai gained strength. Too much sensation dulled by too little strength to fight, and slowly the rushing tide, the swelling mists, his youkai . . . .
 
Did it matter, how he'd managed to claw his way out of the earth? Did it matter that his hands were bloody, rent? Breaking free of the earthen constraints, the rush of air was a humbling thing, and he'd fallen to the ground, drawing in stunted breaths. Hard to reconcile himself to the freedom, one word brought him to his knees, to his feet . . .
 
`Kagome.'
 
Into the forest, into the dark as evening shadows fell. A sound—a voice? A man, calling the name . . . the name he cherished . . . . He growled. The voice was familiar. Instinct told him the voice belonged to a friend. Friend or foe, it didn't matter. Nothing mattered but Kagome. He'd reach her, he'd find her . . . and through her, he would be reborn . . . .
 
The voice came closer, drawing nearer. A low snarl, a vicious warning ripped through the air, halted the one giving chase. “InuYasha? Oh, kami, is that you?”
 
`Miroku,' he thought, shaking his head as an angry buzzing engulfed his mind. “Get . . . back . . . !” he snarled without stopping.
 
The smell of Miroku's alarm penetrated his clouded brain. “What's happened to you?”
 
“Ka . . . gome . . . .”
 
Miroku shot forward, grabbed InuYasha's arm. “InuYasha, no! You'll hurt her!”
 
With an enraged snarl, InuYasha threw off the monk. “Never!” he growled.
 
Miroku stumbled back and fell then stared at him for a long moment. As though understanding what was in InuYasha's heart, he nodded once. “Be careful, InuYasha . . .” he warned as he slowly stood, the trace of a smile touching the edges of his lips. “She's just a pathetic human.”
 
Issuing a grunt of acknowledgement, InuYasha staggered deeper into the forest as Miroku turned back toward the shrine.
 
`Heart . . . can't beat . . . without her . . . .' The buzzing in his head subsided, the waning of the interference waning. Attuned to the forest around him, his youkai knew where she was, where she waited . . . .
 
Pushing into the dense foliage, the scent of her tears breaking through everything else. Why did she weep?
 
A low, savage growl, a surge of raw anger, his youkai lashed out viciously, `Mate cry . . . must stop . . . . No one harms . . . Kagome . . . .'
 
He leaned on Tetsusaiga to steady himself. He stared at the sword in his hand, the mist of red blurring the edges of his vision. `Tessaiga . . . hurts . . . .' he realized as he tightened his grip on the sword. Meant to repress his youkai blood . . . trying to contain him even now . . . yet his youkai blood fought against it, and in the fissure where the wills clashed was borne an intense pain.
 
His father's voice echoed through his head, the calm voice, the strong tone, `Then what are you doing here? You must fight for her . . . .'
 
The struggle with his youkai blood . . . the fight to climb out of the collapsed well . . . the combination of the scent of his blood and Kagome's tears . . . blood on his hands . . . . `Kagome . . . .'
 
She was there. Lying under the tree where he'd first staked his claim, she had her eyes closed, the softness of her body calling to the youkai within him. `Mine . . . my mate . . . .'
 
Her eyes opened; she stared at the sky as tears fell from her eyes, streaking her face, liquid diamonds in the waning light. Her lips moved as she made her wish on the star that streaked the sky overhead. Summoning the last vestiges of humanity in him, he said her name.
 
“Kagome.”
 
 
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Her heart stopped as a painful swelling in her chest broke open. Daring to hope, wishing upon something that she couldn't give voice to, she stared, unblinking, untroubled, unafraid. “InuYasha . . . ?” she whispered, lips trembling, eyes still bright with the remnants of tears. He dropped to his knees beside her. The jagged violet streaks on his face drew her fingertips. Tracing over them with gentle fingers, trying to believe that he was real, that he was there . . . .
 
Trembling on the cusp of a precarious control, he shuddered under her caress, closed his crimson eyes as though willing back something savage, something that battled within his soul. A low growl as he nudged against her hand, her tears falling like jewels as the moon rose above . . . .
 
`He's youkai, but . . . he doesn't seem dangerous,' she mused. “What happened?” she asked, brushing dirt off his cheeks, off his nose, off his lips.
 
“No . . . talk . . .” he rasped, eyes still closed as she continued to brush away the grime. “Mine . . . Kagome.”
 
“Yours,” she repeated, her voice a whisper, a sigh.
 
