InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Torrent ❯ Silence ( Chapter 37 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
The oddest sensation awoke Kagome. Tajiko was already busy nursing off her breast, and that wasn't surprising. InuYasha often retrieved her during the night, allowing her into their bed until morning. But she also felt lips, tongue, fangs on the back of her neck. The warring sensations didn't mix quite right, and Kagome wasn't sure which one she should give credence.
`Duh!' her mind kicked in. `Your daughter, baka!'
“InuYasha,” she said with a soft sigh, a shudder. “Wait till I finish up with Taji.”
He whined, burying his face against her neck, in her hair, his breath tickling her skin. “Feh!”
Though he sounded brash enough, Kagome knew without looking that he was smiling. He cuddled against her, his cheek on hers, and reached over her shoulder to torture the child's ears. Tajiko shot InuYasha a long-suffering stare before turning back to her meal with a happy sigh. He burst out laughing. “Picking on your child?” Kagome asked.
InuYasha nuzzled against her throat. Kagome closed her eyes, savoring the feel of him so close to her. “I want you.”
“You mean last night wasn't enough for you?”
“Feh! I never get enough of you.”
She smiled and helped Tajiko switch breasts. “I'd be nice to stay like this forever.”
“Feeding the pup?” he scoffed. “Don't you have better things to think about?”
“I meant, like this, with you and her . . . it's nice.”
InuYasha sighed and squeezed her gently. “You know, until you came along I never slept lying down?”
A mental image of InuYasha sleeping high in the trees flashed through her had. With a pang, she remembered. It was remarkable then, how he always slept sitting against a wall, arms wrapped around Tetsusaiga. She hadn't realized it was such a habit at the time. “Why's that?”
“I was never relaxed enough to. I was always on guard, so I slept lightly, and I slept sitting up.”
“I'm glad you feel safe now,” she replied.
“Safe? We're never safe! You just wear me out, that's all.”
Kagome flushed and smacked him in the chest. She handed Tajiko to him and rolled out of the bed. “Keep an eye on her, please. I'm going to get her a diaper.”
Kagome didn't bother grabbing a robe as she headed out of the bedroom. Since she had every intention of crawling back into bed with the fully naked hanyou, she figured it wouldn't be worth the trouble, anyway. Besides that, InuYasha had a tendency to get impatient, and as a result, her wardrobe was constantly in need of replenishing.
“Um, morning, Kagome. Is InuYasha awake yet?”
With a sharp gasp, Kagome squealed and tried to cover herself. Miroku squeezed his eyes closed and turned his head to the side.
Without bothering to answer, Kagome snatched her backpack off the floor and ran back into the bedroom again. Her face felt as though it was on fire, and she jerked on the first piece of clothing she could reach, which just happened to be InuYasha's haori.
He was sitting up with the covers draped over his hips while Tajiko held herself up on her knees via InuYasha's dormant prayer beads. He stared at her in confusion as she muttered under her breath about lecherous monks who were way too stealthy for their own good.
“Kagome? What's wrong?” he asked mildly.
She pinned InuYasha with a plaintive glare and jerked her head toward the door. “Miroku's here. He asked for you.” He waved his hand at her. She retrieved his hakama off the floor and tossed them to him. He didn't get up to put them on. She watched with a bemused grin as he wiggled into them and lay back to arch up, bringing the pants up over his hips. She had to admit. It was a mighty fine view.
He handed Tajiko to her and kissed her cheek before heading out of the bedroom mumbling something about installing a real door very soon.
She giggled as she sank back down on the bed to change their daughter. Tajiko chewed on a washcloth that InuYasha had tied in a knot. For some reason, she'd been doing that a lot lately. It had alarmed her mother. InuYasha said that Tajiko was teething, and that it was because of the inu-youkai in her. Instead of trying to get her to chew on something more `normal' Kagome figured it would be best to take InuYasha's word on it. He'd know better than she on the subject, right? As much as she wasn't fond of seeing her daughter gnawing on a knotted washcloth, she figured it really wasn't any worse than anything else babies used when they teethed.
