Categories > Anime/Manga > Inuyasha > This Can't Be Good

(10) Already

by Ithilwen 0 reviews

What should Inuyasha expect when he drags a tired old woman away from her dinner? GOOD news?

Category: Inuyasha - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Humor, Romance - Characters: Other - Published: 2005-11-22 - Updated: 2005-11-23 - 2363 words

(Bows to Mafia Puppet.)

KURAMA: You will be reimbursing me for three taxis, the cost of my boxers, shipping and handling, and you will be reimbursing Koenma and Yoshihiro Togashi for the time that I didn't spend at work.

I already took care of the matter. By the time you return, neither Koenma nor your teammates will be willing to speak against me.

KURAMA: What? You sent a threat?!

No, just a fruitcake.

KURAMA: I'm calling another cab now.



So Kagome had found him. He hadn't been eager to leave her alone with Hojo - Kaede and the others didn't count - but after the old bat had finished her story, Shippo had plunked his fluffy rump down in front of the pasty moron and started asking a bunch of loud questions. How long had he known Kagome? Where did he learn to be so polite and well-spoken? He didn't get into fights, did he? Did he and Kagome get along really well? And he never picked his teeth with his claws? Mr. Perfect had been too surprised to do more mumble and back away, but the message had come through loud and clear: Next to Hojo, Inuyasha was a boorish, violent scum-beast that should do everyone a favor and crawl back under its boulder.

At least he fucking knew how to knock.

He'd had to get out of there. He'd had to get out of there before something that Hojo needed very badly would be stuffed down where Shippo really didn't need it.

"Have you gotten your things together?" he growled, not ceasing his pacing. The clay bank beside the wide stream felt smooth and cool against his feet. Inuyasha managed to keep his disobedient eyes on Kagome long enough to see her blink before they darted back off toward the water.

"You mean you were serious?" she asked. "Inuyasha, if we leave today we won't get two hours of daylight, and Hojo-"

"It'll be two hours that we won't have to do tomorrow, and your precious Hojo will be just fine staying here with Kaede."

"He's not my-"

"Because he's sure as hell not coming with us!" he snapped and turned his back on her, staring out at the troubled waves as he tried to make his thoughts run still.

Stupid girl! Was it so much to ask for a good night outside in the woods? He closed his eyes and inhaled. Yes... To fall asleep in some leafy place where he could look down at Kagome snuggled into that stupid blanket-thing and watch her breathing level out as Shippo curled up on her stomach. Seeing her drift off like that did manage to calm him. Inuyasha gave a snort. It probably had something to do with the fact that she'd only once managed to sit him in her sleep.

From the corner of her eye, he saw her draw back her hand, fingers sliding against the nothing in between them. Questions that he didn't know how to ask made him huff and spin away again.

"Come on, Inuyasha, let's leave first thing tomorrow."

In case helpless little Hojo needed something in the night? So she could wait by his bedside, stroke his head until he-

"It'll give Kaede time to take a look at the well."

Oh. Yeah, that was a better reason.

He huffed in a way that she always took for agreement.

"Thanks, Inuyasha!"

If he turned around, he'd see her smiling. He'd see her standing with one toe poking at the gravel, her hands behind her back, and a smile all for him if he'd only look.

"Where is the old bat, anyway?" he demanded.

"She was traveling all day," Kagome drawled back, "she probably went back to her house to rest. She looked really tired!"

"Good, then she shouldn't be hard to catch."



"What of it?" answered the old priestess.

"What did you find?!" there was an odd sort of impatience in the dog demon's voice, almost as if he had already planned what to do if she failed to answer, and didn't think it would work.

It was hardly strange, getting hauled away from her evening tasks. As a priestess, she'd often had to leave things unfinished when there was something that couldn't wait. Sango had offered to finish cooking the old woman's dinner. The boy Hojo, oddly enough, had immediately moved to help her. It was a rare lad who did more about women's work than ask if it was done yet. If Kaede didn't suspect that he was simply too slow-witted to know a kitchen from an outhouse, she'd almost have approved. His diligence seemed contagious, as the usually lazy monk Miroku had been reluctant to leave the fires, only following after Inuyasha, Kagome and herself once Sango had driven him off with a strike to the face. ...but that, too, was hardly unusual.

