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

(34) Challenged

by Ithilwen 0 reviews

Hojo is it. Sesshoumaru might be it. Is Inuyasha up for it?

Category: Inuyasha - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Humor, Romance - Characters: Other - Published: 2005-11-22 - Updated: 2005-11-23 - 2109 words

You have to come down some time.

KURAMA: No I don't.

That can't be comfy.

KURAMA: It's just fine.

I made pie!

KURAMA: I don't care.

It's yummy.

KURAMA: Don't care.

But it's pie.

KURAMA: Still not caring.

How strong is that waistband?


(waistband rips)


Miroku dimly realized that he must have looked very silly standing there, staring at a child seated smilingly on a rock as if she were a nest of live snakes. "What..." his voice sounded like he'd been drinking for days and his stomach wasn't arguing. "What did you say?"

"I said I was telling Rin a story, and do you want to stay for the end?" the boy put a hand on the monk's shoulder. "You don't look so good. What's wrong?"

"Mr. Hojo! Finish the story!"

"Just a minute, Rin. I think Miroku here is sick." A pair of big, concerned eyes filled Miroku's vision, "Miroku?"

"Listen to me, boy - no! Stop playing with that and pay attention. Whenever you find a baby animal in the woods, remember: It may look cute and cuddly, but its momma or poppa probably isn't, and isn't far away. Got that? Good. Now back to arithmetic. What's two plus three?"

"Rin," Miroku said carefully. "Where is Sess-" The girl's eyes narrowed. Miroku held in a cough, "Where is/ Lord Sesshoumaru? /" he managed.

"Lord Sesshoumaru went away," said Rin, "but he always comes back!"

"Yes," Miroku dared a breath, "and where did he tell you to wait for him?"

"Right here!" she pointed to the rock and kicked her feet.

Well that was something. "And what about Jak- Lord Jaken?"

"Ah and Un ran away, and Lord Jaken ran after them!" the girl folded her chubby arms. "Lord Sesshoumaru told us to wait here."

Hojo was looking from Miroku to the girl and back. His brown eyebrows furrowed. He opened his mouth, closed it again, and finally said, "I've missed something, haven't I? Who's Sesshoumaru?"

Patience... /The words hissed in his mind like diamond ice. /A monk must have patience.

"Sesshoumaru is a demon lord," he began in a heavy calm, "one of the true taiyoukai. Ordinarily, he considers humans to be beneath his notice, but for some reason, he has taken young Rin into his charge."

"Well that sounds lovely," said Hojo, who at least had the sense to still look confused.

"With the exception of this girl, Sesshoumaru will slay any human who gives him even the slightest offense," Miroku went on. "If you had moved Rin one inch from this spot, there would be no help for you." The monk gave Hojo a level glance. "There may yet be none."

"Come on!" the boy protested. "He sounds like a concerned and involved foster-parent, but to be that overprotective is just reality-challenged! No one could ever be that much of a-"

"He is Inuyasha's brother."

Hojo stopped. "Oh."

The wind rustled through the leaves.

"That's not good, then."

"No," finished Miroku.

"Hm," Hojo rubbed his chin. "Could Inuyasha talk to him, tell him that I was just-"

"Ah," Miroku shook his head. "They don't exactly speak."

"Well that's sad," Hojo commented. "Hey, what if I start running? Right now?"

"Sesshoumaru is probably faster than Kouga," Miroku supplied, "and he has a better nose for tracking than Inuyasha, so-"

"Lord Sesshoumaru is the fastest youkai ever!" Rin beamed.

"Sounds like, Rin!" Hojo answered with an oddly nerveless smile. "Okay, no running," he mused. "Besides, if I leave Rin here alone, and someone else comes along and hurts her, this Sesshoumaru guy sounds like the kind of person who'd track me down and kill me for letting it happen, right?"

Miroku blinked. "Well, now that I think of it..."

"Hm..." Hojo rubbed his chin. "Well you've obviously seen him before, and you're still alive. How did that work for you?"

