InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Metamorphosis. ❯ Strain ( Chapter 66 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
“Where the hell have you been?”
Kagome smothered a gasp as InuYasha dropped out of Goshinboku directly in front of her. “I left you a note,” she pointed out as she tried to keep her heart from hammering wildly in her chest. “Didn't you find it?”
He countered her question with one of his own as he followed her into the shrine. “What the fuck is donating blood? I don't think I like the sound of that.”
She rolled her eyes. “It's a perfectly safe procedure. You donate blood so that there's enough to help people who lose theirs in accidents and stuff. Anyway,” she said, stealing a glance to make sure her mother wasn't within earshot as she lowered her voice, “I can't do it.”
“Why not?” he demanded despite the evident relief in his expression.
She fought down the urge to blush and shook her head at the belligerence in his tone. Torn between obvious relief that she hadn't sacrificed any of her blood yet seemingly annoyed that she might have been found undesirable, the hanyou looked like neither emotion was sitting well with him. “Because of you, InuYasha.”
“And just how do you figure that?”
Glancing back over her shoulder again, Kagome wrinkled her nose and shoved InuYasha's shoulder to steer him back out of the shrine toward Goshinboku.
“Oi, wench!” he blustered as he stumbled.
Satisfied that they weren't going to be overheard, Kagome let her hands drop and sighed. “Our blood . . . mixed—”
“Mixed? What the hell does that mean?”
Wrinkling her nose at his escalating tirade, she waved one hand to cut him off as she hissed out “Shh!”
“You can't shush me, wench!” he ranted.
“Then listen to me, all right?”
His expression shifted into `The Pout' once more. “Keh! Fine.”
Satisfied that he'd listen—at least for the moment—Kagome shook her head slowly as she tried to explain. “I don't have . . . human blood anymore, at least not normal human blood.”
Eyebrows furrowing in complete confusion, he glowered at her as she shifted from one foot to the other and back again. Eyeing her for another cautious moment, InuYasha leaned forward and sniffed her hair. “You smell human, wench.”
Kagome narrowed her gaze on him, convinced he was being obtuse on purpose. “I am human! There's just something . . . weird . . . about my blood now, is all.”
He shook his head. “I still don't get it.”
“I don't either, exactly. The doctor said that my blood can't be used in humans. He . . . he was youkai.”
That perked InuYasha's interest. “How do you know? Did you sense him?”
Kagome squeaked out a tiny gasp as InuYasha grabbed her and leapt into Goshinboku. “You ought to warn me before you do that, dog-boy,” she remarked dryly.
“Don't ignore the question,” he told her. “How did you know this guy was youkai?”
Kagome made a face. “He told me, that's how.”
“He just told you?”
“Yes, but . . .” Kagome trailed off, shaking her head as she tried to figure out how to phrase her concern. Maybe in this case the direct approach would be best. Even so, she sighed and shook her head slowly. “InuYasha, I think I should tell Mama. I can understand if you're not ready to tell anyone else, but . . .” she shrugged, “I should tell her before she finds out some other way.”
He didn't look like he wanted to agree. He actually looked like he was considering arguing with her. Wrinkling his nose in an irritated show of belligerence, he lifted his chin and snorted. “Keh. Whatever.”
Kagome shook her head slowly and turned to cast him a suspicious stare. “So . . . want to tell me why you left me behind when I thought you'd decided to take me with you?”
A fleeting glimpse of discomfort surfaced on his features before he managed to hide it again. “Dunno what you're talking about. It weren't a big deal. Didn't find out anything, anyway.”
“So why didn't you just send me home, like you thought you were going to do?”
He shrugged. “I thought you didn't want to go, is all. Ain't more to it than that.”
Her eyebrows arched as she pressed her lips together in a tight line. “All right, InuYasha, have it your way. Be stubborn, I don't care. Can I get down now? Mama wanted me to help her with dinner.”
“Oi! Is that the kind of greeting I get? You haven't seen me for days, and all you can say is you want to help your mother?” InuYasha growled.
“You're the one who ambushed me, dog-boy, and then you won't even tell me the truth, so yes, that's exactly the kind of greeting you get!”
He clamped his mouth closed on whatever retort he had formed as he laid his ears back and scowled. “Keh! See if I ever hurry back to see you then, wench!” he fumed as he grabbed her and hopped back down.
