- Fic: Present Time 1/27
- Fic: Present Time 2/27
- Fic: Present Time 3/27
- Fic: Present Time 4/27
- Fic: Present Time 5/27
- Fic: Present Time 6/27
- Fic: Present Time 7 (Part 1)/27
- Fic: Present Time 7 (Part 2)/27
- Fic: Present Time 8/27
- Fic: Present Time 9/27
- Fic: Present Time 10/27
- Fic: Present Time 11/27
- Fic: Present Time 12/27
- Fic: Present Time 13/27
- Fic: Present Time 14/27
- Fic: Present Time 15/27
- Fic: Present Time 16/27
- Fic: Present Time 17/27
- Fic: Present Time 18/27
- Fic: Present Time 19/27
- Fic: Present Time 20/27
- Fic: Present Time 11/27
Title: Present Time 5/27
Author: animealam (a.k.a. alandrem)
Rating: This chapter is R
Warnings: Some characters may be a bit OOC. Violence, the mention of drug use, attempted rape, and bad language.
Summary: Inuyasha discovers the present is more dangerous than he was led to believe.
Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha. Although I’ll probably add a couple more characters of my own imagination.
Author’s Notes: This is my first Inuyasha fic. If you want to archive it, just let me know where. I will edit this and repost it in a couple of days, but I don’t think much will change, mostly grammar and spelling.
Edited on: 01/01/2006
First correction : 31-Dec-01 3:25 PM.
The phone wouldn’t stop ringing no matter how he tried to ignore it; the damn thing just wouldn’t let him go on sleeping. Finally awake, detective Seijuro Nomura picked the infernal thing and answered with an annoyed grunt. His gaze drifted to the clock on the night table, it read: 6:00 AM he’d just gotten to bed a couple of hours ago! There was definitely no justice on the world.
“Nomura there has been another attack from ‘The Park Killer’.” The grim voice of Kojiro Watanabe; the young man was more a friend than just his co-worker, although for all official purposes he was indeed his partner; announced.
“WHAT?” He exclaimed almost deafening the younger man.
“Four more bodies were found just a few minutes ago in an alley on downtown Tokyo.”
“Four? But… He’s never gone for more than one at a time! Where are you now Watanabe?”
“Just arriving to the crime scene, as a matter of fact this is just a few blocks from your apartment.”
“How come central did not inform me first?” He asked suspiciously, at the time he hopped around the room trying to get his pants on. Dressing while speaking on the phone had become a habit for this Tokyo Metropolitan Police detective.
“They tried, but you didn’t answer either the cell or your apartment’s phone. They finally located me, as I was taking a nap at the office.” He explained patiently. He knew Nomura tended to forget this kind of thing when his mind was overloaded; and it had been for at least a couple of months now; so he’d learned not to pay much attention to it.
The younger man had been speaking on his cell phone and by now walked into the still darkened alley; the bodies were not covered yet as the guys from the coroner office were late as always. The sight that greeted him was gruesome. Something taken out of a horror movie, blood everywhere, the battered and torn body of what appeared to be a young woman lay inert only a few paces from the street blank eyes wide open, one arm outstretched in front as if hoping to find help on the lighted street.
“By God!” He breathed on the phone, as his gaze moved towards the end of the alley. The whole place was a bloody nightmare. After a signaled inquiry to the officer in charge, he was pointed to one of the younger officers that retched in a corner. Probably just graduated, poor kid, to be the one finding this scene was unsettling to say it mildly.
“What’s happening Kojiro?” Nomura became worried; this young man was not perturbed by much. Could withstand a whole autopsy after having lunch and sometimes even shared a snack with those psychos in there. He shuddered at the thought.
“You better hurry; this is no picnic Nomura-sama.” The voice was deadly calm and for Watanabe to use his last name and honorific could only mean this was really serious. “I’ll try to get some sense from the newbie that discovered the crime scene. The kid’s a mess.”
“I’m on my way.” He just got the address and left as fast as he could. Deciding to walk instead of taking his car, as the place was indeed only three blocks away.
He made it before the coroners, the sun was already up, and he had a chance to take a good look at the scene before those guys began working. He understood now why his partner had been upset. Carnage was the only word that could apply, and for a moment he was bewildered; such blind fury; unlike the others. And yet it repeated almost all of the patterns of the previous ones, even to the point where both girls had long legs, dark long curly or wavy hair, big brown eyes, and appeared to have been under 18.
