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

(46) Pre-Emptive

by Ithilwen 0 reviews

Sango tests out Cloud Strife's favorite materia ...just kidding. Cutting to the chase can have some unexpected results.

Category: Inuyasha - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Humor, Romance - Characters: Other - Published: 2005-11-23 - Updated: 2005-11-23 - 2153 words

YUSUKE: So let me get this straight, Kurama. We've faced down everything from evil tournaments to psychic rifts in the space-time continuum, and you want us to go up against a fanfiction site for ditching a few stories?

It also arbitrarily deleted its entire NC-17 bracket a few years ago.

YUSUKE: (twoing!)

KURAMA: As I was saying, many of the stories that are now being removed are at least allegedly in violation of their ratings...

YUSUKE: Where do I start?

HIEI: Disgusting. Is that all you humans think about?

Just the guys.

KUWABARA: Heh! He's only this enthusiastic because he still hasn't gotten to second base with Keiko!

YUSUKE: HEY! Like I told you, jerk, she wants to take it slow!!


The thick black web of his thoughts tightened like a noose around his crooked mind. Miroku didn't feel the coarse cloth between his fingers. He didn't feel his arms braced against his knees. He didn't feel much of anything.

If we do not slay Naraku, I will not live to see my prime

"Houshi-sama?" Sango's familiar voice came from the direction of the camp.

Miroku didn't look up, but he could hear her boots in the grass. They stopped a few feet from where he was sitting.

"Houshi-sama, Inuyasha brought Kagome back to camp a few minutes ago. She's beside herself and won't say a word. What's going on, and where is Hojo-san?"

Miroku should have answered her, wanted to answer her, but there was just too much of it. He'd known, he hadn't/ forgotten,/ he'd just...

You'll wind up a lonely old man. ...if you're lucky.

He'd never thought of it that way.

"Houshi-sama?" Sango asked. There was a rustling, and he sensed her sink to one knee beside him. "Why won't you speak to me?"

He could hear Mushin's words in his memory, "Short or long, your life will be measured by its meaning. Your father knew that. That's why he spent his last years here with you instead of becoming one more of Naraku's nameless slain. Do you regret the time you spent with him?" Miroku closed his eyes,/ "Don't turn your back on me, boy! You'll be throwing your life away!"/

"Sango," his words began softly, "if you knew that your time in this world would be short," his voice gained a dark strength, like a curse that widened day by day, "to what purpose would you put your days?"

Inuyasha would have smacked him for talking like that.

Kagome would have hugged him - at her own risk - and told him that everything would be all right.

Hojo would have come out with another god-damn lecture.

Sango just gave him his answer. "I would find a way to make my life do the most good," she told him. "If not for myself then for others."

"That's what I thought," he pulled his head halfway up, feeling the edges of his mouth grow light. "How is it that you always manage to lift my spirits, Sango?"

He looked up in time to see her blink. Sango opened her mouth and then closed it again, the dimness not quite hiding the tint that grew on her cheeks as he got to his feet. He shouldn't have been surprised. After all, he spent so much energy convincing the people around him that his spirits never needed lifting. How the hell was she supposed to know how much she did for him?

"Women are funny about affection, boy. They need it to be expressed. If you hold your esteem for her inside your heart, then she'll never know of it, and it won't do either one of you a bit of good."

His left hand twitched.

"Now, there is a multitude of different ways in which you may demonstrate this affection... Remember, some are more appreciated than others..."

Miroku clenched the tempted appendage into a fist and tucked it behind his back.

"Let's go back to camp, Sango," Miroku suggested, taking a step closer so that the edge of his robe just brushed her legs. "I'll explain on the w-"

An arm's length in front of him, Sango spun like a furious dancer and SLAP!!


Miroku pressed his right hand against his cheek, blinking widely as Sango seethed.

"What was that for?" he demanded.

"You and your-"

"I didn't that time!"

"But you were going-"

"No I wasn't!" He shook his head. "What was that, a pre-emptive strike?!"

"Can you blame me?" Sango asked, eyes narrowed.

Miroku pulled in a breath and the monkly patience that was in it. "Of-Of course not, my dear Sango," he said magnanimously. "But now that I have already paid the price of offending you-"

Sango gave a humph.

"-then perhaps," his left hand inched forward, "you will consider allowing me to-"

"No," she said with her hands on her hips.

"But you didn't hear what I was-"


Inuyasha circled the glade one more time, jumping silently from tree to tree. For someone who was supposed to be a terrified pile of idiot energy, the boy hadn't moved much. He'd covered barely a hundred yards during the time Inuyasha had been away with Kagome. From the scent and indentations in the ground, Hojo had crawled, then stumbled, and then walked to this place. Inuyasha could see him now, sitting, squatting, perching like a dead eagle with one hand on each knee and his head bowed. The dog demon blinked carefully. Were the boy's eyes open or closed? Was he asleep or-

"I know you're there," came a voice like a slack bowstring.

Inuyasha could have sworn that Hojo's mouth hadn't moved. The dog demon didn't move.

"I know you're there," he said again.

"How?" Inuyasha asked at last.

One listless hand brushed past the amulet at his neck and fell again. "I don't know."

Inuyasha dropped to the ground and moved toward the boy. Hojo turned and looked up at him. His eyes were completely dry.

"Did she send you?"

Inuyasha scowled

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

Damn that girl and her big round puppy eyes.

"She doesn't want you dead," the words felt like acid against his tongue, "not that I can tell why."

