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

(24) Cutting Losses

by Ithilwen 0 reviews

Kouga sees Hojo at work.

Category: Inuyasha - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Humor, Romance - Characters: Other - Published: 2005-11-22 - Updated: 2005-11-23 - 1431 words

liam: Wheeeeee!

KURAMA: Get off me!

briana: I want his hair!

KURAMA: I would put those barrettes away if I were you!

MOMMYROGERS: Kids! Don't break Ithilwen's guest star!

Thank you very much. It was hard to get him here.

KURAMA: Guest star? This crazy person is holding me captive.

liam: Whoooooooaa!


briana: I like your shirt, Mr. Kurama.

KURAMA: At least she hasn't tried to steal it.

Want me to show you how, Briana?

briana: Yeah!



Inuyasha smashed down the pinpricks on his spine, still sweeping his gaze along the treeline. That nest of serpent youkai had probably driven off all the other big and nasties in their hunting range, so even if she'd strayed outside the human holdings, there probably wasn't anything left that could hurt her. ...but there would be scavengers coming, slinking toward the reek of slashed demon bodies. And the quiet creatures, the ones that hunted with traps instead of claws. She could run afoul of one of those. And Naraku. It always came back to Naraku.

He inhaled quietly, seeking her scent on the air, and swore into the dusk. The breeze had shifted. If he was going to catch her trail, he'd only find it against the ground. Maybe if he started right now, he could catch her before she got into trouble.

Inuyasha gave himself a shake. Stop being so paranoid. So Kagome had stepped out of his line of sight for a second. She could have gone to find Sango. She could have gone to feed Kirara or tuck Shippo in for the night. The dog demon allowed himself a smirk, eyes flicking back to the crowd. And she definitely wasn't with Hojo or Kouga.

Besides, Kagome knew better than to sneak out into the woods on her own at night.

The shiver in his veins returned full-force. ...what the hell was he thinking? No she didn't!

Inuyasha shoved himself to his feet. "Kagome?" he called out.




"Sango, are you almost done yet?"

"Almost, Shippo."

There was a quiet splashing from behind the door. The kitsune cub leaned sullenly against the village washhouse. On the way back, there had been a universal decision that Sango deserved the first bath, and someone had to stand around and make sure that Miroku didn't try any of his old tricks. Shippo sighed. Stupid Miroku. How come I always have to be the grownup?

There was a sloshing sound from behind the wooden slats. Was Sango finally done?

"Sango, I'm hungry. We better get there before Miroku and Kouga eat all the good stuff."

"Shippo, why are you worrying? Kagome always saves you something."

"Yeah, but I like to be there myself..." he pulled his yellow ball out of its vest pocket and passed it back and forth between his hands. Girls! I know she got spit up on by that human baby, but with all the time she's taking, I might even learn to juggle by the time she's done.

There was some more splashing, and a series of drips. "Shippo, when Inuyasha strikes you for pestering him, have the injuries ever taken more than a day or so to heal?"

Shippo's tail bristled, even though Sango couldn't see, "I'm not scared of Inuyasha!"

"Yes, but does he ever hit you too hard?"

What in the world is she talking about? Inuyasha doesn't hit me hard when he gets mad, at least no more than he hits Miroku.

"All I'm trying to say is," there was some more dripping and the rustle of cloth. Shippo shrugged and gave his ball another toss, "I know Kagome's worried about you..."

The ball landed in the dust and began to roll. Shippo gave a snatch at it, but missed. He looked over his shoulder at the door, then at his retreating ball. What if one of the village children stole it before he could find it again?

"If you can keep a secret, Shippo, Kagome even made Inuyasha make a promise..."

Shippo cringed, biting down on one hand before he finally gave in. It sounded like she was getting dressed already anyway. He scurried off after the ball.

"Come on..." Why did they have to build their washhouse on an incline? "Come on!" He leaped again and missed, his ball still rolling merrily toward the village center.

