Fanfiction gifts created for members of our Deviant Art group, Eternally Destined. Visit the first chapter of this series for a link to ED's 2013 calendar!
Categories: Fables Characters:
Alternate Universe, Angst, Comedy, Drama, Family, Fluff, Hentai, Hurt/Comfort, Oneshot, Romance, Slice of Life, WAFFWarnings:
Explicit Sex, Language, Mild Sexual Situations, OOC/Out of Character, Pregnancy
December 22, 2012 Updated:
January 02, 2013
FOR UNKNOWNPICTURE by ED Staff
Christmas Snow and Mistletoe
InuYasha’s ears flattened against his skull as he regarded the well. All she had said was it was Christmas and she was going home. She had left, just like that.
He had the numbing feeling that it had more to do with Kikyo than this “Christmas.”
The wind blew, freezing and uncomfortable over the dead grass, shaking the tree beneath him. The trees themselves were starting to fade as well, relinquishing their leaves to the clutches of winter. The clouds above promised snow soon. Everything looked dead and lifeless. Especially now that Kagome was gone.
He hated when she was gone.
Maybe he could apologize. Maybe he should just go after her . . .
“Why don’t you go after her?”
InuYasha jumped, almost losing his grip on his branch. He whipped his head down to see Miroku staring up at him from the ground, leaning casually on his staff. “Don’t sneak up on me like that!” InuYasha yelled, trying vainly to cover up his slip in composure. He couldn’t be seen pining over a stupid human girl. He was a half demon. He had better things to do, like hunting for shards. He didn’t need her.
Miroku ignored InuYasha’s objections completely. “You know Christmas is a very important holiday to the people of her time. I’m sure it would mean a lot to her if you showed up.”
“Feh. Like I care about her stupid holidays,” InuYasha said, his eyes wondering back to the well. “Besides, she would probably just be mad.” He didn’t quite manage to keep the quiet disappointment out of the words.
“Not if you have the right approach,” Miroku said, a sly note entering into his voice.
InuYasha’s ears perked at that, but he quickly hid his interest behind a carefully crafted mask of boredom. “Oh? And what kind of approach is that?”
The grin on Miroku’s face stirred violent thoughts in InuYasha’s mind. “It’s perfectly natural to have feelings for a woman, InuYasha. You don’t have to be ashamed—“
“Get to the point!”
“What I’m saying is that, from what Kagome has said, Christmas is a time of gathering with friends and family, food, and gift giving. The emphasis here, being gift giving.” His eyes glinted and a knowing smile crossed his lips. “I am something of an expert in the subject of women, and believe me, the quickest way to a woman’s heart is through presents. I’m sure if you went to Kagome’s time and got her a present of some sort, you could easily win her over.”
“Feh. Like I need to ‘win her over’,” InuYasha muttered under his breath. But the Monk had a point; he was very knowledgeable about women, and if what he said was true, then InuYasha could easily use this holiday to gain favor with Kagome. It was perfect, actually. All he had to do was buy her some stupid gift in the name of holiday cheer and she wouldn’t be able to get mad at him for months!
“Her mother will probably be making Christmas dinner, too.”
InuYasha twitched. Her mother . . . cooking . . .
“I’m going to go grab some stuff.”
Kagome squinted down at her hands, carefully molding perfection. The moist softness caved to her every whim, slowing moving under her direction to form—
“KAGOME?” a familiar voice shouted from outside.
Her concentration shattered, her trance broke, and her hands slipped. Her creation, her culinary masterpiece, was smashed in her hands. The rice ball was a disaster.
Her temper immediately spiked to unhealthy levels. What was he doing here? She had told him very plainly she was going home to be with her family over Christmas. She was going to catch up on schoolwork, help her mother with preparations, help her grandfather around the shrine, and spend a few days relaxing. She didn’t want to see him for at least forty-two hours! All he would do was whine about needing to find more jewel shards, eat all their food, destroy their property, and ruin Christmas! He could be equated to the Grinch, for all the damage he was going to deliver.
“Is that InuYasha?” her mother asked, leaning over the sink to look out the window, washing fruit as she did.
“Sounds like it,” Kagome growled, trying to salvage the rice ball she had damaged. Maybe if she didn’t respond, he would go away.
Of course, taking hints wasn’t InuYasha’s style.
He responded better to being bludgeoned by the truth.
“Shouldn’t you see what he wants?” her mother asked, drying her hands on a cup towel. “It could be important.”
“I doubt his idea of ‘important’ even reaches my idea of ‘irrelevant’,” she said, smashing the rice ball with more force than necessary.
