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

(42) Anger

by Ithilwen 0 reviews

Anger loses none of its potency for being directed at the wrong person.

Category: Inuyasha - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Humor, Romance - Characters: Other - Published: 2005-11-23 - Updated: 2005-11-23 - 3132 words

KURAMA: I could have had you detained for your offenses. Instead, I brought you here. It's the first step to healing, dammit. Now admit that you have a problem!

Well the air conditioning is a bit strong in here.

KURAMA: So help me-


BOB: Put that whip down.

KAREN: These are non-violent proceedings!

KURAMA: What, but I-


(Everyone tackles Kurama)


Hojo shook his head. "That doesn't make sense. How could Kagome be Kikyo's reincarnation if they're both up and walking around?"

"I was getting to that," answered Miroku. "Her spirit beasts locate dead or dying young women and they bring her their..." Miroku paused. How to explain this... "...not their souls, exactly. They bring her their animating force, the power that allowed their bodies to move while they were living. As to whether this hinders their journey to the next life, I cannot say."

"Okay," Hojo held up both hands, "so if I forget everything I learned in biology class - and considering all the impossible people I've met this week, that's not uncalled for - then I can understand how someone who has already died once is up and around in a body made out of clay. What I still don't understand," he turned his palms upward, "is how Kikyo and Kagome could both have the same soul." He shook his head. "Kikyo was ...she was..." His hands closed on nothing. "She was something, but she wasn't like Kagome."

Miroku looked away for a moment. A strange calm seemed to flow from the pit of his stomach through the rest of his body. This is a foolish idea. "What I am about to tell you-" The words slipped from his mouth like fish escaping from a net. I should not say this out loud, not to him. "-you must not repeat."


Well, his feet weren't cold. Inuyasha could say that.

Of course, if he said anything at all, she'd probably wake up. Right now, Kagome looked completely peaceful, her smooth body gently curling in on itself as Shippo rested his little head against her hip. Inuyasha had never seen the two of them from quite this angle before. Both of them looked as if they felt completely safe. ...and it didn't take a genius to figure out that he was the reason.

Oh well.

"Kagome!" he protested, shaking her shoulder with one hand.

"What," she asked, not lifting her head from her pillow. "Inuyasha, if you want to hover there all night just because you think Kouga-kun is a big meanie, then go ahead." She rolled onto her back and looked him in the eye. "Just don't expect me to lose any sleep over it."

Inuyasha stifled a growl and almost regretted not letting her drift off. She almost never sat him when she was asleep, and it was starting to look like he wouldn't be so lucky with her awake. And here she was, with her big, round, innocent head right on top of his feet and her smooth throat stretched out for any random enemy to slash at. Inuyasha squirmed unhappily. Couldn't she have let him find a comfortable position before plunking her pillow down on top of random pieces of his anatomy? "When are you telling Kouga to take a hike?" he demanded.

"I'm not," she twisted around again and buried her face in her arms.

"Why not? He tried to kill Hojo."

"No he didn't."

"Yes he did! He tried to get him killed and that's the same thing."

"Kouga wouldn't really have let it happen," she murmured into her arms. "It was stupid and reckless, but he knew you or Sango would catch Hojo practicing or something and-"

"Kagome..." he trailed off. She was still looking at this all wrong. She'd accepted Kouga's praise, smiled at his promises, and now she'd all but endorsed his treatment of someone who was supposed to be under her protection, and...

Inuyasha's thoughts got very cold.

"Kagome," he asked carefully, "what if it hadn't been Hojo?"

She lifted her head and looked him in the eye again, "What do you mean?"

"What if Kouga had been trying to hurt Shippo?" he asked.

There was a hiss of strange fabric as Kagome slid into a kneeling position. Shippo mumbled something in his sleep. Kagome placed her hand against his back.

Inuyasha focused on the kit. His breathing was steady. The runt was out cold. "What if he'd tried to get rid of Shippo like this, because he was scared of him?" He looked Kagome in the eye. "What would you do?"