"Gotcha!" He snagged the yellow sphere, cradling it close to his chest before tucking it safely back in its place. Now to hurry back before Sango knew he'd gone...

/Oh.... /Shippo's nose crinkled. His feet stopped. His stomach grumbled.


Shippo cast a look over his shoulder toward the bath. Sango would probably be dressed and out before he got back anyway and ... mmmmmm! So hungry...

Shippo inched closer to the sound of feet. Had the whole village come out to welcome Mrs. Mura's grandson back. His nose twitched again. Rice... Some kind of fish... What kind of fish would they be eating, this far from the ocean?

"I know they're demonic snake monsters and all..."

Hojo? Shippo peeked around a corner to find Hojo holding a bowl of food and a perplexed expression.

"...but why was their breath so bad?"

Kouga shrugged, gulping down a mouthful of rice, "They probably eat humans." He shook his head, "I remember how some of my wolves would get. I tell you, it almost wasn't worth the -what?"

"Kouga," Miroku interrupted, looking meaningfully toward the nearest group of villagers.

"What?" he asked again.

Hojo blinked. "You mean-" He began to point toward Kouga.

Shippo shook his head and began to look around for a spare bowl.

"There are many breeds of youkai that seek human flesh," the monk mentioned quietly.

Bowl, ha! Now for something to put in it...

"Yes, I realize that," Hojo answered, while the wolf demon tossed a dumpling in the air, "but does he mean that he's actually-"

Kouga caught the morsel between his teeth, tossed his head again, and gulped loudly.

"Truth be told," Miroku began, "I have never seen fit to ask him."

Shippo helped himself to the rice. The dumplings didn't smell so yummy now.

"But don't you think it's kind of-"

"Excuse us, Hojo-san?" Shippo watched a trio of young girls in faded yukata approach the perplexed boy, "would you... That is, we were wondering..."

Hojo's confusion flipped to cheery solicitousness so quickly that Shippo had to wonder if he hadn't had his face repainted. "What may I do for you, Miss Hanako?" he asked the only girl who'd stammered into speech. "Do you ladies need something?"

"No, no!" she protested, blushing like a spring peach. "We just wanted..."

"...would you tell us again?" one of her friends chimed in.

"-how you fought off the serpent youkai?" finished the last one.

"Oh," Hojo's cheeks went just a little pink themselves. "I didn't really do much fighting. I mean, I had that bow that my friend Higurashi borrowed for me, but I only managed to hit one once, and it didn't even twitch! I was half scared out of my mind. You could probably get a better story out of Miroku over there."

The priest looked up and gave a quiet, slightly knowing smile. Then he looked back to his food.

"But would you tell us?" Hanako asked again. She hadn't even looked away.

"If you like," Hojo agreed. "Would you please excuse me, Miroku? Kouga-san?"

As Hojo began to walk away, Shippo shifted the grip on his bowl and hopped into view. Kouga had paused in the middle of another dumpling. He gulped it down and stared frowningly at the human and his entourage, mouth flexing in a way that Shippo recognized: he was running his tongue over his fangs.

"Not that I care what a bunch of humans do..." Kouga trailed off. "...but that's not normal, is it?"

"Which part?" asked Shippo. "Most village girls like listening to stories, but the person telling them is usually-"

"That's enough, Shippo," Miroku forced another smile.

"He wasn't even boasting of his fighting skills," the wolf prince shook his head.

"I don't think he has any," Shippo supplied. "He was just telling the truth."


Miroku suddenly turned to the wolf prince. "Would you like to go get drunk?"



First, make sure the other person is really distracted.

briana: Okay!

KURAMA: Ms. Rogers, this fiend is corrupting your children.

MOMMYROGERS: It's not so bad. Have you seen the stuff they learn from TV?

KURAMA: (Narrows eyes) Aren't you the one who suggested the "K-Bane" apellation?

MOMMYROGERS: Yes, but she shortened it.
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