InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Metamorphosis. ❯ Nefarious Deception ( Chapter 18 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
Kagome hopped off Kirara's back and ran toward the two hanyous who were locked in a deadly embrace. “InuYasha!” her voice called out in the dim light of the rising moon. “Watch out!”
“Keh! Stay back!” he yelled with a gasp as one of Naraku's tentacles wrapped around his chest, tightening as the vile entity sought to absorb InuYasha into his body. “I don't think so, bastard!” InuYasha snarled. “Sankon-tetsusou!”
The tentacle fell away as InuYasha crashed to the ground, black blood seeping from the wounds on his arms, his chest. A small cry welled up in Kagome's throat as another snaking appendage shot toward InuYasha. Without a second thought, she drew an arrow, nocked it back, let it fly. Zipping through the air with a shimmering pink aura, the arrow gathered power as it closed the distance, as it neared the target. Another arrow shot from the forest to her left, and Kagome gasped as her head turned. “Kikyou!” she called out as the miko's arrow, bathed in blue light, shot toward Naraku from the other side.
Naraku raised his tentacles to stop the onslaught. The sacred arrows shattered and dispelled them, gaining incredible power with every part of the evil hanyou they destroyed. As the arrows neared, in that split second, InuYasha slammed Tetsusaiga into the earth. “Kongousouha!”
The arrows hit in a violent explosion of light as the spears of diamonds hit Naraku square in the chest, impaling him, sending him careening back.
“Kazaana!” Miroku shouted as he unleashed his wind tunnel to suck up the bits and pieces of Naraku before he could gather them back together to regenerate himself. Hair blowing back away from his face as the monk stood his ground, he held onto his wrist as the kazaana absorbed more and more of the evil hanyou's body.
Naraku burbled, bubbles of murky blood issuing as he tried to laugh. With a sudden jerk, the villain shot out more runners toward InuYasha. A sizzling hiss as Sesshoumaru's energy whip shot out to thwart the tentacles ended in a crack as the green line snapped against the vine.
Naraku threw back his head, unleashed and unearthly wail. The earth rumbled, the trees trembled. Kagome stumbled and caught herself on her hands and knees. Lifting her face with a shocked gasp, she stared in horror as hundreds and hundreds of lesser youkai rose from the ground, flew through the air toward Naraku. “You cannot defeat me!” he gloated as he started assimilating them into his body.
“Hiraikotsu!” Sango called as she hurled her boomerang. Innumerable youkai fell in the wake of the awesome weapon. The exterminator caught it and hopped on Kirara's back for another go-round.
InuYasha sprinted forward, raising Tetsusaiga as he leapt into the air. “Kaze no Kizu!” he bellowed as unleashed the waves of flames, decimating youkai as they tried to reach Naraku. With an evil chuckle, Naraku shot out a spike, impaled InuYasha through the shoulder. With a hiss of pain as Naraku retracted the spike, InuYasha fell to the ground and rolled to his feet.
“InuYasha!” Kagome shrieked as she darted toward him.
“Get the fuck away!” InuYasha demanded, shoving Kagome as another of Naraku's runners zipped over the ground, catching Kagome's ankle and dragging her toward him. “Let her go, bastard!” InuYasha snarled as he raised Tetsusaiga again and ran toward him.
“Damn you, dog-shit! What are you doing, letting my Kagome fight?” Kouga snapped as he sprinted past InuYasha. His new acquisition, Goraishi, appeared on his hand, and he snapped the blades as he flexed his claws.
`He looks like Freddy Krueger,' Kagome thought weakly as Naraku's vine tightened around her, squeezing out her breath. Ready to pass out from lack of oxygen, she tried to reach over her shoulder for an arrow. Her arms didn't want to move.
