InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Torrent ❯ Hidden ( Chapter 6 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
InuYasha stared at Kagome as though she had announced that she was flying to the moon and was set to blast off in the morning. “What?”
Kagome sat on her bed, hands folded in her lap. Her cheeks were deep pink, and she refused to meet his gaze. “Please, InuYasha. Can we not tell anyone just yet?”
Reining in the perverse desire to smash something, InuYasha drew a deep breath and pinned Kagome with a frustrated glower. “Let me get this straight: you're my mate, and you don't want to tell anyone this, including your mother . . . for how long?”
She shrugged almost imperceptibly. “Just give me time to get used to it.”
He wanted to argue with her, but she still didn't look very well, and InuYasha didn't have the heart to upset her any further. For the last week, he'd been reduced to standing by helplessly as Kagome had gotten sick over and over again. “Okay,” he agreed though he looked anything but happy about it. “For awhile, anyway, but only for awhile.”
Her smile was wan but from the heart. “Thank you.”
He relented, sinking down beside her. Pushing her hair back out of her eyes, he sighed. “You're sure you're feeling better?”
“Yes, I am,” she assured him. “Anyway, I'm sure that the others are wondering where we've been. It's about time we went back, don't you think?”
“Thought you were staying here forever.”
“Thought you said you'd come after me if I tried.”
He stared at her for a moment then shook his head. “You remember too much.”
She flopped back on the bed, staring up at him through half-closed eyes. He blinked in surprise as he stared at her. Did she realize what sort of vision she presented to him? `Baka. Of course she doesn't.'
“If you don't want me to go back with you,” she said slowly, “then I can always stay here.”
He growled. The idea of her remaining in her time didn't sit well with him at all. “Oh, no, you're not getting off that easy. We've got work to do.” Catching her hands and dragging her to her feet, Kagome looked slightly ill for just a second before she got herself back under control. “You okay?”
With a tight smile, she nodded, retrieving her monstrosity of a backpack before she headed for the door. “I'm fine. Stop worrying, will you?”
He didn't follow right away. Something was still wrong with her. He snorted. The trouble was that he'd heard a few rumors of a dark youkai presence not far from the village. He had wanted to check into it when they went back. Miroku said that the villagers had mentioned that some of their livestock had been disappearing of late. If Kagome was still sick, though, there was no way he was taking her anywhere that had the potential of being dangerous.
He could leave her with Sango, he supposed. Miroku, the slacker, hadn't done much of anything since getting married. The lecher probably didn't have the fight in him anymore. `I'll put the fight back into that useless monk,' InuYasha decided as he strode out of the bedroom. `See if I don't.'
“Kagome, we've been so worried!” Sango said as she hugged her friend. Kagome squeaked at the unexpected show of affection but hugged the youkai exterminator back. “What did he do this time?”
With a rueful grin, Kagome sighed and shook her head, determined not to lay her troubles on Sango's shoulders. Besides that, she really wouldn't have any idea where to start. “I wasn't feeling well,” she said instead. It wasn't a complete lie; she had gotten sick. Actually, she still felt a little queasy. That she had managed to hide it from both InuYasha as well as her mother, though, made her feel a little better.
Sango stared at Kagome with a thoughtful frown. “You've lost weight,” she said in an accusing tone. “Don't deny it, either. You didn't have much to spare, in the first place.”
“I had the flu,” Kagome remarked, hoping that Sango would let the subject drop.
She was saved as Shippou bounded into the hut, hurtling himself into Kagome's lap. “Did you bring me anything?” The young kitsune stopped abruptly and sniffed, suspicion filtering over his features. “Why do you smell like InuYasha?”
She could feel heat creeping over her skin. Kagome forced a bright smile and a happy tone. “What are you talking about?”
Shippou sniffed again. “You smell just like him, Kagome! If I didn't know better, I'd swear you were him.” Kagome dug into her backpack and produced a spinning lollipop for the kitsune. Shippou squealed in delight and ran off with the treasured treat, calling back over his shoulder, “Thanks, Kagome!”
