Continuing Tales

The Cursed Monk

A InuYasha Story
by forthright

Part 6 of 9

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Mid-morning the following day, the couple walked the short distance to the tanuki's residence, for they were expected for brunch. To Kagome's delight, Hachi had returned; the youkai's eyes were bright with expectation when he opened the door to them, and she noticed his nose twitching. For a moment, confusion creased his furry brow, and then his expression shifted until he was looking at her with such reproach. "Oh, things are not going well at all," he murmured in disappointment.

"How did you manage a break?" interjected Miroku with a firm shake of his head.

"Kyuu and I traded places for the day," Hachi replied unhappily.

Kagome's discomfort grew throughout the meal. Two conversations seemed to be underway at the same time, and all the subtext were driving her crazy. Significant glances and quelling looks bounced back and forth between Hachi, Natsume, and Miroku until finally, Natsume drew her in by asking, "So... how did you two meet?"

"Oh... erm..." Kagome began, unsure how much explaining she'd need to do about the Bone Eater's Well and the Shikon no Tama.

"We shared a hot spring together," Miroku calmly answered.

"What!" she squeaked. "We never did any such thing!"

"We most certainly did," he replied, a twinkle in his eyes.

She shook her head adamantly. "You and Hachi ambushed us, and you hijacked my bicycle!" she argued.

"The following day."


"Ah, your first sight and my first sight are two entirely different things," Miroku countered. "Do you recall what you were doing the night before our bicycle ride?"

"N-not really," she admitted.

"There was a full moon... and a hot spring... and a young woman of uncommon beauty... with a large piece of the legendary Shikon no Tama hanging between her pert..."

"Miroku-sama!" she gasped. "You were peeping?"

"I happened to be nearby," he admitted with a nostalgic smile. "Believe me, I was quite prepared to introduce myself, but alas, Inuyasha got to you first."

She opened and closed her mouth a couple of times, then turned determinedly back to Natsume, saying, "Maybe you heard about Naraku?"

"He was before my time, but Hachi told me all about your quest," his mate explained. "You are the Shikon Miko."

"Oh, I don't know," she demurred. "I'm just Kagome."

"I always though the ending to your story was a little sad," the tanuki said, hastily adding, "If you'll pardon my saying so."

"Well, we succeeded," Kagome murmured.

"But you were separated from the others again," Natsume gently pointed out.

With a small nod, she replied, "Yes, I was."

Reaching over to pat her arm, the tanuki brightly added, "And yet, you have been reunited."

"Yes," Kagome replied, smiling softly at Miroku. "It's funny how things turned out."

Every time the conversation lagged, an uncomfortable tension crept into the silence. Kagome couldn't fathom the meaning of the undercurrent until Miroku followed Hachi's mate into the kitchen to explore its mysteries, leaving Kagome alone with the tanuki. Fixing her with a soulful look, he said, "Kagome-sama, I thought you would help Miroku-sama."

"Well, I'm not sure where to begin," she replied, fidgeting uncomfortably.

"Not true!" Kagome was taken aback by the rebuke in Hachi's tone. The self-effacing tanuki could obviously be stern when necessary, and she found herself shrinking before his lecture. "Five minutes, five hours, five days—you only get one chance at this Kagome-sama. If the curse is not broken in the next few days, it will be fifty years before anyone can wake him."

Leaning forward, she whispered, "How do you know?"

"I found out through trial and error, of course," he grumbled. "Once I figured out there would be other chances, I used to lure girls to the cave. The last time I was able to wake him, he sent the poor, frightened thing away and made me promise to stop."

"He did?" she asked in a small voice.

Hachi nodded seriously. "But Miroku-sama hasn't sent you away. He knows you! He needs you! You must give him this chance—his only chance."

She glanced towards the kitchen, then whispered, "What am I supposed to do? I might be a miko, but I have no idea how to break the mountain god's curse!"

The tanuki pressed a paw to his forehead, and in longsuffering tones, he said, "Really, Kagome-sama... isn't it obvious? You need to bear his child."

