InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Metamorphosis. ❯ Moving On ( Chapter 30 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
Kagome stood, arms crossed over her chest as she glared up at the hanyou in complete defiance. “Yes!”
“Don't be so stubborn!”
“You're not being fair.”
Leaning his head to the side as he shifted his eyes up to stare at the cloudy sky, InuYasha made a show of deliberating the topic of discussion before lowering his chin and snorting out loud. “Fair ain't got nothin' to do with it.”
She screwed her face up in an angry grimace. “InuYasha, stop being so stubborn! I have to come with you! What about the vial?”
“Keh! Dreams can't hurt me, wench, and I'd rather know that you're safe, got it?”
“I'm safe with you,” she pointed out.
“Give up. It ain't happening.”
“I'll follow you,” she threatened.
Eyes narrowing suspiciously, InuYasha was obviously trying to decide if she was being serious or not. “No!” he snarled.
“But if this youkai looks like me, how will you fight her?”
“Kagome—” he began, raking his hands through his hair in complete exasperation.
“Please?” she asked, changing tactics since the first one wasn't working.
He blinked suddenly, a slight redness filtering into his cheeks. “St-stop that!”
She frowned in confusion as he quickly turned away. “Please, InuYasha . . . I . . . I need this.”
Turning his head to peek over his shoulder at her, InuYasha didn't comment right away.
Kagome sighed, arms dropping as she pulled her coat closed over her chest. “I need to do something . . . I just . . . I feel like I'm going crazy here.”
And that was true, too. In the sixteen days since Marisaiko was born, Kagome had grown steadily more restless, as though she needed to do something—anything—to prove that she was still alive, that she wasn't as pathetic as she sometimes felt.
InuYasha let out a heavy breath and slowly turned to face her again. “All right,” he finally agreed, “but you gotta do what I say, and if I say I have to check something out and tell you to stay somewhere, you promise you'll do it without arguing.”
“Okay,” she agreed quickly, trying to hide her excitement at the prospect of heading out on another adventure with InuYasha. Knowing him, he'd be irritated with her for not giving this youkai enough credence. It wasn't that, at all. She just knew that InuYasha would always keep her safe.
InuYasha rolled his eyes. “This ain't a vacation, wench!” he complained.
Kagome quickly schooled her features. “I know.”
He snorted. “Do you?”
She nodded, eyes bright and earnest. “Yes, of course.”
He didn't look like he believed her. “I suppose you need to go home and get supplies?” he demanded, tapping his foot impatiently.
“Well, a few things, sure . . . don't you want more ramen?”
InuYasha's ears twitched at the mention of his favorite food. “Ramen?” he asked grudgingly.
She blanked her features. “Sure . . . I could get a bag or two of potato chips for you, if you'd like.”
“What are you up to?”
She shrugged. “Nothing . . . Nothing at all . . .”
She hid her smile. He might not believe her, but he still grabbed her hand and dragged her toward the forest, and toward the well.
“So we meet again.”
Sesshoumaru shifted his gaze to the side and eyed Hisadaicho as she stepped out of the trees. He didn't acknowledge her as he continued along his course. `She has a foul aura . . . a tainted soul?'
“Have you made a decision, Sesshoumaru?”
“Be gone. I shall not waste my time with the likes of you.”
Hisadaicho pouted prettily as she hurried to intercept the tai-youkai by stepping out before him. “Are you so certain? You wish not to have your precious wind sorceress restored to you?”
“How did you come to know of Kagura?”
“You'd be amazed at what I know, Sesshoumaru . . .” stepping around him, trailing her fingers over him, Hisadaicho chuckled softly as she stroked his cheeks, as she brushed her fingertips over his lips. “Kagura . . . and yet you were too . . . unwilling to show her your true emotions, were you not? Only to find just a little too late that you could do nothing to save her.” Leaning up on her toes, clinging to Sesshoumaru's armor, lips poised just below his, she continued to speak. “Did it make you feel impotent? Did it make you feel like less of a man? Tell me, what was it like to watch her . . . die?”
