A/N: Hi guys! Sorry for the delay. I've been really sick this past week (I lost my voice! Fever! Throat is killing me!) I'm nowhere near back on my feet, but this was sitting around my laptop nearly completed so I said, gurl, suck it up, wrap it up and post it!
Chapter 14: Harsh Truth
This was not happening. This was not real.
Yuka was part of her other world, her normal life - at least the one she used to have. She certainly was not pregnant - with an hanyou. How - what. Kagome felt her heart racing as she glanced at her friend, her lips parting. Words refused to leave her mouth while her chest heaved. She had two lives; the I travel in the past life and the hello I'm a normal high school girl life. Those two did not collide. Alright, they did when Inuyasha met her friends but that was it. Except for that they were two different worlds and she never even though - how was this happening?
"You're pregnant," she finally blurted out.
She watched while Yuka's dark blue eyes widened and she instinctively brought a hand to her stomach. Her short dark brown locks covered her face while she leaned forward. Her fingers wrapped around the yellow fabric of her shirt, bunching it in bundles. "H-how did you know?"
"I - I know Izu." Although lying as pointless because in a few moments, her friend would know the truth - about everything. There would be no hiding, no pretending - no more lying like she used to do. It would all be out in the open. She thought it would be a good idea to speak with whomever was coming but she never thought it would be Yuka.
"He told you?" She rubbed her lips together, before swallowing hard. She ran her fingers through her hair, tangling it, feeling the sweat sliding against her fingers. "Do- do you know why I'm here?"
Yuka would never forget the moment she told Izu. His face changed, an animalistic look in his eyes and then, once he recovered, all she saw was fright. She was scared as well but - it was something else. He looked like someone ripped his heart out and stumped over it. He wanted to flee but he stayed. At least for a moment. After that, he left and she did not hear about him for two days - then came the phone call. Her heart had been beating so hard, she barely heard anything. Except that he wanted her to come over to his house. It was then that she realized she did not know much about him. They went on a few dates. She liked him. He seemed reticent from time to time…always pulling away from her. It was when she decided to take the big step.
It did not exactly turned out like she had expected.
They were safe, they really were; as a matter of fact, Izu had been paranoid about protection.
But it did not seem it was enough and now, she had no idea what was happening.
"M—" Kagome wanted to tell her everything but this was not the time, the location. She could not tell her everything about youkais now, outside for anyone to listen. Not only that but Kagome had a feeling Yuka was going to freak out a little. This could not be a public scene. They needed to get inside and - oh she would need to explain all of this to the pack. She could already feel a headache coming. But this was not about her - it was about her friend. She moved closer to Yuka and slowly intertwined their fingers. She squeezed her friend's hand, never missing the tremble of fear that traveled through her friend's body.
"I need to tell you something."
At the sound of the unfamiliar voice, Kagome turned her head. There, in the doorway was Izu. His green eyes were slanted as he watched the interaction between the two girls. His short brown hair was messy, flatten to his head, probably greasy. If she looked hard enough, she could see dark circles beneath her eyes, showing how exhausted he was. He looked like he was carrying the world upon his shoulders. She saw the same kind of look in Kouga's eyes when he talked about sharing their secret with a perfect stranger. This was an internal conflict for them. Love was not a luxury all of them could afford and a family seemed to be an even rarer gift.
Immediately, Yuka released Kagome's hand and hopped the stairs. She quickly ran to find comfort into Izu's arms. She buried her head in his chest, letting her tears stain his white t-shirt. Kagome watched him swallow, quickly uncertain, before wrapping an arm around her friend's waist. He did not seem to want any kind of intimacy with Yuka. He appeared quite awkward as she pressed her body against his. Had they not been together before? Why was he like this? Was it because he did not want this or because he was afraid of Yuka's reaction to the whole youkai thing? She did not know him well enough to form an opinion.
Izu's focus shifted and he looked at Kagome, clearly confused. The girl appeared quite close but he doubted they had gotten to know each other over the span of a few minutes.
"I think Yuka and I should talk first," Kagome said as she marched towards the step. She put a foot down on the first creaked, white wooden step, her eyes never lingering away from Izu's face. There was a loud thump as her black shoe made contact with the ground.
