InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ Tempering the Soul ( Chapter 93 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
Comfort . . .
Clean version of this chapter can be read here:
~Tempering the Soul~
“Hold on, I'm hurrying,” Kagome called as she broke into a light sprint toward the nursery. Inuakamori's normally happy personality was conspicuously absent after his morning nap. `Then again,' Kagome thought as she darted into the room where the protesting baby wailed, `there are times when he's so much like his father it's scary . . . like when he's hungry . . . .'
Giggling as the two month-old baby tried to locate his dinner through her blouse, Kagome sat down in the rocking chair and maneuvered the unhappy child to one side as she made quick work of unbuttoning her blouse and dropping the flap on her nursing bra as Inuakamori chewed on his tiny fist.
“All right, greedy,” she commented as Inuakamori latched on. She sighed. Washing laundry and cleaning the house while the baby slept had been the last things that Kagome had wanted to do, but since she'd had to spend twenty minutes trying to hunt down a clean pair of socks for Shippou this morning, she figured she didn't have much of a choice, either. She yawned. `Whoever said you're supposed to sleep when your baby sleeps must have been a man,' she mused as she wrinkled her nose.
Inuakamori wasted no time in drinking down his meal, and after a quick diaper change and a few more minutes of rocking, the infant was asleep once more. With a smile, Kagome laid him in his crib. He whimpered and scooted a little then settled back down to nap again.
The ringing telephone cut through the quiet house, and Kagome dashed to answer it before it could wake the sleeping hanyou. The caller ID said it was InuYasha's office. She grinned. Maybe he just missed her . . . .
“Mrs. Inotaishou, hello, this is Kei. Is InuYasha in?”
She frowned as she twisted the coiled cord around her finger. “No . . . he hasn't been home since he left this morning. Did he have an appointment for lunch?”
Kei, InuYasha's secretary, sighed. “That's the trouble. He did, and he missed it.”
“He did?” Kagome asked with a frown, balancing the phone between her ear and her shoulder.
“Yes, and Mr. Yamashita seemed very unhappy when he called . . . .”
“If he comes in, will you ask him to call home?”
“Certainly. Good day.”
The line went dead, and Kagome hung up the phone with a frown. `Where are you, InuYasha?'
Her logical mind assured her that he was perfectly safe, and even if she wanted to, she couldn't go looking for him. Besides that, she wasn't fond of taking Inuakamori into the city. The only time she had, the infant had been on edge the entire time, as though the smells and sounds that she was so accustomed to bothered him. With his father's senses, then it wouldn't surprise her if that was the case.
She sighed before grabbing the empty laundry basket and the baby monitor and heading outside to check the clothes line. InuYasha preferred to have his clothes air dried, and she couldn't really blame him. The dryer, he said, made the clothes smell funny, and though she used it for Inuakamori's baby things, she had to agree with InuYasha on that . . . .
`He did have to stop by Sesshoumaru's this morning . . . I wonder if he might have any idea where InuYasha went?' she mused as she started unpinning clothes and folding them before dropping them into the basket.
“He's had them all this time; did you know?”
Kagome gasped and looked up in the direction where the voice had originated. His tone quiet, pensive, raw, Kagome fought back the swelling sense of trepidation inspired by his resonance. “InuYasha? What are you doing up there? Kei called . . . you missed a lunch meeting . . . .” His words sank into her mind, and she frowned. “He had what? Who?”
Moments later, a scroll of paper fell out of the tree, landing at Kagome's feet. A terrible suspicion dawned on her, and she stepped back. Why did she feel like there were terrible things, hurtful things, in those rolled up papers? “What is this?”
“I don't know if I want to . . .” she confessed.
The gentleness in his tone surprised her. With a deep breath, Kagome slowly retrieved the rolled papers and smoothed them open. “Your mother's . . . the missing pages?”
If InuYasha's uncharacteristic behavior meant anything at all, Kagome really wasn't sure she wanted to read what the papers had to say. Still, if it meant so much to him that she did . . . .
And slowly she began to read. Unable to stave back the soft sounds of her own shock, of her own revulsion over what the ultimate truths were, Kagome stopped time and again, unable to read more until she had removed herself from the sorrow in InuYasha's mother's last diary entry. The truths were hard enough for her to grasp. What was the knowledge doing to InuYasha?
