1. Chapter 1 by Ayamegusa
Characters of Inuyasha (manga and anime) belong to Takahashi Rumiko
Be Not Afraid
Kagome and Inuyasha walked down the well travelled path towards their home, after another seemingly routine job of exterminating a rouge youkai, which happened to be causing havoc for the people in a neighbouring village. Not that the battle was entirely an exciting one. The spirit was more of a mischief maker, hiding in one of the sake jars of the most expensive of lodges, then proceeding to scare off the rich patrons for enjoyment. Still, by the end of the day, Inuyasha had fallen into a surly mood, his face and body showing all signs of agitation, especially when the skies had changed from a sunny and humid day, to one where the sky was dark, with grey clouds gathered in large masses across the once blue sky.
Sensing this, the miko squeezed his hand in attempts to comfort him. In response he smiled, but to her it looked more like a smile of anxiety.
“It wasn’t that bad, was it?”
“What was?” he replied, snapping out of his reverie.
“The youkai, you’re disappointed because it wasn’t a tough opponent?”
He nodded distractively, looking towards the sky with the same anxious expression playing on his face. The miko also looked up, wondering why the sky had caught his sudden fascination. Squinting, she tried to see any shape of a youkai or other strange mythical beasts lurking high up in the clouds, but all she saw was grey and nothing more. What she hadn’t noticed while staring into the sky, was how everything thing around her had become quiet, still. It seemed no animal dared to make a sound, which only made the breeze swishing through the trees ever louder, and somewhat eerie.
“Go home,” Inuyasha quickly said, startling the miko as he picked her up easily into his arms before she could react in protest. He raced with blinding speed, and Kagome had to shut her eyes to prevent his movements from making her too dizzy. A few seconds had only passed before they arrived in front of Miroku and Sango’s house. He walked in unannounced, stomping through the door, passing the twins who stared wide-eyed at the hanyou with his puppy ears, and finally to one of the soft cushions where he dropped her with a thump.
“Hey, come back here, Inuyasha!” Kagome shouted as he dashed through the door without so much as an explanation for his odd change in behaviour.
“What happened, Kagome-chan? You two didn’t have an argument, did you?” Sango asked, after seeing her bewildered friend hastily standing up and straightening out her kimono.
“Well no, but if I find him, he’d better watch out.”
The older woman suppressed the urge to roll her eyes, “All right. Just be careful, there’s a storm coming, a big one by the looks of it.” A faint murmur of thunder echoed as if to answer, but Kagome had already run off, apparently too distracted to hear her warning.
Where are you? Every where she looked, she somehow could not find any evidence of his whereabouts, not even the telltale flash of red which would indicate where he was currently hiding.
A different kind of flash erupted in front of her eyes. The bright light lasted only for a moment before it vanished, replaced by piercing crack of thunder, sounding too close to be comfortable. Breathing a sigh to slow down her rapidly beating heart, Kagome called out one last time, but flinched when another violent crack echoed across the sky. She hugged her chest, suddenly feeling meek and small, and ran to the only place where she could think of as a place of safety.
Kagome entered through the door of their home, feeling guilty she had not tried harder to search for her husband, but with the way the weather was now, she could not risk running around blindly with an erratic storm dancing above her head, with every tree a potential lighting rod.
The rooms were dark, which was just as well as she did not want the flickering candlelight looming on the walls like ghosts, to add to the frightening atmosphere outside their house. Her footsteps hurried as the thunder and lightning continued, the sounds reverberating horribly in her ears, and quickly closed the shoji door of their bedroom, leaving the whole room darkened with only flashes of electrical light to illuminate the walls every once in a while.
Yet that was not what caught the miko’s attention. There in the corner, was a huge, monstrous lump of something, shaking viciously, its shape more deformed when the flashes from the outside struck at it, casting light and shadows at odd angles. A small sound came from the beast, and its shaking grew fierce as the bad weather persevered. Kagome swallowed, watching the shape with some fear as she crawled to it, her curiosity taking over her limbs. Using her bow, she poked at it, finding that the shape was not some form of a beast as the texture was much too soft. Like a futon cover.
She poked at it again, and the sound that came from it was not too happy.
“Oi, stop that!”
“Inuyasha?!” she cried out, lifting up the cover. “There you are. I’ve been looking everywhere for you.”
“So?” he then suddenly whimpered when a particularly loud crack was heard, grabbing the cover to hide under.
“What do you mean, ‘so’? I was worried about you.”
“You ran off so suddenly.” Kagome said as gently as possible, lifting up the cover to reveal his head and two ears that had swivelled back in... “Are you frightened... by the storm?”
Hesitantly, the hanyou raised his head, looking at her with the most intense expression he could muster, though to the woman, he looked more like the guilty puppy that had been caught playing under the clean sheets again.
“Who says, woman?” he growled. “I am not frightened. It’s... it’s...,” he lowered his voice to a whisper, “the noise. It’s too loud, and it hurts my ears.”As if to answer, the room lit up with a bluish light, followed by another harsh crack of thunder, the sound making the walls of the house tremble slightly. Inuyasha’s body shook as he hugged the futon cover tighter over him, not even noticing that Kagome had been unconsciously watching his reactions the whole time.
She bent over, hugging him around his head, and they remained silent for a while, listening to the thunder and heavy downpour of rain outside.
“It’s too loud, Kagome.” He whispered.
“I know.” The miko sighed softly, kissing the tip of his ear.
Time passed before the storm gradually died away. The change in weather lifted the heavy atmosphere around them, and soon the first sounds of twittering birds could be heard somewhere in the distance, signifying the end of the thunderstorm.
They both slowly rose from the bed, yet when their eyes met, Inuyasha found himself turning away in embarrassment, his face burning red at the thought of the miko having witnessed one of his weaker moments. He did not want her to see, how fri-, shaken he was by a mere loud noise.
“I didn’t mean to run away like that... I mean...”
“There’s nothing to be sorry about. We all have things we don’t like.”
“Yeah...” he said before wrapping his arms around her, and kissing her on the forehead. But at least it’s not so bad, now...
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InuYasha Â© Rumiko Takahashi.
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