InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Midnight Meets Moonlight ❯ Ignored ( Chapter 8 )

[ Y - Young Adult: Not suitable for readers under 16 ]

(A/N: Holy shit, I just did two chapters in one day…WooT!!! Everyone better enjoy this `cause my brain hurts now…not to mention my hands from typing so much…)
Disclaimer: I forgot to put one on the last chapter, so this will be a blanket disclaimer…I do not own Inuyasha, any of its characters, the plot…I have nothing.
Chapter Eight
`Are you listening?'
`You cannot ignore me forever. I can feel you beginning to wear down. You won't have the energy to resist me before long…'
“Go away.”
A laugh.
`I can't. You belong to me now, and it's time you started to obey.'
Defiance was etched into every single syllable. “I will not.”
The other voice hardened.
`You will. I control every aspect of your being. You have no choice but to obey me.'
“And what is it that you plan to do with me?”
`The jewel is close to being completed. Once the jewel is finished, you will take it and get rid of Inuyasha and those he travels with once and for all. Then I will be free.'
“I will kill you before that happens.”
There was a pause and then a dark chuckle.
`I would like to see you try and stop yourself…'
The voice faded to the echoes of laughter.
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The next day dawned clear and bright, with a refreshing breeze that chased the group of travelers as they walked, enjoying the breathtaking scenery around them and the good mood they were all in.
Sesshoumaru hardly noticed anything at all, for one reason only. He was on a mission. Today was going to be devoted to observing the miko to see if he could understand parts of her.
Throughout the entire morning, he saw how she interacted with everyone in her pack. The taijiya was like a sister to her, and they could often be seen whispering and giggling with each other, usually only to be interrupted by the monk and his VERY busy hands. But even then, she always glared at him in mock exasperation, only to explode into another fit of giggles.
Even his brother had seemed more relaxed and off-guard when he was around her. True, although they constantly bickered, it was obvious they had a close relationship with each other. Even Kikyo was spoken to politely and amiably, although the undead priestess preferred to keep her words short and to the point, sometimes disarming the talkative girl from the future. But, that didn't deter her. She always seemed to smile and be happy…a fact that only a few days ago had bothered him immensely. He had thought before that she didn't feel any pain, that she was naïve to the harsher ways of life, but he soon realized he was wrong, yet she still smiled. Instead of annoying him as it did before, he now found it…oddly refreshing. Almost like Rin's innocence and charm mixed into a grown woman.
What's more, she made others around her smile when she laughed or found some inane thing to smile about. The littlest things seemed to please her, and it seemed to be contagious. He found that more interesting as the morning went on. From the scant details he knew about the members of the group, none of them had reason to be smiling.
The Taijiya had lost her whole family right in front of her eyes, killed by the boy who was her own brother, Kohaku, who was held under Naraku's spell. Every time she had gotten close to him, he had tried to kill his own sister, and although he was free now, he still remained elusive and absent. The toll must have been hard on the female warrior, whose only family was made up of the fire cat, but Kagome seemed to lift her spirits and keep her smiling at the small favors in life.
The monk, who although lightened many tense moments by his lecherous ways, had gone through hell throughout his life with his death marked on his hand. His father and his father's father were killed by the wind tunnel, and his whole life had been a race to kill Naraku before he too was sucked into the abyss to be forgotten. Although the tunnel was gone now, the monk was slowly trying to gain back the moments in life he had lost, and some moments he would never regain again.
Inuyasha had gone his whole life alone and ridiculed for his blood. Sesshoumaru was not oblivious to the life his half-brother had gone through, and was not inclined to help the hanyou out now that he was grown enough to take care of himself. However, being pinned to a tree and killed by the one he thought was his love, only to be revived and face her again would have made for one of the greatest tragedies in history. Yet, a mere slip of a girl had released him, and had healed his heart by never caring about who he was physically, but by what was in his heart.
And the kit…she treated that kit like a son when his own father was murdered in front of him. In this day and age, a human woman caring for a youkai child would bring ridicule and prejudice in droves, but she didn't care. She loved him like her own, and it was obvious the kit adored her.
