InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Metamorphosis. ❯ Descent into Madness ( Chapter 17 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
~Descent into Madness~
InuYasha sat high in Goshinboku, staring down at the obviously pregnant Kagome as she knelt beside the garden with her nose buried in a book. Sango sat beside her with her hand plastered against Kagome's stomach. Every so often, the exterminator laughed when the pup in her friend's belly moved.
InuYasha's ears flattened just a little as he stifled a sigh.
Nearing six months into her pregnancy, the girl seemed happy and healthy, and the pup was, too, or so she claimed from her doctor visits in her own time. Still . . .
As if she could feel his gaze on her, Kagome glanced up and smiled. He winced inside as the overwhelming urge to hop down and sweep her up assailed him. Though she still smiled for him, laughed at him when he tried hard enough to get her to do it, there was an odd sort of distance between them that he couldn't even begin to breech. Because of that night in Bokuseno's forest, because of what he'd so stupidly said . . . InuYasha sighed. It didn't help when he told himself that it was better this way, that Kagome had to be safe, even if that meant that she kept him at bay. It didn't help at all.
It also didn't help that those damn dreams were nearly killing him. Well past anything that he could have ever thought up on his own, there was something completely haunting about them, something unnatural, and since they came to him every time he dared close his eyes, he knew what they were doing to him. More than once he'd woken up in a state of compete and total humiliation. In those dreams, Kagome had done things to him that, well, to be honest, that he hadn't realized could or should ever be done . . . He counted himself lucky that no one else had figured out as much . . . yet. He also knew that if something didn't give soon, he was going to end up insane. The dreams were too real, too vivid, too startling, and as much as he hated them, a small part of him . . . he winced. A small part of him loved them, too.
`Disgusting, dirty, filthy, tainted half-breed,' his mind hissed as his face reddened. `To defile the wench in your mind is as bad as doing it for real . . .'
Movement below caught his attention. Now not only Sango's hand was plastered to Kagome's distended belly, but both the runt-fox as well as the ape-shit's were, too. Hell, the only one missing was—
“Is it moving?”
Kagome sighed and smiled at Miroku. From where InuYasha sat, he could see the tension tight around the girl's eyes, and he growled.
“A little . . .”
Miroku glanced around, as if he were looking for something . . . or someone. Apparently satisfied that he was safe enough, he hunkered down and placed a hand against Kagome's belly, too.
The growl erupted into a snarl as InuYasha dropped from the tree, grabbed Kagome despite her protests and returned to the peace of the branches. “I warned you, Miroku . . . hands fucking off!”
“InuYasha, bring her back down!” Sango hollered, her voice cracking in her concern for both Kagome as well as her baby.
“I won't touch her again, I promise,” Miroku called up. “Just bring her back down before she gets hurt!”
“Fucking hell, monk! I ain't gonna hurt her but I damn well might hurt you! I told you to keep your perverted hands off her, didn't I?”
“InuYasha!” Kagome hollered as he let go of her and dropped back to the ground. “Let me down!”
“And you shut up!” he growled back at Kagome. “Every time you open your fucking mouth, you're sticking something in it that don't belong there!”
Unleashing a very un-Kagome-eque growl, she glared at the hanyou. “Are you saying I'm getting fat?”
“Hell—” he began, face reddening as he tried in vain to subdue his temper.
“Let me down, baka!”
“Oh, I'm going to throw up,” she complained as she hung onto the branch with one hand, the other wrapped over her stomach as she stared down at the ground. “I didn't get morning sickness, and you'd make me get sick now? This isn't funny, InuYasha!”
Sango whispered to Kirara. The fire cat transformed and leapt off the ground to retrieve Kagome from her treetop perch.
InuYasha stalked toward Miroku again, cracking his knuckles as he glowered at the ex-monk.
“Kagome, are you all right? Do you need anything? Maybe you ought to sit down,” Sango fretted as the miko slid off Kirara's back.
“I'm fine,” Kagome insisted as she brushed Sango's hands away and stomped over to the hanyou, barring his path as he stopped his advance on Miroku. “Get a grip, InuYasha! You're being entirely unreasonable.”
“I'm being plenty reasonable, bitch, now get the fuck outta my way.”
“No! This is his baby, and he should get to feel it move!”
“It might be his fucking pup but it's in my fucking bitch, and I said no!”
Kagome's mouth dropped open in shock just before indignant color rushed to the surface, irate fire igniting in her eyes as she snapped her jaw closed and drew a deep breath. “I am not your . . . You baka! I don't belong to you! You don't even want me! Why do you have to be such a baka?”
