InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Purity 9: Subterfuge ❯ Faith ( Chapter 214 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
~~Chapter Two Hundred Fourteen~~
~Faith~


-OoOoOoOoO oOoOoOoOoO-

'I've been loving you ...
'For such a long time, girl
'Expecting nothing in return
'Have a little faith in me …'

-'Have a Little Faith in Me' by John Hiatt.

-Evan-


"Did you tell her all about Papa?"

Evan nodded and crunched on a carrot.  "All of it, yup."

"Hmm," Gin drawled, her cute little hanyou ears twitching around.  They always did, like they were always looking for disruptions in the mansion she called home.  "And that didn't work?"

"Nope.  She still thinks it's some kind of elaborate hoax on my part."

Gin blinked and shook her head in very obvious confusion.  "But you don't lie," she said, as though it were a foregone conclusion.

"I know, right?" he said in a tone of mock-wonder.  "She's a tough nut to crack, Mama."

"And you showed her what you look like without your concealment?"

He nodded slowly.  "She thinks it's all some kind of trick."  Reaching for another carrot, he grinned suddenly.  "Maybe I should tell Bubby to show her his dick.  After all, ain't no human alive with a pecker that big . . ."

Gin gasped then giggled, reaching across the counter to flick Evan with a kitchen towel as her cheeks shot up in flames.  "Evan!" she chided though the overall effect was lost when she tittered out a laugh.  "I can't believe you said that!"

Evan leaned away to avoid the snapping towel as his grin widened.  "I can't believe his schlang is that big!  Damn, I've got penis-envy!"

"Maybe your father can talk to her," Gin went on, her cheeks darkening despite the smile on her face.

"Don't think I don't know that you're trying to change the subject, Mama," Evan pointed out.

"Yes, I am," she agreed.  "There are just some things that your mother doesn't want to talk about, and that's one of them."

Too bad Evan was never one to leave well-enough alone.  "Did he get it from Cain?"

Gin made a wheezing sound and actually managed to darken a shade or two.  "Your father is a very tall man," she informed Evan in a somewhat strangled tone, "and he's very well proportioned."

Evan choked back a laugh.

"What are you two talking about?" Cain asked as he shuffled into the kitchen.  Glancing at Gin and then over at Evan, he arched an eyebrow and didn't look overly amused.  "What did you say to your mother this time?"

"Nothing much," Evan replied, picking up a celery spear to munch on.  "Just wondering if Bubby got his entirely enviable penis from you or her."

Snapping his mouth closed on whatever retort had been forming, Cain snorted indelicately and reached across the counter to take a swing at Evan's head.  He missed when Evan leaned away but didn't fight Gin when she planted her hands in the center of his chest to push him back a step.  "No fighting in my kitchen," she reminded them calmly.

"Twisted little ass-monkey," Cain grumbled just before giving Gin a reassuring squeeze.  "And stop trying to embarrass your mother."

Evan chuckled and crunched into the celery.  "Sorry, Mama," he said, sounding anything but contrite.  She smiled at him, though, and all was forgiven.

"Evan was telling me that Valerie doesn't believe him," Gin said, stepping away to retrieve a huge slab of roast out of the refrigerator.  "I don't understand . . . I mean, why would he lie about such a thing?"

It was pretty obvious in Cain's expression that he wasn't really surprised in the least, but he didn't say as much to Gin.  "You'll figure it out," he said to Evan as he reached into the pot and nabbed a carrot, too.  "Let me know if there's anything I can do to help."

"Get out of the vegetables, Cain Zelig," Gin said without turning away from the opened refrigerator.  "If you eat them all before they're cooked, then there won't be anything with the pot roast—such a shame if I can't eat any of them . . ."

Rolling his eyes at Gin's very blatant sarcasm, he shook his head as he watched Evan pop the rest of the celery into his mouth.

Evan straightened up.  "Well, there is one thing," he said, dusting his hands together before reaching across the counter to pull the colander of potatoes over.  "Hand me that knife, will you?"

