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

(30) Moment of Clarity

by Ithilwen 0 reviews

Something about Hojo's intentions becomes clear ...or does it?

Category: Inuyasha - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Humor, Romance - Characters: Other - Published: 2005-11-22 - Updated: 2005-11-23 - 1958 words

KURAMA: (checks watch)

Not much longer.

KURAMA: They're late. I want to collect my belongings and leave this place.



It's yummy.

KURAMA: The last time you offered me food, Hiei ended up in the emergency room.

Not my fault he didn't read the label.

KURAMA: But you...

That fruitcake was covered in strawberry decals. A person living with an allergy needs to take some self-responsibility.

KURAMA: actually have a point.


"Eeep!" Hojo ducked a clawed swipe.

"Come back here!" Kouga turned on his good leg and chased after him at a speedy limp.

"I said I was sorry!"

"Human weakling!"

"You were just too close to the blast!"

"And you're close to your last breath!"

Miroku didn't look up. After Kagura had fled the battle, Kagome had insisted on checking everyone's injuries, and for that she'd needed more light. The innkeepers had left a few torches burning outside, and here and there a lamp lingered from the impromptu feast. Kouga could chase - and preferably catch - the ugly moron all he wanted; the monk was much more interested in the tedious but welcome task of wrapping a bandage around Sango's lovely skin.

...and in the fact that she hadn't noticed that tear in her yukata yet.

"I swear I can't control this thing!" Hojo jabbed a thumb at his talisman as he dodged.

"Grrr! Then how'd you know it would work at all?" Kouga's claws snagged Hojo's shirt, which ripped as the human jumped back.

"It did it before when Inuyasha tried to steal it from me. I thought that if I got her to- Oof!" the wolf demon managed to cuff the boy across the chin.

"Got you!"


"Ow!" Kouga cringed.

Sango sniffed and slung hiraikotsu back to its place on her shoulder, moving gingerly to favor her injured left arm.

"Sango," the monk said with a level calmness as he readjusted the last layer of gauze, "please try not to move."

"Forgive me, Houshi-sama-"

Forgiven. Just shift your chest a little to the -thank you. The rip in her dress gaped welcomingly.

"-but some things must be resolved with action."


With the ease of long practice, Miroku blinked the stars out of his reeling vision. ...perhaps she had noticed the rip after all.

Kouga, not quite so familiar with Sango's choice of resolution, was still rubbing his abused forehead. Miroku held back a chuckle. Kouga always made a point of saying - in as loud a voice as possible - that demon healing powers were much /much /better than half-demon healing powers, but Inuyasha had escaped the battle largely unscathed, and Kouga...

Well... /Miroku watched Hojo finger the bruise forming on his chin. A healthy Kouga would have caught him easily and hurt him more, /this young man has a snake demon and a couple of burns to thank for the fact that he still has the right number of arms.

The wolf demon snapped at Sango, "Be careful with that chunk of wood, wench!"

"Don't call her names!" scolded Hojo.

Kagome nodded in agreement. "Now will you hold still and let me take a look at you, Kouga?"

With only a little less grace than usual, the wolf prince flew to his feet and clasped her hands in both of his, eyes going uncannily limpid.

/Ordinarily, Kouga lacks finesse, but I would love to know how he manages that one, /Miroku admitted appreciatively.

"Only if I can return the favor, my dear Kagome..." purred Kouga. "My injuries can wait."


"Then you don't need to be so close to Kagome, wimpy wolf!" Inuyasha materialized in between them, shoving Kouga back by his shoulders. "Back off!"

"Inuyasha!" Kagome snapped. "Don't push Kouga while he's hurt!"

"Don't worry, Kagome," Kouga reassured her. "I could take this lowly mutt even if I'd lost three limbs!"

Inuyasha answered with a snarl, "With the shape you'll be in when I'm through, we'll be able to find out!"

"Any time, dog breath!"

"You're on!"



"You!" Kagome grabbed Kouga by one pointed ear, earning a surprised squeak from the wolf. "Hold still!"

"Kagome, what are you-"

The girl's fingers tightened and she twisted hard.

"Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! I'll hold still! I'll hold still!"

"Good!" Kagome pushed Kouga toward the bench where he and Miroku had so spectacularly failed to get drunk.

The wolf demon made a half-pitiful noise in the back of his throat and began to rub at his abused ear. Kagome's face got a little pinker than could be accounted for by torchlight alone, and ducked her head guiltily. Moving much more gently, she reached out toward the side of Kouga's head.

Miroku smiled, glad of the dim light, "Don't be afraid to play on a woman's sympathies," /he remembered Mushin saying once. "You'll be surprised how many different interpretations there are of the expression 'kiss it better.'"/ Miroku held in a contented sigh. He'd actually managed to apply that one to a lady or two. Good times!

He turned his head and caught sight of Sango telling Hojo not to worry about the cut that Kouga had left on his chest. The monk's mood soured.

A female squeak diverted his attention. Kagome's hand was frozen half a hair away from Kouga's ear. Her eyes got very big. Miroku frowned in amazement as she sent a quick glance toward Inuyasha and turned her pretty cheeks even pinker.

For his part, the dog demon met her wide-eyed blush and raised her a backswept pair of ears. The two of them froze like that for a moment, then both looked away, Kagome clapping both hands together in her lap.

"So!" Kagome clicked open her first aid kit, "Kouga, ah... Where does it hurt?"

