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

(13) Master of the Obvious

by Ithilwen 0 reviews

Subtlety isn't everyone's strong point.

Category: Inuyasha - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Humor, Romance - Characters: Other - Published: 2005-11-22 - Updated: 2005-11-23 - 2350 words

You have no case.

KURAMA: No case for the food poisoning, perhaps, but there's your interference with my contract, your attempt to sell photographs on the internet without my consent, and about twelve different kinds of harrassment.

. . .


. . .

KURAMA: What do you have to say for yourself?

...Are we breaking up?




"Yes, Hojo-kun?"

Hojo's brow was knitted in confusion or embarrassment. His voice dropped as he eased over to walk beside Kagome's bicycle. "Higurashi... I think maybe your friends don't like me."

Kagome jumped, hands tightening on her handlebars, and cast a quick look around the group. They'd slowed to give Kirara a rest from carrying two full-size humans; the firecat now dozed in Sango's arms. Inuyasha was up front with Shippo on one shoulder and a stormcloud on his face. Kagome caught him glaring back at Hojo he huffed and turned away.

Sango and Miroku were walking several feet behind. Well... Sango was walking, and Miroku was leaning heavily on his staff, out of breath from trying to keep up with Inuyasha for half the day. When Kagome noticed Sango looking at Hojo, she blushed and turned away.

Miroku kept his eyes right where they were, slit-narrow and hard as agates.

Kagome turned back to Hojo, "Don't be silly!" she said brightly, "They like you just fine!"

"I don't know..." he trailed off. "This morning before we left, I was helping Miss Sango..."

... ... ...

"Here's the firewood Lady Kaede asked us for! I hope it's dry enough." Hojo set the stack down near the small cooking pit.

"Alright, just leave it over there," she said, not looking up.

"Miss Sango?" he asked, leaning into her field of view.

"I'm fine!" she insisted, jabbing at the smoking twigs.

"I don't mean to pry, Miss Sango, but your face is all red..."

"I said I'm fine and that means I'm fine!"

... ... ...

Kagome shook her head. "That doesn't mean that Sango doesn't like you, Hojo," she told him. "You have to remember that Sango wasn't raised the way you and I were. She's not used to anyone but Shippo or me asking if she's alright." But then... Kagome's eyebrows inched up. Hojo made girls blush all the time. Maybe Sango... She certainly wouldn't be the first.

"Oh," Hojo pondered, rubbing one knuckle against his cheek. "Well, the last time we stopped for a break, there was something that happened with the priest, Miroku."

... ... ...

"Wow, that was a long way!" Hojo commented cheerfully as he sat down next to the monk, "You must be really tough to do all that distance on foot. If I tried to do that, I bet my feet would just fall off!"

Miroku opened his eyes, pulling his head up from where he'd leaned it against the tree, and mumbled something under his breath that almost sounded like, "And then what would you stuff in your mouth?"

"I'm sorry? I didn't quite hear that."

"It was nothing of importance, anyway," the monk got to his feet, wincing, "I'll just go check on Sango."

... ... ...

"And then he walked away."

"Miroku might have just been tired," Kagome suggested, but couldn't keep the red from rising on her face. It wasn't as if it wasn't/ true, /but...

"I guess," Hojo frowned. "But then that Inuyasha guy..."

... ... ...

Inuyasha's snarling face was close enough to make Hojo's eyes cross. He stared ahead in confusion as the dog demon shouted with enough force to make his hair fly, "I ... HATE ... YOU!!"

... ... ...

"Eheh!" Kagome scratched the back of her neck. "Yeah..."

"That Inuyasha's a strange one," Hojo mused, shaking his head, "I don't know how you manage, taking care of him all the time."

Kagome shrugged. "Well, once you get used to the way he picks his teeth with his claws, he's not so bad." Kagome smiled. Her sight strayed to the fuzzy set of ears atop the fuming demon up ahead. They seemed to twitch, as if he felt her eyes on them. "I find the shards and Inuyasha takes them back from whoever's got them. Thinks were kind of rough at first, but it's okay now."

Hojo's eyes darkened thoughtfully, "Rough when you started?"

"Uh huh. We fought a lot," she swished her arm.

"And you do this because..."

