InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Torrent ❯ Cravings ( Chapter 10 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
“You know what sounds good?” Kagome mused suddenly, drawing InuYasha out of the lull he'd fallen into as he methodically sharpened Tetsusaiga's blade. They sat under Goshinboku surrounded by the echoes of the forest. The air was crisp, fresh, and Kagome had to admit that she was always happiest here, in the past.
He transformed the sword back into its old rusty form and dropped it into the scabbard before answering her. “What's that?” he asked, almost afraid to hear the reply.
Kagome stretched out on her side, head propped up on her elbow. “I want a thick, juicy steak, medium rare, with everything!”
InuYasha shook his head slowly. Kagome had never been a huge meat eater. Most of the time, she would eat what he hunted though she had never made a habit of eating lots of it. In the last couple of days since she'd gotten her appetite back, though, she seemed to crave meat, and lots of it. “Kagome? You want I should just butcher a cow or something?” he remarked, only half-teasing.
She giggled. “Nah. It'd go bad too quickly.”
“Is that the only reason not to?”
She looked like she had to seriously consider his question. He sighed, hiding his amusement as he turned his head and looked the other way.
A reassuring sense of satisfaction had settled over him in the last few weeks. Something had been missing from his life had finally been found, and InuYasha had to admit it was a nice feeling. When Kagome curled up against him at night, he couldn't help but feel as though he owned the world. She made everything right, and it was a feeling that he loved. Granted, more often than not, he had to lay awake far into the night, convincing himself that he shouldn't wake Kagome, didn't dare disturb her. Until the last few days, she'd been throwing up too often for him to feel anything but guilty when memories of their one night together assailed him, and to be completely honest, he really didn't know if being with her would endanger the pup or not.
He sighed, staring at her, lying so happily in the shade of the tree. Her skin had regained a healthy glow, and she looked more comfortable than she had in awhile. He could tell from holding her at night that her belly was a little fuller now, a little more rounded. Other than that, though, there were no outward signs that she carried his pup. He supposed she would show it eventually, but for now she looked just like the Kagome he knew so well.
She caught his gaze and smiled. His chest tightened, his body tensed . . . He was doomed.
Pushing herself up on her hands and knees, Kagome crawled forward, wrapping her arms around his neck. With a blissful sigh, she laid her head against his chest. InuYasha kissed her forehead. “Do you want a boy or a girl?” she asked softly, idly toying with the hair on the back of his neck. He shivered. Her touch shot straight through him, and he stifled a low groan.
“A girl,” he answered, murmuring against her hair.
“A girl? Really?”
“What do you want?”
“A boy who look just like you.”
InuYasha made a face. “Keh!” But he couldn't help his smile at her dreamy tone. “Ready to go back yet?”
“Just awhile longer?” she asked, snuggling closer to him. Every afternoon he brought her here, to sit in the shade of Goshinboku and relax, away from the curious eyes of the villagers, away from the constant worry of Sango and Miroku, who seemed to think that they were just as responsible for the pup as InuYasha and Kagome were. It offered Kagome a semblance of peace as she slowly began taking over some of Kaede's responsibilities in the village, and it gave her time to just be herself. She never complained, but there were times when InuYasha could tell that the added miko duties she'd taken on were overwhelming her, and added to the strain of being pregnant, too, the quiet afternoons were something that she sorely needed, and in turn, he selfishly guarded.
Even if he hadn't been completely accepted by the villagers, Kagome had, and that was enough. She accounted for much of the acceptance that he had achieved, and as much as he liked to think he didn't care, the feeling of belonging somewhere was . . . nice.
She smelled too good, she was entirely too close, too warm, too alive. “What are you thinking about?” she asked, her voice quiet, whispering.
He sighed. “Kissing you.” He frowned. He hadn't meant to admit that . . .
Her back stifled, her body went stock still. Slowly she leaned back to look at him. InuYasha could feel the flush sweeping over him. She stared at him, into his eyes. The rise of heat in his veins tempered the edges of caution. He reached for her, gently drawing her to him. Her scent engulfed him as he brushed his lips over hers. Plump, warm, the lure of her mouth compelled him. She tasted like persimmons, ripened in the sun . . . She returned his kiss with a fervor that forced a moan from him, the call of his soul to hers. The world was a bright and shining thing, and Kagome was the sun . . .