"Indeed," Miroku nodded. "His attention was on something else each of those times. As I said before, humans are beneath his notice."

"So..." Hojo trailed off. "If he sees for himself that I'm not a threat or anything, do you think I might just slip under his radar?"

Miroku frowned, "Under his what?"

"It's an expression. It means he won't care that I exist."

"That..." Miroku's mind clinked and stuck at the thought, "that might work."

"Okay, great!" Hojo pivoted on one heel and turned a blind-eyed grin to the little girl, "Where did I leave off?"

"The princess had the baby youkai's magic ball!" she answered.

"Ah," Miroku interrupted Hojo as he began to finish the story. ...some piece of nonsense about a princess who'd stolen some magic bauble from a changeling. "You are taking this strangely well."

Hojo shrugged. "I think maybe I'm getting the hang of it."

Miroku's didn't know precisely what to make of that. I should probably inform Inuyasha that his brother is in the area. He will want to... /The monk's thoughts trailed away. /To...

"Rin," he said at last. "Did Lord Sesshoumaru say what he had come here to do?"



The blow fell. The dog demon skidded into a tree, "Kagome, stay back!" His hand moved smoothly to Tetsusaiga's hilt. His mouth drew back from gleaming fangs; the voice that came from between them was dark. "What are you doing here, Sesshoumaru?"

Kouga looked up. Sesshoumaru?

The newcomer's eyes narrowed. The claws on his right hand gained just a hint of poisonglow. "Make no demands of me, little brother."

He tasted the newcomer's scent again. Dog-reek with a touch of elegance... Yes, this was the same person who'd killed one of the shichinin-tai on the mountain. He looked from brother to brother. He'd never really understood how a half-demon could make Kouga of the wolf tribe struggle and sweat to win a fight, no matter what kind of monster his sire had been, but now that he saw the older brother... It took a lot to sneak up on an alpha wolf, and this guy had come out of nowhere. Just the way he held himself, like he was made of stone and air at once, made Kouga stifle a shiver. The wolf tribe was strong; with jewel shards they would be even stronger, but this creature walked with echoes of the ancient world.

No wonder the mutt was never afraid of me.

Off to his right, Kagome tensed. A split-second later, the poison tint flared bright and Inu-koro ducked an acid blow that made snake demon venom look like a gentle rain.

Kouga folded his arms happily. Kagome could predict an enemy's moves using only his youki? Making Kagome his woman was the best idea he'd ever had!

The kitsune rat ducked behind her hair, leaving just his face peeping out. Kouga turned his attention back to the fight. Inu-koro snarled and beat down his brother's hand, twisting to aim a kick straight at that elaborately-dressed back. The elder youkai moved aside with uncanny speed, barely ruffling the fur slung over his shoulder.

/Amazing... /Kouga marked. This was no random ambush. The young demon lord's interest seemed focused on Inu-koro alone, and - Kouga's eyes flicked to Kagome - as long as it stayed that way, Kouga saw no reason to jump in. When else was he going to get a look at dog breath's moves from anywhere but the attempted receiving end?

Why isn't he using the sword? /Kouga's brow creased as he watched the brothers volley back and forth. His eyes fell on a pair of hilts in the embroidered belt. /They have an agreement. If one doesn't, the other won't. Kouga frowned again. That doesn't make sense. Inu-koro doesn't play that kind of fair. It looks like this guy could hold his own even if dog breath did pull that overgrown fruit knife. /He shook his head. /No... There must be some other reason.

"Inuyasha, his power's building! He's going to use the-"

A new light flared, and Kouga leapt back.

A gleaming whip dripped from Sesshoumaru's- Fuck! t/he wolf prince gaped in amazement. /That guy only has one arm?

"Silence, wench!" the light flared. Kouga's eyes narrowed. Sesshoumaru's poisoned whip came down with blinding speed. Inuyasha let out a cry of rage, pulling Tetsusaiga to life between the human and the burning blow.

Kagome wasn't there when it landed.

