InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ Date ( Chapter 15 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
Kagome breezed into the bedroom from the hallway and stopped short, seeing InuYasha sitting in the window staring outside. She leaned against the doorframe with her arms crossed over her chest as she watched with a smile as InuYasha slowly turned his head to look at her.
“Two more exams,” she remarked as she shoved herself away from the door and headed for her desk. “I suppose you'll want to leave right away?”
“Hells yes,” he answered with a snort, as though it was already a done deal. “No complaining, either. We've been here all fucking week.”
She sank down in her chair and straightened her sweater sleeve. “I wasn't complaining. I miss everyone.” She frowned as she toyed with the cuff at her wrist. “But tonight . . .”
Falling silent as Kagome fiddled with the plastic thing she called a computer, InuYasha drew Tetsusaiga and settled back to sharpen the beloved sword. After five minutes of it, Kagome cleared her throat. InuYasha glanced up at her. She was staring at him in her, `We-Are-Not-Amused' way, and he shook his head slowly. “Something wrong?”
“I can't concentrate when you're doing that,” she remarked dryly. “Can't you find something else to do while I take this exam?”
InuYasha snorted but dropped Tetsusaiga back into the scabbard. `I'm leaving her alone,' he thought with a scowl as he turned his attention back out the window. `What the hell else does she want? I'm not talking, am I? I try to be considerate, and she growls at me anyway. Besides that, she ought to be grateful. I protect her with Tetsusaiga, for the love of heaven! Wench!' He snorted again.
Kagome sighed and sat back, crossing her arms over her chest as she sucked in one cheek and lifted her eyebrows at InuYasha. He glanced at her then looked back, blinking in confusion at the obvious irritation on her face. “What'd I do now?”
“You're scraping your claws on the window frame,” she remarked, arching her eyebrows a little higher.
He looked down at his hands with a guilty flinch. “Sorry,” he grudgingly allowed.
She shook her head and smiled. Retrieving her diary, she held it out to him and shrugged. “Maybe this will keep you occupied long enough for me to do this?”
He sent her a look designed to let her know that he didn't like the way she'd said that. She laughed. He heaved a loud sigh of protest and jerked the window open. “We've got doors!” she hollered as he lit on the ground.
Two leaps later, he was lounging in Goshinboku with the diary and another ticked-off sigh. `She treats me like a damn pup,' he fumed as he scowled at the book. `Throw the doggie a bone so he'll be good for awhile.' His glare darkened. `I ought to go back without her! Keh! That'd show her!'
He sighed as his ears drooped. Even if he went back he'd just mope by the well till she came through, and he knew it. `Damn!' Glowering at the diary again, InuYasha grudgingly opened it up and scanned the page for the place where he'd left off reading.
`Baka, baka, baka, baka, baka! Sometimes he drives me so crazy I could just scream! Take today, for example! He had to get into another fight with Sesshoumaru, which, okay, so he can't just run away from him. Sesshoumaru is convinced that he deserves Tetsusaiga, and so he comes after InuYasha to try to claim it, but this time, it really was a much fiercer battle than the last time. Sesshoumaru shoved his hand right through InuYasha's stomach. Sesshoumaru had gotten a human arm with a jewel shard embedded in it so that he could touch Tetsusaiga without being injured by the sword's barrier. I'm not sure if that was what caused it, but when we got back to the village InuYasha said he wanted to talk to me. I should have known he was up to something.'
InuYasha made a face as he read Kagome's journal. He had almost forgotten about that. It struck him again, how worried he'd been at the time. He'd barely managed to block Tetsusaiga's strike to shield Kagome from the brunt of the impact . . . It had been too close, and he knew it. The idea of something happening to her was enough to turn his guts inside out.
`He hugged me. Just like that. No real reason. Just a hug. A really warm hug. It was the first real hug I've ever gotten from a boy, err, guy, err, hanyou, err, non-family male. I didn't know what to do or what to say. It isn't like him to touch anyone without a good reason, and for a moment, I really thought he wanted to hug me. I thought, maybe . . . Ah, Kagome, who are you kidding? InuYasha loves Kikyou. He still loves Kikyou. I think the real reason he hugged me was because he wanted the Shikon no Kakera. Once he snatched those, he shoved me into the well and yelled at me to go home . . .'
`Nice,' InuYasha thought with a grimace. `I really am an ass . . . wait . . . did she want me to hug her?' As he reread the passage, his ears flattened. Yes, maybe she did. `A huge ass,' he amended.
He lifted his chin, pointing his nose toward Kagome's window and sniffed. She was still taking her exam, it seemed. He could smell her anxiety. He'd read enough of her diary to last him awhile. Still, there wasn't anything he could do until she finished the last of her exams.
