InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ On the Town ( Chapter 74 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
~On the Town~
“You sure this was a good idea, Kagome?” InuYasha mumbled in her ear as they walked down the sidewalk.
Kagome giggled. “Sure . . . worst case, they'll look like tourists, is all.”
“Tourists?” InuYasha echoed.
“Yeah . . . like foreigners.” When he continued to look duly befuddled, Kagome grinned. “Like they're from another country.”
That seemed to make more sense. Kagome's smile widened as InuYasha leaned over to tug on the legs of his jeans. “I thought you said those fit fine.”
He made a face. “Sure they do, when I'm human.”
Her eyebrows shot up. “What do you mean, when you're human?”
He shot her a dark look. “It means that everything gets a little smaller when I'm human,” he growled in her ear. “Graphic enough for you?”
An immediate and intense flush washed over her skin as she gasped and peeked over her shoulder to make sure neither Sango nor Miroku had heard that last bit. “I shouldn't have asked.”
“Keh.” InuYasha suddenly stopped and turned around to roll his eyes as he shook his head. Stomping back to Miroku, who was reading a poster for one of the strip joints, Kagome had to shake her head, too.
Sango didn't look impressed as Miroku was dragged back despite his protests. “I simply wished to verify that none of those women could compare to my darling Sango,” Miroku assured them, either missing or choosing to ignore the `look' he was getting from `his darling Sango'.
Kagome rolled her eyes and grabbed Sango's arm, leaving InuYasha to deal with the wandering monk. “He's like a kid in a candy store,” Kagome remarked with a grimace.
“A candy store?”
Kagome grinned. It didn't matter how old she was, she'd always be drawn to candy stores . . . . Up ahead was her favorite. Looking at Sango's sad expression, she had a feeling that her friend could use something to cheer her up, too. “Come on, Sango. You have a date with some chocolate.”
“What do you mean?”
Kagome squeezed Sango's shoulders. “It means that whenever a guy makes you upset or angry, girls eat chocolate, and everything is magically better. Trust me.”
Sango shifted her gaze back to the errant monk who was still trying to return to the poster as InuYasha pushed him forward. Wearing a pair of InuYasha's jeans and a purple silk shirt, Kagome had to admit that he didn't look at all as though he had just come from Sengoku Jidai. Sango looked so sad, so miserable . . . .
Kagome sighed. It had taken nearly ten minutes to convince the exterminator to come out of her bedroom. Miroku—intently staring at the television—hadn't commented until they had to drag him out of the house and down the street. But she looked so lovely in the flirty little blue dress that Kagome had been sure Miroku would have been falling all over himself. At the moment, however, it looked like it may have been wishful thinking on her part.
A couple of young men walking toward them took a moment to appraise Sango so openly that Sango blushed and tugged at the high scooped neckline of the dress. “Hi,” one greeted. “You're Higurashi Kagome, right?”
Kagome nodded slowly. “Do I know you?”
The young man laughed. “I'm sorry. I'm Kenichi, and this is Ryu . . . my little brother is friends with your brother, Souta. He talks about you often. Sort of weird, really. Most siblings can't stand one another.”
“You can say that again,” InuYasha mumbled.
“What's your friend's name?” Kenichi asked, nodding at Sango since his friend, Ryu, had apparently lost his ability to speak. He was staring at Sango in something akin to absolute wonder, Kagome nearly laughed out loud.
`Are you seeing this, Miroku? You'd better be . . . .' Kagome thought as she smiled. “This is Sango.”
“I've got an idea,” Kenichi remarked with a bright grin. “We were on our way to go dancing. Why don't you two come with us?”
“I don't fucking think so,” InuYasha snarled as he grabbed Kagome's hand and pulled her back against his chest. “I suggest you get the hell outta here before I decide to introduce you to a close friend of mine.”
“Uh, this is my, err, boyfriend, InuYasha . . . .”
“Boyfriend?” InuYasha snarled. “Try mate, wench.”
The boys exchanged odd looks at InuYasha's use of the word `mate'. Ryu turned back toward Sango. Miroku chuckled behind her. “Beautiful, isn't she? Too bad she's my mate.”
“Not yet, I'm not,” Sango bit out as Miroku, imitating InuYasha's protective stance behind Kagome, wrapped his arm around her waist, too.
“Sorry for the misunderstanding,” Kenichi said with a short bow. “Have a nice evening.”
The four watched as the young men continued down the sidewalk. Sango pushed Miroku away with a frown. “So now you remember I'm alive?”