“Oh . . . no . . . .” she whispered softly, closing her eyes against the proof in ink. She heard InuYasha light on the ground. Letting the scroll roll closed over her fingers, she raised her tear-filled eyes to meet his. “InuYasha . . . I'm so sorry . . . .”
He shook his head slowly, confusion mounting in his golden gaze, as though he couldn't fathom what his mother could have possibly done to deserve what she had lived . . . and what had destroyed her. “I can't remember her ever doing a fucking thing to anyone . . . I've thought about it, and . . . she never hurt anyone. She never asked for anything, and she sure as hell didn't deserve—” Cutting himself off with a heavy sigh, InuYasha let his head fall back, gazing at the sky as though he was searching the clouds for some kind of an answer.
Kagome winced as she wrapped her arms around him, angry at her own inability to do more than hold him. “I'm sorry . . . I'm so sorry . . .” she repeated over and over. His arms tightened around her, his cheek rubbing against her temple.
Shifting his hold on her, he leapt into the tree above. Kagome sat back, tugging on his shoulders until he leaned against her. She soothed him as best as she could, rubbing his ears, knowing that it would help and despising her inability to do more.
“Katosan said . . . she wanted to die. He said she couldn't take it. Her father might have been the one to kill her, but it was because of Norimitsu . . . .” He sighed, shaking his head, wincing as the shock of the revelations cut him to the quick. “He found out about Norimitsu, and he . . . . He was afraid that my mother would further shame his house, so he killed her while that bastard ran away. Katosan said he would have stopped it but my mother wanted to die.”
Katosan's words from so long ago came back to her, and Kagome shivered. `I did not cause her death . . . nor did I seek to prevent it . . . . Could I have? Yes. Should I have? Possibly. Would it change the warning I give you now? Not at all.'
“It was all because of me and my old man . . . she suffered, and she died . . . and if it weren't for me—”
“No!” Kagome insisted, her voice harsh, contentious. “That's not true. Your mother loved your father and you!”
Sitting up, glaring at her, the fierceness of his expression marred by the vulnerability he couldn't hide, the confusion of the little boy who didn't really understand why he couldn't see his mother anymore, InuYasha shook his head. “That don't help much when all I can think is that if I hadn't been born, she wouldn't have suffered! It's like her life didn't matter, like it was less than nothing, and I—”
“Matter to me! How can you say all that when you know that you're the one who's always mattered to me?” Tender hands at odds with the vehemence of her tone, Kagome reached out, held his cheeks in her hands. “Don't say things like that . . . You matter to me, and you matter to our children.”
Grabbing her up and dropping out of the tree, InuYasha let go of her and paced the yard. “You don't understand! How can you? You've always been loved, and you should've been. Every single person who's ever loved me has died, and it's all been because of me! My old man . . . Mother . . . Kikyou . . . Hell, even Shippou had to die, even if he was saved! Damn it!”
“What about me?” she asked quietly as a single tear streaked down her cheek. “I'm not dead. I'm not going to die . . . not yet, not for awhile . . . .”
“Kagome . . . .” As though all the anger, all the frustration drained out of him in the one instant, he reached for her, crushed her in the steel of his embrace. Lips searching for her mouth as all the passion he felt redirected itself. She gasped as the reaction slammed through her, immediate and shocking. Knees buckling, breathing forgotten, she dug her fingers around fistfuls of his shirt, pulling him closer, helpless to do anything but cling to him as he devastated her mind.
She felt him lift her, cradling her to his chest. Unwilling to relinquish his claim on her lips, he moved with such a fluid grace she barely noticed, barely registered the opening of the door, couldn't make sense of the sound of it closing behind them. She only understood the conflagration in her veins, the need to show him, on the basest of levels, that he mattered to her and that she would never readily leave him.
His kisses bordered on cruel, the crush of his mouth on hers a primitive thing. Restraining his need with the most precarious hold, he set her on the bed before bearing down on her with his body. Her muffled whimpers went unheeded as he raked his fangs over her throat only to work his way back with his lips, his tongue. Molten gold flowed from him to her, his instinctive need to possess her only served to ignite the same in her. Rising up to meet his body with hers, arching against him as she mumbled his name over and over again, he growled at her, meaning to quell her impatience. The sound goaded her further.
