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

(40) Thrown

by Ithilwen 0 reviews

Kouga's diabolical plans for Hojo come to light.

Category: Inuyasha - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Humor, Romance - Characters: Other - Published: 2005-11-23 - Updated: 2005-11-23 - 2570 words

KURAMA: Never do that again.

Do what?

KURAMA: Never offer me food containing sedatives, mood-altering drugs, poison-


KURAMA: -anesthetics, unknown mystical substances, or anything to which you know I am allergic.


KURAMA: What kind of sedative was that, anyway?

This kind.

KURAMA: ...This bottle is labeled "Sedd-ah-teeve."

Is it?

KURAMA: In crayon!


"I can hear two voices up ahead," Shippo piped in a small whisper.

"Me too," breathed the dog demon.

Kagome's arms tensed on Inuyasha's shoulders as she tried to lean forward. There wasn't much light under the trees this late in the afternoon, but she could just barely see something moving in the shadows. His head turned toward her just a bit as her weight shifted, but he didn't tell her off for wiggling or for throwing him off-balance or jabbing her elbows in his neck. Kagome bit her lip. Did that mean he was less angry or more?

"Can you make out what they're saying, Inuyasha?" asked Sango.

"No," he answered, "the stream is-" Inuyasha cut off, looking at something up ahead.

The branches parted, the air cleared, and two struggling figures leaped into visibility on the bank. Before a shattered heartbeat could pass, one shadow-streaked hand caught hold of the other figure's shoulder, jamming his arm behind his back and sweeping his feet out from under him in one motion. The second figure toppled, face-down, into the dust.

Sango gasped, "Hojo!"

The first figure darted clear. The second figure pushed its upper body off the ground with a grunt of pain.

Kagome froze, dumbfounded. He'd actually done it! Kouga... her heart clenched as the half-prone figure on the streambank gave a twitch. You can't have really done this! /A tear swelled at the corner of her eye. /Don't tell me that you hurt Hojo because of me. She drew in a breath, dring one eye against her shoulder. I guess... Kagome reached for the quiver on her back. I guess I have to stop you. Please, Kouga, don't make me...

The second figure leaned back, slowly bracing his feet beneath his body. His attacker waited as he drew himself upright, brushed a clod of dust from his eye and...

...pointed at him with one clawed hand. "That wasn't bad," said Kouga, "but you need to tuck in your elbow more. I nearly hit your ankles instead of the ground."

Kagome's hand froze on the fletching.


"Really?" Hojo asked sheepishly. "I thought I had it that time."

"Just try it again." The wolf prince took up a starting position. "Attack me!"

"Alrighty!" Hojo complied.

Shippo hopped down from Kirara. "Inuyasha," he asked, looking up at the dog demon, "wasn't Kouga supposed to be beating up Hojo?"

There was no response. In fact, Kagome realized, the dog demon hadn't so much as twitched since Kouga and Hojo had come into view. The girl carefully slid off his back and tried to get a better look at his face.

"Inuyasha?" His eyebrows didn't come down from hiding in his hairline, his mouth didn't close; his posture didn't change. The dog demon stood there, half-doubled, like a dodo seeing the inside of a net for the first time. Inuyasha had been shocked stupid.

Hovering dumbly next to Kirara, the monk's reaction was just the same: Eyes wide, hands numb, throat silent. Shippo waved one little arm in front of Miroku's face, to no response. "I think they might be broken, Kagome."

Sango effortlessly found her feet as the firecat transformed. "Is..." she asked, "is Kouga giving him lessons?"

"Oof!" The wolf prince's voice filtered across the clearing again. "I said tuck in that elbow!"

"Sorry!" chirped Hojo.

"Looks like," Kagome answered quietly.

"I don't believe it..." the exterminator stepped forward for a better look. "I hadn't thought that Kouga would break his word not to kill Hojo, but for him to actually help him is-" she cut off, eyes going impossibly wide as both her hands froze in the air.

"Sango!" gasped Kagome. "What did you see?" her eyes squinted desperately at the two figures in the dusk.

Her question evaporated as the taijiya turned around sharply, striking the still-dazed monk in the face. "Pervert!"

Miroku seemed to shake himself. "What?" he asked, and then looked down at his left hand, rubbing gingerly at his face with the other. "Oh, I see..."

"No, no, no," Kouga's voice drifted toward them. "Here. Let me show you."

"Okay," answered Hojo.

"This doesn't make any sense, Kagome," whispered Shippo. "Why would Kouga give Hojo fighting lessons?"

"Now pay attention this time," said the wolf prince.

"Alright, so I-Ieeee!" Hojo flew through the air like a crippled pigeon, right down to the sound he made on impact.

"Ooooooh," breathed the kitsune.