Kagome could hear the smile in her mother’s voice. “Are you two having trouble getting along again?”
“More or less,” she responded, memories of him chasing after Kikyo just the day before yesterday rushing to her. She forced them from her mind.
“Well, I know just the way to help you two sort through your problems. You should invite him to stay with us for Christmas.”
Kagome could feel her jaw drop as the weight of her mother’s words sank in. InuYasha staying with them . . . for over three days.
Kagome turned to face her mother, more than a little horrified. “But it’s my vacation!”
“What’s the matter? I thought it was a good idea! Did he do something to you?”
Kagome could feel her face flushing. What could she say? Her problems with Kikyo weren’t something she was willing to discuss with her mother just yet. “Well, no—”
“Then what’s the problem?” her mother said, beaming. “Ask him if he’d like to join us.”
Kagome’s mouth opened and closed soundlessly for a moment before she regained control of herself. There was no spring in her step when she left the kitchen.
She found him outside by the storage shed, probably looking for her grandfather to interrogate on her whereabouts. The snow was piled high around her, and she regretted not bothering with boots as her socks soaked through. That and the icy wind did nothing to improve her foul mood, so when she laid eyes on him, she was ready for blood. “What are you doing here?”
InuYasha’s face lit up at the sight of her for a fraction of a second, and Kagome almost regretted her tone of voice. At her query though, his features settled into his usual frown and his ears flattened. “Nothing. I’ve got the same right to come through the well as you do.”
His whole attitude was just infuriating! “InuYasha, I’ll have you know that I’m against it in every way, but my mother wants me to invite you to stay for Christmas.”
He blinked, ears perking. “Really?”
“But I promise you,” she said, her voice low and dangerous, “if one thing is broken, if anything catches on fire or is Wind Scarred, or has a barrage of diamonds run through it, you will be sitting until New Years. Do you understand?”
She was sure she heard him gulp, but then his uncertainty was gone and his frown settled back into place. “Feh. Like I would do something like that.”
She regarded him standing in the doorway, arms crossed and customary scowl on his face. Kagome felt a twinge of regret. Maybe that was a bit harsh. After all, he hadn’t really done anything to her. She didn’t even know why he was here. Maybe she should say something else; apologize for her behavior.
But she couldn’t shake the image of him, turning away from her and running after Kikyo. It was burned in her mind’s eye. In her heart.
“Dinner’s at six. Don’t be late,” she said. Then she walked away, leaving him standing alone in the snow.
InuYasha watched her go, his spirits sinking with every step she took.
Man, he really blew it this time. She hadn’t been this mad at him since he tried to fix her bike . . .
What was he thinking, coming to her world in the first place? That stupid Monk had no idea what he was talking about! What Kagome needed now was space. Maybe if he left her alone, she would forget about Kikyo and forgive him already.
No, he was already here. He was going to make her happy again, then she would come back with him and everything would be okay.
Why did she always have to be so emotional? It was exasperating!
Okay, he had his plan. All he needed to put it into motion was the bribe. This would require an expert opinion and counsel. He immediately set off through the snow for the back of the house, in search of Kagome’s younger (and more emotionally stable) brother. Souta had always given him good information before, so he had the utmost faith in his judgment.
Without so much as announcing his presence, he leapt from the ground to his window sill and peered into the boy’s bedroom. Souta was inside, sitting at his desk and busily studying some book or another. What was with these people and their books? Kagome never seemed to be without one.
InuYasha rapped on the window.
The boy jerked his head toward the window, then grinned at the sight of him. He crossed the small room and threw open the window. “Hey, InuYasha! What are you doing here?”
Well, at least someone was happy to see him. “I’m . . . I’ve been invited to stay for Christmas.” Not exactly the reason he was here, but not a lie either.
“Really? That’s great!” Souta beamed. “Did you get Kagome a present?”
“That’s what I’m here to talk to you about,” he said, reaching into his deep pockets and pulling out a handful of adamant shards. “I’ve got this to trade, but I don’t know what to get her. Any ideas?”
Souta looked at the rocks for a moment, then his gaze drifted up as he thought. “Well, that’s a tough one. What about a dog?”
InuYasha’s ears flattened. “Not funny,” he growled.
InuYasha blinked. “What’s that?”
Souta gave a knowing smirk that make InuYasha’s blood boil, but didn’t answer his question. “Well, girls like to feel special. They want gifts that show you thought of them when you saw it. They like stuff that reminds them of you, too. Have you seen anything like that?”
