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

(14) Enlightenment

by Ithilwen 0 reviews

No one is THAT stupid.

Category: Inuyasha - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Humor, Romance - Characters: Other - Published: 2005-11-22 - Updated: 2005-11-23 - 2250 words

KURAMA: I guess I'll be seeing you. ...from at least four hundred yards.

You don't really mean that.

KURAMA: And what makes you say that?

The way it's written.

KURAMA: What? Is there anything in the wording that makes you think I'm at all reluctant? Does the fact that I'm giving you a restraining order instead of a fatal wound somehow encourage you?

That and it's in crayon.


Kirara's eyes were half-lidded and rolled back in her head as she stretched out on the ground, her neck, stomach, and all four little paws in the air. A persistent throb of a purr cooed from her throat.

The whelp was helping Kagome build the campfire while Sango settled down to polish hiraikotsu. He was yapping out some trite blather that managed to make her laugh. He reached out with one hand to help pile the twigs, to make a gesture, to take hold of her forearm and just barely run his thumb across her skin. ...and where the fuck had she gotten that flower?!

Hojo's other hand stayed where it was, scratch-scratching Kirara's stomach.

"Good kitty! That's a good kitty!"

"Traitor," Inuyasha growled softly.

The firecat flicked her eyes at him, and Inuyasha swore she cocked an eyebrow, but a second later she was still sprawled belly-up on the ground, oblivious.

He couldn't help but remember the chubby lump of fluff Kagome fussed over whenever she snuck back to her Tokyo. Inuyasha's eyes darkened on the blissful Kirara. Buyo hadn't seemed to like getting picked up by his forepaws...

Kirara's hind feet gave a twitch as Hojo tickled her. His thoughts dimmed. Was this how he'd looked to Kagome, rolled over and twitching? To distract from the unpleasant image, he stopped trying to tune out Hojo's yapping and realized what they just what they were laughing about.

Kagome was telling Hojo and Sango stories. About him. The time he'd passed out from the scent of blood in the hell-ink. The time he'd been shotputted out of Midoriko's cave. The time he'd followed her through the well and destroyed that shrieking clock...

She looked up, "Something wrong, Inuyasha?"

He snarled and stomped off into the woods.

And just when he'd been feeling better, too. Ten miles at top speed with the wind in his face, and even if he did have Kagome weighing him down, at least he hadn't had to crane his neck every two minutes to check where she was, and she didn't feel the need to babble at him or to shout when she felt a shard nearby. Nothing hammered the kinks from his mind like running did, nothing. A good earth scent kicking up from his feet, a steady rush of air to drown out his thoughts...

First she's skittish, then she gets mad. And it was because he'd been watching! Hojo said something else. Inuyasha cast a glance over his shoulder just in time to see her smile. For him.

Ten days no sits. Ten days no sits. Ten days no sits... Inuyasha focused on thought and it tasted so good! And the way to make it real was to keep Hojo alive, which was getting harder with each time the whelp reached for Kagome's hand. Stupid bitch, why didn't she slap him away? Inuyasha growled again, swatting a branch out of his path.

Inuyasha had carried a wounded Sango from the taijiya village to Midoriko's cave without all this fuss. As far as he was concerned, it was just one more thing that humans would do themselves if they weren't so fucking weak. So what if Kagome fit against him better than Sango did? That Miroku! Inuyasha remembered the knowing smirk on the monk's face, /It's not like I get-get like THAT from lugging around her skinny little-! It's not like she- /Inuyasha's ears started twitching helplessly. He growled and clapped his hands over them.

The fact that Hojo hadn't challenged him when he'd lifted Kagome onto his back hadn't felt nearly as good as it should have. Judging by Hojo's behavior around Kagome, it clearly wasn't because he had learned his place where she was concerned.

But then... Metal carriages that pulled themselves, all those spellbooks, those ridiculous clothes... Maybe Hojo just didn't think it was unusual. Maybe she had-

An immediate growl surged thickly from what felt like Inuyasha's whole body. She'd better not have let anyone else do that for her! /He swatted a branch. From far behind him, Kagome and Hojo laughed at the same time. The wood cracked, splintered, smashed to crud. /I'll kill him! I'll rip off both his legs, and beat his brains with them!

