InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Possession ❯ TwentySeven ( Chapter 27 )
[ Y - Young Adult: Not suitable for readers under 16 ]
“Shippou,” she whispered, horrified.
Her eyes were stark in her pale face and he couldn't miss the clumsy way she tried to cover herself. Shippou thought he'd never been so angry, or so hurt, not by Kagome. The pathetic apology in her eyes, her flush of shame on her cheeks, she knew he was hurting…and she was sorry for it.
But even now…he couldn't hate her. He couldn't help her either, not with that bastard smirking at him. She'd always been powerless against Inuyasha, helpless by her love for him that even years of bitter anger couldn't erase. This was what Inuyasha had wanted him to see and Shippou realized he'd been played for a fool.
He knew that she didn't want him, he could deal with that. But to have her turn to the same son of a bitch that had nearly killed them both…Shippou flinched away from the image of what Inuyasha had been doing. All the memories of what he'd already seen and heard, were flooding him and made it hard for him to stand.
Again the past came up to surge over him like a tidal wave and Shippou wanted to sink to his knees, fall away to escape from this pain. Instead, he refused to give in and let the feelings wash him away. He was stronger than this, he had to be. For her.
The truth was, he had been expecting something like this, having seen the way she looked at Inuyasha when she though no one was watching. And he'd sworn to himself that he'd protect her, save her from repeating the mistakes of the past when she found she couldn't go home. For all he'd tried to assure her that he'd stay by her side, not abandon her in this dangerous world, she had never believed in him the way she'd believed in Inuyasha.
And that was what really hurt.
She was still waiting for him, wondering when he'd explode probably. Shippou swallowed hard and looked at the ground, letting the pain and anger bleed out of him so he didn't yell something he'd hate himself for. Something he couldn't take back, something really painful. Like the truth.
“Why don't you tell him?” Shippou muttered at last. Then he looked up, his eyes flashing. “Tell him why what he wants isn't possible, why don't you tell him that? If you can't find the words, I'll be happy to let him in on it.”
“No,” she mumbled, still looking ashamed. Damn it, she didn't owe him anything, not a damn thing. To hell with what might or might not happen, to hell with Inuyasha's damaged brain and what it might mean if he did know the truth, if he did remember what it had really been like.
“You don't deserve her,” Shippou said coldly, staring the dog right in the face. “She was always too good for you, even when she loved you…all you ever did was hurt her!”
Inuyasha was on his feet instantly, not bothering to cover himself. “You think I haven't figured that out?” he demanded viciously, standing there proud with Kagome's scent all over him. “It ain't for you to decide what she wants, brat!”
“Stop,” Kagome said, her voice soft and weak. “I didn't mean for you to find out this way…”
“Find out at all, you mean,” he muttered, grim and hard under the trembling in his belly.
“Fuck him,” Inuyasha said, his voice harsh with contempt. Then he grinned, sneering out the words like they were poisoned needles meant for Shippou's skin. “He wanted to watch, he got what he wanted. Just like I'd expect from Kouga's little spy, hiding in the bushes and jerking off because he hasn't got the balls to do anything else!”
“You bastard,” Shippou ground out, his face on fire from such an accusation. He looked at Kagome's painful expression, the darkness in her eyes that had never faded after Inuyasha took the jewel. She had to know better, know that he wasn't some kind of pervert to enjoy watching Inuyasha screw her. It tore him apart; it made him want to gouge out his own eyes and his heart because it hurt so much. Just like the bastard to twist everything, when he'd already known…
“You wanted me to see,” the kitsune said, holding himself back from attacking. “Did you know I was waiting for you to come here? I knew you'd be slinking around her again, pretending that you give a damn about Kagome. That's all I was waiting for, if you knew I was here, then why didn't you say something?”
Kagome looked horrified, twisting around to stare at Inuyasha. “You knew he was watching us?” she asked, obviously sickened by the thought. “Is that why you wanted me to come here, so you could…so you could screw me in front of him?”
Shippou saw the doubt and anger beginning to cloud her expression and smiled inwardly. Maybe now she'd finally see Inuyasha for what he was, the same manipulative, vindictive bastard that had betrayed her so long ago. And kept betraying her over and over again.