He reached for her, dragged her against him, barely contained brutality as his shaking hands wrapped around her. She gasped as his mouth crushed hers, the searing burn of his lips took her breath away. The insistent contact sent tremors coursing through her, the volatile eruption of an instinctive need. Fangs raking against her lips as shivers broke over her, she accepted his will as her own, welcomed his stroking hands, extended her aura to cosset him. His touch meant to soothe her ignited her passion instead. The growls meant to calm her drew her onto her knees as she took possession of the kiss. Her hands on his face, she bent him to her resolve as his youkai fought against the domination, against the war of two beings with one ultimate desire.
 
His claws raked up against her sides, down along her back as she leaned closer to him. Close enough to feel his heart hammering against his ribcage was still not close enough. Tugging at his haori, he seemed to understand. She gasped as his claws ripped away her clothes as she pushed his undershirt away.
 
Standing up to remove his pants, jerking at the knot that held his hakama closed, Kagome pushed his hands away as she stood. Growling at her in the moonlight, he started to reach for his ties again. “Yours,” Kagome murmured, placing his hands on her waist. “Mine,” she explained as she worked the knot free. He grunted in abject disapproval but let her finish her task. “If I'm yours,” she told him as she discarded the remaining clothing, “then you're mine . . . right?”
 
Her answer was another growl as he jerked her roughly against his chest, against his body, gaze fierce, wanton. “All mine,” he rumbled as he claimed her lips again.
 
Crumbling against him, unable to stand as he demolished her resolve, he caught her, held her, forced her head back as he dropped his mouth to her throat. A strangled gasp, a rasping cry, a reaching pulse that fluttered under his lips, he lifted her against him, his body creating one thorough caress. She shook as he raised her higher, elbows against her hips, hands supporting her back. Searing mouth latching onto her breast as she cried out, as her fingernails dug into his shoulders. Nuzzling his way between her breasts, he growled viciously, as though he were guarding his territory, as though he were warning off anyone who dared to intrude.
 
Lost in the rapidly-escalating vortex of sensation, Kagome's mind spun away from her. Faster than coherent thought could form, InuYasha whisked it away with his unabashed perusal, with his deliberate search. Consumed by the need to taste every inch of her body, the slow torment left her weak, boneless, liquid to his touch. She couldn't summon the strength to resist, couldn't think of a single reason why she would want to. Opening her eyes, staring at the full moon, basking in the heat of InuYasha's body against hers, she delighted in the scorch of his lips, the heat of his breath, the primitive feel of his fangs, the balmy comfort of his tongue . . . . Playing over her flesh, moans and whimpers were unanswered as he broke down any sense of her and merged her emotions into his own.
 
Lowering her slowly, her body sliding against his, her feet barely touched the ground before he scooped her up and laid her down, comfortable on a nest of soft grass with the smell of the earth surrounding her. Arching against him as the warmth of his body called to her, she willed him to understand what she needed. Her hands sought the silk of his skin as his mouth drew upon hers. Demanding, insistent, his youkai hadn't diminished. She kissed him back, matching his fervor with a hunger of her own, her hands tracing crests and vales, drawing deeper growls from him as he nipped at her, a warning that only served to goad her further.
 
Rising up on his hands, trailing wet kisses down her throat, over her collarbone, in the gentle hollow between her breasts, he moved with a purpose, a destination. She writhed under him, incoherent half-words that were lost behind a myriad of gasps and moans, sighs and whimpers. Kissing her hips, squeezing her breasts as he reached under her thighs and captured her in his palms, his crimson eyes glowed with an unearthly light as he lowered his mouth to consume her. Mind too scattered to make sense of the sudden heat, the blinding intensity as a need so fierce wrapped around her and squeezed. She cried out his name, and if he heard her broken pleadings, he ignored her as her body trembled and shook, as her head tilted back, as she moaned, cried, keened into the night.
 
An explosion of light as the constricting bands of emotion snapped, a guttural cry wrenched from the deepest recess of her soul, the knowledge that he was her body's release. A wave of heat, a central burn as the teasing pressure, the flick of his tongue sent her spiraling down only to catch her, lift her up, sending her soaring, setting her free.
 
As the world fell away leaving sensation behind, as the gentle tide of oblivion subsided, Kagome found herself being caught up once more, driven harder, faster, as InuYasha surged inside her. Body against body, heart to heart, the culmination of heat and need, of love lost then found once more compelled him, provoked him. Meeting him with her movements, matching her body to his, his growls gave way to harsh whines, whimpers as he fought to hold back the inevitable joining.
 
