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

(12) Questions

by Ithilwen 0 reviews

Sometimes getting an answer just leaves a person with more to wonder about.

Category: Inuyasha - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Humor, Romance - Characters: Other - Published: 2005-11-22 - Updated: 2005-11-23 - 2389 words

KURAMA: Well Hiei should be out of the hospital soon.

I did not know he was allergic to strawberries.

KURAMA: Not many people did.


"What's this for?" Hojo asked, holding the bow at arm's length.

"I'm going to teach you to shoot arrows," Kagome said brightly. "It doesn't take all that long to learn - most of it's just practice - and this way you'll have something to use if a demon comes at you."

"Kagome, I don't know about this..."

Kagome took Hojo's free arm with both her hands. "Oh, come on!" she cut off as she felt a small tug on the end of her skirt.

"Can I come too, Kagome?" Shippo asked, making his eyes as big as he possibly could. Kagome felt a pang of guilt. She'd been gone days longer than usual. Sango and Miroku and probably even Inuyasha looked after of Shippo while she was back home, but for some reason the little guy seemed to latch onto her. He often complained about Inuyasha bopping him on the head or being mean to him while she was away, and Kagome didn't doubt it. Judging by how steamed Inuyasha had to get before he'd drag her back down the well, her absence probably made Shippo act up as much as it made Inuyasha seethe. The combination was probably what had led to so many bumps on the kitsune cub's little head, and so many Inuyasha-shaped holes in the ground near the village.

"Uh..." Hojo's nervous voice brought her back to reality.

"Sure, Shippo," she agreed. "You can come with us."

Hojo made a tiny sound in the back of his throat. Kagome looked up at his suddenly putty-pale face, and wished she could tell him she was kidding about the demons.

"The thing you have to remember when you're just practicing," she said instead, "is to be careful not to break the arrows. They never show it in the movies, but it takes a really long time for a guy to make one, and it's kinda' hard to get more..."

"Uh huh..." Hojo seemed a bit absent.

Kagome looked at the ground for a moment. Shippo was tossing his ball in the air as they walked. She wanted to tell Hojo that everything was going to be okay, that he'd make it back to Tokyo safe and sound, that the world wasn't cruel and scary, just like she wanted to tell Shippo that she'd never have to leave him alone.

It wasn't fair.

Lying to him about Inuyasha calling her names was one thing - what she'd told him was closer to the truth than any real thing she could have gotten him to believe - but if he walked out of Kaede's village without knowing how dangerous it could be, he might not walk back.

Of course, he might not walk back anyway, but...

"Are we going shard hunting tomorrow, Kagome?" asked Shippo.

Kagome nodded, "Inuyasha wanted to go tonight, but Miroku and I talked him out of it."

"Awww..." Shippo clutched his ball in both hands, "I missed it?"

"Shippo, it wasn't that bad."

"So you didn't have to sit him?" he asked archly.

Kagome sighed. Shippo started to snicker.

"Two sits," she admitted, "and Miroku got him on the head with his staff a few times."

Shippo rolled back on the ground and laughed.

Hojo coughed, "I always thought you had pretty good arms for a girl with muscular palsy," he chimed in over Shippo's giggles. "I guess this is why, huh?"

Kagome's mouth soured. "Jii-chan told you I had muscular palsy?"

"Yeah!" Hojo was almost laughing, "I guess I was pretty stupid to believe it. And he said that the calluses on your hands were an allergic reaction to your carpal tunnel treatments!"

"What?! Oooooh! I'm so gonna yell at him when I get home!"

Hojo stayed pretty lighthearted until they made it to the little clearing that Kagome had picked out. He always seemed to have his eyes somewhere else when she showed him how to string the bow and fit the arrow to the string. Shippo seemed happy to bounce the ball and chase it; he ran around so much that Kagome had to scold him to keep out of the way of Hojo's shaky practice shots.

The kitsune rolled his eyes, "It's not like they're your arrows, Kagome!"

Hojo turned to her quizzically, "What does he mean?"

Kagome suddenly didn't want to answer. "Well, uh..."