“I don't care what he saw,” Inuyasha snapped, angry himself and looking to prove it. “Why should I give a damn what that little shit thinks? Yeah, I knew it was probably him, not like I could miss his eyes on my back.”
It wasn't far from the truth. Kouga had given him a serious stare when he said that he wanted to scout the woods to make sure that Inuyasha wasn't lurking out there, waiting for a chance to attack. It wasn't that he feared the inuyoukai would make war against the wolves, not with that older brother to answer to, but Shippou wouldn't put it past him to try and take Kagome away by force.
“It doesn't mean a damn thing if he is out there,” Kouga said soberly, turning to face the young fox. “Hell, I'd bet he is, but Shippou, you need to think about why you're doing this.”
“I'm just protecting our territory,” he said, snorting a little and brushing his hair back. As usual, he couldn't fool Kouga for a minute and the wolf youkai slowly stood to face him, resting heavy hands on his shoulders.
“Ain't nothing noble about chasing after a woman who doesn't want you,” Kouga said, smiling a little at the irony of his words. “Don't you get it yet, kid? There's never been anyone else in Kagome's heart.”
Flushing, he wished he'd never confided his suspicions, but as soon as Kagome and Rin had gone to sleep, he'd babbled every last one of them to Kouga and Ayame. The long glances, the way she'd watched him with her eyes clouding over and dark with memories. He had to protect her from herself, from that weakness that might destroy her. Inuyasha didn't deserve another chance with Kagome, Shippou had to make damn sure he didn't get one.
So when he'd spotted them together on that hilltop, he had known there was a problem. It wasn't just jealousy, he swore it wasn't. Kagome was scared, she had to be, and Inuyasha was going to take advantage of that. But he hadn't been able to stop what happened next. Instead he'd become like a child again, crouching in the bushes, covering his ears because he couldn't stand to hear her cry out Inuyasha's name.
“You really don't care, do you, Inuyasha.”
Her voice broke over him and Shippou looked up to see the hurt in Kagome's eyes, the confusion in Inuyasha's. She was looking at him differently now, like she was seeing him for the first time and guiltily, Shippou realized that she thought everything the youkai had said afterwards…had also been part of his game.
“Why should I care?” Inuyasha snorted. “What does it matter to me what that punk says, I said I'd take care of you and I meant it!”
“Don't believe him,” Shippou burst out, his eyes glinting as he saw Kagome waver between her doubt and hurt. “He's never done anything but lie to you, everything he has ever said has been a lie.”
“I'm getting real tired of you,” Inuyasha growled. Still naked, he pushed Kagome to the side like she was insignificant. “You wanna settle this now, then maybe you'll understand who's better.”
“Any time,” he shot back. “I'm not afraid of you!”
Then Inuyasha grinned at him, reaching out to pull Kagome close by his side. Shippou stiffened as he watched Inuyasha's hands roam over her body, anger lighting inside him with his fury. “Forget it,” the inuyoukai said, nuzzling her dark hair with his lips. “You're just a kid and much as I'd like to teach you a lesson, she wouldn't like it.”
Shippou couldn't do anything but stand there as Inuyasha slipped his hands under Kagome's open clothes to cup her breasts, ignoring her faint struggles to keep herself covered. “Go on, Kagome,” he whispered. “Tell the little brat to leave us alone.”
“Kagome,” Shippou said, watching the emotions shift across her features. She looked like she was hurting, confused. He hated seeing her this way, but he hated even more that she didn't answer. Instead she stared resolutely at the ground, her bottom lip quivering with some suppressed emotion. “Kagome, tell him to go hell!”
Inuyasha chuckled as Kagome remained strangely quiet, unresponsive. “Doesn't look like she's going to do that,” he said, still caressing her intimately. “Can't take a hint, brat?”
It broke his heart, but at the same time Shippou didn't know what he expected. She'd never been strong when he was like this, wasn't that why he needed to protect her in the first place? He'd seen enough, he knew that Kagome had been willing, and now she might be holding back to protect him. She thought he couldn't win against Inuyasha, so again she complied with him. Nothing had changed, he decided bitterly. She still thought of him as a weak little kid.
