Prologue: These Dreams
From a simple idea, mammoth fictions grow. I have no idea how long this is going to be. If everybody in it cooperates, it's going to be Kag/Inu. If everybody cooperates. Things could get pretty ugly before then.
That said, here we go.
Animal sacrifices by the dark of the moon to the mighty Merith, queen of beta, and Niamh for the creepy writing synchronicity.
The epigraph is from "Tear In Your Hand," by Tori Amos. The chapter title is from "These Dreams," by Heart. (Whee, eighties power ballads!)
Disclaimer: Have never owned it, never will. If I made money off it, I would be so very confused.
I think maybe there're pieces of me you've never seen
Maybe she's just pieces of me you've never seen
It was one of the clearest memories of Inuyasha Kagome had, and one she'd tried very hard to forget. Inuyasha looking down at her with a strange sort of desperation she'd never seen before. His warm callused hand seizing her wrist. Being tugged inexorably across the soft grass. His arms holding her fiercely. At first she'd almost felt afraid, until she'd realized that tenderness underlay the ferocity. The smell of the grass beneath them had mixed with his scent: fresh earth, pine needles, and something more dark and rich that made it Inuyasha. His entire body trembled, fine, quick tremors that shook her as well. She could still almost feel his heart pounding against hers.
She sighed in her sleep and waited for the rest of it to unravel: being thrust aside as he snapped the chain around her neck. Inuyasha ordering her to never return to the Warring Era. Betrayal transmuting into fury as he shoved her into the well. Panic rising in her throat as she'd realized the passage through time was sealed against her.
But none of it happened.
He kept holding her.
She tried to pull back, confused--it didn't happen this way, I know it didn't-- but his arms tightened around her, and one clawed hand slid up the back of her neck to run gently, soothingly through her hair. His hair, white silk, brushed against her face. His haori was crimson velvet beneath her hands. He was warm, warmer than a human, almost warmer than the sun shining down on them, and she wanted to curl up against him and never move again.
This didn't happen.... Why am I dreaming this?
I don't care....
She slid her hands around him and held on, stroking his back, feeling his trembling subside. I don't want to wake up....
He was murmuring something now, his voice low and hoarse. She turned her head lazily, listening.
"I love you, Kagome..."
Kagome jerked awake and stared up at the rough-hewn ceiling of Kaede's hut. What was that? She pressed a hand to her chest, feeling her heart race. I've never dreamed like that.... I've dreamed about Inuyasha, but not like that! Thank God Shippo picked tonight to sleep with Kirara. I think I avoided waking anybody else up.
"Kagome?" Inuyasha's voice.
Of course. The only person who doesn't sleep through me waking up is the only person I wish would sleep through it. How am I going to explain this? She rolled over slowly.
His eyes glowed at her in the dim light of the firepit. "Are you okay?"
Kagome swallowed again. I know he's just speaking quietly because he's trying not to wake the others, but does he have to sound like he did in my dream? "I'm fine. I had a really odd dream, that's all."
He frowned, setting the Tetsusaiga aside. Kagome swore to herself as he crouched next to her, looking concerned under his usual mask of annoyance. "Keh. If you're so fine, why are you shaking like that?"
"I'm a little cold, I guess." Please, stop looking at me like you're actually worried....
He snorted again. "Next time, idiot, take the extra blanket when Kaede offers it to you." Kagome opened her mouth to snap back at him, but he was already stripping off his haori. "Here. No point in you getting sick." He dropped it on top of her.
"Thanks," she whispered. He shrugged and returned to his spot by the door, cradling the sword against his shoulder. Kagome watched him through her lashes until she was sure he was asleep again, and then blew out a breath. She reached out to push the haori aside, but was swamped with sensory memories the moment her fingers brushed it.
Scarlet plush draped over warm, hard muscles....
Kagome jerked her hand back. Now I'm never going to get back to sleep. She rolled over, turning her back--no need to make it worse by looking at him--and stared at the wall, prepared to lie awake until morning.
And yet, even as she willed herself to lie watchful, guarding against sleep, a treacherous corner of her heart yearned to return to the dream.