As they were walking, she had the kit cradled in her arms as he took a short nap, several paces behind the rest of the group so their talking would not wake him. True to form, Sesshoumaru brought up the rear of the pack, and it gave him the perfect position to continue on his mission. He seemed to understand a little more of her as the day passed on, and he realized that the things that had disgusted him about her before seemed to change into respect for her. The thing that stuck out the most was that she was genuine…something almost unheard of in the Feudal Era and almost completely foreign to Sesshoumaru. He realized that was most likely the center of his intrigue with her.
Other than the fact that she was of the future and did not even look like she belonged in this time. For one thing, there were her clothes…
Walking behind her, he had ample time to lazily observe her state of dress and make mental notations on them. In the past, she had worn an indecent kimono, the lower half stopping before mid-thigh and most likely gaining the attention of many who passed her. Now, though, her outfits had changed and seemed to suit her more than what she had worn in the past.
Presently, she was garbed in a light blue blouse that matched the color of the sky with a scooped neckline and a modest black skirt…well, at least more modest than the other one. This skirt came to mid-thigh, but still showed a lot of skin.
He blinked when he realized he had been staring at her legs for the better part of five minutes, watching where the smooth skin had disappeared under the black and had shifted as she walked. He was appalled by himself. That had happened on and off throughout the whole day, and what was worse was that her scent seemed to fill his head and never leave. Apparently, his youki had found it to be a calming scent and had focused on it, relaxing him from time to time.
That simply would not do…she was a human, and he was TaiYoukai. He should have been revolted by her…but he was not. The conversation between her and the Taijiya from yesterday popped back into his mind, and he wondered if there really was anything romantic going on between his future self and the petite miko. He scoffed at himself and shook his head. That was absurd. So she had a pleasing scent and decent legs…make that REALLY decent legs for a human. They were just other things to file away in his mind about her, nothing more.
…so why didn't he feel better about it?
He left his thoughts as Inuyasha pulled along beside him and fell into step. Glancing at him out of the corner of his eyes, he noticed the hanyou's glare. He waited without speaking a word, waiting for Inuyasha to speak first.
His brother seemed to be studying him intently, hostile in nature and seeming to want to yell, but instead he finally hissed, “Stop staring at her.”
Sesshoumaru lifted an eyebrow. It seemed Inuyasha was trying to protect the miko from him, and it made him slightly annoyed. Kagome was not claimed by Inuyasha, yet he was acting like her mate by becoming jealous and protective. Sesshoumaru's eyes narrowed. “What I do is none of your concern, baka. She is not yours.”
Inuyasha blinked as he heard those familiar words that the future Sesshoumaru had spoken to him. His anger boiled as he realized that there was something going on that he didn't know between Kagome and Sesshoumaru, both in the past and in the future. He opened his mouth to tell his brother to back off before he did bodily harm, but an unwelcome scent reached his nose and he growled.
Sesshoumaru sniffed as well when he saw Inuyasha put his hands on Tetsusaiga. A whirlwind appeared in front of them, stopping in front of Kagome. Shippo woke up and scrambled out of her arms before her hands were snatched by her familiar admirer.
It was the wolf lord, Sesshoumaru realized. He watched curiously at the hold the wolf had on the young miko, and Inuyasha's reaction as the dog-hanyou stalked towards them to try and smash his way in between.
“Ah, my dear Kagome,” the wolf spoke, completely ignoring Inuyasha. “I knew I was getting close to you by the smell of your delicious scent. It's been too long since I've last seen my woman. Has dog-breath been taking care of you for me?”
He watched as Kagome seemed to get really flustered. “Ah, hi, Kouga. I've been good. We're still searching for the shards and….Inuyasha, for the love of Kami, give me some space! He's not going to eat me.”
“Unless you want me too,” Kouga added with a wolfish smile that had Kagome flushing. Inuyasha growled louder.
`It was not to my knowledge that the miko had another admirer,' Sesshoumaru thought, and sat back to enjoy the show that was sure to come on, by the way his brother was acting.
“Oi, wolf, step back. I don't want your filthy scent all over her. You've already handed your shards to us, so there's no more reason for you to keep coming around,” Inuyasha said through clenched teeth.
“That doesn't seem fair when I have to smell your scent on her all the time, dog-breath. It's disgusting.”