“I can take a hint,” he snarled, meeting Inuyasha's eyes with his own rage. This wasn't over, not by a long shot, and that damned dog was going to pay for everything he'd done…even if it took the rest of his life, he wasn't going to give up on Kagome and let that bastard have her. Not ever!
Spinning around, he charged blindly into the brush, swearing under his breath and feeling the cold sweat prickling down his back. Let Inuyasha think he'd won this time…it wasn't over and it wouldn't ever be over. Not until that bastard was dead and he knew that Kagome would be safe from him…forever.
“Brat wasn't as stupid as he looks,” Inuyasha murmured as they dressed. She still hadn't said a word and it was starting to bother him. Instead she'd shoved his hands away roughly as soon as Shippou had run off, reaching for her clothes with a grim silence that ate into the peaceful air of the forest.
Well, what did she think was going to happen when the punk found out? Inuyasha grinned, thinking of the fury and jealousy that had practically radiated from the fox's body when he'd come out of the brush. Served him right for spying like that, although he'd been bluffing when he'd said that he'd known Shippou was there.
Something else had been watching him from the forest, something with greedy eyes and malevolent intent.
He'd thought he'd lost them by the time he'd reached the wolf youkai territory, still trying to chase that damnable cloud. Then it had just been a wavering instinct, something pricking at the back of his mind with a needle. But he'd been too preoccupied with Kagome to think about it when he'd brought her to the cover of the trees. Then he'd been unable to think beyond what she made him feel, her touch and her skin, her uninhibited response.
Now he just had to convince her that it didn't matter what the kitsune had seen. She had nothing to be ashamed of and neither did he, damn the little bastard for bursting in when he did. For a moment, he'd thought she was going to actually talk to him. The more she wanted to keep secrets from him, the more he wanted to uncover the mystery and the truth. Because…damn it, he wanted her, he wanted her and how the hell could he prove himself against the past when she wouldn't fucking let him?
“Don't let what he said bother you,” Inuyasha murmured, coming up from behind to put his arms around her. She smelled so good; her scent was only enhanced by the faint whiff of his body on hers. It felt so right to hold her, so necessary, like she was the answer and the reason why he'd been kept waiting for so long. If there was a reason he'd stayed alive it had to be that he was meant to find her.
She twisted against his arms, turning in his embrace, and looking into her eyes, he saw smoldering rage instead of desire. The expression chilled him; she looked so cold and angry, unreachable across a chasm of fury.
“Don't touch me,” she ground out, shrugging his hands from her arms. Inuyasha blinked, slowly drawing away from her. “How could you do that to me?”
His head rocked back when her small fist slammed into his mouth. It hardly hurt him, but she caught him off guard with the blow just the same. He stared at her dumbstruck as she winced and cupped her fist in her other hand. Kagome was breathing hard; making little gasps that hitched in her throat.
“I was really starting to believe you,” she said, her tone not full of anger but pain. “You had me going there, Inuyasha. Maybe I'm a fool, but I thought…” She straightened suddenly, pushing back her tangled hair as she turned away. “It was just another lie.”
Another lie? What the hell was she going on about now? Inuyasha scratched his head and then his body went cold when he realized what she was talking about. The things he'd said to her after they'd had sex, things he'd meant from the bottom of his heart…she thought he was lying to her.
“Hey,” he said, grabbing her shoulder to turn her around. She slapped his hand away like he was an annoying child, scowling as she folded her arms over her breasts. “What I said before…I meant it, Kagome.”
“I don't believe you.”
Had her voice always been so cold? That brief moment had given him a glimpse into a real woman, warm and soft, and now he found that he was twice as angry with Shippou for butting in. She thought everything he'd done and said had been just for the brat; just to dig at him, make him suffer. And now, once again, she wasn't going to believe a word he said.
“Kagome, listen…” he said, a note of desperation creeping into his voice. “I didn't know he was there, I know what I told him, but…”
“So you were lying then too?” she said, anger heating her words again. The woman's eyes glittered at him with accusations and he ground his teeth together to keep himself from shouting at her. “You sick bastard, you just love hurting people, don't you?”
“No!” he burst out as she turned away again, heading into the forest. “I wasn't lying to you, Kagome. I just want you to believe me!”
