Title: Idée Fixe
Foreword: Kouga is one of the characters that intrigues me most in Inuyasha- to be a leader, to keep going despite the numerous tragedies his clan has faced takes a strength of character that isn't always apparent in his superficial behavior. Kagome is his one real weakness- a human miko, an unreciprocated affection and a distraction that frequently gets him into trouble. So what would it take to change their relationship? And what would be the price of that change?
Idée fixe (literally "fixed idea") loosely translates as 'an obsession' in French. Musically speaking, it is a short musical theme/phrase that has some symbolic importance (i.e. the love of the main characters in an opera) and appears throughout a longer musical work generally both to tie the work together and to highlight differences between the parts.
The story is non-linear, but the time jumps should be obvious. I hope.
Summary: He'd never wanted to live forever anyways. One Shot.
Warning: M for language, vague suggestive situations and implied violence.
Disclaimer: Inuyasha belongs to Rumiko Takahashi and Shounen Sunday.
He doesn't mean it to sound so pleading, so weak, but he's never pretended to be good with words.
She turns around, smelling of tension and ginger and wildflowers, and he knows he'll never be free again.
"Even after what I told you, what I said, you still want-"
It twists every instinct he's ever had, destroys whatever is left of his pride, but he's tired of being the wolf at the door and the truth is he already wears her leash. There has never been any choice, not really, not after that first time he tasted her on the air.
The first time she came the creeks were overflowing with melting snow and he found her, stranded, a half-day from his cave. He'd picked her up to carry her back and when she wrapped herself around him, buried her head in his shoulder, he had bitten his lip so hard that he drew blood. He preferred the blood to the threat of tears.
It had been so long without physical contact then- his remaining clan had been destroyed as a final parting present from Naraku. All the shard hunters had received 'gifts', or so he had heard, but he hadn't stuck around to see them, even to see what they did with that fucking jewel. All he had heard was that, in the end, her companions were gone –deaddestroyedrunaway- and the miko remained in the village learning from the old woman. He hadn't been able to bring himself to go check.
The first three years were the worst- trying to find something to do, something to think about other than the bodies of his clan rotting so far from the graveyard, parts scattered before he could return them all. He almost welcomed the voices when they came.
Wolves were never meant to be solitary. Lone wolves go crazy.
He'd thought she was another hallucination at first, but none of the dreams, the accusing faces of the dead, had felt as good, as gentle as Kagome did, stroking his hair as he lay on her lap.
That first time she stayed three days, unspeaking, before she returned to her village.
Her mouth tastes like spring. She's not protesting, cut off mid-question as he attacks her with a passion and desperation that shakes him to his core.
He doesn't care anymore, doesn't care that he's biting at her lower lip like a pup begging for acceptance, acknowledgement. He's never pretended to be anything but her bitch.
When she threads her fingers through his hair, returns his attacks with hungry bites of her own, he has to physically prevent himself from laying down and baring his throat to her.
The frightening part is that he's not sure if she would nuzzle him or tear his throat out.
The most frightening part is that he's not sure that he would care.
The second time she came the streambeds were nearly empty and the heat made her look like an illusion when he found her, collapsed, a quarter-day from his cave. That time he scolded her, voice harsh from disuse, for trying to travel alone in that weather.
She looked up at him, eyes too large in her too-pale face, answering a question he'd never asked. "I had to do it- it was the only way to end things. I never wanted to live forever! I only wished that no one would ever be able to use the jewel again! I didn't know that that would mean making it a permanent part of me…"
He hated the world, hated the fucking fates that kept hurting them over and over again when they tried to do the right thing. That time he held her in his lap and it was his hands in her hair, his voice whispering soothing words.
When she left at the end of the week, she turned back to face him, her eyes dark-rimmed and haunted. "How do you stand knowing that you'll live forever, that you'll have to carry the old pain and keep gaining new pain until the world ends?"
He never answered her, but he thought that she had a lot to learn about time.
Youkai aren't human. She may have pretended that the kitsune, the hanyou were no different than her or the others but that didn't make it true. He knows, even now, that she doesn't understand. She can't understand –yet- the difference between measuring time in minutes and measuring it in generations. He knows that if she knew the cost of what she is taking from him, she would have walked away long ago.
What she will never understand is that humans burn like a fire stacked high with fuel that is never replenished and he would –and will- give everything for the brief minutes he can warm himself by her flames. What she will never understand is that, while he's not human, he's not wolf either. What she will never understand is that the only thing he is now, is hers.