Demanding nothing less than her soul with kisses meant to ignite her body as her mind slipped away. The roar of wanton passion was like a rising flood, the breaking of her will soothed by the balm of his tongue. Bodies collided with a singular need, a ferocious intent, a visceral burn. Silencing her moans with a rampant energy, like lightning touching the ground, like thunder crackling through the heavens.
The melding of flesh and bone, of collapsing and resurgence, the ache of longing toppling under a strained control drove them further, lifted them higher—the lapping of the waves against the shore. A sigh, a gasp, a cry of frustration, the need of one heart to heal another, the power of the wounded soul whispered to her, screamed at her, tore at her with the vengeance of angels. Surrendering completely, wholly, lovingly, tempering the domination into the very act of submission: two hearts with a single goal, two minds merging into one . . . .
Jerking impatiently at buttons that wouldn't cooperate, Kagome's quest to find InuYasha's skin faded from a base need to an integral discovery. Silken skin over the ripple of muscles, undulating under her hands as her body melted deep within. A white hot burn as her clothes gave way to his claws, the savagery of his action wrenching a small scream from her heart as his mouth fell on her breast, as his hand rose to cover the other. Drawing on her in time with the rhythm of his heart, she shivered, shuddered, tangled her fingers in his hair as he growled in absolute ownership, in solitary possession of her body, of her mind, of her soul.
Pushing against his shoulders, Kagome struggled to finish her task. InuYasha leaned away, understanding what she wanted as she tugged on his jeans, yanking with impatience that rivaled his own. Finally managing the button and zipper, she scooted off the bed as he let her remove the last of his clothing. Her hands caressed his legs as she crawled back, up the length of his legs, massaging his thighs as his flesh leaped under her touch, his hips as he trembled under her power. With her nails, with her fingertips she provoked him. Her hands wrapped around him as he gasped out loud. Too much to bear, he leaned up, grabbed her, tossed her down as he rolled over her.
No finesse, no teasing, no subtlety to the act, thrusting into her in one jarring movement, Kagome arched off the bed with a sharp cry. Showing no mercy, giving no quarter, driving her harder, faster, deeper, over the edge as their names intertwined, as the tangled mesh of lust gave way to shimmering bliss, the hot wash of satiation. He shuddered under her hands, quaked as he kissed her, a sudden tenderness in his touch, a need to cherish, the consuming love. Convergent need met with a fevered rush, the flood of consummate passion borne on the waves of desperation drove them both over the brink into the fire, lifted them up to the stars.
In the wake of the aggression of their joining, he rocked against her slowly. Her body shifted her center as the slow burn reignited once more. Feathering touches fanned her body, taking his time as he reveled in the feel of her skin, the drag of his body on hers combined into a heady caress. Moaning as she throbbed around him, the pounding of her heart echoing in her ears as the meeting of scorching heat, of silken skin became convoluted emotion, love, desire, giving, taking. It pooled and flooded, washing over the rampant waterfall into the shimmering spring of infinity.
The difference in his demeanor was amazing. Where completion had come so quickly only moments before, gentleness guided him now. Every touch full of such caring her eyes stung as tears pooled behind her gaze. “I'm sorry, Kagome,” he murmured in her ear. “Did I hurt you?”
Meeting his rhythm, pressing against him, Kagome kissed him, cuddled him close. “Never be sorry, InuYasha. You can't hurt me. Just don't stop . . . .”
His answer was captured in the deliberation of his movements. He whined softly as he strained against her, growled low as she raised her hips to meet his. The beauty in the rising tide, the simplicity of the merging of their bodies, closer than the air they breathed, the steady, slow pulse was a brilliant fusion.
Letting her dictate the pace, he responded to her sighs, her whimpers, her shivers. Slow understanding came to her. The first time had been what he needed, and now he was giving back. The spiral of languor that ebbed through her blood, the demanding ache that began and ended with him, the teasing sense that she was so close to heaven . . . “InuYasha,” she whispered, “please . . . .”
“Hold on to me,” he whispered back. “Don't let go . . . .”
She did, wrapping her arms and legs around him as he cosseted her heart. In the quickening of his movements came a stark realization, an understanding that congregated over them, the innate knowledge that sometimes love was the only thing, that sometimes all you had in a promise of forever was the time you had to cherish the ones you love. The surge of the body became an idyll of respite, sheltering one another as they reached for the height of the stars.