Relieved to have ended that line of questioning, Kagome turned just in time to catch Sango's calculating stare. She schooled her features and waited for the gauntlet to fall. “What did Shippou mean?”
She fidgeted under the youkai exterminator's probing gaze. “Hmm? About what?”
Sango wasn't buying Kagome's feigned preoccupation as the miko dug around in her bag for something. “About your smell.”
Kagome squelched a groan. Sango was too good a youkai exterminator not to realize the implications of Shippou's words. “Well, InuYasha did take care of me while I was sick,” she said, feeling lame and knowing that Sango could probably see right through her words.
Sango sighed and shrugged. “You'll tell me the rest of it when you're ready, right?”
Kagome leaned forward and removed the lid on the pot of food. The smell tantalized her. She'd not eaten much of anything in the last few days, and her stomach rumbled loudly at the impromptu reminder. She blushed as Sango giggled. “Sorry about that.”
The exterminator dished up a bowl and handed it over. “Glad you like my cooking.”
Kagome breathed in deeply with a dreamy smile on her face. Suddenly, though, the smell turned bitter in her nose. With a smothered gasp, she set the bowl aside and stumbled to her feet and out of the hut. Barely managing to reach the tree line before she fell to her knees, Kagome retched piteously.
She hadn't realized that Sango followed her until she felt the soothing hand on her back. “Kagome? You're still sick? Do you need to go back home?”
Sinking back on her heels, Kagome drew a stunted breath and wiped her mouth with the back of a shaking hand. “No . . . I'll be fine . . .” Turning to stare at her friend, Kagome flinched at the unmasked concern evident in Sango's expression. “Please don't tell InuYasha. He's already worried enough, as it is.”
“All right,” Sango agreed slowly as she stared at her best friend.
Kagome nodded, trying to ignore the questions awash in Sango's eyes. She hadn't had to speak them out loud for Kagome to understand them. `Kagome, are you really fine? Can't you tell me the truth?'
“I could be in my nice, warm bed with my nice, warm wife right now,” Miroku pointed out for the fifteenth time in ten minutes. InuYasha rolled his eyes and stared up at the stars. They'd spent the entire day searching for the youkai responsible for stealing the villagers' livestock, and Miroku was in a bad mood because of it.
InuYasha, himself, wasn't in a much better one, though his was caused by something completely different. “Enough, already, lecher! Shut up and go to sleep.”
Miroku sat up at that, stabbing InuYasha with a pointed scowl. “I'll have you know I haven't `lech'ed' anyone since I got married.”
“Once a pervert, always a pervert,” InuYasha shot back
“I'm a changed man.”
“Right,” InuYasha scoffed. “And I have fleas.”
A sudden sting on his neck made InuYasha slap himself. “Ow!” Myouga the flea youkai moaned pathetically and came away with the hanyou's hand. Miroku turned away with a marked grin. “Shut up, monk.”
“I told you,” Miroku gloated.
InuYasha shot to his feet and stomped away from the camp. He'd promised Kagome he wouldn't let the monk bait him. She'd be furious if he gave in to the very real urge to knock Miroku down a few pegs. “Where've you been hiding?” he asked Myouga, turning his wrath on the flea instead.
Myouga jumped out of his hand and lit on his shoulder, edging closer and closer in his bid to sneak a meal. “I've not been hiding! You wound me, InuYasha-sama!”
InuYasha snorted and let the flea-youkai fall from his palm. “I'll wound you, all right. What do you want, anyway?”
Myouga hopped back onto InuYasha's shoulder and managed to draw more blood before he was slapped again. “Ungh!”
“Is it really worth being flattened just for that?”
“InuYasha-sama . . .”
“You taste different.”
InuYasha hopped up into a tree just outside the ring of light. “How's that?”