Goading her along, a paradox in motion, InuYasha's savage growls merged with Kagome's whimpers, her moans. The crush of his body on hers created a combustion, a centrifugal compulsion as sorrow faded, leaving behind a repletion of flesh on flesh, of need on need . . . of two hearts that beat together as one. Straining inside her, his youkai quickened, markings gaining intensity, darkening, deepening, growing, swelling. Amassing a pain so deep, so provoking, promising a tide of pleasure so close she could feel it, so far that she couldn't attain it.
 
His body quaked against hers, delicious tremors that touched her deep as they clung to the pinnacle. Throwing his head back, rending a cry that pierced the night, he rose against her like a phoenix from the ashes, forcing her higher, plunging her further into the pervasive whiteness, the agonizing pleasure as she called out his name. Reborn in each other's embrace, the peace of the forest surrounded them both as they lay, twined together, the merging of souls to create a new life.
 
“I don't know how you came back, but I'm so glad you did,” Kagome said softly, stroking InuYasha's hair and back.
 
Leaning up on his elbow, he stared down at her, expression solemn, golden lights highlighting the eyes she loved. “Kagome . . . .” She pushed his bangs out of his eyes, caressed his cheeks—now pale and flawless, streaked with sweat, all traces of his youkai markings gone. “It's . . . .”
 
“The full moon,” she finished with a slight smile. “I know.”
 
“But we promised—”
 
Kagome pushed herself up on her elbows, kissed him to silence him. He moaned softly. “I know . . . I don't think she'll be too angry.”
 
He didn't look pacified. His scowl darkened as he rolled away. “Keh! How can you possibly be so calm about this? Your mother already hates me, and now—”
 
“She doesn't hate you.”
 
“Keh! I might as well move into Goshinboku . . . or I could move in with that bastard till your mother decides she doesn't want to cut off my head . . . or whatever else she might decide to hack off me.”
 
Kagome couldn't suppress the giggle that escaped her as InuYasha turned to glower at her in the semi-darkness. “I doubt she'd do that,” she argued. “Why didn't you tell me?”
 
He paused as he dragged on his hakama. “Tell you what?”
 
Even in the darkness he could still sense her embarrassed smile. “That when you're fully transformed that everything gets . . . bigger?”
 
Feeling the heat of a distinct flush creep up his own skin, he still grinned anyway. “Does it?”
 
She didn't answer but her smile widened just a little.
 
“Keh. I'm filthy,” he said, wrinkling his nose.
 
Standing up and reaching for his hand, Kagome retrieved her backpack and dragged the reluctant hanyou toward the clearing—toward the pond. She rummaged around in the bag until she found the unscented shampoo and soaps as InuYasha stripped off his hakama once more and waded out into the water.
 
Kagome followed him into the water and sank down against a rock. Holding her hand out to him, he reluctantly sank down before her as she started rubbing the soap over his back. She sighed. “Tell me how you got back here?”
 
Eyes closing as the soothing feel of her hands gliding over his skin reminded him how bone-weary he truly was, InuYasha had to force himself to remember her question. “I don't know . . . I talked to Miroku, then Myouga showed up. He said that I had to get through the well before it was too late.”
 
He frowned, recalling Myouga's last cryptic words. `Live long with Kagome-sama . . . . So long as . . . protect her . . . Tetsusaiga, she'll . . . goodbye!' What had he meant?
 
“And then the well collapsed,” she supplied quietly. A trembling in her hands said everything that she didn't as she leaned against his back, her cheek against his shoulder. “I was scared,” she admitted in a little voice. “So scared.”
 
A sarcastic reply formed on his lips. When he turned his torso to stare at her, the words died away. Moonlight reflected in her eyes, the telling moisture that gathered under the scent of her tears . . . InuYasha leaned back, kissed her softly. “So was I,” he admitted quietly. “But I had to come back for you.”
 
“How did you come back?”
 
He shook his head, turning away from her as she started lathering his hair, taking extra care with his ears. He smiled. “The well collapsed when I jumped in . . . I don't know, exactly . . . I remember seeing the light of the time slip, but I don't remember much else. I must have blacked out or something, and . . . I saw my . . . my old man . . . .”
 
“Your father?”
 