Why was it still in his way?! I'll dig out his eyes and shove his tongue down his throat! Crack! I'll stomp on his belly, and once his guts ooze out I'll leave him for the ants!

By the time Inuyasha's mind cleared, his hands were smeared with splinters and dirt, and there was a cluster of thready roots clinging to his sleeve. He realized that every leaf had been smiling at him, that same eager, vapid smile.

"That tree was a living thing, Inuyasha."

"Stay the fuck out of this, Miroku!" he snarled, a good, deep snarl, like that of a wild dog warning a rival away.

"What else did he say?" Inuyasha demanded into the gathering dim. "There has to be something more!"

The monk only paused for a moment. "I've tried, Inuyasha," he assured him, sounding tired. "Mushin told me nothing more about naturals."

"He must have said something!"

Miroku smirked. "He said he wouldn't mind being reincarnated as one," he admitted.

"After one lifetime with you for an apprentice, he'd deserve it!" he rasped. "So forget about if he's a natural. Did exalted Mushin have anything to say about getting rid of ugly morons?"

Miroku said nothing, only clapped him on the shoulder and walked back toward the fire.


"The girls went to go take a bath in the stream, and left me here to watch the fire," Hojo told them, smiling. "Miss Sango actually said she'd break both my wrists if I followed them. Very careful of her modesty, isn't she?"

"You'll have to understand," Shippo chimed in from the other side of the flames, "she's used to dealing with /these /two."

Break both his wrists.. Miroku's thoughts darkened. Sango had never given him such a vivid threat.

At least Hojo had turned his Unobtrusive Caresses and Wistful Grins with Eyes Downcast on Kagome this time. Natural advantage he might have, but Sango was clever enough to notice that she wasn't the focus of his attention, and that should prevent anything too troublesome.

There was a quiet, steady growl from behind his left shoulder.

...unless Inuyasha lost his mind and shredded them all into fertilizer, that was. The dog demon took a seat near Shippo, who sighed and tucked a little yellow ball out of snatching range. Miroku frowned. Why would Inuyasha sit near the kitsune, who would surely try to bait him, when- The monk realized very suddenly that Inuyasha had just placed himself directly between Hojo and the stream. His slitted eyes were hard and locked on the oblivious human, as if daring him to pass.

Miroku blanched. It was strange to see Inuyasha do that to anyone but him. He half-formed a comment, but then decided that he'd tempted clawed and slashy death enough for one night.

"-she was talking about what she thinks might happen when we find the that group of youkai," Hojo had been prattling on. "Are you guys going to stop them?" he asked.

The monk shrugged. "Demons possessing shards of the Shikon Jewel can do a lot of damage before they are killed, but even if this one is acting on its own power, someone must render it unable to do harm." He cast his eyes about for Kagome's pack, shaking his head as he realized that the girls must have taken it to their bath. Such lack of consideration for their hungry companions... Miroku blinked as he realized that Hojo was still looking at him expectantly. "The matter is, of course, largely up to Kagome and Inuyasha," he added. "Kagome is the only one with the power to see and sense the shards, and, in his way, I suppose, Inuyasha is our leader."

Hojo started, "What?"

"Inuyasha," Miroku went on, wondering at the sudden shade in the boy's eyes, "he has been hunting shards with Kagome longer than any of the rest of us, and while it is Kagome who finds each shard, it is often Inuyasha who chooses how we will approach the shard. Why do you ask?"

"I..." Hojo trailed off. Miroku could almost hear the ungainly gears clunking in his skull, and his brow creased. Mushin had always said that it was a monk's duty to bring what enlightenment they could to simple souls - and Hojo was about as simple as they came - but he always followed it up with the story about the lonely landowner's daughter, and Miroku preferred to fulfill that particular duty under similar circumstances. "I thought..."

"That I was in charge?" the monk nodded. "Quite a few people make that mistake. It's completely understandable." The dog demon gave a huff.

"No..." Hojo swallowed hard, a blush barely visible "I thought he was a pet."