With a lightning fast swipe of his new metal claws, Kouga ripped through the thick tentacle like it was made of paper. With a small scream as she plummeted toward the earth, Kagome's heart lurched as strong arms caught her. InuYasha leaped to the side and set her on her feet, glaring at her in obvious anger, eyes blazing as hot as the noonday sun. “Fucking hell, bitch! Don't you ever fucking listen?”
Unable to stand on her shaking legs, Kagome fell to her hands and knees as she shook her head and struggled to breathe. “Keh! Stay here, damn it!” he demanded just before he jumped away.
Looking up, Kagome watched as Sesshoumaru drew Tenseiga. InuYasha nodded quickly and whipped Tetsusaiga out of the sheath.
“Can you fight?”
Kagome glanced up into Kikyou's unreadable expression. “I . . . yes,” she gasped out, still trying to recover from the lack of oxygen.
Kikyou nodded once and held out Kagome's bow. “With our combined powers, we can end this,” Kikyou said.
Kagome stood and pulled an arrow out of the quiver on her back. The mikos nocked back their arrows in unison as the brothers and Kouga ran toward Naraku. Miroku and Sango were busy with a hoard of lesser youkai, and Kagome steadied herself on her feet before she took aim.
“Now!” Kikyou yelled as they released their arrows. As they whistled through the air, the auras melded together. Wrapping around both arrows in a purplish light, the two suddenly merged into one. It hit Naraku as Kouga, InuYasha and Sesshoumaru's combined attack made contact.
With a screech of pain as his body dissipated, the malevolent being slowly dissolved. “You think you've won? You weak and pathetic beings! You cannot defeat me! You cannot!”
In a blinding flash of brilliant white light, Naraku's laughter hung on the wind as the vile dust that had comprised his body blew away on a sudden wind. Complete silence engulfed the allies, each one lost in the disbelief, the hard-to-grasp realization that Naraku had finally been destroyed.
“Take care of InuYasha,” Kikyou said softly as she turned and disappeared into the forest.
“Kikyou?” Kagome called after her. The miko ignored her and kept moving . . .
Kagome awoke with a soft gasp in the quiet sanctuary of her bedroom. The stillness rang in her ears as she sat up slowly, hand wrapped protectively over her belly. It had been so long since she'd remembered that night . . . it left her feeling panicked, unsettled.
Standing up and wandering in the darkness, Kagome stopped at her window. Filtering light of the sliver of a moon high in the night sky made the world look sad, lonely. She sighed and watched as her breath fogged the window pane.
Letting her gaze roam over the landscape, Kagome frowned at the sight of the solitary figure sitting near the now dormant garden . . . Sango's garden. Whether he was awake or asleep, Kagome wasn't sure. The huddled form that was InuYasha sent a stabbing pain through her heart.
Kagome turned away from the window and stepped into her slippers as she struggled into her robe and padded from the bedroom. `Why is he outside?' she wondered as she quietly padded down the stairs. She pulled on her coat and retrieved a thick blanket from the closet before she headed for the back door and stepped out into the night.
“InuYasha?” His back stiffened at the sound of her soft voice. “Why are you out here? You can come inside . . . it's awfully cold tonight.”
“Keh. What are you doing out here? You're going to get sick.”
“I'll go back inside,” she agreed. “Why don't you come with me?”
He shook his head. “I'm better off out here, thanks.”
She frowned at the oddly hostile tone in his voice. “I brought a blanket out for you,” she ventured.
“I don't need it.”
“Humor me, then.”
Letting the blanket fall open, Kagome carefully draped it over his shoulders. “Are you sure you don't want to come inside?”
He shook his head and sighed. “What's it like?”
“What's what like?” she asked as she knelt down beside him.
He shook his head again as he held open the blanket. She stared at him for a moment before she scooted closer to allow him to fold her into the warmth of the blanket, too. “When the . . . pup moves . . . what's it like?”
Kagome hesitated before she answered. “Do you want to feel it?”