Sesshoumaru's eyes narrowed as he firmly pushed her back. Expression blank, he gave no outward indication that her words had bothered him in the least. “You cannot fool me. There is nothing pure in you. You believe you can bend This Sesshoumaru to serve your whims? Leave me. I possess neither the time nor inclination to sully my hands in destroying the likes of you.”
“Do not cross me, Sesshoumaru. I promise you, it would be the last mistake you'd ever make.”
“You will be gone from my lands by sunset,” he tossed over his shoulder as he strode away. Hisadaicho's laughter rang out in his wake. “You are a fool! The great tai-youkai! You shall bow before me, before it is over! You shall bleed, and you shall bend. Till the next time . . .”
Sesshoumaru sensed her moving away. Lips curling back in a grimace, a snarl, he strode toward the cliff, staring over the wash of the green sea. Drawing the feather out of his armor, he stared as the wind ruffled the edges, as the image of her, with the same feather in her hair . . . `Kagura . . . I wished to save you, and I failed.'
The sense of failure, the air of sadness seemed to permeate everything surrounding him. Something about Kagura had touched him. As though they were one in the same, as though she understood things about him that he didn't understand about himself, he hadn't counted on the frightening sense of loss, the realization that for once, he could do nothing but watch her die . . .
Rin's earnest assessment came back to him now, a child's frankness, a child's simplicity. “She's lonely, isn't she, Sesshoumaru-sama? Just like I used to be . . . but I'm not anymore . . .”
Lifting his face into the chill wind, Sesshoumaru glared out across the heavens, over the skies, searching for something that resembled the truth. There was nothing.
A sparking determination permeated his thoughts, the whispering thought as unrelenting as it was suspicious. `How did she come by the knowledge of Kagura? How could she have known?'
Deliberately turning away from the cliff, Mokomoko-sama trailing behind, Sesshoumaru's hair whipped in the wind as he strode toward his castle. `I will find my answers, Hisadaicho . . . and then I will destroy you.'
InuYasha glanced over his shoulder and shook his head in self-disgust. Puffing along behind him, red faced but bright-eyed, Kagome insisted on `jogging' instead of being reasonable and letting him carry her.
“Ready to give up, wench?”
She shook her head stubbornly. He rolled his eyes.
“You sure? You're going to hurt yourself, if you try to do too much,” he pointed out.
Kagome wrinkled her nose. “I'm fine . . . just . . . need to . . . exercise.”
InuYasha stopped, crossing his arms over his chest as he turned back to wait for the miko. “That's enough for one day,” he told her when she reached him.
Kagome bent over, hands on knees as she caught her breath. “Easy for you to say. You didn't have your entire body stretched out for the last nine months. Anyway, I feel all frumpy and flabby . . . ugh.” Delving into her backpack for a bottle of water, she knelt on the ground and frowned in concentration.
He nearly laughed at the consternation in her expression. Thinking better of it, he turned his gaze up to the sky and shrugged. “Keh. You look fine to me.”
She stopped digging and gazed up at him, color filtering into her cheeks as she slowly shook her head. “Really?”
He snorted. “Keh! Like you really need me to tell you that,” he grumbled, cracking his knuckles as he remembered their supply trip.
Somehow Kagome had managed to talk him into going with her. He had a suspicion that it was because of the cautious smile on her face more than her begging him with, “please, please, ple-e-e-ease.” So he'd squashed his ears down under the ridiculous hat she always insisted he wear, and they left the shrine together.
Halfway to the store, they'd encountered that Houjou thing, and Kagome had elbowed him in the ribs for uttering a low growl meant as a warning to keep the little bastard at bay.
“Kagome! You look well! How was . . . err, how is . . . uh . . . how are you?”
“Oh, I'm fine, thanks . . . everything went well . . . You remember InuYasha, right?”
Houjou's friendly gaze shifted to meet InuYasha's far more hostile one. He couldn't stave back the next growl as memories of Kagome letting Houjou kiss her stuck in his mind, just as vivid as they had been when he'd first seen it happen. Kagome elbowed him again. “Wench,” he ground out in her ear, “I'll get you for that.”