Inuyasha's ears twitched again. Shippo turned his head to the side.

"I was the one who broke the jewel in the first place," she explained. "I can't just leave the shards out where people could get hurt with them"

"That makes sense," he answered, "but in one piece or a million, it's still there. What's it matter? With all the time you spend out of school, you're risking your whole future over a mistake."

"Yeah..." Kagome stared at the ground for a few steps, "but it's not just my life, Hojo."

"What else of yours would it be?" he asked, secure in his innocent logic.

Kagome didn't look up. He just didn't know, did he? And that was fine. A guy in Tokyo in the modern age didn't need to know things like what a village looked like after Yura of the Hair, or the kind of paint a man could make with magic, ink and blood.


"Don't worry about Inuyasha and Miroku, Hojo-kun," she told him. "They're just worried about having to protect another person who doesn't know how to fight."

Hojo held up the bow, "But I-"

"That's just if you have to, Hojo. Do you understand me?" she gripped his hand and pushed the bow away, looking him hard in the eye. "If there's a fight, you have to stay out of the way and let the rest of us handle it, and don't distract anyone." And at the shadow in his eyes, "That's the best way for you to help."

"Keh!" came a sharp voice, "that's the first smart thing I've heard you say all day, wench!"

"You were listening?!" she abruptly let go of Hojo's hand.

"Listening?" he stalked over, Shippo waving his arms to keep his balance as his ride's inertia shifted, "for fuck's sake, I'm not deaf, Kagome." He poked one claw into Hojo's collarbone, "Don't let me catch you shooting toothpicks into a battle with this piece of kindling," he sneered, "'cause if I've got to pull one out of my back, I'm going to use your wrist bones for tweezers!"

"Inuyasha!" Kagome asked, still horrified, "You heard all that stuff about Sango and-"

Shippo nodded, "Don't worry, Hojo," he hopped off of Inuyasha's shoulder, landing with his little feet on Hojo's hip and gave the suddenly ice-pale boy a hug, "I still like you!" Kagome caught Shippo shoot Inuyasha a sneer as he muttered something and walked away.

"Um!" Hojo looked down at Shippo, who was serving him a triple helping of his heart-melting-little-fuzzy-creature smile. Kagome looked from the kitsune cub to the dog demon and back, shaking her head. Why hadn't she noticed before?

"Shippo," Kagome scolded gently, "quit kissing up!" she plucked him off of Hojo's sweater, not noticing the boy exhale in relief. "What did I tell you about provoking Inuyasha?"


"Right!" she shook her head. "I'm sorry, Hojo, you were right about Inuyasha not liking you;" their last encounter with Kouga filled her mind, "he's like a little kid about some things."

Hojo looked unconvinced, but smiled anyway, reaching for her free hand, "Well, isn't that what they warn you about before you get a-"

"Let's get moving!" Inuyasha shouted from up front. "The sooner we get there, the fewer graves we have to dig!"

Shippo rolled his eyes and Kagome winced, but Hojo seemed to think it was a joke. She folded her arms as Inuyasha's gaze stayed fixed and dark when it fell on Hojo, but something unknotted in his eyes as he looked at something behind them.

"Can you work that thing?" he jerked a claw at Kagome's bike.

Hojo hesitated. Kagome closed her eyes for a second, hiding a smile at the thought.

"Yeah..." he trailed off. "I do."

"I won't tell anyone," she assured him, stifling a giggle. Sure, her bike wasn't that girly, but there was no hiding that it was bubble-gum pink. Miroku hadn't been above stealing it, but the thought of the premiere hunk of B class riding around on-

"What's so funny?" Inuyasha demanded. Kagome made a straight face, but then realized that he was looking right at Hojo, who was covering his mouth.

"Nothing," he answered, still amused. "It's to give Miroku a rest, right?"

Kagome glanced behind them at Miroku and Sango. The monk's face was composed, but flushed, and Hojo had said that he'd been limping... She shook her head. Miroku never had been able to keep up with Inuyasha for more than a short chase.

"...but how is Kagome going to keep up?"

"Just get going!" Inuyasha snagged Kagome's wrist as he turned away, pulling just hard enough to make her skip a step. "And find another ride, runt," he snarled at the kitsune in Kagome's arms. "I'm not carrying you too."