InuYasha could think of a lot of things that reminded him of Kagome; the scent of wildflowers, peaceful afternoons, flames of a campfire, starry night skies. He saw her in the wind and the quiet lakes, and every time lightning struck, he thought of her temper. He thought of her every time he took a breath. How was he supposed to get any of that stuff?
“No,” he said with a sigh. “Women are impossible.”
“You’re telling me,” Souta muttered. “Well, you could always get her a scarf or something.”
InuYasha shook his head. “Yeah, right. She’d kill me for not being thoughtful or something stupid.”
“Why don’t you go into town and go window shopping? Maybe something will stand out.”
That wasn’t a bad idea, actually. Besides, it’d give him an excuse to see more of the city. He wanted to know more about the place Kagome spent so much of her life in . . .
“Okay, I’ll do that. See you around, then,” he said, preparing to back out of the window.
“Don’t forget to be on time for dinner!”
After InuYasha left, it didn’t take Souta long to hatch a Christmas surprise of his own. He was in charge of decorations, with Kagome gone most of the time, so it wasn’t much trouble for him to set the trap.
Souta carefully fixed the adornments all about the house, hidden in plain view. The small plants were not initially part of their Christmas décor, but with InuYasha around, that changed things.
He smiled from his perch on the wooden railing as he fixed the largest bundle of unripened mistletoe on the porch awning. There was no way they could avoid it in the two days InuYasha would be here.
“Souta! Come help us set the table!” his mother shouted from the kitchen.
“Coming!” he said, stepping back to admire his handiwork.
Yes, they weren’t going to make it out of this holiday season without a good kiss.
Kagome probably couldn’t have been angrier if she tried.
They sat at the table in the kitchen. The room, though cheerily decked and dressed in Christmas decorations, felt stifling. Kagome’s mood was probably to blame for that. No one spoke as they waited, afraid to ruin the silence.
Her Mom, Grandfather, and Souta all sat in their places with hands washed, plates set, and Christmas Eve dinner ready.
InuYasha was nowhere to be seen.
She had specifically told him not to be late! That was the one thing she asked, the only thing she requested, and what did that inconsiderate jerk do?
“We should just go ahead and eat, Mom,” Kagome said, struggling to keep her voice even. “He’s going to be late.”
Her mother looked uncertain. “Are you sure, Honey? Do you think he’d mind?”
“He should have thought of that before he was late!” she said, shoving half a rice ball in her mouth and chewing it furiously.
Why did he have to do that? Was he trying to be rebellious? To get on her nerves? Well, it was working. It wasn’t enough for him to be chasing Kikyo to the ends of the earth, but he just had to rub in how much he didn’t care about her into her face . . .
Her face was wet. She quickly raised a hand to wipe away the hot tears before anyone could see.
Maybe that was all there was to it; he didn’t care about her. If she were smart, she would wall off all feelings for him and move on. Her stomach rolled violently, sickened by her thoughts. Why did he have to do this to her?
She hated the way he made her feel.
“Mom, I’m not feeling well,” she said, voice quivering. “May I be excused?”
Her family looked at her with concern. “What’s wrong? Are you sick?” her mother asked, reaching out to place a hand on her head.
“I don’t know. I just need to lie down for a bit.”
“Okay. Such a shame for you to get sick, on Christmas Eve,” she said, frowning as she touched her forehead. “You are a bit warm. I’ll bring you up some soup in a little bit, okay?”
“Thanks, Mom.” Kagome got to her feet and trudged out of the room and upstairs. Maybe if she went to sleep, she would feel better in the morning. After all, everything looked better in the morning, right?
Once in her room, she changed into her pajamas and crawled into her bed, feeling sick. Was this what it was like to be heartbroken? It wasn’t like he hadn’t ever done something like this before, but it was just too much too soon. She had come home to escape his insensitivity, but instead, he followed her to rub it in.
She buried her head in her pillow and tried to sleep.
InuYasha was painfully aware of how late it was.
Kagome was going to be so mad at him. He could only hope what he carried in his pocket would make up for it.
He had his doubts, though.
The cold nipped at his bare feet as he climbed up the stairs to the old shrine and Kagome’s house. His hands that had been bleeding generously just a while ago were now crusted in dried gore as the cold chased the blood from the veins in his hands. He was both tired and hungry. All of his worrying had sapped his energy, and he was disappointed that he had missed out on dinner. The night was dark, with gray clouds concealing the moon and stars from sight. There was a sharp, crisp scent in the wind that told him fresh snow wasn’t far off.
InuYasha wasn’t sure what he had been thinking. Of course he wouldn’t be able to find anything for Kagome in the shops. There was nothing there that spoke of her. The things there had been plain and and artificial and mundane. That wasn’t at all what Kagome was to him. Nothing there would tell her how much she meant to him.
