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

(15) Every Damn Time

by Ithilwen 0 reviews

Now that Hojo knows that Inuyasha is a rival for Kagome, what is he going to do about it? ...and why does he think that Miroku would help?

Category: Inuyasha - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Humor, Romance - Characters: Other - Published: 2005-11-22 - Updated: 2005-11-23 - 1854 words

(Bows to merellia.)

You won't get a lawyer today, and work was cancelled. Why don't you stay here and help me do the disclaimers?

KURAMA: (Sighs) Very well. The fan-author does not contest Rumiko Takahashi's legal and creative claims to Inuyasha and its characters or settings.


KURAMA: And she has nether bought nor rented Youko Kurama, also called Suichi Minamino, or any other personality belonging to Yoshihiro Togashi.

. . .

KURAMA: Say it or I will strangle you with my rose whip.


For someone who did so much griping about things that took time away from their shard hunting, Inuyasha always managed to sniff out a campsite near a workable place to bathe. The stream was shallow, but a girl could kneel down and get a good scrub. Kagome paused. How long had it been since Inuyasha had taken a bath?

"Why do you bother, you stupid girl? It doesn't even make you stink less!"



Oh yeah... Kagome giggled. She'd forgotten that one. Telling stories to Hojo had been so much fun! She hadn't realized how tiring it got to hold it all back. Sure, Yuka and the girls lapped up her complaints about some two-timing jerk they'd never met, but they'd never understand how a guy who slept more soundly in a tree than in a bed or whose big act of graciousness was to make sure she got to take a bath could ever be endearing. At least now, she could brag about her friends to Hojo.

Kagome ducked down in the water and fumbled for the soap. She'd asked her mom for the unscented kind after that organic stuff had left Inuyasha sneezing. Maybe this-

"Kagome-chan?" Sango's voice came cautiously. "Who is Hojo to you?"

Kagome looked up for a minute, and then a tiny smile formed on her blank face. She hadn't expected to find herself back in homeroom so soon. I guess I was right about why she was blushing before!

She couldn't resist. "Do you like him?" Kagome asked, putting a hand to her mouth.

A flustered blush fought through the chill to the taijiya's cheeks. "No! I... well..." Kagome held back a giggle.

But should she tell Sango the truth? If she really did have an eye for Hojo...

Kagome shook her head. Sango could rip out all her toenails and pummel her to pulp with hiraikotsu and it would still beat the last time a girl had asked her what she was to a boy. Kagome shivered, just barely. Lashed to a tree and enchanted into silence while... A fight with Sango couldn't come close.

"You have to understand," she said carefully, "my grandfather keeps telling people that I'm missing school because I'm sick. My friends knew that Hojo liked me, and they thought going out with him would cheer me up, so they sort of arranged it." Her smile faded. "Hojo used to bring me things like stress tea and therapeutic sandals." It was sweet of him. The taijiya watched but didn't answer.

"It felt good being treated like a regular girl," from the corner of her eye, she saw Sango nodding, "and-" that thrill in her stomach, "-I like the way he looks at me, but-" if she'd never heard of the Shikon no Tama, "-mostly, when I'd go out with him, all I could think about was-" Inuyasha "-you guys, and finding the rest of the shards." Something colder than the water was swimming in her stomach.

"I don't want to disappoint him, I guess," Kagome said at last. "That's the only way I can think of to say it."

"So you're not..." she struggled with the words, "You're not in love with Hojo, then?"

"No," she said, trying to put back her smile. It half worked. She leaned back and ducked the her head underwater to rinse her hair. The current flowed through her ears, thick and mumbling like words she couldn't catch. She sucked in a breath and pulled her face under.


She could hear Sango moving upcurrent. On top of everything else, Hojo was a modern guy, and modern guys weren't as easily threatened by strong women. If Hojo never made it back... Could she really keep from being jealous if her would-be boyfriend started bringing Sango presents and poems? Kagome stifled a huff. That Hojo! He'd never written /her /poetry!

A red habikama rose in her mind. Definitely. She surfaced.

"You know," she said, slicking back her hair, "just because Hojo will want to go home to Tokyo is no reason not to make friends."

Sango blinked, and started to smile, "Yes... It is nice to talk to a man without all the grabbing."

"And the cursing!"

"The leering!"

"And he's not trying to peek on us!"

Sango giggled.

"He's a real charmer, isn't he?" Kagome finished scrubbing her scalp. She sobered. "And I think the boys are done sulking by now."

Sango nodded, "We should get back," she said sourly. "If what happened last time is any way to judge, the priest is probably beating him to death."


"I don't believe it!"

"There there..."

Hojo sank back down, burying his face in his hands. "I am so stupid."

Miroku patted him on the back. "My master used to say that admitting one's shortcomings is the first step to enlightenment."

Hojo's words come muffled from between his hands. "'Hojo, you're not mad, are you? No, why would I be mad?' Higurashi probably thinks I'm an idiot!"

"She seems to like you anyway."

"But..!" Hojo stammered, lowering his hands to stare helplessly into space, "He's- Inuyasha?"