InuYasha recoiled as Kagome wheeled around on her heel and sped off toward the meadow . . . toward the Bone Eater's Well.
Feeling the incredulous stares of everyone in the clearing, InuYasha fought the blush that rose in his skin before straightening his back and stomping off after Kagome.
Sango turned a confused look on her husband. “What was that all about?”
Miroku rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “I don't know . . . it did seem a bit strange, I agree.”
“Come to think of it, they've both been acting a little unusual lately . . .”
Shippou sighed and plopped down to spin his kitsune top in the dirt. “InuYasha smelled weird the other morning.”
“Yeah,” Ichisaru agreed as he snatched the toy. “He did.”
“What do you mean, `weird'?” Miroku questioned as he watched the two youkai children.
Shippou shrugged. “I don't know . . . just strange, like . . . like my mother did sometimes, and like my father did a few times after Mother died. Mother smelled like that a lot, right after I asked for a brother . . .”
Sango shook her head in confusion as Miroku's troubled stare suddenly brightened with an odd understanding. “Oh . . .”
“What is it?” Sango asked.
Miroku cleared his throat and nodded his head at the youngsters. “I think maybe I ought to talk to InuYasha after he calms down . . . before he does anything . . . permanent . . .”
Sango didn't look like she quite grasped Miroku's meaning. The ex-monk reached over and patted Sango's flat stomach, raising an eyebrow at his wife. “Since he already seems to think of Kagome as `his' . . . .”
Sango's mouth opened into a wide `oh' as she blushed. “All right . . . yes . . . maybe you should . . .”
“InuYasha . . .”
Gritting his teeth as the monk's voice stopped him before he hopped into the well, InuYasha growled and glanced over his shoulder to regard his rapid approach. The last person he wanted to talk to was Miroku, and if the monk had any brains at all, he'd know that . . . “What do you want?”
“I know this whole situation hasn't been the best for you, and I know you blame me for it. That's fine. Something you said, though . . . InuYasha, is there something you need to talk about?”
“Fuck, no. Leave me the hell alone, lecher.”
“Can I ask you something?”
The look InuYasha shot him was menacing at best, outright ready to attack at worst. “Depends. If it has something to do with you and your fucking hands anywhere near Kagome, you can—”
“When did you start thinking of Kagome as `yours'? I'm not arguing your claim. I think it's about time you admitted your feeings. Just . . . when? That's the second time you've said it, that I know of . . .”
To Miroku's surprise, InuYasha's ears flattened as he knelt down beside the well and rested his chin on his raised hands. “I don't know.”
“Shippou said . . . something . . .”
Miroku sat down beside the hanyou, careful to remain out of easy reach of his volatile temper. “He said you've been smelling . . . strange . . . in the mornings . . . May I inquire as to what, exactly, Shippou meant by this?”
Face flaming to match the shade of his haori, InuYasha just sighed and shook his head. “I don't know that, either.”
Miroku digested that in silence as he tried to figure out a good way to pose his next question. There wasn't one. He grimaced. He'd be pushing his luck if he asked, and yet, for some reason, he had to know . . . “InuYasha . . . what is the strange smell?”
InuYasha flinched—a reaction that surprised Miroku. He'd seen his share of reactions from the hanyou. Flinching . . . well, unless it involved a certain miko's temper directed at said hanyou . . . it wasn't one that Miroku saw often. “If you laugh at me or make a joke out of this, I swear on my mother's grave, I'll gut you,” he began.
Miroku nodded quickly. “Understood. I swear.”
InuYasha sighed as he turned away from the well and folded his arms together, studiously avoiding Miroku's gaze. “I have these . . . dreams or visions or . . . something. They won't stop . . . they won't go away, and they . . . They get worse.”
“What do you mean, visions?” Miroku asked with a thoughtful frown.
With a shrug, InuYasha shook his head slowly. “Every night, if I sleep . . . Kagome does these things . . . but it isn't really her . . . she wouldn't . . . Damn it.”
“What sort of things?”
InuYasha's flush darkened even more. “Things she . . . things I . . . Just things, monk, things!”
“I'm sorry, InuYasha . . . I'm not really understanding what sort of things you're talking about.”
“Things I didn't know you could do!” he snapped then made a face. “Things Kagome wouldn't really ever want to do . . . not with me.”
“You're talking about . . . sexual things?”
InuYasha jerked his head in agreement as he glared at the ground before him.
Miroku carefully let out his breath as he struggled to keep from smiling like an idiot. “Well, that happens to the best of us, InuYasha . . . there's nothing wrong with having a vivid imagination.”
