InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Torrent ❯ Tajiko ( Chapter 15 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
Kagome's soft laughter made him feel even worse. His daughter---their daughter. Tajiko. He moved away from the doorway, trying to see the baby wrapped in the thick blankets and cuddled to Kagome's chest.
“Kagome? I'm so sor---”
She'd said it calmly enough. InuYasha didn't even try to fight it as he slammed into the floor. Pushing himself onto his elbows, he sighed. “I never should have left, and I know it, but---”
Tajiko didn't even flinch.
“I didn't have a choice! Kikyou----”
Her gaze rose for the first time since he'd entered the room. He almost wished she hadn't. The anger burning in her eyes was enough to sear him through. “Osuwari, osuwari, osuwari!”
Sango stepped into the room, careful to avoid stepping on the hanyou plastered to the floor. “Kagome, why don't you let me take the baby? I have a feeling you and InuYasha need to . . . talk.” Kagome let her take the baby, adjusting the blouse to hide herself from his view.
InuYasha sat up quickly, unable to keep his voice lowered as irritation rose to the fore. “Wait! I ain't gotten to hold her!” he hollered after the retreating slayer.
“If you want one of your own,” Kagome bit out quietly, staring at her hands and averting his gaze, “Why don't you have one with Kikyou?”
“You've got better ears than anyone, InuYasha. I know you heard me.”
Cautiously, he sat up, deciding he was better of staying close to the floor in case she decided to use `the word' again. “Will you just let me explain?”
Her head shot up at his softly uttered question, her eyes incredulous, as though she couldn't quite believe that he'd actually asked her something quite so stupid. “Explain what? Why you weren't here when your daughter was born? Explain why you felt the need to run to her when you should have been here? Explain why you think I really should have to listen to you explain? Get out, InuYasha! I can't even look at you right now!”
He stood up slowly, ears flattened against his head, staring at her as she struggled not to cry. She was right, absolutely right. He had no justification to ask her to listen to him. He'd failed her . . . again.
InuYasha stopped in the doorway. “I'm sorry, Kagome,” he said softly before he turned and left. The sound of her sobs in his wake broke his heart. He wanted to go back to her, to make her listen to him. He just couldn't do it. What sort of fool was he?
Four sets of eyes glowered at him as he looked up. Miroku sat by the fire apparently interrupted during a prayer. Hand raised perpendicular to his nose, he stared at InuYasha with an air of censure. Shippou sat beside the monk slowly shaking his head, as though he, too, thought that InuYasha was a fool. Kirara was even showing her disapproval, eyeing him as though she was considering eating him for dinner. Sango held Tajiko against her chest. The blankets covered the pup so thoroughly that InuYasha couldn't even see her hair. He stepped toward Sango. She drew away. “You're a baka, InuYasha! I can't believe you would do something so hurtful, so---so----so---”
Miroku got up and stepped over to Sango's side as Tajiko, sensing Sango's upset, started to whimper. “Calm down, Sango. It's not good for Tajiko or for you.”
Sango pierced Miroku with her glare. The monk backed away slightly. “Take her,” Sango said, holding Tajiko toward Miroku. He accepted the baby as Sango turned to advance on InuYasha, who was irritated enough since he still hadn't seen his daughter as yet. Miroku sank down next to Shippou and put Tajiko in Shippou's lap though he didn't let go of the infant, either. Kirara fell into step beside Sango as InuYasha retreated.
“I can't believe you could be so insensitive! You know how Kagome feels, and you knew that she would be having the baby any time, yet you still have to go running off to Kikyou! What were you thinking?”
Miroku hurried over, putting his hands on the slayer's shoulders, as though trying to placate her. “Sango, darling---”
“Back off, monk,” she growled before jerking away from him to stalk toward the retreating hanyou even more. “As for you . . . .” She stepped up, toe to toe with InuYasha as he came up against the wall. Sango didn't blink. “If you hurt her again, InuYasha, I swear you'll wish you were dead.”
InuYasha flinched. “It wasn't like that.”
Sango sighed though she still looked like she was ready to tear him limb from limb. “Why don't you go meet your daughter then? Since we've all already gotten to do so.”
He didn't miss the blatant barb, and he winced. “She's really cute, even if she does look like you,” Shippou added as InuYasha gently lifted his daughter out of the kitsune's arms.
His friends' voices seemed to fade as InuYasha sank down on the floor with the squirming infant. He nodded slightly when Miroku and Sango announced their departure.
The infant in his arms was a perfect replica, a tiny hanyou that looked like him but smelled like Kagome, and her face was shaped like hers, he thought. Tiny hands with wee claws, small whimpers as she tried to suck her fist. The little ears were soft, silky, and InuYasha had to blink back tears as her eyes opened and she stared at him. “Tajiko,” he whispered, lifting the baby to cradle against his cheek. Her hair tickled his skin. He closed his eyes, holding her close. “I'll protect you, just like I protect your mama.” Tajiko sighed softly.
Kagome hummed a lullaby as she rocked the infant in her arms. `I'd never tire of holding her,' she thought with a small smile. “A whole day old,” she murmured. Tajiko whimpered.
“You ready?” InuYasha asked as he stuck his head in the room. He took the baby so that she could slip into her coat, kissing the softness of Tajiko's cheek.
Kagome laid out another blanket and wrapped the baby in it to keep her out of the cold and followed InuYasha wordlessly through the hut.
The cold of the January morning bit into her cheeks. Kagome cradled Tajiko closer to her and didn't complain when InuYasha swept them both into his arms. “You two okay?”
She nodded. He launched them all forward. They traveled in silence awhile. InuYasha broke it, dropping to a slow walk as they neared the edge of the forest. “She's beautiful,” he remarked softly.
Kagome nodded. “She is.”
He sighed. “Her face looks like yours.”
Kagome didn't answer as a familiar sting erupted behind her eyes. She blinked quickly.
“Kagome, there's something I've got to tell you,” he said slowly as they neared the well.
Something odd in his tone set off a sense of dread. He set her down, and she stepped away, silently waiting for whatever it was he needed to say.
“The day Tajiko was born . . . when I went to see Kikyou . . .”
She opened her mouth to stop him. He shot her a defiant look. “Let me say this.”
Her grip tightened on Tajiko. “Okay.”
He reached out toward her but let his hand fall away, as though he didn't dare touch her. “I wanted to tell you before you found out . . . I brought her back to the village. She's there. She's agreed to take care of things until you're recovered, so you can spend more time with Tajiko.”
Kagome's eyes skittered away. She felt as though he'd struck her. The air whooshed out of her, and she sank down on the edge of the well. Her heart constricted, causing a pain so deep, so piercing that she wanted to scream. Opening her mouth, no sound would come. Closing her eyes did nothing to block the torment erupting inside her. A sense of numbness, emptiness, filled her. There wasn't a trace of anger, no bitterness . . . There was just . . . nothing.
He was talking to her. She could hear his voice but couldn't make out his words. `Words . . . I can't hear him . . . I don't want to hear him.' Eyes raising slowly, locking on his face as he spoke to her. The ice that surrounded and protected her from feeling slowly cracked, broke, bled. “Stop.”
He flinched at the quiet anger in her voice. “Kagome---”
He slammed into the ground, into the snow.
“Don't come after me! Don't you dare! I'm not coming back; I'm not coming back ever!”
Without a backward glance, Kagome jumped into the well with Tajiko cradled safely in her arms.
Tajiko: "Child of silver and yellow color."
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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.