"Stay the hell away from her, Sesshoumaru!" came the doubled shout.

Kouga scowled, "Quit copying me, dog breath!"

"Quit copying/ me! / And put Kagome down!"

Kouga growled. Couldn't a guy pull his best girl out of the way of a demon lord's energy whip without getting hassled? Kagome looked up from where he held her in his arms. Any second now, she would gaze up at him with those perfect eyes, thank him for saving her life, and just before he went to put some serious hurt on this overdressed puppy, she'd say-

"Shippo! "


"I dropped him when you- Shippo!"

Kouga twisted his neck to see the kitsune cub barreling away from Sesshoumaru on all four rat-legged feet. Kagome pushed out of his arms and dropped to one knee to scoop him up. "Kouga," she met his eyes. "Sango and Miroku can't be far away. Find them!"

"He tried to harm you, Kagome! This guy's mine!"

A light chuckle broke the air.

"Are you outdone, then, brother?" The ends of Sesshoumaru's lips tipped up. "Have you lost your human plaything-" he sniffed carefully, "-to a common wolf demon?"

"HEY!" Kouga shouted back.

Dog breath cut the air with a scream and then the blade. Sesshoumaru avoided it without cracking his smile.

"Be careful," the demon lord gave Kouga an amused glance. "Human women bring only worthless sons."

"That's it!" Kouga stomped toward the overdressed stranger. Sure, this jerk was pretty quick, but did he have two jewel shards? Did he spend five years leading his clan to supremacy in the mountains? Did he-

There was a flash of white and gold, and Kouga found himself gazing up at the canopy. He flipped to his feet and braced to charge, only to find his way blocked by the fully-transformed Tetsusaiga. "Stay out of this," the words came like a hiss from between Inuyasha's fangs. His voice dropped to well below human hearing, "She's mine to protect, not yours. "

"Play bodyguard all you want," he answered in kind, "but she's still my woman."

"She's not yours! " even without the furious red rising on Inu-koro's neck and face, Kouga could have felt the fury slicing through the air. Tetsusaiga shifted, and Kouga moved to avoid the attack a split second before he realized that Inu-koro was swinging the blade to face the elder brother, "This is between you and me, Sesshoumaru," Inu-koro's voice scraped like metal on rock. "Leave Kagome out of it. Leave the fucking wolf turd out of it."

Kouga snarled, "Don't speak for me, Inu-koro!"

"What do you want, Sesshoumaru?" shouted dog breath. "Usually when you come sniffing around, you have some excuse."

"Very well," the elder demon's eyes flicked to where Kagome was holding the frightened kit. Kouga felt a new growl rise in his throat. "You reek of Naraku, little brother. You will tell me where to find that disgusting half-demon."

Inu-koro gave a short laugh, "If I'd seen Naraku, he'd be rotting in his fucking grave."

"We ran into the wind-bitch Kagura," Kouga called back. "She shares his scent, but don't seek her life. I will be the one to kill her!"

Two sets of amber leveled on the wolf prince.

"I did not," Sesshoumaru's finger twitched, "invite you to speak."

Kouga felt the vein in his scalp pop, "Why you-!"


Kagome's voice and then the whip broke the air, and Inu-koro went sprawling. Kouga shook his head. That mutt has no sense of balance. It's a wonder he can even-



Kouga pulled himself to his feet in time to see the newcomer walking steadily away. "How dare he show his back!" he snarled.

"Just let him go," Kagome's voice was still tight. Kouga saw her body, her knees, her hands sink down next to Inu-koro's shoulders for just a second. Dog breath gave a twitch, as if to slap her away.

Then dog breath looked at Kouga, and then looked away, and then very deliberately took hold of Kagome's fingers. Kouga felt a growl rise with the confused blush on the girl's face as Inu-koro awkwardly got to his feet.

So the dumb mutt thought that his claim wasn't true? That Kagome belonged to Inuyasha of Nothing and not to Kouga the Wolf Prince? It was time to make a few things clear.


Nice landing.

KURAMA: Shut it.
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