InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Torrent ❯ Pain ( Chapter 23 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]

~~Chapter 23~~
“What the hell took you so long?” InuYasha asked as Kagome stepped through the door. She set the bucket of water near the fire and studiously avoided looking at him. “Kagome?”
She didn't answer and instead poked at the dancing flames with a marked frown before glancing over to the corner where the last of the wood that InuYasha had brought in earlier was stacked. “I need more wood,” she said, her voice vague, as though she was lost in thought. She stumbled back out the door as Miroku helped Sango stand.
“Would you tell Kagome I think it's time?” Sango asked, her voice strained as she clenched her jaws together. Miroku helped her into the extra bedroom.
InuYasha followed Kagome outside, gently taking the wood from her as he stared at her. “Sango thinks it's time.” He paused, frowning as Kagome's eyes stared at the ground, her expression carefully blanked. “You were gone awhile. Did something happen?”
Her eyes finally locked with his, storm clouds gathered behind the smoky depths. “Nothing's wrong. Everything's fine.” He frowned at her clipped tone. “Sango needs me . . .”
There was something wrong with her. He could feel it.
“Can I do anything?” he asked as he pushed back into the hut.
Kagome straightened up from pouring water into the large kettle. InuYasha stepped over and took the heavy thing from her. “I'm going to check on Sango.”
She stopped and turned back toward him but didn't look at him. “Yes?”
He stared at her for a long moment. “You'd tell me if something bothered you, right?”
Her smile was thin, weak. A quick flash of something ugly, of some accusation that she wouldn't give voice to flitted over her face. “Of course I would,” she said before disappearing into the bedroom.
InuYasha frowned. She was lying.
“What's the matter with Kagome?”
InuYasha sank down next to Shippou. “I don't know,” he replied. `Why was she looking at me like that? Like I've done something to her?'
Miroku sighed as he stepped out of the bedroom. “Well, gentlemen . . . we're in for a long night.”
“Here he is, Sango! He's washed and warm and beautiful!” Kagome said, blinking back tears as she stared into the tiny face of the newest member of the family. She handed the baby over to his mother, careful to keep him wrapped in the warm blankets.
Sango sobbed happy tears as she cuddled her son in her arms. “Oh!” she wailed, “He looks like Houshi-sama! My little Kiyoshi!”
Kagome rolled her eyes and kissed the baby's head. “I'll get him for you.”
“Thank you, Kagome.”
Weary to the bone yet feeling completely invigorated, Kagome opened the door. Miroku shot off the floor, his face peaked and drawn but his eyes bright. “You want to meet your son?”
“A . . . a son?” Miroku waited to hear no more and hurried past Kagome into the bedroom.
“You look exhausted,” InuYasha remarked, unfolding himself from his perch beside the door. “Why don't you go lay down? I'll bring Tajiko to you when she wakes up.”
Kagome stared at him then nodded, vivid memories returning like something ugly from a nightmare. She swallowed the bile that rose in her throat and turned on her heel to walk away.
In the quiet of her bedroom, she sank down, staring once more at the burns on her hands. The blisters had popped earlier. She'd ripped a towel to bind them. The throb in her flesh was nothing in comparison to the ache in her chest. `Why'd he give these to me? Kikyou made them . . . if he knew that they could hurt me . . . why?'
She drifted back to that day, to that moment under Goshinboku. “InuYasha? What is it?
Nothing. I just like how it looks on you.”
Was that the reason he hadn't been able to look at her? Because he'd known? Because . . . Kikyou . . .
Closing her eyes against the pain that welled inside her, Kagome lay down, curled into herself, seeking a comfort that couldn't be found, sought reason beyond the lies that she knew.
Sesshoumaru's words twisted around her heart, drawing more blood with the vindictiveness of a knife, “But you wonder, don't you? In the night when he reaches for you with his dirty hands, with his miserable intentions, you wonder if you are but a dim substitute in his mind for the one he cannot have. He willed you to come, to bring back his dear Kikyou. His soul called to yours, and you, silly human girl . . . you answered. Think you that everything is arbitrary? That everything happens on accident? You are not a fool, Miko. How could you not know this?
How could Sesshoumaru be right? How could he know? And how could she have been so wrong about herself, about her choices, about . . . InuYasha?
Naraku's vines shot out from his body, wrapping around her, squeezing her. “Die, miko! You'll never defeat This Naraku!
“Kongousouha!” InuYasha slammed down his sword, shooting the blast that blinded everyone, countless sparkles firing through the air, raining down like tears from the sun
Diamond spears shot out of Tetsusaiga, piercing through Naraku, the villain who wouldn't die. “You fool! InuYasha, bow to me!
Fuck you, Naraku!” InuYasha snarled, “Let her go, you bastard!
InuYasha!” she screamed as Naraku's tentacles dug into her flesh. Dangerously close to losing consciousness, Kagome struggled for lucidity.
Kagome! Hold on!
“Kazaana!” Miroku yelled, unwrapping his hand, standing firm as he drew in countless saimyoushou, the venom closing in on him quickly. Bits of Naraku broke away, and finally the runner that held Kagome gave way. She flew through the air only to be intercepted as InuYasha caught her and the manufactured wind stopped. Miroku dropped to his knees, weakened by the poison flowing in him. “Defeat him, InuYasha!” Miroku gasped. “Before it's too late!