"I can find nothing amiss with the Bone-Eaters Well, Inuyasha," she answered carefully. "Save only that it seethes as it always has with the evil of unconsecrated remains."

He let out a quick growl, "Look again!" he demanded.

"Inuyasha!" scolded Kagome. Miroku gave a short word and shook his head, muttering something about futility and Inuyasha's lack of manners.

Kaede was sure that the dog demon would have been able to hear both of them well if not for the clear sound of teeth grinding together in his head. The old priestess watched as Inuyasha clenched both hands into fists, a look of torment on his face until he finally spoke, biting off each word like flesh from a hated enemy's bones.

"Please, Kaede, look at the well again."

Kagome looked up. Miroku froze with his hand an inch from Kagome's behind. Even Kaede had to blink.

No, she thought, the strange part of this affair was standing right in front of her wearing red hakama and a tortured expression. Inuyasha had not only asked her help, asked it of her with something that someone who didn't know him might have mistaken for humility. Her thoughts grew serious. What manner of creature was this "Hojo"? There had been no mistaking the dark looks Inuyasha sent his way. If the young demon wanted him gone, and badly enough to bite back his tongue, then perhaps there was more danger in him than his empty-headed demeanor would imply.
But then, if this was what change a dewy-eyed young nobleman could bring to unruly Inuyasha then perhaps it was worth putting up with all the dew between his ears.

It almost made her sorry to say it.

"Inuyasha, I have done what I can do."

The dog demon's face twisted up again, "If there's nothing wrong with the well, then why won't it fucking take him back?"

"I must admit, Priestess," Miroku added in, "the same question troubles my mind. Hojo belongs in Kagome's time. Why wouldn't the portal work for him?"

"I know not why," said Kaede. "But I might guess it has something to do with the charm he wears about its neck. It does indeed hold power, though of what nature I could not tell."

"You don't know either?" Kagome asked.

Kaede shook her head, "That it has something to do with fire we have already seen," she said. "Beyond that, the power in young Hojo's talisman is foreign to me." Only...

"We need to find a way to get the fucking thing off his ugly neck, then," Inuyasha seemed almost thoughtful. "Maybe the fireblast was just because I'm half demon. Maybe it would work if you tried to do it, Miroku."

"Wha- what-Me?!" the monk jumped.

Kaede barely heard their prattle. Now that she had truly thought on it, the talisman did remind her just a bit of something, but-

"Inuyasha-" the monk took a breath and composed his features. "Perhaps you can recall, Inuyasha, that Sango and I were almost as badly burned by the fireblast as you were. In fact, the only person it left unharmed was Kagome. She, if anyone, should attempt to remove Hojo's talisman."

Kagome looked a bit pale for a second, but then seemed to mull it over, "Do you think it would work, Kaede? Do you-"

"It doesn't matter what she thinks!" Inuyasha cut her off.

She'd felt something like - no, it hadn't been very much like the little wickedly blinking stone, but similar. Had it, too, concerned fire?

"You're not doing it."

Kaede's memories scattered again as the girl stamped her foot, "I can do what I want!"

"And you want sweet little Hojo back to Tokyo safe and sound," he sneered back. "Well you're going to have to settle for him staying here with Kaede while we go after this shard, 'cause we can't afford to have Naraku snatch another one out from under us!"

Oh... Kaede's thoughts went cold as she remembered something quite different. This wasn't going to be good.

"Inuyasha!" Kagome protested.

"No, Inuyasha is right, Kagome," Miroku cut in. "Hojo will be able to manage here until we return with the shard, and this is the more pressing of the two issues."

Kaede opened her mouth to answer, but found herself at a loss for how to place her words so as not to further inflame the situation.

"Perhaps," Miroku was still trying to calm Kagome, "while we are gone, you, Kaede or even Hojo may have some idea as to why he has become trapped here. Perhaps leaving the matter alone for a few days is what needs to be done."

The old woman cleared her throat.