“So yesterday’s report of a possible victim that escaped seems plausible,” he muttered. “You were pissed bastard, and wanted to prove to us you still have the power.”
“If last night park attack is related to this… carnage, then I’d have to say it’s not just one bastard Nomura.” The man who spoke was shorter and much older than the homicide detective. He had silently walked to stand beside him as both critically observed the crime scene.
“Captain, I was not expecting you to come.” Nomura said without turning, his eyes glued to a single partial foot print just beside one of the boys. He hunkered to observe it better; the other man noticed and did the same.
“This is getting too messy and long for me not to get involved. The public opinion is being spurred by the media and they want this case solved.”
“So the politicians are breathing down your ass now.” He commented and then raised his eyes searching for one of the technicians. “Ito! Move your ass over here!” A tall woman in her late 20’s or perhaps early 30’s turned sharply in his direction, she had a camera.
“Nomura-kun! Can’t you at least pretend to be polite?” She told him sharply, yet moved to where he was.
“Ah Ito, if I did you’d miss my charming personality.” He said and smirked. “Get some prints out of this. I’ve got the feeling it might turn out to be important.”
“Hmphg you said that from the finger print they discovered on the third body and we found out it was her boyfriend’s.” The woman complained as she prepared the scene for her photographs. She used a special ruler to give the right perspective to the size of the foot print. She took several angles of it. “Now if you don’t mind I still have to map this whole place.” She said and left them.
“You’re right Nomura; the politicians are starting to stir. How long since we began with this case?”
“Almost two years Captain, and we have nothing. Not a single valid clue as to who is this guy and why is he doing this.”
“You better find the girl from the attack last night.”
“Assault is not my department chief, you know those guys, they’ll complain I’m invading their jurisdiction. It hasn’t been the first time you know.”
“I think she was to be the 15th victim…”
“14 young women killed, and now this. I wonder what the media would say if they really knew there are that many.”
“Do not remind me of it, they’d probably demand my ass on a silver tray!” The older man exclaimed. “Anyway this girl escaped, which is a miracle, so now we have a potential witness. As of right now I’m assigning you to that case too.” He said and without further words left the crime scene. Not noticing the smile that spread on the detective’s face. Finally there was a small glimmer of hope that this case could be solved.
She was finally home; it was a little before 9 o’clock and she hoped that Kagome was at the Sengoku Jidai with Inuyasha and her friends. The news last night had been disturbing, another attack by the park killer. This time the victim managed to escape, but no one knew who she was or even in what condition, as the girl had kept running until she got lost. Normally she would not worry, but yesterday her daughter asked permission to go to a movie with her friends before leaving. And if she read the situation right she had not informed her impatient dog-demon friend. A short-cut through the park would have been in order, which put her there about the time the attack happened.
Asami Higurashi went into the house through the kitchen door and froze at the sight that greeted her. Kagome’s humongous backpack was still on the table, just as she left it before going to the movies. The woman’s heart skipped a beat, but she had always been an optimistic person and for a moment the thought that perhaps her daughter had argued with Inuyasha for being late and decided to stay crossed her mind.
The house was quiet as she made her way upstairs, the bathroom caught her attention. The door was open and it was a complete mess, clothes and towels strewn on the floor, the first aid kit was on the sink and bloodied gauzes peeked out of the waste basket.
‘Dear God! Kagome!’ She thought turning to rush to her room.
Inuyasha stood outside Kagome’s room, sheathed sword in hand a tired look on his face. It took her only a moment to notice he was not wearing his typical red outfit, but one of her husband’s pajamas. This surprised her enough to make her pause at the bathroom’s door, turning to look at the floor she realized that the clothes scattered there were his. The worried woman was about to speak when he placed a finger on his lips indicating that she should remain quiet, then limped toward the stairs using his sword as a cane.
‘He’s hurt, perhaps that blood is his and Kagome is all right. After all she says he always protects her.’
Going down the stairs was a real trial for the young dog-demon, his leg not only hurt like hell, it was also stiff as a board, and he could barely go down each step. He mentally cursed the ‘bullet’; Kagome said it was the name of the thing that hit him; and the one that shot it for his terrible aim. He also cursed himself for his ignorance about the dangers of this time. But it was his own doing; he could not blame Kagome as she had tried a few times to teach him about modern stuff. But being his normal ‘I’m-never-wrong’ and ‘I-know-everything’ self he refused to show the curiosity he really felt; believing it would make him look weak.
