InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Torrent ❯ Recrimination ( Chapter 24 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
`She doesn't believe you.'
InuYasha pushed off the ground, scanning the skies for any signs of Kikyou's Shini-dama-chuu. `Damn it, Kikyou . . . where the fuck are you now?'
He lit on the ground and pushed off again. Where was she? What had she done?
The memory came back to him, fresh as if it had just happened. Had Kikyou said anything? Something that he'd missed? Staring at the beads Kikyou slowly dropped into his hand . . . “What is it? What's it for?”
“It will protect her. It will keep her safe.”
“What do you mean?”
“Kagome is mortal, and mortals are frail. Surely you don't wish to lose her too soon, do you?”
What the hell was she thinking? How could she believe that he'd ever let her be harmed? She ought to know better . . . she was his heart, his mate, his life. He would die for her . . . and she would believe Sesshoumaru? Why?
The look on her face had hurt him . . . Her anger, her sense of betrayal . . . her quiet voice as the pain swept through her . . . “He said the beads are cursed, InuYasha. He said they're cursed, and he said that you knew. You let Kikyou curse them.”
He hadn't known; didn't she see that? Kikyou wouldn't have hurt Kagome, would she? “What? She wouldn't have! She made them to protect you! What happened?”
Always her soft voice, always the sadness in her tone, always the accusation in her eyes, and always---always---the torment deep inside . . . How had he lost her belief in him? “Ask Kikyou, why don't you? I can't lift these over my head. This is what happened when I tried.”
He flinched as his own words came back to tear at him. He'd chosen to defend Kikyou over Kagome. He'd defended his past over his present. “She wouldn't have put a curse on them! She wanted to---”
Quiet anger, the uncertain equilibrium between regret and abhorrence . . . Had he transgressed too far to ever win her faith back? What lay in her heart? Could she believe in him again? Her rage cut him to the quick, more wounding than the memories of the beautiful things precluded his thoughts, clouded his vision. “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?”
And as the last of her words, the last she had spoken, the words that ravaged him, the words he never thought she'd say, “I don't know what to believe anymore . . .”
Kikyou. He needed answers, and she was damn well going to give them.
`He believes her. After he saw what her cursed beads did to me . . . and he believes her.'
Kagome sighed, trying in vain to block out the despondency the spiteful recollections brought to her. A sob welled up from deep inside, a howl of pain caused by words and chronicles. `I loved him, and he . . . It hurts . . . and yet, I love him still.' Two tears rolled down her cheeks. The rest of them wouldn't come.
Tajiko swung her hand around, wildly batting at a butterfly. She giggled softly. Kagome stared at the downy hair, the wispy strands that captured the breeze. Staring at the village below, the village that didn't need her, Kagome realized that InuYasha had been right. Maybe it had been too much for her, the responsibility, the sheer magnitude of the changes in her life. Powerless to stop any of it, defenseless against the tide of what she knew and what she chose to believe, it overwhelmed her. `This place,' she admitted to herself, `it was created for Kikyou, and I . . . I've never belonged here.'
Images of InuYasha, hair blowing out behind him like a banner, the fierceness in his gaze, the possessiveness in his eyes saw through her, mocked her, lied to her.
Sesshoumaru's words echoed through her mind, the knelling of the funeral bells, as another piece of her died away. “Weak and pathetic creatures, you humans. So easy to bend, so easy to break. Your reason for clinging to that fool of a brother of mine? He so clearly loves the other---the clay doll who resembles Kikyou---and still you remain . . . his mate.”
It couldn't be true . . . all the times he held her, all the nights, cradled against his heart . . . words whispered in the dark, did any of it mean a thing?
“InuYasha no baka desu.”
Tajiko grabbed Kagome's hand and waved it around. It thrilled the child. Such a joyful baby . . . she didn't realize that her mother's world was coming undone.
She didn't acknowledge the owner of the voice. She made no indication that she knew he approached. Miroku hunkered down beside her, his gaze wandering over the landscape, and he sat in silence for a long time.
“What will you do, Kagome?” he finally asked.
She swallowed hard, allowing the monk to take the girl off her lap. He played with Tajiko, letting her chew of his string of prayer beads, the last remaining memory of the kazaana he had for so long. Kagome sighed. “There's nothing I can do, Miroku . . . I'm InuYasha's---”, `possession', “---mate.”
Miroku digested that in silence, picking his words carefully, cautiously. “You think he still loves Kikyou?”
“I know he still loves Kikyou. He doesn't deny it.” Shaking her head, Kagome finally brought her gaze to meet the monk's. “Is it wrong for me to want him to choose me just once?”
A grimace as he felt her pain, the miko radiated a sadness, as though her heart had broken, as though her will had been betrayed. “I think he has,” Miroku remarked slowly. “He chose to live, and he chose that for you.”
“That's just it,” she said, her voice no more than a whisper in the wind. “If she asked him to . . . he'd still go with her.”
“Is that what you truly believe? Listen to your heart, Kagome. It won't lie to you.”
Closing her eyes against the fresh agony, Kagome sighed. “How many times can I listen to my heart when it does lie to me? Every day?”
She got up and took Tajiko. Miroku watched as Kagome walked toward the edge of the forest. “Kagome?” he called after her.