"I think it better," she said carefully, "that you should take young Hojo with you."

Kagome looked up. "Hm?"



Kagome narrowed her eyes at Inuyasha and the monk, both of whom promptly looked away.

"While you were away sulking, Inuyasha-" the dog demon gave a huff, folding his hands into his sleeves, "-I heard some of the young men at their talk," Kaede explained smoothly. "It seems that your guest, Kagome, has made himself more popular with some of our village folk than others."

The monk covered his eyes with one hand, "Already?"

Kagome went on, "If he were to remain here without your supervision, then I fear some accident might befall him."

"And wouldn't that be a terrible shame?" grumbled Miroku under his breath.

Inuyasha gave an affirmative grunt.

Kagome gave them each another glare. "Kaede, do you really think that Hojo would be safer chasing demons with us than here? I'm sure the villagers aren't that/ im-ma-ture!/" she stretched the last word out toward Inuyasha.

The dog demon gave a growl, "The stupid girl is right for once. So what if the human boys here don't like him and he's too stupid to know? The worst that'll happen to the runt is they'll slap him around a little, maybe give him a black eye. Or break some of his teeth," Inuyasha suddenly appeared less sullen, "Or his nose! Or they'll smash his puny-"



"Yes, Kagome," said Kaede. "I do think you should take the boy with you. Though my information may be faulty, the serpent demons do not seem to be allied with Naraku, and you have all managed to protect young Shippo from threats of their caliber many times."

Inuyasha pushed himself into a sitting position spitting out some dirt, "The runt is still alive because has enough sense to know when to get lost! Hobo would probably walk right up to the snake demons and say 'bite me!'"

Kagome giggled.

"What's so funny, bitch?" demanded Inuyasha.

"Make no mistake," Kaede told him, "I do not expect Hojo to fight alongside you. It is clear to me that he knows little of that. Simply keep him from harm, and, as Miroku has said, perhaps when you return some solution may present itself."

The monk was nodding with something like sad resignation. Inuyasha was still seething. "How much daylight do we have left?"

"A little more than an hour, maybe," said Miroku. "Why?"

"We're leaving, that's why!"

"Now?" Miroku seemed incredulous. Kagome only sighed. "Why not wait until tomorrow?"

"Because there are shards to find!" he shot over his shoulder as the four of them started back toward the village, "And because your stupid neuteral might get himself de-neutered if we don't!"

"Natural," Miroku corrected, "and since when is he mine?"

"De-huh?" asked Kagome. Her eyes went narrow, "I want to know what this is about!"

"It's just something Miroku was telling me about. Hojo's neutered or something."

The monk started, "That's not what I said!"

"Neu- what? Inuyasha, when I said I wanted Hojo home in one piece, I meant unharmed."

"He is in one piece!" the dog demon answered. "Or at least he was the last time we saw him," he gestured to himself and Miroku.

Kagome's eyes went very big. "You... That can't be right."

"Kagome, that's not what I said!!" insisted Miroku.

"What, do you want us to check on him before we leave?"

Kagome slapped both hands over her mouth, a horrified squeak leaving her throat.

"Well I could-"

Miroku slapped a hand over Inuyasha's mouth. "My friend, stop talking and let me salvage both of our reputations!"

Inuyasha shoved his hand away, "Don't touch me with those! I don't know where they've been!"

"So you..." Kagome trailed off, "You guys didn't-"

"Didn't what?" demanded Inuyasha.

"No," Miroku assured her. "At no time, in no place, with no inclination."

Kaede shook her head. Perhaps Hojo would indeed be better off left behind, but at least an old woman could get some peace and quiet. She closed her eyes for a moment as the three in front of her began to settle down. She'd been troubled a moment ago. Had she forgotten something?


What's that?

KURAMA: I'm reading up on our next task. When I found out I had to come back here, I knew I'd miss more work, so Botan wrote me these briefs to look over.

They look fine to me.

KURAMA: What the-?! (Grabs blue briefs with the YYH logo.)

Well they do.

KURAMA: (Looks down at undisturbed beltline.) How did you do that?!
Sign up to rate and review this story