"But, that would mean we'd need to... erm..."

"Yes. Soon. Often." With a huff, Hachi declared, "You don't have much time, so don't put it off any longer."

They returned to the inn, and for the remainder of the day, the couple did their best to stay out of the way of the handful of other guests. Miroku was amused by Kagome's efforts to steer him away from the flirtatious hostess. Her territorial instincts were incredibly ferocious, yet, she could turn around and be just as sweet and gentle as ever. Under all her innocence, there is strength. It is no wonder that she succeeded in her quest and triumphed over Naraku.

As evening shadows deepened, Kagome grew pensive, and Miroku wondered just what Hachi had said to her. I can guess, and I can guess her response. The man wanted nothing more than to block out the nagging sense of urgency that threatened to steal away his gratitude for these days of respite. Bedtime arrived, yet he couldn't bring himself to close his eyes. Soon enough, he would have nothing but empty sleep, filled with visions of the intimacies he would never share with another. Small flares of anger accompanied his anxieties, but the monk firmly set both aside. Kagome-sama is innocent in all of this. I will not sully her act of kindness by using her.

However, as darkness deepened, the thought of returning to his personal purgatory sent a thrill of panic through Miroku, and he sidled closer to Kagome, desperate for her companionship. Perhaps she was kindhearted even in sleep because when he eased under her covers, she reached for him, placing her hand on his shoulder. Immediately, he found it easier to breath. I am not alone. Focus on this moment. Live in this moment.

Knowing her sympathies would allow small liberties under the circumstances, he trespassed further. I promised not to molest her in her sleep, but this is different. Being close to another human being is comforting, damn it. Edging nearer, Miroku sought more contact, and to his astonishment, Kagome rolled toward him, her hand sliding down towards his hip as her leg nudged up between his. Automatically, he fit his body against hers, and it was heavenly.

How is she sleeping through this? There was no way he would be able to sleep now, for the ache was back, more insistent than ever. His hand trembled as he tugged at his interfering yukata knot, and his eyes crossed; if he maneuvered his hips just so, he was fairly certain her bare thigh would come into direct contact with... oh, sweet merciful Buddha. Stars burst before his eyes, and he knew without a shadow of a doubt that Kagome needed to wake up now... or she would kill him in this life, and Inuyasha would do it again in the next.

"Kagome-sama? Please, Kagome-sama, I may have lied," he begged, words tumbling over one another. "This is much more difficult than I expected, and I do not want to betray your trust."

She moaned softly and pressed closer to him, and he choked out a desperate, "Quickly! I need... well, I want... no, I need... oh, damn!" The curse may not have allowed him to attend to himself, but this was working; all he'd needed was a woman's touch. His self-control was crumbling fast; groaning heartily, he whispered, "Please tell me to stop, or I don't think I can."

"Miroku-sama?" Kagome replied blearily.

"Tell me to stop," he panted. "Because you feel amazing."

With a startled squawk, Kagome pushed him away, and he let her. Eyes tightly closed as shame washed over him, he balled his fists and cursed the vengeful mountain god for his taste in wives. When the flapping and of blankets and frenzy of activity finally ended, he found himself in a rather enviable position. Kagome had switched on a dim nightlight and currently straddled his waist, pinning his wrists to the futon on either side of his head. He'd always had a thing for strong women, so her glare did nothing to cool his ardor.

"Explain," she demanded in a growl that would have made Inuyasha proud. "Now."

Miroku could have cried because her yukata had loosened while she slept, and at this angle, the curve of one breast was exposed to view. She was breathing heavily, and the effect was quite mesmerizing. He managed an incoherent, "Ah."

Kagome smacked his cheek hard enough to sting, and he dragged his eyes to hers. Misery and desire lay stark upon his features, and she sighed heavily. "Miroku-sama, get your mind out of the gutter."

"What?" he managed, confused by the unfamiliar phrase.

"Stop thinking about sex," she snapped. Her bluntness widened his eyes, but her next remark left him stunned. "You've had plenty of time. Why didn't you let off some steam in the bath? Isn't that why you wanted to come here in the first place."

