InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Metamorphosis. ❯ Totosai ( Chapter 63 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]

~~Chapter 63~~
“Are you here, old man?”
InuYasha stomped into the skull-shaped cave with Kagome in tow as Master Totosai glanced up from his task. Exhaling an inferno of fire breath onto the unshaped fang of a very large creature, the sword smith seemed surprised to see the two. “InuYasha? You're still around?”
“Shut the hell up, you old codger. Myouga said you wanted to see me.”
“I did?” Totosai asked, scratching his head in confusion.
InuYasha raised his fist to thump Totosai. Kagome caught his wrist. “InuYasha!”
“Wench!” he growled but let his arm drop. “Myouga said you can make some sort of protective talisman for Kagome.”
“I can?”
“Apparently,” InuYasha growled sarcastically. “So do it.”
Complete befuddlement engulfed the old sword smith's expression. “Do what?”
“Damn you, Totosai, are you trying to piss me off?”
“InuYasha, you know he's always like this,” Kagome pointed out reasonably.
InuYasha shifted his gaze to the side as he snorted at her assessment. “Keh. I know, and I swear he does it on purpose.”
Totosai stood up slowly, bulging eyes carefully regarding Kagome. “What have you done to this sweet girl, InuYasha? She reeks of . . . of . . . you!”
“Why, you—” InuYasha began as he shook off Kagome's hands and clouted the sword smith over the head. “That's how the hell she's supposed to smell after . . . never fucking mind! Can you do it or not?”
“Oh, I think I want to die now,” Kagome grumbled as she smashed her palms against her flaming cheeks.
Totosai flopped back onto the ground as a goose-egg welled up on his head. “Can I do what?”
“Make. Her. A. Tal—is—man,” InuYasha gritted out as he flexed his claws.
“A talisman, you say? I can't do that . . . I don't have a fang.”
InuYasha thwapped Totosai again. “If I give you one of my fangs, can you make her one?”
Totosai pondered that then nodded. “I could do that . . . if I remember how . . .”
InuYasha looked like he was ready to beat the memory back into the old sword smith's head. Kagome grabbed his arm and smiled sweetly. “Why don't you leave Totosai alone to remember while you . . . pull one of your fangs then?”
He shifted his glower to her. “You seem anxious to see me do this, wench. Want to see me in pain, do you?”
Her mouth dropped open as her cheeks exploded in indignant color. “You take that back!”
InuYasha rolled his eyes and turned on his heel to stomp out of the cave with Kagome in tow. “Calm down. I was joking.”
“That so wasn't funny,” she retorted. “You make it sound as if I put you in pain just to see you squirm, dog-boy!”
“I said I was joking, wench! Get off my back!”
“I'm not on your back!” she argued as she chased after him.
“Are too.”
“Am not!”
“Keh! You are!”
“No, I'm not!”
Totosai shook his head as he watched the two exit the cave, their escalating disagreement echoing in their wake. `InuYasha is going to drive her crazy,' he thought as he resumed his work with the boar youkai's fang. He couldn't help the amused glint that lit his gaze as he drew a deep breath and blew fire on the weapon.
“So you came.”
Kagura stood motionless in the chamber. Iwazawa bowed in deference to his mistress before backing out of the room, leaving the two alone. Only after she heard the door slide closed did she speak, magenta eyes flaring with impotent rage. “Was I given a choice?”
Hisadaicho smiled indulgently as she carelessly turned her back on the wind sorceress. “You make it sound so ugly, Kagura. I've given you life. Think of me as . . . your mother.”
“Rot in hell, Hisadaicho. I won't help you.”
“You still believe you have a choice, Kagura?”
Kagura's expression registered her unbridled anger, her consuming disbelief. “You think you control me? You control this body. You'll never control my mind, and I will find a way to stop you.”
Slowly Hisadaicho sauntered over, ran her fingertips along Kagura's jaw. Smiling as the wind sorceress' body stiffened but did not pull away, Hisadaicho circled Kagura. She could tell that Kagura's soul was warring with the body she'd been given, and the body was winning. `How frustrating, Kagura . . . you do so loathe this control I have over you . . .' Running her fingertips over Kagura's back, trailing her hand from shoulder to shoulder as she completed her path around the Wind Sorceress, Hisadaicho's smile widened. “Without control of this body, you'll never stop me. You'll do as you're told because you can't help yourself. You'll do as I say, and I say you will destroy your mate.”
