- 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 11/27.
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: Thanks all for your reviews, for those that have been reading since the beginning and those who have just found out about the fic.
Be warned Inuyasha and Kagome OOCness in abundance on this chapter.
Special thanks to telosphilos for hours of brainstorming on ICQ. You’ve been a real help in getting the ideas flowing.
Thanks also to Naoko Cat Girl and Lightning. You were so fast with the editing, thanks girls.
“Inuyasha?!” She whispered, too low for the humans to hear, but both demons did. Her tone was laden with fear, worry and an inquiry.
“Inuyasha he is…” She went on muttering. “He is a…” Both the detective and the sketcher looked at her as her last sentence was louder.
Kojiro’s surprise began to turn into panic when he realized the girl was going to expose him. He could feel an immense amount of power coming from her, and knew the pup really had valid reasons to keep him away from the girl; she had very strong Miko powers and could probably purify him by just thinking about it.
Watanabe fixed his gaze on the younger hanyou. A half pleading, half desperate look appeared on his slitted green eyes. The meaning clear: ‘Do something!’ The dog demon had hardly time to think, so he nodded slightly and just acted on the first impulse that came to mind. His arm snaked around her waist and he drew her close, really close. It was probably not the smartest thing to do. But it was strange enough to surprise Kagome into silence.
MINE! MY MATE!
His gesture all but shouted at them. His whole countenance changed. Most humans might not know what he was saying, as it was a subtle body language, but to any youkai it was as clear as if he had uttered the words aloud. Kojiro looked at him a bit surprised. He asked for help not that the pup selected a mate! He observed him a bit more and came to the conclusion that the gesture was instinctive. His feelings for the girl must run deep, but still they were only pups by both human and demon standards.
‘Damn! Stupid pup! Does he have any idea what he’s doing? What he’s getting into? They are both too young! He should know that for a dog demon to choose a mate is more than a passing whimsy. And for a human to commit to a demon is not a day at the beach either.’ Kojiro thought.
‘Eeep?!’ Kagome’s mind cried out in surprise at the unexpected hug, thankfully for both hanyou’s sakes she did not exclaim that aloud.
‘If I act weird perhaps I can distract her enough so I can find a decent excuse as to why I’m not trying to kill Watanabe.’ He reasoned at the time a very low growl escaped his lips, which Kagome heard. ‘That damn neko is going to owe me big time!’ He thought giving a quick glare to the Ltnt. He hoped Kagome would not start screaming at him and used the ‘S’ word in front of them. That would be very hard to explain to say the least. A quick look in Asami’s direction showed she was mildly surprised by his action but not angry.
“Ah… ah… I’m… I’m Inuyasha, a family friend.” He stammered in a rush taking the initiative and adding to the young woman’s shock. His free hand rubbed his neck nervously.
Kagome’s eyes went wide as saucers and her mouth gaped open a bit. She craned her neck to look at him, but could not see very well as close as they were standing. He gave her waist a gentle squeeze and a barely noticeable smile in hopes of reassuring her. Then the young man plastered as pleasant an expression on his face as he could muster, not being used to it, before he continued speaking. Though Kagome felt she should watch the hanyou in front of her, she could not help but keep her eyes glued to the one behind. The young woman had never seen that expression on his face.
“You must be detective Nomura. Higurashi-sama told me about you.” He made only a slight pause to glare at Watanabe again before putting back up his pleasant face. If looks could kill the older hanyou would have dropped dead. “Please excuse Kagome; she is still a bit distraught by the whole experience.” He said politely to Seijuro leaving a hint of concern on his voice. The detective raised an eye brow curiously at his behavior change.
‘WHAT IN THE SEVEN HELLS GOING ON?’ The young Miko mentally screamed, confused, unaware that she swore. Her eyes were filled with disbelief at hearing Inuyasha actually being polite, she would have bet he was incapable of such a thing. The hanyou managed to sound concerned and act like he was not from 500 years in the past.*
“Inuyasha?” She said in a tremulous, barely audible voice, the confusion was almost palpable. Instead of answering, the dog demon rested his chin on top of her head and purred, so low that it was really only a vibration that was addling her brains, not letting her think. He barely recalled his mother commenting on the effect this kind of purr had on her mind. She had not liked it very much, especially when she had important things to think about.
‘This is it!’ He thought resigned. ‘I’m as good as dead. Kagome is going to ‘SIT’ me until I die as soon as she recovers from the surprise,’ he was worried. ‘But I’ll kill that neko before I go.’