The kitchen was not far, but by the time he reached it his leg felt like it was about to give in. Ignoring it, he went to the cabinet where the glasses were stored, took one and filled it with water from the tap. The first time he stayed he had just tried to drink straight from the contraption, when he finally figured out what it did, and got scolded by Mrs. Higurashi. So he now used a glass like ‘civilized people’. After he drank the contents he turned to face her mother.
“Kagome…” She began saying, and noticed that he seemed to be in pain. It reinforced her belief that he had protected her daughter, but she still needed to hear the confirmation of that.
“She’s fine, only needs a little sleep.” He interrupted her, his voice harsh as always, she looked relieved.
“What happened?” Asami asked looking at him straight in the eye, he could not hold her gaze and turned away, moving instead to the table and sitting stiffly. For a moment he was at a loss of words, not knowing if he should to tell her; then made up his mind.
“A couple of thugs attacked her last night…”
“Oh my God! So it was her!” Mrs. Higurashi exclaimed as her hands flew to her mouth in anguish. Inuyasha looked at her puzzled, how did she know? “I heard it on the 10 o’clock news last night.” The woman explained, assuming he understood what she was talking about. Of course he did not and it only made him feel more frustrated than he already was by his ignorance. “She said she was going to the movies with her friends.” There it was that word again. He really needed to know what it was. He growled low in his throat, but she did not notice. “I just knew Kagome would take the short-cut through the park! I’ve got to see how she is!” She turned to leave.
“Wait!” Inuyasha said his voice commanding and stern. The worried mother turned to him in surprise; the hanyou had stood and was ready to go after her limp and all. “I said she is fine.” He stressed his words, Kagome was sleeping so soundly now, after a couple of nightmares had woken both of them. There was no way he was going to let anyone perturb her, not even her own mother. “Let her sleep, she needs it.” He sat back with a grunt. “She only has a few bruises and barely slept. How did you know?”
“It was on the news last night.” She explained, and at his puzzled expression she was reminded that he knew almost nothing about this time. She would have to explain a lot so he could understand; and decided some coffee was in order. “I’ll explain, but first let me brew some coffee.”
“Coffee? What’s a coffee?” He asked looking if possible, even more puzzled.
“Don’t tell me Kagome has never given some to you? It’s a very popular drink nowadays,” he shook his head. “Well then, as soon as it’s ready try it and tell me what you think of it Ok?” He nodded and then remembering his manners said.
Preparing the beverage took her almost no time, and he noticed the strong and pleasant aroma that came out of a container. It was some kind of very fine dark brown powder, she took several spoonfuls of it and placed it in an odd machine, to which she had already poured water. He watched with interest. If this thing was popular probably this process was common, so he had better start learning. He still debated about asking, but she solved his problem by telling him what it was.
“This machine is a coffee maker. It can also be used to heat water for tea, and that’s about all you can do with it. Coffee is drink that comes from another continent. The continent was already there in your time, but Japanhad not really made much contact with the outside world then.” She sat opposite him while she waited for the coffee, he nodded storing the information.
Shippou considered him dumb, the others did too, but he really was not. Being on his own for such a long time, he had stopped using his brain for more than learning how to survive, and think ways of becoming stronger. When he was little his mother and even some of the ladies that attended her had remarked on his ability to observe, analyze and memorize things fast. It was time he finally put those abilities to use again.
“You were hurt protecting Kagome.” Mrs. Higurashi stated, a guilty expression appeared on his face and he looked away from her.
“I didn’t protect her this time.” His voice was low filled with guilt and anger; there was also a low growl in his throat that expressed his feeling of impotence. “She escaped on her own… I… I was here waiting for her.” He did not add he had been sulking because Kagome was late, but she could guess.
“Then how did you get injured?” She asked surprised that he was allowing her to see more than his gruff attitude, he must feel really bad.
“I went hunting for the thugs after I learned what happened. Kagome says something called a ‘stray bullet’ hit me.” Her eyes opened wide when he mentioned hunting. It, along with the strange glint in his eyes, made him look like a dangerous predator. But then, he was a dog-demon so he probably was one, although her daughter often referred to him as worst than an immature junior high kid.