His hand wondered to his pocket and clutched the pathetic gift. This didn’t do her justice, either, but maybe, since his heart had gone into it, it would be enough.
If nothing else, he hoped it might save him from her wrath tonight.
InuYasha loped up the last dozen steps, then past the ancient tree he had been trapped on for fifty years. Souta or someone had wrapped its great trunk in hundreds of white lights, and though it helped ease the sensation, InuYasha’s stomach twisted a bit at the sight of it.
The house was lit up much like the Christmas tree inside of it, with colored lights hanging from the roof and white lights twinkling from the trees. He bypassed the brightness of the front yard and went the side of the house, climbing up to Kagome’s darkened window.
Even through the dimness, he could see that her bed was empty. Confused and marginally alarmed, he opened the window and almost stepped down into the room, but a sound below him made him stop.
Kagome was curled up under the window, blanket wrapped tightly around her and pillow discarded a few feet away. She was breathing lightly, and InuYasha couldn’t help but note that she was beautiful when she slept. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t ever watched her sleep before, but there was something about the dark around them, and the lack of company that made him want to bend down and kiss her.
InuYasha almost fell off the window at that, and had to scrape his claws on the sill to catch himself. Where had that thought come from? That was completely stupid! All of this Christmas nonsense must be getting to him. He had seen the way people acted all evening in town. It was absurd the way this holiday made people lose their minds. He had thought he was immune to the stupidity, but maybe he had been overexposed.
Apparently the sound of his struggle hadn’t gone unheard. Kagome stirred, then sat up with a start. InuYasha’s breath caught and he froze on the ledge. She glanced blearily around her room and stood up, her back to him the whole time. She stooped down to grab her blanket from the floor and turned around.
Their eyes locked.
InuYasha’s heart stopped.
She screamed bloody murder and shoved him out the window.
InuYasha didn’t have much time to think about it. His hands reached out to grab something, anything, and closed around Kagome’s arms.
They both fell ten feet to the ground below.
He hit the ground hard, splayed flat on his back in the snow. The powdery layer helped to cushion the blow a bit, but it didn’t stop the fiery pain from blossoming around his lower back.
Promptly after that pain had registered, a new pain assaulted his nervous system. Kagome landed on top of him, forcing all of the air from his lungs. His vision dimmed and blood sang in his ears.
“InuYasha!” she said breathlessly, which InuYasha thought to be a great irony.
Since he didn’t really have any choice in the matter, he waited silently for her to get off of him. She finally rolled aside and sweet air filled his lungs. He sat there panting a moment. Kagome was saying something, but he wasn’t really listening. He was too busy enjoying oxygen.
There was a pause in her rambling, which caught his attention. “Are you alright?” she asked. She almost looked worried.
He tried to take a deep enough breath to respond, but only a wheeze came out. He frowned and slowly sat up. That was going to leave a bruise. He opened his mouth to try again: “Fine,” he said weakly. “You?”
“I’m fine.” Now that she knew he was alright, the worry vanished from her expression to be replaced with anger. It was like a storm blowing in. “What do you think you were doing? What right do you think you have to just walk into my room any time you please, especially after what you did tonight?”
InuYasha opened his mouth to respond, but she kept going. “I just wanted to come home to see my family, to get away from everything, and you follow me here! And then, to make it better, you show a complete lack of respect for me and my family! I asked you to be on time for dinner, and what do you do? You go out sightseeing and don’t show up! You don’t even bother telling anyone where you’re going!” The scent of salt burned in the cold air, and InuYasha saw tears flowing down her face. But her voice didn’t quiver as she kept going: “It’s not bad enough that you can’t respect me in your world, but you do it here, too! If I don’t mean at least that much, then maybe you shouldn’t come here at all!”
InuYasha, his pain suddenly gone from his mind, took an involuntary step back. That wasn’t how it was at all! “Kagome—“
“Why don’t you just go back, InuYasha. Go back and find Kikyo.” Her voice broke over the name and she sat down in the snow. She sobbed quietly into her sleeve and the sight of it made InuYasha’s gut wrench.
That was what it always seemed to come back to; Kikyo. She had been his first love, and there wasn’t anything he could change about that. He still cared for her deeply, probably more than he should at this point. He would be lying to himself if he said he didn’t love her, but it wasn’t the same. She wasn’t Kagome. How could he make her see that?
He didn’t like it when she cried.