"Use your claws," Cain countered mildly but did slide it across the counter.  "What's that?"

"Well, I haven't asked V yet, but I was thinking.  Would you mind if we had the wedding and reception here?"

Cain blinked, looking momentarily surprised.  "Uh, of course," he said, breaking into a little grin.  "Just try to keep your mother from stressing out over it, if you would."

Evan nodded.  "Of course . . . but are you guys sure that the baby's due when you say?  I mean, it looks like she's got a basketball under there . . ."

"Make her cry, and I'll kill you," Cain said mildly, under his breath so that only Evan would hear him.

"I am pretty round, huh?" Gin commented with a giggle as she kicked the refrigerator closed and hefted the roast onto the counter.

Evan held up his hands and chuckled.  "You're beautiful, Mama."

She positively beamed at him.  "You're such a sweetie!  I'd love for you and Valerie to get married here!  In the garden or maybe down by the beach . . .? Oh!  How about on that cliff that overlooks the ocean?  It's so beautiful up there!  You could get married in the gazebo . . ."

Evan quickly sliced up a potato and reached for another one.  "I'll talk to her about it.  She might be looking for someplace indoors, though, but I figured I'd clear it with you before I offered it to her."

Cain nabbed a bit of potato and popped it into his mouth before Gin could stop him.  "Just let us know."

"Oh, hey," Evan said suddenly, setting the knife on the cutting board before turning to face his father completely.  "How do you feel about getting your hands dirty, Cain?"

"Depends on what you have in mind, and I'd prefer it if you'd call me 'Dad' . . ."

Evan ignored the second half of  Cain's droll comment.  "I bought that lighthouse," he said instead.

Cain nodded.  "I know."

"Yeah, well, I hired some people, but I want to have the place livable—at least, enough for V and me—by the time we get home from our honeymoon, so I thought that the more hands, the better, so to speak."

Cain considered that for a moment then nodded.  "All right," he agreed.  "I'll talk to Bas about it—you did hire a licensed contractor, right?"

Evan chuckled.  "Yes, Cain."

Cain nodded and gave Gin a quick kiss on the cheek.  "Okay.  Like I said, I'll see if your brother can't help out, too.  Maybe Kurt though I don't know how much help he'd be . . . and Gavin when he gets here . . ."

"Jiijii could help, too," Evan mused almost idly.

Cain snorted.  "Let's pretend you didn't say that or don't you remember that your . . . InuYasha tends to break more things than he ever fixes."

He shuffled back out of the kitchen, and Gin sighed.  When Evan glanced at her, she was smiling.  "What's the matter?" he asked, arching an eyebrow when she sniffled suddenly and ducked her head against her shoulder to wipe away a tear.

Shaking her head quickly, she barked out a rough laugh, blinking rapidly as she met Evan's gaze, as her smile widened.  "It seems like you're getting along better with your dad; that's all," she said.

"Why?  Because I asked him to help out with the lighthouse?  That's not really 'getting along better' . . . That's just me, using Cain for his body."

"Oh, I like to do that, too!" Gin said then gasped at the implications of what she'd just said.  Then she giggled.  "Be that as it may, you're still asking him for help, and I know that it means a lot to Cain, too."

Evan wasn't entirely convinced, but if it pleased his mother, then he figured it was all good.  Now, if he could just convince Valerie, he might well be one step ahead of the game . . .


-Valerie-


"Evan tells me that you don't believe that he's youkai."

The talk around the huge Zelig dinner table ceased abruptly, forks halting mid-air, heads turning to stare at Valerie, who slowly set her fork down and shot Evan a withering look.  She wasn't sure if it bothered her more that he, alone, kept eating, as though it was the most natural thing in the world, or that Gin, the one who had said it, had uttered her question in much the same tone as someone who might be asking about the weather.

"W-Well, the whole thing is a little far-fetched," Valerie remarked, unsure why, exactly, she felt as though she needed to choose her words carefully.

