InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Metamorphosis. ❯ Bittersweet Dreams ( Chapter 16 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
“So you seek my council, InuYasha?”
InuYasha nodded as he sat before the ancient magnolia tree, legs crossed, arms folded together, with Tetsusaiga lying on the ground before him. “Do you know anything about the Shikon no Tama?”
“The Shikon no Tama . . . I've heard of this jewel . . . born of the merging of the souls of a powerful priestess with countless youkai, correct?”
“Yes,” Kagome supplied. Sitting on her knees beside the hanyou, she waited for Bokuseno to speak again.
Bokuseno frowned as he thought about the question posed. Thoughtful, deliberate, the wise old tree's gnarled old face blended into the bark with a subtleness that many could not discern. “I've heard that the jewel is, in and of itself, an impure artifact. You have not been able to purify it, I see . . .”
“No . . .” Kagome confessed.
“Perhaps the purification you seek isn't to be found in the wishes of man. Perhaps this is something that must be done in an act of purity instead. The human heart comprises many emotions. To attain that level of purity is not within any human heart.”
InuYasha shook his head. “You're saying it can't be done?
“I didn't say that, InuYasha . . .” Bokuseno suddenly rumbled a low chuckle. The sway of his branches created a soothing sound, a gentle comfort. “You remind me of your father, young one. He was all things: calm and calculated, like your brother, yet given to impulsive anger, impetuous action, much like you. Let us hope that you, like him, learn to curb your overzealous reactions.”
Kagome smiled at the slight flush that broke over InuYasha's features. “Did you know him well?”
“As well as any other being could . . . other than, perhaps, your mother, InuYasha. I knew that there was something different about her. She quelled his anger, soothed his soul. That was the reason he created Tetsusaiga and Tenseiga. He wished that she would always be protected.”
“About the jewel, Bokuseno . . . I ain't got time to stroll down memory lane, if you don't mind.” He ignored the frown Kagome shot him.
Bokuseno sighed. “I've heard whispers of rumors on the winds that have filtered through my branches, InuYasha. They say that an evil has come, that this evil seeks to find the jewel . . . and to create something far more sinister than you can possibly imagine.”
“There's nothing more sinister than the jewel in the wrong hands,” InuYasha argued.
Bokuseno considered InuYasha's claim. “Don't be so sure, young one. There is always something more terrifying than what you have thus seen.”
InuYasha stood up, using Tetsusaiga to push himself to his feet. “Come on, Kagome. This bit of glorified firewood speaks in riddles.”
“Thank you,” Kagome said as she bowed to the old magnolia tree.
Kagome walked away. InuYasha turned to follow.
“InuYasha, a warning.”
He stopped and turned back to face the old tree. “What?”
“She has the same tempering spirit as your mother.”
“And that's a warning?” InuYasha scoffed.
“No . . . but you need to be aware. If you fail to believe in her, you will lose her. Trust not what your eyes tell you. Believe what her soul says to you, or all will be lost.”
InuYasha's eyebrows drew together in a marked frown. “What are you saying?”
Bokuseno closed his eyes. “Tired . . . so tired . . . Sleep well in my forest, son of the Inu no Taisho . . . my brethren will keep you safe.”
InuYasha leaned against the tree staring over Kagome's sleeping form at the undulating flames of the burning campfire. Frowning as he pondered Bokuseno's warning, he sighed and rubbed a hand over his face. He wasn't physically tired so much as he was mentally exhausted, trying to make sense out of the strange warning, the words of unwanted advice.
Kagome sighed softly in her sleep as she rolled over onto her side. The fire lent her smooth skin a warm glow, a honeyed hue. He smiled just a little then frowned. `Believe what her soul says to you . . .'
`Keh. If people would just speak to me instead of having to twist my head inside out with their fucking riddles, everything would be a hella lot easier.'
Letting his head fall back against the thick tree, InuYasha closed his eyes. Something about this forest . . . `Just for a moment,' he thought as the edges of sleep wrapped over his mind.
“InuYasha . . . ? InuYasha? Where are you?”
“Kagome? I'm here . . . right here . . .”
“I can't see you . . . don't leave me . . .”
“Never! Kagome . . .”
Running through the consuming blackness, following her scent, the sound of her voice . . . He had to find her. He had to touch her . . . Stumbling forward, reaching for her, she hovered just out of sight, just beyond his grasp.
“InuYasha . . . I'm scared . . .”
Stopping abruptly, he gasped as she appeared before him. The scent of her tears dragged at him. When she saw him, she threw herself against him, burrowing her head into the crook of his neck. Reaching up to hold her, InuYasha pulled her close. “It's all right . . . you don't have to be scared.”
“I'm not scared when I'm with you.”
“Kagome . . .”
Lifting her head, staring into his eyes, the depths of her gaze igniting in a smoldering burn, Kagome stroked his cheeks with gentle fingers, pushed herself onto her toes as she pulled his head down to meet hers. A sharp breath as their lips connected, an explosion of desire so strong, so overwhelming that he whined softly against her. Kagome's mouth opened, her tongue seeking his, devouring him with a fierce need. “InuYasha . . . do you want me?” she asked as she leaned away, as she lifted his hand, as she pressed his fingers against her breast.