"To where?" asked Hojo, leaning down to try to adjust the seat height as Kagome's mind went absolutely still. The first time Inuyasha had told her to ride on his back, she'd thought it was a little weird. Considering that she hadn't been carried piggy-back since early on in grade school... It wasn't exactly comfortable either. On long trips her arms ached from holding up her head and shoulders, and Inuyasha had yelled at her a few times for not keeping her feet out of his way or for wiggling around and throwing his balance off. After a few trips, though, he'd figured out just where to grip her legs so that his claws wouldn't dig in, and she'd gotten used to his gait, his posture, and the smell of sweat that should have bothered her but didn't.

It's just a practical way for us to get around, Kagome thought into the ground. If she let go of her bike to shoot an arrow, she'd end up in a ditch. And this way, she didn't have to shout over the wind when she needed to get his attention. There were times when she'd all-out left her bike behind either because they'd be going over ground that wouldn't take wheels or because he snarled about dragging the cumbersome thing. ...or because she wanted to put her arms around him, and no one would ever ask why.

Sure, Miroku had made a comment or two at the beginning, but Inuyasha usually complained his head off about lugging her around like a lump of lead. It certainly wasn't wasn't how it looked!

"Come on!" Inuyasha was impatient. /He's not gloating? /Kagome realized with a blink. Her thoughts collected quickly. If Inuyasha thought that he was about to let Hojo see him do something even a little intimate with her, his face and voice would be curled-in and sneering, but it sounded like he was simply eager to get back on the road.

Kagome felt a color that had little to do with embarrassment rise on her cheeks. She/ only/ clamped her thighs down around his waist. It only made her blush to heaven when her stupid skirt rode up. It was only the most indecent thing she'd ever done in her entire life and he didn't think it was worth it to smirk at the dumb normal guy a little? Oooooooh!

"What are you fuming at, wench?" he demanded.

"You!" she stuttered in a rage, "You-"

"I'll just sit in this thing, okay?" Kagome snapped out of her thoughts to see Shippo beaming up at Hojo from the bicycle basket.


"Oh let the brat do what he wants!" Inuyasha snarled over Shippo or Hojo or ...heck, did it matter at this point?

Hojo gulped visibly. He took a breath as if to steel himself and looked Shippo in the face. "Actually, I think that-"



"Sango, please!" Miroku's breath was still ragged from the run. He was doubled over, one hand on his staff, the other on the fresh lump on his head, "Be merciful ..." he panted, "... to a dying man!"

"On second thought, maybe I better go with them," Shippo rolled his eyes and hopped down.

"Couldn't keep your hands off her for ten minutes?" Inuyasha raved.

"I defend my innocence!" Miroku called back.

Inuyasha huffed a short laugh, "He'd better defend his head," he muttered as Sango raised hiraikotsu again. Kagome didn't see the rest of what happened, but heard Kirara mew as she changed into her larger form, Sango still speaking darkly. "Come on," he gave another tug on her arm, and crouched down just a little.

Kagome swallowed, willed herself not to look at Hojo and climbed on. Inuyasha took half a moment to settle her on his back and shifted his weight to run-


Kagome lowered her head until she was almost touching Inuyasha's shoulder. /Just a second. Just give me a second../.

"Yes, Hojo?"

"Here," he wheeled up beside them and held something out to her. "Take these," he said.


Inuyasha's head had turned, but she couldn't see where he was looking as she took the bow and quiver and slung them on. She was suddenly very aware that Sango and the others were absolutely quiet.

Hojo smiled, "I don't think I've had enough practice to be able to shoot anything from that bike, anyway!" he said. "Can you do it when you're like that?"

"Yeah..." Kagome trailed off. "You're not mad?"

His brow knit. "Why would I be mad? It sounds like it's very-"

"-practical," Inuyasha finished. His voice was hard and clean as stone slate, and just as blank.

Hojo nodded, "Shall we get started?"

Inuyasha muttered something that Kagome couldn't make out, and they were gone.


KURAMA: All your talk of this "Liam Smith Show" left me a bit inspired. (Hands item to narrator) This is for you.

A present!

KURAMA: I made it myself. ...with some help from my notary public.

What is it?

KURAMA: It's a restraining order.
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