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

(17) Details

by Ithilwen 0 reviews

Well the kid had to be good for SOMETHING.

Category: Inuyasha - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Humor, Romance - Characters: Other - Published: 2005-11-22 - Updated: 2005-11-23 - 2877 words

KURAMA: I cannot believe I'm doing this.

Do you want me to teach you or not?

KURAMA: Very well. Proceed.

I will need a guinea pig.

KURAMA: I suppose I could practice on that insane cab drive-

. . .

KURAMA: You mean you need an actual guinea pig, don't you?

. . .

KURAMA: I'm no longer sure I want to know how you managed to steal my boxers.


He didn't go back to the tree right away. Maybe it was that Hojo's evil rustlings had interrupted his rest that made the whole thing seem only half-real. Even at his best, the dog demon wasn't known for subtlety, but a fully awake Inuyasha would have given the human one more push toward his place and then huffed himself back to sleep. A fully awake Inuyasha would have saved his trouble for a real threat. A fully awake Inuyasha would not have kept crouched by Kagome's side and stared down a wisp of a boy who wasn't even looking, hadn't been looking since their conversation.

Even with bits of his mind still swimming in the dark, he'd been able to tell by the way Hojo cast his eyes about that the human couldn't see, and - he felt the smirk all the way back to his throat - by the twitch and tremble in his face, he'd thought Inuyasha couldn't see him. Inuyasha hadn't figured Hojo clever enough to hide his thoughts, but the dimness was a revelation. He looked away before he answered. He shifted his posture. He bit his lip with blunt human teeth.

He was lying. Maybe not right that minute, but he was hiding something, and he was damn good at it.

The apology? Inuyasha's thoughts soured in his mouth. Hojo's fear had tasted so much better than his words.

He's just like the rest of them. He didn't mean it. /Inuyasha held back a snarl. No sense spooking him up again when he'd already backed off. /It doesn't bother him that he said those things about me. He's just another fucking moron human. Inuyasha poured his bitter thoughts into the dark. Hojo had practically recited that shaky little speech. He'd probably only apologized because he thought he was supposed to. Maybe his idiot grandmother had made him promise to do that too.

But then...

"I swear to you I will try to fix this flaw in my character..."

But then, who else had ever thought they were supposed to stop themselves from thinking of the hanyou as a lower breed of life? Part of Inuyasha's mind went silent. If he'd been more awake, the idea probably would have disturbed him.

There was a murmuring sound by his knee, and Shippo turned over to bury his face against Kagome's blanket.

/"I was just going to move him." /Look away. Shift. Bite lip.

So that was it. But why the kitsune and not the dog? Why the stuffed animal and not the flea-digging stray? Some quiet part of his mind - the part that was usually drowned out by the clamor of waking thoughts - admitted that if someone was going to get mistaken for Kagome's beloved pet, it was ten times more likely to be coddled little Shippo than him.

Inuyasha's ears twitched as Hojo flopped and fumbled with his blanket. The boy's eyes, dilated beyond reason, rolled hopelessly over the camp, probably trying to settle on Kagome's outline, which the dog demon was now blocking. Inuyasha shook his head. The coals had dimmed significantly since the graceless goon had scuttled over to Kagome's bedding. Soon they'd shed too little light for anyone but Kirara and maybe Shippo.

Inuyasha grimaced. Trying to jump onto a branch that he couldn't see usually sucked. He hated sleeping on the ground... He cast his eyes around the campsite, calling the layout from his memory. Miroku was propped up against a trunk several feet to the right of Sango, who was leaning against Kirara...

He looked over again to see that Hojo's face was slack and his breathing level. How could someone so ripe for the shredding sleep so soundly in a wood full of demons? -Especially since at least one them knew what he looked like and wanted him dead for other than dietary reasons.

Inuyasha shook his head. The rest of the ground was covered with rocks, and trying to clear a space for himself in the dark would never work. Pretty much the only smooth place to stretch out that wasn't already taken was right next to...

Inuyasha swallowed hard. It was nothing to get worked up about; it was just some shuteye. He looked back down at Kagome. She'd seemed every bit as soft and peaceful one night so long ago, and in a heartbeat she'd snapped up and slugged him in the jaw. Although he had the sudden feeling that he was far less likely than Miroku to accidentically grab something he shouldn't in his sleep. ( ...though both the "accidental" and the "sleep" aspects were open to suspicion.) he had no desire to repeat the experience. ...and then he'd shouted that she hadn't looked like her after all...

He'd never get to sleep on thoughts like those.

But Kagome was probably still mad at him for catching her bathing. ...when she was on her knees in the current rushing in his ears, and above the water she'd smelled so nice. Usually a bath made her reek of that fake-flower soap for hours but-

Inuyasha clapped his hands over his ears to stop their twitching. If he fell asleep right here, and she woke up before he did, she'd sit him into the underworld. Inuyasha looked back the the fire. By now, it was little better than a point of reference, but... He squinted up into the trees. Maybe...