He let her go, shoving his arms together in the sleeves of his haori as he turned to stomp back toward the well house. Kagome watched him for a moment before darting around him, stopping him with her hands on his chest. “Did you? Did you really?”
Expression still mid-pout, InuYasha shrugged. “Did I what?”
She smiled hopefully. “Did you hurry back? Just to see me?”
He blushed. “. . . Maybe.”
He shrugged again. “Can't remember.”
She toyed with the locks of silvery hair hanging beside his face, twisting them around her fingers as InuYasha watched her. “That's too bad because after I was finished being annoyed with you for leaving me behind, I missed you . . .”
“. . . You did?”
Nodding slowly as she stared at her fingers, Kagome heaved a sigh. “But if you really want to go back without me, I can't stop you . . .”
“. . . I could stay . . . I guess.”
She tried not to smile. “I'm glad.”
Her gaze rose first, locking with his as she felt her belly turn over and over in a wholly delicious way. Untangling her fingers from his hair, she braced herself on his shoulders and rose up on tiptoe to press her lips to his. An instant combustion shot through her, flowing from the singular touch straight to her belly as her knees buckled. InuYasha caught her, held her, sighed against her lips as his body relaxed. As though the time apart had taken as great a toll on him as it had on her, his youki changed, shifted, gentled, mingled with her aura into a hazy warmth, a safe haven.
The flame settled into a softer burn, the peace of being with him overpowering, humbling. A fierce desire to shelter him flowed in her; a need to protect the vulnerable part of him that he struggled so hard to hide. He caressed her back through the thin cotton blouse, a tender touch meant to reassure her, an idle expression of his hesitant sense of security.
The late spring breeze blew his hair against her cheek in tickling strokes, forced a giggle from her despite her effort to ignore it. Letting her head fall back as she laughed, Kagome couldn't help herself as the slightly frustrated hanyou sighed.
InuYasha hugged her until she leaned her cheek against his chest, her face still bright with her smile as she closed her eyes for a moment to savor the feel of absolute protection. “I want to feel like this forever,” she murmured.
He didn't answer but when he tightened his arms around her, she knew he felt the same way. “So about this dinner your mother's making . . .”
She grinned. “Would you like to stay?”
“Think you're gonna get rid of me?”
“Wouldn't dream of it.”
InuYasha's eyes were bright with his amusement though he didn't smile. “When did you want to tell your mother?”
She winced inwardly at his defeated tone. “I thought we could wait until tomorrow. Souta's home now, and Grandpa's reading the newspaper, and I'd rather . . . I think it'd be best to tell her without everyone around.”
He seemed a little more relaxed with the unexpected reprieve, no matter how brief.
“Kagome! Telephone!” Mrs. Higurashi called as she stuck her head out the back door. “InuYasha! What a pleasant surprise! Will you be staying for dinner?”
InuYasha jerked away from Kagome the moment he heard her mother's voice. Kagome covered her mouth to hide her smile as his cheeks pinked. He nodded tersely. “Yes . . . please.”
Eyes widening, Kagome couldn't contain her giggle brought on by InuYasha's stilted manners.
His reward was Mrs. Higurashi's gentle smile. “Will you be staying the night, as well?”
InuYasha's blush darkened as he suddenly coughed. “I can, uh, sleep in Goshinboku . . .”
Mrs. Higurashi waved that off. “Nonsense. You can stay in the house, like you always do when you're here.”
Kagome couldn't help the matching flush that stole up her cheeks as she quickly darted past her mother into the house. Praying that Mrs. Higurashi hadn't noticed, Kagome ran into the kitchen and grabbed the phone. “Hello?”
“Kagome? Hello, this is Kagura.”
Kagome nearly dropped the phone. “K-Kagura? Hi . . .”
Kagura chuckled. “Sesshoumaru wanted to see you and InuYasha, if you've got time?”
“Oh, umm . . . okay,” Kagome agreed slowly as she leaned around the kitchen doorway to see if InuYasha was inside yet. He was just coming through the back door with her mother. She winced. `He's not going to like this . . .'
“I'm sorry for the abruptness of our request,” Kagura went on, ignoring the reluctance in Kagome's tone. “Sesshoumaru was a bit worried. He got a call from Dr. Yukino, and, well, he thought he ought to tell you both a few things.”
`What happened to doctor-patient confidentiality?' Kagome thought with a scowl. She rubbed her forehead as the start of a headache prodded her. “Okay.”
“Would you like for us to send Jaken for you?”