One of the times she came, she fell on the ice and broke her wrist. He still doesn't know how he was able to tell her shriek apart from the ghosts in his head, but he'd like to think that it meant something. Too few things in his life meant something.
That time he'd kept her until her wrist mended. That time they'd held each other at night, for protection from the cold, from the voices –guiltfearangerloss- howling in their minds. They'd talked during the day, her curled in his lap in front of the fire and his voice had become hoarse from strain before she left.
She told him about her duties as an apprentice miko, about how she was helping to train a young girl to assist during her frequent absences.
He told her about hunting, about the beautiful places in the forest he'd discovered during his travels.
She never asked about how he felt about being the last one left of his clan.
He never asked about how she felt about being the last one left of her companions.
When she left, he stared at her tracks in the snow until the voices pushed him back into the cave.
The voices, the pain- they all fade at her touch, under the fire of her laughter, her anger, her joy.
He already knows that she will leave again when this is finished.
He already knows that he won't be here the next time she comes.
Today he will burn.
When she came she was soaked with creek water and rain and standing at the entrance to his cave, hesitating to cross his threshold. He pulled her inside and held her as she soaked his clothes with her tears, choking as she spoke of the death of the old woman.
That time, they held each other constantly- a dam bursting in their minds and their hearts as they almost feverishly released everything they had been holding back, everything hiding hurt within their minds.
She told him how she sometimes wished she could still visit her family, how she wished she could see the hanyou, the kitsune, the exterminator, the monk one more time, but how they were all slowly fading from her mind, washing away like a half-remembered dream. She told him how that was almost worse than the pain.
He told her how his ghosts would scream at him, make his head ache, until he curled in a ball like a whimpering pup, how they would blame him for not being strong enough, smart enough to prevent what happened. He told her that the only time they went away was when he was with her.
What she didn't tell him was that he was the only thing that was left clear in her mind, that didn't fade as time spun faster. What she didn't tell him was that this terrified her.
What he didn't tell her was that he, who had once had all the time in the world, was running out of time, running out of ways to put off the vengeance that his dead wanted him to wreak on himself. What he didn't tell her was that she could make the voices go away, make her the focus of his fractured mind.
They were almost shy when they parted that time, clinging to each other for long minutes before they let go. He breathed her scent in his mind long after the screaming started again.
He's never been this happy.
It's all worth it- the pain, the ultimate ending, just to feel her move above him, to feel the ecstasy of pain as she digs her nails –claws- into his back, as she loses some control and he feels the faint touch of purification scorch his body.
She screams and cries and moans and tells him how goodsogood it feels and morepleasemore.
He tells her that he lovesherlovesher and movefuckyoumove.
What she doesn't tell him is that she loves him. What she doesn't tell him is that she won't leave.
What he doesn't tell her is that one of the things that wolf youkai have in common with wolves is that once they mate –and 'mate' is the right word, not fuckscrewshagmakelove- they often become suicidal without the presence of their mate –and 'mate' is the right word, not husbandlovercompanion-. What he doesn't tell her is that she doesn't have to know that she is his mate for it to be true.
When she leaves in the morning, he can see the blush, the dawning understanding in her eyes. It is too late for him though, too late for his voices by the time she is past the horizon.
He still smiles when he draws the sword from the sheath, glinting in the light of the dying fire.
The second to last time she came, he woke up to her hands gently smoothing his hair back from his face.
The unguarded look in his eyes was enough to make her –finally- admit the truth to herself. He hadn't expected it to go well.
"I can't … I can't love you the way you love me. I didn't- I didn't realize how deep it went for you until now. I thought that we were just-
"Friends. Comforting one another."
He never could resist giving her the easiest way out. Even when the only person she was lying to was herself.
She really did care- he could see it in her eyes. He also knew that it would take too long for her to acknowledge the other things growing in her heart. She would take too long to adjust to the world spinning past her, to adjust to a concept of love that flowed like a river rather than raged like a quick-burning flame. His voices wouldn't wait that long and, truthfully, he'd always loved the quick bright flame the best.
"It's unfair to you to do this to you, just because I'm lonely, because I'm not quite human anymore and you're the only person who understands and who I feel good being around. I should never have come and I'll… I'll be going now."
She made it as far as the mouth of the cave, head bowed, feet dragging before he calmly accepted his fate.
He'd never wanted to live forever anyways.