InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Torrent ❯ Izayoi ( Chapter 2 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
“Who's there?” Kagome called out. Her voice wasn't loud but she was proud of the way that it hadn't faltered. Tightening her grip, she stood her ground as irrational anger flared somewhere deep, dark, hidden. How dare someone try to sneak up on her, and who was it?
“And just what the hell are you planning on doing with that pathetic stick, bitch?”
The branch fell out of her slack fingers as Kagome blinked in surprise. Her heart sped up to dizzying speeds as InuYasha stepped out of the forest, scowl in place and face shrouded in shadows. Kagome masked her surprise quickly enough and willed her heart to slow. “Kikyou isn't here,” she said. Her tone wasn't angry or bitter. It was matter-of-fact.
“I wasn't looking for Kikyou. Have a little faith in me, will you?”
Ruthlessly, Kagome squelched the tiny flicker of hope that kindled at his confession. Refusing to meet his irritated stare, she lifted her face to the sky, eyes closed, and breathed deep. “I'm a big girl now. I don't need you beside me every second of the day. I know you want to go to her. Don't stay here because of me.”
“Keh!” InuYasha scoffed, eyes branding her flesh, cutting into her soul like a razor-sharp knife. “You didn't even think to bring your weapon, Kagome, and you say you don't need me?”
Sinking down on the rock she had just vacated, Kagome sighed. “I don't want to argue with you anymore,” she mumbled, knowing he would hear her despite her low tone.
“Come on,” he said, his voice lowering in accordance with hers. He took her hand and tugged until she stood. “It's late and you're tired.”
Pulling her hand away, she obediently followed InuYasha as he led the way back to their campsite. The fire had burned low in their absence. Kagome lay back down, staring idly at the glowing coals. InuYasha sank down behind her, leaning against a tree. He was right. It was late, but she couldn't sleep. With sleep always came the nightmares . . .
Flopping over onto her back, Kagome stared into the sky. Countless stars dotted the heavens high above. Despite her bleak thoughts, she smiled. “Have you ever wondered what it would be like to fly?” she asked quietly.
“Keh. I thought you said before that in your time men can do that.”
She ignored the gruff answer. She'd expected as much. After being with him for nearly three years, first during the quest to find the shards of the Shikon no Tama and then later, she was used to his inability to say much of anything in a decent tone. It didn't bother her. It only made the few times that he let his guard down that much more precious to her. “Not like that . . . I mean really fly . . . with wings, like a bird. Sometimes I wish I had wings . . .”
Turning her head to gaze at the hanyou, Kagome gasped softly at the look in his eyes: an unspoken need, a hidden desire, a wish for things that were better left unsaid. At that moment, at least, he felt it, too. She didn't need to hear him to know what he said to her. `I'll be your wings, Kagome . . . if you'd let me.'
It was harder to swallow the lump that rose in her throat as she forced her gaze back up to the skies. The nearly full moon rose in her heart, and suddenly she wished she was fifteen again, with the wonder and the excitement, even the fear that she'd experienced the first time she fell into the well. `A wishing well . . . you were the coin.' She sighed and dared another look at her companion. He, too, was staring at the moon with a strange longing in his expression. `What's changed?' she asked herself. `When did you stop believing in InuYasha?'
She shook her head and blinked back the telling mist that gathered.
She never had stopped believing in him. `I stopped believing in . . . me.'
He wasn't sure when the difference in her scent signaled to his mind that she slept. As gently as she did everything in her life, Kagome had simply and quietly stolen away into slumber. In what had become one of his favorite pastimes lately, he scooted closer to her, tilted his head as he stared down at her, a near-smile on his face. `She's like an angel when she's sleeping,' he thought, his eyes soaking up every curve, every contour, every ridge, every hollow of her face. `Her heart is so much like . . .' His smile widened. “Mother's.”
What would Izayoi have thought of Kagome? If she had lived, would she have thought that Kagome was as special as he did? Would his mother have seen the things in her that InuYasha knew were there?
She shifted, unconsciously edging toward him. The subtle movement brought her scent closer. He closed his eyes and nearly moaned as it washed over him. Engulfing his heightened senses, tempting him with that underlying scent, the fragrance of her that shot straight through him, slamming him with desire so strong that he'd have to leave her to escape what she did to him, just to find some sort of release. It used to be that a decent swim in a cool pond would do the trick. Lately, though, that hadn't been working, either. He'd smelled that scent more and more often lately, emitting from Kagome like an invisible lure.
She had matured. He frowned. Did she know that?
`Baka! How could she know that? She's not youkai or hanyou. She doesn't know any of that because you haven't fucking told her,' his conscience pointed out ruthlessly.
`She's Kagome. She always knows! She knows me,' he argued.
Still . . .
`You didn't even tell her why you're traveling this time.'
He shifted almost nervously. That was true, he had to admit. He hadn't told her anything. He'd just caught her arm and told her to grab her bag shortly after the wedding. In normal Kagome fashion, she'd asked no questions and had simply ran inside, fetched that monstrosity she called a backpack and had cheerfully hugged Sango then kissed Miroku's cheek before hugging Shippou tight. With a wave and a smile, she hopped onto InuYasha's back just before he pushed off the ground.
With a sigh, InuYasha recalled the conversation he'd had with Miroku the day before the wedding.
“What do you want from her, InuYasha?” Miroku asked as he sat near the small fire in the middle of Kaede's hut.
“Keh! What are you talking about?”