"Do you think so?" she asked with a little giggle.

Across the table from her, InuYasha grunted something and leaned toward Kagome to whisper in her ear.  Valerie frowned.  Grandparents?  'Ri-i-i-ight . . .'

"He . . . he said that all of you are youkai, too," she ventured with a disbelieving shake of her head.

"Oh, I'm sure he didn't," Gin said, her laughter escalating as she shot Evan an indulgent smile.  "I'm not youkai!  Papa isn't, either . . ."

Valerie's breath escaped in a whoosh as a sudden sense of relief washed over her.  Fast on the heels of that, however, was a strange sense of melancholy, though she didn't stop to dwell upon that, either.  "You've got a strange sense of humor, Evan Zelig," she heard herself saying.  "I knew that—"

"I'm hanyou, just like Papa!" Gin exclaimed.

"What does that—?" Cutting herself off as a sharp gasp escaped her, Valerie pushed away from the table abruptly, causing the strange triangular things that had somehow appeared atop Gin's head to flatten, just like . . .

"D-Dog ears . . .?" she blurted, staring at Gin's head in wide-eyed shock.

Cain's fork hit his plate in a clatter.  "This is going well," he muttered, slowly shaking his head.

"They're cute, right?" Evan chimed in, grinning at Valerie.  "Jiijii's got 'em, too."

Cain heaved a sigh and waved a hand at Evan.  "You really stink at this, Evan," he pointed out.  "Valerie, it seems like he's done a bad job at explaining everything to you, so—"

"Now, Cain, I take exception to that," Evan interrupted.  "I explained it all very well.  She is just having a hard time believing it."

"Even so . . ."

"Oh, for the love of—" InuYasha growled, only to be brought up short when Kagome tapped him in the middle of his chest with limp knuckles.

"I'm sorry, Valerie.  Why don't you and Gin and I go in the other room and have a little chat?" Kagome said, smiling encouragingly.

Valerie wasn't entirely sure that she wanted to comply, but she nodded once, shooting Evan a dark look before following the other women out of the dining room.  Very definite sounds of scuffling, followed in short order by Evan's laughter, trailed after him, and she sighed.

"I can only imagine what that scamp told you," Kagome said as the three of them sat down.  "He's always been a little outrageous—Is that the right word?"

Valerie nodded and sighed.  When she caught Gin's gentle smile, she grimaced.  "I . . . I don't know," she began hesitantly.  "I don't think that he's really ever lied to me, and . . . and it seems so farfetched, I just assumed it was all a joke.  I mean, non-human beings?  That's just not . . ." Shaking her head, she sighed.  "It's not possible."

"Yeah, I can understand why you'd think that," Kagome replied with a laugh.  "I didn't think so, either, even when I first saw InuYasha, pinned to Goshinboku by a sacred arrow.  He had those same cute little dog ears, just like Gin—all of our children have then, actually—because he's hanyou—half-youkai, half-human.  I guess it might have been easier for me to accept since I'm Japanese, and we tend to be a little more open to these kinds of things, but still . . . Tell me, Valerie.  Exactly what parts of the things that Evan has told you do you find the hardest to believe?"

Drawing a deep breath, Valerie shook her head.  "All of it," she admitted quietly.  "He says that some of them live for hundreds?  Thousands of years?  But . . ."

Kagome smiled as she reached over to pat her hands.  "I'm ninety-two," she said, her smile widening when Valerie's eyes shot up to meet hers.

"I'm almost seventy," Gin quipped for good measure, "and Zelig-sensei is three hundred twenty-eight—but he doesn't like to hear it out loud," she added in a stage-whisper.

Digesting that for a moment in silence, it just didn't make sense in her head.  It was insane, wasn't it?  Having their ages laid out to her like that while she was sitting there, staring at the both of them . . .?  It just wasn't possible . . . It couldn't be possible . . . Could it . . .? "But . . . What are you, then?" she asked.