As the aroma of coffee permeated the kitchen Inuyasha became more eager to taste it, whatever it was smelled delicious. His stomach growled demanding attention. Too worried about Kagome he had forgotten about how hungry he was yesterday. He had not eaten for two days; he missed her but was never going to admit it, and hoped to get large amounts of ramen upon her return, which never materialized. His stomach growled again. Mrs. Higurashi stood up, took a few things from the cabinets and a brick like thingy from the ‘re-fri-ge-ra-tor’. Before he could ask, a bowl filled with some very small brown thingies floating in what appeared to be slightly brown milk was placed in front of him.
“Try this, it’s called cereal,” she told him. “Cocoa Chrispis to be exact and its Sota’s favorite.” He had a slightly mistrustful expression as he sniffed it. There was the smell of rice, milk; he was not really fond of the stuff; something sweet and… chocolate! He loved chocolate! Sweet foods too, but chocolate was his favorite threat. That convinced him to give it a try using that odd thingy called a spoon. He took a tentative taste and a guarded smile spread on his face as he went for a spoonful.
“This is delicious!” He said mouth full of Cocoa Chrispis. “Kagome never told me there was something like this here!” He was eating as fast as he could.
‘Shippou will kill for something like this! He thought blissfully, forgetting for a moment all his worries and regrets. Certain foods tended to lighten his mood; this one had just been added to the list. ‘Better take the brat some…’ The thought crossed his mind, and then an interesting idea appeared. ‘Yes, let him taste it once and then I won’t let Kagome take more back. Heh, heh, heh.’ He mischievously laughed in his mind, a smile reflecting the change of mood appeared. ‘The little twerp will go nuts! But… he’ll also drive us crazy begging for more feh! Still… it might be fun.’
“No talking with your mouth full.” For a moment she reminded him of his mother. “And Take it easy or you’ll choke.” Mrs. Higurashi said that with a smile, he was behaving like a mixture of a small child and a puppy. “Don’t worry, there’s plenty more where that came from if you want.” The coffee was ready; she served two mugs, left hers black. To his she added two teaspoons of sugar, she remembered Kagome complained every once in a while about having to deal with two demons with a sweet tooth. “Now try this, careful, it’s hot.”
Inuyasha repeated the same antics of smelling and carefully tasting what was offered. Asami realized he was one of those mistrustful kids; clear sign of a troubled childhood along with other things she had noticed during his visits. The young man had stayed with them enough times to have developed a certain amount of trust, but this attitude told her he really had not. On those occasions he dined with them, she had never seen him do this quite so obviously; he sniffed his food in a more discrete manner. But he had been human then. The small smile was back and he took a big gulp of coffee. He obviously liked it.
“You were going to tell me how you knew about the attack.” He reminded her, his bowl was empty and he looked at it with a forlorn expression that clearly said he wanted more, so she filled it again while she thought how to explain.
“You know we have a lot of machines on this time that make things easier for us,” she began and he nodded. “One of such machines is called a television; TV for short.” There it was the TV thingy again; he was finally going to learn what it was. “I’m not sure but I think you’ve seen Sota and Jii-chan watching it before.”
“Watching?” He mussed aloud, as he thought back to the times he had come before. He had seen them go into one of the rooms and sit in front of a box; he never stayed to see why they did it; instead he would go to the guest room or outside to the Go-Shimbouku. “The big black box?”
“Yes, that ‘box’ shows us images like paintings but with movement and sound.” He looked quite perplexed, but how could she explain about TV to someone who did not know what air waves or photos were? Perhaps she should just show the thing to him. “You’ll understand better when you see it working. But anyway on the TV we can watch things to entertain, inform or teach us… Do you know what Kabuki or the theater is?”
“Kabuki? Yes it’s some men representing a story with music.”
“Well you can see stories represented in TV, but it will also tell you the latest things that happen in the city, the country or even the world. We call that the news and they get transmitted at certain hours of the day. Sometimes you get to know about accidents and earthquakes moments after they happen or even as they are happening!”
“Wow!” He could not help exclaiming. “So this TV thing found out about Kagome’s attack and told you?” He asked amazed.
“Well yes, in a manner of speaking, it wasn’t just me, but the whole city. It’s actually people that go around Tokyo gathering this information to tell the public. They did not know it was Kagome specifically, just that a girl with her description was attacked, according to eyewitnesses. You say she’s fine?” Her mother instinct took over for a moment, Inuyasha just nodded. “I was worried because lately there have been a couple of murders on that park. And the media; the people that work on TV; have been calling the murderer ‘The park killer’ Kagome spends too much in your time Inuyasha, and she hasn’t had the chance to catch up with the information that now the park is dangerous at night.”