`I checked the well before I went to school. I was hoping I'd find a shard or that it would let me through, at least long enough so that I could tell BakaYasha what I thought of his underhanded, devious, low-down, egomaniacal, mean, rotten trick to get the shards from me. Unfortunately, I couldn't sense anything, so I went on to school. It was one of those days, I swear I should have crawled under my bed and died. As if it wasn't bad enough that Yuka, Eri, and Ayumi kept bugging me for details about InuYasha, Houjou asked me out on a date, too. I mean, Houjou is nice enough, and a perfect gentleman, unlike a certain hanyou I know, but he's just not `the one'. How am I supposed to concentrate on the movie when my mind is five hundred years in the past?'
InuYasha growled and reigned in the overwhelming need to shred the journal to confetti. He stuck it inside his haori instead. “She had a date?” he seethed, dropping out of the tree and leaping toward her window. He sighed and stopped mid-crouch. `You shoved her down the well, baka,' his conscience informed him, `and what the fuck is a `date'? I know what a `Houjou' is. I remember meeting that scrawny little bastard.' He cracked his knuckles as he relished the idea of tearing Houjou limb from limb. `I could take him . . .'
His eye narrowed as he glowered at Kagome's open window. He might not know exactly what a date was, but he had a feeling that it wasn't something he wanted Kagome running around doing, especially if it included Houjou.
InuYasha shifted his pose—knees spread, hands on the ground—as he frowned in concentration and tried to figure out what he could do about what he'd read this time.
“InuYasha? Did Kagome kick you out of her room?”
InuYasha's scowl darkened as Souta stepped out of the shrine and stopped next to him. “Keh! No.”
Souta looked confused. “Then what are you doing out here? Are you sure she didn't—”
“Yes, I'm sure!” he snarled. “I was just thinking.”
Souta deliberately took his time before casually offering, “Maybe I could help you.”
“Keh. I doubt it.” The hanyou's expression turned thoughtful, and he cocked his head to the side. “What do you know about this baka, Houjou?”
Souta crossed his arms over his chest, and he looked surprised. “Houjou? Nothing, really. He used to come around here to see Kagome and to bring her gifts. He hasn't been by in a long time, though, not since Kagome started internet school.” He made a face. “He wasn't very cool. Why do you want to know?”
InuYasha wasn't very reassured by Souta's assessment. “No reason. Beat it.”
Souta laughed and headed toward the stairs that led to the street. “See you, InuYasha!”
He watched the boy go with his scowl still in place. Finally he stood up and stomped toward the door.
“InuYasha? Is that you?”
InuYasha followed the sound of Mrs. Higurashi's voice. She was in the kitchen, teetering on a chair as she pulled things out of a cabinet. She was in trouble, from the looks of it, and was about to drop a stack of bowls. InuYasha grabbed the woman and the bowls before they both crashed to the floor.
“Thank you!” Mrs. Higurashi said with a bright smile as InuYasha set her on her feet.
“I was just cleaning the cupboards . . . getting started on fall cleaning.” She leaned her head to the side as she stared at InuYasha. “Is something wrong?”
InuYasha stared at her mulishly for a moment before dragging Kagome's diary out of his haori and dropping it on the table. Mrs. Higurashi looked rather shocked and yet somehow amused. “I hate that book,” he grumbled, jabbing a clawed finger at the cover of the journal.
Mrs. Higurashi nodded slowly. “I will assume that my daughter knows you have her diary, and why don't you tell me why it is you hate it?”
“I wouldn't just take her diary, no,” InuYasha growled, offended that Mrs. Higurashi would even allude to that. She started to reassure him but stopped when InuYasha's ears suddenly drooped. “What's a `date'?”
“Let me fix you some tea, InuYasha.”
She hurriedly filled two cups and retrieved a package of chocolate pocky before sinking down at the table. InuYasha sat, too, and dejectedly stared at the table.
“You want to know what a date is?”
He jerked his head once.
Mrs. Higurashi opened the pocky and offered it to him. He shook his head and sat back. “Well, a date is what young people do in this era to find out if they really like one another enough to pursue a relationship.”
“A what?” InuYasha bellowed, shooting to his feet and sending his chair flying back. `I'll track that little bastard down and introduce him to Tetsusaiga . . .'
Mrs. Higurashi stood and grabbed InuYasha's arm, soothing him gently back into his chair again. “If you're thinking of Kagome's dates with Houjou, nothing ever came of them. Kagome really wasn't interested in the young man.”
“Dates?” he choked out. “More than one?” He cracked his knuckles. `Fucking dead . . .'
“Were you interested in taking my daughter on a date?”
“Sorry,” he grumbled at the censure in Mrs. Higurashi's gentle voice and flushed.
