InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Metamorphosis. ❯ Charades ( Chapter 14 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
Hisadaicho stood on the rise of the hill as she waited. A little smile turned the corners of her lips as she scanned the horizon. `Where are you, Sesshoumaru? I can feel you . . . you're near, aren't you?'
Iwazawa turned his murky gaze on her. “Hisadaicho-sama?”
Her man nodded.
Over the far hill came the surge of beast-men with the terrified little girl. `She's lovely . . .' Hisadaicho mused as her smile widened. `Extraordinary . . . no small wonder, why the great Sesshoumaru would keep her . . .'
The men raced forward, falling upon the tired party. Screams and gurgles echoed in the air as the human-beasts fell to the superior skills of the samurai. Hisadaicho ran forward, snatched the little girl. “Are you all right, child?”
The girl's dark eyes were bright, frightened. She tried to pull away from Hisadaicho as she stared over her shoulder and screamed out the name Hisadaicho had been waiting to hear. “Sesshoumaru-sama!”
With a startled gasp of feigned surprise, she let the girl down as the formidable tai-youkai headed her off in a blur of movement.
Hisadaicho quelled her smile as she stepped back in a show of mock retreat. “My lord, is this child yours?”
“She is in my keeping,” he answered as Rin ducked behind him. “What happened here? Who are you?”
Hisadaicho waved toward her horse, standing docilely on the hill nearby. “I was taking my morning ride when one of my men returned with word of a hoard of scavenging beasts making away with your child. I beg your pardon. My name is Hisadaicho. I am lady of these lands.”
“Then you saved her. For that, I am grateful.”
“The pleasure was mine. These lands are rife with bandits. I'm glad that I could be of assistance. May I ask your name?”
“Sesshoumaru,” she repeated with a little smile. “Your girl is a precious little thing.” Rin frowned at Hisadaicho but remained behind Sesshoumaru.
His icy gaze didn't falter. She couldn't tell whether or not he believed her, but it didn't really matter. “Come, Rin,” he said as he turned to leave. The child glanced back at Hisadaicho for a moment then hurried after Sesshoumaru and his little green imp.
“If you please! The child looks half-dead on her precious little feet. I implore you, find welcome in my home, at least long enough for her to have a decent meal . . .”
He didn't look as though he was going to agree. After a very quick glance at the child, he nodded once. “Very well.”
Hisadaicho turned before her smile could be discerned. “This way, my lord . . .”
InuYasha frowned in concentration as he stared at the Shikon no Tama. Lying on the ground between Kagome and him, the jewel looked the same as it always had. “What are we doing again?” he asked without taking his eyes off the pink orb.
“Kaede said that it has to be kept as pure as possible until we can figure out how to get rid of it,” Kagome pointed out. “So that's what we're trying to do.”
“Ain't that your job?” InuYasha asked pointedly. “It's making my head hurt.”
Kagome sighed and picked up the jewel, fastening the chain around her neck again. “Well, it didn't hurt to try, did it?”
InuYasha rubbed his temple and snorted. “Keh! I'm hungry.”
“You can't be hungry,” she argued. “You ate a whole box of pastries, you pig!”
“Keh! I was hungry then, too.”
“Kami, I swear you act more pregnant than I do . . . are you?”
With a squeal, Kagome shot to her feet and ran for it, toward the path that led to the village as InuYasha closed in fast. Snatching her off her feet, InuYasha sprinted the other way and didn't stop until he was settled in the branches of Goshinboku. “On the scale from one to ten, one being not funny, ten being funny as hell, you scored about a zero, wench.”
She giggled and leaned forward to peek down at the ground. “It's a long way down,” she remarked.
With a loud gasp, she found herself crushed against InuYasha's solid chest. “Are you stupid, wench? Do humans lose what little common sense they've got when they're carrying a pup?”
“N-no,” Kagome stammered, cheeks reddening as she stared into InuYasha's eyes. `Too . . . close . . .' her mind murmured. `Too close? Is there such a thing?'
He seemed to realize the same thing she did. With a fascinated stare, Kagome watched as InuYasha swallowed hard. “You'll . . . fall . . .” he warned.
“You won't let me . . .” she whispered back.
He shook his head. “Keh.”
Hands wrapped around her upper arms, InuYasha pulled her closer. Eyes fluttering closed, Kagome stopped breathing as his lips came closer to hers. Closer, closer, she could feel his breath fanning against her face. Not daring to move or even to breathe, all she could think of was his name . . .
