InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Metamorphosis. ❯ Sealing the Dreams ( Chapter 21 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
~Sealing the Dreams~
“I stand by my words, InuYasha. Ye waited too long to counter the toxin,” Kaede stated as Kagome stared straight into the fire, trying to keep her cheeks from pinking. “However, I think there may be a way to bind the toxin's powers that should at least remove the dreams that plague ye.”
InuYasha studiously avoided everyone's gazes as he, too, stared at the flames in the fire pit. “Just spill it, old woman. What do I need to do?”
“Ye need to create a blood bond, InuYasha . . . ye and Kagome must do this, since it is she who appears in your dreams.”
“Blood bond?” InuYasha repeated dubiously. “What the hell does that mean?”
Kaede shook her head and sighed. “We must mix your blood. Kagome . . . have you anything in your time that could hold a small amount of blood to be made into a talisman for InuYasha to wear?”
“I have to wear our blood?” InuYasha cut in with an incredulous growl.
“Aye, InuYasha . . . Now be ye quiet.”
“What if I really wasn't the one in his dreams?” Kagome asked quietly, her gaze shifting from the dancing flames to her hands clasped in her lap. Cheeks reddening as she felt InuYasha's glare boring into her head, she stubbornly refused to acknowledge his irritation with her question
“What the hell does that mean, bitch? I told you it was you, damn it, and—”
“Then the binding will not work . . . and we would know as much tomorrow if InuYasha still suffered the dreams this night.”
InuYasha reigned in his impulse to growl in answer to that.
“I'm sure we have something that would work. I'll go ask Mama,” Kagome said as she started to rise.
“Kagome, there are a few things I should go over with ye before we go forward with this plan,” Kaede remarked.
“Forget it, wench. I'll go.” With that, InuYasha shot to his feet and stomped out of the hut.
“Miroku, why don't ye make sure that we have the necessary supplies?” Kaede requested. Miroku nodded and hurried out of the hut, too.
“Why do I have the feeling that you wanted to talk to me alone?” Kagome asked quietly.
Kaede smiled. “I did. I wanted to tell you that I've heard of another way to break the toxin's control . . . however, I didn't think it was one ye would welcome hearing in front of the others.”
“What do you mean?”
Kaede seemed to be picking her words very carefully. “InuYasha told ye of his dreams, aye?”
Kagome nodded slowly.
“Then ye know . . . the other way to break the toxin would be for the two of ye to act out his . . . dreams.”
Kagome frowned even as her cheeks reddened a little bit more. “Kissing wouldn't be . . . so bad . . .”
Kaede chuckled softly. “'Tis my understanding it was a bit more than kissing ye were about in those dreams, child.”
“ . . . What?”
Kaede sighed. “I take it he did not tell ye the extent of his dreams.”
Her face was almost painfully flushed, and Kagome was having distinct difficulty breathing. “Uh . . . no . . .”
“From what we know, the butterfly youkai's toxin can only magnify whatever thoughts were already there. This one, apparently, brings to mind his deepest desires . . . ones that he might have even kept hidden from himself.”
“I don't think I want to know this,” Kagome muttered, pressing her hands against her flaming cheeks. “How embarrassing . . . who all knows?”
“Miroku and myself . . .” Kaede actually smiled. “This is a good sign, child. It means that he desires you as his mate, despite his obstinacy to admit as much.”
“Oh, kami . . . Miroku knows?”
Kaede nodded. “I didn't think ye would welcome this option being presented in front of everyone.”
Kagome managed a weak smile. “Thanks, Kaede . . . you're right . . .”
In truth, Kagome wasn't sure what she ought to think of the entire thing. On the one hand, she was completely and utterly mortified . . . bad enough that she had believed that she'd been kissing him in his dreams, but to be told that she'd apparently done much, much more than that . . . `How embarrassing . . .' On the other hand, though . . . was Kaede right? Did it mean that InuYasha wanted more from their relationship than just being friends?
For some reason, that thought made her heart leap. `You shouldn't be happy about this, Kagome! Chances are good that whatever you were doing in these dreams had to have been ecchi at best, if he wouldn't even tell you about them . . .'
Yet the lingering doubt still whispered in the recesses of her mind . . . `If he had been dreaming about me . . . why had he said Kikyou's name?'
