InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Torrent ❯ Protection ( Chapter 38 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
“Quit being fucking stubborn, wench!”
“For the last time, InuYasha, forget it! I'm not going to do it, no matter how much you growl at me.”
“Why the hell not?”
“Because you don't need it!”
“Just do it, will you?”
“No, I won't!”
“Fuck,” Tajiko repeated.
Kagome glared at the hanyou. “InuYasha!”
“I didn't tell her to say it,” he argued.
“You didn't have to tell her to say it! If those beads still worked, I'd so-o-o-o say `it' right now . . . .”
Suddenly, he straightened up, hands on hips, and he smirked at her. “I told you---”
“Fuck!” Tajiko said again.
“No, Taji, that's not a nice word, and Papa never should have said it around you.” She stabbed InuYasha with a decided glare.
He took his daughter and stomped toward the door.
“Where are you going?” Kagome called after him.
“Feh! Taji and I are going to go spend some time together while you figure out how to redo the fucking spell.”
“InuYasha!” she hollered at his retreating back. “I'm---not----doing----it!”
She shook her head as she watched the proud hanyou stomp away through the village. Suddenly, he broke into a run and disappeared into the forest. `Goshinboku,' she thought as she rolled her eyes. Tajiko was safe enough with him. He'd protect her with his life, if it came to that. Still, the idea of him taking her up in that tree . . . . She sank down on the futon to tug on her shoes.
The morning was bright, beautiful, probably one of the last truly nice days before the weather changed into autumn. Kagome couldn't help the slight smile that surfaced as she greeted villagers but kept walking. If InuYasha thought that she was going to let him sit in that tree with their squirmy child, he was sadly mistaken. `Maybe,' she thought as she headed out of the village, `I should put a subduing spell on the beads long enough to make him regret taking her up that tree.'
With a smothered cry, Kagome found herself lifted off her feet, and she was flying, soaring above InuYasha's Forest, weightless, breathless. She glanced back to see who held her, and she gasped, fighting for her release. “Stop that or I'll drop you.”
“What do you want?”
“Is that the way you greet one you've kissed, Miko?”
She flinched at the reminder. He set her down in a small clearing, well away from the village. Well away from Goshinboku---and InuYasha. “What do you want?” she repeated, her voice stronger since she was able to put some distance between herself and Sesshoumaru.
He regarded her for long moments in the quiet of the meadow. It seemed to Kagome that even the birds could sense the menace of him, for they had fallen silent. The breeze stilled. It was as though they were trapped in some sort of soundless world, as though time itself had been stopped.
Leaning his head to the side, he continued to gaze at her. His countenance was unreadable, his eyes enigmatic. Finally, he spoke. “Know you, Miko, what happens to a faithless mate?”
“I told you,” she said, her chin rising proudly as indignant color filtered into her cheeks. Her voice shook slightly as the slightest hint of doubt registered. The inu-youkai didn't miss it. “I didn't mean for that to happen . . . I thought---”
“Yes, yes, you thought I was your beloved. I know.” He deliberately walked away from her. Kagome followed, silently cursing herself for her own curiosity, her desire to hear what else he wanted to say.
“Just tell me what you want,” she demanded.
He took his time considering her request. Kagome was starting to think he was going to ignore her. Finally he said, “If you tell InuYasha what you have done, it will be his decision, what he does with you. He will, of course, keep your pup. It's his right. As for you . . . . If he loves you, he may spare you. If he does not, then it's his right to kill you. But he will not keep you.”
Her knees felt weak. She glared at Sesshoumaru's back, wishing she could argue his statements yet knowing in her heart that he was telling her the truth. “He . . . wouldn't . . . .”
Sesshoumaru peeked over his shoulder at Kagome. Pale, shaken, the miko looked as though she was ready to faint. “Wouldn't he? So you have not seen my half-brother's propensity toward violence? That sort of betrayal visited upon him by you, his chosen mate, and you think to come out of this unscathed?” He paused, turning to face her once more. “You have not told him, and this is why. You know what I tell you is truth, do you not?”