"I don't think this is a good idea," Izu finally answered as he tightened his hold on Yuka.
Kouga was their leader and he respected that. He also respected what Kagome did for their tribe back then but it did not change the fact that she was not one of them. She did not have to carry the same kind of burden and it would not have any consequences on her and her life. It was their secret not hers. She was pack because Kouga made her so but nothing actually tied her to them. She could turn her back on them whenever she wanted to and she could leave. They were not her people. He appreciated her input, the fact that she was trying to help, but this was situation he should be handling without her. She did not know how important this was.
"Well, I do," Kagome answered a little defensively.
Yuka was her friend. She knew her more than Izu did and she could help her brace herself for the news. Kagome went through it and the two of them shared a friendship. She would finally be able to explain all of the mysterious illness she had during school and it might even make all of this a lot more believable. She stayed out of it as much as she could but now there was no way she could not get involved?
"I'll deal with this."
"What is going on?"
Yuka pulled herself away from Izu, pressing her palms against his chest to create distance between them. His arm fell into the emptiness while she searched his eyes for an answer. She tucked a loose strand of brown hair behind her ear, her nervousness bubbling inside of her. Why was it that everyone seemed to know more than her about this? What were they keeping from her?
"I'll explain," Izu said, cutting Kagome off.
Before their anger levels could rise any higher, they were interrupted. The door slammed against the door violently, the wood creaking, wanting to give up under the sheer amount of force used. It held up, not before it bounced back, nearly slamming shut in Kouga's face. He stopped it in time, his hand gripping at the edge of the door. He pushed it fully open and stepped outside. The gentle breeze made his black shirt flow and sent his dark, long ponytail swinging. His eyes shifted from Izu, to Yuka and he finally settled his gaze on Kagome. He breathed out through his nostrils, causing them to flare. She was upset and somehow he had a feeling it had something to do with Izu.
"I'm trying to talk to Yuka," Izu explained.
"She's my friend," Kagome said as she put her hands on her hips, her temper flaring. She did not know Izu; she knew nothing about him except the fact that he was apparently reckless. If he knew what he did could do so much damage then he should have been careful and he should not be taking his anger out on her. It was not her fault that he made a mistake.
Kouga frowned. "You know her?"
"We've been friends since we were kids."
Kouga put his hand on Izu's shoulder and squeezed. He controlled himself, making sure that his claws were not poking out. He did not want to be the one to do the big reveal. He did recognize the possessiveness in Izu's actions, which was why he made sure to be careful. He was strong yes, but he did not want to go against one of his own who had his instincts on full drive. Still, Kouga's own instincts were itching at him. He did not like the way Izu treated Kagome. He had felt her aura flare from all the way inside. He had rushed her as fast as he could, only to find them in a dominance fight and as expected Kagome was not backing down.
"Come inside," he said to Izu.
"What?" he snapped.
"Kagome needs to talk to her friend."
Izu's reached out for Yuka again and he wrapped his fingers around her wrist, making sure to hurt her.
"Let her go."
Izu was not even given the chance to since Yuka tugged herself free all on her own. She pulled herself away from Izu, holding her wrist close to her chest while gently rubbing it. She always thought Izu was a little different; he had this air about him that she could never quite figure out and it was what drew her to him in the first place. However, this time, it was scaring her more than anything else. She took shallow breaths as she allowed her gave to travel to Kagome. She did not know what was happening but Kagome seemed to know all about it. Her presence was much more soothing than Izu's at the moment. She scooted over to where Kagome was standing, their arms bumping together.
"Come inside, let the girls talk," Kouga said in a firm voice.
Izu was reluctant but he followed Kouga. His steps were slow and he kept glancing back but he always kept on walking.
Kagome let out a sigh of relief before grabbing her friend's hand once more. They had a lot to talk about.
"Youkais." Yuka's shoulders slouched. "Wow."
