InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Metamorphosis. ❯ Delusional ( Chapter 76 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
The giant bone boomerang whooshed as it sailed in a wide arc, cleaving through youkai as effortlessly as a though the youkai were made of paper. They kept coming, an endless throng as Sango caught Hiraikotsu and flung it again.
“I never thought I'd say this, but the kazaana would have come in handy, right about now,” Miroku called, face contorting as he fought back more youkai.
“Shut the hell up, monk! Did you get hit in the head or something?” InuYasha snarled as he slashed through even more youkai before hefting the huge fang over his head and slamming it back down. “Kaze no Kizu!”
The Wind Scar decimated another few hundred youkai. Eyes glowing with a self-satisfied light, InuYasha refreshed his grip on Tetsusaiga and readied himself for another round as Kirara leapt over his head to take out a few strays.
“Well, you have to admit, InuYasha, the kazaana, while life-threatening, did come in fairly useful,” Miroku quipped. “Get back!” he yelled as he chucked a handful of Ofuda. Pained shrieks erupted all around him as he grunted with the effort he put behind the follow-up blow of his Shakuju.
Sango caught Hiraikotsu and spun around, hacking up another couple dozen youkai that swarmed in a little too close for comfort. “Less talking; more exterminating, houshi-sama!”
InuYasha pushed off the ground to unleash another Kaze no Kizu upon the next wave of youkai. “Damn! How the hell many of the bastards are there?” he growled as he landed in a squat.
“I'm just getting warmed up!” Sango called over her shoulder as she whipped Hiraikotsu away again.
“You see why I love her?” Miroku asked with a chuckle as he cut through the surrounding youkai.
“Keh! I could keep this up all night,” InuYasha bragged. Hacking through more youkai with a flash of Tetsusaiga. “Just bring it.”
Kirara growled as she caught two youkai by the tails and trapped them against the ground before ripping them to shreds with her claws.
“You know, this seems almost deliberate,” Miroku mused as he tossed another handful of Ofuda.
InuYasha grimaced, crashing Tetsusaiga into the ground as another Kaze no Kizu shot out from the blade. “What do you mean?”
Making a face as youkai body parts rained down from the sky, victim of InuYasha's attack, the monk glanced over at the hanyou. “I mean, remember that time Kagura attacked us near the hut while Sango and Kagome tried to hide Kohaku?”
“Yeah, what of it?”
Raising Shakuju in time to block a lunging youkai, Miroku heaved it back and flipped his staff to impale it. “What if Hisadaicho set this up? To lure you away from Kagome?”
InuYasha stopped mid-swing. “What?”
“InuYasha! Watch out!” Sango hollered.
Turning back in time to see another wave of fast-approaching youkai, InuYasha growled as he lunged forward. “Kaze no Kizu!”
“You've got to admit, they're not putting up much of a fight . . . there's just a lot of them.”
InuYasha dropped to the ground and rounded on the monk. “Kagome's fine. I'd know if she wasn't.”
InuYasha nodded as he caught sight of even more incoming youkai. `Damn it . . . Kagome . . . be safe . . .'
Hisadaicho stopped in her tracks and slowly turned to stare at the youkai as he stepped out of the forest. A tiny smile surfaced, lifting the corners of her lips as she blinked innocently, eyes intent as she sized up her adversary. “Kouga. So we meet again.”
“You bitch,” the wolf youkai growled as he stepped closer. “You're not getting away this time.”
Pursing her lips in a sultry pout, Hisadaicho wandered closer to the wolf. “That's too bad, Kouga . . . I thought you enjoyed our time together.”
Icy blue gaze narrowing dangerously, Kouga pushed Hisadaicho back a step. “What the hell are you trying to do?”
That didn't discourage her. Hisadaicho sauntered toward him again, lavender eyes glowing in the rising moonlight. “Come now, Kouga. Can't we put this nastiness behind us? I know you enjoyed yourself as much as I did . . . surely you wouldn't mind something . . . else . . . ?” she coaxed as she wrapped her arms around Kouga's neck.
His hand shot up to her throat, gripped her jugular in his claws. “I'm going to kill you for what you've done to me.”
A strange flicker behind her gaze blazed with a mixture of pleasure and misplaced confidence. There wasn't a trace of fear. “Grant me one request before you kill me?”
She swallowed. He could feel her throat swell and contract under his fingers. “A kiss, Kouga. Just one.”
“I don't think so.”
She didn't blink as she stared into his eyes. “Please, Kouga . . . you would deny your mate a last kiss?”
“So Kagome, when are you and InuYasha going to start a family?”
Kagome choked on the water she had been sipping and sputtered, wiping her chin with the back of her hand. “What?”
Shippou casually licked his sucker without noticing Kagome's hesitation. “It would be great, you know? I mean, as long as he doesn't act like InuYasha.”
“Let's . . . talk about something else,” Kagome hedged.
Opening his eyes to narrow slits, Shippou shot her a sidelong gaze full of understated suspicion. “You'd tell us if you and InuYasha were going to have a pup, right?”
