By Inu Hanyou Nikkie
Disclaimer: I do not own nor make any monies off of Inuyasha and the gang. No, that pleasure completely belongs to the Goddess Rumiko Takahashi. I am only using them for pure entertainment value.
A/N : thank you so much Zigsa for letting me use your thoughts on Sango!! Dedicated to Notoes a wonderful friend and delightfully talented Artist of many genres!! I Luffs Ya!!!! Be aware of the Fluff and WAFF!! OOC Alert!!!
Mega Thank You to Ayamegusa for her wonderful offer of helping me make corrections with this story!
Spoiler warnings : Chapters 506 and 511 – 519
As the days grew shorter and the weather turned colder, Inuyasha noticed in Kagome, a certain deepening melancholy as they travelled back to Kaede’s Village and the Forest of Inuyasha. It happened ever since Magatsuhi had sealed her powers off completely, and Kagome felt that she was even more useless than ever before. Inuyasha made an attempt to cheer up Kagome (and also to demolish any previous notions that he had instilled within the futuristic miko with his harsh words or comparisons). He told her that because Magatsuhi went through the trouble and effort to seal her powers up completely, that it was because both Naraku and Magatsuhi feared her greatly.
It worked until Kagome began having nightmares a few nights later. It was always the same nightmare. Always ones of Magatsuhi and Naraku, both gloating over the dead bodies of her friends, and the slow torturous death of Inuyasha, while she remained helpless to do anything but sit by and watch.
These Nightmares felt far too real to Kagome and it frightened her to tears. Inuyasha had taken up the newest habit of keeping his ears trained more on Kagome’s sleeping form. And as soon as he sensed her Nightmare commencing, he would secret her away from the group, so that when she came to from the dream he was there and could comfort her without the unwanted and often times unneeded or thoughtless comments from the others.
Miroku, as much as he was a friend and perhaps brother, would ruin the tender moment with his cruel lecherous words. Sango, dear sister and valued fighter, would have said words about Naraku and Magatsuhi that unknowingly would’ve pointed out Kagome’s current uselessness. And Shippou, his annoying little friend. . . he would have pinned the blame entirely on Inuyasha.
What he wouldn’t give to slam a kotodama over that fucking runt’s head and have him “sit” a few times, especially if Shippou could “sit” himself whenever he pushed Inuyasha’s buttons on purpose. Thank the Kami that Shippou left the group to remain with those damnable kitsunes and their dumb inn/school. He didn’t even bother to say his farewells to the members of the group when he announced his decision to stay - though he did mention he would visit every now and then. He also told them he was really tired of seeing Miroku always grabbing Sango’s butt, of her always slapping or hitting him back, and of Kagome and Inuyasha’s constant childish fights. He also knew the final battle was coming up and he didn’t want to be any part of it. After all, He was just a kid and this wasn’t his fight. . .
Where was he again. . . ? Ah, yes, back to the reason why he would take her away from the group. It would end up with both Kagome and Inuyasha being very uncomfortable and embarrassed, which led to words coming out that weren’t meant to be said, which led to arguing, then yelling and then finally, Kagome’s favourite fall back in all of their arguments. . . the catch phrase “Osuwari!” and her storming off.
Oh, and mustn’t forget the unwanted groping by Miroku during this sequence. If only Miroku could smell the girl’s scent after he did this, he wouldn’t be doing it anymore. . . Inuyasha was an expert in the way of Hate smells, and Sango reeked of it after the action, while Kagome smelt more of a disgusted person who wished she could hit someone.
So once Kagome had awoken, in the secluded area, with Inuyasha watching over her, she would sob brokenly into Inuyasha’s chest. He would say nothing but hold her tightly curled up against his sheltering body, and soothe her by stroking her hair with his shaky, but tender hand. Inuyasha wasn’t used to tender, comforting actions, and his actions reflected his inexperience. His ears would be plastered against his head in his distress for Kagome’s suffering. But his eyes told a different story. If Kagome had ever looked at them while she cried out her agony, she would have seen how they glowed a fiery, demonic red, as he silently promised to avenge every single tear and nightmare ever given to his Kagome from those two fucking bastards. His youkai half wholly agreeing silently with him for doing this to his Mate as he thought of the ways they would achieve this; while his human side agreed he was more concerned about consoling his soul mate.