Kagome wasn't sure if she was just imagining it or not but InuYasha's frustrated growl seemed overly loud to her. In the next moment, she winced as he pulled her more firmly into his embrace and glowered down at the owner of that voice . . . the one person who probably shouldn't have found them.
“InuYasha . . . Kagome . . . Should you be up there?” Miroku asked in a deliberately unconcerned tone.
“Damn you,” InuYasha snarled, covering Kagome's mouth with his hand to keep her quiet. “She'll be fucking living in this tree till your pup's born, then I'll toss it to you, you fucking pervert.”
“InuYasha!” Kagome gasped as she managed to force his hand away from her face. “You will not!”
Obviously missing the nuance of InuYasha's not-so-subtle threat, Miroku grasped the crux of what the hanyou had stated as Sango gasped softly behind him.
Not that she didn't trust InuYasha's sense of smell, but Kagome had taken a conventional test just yesterday morning—two weeks from the date of conception. The test was positive, and InuYasha had snorted when she showed him, his expression saying it all, the raised eyebrow proclaiming, `I told you so,' much louder than he could have with his voice.
“Will you put me down?” Kagome asked, raising an eyebrow of her own at the mulish set of the hanyou's features.
“Hmm . . .” he considered in his condescending tone, “since the last time I left you alone on the ground with that fucking monk, you ended up carrying his pup, I'd say the chances of that happening are pretty fucking slim, wench.”
“Be careful up there, Kagome!” Sango fretted.
“Don't drop her, InuYasha!” Shippou added.
“Human in a tree?” Ichisaru asked quizzically.
“Shut the hell up!” InuYasha snarled.
Kagome sighed and peeked down at her friends. “Give me a minute, all right?”
“And don't squeeze her stomach,” Miroku added.
InuYasha's growl started low but escalated quickly as he swept Kagome up and hopped out of the tree, setting her down carefully well away from the rest of the group before he turned back to stalk toward Miroku with a menacing popping of his knuckles. “Do you really think I'd hurt her, Miroku? Do you think I'd hurt any part of her? Are you really that fucking stupid? Damn it, I ought to rip you to fucking shreds!” Miroku backpedaled as InuYasha advanced despite the two female voices hollering at the both of them. “What the hell were you thinking? If you wanted a miko you should have gone out and found your own because that one belongs to me!”
Three loud gasps echoed in InuYasha's ears along with Ichisaru's confused squeak. He ignored them as he stalked the monk. “Now, InuYasha . . . it wasn't like that,” Miroku hurried to say, holding his hands up before his chest as he kept stepping back in retreat. “I didn't touch your miko—err, Kagome . . .”
“I don't give a rat's ass what part of you did or didn't touch her! She's still carrying your pup—but I will tell you . . . if I catch any part of you on or near her at all, I'll remove it, got that? So keep your fucking hands off her.”
“Understood,” Miroku said quietly.
InuYasha grimaced. “Keh! It better be. Friend or not, Miroku, I swear, I'll—”
“InuYasha . . .”
“What?” he growled without turning to look at Kagome.
“It was my choice. I offered. If you want to be angry with anyone, then be angry at me.”
He sighed and turned away from Miroku. “Keh. You talk too much, wench.” That said, he grabbed her again and hopped back into the tree, much to the others' collective chagrin. A loud growl silenced their protests, though, and to Kagome's relief, Sango announced that they were heading back to the village. “I'm not kidding, wench. I catch so much as a finger of his on you anywhere, and I'll shove it down his fucking throat.”
Kagome sighed, too. “InuYasha . . . it is his baby. He should be able to feel it moving and everything, too.”
“Moving? It's moving?”
She shrugged. “Not yet, but it will . . .”
InuYasha wrinkled his nose. “No.”
“What about Sango?”
“She can touch you. She's not a damn pervert.”
Kagome sighed again. “It's going to be a long nine months, isn't it?”
Hisadaicho smiled at the little girl hovering around her lord. Peeking out every now and again from behind Sesshoumaru's legs, the girl seemed like she didn't trust Hisadaicho at all. `Perceptive . . . and a nuisance . . .'
“What manner of youkai are you?” Hisadaicho asked, drawing the bored stare back to meet hers again.
Sesshoumaru's gaze flicked coolly over her. “Inu youkai.”
Interrupted by a string of servants bearing trays and food, Hisadaicho watched with a little smile as the girl peeked out at her then shifted her gaze longingly to the offered refreshment. The little head tilted back to gaze up at her lord. He caught the look and nodded once. Rin, still careful to remain close to Sesshoumaru, sank down on a cushion and started to eat.