“I . . . kami,” he rasped out as her nipple puckered under his touch despite the clothes that separated her body and his hand.
Her eyes were half-closed, tinged with passion that burned him. Surrendering to his touch, her moans were throaty yet soothing, punctuated by his own ragged breathing. Her hands roamed over his skin, pushing aside the clothes that offended her. Kneading his flesh, touching him, teasing him as she pressed wet, open-mouthed kisses against his neck, Kagome broke him down, left him aching, needing, yearning. “Mine . . .”
“Yours . . .”
`Something . . . nice . . .' Kagome thought as she smiled in her sleep. Emerging from the layers of slumber as something insistent tugged at her, she couldn't think. `Tickles . . . me . . .'
Warm, ragged breathing fanned over her cheek, over her ear. Sleep dissipated only to be replaced by incoherent thought, the gentle press of the softest lips, brushing over hers as her body trembled. Held against the rigid strength that burned against her, she couldn't think, she couldn't breathe, she couldn't remember anything at all.
Trapped in a vortex of pure sensation as she struggled to understand what was happening, she gave up quickly enough. Impossible to fight, unfeasible to ignore, comprehension was an abstract idea, a fleeting fancy that she couldn't grasp.
Vaguely realizing as fangs grazed over her, she gasped at the complete devastation to her senses. Longing wrapped around her as her body melted in a frazzle of repressed nerves, she sighed when a soft growl rumbled from him, soothing her and unsettling her at the same time.
The burn against her breast didn't make sense. A gentle squeeze as she arched against his touch that drew another growl in reply. Too much sensation, too many feelings, a convergence of heat shocked her as an inferno raged out of control. “Inu . . . Yasha . . .” she whispered.
His answer was a moan.
`I'd die without her,' he thought wildly, senses spinning away from him. Thought gave way to the unfurling of heat, the absolute need that ached so desperately. The last semblance of self-control shattered as he dragged her closer, pressed himself against her. Stoking the fire of escalating desire, passion shifted into something more primitive, more commanding, more controlling, and far more frightening.
Her hands pressed against him through the confines of his clothing. Her touch set off a painful swelling, a voracious hunger that bordered on pain. Needing to stop her yet unable to pull away, the feel of her hands erupted in a primordial flame. Her body wrapped around his, the scent of her desire was an intoxication on his senses. She defied every convention, scattered his emotions with an explosion of light, an angel in the darkness, a star in the midnight sky . . .
The whisper of movement, the intrusion of another registered in his mind. If he could think, he'd know the presence. He couldn't comprehend anything but the touch of Kagome's hands on his body . . .
Lost in a world where time didn't matter, carried along by a stronger will, Kagome traced the contours of his face as she gave up to the raging feel, the total acceptance. The world melted away from her as his mouth teased the flesh of her ear, of her neck. Ardent sensation coupled with the annihilation of reason left behind a giddy lethargy, as though she couldn't fight what was inevitable.
An unrequited ache twisted in her like a knot growing tighter and harder, more insistent, harder to fathom. A centrifugal pressure that demanded attention, she did the only thing she knew to do. Pressing against him, lifting her hips, she was rewarded with a throaty growl, a returning pressure as he sought to soothe her. Unleashing emotion so unnerving, so inebriating that she couldn't help the cry that escaped her, InuYasha nipped at her neck as tremors racked her body.
“InuYasha . . .”
“Hush,” he growled, unwilling to let go of the incoherence that blurred his thoughts.
“Listen to me, InuYasha . . .”
Nipping Kagome's neck to silence her, he realized a moment too late that the voice speaking to him wasn't hers at all. “Wha—?”
“Open your eyes, InuYasha . . .”
“ . . . No . . .”
“But you must.”
Squeezing his eyes closed tighter, concentrating on Kagome's hands, he tried in vain to ignore the voice.
“Open your eyes or you'll be lost.”
`Lost?' InuYasha thought with a shake of his head. `Lost . . . with Kagome . . . Yes . . .'
With a frustrated growl, he realized at last. That voice . . .
“K . . . Kikyou . . .”
Kagome stiffened at the mention of that name. Eyes flashing open as a painful flush rushed over her, she pushed InuYasha aside and scrambled to her unsteady feet as tears stung her nose, blocked her throat. `Oh, kami . . . what have I done?'
InuYasha sat up slowly, shaking his head as though he were trying to clear his mind. Lifting his gaze to look at her, Kagome choked back a sob, refusing to let him see what he'd done to her. “Kagome? What . . . ? What happened?”
“You . . . you don't know?”
Ears flattening as he straightened his haori with a shaking hand, he glared at the fire and snorted, “Keh! If I knew, I wouldn't be asking.”
She narrowed her incredulous gaze on him. “You're lying,” she said quietly.
Moving so fast he was more of a blur of crimson, InuYasha shot to his feet and leapt into the tree above them. “Go to sleep, Kagome. We're leaving at dawn.”
