InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Torrent ❯ Baka ( Chapter 5 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
InuYasha stared into the black hole of the Bone Eater's Well with a dejected expression and a frustrated sigh. It had been four days since she'd crossed over. Had it been long enough? Not wanting to upset her further, he'd stayed on this side of the well, fully intending to give Kagome time to settle down before he tried to talk to her again.
“If you tell me you weren't with her, I'll believe you.”
He'd known then that he was in trouble. It wasn't so much that he'd gone to see Kikyou, he supposed. More, the timing of it had bothered Kagome, and the hell of it was, InuYasha could understand that. For some reason, she'd always been so insecure when it came to Kikyou, and considering what had just happened before that . . . The hanyou sighed again.
“It wasn't what---”
Kagome cut him off with a weak, incredulous laugh as she turned and snatched up her blankets. “You know? Don't. Just . . . don't.”
Crossing to her, he caught her hand, forced her to look at him. “Listen to me!” Grasping her shoulders as her eyes welled with tears . . . “It wasn't what you think!”
She shook him off, snatched up her bag, and disappeared into the trees, stuffing her blankets into the backpack without missing a step. He'd had to put out the fire before he could follow her, and he when caught up with her, her sadness had been replaced by anger. He was swimming in dangerous waters, and he knew it. “Kagome?”
Her unnaturally soft tone had set off warning bells in his head. “Yes?”
He ignored them. “You were sleeping, and I didn't want to wake you up.”
She choked out an incredulous laugh. “Thanks for thinking of me, InuYasha. I appreciate it.”
“I wanted to tell her---”
A small voice interrupted the memory. InuYasha, for once, was glad for the intrusion. “She wouldn't run home so often if you'd stop upsetting her,” Shippou pointed out matter-of-factly. He ducked over the side of the well to hide. When InuYasha didn't move to grab him, he poked his head up to gawp. “When are you going to go get her? InuYasha?”
“I heard you, Shippou,” InuYasha replied, his ears drooping just a little more. `Damn, baka! How could you be so fucking stupid?'
Miroku shrugged, having seen InuYasha chasing after Kagome as she had made a beeline for the well. “What did happen this time, InuYasha? Kagome didn't even stop in to say hello before she'd gone, and that is strange.”
“I went to see Kikyou,” InuYasha mumbled, half-hoping the monk wouldn't hear.
Miroku grimaced. “Well now, that was foolish.”
“You don't know the half of it.”
“Oh? Do tell.”
“Yeah, I'd rather not.”
“You'd feel better if my made a clean breast of things.”
“And you'd feel better if you minded your own damn business.”
“Ah, but your business is far more entertaining.”
InuYasha shot the monk a fulminating glower. Standing up with a sigh, he straightened Tetsusaiga and drew a deep breath before hopping onto the side of the well. `Prepare to do serious groveling if you have to, baka,' he told himself sternly. “I'll be back,” he called over his shoulder as he dropped into the well. `Hopefully sooner than later.'
Kagome gripped the side of the toilet as she sank back on her heels, eyes closed as her stomach finally stopped churning. Managing to stumble to her feet, she brushed her teeth, scrubbing so hard that it was a wonder that the enamel didn't flake off. A quick glance in the mirror confirmed what she'd feared. She looked half-dead. Skin pale, eyes sunken, deep purple smudges underneath, she could only groan at her reflection before turning away.
`At least now I have an excuse if InuYasha shows up to drag me back,' she thought with a sigh as she pushed out of the bathroom and padded toward the kitchen.
“Feeling any better, Kagome?”
She shook her head miserably as her mother got up and dug around in the cupboard to retrieve the flu medicine. She set two capsules down on the table near her daughter then hurried over to the refrigerator to get a bottle of water. “Thanks, Mama,” Kagome said as she forced down the first tablet. Her stomach lurched again in protest of the cold fluid. She swallowed a few more times for good measure before taking the remaining pill.