She didn't answer and he cursed under his breath. Damn that brat, he should have known better. He'd really gone and fucked himself; there was no way he could make her understand now. Inuyasha raked his hand through his hair and glared at the back of her head. He just had to rub it in Shippou's face, make it seem like he knew the brat was watching. To make it hurt more.
She was right, but he didn't mean for her to be the one who was hurt.
“Just leave me alone,” her voice carried to him as she stalked away. “I'm going after Shippou. Hopefully I can apologize for dragging him into your sick little games.”
Shippou smiled to himself as he watched Kagome leave Inuyasha. His ears might not be as sensitive as an inuyoukai's, but it wasn't like he could have missed their conversation. Good, this was what she needed to see. The real Inuyasha behind the façade of what he was pretending.
It surprised him to find that Inuyasha was bluffing when he'd said he'd known they were being watched. But it didn't matter; all that mattered was that Kagome was seeing him for what he was now. Sighing, he let himself drop out of the tree. He'd let her apologize to him; he'd let her feel bad about it for a few hours more too. Then he would tell her that he forgave her, after all, he truly loved her. Not like Inuyasha.
It would be a cold day in hell when he'd ever believe that bastard could change.
Shippou wandered between the trees, thinking about what had happened. It still stung him that Inuyasha had implied he'd been aroused by watching them have sex. And he wondered again what Kagome thought about it, if she believed he'd sink that low.
“Well,” he said softly. “Just go away, you stupid dog. We don't need you anymore.” The kitsune crouched on the ground as he peered through the thick underbrush. He should follow her to make sure that Inuyasha kept his distance. It wouldn't be easy, as skilled as he considered himself to be at hiding his presence, he knew he had to keep upwind or Inuyasha would know he was there.
A blow from behind knocked Shippou on his face, a heavy weight landed on his back. Furious, he clawed at the ground to get his arms under him. “Damn you, Inuyasha,” he snarled. “Why don't you just…”
Hard hands pulled at his back, lifting him and flipping him over and he stared up in surprise at his attacker. It wasn't Inuyasha and Shippou realized that he really had a problem now.
“Hey you little shit,” Natsu hissed, his breath hot against the kitsune's face. “Remember me?”
Kagome stopped in her tracks and drew in a hissing breath. There had been times in the past when she wished she were stronger emotionally, when she wished that she'd been more in control. And there had been times when she'd wished for power of her own, to save her friends, to fight evil, but rarely if ever had she thought about physical strength.
Now she wanted it…because she really wanted to beat the living shit out of Inuyasha. Her hand still hurt, bruised by his jaw, and there was a bit of swelling on the first knuckle where the skin had nearly split. Absently, she raised her fist to her mouth and sucked at the injury as if that would make the pain go away. She'd hit him as hard as she could, but as usual, she was the one to hurt for it.
“Don't you get it?” she snarled over her shoulder. “Leave me the hell alone!”
From the thick brush there was a rustle, a pause, and then a surly voice. “No. Run after him all you want, I'm not leaving you alone out here.”
“Fuck you,” Kagome muttered under her breath. She just wanted to find Shippou and find…find some way to explain that she'd never meant to hurt him. In truth, she knew that she only wanted to absolve her own guilt, let him shout at her, call her names. Anything to stop this dull ache that had speared her through the center of her chest right to her backbone.
The rustling sound grew louder and she scowled when he pushed his way through the leaves. Inuyasha's face was flushed and set in a disgusted sneer, his eyes glittering coldly at her. “Fucking me is what got you into this,” he said, still sounding angry. “You were into it, bitch. Why put all the blame on me?”
“Because it's still your fault,” she hissed. God, should she want to punch him again this badly? He'd probably let her split open her fists on his face and never feel a thing, the bastard. “This isn't about sex, Inuyasha.”
“The hell it's not,” he shot back at her. She glared at him as if she could make him burst into flames, but clenched her arms around her body when he drew closer. “Why is it such a fucking big deal? Shippou's a jealous brat, you knew that already.”
“You wouldn't understand,” she said, turning away from him. Then she was spun around violently by a hard grip on her shoulder. He backed her into a tree, holding her with one hand pressed just below her collarbone. She should have been afraid of him then, his furious eyes like a dying sunset, his hair wild around his face. She felt no fear, only cold anger beating against her chest as she stared at him like she was daring him to do his worst.