“Promises, promises,” she muttered back as she plastered on a bright smile for Houjou, who was glancing back and forth between the two of them as though he thought they were the latest science experiments. “We've got to be going . . . it was nice seeing you again, Houjou!”
“Keep walking and don't look back,” InuYasha growled in her ear as he propelled her forward with a hand on the small of her back.
Kagome sighed as Houjou hollered his goodbyes behind them. “Honestly, InuYasha, you sound like you're kidnapping me. Houjou's just a friend, I've told you, and—”
“And if your friend ever gets his fucking lips near you again, I'll be removing them, thanks.”
InuYasha spent the rest of the supply trip imagining various pleasant ways to get rid of the aforementioned `friend'. His favorite one had involved Tetsusaiga, some screaming, and that pathetic human begging for mercy . . .
“Even then, it is nice to hear it every once in awhile.” Kagome's voice snapped InuYasha out of his reverie.
“Keh! You are digging for compliments!” he accused. “Besides, that damn Houjou would have kissed you again, if you'd have let him. `Course, I would have had to shove Tetsusaiga up his—”
“You already made me promise that I wouldn't kiss anyone—” he interrupted her with a snort at the added emphasis on the word `anyone', “—so I don't think you have much to worry about.”
“I know what I made you promise, wench,” he grumbled. “Come on. We're hardly getting anywhere.”
Kagome shook her head before raising the bottle to her lips.
InuYasha didn't mean to stare. Something about watching her throat close over the fluid, though . . . With her head arched back and the gentle ripple as she drank, he couldn't help but watch as she gulped the water. Her eyes were closed, lashes dusting over her cheeks with a sooty elegance. He swallowed hard as he stared at her beautifully flushed face, felt his breath catch between his lips and his lungs as dulled imagery of dreams he'd tried to forget surged in his head.
The early March breeze toyed with the strands of her hair, the wispy tendrils that had escaped the high ponytail she wore blew in the wind. Along the base of her neck, along her temple it clung to her damp skin as the wash of her scent—clean, fresh, much too enticing—engulfed his senses with the power to bring him to his knees.
She lowered the bottle and grinned at him, the adorable, impish little flash of teeth that meant she felt like teasing. “Aha! You are tired!” she exulted when he knelt down beside her. “Admit it, dog-boy, you're not nearly as tough as you pretend to be.”
He didn't react to her teasing. Too bemused by the very sight of her, he reached for her slowly, pulled her against him as his mouth fell to hers, as he kissed her. He felt the cool splash as she dropped the water bottle. The water spilled out, hit his feet, and he lifted his hands to cup her face.
Licking the remnants of dewy water from her lips, he tasted the sweetness of her as she leaned against him. Content to let herself be lost in him, she sighed softly as InuYasha reveled in the feel of her utter compliance, the rapid beat of her heart reverberating through his mind with every second that he kissed her. The strength of her soul tempered him; the swell of her aura welcomed him. Her hands braced against his shoulders as her fingers dug into his haori only to release then tighten again. As though her movements were not her own, as though she couldn't control her own reactions, she pulled him closer and pushed him back at the same time.
A beautiful sensation stuttered to life. Deeper than the currents of desire, much more frightening than the knowledge that whispered to him, the wash of something wholly untainted, completely pure, as if, by simply kissing her that she could somehow transform him.
He kissed her tenderly, brushing his lips over hers as she trembled, as she sighed. In his heart he knew that she was the Kagome he wanted, the one who was real to him, the one who could set him free. He felt like he was standing on the edge of a cliff, and in one moment he could either soar or plummet, and it didn't matter which he chose, so long as Kagome didn't let go.
Maybe that was what had been missing from those torrid dreams in the darkness. The consuming feel, the emotion that bound them together . . . it hadn't ever been present. Cold lust was nothing, he realized, in comparison to the fierce desire to shelter her, to keep her from being in pain, to cosset her heart from those things that brought the sadness to her eyes.
He sat back and pulled her onto his lap, held her close with all the gentleness he could muster, smoothed her hair back with his claws. He moved his lips to kiss her cheeks, her nose, as she grasped his wrist tight, as she uttered the softest of sighs, as she relaxed in his arms, accepting the comfort he offered her.
