InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Torrent ❯ Miko ( Chapter 11 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
“Are you all right?”
Kagome peeked over her shoulder as Sango knelt down beside her. Turning her face forward again, Kagome stared out over the calm pond as the shadows of evening fell. It had been a long day. “Yeah, I'm fine.”
Sango leaned down to talk to Kagome's belly. She'd made the mistake before of telling both Sango and Miroku that some people in her time thought that talking to a baby before it was born helped. When they'd found out that she was pregnant, they'd both started putting the practice to use, much to Kagome's chagrin. “And how's the baby today?”
Kagome rolled her eyes but smiled wanly. “We're fine, thanks.”
Sango patted Kagome's still-flat tummy. “Good. We were a bit worried that all the stress wouldn't be healthy for you.”
“InuYasha said as much, too.” She made a face. Argued was a better way to put it. After seeing how upset she was right after Kaede's death, he hadn't wanted her to attend the cremation or burial. Maintaining that it would only upset her more was true enough. Still, Kaede had been a dear friend to Kagome, almost like a grandmother. In the end, she had won the battle, but InuYasha had watched her very closely during the ceremonies, and that had been enough to set her on edge completely.
“I told him I'd rather talk to you alone,” Sango admitted. “You look a little pale.”
“I didn't sleep very well last night,” she confessed.
“Neither did I, if you want to know the truth.”
“InuYasha hasn't said a word about Kaede's death, has he?” Kagome asked.
Sango shook her head. “No . . . he hasn't said anything to you, I take it.”
Kagome sighed. “It's starting to worry me, a little. It's not like him to keep everything bottled up, you know?” She made a face. “He probably thinks I'll fall to pieces or something, if he shows even a little sadness over her death, but Kaede told me . . . she was happy, and she was tired.”
She got up slowly waited for Sango. The two headed back down the small path toward the village in companionable silence. Following Kagome back to the hut that Kaede had left to her and InuYasha, Sango was surprised as Miroku rushed over to them, barring the path and smiling in a vaguely nervous manner. “Back so soon, ladies? I thought maybe you'd decided to go swimming or something. It's a perfect evening for that, after all . . .”
Kagome glanced suspiciously from Miroku to Sango then back again. Sango looked as lost as she was. “I didn't take my swimming suit,” she replied cautiously.
“Houshi-sama, why are you acting so weird?” Sango demanded.
The look of feigned innocence on his face was so transparent they could see right through it. “Weird, Sango? I don't know what you're talking about.”
“Okay, while you guys hash this out, I'm going to go lay down,” Kagome said, pushing past Miroku.
With a hand on the back of her neck, she rolled her head back. She was really tired. As though the last few days had all piled up against her, she was ready to sleep for awhile.
“Kagome! Why don't you come over? You can take a nap while I make some dinner for you, and you don't have to worry about it later,” Sango called out, rushing after her.
“Sango? Why are you suddenly acting so strange?”
Sango grabbed her arm. “You've been so worried, Kagome! Let us fuss over you for one night!”
Kagome pulled away gently yet firmly. “Thanks, but I'm really tired. I don't think I'd be decent company.”
She turned to head up the path to her hut but stopped short as the bamboo mat lifted back and Kikyou stepped out. InuYasha followed, and Kagome felt her stomach lurch as she stepped back in retreat. He said something to her, and Kikyou reached out, touching his hair, his cheek. With an involuntary gasp, Kagome turned and ran.
Plunging headlong into the forest, unmindful of branches that reached out to snag her, of roots that extended to trip her, Kagome bounded on. Without a destination in mind, she floundered away. Somewhere in her mind, she heard voices calling out to her. Choking back a sob, Kagome darted deeper into the forest.
`How could he?'
Pressing the back of her hand to her mouth, stifling the cry that welled up inside, Kagome stumbled forward, unable to stop, as though she could outrun the fears that rose to choke her, the pain that tore at her heart. Catching herself as she tripped over a rock, Kagome stumbled but righted herself and ran faster.
The nights he'd held her, cuddled against him, whispered in her hair, lulled her to sleep as he rubbed her back, the times he'd stolen kisses at odd moments, admitting that it was just because he `wanted to' . . . they were lies . . .
`Making due with the living form, the reincarnation of the one he can't have,' her mind mocked, `you're a fool, Kagome. Such a pitiful fool . . .'
“Stop spinning around and behave yourself! You're making me dizzy, and you're being a pain!”