If he hurt her…if he beat her and raped her savagely enough, then maybe she could stop feeling anything at all.
“You're right,” he said, his voice rough as broken glass. “I don't understand and I can't understand unless you explain it to me. Sorry I can't read your mind, bitch, but I can't and I'm sick of you leaving me in the dark.”
“You really want to know?” she asked, her voice fatal and sweet. Kagome put her hand on his wrist and dug in with her nails, scratching him.
Inuyasha's eyes narrowed in suspicion, sensing perhaps how close she was coming to the edge. Slowly, careful not to hurt her, he pulled her fingers from his wrist as he let her go. For a long moment they stood frozen in time, the wind stirring his hair and clothes as the gulf between them grew. It seems as neither of them had the will to speak until finally, he gave a long sigh and dropped his gaze.
“Hate me all you want,” he whispered. “I can't think of anything worse than having you look at me like that.”
With a soft groan of defeat, she leaned back against the tree, her arms dropping uselessly at her sides as she closed her eyes. What was she becoming, one moment she'd been rightfully furious with him, now she had to stop herself from trying to comfort him when she was the one who'd been hurting.
It never got any easier and she remembered how once they'd been comfortable together, friends who trusted, who relied on each other. Now she couldn't help but stagger between her conflicting emotions like a drunken woman. The path that had once been so firm under her feet was shifting, making her slide between the sharp edges of her shattered heart.
“All right,” she said, keeping her eyes closed against the truth. “What do you want from me, Inuyasha? I know it's not your fault what happened with Shippou. I'm the one he should be angry with…I'm the one who betrayed him.”
“How?” Inuyasha had to stop himself from touching her, holding her. “Why does it have to mean a betrayal?”
She smiled, shifting as the rough bark of the tree dug into her shoulders. “Shippou was only a child when you first met him,” she explained softly. “His father was murdered by a pair of vicious demons. He was all alone and very frightened although he wouldn't admit it.”
“I didn't know,” Inuyasha muttered, wondering what the hell that had to do with him. So the kitsune's life had been rough, he wasn't alone in that. You learned to deal with it and you learned to keep moving so the bastards couldn't tear you down. He remembered his own childhood in terms of loneliness and fear, but giving in meant being eaten alive by the very nightmares that stalked you.
“You know,” she murmured, not looking at him. “You don't remember, but you still know him enough to know how to hurt him. We met Shippou together, and after you avenged him by killing those same demons, he stayed with us.”
She smiled then, but it was a bitter smile all the same. “You still fought all the time, but you would have died to protect him, Inuyasha. Maybe because you saw something of yourself in him, maybe just because he was your friend. When you turned on us…Shippou was more than hurt by it. He was devastated.”
“I turned on you,” he said, his gaze as dark and unreadable as hers. “Because of the jewel.” He had no trouble believing her words were absolute truth. He knew, deep inside the dark places of his heart, that she wasn't lying to him now.
“The jewel.” Her voice was soft, expressionless now, like a woman who had forgotten how to feel anger…or anything at all. “I could forgive you for that, if it was only the jewel that had poisoned you. I would have found a way to forgive you, I loved you that much.”
His ears twitched at her words, the starkness of her voice, and the calm in her tone. She had loved him and he had lost that…for a jewel he didn't even remember using, for power that he now had no need of. It made no sense to him and he struggled towards her, trying to find the truth inside her words.
“You loved me,” he said, stating the fact like it didn't mean everything. Just a simple statement that opened and closed inside his chest like a heartbeat. “And I betrayed you anyway. Why, Kagome?”
She shrugged, her shoulders shifting and he found his eyes drawn to her, the delicate, sensitive place where her neck joined with her shoulder. Suddenly he could see himself, more imagination than a memory, kissing that throat, scraping gently with his teeth. And he could see his hands closing around it, squeezing, strangling the life from her body while her eyes bulged and ran with tears.
Inuyasha shivered, his hands curling into fists that tightened until he felt blood in his palms from his own claws. “Why, Kagome?” he demanded. “Why did I betray you? I…must have loved you, I can feel it. You wouldn't have…”
“No,” she said, her voice decided and even. “You didn't love me. You told me so yourself…before you used the jewel. For two years, we traveled together, became close as friends but never lovers. I trusted you with all my soul, Inuyasha, but the moment you had the jewel to yourself…I saw who you really were.”