‘Why isn’t he growling or threatening the neko hanyou? Can’t he see him? Why is he purring? Doesn’t he just do that when he’s happy?’ She was about to try and say something again when her mother called her attention, well as much of it as she could give with the hanyou’s purr rattling her brains.
“Kagome darling, let me introduce you. This is Miss Kazumi Yamamoto, the police department’s best sketcher.” The introductions drew back Kagome’s eyes toward the humans before her, both of whom were looking at her curiously. The woman blushed at the compliment and smiled warmly and reassuringly at her. The young Miko’s response was automatic, she smiled back. “Detective Seijuro Nomura, he’s in charge of investigating your report,” he gave the young woman a charming smile and raised an eyebrow at Inuyasha’s antics.
‘Wow! Trust an inu-youkai to be possessive!’ Kojiro though the moment he smelled the flare of Inuyasha’s scent. The younger hanyou was marking her and everything surrounding him at the moment as his. ‘F***ng Seijuro he did not have to pull the smiley trick on her. At least this tells me the kid is serious. Oh Shit!’ He cursed disgusted, when he realized he would have to withstand that scent on himself until he could shower. ‘But… if I’m not wrong young ones can’t do this, only pack leaders! Damn! I wish I knew a bit more about dog demon customs.’ He sneezed and very much wanted to glare at Inuyasha but with the girl on the way it was safer not to, she might take it wrong.
“And his partner Lieutenant Kojiro Watanabe.” He smiled at her and tried to look as harmless as he could. “Miss, Sirs, my daughter Kagome. And, well, Inuyasha introduced himself.” Asami went on completely ignoring her daughter’s expression. Inuyasha had already warned her about her possible reaction when she saw the neko hanyou.
‘Lieutenant? This youkai is a lieutenant?’ The rank filtered through her mind among the vibrations. Still, she remained frozen in place and felt her hanyou tighten his hold and wrap his other arm around her waist in a rather intimate posture.
‘I’m here and I’ll protect you,’ the hanyou’s body language all but shouted at her.
‘Stop that! She does not understand you.’ The neko hanyou wanted very much to yell at him as he looked at the pup. He had to wonder if Inuyasha was aware of what he was projecting. Somehow he doubted it.
‘What the hell is wrong with Inuyasha? This… this… is not like him at all!’ It was odd; though his purr was starting to comfort in a way the young woman had not expected. Still his actions were beginning to unnerve her even more that the neko’s presence.
“Higurashi-sama, why don’t you go on to the living room? We’ll be there in a moment.” Inuyasha suggested his tone of voice mild, not a hint of his normal gruffness around. He then watched them move toward said room out of human earshot.
“Inuyasha what’s…” His hand clamped on her mouth. She did not notice the lack of claws and squirmed futilely against his arms trying to free herself. His hold was actually stronger than it let on.
“Shhh!” He whispered in her ear. Surprisingly it sent a nice shiver down Kagome’s spine. Her breath caught in her throat, all attempts to get rid of him forgotten.
‘Good God!’ What was that?’ The young woman stood very still, her heart beating fast.
“Don’t speak so loud!” He whispered in her ear. She shivered again in response, her breathing getting slightly uneven and her eyes closed.
‘Why is she shivering?’ He wondered concerned. He felt her slight tremors against his chest. ‘Is she that afraid of Watanabe?’ He removed his hand and it went back around her waist.
Kagome could feel the butterflies fluttering in her stomach moving up and down her body making her feel slightly dizzy. She could also feel his soft warm breath teasing her ear; unconsciously she tilted her head to the side allowing him a better access. Her action surprised Inuyasha a bit, but he was being slightly distracted by the sudden change in her scent. A scant moment ago it was sweet and calming, tinged with the naturally alluring odor of her being in heat. It was a scent that always called to his youkai instincts; but so far he had managed to ignore it. After all he was not an animal, and he was proud that he could ignore every female in similar condition he happened to meet. Kagome’s was harder, true, but he was afraid she would not be willing to mate with him; it was a bond for life. Sometimes even beyond.
Her personal fragrance had suddenly flared up and changed, making him feel slightly agitated and sort of like being a bit drunk. Inuyasha took a deep breath of the new scent that made him feel a bit lightheaded. His breathing became slightly erratic and he lowered his nose to her offered neck. The young hanyou sniffed delicately from shoulder to ear that intoxicating- there was actually no other way to describe it- fragrance. Her hands clutched his arms and leaned against him. The sensations those simple actions were arousing on both of them were surprising.