It took a few more minutes before Kagome could make herself move. When she did, she wrapped herself tightly in her blankets and covered her head before she let the tears come. `Kikyou? All that, and . . . and he was dreaming about Kikyou? Stupid Kagome . . . stupid, stupid, stupid!'
She had started to believe that maybe, just maybe . . . `Baka! He'll never forget Kikyou! He'll never get over her! You know that, and yet . . .' And yet the wealth of emotions, the tide of feelings inspired by his touch, his kisses wouldn't let her go, either. A new ache welled up in her heart, spilled over into her soul, threatened to engulf her in a sadness so vast, so unyielding, that she'd drown in it if she couldn't get away.
`How could he do that to me?' she railed. Her anger was tempered by hurt, and that hurt made her whimper softly. Worse was the knowledge, the unbearable understanding that if he hadn't said Kikyou's name, she would have let him do what he wanted to her.
All she wanted—all she'd ever wanted—was InuYasha, just InuYasha. With a sick feeling in her stomach, she shook her head and wrapped her arms around herself. Somehow she felt responsible, as though it really was her fault that she had been born after Kikyou, as though the things she did for InuYasha meant nothing, and that maybe, in the end, there really wasn't a reason or an answer, and that maybe the end result would be the same.
She cried herself to sleep, hidden in the folds of her blankets.
InuYasha winced and gripped the branch where he sat. Every instinct inside him, every single part of his heart and soul demanded that he go down there and tell Kagome about his dream, tell her that he had been dreaming about her, after all. If nothing else, he wanted to make her realize that he wasn't thinking about Kikyou. He couldn't stand to hear her cry, couldn't bear to smell her tears, wanted to die a little, knowing that he was the reason for her upset.
He didn't dare. To tell her, to admit it to her . . . Why did he feel as though it would increase the danger he'd already sensed?
`Kagome . . .'
The feel of her, in his arms, under him, accepting him . . . it hurt. Everything within him was screaming out to her, as though the space that separated them was enough to kill him, little by little.
Did she understand what had happened? Did she understand the encompassing repercussions if they hadn't been stopped? Torn between the need that still burned through him, haunted by the pain in Kagome's eyes, unable to make sense of things that shouldn't have happened, he whined softly as the overwhelming scent of her tears gnawed at him.
Grinding his teeth together as he fought against the instinctive need to comfort her, he realized with a pained grimace something that he'd feared from the beginning. `My youkai . . . it knows . . . she's my . . . mate . . . ? Kami . . .' With a low growl, he tried to deny it, tried to convince himself that it couldn't be true. `It can't be . . . I can't hurt her . . . Kagome . . .'
And yet somewhere in his heart, he knew it was true. From the beginning she had saved him, and he . . . He winced. He'd caused her nothing but pain. The hurt she couldn't hide from him, the wearing in her heart that tore him to pieces, all because he'd said the wrong name. “Damn it!” he muttered as he cursed himself time and again. How could he ever make her understand?
A fresh wave of Kagome's tears hit him hard. `She deserves better than a half-breed, better than me . . .' So why did the idea of her belonging to someone else make him want to shred every living thing that ever came near her? Goaded deeper into his silent torture by the scent of her sorrow, unable to dig himself out of his pit of self-loathing, tormented by sighs and murmurs, of whispers in the darkness, he wasn't sure what had come over him. All he knew was that dream or not, Kagome had wanted him too. Her scent clung to him, the smell of her innocent desire an odd paradox against the salt of her tears. `What have I done? How can I . . . fix this?'
`She would have let you . . . until you said Kikyou's name. Kagome would have let you . . .'
Wincing at his own thoughts, InuYasha couldn't stand the all-consuming guilt of what his unconscious had wrought. Hard enough to control his impulses when was awake. How was he supposed to do it when he slept? The dreams kept growing bolder and more tempestuous. How could he guard against that which he had no control over? `No better than a fucking beast,' he growled in his head, `you'd have rutted her and then what? Left her mated to you without her consent because you know that she'd never choose you, if she were given the choice. Nearly took that choice away from her, and that, you bastard, is unforgivable.'
Digging his claws into the branch even deeper, he stifled the whine that rose in his throat as his ears pressed down against his skull. He just wished that he could take that back. `Why did Kikyou show up in my dream? That's never happened before.' He really wasn't sure what to think. Between the erotic dreams of Kagome and Kikyou's sudden appearance during one of them, he felt as though he were being torn apart at the seams.
Unable to stand the scent of her upset any longer, InuYasha dropped quietly out of the tree. “Kagome?”
She didn't answer.
With a wince, he gently pulled back the covers, stared at her sleeping face. Tenderly pushing the silky soft strands out of her face, InuYasha sighed. `I've got to protect you first, Kagome . . . and maybe, after I know you're safe . . .'
Leaning down, brushing a kiss over her cheek, InuYasha closed his eyes so he could hear her soul speak to his.
“I wish . . . I wish I deserved you,” he whispered, stroking her hair. `Maybe if . . . if I can keep you safe . . . maybe I won't be such a worthless half-breed . . .'
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Final Thought from Kagome :
What was that????
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.