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

(45) Contact

by Ithilwen 0 reviews

For some reason, that thought made Inuyasha very angry. "Stop crying!" he demanded. "I told you I didn't want to see you cry for his sorry ass!"

Category: Inuyasha - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Humor, Romance - Characters: Other - Published: 2005-11-23 - Updated: 2005-11-23 - 2444 words

This week's Kurama arc is adapted from PM's between the inestimable Niamh and myself. The name of Teles is not taken in vain.

KURAMA: (clicks laser pointer) I'm glad you could all make it. Allow me to introduce our target: the deletion brigade. I have prepared some slides.

I have prepared some brownies.

YUSUKE: Thanks.

You are welcome.

KUWABARA: Wow! These are good. You sure you don't want some, Kurama?

KURAMA: I'm sure. So far, the enemy has hit targets such as "Divine," "A Fuedal Fairytale for the |33t," and of course, "Of Gods and Monsters," often for partially or even wholly unsubstantiated reasons. For example, "Waiting for Yesterday," was removed for "lack of respect for the English language," when the author had used a spellcheck program and two betas. It clearly says on the upload page that no one is perfect, implying that honest errors that are not due to laziness-

KUWABARA: (raises hand)

KURAMA: Yes, Kuwabara?

KUWABARA: I've been reading this "Monster" story too, and-

HIEI: He can read?

KUWABARA: Of course I can read, stupid!

HIEI: Will wonders never cease?


Over the past few days, Inuyasha had come to believe that nothing could possibly be so satisfying as hitting Hojo in the face, but watching Kagome do it had felt good.

Okay, so it had felt very good.

Okay, so it had felt really, really fucking amazing.

Now, though... Inuyasha didn't take her all the way back to camp. Sango would want to know what was going on, and he was pretty sure Kagome wasn't up for answering questions. And then there was the runt. Inuyasha found a dry patch on the grass and set her down.

Dammit, what was he supposed to make of all of this? Kagome had stood there, solid as a mountain in front of Hojo, but now she looked like she was going to melt apart any second. So many people get off on it. If it had been me, I would have enjoyed making the little shred cower like the worm he is, knowing that I controlled what would happen to him. Kagome... Kagome's acting like she's the one who did something wrong.

For some reason, that thought made Inuyasha very angry. "Stop crying!" he demanded.

"I can't," she held out both hands.

"I told you I didn't want to see you cry for his sorry ass!"

"That's not why I'm crying, Inuyasha..." she looked away, biting down hard on her bottom lip. "I trusted him! I thought he was the best person in my world! We all did!"

Something inside his mind went slack. For a split second, all he could hear was the sound of/ best person in my world /echoing around in his skull.

"Inuyasha, with all the horrible things we see..." Kagome shook her head. "In this time, even the good people have to do such terrible things! Whenever it got to be too much for me, I'd remember that there are people in the world who'd lay down and die before they'd hurt another person." She reached out for him with one hand, but stopped before she touched his skin. "/That's /what I thought he was."

He couldn't make his eyes move. "Kagome," the words rolled out on silent wheels, "If I just lay down and die then so would-"

"I know," she said, looking back at him. "I ... I just can't explain it any better than that, that's all."

"Kagome..." Inuyasha trailed off, hands completely empty.

I hate it when you cry.

She looked back at him, eyes full and blinking, her face completely flushed.

I can't make you stop.

His left hand lifted just a little off his knee.

I don't feel strong when you cry.

"Inuyasha?" she asked, her voice wrung from wet tendon.

I never know what to do!

Frustration rippled across his jawline. Inuyasha pushed his hand back down, fingers out, a barricade of needle claws between them.

After so much stillness, the motion rose up from nowhere, like a flock of birds after a shout. He shifted his weight to stand, something her human eyes couldn't have detected even at a sorrowfree noon, but since when had Kagome needed eyes to tell what he was going to do? "Don't!" her voice came anyway. At the same time, she leaned forward, reaching out with both hands. Her fingers curled in the fabric of his sleeve. "Don't go," a hollow whisper reached his ears. Her free hand pressed down on the back of his. "I don't want to be alone yet."

