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

(33) Misconceptions

by Ithilwen 0 reviews

Hojo had one about Shippo. Sango has one about Inuyasha. Hojo has another one.

Category: Inuyasha - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Humor, Romance - Characters: Other - Published: 2005-11-22 - Updated: 2005-11-23 - 2401 words

Give me back my negatives!

KURAMA: They're my negatives! They have my poorly-photographed image on them! You should give me back my undergarments.

Okay, I will! You'll be sorry!!

KURAMA: ...?


To say that the journey back to Kaede's village was tense would have been like saying that Hojo was a sort of annoying, that getting slammed by Kagome's rosary was mildly humiliating or that Kouga's hygiene wasn't that great.

There had been some talk of staying in the mountain village an extra day. For all his griping, even Inuyasha had to admit that it was a good idea. With a wounded Sango, an exhausted Kirara and a population still in disgusting awe of Hojo, the matter had seemed almost settled.

And then Miroku had asked if either he or Kagome remembered why Kaede had told them to take the runt along on this trip in the first place.

Inuyasha'd been about to bark out what he thought of the stupid question, when he'd caught sight of some of the young men glaring at the moron in a very familiar way. And muttering to each other. And making threatening gestures.

Hojo was oblivious, of course, hugging the family of the kid he was credited with saving, pulling Kagome's pack to his shoulder and trotting off at Sango's heels.

"I knew humans were slow, but this pace is beyond my dreams!"

"You can run ahead if you want, wolf turd," growled Inuyasha. "No need to stop when you reach the ocean."

The wolf demon gave a smirk, to which Inuyasha could only glare. The stupid fuck knew that there was something important about the woman who'd visited the night before. Inuyasha's own reaction had more than told him that.

She'd just turned and left! She hadn't even looked down to see him waiting for her, ready to see her through anything. Inuyasha was at a complete loss. Kikyo'd never completely ignored him before. Even when he'd first met her, she'd at least pin him to a tree by his shirtsleeves before turning her back.

The dog demon looked up from his thoughts just as Kagome turned her head, staring at the path ahead of her just a little too intently to be natural. It was a movement he knew well - she'd been watching him.

Inuyasha was honest enough with himself to admit that he'd noticed that Kagome wasn't exactly happy when Kikyo came to see him. He was even honest enough to admit that he knew why.

Kikyo's presence Kagome could forgive. She'd shown that many times. Inuyasha didn't like to think about it, but the fact that Kikyo was Kagome's resurrected past life should have freaked her out a lot more than it did. Kagome would speak politely to Kikyo, and thank her if she did something kind. Kagome would explain things to Kikyo, defend him to Kikyo...

It wasn't the dead priestess' presence that brought that pensive slump to Kagome's steps. It was the attention that she drew from him. It was the fact that he was willing to run off whenever he felt her close by, just to see her face, be near her, to know that she was still in the world. Inuyasha eyed Kagome as she pretended to ignore him.

She was jealous off her skinny ass.

Kagome couldn't stand it when he went to see Kikyo, so why didn't she ever talk about it? Sango and Miroku weren't shy about it, so why didn't Kagome remind him about all the times she'd tried to hurt her? Or the time Kikyo gave Naraku a huge chunk of the sacred jewel? Or the fact that she lived on the spirits of the innocent dead? Those were all great sniping points to use against a rival, so how come Kagome never used them?

The dog demon stared at the back of Kagome's head. She had her bow slung on one shoulder and Shippo on the other. For some reason, the kitsune cub didn't want to let her go today.

Inuyasha kicked a rock. Why did this have to be so damn confusing? Kagome was so... ...but when Kikyo showed up, he just couldn't not see her.

"Watch it, dog breath!" Kouga rubbed at the back of his head, clutching the rock in one puny hand.

Inuyasha sneered back, "Make me, wolf turd!"

Kouga growled. Inuyasha growled back. And the next hour passed in a way that he understood very well.


Sango settled her legs on the rock and unwrapped the peculiar "energy bar" that Kagome had handed her when they'd stopped at midday. Whatever aura the morsel was supposed to emit, it wasn't holy or demonic or anything else that she'd learned to sense. Maybe Miroku would know. She took a bite. Hm... Not bad...