Ichisaru glanced up from his coloring and sniffed as he pulled his sucker out of his mouth with a loud pop as the suction broke. “Nah, she smells normal . . . or at least as normal as she has since she and InuYasha exchanged scents.”
Kagome dug into her bag and dragged out two boxes of pocky. Shoving them under the children's noses, she breathed a sigh of relief as both Ichisaru and Shippou hopped up and ran off with their bounty. Shippou's voice drifted back to her. “I told you it'd work!”
Kagome's mouth fell open in shock that she'd just been tricked. With a disgusted sigh, she snapped her jaw closed and shook her head. “We'll see about that,” she muttered under her breath despite the heightened color in her cheeks.
Marisaiko cooed softly, and Kagome's embarrassment melted as she smiled at the baby. “You're such a big girl!” Kagome said as she lifted Marisaiko to cuddle against her shoulder. A bittersweet smile lent a sad depth to Kagome's gaze as she sat back, idly watching the village women and children. Kaede approached, surrounded by youngsters. She said something to them, and with enthusiastic hollers, they ran off into the forest.
“Ye look as though there is something on your mind, Kagome,” the old miko commented as she slowly knelt beside her.
Kagome shrugged. “Just thinking . . .” she admitted. “I like holding her.”
Kaede nodded. “It would surprise me if ye did not.”
“I like to,” she stated again, “but somehow I think it'd feel different if I held my own.”
“Ye have made peace with what ye chose to do.”
Kagome smiled. “Yeah, I guess I have.”
Kaede stared at her for a long moment. “Ye chose a difficult path, Kagome. Others might have faltered in this. Ye are stronger for it.”
“I don't think it was about being strong,” Kagome contradicted. “I think . . . I think it was about letting myself be weak. I tried to keep everything inside. InuYasha made me see that I couldn't do that.”
Kagome laughed. “I know. It sounds funny, doesn't it?”
Kaede shook her head as she smiled. “Nay, child. I've always known that he possesses a kind heart. He simply wishes he did not. You bring that out in him.”
Old Seer's words whispered through her mind, and Kagome's smile grew. `You have taught him much in your time together. Perhaps he can teach you some things, as well.'
“Maybe we bring out the best in each other.”
Kouga stepped out of the forest and slowly took in the peaceful village before striding purposefully in the direction of the small hut on the outskirts near the edge of the tree line. The late morning sun was bright, cheerful, and Kouga grinned when he spotted the person he was looking for sitting in the grass outside the hut. “Oi, Kagome!”
The young miko glanced up and smiled. “Kouga, what are you doing here?”
Kouga shrugged as he hunkered down before her. “Not a social call, I'm afraid. Ginta got a pretty bad gash in his leg, and it's not healing like it should. I thought maybe . . . can you look at it?”
Kagome bit her bottom lip as she frowned and shook her head. “InuYasha's gone right now, and he'd be . . . well, furious if I went without him.”
Kouga wrinkled his nose as he leaned forward and sniffed. “Ugh! Tell me my nose is wrong, Kagome . . .”
She blushed and made a face. “They'll probably be back in a little bit . . . can you wait?”
Kouga grimaced. “His leg's bad, Kagome. He's youkai, but . . . I've never seen anything like it before . . . it reminds me of the poison from the fake shard.”
Definite worry surfaced on Kagome's features. She obviously remembered the time Kouga had been tricked by Naraku and Kagura into believing that InuYasha had slain his tribesmen. He could tell from her expression that she was trying to make up her mind. Kouga sighed and shook his head as he pushed himself to his feet again. “It's all right, Kagome. That damn dog-shit . . . is your mate now—” she winced at the distain in his tone, “—and you really can't do anything without his permission.”
“It's not like that,” she argued. “InuYasha doesn't tell me what I can or can't do. I just—”
Kouga forced a wry grin. “Never mind, Kagome. I just thought you'd help a friend.”
“Kouga, wait . . . Let me tell Kaede where I'm going. I'm sure that InuYasha and the others can catch up with us.”
“You sure you don't want me to kill him? You'd be so much better off with me.”
Kagome wrinkled her nose as she gathered Marisaiko and her backpack and hurried past Kouga toward Kaede's hut. “Kaede, Kouga's here . . . one of his men has a badly infected leg, and he wants me to look at it.” She sighed and grimaced. “I hate to ask, but can you watch Marisaiko until Sango and the others get back? I don't want her to worry . . .”
Kaede nodded as she took the baby from Kagome.
Shippou dropped his crayons and skittered over to Kagome. “I want to come, too.”
“Bring him,” Kouga muttered from the doorway. “It's fine.”
“Would you tell InuYasha that we're just going to the wolves' den? I'm sure he can catch up with us.”
“Take some of those herb powders,” Kaede said, nodding toward her cupboard. “Mix it with water. The paste should help draw out the infection.”
Kagome grabbed them and stuffed them into her bag before running out of the hut with Shippou in tow.