InuYasha nodded, his low rumble issuing because of her gentle ministrations. “He asked me . . . if I'd found you, if I was going to fight for you, and he said to go back . . . . The next thing I knew, I was digging myself out of the well, and it was all kind of blurry. I guess I'd transformed.” Another suspicion arose in him, a dark foreboding, a question he was afraid to ask because he feared the answer. “Did I . . . I didn't . . . hurt you?”
 
“No.”
 
A flood of relief washed over him, and InuYasha heaved a sigh. “You'd tell me if I did . . . ?”
 
“Probably not,” she answered lightly. “You never tell me when I hurt you, either. You didn't, though, so don't think you did.”
 
“I ought to tweak you for giving me an answer like that,” he grumbled.
 
“Okay, rinse,” Kagome demanded as her hands dropped from his hair.
 
He complied but came up shaking. Kagome squealed and swished her arm over the top of the water, splashing him in the face. “Oi! Sneaky wench wants to play, do you?” he growled as he lunged at her. She squealed again as he flattened his ears and caught her, bringing her up against his chest as his lips sought out hers, drinking in the water on her lips, breathing in her scent, powerful, intoxicating, wholly Kagome.
 
“Let me finish washing you,” she offered, biting her lower lip as she reached for the soap again. InuYasha stifled a groan but let her continue.
 
It was too much, to see her small hands dragging the bar of soap over his chest and to feel it, too. Her hands trembled as they glided over him. His skin seemed to flow into her. The feel, the absolute sensation sent shivers up and down his spine. Her hands held a strange power over him, an impetuous transcendence of flesh and emotion.
 
Skin bathed blue in the moonlight, a strange current of her body that spoke to him. A heat that reached him through her fingers playing against him. He caught her hands, twined his fingers in hers, pulled her closer. “That's enough,” he rasped out.
 
Eyes locking in the moonlight, gold and brown met and sparked. A glowing coal in the darkness, a subtle fire that lit, caught, burned. Intensifying as her hands reached out to lather him more, her hands shaking as they disappeared under the surface of the water. A savage growl as she touched him, hesitantly at first, but her hands steadied as her courage grew. The sudden ache of longing, the fire that roared to life under her touch was almost painful, and he gasped, eyes closing, head falling back.
 
Kagome caught her breath, a soft whisper of air, as she jerked her hands away. “Did I hurt you?”
 
“Keh,” he managed though the sound was strangled. “You can't hurt me.”
 
“But you—”
 
“I changed my mind, wench. Wash me all you want.”
 
She giggled, her cheeks pinking. Her smile suddenly faded though, and she sat back as her chin dropped, her gaze skittering away, the shift in her aura a very real thing. “I would have died if you didn't come back,” she whispered. “I would have—”
 
“Don't talk that way. I'll always come back,” he growled, unable to listen to her, unable to face her upset. “I told you. You're strong—stronger than I'll ever be.”
 
“InuYasha . . . .”
 
He sighed. “You talk too much, wench. Are you going to finish washing me or not?”
 
Slowly her smile resurfaced, and she moved in closer. “Are you sure?”
 
“Kiss me, and I'll show you,” he countered as he reached for her. Her giggle turned into a sigh as his lips found hers. Pulling her against him until she was straddling his thighs, she wrapped her arms around his neck and held him close. `Home,' he thought through his Kagome-induced delirium.
 
A sudden thought occurred to him, and he pulled back, dragging his mouth away as Kagome whimpered and leaned against him. “Kagome?”
 
“What?”
 
If the question plaguing him wasn't so important, he might have laughed outright at her petulant answer. He smiled then frowned. “Can we do this?”
 
She leaned away with a frown of her own and shook her head. “Do what?”
 
He could feel his face flaming as she stared at him. Ears drooping slightly as he struggled to make her understand, InuYasha sighed inwardly. “You know,” he grumbled. “This. If you're pregnant now . . . . I don't want to hurt the pup.”
 
His feeling of complete stupidity escalated when she giggled. “And you think I talk too much? It's fine, InuYasha . . . it says so in all the books.”
 
He shot her a suspicious glance. “Are you sure?”
 
A hurt expression surfaced on her face, and InuYasha frowned. “You think I'd endanger a baby? Our baby? And how do you know I'm pregnant.”
 
He made a face. “Because we . . . .” With a sudden grin, he pulled her close again. “I don't know, wench. Let me smell you.”
 
It was Kagome's turn to blush. “You can't smell that,” she argued but looked worried, “can you?”
 
“Keh. I can smell everything about you, wench. You didn't know that? Like now. You want me. I can smell you.”
 
