InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Metamorphosis. ❯ Letting the Cat Out ( Chapter 69 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
~Letting the Cat Out~
“Will you stop?”
“Just wait, Kagome!”
“Thought you said you weren't talking to me anymore!”
“It ain't my fault!”
“It is so your fault, baka! Just what were we doing in your baka dream if we didn't already break the toxin?”
“It don't matter!”
Kagome threw open the bamboo mat that covered Kaede's doorway. “It does! If becoming mates didn't do it, then what in the world do we have to do?”
A soft cough behind her followed by a choking female's rasp precluded InuYasha's retort. “Congratulations?”
Kagome gasped as she spun around, remembering too late that she had just stormed into Kaede's hut.
The ex-monk was staring at the fire with very deliberate concentration, and Kagome could tell that he was hard-pressed not to laugh outright. Sango, on the other hand, was pressing her lips together in a thin, white line that twitched around the corners of her mouth. Kaede wasn't even attempting to hide her own amusement.
Kagome's face erupted in flames as InuYasha's combination of murderous scowl and embarrassed flush swept the room.
“I didn't tell!” Ichisaru whined as he scooted back into the far corner.
“Me, either!” Shippou seconded as he followed suite.
Kirara raised her head off her paws where she had been napping and mewled quietly.
“You mean there was another way to break the toxin?” Miroku asked in the stilted silence.
Kagome's blush darkened as InuYasha snorted again. “Apparently,” Kagome managed weakly before casting InuYasha a fulminating glower. “Or so I thought.”
“Did ye act out InuYasha's dreams? Completely?”
Sango cleared her throat suddenly. “Houshi-sama, I think we forgot Marisaiko's . . . blanket. Why don't we go get it?”
Miroku shook his head. “I'm sure you can find it, Sango.”
Sango stood up and grasped Miroku's ear. “No, I'm positive I need your help,” she countered as she dragged the monk to his feet.
Miroku winced as he stumbled to his feet. “But this was proving so entertaining,” he argued. Sango didn't deign to comment as she kept moving. Miroku sighed. “Come, Ichisaru, Shippou. InuYasha and Kagome need to speak with Kaede.”
The two youkai children skittered past InuYasha before the hanyou could grab for them. Kirara sauntered by as Kagome shot Sango a weak smile of thanks as she and Miroku filed out of the hut.
“In order for the toxin to be completely counteracted, ye must re-enact InuYasha's dreams,” Kaede remarked as the mat fell back into place behind their departing friends.
Kagome turned to stare at InuYasha again. “Is that it? We haven't . . . what haven't we done?”
InuYasha's scowl rearranged itself into `The Pout'. “Keh! No idea.”
“What do you mean, you have no idea? They're your dreams!”
“How did ye find out that the toxin was still affecting ye, InuYasha?”
He shrugged, struggling to retain a measure of dignity in light of the situation at hand. “Myouga told me.”
Kaede shook her head slowly. “Ye must know, InuYasha, if ye do not tell Kagome what your dreams entailed, ye may never break the toxin. Can ye fight Hisadaicho without doing this?”
InuYasha didn't answer as Kagome knelt beside the fire pit, her cheeks flaming as red as InuYasha's haori.
`If he still won't tell me what he's dreaming of, how am I supposed to help him break it? If I want to help him break it . . . baka!' Kagome fumed as she glared at the blackened pit. `He acts like it's worse than death. But we've done . . . that sort of thing . . . what else is left?'
Peeking at InuYasha as the hanyou stood just inside the doorway with his arms crossed stubbornly and a foreboding scowl on his face, Kagome stifled a sigh and wrinkled her nose as another thought occurred to her. “InuYasha . . .”
Toying with the pleats in her navy blue skirt, Kagome ran her fingers along the crease to reinforce the fold. “Why did Hisadaicho come looking for you?”
“Keh! I told you, she wanted your bag.”
Kagome shook her head. “She didn't want my bag or she wouldn't have left it in the forest.” Turning to narrow her gaze at him, she stared at him for a moment, daring him to lie to her. “Are you sure you didn't kiss her?”
InuYasha's already heated face deepened about three more shades of red. “No, damn it! I didn't kiss her!”
Kagome snorted as the air around her seemed to crackle with her rising emotions, her miko's aura radiating brighter and brighter by the second. InuYasha stepped back. “You'd better not have, baka, because if you did, I'll . . . I'll . . . I'll purify you!”
“Be that as it may, if Hisadaicho did come to ye, InuYasha, she must have wanted something,” Kaede interrupted before InuYasha got the chance to retort.