She took her time dressing Taji in pink overalls with a white lace shirt. She looked like a little flower. Kagome grinned and kissed her rosy cheek. “There, my angel. Want to go out and see Papa and Miroku?”
“Koku,” Tajiko repeated. Kagome giggled and cuddled her closer.
Tajiko stared at her for long moments then grinned, waving the washcloth as she tried to repeat, “Ki-ko-ku.”
“Close enough,” Kagome agreed.
Kagome sat Tajiko down beside her father and went back to change into her regular clothes.
When she came back out after tidying the bedroom and dressing, InuYasha was heading back that way. “What's wrong?”
He handed Tajiko to her and took his haori from her. “Miroku said there's some trouble south of the village. We're going to go check into it. Stay here, okay? No taking off with anyone?”
She nodded slowly, hearing the teasing quality behind his words yet flinching inwardly just the same. Miroku handed her a small cloth pouch. “These have been prepared. All you need to do is string them as you meditate over what it is you want them to guard against. With your spiritual powers, I'm sure you'll have no trouble imbuing the beads with enough authority to carry out your wishes.”
“Thanks,” she said. “Be careful, okay?”
“Feh! Some vote of confidence,” InuYasha scoffed as he headed out of the hut. He stopped and glanced back at her, eyes shining, and she understood that he was telling her that he would be careful.
“Papa,” Tajiko whined, tears pooling in her great golden eyes.
InuYasha sighed and grimaced as he glanced at Miroku, who was trying hard to hide his smirk. The hanyou stalked back into the hut and held his arms out for his daughter. “Papa will be right back,” he assured her. “Be a good baby girl for your mama, all right?”
Tajiko whimpered, clinging to InuYasha's haori. He shot Kagome a helpless look. She stepped forward and peeled the girl away from his chest. The heartbroken child buried her face against Kagome's shoulder and sobbed. InuYasha looked torn.
“Go on,” Kagome told him. “She knows she's got you suckered.” Bouncing Tajiko on her hip, Kagome tweaked her nose affectionately. “Don't you, Taji? You know you've got your papa wrapped around your little finger?”
“Papa!” Tajiko exclaimed with a giggle of delight as she reached out to grab Kagome's hand.
InuYasha looked offended. “Women,” he muttered as he stomped out of the hut. Miroku did laugh at that.
Tajiko reached for the bag of beads still in Kagome's hand. She pulled them out of the girl's reach and set her on the floor with some crackers instead.
She dug in one of the cabinets that InuYasha had crafted for some thicker thread that she brought back awhile ago. With a deep sigh, she sat down with the beads and thread. “I hope this works . . . .”
“So tell me, InuYasha . . . you and Kagome seem happy.”
He cast the monk a wary glance as they traveled through the forest in search of the menace. “I guess.”
“You're not happy with her?”
“What's your point, Miroku?”
Miroku held his hands up to protest his innocence. “I was simply asking a question.”
InuYasha sighed. He smiled to himself. `Happier than I ever though I would be. Happier than I ever deserved to be,' he had to admit to himself. He never realized that there was anyone on the earth who would accept him completely as he was. Kagome had. Kagome always had. He had forever believed he would always be the outcast, the half-breed. He hadn't thought he had a place with anyone, anywhere. Kikyou had made him wish for such a thing. But Kagome had given it to him. “Very,” he said at last.
Rolling his eyes in an exaggerated show of irritation, InuYasha heaved a sigh. “Happy, baka! I'm very happy.”
“That, my friend, is what the love of a good woman will do for you! Take Sango, for example! Just last night she did this remarkable thing with her tongue, and----”
“You're such a fucking pervert,” InuYasha growled as he felt his face heat up. “Why do you always have to turn every conversation into something unnatural?”
“I beg to differ, InuYasha. The act of carnal love is very natural, or don't you and Kagome---”
“Feh!” InuYasha cut in, unable to hear the rest of Miroku's speech. “Shut the hell up already!”
“About Kagome . . . .”