“Who gave you this knowledge? How did you know about Sesshoumaru? How did you know about me?”
“You'd be amazed at what I know,” Hisadaicho countered as she strode to the window. “I possess knowledge that would amaze you.”
“I'll never do what you want. Keep your perversions away from Sesshoumaru.”
“Protecting your mate, Kagura? How noble. I do not plan on doing a thing to your darling Sesshoumaru. You, however, are another matter.” Lavender eyes flicked coolly over Kagura as Hisadaicho's smile lingered. “Do you think he will forgive you? Given time, that is . . . perhaps his soul will find a measure of peace in the afterlife. Then, Kagura, and only then, shall you be free of my control.”
“My will is stronger than you,” Kagura challenged. “I will not do what you want.”
Hisadaicho loosened her control over Kagura's body with a flick of her wrist, a dismissive gesture. Kagura's hands balled into fists at her sides. “Is it bothersome, Kagura? To wish nothing more than to be able to move your body to strike me down and to have that body thwart you?”
“Damn you.”
Hisadaicho's head turned suddenly, gazing out the window at something that made her smile. “Your mate is here. What will you tell him? How will you cover your tracks?”
“I'll tell him the truth,” Kagura answered, her chin rising in defiance. “I'll tell him the truth, even if it kills me. I'd rather be dead than to be used as your pawn.”
The amusement faded from Hisadaicho's gaze as her head jerked to the side to look at Kagura. “Be careful what you wish for. Never forget that you are completely expendable.”
A resounding crash echoed through the castle, shaking the walls with the force of Sesshoumaru's entrance. Kagura ran from the chamber, stopping at the top of the stairs as Hisadaicho trailed behind her. “Remember my words, Kagura,” she hissed in Kagura's ear.
Sesshoumaru wasted no time, lashing out his energy whip at anyone fool enough to get in his way. His expression was blank, controlled, no sign of emotion as he refused to deviate from his course. Lashing out his whip once more, he cut through two of Hisadaicho's minions without faltering in his stride. Eyes ablaze with fire, the youkai's countenance gave away nothing as he swept up the staircase, his glare fixed on Hisadaicho. When he reached the head of the stairs, he grabbed Kagura's hand and dragged her back behind him as he glared down at Hisadaicho, amber eyes bleeding into crimson with the beat of his heart. “The likes of you will not touch her!”
Hisadaicho laughed softly. “She came to me willingly, Sesshoumaru. You did not know this?”
With a menacing growl, the tai-youkai stepped closer. “You lie. I smelled the stench of your underling on my land. Trespass again, and I shall cut you down, just as I did your pathetic warrior.”
Hisadaicho's gaze shifted to the side, staring over the banister at Iwazawa's crumpled form as the faintest flicker of amusement lit her eyes. “Do you think he can be cut down that easily?” With a careless flick of Hisadaicho's wrist Iwazawa twitched then pushed himself off the floor.
“What trickery is this?” Sesshoumaru demanded as he grasped Tokijin's hilt.
“The dead are easy to manipulate, Sesshoumaru . . . aren't they, Kagura?”
Chin dropping a notch as amber eyes narrowed in a deadly glare, Sesshoumaru didn't look away from Hisadaicho though his command was directed at his mate, instead. “Explain, Kagura.”
Hisadaicho smiled as Kagura tried to speak. Casually grasping her wrist in her hand, she pressed her palm against the scar. Kagura stumbled back, a hand clenched to her chest as she steadied herself on the wall behind her as Hisadaicho's smile widened.
“Sesshoumaru . . .” Kagura murmured, her voice strained, choked. Unable to say more, she ran down the stairs as fast as she could, dragging her fans out of her kimono as she moved. Sending a blast from the fans to disburse the sentries blocking her path, Kagura pulled her feather from her hair and hopped aboard before sailing out the doors and into the morning sky.
A moment of hesitation sparked behind Sesshoumaru's amber gaze. “Will you chase her, my lord, or will you allow your arrogance to sway your decision?”
“So you think you've won,” Sesshoumaru countered. “Be not a fool. I haven't the time to waste on the likes of you, Hisadaicho. Trifle with those under my protection again, and I shall destroy you.”