Her mother's cool hand came to rest on her forehead, and Kagome grimaced. “You've got a slight fever, dear. You weren't planning on leaving with InuYasha today, were you?”
Hesitating before answering, Kagome made a face and swallowed hard as bile rose again. “Err, no.”
Mrs. Higurashi stopped and stared curiously at Kagome. “Is something bothering you?”
Forcing a wan smile, Kagome took her water and headed for the doorway. “I think I need to lie down again. Thanks again, Mama.”
She'd tried numerous times in the last few days to tell her mother what had happened . . . at least, part of it. With the upset over InuYasha's visit with Kikyou fresh in Kagome's mind, she just couldn't make herself say anything. Then yesterday, when she had finally gotten a better grip on her anger, she'd gotten sick. She set the water bottle on the desk and let herself flop onto her bed with a groan.
`Fine time to get sick, Kagome,' she chided herself as another wave of nausea swept through her. Lying perfectly still helped some. Unfortunately, it also brought on a round of chills. She reached over cautiously, trying to retrieve her blankets without moving too much. It didn't work. Aches, pains, chills, and nausea all hit her, and she bolted off the bed to the trash can, which was the closest thing on hand, and heaved again.
“Kagome, we need to . . . Oi! You're sick!”
Wiping her mouth on the back of a shaking hand, Kagome turned slowly, pinning the hanyou with a dark glower. Her retort was cut off when another bout of retching hit her. InuYasha was beside himself. Awkwardly stroking her hair away from her face, he flinched as her small form shook and heaved. Finally she stopped, dragging in deep breaths as she leaned away from the trash can. InuYasha made a face. “I can't go back yet,” she said, her voice shaking precariously.
“I wasn't going to ask you to,” he assured her. She gestured at the bottle of water on the desk. He handed it over.
Kagome took a swig of water, swished it around her mouth, and spit into the can. With a sigh of relief, she slumped back against the bed, teeth chattering from the still-present fever. She groaned softly, realizing too late that she very likely threw up the medicine she'd choked down in the kitchen. He noticed her discomfort and dragged her blankets off the bed to wrap around her. “Thanks,” she said, careful to keep her teeth from jarring together. “You should go. I don't want you to get sick, too.”
“Keh! You can't make me sick, wench.” His rebellious expression dimmed as he stared at her. She looked away, unable to deal with the concern that had surfaced in its place. “You should be in your bed.”
Kagome shook her head. “C-c-can't m-m-move,” she shivered.
InuYasha carefully lifted her despite her protests and laid her on the bed. After making sure she was covered from head to foot, he stared at her for another moment then grabbed the trashcan and headed out of the room.
`Why does he confuse me so much? One minute he's being thoughtful and sweet, and the next . . .' She sighed. It hurt to think at the moment. Her head throbbed painfully, and she was afraid that if she moved, she'd have to throw up all over again.
Marching back into her room without the trashcan and with an armload of blankets, Kagome couldn't help the small smile that broke over her face as he gently spread them over her. “Better?”
She nodded. “Thank you.”
With a sigh, he sank down on the edge of her bed. Staring at her as though he wanted to tell her something yet was scared to do it, Kagome knew what he was going to say before he even opened his mouth.
“Don't, please?” she begged as she turned her face away. Tears welled up in her heart. They didn't come to her eyes. Maybe she was too used to it, resigned to it. Whatever the reason, her eyes were hot, dry, aching. “Look, I just got done being angry with you, and right now, I don't have the energy to fight.”
He didn't answer but he didn't move, either. He reached up to feel her forehead. “A little warm. How long have you been sick?”
“Since yesterday,” she replied, figuring it was a safe enough subject. “You didn't have to come get me.”
“Keh! You're my mate, remember? Pretty bad if I left you here alone.”
That reminder was something that Kagome didn't need. Tears sprang to her eyes, and she blinked hard to stave them back. `He's probably regretting that,' she thought wryly. `How would I like it? To be stuck with the reincarnation of the one that I . . . Don't finish that thought.'