Once Kagome had cried herself into restless sleep, he would remain awake, a steadfast guardian until the morning’s light graced the sky, and then they would return back to the campsite, just as silently as they left without anyone being the wiser. However, Kirara seemed to be aware of the disappearances of Inuyasha and Kagome, and understanding of it. In fact, she would sometimes leave Sango to curl up next to Kagome and issue forth a low rumbling purr more felt than heard.
It turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the progression of their relationship. The third time it had happened, Inuyasha looked down at Kagome’s red-blotchy, tear-slickened face and drippy nose with blood-shot, normally sapphire-blue/smoky-quartz-grey turned deep grey eyes, and thought she was the most beautiful, ethereal creature in the world. He gently took Kagome’s tissue from her when she pulled it out of her pocket to wipe her face and nose, and tenderly did it for her.
His gaze would turn even softer as his golden eyes turned liquid gold with his endless depths of his love for her, and soon travelled to Kagome’s pink lips before he would look hesitantly back up into her eyes again silently asking permission. Kagome slowly nodded her head; she understood her emotionally constipated hanyou’s request. Their lips touched for the first time gently pressing together, each giving wholly of themselves and taking from the other.
They remained that way just holding each other tenderly, lost within the world of their love, as their lips tenderly memorized the feel and taste of the other. Until the soft even breathing of Kagome reaching the Inu hanyou’s ears, making Inuyasha aware she had fallen asleep. Instead of reacting poorly and getting angry, he merely chuckled quietly and eased her slumbering body into a more comfortable position in his lap using the sleeves to cocoon her within the voluminous folds of his haori.
Kagome slept without any nightmares the rest of the night; secured in the knowledge that her hanyou would never allow harm to befall her. In her slumber, she turned more into Inuyasha’s strong chest and a hand slipped up to clutch a handful of his haori loosely in her sleeping grasp, while issuing her own version of a contented purr, and rubbing her cheek against him, before falling deeper asleep. Inuyasha was stunned by her actions, but couldn’t wipe the goofy grin off his face at her innocent actions. These little things that she did, that and plenty more, demonstrated the depth of trust and bond she had in him. They remained wrapped about each other lovingly until it was time to return to the camp.
Inuyasha soon found the ‘cure’ to Kagome’s nightmares, after the sixth time they had kissed, after a painful crying session. She had been peacefully sound asleep within her mighty warrior’s embrace. And when he sensed Kagome starting to have the nightmare, he took her to a safe place to gently waken her up, before she woke up from the nightmare herself, and then he had occupied her thoughts with his kisses. Not that he wanted to wake her up in the first place to kiss her; no, not at all, it was all for Kagome’s welfare that he did this. . . at least that was what he would tell himself as he woke Kagome up.
They hadn’t strayed past the sweet, gentle pressing of soft loving lips yet; neither of them were ready for that yet. After many kisses, Kagome’s eyes had drooped sleepily, and Inuyasha curled her into his lap. Tucking her head under his chin, and wrap his strong arms around her as Kagome drifted off.
Only this time, before Kagome had drifted off; she mumbled something about how his scent, presence and touch, all helped her to sleep better. And it was too bad she couldn’t have him sleep next to her at home or when they had to be in villages. . . if there was. . . *yawn*. . . a way for her. . . to have. . . a small version of him. . . *yawn*. . . to cuddle. . . . at . . . night. . . . *sigh*
Inuyasha’s powerful hearing had caught each breathy word from his drowsy miko, and his ears twitched with ecstasy. His chest puffed up with male pride, knowing it was his kisses and his embrace that created such a trust. . . need. . . in Kagome for him to be by her side as she slept. His heart swelled as he felt himself falling/growing even deeper in love for her.
And as Kagome slept, he thought long and hard about the two women in his life, the one who had been his past, and the one who would be his future.
Kikyou had accepted his presence, but with a respectable distance between them. . . never to touch, with the exception of the day when she caught her sandal upon the dock’s plank and tripped. That one time Kikyou allowed herself the pleasure of being within a man’s embrace knowing there was no one around who could happen to catch them doing this highly improper act.
