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

(43) Better

by Ithilwen 0 reviews

Sometimes things turn out better than expected.

Category: Inuyasha - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Humor, Romance - Characters: Other - Published: 2005-11-23 - Updated: 2005-11-23 - 1178 words

KURAMA: What is that?

A hamster.

KURAMA: I can see that. Why do you have it?

Someone told me it was evil. So far it just runs on the little wheel and signs people up for spam mailing lists.

KURAMA: (grabs cage) It's been YOU!!


"Sango! Sango, wake up!"

The demon exterminator stirred. She'd been sleeping fitfully to begin with. A strange dream about a howling typhoon...

"Sango!" Shippo reached down and shook her head with both hands. She lifted one arm to push him out of the way.

"What is it?" she asked groggily.

"It's Kagome!" she opened her eyes right into Shippo's, panic-white and twice as large as usual. "She's lost her mind!"


Something about the boy just didn't make sense. Something was nagging at him, at the edge of his awareness. There was something beyond Hojo's natural talents with people of the female persuasion, something beyond the flaming talisman that, it seemed, not even he could control.

Miroku pulled in one smooth breath and let it out slowly. The answer would come to him, but somehow, he could feel time ticking away with his heartbeat.

Something was going to happen soon.

Why do I do it? Miroku's own thoughts interrupted the process. By all rights, I should hate Hojo as much as Inuyasha and Shippo do. His mind flashed to a sleek female form in coral-trimmed armor. Alright, so perhaps "should" is too generous of a term. The boy makes my skin seethe, so why am I going to such lengths to help him?

"Remember, my boy,"
the answer seeped into his mind, "whatever else we do, whatever profit or other ...heh, hem... other rewards we may find in our journey, it is still the journey of a holy man toward enlightenment.

"A monk is supposed to set an example of kindness and understanding. We are privileged, you and I , Miroku, and your father as well. Not everyone can spend his lifetime the pursuit of wisdom. It is perhaps because of that that we must-"

"Feed a starving mind wherever we may find it," he finished out loud, allowing his eyes to lift open in the growing night.

Deep down, I know that Hojo is a good person, and that I must do all I can to help him survive. /His mouth tightened. /Damn, that's depressing... The twist to his lips turned wry. "Not so worthless of an apprentice after all, Master Mushin?"

A sound from back the way Hojo had gone broke his train of thought. Miroku looked up. Had it come from the boy or someone at the camp. His hands found their place on his staff and he followed.


"Inuyashaaaaaa!!" Kagome seethed. "You didn't think it would be a good idea to tell me about this?!" she asked.

Inuyasha huffed. "No." ...His eyes squeezed shut a split-second after the word left his mouth.


If Kagome's mind had been clearer, the words "misplaced anger," might have crossed it. It was just as well, because Inuyasha summed it up with the far simpler, "Bitch!"

"What did he do?" Kagome demanded before he'd even pried his face out of the dirt. "Tell me what happened!"

"The snake demon den," he snapped into the dirt. "You thought Hojo was just trying to be a hero?" he shook his head. "He did it on purpose. He was going to let the snake demon eat Shippo. He admitted it."

Kagome's eyes went just a bit narrow.

"I didn't beat it out of him; he admitted it to Miroku and I overheard. You can ask the stupid monk if you don't believe me."

Kagome bowed her head even as her fists shook. She shouldn't have sat Inuyasha for that; she shouldn't have, but... It was all coming back, exploding outward like floodwaters breaking a dam.

"Higurashi? What... what is THAT?"

Hojo going pale whenever Shippo moved near him.

Hojo unable to concentrate on his archery lesson because he couldn't take his eyes off Shippo.

Hojo looking away, fidgeting with his hands, shuffling with his feet, giving a hundred different, perfect clues while he was spinning her that idiot story about having a plan against the serpent demons.

"I should have figured it out!" she wrenched the words from her throat with such force that Inuyasha's ears flattened back. "I am so stupid! Oh God, Hojo! How could you do this to me?!"

"Yeah..." muttered Inuyasha as he got back to his feet. There was something hovering around his eyes that she couldn't quite place. Was that ...relief?

Kagome shook her head. There were too many emotions trying to take shape in her heart that she felt as if she would burst if she didn't hold Shippo warm and safe in her arms right then, crack Hojo's skull open with hiraikotsu, sit Inuyasha senseless for keeping this from her.

"Why didn't you tell me before?" she asked again.

"You crazy girl, you're supposed to be mad at the little-"

"Inuyasha!" her voice rose several decibels and at least half an octave.

In the corner of the camp, Kagome was dimly aware of the little kitsune, now completely awake, shaking violently at Sango's shoulders.

"I'm telling you now!" the dog demon snapped back. "Besides, I wanted you to figure it out for yourself."

"Why?" she demanded.

"I just wanted you to!"

"Why?!" Kagome wasn't sure why she needed to know, somewhere in there, she just did.

"I don't want to be-" Inuyasha cut the breath in half. "You shouldn't think I'm-"

She went completely silent. The prickly feeling that this wasn't going to be just another overinflated territorial posturing match nipped its way across her mind.

"Telling you what he did wouldn't make me better than he is!" he shouted back at her. "That's probably not the right way to say it, but that's what I've got."

The words thrummed in Kagome's mind, brought her back to a world of choking vines, and a pit deep enough to make her forget she'd ever been...

"Kagome, did Kikyo try to harm you? I won't ask you if-"

"Then don't ask me! ...It would feel like I was telling on her!"

"Inuyasha..." her voice was quiet now. "You're right."

The dog demon looked up.

"That's not why you're better than he is."

Inuyasha opened his mouth, but closed it again right away. She could barely make out the motion of his head shaking. She couldn't make out what he said at all.

Kagome bit her lip. I shouldn't have said that... Now he's going to think-

"Kagome," a human voice slipped behind her, loose with interrupted sleep. "What's going on?" asked the taijiya. "Shippo thinks-"


Her eyes leaped back to the campfire. What if-

"I'll get him," graveled the dog demon.

Kagome nodded her thanks, suddenly feeling less than strong. She took a breath and saw a gray blur with fangs, the image twice as large in her mind's eye.

Something had to be done.


Put that hamster down. It's borrowed.

KURAMA: Not until its evil is unsubscribed from the world.
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