That blackish-black thing against the blackish-gray thing looked like it might be a branch. Inuyasha settled Tetsusaiga in his belt, bunched his muscles, and tried for it.

He managed not to yelp as his head hit the limb. It was more of a squeak really. The whole tree throbbed and shook like mad, but he kicked his legs around the branch in time to keep from falling off.

Inuyasha settled himself against the trunk, rubbing the top of his head with one hand. So much for a good night outside on the road.

"Look, monk, there ain't no sordid details to tell, so quit asking!"

"Hojo mentioned something about Lady Kaede's house, after you were injured in the fireblast."

"Hojo's an idiot!" he shouted.

That got them a glare from Kagome and Sango both at once. Hojo, busy lifting the frontmost bicycle wheel over a rock, remained oblivious.

Miroku's voice dropped. "Idiots don't have that much imagination," he pointed out.

The break in the woods had brought a suggestion from Kagome that they slip down from Kirara and approach the villiage on foot. Hojo had agreed. Inuyasha had grumbled. Miroku had been grateful at first, but it was steep going and his feet still weren't rested up from the day before. The firecat was now resting uneasily in Kagome's basket. The girl had lashed her pack to the seat of her traveling machine - and by the way it was swiveling, Miroku suspected it was not designed for such loads - which she and Hojo were pulling uphill by its handgrips as Sango walked nearby with Shippo.

Miroku had hung back a bit, in part because Sango had changed back into her delicious tight centipede-skin armor, but more to pry some answers out of a certain surly dog demon. His expression saddened, "It gives me such sorrow, Inuyasha," he shook his head, "that after all this time working side by side, you have so little trust in me as to hold back-"

"Nothing fucking happened!" he insisted. "Not that I would tell you if anything did. And if that pounded sack of slug-for-brains-"

"Hm... Good one," murmured Miroku.

"-fucking moron of a human told you that me and Kagome were up to," Inuyasha stuck, "up to anything /you'd /want to be up to-"

"Actually, he said something about scratching your ears."

Inuyasha's feet froze mid-step. His posture stiffened, his eyes locked, his ears flattened back, and his left hand clamped down on the monk's throat.

That must be it, /Miroku was barely able to squeak for help, /now if I can just get the rest of the story from him... /his pulse began to crescendo in his ears. /...before I die...



"Oof!" he found himself pinned half-in half-out of a man-shaped indentation in the path. A number of sharp rocks were digging heavily into his back and neck, but he was breathing. "Thank you, Kagome-sama!" Miroku called back weakly. He pulled in a breath and blinked heavily. "That spell of hers is rather painful," he remarked.

"Thanks for lettin' me know," Inuyasha snarled back as he pushed himself upright.

Miroku looked up as Kagome muttered something under her breath that sounded oddly like, /"Boys!" /Sango was nodding in sober agreement. Miroku's thoughts soured.

"So it's true then?" he asked quietly. "Kagome-"


"No?" Miroku paused. "So was it Hojo and not Kagome who was scratching your ears?"

The dog demon choked. "What? No! Of course it was her! I mean-" he broke off at the priest's knowing grin. ...or at least it was knowing now. Inuyasha growled.

That must have been when the boy walked in. Miroku realized, No wonder Inuyasha was so ill-tempered the rest of the night. His knowing grin took on a hint of a smirk.

"I see," Miroku rubbed his chin, "Then what happened?"

"Fuck you."

"She refused you, you mean?" he 'tsk'ed and shook his head, "Well, some women will say no and hear no more about it, but if you want to try to change her mind, there are a few things you could-"

"Shut up, Miroku."

"There is no shame in asking for advice from a more knowledgeable-"

"Shut up, Miroku!"


"This doesn't look so bad, Kagome," Shippo observed. "Usually demons with jewel shards do more damage than this."

As much as she disliked a wasted trip, Sango had to agree. There were what looked like a few smashed awnings, and one crushed roof up ahead, but the townspeople seemed no more than a little nervous as they went about their daily tasks, and that might have been accounted for by the demons, weapons, and foreign dress that had just walked through their square.

From the corner of her eye, she saw Inuyasha move a bit closer to Kagome, voice a question. She shook her head and Sango could just make out, "...nothing. Maybe too far..."

Several yards away, two young boys pointed and whispered before and old woman chased them off.

"The priestess did say that many of the attacks were on outlying holdings," Miroku pointed out.

Inuyasha snorted, "At least we didn't waste much more time on the trip than we would if we had to dig a hundred graves."

There was a sound. Sango turned to see Hojo covering a laugh. She frowned. Hojo doesn't seem the type to laugh at death... The boy smiled almost knowingly at Inuyasha. Sango's mind cleared. He... He thought it was a joke?

"So what do we do now?" the young man asked eagerly. "How do we find the demons that Lady Kaede was talking about?"

"What you do now is stay the fuck out of the way of anyone who can be useful," Inuyasha snarled.

"Got it!" he agreed cheerfully. Sango sighed. At least Inuyasha's sour mood wasn't contagious.