She stopped but didn't face the monk again. “Where are you going?”
Her answer was long in coming. It drifted back to him, leaving him more puzzled than he had been before. “I . . . I don't know.”
He sliced through the youkai that barred his path as though they were nothing more than paper. A slight hindrance in his journey, InuYasha didn't spare them a second glance, cutting through them as he moved on, leaving the rent flesh of the dead in his wake. Driven by an intensity that obsessed him, his one conscious thought was to find Kikyou, wherever she was.
The sun was sinking low on the horizon. InuYasha didn't stop. He couldn't think of one time in particular, of one thing that led to this moment. There wasn't a singular incident to pinpoint, no real change in the Kagome he knew. He thought that he made her happy. She laughed for him, she stayed with him, she'd bore him a daughter, the child of his heart. Hadn't he told her that he loved her? Didn't she realize that it wasn't the sort of thing that he said off the cuff? He couldn't remember a time, he couldn't remember a moment, he couldn't remember having said those words to anyone, not until Kagome.
Yet she doubted him, and he couldn't blame her for that, either.
What had Sesshoumaru said to her? What was it that the bastard could say or do that would have made Kagome believe that InuYasha didn't care?
Or was it even Sesshoumaru at all? With a sick feeling that dug in deep, he had to allow that perhaps the doubt had already existed, perhaps Sesshoumaru had exacerbated the situation but was not wholly to blame, either. In the end, InuYasha was the keeper of Kagome's heart. He was the one who had failed.
“Kikyou!” he bellowed, tossing his head back as frustration won the war in his mind. “Kikyou!”
There was no sound to greet him, no relief for his torment. Kagome's face flashed through his head. Her smiles, her tears, her happiness, and her sadness all amassed on him, the weight of her emotions dragging him down. A darker emotion, a cynical confusion, tangled webs of words that should have been spoken . . . `I'll save you, Kagome . . . I'll save us.'
Her heartbeat thundered through his head, her life became his own. For a moment, in an instant, he saw her, wandering and lost, searching for answers that eluded her. `Kikyou,' he realized. `Kikyou, I need you . . . I need your answers.'
Leaping high above the trees, scanning the landscape for traces of her. She'd said goodbye when she left the village. She'd spoken to his mind, her words as clear as if she had spoken them. `Goodbye, InuYasha. You need me no longer. Goodbye . . .'
Damn it, he needed her now, needed her answers, needed to know what she had done to Kagome . . .
“Where the fuck did she go?” he growled.
Wisps of silvery light, bluish, fading. Close enough to see, far enough that he wouldn't be heard . . . `Shini-dama-chuu!'
She wandered without seeing, walked for hours or minutes, days or seconds, she didn't know. Time passed yet stood still, as she tried not to think, tried not to feel. She didn't know where InuYasha had gone. She didn't care.
`You wish you didn't care,' her conscience spoke up. `That's the trouble. You do care. That's why it hurts.'
`Don't think, Kagome . . . don't remember the pain . . .'
Tajiko whined. She was hungry. Kagome sank down under a tree to nurse the baby.
Glancing at the skies above, finally becoming aware of the time, realizing as the sun began to disappear on the horizon what night it was. `The new moon,' she thought vaguely. Gaze dropping to the baby in her arms, Kagome sighed. The new moon . . . the night when Tajiko, like her father, would be human.
`InuYasha . . . Did you ever really love me? Did you ever really care? Is Sesshoumaru right after all? Was I only a dim reminder of the woman you couldn't have?' She moaned softly, willing away the memories that wouldn't leave her alone. She let her chin drop, staring down at the mocking brilliance of the white beads. That was her answer. She couldn't escape them. They wouldn't budge. They wouldn't break. She was trapped.
InuYasha's voice came to her, whether in her mind or on the wings of the air, she didn't know. `They'll protect you.'
Her eyes drifted closed. `They'll protect me,' her mind echoed, `from what? And what will protect me from them?'
Tajiko's body relaxed in her arms. The baby slept against her breast. Kagome snuggled her closer. `So tired . . .'
The white clad figure emerged from the trees. The scent in the air told him all he needed to know.
Sesshoumaru knelt beside Kagome and Tajiko, huddled on the ground. `The miko's pain,' he thought with a frown, `is exquisite . . .' He stared at them for another moment then slowly removed his Mokomoko-sama, wrapping it around the miko and her pup, keeping them warm against the chill in the evening air.
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Sankon-tetsusou: “Iron Reaver Soul Stealer” soul, scatter, iron, and claw. “Soul-scattering Iron Claws.”
For those who don't know, Mokomoko-sama is the name given to Sesshoumaru's `fluff' by Rumiko Takahashi. It was just brought to my attention that some don't know what this is, and I wanted to clarify it! It isn't a tail. It is removable. It is shown as that in Episode 35: The True Master Chosen by the Noted Sword. There is a scene where Sesshoumaru is lying on the ground surrounded by the Mokomoko-sama, and both ends are visible.
When transformed into his pure dog form, the Mokomoko-sama does `become' his tail and shoulder ruff. But strictly speaking, it never was nor was it meant to be referred to as his `Tail'.
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.