Still . . . ecchi or not, the memory of his kisses set off a strange chain reaction, and Kagome was shocked to see her hands shaking quite noticeably in her lap.
“Go cleanse and meditate, Kagome. Sango will help you. You must be completely pure when we draw your blood or this may only make things worse for InuYasha.”
InuYasha hopped out of the well with a scowl on his face and a small brown paper bag crumpled in his hand. Sprinting back toward the village, he snorted in self-disgust. `At least it can't get any worse than that,' he thought with an inward wince. It was one thing to ask Kagome's mother for help. It was something else altogether to tell her exactly why he needed a small glass vial . . .
“Let me see if I understand this . . . you need a small glass vial because you have to have a talisman of Kagome's blood?”
“And mine,” he grumbled as he stared at the kitchen table and tried to hide his blush.
“May I ask why you would need Kagome's blood?”
He winced. True, she was taking it much better than he thought she would. Still . . . “I got infected by some butterfly youkai. It's for the cure.”
She looked like she knew that InuYasha wasn't telling her everything. His glower darkened. “Why Kagome's blood?”
“She's the one I've been . . . she's been in my dreams. A lot.”
Mrs. Higurashi cleared her throat. “I see . . .” Standing up slowly, she moved over to rifle through the cupboards. “I have a few I saved from candy flavorings . . . They're clean . . . will this work?”
InuYasha stared at the tiny bottle she handed him. “I think so . . . the old woman—Kaede—didn't say how much blood . . .”
She stuck a few of them into a small brown paper bag and set it on the table in front of him. “InuYasha . . . these dreams . . . do they . . . bother you?”
Why did he have a feeling that she knew what his dreams were? He made a face and shrugged. “Well, I . . . I can't sleep right, and . . .”
Mrs. Higurashi nodded slowly. “You'd probably better get those back to the past then. Take care of my daughter.”
“Keh,” he said as he snatched the bag and got the hell out of the house.
With a sigh, he slowed down. In the week since Kikyou's death, it had just gotten to be a little too much to deal with. As if it weren't bad enough that he couldn't forget what he'd seen, couldn't forget the look on Kikyou's face, to have the dreams that both frightened and thrilled him . . . Something had to give. If he could get those dreams under control, maybe he could straighten the rest of it out in his mind.
It was a vicious cycle. On the one hand, he needed to find this woman who had killed Kikyou. Avenging her would also remove whatever threat she might post to Kagome. On the other hand, the thing that really worried him was that, if this binding didn't work, he would, in effect, be hunting Kagome, and he just wasn't sure he could do that. He didn't know if he could possibly face anyone—youkai, human, whatever—that looked and smelled so much like her.
He shook his head. It was impossible to separate the things in his mind. Guilt was the hardest thing to deal with. Guilt that he hadn't been able to save Kikyou. Guilt that he'd even considered that Kagome could do such a thing. Guilt that he hadn't felt more than the sadness at the loss of a friend when Kikyou died. Guilt that he'd almost started to look forward to those dreams of Kagome. Guilt that one thing led back to the other and there didn't seem to be a damn thing he could do to stop any of it, at all. Most of all, though, was the guilt that Kikyou's death had led him to realize one very important thing, and that was how desperately he needed to be with . . . Kagome.
The image of Kagome, so angry, so full of rage, flashed through his head again. `I hate you!'
He winced. Knowing it hadn't really been her didn't make the words hurt any less. In his mind . . . could he separate Kagome from the illusionary form of the youkai? InuYasha swallowed hard. He wasn't sure if he could . . . and if he couldn't, how could he keep his promises?
With a frustrated growl, InuYasha broke into a sprint again. First things first. Get rid of the dreams so he could concentrate on finding the one responsible for them . . .
`I have to keep the promise I made to Kikyou . . . I have to do it before I can consider making another promise to Kagome . . .' he sighed. In the last few days he'd come to some realizations. The first one was that, for reasons that he'd never understand, Kagome really did seem to want to be with him, and he . . . He smiled, just a little. He wanted to be with her, too.
But regardless of what Kikyou had said, he still had to honor his word to her. He had to avenge her. Only then would he be free, only then would he be truly worthy of being with Kagome . . .
“InuYasha . . . did ye not think it would be in your own best interests to tell Kagome what manner of dreams ye were suffering?” Kaede asked mildly as he stepped into her hut.