Heck, Kikyou even mentioned to Inuyasha to never act with any violence while in her presence. But that was the ingrained behaviours and training Kikyou grew up with and had been drilled into her since before becoming a Miko. Proper behaviours, proper manners, proper walking, and proper speech. . . proper everything. Everything had to be calculated and measured leaving Kikyou with no time. . . no idea or experience of what it was like to be free. She, in essence, was never allowed to be a child and experience life before becoming an adult. She had no time for things like unwanted or unseemly emotions or thoughts. No, these things had to be buried deep within and locked away never to be looked at or accepted.
That was mostly what had started the taint, the rebellion, the need for shirking off her duties as Guardian of the Shikon no Tama within Kikyou – why she would not tell anyone she was harbouring a monstrous criminal, what got her thinking to using the Jewel for personal gain before Naraku struck her down. . . . And what made her hate Kagome with such an unholy passion when she was resurrected. Her intense jealousy that Kagome, her reincarnated soul, could freely express her freedom and joy in life whereas she never could.
Kagome. . .
Kagome was Kagome.
She was freedom. She brought people together and made them stronger. She was the living embodiment (to Inuyasha that is) of the Angel who oversaw Love. She was quicker to smile and kind words, than to frown or speak harsh words. She always, always gave of herself 100% and what you saw was everything that she was. No reservations, no keeping a part of herself locked away.
She was allowed to be a child still when the mood struck her fancy, like when she wanted to chase after butterflies, or to jump into puddles with bare feet, or squeal over a particularly beautiful scene. She drew others to her brilliant flame, like flowers to the sun. At times, she was the sun for Inuyasha and his trouble darkened soul. She had become his whole world.
She gave everyone she knew new eyes in which to see the world with. To wash away the dirty, filthy haze that jaded feelings or memories, that would muddy the usual array of colours of Life in its innocence. Granted she had her bad moments, but she never tried to cover them up or ignore them. She was perfect with her flaws. She accepted her flaws for what they were (If only she would wake up about the damned Rosary, Keh!).
Yes, Kikyou had begun to put the chinks into Inuyasha’s self-imposed armour surrounding his heart and soul, but it was Kagome who blasted those protective walls to vapour, all with a simple touch and sun-kissed smile. And the best part was, was that she loved him wholly and completely.
And with that final revelation, Inuyasha was finally freed.
That got the hanyou’s mind to thinking and plotting. He loved Kagome so much that his pride and his secret guilty pleasure be damned!! If all went well – only Kagome, her mom and Kaede will know of his embarrassing habit, and he knew they would never say it outloud to the others.
So, as they finally neared Kaede’s village, Inuyasha began to put together his idea, when he was interrupted by Sango. ‘Dammit!! There goes Sango again!! She’s petting Kirara!! Does she know how fucking much that is so creepy? Look, there goes Miroku again! I can see his hand shaking . . .*snort* Of course Miroku will say his staff is off balanced and that is why the rings are jingling more. Kagome! He isn’t going to say that he is spooked by Sango’s behaviour just like I’m not going to either.’ With that final thought, he stuck his nose into the air in unwarranted determination, as he attempted to ignore that scary vision of Sango wandering along beside Kagome, stroking Kirara in her arms.
They entered the village, and the humans of the group all only thought about a warm meal and a good nap to rest up. Even Miroku was too tired to go off looking at the group of women who were heading to the river to bathe. Inuyasha could just barely contain his glee that he would have at least a couple of hours to slip away quietly and get to Mrs Higurashi for the first part of his plans.
Everyone quietly entered Kaede’s hut and were pleased to see the pot of stew on the fire, ready for eating. Kaede was one very clever old miko. She sensed them coming and had it prepared just in time. She smiled maternally towards her foundlings, her one good eye crinkling up with love as she greeted each of them.
“So good to see you all again. How fare the news from your travels?” she asked softly while spooning out portions of stew for everyone.
“Ah Lady Kaede, you are like the sun upon a cloudy day!” began Miroku.
“Miiiiirrroookuuuu. . .,” threatened Sango.
“Yes, Sango, my love?”
“Can’t you give it a rest until after we are feeling better?”
“Yes, Sango.” replied a cowed Miroku.