“I can't believe that,” he whispered.
Sighing, Kagome ran her hands over her face, feeling worn and tired. “You lied to me…you lied to us all. Sango and Miroku…Shippou…we all believed in you. I never thought that you were just using us to get to the jewel.”
He looked shocked at her words, lost…hurt. Kagome smiled then, fiddling with her sleeves. Talking about it had reminded her…she'd looked like that, felt that way when he'd finally revealed the truth to her. Now she could return the favor at last.
“How does it feel, Inuyasha?” she asked, her tone as light and unconcerned as if they were simply discussing the weather. “To know that you betrayed the people who loved you, turned on them when they needed you the most?”
He was staring at the ground. “That's it, this is the truth that you've been hiding from me? That I'm a liar and I can't be trusted?”
“I'm just getting started,” she hissed, her voice distorted by her slowly building fury. “Don't you want to know everything? Like how many innocent people you murdered after you used the jewel, like how you'd come back to me covered in their blood and you'd make me…”
She stopped, she was shaking so hard it was about to tear her apart. “That's what you really were, Inuyasha.” Kagome swallowed hard. “You'd tell me about it while you fucked me.”
He fell to his knees, head bowed with shame. “It's nothing more that I suspected,” he muttered, his voice hollow. “I've always known that I turned into some kind of monster because of that…that jewel.”
“No.” Kagome bent towards him, resting her palms on her knees. “The truth is that you were a monster inside all the time,” she whispered, hoping he could feel every last bit of her pain and hate. This was for Shippou, for the past, for the present and everything she'd once believed in.
“You wanted the jewel because you wanted to be a pure demon,” she told him, watching the soft ears that shuddered at her words. “You got what you wished for, Inuyasha. You're every bit as much of a demon as those that feast on human flesh, tear apart villages, slaughtering everything alive with a mindless cruelty.”
Pushing her hair back from her face, she straightened her back and looked down at him. From anger, to hurt, to contempt…her emotions swung back and forth like a pendulum. She could almost pity him now, even as she wondered if her words had pushed him too far. If so, he'd murder her and die himself, their lives and deaths twisted together as they had been from the beginning.
Being killed by Inuyasha could very well be the most honest and intimate moment they could ever share.
Kagome turned away, feeling wretched about everything. She didn't want it to be like this, one of the reasons she'd held back so long was the fact that she didn't want him to know, didn't want to have to remember for him. Mistake after mistake, she threw them back in his face, but she still couldn't escape from him. Not then, not now, perhaps not ever…because as much as she hated him, damn her to hell, she loved him as well.
His hand closed around her wrist with a harsh grip and she froze, waiting for the inevitable. So he'd kill her now, she was certain and Kagome held her breath. It was over…
“Inuyasha,” she whispered his name like a plea, but she wasn't asking for herself.
“No,” he said, not looking up at her and keeping his hold on her wrist. “Is that all you have to tell me? I want to hear the rest.”
“Yeah.” Kagome cried out softly, surprised when he suddenly pulled her to her knees. Facing him, her heart caught in her throat, she looked into his eyes and saw no madness there, no crimson stain of terror. Instead, if anything, he looked disappointed.
“I want you to tell me the rest,” he murmured, his fingers still bruising her arm. “Tell me what happened to you…after you escaped from me.”
“You remember it?” she asked, breathless, anticipating…
“No.” They faced each other, stark and more naked now than they had been during sex. She had no more secrets for him, nothing he couldn't have guessed. What did he want to know, wasn't it enough to know what he'd done? How much more could he need, why…why wasn't it enough to make him remember. Her jaw clenched and she stared at him.
“I've heard you and Shippou talking,” he said, his tone plain without anger. “I had guessed what I'd done to you, both of you. And I knew…that somehow you'd gotten away from me before I lost myself completely. I'm glad for that, Kagome, because if you hadn't run away…I never would have seen you again.”
Her brow furrowed in confusion and she shifted so that her legs were more comfortable. “I never wanted to come back, Inuyasha. I sure as hell wouldn't have come back for you.”
