InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Torrent ❯ Spontaneity ( Chapter 3 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
InuYasha stared over the top of the cards in his hand, trying to read Kagome's expression well enough to tell whether or not she was bluffing.
“Come on, InuYasha . . . I'll have gray hair before you ever make up your mind,” she goaded.
“Keh!” he snorted, eyes shifting back to his hand again. `Three sevens and a pair of fives. . . a full house. Not a bad hand to stand on . . .' He pushed half of his stack of matchsticks into the middle of her sleeping bag.
Kagome lifted her eyebrows in silent question. “You sure you want to do that?”
“Show your cards, wench.”
She giggled. “You first.”
InuYasha laid down his cards with a smug grin.
Kagome clucked her tongue. “Sorry, InuYasha. Looks like you're washing the dishes tonight.”
He snatched the cards out of her hand. “You cheated!” he growled, staring at the four kings she held.
“Stop being a sore loser,” she retorted, snatching the cards out of his hand and scooping them together to put them back in the box. Heaving a long-suffering sigh, InuYasha scooped up the few dirty items and stomped over to the stream.
Taking care to roll up the sleeves of his haori so that they didn't end up soaked in the process, InuYasha made a show of washing the plastic plates and chopsticks. Kagome's soft laughter sounded behind him. He turned to look back at her. She had gathered her things for a bath, and she looked happy enough as she sank down on a boulder beside him. “Care if I take a bath?” she asked.
He didn't answer right away, instead concentrating on rinsing the pan and shaking the excess water from it. “Didn't you just have a bath yesterday?”
Rolling her eyes at the surly question, Kagome grinned. “Yes, I did, but it's been hot today.” She made a face, wrinkling her nose as she pulled the clingy cotton blouse away from her skin.
He stood and deliberately sniffed the air near her. “You smell fine to me,” he remarked, “but if you don't trust the one with the nose, then knock yourself out.”
Kagome watched him go, her mouth hanging open even as her cheeks burned. Gaze narrowing on the hanyou's proud back, it struck her again, how strangely he'd been behaving ever since they left his mother's grave.
“Do you want some privacy?” she asked, hesitating, touching his shoulder as he stared down at the violets that grew so thickly over the small mound of dirt.
When he didn't answer right away, Kagome turned to leave. He probably wanted some time to himself, she figured. He caught her hand and gently pulled her back. “Stay? She feels a little closer, when you're here.”
At a loss for something to say, Kagome simply nodded. Slowly, as though he expected her to shove him away, he slipped his arm around her. They stared at the grave, both lost in thoughts of their own . . .
`It was his idea to play cards, too,' she recalled with a frown. Normally scoffing at her `human' games, she'd been only too pleased to have the chance to do something to break up the monotony of another evening spent brooding that she hadn't questioned it at the time.
Making quick work of removing her clothes, Kagome slipped into the cool water with a blissful smile. Nothing ever felt as good as a bath after a long day of traveling. Maybe it was a simple pleasure, but it was one that Kagome relished.
The water only reached her hips in the center of the stream. Minnows nibbled at her toes as Kagome lathered her hair. She giggled softly as she wiggled her feet, sending the tiny beings skittering away only to return when she stopped moving. The sun was sinking fast on the horizon, and her fingers slowed their scrubbing as she stared in appreciative wonder at the diversity of the colors streaking across the sky. She didn't remember seeing a sunset quite like this back in Tokyo . . .
A measure of her contentment peeled away. `You don't have to do it,' the voice in her mind said. `Do you really want to leave him? What about today? You have to admit, he didn't seem like he was thinking about Kikyou at all today.'
She blinked back a few shampoo-induced tears. That's what she told herself brought the moisture to her eyes, anyway. She dived under the water, swimming slowly as she rinsed her hair. She could feel the lather rising out of her hair, washing away all the dirt and filth with the ebbing current. `If only it were so easy to cleanse my heart.'
`I can't stand it,' she thought as she surfaced, lungs burning. She gasped, dragging in a deep breath of air. Tossing her hair back off of her face, Kagome wiped her eyes and letting her hands drag in the water as she stared at the setting sun again. `I can't stay here and watch InuYasha choose Kikyou. I can't stand to see him go with her to hell . . .'
`No matter what kind of appearance you have, Kikyou . . . I don't think I'd be repulsed, or hate you.'
She closed her eyes against his words, the ones that she'd heard so long ago. Maybe he hadn't realized that she was there, that she could hear him, but she had, and the memory of it had haunted her for a very long time. `Stop feeling sorry for yourself, Kagome!' she chided herself sternly. `You swore you'd enjoy your last couple of days here, before you go back home.'
Deliberately taking her time with the rest of her bathing, Kagome methodically scrubbed her skin until it was pink. With a wan smile, she watched the suds drift away down the stream. Finally she turned with a sigh and waded back toward the shore as the irony of the situation finally hit her. With a smile that looked more like a grimace, she sighed, toweling herself off and quickly dressing again. She's been gone a long time. If she stayed away any longer, InuYasha would probably come looking for her.