“Keh! That's not it, you damn hentai! I'm talking about all night, every night, not just once in awhile!” Reigning in his irritation far better than Miroku could have thought possible, InuYasha heaved another sigh as his scowl darkened. “You don't get it, do you? She does things . . . I do things . . . I let her do things that . . . it's wrong.”
Miroku crossed his arms together over his chest as he stared hard at the hanyou. “Every night? What do you mean, wrong?”
Suddenly shifting a suspicious glare on Miroku, InuYasha narrowed his eyes. “Forget it. I've told you enough . . . more than I should have.”
“No, InuYasha, really . . . are you saying that the Kagome in your dreams does things that strike you as being immoral?”
“Yes,” InuYasha said in an exhalation of breath, as though that was exactly what he had been trying to say.
“Things like what?” he asked slowly.
Visions of Kagome, of her mouth drawing him in, flashed through his mind despite his resolve not to think about those dreams. He shook his head quickly to dispel the images. “Just things.” Raising his gaze to look with Miroku's again, InuYasha's frown deepened. “I feel like . . . like I'm doing something wrong to her just having those dreams.”
“You feel guilty about your dreams, you mean.”
“Do you enjoy them?”
A very distinct growl was more than enough answer, as far as InuYasha was concerned.
“And that makes you feel even guiltier.”
Miroku winced in sympathy. “These dreams . . . they don't seem natural, you're right. Every night? And I take it that the `smell' Shippou was talking about is . . . the physical result of those dreams.”
Flaming red, InuYasha nodded curtly.
“Have you been bewitched?”
“Keh! Of course not!” InuYasha scoffed then blinked. “I don't think so, anyway . . .”
“When did you start having them?”
InuYasha pondered that question. With a scowl as he remembered that night when, in his human form, he hadn't been able to cope with the dream that was no more than a very long, very wet kiss, he sighed. “Just before Kagome thought it'd be a great idea to carry your pup, I guess.”
Miroku nodded. “InuYasha, when you were away, did anything strange happen to you?”
InuYasha shook his head. “Not that I remember.”
“But something had to cause you to have these dreams, right?”
InuYasha sighed and rubbed his temple with slightly shaking fingers. “I don't know.”
Miroku shook his head, too. “It has to be something, InuYasha. Could it be your subconscious that desires what your dreams show you?”
“It could be anything, damn it. I can't . . . Kagome deserves better.”
“So you say. Do you think Kagome really feels that way?”
InuYasha didn't answer. In his heart, he didn't know what to think about that. Kagome always seemed so open to him, as though she truly did accept him, and up until that night when he'd so stupidly said the wrong name out loud . . . But since that night . . . He missed her more than he ever thought possible, more than he ever wanted to admit.
Pushing himself to his feet, InuYasha sighed as he turned toward the well.
“InuYasha, one more thing . . . I understand that you've had trouble with the idea that Kagome would carry Sango and my child, and I'm sorry for that. Be as angry at me as you wish . . . but Kagome . . . she doesn't deserve that.”
InuYasha nodded once. “I'm not mad at anyone anymore . . . anger ain't got a thing to do with it.”
Miroku stood up and sighed. “Then why the distance between you two? I've noticed, and Sango has, too . . .”
InuYasha couldn't admit to the reason for that. “It's nothing. You're imagining things.”
Miroku nodded slowly. “All right. Just . . . when you go to her . . . maybe you ought to tell her how you feel. Stop avoiding it. If you think she's yours, then let her know that.”
InuYasha didn't answer that as he hopped up on the side of the well. Shooting one last glance at the monk, he sighed before he dropped over the edge.
`Why did I tell that lecher everything?' he asked himself with a snort.
`Because you're going crazy trying to make sense of it all by yourself, and you can't tell Kagome . . .'
The light of the time slip wrapped around him, and InuYasha sighed again. That had to be the reason. Just tired of trying to figure out anything from something that made no sense, and as angry as he had been at Miroku, he had to admit, too, that the monk really did listen well, and really did have a compassionate spirit. `Maybe if anyone can figure it out, maybe Miroku can.'
InuYasha made a face. `Compassion or not, he still ain't laying a fucking finger on Kagome . . .'
Still . . . those dreams . . . InuYasha deliberately shoved the invading thoughts aside. Bad enough to deal with the new surprises every dream brought on. The last thing he needed when facing her was the all-too-real images invading his mind.
Kagome grabbed her coat off the rack and stuck her head into the kitchen. “Mama, I'm going to go pick up a few things,” she said.
Mrs. Higurashi glanced up from the newspaper and nodded. “All right, dear. Be careful.”
Kagome grinned and hurried outside before her smile faded. Trying not to think about InuYasha or his latest show of outrageous behavior, Kagome ran down the steps and onto the sidewalk.