She watched as Sesshoumaru turned on his heel and descended the staircase. Iwazawa stepped into his path. Sesshoumaru didn't miss a step as he drew his sword and sliced through the resurrected samurai. A blast of light engulfed Iwazawa's body, and Hisadaicho stared in shock as the youkai lord's sword released the seal of Iwazawa's soul.
`His sword . . . it is a sword of life?'
Sesshoumaru dropped the sword back into the scabbard as he strode out the castle doors.
“How's your mouth?”
InuYasha shrugged and shook his head slightly, careful not to move his jaw too much.
Kagome winced. “Do you need anything? I could get you some water, or . . . something . . . ?”
He wrinkled his nose and tried to snort. “Keh. It don't bother me.”
He could tell that she didn't believe him as she bit her bottom lip and suddenly dug into her backpack. He watched as she pulled out her first aid kit and dug around inside. Narrowing his gaze at the small amber glass bottle, he watched with a growing sense of foreboding as Kagome set the kit aside and sat down beside him. “Let me see.”
“I don't think so,” he remarked, eyeing the bottle clenched in her fist.
“This won't hurt. It's medicine. It'll help, I promise.”
He sniffed but couldn't smell anything on the tightly capped bottle. “Keh! I'm fine.”
“You're not fine. You didn't even eat dinner. Stop being stubborn and let me take care of you.”
With a huffy sigh, InuYasha gave in with every bit of ill grace he possessed. Kagome unscrewed the lid and pulled the little swab from the bottle. “Open your mouth.”
Figuring that there really was no way to avoid it, InuYasha finally opened his mouth. Kagome gently pulled his lip out of the way to touch the swab to his raw gum. He jerked away with a sharply indrawn breath and scowled at her. “Damn! That stings!”
Kagome shook her head as she capped the bottle tightly. “Maybe a little. It can't be that bad. Give it a minute. You'll feel much better.”
A strange numbness dulled the pain in his gum but spread to his cheek as well as the side of his tongue. InuYasha stuck his tongue out and tugged it from side to side with his fingers as he tried to look at it without much luck. Letting go with a disgusted snort, the hanyou pinned his mate with a suspicious glare. “What did you do?” he demanded as he shot Kagome an accusing grimace.
Kagome stowed the first aid kit and glanced up at him with a bland expression. “What do you mean?” She straightened up and planted her hands on her hips as she shook her head slowly. “Why are you drooling?”
“Because,” he slurred as he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, “my whole fucking mouth is numb.”
“It can't be,” she argued. “I only put a little bit on your gum.”
Sucking in more drool, InuYasha shot to his feet and stomped over to the far side of the campsite. “I'm slobbering on myself, wench!” he bellowed as he wiped his mouth again.
“You must be more sensitive to the numbing effects than humans are,” she reasoned calmly. “But it doesn't hurt anymore, does it?”
“Keh! I could chew off the inside of my cheek and not know it, so yeah, I guess not.”
She ducked her head. He had a sneaking suspicion that she was trying not to laugh. “You couldn't, you know. You don't have your fang.”
“Oi! You can't make fun of your mate!”
She waved her hand at him as she dissolved in fits of giggles. “Calm down, InuYasha! I'm not making fun of you! I'm just—”
“Laughing at my—” he paused to suck in more saliva, “—expense.”
Giggling gave way to soft chiming laughter that grated on his nerves nonetheless. With an indignant snort, InuYasha headed for the nearest tree, resolved to ignore his new mate until she apologized or until the effects of the damn medicine wore off.
Kagome kept laughing as she poked around the fire. InuYasha snorted as he wiped his mouth yet again, grimacing at the moisture on his hand.
“Come down here and eat, okay?”
Leaning to the side to peer down through the thatched branches, he stubbornly snorted before turning his nose up to the sky once more. “Keh! I'll pass.”
“All right, I'm sorry I laughed,” she assured him, sounding anything but sorry. “Are you going to stay up there all night?”
“Thinkin' about it.”
Shuffling her feet, Kagome frowned up at him in the semi-darkness. “InuYasha?”
“You really should eat something.”