Inuyasha choked, "What?!"

"Well with the collar thing, and the ear-scratching thing..."

Miroku's eyebrows shot up. Ear-scratching thing?

"You thought Inuyasha was what?" Shippo exclaimed. Soon the little kitsune was rolling on the ground, both small arms folded around his belly, "Hehehehehhaaa!!"

"Stop laughing, runt!" Inuyasha leaned over to swipe at Shippo, but one well-timed convulsion shook him out of reach.

"Stop trying to hit me," Shippo managed between gasps. "If you start biting, Kagome might decide to muzzle you!"

"Grr!" he jabbed one hand at Hojo, "If I'm a pet, what do you guess he thought you were? A stuffed animal?"

"Stuffed! Why you-"

"Brat! Get off my head!"

Miroku looked away from the two tussling demons. "Actually, Hojo," he said as the fox boy scrambled away from the snarling Inuyasha, "I've always thought that Inuyasha was more of a companion and bodyguard to Kagome. There are many who would like nothing better than to possess or eliminate the maiden who sees the Shikon Jewels. Without Inuyasha's help, I doubt Kagome could have gathered even a fraction of what we now have in our care. ...though whether he'll try to take the jewel from her once it's completed remains to be seen."

"A bodyguard?" Hojo eyed where Shippo was gnawing viciously on Inuyasha's forearm.

"Do you think those puny teeth can hurt me, brat?" Inuyasha smirked as he grabbed Shippo and held him up by the scruff.

Tiny fox-fists beat at the air. "Size doesn't matter if you're smart like me!" Shippo twisted and clamped his fangs down on Inuyasha's finger. The dog demon yelped and dropped him.

Miroku followed the boy's gaze. "Don't be deceived," he assured him, "Inuyasha is not truly trying to harm Shippo."

"Can't catch me!"
"I'll kill you!"

"...oh..." Hojo answered, as Shippo scurried off into the lengthening shadows with Inuyasha swiping at his heels. The boy still looked a bit bewildered, and Miroku felt something turn over in his mind... At the time, he'd been distracted by the feeling that his ribs were about to puncture into his lungs, and of course, by lovely Sango's smooth little waist, but why hadn't Hojo protested when Inuyasha had told Kagome to ride on his back? Inuyasha protested most vehemently that he didn't enjoy it -And how a man, even one not wholly human, could do anything but delight in the feeling of a woman's hips pressed tight against him, even if it was on the wrong side, was an absolute mystery- it certainly looked improper.

And if there was one thing Hojo had shown himself to care about, it was propriety. Yet he'd been silent. Did he think that Inuyasha obeys Kagome even as Kirara does Sango? he shook his head. The way Hojo had acted toward the two youkai was too different, not to mention the boy's inexplicable aversion to Shippo. Hojo spoke to the little firecat in rhymes and half-formed endearments which were probably an insult to her intelligence, not that she seemed to mind. To Inuyasha, the boy acted much as he did with Miroku himself - with a courteous kind of disdain.

"...companion?" Hojo was asking.

Miroku nodded. Something...

The monk pulled in a quiet breath. How could he have missed it? Merciful Buddha, Hojo was dense!

"Inuyasha has known Kagome the longest of any of us," Miroku finally answered.

Hojo nodded absently, "Yeah, Higurashi was telling me about..." he shook his head. "But he's always doing things for her, carrying her bag, and that time in Lady Kaede's house."

One of Miroku's eyebrows shot up. He pushed the fact away for later. "You do things for Kagome as well. Didn't you bring me that flower earlier?"

Hojo gave a short laugh and shook his head. "Yeah but that's because I-" Miroku watched Hojo's lopsided smile freeze in place, and suppressed a tremor of unmonkly glee as a tiny fleck of his frothing stupidity fall away.

"Oh. ...Oh!" Hojo jumped to his feet "Oh no!"


KURAMA: That Kuwabara! I should have known they'd never issue a fifteen year-old a notary public's certificate!

My dear fox-bandit. Never underestimate-

KURAMA: Gullibility. Yeah, yeah...
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