Miroku shook his head, "Why didn't I think of-"

Sango's eyes narrowed.

"-some way to prevent all this fruitless violence?"

"Whooaa!" came Kouga's shout.

"I got it!" cried Hojo.

"Not bad..." Kouga managed. The wolf prince got to his feet, cricking his neck with a loud pop. "Let's try it again."

Kagome shook her head. "That can't be the only reason he's doing this."

"It's not," Inuyasha spoke at last.

Kagome took a step closer, watching Inuyasha's face from the side. His eyes hadn't left the pair as they sparred in the dying light.

"Watch that throw again." He pointed.

Kagome's eyes tracked the arc of Kouga's body as Hojo threw him. Her brow creased.

"I see," Sango nodded slowly. "I suppose all the moves he showed him today are like that. I wouldn't have thought that Kouga would try something this subtle."

"It was either that or admit that his whole tribe smells like pig slop, after it's been used." Inuyasha shrugged. "I'm surprised coming up with this didn't make his brain overheat."

"Try what? All I see is-" Kagome watched as Hojo flipped Kouga over his shoulder. A slow pattern began to form in front of her eyes. "Oh," she said out loud. She bit her lip against the disappointment rising in her throat. Kouga... "I think I get it." She pushed some steel into her voice. "Excuse me a minute, guys. Kouga needs something to explained to him."

"You stay here," Kagome's next three words came with a growly echo free of charge.

"I mean it," said Inuyasha.

"So do I." Kagome narrowed her eyes. Inuyasha narrowed his right back. "Inuyasha, if you go out there, Kouga will growl at you the whole time and not hear a word I say."

"I'm not letting you near him alone, Kagome!"

"For the last time, Inuyasha; Kouga's not going to hurt me! He wasn't hurting Hojo, was he?"

"Here," Kouga's voice carried a hint of delight. "Let me show you again..."

"Aaaaaaaaaaa-ow! ...Thank you, Kouga," said Hojo.

"You are so welcome, Hojo," the wolf answered with glee.

Inuyasha folded his arms.

Kagome scratched the back of her neck with one hand. "Eheh..."


"Hello, Kagome," Kouga had wrapped his two hands around the girl's before they'd taken five steps out of the woods. Miroku watched him carefully. His eyes didn't go quite as limpid as usual; his voice didn't have the same depth of dark-romantic timbre that made his professional spirit so jealous. Kouga was nervous.

"Having fun out here, Kouga?" Inuyasha clipped as he swatted the wolf away from Kagome. A sneer built on those gleaming fangs. "You must be even weaker than I thought if a puny excuse for a human can toss you around like that."

"It was a training session, dog breath," Kouga sneered back, "not that I'd expect you to figure that out." The wolf folded his arms, but he couldn't hide the tang fighting its way into his usual reek. He knew his number was up. Inuyasha growled.

Kouga growled back.

Inuyasha growled back louder.

And so forth. This wasn't getting anywhere.

And then, there was him.

"I didn't know you could move like that, Hojo-san." There was just a hint of flush in Sango's cheeks.

"Well..." the youth blushed back. "I used to play basketball for a while, so I-URK!"

Miroku grabbed the back of Hojo's dusty collar and pulled him along. There was no sense in delay. After all, someone had to tell the kid what Kouga was really up to. The monk sighed. It was a task that would require patience, subtlety and understanding.

Too bad.

"Inuyasha," he called over Kagome's frantic efforts to keep the encounter from degenerating into another standard wolf vs. dog boy pounding. "There's something you have to do."

"I'm a little busy right now, monk," Inuyasha answered as he tried to duck past Kagome's waving arms and take a swipe at Kouga's face. "Damnit, girl, get out of the way!"


"That's it, my Kagome," chimed Kouga. "Now let me get rid of this useless dog, and we can-"


"But you didn't even hear what I was going to-"


"Miroku, you can let go of me now..." gagged Hojo.

"You'd better let go of him now!" hissed Sango.

"Oh yes..." Miroku complied. "Of course. I beg you to excuse the rest of us, Hojo, but Inuyasha has something very important to tell you."

"He does?"

"I do?"

"What?" Kagome pulled away from the wolf demon. "Yes! Yes he does. We'll see you back at camp, Hojo." If Miroku had blinked, he would have missed it, but he thought he saw Kagome mouth the word "sit!" at the fuming half-demon.

When Inuyasha growled loudly, he was certain of it. Miroku fought down a smile. If there was anything that Inuyasha hated more than getting sat, it was getting sat in front of Kouga. The monk gave a silent prayer of thanks as the dog demon dragged Hojo off.

"Kouga," said Kagome turning back to the wolf. "I think we need to have a talk about something called 'responsibility.'"