"Why would Kouga be scared of Shippo?" she asked quietly.

"Just say that he was," he supplied. "What would you do?" He held her gaze like that for half a heartbeat before she turned and looked at the sleeping kit.

"I don't know," she said at last.

"You'd forgive him?" something inside him wouldn't move right. Something was stuck inside his ribs and wouldn't move.

"I don't know," she said again, shaking her head. "I can't see Kouga being afraid of anything that wouldn't hurt him." She turned back to him. "Why are you asking me this, Inuyasha?" she said intently. "Is Kouga going to do something to Shippo?"

Inuyasha shook his head, focusing his eyes somewhere around her knees.

"I wouldn't let him," she said, touching his shoulder with the side of her hand.

"Huh?" he asked.

"I wouldn't let anyone hurt Shippo," she decided. "Then I wouldn't have to forgive them."

Inuyasha let his hand slide loosely around her wrist. Something dark had settled beneath his heart. The words came like a breath, a wave, a wash of fever. They simply had to happen. "Would you want to know?" he asked.

She blinked. "Know what?"

"If it was over and it didn't matter anymore," he stared hard into the crumpled nylon by her knees, "and he knew that it was wrong, would you want to know what he did?"

She looked at him and didn't say a word.

"He doesn't deserve for you to forgive him," he said. "That asshole doesn't deserve it."

When she spoke again her voice was quiet. "You're not talking about Kouga anymore, are you?"

She'd figured it out. Holy heaven, she'd figured it out. The dark weight inside him turned hot and melted. Inuyasha almost shook with relief.

He didn't know what to expect at that moment. Kagome was staring into the woods, the way the monk and then the stupid waste of human meat had gone. She was biting her bottom lip. She could get up any second and storm after Hojo. She could break into tears right here in his arms. She could kill the guy.

"He knew it was wrong?" she asked quietly.

Inuyasha's scowl threatened to break his face, "He thought he was doing right at the time. He ...he thought the little guy was going to hurt you," he said, "but Miroku set him straight."

"And he's not going to try anything like that ever again?"

Inuyasha shook his head vehemently. "Hell no!" he insisted. "If Miroku didn't kick his ass through the ground, I would!"

Kagome smiled, just barely, but with warmth behind it. She leaned forward and hugged him hard around the neck. "Then it's okay," she told him.

He blinked. "It's what?" Kagome only held him tighter and pressed her forehead against his cheek.

"I said it's okay," she answered quietly.

Inuyasha let his arms rest slackly by his sides. "You forgive too much, Kagome..."

He could hear the smile in her voice as she answered, "Someone has to."


It was an extremely delicate matter, this Kikyo business. Inuyasha, Kagome and even Kaede had serious wounds that didn't need to be reopened. Kikyo's history, motives and current situation were simply none of Hojo's business.

Unless of course one considered that it was Hojo's business to stay alive, and that he'd had one close scrape with Kikyo already. Even Miroku had to admit that half of the stupid things Hojo did were due to the fact that he had no idea how things were supposed to work in this world.

If Inuyasha or Kagome hear me speaking about Kikyo this way... Miroku shook his head.

"From what Lady Kaede has told me," he began, "when her sister was alive, she was very much like Kagome. She may not have had Kagome's warm and open manner, but Kikyo became a priestess to serve others, often at great risk to herself." Miroku watched Hojo nod, counting on his fingers. "She made personal sacrifices. She was forgiving to a fault. She would go out of her way to do good-" His mind flashed to a cave floor steeped in evil. "-even to those who did not deserve it. And she-"

"And she was in love with Inuyasha," Hojo finished. He nodded again, staring at the ground as he set his jaw. "You're right, Miroku. Those all sound like things that Kagome would do."

"The Kikyo who came back that day in Urasue's lair was herself for only a few moments," Miroku went on. "Kagome drew her soul back into her own body. The Kikyo shell was able to move, and to retain her powers and memories, but since that day, she has not been the same woman who lived in Kaede's village fifty years ago. The witch Urasue claimed that she was driven only by shreds of rage, but-"

Hojo rested his hands on his knees, "But you don't believe her?"

