InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Torrent ❯ Midnight ( Chapter 34 )

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

~~Chapter 34~~
`You're a coward. You know that, right?'
The starless skies were hued in gray. Lying over the midnight color, enveloping the brisk air, smothering her world in a somber tone that matched the heaviness in her heart, Kagome stared at the night. `If I tell him,' she thought slowly, `he'll go after Sesshoumaru . . . and one of them will die. InuYasha can take care of himself, but if he's blinded by rage . . . and even if he came out the winner, how long would it take for him to hate himself? InuYasha wouldn't be able to live with himself, if he killed his own brother, no matter what . . . .'
`Put a nice face on it, Kagome. Does that make you feel better?'
She shook her head. The truth about what had happened that night ate at her like a cancer. Three days had passed since it happened. It felt like a lifetime. She never had been good at keeping things from InuYasha. Sure, she'd been able to avoid admitting her feelings for awhile. She'd even let him think that she didn't mind so much, the idea of Kikyou taking him with her to hell, at least in the beginning. It had worked, for awhile, until she couldn't face the idea that he would leave her, the reason she had wanted to run away back then.
But this was different. It didn't matter to her that she hadn't been able to figure out why she had done what she had done. It didn't matter to her that she had a feeling that there had been something that made her lose consciousness. It didn't matter to her that she had thought Sesshoumaru was InuYasha at the time. She'd done it. She'd chosen it. She'd betrayed InuYasha. Pain welled up inside; pain so fierce, so cutting, that it made her want to shriek until her voice was gone, to smash something---anything---if it would make the feeling that she was nothing go away. How could she be something---somebody---worthy of anything in her lifetime if she could kiss another man and not tell the one she loved?
`They already hate each other. If I tell him, it'll be worse . . . InuYasha wouldn't forgive Sesshoumaru, even though it was my fault, in the first place because I . . . I kissed him first, didn't I? Why did I think I could help? I never should have agreed to go with Sesshoumaru. I should have waited for InuYasha to take me to talk to Rin . . . All I did was make things worse . . . .'
`While we're making promises, then,' InuYasha's voice came back to her, `will you make one to me? Promise me, Kagome, that you'll never doubt me again? When I tell you I love you?'
And he would still love her, if she told him. He'd love her, and he'd curse her, and he'd stay with her for Tajiko's sake. But he'd never trust her again; he'd never look at her with the same emotion behind his gaze again; he'd never touch her again. It would destroy him, worse than being pinned to Goshinboku by Kikyou's arrow so long ago because this time it was Kagome, and because this time the betrayal went so much deeper. He'd never forgive her because she couldn't even forgive herself for it. A tiny voice inside her head whispered to her, `It wasn't your fault, Kagome! You didn't know what you were doing!' It didn't matter. Making excuses wouldn't sanctify her actions. Ignoring the truth wouldn't make it go away. Yet she couldn't quite bring herself to be the reason that InuYasha tried to kill his brother, either.
Two fat tears slipped down her cheeks---tears that she hadn't felt rise in her.
Tajiko whimpered in the stillness. InuYasha hugged her closer in his sleep. Kagome carefully retrieved their child. She was hungry. Unbuttoning her nightshirt as she settled back onto the windowsill, she let the shirt fall open. She rarely bothered to cover her breasts anymore while she fed Tajiko, at least when they were alone. It made things easier, anyway, she figured as the baby latched on. Golden eyes seemed to glow with an incandescence in the night, Kagome smiled wanly at her daughter. It never ceased to amaze her, the way both InuYasha as well as Tajiko's eyes seemed to glow in the darkness. Perhaps it was a simple part of their shared youkai heritage, the fire in the depths of Tajiko's eyes branded her as InuYasha's child. Those eyes stared up at her, framed with the sootiest lashes. When she blinked, the lashes were so long the covered the tops of her cheeks.
`She looks so much like InuYasha---more and more every day, even---it's like she doesn't even have a mother.'
Blinking quickly as another tear ran down her cheek, Kagome lifted a hand to brush it away.
“Why are you crying?”
With a soft gasp, Kagome's eyes lifted to lock with the other set of glowing eyes in the room. Leaning up on his elbow and staring at her with a fierce intensity, Kagome blinked again and forced a smile. “She's just beautiful,” she whispered, hoping that the lie was enough to cover the truth.
Slowly InuYasha sat up. She couldn't see his expression in the darkness. His eyes spoke volumes. “What do you expect? You're her mama.”
She shook her head as he stood, moving toward her with a deliberate slowness, a catlike dexterity. She recognized the look in the depths of his glowing eyes. Reaching up to draw her shirt closed, he shot forward to stop her. Sinking onto his knees beside her, head leaning against her lap, he watched in silent wonder as Kagome moved Tajiko, offering her the other breast.
His eyes took on a sad sort of expression as he watched her nurse the baby. His ears drooped slightly---a sure sign that something was on his mind. Kagome deliberately pushed aside her own dreary thoughts and reached over to tweak one of those ears. He leaned up just enough to push against her hand, asking for her touch. “What are you thinking about?”