His smile was oddly sweet, as if he pitied her for her ignorance. “So you sealed yourself away inside the well, a place I couldn't follow. What then? Tell me everything, everything you went through after leaving.”
“What does it matter to you?” she snarled, struggling to free her wrist. He didn't react other than to tighten his grip. She was suddenly furious again; he had no right to know what she'd been through! How she'd pulled her shattered self together, how she'd suffered and sobbed through the nights… He had no right to anything like that!
“It matters to me because it's about you,” Inuyasha shot back. “I can see you as you were…before I hurt you. I want to know why you look at me as if you were drowning and have given up hope.”
Kagome yelped when he released her arm and shoved her so hard that she toppled backwards. Then he was looming over her, trapping her body with his and holding her arms to the ground. For a long moment, she lay still, glaring up at him. Then his expression softened and he leaned close to whisper in her ear.
“Did you grieve for me?”
Her face paled and Kagome shuddered, unable to look at him. “No,” she whispered back. “The minute I left you behind…I forgot all about you. I wanted to forget.” Then she met his eyes and put every ounce of anger and vindictive pain she had into her voice.
“I didn't spend one moment grieving for you!”
“Liar.” He was grinning at her fury and Kagome stared at up him in utter confusion. “If that were the truth, you wouldn't have loved me at all. And I can tell, as you've told me yourself, that you did love me.”
Her lips pressed in a thin line, Kagome closed her eyes. “Yes,” she whispered. “I love…loved you, Inuyasha. I had to make myself forget. Don't you understand? We can only hurt each other, you should forget about me. Forget everything that happened and just go away now. Before its too late.”
Her strength seemed to have left her and the woman she'd spent years becoming would have been appalled at her weakness now. She didn't give a damn about the future, didn't care anymore what became of her. She supposed she could live with the wolves for as long as she wanted, maybe she'd find a village that would take her in. A failed priestess, a woman without a home or family to care for her, she'd find a way to survive.
“It's too late for us,” she said quietly. “I know you don't understand, but I mean it, Inuyasha. Go back to Sesshomaru; find a way to make…make yourself happy. Rin loves you; I don't think you should throw that away. While there's still time…”
I don't want to be with you when you die…
“While there's still time…” His voice trailed off, sounding like an echo of her own. For a long moment he looked at her and then his hands tightened painfully on her arms. “I can't believe Sesshomaru told you.”
Shock went through her body, making her shiver beneath him. “You know?” she asked, her voice as weak and timid as a child's.
Inuyasha snorted. “Of course I know,” he muttered. “Sessh thinks I'm dying, he thinks that because Tenseiga wasn't able to completely heal me.” Then his jaw tightened and she saw anger flash in his eyes. “He shouldn't have told you that!”
“He didn't,” Kagome said quietly. “Rin knows, she told me this morning.”
“Damn it.” His scowl was frightening even if it wasn't directed towards her. “My brother likes to think he's always right, but believe me, it doesn't mean a damn thing. Even he doesn't understand why, that's what bothers him. I always knew what he thought, why he wouldn't tell me anything of the past.”
“Maybe he was trying to protect you,” Kagome murmured.
“And maybe he was just being a controlling bastard,” Inuyasha snapped, clearly annoyed. “But that's Sesshomaru, once he makes up his mind about something, that's it for him.” He looked down at her, still wearing that befuddled and annoyed expression. It made him look so much like the Inuyasha she'd thought she'd known, it made her want to put her arms around him, hold him tight as if he were the last dear thing in her heart.
“You knew about that,” he said slowly, “is that why you let me make love to you?”
Make love? Kagome flinched away from his words, denying them. It wasn't love…it couldn't be love, it was just sex. Her heart didn't enter into it; she wouldn't allow herself to make that mistake again. It was just…she craved him, had never stopped needing him. Maybe because he'd broken her, twisted her sexually with his abuse, made her desires become a living thing she couldn't control. She was weak, she knew it…and she couldn't help but want him, especially if she knew…
“You don't know what you're talking about,” she husked, meeting his eyes and seeing something deeper than desire. She cursed herself silently, for her own confusion, for him being what he was. And damn him, he still wanted more from her. She'd given in to desire again, like a helpless addict for his touch, to feel that flow of darkness in her own veins.