She rolled her eyes. “InuYasha?”
 
“Hmm?” he asked as he nuzzled against her neck.
 
“Let me finish your bath.”
 
“Kagome?”
 
She grinned and giggled, leaning her head toward him as she tried to escape the tickling of his breath on her skin. “Yes?”
 
“Can we stay here? In the forest?”
 
“How long?”
 
“Till the pup is at least . . . fifty.”
 
She giggled again. “You're not really that afraid of my mother, are you?”
 
“Keh!” he snorted. “I'm not afraid . . . but . . . if she's like you she can yell . . . .”
 
“InuYasha?”
 
“What?”
 
“Shut up and kiss me.”
 
“Oi, wench! You can't tell me—”
 
Her kiss cut him off, the magic of her lips blossoming under his as she ran her hands along his shoulders, down his chest. Arms reaching up to cradle her, he let her take what she wanted. Warm and alive in his embrace, she surged against him like the tide, the pull of her body a draw on his. Her fragrance reached around him, soothing him as she deepened her kiss. Running her tongue against his fangs, a little tremor running through her body as she rose up out of the water, her mouth dragging away only to fall against his throat. Every shudder, every breath she managed to draw, even the flutter of her eyelids added to the mounting tension deep inside him, the need to have her, the need to dominate or be dominated, it didn't matter which.
 
Her body, poised above his, was a cruel insanity. He whimpered softly, tugging on her hips, the heat of her teased him through the veil of water. The savage yearning mocked him as she lingered so near but not near enough. If she understood his need she deliberately ignored it. He growled in frustration as her mouth sought out his in a kiss that left him reeling.
 
The violent meeting of his lust and her exploration as she deliberately took her time fluttering kisses across his shoulders, over his chest with an ache bone deep inside as he held her so close, as he burned to be closer . Fingers splayed, torturing him with her touch along his ribs, his sides, over the rippling muscles in his back, he fought for control of his ragged lust, his aching body that craved hers desperately. “Damn it, wench, you're trying to kill me,” he accused as her mouth delved lower, closing over his nipple as he growled.
 
“I wouldn't do that,” she assured him, peeking up at him through her eyelashes without raising her chin. He looked away before he gave in to the desire to drag her down on him. Letting her drive him with a maddening rush of power as she held power, wanton abandon rushed and ebbed, flowed with the consistency of a fabrication in time as she fed on him. Extreme hunger, overpowering seduction combined in him, his voracious need to consume all that was her driving away the will to surrender.
 
“Keh.”
 
But she pressed against him, her breasts rubbing against his chest as she kissed his neck again, lips lingering over his pulse. The feel of her wet skin on his was enough to wring another whine from him, the sound of his misery, the sound he couldn't hold back. Her hands slid down into the water, wrapped around him. He growled into the night, pushing past the bounds that his body could withstand. The encompassing knowledge that she was controlling him didn't sway him nearly as much as the need to allow her what she desired. It was that wish that stilled his hands when he wanted to reach for her. “Kagome,” he whispered into her hair. Her answer was a gentle squeeze. He whined.
 
His passion fueled hers. Her scent spiraled out of control, a raging wildfire that caught and spread. An endless cycle with no beginning, no end, he dug his claws into the silky sand as he fought to contain the rampant ache. Reaching out, cradling her face in his hands, kissing her with all the gentleness he could muster, she sighed against him. The kiss meant to calm him only added to the fervor, added to the yearning as the tender gesture became so much more.
 
The intricacies of her body melded into his, the curves of her flesh fit perfectly against him. Her arms came up, her hands gripped his shoulders as though she were afraid to let go, as though she feared losing him to the crush of time. Running his hands over her body, navigating the map of skin that was Kagome, she arched into his hands as he massaged her breasts, as he nipped her lips. Plundering, persuading, her mouth gave way to the intrusion of his tongue. Sliding his hand into the water, gathering retribution for the deliberate attack on his body, InuYasha took no pity on her, touching her as she swelled against him, as her head fell back, as she gasped his name over and over. Her voice was a song to him, her heart the rhythm, her body sang the words that no human ears could hear. Straining in his arms, body writhing as she struggled to find repletion, Kagome begged him with her soft moans, pleaded with him in her stunted breathing.
 