"Kagome can shoot holy arrows!" Shippo piped up, catching his ball and hopping on top of a stump so that he was nearly eye level. "When she hits a demon with them, they get purified like that! Bleeeeeh!" Shippo threw his arms wide and fell over backwards. He rolled to a stop and hopped back onto the stump, "She nearly dissolved Naraku's body with one shot!" he said proudly. "If his nasty head hadn't flown off before she could hit him again, things would be a lot better right now, listen to me!"

Kagome felt her cheeks go red, but she didn't feel warm at all.

Those big brown eyes that the girls in homeroom couldn't get enough of were fixed on her like she never wanted them to again. For a second she wanted Hojo to say that he didn't believe Shippo, that Kagome was just plain old Kagome, and all this talk about powers was something a kid would make up.

"Holy arrows?" Hojo asked, blinking.

"Eh..." Kagome looked away. "Why don't you try to hit that tree over there? The one with the knothole on the left..." Hojo hesitated and she pulled the bow out of his hands, "Here, watch me do it first."

"This is kind of confusing, Kagome," he said as she shifted her grip on the bow and knocked the arrow.

"I know it's a really long story, but I'll try to help however I can," she said brightly as she pulled string and fletching back to her ear, "Just ask me whatever you want!"

"Okay!" Hojo brightened. "So who's Naraku?"

The arrow went singing off into the leaves.


It just wasn't all her story to tell; it wasn't/ only/ that she didn't want to tell him...

Kagome sighed. "He's our enemy," and "It would be bad if he got any more of the jewel," had seemed to satisfy Hojo anyway. Now they were on their way back to Kaede's, with a first archery lesson and no dinner under their belts.

But the death-curse on Miroku, the slaughter of Sango's whole village, Kikyo, Kohaku, Inuyasha, half Kouga's tribe and the gods knew how many other slashed souls... Hojo wasn't ready, could never be ready for that.

And he was going to find out.

How would he react, she wondered. Would he want to hit something, like when he'd heard Inuyasha call her a name, or shout like when he'd seen Miroku grab Sango's butt? She shook her head. Those had been tiny violations of what Hojo saw as rightness in the world. How would he even wrap his mind around Naraku when the things he did could still make Inuyasha go quiet?

Inuyasha... Kagome's throat went dry. In all the rush to hear Kaede's rumor of a Shikon shard, she'd forgotten! Hojo had seen her in the house with Inuyasha!

Or... had he? And Inuyasha jumped away from me so fast, Kagome felt herself blush into the dimness. Inuyasha had just seemed so ...mortified. He didn't even act that way about Kouga. Did he really feel that silly about sitting there with her? She shook her head. One dumb junior-high boy at a time. Maybe Hojo /didn't see anything./

But how long had he been standing there before she'd noticed him? He'd seen. He'd thought that Inuyasha had been sleeping, so he must have seen him lying down. her lap! Suddenly mortification didn't seem so silly.

He didn't sound embarrassed. Or mad... Maybe- Kagome's neck lifted in relief - maybe she'd been misreading him. Maybe Hojo wasn't as head-over-heels for her as Yuka and the others said, and his constant offers of remedies and outings were really just kindness from a kind boy.

But he'd still have been/ embarrassed./ Kagome's jaw set. She was certain that Hojo had seen her with Inuyasha, and had gotten the wrong idea. She just didn't have any clue what wrong idea it was.

There was always - she cringed - asking him. She worried her lip between her teeth. "Hi! Um... I know you saw me holding a half-human boy's head in my lap and caught me petting his pretty puppy ears. How does that make you feel?" Okay, so he'd think she was a little weird...

But considering the made-up medical absences, the well, the demon buddies, Miroku, and Shippo's little melodrama about her miko powers, he'd probably figured that out already.

Kagome tossed the words around in her head, trying to come up with a way to put it that wasn't awful. It was impossible. Resigned, she pulled in a breath and turned around.

-to find herself alone. She blinked. How preoccupied had she gotten? Losing her guard like this, it hadn't happened in months. ...Inuyasha was going to be so mad at her!

"Hojo?" she called out, first walking and then running a few steps back toward the clearing, "Shippo?!" She'd let Hojo carry the bow, but if something had snuck up on them-

Voices reached her, and the her breath eased back into the evening.

"...she really likes them; they're her/ favorite./ You should give her some!"

"I ...uh! I better not!"

"Go on and take them! It's okay!"