"Usually, Hojo," Kagome said softly, "Sango and Miroku walk around and ask some questions. That's why she's in her armor today. The people who live around here are more likely to talk to a demon exterminator or a priest than-"

"-some stupid dog," Inuyasha muttered.

Kagome shot him a scolding look, "-than the rest of us."

Sango started eying the crowd for anyone who seemed likely to know where to find the villiage headman, when she noticed Miroku slip on a mask of elegant virtue and stride off toward a group of young women. Her thoughts darkened so that she barely caught the rest of Inuyasha and Kagome's instructions to Hojo:

"Actually, usually they don't," Inuyasha sniped. "If we just keep walking around, the local creeps will come to us, especially if they've already got one stuck in somewhere. Once a demon's got a shard of the Shikon Jewel, most of 'em can't wait to snatch more. We shouldn't even be in this fucking villiage."

Judging by some of the stares they were getting...

"If you don't lower your voice, Inuyasha," Sango pointed out, "we'll get kicked out of here before we even get close to the shard."

"Besides," Kagome rolled her eyes, "what if these demons don't have any jewel shards? There are plenty that just pass us by."

"If they don't care then why should we?"

"Wait..." Hojo held up a hand. "You mean you wouldn't-"

Sango saw Inuyasha's eyes narrow as Kagome put a hand on Hojo's upper arm. "Yes he would," she assured him.

"Yes I would what?" Inuyasha demanded.

Hojo looked at him, and then back to Kagome. "He would," she said again. "Inuyasha talks tough, but he's really a good guy deep down."

"I am not!"

Sango started to smile at the indignant dog demon, but her eyes fell on Hojo instead. His face seemed go very still at Kagome's last words. She lifted up a hand. "Is something wrong?"

The young man looked at her, opening his mouth to answer.

"Yes you are, you help people all the time!"

"Because if I don't you'll floor me with that stupid incantation!" he stuck a thumb under Kaede's beads and tugged.

"Hm!" Kagome folded her arms and turned her back, "So how come you still say mean things to me, and try to stop me from going home?" Sango saw Hojo blink hard. "You don't just do what I tell you because of the spell. You like helping people and we all know it."

"Miss Sango," Hojo turned to her, eyes very big, "Does he really try to-"

"No I don't!" Inuyasha stuck his chin in the air, "You know as well as I do that I'd let this whole place burn and rot if it meant getting another jewel shard."

Nearby, a woman gasped and hurried away, shooing a small child. Several people stopped in their tracks. Sango stared straight ahead for just a moment. This wasn't going to be an easy day, was it? She blinked. Wait a minute... Where had Hojo got off to?

"Inuyasha," Sango said in her firmest voice, "If we do not do something to calm the villagers, they we may find them asking me to exterminate you."

Suddenly Miroku was back at her elbow, looking less than pleased. "Inuyasha," he began, "some of the villagers have become upset." He shook his head, "Inuyasha, you must control yourself or we may end up fending for ourselves in the woods again tonight."

The dog demon gave a snarl, "I can control my temper just fine!" he jabbed one clawed finger at the monk. "And it's not like you know all about control - you ran right off to the first pretty face you saw!"

"Not all of us are repulsed by beauty, Inuyasha," the monk answered loftily.

Sango blinked. Was that his excuse?

"Just because I don't spend all my time scouting for some girl to bear me a child doesn't mean I'm repulsed!"

"Um..?" she turned around to see Hojo trying to get her attention.

"You wound me, Inuyasha," answered Miroku. "I spend nowhere near all my time looking for-oof!"

Sango had elbowed him in the ribs. Both she and Kagome gave Inuaysha a look that told him he'd be next.

"Can I say something?" Hojo spoke up.

"Of course you can, Hojo," said Kagome, still giving Inuyasha the evil eye.

"Go right ahead," echoed Sango.

"Okay... That's Mrs. Mura," he gestured with one hand. "She says that her son-in-law the woodcutter used to spot serpent youkai sunning on the rocks," he pointed, "back that way. And Miss Hanako tells me that the recent attacks have mostly come from that same direction." Hojo scratched the back of his neck. "So I guess maybe they still keep a lair or something over that way."

A dry leaf blew across the ground.

"They just told you this?" asked Miroku.

Hojo shrugged. "Well... I felt as if I should do something useful," he looked up almost hopefully, "and I am a good listener..."

Neither Inuyasha nor Miroku even pretended to thank Hojo for his help. In fact, the stormclouds on their faces turned three shades blacker each. Sango couldn't help but smile.


KURAMA: Alright, I brought you the rodent, I put it in a little cage with a wheel, and I fed it a bunch of carrots. How else must I appease you before you'll show me how you did that steal maneuver?

The person has to be really distracted.

KURAMA: I can see how that would be advantageous, but shouldn't you be telling me more about... (Eyes go wide.) (Checks waistband.)

I like the little roses.

KURAMA: Give those back!
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