"Huh?" was the scalded wolf demon's response.

Miroku had to concur. Inuyasha had just seen Kagome not-give Kouga a comforting if disappointingly platonic gesture. He should have been smirking and glowering, not blushing like some virgin dairymaid.

No... He should have been raving and sulking because Kagome should have made the gesture in the first place. She'd been reaching for Kouga's ear, not his-

A memory surfaced in Miroku's mind.

"I thought Inuyasha was a pet! What with the collar thing and the ear-scratching thing..."

Miroku's frowned deepened and he cast an involuntary look at Hojo, and then at Inuyasha.

There was something funny going on.


"Do they always make you wait outside while they get ready for bed?" asked the wolf prince.

"Girls like their privacy," suggested Hojo.

"I was talking to dog breath, peon." Kouga slapped one hand over his eyes. "I can't believe I said that."

The dog demon only snorted and shrugged further against the inn wall. Kagome had looked right at him and then pulled her hand away. Why? Why should she be ashamed of touching Kouga on the ear? -not that Wolf Turd had any business getting touched by her at all... There was nothing-nothing wrong with a girl touching a guy's ear after she'd nearly ripped it off his head, was there?

His guts soured. Not unless it made him whimper and whine like a crippled puppy. No wonder she'd pulled back after looking at him. Who'd want another display of that kind?

But then... On the rise, right before Kagura had made that grand entrance...

"You seemed so ... happy."

Happy on his back like a senile old tortoise?

What the hell is she thinking?

"Now there's no need to be rude, Kouga. And you did ask a question."

The wolf's eyes darkened, "You are sorely testing my patience."

Shippo hopped in between Hojo and the wolf prince. "Um..." he stammered. "Do any of you know where Miroku went?"

"He yapped something about clearing his head," volunteered the wolf.

Hojo gaped, "He went for a walk in such a dangerous place?"

Inuyasha gave a chuckle, "It takes more than fresh air to clear that murky melon on his neck," he flicked a moth out of the air. "He probably went looking for whatever he and wolf turd were trying to drink before."

Kouga shook his head, "Yeah, then maybe we should start digging now, so that the grave'll be ready by-"

"-really showed some resolve with Kagura."

"Huh?" Inuyasha murmured, casting his eyes up toward the sound. The second-story window... An inn with two floors was rare in a town this size. He'd overheard one of the old bats saying that they got a lot of travelers, but...

"-don't know, Sango..." the words were muffled, but...

"The window!" Shippo squeaked. "SANGO! KAGOME! WE CAN HEAR YOU DOWN HE-uk!!"

"Shut up!" Inuyasha clamped his hand down on the fox's blabbing mouth. From the corner of his eye, he saw the wolf turd go still, one ear twitching.

"Guys!" Hojo said in a loud whisper. "It's not polite to eavesdrop!"

"Shut up!" they both hissed at once.

"-no, I mean it. It would have been difficult for even a trained warrior to hold Kagura's gaze."

"Well, Hojo is something, I guess..." that voice was definitely Kagome, but why was she saying stuff like that?

"I know he doesn't know how to fight, but his bearing... Tell me, Kagome, is he some nobleman from your time?"

Inuyasha blinked. He hadn't considered that the boy's birth might be higher than Kagome's. ...not that it mattered. The only human nobles he'd met had been mostly idiots like Amari Nobunaga and those useless daimyo. Inuyasha gave a chuckle. Hojo could definitely fit in with that crowd!

Kagome must have answered something, because Sango went on, "You must be even more dedicated to the quest for the shards than I thought," she insisted, "if you refused a suit from a man like that."


Inuyasha frowned sourly. That stupid human, trying to charm Kagome with gifts... Now he was even bringing her clothes!

"What?! Oh, no no no, Sango, you've got it all wrong!" Kagome's alarmed voice filtered through the night air. "Things are a little different where I come from!"

The dog demon shot a smug smirk at Hojo, who looked down at his shoes. So Kagome had wised up about accepting the puny rat pup's presents, huh? The note of embarrassed panic in her voice was a little strange, but the development couldn't have been more welcome.

The human scuffed one foot against the flagstones. It would have been inaudible to someone without demon hearing, but Hojo's dejected sigh reached Inuyasha's ears like a pleasant sunbeam.

Odd... The stupid boy's reactions seemed a little strong for something like this... Sure, it was only right that Kagome would stop taking presents from a puny mortal - even if he did have noble blood - but it was only a suit of clothes. It wasn't as if-

"...You don't understand, Sango!" Kagome told her friend. "Hojo would never want to marry me!"

Inuyasha's mind fused into the back of his neck.

Hojo wiped one of his eyes.

Suit... Hojo... Kagome...

"Would you excuse me, guys?" asked the human, as if his absence would be anything but welcome. "I think I might need to clear my head, too..."

Inuyasha's thoughts refused to flow, only crashing against each other like a slowly-thawing ice shield as Hojo stumbled away.

Oh my GOD!


You will really talk to Hiei?

KURAMA: I will try to get him to see reason. ...or at least admit that killing you would be a waste of his time.

You are such a sweetie.

KURAMA: There is no sense in Hiei seeking your blood. You did not even know he was allergic to strawberries.

Thank you!

KURAMA: It is certainly not as if you forged a contract, placed embarrassing images on or repeatedly stole his undergarments, now is it?

Not at all!
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