Hojo looked away again. "I know." A moment passed. Inuyasha watched the boy's fingers play with some pebbles in the dirt. "She wants me to learn." He pointed his too-big eyes up into the canopy. "Some girls are like that. Who knows? She might even forgive me some day."

The dog demon felt his hackles raise. His muscles tensed. Should he go for the neck, the face, or just his shriveled little-

"Well..." Hojo trailed off before Inuyasha could answer, rubbing one grubby hand against the grubbier knee of his trousers. "As long as we're both out here, you and I really need to talk."

Inuyasha's ears flattened, "About what?" he demanded. "The way I see it, you thank me for not ripping your guts out through your ears and then we're done talking."

Hojo shook his head. "We need to talk about Kagome."

"She's none of your business anymore," Inuyasha snapped.

"She loves you," Hojo answered.

Suddenly the air seemed too slippery for Inuyasha's lungs, "No she-" breath. "Shut up!"

"Don't play dumb," said the boy.

Breath. "I'm just her-" /Stupid puppy, fluffy plaything. /Breath. "-I'm just a-" /brat, wastrel, loser, mongrel, mutt. /Breath. "Shut up!"

Hojo shook his head. "Inuyasha, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the brightest crayon in the box sometimes, but I've been surrounded by girls since I was twelve years old. Do you really think that I don't know what to look for?"

Breath. "You don't know anything!" Breath.

"Inuyasha, if it only took me two days to figure it out, do you really expect me to think that you didn't know by now?" Hojo looked away for a moment. "Even if I couldn't see the way she acts around you, you're smart, strong, good-looking, and on the day you met, you saved her from a giant bug."

Inuyasha gulped. When he put it that way...

"I can't even kill spiders," Hojo admitted hopelessly. "I just sort of toss them outside."

"Do you have a point?" Inuyasha growled.

"I want you to stop treating her like garbage."

Inuyasha did lunge forward this time, pulling Hojo off his feet by the collar of his shirt. "What the hell are you talking about?" he demanded.

Hojo hung limply from the dog demon's grip, like a kitten with its neck in its mother's mouth. "You don't respect her," Hojo said simply. "At least, you don't act like you do. Kagome can't read your mind, Inuyasha. If you love her back then you're going to have to show it somehow. Thank her when she does something for you. Tell her she looks nice or that she did a good job. And for the love of heaven, stop calling her a stupid bitch all the time!"

Inuyasha flustered and dropped Hojo. The boy didn't even try to land right, slumping hard on one ankle. "Where Kagome and I are from, no self-respecting girl would stick around and let you talk to her like that. Quest or no quest, if you keep treating Kagome like the dust under your feet, then she's going to come back home forever."

I know. The dim thought was warm in Inuyasha's mind. Hojo was only tracing over tracks that Inuyasha had gouged into canyons on long nights waiting by the well.

"No matter what her other responsibilities are."

I know.

"No matter if she still loves you."

I know.

"And I'm going to be there."

His mind froze.

"She hates me now," Hojo explained, giving a humorless laugh, "but maybe she will forgive me some day. And maybe it won't be me, Inuyasha, but it'll be someone. It's very easy to love Kagome. I swear, if she comes back crying because of something you did, I'll do everything I can to keep her from going back to you. I'll fill in the well or-"

There was a light cracking sound, and Hojo was sprawled on the grass. Inuyasha looked down at his knuckles. They slowly turned pink. Hojo touched the edge of his jaw with one fingertip.

Inuyasha flexed his hand.

So much for my ten days. At that moment, he couldn't make himself care. "She belongs with me," he growled. "She's my-" home "-she's just mine."

Hojo kept his gaze. "She deserves someone who'll treat her right." He shook his head, "Inuyasha, it wouldn't take much from you to make her happy."

Inuyasha felt the stone in his expression seep all the way back through his neck. "Why are you telling me all of this?" he demanded. "What have you got to-"

"To gain?" Hojo actually laughed at that. For half a moment his dull eyes seemed lost. "It's really very funny that you should ask me that." Hojo looked back at him fiercely. "You really don't get it, do you? I've known her since grade school. I've loved her all my life!

"Kagome thought she was ordinary," Hojo explained. "I never understood why ... I mean she was; she was normal, but..." he spread both hands. "There's nothing bad about that! It was a sort of a ...beautiful ordinary."

Hojo's words sifted down on him like frost. "She's not yours," said Inuyasha. "She told you to stay away from her, and you'll do it or I'll make you do it."

"I know," Hojo closed his eyes for a moment. "Maybe it's like that stone you're looking for. You want it for yourself, but you'll settle for keeping it out of the wrong hands. A jewel needs to be treated like a jewel." His eyes found the dust again. "If not by me...

Inuyasha hated him and didn't. He wanted to hit him and didn't.

"Just promise me that you'll be good to her, Inuyasha."

The words came like knives from the back of his throat. "I can't."

"What do you mean you can't?" Hojo asked with quiet steel.

Inuyasha folded his arms. "I made a promise to someone else," he gravelled out. "And I aim to keep it. I can't make a new pact with Kagome or anyone else until this thing's done."

Hojo opened his mouth to say something, but then gave a tiny laugh and looked away. "And a promise is a promise, right?"


Hidden in the forest, and well downwind, a cold clay figure had seen everything.


YUSUKE: Preach all you want, Hiei, but it's not like you were born from immaculate conception.

HIEI: Actually, fire demon procreation is much more efficient than this filthy human process I keep hearing about. You see, the male demon only has to put his-

(Hits Hiei with large fish)

Were you listening to the part about the NC-17 'fics?!

KUWABARA: Do that again!
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