The little girl stopped running long enough to stare at the little green man with a distinct frown. Then she noticed something over his head, and her face broke into a wide smile. “Sesshoumaru-sama!” she squealed, hopping up and down, clapping her hands with a wide, gap-toothed grin.
Sesshoumaru stepped out of the forest, sweeping slowly toward his vassal and the little girl, Rin. “I trust you fared well, Rin?” he asked, ignoring Jaken, the imp, for the moment.
“I did, my lord!” Rin assured him happily.
“My lord!” Jaken squealed, nudging Rin aside as he rushed to Sesshoumaru's side. “You were gone so long this time! I was concerned for your well-being!”
Rin stretched her lips open with her hands, showing Sesshoumaru a new gap in her top row of teeth. “Ook, eye ord! I oft anodda oof!”
He schooled his features to keep from smiling at the human girl child. “So you did, Rin. So you did.”
“What now, my lord?” Jaken asked, trying to regain Sesshoumaru's attention.
Sesshoumaru stopped suddenly, his head lifting, silvery hair blowing in the late summer breeze. Amber eyes scanning the forest, he narrowed his gaze as he sensed someone approaching. “Stay here,” he ordered as he turned and walked back the way he'd come.
He sniffed the air, drawing a deep breath. `It is her,' he mused. `The miko . . . but there's a different scent to her . . . She smells like . . . InuYasha.'
Sesshoumaru smiled vaguely, no more than a slight lifting at the corners of his lips. `So . . . he's finally claimed her, has he?' His smile faded as he smelled something else, something more subtle, something belying the reek of InuYasha on her. `A pup? And . . . tears.'
She burst into view. Sobbing, barely seeing where she ran, the miko sounded like her heart was breaking. Sesshoumaru moved into her path, caught her by her arms. She gasped in surprise and stumbled back. Sesshoumaru didn't let go of her arms until she had regained her footing. “S . . . Sesshoumaru,” she managed as she swiped angrily at her tears.
“You've left the safety of InuYasha's Forest, miko,” he remarked, tilting his head to the side. “You are not safe here, nor is your pup.”
Kagome shook her head. “It doesn't matter,” she rasped out. “Nothing matters.” Suddenly she dropped to her knees, arms wrapped over her stomach, shoulders shaking as her weeping escalated.
Sesshoumaru stared. He knelt before her, lifted her chin with his nimble fingers. Her tears sparkled, diamonds in the moonlight. For a moment, he understood why his brother would be so bewitched by a human. “He is coming for you.”
More tears filled her eyes as turned her face away. He watched, fascinated, as tears welled up only to fall over, to cascade like jewels from her. Her pain was palpable. The best he could do for her was to sit and wait. She was resigned to the idea that InuYasha would come to get her. It was in deference to her miko power that Sesshoumaru waited with her.
He knew the edicts. Youkai law dictated that he could not interfere, even as tai-youkai. As InuYasha's mate, that hanyou was entitled to do what he would with the woman. Whether she survived or not, ultimately, was in his brother's hands. Though Sesshoumaru had little doubt that the half-breed baka cared for the woman, the pain that radiated from her was telling enough.
InuYasha crashed into the little clearing, swearing under his breath as Sesshoumaru rose to his feet. The miko did not even acknowledge her mate. It was a gesture that was noted by the elder brother. “So you've come for her, InuYasha? Do you care so much?”
“What do you think, you bastard?” InuYasha snarled.
Sesshoumaru moved to confront InuYasha, stepping neatly between his brother and the miko. “I know not. If it was the one carrying my pup, do you think I would let her out of my sight?”
He didn't miss InuYasha's quick grimace. “Baka! Humans are frail, and your miko is no different. If you break her spirit, she will perish. Don't you know that?” he asked quietly.
“Get out of my way.”
Sesshoumaru didn't step aside right away. “Give up on the dead, InuYasha. They make poor bedfellows.” With that, he moved, allowing InuYasha to pass.
InuYasha spared Sesshoumaru a nasty glower as he stalked over to the miko, hunkered down beside her. She wouldn't meet his gaze. “What do you want?” he asked warily.
Sesshoumaru narrowed his gaze on his half-brother. “I was watching over your mate till you saw fit to come and get her,” he pointed out as he turned on his heel to leave.
“Sesshoumaru . . .” InuYasha called after him. Sesshoumaru stopped and turned to stare at his brother, his eyes expressionless, dark. “. . . Thank you.”
Sesshoumaru didn't answer as he turned and disappeared back into the forest.
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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.