“Hey, are you saying now that I smell bad?” Kagome asked hotly, removing her hands from his. Kouga seemed to be taken aback.
“Ah, no? I mean, of course not, my love. Your scent is beautiful, and it makes me very proud to have a mate with a scent like yours. Not to mention your gentle nature.”
Sesshoumaru resisted the urge to roll his eyes at the wolf's declarations. Surely Kagome wasn't falling for that? However, he noticed the slight blush on her face and frowned. Maybe she was dumber than he thought…
“She's not your mate,” Inuyasha growled. “Get that through your thick head.”
“It's okay, Kagome,” Kouga said reassuringly, completely ignoring Inuyasha again. “I know you are an honorable woman and want to finish your search for the jewel, but after that happens, you can join me in my new lands and finally be my mate!”
Kagome wanted to sigh. “You have new lands?” she asked in an effort to change the topic.
“Not exactly,” Kouga said sheepishly, scratching the back of his head. “That's what I'm doing around these parts. I'm looking for new territory to rebuild my tribe now that Naraku is gone.”
Kagome smiled. “I'm glad for you, Kouga. I know your tribe will be stronger than before.”
The wolf preened at her praise while Inuyasha continued to growl. Finally though, Kouga noticed Sesshoumaru's presence. “Who's that?” he asked roughly, wondering if there was more competition for Kagome's affection.
“This is Sesshoumaru,” Kagome explained. “He's Inuyasha's older half-brother and TaiYoukai. He resides over the Western Lands.”
“Inuyasha's brother, huh?” Kouga replied cockily. “Is he as dumb as dog-shit over here?”
Sesshoumaru smirked and took a step forward, fully intent on showing just how wrong the idiotic wolf was, but Kagome, seeing the dangerous smile, quickly waved her hands.
“Now, now, boys, play nice. Kouga, that wasn't very polite. You should probably head out now. I know you probably still have a lot of ground to cover, and we still need to finish our journey.”
Kouga stopped glaring at Sesshoumaru to grab her hands once more. “Of course, my beloved. I understand you are anxious to finish collecting the shards so you can finally join me.” He kissed her on the hand, much to the chagrin of Kagome and the anger of Inuyasha. Surprisingly, Sesshoumaru wanted to sneer at the gesture as well. “I'll let you go now, my love.” Kouga turned to Inuyasha. “Oi, dog-shit, take care of my woman while I'm gone. If you don't, I'll kill you slowly.”
“Kill me now, if you think you can, baka,” Inuyasha growled back, ready for a fight.
“Bye, Kouga,” Kagome said loudly and pointedly. Kouga gave her one last smile before disappearing in a cloud of dust again. Shippo jumped back into the arms he had vacated and whistled.
“Man, even though he doesn't have the shards, he's still really fast!”
“Keh!” Inuyasha said, in a bad mood now. “Whatever. Let's keep moving. We don't want to stay here all day just because Kagome misses her LOVER!”
Kagome glared at him. “He's not my lover, Inuyasha! I never try to encourage him…he just doesn't listen.”
“He could listen to Tetsusaiga if you just let me at him!”
“He's harmless! Just let him keep his fantasy for now. Besides, at least he knows how to treat a lady!”
Inuyasha tensed in anger. “Are you STUPID? He's a dumb, smelly, moronic wolf. Giving you the time of day proves it!”
Sango ran forward and held Kagome back as she took a step towards Inuyasha, intent on strangling the life out of him. “Okay, calm down everyone,” Sango said, grunting with the effort it took to hold the other girl back. Kagome could get strong when she was angry. “I think it's time we took a rest anyway. Let's have lunch.”
Kagome shrugged the older woman off. “Fine, but HE can make his OWN ramen,” she yelled, and stomped off to sit down under the shade of a large tree. Sesshoumaru wanted to just shake his head at the antics of the whole group.
“I'll go get firewood!” Shippo volunteered and ran off into the surrounding woods. Every one else settled down to take advantage of the time to relax, but Sesshoumaru felt restless and decided to take a walk until they were ready to leave again. Maybe it would help to get rid of the headache he had developed…
“Shippo should be back by now, right?” Kagome said worriedly ten minutes later.