Miroku met the boy's plain gaze, suddenly feeling almost sorry for making fun of Inuyasha earlier - almost. If it was this disconcerting to have an actual intelligent conversation with the wasteling, then what must Inuyasha have felt? "From what we've heard, Kikyo spends her days tending the sick, teaching herblore to children... I don't know whether she is simply acting out habits that she developed during life or-"

"Or if she really is good," Hojo finished.

Miroku nodded. "Yes."

"The witch must have been lying." A small smile found its way onto Hojo's face. "The girl I met was way too nice. That's probably why Urasue wasn't able to control her like she planned. Kikyo still had enough of her spirit to remember that she was supposed to be good."

"Perhaps," Miroku went on. "But Kikyo is extremely unpredictable. Since her resurrection, she has discovered that it was Naraku who struck the blow that killed her, but I don't know how deep that knowledge goes. Time is frozen for the dead, and she died believing that Inuyasha had killed her," he insisted. "Somehow, even with her plots against Naraku, I do not believe that Kikyo fully understands that Inuyasha did not betray her." The monk looked up, trying to catch the glow of the campfire through the trees.

"Miroku," Mushin had told him once, "a woman's anger can be a very powerful thing. It loses none of its potency for being directed at the wrong person."

And any fitting punishment for Inuyasha's actions that day... he has already meted out himself.
"She still claims that his life belongs to her," he shook his head.

"It almost sounds like she wants to marry him," Hojo mused. "Or kill him. I'm not sure which."

"To be perfectly honest, neither am I." Miroku leaned forward, placing his hands on his knees. "Do you understand what I am trying to tell you, Hojo? Kikyo could break a demonic curse with one hand, and slay an ally with the other. Good or not, she is one of the most dangerous people you could meet."

"She didn't seem so bad to me."

"You must have managed to avoid offending her," Miroku supplied. As amazing as that sounds.

"Maybe," Hojo shrugged. "But if Kagome came back through the well while she was still dead, then..." A vertical crease formed beneath his trimmed bangs. "Is that why I can't get home?"

"Hm?" Miroku shook his head. "Is what why you can't get home?"

"Kikyo's soul. It can't be in Kagome and Kikyo at the same time without ripping into little pieces, right?" Hojo demanded.

"I believe that's right," Miroku answered. "What does this have to do with you?"

"The well," he insisted. "Maybe the reason most people can't get through it is because they've got a reincarnation on the other side. The soul doesn't want to rip apart, so it doesn't pass through." Hojo smiled. "Does that make any sense?"


"And maybe I could make it into the past because my old incarnation is still between lives or something. And..." Hojo's blather slowed. "Maybe the reason why I can't get back is because there's a new baby me back in my world." His smile leveled. "That would sort of mean I'm stuck here, wouldn't it?"

"I am going to make every effort to see that that doesn't happen," Miroku said truthfully. "While I must admit that none of us are sure why the Bone Eater's Well can transport people from one age to another, I believe that it is far more likely to be your grandmother's talisman that is causing the problem." Miroku felt his thoughts smooth out even as he said it.

Hojo's fingers moved idly on the cord around his neck as Miroku tried to make the idea take shape. Something about the talisman, and Hojo, and...

"Would you leave me for a few moments, Hojo?" Miroku asked. "I think I have something I need to figure out."


One part of Inuyasha had absolutely no problem with Kagome pressing her warm little body so tightly against him, even if most of her weight was still resting quite painfully on his left foot. It felt good to have someone hold him at a moment like this one. Inuyasha lifted one arm to tentatively rest his palm against her shoulder blade. He let his eyes close just a little. Sometimes it almost felt as if his wretched life wasn't meant to be full of empty arms. And she smelled nice.

The rest of him was pretty darn confused.

Dammit! he fumed inwardly. She was mad enough the other day when she thought Hojo'd done it by accident. She even slapped the little worm. Hell, she apologized to me! Why is she brushing it off like this? Why... Something in his throat closed up.