“Now, Sango, light of my life, I knew you were alive long before now.”
“Keh,” InuYasha snorted. “Claiming only works with youkai. Nothing works with lechers.”
Kagome rolled her eyes and grabbed Sango's arm as the two men started in on another of their insult-fests. “They'll catch up,” Kagome muttered, “and if they don't, I'm sure InuYasha can sniff us out.”
“Men of your time are quite forward, Kagome.”
Kagome sighed. “Unfortunately, Miroku would fit in only too well around here.”
Sango finally managed a weak smile. “Your home is so overwhelming, Kagome . . . how do you remember where everything is?”
“You don't. You just memorize where your favorite places are,” she admitted with a wry grin. “Anyway, let's go get some candy.
The small store sandwiched between two high rise office buildings was one of the coziest places Kagome knew. Her father used to walk her here almost every evening to let her spend her daily allowance on candies. It normally amounted to five pieces, but somehow that was always enough: one for her, one for Grandpa, one for Souta after he was big enough for it, one for Mama, and Papa . . . well, he never did take any, so she always had two pieces for herself.
Kagome's head wasn't the only one that turned at the called-out greeting. All four friends turned to look as the girl in question smiled just a little at the young man. “Houjou! Hi! Nice to see you. How is school?”
Houjou glanced at the others, who had stepped up behind Kagome almost protectively. “It's going well. Eri and Yuka talk about you all the time. Too bad Ayumi chose to go to the other school, and you with internet schooling . . . how's your health? Did the doctors ever figure out what the mysterious fungus was?”
Kagome winced. “Oh, that!” `Darn it, Grandpa! That sounds so disgusting . . . !' “That was nothing, after all . . . .”
“Who are your friends?” Houjou asked, eyeing InuYasha and Miroku almost nervously. Considering InuYasha was cracking his knuckles rather menacingly, Houjou's reticence was completely understandable . . . .
Kagome grabbed InuYasha's hand as much to stop him from his intimidation tactics as it was to prove to InuYasha that she wasn't embarrassed about being with him. “You know InuYasha, right? He was with me at the school festival?”
“Oh, yeah,” Houjou nodded. “Didn't recognize you without the dog ear disguise. Those were really nice effects, with your sword . . . .”
InuYasha growled slightly. “Effects? That was a Kaze no Kizu, you little—”
Kagome elbowed him in the ribs. He shot her a warning look that she promptly ignored. “And this is Miroku and Sango. They're from the country.”
“The country? Wow, bet you're not used to Tokyo then?”
“He don't know the half of it,” InuYasha muttered in Kagome's ear.
Kagome nodded in agreement. “It nice seeing you again, Houjou. Tell the girls I said hello the next time you see them?”
Houjou bowed slightly. “Of course. It was nice meeting you all. Enjoy Tokyo.”
“I don't think I like that little Houjou-thing,” InuYasha remarked tightly as Houjou walked away.
“He's not a thing, he's a very nice guy!” Kagome complained quietly. “Now behave, will you?”
Sango frowned as she watched the young man leave. “Kagome, was that the boy you told me about before?”
“Did I?” Kagome asked nervously.
“Ah, yes,” Miroku cut in, rubbing his chin as he tried to remember. “Your `date', right?”
InuYasha started growling again.
“Seemed like a nice young man,” Sango added.
Kagome stifled a groan as InuYasha's growl escalated.
“Did you ever purify anything with him?” Miroku asked.
“Houshi-sama!” Sango gasped, dragging Miroku away from InuYasha before the hanyou decided that the monk would make a decent object to sharpen his claws.
Miroku held his hands up as he tried not to laugh. InuYasha advanced on the monk until Miroku backed into a shelf of glass candy jars. The jars rattled but luckily nothing fell. Kagome grimaced as she peeked around to make sure no one was hearing the scuffle. “InuYasha! You can't do that here! They'll throw you in jail! Now stop! Miroku was just teasing!” she hissed.
InuYasha suddenly stepped back, casting Kagome a speculative glance. “Tell me more about this `jail', Kagome.”
She narrowed her gaze on him. “Why?”
He shrugged. “So I know whether or not it might be worth it to clobber the monk, anyway.”
Kagome shook her head. “Of course you don't want to do that,” she remarked as she grabbed a clear plastic cellophane bag and dropped a few pieces of candy into it.
“That's debatable,” InuYasha retorted with a snort. “Get some for Shippou.”