Miroku frowned. “Usually it doesn't take him this long,” he agreed.
Kagome stood up and brushed the dust off of her skirt. “I'm going to go find him.”
“Keh, don't get lost along the way,” Inuyasha said from his perch in the tree, not even opening his eyes to look at her. “I don't want to go traipsing around the whole forest looking for you.” A moment later he felt a rock hit the side of his head and his eyes flew open to see the back of Kagome enter the woods.
Flushing in embarrassment, he looked down to see Sango covering her mouth with her hands, and Miroku cough slightly. Even Kikyo had a very small smile on her face, even though she wasn't looking at him.
“Keh!” he said, folding his arms and leaning back again. Next time though, he'd remember to keep his eyes open.
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Kagome pushed another branch out of her way, trying not to worry too much. He couldn't have wandered far. She heard a faint yell north of her, and her heartbeat sped up. Hurrying through the brush, she tried to find the source of the noise.
Sesshoumaru had heard the yell too while he was walking, and out of sheer curiosity, he followed the noise. His interest was peaked even more when he smelled Kagome growing closer to the noise as well.
There seemed to be a clearing ahead, and the noise grew louder with every step that Kagome took. There was laughter, which would have been fine, except in between there were cries of pain and anger. Stopping by a tree to catch her breath, she peered into the clearing and gasped.
Sesshoumaru reached the clearing on the opposite side of her, and his eyes took in what was happening. Three young men, most likely from a nearby village, had cornered the young fox kit and were throwing pebbles from the ground at him.
“Filthy youkai,” one taunted as he whizzed a stone that hit Shippo in the stomach, causing him to gasp and drop to one knee.
“Bet you can't hit him in the head,” the other one said to the third.
“Watch me,” the man said cockily, and let another stone fly, and laughed as blood trickled down Shippo's forehead. One by one the stones kept coming, and it was all Shippo could do to defend himself. He couldn't even think about using his foxfire, not when the stones came with more force.
Sesshoumaru knew he probably shouldn't get involved, but his blood boiled at the fact that they were punishing the kit because he was a youkai. He took a step forward, intent on showing them what a real demon could do to vermin like them, but he saw a flash of blue come hurtling out of the woods.
Kagome ran as fast as she could to Shippo, throwing herself in front of him, taking a few of the stones herself, wincing slightly as one of them broke the skin on her back. However, once their target had been blocked, the men stopped throwing the rocks and protested.
“Oi, woman, get out of the way!”
Slowly, Kagome stood up and face the men while Shippo remained behind her. Sesshoumaru could smell her anger permeate his entire being with its strength and watched with interest as her eyes flashed dangerously.
“What do you think you are doing?” she asked lowly. “He is just a child.”
“He is youkai scum,” the tallest one shot back. “His kind should not be allowed to live.”
“You would beat up on a helpless child because he is a youkai?” she asked incredulously, her anger spiking once more. “You should be ashamed of yourselves!”
One of the other boys swaggered over to her to get in her face. “Are you a youkai lover, bitch? Maybe someone should teach you a lesson as well.” He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively as his friends laughed.
Sound ceased to exist when a dull thud echoed through the air. Sesshoumaru had seen her fist clench at her side, but her hand was a blur to him when she released her punch. He couldn't help but be in shock at the power behind her punch…for such a small woman, she knew how to pack one. He smiled in satisfaction when he heard the crunching of bone and knew the man's nose was broken.
“You little bitch,” the man screamed as he stood up, holding his streaming nose. “You're going to pay for that!”
Kagome stood her ground, breathing heavily from anger as they began to step closer to her. She felt Shippo run out in front of her, and reached out. “Shippo, no! Stay behind me!”
“Don't hurt her!” Shippo yelled, and tried to use his fox fire, but only received a kick in the stomach, and he flew several feet back.
“Shippo!” Kagome screamed, and launched herself at the man closest to her, planning on scratching his eyes out, but he just laughed and grabbed her arms. Struggling viciously, she felt her stomach turn over as the one whose nose she had broken kneeled down and held her legs.
“Look at this kimono she has on,” he laughed, stroking his hands dangerously up her thigh, making her shiver in disgust. “It's the shortest one I've seen yet!”