The hanyou was slowly starting to feel the irresistible need to taste her, not really thinking his lips lightly brushed her neck following the path his nose had taken before and he ran his tongue feather light along the shell of ear. Kagome felt as if an electric shock had run through her, a soft gasp escaped her lips, and all chances of coherent thought left her. The young woman leaned closer to him as her knees began to get weak, to Inuyasha’s delight her new scent intensified and his body started to react to that. He liked her taste; it was as good as she smelled.
“Inuyasha! Kagome!” Asami called them, making the young couple start, and come back to reality. Both were tense, flustered and it took him a moment to be able to respond, and yet neither pulled away.
‘What the f**ck was I doing?’ His muddled mind screamed trying to gather his wits again. ‘But… it felt so… good.’ His thoughts began to wander in her direction. ‘She smelled… she smelled… exciting.’ He found himself lowering his head again to her neck and he snapped it back up. ‘This… this had never happened to me before.’ He was confused by his response to her.
‘Eeeek! He… he… he sniffed me!’ She could almost feel the warm puffs of his breath against her skin again. ‘Why is he acting like this?’ Kagome’s mind whirled in confusion, the neko momentarily forgotten. ‘Oh God it felt so good when he ran…’ She couldn’t suppress a shiver again.
“We’ll be coming in a moment Higurashi-sama.” His voice shook a bit when he managed to speak and he hoped they had not noticed. His hold on Kagome loosened but he felt reluctant to release her, unless she asked him to.
“That… that… was a neko hanyou.” She finally stammered in a low voice, her mind taking control again. She was still shaken by the experience, and yet was reluctant to leave his arms. Kagome wanted to ask what had just happened, knowing that something changed in her relationship with him, but knew that was not the time or the place.
“I know.” Inuyasha told her, having gotten himself under control. Her scent remained but he concentrated on other things.
“Why I didn’t attack him?” Kagome nodded against his chest. “Your Ofukuro warned me not to do anything rash in their presence.” The young woman could not believe what she was hearing and turned to look at his face. He still looked a bit flushed and his cheeks were tinted a dark shade of pink.
“Since when do you heed anyone’s warnings?” Kagome asked sarcastically.
“I wouldn’t have but…” He did not meet her eyes.
“But what Inuyasha?”
“She ‘confiscated’ Tetsusaiga.” He said hesitantly. “Is that the right word?”
“She confiscated Tetsusaiga. Can’t you hear wench? She said I would not be needing it dealing with this ‘police’ people.”
“Kagome! Inuyasha!” Asami called them again.
“Just a minute Higurashi-sama.” He responded.
“And you just gave it to her?” Kagome kept on ignoring her mother’s call. The young Miko could not believe what she was hearing.
“Did you expect me to fight your Ofukuro?” He asked harshly.
“Ah… no… I…”
“Listen, I might be uneducated and harsh, but she’s your Hahaue and…” He paused not looking at her only to add very softly. “I respect her for that, she’s… she’s also a nice human.” Kagome eyes widened at his admittance.
“So you gave her Tetsusaiga?” He nodded. “Thanks for not fighting Mama, Inuyasha … but damn!”
“My thoughts exactly,” he told her with a small smile at hearing her curse. She was not even aware that she did. “I don’t want to risk turning demon near your family. Besides, I smelled those ‘gun thingies’ on both the human and the hanyou. I… I don’t think I can protect both your mother and you from that ‘bullet stuff’.” He admitted hoping to sound reluctant. His mind was slowly starting to wander and he found himself resting his chin on top of her shoulder.
‘Inuyasha is admitting a weakness? This is not right!’ But she had to admit that he had displayed a healthy respect for guns after he saw the movie Saturday night. ‘Hmmm being like this in his arms feels good.’ The thought appeared just out of the blue.
‘Damn! I can’t believe I’m acting like this. She must think I’m going f***ng crazy!’ He cursed, but he had to admit that he liked the sensation of holding her and not feel self-conscious. He pulled his wandering mind back to the matters at hand. ‘Well… I’m beginning to think I’m going crazy and Higurashi-sama did confiscate my katana. I don’t really want to lie to Kagome, but… I’m doing this for her protection. So this is right thing to do. Right?’ A guilty feeling crept in his heart; he really did not like to keep the truth from the young woman.
“I think they are faster than Sesshomaru.” He went on talking about the bullets. “One I can keep out of danger, but not both. Besides, didn’t you notice something strange about him?”
