InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Desideratum ❯ Modern Inconvenience ( Chapter 7 )

[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
~~Chapter 7~~
~Modern Inconvenience~


'Well, fuck!'

Stopping on the edge of the flat rooftop as he scanned the horizon of the city they called 'Tokyo', InuYasha rubbed a weary hand over his face and heaved a sigh.  He hurt, damn it.  Senses nearing overload, it wasn't the first time he'd thought that maybe he'd made a huge mistake in leaving the shrine grounds.  Nose overwhelmed by the layers of stench that made locating the one he wanted almost impossible, ears throbbing from the combined rumble of too many cars, too many people, as well as sounds that he just couldn't identify . . . Why hadn't he noticed these things before?  He'd ventured into the city with Kagome a number of times, hadn't he?  Why were they so much harder to deal with now?

With a grunt, InuYasha pushed off the building, springing forward to land on the next one.

He hadn't told anyone that he was leaving the shrine.  He honestly hadn't thought to.  After the idea had occurred to him, he'd been too anxious to see if his suspicions were true, but he hadn't anticipated how difficult the task of finding that baka might be.

He should have, he knew.  Even then, that wouldn't have eased the trouble, would it?  It reminded him of the times they'd spent, traveling all over when they'd been trying to track down Naraku's stronghold.  It had been hidden behind a barrier that had stopped InuYasha from being able to sense or smell him, but in the end, he'd found the castle, and if it hadn't been for his baka half-brother, Naraku would have been dealt with then.

'Yeah, that's not entirely true,' he thought as his scowl deepened, as he leapt across the city's skyline.  They'd done well to flush him out of hiding at the time, he supposed.  Of course, he'd bite his own tongue off before he'd ever admit that Sesshoumaru had done anything well.  Something about that particular youkai made InuYasha's blood boil, damn it . . .

'And just who the fuck was that little brat with him?' he fumed, remembering the snide smirk on the strange hanyou's face.  Just thinking about that one pissed him off even more, and he grunted as he pushed off the flat rooftop to make the leap to the next building.  It was entirely possible that the hanyou was older than him—and why that ticked him off, he wasn't entirely sure, but it did, nonetheless.  In fact, as far as InuYasha was concerned, the two of them—Sesshoumaru and the one he'd called 'Sora'—were some sort of unholy union that he wanted no part of.

Grimacing as a particularly loud car horn pierced through the sounds of the city, he nearly stumbled in his stride but caught himself and kept moving.  A gust of wind caught the visor of his baseball cap, and the pitiful bit of fabric flew off before he could catch it.  Muttering a curse under his breath, InuYasha decided against going after it since he had bigger fish to fry.

'If I can just find that bastard,' he thought with a low growl, 'maybe I can get some answers . . .'

Irritated all over again at how stupid he'd been, InuYasha pushed himself harder.  He should have thought of it sooner, shouldn't he?  After all, if anyone knew anything, then it stood to reason that he did, didn't it?  Knowing him, he was probably sitting back somewhere, laughing his ass off at InuYasha, and why not?  He'd been sitting around, feeling sorry for himself in a strange time that he didn't know surrounded by even stranger things that would probably never make much sense to him and missing the best friend he'd somehow managed to lose along the way . . .

But no, the longer he thought about it, the more certain he became.  There had to be a way back, didn't there?  It just didn't matter that he was here and she was there.  They shared a bond, didn't they?  Even he had known that.  She'd saved him time after time—saved him because she was the only one who could.  He simply couldn't accept that he wouldn't ever see her again.  It just . . . well, it wasn't possible, was it?

Hell, no, it wasn't!  He didn't believe in the idea that there were simply souls that were never meant to be together, and sure, he'd been foolish with Kikyou.  Because of her—because of her sacrifices—he'd always vowed that things would be different with Kagome.  He'd faltered now and again, but wasn't that natural, too?  No, he absolutely couldn't accept the idea that she was beyond his reach.  He refused, damn it . . .

Skidding to a halt on the edge of a flat topped building where a bunch of plants were potted and flourishing, InuYasha frowned and hunkered down, sniffling deep as the unsettlingly familiar scent wafted to him from somewhere down below.  The darkened alley was difficult to discern, and any noises that he might have recognized were far too muddled in a dull buzz of a thousand other sounds.

But that scent . . .

Unconsciously erupting in a harsh growl, InuYasha dug his claws into the weathered concrete rim that ran around the perimeter of the roof, crumbling it as easily as it would have had it been formed from sand and water on the beach.

A surge of anger shot through him, and before he could talk himself out of it, InuYasha hopped forward, pushing himself off the ledge and into the darkness below.

He landed with a dull thump in the middle of the alley, crouching low just behind two shadowy figures that were poking around with flashlights in their hands, wearing strange suits.  He'd been right, after all, and even as he got to his feet, he couldn't help the rumbling growl that issued from him, either.