Kagome bit her bottom lip, allowing the information to sink in. Yuka had remained silent for most of the talk; she barely asked any questions. Kagome did her best to be as thorough as possible but - she had never been in Yuka's situation. She expected her friend to laugh, to call her crazy but then again with the scene that occurred upon her arrival… it must not have seemed that crazy. Unless she was under shock? Kagome was thrown into it, bitten by a giant centipede… she had no choice but to believe everything that was happening to her. Yuka had options. Worried, Kagome reached out and covered Yuka's hand with her own.
"I know this is crazy…"
"Crazy?" Yuka scoffed. "This isn't even anywhere near crazy… Kagome … I can't.. I mean I can't."
"You can't tell anyone."
"Yuka, this is their life. There is no choice; if everyone learns about them… they're going to hide. And they will lose their lives and it'll be over." She thought her friend would understand… She was confused too but she - she never wanted to hurt anyone. Which was why she spent her entire life lying, no matter how much it hurt her, no matter how much it destroyed her life and left her an empty shell. Surely Yuka could understand that?
"I -" She closed her mouth, and re-opened it, uncertain. "I - I'm supposed to lie to everyone?"
"What do you mean?"
"You talked about hanyous- you said… that's what my baby would be."
"So what? If I can't tell anyone, I can't tell my family. What am I supposed to do?" She shrugged her shoulders. "Leave them all behind? Never see them again? Never show them my child?" She removed her hand, tugging it away from Kagome's reach. "I'm supposed to be alone? Without them? Izu and I aren't in love Kagome. I should just hope it'll work out?" There was desperation in her voice, a sadness coming from deep inside of her. "This isn't my life Kagome. I'm not you. I don't want this. I don't wanna be alone."
"No, no," Kagome said as she reached out for her. "You won't be alone." There would be spells, they could hide the fact that her child was hanyou. "You can see your family. You don't understand."
"I don't wanna live this life."
Yuka rose from the bed, creating as much distance between herself and Kagome. "I don't want this." Tears began to form in her eyes and in a matter of seconds, the droplets began dripping down her cheeks. Her mouth twisted, her chest was hollow and she thought she was going to puke. It was not supposed to be like this. She already thought - she thought it was a difficult situation… but she never imagined it would be like this. A baby, she could deal with but a hanyou? She could never pull it off. She could not be a mother to - to that. And she did not want to be away from her family, living here with all of these weird people.
"This - I can't do this, Kagome."
"Yuka, it's a lot to take in, I understand."
"No, no that's the thing. You don't understand. You're fine with this. You want this. I don't."
"Maybe if you just give it some time…" She felt desperate but she was running out of options. She did not want her friend to make a hasty decision because she was confused. She needed time to calm down, to process everything that was happening.
"I won't tell anyone," she shouted. "But I can't do this."
Her heart was shattering with every word she spoke. She never thought this was a decision she would make. Her life should not have turned out like this. It was not what she had in mind for herself. She - she had to take a life. Could she do that? No. How? But - but the other option was not any better.
"Yuka, you can. I can help you."
"No." Her bottom lip trembled. "I'm sorry."
Before Kagome even had the time to go after her friend, she was already running down the stairs, rushing outside. Everyone thought the girls were talking upstairs - would anyone stop her in time? They were fast but Yuka was nothing but human and she was already panicked; a little thing could frighten her and it would not help.
She heard the footsteps echoing against the stairs, and then the voices. Unfortunately she could not hear anything they were saying. She rushed to her feet and made her way downstairs as fast as her legs allowed her. By the time she reached the bottom of the stairs, Yuka was nowhere to be seen. Kagome did not even have a chance to look for her that she felt someone grab her by the shirt. Next thing she knew, she was being pressed up against the nearest wall. A yelp of pain escaped her lips as she winced while her back collided with the hard wall. She crouched in pain, trying to tug herself free but she was unable to do so.
"What did you tell her?"
Kagome opened her eyes, painfully, and found herself staring into Izu's green eyes. "What did you tell Yuka?"
"Nothing you wouldn't have told her!" she screamed back as she wrapped her hands around Izu's wrist. She tried to pull but he would not bulge. She did not want to do this but she felt a certain threat to her life. She knew nothing could happen to her and yet, she could feel his aura sizzling against hers, as though he was trying to provoke a reaction out of her. Why did he keep seeing her as the enemy? She was trying to help him, she was trying to help her friend. The more she got to know about him, the less she understood what Yuka saw in him. He was rude, violent and aggressive. He was a very dislikable person.