“I suggest you take your hands off of her now before they are cut off,” a smooth voice cut through the woods, and Kagome's head snapped up to see Sesshoumaru there. His eyes were burning, and her breath caught in her throat.
As soon as they had touched her, Sesshoumaru felt real rage for the first time in a long time. He could not just stand idly by while they defiled her, not after she fought so hard to defend her kit.
“Who are you?” the one holding Kagome asked cockily.
Sesshoumaru just narrowed his eyes a bit, and noticed how the boy swallowed nervously.
“It's another demon,” one of them said, his voice cracking slightly. “Just let her go, man, it's not worth the trouble.”
The man holding Kagome captive let her go, and she immediately ran towards Shippo to see if he was okay. Sesshoumaru faced the men once more, and bared his fangs slightly.
“You sorry excuses for humans don't even deserve to feel my claws ripping through you,” he said, his voice deadly soft. “Is your race so weak that you must prey on those smaller than you?” His expression turned disgusted. “You are not worthy enough to live, but not worth the effort to kill.” He held out his arm, claws glinting dangerously. “Leave now, before I change my mind.”
Terrified now, the men scrambled, not trusting the steely glint to his eyes, and they couldn't rush out of there fast enough. Watching them go now with a bored expression, he huffed slightly. “Pathetic humans.” Turning, expecting gratitude from the woman who was kneeling next to her kit, he was shocked to find her standing right behind him.
“You are an idiot!” she said with angry tears running down her cheeks, punctuating her statement by hitting him in the chest. He remained immobile, barely feeling her punch, and completely confused. “Pathetic human,” she mocked, her voice charged with her anger and tears. “You're not exactly helping the cause there, Sesshoumaru!”
“And what exactly is the cause, miko?” he asked, letting a little anger show.
“Stopping the prejudice between humans and youkai. Nothing is going to change if attitudes don't change, and yours is one of the worst!”
“You saw what they did to your kit, and you still defend them?”
She hit him in the chest again. “I would never defend them! They did this because they have bad hearts, not because of their race! If you make keep hating them because they're human, they're going to keep hating you because you're youkai! Then it will never end!”
“Who says it needs to end?” he shot back. “You have this fool's dream of youkai and humans living as equals. Don't you realize that it will never be?”
She stared at him for several moments in silence before her anger seemed to drain out of her and she just looked more defeated than anything. “You don't get it, do you?” she said sadly. Without giving him another look, she turned and picked up Shippo in her arms, heading back to the camp without a backwards glance.
Sesshoumaru gazed at her as she left, not completely understanding what had just happened. He had saved her and she made him out for the bad guy! His frustration mounted when he saw how she had been hurt on her back, her shirt torn in places where the rocks had gone through. Even when she left his sight, the smell of her blood stayed in his mind for a long time….
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She was ignoring him.
It was as simple as that. After she had patched Shippo up and calmed Inuyasha down somewhat, she just simply ignored him, not bothering to even look at him. He found he didn't like it, not one bit. It just made matters worse when Inuyasha descended on him for not keeping her safe and letting her get hurt. Since Sesshoumaru's frustration still ran hotly through his blood, and Inuyasha's voice was grating on his nerves, he sent the hanyou flying with a well-placed punch, and just started to walk. Everyone soon followed suit in strained silence.
Inuyasha was nursing his bruised pride and jaw while sending murderous glances every now and then, but they could all sense the invisible tension between the TaiYoukai and the smaller miko.
Not one glance his way, not one word spoken, not one smile from her for the remainder of the day. He knew because he kept a close eye on her throughout the rest of the afternoon, but she completely and effectively disregarded his penetrating gaze and pretended like he didn't exist.
He didn't realize how much he hated to be ignored…or maybe it was just because it was her. Whatever it was, he was not going to be ignored for long. He had done nothing wrong, yet she was treating him like he was beneath dirt. The aristocratic side of him completely revolted at that thought.
They had stopped for the night by a hot spring, and when Kagome announced that she wanted to take a bath by herself, he smirked on the inside.
She was not going to ignore him for long…
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Kagome winced as her back was submerged in the hot water. The cuts on her back stung a little bit and she cursed those stupid men all over again.