Kagome stopped and stared over her shoulder at him. `Since when does he remind me to get stuff for Shippou?' She shrugged. `Well, he has been much nicer to him since . . . come to think of it, he's been much nicer to Shippou since the purification incident . . . .'
The torn look on InuYasha's face as he asked Sesshoumaru to save Shippou came back to her. `You want me to beg? I'll beg. I'll plead. Just save him.'
InuYasha grabbed a couple of bright red gumballs and dropped them into the bag followed by a handful of various other candies that apparently looked good to the hanyou. Miroku dropped a few more candies into the bag, and Sango added a few, as well. Kagome held up the bag. “Good enough? You don't think this will make Shippou sick, do you? It's an awful lot of candy for such a small kit.”
“Uncle! Aunt Kagome! How fortuitous to meet you in here!”
InuYasha's spine stiffened at the sound of that voice. Sango stared in wide-eyed amazement at the obvious relative, and Miroku grinned as though he was highly amused. “Nibori! Good evening,” Kagome greeted with a bright smile.
“Will you fucking stop with the `uncle' crap?” InuYasha snarled.
Nibori bowed slightly. “Pardon, Uncle. As you know—”
“Yeah, I got it. Your bastard father insists. Whatever.”
“Who are your friends?”
“These are Sango and Miroku,” Kagome explained.
Nibori's expression registered his surprise as he nodded. “I see . . . so I take it the well functions as it should? Where's your so—Shippou?”
“We left him with my family. He was playing PlayStation with my brother.”
“He's a very precocious child,” Nibori agreed with an easy grin. Kagome blinked in surprise. He looked so much like Sesshoumaru that it was uncanny yet he didn't act at all like his father. Handing Kagome a brown paper bag, Nibori winked. “Give this to him, with my highest regards.”
Kagome peeked into the bag and gasped. “He'll have a stomach ache for a year,” she predicted, staring at the numerous boxes of pocky in the bag, “and he'll adore you . . . if he doesn't get sick on it.”
Nibori chuckled and shifted his gaze to Sango and Miroku. “You have not yet been wed?”
Miroku frowned. “How can you tell?”
Nibori grinned. “Humans mark one another as well. Normally, though, you simply don't realize it.”
Miroku blushed slightly. InuYasha didn't miss it. “Keh.”
“When will you be wed?” Nibori went on, either ignoring the discomfort drawn by his assessment or just trying not to add more on top of it.
“Fourteen days,” Miroku said with a long-suffering sigh. “Fourteen days too long.” Sango blushed but smiled.
“You'll have to come back before then. A bachelor party is something that is required before marriage.”
Miroku frowned as Kagome shook her head at the youkai. “What is a bachelor party?”
Nibori chuckled again. “A bachelor party is simply a gathering of the groom and his friends. They go out, have fun, cause a little trouble . . . right up Uncle's alley, so to speak.”
InuYasha didn't respond to that other than a shifting of his gaze.
Kagome groaned as Miroku nodded slowly. “I think this bachelor party tradition should be upheld.”
Nibori grinned. “And I'm certain that Mother would be more than happy to host a bachelorette party for you, Sango.”
“I don't know . . .” Kagome began slowly. The idea of InuYasha and Miroku and a bachelor party didn't sit well with her . . . .
“Oh, come now, Aunt Kagome . . . what's the worst that could happen?”
And that question was more than enough to make her groan.
Kagome opened the door to the newsstand and stepped inside as the others straggled in after her. The scent of exotic tobaccos and incense assailed her nose. The smells were comforting to her, reminding her of times long past, of stopping in to get the newspaper with her father, and, if she were lucky, a picture book, and later, a `word' book.
InuYasha sneezed, and Kagome glanced back at him, grimacing as she realized that his poor nose was probably suffering for the tangy smells. “Are you okay?” she asked, laying a hand on his arm.
“Keh. I'm fine.”
She winced as he sneezed again. “I'll hurry.”
Having agreed to pick up a paper for her mother, Kagome hurried over to the assortment of dailies. The Tokyo Times was still arranged where it was every day. She grabbed one and turned around, ready to pay for the paper. Her friends were eyeing the magazines, too.
Sango was looking at a home and garden magazine. Miroku was glancing through a news magazine. InuYasha stood nearby with his arms crossed over his chest, a bored expression on his face. He sneezed again.
“Let me pay for this, and we can go,” she told InuYasha. He nodded once and waited.
Miroku put the publication up and stared at the rows of magazines. At the top of the shelves he frowned as he stared at a row of magazines. The extended shelf that held them was marked `adult'.