This was the part where he should have slapped her away. This was the mistake that he kept making over and over. Inuyasha didn't budge when she pressed her forehead down on his shoulder and wept like a good mother. The buzzing in his mind was still warm, but clear as the air before a rain.

Kagome, /he swallowed hard as her fingers squeezed hard on his arm, /what do you want me to do? How the hell am I supposed to...

Almost by itself, his left hand reached around her body, hovering, and then gingerly touched her back along the spine. Inuyasha squirmed, shifting her awkward weight. Palm down, claws away from the cloth, there was always the threat of cuts between him and her. He sat half-holding her tight as a bandage as the sorrow left her body in drops.

He didn't know how much time passed before she pulled back, but it was long enough for his feet to go numb underneath him. He'd lost count of her heartbeats.

"Inuyasha," she looked up at him. "Would you- I need you to-"

"He won't know I'm there," Inuyasha warned.

Kagome nodded. "That's what I want," she said. "Tomorrow we can tell him."

Inuyasha shrugged. "Do you really think this'll do any good?" he asked bitterly.

"Yes I do."

"I'm taking you back to camp first." It wasn't a question.

"Okay." It wasn't an argument. "Do you... You don't think I..."

"Don't worry about him, Kagome," Inuyasha didn't look back the way they'd come. "It's done."


Kouga'd fled when Kagome turned her gaze on him. Even Inuyasha had swallowed his words and taken a good ten steps back into the brush.

Hojo hadn't lifted his head, hadn't moved.

Kagome hadn't hurt him that much, really, hadn't even broken his skin. Miroku himself had taken worse beatings from Sango and still walked away smiling. ...but then, Sango had never said the things that Kagome had said to Hojo just now.

Miroku was standing in the night air, watching a young man bleed out on the ground.

"Get up," Kagome had said coldly. He'd watched, eyes struggling in the faint light. The dimness had leeched all the color from Kagome's clothes and skin, leaving only the white shirt with a touch of red at her throat. From the corner of his eye, Miroku thought he saw Inuyasha flinch. The monk blinked again.

"Go!" she'd pointed toward the woods.

/I could have mistaken her for Kikyo just now, /he realized. Judging by the way two frozen gold eyes hovered on the back of her neck, he wasn't the only one.

"You stay here in the woods tonight," Kagome's voice knifed into the dying air, "and you think about what it's like to be a weak creature on your own with no one to help you. We'll come find you in the morning, and if you still want my help getting home, then I'll give it to you, but after that, go away somewhere and don't come back. Don't come see me. Don't ask my friends about me. We're done."

She had held perfectly still for a moment, pulling in a silent breath before her chin crumpled and the illusion broke. Hojo hadn't seen however; he still hadn't raised his forearms up from the grass. She didn't make a sound. He never knew.

Kikyo would have stayed, impassive as a stone, while Hojo crawled off into the dust. Kikyo would have watched and shown nothing. Kagome turned away, shaking her head and pressing one hand to her mouth and pointing back toward the camp with the other as she took a step toward Inuyasha.

The dog demon broke his reverie as easily as a cobweb, taking Kagome's arm and then lifting her off the ground in one smooth motion. There was a sound of shoeless feet on the grass, and they were gone.

Hojo still hadn't moved. Neither had Miroku. He swallowed hard. Kagome would notice if he didn't make it back to camp soon. Staying out here with the boy too long would defeat the point.

"There will be times, my boy, when you won't know what to do. Some empty soul will reach out with both hands, and you'll find yourself utterly lost. Your training will fail you; the words of Buddha will fail you; your own thoughts will fail you," /Miroku swallowed Mushin's words. "The monks of our order have many words of advice for these situations." /

Hojo slid his knees underneath his body, both hands straining against his neck.

"Follow your heart..."

Miroku closed his eyes for a moment.

"...Be objective..."

Hojo's spine straightened, vertebra by vertebra, and held, leaving him past bent with both hands in front of his face, like a fallen leaf just starting to shrivel, and still so full of doomed green.

"...close your eyes and guess."

Miroku slid his staff to the ground.

"But all of that is crap," Mushin had told him.

Miroku took one step forward, then another, and sank down next to the boy, wetness from the grass soaking through to his skin. He stopped holding his breath, and reached out with his left hand, pressing the palm down firmly on Hojo's shoulder. He didn't flinch. He didn't look up. He didn't make a sound.