She left a surge of power leave her hand and suddenly, his skin began to burn. Instead of making him release her, it only made him angrier. He tightened his hold on her, his fingers threatening to grab her neck. His claw brushed up against her skin, drawing a tiny amount of blood. He never had the chance. Before Kagome could use her powers, Izu was yanked away from her. The pull was so powerful, he was sent flying on the mahogany coffee table. It broke under his weight, leaving him in a pile of shattered wood. He was not knocked out for long as he quickly hurried to his feet in a defensive stance. He already knew who pulled him away from Kagome and he would need to be on his guard.
Kouga on the other hand completely ignored everything happening around him. He was seeing red; he wanted blood. All he could smell was Kagome's blood. That was the moment he lost it. He tried to remain in control, he even watched while her pink aura emerged from her body and burned Izu's flesh. However, when he saw the droplets of red, he was a goner. Even now, with his fangs sticking out, his icy blue eyes focused, he could barely think straight. It did not matter that she was not his woman, he saw her as his a long time ago and now that he was - not himself… he had to protect Kagome. He needed to protect her.
"Kouga!" Kagome shouted as she tried to run towards the two of them.
Unfortunately for her, she was stopped by two pairs of arms. She looked left and right and saw Ginta and Hakkaku were trying to prevent her from going any further.
"It's dangerous, Sis."
"I have to stop this." It started because of her and she could handle Izu on her own. She saw this look in Kouga's eyes as though he was not himself and to be honest, she was not sure what he was capable of. She knew there were darker side of him that she never truly got to see; he used to raid and kill humans before they met. He even used to eat them. They were sides of him that - that were dark and dangerous and apparently Izu just pushed his buttons to a new limit.
"I can stop this."
"I'm not letting you go."
Ginta was not usually forceful with her but he had no choice. Kouga was animalistic at the moment and although he would never hurt Kagome, she could get hurt during this fight and then, Kouga would never forgive them. The best they could do was protect Kagome and make sure she stayed away from all kind of danger.
"Ginta, I can't stay here and let this happen."
"It's dangerous -"
Kagome did not even have a chance to retaliate. Instead, a deep snarl echoed through the room and everyone looked at Kouga and Izu. Kouga's claws were out and he was ready to shred Izu to pieces. Kagome watched, her chest heaving with each breath; she had to do something. It was not the first time she found herself in such a situation. Inuyasha used to lose control all the time and he never hurt her. Kouga had to have better control; he was a full youkai. It was okay, she could do this. She took a deep breathe and then, closed her eyes as she let her power flare. Both Ginta and Hakkaku retracted their arms rapidly, shot by the pain. She would have to apologize later.
She took the momentary distraction and made a run for it. She closed her eyes and ignored everything as she rushed towards Kouga. She launched herself at him and wrapped her arms around his waist. She buried her face in his back, making sure to keep her aura away, not wanting to provoke him any further. At first, she felt his body stiff under her hold but she never let go. He twitched, probably trying to break free, but he never pulled away. She could hear the sound of people moving and she assumed they were gathering around Izu to prevent him from attacking while Kagome was holding on to Kouga. A few tears puddled in the corner of her eye but she did not let them fall.
Eventually, she felt his breathing slow down, and he relaxed in her arms. His aura was still flaring but he had calmed down. She took that opportunity to snake her way around until she was standing in front of him. He was not looking at her; he was watching ahead, his eyes void of any kind of emotions. She dared to raise a hand, a slight tremble inflicted upon her, and she gently cupped his cheek. Even though he still did not make eye contact, he leaned into her touch. This should be soothing to him. She let her thumb caress his tan skin, while her other hand traveled down his chest, all the way down to his hip where she rested it.
"Kouga, it's okay. I'm okay."
He bore his fangs, clearly unsure of how to proceed. In front of him, three people were tying Izu down and he was no longer a threat. He could leave, he could lean into her touch.