Kagome laughed, but it wasn't an unkind sound.  "I'm human, just like you are," she said.

"H . . . How . . .?"

"Well, for me, it was different . . . Did Evan tell you about the Shikon no Tama?"

Valerie shook her head.  "I don't think so."

Kagome nodded, as if something made perfect sense to her.  "When I was a girl—on my fifteenth birthday, actually—I was helping my brother look for our cat in an old well house on our family's shrine grounds, and somehow, I was dragged into it—through it.  I ended up five hundred years in the past, and that's where I met InuYasha.  It turned out that I was the reincarnation of a priestess who had spent life protecting the Shikon no Tama—the Jewel of Four Souls.  An evil hanyou named Naraku deceived the priestess, Kikyou and InuYasha into believing that each had attacked the other, and even though they were in love, she pinned him to the Sacred Tree with her arrow, where he was suspended in time, neither alive nor dead, for fifty years—until the day I fell through the well and released the seal that bound him."

She paused here with a sigh, reaching over to smooth Gin's hair lovingly.  "Shortly after that, Kikyou died from wounds that she thought InuYasha had inflicted upon her, and when she was cremated, she was supposed to have taken the jewel with her into the afterlife.  When I was born five hundred years later, the jewel was inside my body, but during the struggle with the youkai that had dragged me into the well in my time, the jewel was torn free.  InuYasha destroyed that youkai, and a few days after that, I . . ." She grimaced.  "I accidentally shattered the jewel.  We had to travel all over Japan to recover the shards, and, in the end, we defeated Naraku.  After that, I made a wish and purified the jewel, and the souls of the priestess Midoriko as well as the youkai that were trapped inside it were released.  Youkai have a ritual called marking—it's basically a blood exchange that will allow your human body to live out your life in your mate's time instead of yours—but back then, it was done in a pretty harsh way.  A youkai had to cut open his mate and drain her blood then do the same to himself to give it back, and InuYasha . . ." She laughed and gave Valerie's hands another reassuring squeeze.  "InuYasha couldn't do it.  He couldn't bring himself to hurt me.  Midoriko did it for him."

"Nowadays, it's a very simple process," Gin hurried on to say, probably because Valerie was feeling a little faint, and it likely showed on her face.  "Think of it as a blood transfusion."  She suddenly smiled brightly.  "My brother, Kichiro refined the process."

Valerie shook her head.  "If all of this is true, why didn't he tell me sooner?"

"The thing is," Kagome went on, "Evan couldn't."

"What do you mean, he couldn't?"

She didn't miss the glances that Kagome and Gin exchanged.  There was something to it, something darker or uglier or even more frightening, and for some reason, Valerie wasn't entirely sure she wanted to hear it.

"The youkai back in InuYasha's time didn't hide what they were, and why should they?  They were stronger, faster, more resilient than humans.  They could take injuries that would kill a human and heal within a day or two—less if it wasn't that severe—but when humans invented gunpowder, all of that changed.  Humans were able to fight back, and the ones who had secretly feared and hated the youkai started to kill them off en masse.  It got to the point that the lesser youkai were easily destroyed—clans of them, wiped out . . . Entire families, whole villages, all gone until only the strongest remained.  Then InuYasha's older brother—"

"Half brother!" InuYasha interrupted from the dining room.  "Half brother, half bastard."

Kagome rolled her eyes and almost smiled—almost.  "Half brother," she amended, "made the reset of them hide what they are, convinced them that, in order to survive, they should hide their true natures and blend in with humans, and it's because of this that they have managed."

Staring at her hands, gnawing her bottom lip, Gin glanced at Kagome then at Valerie.  "And then three years ago, my niece—well, or my granddaughter, whichever you prefer—was captured and forced to endure what they called 'testing' in a laboratory—That's what the humans said it was, anyway.  They did terrible things to her—awful things . . . unspeakable things . . . evil things, all because they'd accidentally found out about youkai, so now, until you're sure that the one you're with is your true mate, we're not allowed to tell anyone, not even family, if it came to that." Those little ears of hers drooped as she slowly shook her head.  "I'm sorry, Valerie.  I wish that we could have told you sooner."