"He doesn't deserve it." He muttered into her shoulder. "He's worthless."

"Never say that again!" she said fiercely, making Inuyasha blink. Kagome pulled back and held him at arm's length. "I mean it, Inuyasha," she said intently. "As a special present to me. I never want you to say that again."

Inuyasha shook his head, "I won't promise you that," he seethed. "You're taking all of this too lightly, Kagome."

"No I'm not," she folded her arms. "If he did hurt Shippo, I wouldn't let him get away. I would fix him so that he couldn't hurt anything ever again and you know I could do it, do you understand?"

"No!" Inuyasha cried out. Shippo gave a little yip in his sleep and turned over. "How is trying that different from succeeding?" he shook his head. "Oh what's the point, anyway?"

"Can't a kid get some sleep around here?" came a tired voice. Inuyasha looked over to see Shippo sit up, shaking his head. "I'm going to go sleep by Kirara tonight..." he said as he dragged himself off.

Kagome's eyes followed the kitsune cub's path toward the firecat. "The point is that Shippo's fine," Kagome soothed, turning back to him. "And he knew it was wrong. He learned his lesson!" she let her hand slip to his upper arm and rub gently against the wired muscle. "Besides," she said. "I bet it was a long time ago, anyway."

The dog demon looked up, "How long a time ago could it have been?"

Kagome blinked, her hands dropping back into her lap. "You mean it wasn't?"

"Hell no! The damn thing happened yesterday!"

For the first time all night, something truly dangerous flashed into Kagome's eyes. "Yesterday?" she demanded. "Yesterday?!"

"Dammit! What are you mad at me for, you crazy bitch?" Inuyasha glanced across the firelight to Sango, who'd already started stirring.

"Yesterday!!" she hissed. "Inuyasha, I thought that maybe when we first met Shippo, you might have thought he was a little-"

Wait wait wait what?

"-bit untrustworthy, I mean he did threaten us and steal our shards, but yesterday?! What possible reason could you have for thinking that Shippo-"

Wait wait wait ME?! Inuyasha's brain was stuck somewhere between the idea that Kagome did in fact have a very formidable world of pain ready for anyone who threatened Shippo and the idea that she did not in fact have an accurate idea of who that anyone should be.

"Huh?" called the kit. "What about me?"

"-meant you or me or anyone even a little harm? He's practically a little brother to you!! Inuyasha," Kagome inhaled so hard that Inuyasha swore the trees behind him moved.

"Kagome..." he tried to interrupt.


"But Kagome-!"


Kagome's eyes shot open to the size of Totosai's as Inuyasha clamped both hands down on her mouth.

Damn! How come I never thought of doing this until now?

Her whole body went perfectly still for half a heartbeat. Then her eyes slammed down, her face screwed up, her feet started to kick and she meeped out what Inuyasha could only assume to be truly horrible language behind his unmoving hands.

"Kagome!" he finally got a word in edgewise. She met his gaze with a truly evil slitted glare. If Inuyasha hadn't been so angry, he might have cared. "I! Wasn't! Talking! About! Me!" He jerked his hands away from her mouth.

For a split second he was afraid that his words hadn't sunk in and that he was still going on a deep mining expedition to search for his lost ability to live without pain, but the moment passed, and Inuyasha could almost see the thoughts clicking by in her head. Not talking about Inuyasha, not talking about Kouga, and yesterday in the snake den, she'd only slapped one man...

Kagome's entire body started to vibrate with something that made the dog demon want to take many, many steps back. Her two pale hands balled into shaking fists as she flew to her feet, "HOJO!!"


That went well. Those people are fun.

KURAMA: Those people are seriously trying to free themselves from a destructive obsession. ...and I think someone took my wallet.

Backsliding is nigh-inevitable. One day at a time.

KURAMA: Okay, so maybe my escorting you to a twelve-step program isn't the way to go.

I don't think I identified.

KURAMA: ...I could probably get a court-order requiring you to go by yourself.
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