“Maybe she was after the Shikon no Tama,” he argued again.
“Then she would have come after me, don't you think?” Kagome pointed out.
“Not if she didn't know you have the damn thing!”
“You're asking for it, InuYasha!”
“Keh! Like I'm scared of you!” he shot back with a wild-eyed glance around the small hut.
“Maybe not now but you will be!”
“In what world?”
“Calm down, ye two!” Kaede interrupted. “Arguing will avail ye little. InuYasha, is there anything else ye need to tell Kagome?”
InuYasha's face contorted as he glowered at the wall, apparently set to ignore both the females in the hut.
Kagome shot to her feet and yanked her bag off the floor before brushing past InuYasha and out of the hut. Colliding with Miroku, who was obviously eavesdropping, Kagome watched with an embarrassed gasp as the monk stumbled back into Sango as Ichisaru and Shippou fell off Miroku's shoulder, landing on the ground in a pile of fur. Kagome reached out quickly enough to steady Sango as Marisaiko squealed with glee.
“Oh, uh, Kagome . . . we were just—” Miroku began.
“Oi! Where are you going now, wench!” InuYasha hollered as he stomped out of the hut, straight into Kagome.
Kagome caught herself before she fell and whipped around to face the hanyou. “I'm going home, baka!”
“You can't leave!” he bellowed. “The talisman don't work if you're gone!”
“That's your problem, dog-boy!”
“Kagome,” Sango said quietly as she stepped forward to grasp Kagome's shoulders. “Why don't you come with me for awhile? Give InuYasha a chance to think, and some time for you to calm down, too.”
Kagome sighed, shoulders slumping as she nodded. Sango shot Miroku a warning look as she wheeled Kagome around and propelled her away from the others, heading in the direction of the river.
“I can't believe he won't tell me,” Kagome mumbled as the two women walked. “InuYasha no baka . . . oh, he makes me so mad!”
Sango sighed. “Maybe he thinks you won't like whatever it is he has to say.”
“He can't be that stupid,” Kagome argued. “I never met anyone as stubborn as him!”
“You should focus instead on how to get him to tell you.”
Kagome flopped down under the canopy of a stately magnolia tree. “He won't tell me. Whatever it is, he must think it's pretty bad, but honestly . . . I have no idea what he could have been dreaming, if we didn't already . . .” trailing off as her cheeks reddened again, Kagome made a face and waved her hands. “Maybe I don't want to know.”
Sango sat down beside her friend and untied Marisaiko's sling. The girl was oblivious to the troubled emotions of the adults. Kagome spread out the blanket and Sango set Marisaiko on her belly. “The trouble is InuYasha runs away when he doesn't want to answer something. Maybe what you need to do is to find a way to make him stay put long enough for you to get a straight answer out of him.”
“That'd be like pulling teeth,” Kagome predicted.
“Do you have any other options?”
Kagome sighed and stared at the river. “I'm going to try to ask him again. Surely he knows that he has to tell me. He can't keep it from me forever.”
Sango looked dubious at best. “I don't know, Kagome. I think that InuYasha is the actual incarnation of the word `stubborn'.”
Kagome nodded slowly. Sango was absolutely right.
“Save your breath, monk.”
“Don't you think you should tell her? I mean, you can't keep it a secret from her forever.”
The look InuYasha shot Miroku argued the idea that he couldn't keep it from her. Miroku sighed.
“Sooner or later she's going to find out. You know it's true. Why not save yourself the trouble and just tell her instead of putting both of you through all this? She already knows there's something you won't say. You might as well make a clean breast of it.”
Miroku sat down and leaned back against the base of Goshinboku as InuYasha angrily paced, flexing his claws and gritting his teeth. “Is it really that bad?”
Pausing long enough to shoot Miroku a menacing glower, InuYasha cracked his knuckles and continued on his circuit.
“Why don't you tell me what it is, then? Maybe I can help you figure out what to do.”
“You don't get it, do you? It don't matter what it is because I ain't telling her.”
“Can I ask why?”
To his surprise, InuYasha's ears drooped as he stubbornly shook his head.
“That bad, is it? What have you been doing in your dreams?”
“Does it really matter? I ain't tellin', damn it!”
“Do you think that's wise? Who knows? Maybe Kagome won't react as badly as you think she would. She loved you enough to commit to you, didn't she?”
InuYasha snorted. “Keh. That ain't nearly the same thing.”
“Why is that?”