She may have looked faint. He could smell her fear. But her eyes rose to lock with his, and they alone burned with her resolve. “That's not why I didn't tell him. InuYasha wouldn't hurt me.”
“Then why, Miko? Why not tell him now?”
“Because he'll . . .” she shook her head slowly, gaze falling to the ground. “It doesn't matter.”
Sesshoumaru didn't answer right away. Turning his face heavenward, he stared at the clouds, unblinking. Finally he picked her up again and, in a flash of light, they were flying once more.
“Where are you taking me?” she asked, her tone curious if not a bit wary.
“Back to your village . . . unless you do not care to go?”
Kagome nodded. She said no more until he let her down in almost the same spot that he had snatched her away from. She started to walk away, trying to control her desire to run. Even if she thought to flee from him, there was no way, and she knew it. Sesshoumaru was too fast, and if he had a mind to catch up with her, he would.
“Miko,” he called softly behind her. She stopped but didn't turn around. “Tell him nothing.”
She couldn't help herself. Turning to stare at Sesshoumaru, she frowned when she saw his near-smile. “Why? Why shouldn't I tell him? He deserves to know, and he's asked . . . .”
Sesshoumaru's smiled faded and he shook his head. “Then let me be the one to tell him and to draw his ire.”
“But . . . .”
Sesshoumaru was gone. Dissolved into his energy form, the youkai was gone before Kagome could stop him.
“Feh! You can't ignore me.”
“I can try.”
“I'm still not doing it.”
Miroku rolled his eyes as he gazed at Sango. “Ah, the sweet words of love, eh, Sango?”
Sango sighed, shifting her gaze between InuYasha, who was sitting in his normal fashion against the wall with Tajiko in his lap, and Kagome, who was stirring the pot of stewed meat and vegetables that boiled over the fire. “You're not helping, houshi-sama.”
“Just do it, already. You don't have to use the command, if that's what's bothering you,” InuYasha grumbled.
Kagome straightened up, eyeing her mate as though she was trying to read his mind. Tajiko whined as she tugged at her prayer beads to no avail. “I'm starting to think there's something wrong with you, InuYasha. Why in the world would you want me to reinstate a spell that you hated in the first place?”
He made a face and snorted. “Don't be stupid.”
She sighed. “Drop it. I'm not doing it.”
“InuYasha,” Miroku cut in as he bounced his son on his knee, “why do you feel so strongly about this?”
InuYasha snorted again. “I have my reasons.”
“It doesn't matter what your reasons are,” Kagome argued, “I'm still not going to do it.”
His answer was a very long, very loud, very irritated sigh.
Kagome dished up the food and offered InuYasha a bowl. “No, thanks.”
She sat down on the floor before him. “And you call me stubborn! I know you're hungry!”
He cast her a calculating glance out of the corner of his eyes. “Are you going to put the curse back?”
She narrowed her gaze. “No.”
“Then I'm not eating.”
Tajiko whimpered and swatted at the bowl. Kagome pulled it away just before their daughter grabbed it. “So you're not going to eat until I put the curse back on your necklace? That's what you're saying?”
InuYasha seemed to have just realized the implications of such a claim. Stubbornness set in his expression, he nodded. Kagome rolled her eyes and set the bowl beside him. “Then you'll be really hungry, because I'm not going to do it.”
She got up to retrieve her own food but not before she caught the hanyou quickly gaze at the bowl of food. `That'll last about an hour,' she figured.
“You know, InuYasha, if there was a good reason you wanted the enchantment back on, I'm sure Kagome would consider it,” Sango spoke up, careful to keep her tone neutral.
“I don't get it,” Shippou piped up as he emptied his bowl and held it out to Kagome for seconds. “You hate the osuwari spell. You always have. Why do you want another one?”
Kagome handed Shippou his refilled bowl and studiously stared into her own as she ate. When she dared to glance up a few times, though, it was to catch InuYasha staring at his food. `Baka! Spiting himself out of sheer stubbornness, and he thinks I'm stubborn?'