“No!” he growled as his cheeks pinked just a little. He blinked a few times and wrinkled his nose. “Is . . . is it . . . moving now?” he asked grudgingly.
She nodded. “Give me your hand.”
He still looked like he was fighting his desire to run away but he let her take his hand and press it against her stomach. She sat with an expectant look on her face. She giggled suddenly as the baby moved. InuYasha gasped and tried to jerk his hand back. She held onto it and laughed a little louder when the movement came again.
“That's it?” he asked as a timid smile surfaced on his features. She nodded. The baby kicked again, and he laughed out loud. “That's a strong pup! He'll grow up, and no one will fuck with him! Mark my words, Kagome, his life won't be nothin' like mine.”
“Huh?” he mumbled as he waited for the baby to move again.
Kagome swallowed hard and bit her lip. “It's not . . . it isn't my baby, remember?”
InuYasha's smile faded as he drew his hand away from her and sat back, gaze shifting away. “Keh. Of course I remember. How could I forget?”
Kagome sighed and shook her head slowly. “Sometimes . . . sometimes I forget that, myself. Is that . . . bad?”
InuYasha turned his face away and shook his head. “Why would you do this to yourself? Even knowing from the start . . . ?”
Kagome shrugged. “Because I want them to be happy.”
InuYasha drew a deep breath and nodded slowly. Standing up, he reached out for her hand. “Come on. You'll freeze out here.”
Hesitantly, Kagome took his hand and let him pull her to her feet. He followed her into the house and up to her room, taking his normal spot under the window as she lay back down in the bed. “Goodnight. Sleep well.”
InuYasha heaved a sigh. “Keh.”
The fire in the pit cast the chamber in an eerie light. Standing before the glowing orb that floated over the earthenware urn, the thin violet smoke rose from the container, swirling around the sphere, snaking a trail as it dissipated in the air, Hisadaicho smiled as she breathed in the rising incense. Aki stood beside the door, hands behind his back as he waited patiently for further instruction. She beckoned him closer as she dropped her kimono to the floor. The servant knelt before her, nuzzling against her thighs.
“Shall we see what Oro is dreaming tonight?”
Aki didn't answer as he pulled her closer against his mouth.
Waving a hand over the orb, the smoke rose thicker, higher. An image emerged from the smoke, a vague outline of a man and a woman. Hisadaicho frowned as she stared. It wasn't Oro and his unwitting beloved. “Who is this?” she mused as her eyes closed slightly.
The image solidified, grew clearer for her inspection. A silver haired young man with little dog ears, and a raven haired girl . . . slender in body with long shapely legs and thin arms, the slight thickness around her stomach gave away the child she carried. Hisadaicho smiled as she watched the girl lower her mouth over him, watched as he let his head fall back, as he whined softly, as he groaned in pleasure.
“InuYasha . . .” she mumbled with a smile. “How could it be? I would certainly have known . . .”
Hisadaicho's smile grew wider as the hanyou gasped, tensed, cried out . . .
“Show me . . . where is he now?”
The image shifted, faded, melded into something else. The same young man, clad in crimson clothing, cradled in the branches of a barren tree.
Hisadaicho sighed as her body trembled under Aki's careful ministrations. `Well, InuYasha . . .' she mused as she stepped away to lie down on the pillows once more. `You've made everything so much easier . . . and you haven't even a clue . . .'
“Kagome, don't forget, you have another doctor visit Friday, if you'll be gone that long.”
Kagome nodded as she set aside her chopsticks and reached for her glass of milk. “I didn't forget. I don't know how long I'll be gone this time . . . InuYasha?”
“Are you all right? You've been spacey all morning,” Kagome remarked as she eyed InuYasha critically.
“Keh. I'm fine.”
“Mama asked how long I'd be gone this time, but I do have to be home by Friday for a doctor visit.”
InuYasha made a face as he dug into his ramen, which Kagome had insisted was entirely inappropriate for breakfast. Unfortunately, her mother seemed to have developed a soft spot for him, and she prepared him what he asked for. “Whatever,” he mumbled.