“Uh, Kagome? Thanks.”
Kagome slung the backpack over her shoulders and adjusted the straps. “It's fine, Kouga. I hope we're not too late.
Shippou hopped onto Kagome's shoulder, staring hard at Kouga as the wolf youkai swept Kagome up and ran off into the forest.
“She did what?” InuYasha bellowed as the other inhabitants of the hut cringed. Marisaiko blinked twice before her face contorted and a sob welled up. Sango cradled the child against her chest as she shot InuYasha a reproachful look.
“Calm down, InuYasha! Kouga's tribesman was in dire peril,” Kaede explained slowly, her tone reminiscent of the one she used with the youngest children of the village. “It was my understanding that his leg is badly infected. She took Shippou with her.”
“Keh! Fat lot that runt can do! Damn it, she knows better!”
“It seems as though she just wanted to help,” Miroku added. “It's in her nature.”
InuYasha growled as he stomped toward the door. “Keh! Whatever. Fucking wolf . . . just wait till I get my claws on him . . .”
The late afternoon sunshine was glaring in his eyes as InuYasha sprinted toward the forest. `Damn it, wench!'
Unfortunately, he did understand why she would choose to go. She wanted to help. Miroku's words taunted him. `It is her nature.'
He growled low in his chest. Even though InuYasha wasn't fond of Kouga or his kinsmen, he knew that Kagome was, at least a little. That didn't mean he couldn't be frustrated. If she had waited a few hours, he'd have been here to take her. The idea that she was alone with that mangy wolf was enough to make his skin crawl.
`Not completely alone . . . Shippou's with her . . .'
InuYasha snorted as he soared above the forest. For some reason, that thought didn't really comfort him very much, either . . .
`When I catch up with you, Kagome, I'm gonna . . .'
InuYasha frowned. What would he do? He made a face and sighed. He'd figure that out when he found her.
“Kouga? Can we stop for a minute?” Kagome asked as she rolled her head back.
Kouga didn't answer. If anything, he sped up a little more.
Shippou shrugged from his perch on Kagome's stomach. Kagome frowned and patted Kouga's shoulder. “Can we stop?”
Kouga blinked as though he were in some sort of trance and stopped. “Sorry. I was, uh . . . worried about Hakkaku,” he said as he let Kagome down.
Kagome started to walk a few steps away then stopped. “Hakkaku?” she echoed with a perplexed scowl. “I thought you said Ginta was hurt . . . ?”
Kouga shook his head as his own scowl darkened. “I did.”
“But you just said—”
“I meant that I'm worried because Hakkaku was concerned about Ginta.”
“Oh . . . okay,” Kagome agreed. “I'll be right back.”
“Where are you going?”
Fighting back her blush, Kagome shrugged in what she hoped was a show of nonchalance. “I've got to go.”
At least Kouga seemed to understand what she meant, and with a relieved sigh, Kagome hurried into the forest.
It was difficult to tell, exactly where they were since Kouga, unlike InuYasha, preferred to keep his feet on the ground. Still . . .
`We shouldn't still be in the forest,' she thought as she hurried about her business. `Kouga might not be as fast as InuYasha since he doesn't have the jewel shards anymore, but he's not that slow . . .'
Glancing at her watch as she headed back toward Kouga and Shippou, she stopped short to listen when she heard the kitsune's tone of voice. “Are you sure we're going to your den, Kouga?”
Kouga didn't answer.
“Because we've been traveling a lot longer than it should take.”
Kagome bit her bottom lip. `Shippou's noticed that, too? What does it mean?'
“I'm on to you, Kouga. You smell even more like her. I didn't notice at the village, but it's stronger.”
Before Kouga could respond, Kagome hurried out of the trees and grabbed Shippou as she plastered on a happy smile. “Okay . . . Kouga . . . would it be okay if we walked, just a little? I'm cramping up . . .”
“Sorry, Kagome. We're in a hurry.”
She opened her mouth to protest. Kouga caught her and pulled her back into his arms again. Shippou hopped up onto her stomach, and the youkai broke into a sprint. For reasons Kagome didn't understand, Kouga was acting way too strange, and that frightened her.
Kagome intercepted Shippou's worried expression and tried to smile. `InuYasha,' she thought as she unconsciously wrapped her hand around the fang necklace, `can you find us?'
A sudden calm flowed through her as her heartbeat pounded in her ears. `Is that mine . . . ? No . . . it's the fang . . . InuYasha's fang . . .' Closing her eyes as she assured herself that everything would be fine, Kagome drew a deep breath and tightened her hold on the talisman. `InuYasha knows. He'll find us. He always finds us.'
Hiraikotsu: Come, flying, bone: aka Sango's gigant-ass boomerang.
Kazaana: wind, hole … Wind Tunnel, Air Rip… Yeah, that thing… Miroku's old weapon.
Shakuju: Miroku's staff.
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Final Thought from Kagome:
What in the world's gotten into Kouga?
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.