InuYasha set Kagome on her feet near the monk. “Are you okay, Kagome?
She nodded despite the white-hot pain that still gripped her stomach. “I'm fine!
Fiercely staring at her, as though he could see through her lie, he nodded once and turned back to face Naraku again.
“Hiraikotsu!” Sango yelled, unleashing the giant boomerang at Naraku. “Kohaku!” The boy gasped then disappeared. Naraku absorbed him, his evil laughter echoing through the air, in her ears . . . “No!”
The solitary figure across from them stood, her hair blowing loose in the breeze, her body alive with spiritual energy. “Kikyou,” Kagome whispered.
The time has come, Kagome,” Kikyou spoke in her mind. “Now we banish the evil . . . Two women, one soul . . . Two arrows, one mark . . .”
Kagome snatched an arrow from the quiver on her back, nocking it back, aiming for the spider mark, for Naraku's one weakness . . .
The arrows whistled as they flew. They melded into one, they merged, Kagome's pink energy absorbing Kikyou's blue. In a white flash the arrows struck, and the world exploded . . .
“Kagome? Kagome! Wake up!”
“No . . .” she moaned softly, her head jerking from side. “Naraku!”
“Shh,” InuYasha soothed her, holding her against his chest, against his heart. “Naraku's gone. You were dreaming.”
Slowly the room faded as the white light diminished. She was lying on her futon with InuYasha's arms around her. The memory of him hugging Kikyou after the battle flashed through her mind. He'd whispered to her, smoothed back her hair. Kagome had turned away, looking for the nearly complete Shikon no Tama . . . and holding back her tears.
“I'm okay,” she heard herself say, her voice oddly steady despite her turbulent thoughts.
He didn't let go. She pulled away. “How long did I sleep?”
“Couple of hours. You still look tired.”
She swung her legs off the bed and stood. He grabbed her hand, and she winced, jerking back.
He stood. “What's wrong with your hands? What are you hiding?”
Her gaze pierced him, looked right through him, scorched into his brain. “You know,” she said in a flat voice. “You put them on me . . . You let her do this.”
She tried to ignore the confusion in his expression, steeled her resolve against the uncertainty in his gaze. “What are you talking about?” he spat, indignant frustration etched into his countenance.
“These,” she said, flicking the beads with her hand. He had to strain to hear her words. “What sort of curse did you put on me?”
“Curse?” he echoed. “What the hell are you talking about? Those are to protect you.”
“From what? Why did they burn Sesshoumaru?”
Golden eyes narrowed in suspicion, staring at her, unblinking. “When did that bastard touch you? What the fuck---”
“Last night. He wanted to tell me something, and---”
“And what? What the fuck did he say?”
She sighed. “He said the beads are cursed, InuYasha. He said they're cursed, and he said that you knew. You let Kikyou curse them.”
“What? She wouldn't have! She made them to protect you!”
Kagome gasped. She figured that Kikyou made them. To have the information verified though hurt more than she'd bargained for. Her quiet tone wavered, the control over her upset nearly at an end. “Sesshoumaru was right.”
“What the hell did that bastard say to you?”
She waved a hand to cut him off. “Does it matter?”
“Yes, it does.” He caught it and pulled off the makeshift bandage, his breath hissing into his lungs when he surveyed the damage. “What happened?”
She jerked her hand away, flinching as the raw flesh scraped against his claws. “Ask Kikyou, why don't you? I can't lift these over my head. This is what happened when I tried.”
“She wouldn't have put a curse on them! She wanted to---”
Kagome had heard enough. InuYasha had seen for himself what Kikyou's beads had done to her. The proof was there, on the palms of her hands, the burns that the beads left behind. “How can you defend her? How can you stand there and tell me that she never wanted to do anything but protect me? There is nothing to protect me from, don't you see? Don't you care?
Catching her arm as she tried to run, InuYasha whirled her around, made her face him. He gripped her arms, not tight enough to hurt her but firmly enough to make her stay. “Kagome, I didn't . . . I swear I didn't . . . She said they would protect you; that's all . . . Do you believe I would . . . ?” he trailed off, eyes widening in shock as he stared into her face. “You do, don't you? You believe I'd let Kikyou hurt you?”
His hands dropped from Kagome's arms. She slowly walked to the door but stopped before she opened it. She choked back a sob, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand, and her voice was rough, raw, when she spoke. “I don't know what to believe anymore.”
He closed his eyes against her words. When he turned around, she was gone.
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Kiyoshi: The quiet one
Kongousouha: Diamond Spear Blast.
Kazaana: Wind Tunnel.
Saimyoushou: most-fierce victory, literally. In reference here, Naraku's poison wasps.
Hiraikotsu: Sango's huge boomerang.
Note on Kongousouha:
InuYasha Manga scroll 325: Kongousouha
InuYasha Anime Episode 157 - Naraku o Tsuranuke Kongousouha (Blast Through Naraku, Kongousouha)
Roughly translated, Kongousouha means” Diamond Spear Blast”.
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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.