`InuYasha . . . why does he have to be so . . . so . . . so impossible? One minute he acts like he can't stand to be around me, the next he's saying I'm his . . . wench.' Screwing up her face in a show of impotent irritation, Kagome pulled on her jacket as she hurried down the street toward the small grocery where she normally bought the things her friends loved.
Grabbing things off the shelf without really paying attention, Kagome sighed. There had been a few times lately, when InuYasha had stared at her in a way that she didn't want to understand. As though she feared her own real feelings, she forced herself to look away those times, forced herself to discount his interest. Try as she might, the sound of InuYasha's voice rasping out Kikyou's name . . . `Kami . . . it still hurts . . .'
“Kagome! How are you?”
Blinking in surprise as she turned her head to see Eri, Yuka, and Ayumi heading toward her, Kagome smiled in welcome, happy to see her friends. She'd not seen them since they graduated, and though she'd spoken to all of them on the phone, they hadn't had time to get together before the girls headed off to the university.
Setting her shopping basket aside, Kagome reached out to hug Eri, who was closest. The baby didn't seem to enjoy the sudden movement or the quick squeeze, and it kicked—hard. Kagome gasped as Eri backed up with a shocked expression on her face. “Kagome? Are you . . . ?”
Kagome nodded and plastered on a bright smile. “Yep . . . I'm pregnant.”
“Why would you do such a thing?” Yuka asked, her face registering her shock. “They can do something about that . . . why would you keep it?”
An irrational irritation rose in Kagome's chest. Of course she knew that many girls her age—if they did end up pregnant—did have abortions. Many of the girls who did would add their Jizo statues at one of the many gardens set up to offer a gift for the lost little ones. The idea mortified Kagome. It always had.
She could feel her face heat at her friend's frank questions. “Does it matter?” she hedged.
“I think it's great!” Ayumi said with a giggle. “A baby! How sweet!”
Kagome winced. “Oh, uh, yes. I'm being a surrogate for a close friend.”
“You mean you're doing this on purpose?” Yuka gasped.
“She and her husband couldn't have a baby on their own. It just seemed like the right thing to do.”
Eri shook her head. “But you'll get stretch marks, and other . . . stuff . . .”
“I can't believe you're throwing your life away to do this,” Yuka went on. “What kind of friend asks you to do something so ghastly?”
“There's nothing ghastly about it,” Kagome countered quietly, trying to hide the hurt caused by the girls' words. “I'm not throwing anything away.”
“Call it what you want, Kagome, but no guy is going to want you after your done having that baby. Your body will be all fat and—”
“Who the fuck are you calling fat, and since when is doing something for your friends a waste of time?”
Kagome gasped as Eri and Yuka stepped back in surprise. Feeling the comforting familiarity of InuYasha just behind her, she couldn't help the rush of thankfulness that surged over her.
Ignoring the question in Kagome's tone, InuYasha glared at the girls. “Some fucking friends you are . . . in my world friends like you are gutted and left for dead.”
Eri and Yuka gasped and hurried off, muttering apologies under their breaths as Ayumi frowned in confusion. “I'd better go, too . . . I think what you're doing is wonderful, Kagome.”
Ayumi hurried away as Kagome turned to stare at InuYasha, who was still glowering over her head in the direction of the retreating girls. “InuYasha . . . thank you.”
“Keh. What for? They didn't have the right to say that, and you shouldn't have let them.”
“It's not that easy . . . they've been my friends for years, ever since I started school.”
“And that gives them the right to judge you?”
She made a face and sighed as she retrieved her shopping basket. “No, you're right.” Staring at him, she suddenly smiled. InuYasha blinked in surprise at the mercurial shift in her mood. She reached up and tipped the baseball cap's bill. “I'm surprised you remembered the hat.”
He shrugged. “Keh. Your mother made me wear it.”
She giggled as he followed her to the check out. “I'm sorry I got so mad at you earlier.”
“Yeah . . . I'm sorry that damn lecher thought it'd be all right to put his fucking hands on you.”
Kagome rolled her eyes but giggled again. “I'm glad you followed me.”
He looked away as his cheeks reddened. “Keh.”
“Sentai Jizo, meaning literally 'one thousand Jizo' and installed mostly for the aborted fetuses. Jizo is believed to be a guardian deity of children, both alive and dead, including stillborn babies and aborted fetuses. Sorrowing parents who lost children dedicate the statuettes and pray that the god may protect the poor little ones wandering in the netherworld. Usually, the parents offer dolls and baby clothes to the statuettes.”
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Final Thought from Miroku :
… No teasing, right???
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.