The explosion of power that coursed from him to her reached out to her mind with rasping endearments. Her world fell away, and it was enough to know only that he was with her, that he loved her, that he would protect her for their own eternity. Reveling in the shattering light, floating in waves of completion, she kissed his cheek, his lips, time and again, held him tight as he collapsed in her arms.
It could have been hours, or minutes, or seconds. Time meant nothing in the stillness of the room. Punctuated by rapid, shallow breathing, content to be held as she whispered nonsense, as she stroked his ears, InuYasha hugged her tight. “Why do you love me?” he asked quietly, leaning away enough to look at her face.
Kagome pushed his hair out of his eyes. “The same reasons you love me,” she said softly.
He shook his head slowly. “That can't be true,” he argued. “You're beautiful; you give me a reason to live.”
“You don't think you do the same for me? And you are beautiful . . . you're everything I could never be, and you love me anyway.”
“Kagome . . . .”
Interrupted by a low gurgle, Kagome giggled. “Your son's awake.”
“Keh! You're the one who insisted on having a boy. I wanted a sweet little girl who would've known when to stay asleep,” he countered with a quick kiss as he rolled off the bed, heading off to retrieve their son.
With a sigh, Kagome got up and hurried into the bathroom to clean up. Maybe he was calmer now, but she knew him too well. As soon as he started thinking about all of it again, he'd try to do something reckless. She couldn't honestly blame him for feeling the way he did. She just wanted to know he wasn't running off in the throes of his fury to exact retribution for his mother.
“Oi, wench! Akamori's hungry, and he thinks I've got his dinner!” InuYasha hollered.
Kagome tugged on her robe and scooted out of the master bathroom, wrinkling her nose at InuYasha's shortened version of their son's name. “Inuakamori just ate. What a little piggy.”
“He's not a piggy,” InuYasha informed her with a snort. “He's growing, and he's a pup.”
“Yes, yes, pup—piggy, same thing.”
She made a face. “Yes, or did I imagine that the ten cups of ramen I bought two days ago are all gone?”
“Told you that weren't gonna be enough,” he grumbled.
She shook her head and sighed. “I rest my case, inu-piggy.”
“Oi!” he complained as he tweaked her nose.
She giggled. “There's an old saying about, `if the shoe fits, wear it.'
“You wear it. I hate shoes, wench.” Content to watch her feed their baby, InuYasha stretched out on his side with his head propped up on his elbow. “He's something, isn't he?”
“I like to think so,” Kagome remarked lightly.
He frowned, eyebrows drawing together as Kagome waited for him to say what he was thinking now. “Would you have done what my mother did? If I wasn't around, to protect Shippou and Akamori?”
“I don't know . . . it's different, when it's your child,” she said slowly then winced. “Probably. A mother would do anything to protect her child. It's what a mother is meant to do.”
“Yeah . . . I guess.”
His expression grew sad, and Kagome sighed. “Promise me you won't do anything foolish, InuYasha.”
“I don't do foolish stuff, wench,” he argued but wouldn't meet her gaze as he rolled off the bed and tugged his jeans back on. Staring down at them for a long moment, he took them off again and rifled through the closet for his fire rat clothes.
“We need you,” she reminded him gently as she lifted Inuakamori to her shoulder.
“Norimitsu's not getting away with it,” InuYasha growled.
Kagome ran to catch up with him. “What are you going to do?”
Shooting her a cursory glance, InuYasha snorted. “Keh! What the fuck do you think I'm going to do?”
“I'm coming with you.”
“The hell you are!”
“The hell I'm not!” Sensing the turmoil underlying the raised voices, Inuakamori whimpered then howled. Kagome bounced him up and down against her shoulder. “Please!”
Closing his eyes against the pleading tone in her voice, InuYasha shook his head. “I have to. She died to protect me. If I didn't avenge her, what does that make me? It ends now.”
“At least wait for me!”
He shook his head as he hooked Tetsusaiga through his waistband. “No. I'll come back, but . . . Shippou and Akamori need you.”
“You and the pups . . . you give me a reason to come back, remember?” Pausing long enough to kiss her lips before nuzzling his cheek against Inuakamori's downy head, he turned and strode out of the room.
Kagome laid the baby in the middle of the bed as she hurriedly threw on the first clothes she grabbed. “All right, InuYasha . . . be stubborn . . . but I am following you, whether you like it or not . . . .”
== == == == == == == == == ==
Final Thought fromNorimitsu:
You think you can destroy me? Come, hanyou . . .
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.