He didn't bother to answer that. Kagome gave up with a soft sigh. He watched as she wandered over to sit on her bedroll. Toying with the fang suspended on a fine silver chain around her neck, she turned in her fingers as a happy smile broke over her features. His heart did a strange flip-flop in his chest as he stared. The smallest things seemed to please her, and he couldn't help but smile just a little as she toyed with the fang.
An overwhelming urge to be closer to her nearly knocked him out of the tree. Forcing his gaze away to look at the night sky, InuYasha stifled a snort as the full moon peeked out from behind a few wispy clouds. `Baka . . . you'd be better off to stay in this tree for the night,' he told himself as he unconsciously dug the vial out of his haori and shook it. He made a face as he stowed the bottle away again. `Keeping secrets is the same as lying.'
He knew that. He'd be irritated if Kagome kept something from him, too. He just couldn't bring himself to tell her that the toxin hadn't been broken because of the questions she'd ask. The idea of telling her just what he had dreamed, though, seemed like the lesser of the two evils. `But you can't beat Hisadaicho if she looks like Kagome.'
He wrinkled his nose as his ears drooped. He really would have to find another way, because there wasn't any way he could possibly tell her, couldn't ever ask her to do those things. She was gentle and pure, kind and warm. If he hadn't tainted her by making her his mate, he certainly wasn't going to do anything else that might.
Shifting his gaze to stare thoughtfully at the girl in question, he had to smile as she held the fang in one hand and the Shikon no Tama in the other. There was something completely innocent in her, something he had noticed before. He couldn't begin to fathom just what she might be thinking, but when she let go of the jewel to wrap both of her hands around the fang before she turned her head and lifted her shining eyes to meet his, he had to swallow hard as a fist-sized lump rose in his throat.
Before he could talk himself out of it, he hopped down and strode over to her. She started to ask him what he was doing when he swept her into his arms and bounded back into the tree again. With a contented sigh, she let her head fall against his chest as she stubbornly held onto the fang. “Did the numbing wear off?”
He shrugged. “Keh. I'm not slobbering anymore, if that's what you mean.”
“I'm sorry I laughed at you,” she ventured.
“You're not,” he said mildly.
She didn't deny that. “So I have to wear this forever?” she asked, holding up the fang for InuYasha's inspection.
“Is that a problem?”
“Not at all,” she replied happily.
“Good, because I ain't giving up another fang,” he grumbled.
She was quiet a moment, her brow furrowed with her concentration. “Do you think . . . should we tell Mama?”
He shifted uncomfortably and shrugged again, hoping for an air of nonchalance. “Probably . . . eventually . . .”
She let the fang drop as she wrapped her arms around his waist. “You don't want to tell anyone, do you? At least, not right away.”
He flinched at the caution in her tone. She didn't see it. “It ain't that . . . I'm just not so good at this.”
“But Shippou and Ichisaru will notice, don't you think?” she pointed out reasonably. “Unless you want me to try bribing them?”
InuYasha thought that over. “With what?”
She giggled as she squeezed him. “Pocky always works.”
InuYasha nodded as he tightened his arms around her. “Keh.”
“I'm sorry that it hurt you,” she murmured. “Is your new fang coming in yet?”
Flicking his tongue against the gap in his teeth, InuYasha was pleased to feel the descending fang that was already growing back in. “It'll be in by morning.”
“I'll make it up to you,” she assured him.
“Keh. How do you figure?”
“Oh, I don't know . . . I'll find a way . . . I'll cook you a special dinner the next time I go home,” she offered.
He grinned. “With those crunchy things I like?”
“What crunchy things?”
“You know, that yellow stuff.”
“One of my special omelets?”
“Keh! Those things that are supposed to be crunchy, not that hella nasty omelet-thing.”
Kagome pushed against him to sit up and wrinkle her nose. “What do you mean, nasty omelet-thing? That's my specialty!”
He gave in with a chuckle. “Calm down, wench. I was teasing.”
She finally grinned, too. “Baka,” she grumbled as her smile widened, as she settled back against his chest. “You're such a jerk sometimes.”
The fact that her tone held absolutely no real irritation made InuYasha snort as he wrapped his arms around her again. “Go to sleep, wench. You can make me one of your omelet-things when we get back tomorrow, and then I suppose I'll force myself to eat it.”
Kagome shook her head. “. . . Baka.”
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Final Thought fromInuYasha:
Keh! Medicine . . .
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.