“You are not hungry?” she asked when Sesshoumaru didn't make a move toward the food.
Hisadaicho grinned. “It is a shame. My kitchen is quite accomplished. In any case, do you know why someone would kidnap your child?”
Sesshoumaru's gaze narrowed as he stared at her. “Since your men killed the ones who took her, then no, I know not.”
“It's a pity . . . stealing a child is a vile thing.”
Sesshoumaru glanced at Rin before he nodded. “There are worse deceptions.”
She lifted her eyebrows in silent challenge. “You trust no one. Must be lonely.”
“I need no one.”
“Everyone needs somebody. A child and an imp? Are they your sole companions?”
“This Sesshoumaru has no need for anyone.”
“Is that so?”
Sesshoumaru didn't answer. Careful to keep himself between Rin and anyone who would come closer, the tai-youkai exuded an air of quiet danger, of unspoken power. Hisadaicho smiled to herself. What was it about power that so intrigued her? `Sesshoumaru . . . you fascinate me.'
“I trust you'll accept my offer of hospitality for the night? Your girl child looks exhausted.”
Sesshoumaru glanced down at Rin. Finished eating and dozing off where she sat, Sesshoumaru slowly shifted his gaze back to meet Hisadaicho's. “For her sake,” he agreed.
“I shall have one of my servants show you to a chamber then. I'll assume you will stay with her, for her own protection?”
Sesshoumaru didn't answer as he touched Rin's shoulder. Her eyes flew open, and she smiled at her lord. Implicit trust, unwavering belief . . . Hisadaicho smiled again as she beckoned a servant. “Will you show Sesshoumaru-sama and his child to a guest chamber?”
The servant girl bowed and hurried from the room. Sesshoumaru and Rin followed with the imp Jaken trailing long behind.
Hisadaicho sighed. As much as she would love to rush her plan, timing was everything, and as cautious as Sesshoumaru was, she didn't dare make her move . . . yet.
“I'm surprised you didn't go with Kagome.”
Glancing down from his perch high in Goshinboku's branches, InuYasha snorted as Sango gazed up at him. “What for? She's with her mother.”
Sango shrugged. “If you'd just tell her how you feel, you'd save yourself a lot of frustration.”
Feeling his cheek warm at the exterminator's softly uttered observation, InuYasha stubbornly shook his head. “Keh. Dunno what you're talking about.”
“It amazes me, what she's doing for us. I know it was a huge decision for her to have made, especially knowing you wouldn't particularly like it.”
“It don't matter, what I'd like. Kagome would have chosen it, either way.”
Sango frowned and sat down under the tree. “What's really bothering you? Kagome said that her mother explained everything to you, and I'm sure that Kagome, herself, told you that she had to convince Miroku . . .”
InuYasha sighed and dropped out of the tree beside Sango. “All of it. It's all . . . fucked up. She shouldn't be carrying Miroku's pup.”
Sango nodded slowly, staring at the freshly turned earth of her garden. “You're right. She shouldn't, but she is. A small part of me is a little jealous. I should be the one to do that, but . . . I can't, and mostly I'm just grateful to have someone as giving as Kagome is.” Her gaze shifted back to him, and she frowned. “InuYasha . . . what happened to the kotodama rosary?”
Wrinkling his nose as he tried to figure out a way not to admit to what he'd done but finding none, he snorted and said, ”I, uh . . . called her . . . a whore . . . and she took them back.”
Sango winced and shook her head. “Oh . . . But they didn't—she didn't—-they weren't—-”
“I know that . . . I knew that. I couldn't smell him on her, I just smelled the pup, and . . . but . . .”
“Would it mean anything if I said that she missed you terribly while you were gone? She came back almost every day, at least for awhile, and she'd sit here, under Goshinboku and stare up at the branches, like she was seeing you there . . .”
“I didn't say I was fucking proud of myself, Sango,” he grumbled. “The hell of it is, I understand why she did it, and I understand that she wasn't trying to hurt anyone . . . but that don't mean I like it, because I don't.”
“I'm just grateful to have someone like Kagome . . . and I think you are, too, even if you never come to terms with why she wanted to do this.”
InuYasha stared at Sango and shook his head. `Maybe,' he thought with an inward grimace, `if Sango can accept this . . . maybe I can, too . . .'
== == == == == == == == == ==
Final Thought from Miroku:
I think he took that rather . . . well . . .
Blanket disclaimer for this fanfic (will apply to this and all other chapters in Metamorphosis): 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.