It . . . It made sense, didn't it?  The things that Gin and Kagome were saying . . . Put into a story with that kind of context, it made more sense, and yet . . .

Kagome sighed.  "It's a lot to swallow, isn't it?"  Then she laughed.  "I might have thought that InuYasha was crazy if he had told me all of this, if I hadn't seen it all for myself," she admitted.  "You don't have to believe Evan right away, but maybe . . . maybe you could try to believe him a little bit at a time?"

Valerie tucked her hair behind her ear as she tried to process everything she'd been told.  The whole thing was beyond insane; common sense told her that much.  Still, weren't there things in life that were so absurd that they had to be real?  She frowned.  Okay, that would be pushing it, though, wouldn't it?  "It's just so . . ." She shrugged as she trailed off, like it was the only real response she could give.  "So . . . unbelievable."

Gin seemed to be lost in her own thoughts, and suddenly, she hopped up and ran back into the dining room again.  She was back a moment later, all but dragging her husband along behind her.  "Come on, Zelig-sensei!"

"What are you up to?" he asked in a tone that indicated that he was simply humoring her.

Gin paused long enough to pin him with a brilliant smile.  "I've thought of the perfect way to convince Valerie that we're telling her the truth!"

He arched an eyebrow.  "And what would that be?"

Gin giggled happily and grasped Cain's arm again.  "You've got to show her your big dog!"

Cain choked.  "My . . . what . . .?"

"Your big dog!" she repeated.

"Holy shit, Cain's gonna do what?" Evan exclaimed as he hurried out of the dining room.

"Over my dead fucking body," InuYasha growled, following fast on Evan's heels.

Gin blinked and glanced at the two men in a blank sort of way.  "What's the matter?"

Evan snorted.  "It's pretty damn obvious to me that there's been enough of the whole show and tell thing around here already," he blustered, waving a hand in Gin's direction.

"Shut the hell up, baka!" InuYasha grumped, swinging a fist at Evan's head and missing when the latter ducked away.

Gin still didn't seem to quite grasp what Evan was alluding to.  "But there's more than enough room outside," she insisted.   "Oh, come on, Zelig-sensei!  It's been too long since you've showed him to me!"

"Not that long," Evan muttered with a grin.

"Though I told you to shut up!" InuYasha snarled.

"We could play fetch!" Gin suddenly exclaimed, clapping her hands and looking entirely too happy about the idea.

"Yep . . . just toss the ol' dog a really big stick," Evan added for good measure.

"I really should have drowned you when you were born," Cain muttered but not before a healthy blush suffused his cheeks.

"I shoulda let you," InuYasha growled.

Gin giggled.  "Of course you'd never have done that!"

Cain didn't look very reassuring, and Valerie wasn't entirely sure that she blamed him for that.

"Oh!" Kagome exclaimed, hopping up and insinuating herself between InuYasha and Evan rather neatly.  "You didn't tell me how you proposed!"

The question was enough to make Valerie groan softly as she buried her face in her hands.  Evan, jerk that he was, broke into a wide, smarmy grin.  "Well, obaa-chan, I guess I could tell you if you really wanna know . . ."


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A/N:
twitter.com/Sueric Fanfics
'
'Have a Little Faith in Me' by John Hiatt originally appeared on the 1987 release, Bring the Family.  Copyrighted to John Hiatt.
== == == == == == == == == ==
Reviewers
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MMorg
CandyEars ——— ninjagurl512 ——— sutlesarcasm
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Midcat ——— sydniepaige ——— HisEveryThing
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Final
Thought from Valerie:
Cain's … wha-a-a-at …?
==========
Blanket disclaimer for this fanfic (will apply to this and all other chapters in Subterfuge):  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.
~Sue~
Chapter 213
Chapter 215
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