“Shut up, Shippou! Fat lot you know! The command never actually hurt me. I'm half-youkai, remember?”
Miroku sighed as Shippou darted behind him to hide from InuYasha, who had started to rise with his daughter cradled safely in one arm, leaving a free hand with which to carry out his intended thumpage on the kitsune. “Perhaps InuYasha likes to be submissive to you, Kagome?” he mused, more to irritate than hanyou than because he truly believed his words.
InuYasha growled but did sink back into his customary slouch. “Shut up, Monk.”
Sango shot her husband a knowing glance. “Hmm,” she considered slowly, “the spell did tend to leave him groveling at your feet, didn't it?”
Kagome rolled her eyes. “That's just . . . sick.”
“Shut up, Sango.”
“Shu---up!” Tajiko echoed with a shriek of laughter.
Kagome sighed and set her bowl aside to retrieve her daughter before the girl picked up any more of InuYasha's foul words or phrases. “Come, Taji. Time for bed.”
Tajiko understood her mother and started whining as she twisted her little body to reach back for her father. “Paaaapa!”
InuYasha started to reach for the girl until he intercepted Kagome's threatening look. “Listen to your mama, Taji.” Still he kissed her head and flinched as she caught a handful of his hair and tried to pull herself out of Kagome's arms.
“Let go of Papa's hair,” Kagome admonished. `Then again, it probably wouldn't hurt him, stubborn, pig-headed man that he is, anyway.'
Tajiko whined louder but let go. Kagome settled down on the futon furthest away from everyone to nurse her daughter before bed. Miroku, Sango, and Shippou continued to tease InuYasha about the beads.
Tajiko waved her hand around while she ate, staring up at her mother with those great golden eyes. Kagome smiled.
`Then let me be the one to tell him and to draw his ire.'
What had Sesshoumaru meant? It was almost as if he was trying to protect her. But why? Sesshoumaru was heartless, cold, wasn't he? So what did it matter to him, what InuYasha might do to her?
His groan was her answer as his lips fell again. Harder, more demanding, he drew her closer against him. Dangerous yet contained, desire flowed over her, eddying around her, pooling against her, rushing like the waves crashing ashore. His kiss deepened, his fangs grazing her flesh setting off delicious tremors of sensation. Arching against him, her hands rose to cradle his face. His skin was strangely cool to her touch.
The tip of his tongue traced the contours of her lips. She let her mouth fall open, and he took his time. A low growl escaped him as he tasted her, slowly, gently, with a deliberate thoroughness that made her want to scream. Kagome let her had fall back.
She shivered as the memory faded. Maybe he wasn't as cold, as heartless, as she had thought him to be . . . . Still, why would he bother to try to protect her?
With a surprised blink, Kagome stared at her daughter. `Tajiko?'
Kagome switched her daughter to the other breast and stroked her soft cheek with the back of her hand. `Mama's sad,' she agreed with a sigh. `But not because of Tajiko; never because of Tajiko.'
She could swear that the girl smiled up at her.
A shadow fell over Tajiko, and Kagome glanced up. InuYasha hunkered down and reached for the girl, who had finished her dinner. “I'll put her to bed.”
Taken aback by his gentle tone, Kagome could only nod as she corrected her clothing and watched him carry Tajiko off to bed.
“Kagome?” Sango's voice cut into her reverie. “Are you all right?”
Kagome sighed and scooted off the futon to rejoin her friends near the fire. “Yeah, fine . . . .” She stared at Miroku. He was finally eating, having been preoccupied with Kiyoshi earlier while Sango enjoyed her meal. “Miroku . . . is it possible for a baby to think things that you can hear?”
Miroku frowned and set his bowl down. “Anything's possible . . . I assume you were talking to Tajiko?”
She nodded. “Yes. She's never done that before.”
Sango nodded. “Father used to tell us that youkai develop much faster than humans. It's possible that they can communicate sooner, too, and in different ways from humans. Tajiko may not develop as fast as full youkai, but since she's hanyou, it would make sense if the same went for her, too. Have you asked InuYasha?”