Was there anyone who wasn't acting strange today?

First there was Shippo. The young kitsune had demanded even more of Kagome's attention than usual. If he wasn't asking her to pick him up, then he wanted her to tell him a story. If he didn't want her to tell him a story, then he was throwing little rocks at Hojo when the human wasn't looking. Sango had to decide that it was for the best. The little handful kept Kagome's mind off of the puppy-eared fool leading their way.

Even if Hojo hadn't blurted her name over breakfast, she'd have known that Kikyo had paid one of her visits. The taijiya had seen it happen enough to read the signs. Inuyasha was acting pensive and conflicted, and Kagome couldn't keep her eyes on him for two heartbeats in a row.

Sango frowned. Inuyasha looked markedly more frustrated than he usually did after a tryst with the thing that had once been woman. Now he kept looking at Kagome and then back at his feet.

Was it too much to think..? Sango watched a flicker of pain run across Inuyasha's face as he looked away from Kagome. Was the faithless dog demon coming to his senses?

Sango squashed the thought. Yes, it was too much to think that one night of anything could make Inuyasha realize that he should choose Kagome instead of Kikyo.

...but it was not too much to hope.

Sango found her eyes lingering on the young man from Kagome's village. Hojo might not have been the quickest wit she'd ever known - a certain silk-tongued monk still held that prize - but he certainly seemed to inspire understanding in others. If the events of the night before brought any eventual happiness to her friends, then she didn't doubt that Hojo would be somewhere at the root of it.

Hojo wasn't acting himself today either. All the light seemed to be gone from his smiling.

Sango got to her feet, reaching out with her good arm to touch a finger to his elbow. "Hojo-san?" she asked. "What is troubling you? I didn't think your injuries were serious."

Hojo gave a half-smile and shook his head, "I'm fine. Very kind of you to ask. You're always so thoughtful, Miss Sango."

There was a sharp guttural sound from behind. Sango turned, folding her arms as best she could with the bandage.

"I..." stammered Miroku, "I choked on something." He got to his feet, "Please excuse me."

Uh huh. And his hands just "slipped" from time to time.

"I'm all right, Miss Sango," Hojo went on. "I just... I have some thinking to do is all. He shifted his shoulders, "I think I'll walk ahead a bit if that's alright with you?"

The taijiya held still for a moment. They hadn't passed by any demon trouble on the way here, but somehow she didn't think that Hojo wandering off by himself was a good idea.

"Not too far," she said. "If you can't hear us behind you, then turn around and wait."

"No need to worry about me, Miss Sango," he answered with something like his usual smile.

His steps faded in her ears, and Sango's eyes found their way to the young kitsune gleefully accepting the chocolate energy bar that Kagome had saved for him.

"See? Don't get worked up over nothing; I'll keep my end of it."

"Alright, you can say whatever you want to him if he pesters you, but no hitting him. None whatsoever."

Sango's eyes narrowed. Kagome was just too tolerant with Inuyasha. He had obviously kept no part of his promise to be kinder to Shippo. Sango simmered. It was as if he had never made the pact at all!

Oh, the great dog demon was so faithful to his word when it came to running off with Kikyo, but he couldn't keep even one promise to restrain himself? Ooooooh, it was laziness, selfishness, hypocrisy ... all the worst traits of humankind!

Shippo hopped off of Kagome's shoulder and over to the sulking dog demon. "You should taste one of these, Inuyasha!" he insisted. "Kagome says that they're full of bite-a-mints!"

The dog demon shrugged. An eyeblink later, the bar in Shippo's hands was half gone and full of fang marks.

"I didn't mean for you to take mine!" Shippo jumped up and started gnawing on Inuyasha's forehead.

"Get off, brat!"

"Whoooooooa! -oof!!" Shippo was shotputted headfirst into a tree. He rolled upright and rubbed the new bump on his head.

"Inuyasha," Kagome scolded, "was that really necessary?"

"I think so, yeah!"

Was that all she was going to do about it? The stupid dog boy had made her a promise! The taijiya felt her eye twitch.