He was in silence for a while digesting the information. In this time that TV thing served several purposes: to entertain, teach and inform the people. He found that last part interesting, a way to tell villagers what was happening fast instead of having to wait for a runner or horseman to bring news of far away places. The entertaining part, well… he never liked Kabuki; a few street performances when he was a pup but not the real thing. And the teaching thing really caught his attention, perhaps he could learn more about this time with it… he would probably have to ask Kagome’s mother how to make it teach him. Her last words also made him feel even guiltier; always taking her away he had not allowed her to find out it was dangerous, his feelings somehow managed to reflect on his face.
“I didn’t mean this is your fault Inuyasha.” Mrs. Higurashi said when she noticed his regretful expression.
“But it is,” he contradicted her. “I told her I would protect her, but I didn’t. And… I take her away so I kept her from knowing where danger lay in her time.” Asami sighed; he could not be allowed to blame himself, it really was not his fault, this could have happened to anybody. Unfortunately it had been Kagome.
“You don’t know this time Inuyasha, so how were you to know it is as dangerous if not more that your own? I bet Kagome never tells you the bad things about this place, does she?”
“No she’s always saying how wonderful this time is… But is this place more dangerous that living in a time where demons run wild?” He was frankly disbelieving.
“We have created our own demons Inuyasha and believe it or not, they can be worse than the real ones. Now if you have finished, let’s go I’ll show you the TV.”
He left his dishes in the sink like he had been taught, and followed her to the TV room; he sat on one of the big couches there. She sat on the one beside it, and told him to lay back. And the thing moved; the lower part raised his legs and the back rest reclined. He jumped off it in a hurry for a moment forgetting the stiffness and the pain on his leg. Asami could not help but chuckle at his reaction. He had the reflexes of a cat… well Buyo being the exception. The young hanyou eyed the couch wearily and growled menacingly at it.
“Sorry about that, I should have warned you. It’s a recliner seat, something to make sitting in front of the TV more comfortable. Your leg’s hurt so I thought you’d feel better with it raised.” She patted the seat and added. “Come on sit on it, you’ll find it really nice for resting.”
He sat back and reclined as she did. Now that he new the thing was not going to attack him he could enjoy the feeling, better than being propped on his favorite branch at the Go-Shimbouku. He definitely liked it, almost like a bed. She warned him that she was turning the TV and not to be surprised about the noise and the images. Had she not warned him he would have yelped, jumped off of the couch again and used Tetsusaiga to smash the demon possessed thing. As it was he only stared at the lifelike images that appeared, singing some silly thing about the goodness of ramen… something. Two humans were actually eating some of the ramen in a place that looked similar to the house’s kitchen and he recognized the cup as one of those Kagome usually brought back in her pack. He sniffed but there was no smell.
“How did they get in there?” He finally managed to ask. “How come the ramen doesn’t smell?”
Asami began explaining the commercials and what they were about, for a moment she was certain this was too much for his comprehension, but he got it quite fast, which made her think there was more to him than he let everyone see. Inuyasha was puzzled by the concept of advertising but realized that in a way people in his time did something of the sort in markets, stores and even inns. Showing their best goods or having other humans tell everyone how good or clean the place was, how low the prices, etc.
He began analyzing Miroku’s tactics to get shelter for the night, most of the times rumors about them had already reached the village or castle, effective demon exterminators. He used those rumors to get hired or convince the local chief he needed an exorcism. He complained about helping people most of the times, but anyway they always ended killing the demon that usually had a Shikon no Tama shard, got food, shelter for the night and next morning the lecher always got money or some goods out of it. So these rumors were like the commercials of this time.
She flipped through the channels trying to find something interesting that would also help Inuyasha learn more about modern times, when she found a news update. This was how she had learned about the attack so she decided to leave it and explain it to him.
“This is a channel 4 news update. I’m Toshiro Takani.” The man was saying and Inuyasha paid close attention. This was how she found out about the attack, perhaps they had something interesting to say. “We bring you more news about ‘The Park Killer’. It appears this mysterious individual has attacked again after the supposed escape of a young woman. The police have not issued any official comments yet.”