“No. This is the first time she's ever done that.”
Kagome glanced up as InuYasha strode back into the room. He sank down in the open space between Kagome and Sango. Shippou spun his kitsune top, much to Kiyoshi's delight. The baby gurgled with glee as the toy spun in place. “Tajiko was talking to me, in my mind.”
InuYasha looked momentarily surprised. That expression was nudged aside by fatherly pride. “'Course she can.”
“Did you talk to your mother that way?”
A sadness entered his eyes, and Kagome almost wished she hadn't asked. But he smiled. “Yeah. I think I did that before I could ever talk.”
“I wonder why Tajiko waited until after she spoke, then,” Kagome mused.
InuYasha shrugged. “She hasn't needed to. You know what she wants before she's had to ask.”
Surprised by his praise, Kagome was hard pressed not to kiss him. But she knew how much he hated that blatant a show affection in front of others, even Sango and Miroku, so she didn't.
Sango stifled a yawn with the back of her hand. Miroku chuckled. “I think it's time we got you home, Sango.” He stood and offered her a hand to help her up. She accepted the gesture. Miroku took the opportunity to let free hand fall to her rear. Sango flushed deep red but didn't strike the monk.
“Hentai houshi,” she muttered as she lifted Kiyoshi.
“But Sango, it was calling to me! I can't ignore the voice of such a beautiful---”
“Can't you stop for five minutes, you pervert?” InuYasha growled.
Miroku winked as they headed for the door. Shippou bounded over to wrap his arms around Kagome's neck. “I've got to go with them, Kagome. Kiyoshi needs me to protect him. He's only a human, you know.”
InuYasha rolled his eyes but reached over to rub the kitsune's head. Kagome laughed. Shippou, pleased with the reaction to his claim, scampered out after Sango and Miroku.
Kagome sighed as the bamboo door mat swung closed again before she stood and gathered the dishes to wash.
Kneeling down beside the bucket she used as wash water, Kagome asked as InuYasha's fangs grazed over her neck, his arm slipping around her waist. The chain reaction slammed through her, and she reached down to steady herself. “Let me finish the dishes,” she said quietly.
“Fuck the dishes.”
“You want me to leave you alone for five minutes? Five whole minutes?”
`No,' she thought as his tongue darted out to flick over her skin. “Yes, five whole minutes.”
“Five minutes,” he allowed, “if . . . .”
Through the InuYasha-induced haze enveloping her mind, it took a few minutes for Kagome to realize that he'd added an `if' to his concession. “If . . .?” she echoed.
“If . . . you agree to put the command back on.”
She sighed, pulling away and turning to look at his face. “Why? Why do you want it back on so badly?”
It was his turn to sigh, and he sank back, bringing his knees up and looping his arms around them. “Because I . . .” he trailed off, shaking his head as though he didn't want to say whatever it was that he was thinking. “Because I'm supposed to protect you and Tajiko. I can't in your time, if I can't keep from passing out.”
There wasn't a doubt in her mind that InuYasha viewed the fact that he had succumbed to the over-stimulation as a very real weakness. She smiled gently. “Why didn't you just say that to begin with?”
He flushed and scowled at the floor. “It's pathetic.”
She considered his words. She should have realized that it was the real reason behind his insistence on the subject. She frowned. “Do you think it's possible to put a guard against that on the beads without connecting it with a command?”
His expression brightened, as though the idea hadn't occurred to him. “I don't know . . . .”
She shrugged. “I'll ask Miroku about it tomorrow.” She caught his grimace. “Just Miroku, and I won't tell him why, okay?”
InuYasha finally heaved a sigh of relief. His golden eyes slowly rose to meet her gaze, the light behind them turning from appeased to something far headier. She swallowed but couldn't look away.
He caught her wrist and tugged her toward him. “I haven't finished the dishes,” she remarked as she stared at his lips.
“Yeah, but your five minutes are up, wench.”
“But I didn't---”
“You talk too much.”
“Shut up and kiss me.”
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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.