"Hey Sango?" Inuyasha rasped, wiping his mouth with his sleeve. "What's with the stinkeye? I didn't do anything."

The taijiya pulled herself to her feet. "I don't think I feel like sitting here," she said darkly. "I think I'll walk a bit."

"Suit yourself."

"Sango?" Kagome looked up.

"You have more patience than you need, Kagome," she answered as she stormed off.


This stuff wasn't bad, but Miroku still couldn't figure out what kind of energy it was supposed to exude. Maybe Sango would know. After the previous night's adventures with unidentifiable beverages, he was a little skittish about food he didn't recognize.

The woods were thick here. He'd only needed to take a few steps before the leaves closed in, giving him enough privacy to unfold his thoughts. Miroku sighed.

I thought this was supposed to be Inuyasha's problem.

If even half of Shippo's hysterical version of events was true, then Hojo's interest in Kagome was more than some idle infatuation. All the boy's ramblings about quests and plans were beginning to make sense. In all probability, Hojo had been dreaming of Kagome for a long time now, and longed above all things to make her his wife in the fullness of time.

He is a fool, but an honest fool, a fool willing to learn from his mistakes. And I cannot doubt that he would do his best to make Kagome happy. Miroku suppressed a small laugh. If I thought for a moment that Kagome returned his feelings, then I might offer my blessing on her future with Hojo even now.

Hojo's feelings were surely one-sided. Miroku almost pitied the boy.

Then he remembered Sango's changed behavior and the feeling evaporated.

One of Mushin's sermons echoed back to him, "A lovesick man is a pathetic thing, boy. He loses his hope, his appetite for food and drink, his desire to pursue other members of the female sex, all his attention is on whatever lady has rejected him," the high monk had advised. "Such men are very easy to con and ridiculously neglectful of their purses."

Would that I could con him into going home...
Miroku thought glumly.

A voice drifted toward him through the leaves. "...and every day, the princess saw the changeling toss a ball in the air, and whisper to itself, so she figured out that it couldn't be a real baby..."

Miroku smiled despite himself. Something in the speaker's cadence made him feel-

The voice dropped, and she couldn't make out the next line.

That almost sounds like Hojo, /he mused. /But why would he be telling a fairy tale in the middle of the woods?

"What did the baby demon do next, Hojo-san?" came a high, childish question.

An image flashed across his mind. /Shippo likes stories. Could the two of them have resolved their differences that quickly? /Frowning, Miroku began to walk toward the sound.

"The changeling flew into a rage, and told the princess to give him back his magic ball, or he would burn her skin off," Hojo's voice answered. "Now the changeling didn't look much like a baby any more. She could see its wrinkled face, and its hands like twisted roots, and the big fat belly it had gotten from all the village women's food and attention."

"Was it eating their souls, Hojo-san?" Miroku could hear a little clearer now. The person with Hojo was definitely a child. Hojo was in no danger, but there weren't any villages for miles, and Hojo would have come to tell them if he'd met other travelers. As unlikely as it might seem, Shippo was listening to Hojo tell a story.

"I don't know... Maybe. When my grandmother would tell me this story, all she said was that taking care of the changeling made the women tired and used up."

"What happened next?"

Miroku called out, "Hojo? Is that you?"

"Hey!" he called back. "Where are you?"

"Down the path yet a way," he answered. "I still can't see you."

"We're over here by the rocks!" he replied.

Miroku kept walking. Something wasn't right, but he wasn't sure what-

The monk rounded a bend and found himself not three feet from the boy from Kagome's village. Right next to him on a waist-high stone, a little human girl was kicking her feet in the air. The girl smiled and waved familiarly. Miroku froze. He'd seen this child before somewhere, but-

"Why don't you join us, Miroku?" Hojo invited with a smile. "I was just telling Rin here a story."


Do you need me to get you down?

KURAMA: I can get myself down, thanks.

I didn't think the waistband would fit twice around the ceiling fan. Where did you buy those?

KURAMA: I am not telling you, ever.

Not even if I let you keep the Sephiroth costume?

KURAMA: On second thought, I think I will stay up here.
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