Miroku's look told InuYasha that the hanyou was being obtuse because he could. The monk wasn't far wrong. “You know what I'm talking about. Haven't you noticed anything . . . different . . . about Kagome of late?”
“Different, how?” he asked grudgingly. Sure, he'd noticed how quiet the young miko had been. He thought he'd been imagining things. If Miroku had noticed, though, meant that there really was something to the observation.
Miroku shrugged and flexed his hand, staring with a small smile at the perfect skin where his kazaana used to be. “Almost like she's wishing for something, or waiting for something.”
He'd thought as much, himself, he had to admit. Since he hadn't been able to figure it out, though, InuYasha grudgingly asked Miroku, “Something like what?”
With a shake of his head and a soft sigh, Miroku made a face. He started to get up and paused long enough to leave InuYasha with his parting shot. “For having been so adept at hunting Naraku and seeking the shards, InuYasha, your ability to interpret Kagome's needs really sucks.”
InuYasha sighed as the memory faded. Kagome's needs . . .?
His gaze shifted back to the sleeping woman. What, exactly, did she need?
Kagome paused in rolling up her sleeping bag and smiled as she glanced up at the hanyou. He was pacing around, as though he was in some sort of hurry to get going. She rolled her eyes but grinned. He was always in a hurry, wasn't he? “Just about. Let me tie this, and I'll be done.” Her smile faded, and she frowned as she stared at him. “InuYasha? Are you all right?”
“Keh!” he snorted. “Why wouldn't I be?”
She shook her head slowly as she deliberately took her time tying the string around the rolled-up bag. There was a certain fatigue around his eyes, as though he hadn't gotten much---if any---sleep. “You just look tired, is all.”
There was something else on her mind, he realized. Her overly-pleasant tone told him as much. He squatted down to look her in the eye. “Out with it.”
`Did you wait till I was sleeping to sneak away to see Kikyou?' Her head didn't move but her eyes shifted to look at him. She swallowed so hard that he could hear it. “I was just worried.”
He stared at her for a few moments while she continued to tie the sleeping bag. “You're lying,” he said softly. “I know you are.”
She didn't deny the charge. “I'll stop when you do.”
“What the hell does that mean?”
She shook her head and sighed. “I don't want to argue, InuYasha.” Brushing off her hands, she stood and stuffed the bedroll into the backpack. She didn't need to look at him to know that he was furious. Irritation radiated off him in violent waves. She ignored it. “Are you hungry? Do you want me to fix something for you before we go?”
His answer was long in coming, as though he had to control his temper before he trusted himself to speak. “No, thanks.”
“Where are we going, anyway?”
InuYasha picked up her backpack and slung it easily over his shoulder. “I wanted you to . . . meet someone.”
Kagome frowned. “Who?”
“Just come on, will you? We ain't got all day.”
Staring at his back as he marched away, Kagome ran to catch up with him. He was behaving strangely. Come to think of it, he'd been behaving strangely since he'd dragged her out of the village days before. She made a face as she fell in step behind him. It wouldn't do any good to try to get him to answer. The hanyou brought new meaning to the word `stubborn'. His back was straight and proud, and he didn't even spare her a glance as they walked, but Kagome didn't doubt that he was completely aware of their surroundings. She knew better.
Still the questions remained. The look on his face just before he'd turned away, when he'd said that he wanted her to meet someone, was enigmatic, full of emotion that for a moment, she hadn't known what to say. Then he'd reverted back to his usual gruffness, and the moment had been lost.
Just who did he want her to meet?
The meadow was quiet, still, broken only by the occasional flutter of wings as birds took flight. Kagome breathed in the scent of the wildflowers that blanketed the land. “It's beautiful,” she whispered, trying not to break the serenity that soothed her.
InuYasha smiled almost sadly. Kagome missed the expression. “She's over there.”
Kagome turned to gaze in the direction InuYasha had indicated. A lone tree stood in the midst of the meadow. Under the tree was a thick blanket of violets. “I don't see anyone,” she said slowly.
InuYasha walked away. He didn't look back to see if Kagome followed. `He's sad,' she thought as she slowly started after him. “InuYasha?”
He stopped and waited for her. She took his hand and squeezed it gently. “Why'd you bring me here?”
For once, he didn't make a sarcastic comment. Eyes bright, shining, he stared at her. Finally he licked his lips nervously and cleared his throat. “My mother . . . she's buried here.”
Kagome shook her head slowly. “But why would you---?”
He sighed, cutting her off, and he suddenly pulled her close. “I just wanted to.”
`Don't pull away, Kagome,' her heart pleaded. `Just keep this, this moment. Let me keep it . . .'
“She'd have liked you,” he said softly, staring over her head. “You're . . . a lot like her.”
Kagome pulled away but didn't let go of his hand. He sighed softly, understanding the things that she didn't say. She knew that she was his friend. Friendship was simple to give, and yet it never really seemed like it was quite enough, either. The things that she didn't understand remained unvoiced, unnoticed, forever ignored. It was simpler, wasn't it, to pretend that certain things didn't exit. Admitting to anything made it feel a little too real, and being forced to deal with those things . . . She couldn't, or maybe she simply didn't want to.
InuYasha tugged on her hand, asking her in his own way to stay with him.
`His mother's grave . . .? He doesn't talk about her that often . . . why did he bring me here now? What does it mean? Does it mean anything at all?'
Slowly, in companionable silence, the two walked up the hill to the flower-covered grave.
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Blanket disclaimer for this fanfic (will apply to this and all other chapters in Torrent): 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.