Kagome waited in line to pay for her newspaper. After she handed the cashier her money, she stuck the paper in one of the bags and turned back toward her friends.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” InuYasha grouched, turning his face away from whatever it was Miroku was trying to show him.
Kagome groaned, having a pretty good suspicion what it was.
“Just look, InuYasha! Can they really do that?”
InuYasha's face deepened in color as he shoved the magazine away. “Keh! Pervert.”
“What are you looking at?” Sango asked as she dropped her magazine back on the shelf.
Miroku quickly closed it and stuck it back on the shelf. “Nothing . . . .”
InuYasha rolled his eyes. “You were looking at a perverted magazine,” InuYasha countered in a low snarl.
Sango blushed, staring from InuYasha to Miroku, who was doing his best to avoid Sango's gaze. “A what?”
“Miroku . . .” Kagome began with a shake of her head. “I can't believe you!”
“I wasn't looking for it,” he protested.
“Keh! It just happened to leap into your hentai hand?” InuYasha scoffed. “Pervert.”
“Well, I didn't say that . . . .”
Sango glared at the ex-monk with a dangerous glint in her eyes. Kagome dropped her arm over the exterminator's shoulder. “Come on, Sango . . . .”
Sango shook her head and followed Kagome.
Miroku watched the retreating females with a heavy sigh. Leaning on InuYasha's shoulder, the monk groaned. “Why did Kagome put Sango in that?” he complained.
InuYasha shifted his gaze to the side. “In what?”
“That dress,” Miroku remarked. “Doesn't Kagome know that I already have a hard enough time keeping away from Sango without that added bit of incentive?”
“Oh? Is that why you've been acting like a jackass?”
Miroku shook his head as he headed for the doors. “I'm so misunderstood,” he complained.
InuYasha rolled his eyes. “How can you misunderstand a fucking lecher?”
“I heard that, InuYasha . . .” Miroku pointed out.
“I meant for you to.”
“You look beautiful.”
Sango stopped and swallowed hard. Walking through the park on their way back to the shrine had been Kagome's idea. She said that normally she avoided it at night, but since InuYasha and Miroku were there, she didn't figure there was any real danger. Sango didn't quite understand what sort of danger Kagome meant. Still, she had to admit that it was much quieter, and a welcome change from the constant sounds of the city.
“I didn't think you'd noticed,” Sango remarked quietly, careful to keep her tone neutral and her eyes on the path below their feet.
Miroku sighed. “Sango . . . .” He caught her arm and held on. “Do you have any idea how difficult the last few months have been?”
She shook her head, still unable to meet his gaze. Somewhere up ahead, she could hear InuYasha and Kagome quietly talking as they distanced themselves. She wasn't worried. Kagome had mentioned that this path came out next to the shrine. In answer to Miroku's question, she shook her head.
“Sango . . . every time I see you I want to reach for you, to hold you . . . to kiss you . . . then add to that the dress you're wearing, and . . . .” He broke off with a sigh. “I'm just a man, Sango . . . but you make it very difficult to remember how much I want to do the right thing.”
With another sigh, Miroku pulled her into his arms. “Yes, Sango, you do.”
She smiled. It felt like her first real smile of the evening. “I thought maybe you didn't like how I looked in this,” she admitted.
“Never believe that, Sango.” He squeezed her gently then sighed again. “Two weeks . . . I'm going to die by then . . . .”
She pulled away and took his hand before leaning up to kiss his cheek. “You won't die. You're strong. You're a youkai exterminator, remember?”
Miroku shrugged as he fell into step beside her. “Youkai exterminator . . . monk . . . it doesn't make me stop feeling the way I do . . . but I know you're worth the wait.”
She stopped, gazing at him as she blinked back sudden moisture in her eyes. “Houshi-sama . . . .”
Slowly, carefully, he reached up, wiping away the single tear that had slipped from the corner of her eye with the pad of his thumb. “And for whatever it's worth? You're far more beautiful than any of those other women.”
“Am I?” she asked as she quirked an eyebrow.
Miroku grinned and started walking again. “Certainly. I was just making sure that I really do have the most beautiful woman in the world.”
She giggled and shook her head. “Flattery will get you nowhere, monk.”
“Perhaps not, but your love will.”
Sango rolled her eyes but smiled. “Come on, houshi-sama, before InuYasha and Kagome start thinking we got lost.”
Miroku made a face. “Can't have that, can we?”
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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.