InuYasha shook his head as he stopped to stare up at the late afternoon sky. “Because, Miroku, I've told you before. Those dreams are just . . . wrong.”
Miroku sighed and stood up. “If you don't tell her and she already knows you're keeping something from her, do you really think she's going to let it drop? She won't, you know. She tends to be as stubborn as you. Just think about it, InuYasha. The worst thing you can do is try to hide things from her. You should know that by now.”
InuYasha watched out of the corner of his eye as the monk disappeared into the forest. As much as he hated to admit it, the monk had a point. Kagome wasn't going to let it drop even if he refused to tell her.
He snorted as he pulled the talisman from his undershirt and stared at it. `It ain't a big deal. I'll just shake it, and . . .'
He winced as a droplet of blood oozed out around the lid of the bottle. The sealing wax was chipped away from one side of the top, and he lifted the talisman, eyes narrowing as he stared in mute shock. `That bitch . . . she didn't want Kagome's bag . . . she wanted to . . . break the seal? But why?'
He twisted the lid to tighten it a little more. The rest of the wax fell away in his hand. InuYasha winced. `Oh, fuck . . . this can't be good . . .'
Kagome ignored InuYasha as the hanyou grabbed her bag and started rifling through the contents in search of her deck of playing cards. She stifled a yawn with the back of her hand. “Poker? Maybe tomorrow. I'm tired.”
“You're still mad at me,” he accused as he dropped the bag and scooted closer. “You are.”
Kagome sighed and buried her face in her folded arms. “I'm not . . . just wish you'd tell me stuff . . . g'night.”
“You didn't eat much for dinner. You sure you're not hungry?”
InuYasha was quiet for a moment. “Kagome?”
His claws scraped against the wooden floor. “You, uh . . . you want to go for a run?”
She lifted her head to stare incredulously at him. Gazing at the doorway of Sango and Miroku's hut, she couldn't even begin to fathom what, exactly, he was thinking. “In the morning, okay? I'm really tired . . .”
He was quiet for a minute. Kagome was almost asleep when his voice jarred her awake again. “Kagome?”
She heaved a sigh. “What?”
“Would you, uh . . . make me some ramen?”
“Do it yourself, dog-boy. You know how.”
She didn't see him wince and didn't notice his ears flatten against his head, either. “But it tastes better if you do it.”
“Oh, for the love of—” Kagome cut herself off as she sat up and held out her hand for the ramen.
InuYasha dug one out of her bag and slowly handed it over.
“You're a pain, InuYasha, do you know that?” she grumbled as she ripped the lid open and poured simmering water over the noodles. “Here. Don't burn your tongue.”
He watched her lie back down. She jerked the covers over her head and tried her best to ignore InuYasha.
She didn't answer as she uncovered her head to stare at him.
“You want some of this?”
“No, thank you,” she replied, her tone clipped and tight as her reserve stores of patience ran dangerously low.
He wrinkled his nose. “Will you stay up with me while I eat?”
She shook her head as she peeked at her watch. “It's three in the morning, InuYasha.” Seeing the sad expression on his face, she relented, sitting up and stifling another yawn. “You win.”
“Sleeping's overrated,” he grumbled as he ripped the lid off the ramen and dug into it.
“Not to us pathetic humans, it isn't,” she argued as he stuffed nearly half of the noodles into his mouth at once.
“Keh. If I left you alone you'd sleep all the time.”
“Give me a break! I purified a village today, remember?”
“Yeah, yeah . . . I remember.”
Kagome sighed, resting her cheek on her raised knees. “I couldn't have done it without you.”
His snorted as he set the empty cup aside. “You could have. Anyway, you sure you don't want to go for a run?”
She made a face. “I'll go for a run with you if you tell me what you've been dreaming.”
He shrugged carelessly though his ears twitched. “Nice try, wench.”
Kagome pulled her stretchy night-shirt over her raised knees. “If I didn't know better, I'd swear you were trying to keep me awake, InuYasha. Are you?”
“Keh! Dunno what you're talking about.”
For some reason, Kagome didn't buy it. She yawned. InuYasha's frown darkened. “You're acting weird,” she pointed out.
“I am not,” he huffed.
“You are,” she countered.
He stood up and grabbed her hand. “Come on, wench. You're coming with me.”
Kagome groaned but followed InuYasha out of the hut and into the night. He dragged her onto his back and pushed off the ground to sail above the village.
Just why did she have the feeling that he was trying to keep her awake?
== == == == == == == == == ==
Final Thought fromKagome:
Now why does he want me to stay awake so badly?
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.