Kaede gazed with veiled humour at the banter between the infamous lecher and the fiery taijiya. Those two, if they survived this battle, would have a very interesting life together. Never a dull moment.
She nodded her head in thanks to Kagome who immediately took it upon herself to help out Kaede, her ‘grandmother’, as she called her ever since coming to the feudal era. Kagome took the bowls and chopsticks and served everyone before getting some for herself.
Kaede’s eye softened more at her adoptive grandchild, and her heart ached for her. To experience so much in such a short time with such a huge responsibility upon her young shoulders, but the miko from the future had strength and courage equal of an army. And a heart that could shame the purist of souls with her endless love. Kaede knew Kagome was going to need it in the dark days to come.
As she watched Kagome interact with Inuyasha, she both wanted to scream at them, hit them on the head, lock them in a room - do something, anything until they finally stopped that silly and obvious dance of love they were engaged in, but she knew that with these two, they had to do it themselves. Kaede was happy when her sister was finally laid to rest again, as it meant she was no longer suffering, and that she knew Kikyou gave the two young lovers her blessings.
This time, she noticed something had happened while they were away, something had changed. . . Inuyasha was actually giving Kagome lingering touches, more tender looks, his eyes appeared softer than usual, and his posture was leaning more towards the young woman who captured his heart. His dog ears pricked towards her, capturing every sound and movement that Kagome made. Yes, it was all subtle but Kaede, after years of observation, could see it.
They ate quietly and soon after finishing, one by one they all fell asleep. Kaede merely chuckled and made to move to collect the dishes up for cleaning. Inuyasha was the only one awake, so he shook his head to stop Kaede and did it for her instead. Taking off his haori, he draped it over Kagome’s slumbering body, in hopes his scent would stave off the nightmares for the time being, and he lingered by Kagome’s side a few extra moments before seating himself next to Kaede.
Whispering in hushed tones, he explained his project to Kaede who merely smiled motherly at him, cupped his cheek, chuckling gently at his shocked expression and nodded her head. Yes, she would do everything she could to help him out, and to keep his secret. She assured him, when his aura and posture spoke volumes of his unease (those sweet ears of his could always give him away when he is feeling particularly strong emotions), that this project would work wonders on the kind-hearted Miko more than he’ll ever know.
With a grateful tilt of his head and the eager twitching of his ears, Inuyasha left the hut and swiftly bounded away for all appearances the embodiment of a very happy puppy. He made it to the old Bone Eater’s Well in record time, for him, only a couple of minutes, and leapt in. Once on the other side, he gave himself a few seconds to adjust to the differences in the air and noises, before he scented the area and confirmed only Mrs Higurashi was the only one home for the moment.
Perfect! That made this even better!! Inuyasha’s steps contained a bounce that he hadn’t had in years, not since his own mother passed away so long ago! Opening the shoji, he stepped inside the kitchen and greeted the older woman with respect.
“O-hayou gozaimasu, Higurashi-san,” he said with a deep bow his ears twitching belying his outward calm appearance.
“O-hayou Inuyasha! It’s wonderful to see you again, dear! Where is Kagome? Isn’t she with you?” Mama Higurashi answered, smiling, while looking about for her daughter.
“No, she isn’t here. She is back at Kaede’s hut having a nap. Nothing is wrong, she’s just tired,” he responded back.
“Come in, come in! You must be hungry! Let me get you some Ramen. A growing boy needs his meals so he can become stronger. Is this a social visit or do you have any questions I can help you with?” Mama Higurashi ushered Inuyasha to the table and had him sit down before she went about making him a couple bowls of Ramen.
After she presented Inuyasha with his Ramen and chopsticks, Mrs Higurashi made herself a pot of green tea. Fixing a cup of it, she sat at the table as well. If it was one thing Mrs Higurashi knew about Inuyasha, it was to let him speak when he was ready to do so.
Sure enough, after Inuyasha had finished both bowls of Ramen and put his dishes into the sink, he returned to the table and took a deep breath, his ears drooping low upon his head. Then he explained what had recently happened to Kagome, the nightmares she had been having, and how they came up with a cure, (though this part was heavily edited. Inuyasha loved Mama Higurashi like his own; he still didn’t believe she would approve of him kissing her daughter.)