He shrugged. From his muttered, “Feh!” she could tell that he was blushing. His voice was embarrassed, disgruntled, as though he was ashamed of his own thoughts. “I get . . . jealous . . . sometimes.”
“Of who?”
She felt the instant flush staining her face at his softly uttered confession.
“It's not because of that,” he said. Though she couldn't see his face in the darkness, she knew he was blushing. “It's just . . . when you feed her, you two are so close, and I . . . I feel like I don't fit in.”
“InuYasha . . . . How could you even think that? We need you.”
“ . . . You do?”
“How could you ever think we don't?”
He sighed. “Sometimes when I watch you, you're both so wrapped up in each other,” he explained. “It's stupid.”
“Don't say that,” she said gently. “I wish you would have said something sooner. Is there anything we can do to include you more?”
He smiled. She could tell by the way the golden flecks in his eyes shifted. “This is nice.”
“What is?”
“Just being near you and her.”
Kagome lifted Tajiko to her shoulder. InuYasha reached out slowly, fingers trembling slightly, and drew her shirt together, fumbling with the buttons. He stood and scooped up both Kagome and Tajiko before moving over to the bed. He lay down and drew them close, his daughter snug and safe between them. His arms wrapped around Kagome, and he chuckled as Tajiko, rejuvenated from her meal, babbled softly.
The baby sat up, tangling her chubby hand in InuYasha's locks and tugging. He didn't scold her. He leaned in closer to Kagome, lying against her back. She felt safe, protected. Pushing away the lingering guilt, Kagome tried not to think about anything else except for the feeling of completion, being so close to her mate and her daughter.
`If you don't tell him---if you keep this from him---it'll only be worse in the end.'
She flinched inwardly, trying to ignore the inner voice that berated her. `I'll tell him . . . I'll tell him tomorrow. Just for tonight, let me be happy.'
Tajiko caught InuYasha's prayer beads. InuYasha didn't even notice. The glitter of his eyes captivated Kagome, and she reached out to stroke his cheek. “When I get you home,” he murmured as she touched him, “I'll show you how much I missed---What the---?”
She glanced down to see what had caused the awe in InuYasha's tone. Her eyebrows shot up, and she stared at her daughter's hand, still wrapped around the bluish-black bead necklace. Her tiny hand was glowing in the warm pink light that Kagome knew so well. The necklace glowed with the energy, too. “Taji? She's a . . . miko,” InuYasha said quietly, reverently.
The glow died away, and Kagome turned, glancing from her child to her husband and back again. “Is that possible?”
InuYasha shrugged. “It must be.” He kissed Tajiko's cheek then suddenly let his head drop back as he laughed.
“What's funny?” she asked, eyeing the hanyou as though she thought that maybe he'd lost his mind.
He was still chuckling as he tried to explain what he had found humorous. “You know . . . youkai, hanyous . . . we're impure. To purify a youkai is to destroy it. Mikos have that power . . . Tajiko will have that power. Mikos are the purest, the shrine maidens. Tajiko is both.”
She saw the irony in that, now that he'd pointed it out. “She's a pure hanyou,” Kagome whispered, smoothing the glowing silvery hair. `Strands of moonlight in her hair, the sun captured in her eyes . . . just like her father.'
~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~=~*~ =~*~=~*~=~
== == == == == == == == == ==
w_j (MMorg):
I didn't clarify myself about chapter 32 in my review of it. Kagome kissing Sesshoumaru and being under the influence of the plant's drug didn't bother me. That was kinda clever on your part. But her reaction to it after it was over (scrubbing herself so hard she removes skin, self-doubt and self-pity, guilt) really bothered me. She would have been more analytical about it and questioned why it happened more than blame herself. Even if she ended up blaming herself, she would have analyzed her feelings to find out why she did it and questioned the circumstances more. After each "Kouga fight" or other disagreements that InuYasha and Kagome have in the anime and manga, Kagome initially runs away from him angrily and then spends her time thinking about the whys and hows of the situation. She does acknowledge her share of the blame sometimes but her biggest concern is why something happened and not who is at fault most of the time. She thinks about why InuYasha and others think and act the way they do so that she can find understanding. I think she would have questioned the kiss with Sesshoumaru more and at least thought about the possibility of a spell or magic before she spiraled down to virtual self-loathing and self-mutilation like she did in that chapter. I still feel funny complaining about this when I really like your story overall and it is only one part of one chapter that bugs me. Keep the chapters coming, please, and thanks for sharing your story with us.
Ach, so! Ok, gotcha! Perhaps that was something that wasn't quite clarified, and if that is the case, then you can bet I'll address the concern in edit! Kagome's reaction was actually more of a reaction to Tajiko's rejection based on the idea that the hanyou smelled another male on her mother instead of her father. If that weren't enough to cause such a blatant reaction from her, the idea that InuYasha might also smell this on her would be enough, I think, to cause her to do such a thing. She was trying to remove the scent Sesshoumaru left on her for her daughter as well as for InuYasha. I'll check it out when I get around to edits, and thanks for clarifying! Reviews are terrific, if there's something I've not fully gotten across or explained, then I do love the feedback of having it said so that I can see if I can't make it `better'!
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.