She gathered up her things and headed back toward the camp. Dusk settled around her, the subdued whispers of night falling over the forest. The faded shadows seeped into one another, a continuous flow of one form into the next. The rising pulse of the forest surrounded her, the night creatures that didn't sing in the daytime. She alone stood out, a solitary glow, bathed in her miko's aura.
Three years of her life had all come down to just two days and the dawning of the full moon.
InuYasha stared up at the full moon riding low in the sky. He frowned, unable to point a finger at the unsettling emotion. It welled up inside him, always seeming to coincide with the nights of the complete moon . . . nights like tonight. For the longest time, he'd been careful. When he had first realized the implications of it, he had avoided being around Kagome. As far as he could tell, she was the only one who affected him this way. He'd never had urges around Sango. With a guilty grimace, he realized that had never felt that way around Kikyou, either.
Hadn't he realized that the full moon was close before they left on this trip? He sighed softly. He must have forgotten. A vague smile broke over his features, the glimmer of fangs in the thin blue light. Or maybe he hadn't forgotten at all.
His mother's voice had been silenced long ago. InuYasha knew this. Yet somehow, he had heard her today. `This girl . . . Fight for her. She's the one, InuYasha . . .'
Something primeval surged in him, calling Kagome's name, begging to go to her. InuYasha stifled a moan as her scent came to him. The feelings ascended, spiraling upward, centering somewhere deep inside, something that wanted to possess her. As badly as InuYasha wanted to find shelter in her heart, this other part of him wanted so much more. Love, lust, ownership, submission all warred within him, all centered on her.
She spoke to his heart, his soul. She was everything he wasn't. Perhaps he wasn't introspective and wise like Miroku. Maybe he was too volatile and too quick tempered. But Kagome was his balance, his center. She leveled out his shortcomings. `Take her!' a voice in his head hissed.
He didn't need to see her step into the clearing. He knew she was there. He knew her by scent, knew her by sound; knew her heart, knew her soul. `You want all of her,' his mind whispered.
He fought it. `Not this way!'
`She wants you, too---you know she does. You've smelled it on her. She's ready.'
`I . . . no . . . She's special . . . she's Kagome.'
The voice was silent a moment, as though trying to find a way to refute InuYasha's arguments. `Have it your way, then, but if you don't act quickly, you'll lose her.'
`Shut the fuck up! That won't happen!' He growled low in his throat, trying in vain to stave back the other voice.
Kagome's words echoed through his head. They hurt. `. . . I think after this, when we go back to the village . . . I think it's time for me to go home.'
“InuYasha? Are you all right?”
Her voice soothed him, plucked him out of his turmoil. He blinked and forced a smile for her. Clad in a pair of what she called `boxer shorts' with a large tee shirt over that, Kagome was bright and glowing, and obviously ready for bed. He sighed.
She fluttered around the campsite like a moth around a candle flame. InuYasha stared from the cover of half shadows. The argument they'd had the night before came back to him. He closed his eyes, bracing himself for her answer and said softly, “Kagome?”
Straightening her back from her task of putting things in her back pack, she turned to face him with a smile. It might have fooled someone else. It cut InuYasha, mocked him. If she thought that he believed her, she was wrong. He knew that sort of smile. She was trying to make him happy even though it was destroying her inside.
“When you said you were going back home . . . you didn't mean that, did you?”
Her smile faltered, and she sighed. Sinking down on her sleeping bag, Kagome stared into the fire, the flames dancing in her fathomless eyes. The jovial light did nothing to dissipate the sadness of her aura.
InuYasha flinched. She meant it. Of course she did. The last traces of doubt left him as a cold finality sank in.
He shot to his feet and stalked forward, pacing the ground, prowling, circling. His eyes didn't leave her. If she felt his gaze, she gave no sign as she continued to stare into the licking flames.
“Promises don't mean a fucking thing to you, do they, Kagome? Nice words when you need them? Tell the half-breed what he wants to hear? Is that it?” he bellowed.
She shook her head slightly as her aura flared, protecting her. “That's not it, at all.” She shifted her gaze, stared at him through eyes glazed with sadness. “I meant it then . . .”
He hunkered down in front of her, desperation forcing him to reach for her. Holding her upper arms in his hands, her skin warm, vibrant under his touch, he wouldn't let her look away from him, wouldn't let her hide. His gaze raked over her face, the heat in his stare trapping her. “And now? What's changed?”
Her bottom lip trembled, quivered. A tear hung from the corner of her long eyelashes. “Everything!” she rasped out, her voice choked with unshed tears. She shook her head, stubbornly clung to her tainted beliefs. “I can't be what you want. I'll never be Ki---”
His body reacted before his mind could protest. Before she could say it, the one word that would escalate the tension, he dragged her into his arms, against his chest, against his heart, against his lips.
== == == == == == == == == ==
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.