Myouga gave up on his plight to steal a meal since he'd only get flattened for his efforts, making himself comfortable, squatting on the hanyou's knee instead. “I don't know. Your father's taste only changed after he'd mated, and . . .” The flea trailed off, eyes narrowing suspiciously as InuYasha turned his reddening face to the side. “InuYasha-sama? Have you and Kagome-sama----?”
“Say it and die, Myouga!” InuYasha snarled.
“But this is cause for great celebration! Oh, what a happy day! Tell me, when did this happen?”
InuYasha gave up. It didn't do any good trying to keep this sort of thing a secret, anyway, especially from other youkai. They just knew. “Two weeks ago.”
“Two weeks ago, how nice! Two weeks ago . . .” Myouga trailed off and shot to his feet, staring at InuYasha in something akin to astonishment. InuYasha glared. “Two weeks ago? On the full moon? You . . . did you?”
Uncomfortable talking about this sort of thing with anyone, let alone a busybody like Myouga, InuYasha growled before answering. “What does it matter, when? It happened; that's all.”
Myouga hopped onto InuYasha's prayer bead necklace. The hanyou had to cross his eyes to see him in the darkness. “It matters, Lord InuYasha! It matters much more than you know! Unlike full youkai, who choose to produce their young at will, hanyous like you are different! In order to protect the blood lines, hanyous are only allowed to impregnate their mates at certain times!”
He had a feeling he wasn't going to like where this little talk was leading. On the other hand, InuYasha also had the feeling that this was something he'd really better listen to. “What are you saying, Myouga?”
“Your period of vulnerability, InuYasha-sama! Yours is the---” Myouga cut himself off, glancing side to side as though he feared being overheard. Satisfied that no one was listening in, the flea-youkai continued, “---new moon . . . On such a night, you and your lady would produce a human child, like her. The other time is the lunar opposite for you, and the resulting child would be a hanyou, like yourself.”
It took a few minutes for InuYasha's numbed brain to absorb what Myouga had just told him. “No . . .” InuYasha said slowly, shaking his head in denial even as the torrent of memories of that night flooded over him. The lure of the full moon . . . the words he couldn't understand . . . True enough, full moon or not, he would have claimed Kagome anyway, but this . . .
“Congratulations, InuYasha! You're going to be a father? Remarkable . . . I always imagined it would be me, first, though it hasn't been from lack of trying . . .”
Stifling a groan, InuYasha dared to peek down at the ground where the voice had originated. Slowly, deliberately, InuYasha dropped out of the tree and advanced on the monk, hand resting on the hilt of Tetsusaiga. “Tell anyone about this, monk, and I swear I'll slice you to bits.”
Miroku's eyes widened, and he grinned though he did very slowly back away from InuYasha. “I would think tidings of this nature would please you! They don't?”
“Keh!” InuYasha snorted, stalking slowly forward. “Considering I haven't gotten to tell Kagome yet, and you know first? And considering she wanted to keep the entire thing a secret for awhile? Well . . . hell no, I'm not pleased!”
Understanding dawned on the monk, and he lifted his hand perpendicular to his nose, closed his eyes, and bowed. “I see. My lips are sealed, then.”
InuYasha glared at Miroku for another moment before letting his hand drop away from Tetsusaiga and stomping back over to the fire. Miroku followed behind, a strange smile lighting his expression. InuYasha chose to ignore it. “Can I at least tell Sango?” InuYasha started to rise up from his crouch, raising his fist and glowering. Miroku relented, holding up his hands in an admission of defeat. “You win; I tell no one.”
Only then did InuYasha relax. For all his faults, Miroku always kept his word. He sighed. `How the fuck am I going to explain this to Kagome?'
A sudden image of his child, running through the village, playing with other children made him smile. The villagers had slowly begun to accept him. They'd already accepted Kagome. His child would have that, at the very least.
His smile faded at the idea of telling Kagome what he'd just learned. He couldn't quite muster the bravado to tell himself that Kagome wouldn't be angry. She'd be angry, all right. He grimaced. He'd be lucky if Kagome only got angry. No, he knew---just knew in no uncertain terms that he was going to die . . .
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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.