/Huh? /she thought. What's Shippo talking about?

"What are you guys doing back there?" she stalked up to where Shippo was dragging Hojo by one limp hand, pointing at something by the side of the path with his free arm. "Shippo," she said, tapping one foot, "Are those the flowers that made Inuyasha get sick that time?"

"Are they?" Shippo turned toward the plant and made a great show of looking it over. "My mistake, Hojo-san, these aren't Kagome's favorite flowers after all."

She narrowed her eyes, but still sighed and picked the kitsune up off the ground, ruffling his tufty hair. "What did I tell you about provoking people?"

Shippo folded his little arms and put on a serious face - totally marred by the fact that he was being cuddled in her arms at the same time. "Like I said, Kagome," he sniffed innocently, "it was an honest mistake. You know I'd never play tricks on Inuyasha."

"Uh huh..." she rolled her eyes at Hojo, who was still staring at the demon cub in her arms.

"Why would I want Inuyasha to stay up sneezing all night? It makes him even more bad-tempered than normal!" Shippo protested.

"Yeah, you're soooo innocent," Kagome rolled her eyes. "You're spending too much time with Miroku."

"I am a kitsune," he said putting on a pretty good imitation of what she'd dubbed Miroku's "Buddha Face."

"Don't... Don't kitsune cast illusions and play tricks on people all the time?" Hojo asked hesitantly.

Shippo stuck his chin in the air, "I won't say that I don't enjoy deceiving an enemy, but I would never-"

"Yes they do," Kagome said dryly.

"And you like me anyway!" Shippo insisted.

"You bet!" she shifted her grip and tickled him.

"Kagome! Stop it!" he giggled helplessly. "You're embarrassing me!" Kagome found herself laughing too. She felt so much better that she didn't notice how Hojo's eyes hovered carefully on Shippo in her arms, or the way he flexed and stretched out the hand that the kitsune had grabbed. As they got closer to the village, the cub slowly went limp and heavy in her arms. Kagome looked down and blinked. Shippo had fallen asleep.

It must have been a long day... /she mused. /Sometimes he manages to fall asleep in my bike basket, but not when I'm carrying him...

Kagome carefully pulled the tiny ball free from his fingers and tucked it into his vest pocket, giving it a little pat.

There was an intake of air behind her, "Higurashi-!"

"Hojo I have a question to ask you," she said quietly, keeping her eyes on Shippo in case he woke up. ...or in case this was another one of the tricks he didn't play. ...or in case he changed one tiny bit; he'd never be just like this again.

"Higurashi," Hojo's voice was oddly intent, "you really shouldn't-"

"Hojo," she looked him square in the face, "earlier today, when you walked in on Inuyasha and me..." she bit her lip. Ooooooh, I can't believe I'm really going to say this!

"I woke him up; I'm sorry," he admitted, looking down at her chest as Shippo scrunched his face into her shoulder.

"Yeah..." she looked up into the branches, twisting her foot into the ground, "but did you ...see?"

Hojo blinked, "See what?"

"See me ...and Inuyasha..."

He frowned deeply. "Was there something to see?"

"No!" she nearly jumped to answer. Shippo made a noise and she quieted down.

Oh, it might have been the nearly-dead light but Hojo was so pale! Was he angry or still just scared by all her talk of demons? Hojo leaned the bow against his side and put a finger to his lip, "Do you mean that you were scratching him behind the ears?"

Kagome nodded tensely.

"Yeah, I saw that," he told her.

"You're not mad?

"Is there some reason I should be?"

"No!" she insisted again, relieved, but extremely confused.

"'Nuyasha took the last ramen..." Shippo murmured against her sleeve.

"Huh?" Kagome looked down.

"Well if that's all you wanted to ask me, Higurashi," Hojo answered brightly, "then I hope I was a help! We should get something to eat; I bet we've got an early start tomorrow!"

"Yeah..." she frowned, following him into Kaede's house.


People don't think about tough guys like that having allergies.

KURAMA: Hiei wasn't happy about his secret getting out.

People get beat up for that sort of thing.

KURAMA: In this case, the people who give other people hives. You'll be hearing from our lawyers.

Are you saying that he couldn't tell that it was strawberry?

KURAMA: How would he?

There were little decals in the icing.

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