“You got up early this morning,” Kagome went on, ignoring the obvious irritation in the hanyou's demeanor. “I got up at six to go to the bathroom, and you were already gone.”
InuYasha shrugged. “Your room's too hot. I slept in the tree.”
“We do have a guest room, InuYasha,” Mrs. Higurashi pointed out gently. “You're welcome to stay in there, and I can put a cover over the vent, if you'd rather.”
He shook his head quickly, his face flushing as he studiously glared at his ramen. “Tree's fine.”
Kagome eyed him suspiciously. He was acting entirely too strange this morning, no doubt about it. She sighed. Knowing him, he wouldn't tell her what was bothering him, even if she begged. `Stubborn baka.'
“Is something bothering you, InuYasha?” Mrs. Higurashi asked, concern evident in her expression.
“Keh. No.” Dropping his chopsticks on the table in a dull clatter, InuYasha shot to his feet and stomped toward the door. “Hurry it up, wench. We ain't got all day.”
Kagome rolled her eyes and sighed as she stood up. “Guess I'd better get moving. InuYasha doesn't seem like he's in a good mood at all . . .”
Mrs. Higurashi smiled. “All right, dear. Be careful.”
Kagome grinned as she put her dishes in the sink and tossed InuYasha's empty ramen cup. “I will. Bye, Mama.”
And with a jaunty wave over her shoulder as she grabbed her coat, Kagome ran out of the house.
“Come out. I know you're there.”
Hisadaicho stepped into the clearing where the resurrected miko was passing through. “So you are Kikyou. Interesting. Stealer of souls?”
Kikyou regarded her without a change in expression. “I am Kikyou. Who are you?”
“My name is not important. I've come to ask you a question. Do you wish to live once more? To exist without the need to . . . borrow souls from dead maidens?”
Kikyou's smile was full of irony, an empty expression that didn't touch her eyes. “I need nothing from the likes of you. What manner of evil binds you to this world?”
Hisadaicho chuckled. “Evil? Me? I have been called many things . . . evil has never been one of them.”
“I find that hard to believe.”
“I seek information on the one known as InuYasha.”
Kikyou stopped and turned her head slowly to stare at Hisadaicho. She didn't miss the flash of surprise in the undead miko's gaze. “And what interest does one such as you have in him?”
“I hear he travels with a curious girl . . . your reincarnation, if I'm not mistaken.” Hisadaicho frowned. “Does that bother you?”
Kikyou started walking again. “I made my peace with those things long ago. Now why don't you tell me what you're really after?”
Hisadaicho shook her head, hiding her coy smile as she saw the miko's turmoil, the things that she sought to hide. “You were once his lover, were you not? Surely it cannot be easy to see him with another . . .”
“That was a lifetime ago, and again I shall ask just what it is you're after.”
Hisadaicho deliberately took her time in answering. “If . . . your reincarnation were to . . . die . . . wouldn't you have your soul back?”
Kikyou stopped abruptly and swung around to face Hisadaicho again. “Even if I wanted my soul back I would not stoop to something as low as that. Be gone . . . we have nothing further to discuss.”
“Vengeance is a sweet retribution . . . I hear this lover of yours now follows around your reincarnation like a puppy . . .”
A brief flash of pain that was quickly quelled did not go unnoticed as Kikyou carefully blanked her features. “It is none of my concern. I relinquished my claim on him long ago.”
“And would it interest you to know the sordid dreams that she has driven him to? He had been tainted by lustful thoughts and visions of her, and tainted creatures must die.”
“Are you threatening InuYasha?” Kikyou demanded, the anger in her voice belying her bland expression.
Hisadaicho blinked innocently. “Did it sound like a threat?”
Kikyou shifted her gaze to the side, pinning the woman with a calculating stare. “You cannot hurt him. I will not allow it.”