“Bastards, each and every one of them,” she grumbled, putting some soap on her sponge and soaping her body. She hissed when the soap got into the cuts, but willed the pain away, focusing on her anger.
“Stupid Sesshoumaru,” she muttered. “Thinking I was actually standing up for them. The nerve! I was mad at his high and mighty attitude, thank you very much!”
She sighed as she rinsed off the soap. “Although I probably should have thanked him. He did save me, and I'm grateful.” She remembered how he had stared at her all afternoon, and she felt slightly guilty at ignoring him. “But he deserved it,” she said, pouring shampoo on her head and scrubbing. “He needs to learn he's not helping the problem.” She nodded her head in agreement to her thoughts and dunked underwater to rinse.
She surfaced, flipping her wet hair over her shoulder and rubbing the water out of her eyes. When she opened them, she gasped. Not more than five feet away from her stood Sesshoumaru, staring at her impassively.
She flushed violently and ducked back underwater to her chin. “What the hell are you DOING?” she hissed, not wanting to alert the others.
“This Sesshoumaru does not like to be ignored,” he said, not taking his eyes off of hers. He had already seen her body as he was walking up on her bath. He knew it was a low-handed tactic, but she wasn't going to run on him, that was for sure.
“You…you…” she sputtered, too angry to think for a moment. “YOU don't like to be ignored, so that makes it OKAY to walk up on me when I'm bathing?”
“You are not ignoring me now,” he stated, and wanted to smirk at the look on her face.
“Why…you!” she said tightly, grabbing her shampoo bottle and chucking it at him. He smoothly sidestepped it.
“That wasn't very nice,” he pointed out in that damnable calm voice of his.
“Well, you aren't very nice either,” she retorted. “And that's why I'm ignoring you.”
“You are ignoring me because your opinion differs from mine,” he countered.
“That's not the reason, Sesshoumaru,” she said. The defeated look was back in her eyes, and he frowned. “You saw what happened today. Shippo was hurt, and I'm positive he's not the only youkai who has been. And I know there have been humans hurt by youkai. It's senseless violence, don't you see?”
“I see that you are naïve. Humans and youkai will never get along.”
“I may be naïve,” she said, her eyes burning. “But at least I have hope. Where did yours go?”
He froze. “Who says that I need it?” he said finally.
“Everyone needs hope, Sesshoumaru,” she said softly. “Even great TaiYoukai's like yourself.”
He had hope. It was buried deep, but he had it. He was about to speak, but she shook her head.
“Look, I'm sorry for yelling at you. I'm sorry for ignoring you. And I should also thank you for stopping those men today,” she said. “But I'm not sorry about what I said. However, since it takes too much effort to fight with you, how about we just agree to disagree?”
He considered her words, and couldn't help but let his respect for her grow a little more. She was willing to stand her ground on something she believed in. “That will be acceptable,” he said, nodding his head.
She smiled at him. “Good! I'm glad that's settled.” Her face flushed again. “But, um, could you let me finish my bath now?”
He blinked, forgetting the fact that she was naked, and his eyes moved lower before he could think.
“Do you mind?” she demanded hotly, her face starting to resemble a tomato.
Smirking, his eyes met hers again. “Sleep well, miko,” he said smoothly, before returning to the darkness of the woods.
Kagome breathed a sigh of relief as she watched him go. He was more daring than she realized…with no manners…a complete jerk when he was stubborn…
…and who hated to be ignored.
She was smiling for the remainder of her bath.
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Sesshoumaru leaned against the tree, keeping a silent vigil over the sleeping camp, going through the day's events in his mind. Kagome had proven to be just as stubborn as he was today, and damned if he didn't admire her for it. It seemed like he was beginning to find more and more things about her that made him see why his future self would be so intrigued over her. Her courage, her passion, her determination…
However, much to his chagrin and puzzlement, he could not get the image of her pale skin shining in the moonlight as she bathed out of his mind…
It was a fact that slightly worried him.
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(Ha, I'm so proud of myself! Two chapters in one day! Who knows when I'll be able to do that again? Hope you enjoyed it! I want to say here that I adore each and every one of my reviewers. You guys give me so much encouragement, it just makes me want to write more! Keep doing what you're doing!
Much love,