After confessing all of this, he then explained his idea to her and waited the falling of the sword on his neck. He was dead certain that she was going be angry with him, for letting this to happen to her daughter, for letting her suffer so, and for asking this outrageous request.
Mama Higurashi surprised the down-trodden hanyou by going around the table and pulling him into a warm motherly embrace. She hugged Inuyasha firmly before releasing him and cupping his face. She then proceeded to tell him how proud she was of him, how wonderful he was, how loving he was towards her daughter, and that she couldn’t ask for anyone better for her child and yes, she would be very happy and honoured to help him out.
She then proceeded to cause the shy hanyou to blush the most amazing array of reds ever to be seen on a person, when she told him that if he ever thought about asking her daughter to marry him, she would give him all her blessings. She then exclaimed that they had to start the project right away, and she knew the ‘best’ place to go!
Within a few moments, Mrs Higurashi had Inuyasha in a very comfortable pair of sandals, and a black knit cap made from the softest of yarns on his head. Inuyasha was delighted with this new hat, it allowed his ears to be hidden while not crushing them against his head like the ball cap would do, and since his haori was with Kagome he would fit more in. She even assured him that he could leave his sword behind as they would be safe with him there. Inuyasha’s ego and pride swelled more with those words, that Mama Higurashi would also feel safe in his presence. This must be where Kagome gets her big heart and trust from!
“Come dear, the store we are going to visit is not too far from here, and we can walk it. I would like the chance to talk to you more,” Mrs Higurashi said as she cupped his cheek making him blush again.
“K-keh,” he mumbled in embarrassment.
Mama Higurashi merely chuckled at her (hopefully very soon) soon-to-be son-in-law. She then sported a blush herself when Inuyasha hesitantly took her arm with his, linking them together. She looked at Inuyasha questioningly to search his eyes but he had his head turned to the side and a dark pink glowing on his cheek.
“Keh, it’s what those guys do for women on that thing you call Tea-Bee,” he muttered as way of explanation.
Mama Higurashi beamed with motherly pride!! Her ‘son’ was becoming a man!! And such a fine man at that! She was never more certain that her daughter and Inuyasha were destined for each other by this simple action. That he would begin to adopt modern behaviours and courtesies, which gave her hope that there was a possibility Inuyasha was willing to stay in the modern era once the battle for Naraku was all over, and the Jewel was purified.
“Are you okay with the hat and sandals?” she asked him.
Inuyasha nodded his head while his ears twitched under the cap, and he wriggled his toes that were free from confinement. The straps went around his ankles leaving his heels free, and then again over his foot before the toes, leaving the rest of the foot free as well. And they used a tie called “Vell-Crows” to keep it in place. Mrs Higurashi saw him wriggle his toes and giggled lightly at his cuteness.
“Okay then, let’s go to the store, my brave warrior! You will let me know if you want to leave. I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable for one moment, alright? We want to be able to enjoy ourselves.”
Inuyasha ‘Feh-ed’ and nodded his head. Another shock to his preconception of his worth, no one in his time would even bother to put forth a false effort to care about what a Hanyou would feel or like. It always took him completely by surprise whenever Kagome did this, though he was slowly getting used to it, but now to receive this truthful treatment from Mrs Higurashi as well, it was like the first time he ever had it happen all over again. He felt a warmth inside of him at being given worth, of having worth, that more than just his mother treated him with before Kagome entered. . . no, came screaming, crashing into his world, and then proceeded to tell him off. He could get used to this and surprisingly enough to himself, he wanted to.
Mrs Higurashi led him on a lovely walk down the road from the shrine to a rather homey-feeling shop. They spent the time talking and generally getting to know the other more. Inuyasha was able to let slip out how he felt about Kagome to her mother and she, in return, simply smiled lovingly at him, hugged his arm tightly – briefly - and replied “I know” to the shocked hanyou. He also said it was surprisingly easy to say it, and that it felt good and right to say it outloud.
Mrs Higurashi nodded with the wisdom of an elder woman who had that love once. She told him about her husband, Kagome’s father. Her eyes glowed with their eternal love as she talked about the close relationship Kagome had with him, about the fact that he was her soul mate – her other half and why she never remarried. She told Inuyasha very frankly that love like hers – and his - was a rare and very beautiful thing to be treasured, for however long it was. That sometimes it could be for a full lifetime, and sometimes it could be cut short by a twist of Fate, like with the sudden death of her beloved on that one stormy night.