He sat down in the snow beside her, the moisture seeping into his clothes. From their place beside the house, it was almost pleasant outside. The landscape was covered in snow and reflected the colors of the lights all around them. The wind had died down now, and the trees were still. A muffled silence blanketed the earth, quiet and reassuring.
Only broken by Kagome’s broken sobs and chattering teeth.
InuYasha would be the first to admit he wasn’t good at this kind of thing. In fact, his better judgment told him he should just carry her to her bed and disappear into the well. But InuYasha would also be the first to admit that he never went with his better judgment.
He reached into his pocket and pulled out his gift. It was pathetic, really. It wasn’t even wrapped, but it was the best he could do on such short notice.
Almost hesitantly, he placed the gift in her lap and waited.
She picked up her head at the contact, eyes red and face awash with tears. His hand twitched to wipe them away, but he thought the better of it and tucked both hands away under his sleeves. She looked at the item and slowly picked it up.
It was a piece of wood fashioned into a crane. InuYasha had spent hours trying to coax the figure from a block of wood, shaving away with his claws until they bled. It was a tiny, crude carving, and InuYasha was relatively embarrassed by it.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t find anything better,” he muttered, looking away.
She didn’t say anything, and InuYasha was almost afraid she was angry again. Then, she whispered, “You . . . you made this?”
“It’s a . . . crane.”
He chanced a look at her out of the corner of his eye. She was gazing at the carving in wonder, turning it over and over in her hands and stroking its rough texture. He was afraid to break the silence, but his nerves overran his caution. “It still means loyalty, right?”
“That’s how I . . . I want you to know—” He growled in frustration and ran a hand through his hair. Why couldn’t he just say it? “I’m sorry I act how I do. I’m sorry about Kikyo. I’m sorry I can’t say anything nice and always screw up. But, Kagome . . . you don’t understand that I . . . I need you. I need you. I can’t always say and do the right thing, but I’d do anything for you. I don’t mean to hurt you, and I’m sorry when I do.” Now he was just babbling. He tried to say something else, then when nothing intelligible came out, he shut his mouth and waited, glaring at the snow.
She said nothing for so long. Maybe he said something wrong? He sounded so stupid! He couldn’t believe he had just said all of that mushy nonsense—
His ear twitched. “What?”
“I’m sorry, too.” Her hand reached out and rested over his. It was so small. If someone had told InuYasha a few months ago that this tiny human girl would fight demons, travel the worlds, save his life multiple times and one day win his heart, he would have laughed.
What had happened to him? When did he go so soft?
"Why were you sleeping under the window?”
“I . . . I was hoping you would come.”
“Even after what I did?”
“I guess I missed you.” She put her head on his shoulder and shivered.
InuYasha was suddenly, painfully aware of the cold. He was marginally uncomfortable, but Kagome had to be freezing! She was wearing nothing but some thin winter pajamas and socks, and he knew from the days he was completely human that they were more sensitive to the temperature. “What are you doing sitting in the snow like that? You’re freezing!” he said.
“Well, as I recall, someone dragged me out the window,” she said, frowning. The smile in her voice ruined the threat, though.
“Well, as I recall, someone pushed me first,” he muttered back.
“You didn’t have to grab me!”
“You didn’t have to push me!”
He got to his feet and scooped her up in his arms as if she were a child. She made a muffled sound of protest, but didn’t squirm against him. “You scared me to death, though!”
“You scared me more!” He carried her around the side of the house to the front porch and set her on the railing.
She gave him an indignant glare. “You had no right to go snooping around my bedroom while I was asleep,” she said. As the banter escalated, the humor in her voice disappeared. InuYasha was having trouble telling if she was mad or not. He had just made it up to her, too!
“Why do you have to be such a pain?” he asked, crossing his arms. His logical side was aware of the fact that he was making the situation worse. His irrational side enjoyed pushing his luck. “I had to give you your present!”
“It could have waited until morning!”
“I did!” he said, pointing behind her.
The horizon in the east was a light shade of pinkish gray, slowly growing brighter and brighter even as the minutes passed.
“Oh,” was all she said.
They watched the sky turn a brilliant gold as light shot underneath the thick layer clouds, setting fire to them one by one. Then, the heavens above them opened up and tiny snowflakes floated to the ground, catching in the sun and lighting up like small embers. Thousands and thousands came down and the air around them shimmered.
InuYasha had never seen anything quite like it.
Kagome bent down near his face and smiled. “Merry Christmas.” She leaned forward and pressed her lips against his.
After one stunned second, he closed his eyes and kissed her back.
Above their heads, the mistletoe bloomed.
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InuYasha Â© Rumiko Takahashi.
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