When he moved his lips back to hers, the emotion behind her kiss was staggering, was almost blinding. The softness of her parting lips, the heat of her ragged breathing swirled around his senses, reminded him that she was rare, that she was beautiful, that she was Kagome, and that there wasn't a damn thing he wouldn't do if she'd only ask him to.
Cradling her head against his shoulder, he leaned back, opened his eyes only to find her gazing up at him through heavily-lidded eyes. She tried to smile. Her lips trembled, and she reached up to touch his face, her thumb rubbing over his lips. “What was that for?” she whispered.
He could feel his cheeks warming under her steady gaze. “I just wanted to,” he replied, unable to keep the hint of defensiveness out of his tone.
She nodded slowly, still tracing his lips with her fingers. “Do you . . . want to do it . . . again?”
InuYasha blinked and blushed a little darker. “Keh! I can't think when you . . . I mean, I can't smell anything but . . . Damn it!”
She giggled and hid her face in his haori then suddenly pushed herself up to kiss him again.
Eyes wide in shock that quickly dissipated as InuYasha wrapped his arms tighter around her, he let her do the kissing. Unsteady and unsure, she snaked her arms around his neck as she held him close. Suckling on his lower lips, he couldn't help the shivers that ran up and down his spine. Something about her spoke to him, something about the feel of her against him made him forget his own doubts.
Her hands tangled in his hair, her lips opened against his mouth with a soft moan. She tasted like something untamable, something just beyond his reach. Holding her as close as he could, hugging her to his heart, InuYasha let her wash over his emotions, let her subdue his senses, let her be his breath, let her be his life, let her be his will. The line between desperate yearning and gentle desire was thin and fuzzy, one fading into the other with the temperate wash of unrequited need.
The sharp hiss of breath didn't penetrate the haze that enveloped his mind. The enraged growl only registered in a disjointed way as InuYasha managed to pull away, turn his head, vision blurry, clouded by the girl in his arms.
“What the hell are you doing with my woman?”
Kagome gasped and sat up, craning her neck to stare over her shoulder in unabashed surprise at the intruder.
InuYasha slowly moved Kagome off his lap and stood, hand reaching for Tetsusaiga as the tension grew thicker in the air. Deliberately bracing his stance as he glared at his adversary, InuYasha let loose a growl of his own as he pinned the youkai with an irate glower. “She ain't your woman, bastard,” he challenged.
“The hell you say!” Kouga gnashed out as he cracked his knuckles. “I've had enough of you. She don't want you, get it through your head! I'll fucking kill you.”
InuYasha jerked Tetsusaiga out of the scabbard and brandished it before him. “I'll say it again, Kouga. She ain't your woman, and . . .”
Trailing off as he lifted his chin, eyes narrowing as he sniffed a little deeper, InuYasha's head rounded to stare at Kagome, confusion and anger warring for dominance in his expression. “Tell me why you smell like Kagome,” InuYasha bit out.
Kouga shot him a sneering grin. “Because she came to me . . . she said she wants to be with me. Ask her, yourself, if you don't believe me. One way or the other, I'm taking her with me, and you will be dead.”
Kagome stood slowly, stepped back in retreat. Wincing at the questions in InuYasha's gaze, she quickly shook her head. “No, InuYasha, I didn't—”
That was all he waited to hear. Turning back to face Kouga again, InuYasha hitched his shoulders, cricked his neck from side to side to pop it. “Back off, Kouga. She ain't going anywhere with you.”
Kouga didn't like InuYasha's answer. Cracking his knuckles, he peered past the hanyou to the miko. “Tell him Kagome. Tell him what you told me.”
Both men stared at her again. Kagome shook her head again, a perplexed look filtering into her eyes. “Kouga . . . what are you talking about? I didn't . . . I . . . I want to stay here, with . . . InuYasha.”
The wolf youkai's eyes blazed bright with anger. What started as a low growl escalated quickly, culminating in a screeching howl as Kouga shot forward, intent on killing InuYasha . . .
== == == == == == == == == ==
Final Thought from Kouga :
Get your hands off my woman!
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.