“So you do still love him.”
“That doesn't matter. I will not allow harm to come to him from one such as you.” Kikyou raised her hand. Her soul collectors descended to wrap around her, to lift her into the air. “Stay away from InuYasha, or I shall destroy you,” she called back.
Hisadaicho watched the miko walk away, a small smile playing with the corners of her lips. `Such righteous indignation . . . such fervor . . . Thank you, Kikyou . . . you have accomplished your task for me.'
“Kami, Kagome . . . do you think you could have left something back in your time?” InuYasha grumbled as he cleared the top of the well and landed neatly in the fresh snow around the structure. Setting Kagome gently on her feet, he readjusted the backpack with a grimace.
“Yeah . . . stop complaining. I brought extra ramen for you and even a couple bags of potato chips.”
He wrinkled his nose. “And yet your bag still manages to weigh about the same as Totosai's bull.”
She stopped suddenly and shot him a speculative glance. “When have you been carrying around Totosai's bull?”
“Keh! Don't change the subject.”
“I didn't. You brought up the bull.”
“Um . . . I, umm . . .”
InuYasha rolled his hand in an impatient gesture apparently meant to speed Kagome's words. “Don't choke on it, wench.”
“I forgot something.”
“Oh, hell . . .”
Planting her hands in the center of his chest to stop him from stomping away, Kagome plastered on a bright smile and batted her eyes a couple of times for good measure. He blinked and blushed but stopped with a scowl on his face. “It'll just take a few minutes, okay? Will you wait for me?”
Making a show of rolling his eyes and heaving a sigh, InuYasha plopped down in the snow to wait.
“Thank you!” she called over her shoulder as she scampered back over to the well.
“Keh! Hurry it up. If that lecher and Sango come sniffing around for you, I might have to preoccupy myself by shoving Tetsusaiga up his—-”
“No Tetsusaiga shoving, and I promise, I'll hurry!”
“Yeah . . . yet another `favor' you owe me. Now get moving.”
“Let me guess, I `m not allowed to look at another guy now?”
“Shuddup and move it,” he grumbled. “We can discuss this favor later.”
InuYasha watched as Kagome disappeared over the side of the well. “Oi!” he hollered as he shot over to the side of the well. “Use the ladder, damn it!” he hollered into the void as Kagome disappeared through the time slip.
With an irritated growl, he sat back down and wrapped his arms around Tetsusaiga and shook his head. He'd built a ladder so that she didn't have to struggle in climbing up and down into and out of the well. Damned if she ever remembered to use it, though. What if she hurt the pup doing that? He made a face. He'd have to remind her. With his luck, Sango or that monk would end up seeing Kagome drop into the well, and he'd be the one who got yelled at for it.
A strange shift in the breeze, a slight bowing in the forest . . . InuYasha stood up slowly, sensing her approach. Seconds later, Kikyou's Shini-dama-chuu floated over the clearing with Kikyou in their grasp.
`Kikyou?' InuYasha wondered as he stuck Tetsusaiga through his waistband. `Why . . . ?'
Lighting on the ground as her soul collectors spiraled above, the miko stepped forward. “InuYasha . . .”
“Kikyou . . .”
Sankon-tetsusou: Iron Reaver, Soul Stealer, InuYasha's stand-by claw attack.
Kongousouha: Diamond Spear Blast, Tetsusaiga's ultimate techinique . . . to date.
Kaze no Kizu: Wind Scar, One of Tetsusaiga's attacks.
Kazaana: Wind Tunnel, Miroku's weapon.
Hiraikotsu: Come Flying Bone, Sango's ginormous boomerang.
Goraishi: Five Thunder Fingers (Kouga's new `toy')
Shini-dama-chuu: Kikyou's soul collectors, serpent-like beings that collect souls for her to use.
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Final Thought from Hisadaicho :
My plan is working out perfectly . . .
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.