The monk nodded gravely. "It appears unlikely, I'll admit..."

"He likes her?"

Miroku fought the now-familiar urge to thwack Hojo on the head. After all, Inuyasha himself had yet to understand his feelings regarding Kagome. If better minds - if not by much - had failed, why penalize poor Hojo? He hid a smile.

"I am not certain that 'like' is the word I would choose to describe it," Miroku answered at last. "They do tend to get on each other's nerves. But though I doubt he would admit it, there is no living person for whom Inuyasha cares more."

"And she..?"

Another nod.

"But she can't! I mean... She's smart and Inuyasha-" The boy's face contorted as his hands searched the dim air. Miroku felt less and less like smiling.

A demon! An unclean hanyou mongrel, a violent foul-mouthed beast, a shrinking child! A placeless orphan with no parents, no home and no future.

"-he's /mean /to her!" Hojo finished, looking up.

The monk fell silent, staring into those wide-open, shadowed eyes.

...of all things, Hojo was concerned with the way Inuyasha treated Kagome. Miroku was used to it. Kagome was probably used to it. Hojo worried.

"If you fear that Hojo will supplant you in Kagome's affections, Inuyasha, then perhaps you should simply act more kindly toward the girl."

Miroku blinked. The moron had actually made a point. Merciful Buddha, it was unnerving. Mushin's voice rose in his thoughts, "Women are faithless things, boy. No matter how much time and skill you put into one, she'll drop you like the bad habit you are once some guileless nitwit starts making eyes. Good looks, sweet words, the occasional bribe... Kindness always defeats them in long run."

Something else shivered unpleasantly through his mind, something about why Sango would bother with someone if she didn't think he was worth her time. Miroku closed his eyes. So much for running out of things upon which to meditate...

"Why would a girl like that," Hojo shook his head, eyes fixed on nothing, "let someone treat her that way? He's so out of control that I thought he was- He's always yelling and bossing her..." his gaze shot up. "You know," he said indignantly, "I'm starting to think that 'bitch' really is an insult!"

Miroku paused, "That's ...good," he said at last.

"I can't believe I missed it..."

I can, Miroku thought dully.

"Is there anything else?" Hojo demanded. "Did I overlook anyone/ else/ who's in love with Higurashi?"

"No," Miroku assured him. "Well... Except for Kouga..."

"Who's Kouga?!"

The monk mentally smacked himself in the head, "Another time, perhaps," he waved cringingly.

Fortunately, Hojo had gone back to ranting, and barely seemed to even hear him. "I kept saying that I wasn't mad," he said. "She was trying to tell me the whole time, and... She dove on top of him during the blast, and she looked after his burns, and she was holding his head in her lap..."

Kagome... What?!

"When was this?"

Hojo blinked and seemed to come back to himself, "Sorry... I'm sorry," he managed. "I just... I don't know what to do!" He rubbed his temple. "Maybe things will seem clearer in the morning, you know?"

Miroku nodded. Face up or face down?

"Maybe," he agreed. "We won't have long before the others get back, anyway."

Hojo looked up. "What do you mean?"

The monk sighed. Every damn time. "When Shippo provokes Inuyasha in this manner, he tends to double back and-"

The familiar sound of women shouting cracked through the trees.


Splash! And some high-pitched laughing.

"Shippo, you little shit!"


And Sango, "Both of you, go!"


"Ow! That hurt, you bitch!"

Miroku shook his head. He'd long since learned never to let Sango get a clear shot when there were rocks within reach.

"It was supposed to!"

"Come here, runt!"

"Aa! Kagome!"

The kitsune's protests and muffled yelps grew steadily louder, accompanied by a persistent stomping. A few minutes later, a very wet Inuyasha stepped into the firelight with Shippo's tail in one fist.

"Put me down!"

"No," Inuyasha's voice was dark and dull, and his breathing just a little too hard.

"Inuyasha," Miroku rolled his eyes. "You have never once managed to teach Shippo his lesson by such means. What makes you think that it would work now?"

Inuyasha only growled.

He heard Hojo pull in a deep breath. "Inuyasha," he said crisply. "I need to talk to you."

The dog demon twisted his neck and he sliced through the air at the human boy, staring him down as if he were something vile that needed crushing. Even Shippo went still.

"...but we can do it ...later?" Hojo's voice got just a little shrill.

Miroku blinked. So the twit did have two thoughts to rub together.

Inuyasha gave a tight little smirk and, dropping Shippo with a squeak, jumped to a thick limb about twenty feet off the ground. Hojo followed his movement with an impressed kind of dismay.

"I suggest that we follow Inuyasha's example and pretend to be asleep by the time Kagome and Sango get back."


"It is not likely that the girls will be feeling much more friendly than Inuyasha himself, and I have found that Sango especially likes to-"

"No, I mean," Hojo's confusion thickened and he gestured up at the seething dog demon, "in a tree?"

"Keh! Got a problem with that, mud-hugger?"



I didn't really rent Kurama.

KURAMA: Thank you.

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