The point was, she told him, was to acknowledgethat love, embrace it fully and openly, and to trust in it. It would be the greatest regret he would ever have, if he let this chance to slip him by, just because of differences. This love. . . True Love. . . Mama Higurashi called it, was the most perfect and precious thing to ever happen to people. And it was well worth the struggles, the trials, and the greatest, happiest moments. It wouldn’t ever steer the heart wrong and; yes, on that road, that journey it would take you there, with hurdles or obstacles in the way. Divided, two could be strong, but when the two come together, there was nothing that couldn’t be achieved.
Pride could cause a lot of problems, and sometimes pride needed to be put into its place, “So tell Kagome Sakura Higurashi, to sit down, and be quiet and tell her you love her.”
If he needed a private place to do this without any interference, then he should do it here, and to just let her know when, and she would make sure the house was empty, and, she would also prepare a lovely meal for the two of them. And because she knew of her daughter’s bad habit of jumping to conclusions and running away, she would personally tell her to listen carefully to him, and make her promise not to be rash.
Inuyasha was thoughtfully silent the remaining few feet to the store. This was the best and most helpful advice he had ever heard! And it just might work!! Seeing that the best “advice” the lecher ever gave was to grab a woman by her breasts or on her ass, and that equalled love. Keh!! If that fucking crap was true, then Naraku would have been won over with a squeeze or two.
Thank Kami that Sango had joined the team, he was sick of smelling the scent of unwashed sex and sweat from that damned monk. Or the scent of the illness when the medicines his body gave off, from below his waist. Who would have thought that by talking to Kagome’s Mom, he had been given help in pursuing a more intimate relationship with Kagome?! Before they entered the shop, he looked into the slightly smaller woman’s eyes seeing only truths there, and smiled a rare, true smile and nodded his head.
Together they entered the store, and Inuyasha was very impressed that it didn’t smell strongly of the combination of various products they sold, but fresh and clean. It seemed they took care to ensure the items they sold were clean for their customers. Plus, everything was very reasonably priced. They looked around for a while at first, just to check out the different selections, and to let Inuyasha get familiar with the area. Then they went to one of the many tables, and very quietly, came up with a list of what they would get, and what Inuyasha didn’t need.
“Feh, I would like to use youkai spider silk for the threads, and I know where to get some dragon youkai scales to use for the ends. My fire rat Haori is tied into my youki, so it can regenerate itself so I can use one of my sleeves on it. And I can use my hair as well, since it’ll grow back within an hour.”
“Oh Inuyasha, that will be even better! Kagome would really love that so much! By putting yourself into it!” beamed Mama Higurashi happily.
“Keh. . .”
“You should be so proud. I am. I’m very proud of you. Now let’s go get the rest of our supplies. I have the perfect thing in mind for those ears of yours!”
“F. . . feh. . .”
Within a few moments of searching and testing the fabrics, either resulting in a smile and a nod, or a frown, Mrs Higurashi had her selections picked out, and on the table for Inuyasha’s approval. Inuyasha almost rolled his eyes at the soft pink, delicately fuzzy material next to the real-looking silvery white fur, and then he really did roll his eyes at the golden cat’s eyes buttons. He looked at Mrs Higurashi’s face, who merely blushed and pretended to look elsewhere, before finally smiling and shrugging her shoulders. He touched the fabrics, held them, and tested the weave before sneaking a quick sniff at them before he nodded his approval. The cat’s eyes buttons he touched with a claw, and lightly shaking his head, he sighed and nodded his consent to them.
Next, he checked over the stuffing material to put inside, and after another quick sniff, also gave his approval. Then Mama Higurashi took Inuyasha over to the section of the shop that held the patterns. They browsed the section with determination . . . or in Inuyasha’s case, with the determination of a bloodhound. He rejected countless numbers of patterns. They were reaching the end of them, until Inuyasha gasped quietly, and murmured that he had found it. Found the one that was perfect for Kagome, the one that would suit his project. It was very simply, perfect.