“The bodies of four teenagers were discovered early this morning brutally murdered in one of the alleys in downtown Tokyo.” The scene on the TV showed the outside of the alley, and some of the interior, there were no bodies, but the place was full of oddly attired humans moving about. That strange looking yellow cord kept everyone outside. It was too flimsy to be the one restraining the curious people, so he supposed that the yellow stuff meant you could go no further. “Two of last night victims were girls that, as our sources inform us, follow the description of the other murdered girls. Brown eyes, dark long curly hair, long legs and all less than 18 years of age.”
“Unofficial Police sources commented that this is the worst murder yet, as two teenage boys were also found dead. There is not yet an official forensics report about the cause of death for the boys but as one police officer said they appeared to have died instantly by the blow of some extremely sharp object. As for the girls the pattern seams to have been repeated for both them. We tried to get some comments from Detective Seijuro Nomura who, as you know, has been in charge of this investigation since the first murder was reported, but he declined any interviews.” The camera focused on one man; he was foreign looking even if his name was Japanese. He had sandy blond hair, extremely white complexion, taller and bigger than most of those around him and light blue eyes, the shadow of a beard on his chin.
“There is no information yet about the identity of the young woman that escaped and the possibility that she might be considered a material witness by the police. We’ll keep you informed of any new developments on this case. Please stay tuned and thanks for your attention. This has been a channel 4 news update, now back to our regular programming.”
“I have to go there.” Inuyasha said to himself aloud. Asami turned to look at him, his eyes were unfocused and he appeared to be thinking about something.
“Why do you have to go there?”
“To find if the killers are the same ones that attacked Kagome.”
“The police don’t know that besides they say it’s only one man, how will you?” He tapped his nose and she regarded him with a puzzled expression.
“The ones that attacked Kagome were two, she told me. Besides I have a better sense of smell than humans, I know how those two smell. It is engraved on my memory. If they were the ones that killed those teens then I would know.”
“This means you were not successful on your hunt?”
“No… I lost their tracks on the street.”
He was quiet for a few moments, thinking, after Kagome awakened from that last nightmare he had stopped trying to sleep. Instead he began pondering on the possible ways of action he had on this time to keep her safe. He reached the conclusion that he needed to learn about her time, even to the point were he could mingle with the people without drawing attention to himself. This was the first time in his life where his clothes hindered him, not to mention his whole appearance. Inuyasha learned the meaning of self-consciousness and he did not like it.
The hanyou also realized finding those men would not be as easy as he originally thought. There were just too many people on this city, more than he had ever seen at any given city in his time. With that many scents around, pinpointing a couple would be no easy task, but he was confident that in the end he would catch them, only not as fast as he thought.
He would also need some help, someone to teach him, just as Mrs. Higurashi had today. Find clothes and even money, from what Kagome said, Sengoku Jidai coins had no value here. He had a lot of those stashed away in a cave along with other stuff; mostly mementos from his mother, but he was not sure if they had any value in her time. Finally reaching a conclusion, he decided to ask Mrs. Higurashi for help, only to find himself wondering how to call her.
‘How come it’s the small things that suddenly become a problem?’ He groaned mentally, after deliberating a few seconds more, he settled for calling her Higurashi-sama.
In his time only the Daimyos and nobility had last names, this would also be the first time he ever called someone like that. He had always been quite irreverent and downright rude with everyone else. But he had learned that this woman was kind and friendly, just like Kagome. She could have stopped her daughter’s visits down the well or refuse to have a dog-demon in the house, yet she had welcomed him. He guessed he could trust this woman, besides Kagome’s safety was in her best interest too.
“Higurashi-sama…” She turned to look at him rather surprised to hear the young hanyou calling her that, it sounded so strange coming from him. But she refrained from commenting, it had been his choice to use the honorific. “I want to find these men before they get a chance to hurt Kagome, but as you pointed out I don’t know about this time and its customs… and I… I…”
“You need help?” He nodded feeling relieved; it was so hard for him to ask for help. Especially when he thought it was a signal of weakness and he had a hard time admitting it. “I’ll help you the best that I can Inuyasha.” She paused. “But you know? Asking for help is not a weakness.” He turned to look at her surprised that she knew. “It shows that you’re strong enough to admit you have limitations, like everybody else.” She smiled and it reminded him of Kagome’s smile. Her words echoed in his mind. He had never seen it in that light before, he liked the way it sounded and perhaps it was true.