Kagome rubbed harder as the prod blossomed into a dull thumping in her head. “No, it's fine. I'm sure InuYasha can find it again . . .”
“All right then . . . we'll see you in, say, half an hour?”
Kagome bit back a groan as InuYasha stomped into the kitchen, ears twitching and the expression on his face stating quite plainly that he knew who was on the phone and that his compliance was not a sure thing at all. “Better make that an hour,” she replied before she hung up. Holding her hands up to stave off his tirade before he began, Kagome waved quickly and blurted, “She said there are things they need to tell us.”
InuYasha snorted. “Keh! Like what? How to be a bastard in ten minutes or less?”
“I don't know; she didn't say. I think we should go hear them out.”
“Come on, InuYasha. What if it's important? He was pleasant enough the last time we went there.”
InuYasha rolled his eyes. “Pleasant?”
“Well . . . he wasn't . . . rude . . .”
“Keh! No fucking way.”
Kagome shook her head and pushed past InuYasha to retrieve her shoes. “Fine, I'll go alone.”
“The hell you will, wench!” he yelled as he followed her.
Kagome sat down on the bottom step and tugged on her shoes, sparing InuYasha a quick glance as she shook her head. “Remember what I told you? When you first got here?”
Kagome took that to mean he was listening, and she sighed. “Sesshoumaru knows.”
Golden eyes flaring in alarm, InuYasha forced himself to ask, “How?”
“I'll tell you on the way.”
“. . . Damn it.”
Kagome let out her breath in a long exhalation, satisfied that he was going to go with her. She stood up and brushed off her skirt as she glanced in the mirror. Satisfied with her reflection, she grabbed InuYasha's red-and-blue baseball cap and propelled him toward the front door with one hand as she jammed the hat down over his ears with the other. “Mama, InuYasha and I have to run an errand!” she called back toward the living room. “We'll be back for dinner!”
“All right,” Mrs. Higurashi called back. “Be careful!”
Kagome grabbed InuYasha's hand and dragged him out the front door.
“Start talking, wench,” InuYasha demanded as he jammed his hands together under his sleeves.
“Dr. Yukino called Sesshoumaru about my blood test, and Kagura said there are a few things that they wanted to tell us.”
InuYasha made a face as they descended the shrine steps to the sidewalk. “Damn it. What business is it of his?”
Kagome shook her head as she pushed the pedestrian button at the crosswalk. “Well, none, really, but . . . what if it's something important? Something else we don't know.”
“Keh. He'd better talk fast, then, because I ain't staying there any longer than I have to.”
Kagome frowned as she and InuYasha crossed the street and kept walking. “Dr. Yukino said something else that was a little . . . strange.”
“Oh, yeah? What?”
“He said I was the `Miko of Legend'. What could he have meant?”
InuYasha snorted. “That's easy. We killed Naraku, remember? That's gotta be it.”
Kagome nodded slowly. “Maybe,” she agreed. Why did she have the feeling that it wasn't as simple as that?
“Speaking of weird stuff,” InuYasha commented as they turned the corner. “One of the villages wants you to purify the grounds.”
Kagome glanced quickly at him to see if he was being serious. He looked serious . . . She laughed suddenly. “I can't do that! It's not possible to purify land . . . is it?”
InuYasha shrugged. “Miroku thinks that if anyone would be able to, it'd be you.”
Kagome wasn't convinced. “I can't even make a barrier, InuYasha. I certainly can't purify land.”
“Yeah, well, I told Miroku you couldn't do it.”
She shot him an indignant scowl. “You don't think I can do it?”
He snorted. “Keh. You're just a pathetic human, remember, Kagome?”
Her mouth fell open as she gaped at her mate. “Pathetic human? I can't believe you went there, dog-boy!”
“Yeah, yeah. Some `Miko of Legend' you are.”
“What's that supposed to mean?”
“A real `Miko of Legend' would at least try it, but if you're too scared of failing . . .”
She huffed in righteous annoyance. “You might think I'm pathetic and weak, but I'll have you know I'm strong enough! I could do it!”
“Could not!” InuYasha scoffed.
“I could, just to spite you!”
She could feel InuYasha's gaze on her though she didn't look to verify it. He suddenly seemed pensive, quiet. “Well, if you are the `Miko of Legend' then I suppose it shouldn't be a big deal.”
“Do you think . . . I can do it?”
He sighed. “I think you should try.”
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Final Thought from InuYasha:
…Miko of Legend???
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.