"You are very knowledgeable for a virgin."

"I'm a grown woman, Miroku-sama," she replied crisply. "Inexperienced and uninformed are not the same thing. Now, give me a reason not to find the modern equivalent of Hiraikotsu."

"The curse..." he began weakly.

Her eyes narrowed dangerously. "If this becomes your old 'cursed hand' excuse, I will not be amused."

Damn, she's beautiful. Images of the things they could be doing in this position sent an involuntary shudder through his body, and he swallowed thickly. "I have only been this far once before, and circumstances were different then. This curse appears to have an insidious quirk that discourages celibacy," he said, wondering if she would catch the full extent of his meaning.

"Oh," she frowned. "No solo maneuvers?"

His eyes rolled back in his head, and his voice hoarsened. "Kagome-sama, you are not helping matters by freely saying such things."

"Are you in pain?" she inquired softly.

"This position grows increasingly uncomfortable," he hedged.

However, she didn't move. Tightening her hold on his wrists, she asked, "If I give you a hand, will you make me a promise?"

His heart began to thud, and he whispered, "Anything."

"Two things, actually," she amended.

Miroku's mind whirled through possibilities, each more erotic then the last, and Kagome had to pat his cheek again to get his attention. "I am at your mercy," he admitted. "What do you want from me?"

"Tomorrow, we'll get married," she proposed. "The priest at the temple can perform the ceremony."

Although he'd already agreed to anything, he gently protested, "Wouldn't it be better to wait? We could marry if you conceive, and if you do not, you would be free."

Kagome straightened and folded her arms over her chest. "I'm not the sort of girl."

"Yes, of course, Kagome-sama," he replied contritely. "It would be an inestimable honor to be your husband."

"Then... that's settled," she murmured, keeping her eyes averted as she removed herself from his person.

"And the second thing?" he prompted, discreetly pulling a blanket across his lap. To his amusement, after all her boldness, Kagome blushed. Like the virgin she is. He waited patiently for her courage to catch up to her.

Finally, she whispered, "Kiss me first?"

He'd always know Kagome was a romantic, and he understood that she was making a great sacrifice for his sake. Pity may be a might be a meager basis for stirring passions, but it is a place to start. Ignoring the curse's ultimate requirement for one last night, Miroku contented himself with seducing the friend who had decided she was willing to bear his child after all. She doesn't love me, but she will. That is the kind of girl Kagome-sama was... and the kind of woman she remains.

Confidently reclaiming the lead, he pushed himself up on one elbow. "May I hold you?" he inquired, doing his best to be a gentleman despite his selfish intentions.

She nodded jerkily, so he patted the futon at his side. Once she settled in beside him, he leaned down to place a gentle kiss on her waiting lips. The second caress was as chaste as the first; however, his third was met by a soft sigh that spoke of loneliness, and Miroku followed it deeper. To his delight, she fitted her arms around him and clung to every kiss, and there were many. They merged together in a delicious muddle of mounting pleasure.

Experienced as he was, he knew the moment when she gave herself over to him. In every sense of the word, she was his for the taking. When his palm slid over warm skin, she arched against him, and he exulted. Her fingers were in his hair, running over his shoulders, wearing down his resolve. Hastily, he pushed aside interfering cloth and catching her hand, he guided it lower, wordlessly begging for her touch.

Kagome drew back and blinked at him, emerging slightly from the haze of desire he'd skillfully induced. "Oh," she murmured bashfully. "Right."

When she gently pushed him onto his back and lay her head over his galloping heart, the monk's torture reached new levels. He would gladly endure her curiosity on the morrow, but now was not the time for long looks and light touches. "Kagome-sama," he complained weakly, groaning when she guiltily withdrew her hand. Trapping it in his own, he firmly guided her back and folded his fingers around hers. It was all he needed. With a strangled gasp, five hundred years of waiting and wanting finally found release.

The Cursed Monk

A InuYasha Story
by forthright

Part 6 of 9

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