“Anyway,” he went on, as though he was trying to figure out something neutral to say, “we can stay here as long as you need to.”
Another wave of nausea hit though it wasn't quite as bad as the others. She moaned softly. InuYasha flinched. “Are you warm enough?”
She didn't answer. Eyes drifting closed and cosseted in the feathery down of sleep, Kagome gave in to sleep.
He stared at her for a long time. He'd really done it this time, hadn't he? In the past she'd always forgiven him, not that there was anything to forgive. He'd tried to explain it to her so many times, but Kagome just didn't want to listen, and he always ended up feeling like a baka for it.
But this time . . . `If only she'd let me explain,' he thought with a disgusted frown.
She had fallen asleep so quickly, she looked so happy, so content . . .
When Kikyou's Shini-dama-chuu had swooped into the clearing, InuYasha hadn't actually considered following them, at first, but the longer he stared at Kagome's peaceful face, the more he had realized that he wanted to see Kikyou, for Kagome's sake, so that the tranquil look she had at that moment would last forever . . .
He'd carefully untangled himself from her, hating to lose the warmth, the contact of her body against his. `She'll be fine,' he assured himself as he dressed. `She's strong . . .'
Sparing a second to kiss her cheek and move her bow and arrows closer, InuYasha ran after the soul collectors, drawn to Kikyou's barrier.
“InuYasha! You're looking well.”
He didn't smile at the miko but it was a close thing. Strange how things had changed over time. There used to be a time when InuYasha would have given his soul, would have chased Kikyou to hell, if it would have saved her or offered her some measure of comfort. Now when he looked at her, he saw a friend; someone who understood the boy he was and knew him for the man he had become. “Kikyou.”
“It's been a long time. How are you?”
The melancholy blue light of Kikyou's barrier shadowed everything with an eerie glow. “Not so bad.”
Kikyou slowly nodded. “How is Kagome?”
“She's good.” The leaves of the trees in the barrier didn't move; as though everything was suspended---as though time, itself, had stopped. “Is there something you needed?”
Kikyou frowned, staring down at her hands before she dared to look at him. Finally she did, and her expression was sadder than he could remember. “Kaede . . . Kaede is dying. Kagome is needed there. They need a miko, and Kagome . . . I think it's her place. This is what Kaede wants, why she's trained Kagome from the start.”
Two soul collectors dove in low, dropping souls into Kikyou's body. InuYasha nodded slowly as he watched their serpentine bodies float away, never near but never far, either. “Kagome agreed,” he said without clarifying.
Kikyou looked shocked for a moment, as though it was something that she hadn't expected. Then she smiled wanly, sadly, and nodded. “Was there ever a question of whether or not she would?”
InuYasha let out a deep breath. He hadn't realized he was holding it in . . . “I wondered.”
Kikyou's smile widened, and she stepped forward to brush a kiss over his cheek. “All is as it should be, then. Congratulations, both of you.”
He turned to go then stopped but didn't look back. “Goodbye, Kikyou.”
He almost missed her answer. “Goodbye, InuYasha.”
With a start, InuYasha blinked and glanced around at the feminine bedroom. Everything was neat and orderly, just like Kagome, herself. The stench of her sickness still lingered in the room but was overshadowed by her more vibrant scent.
He had to find a way to get her to listen. Kikyou was a friend---just a friend. Kagome . . . Kagome was his mate.
Tilting his head to the side, InuYasha frowned as he stared at her face. Being sick for the last two days had taken its toll on her. Her already slender wrists looked even smaller, her eyes sunken slightly, skin frighteningly pale. He leaned in closer to feel her head. Her temperature seemed to be normal again. Why did she still look so sick?
He shook his head. He didn't really know anything about human illnesses. He never got them, so he hadn't worried about them, other than once, when Kagome had gotten sick, but she was strong. She'd be fine, right?
With a tired yawn, InuYasha stretched then carefully lay down next to her.
Maybe she'd feel better in the morning . . .
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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.