“Sit down, Kagome,” he whispered in her ear, his voice harsh, raspy. She managed to cast him a confused glance, eyelids heavy, passion tremendous behind the ashy perfection of her gaze. Grasping her hips in his hands, he pulled her down slowly, gently, as her body convulsed, her eyes flashing open as skin darkened in a beautiful flush. She enveloped him in a blazing heat, a searing brand that scorched the night. He moaned something but he wasn't sure what, his mind blanking as he struggled to keep from coming undone.
 
A union of her aura with his youki, a cresting rise of undulating flesh, she kissed him as her body trembled, finding a cadence that matched their beating hearts. As shocking as bolts of lighting touching the ground, the inundation of pleasure that coursed through him was blunted by the driving need to possess her, all of her, just as she possessed him. She spoke to him with her silent cries, she soothed him with her rising pace.
 
She slid against him, a delicious friction, her body combining with his as she struggled to find her stride. Powerless to stop her, he reveled in the tremors, the delicate quivering in her limbs as she clung to him. Bridging the chasm between tactile and pure sensation, they met in the middle as the bridge swayed, reverberated, threatened to pitch them into the abyss below. Pushing her limits as her body tightened around him, the rise and fall of her hips created a visceral heat, a flowing energy, a pulse of light that dispelled the darkness. The center of his world was Kagome . . . .
 
Somewhere between the two of them, somewhere between the muffled promises of forever, her body racked with a million pulsations surrounding him in her heated flood. She called out his name, echoing off the trees of the surrounding forest, splitting the serenity of the night. She dragged him off the precarious bridge and into the dark as he called out her name, as he tightened his hold on her, on Kagome, on his heart.
 
It seemed like hours before he trusted himself to speak. Nestled against him, cradled to his chest, Kagome didn't seem like she was in any hurry to move, either. “What are you thinking?” he finally managed to ask.
 
She giggled as she snuggled closer. “Lots of things,” she remarked. “Shippou is going to be thrilled.”
 
He groaned. Not that he didn't think Shippou would be thrilled, but he really could think of one person who wasn't going to be, and facing her, admitting the truth . . . he groaned again. “Kagome . . . .”
 
“Hmm?”
 
“. . . Do you think . . . do we have to tell her? I mean, what if you're not . . . ?”
 
Leaning away from him, she pinned him with a narrow-eyed look. “I thought you said you could tell by my scent.”
 
InuYasha's ears twitched. “Well . . . eventually,” he lied with a wince that he hoped she didn't catch. She was. He could smell it on her . . . .
 
“Why do you want to wait?” she asked suspiciously.
 
He shrugged, hoping for nonchalance. “No reason in particular . . . . Just thought we'd keep it to ourselves awhile . . . Sango and Miroku haven't really had a chance to get over losing their pup, and—”
 
“And since when do you go out of your way to not rub Miroku's nose in stuff?”
 
“Keh! Make me sound like a real ass, why don't you?” he grumbled, adding a little pout for good measure.
 
Kagome rested her cheek on his shoulder again. “You're lying. I know you are. But if you don't want to tell anyone for awhile, it's okay. You do realize we won't be able to hide it long.”
 
“Long enough,” he grouched.
 
“Long enough for what?”
 
“Long enough for me to build a house out here in case your mother decides that she's going to try to separate us . . . or take my pup.”
 
Kagome gasped and sat up again. “You don't really believe that, do you?”
 
He refused to meet her gaze. “It'll be a hanyou,” he said quietly, ears drooping, “and we . . . we broke our promise.”
 
He really was worried about that. The slightly defeated look in his eyes, the guarded frown that drew his eyebrows together . . . Kagome smoothed back his bangs, kissed his forehead, tried to offer him the reassurance that he so desperately needed. “InuYasha, I got a letter—”
 
“No!” he cut in, a sudden surge of protectiveness rushing over him. “No one is taking you away, and no one is touching my pup.”
 
Our baby will be fine, and—”
 
“Just listen to me on this, Kagome.”
 
She sighed. “. . . Okay.”
 
He pulled her back against his chest, cradling her against him, cradling the newly formed life between them. She sighed again as he lifted his chin to stare at the full moon. In the misty light, the brightness that bathed them both, he grinned just a little, the edges of his fear subsiding.
 
The moon smiled back.
 
 
 
~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~ *~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~
 
A/N:
 
I think for now, I'll let the chapter speak for itself . . .
 
== == == == == == == == == ==
Final Thought from InuYasha:
I'll be taking up residence in Goshinboku . . . Forward all my calls, will ya. . . ?
==========
 
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.
 
~Sue~
Chapter 85
Chapter 87
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