InuYasha glared at Miroku. “If this is something else perverted---”
Miroku finally looked serious. “Sango wanted me to ask if something is bothering Kagome. She's seemed a bit distant last evening, and . . . I noticed it, too.”
InuYasha shot Miroku a quick glance. He looked genuinely concerned. Still, why did InuYasha feel such a reluctance to tell him what he knew? Then again, Miroku was decent at interpreting people . . . . “When I went to get her and Taji . . . I don't know, she was acting . . . .”
InuYasha waved his hand, as though he was trying to catch the words out of the air, the words to describe what he'd thought when he'd found her sobbing in the tub. The memory haunted him. She'd looked so lost, so lonely, as though she didn't have anyone in the world to love. The angry red welts all over her body shocked him. “When I got there, she was bathing but her mother said she'd been acting strange. So I went in to see her, and . . . she was sobbing.” For some reason, he couldn't tell Miroku about the scratches. Why that was, he wasn't sure. That had worried him the most. Kagome was strong. Why had she done that?
“That doesn't sound like her at all. Did you ask her what was troubling her?”
InuYasha stabbed the monk with a glower. “Of course I did. She finally told me that she'd gone with Sesshoumaru. He needed her to talk to that human pup he keeps.”
Miroku made a face. “That might do it. Encounters with your brother are rarely pleasant.”
InuYasha had to agree with that. Still . . . .
`Maybe,' he thought as they continued on in silence, `I should ask her again, why she was upset enough to scratch herself like that.'
Supper was an oddly quiet affair punctuated only by Tajiko's insistent tugging at the prayer bead necklace that Kagome had fashioned to keep the girl's miko powers under control. Whining and whimpering, Taji had tried unsuccessfully to yank the offending beads off. InuYasha hid his smile as she rolled onto her back and maneuvered her feet up high enough to catch the necklace in her attempt to break the strand. It held fast.
Finally, fussy and irritable, Tajiko ate her dinner and fell asleep. InuYasha as he cleaned Tetsusaiga by firelight while Kagome put Tajiko to bed when she came back, she dug around in her backpack awhile then moved to sit behind InuYasha. Her hands hesitantly reached around him, tugging on his haori, dragging it down his shoulders.
“K-Kagome?” InuYasha stammered, staring down at her hands that were tugging diligently to uproot the clothing. “What are you doing?”
She didn't answer as she flipped his hair over his shoulder. He hissed and arched his back away from her as the cold gel hit his back he whined as she slowly spread the cool ooze over his skin. Slowly she began rubbing, soothing his muscles as the burning heat left behind penetrated down to his bones. His head rolled to the side as Tetsusaiga clattered to the floor.
“You seem tense,” she remarked quietly. “You've barely said anything since you've gotten back. Is something wrong?”
Lulled by her hands soothing away the tightness in his muscles, it took a minute for InuYasha to register that Kagome had spoken at all. `Ask her, baka! She's given you the perfect opportunity.' He sighed. No time like the present . . . . “Kagome, what happened at Sesshoumaru's? Why . . . why were you---” `trying to tear your skin off;' “---crying?”
A barely discernable pause in her hands but one that he noticed. “I . . . It's not important. I'm fine now. Tajiko cried a little when I picked her up, is all. She must have really liked that television show . . . .”
`She's lying . . . . I can smell her anxiety . . . . Why would she lie to me?' Slowly, he pulled away from her and turned around, staring at her. She was wiping her hands on a towel but even with only the dim light of the fire he could see the redness in her cheeks, the way she gnawed on her bottom lip. “Do you trust me?”
Her chin lifted slowly, her gaze sad, brightened by tears she held in check. She nodded slowly.
A terrible foreboding ran up and down his spine. He braced himself against it and measured his tone to just above a whisper when he said, “Then tell me what happened.”
“I . . . I can't. I don't really understand it, and I---” she cut herself off with a miserable sigh.
A single tear spilled over. InuYasha relented, drawing her close. `Is it that bad, Kagome?' he wondered. “All right, you win . . . for now.”
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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.