InuYasha dropped the paper bag in her lap. “Keh. Does it matter? She was still in them.”
“It does matter. It matters a lot. In any case, she now knows that they were not innocent dreams . . .”
Kaede opened the bag and peeked inside. “Ye heard me. Now go cleanse yourself for the ritual. And no sleeping.”
“Keh! You old bag!” he snarled as he turned on his heel and stomped out of the hut again. `Kagome . . . knows . . . ?' Ears smashing against his head as he sprinted out of the village again, he made a face and wondered just how long it'd be before Kagome demanded more answers about his dreams . . .
“You're awfully quiet, Kagome.”
“What?” Kagome asked as she glanced up into Sango's worried face. “Oh . . . it's nothing . . . just . . .”
Sango shook her head. “If it were nothing you'd not be so quiet. Miroku says you are going to perform a binding rite?”
Kagome nodded. “Yeah, but . . . I'm not so sure it will work . . .”
Kagome's gaze fell to the brush she held clutched tightly in her hand. “InuYasha says he's been having dreams . . . about me . . . about us . . . but . . .” Frowning, she sighed and shrugged. “When we were alone . . . when we went to see Bokuseno . . . I woke up, and he was kissing me, but he . . . he said Kikyou's name.”
“Oh, Kagome . . . are you sure it wasn't a mistake?”
“I don't know . . . I guess I will, though. Kaede said that if he were thinking of someone other than me, the ritual won't work.”
“If InuYasha knows that, then he has nothing to hide, right?”
Kagome smiled weakly. “I suppose.” She shook her head slowly. “I'm supposed to be clearing my mind, meditating. It's not working.”
Sango winced. “Just clear your mind and think of something pleasant . . . or try to.”
Kagome sighed but did as she was told. Clearing her mind? That might take a bit more effort . . .
Drawing a deep breath, Kagome tried to think of happy things, beautiful things . . . `Watching the sun rise and set . . . Seeing the moonlight on the water . . . Seeing InuYasha's eyes when he lets his guard down . . .' The final image was the most beautiful in her mind. Settling on it, she smiled, relaxed. Would he ever realize the power he had over her emotions? She wrinkled her nose. `Kami, I hope not . . .'
She sighed. `This isn't working . . . focus, Kagome . . . Kaede said I have to purify my mind. Pure thoughts . . . pure thoughts . . .'
The baby shifted, and she smiled again. That was a pure thought . . . Imagining the happiness on Sango and Miroku's faces when they met their child . . . that was beautiful. The awe on InuYasha's face when he'd felt the baby move was beautiful. Deliberately blocking the rest of that memory, Kagome tried to focus on the happiness that he'd shown just before he had remembered whose baby it really was.
Another memory came to mind, and Kagome frowned as she remembered. She awoke that night . . . InuYasha was sitting under the window sleeping with his arms around Tetsusaiga, and that was normal enough. But he had been moaning softly, whining a little . . . disturbing sounds that had twisted around her insides until she felt as though she were melting . . . and then he had mumbled her name . . . `Those dreams . . . had he . . . ? About me . . . ? Then he wasn't lying at all, was he?'
That incredible warmth, those feelings like her insides were shifting, the wave of heat that permeated her very bones rushed over her. entirely too nice, too tumultuous, too wanton, Kagome squeezed her eyes closed a little tighter as she shook her head, trying to dispel the consuming burn that had ignited under her skin. `Pure thoughts, Kagome . . . Kaede said you'd make it worse if they're not entirely pure, remember?'
With new resolve, Kagome focused on sakura blossoms in the springtime, on the first snowfall of the season, of anything and everything that seemed pure as she struggled to keep InuYasha out of her mind.
And yet the tiny voice in the back of her mind kept asking her . . . `Just what, exactly, were we doing in his dreams?'
Kagome held the short knife in her trembling hand and winced as she lowered the point against InuYasha's finger. `I . . . I don't think I can do this,' she thought as she shook her head.
“Kagome, ye must do it,” Kaede said quietly.
Kagome adjusted her grip on the knife and stole a peek at InuYasha. Staring away, he looked almost bored except for the light flush on his cheeks. She stifled a sigh. `I can do this . . . he needs this . . . and it's just a little cut . . . he'll be healed by morning . . .'