Since it was not enough, Kagome moved forward and let her nose brush up against his neck. She nuzzled him, her lips sometimes teasing his flesh. She let her warmth surround him and little by little she could feel his aura retreating. After a few moments, he wrapped his arms around her and buried his face into her hair, inhaling the sweet scent.
She raised her head slightly until her nose touched his ear. "Let's go outside." Upstairs would have probably been better but she wanted to get him away from the house and away from Izu. Outside seemed like the best idea.
Kouga did not nod but he did begin moving. However, he had no intention of letting her untangle herself from him. Instead, he moved his hands until they were under her knees and then, he lifted her up from the ground. She gasped but he kept moving, leaving everyone behind while he headed outside. Nobody moved, nobody said anything.
Kagome rested her head against his chest, listening to his heartbeat.
A white mug.
Nothing was more interesting than that right?
Kagome let her finger run across the white rim as she mindlessly looked it, doing her best to ignore all of the pair of eyes staring at her. She was fine. They did not need to worry about her.
Kouga and her had spent a few hours together before he said he needed to clear his head. She watched him disappear into the woods, probably turning into a wolf, while she remained behind. She knew he was not human. She knew the problem was not her. There were something she could not fix. She wished she could talk to him about it but it was not the way it did things. They were bounds to have some differences and she could deal with that. Nonetheless, it did not prevent her from worrying. He was out there, where he could get hurt or seen by someone, and he was not in the greatest mood.
She only hoped he would return soon.
"He knows what he's doing."
"He just needs time alone."
"We're wolf, that's how we do things."
"You shouldn't worry."
"I know," she repeated with smile. She brought the mug to her lips and took a sip. Lemon tea. It was always a good way to soothe away one's worries right?
Ginta drummed his fingers along the edge of the wooden table, shifting his bottom lip from left to right. There was something on his mind but he almost did not dare to ask. Although, with Kouga and Izu both gone…it might be the only chance he had. Plus, he was not sure Izu would be returning any time soon. He had left a little bit after Kouga and Kagome went outside. He did not say a word, he did not tell them where he was heading and nobody made a move to try and stop him. They already barely managed to avoid one fight and they had no intention of starting another one. It was never even meant to turn out like this.
"W- what happened?"
"With your friend?" Hakkaku completed.
Kagome sighed as she put her mug down on the table. Yes, there was still that problem. Since everything happened all at once, she never even had the chance to check up on her friend.
"She- she doesn't want this."
"What do you mean?"
"She doesn't want this life - the " Why was it so hard to say? "I don't think she wants the baby."
"She won't tell anyone."
"Are you sure?"
Kagome nodded as she let her hands dropped to her laps. She hoped Yuka would not do anything drastic too fast. She should be a better friend to her. Perhaps she should go to her house, speak with her. Although, it might be best to wait a day or two; she did not want to push her when she was emotional. Kagome already felt like a terrible person. She had been angry at her friend - but it was the same thing all over again; she did not understand the burden they all had to carry - including Yuka. If Kagome was ever - if she was ever pregnant with a hanyou, her family would understand because they knew about all of this. She would never have to lie to them and they would accept the child and the father.
That thought made her blush. But she pushed it aside.
Yuka did not have any of that. Even if they masked the fact that her child was half wolf…she would have to spend every day lying. Kagome lived with that but then again she was not always in the present. It made it easier. Yuka would have to lie every single day. Perhaps it was a lot to ask of someone? It was unfair of her… It was her friend's life and her decision. Kagome simply did not want her to regret it especially since she did not have all the information. She ran away too fast and Kagome felt like she needed to hear all of her options before she made a decision. But if in the end Yuka felt her choice was still best, then it was. And - as much as Kagome disliked Izu at the moment, it was more his business than Kagome's. It might have been best if the two of them had a chance to talk now that Yuka knew the truth.
"Maybe it's better this way," Ginta offered in comfort.
"It's a lot to ask of someone. Not everyone's like you, Sis."
She was given a very understanding family who could accept anything. She never realized how lucky she was until now. Until she saw her friend who had nothing but fear.