"—obvious that the perpetrator ran down here, tossing the weapon over this way where we found it.  We know he didn't run in there—they'd have seen him, and he couldn't have gone all the way to that end since there's a security camera by that door, so he'd have had to duck in there . . ."

The two men stopped talking and slowly turned to face him.  InuYasha ignored the one—he didn't know or give a damn who he was, even though the man's face shifted into an expression of mild shock, as though he couldn't quite believe just what he was seeing.  Cracking his knuckles—they popped inordinately loudly in the confines of the alley, InuYasha bared his fangs, his eyes glowing in the darkness.

The second being—the one who had been talking—eyed him up and down as a slow, lazy grin that looked almost more like a sneer broke over his features, and he nodded as though he recognized something despite the amused glint in his eyes that InuYasha really didn't trust.  The grin widened as he shook his head, as though he simply couldn't quite reconcile the idea that InuYasha had literally dropped in out of nowhere . . .

"Well, hello, dog-shit . . . Long time, no see, huh?"


:O:O:O:O:O:O:O:O:O:O:O:O:


"Those two are going to kill each other, yet," Sango remarked ruefully, shaking her head as she watched Shippou and Bunza face off nearby.  The children were glaring at each other without blinking, their arms drawn back as though they were ready to dash forward, their teeth bared, which might have been less humorous and more serious had they been a little bigger.

Kagome didn't comment as she slowly sipped a cup of tea and did her best to ignore the altercation.

"What are they fighting about this time?" Miroku asked as he tucked a stack of ofuda into his kimono.

"The last onigiri," Sango replied, offering the rice ball in question to Kirara in her open palm.  The fire-cat-youkai sniffed it once, twice, then grabbed it in her mouth before curling up in a ball beside Sango to eat her unexpected serving.

"They get along almost as well as Kouga-kun and InuYasha," Kagome remarked idly, lowering her cup to her lap.  "Knock it off, you two!" she hollered.

Sango and Miroku exchanged significant looks behind the young miko's back.  They could understand, of course, that Kagome's temper of late had been a little short, and in all honesty, they couldn't really blame her for that.  Still, it was unusual for her to snap at the kitsune, and that, more than anything, worried them.

"Kagome-chan . . ." Sango began.  Miroku shook his head in warning.

Kagome's gaze shifted to her friend, and Sango, taking Miroku's warning to heart, forced a bright smile and shook her head.  "Why don't we go fill the water jugs?" she ventured instead.

Kagome considered that then nodded.  "Can you keep an eye on them?" she asked Miroku.

"Absolutely," he assured them.  "Take your time."

Miroku let out a deep breath as the two women disappeared over the rise of the small hill in the direction of the nearby stream.  "All right, you two," he called, trying to draw the children's attention.

"That's my onigiri, baka!" Bunza yelled indignantly.

"Yeah, right!" Shippou shot back.  "You got the extra fish last night, and I know you ate the last of the rice this morning!  You're fat enough, Bunza!  That rice ball is mine!"

"Actually, the rice ball was Kirara's," Miroku commented.

That got their attention.  Both little heads swiveled to stare at him, and Miroku sighed.  "You two need to stop arguing.  The womenfolk are beginning to find it tiresome."

That seemed to stop them both in their tracks.  Their shoulders slumped and they dropped their contentious stances, stomping back over to the campsite though Miroku didn't miss the sulky glowers that they cast one another, either.  "Don't you think that the two of you can learn to get along?" he asked when they'd both sat down on opposite sides of the area.

"It's his fault," they said in unison, each indicating the other.

Miroku heaved a sigh and shook his head.  'I should have known better than to ask . . .'

Sango crested the low rise of the hill and wandered over to them, sitting quietly beside Miroku, who cast her a cursory glance.  "Where's Kagome?" he asked, his expression quizzical.

She sighed and shook her head.  "She asked that I leave her alone for awhile," she admitted.  "Houshi-sama . . . I'm really starting to worry about her."

He considered that as he stood up to drop a few more pieces of wood onto the fire.  The sun was sinking rapidly, and with it came the slightly chillier night air.  "Everyone grieves at this or her own pace," he said at length.  "To Kagome, InuYasha's disappearance is like he died, never to be seen . . . It will take some time before she can cope with the truth of the situation—that we really may never see InuYasha again.  It's not surprising, given how close the two of them have always been."

Sango nodded, staring pensively at the flickering flames of the fire.  "It seems like there is more to it than that."

"All we can do is to offer her our full support," Miroku concluded with a shake of his head.

"Even if she's being crabby for no good reason," Bunza grumbled.