"The truth is in the touch, boy," /a much younger Miroku had stared into two bare palms, calloused mirrors in his young mind. "If you can't make it better, then make contact." /

Hojo's shoulders shook in a soundless sob. A hand fell from his face to brace the rest of him against the ground, revealing one eye, impossibly bright.

"Palm to palm, you mend the world."

Miroku swallowed hard.

It was the same punishment she'd given to Kouga, but Miroku knew that it wouldn't have the same effect.

Kouga we would have to watch; he would surely attempt to harm Hojo again. Hojo../. Miroku looked down at the boy. /Hojo won't so much as breathe at Shippo after this. He frowned./ Kagome was willing to be lenient with Hojo's life, but not on Shippo's? Or is it that Hojo put Shippo in more danger than Kouga did with Hojo?/

Still... One thing was terribly clear to him through all of this.

"She's going to forgive you," Miroku told him. "Not any time soon, but she will."

Hojo pulled away, sitting back on his knees. He looked up at Miroku and didn't say a word.

"She thinks you're going to learn something," he explained. "Or else she would have told you to leave now."

Hojo shook his head. "She's met my mother."
Miroku blinked. "What-"

"Kagome. Has met. My mother," Hojo hammered out, pulling himself to his feet. "Kagome doesn't want to have to tell my mother that I'm never coming back. She doesn't want everyone at school to worry about me." He made a sharp gesture with both hands, "She's not doing it for me."

Miroku shook his head gently, "I think that's where you're wrong, Hojo. After a few days, Kagome will want to know the whole story about you and Shippo, and I will tell her what was in your mind. I doubt she'll forgive you at that moment, but after some time has passed..." he actually chuckled. "Hojo," he said, missing the strange look that had come over the boy's face. "I think there are a few things that you still need to learn about women."

One second, the boy had been standing like a broken reed, but the next thing Miroku knew, , Hojo was clenched in front of him like a fist.

"And what would you know about it, you-" Hojo's hands opened searchingly as something lit behind his eyes, "-you're an excuse for a monk! You keep at Miss Sango like it's not up to her, like she isn't worth anything! And she's not the only one!" Hojo got to his feet, "You're talking to me about Higurashi, but the way you act towards women is-" Miroku could see Hojo's jaw clench as he looked away for a moment, hands fisting. "It may seem like fun now," he said in a voice that was probably meant to be calm, "but you'll regret it when you're a lonely old man."

He went totally still, frozen in position with his two hands folded in his lap and his eyes on Hojo's face. The boy was breathing hard, still looking away as he shifted his feet uncomfortably.

"Miroku the lonely old man." the words came on their own, straight out of the yawing emptiness that had appeared like sudden storm. "That would be a sorry sight indeed."

"You bet," Hojo's chin lifted stubbornly.

"Knowing me..." Beyond either Miroku's will or comprehension, his mouth pulled into a smirk. "I'd be a horrible drunk, yes?"


"And," Sango was so very wrong. This was the perverse part. "I'd have some fool apprentice. Some ungrateful braggart who only came by when he wanted something."

"If you're lucky," Hojo added on before turning on his heel and finally -/ finally/ - stomping away.

"Yes," Miroku answered to no one at all, "so lucky..."


YUSUKE: I can't believe I'm saying this, but we've got work to do. Just ask your question, Kuwabara.

KUWABARA: Yeah. Like I was saying, Kurama, did you and the chick from the story ever, like... You know...

. . ?

KURAMA: (raises eyebrow)

HIEI: That's right. She was exiled right about the time of your heyday as a bandit. And she has a thing for bad boys.

YUSUKE: So that's why you were so insistant. Looking out for an old girlfriend, Kurama?

KURAMA: I suppose it's best that you're informed. My interest in Niamh's story is primarily literary; it's a tale of another creature trapped in human form. However, I was privelaged to meet the lady in question, shortly after her arrival in Japan. Our interaction was brief, casual, and ended neatly.

KUWABARA: Wait. What kind of interaction? Did you hook up with that Sesshoumaru girl or didn't you?

. . .


HIEI: . . .

YUSUKE: Kuwabara, that was so many different kinds of wrong.
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