The conversation was interrupted when the back door opened. Three pair of eyes lifted and glanced in his direction. He was leaning in the doorway, his long black hair a mess, his ponytail long gone, and all he had one was a pair of dark blue jeans, not buttoned, which allowed them to see a hint of light grey boxer. His chest was bare, covered in a few scratches that appeared to be healing already. He looked at Ginta and Hakkaku but he avoided looking into Kagome's eyes. He had been a little forward with her earlier and he was not sure how she felt about it. She did not seem to mind but then again, he had been so blinded by his rage that she might have simply been trying to keep him calm.
"Ya know, I think there's something really interesting going on in the living room."
"I think ya might be right," Ginta said as he got up from his chair.
Both of them glanced at Kagome before exiting the room, very not subtly living Kouga and Kagome alone.
"I don't think they're ever going to get better at this," Kagome said with a smile.
Kouga began dragging himself inside, like a puppy who had been kicked. He stuffed his hands in his pockets, creating awkward bulges, and stopped once he bumped into the chair. "Kagome."
"No," she quickly said as she hoped to her feet. "You don't have to be sorry."
He raised his glance, his eyes landing on the small cut on her neck. Apparently he was not very subtle since she immediately clasped a hand on the wound. "It's nothing, he barely broke the skin."
"I shouldn't have lost control."
"It's who you are."
"I wouldn't hurt ya."
He did not care how far gone he could be, he would not hurt her. His instincts went in overdrive to protect her. Although, he had to admit, he was scared for a second when she launched herself at him. Only Kagome would ever do something so reckless.
"I wouldn't have done it if I thought you could hurt me."
"He's not back yet."
Kouga did not expect him to return for a while.
"I'm sorry about your friend."
"I just hope she's okay."
Kagome lowered her hand from her neck and let it drop to her side. Her fingers twitched and shyly, she reached out for his hand. She barely brushed her fingers against his, almost afraid to hold his hand but as soon as the contact was made he did not let her get away; he intertwined their fingers together.
"Are you okay?" she whispered.
He nodded. "I just needed to clear my head," he said as he used his free hand to untangle some of his hair. "Shit, I just. It could have been bad."
"But it wasn't."
"Because you were here."
He found himself getting more and more blunt in her presence. He could not even believe himself when he asked her to stay with him downstairs during the previous night. He also could not believe that she said yes. But she stayed. And even now when he felt like he was at his worst, she stayed by his side. When he mentioned going for a walk, she reluctantly let him go. Every time she did something new, he found it harder and harder to pull himself away from her. If it did not work out, he knew it would be hard to come back from this. He never meant to feel so much so quickly but it was just like back then; he could not help himself.
"I'm not going anywhere," she finally said, her cheeks a bright red.
He arched an eyebrow, his heartbeat skipping. He did not want to interpret her words the wrong way but his brain was evil.
Kagome closed the distance between their bodies, pressing their chests together. "Kouga I -" She had meant to say it last night when they were cuddling but she was never able to speak the words. Today was different. "I want this."
He licked his lips. "Are you sure?"
She nodded. "I - I wanted to - to say it last night but I couldn't. And then today Yuka came in and…" Her friend had to choose between losing and losing. She could not have everything without sacrificing something. Kagome was more fortunate. She could have this. "I got scared. She could lose something." Why was this so difficult? "I- I get to have this. All of it. I don't want to go back to where I was - to what I was."
"I thought you weren't… you know."
"I thought I wasn't. I didn't want to ruin this. Us, our friendship. It meant too much to me." Unable to keep talking while looking into his eyes, she hid her face in his chest. "It's not a crush, it's - I want this. Everything feels better when you're around - and not because it reminds me of the past. Because - I mean you - I'm happy."
She did not think her face could get any redder; she could feel the heat burning her cheeks. She simply wanted to disappear - that or to have him say something - anything. The first sound he made was a chuckle.
"I'm happy too," he said as he pressed his lips to the side of her head.
She smiled against his chest, her teeth sinking in her teeth while she radiated joy from her aura.
Kouga wrapped his arm around her, keeping their fingers together in his other hand. He got the girl.
He could not screw this up.