But that was all there was to them…desire and darkness, madness and death. If he kept looking at her like that, she was going to start crying. Now that she'd told him what he'd done, she didn't know what to do. If he wasn't going to go insane and kill her…what possibly did she have left?
“Listen to me,” he said, his voice as soft as a dying man's whisper. “I don't care about the future and I don't give a damn about the past. I can't take back what I've done, but I can't let go of you. I hate myself for it, but I'd rather be damned to hell than let you get away without telling you how I feel.”
“No,” she gasped out, shaking her head wildly. Leaves and twigs from the forest floor tangled in her hair. “I don't want to know how you feel, Inuyasha! I don't want to hear it!”
He was heavy, she couldn't push him away but she knew he wasn't trying to force her, just make her listen. “From the minute I saw you,” he whispered, his lips against her ear, “I knew I wanted you, needed you.”
“Inuyasha, stop it,” she said, her voice rising in desperation. “I can't do this.”
“I wasn't sure at first…”
No, I can't…
His lips moved from her ear, trailing kisses down her jaw until his face was buried in her neck. “Now I'm sure,” he said, her voice muffled against her skin. “I'm sure that you were supposed to come back to me, Kagome.”
Don't say it, no, please don't say it!
“I can't make you stay with me.” His hands were tangling in her hair, she was gasping for breath. Terror was filling her…odd, how she hadn't been frightened before. She should have been fearful for her life, if he'd remembered and become her nightmare. But she was twisting inside, desperate for escape now, because if he said it now…
“I can't make you forget the past,” Inuyasha said, bringing his face up to hers. She could barely meet his eyes, her breath coming in short pants, her heart fluttering like a trapped bird in her chest. “But I want you stay with me, I want you to belong to me.”
“No,” she whispered, her fingers digging into his arms, her legs trembling.
“I'll do whatever you want,” Inuyasha murmured, stroking her face with gentle fingers. “I'll be whatever you want, whoever you want. I'll even apologize to that damned brat if it will make you happy. Hell, I'll apologize to Kouga…as long as he remembers to keep his hands to himself.”
She was going blind from staring into his eyes…it was like looking into the center of the sun. Her soul was withering, dying inside her body and everything Kagome knew about herself was peeling away from the heat. She would disappear for him, become a nothing-shell of a woman, live only for him. She'd never see her mother or Souta again…if they had ever existed.
He pressed his lips to hers, stroked them gently with his tongue, asking for her acceptance. Could she give up what she'd fought so hard for, could she forget everything? That gentle kiss was an assault on her heart, she was too broken, too lost and Kagome knew that they had both gone too far.
“Kagome,” her name was a plea upon his lips. “I love you.”
Darkness swam over her, blotting out the light that scorched her to the bone. Panic filled her then, burning along her nerves like lightning, finally reaching her heart as an explosion that brought her suddenly back to herself. Her hands clawed at his sleeves, frantic, desperate. But it wasn't him that she was saw anymore, for Kagome, there was only darkness and terror.
Blood pooling around her legs, staining the floor…her fingers sticky and pain…pain tearing into her womb, splitting her body open until she offered up her life like a sacrifice. For him…
“No!” Her scream tore the air, a howl of denial that left him staring at her in shock. She fought like he was murdering her rather than confessing his love, struggling, clawing, and biting at him with an irrational panic that consumed every rational thought. Horrified, Inuyasha pulled away from her, ignoring the scratches she aimed at his face, her small hands tearing at his hair.
“I hate you!” she screamed like she was fighting for her life. “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!”
She pushed him back with a sudden burst of strength and scrambled to her feet, staggering blindly, stumbling away into the forest.
“Kagome!” he shouted after her, feeling his heart dying inside of him. She was already gone, even the sounds of her frantic escape fading away as Inuyasha couldn't bring himself to follow her. Instead he knelt on the ground, his claws digging into the dirt and a terrible grief overwhelmed him.
He understood then…he'd lost her, lost her forever and Inuyasha raised his head to stare up at the sky. It hurt…the pain was unbearable and Inuyasha felt the madness suddenly burst from deep inside him, unable to fight it off as despair like clawing black hands took him and he screamed her name once again before falling unconscious.