Squeezing her eyes closed, she gathered her courage and stuck the tip of the blade into the pad of InuYasha's finger. The hanyou didn't even flinch as she lay the knife aside and squeezed the wound, coaxing blood into the tiny vial. When she'd filled it half way, she let go of his finger and set the bottle aside.
“Okay, done,” she said with a sigh of relief.
“All right, InuYasha . . . now ye do the same to Kagome . . . though perhaps it would be better to use your claw, instead.”
InuYasha glanced over at Kaede then hesitantly took Kagome's hand. Poising his claw over her index finger, Kagome tried to focus on the fire in the pit instead of the warmth of his hand on hers. Vaguely it registered that his hand was shaking, and when his claw touched the soft flesh of her finger, she realized that it was shaking, too.
Moments ticked away as he sat there holding her hand. With a soft gasp, he let go. “Damn it, I can't,” he growled.
Kagome shifted her gaze to him and blinked at the complete self-disgust on his features as he glared at his claws. “You can use the knife, can't you?”
“Fuck . . . if I could use the knife, I could use my claws, bitch,” he snarled.
She shook her head. “But . . .” A look of sudden comprehension followed by one of deep hurt settled on her face. “I was right, wasn't I? You weren't . . . it wasn't me.”
His eyes flew to meet hers, irritation mingled with confusion in his gaze. “What? No . . . I swore I'd protect you. I can't hurt you. Don't be stupid. It ain't got nothing to do with Kikyou.”
“You're the one being stupid! Cutting my finger isn't really hurting me, baka!”
“Can't she do it herself?” InuYasha demanded, ignoring Kagome's retort.
Kaede shook her head. “Nay, it must be done by your hand, InuYasha, or it will not work.”
“Unless you like those dreams,” Miroku ventured from his seat across from them.
“Shut the hell up, lecher! That ain't got a damn thing to do with it.”
“Just do it, InuYasha,” Kagome said with a sigh.
Grabbing her hand again, InuYasha repeated the process of touching his claw to her fingertip and stopping. Kagome could sense his hesitation, his conflicting emotions between wanting to quell the dreams and not wishing to hurt her. A sudden warmth filtered through her as she realized just what it cost him to even consider what, in his mind, was unthinkable, and before she could stop to think about it, she smashed her finger against his claw—hard. He jerked his hand away but not before the damage was done. Kagome brought the bottle to her dripping fingertip and filled the vial the rest of the way.
Kaede took the full bottle and capped it before dipping the top in melted wax to seal it. Shaking it ten times before tying thick string around the sealed lid, she passed the bottle back to Kagome. “Shake it ten times, Kagome, then InuYasha shall do the same.”
Kagome did as she was told, careful of her still-bleeding finger. InuYasha snatched the bottle out of her hand and repeated the process before looping the string over his head and tucking the vial into his undershirt. “That it?” he growled.
“Aye,” Kaede confirmed.
“Good,” InuYasha said with a loud snort before grabbing Kagome and literally dragging her into his lap. She gasped and tried to scoot away. He tightened his arms around her as he held fast to her finger, dabbing away the blood with his haori sleeve. “Stupid wench,” he grumbled. “My claws are sharper than that fucking knife.”
She started to protest but forgot it when the warmth of his lips brushed over the finger.
It didn't occur to her that he had loosened his hold on her enough that she could have gotten up and moved away. Too bemused by his simple gesture, she sat there, staring at him and blushing just a little.
“Does it hurt?” he asked her, his voice soft so that the others wouldn't over hear. Discussing where to look for the butterfly youkai, Miroku, Sango, and Kaede weren't paying the slightest attention to either the hanyou or the miko—or so they thought. Sango hid her smile. Miroku wisely kept his gaze averted though he could see them out of his peripheral vision. Kaede didn't miss it, either. Shippou rolled his eyes. Ichisaru smashed his hands over his smiling mouth.
Kagome shook her head slowly. She doubted anything could really hurt her, at that moment, staring into his eyes as he tried so hard not to look so distressed over her insignificant blood loss.
He didn't look convinced. Ears flattening as he blushed a little, he flinched and ripped off a piece of his undershirt to wrap around her finger. “I'm sorry, Kagome . . .”
“Don't be,” she told him with a gentle smile.
He caught the smile and blushed a little darker. “Keh.”
== == == == == == == == == ==
Final Thought from Kagome:
So I wonder if his dreams will really stop then . . . and what exactly was he dreaming????
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.