Half expecting the young kitsune to snap at his arch enemy for that comment, Miroku only blinked and stared as Shippou hopped off the fallen log where he'd been sitting since returning to the group.  Without a word, he started away, heading over the hill.


:O:O:O:O:O:O:O:O:O:O:O:O:


Kagome heaved a sigh and tightened her wrists around her ankles, resting her chin on her raised knees as she stared at the world around her without seeing any of it.  Miroku and Sango had tried to tell her that she didn't have to come along.  They were only traveling as far as an outlying village to perform an easy youkai extermination of an old barn that was said to be a haven for fire-rats.  Sure, the two of them could have easily handled the mission.  No, it was more that Kagome needed to get away from the ever-watchful eyes in the village.  As though they'd all made some sort of pact, it seemed to her that there was always someone there watching, observing, and even if it weren't true, did that really matter when she felt like it was?

'They think I'm going to break down, don't they?  They think that I'm nothing without . . . without InuYasha . . .'

Wincing at the almost bitter sound of her words, she closed her eyes and sighed.  Wasn't a loss like that supposed to get easier to deal with?  Wasn't every day that she awoke and stared at the morning sun supposed to bring her just a little closer to a sense of closure?

But it didn't, did it?  With every sunrise came the harsh realization that InuYasha really wasn't there, and with every sunset came the night, and it was during the night when she lay awake, listening to the sounds of her friends as they slept that she missed him the most—missed looking up into the tall branches of the trees and seeing his profile—so strong, almost peaceful—the few times that he seemed almost pensive . . . Lost in thought as he stared out over the forest that he so loved, and every so often, he would glance at her, a half-smile on his lips—one devoid of the overlying emotions that he tried so hard to hide behind . . . Those had always been the moments when she'd felt closer to him, when she'd felt as though he understood how she felt, and that maybe he really did feel the same way . . .

'Oh, what does it matter now?' she thought suddenly; angrily.  'Is this really how it was meant to be?'

There was no answer.  She hadn't really expected one: the whisper of the wind, the gurgle of the water . . . It was peaceful, wasn't it?  Peaceful and beautiful and . . .

'And completely empty . . . without InuYasha . . .'

'Kagome . . .'

With a startled gasp, she sat up straight, her eyes brightening as she scanned the area, as she searched in vain for the face that went along with the voice.  As though he had spoken from there beside her, it was the first time that she hadn't felt entirely lost, entirely alone, in such a long time . . .

But there was no one—no surly hanyou clad in crimson . . . and she heaved a sigh, dropping her chin into the cradle of her arms, resting atop her raised knees.  'Even my own imagination is playing mean tricks on me . . .'

Something familiar brushed over her, but she refused to turn around.  She sensed the being but didn't really hear him approach.  No more than a movement in the falling night, a breath of familiarity that she neither welcomed nor refuted.

"Oi, Kagome . . . how goes it?"

"Hey, Kouga-kun," she replied, her tone vague, a million miles away.

"Am I dreamin' or do I really not smell the scent of that bastard with you or your friends?"

"InuYasha's . . . not here," she forced herself to say, shivering slightly as the breeze blowing through the trees picked up.

"Yeah?  Where'd he run off to?  Don't tell me he left you alone."

"It wasn't like that," she replied sharply, casting the wolf-youkai a scathing glower.  "It's not like he chose to leave . . ."

'Except that he did,' an unwelcome voice whispered in the back of her mind.  'He chose it . . . wherever 'it' is . . .'

Kouga, as usual, only heard the part that he wanted to hear.  "Figures . . . damn mutt-face . . . Next time I see him, I'll punch him in the damn nose.  See if I don't!" he fumed.

Pushing herself to her feet, Kagome brushed her skirt off and bit down the rising irritation that roiled inside her.  "So why are you out this way?" she asked instead, more to change the subject than because she really wanted to know.

Kouga rolled his eyes and sighed—a strange sound from the cocky youkai she'd come to know.  "Eh, I have to go talk to old Banai," he explained.  "He's been raiding some of my wolves lately—holy contributions, he's calling it—and while they can take care of themselves, I figure it's time to let the bastard know that he's overstepping his boundaries when he attacks my kin."

"Banai?  Who is he?" she pressed.  In truth, she hadn't ever heard of this 'Banai' fellow, but from the way Kouga talked about it, it was obvious that he thought that everyone had.

"Just a crazy old loon, really . . . a boar-youkai who thinks that he's a priest, if you can imagine that."  Kouga laughed suddenly and shook his head.  "He hasn't actually killed anyone, though it hardly matters.  I don't take kindly to unwarranted attacks against my wolves."

"A youkai who thinks that he's a priest?" she echoed, blinking in abject disbelief.  "Isn't that kind of an oxymoron?"