“You're forgiven. Were you?”
“Hadn't thought about it,” he mumbled. He opened his mouth and closed it a few times, trying to force himself to ask the question that was foremost in his mind. “What do you do on a date?” he finally managed to ask.
Mrs. Higurashi smiled. “Whatever the two of you might enjoy. There are lots of things you two could do.”
InuYasha dragged his claws across the table top, mindful not to gouge the wood. A date. It sounded like a disaster waiting to happen but Kagome's journal entry taunted him. `Houjou's just not `the one'. How am I supposed to concentrate on the movie when my mind is five hundred years in the past?'
`Five hundred years in the past? With . . . me?'
Slowly, he lifted his gaze to lock with Mrs. Higurashi's as she calmly sipped her tea. If it had been Sango or Miroku or even old Kaede, he never would have asked. Something about Mrs. Higurashi had always reminded him of his mother, and because of that, he didn't feel quite as stupid about asking the question that came next despite the rising embarrassment and the subsequent feeling of inadequacy. “Would you . . . um, could you . . . help me?”
Kagome let her head fall back as she heaved a sigh of relief that her exams were over, at least for now. She might not have to take tests as often anymore, but the ones she did have to take were enough to drain her, both mentally as well as physically. It had taken nearly three hours for the English test, and the history test she'd just finished had taken another two and a half hours. She felt a bit light-headed from concentrating so hard, but all in all, she thought she had done well.
`InuYasha's been extra quiet,' she mused. `Wonder what he's doing?' She made a face, asking herself if really should have given InuYasha her diary in an effort to preoccupy him. `Desperate times call for desperate measures,' she reasoned. There was no way she would have been able to concentrate on her exams at all if she hadn't given him the diary. She shook her head as she stood up and stretched before wandering over to the window to see if the hanyou was still sitting in Goshinboku.
“How were your exams, dear?”
Kagome turned away from the window and let out a deep breath as her mother crossed the room to offer her a cup of tea, pausing next to the desk to set down Kagome's diary. “Thanks, Mama. I think I did well. This smells great!” She smelled the tea appreciatively, eyes closing in dreamy enjoyment before she lifted the cup to her lips. “Mama, where's InuYasha?”
“Hmm, I think he's a bit preoccupied at the moment. Why don't you change into that pretty new dress I bought you? I'd like to see you wear it at least once before it gets ripped to shreds in the feudal era.”
Kagome grimaced. Her mother didn't comment often on the dangers that Kagome faced on the other side of the well, but she had ruined enough of her clothing that Kagome figured it was a comment that had been long in coming. “Seems like a waste to wear it around the house,” she remarked as she set the tea aside. “I think I'll just make sure everything's packed. InuYasha wanted to go back as soon as my exams were done.”
“I talked him into staying one more night,” Mrs. Higurashi said. “Besides, I thought it'd be nice to go out to dinner for once.”
She shot her mother a suspicious look. “I'll buy that you could talk him into staying one more night, but how did you convince InuYasha to go out to dinner?”
Mrs. Higurashi paused on her way out of the room, hand on the door that she had started to pull closed behind her. “I asked him.”
Kagome smiled as her mother closed the door. It wasn't the first time that she'd noticed that InuYasha seemed to listen to Mrs. Higurashi more often than not.
With a soft giggle, she shuffled through her closet to find the new dress. It wasn't fancy but it was nicer than most of the skirts that she normally wore. The faun colored material looked like suede but wasn't nearly as unforgiving. Tailored to fit to the hips, the short-sleeved dress managed to accentuate her curves without being too tight, and the flared skirt added a flirty feel to it, saving the dress from being too formal in design.
The only part of the dress she didn't like was the neckline. It wasn't low cut but it was lower cut than she normally wore. She made a face and tried to tug the edges together. When that didn't work, she tugged at the back of the dress. She sighed and dragged on a pair of matching dress boots. `Who are you kidding, Kagome? Does it matter what you wear? InuYasha won't notice, anyway. He never does.'
Kagome squared her shoulders and stared at her reflection in the full length mirror on the back of her door with a discerning eye. She had to admit, it wasn't bad.
Suddenly, she rolled her eyes and stuck her tongue out at the girl staring back at her. With a giggle, she grabbed her brush and pulled up her hair into a high ponytail then pulled her long tweed coat out of the back of the closet. Draping it over her arm, she opened her door and headed downstairs.
Kagome followed voices into the living room. Grandpa glanced at her and looked back again, his eyes widening as he stared at his granddaughter. Mrs. Higurashi smiled. “You look lovely, darling.”