He pulled away, leaning his forehead against hers, eyes closed, breath ragged. Cradling her face in his hands, his thumbs rubbing lightly over her lips, he tried to slow his rampant heartbeat. She held onto his wrists. It was a long time before either of them could speak.
“Damn,” he muttered.
Her hands idly rubbed his forearms, and she giggled.
“Kagome!” Shippou called.
She pulled away, eyes snapping wide open as she turned, arms automatically opening toward the kitsune pup that launching himself toward her arms. InuYasha intercepted Shippou before he barreled into Kagome, easily catching the child's head. He struggled in InuYasha's grasp. InuYasha flicked Shippou's nose, stopping the kitsune before he could speak. “Back off, runt. You're going to hurt her if you keep doing that.”
Shippou seemed to reconsider his actions as a flush crept up his face. “Sorry,” he grumbled. “I forgot.”
Satisfied that the kitsune wouldn't do it again, InuYasha let go and sat back, arms folded together under the billowing sleeves of his haori.
“Shippou, what's the matter?” Kagome asked.
Grabbing Kagome's hand and tugging, Shippou let out a whine. “It's Kaede! She's calling for you!”
Something in the youngster's tone, something quiet and almost desperate brought InuYasha straight up out of his slouch. “What's wrong with the old woman?”
Shippou shook his head. “Miroku says there isn't much time.” Probing green eyes shifted to Kagome. She picked up the pup just before InuYasha swept them both up, cradling her against his chest as he launched them all toward the village. “Kagome, what does Miroku mean?”
He could feel her eyes on him, as though she didn't have the heart to tell Shippou what the monk was saying. InuYasha kept his eyes on his path but said, “He means . . . Kaede's dying.”
A whimper escaped Shippou. Kagome hugged him tighter. “Why?” Shippou whined.
Kagome sighed. InuYasha answered before she could. “It's life, Shippou. We all come into the world, we live, and then we die. If we're lucky, we touch a few lives while we're here.”
“Do you really think so?” the kitsune asked.
They reached the village. InuYasha set Kagome back on her feet. She didn't even spare him a glance as she raced toward Kaede's hut. He hung back as Shippou shuffled his feet in the dirt, not daring to look at InuYasha. He could sense, though, that the pup wanted to ask him something. “Spit it out, runt.”
Shippou finally dared a glance up at the hanyou, emerald eyes awash with unshed tears. “Kagome's going to be sad,” Shippou remarked with a shake of his little head.
InuYasha made a face as he sank down on a tree stump. Shippou hopped onto his knee. “Probably, but she understands.” Watching Shippou's chin drop, InuYasha couldn't see his face. He could smell the salt in the kitsune's tears, and he didn't miss the moisture on the small hand that dashed quickly over his eyes. “Don't cry, okay?” he said, his voice gruffer than he meant it to be.
“I'll miss her,” Shippou replied, his voice quaking, trembling. His chin lifted just a little, and InuYasha saw the grim determination on his face. “Youkai don't cry!” he exclaimed though his breathing still faltered.
InuYasha swallowed hard. Shippou's show of bravado was for him, and he knew it. Very slowly, he reached over, patting the child on the back. “It's okay. Youkai don't cry . . . but sometimes friends do.”
Shippou's head snapped up, and he stared at the hanyou. Suddenly, he launched himself at InuYasha's chest, wrapping his arms around him as best he could. InuYasha hugged him back as the child dissolved in tears. He understood how Shippou felt. He remembered how it was, when his mother had died so long ago. Younger than Shippou was now, InuYasha remembered feeling as though he didn't dare cry, didn't dare show emotions. Had he ever cried over Izayoi? He closed his eyes. No, he never had . . .
`It's all right,' he assured himself as he held the weeping kitsune. `Just make it all right for your own pup to cry.'
Eyes glancing up at the heavens, InuYasha thought he saw two clouds shaped like hands. They intercepted one another and then disintegrated into the afternoon sky.
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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.