Kouga snorted and shrugged indifferently.  "Well, you got the 'moron' part right . . ." Trailing off, he suddenly glanced at her, his dark blue eyes taking on a suspect shimmer.  "You know, Kagome, why don't you come with me?  You know, if you don't got anything better to do . . ."

She opened her mouth to say no.  She was traveling with Miroku and Sango, after all . . . "Okay," she said, much to her own surprise.  'Wh—What?  Where did that come from . . .?'

Kouga looked shocked for all of thirty seconds.  Then he barked out a loud guffaw, scooping up a protesting Kagome and dashing away into the forest . . .

"W-Wait, Kouga!  I need to—"

His laughter cut her off.  "Where's your sense of adventure?  You'll have fun, I promise!"

Shippou stopped short and stared in gape-mouthed surprise.  'Kagome . . . why would you go with Kouga . . .?' he wondered as he blinked at the emptiness around him.

The only answer he got was the gentle whisper of the trees.


:O:O:O:O:O:O:O:O:O:O:O:O:


InuYasha narrowed his eyes on the mangy wolf-youkai before him.  Irritating smirk still firmly in place, he looked entirely strange in the modern clothing and yet completely familiar, too.  "What the fuck are you doing here, Kouga?" he demanded.

The other man—a human, InuYasha could tell—looked entirely uncomfortable as he shifted his gaze from Kouga to InuYasha and back again.

"Ookami-san . . . Do you see what I see . . .?"

Kouga shot his partner a cursory glance. "What?" he replied, casting InuYasha a quick look.  "Oh . . . Don't worry about that.  Cosplayer."

"O-Oh . . ."

Ears flicking in abject irritation, InuYasha snorted.  He didn't have to understand the terms 'cosplayer' to realize that Kouga and his little human buddy were talking about him, anyway . . .

Brushing off the human's obvious concern, Kouga flicked a hand in the general direction of a nearby door.  "Anyway, Katsuragi-san . . . why don't you go question the owner of that club for me?"

He didn't look like he wanted to do what Kouga said, but he bowed once then strode away.

Kouga watched him go, jamming his hands into his pockets before shifting his gaze up and down the alley to make sure that they were alone, his black ponytail falling over his shoulder as he slowly smiled.  "So this is where you ended up . . . I wondered, of course . . . not that I cared . . ."

"Cut the crap, Kouga," InuYasha spat.  "What the hell are you doing here?"

The wolf-youkai rolled his eyes.  "I live here . . . well, not here, exactly . . . Right now, I'm working."

"Working?"

Shaking his head, Kouga looked vaguely amused.  "Yes, working, dog-breath . . . earning money . . . Surely you've heard of it.  You work for it . . . spend it on things you need . . . It's not that new a concept, really."

InuYasha snorted indelicately and cracked his knuckles, indication clear: if Kouga wanted a fight, he'd be more than happy to oblige him.  "What about your damn pack?  You just leave them to fend for themselves, you coward?"

"My . . .?" To his surprise, the wolf-youkai laughed—a sound that still got InuYasha's hackles up, just the same.

"Why, you . . ."

"Aw, relax, relax . . . Ginta and Hakkaku are livin' in Los Angeles making gay porn . . . and I take care of my business."

"Keh!" InuYasha snorted, since he didn't actually understand most of what Kouga had just said.  Didn't matter to him, anyway, did it?  Who the hell cared what those two bakas were doing, anyway?   "Tell me what you know about Kagome!" he demanded, wishing that he'd bothered to go inside for his sword before leaving the shrine.  He felt completely naked without it, damn it, and dealing with Kouga without having it on hand . . . well, it only exacerbated the situation, as far as InuYasha could tell.

"Kagome," Kouga repeated, as an entirely suspicious glint ignited in his eyes—as that damned mocking smirk of his widened even more.  "What do you want to know, dog-shit?"

"Don't fuck with me, Kouga!" he snarled, taking a swing at the youkai and missing when Kouga calmly stepped out of the way of InuYasha's descending claws.  "Tell me now or I'll tear you apart with my bare hands!"

"Now, see, InuYasha, you've always had an impulse control problem, and I have to tell you that she's none of your business, you know."

"Since when?" he shot back, taking another swing at Kouga, who leaned to the side to avoid the contact.

Kouga's grin turned downright nasty as he uttered a menacing chuckle.  "Since she became my wife . . . baka."


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MMorg
magedelbene ------ OROsan0677 ------ inuyashaloverr ------ nymphminxgoddess ------ cwillia ------ littleolme ------ dewrose ------ Raniatlw ------ wbk
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Final
Thought from InuYasha:
D-did he just say … wife …?
==========
Blanket disclaimer for this fanfic (will apply to this and all other chapters in Desideratum):  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.

~Sue~
Chapter 6
Chapter 8
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