"What can you mean, my Kagome?"

Miroku had to hand it to him: Sango was facing him from one side, hiraikotsu held at skull-scarring ready in her good arm; there was a skilled - and quite handsome - monk with a kaza ana on the other; and there was a bow-bearing and obviously very ticked-off priestess not two feet from his nose, and the wolf prince managed to look only a little nervous the whole time.

"About those moves that you were showing Hojo?" Kagome asked.

"What about them, my Kagome?"

"Let's talk."


Stupid girl! Inuyasha seethed. How was he supposed to intimidate Kouga into leaving her alone if she kept threatening to make him eat gravel? How the hell did I get myself into this? he wondered, but the answer came quickly: He'd made Kagome that stupid promise to get the snot-ass loser home with the right number of organs.

No... Not really. His current situation probably had much deeper roots than that. Kagome had pushed him to spare Hojo the same way she'd stubbornly kept him from killing Kouga every time he came sniffing after her. She'd done almost the same thing the day they'd met Miroku and every other goddamn time he let her con him into a freebie demon-slaying for some stupid human stickpit.

Inuyasha scratched his chin. That wasn't it either. His problems had really started when he hadn't ditched her and gone after the jewel on his own.

Come to think of it, had he really needed to ask her to pull that damn arrow out of his chest? The Goshinboku wasn't such a bad place to spend eternity. He half wished he were back there now.

"So what was it that you wanted to talk to me about, Inuyasha?" Hojo asked out loud as the two of them walked into the empty camp.

Inuyasha held in a growl. He'd wanted to stomp on Kouga's pointy little head until he'd cried like a baby pus demon, but nooooo...

The dog demon eyed the fool human. He was way too happy for a guy covered in dirt and dust, with at least half a dozen wolf-inflicted bruises coming. Truth be told, it was a little bit creepy.

"I need to get back to Kagome before wolf turd does something stupider than normal, so I'll make this quick," he said. "You know those moves Kouga was showing you just now?"

"Uh huh," answered Hojo.

"You can't use any of them in a real fight," he explained. "You'd get killed."

Hojo didn't answer. Something seemed to tense along the boy's jaw.

"The throw technique left your neck wide open," Inuyasha went on. "Even a human opponent could have taken you out in a heartbeat."

Hojo opened his mouth and then shut it again. Inuyasha's brow creased and a growl built up in his throat. Hell, does he think I'm making this shit up?

"Don't you get it?" he insisted. "Kouga's trying to get rid of you! This way he can pretend to Kagome like it wasn't his fault!"

The human took a breath, "Inuyasha-" he began.

"What?!" he demanded.

"I KNOW!!" Hojo shouted back, throwing both arms in the air. "I knew that the whole time!"

"You..." Inuyasha blinked. "You what? How?"

Hojo's folded his arms, his completely plain brown eyes shooting straight across at the young demon's. "Come on, Inuyasha," he insisted. "I'm not stupid!"

Something was very wrong. Inuyasha found himself trying to stop the choky sounds coming out of his throat, only it wasn't working.

"Kouga's in love with Kagome," Hojo began. "So he has to get rid of me. He can't do it himself, because even if he didn't get toasted with this thing," Hojo jabbed a thumb at the talisman at his throat, "Kagome would still figure it out sooner or later, and there are some things that even she wouldn't forgive. However," Hojo went on, "Kouga's not too bright-"

Air escaped Inuyasha's lungs in something between a snort and a squeak.

"-so if I go along with his stupid plan, he will think that it is working, and then he won't try anything else!!" Hojo exhaled sharply, sending a puff of dust Inuyasha's way. The boy took one deep breath and then another, closing both eyes for a moment. When he opened them again, the smile was back, "Or at least that's all I could get on my own. You've known him longer than I have. What do you think? Did I miss anything?"

Inuyasha's universe had gone completely still. He'd spent the past three days weaving his way through everything from nests of demons to Kagome's mood swings and... and...

The... ...HELL?!

"I'm sorry..." Hojo was saying as he absently dusted off his clothes. "I don't usually lose my temper. It's just..." he looked up into the branches. "The past couple of days have been kind of rough, you know?"

Inuyasha forced his jaw to unclench. He was going to need it to bite someone's head off, and he was going to need all of his concentration to convince himself that that someone shouldn't be the vapid weasel in front of him.

"You have no idea," he answered.


KURAMA: There is nothing in here but nutmeg and some orange zest.

That explains its fruity goodness.

KURAMA: But not why I passed out.

Maybe you were tired.

KURAMA: Do you really think I would deliberately fall asleep within four hundred yards of you?

Why not?

KURAMA: Give me back my shorts.


(Hands over blue boxers with rose thorn pattern)
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