Kagome frowned at her mother. She hadn't changed clothes at all and was still wearing the same old dress that she always wore when she cleaned the house. Before she could comment, though, Grandpa spoke. “You'll march right back to your room and change this instant, Kagome!” he commanded.
Mrs. Higurashi laid a hand on Grandpa's arm. “Nonsense, Grandpa. She looks fine.”
“Why haven't you changed?” Kagome asked as Grandpa started blustering about women, modesty, and `unmentionables'. Kagome ignored him.
“Oh, I'm not going,” Mrs. Higurashi said with a laugh.
“Turn around, Kagome.”
She did. The smile she had worn all the way downstairs faded as she gasped, eyes widening in disbelief. Her fingers rose to flutter at her lips, and she shook her head slightly.
InuYasha stood before her—at least, she thought it was InuYasha. He was in human form but that wasn't what threw her off. Dressed in slightly baggy black dress pants and scarlet button down shirt with a black jacket over that, she barely recognized him and wouldn't have if he didn't have his signature scowl in place and his kotodama rosary still around his neck. It wasn't the clothes that fazed her.
It was the marked lack of hair that did.
His bangs were the same as always: long and unruly and hanging in his eyes, but the back of his hair---the length of it---was gone. She blinked in shock, unsure what she should or even could say. Her fingers pulled away from her mouth as she settled for pointing at him instead.
“I knew this was a stupid idea,” he mumbled and turned to storm back up the stairs.
Kagome saw the ponytail at the nape of his neck and let out a rushed sigh of relief as she ran forward and caught his arm. “No, InuYasha, wait! I'm sorry . . . I thought you cut your hair, that's all.”
“Keh!” He stopped and slowly turned to face her again, his scowl still in place. He didn't smile as he stared at her. He didn't have to. The warmth that lay beneath the wariness in his expression was enough to set off a slight trembling in her belly as her knees threatened to buckle. “You'll do, wench.”
She smiled and ducked her head Mrs. Higurashi handed Kagome's coat to InuYasha. He held it for her while she concentrated on sticking her arms in the sleeves without incident. He was hesitant and gentle as he let go to pull her hair out from under the coat. She thought his hands were shaking just a little but discounted that idea when she turned around and saw his scowl. He didn't have any reason to be nervous, did he? She had to be imagining things . . .
“Enjoy yourselves,” Mrs. Higurashi called as she followed them to the front door.
“Don't stay out too late,” Souta remarked with a wink.
“She needs to change!” Grandpa hollered from the living room.
InuYasha took her hand and pulled Kagome out of the house with a sigh as he strode along the sidewalk away from the front door. He stopped at the top of the shrine steps and let go of her hand to jam his hands into his pockets, his gaze dropping to the ground as he shuffled his feet, kicking the toes of the loafers against the concrete. She grinned at his dress shoes. Knowing him, he hated them worst of all. `He's nervous,' she realized suddenly. “InuYasha?”
“I feel stupid, but your mother said that I have to . . .”
Kagome bit her lip as blood rushed to her face. “You don't . . . we don't . . . if you want to go back . . .” She forced herself not to fidget and tried to ignore the sharp twinge of dismay that viciously twisted her stomach. `He doesn't want to do this at all . . .'
He sighed again and shifted his eyes to the side, as though he was afraid to look at her. “Kagome, will you go on a date with me?” After he said it, he made a face, obviously thinking that he sounded completely stupid. He snorted. “You don't have to say yes.”
Sudden understanding dawned on her. It wasn't that he didn't want to go; he simply didn't know how to ask her . . . She smiled. “I'd love to.”
He looked amazed. “You would?”
Her smile widened. “It depends. Where are you taking me?”
InuYasha grimaced. “Give me a break, wench,” he grumbled as he took her hand again, dragging her down the stairs. “I've never done this before.”
She giggled as she glanced over her shoulder at the shrine to wave back at her family, who were all gathered in the doorway. Grandpa was still grumbling about her dress, she could tell. Souta glanced at the old man and rolled his eyes then grinned as he gave her two thumbs up. Mrs. Higurashi wiped a tear off her cheek before she waved back. Buyo darted past their feet and sat down at the top of the shrine steps where InuYasha had asked her to go on the date. The cat meowed his goodbye as Kagome looked up at InuYasha only to find him staring back at her in that entirely unsettling way of his. “I'm glad you decided to stay tonight,” she said softly.
For once, he didn't snort, and he didn't make any of his normal commentary. “Yeah,” he agreed instead. “Me, too.”
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Blanket disclaimer for this fanfic (will apply to this and all other chapters in Chronicles): I do not claim any rights to InuYasha or the characters associated with the anime/manga. Those rights belong to Rumiko Takahashi, et al. I do offer my thanks to her for creating such vivid characters for me to terrorize.