“Strange? Like what?” she was thoughtful for a moment before she answered her own questions. “Yes… for a moment I saw a human, and… I felt his youki only after we almost reached the last step. The feeling nagged at me but… it was… not threatening.”
“It took me a moment to realize what he was too…” He lied, the guilty feeling nagging at him.
“Kagome! Inuyasha!” Asami called them yet again.
“We’re coming in a minute Higurashi-sama.” He responded, and then he said to her in a low voice again. “He is a ‘police man’ and your Ofukuro seems to trust these people. Besides, the humans do not seem to be aware he wasn’t one of them.”
“What if he wants the fragments of the Shikon no Tama I have?”
“I don’t think he’s aware of them… but let’s see what he does. I’ll be alert, just answer their questions so they’ll leave soon.”
“Are you feeling all right?”
“Ah… I… Yeah of course I’m all right wench.” His voice had his normal gruffness.
“Well it’s just that… you’re usually impulsive… and well you seem to be thinking things a bit…”
“And that’s bad?” He blurted out.
“No! No… it’s good actually.” She said quickly, still unsure if she liked this sudden change in him.
“So, what’s the problem Kagome?”
“It’s just that… you’re… you’re acting weird and…” she said nervously, her hands fidgeting a bit with his jersey.
“Ah…” What could he tell her? It was true he was acting way too different from the way he usually did. Not that he was regretting much of it at the moment, as long as he got to hold Kagome. “Perhaps the f***ng headache or the medicine addled my brains a bit.” He shrugged.
Seijuro was more than a little stunned by Kagome Higurashi’s reaction to Watanabe. She had backed away in fright and would have bolted out of the room if Inuyasha not been behind her. The girl’s eyes had been glued to Kojiro and he could not help but remember the kid’s reaction to his partner in the morning. The young man had not been afraid, and somehow he had the feeling that he feared few things if any at all. But he was clearly protective of the eldest Higurashi.
Now Kojiro’s attitude toward the girl was something he had not expected to ever see after the initial surprise he had looked about to panic. Imagine that! His partner was known for his ability to keep calm and collected even during the most extreme situations. In his two years working together he’d never seen him so close to loose that external appearance. What did he have to fear from a skinny fifteen year old? He had the feeling they knew each other in some way and yet… Inuyasha’s attitude had changed after that little talk they had.
‘I need some quiet time to think!’ The detective thought. ‘I’m sure I saw Kojiro ask for help. Man! That look couldn’t be mistaken anywhere, and the kid just nodded before he hugged her. She was so startled by that… it was like Inuyasha was trying to distract her by doing something he either rarely does or never has. Hmmm… Now that’s interesting.’
He also noted that Higurashi-san was completely ignoring the young people antics. Any mother would have jumped to protect her offspring at that look. The girl had been scared out of her wits, and it was clear for everyone. And yet she had let her remain in the kid’s arms, another weird thing to add to the growing list. It was like… both she and Inuyasha knew the girl would act that way upon meeting Kojiro.
“As I was saying, I talked to the Captain about the kid’s situation and even though it’s a bit irregular he has agreed to accept you as his temporal guardian until you get his custody. So I’ll need you to sign some papers.” He said showing her what she had to sign. “We’ll also be at the shrine later today to talk to you daughter, our artist Miss Kazumi Yamamoto will accompany us to get the sketches. Then as I promised we won’t talk to her again.”
“We’ll wait…” Asami began saying, before she was interrupted.
“You are not going.” Inuyasha firmly told Kojiro, and that surprised the Neko-youkai. Kagome would be scared, she could sense youkai easily and would probably try to kill him to protect the Shikon no Kakera she had.
“I’m not? Why not?” Kojiro asked, and Inuyasha was left speechless. He couldn’t say it was because Kagome had Miko powers and would see through the concealing spell. She’d know what he was the moment he was inside the shrine grounds.
“Just don’t go near Kagome!” He snarled and Kojiro raised an eyebrow at his words. This was piquing his natural curiosity.
“Kid, come with me. I’ll leave you to settle the paper work Seijuro. We’ll wait for you in the parking lot.” Inuyasha eyed the Neko wearily.
<End of Flashback>
‘The kid knew! That’s why he was against Kojiro visiting the girl, the only remaining question is why?’ Nomura scratched his chin thoughtfully as he pondered on the possible answers to that question. ‘Hmm… Kojiro didn’t know why at the moment, that’s for sure. But I could bet today’s winnings that the kid told him. Now why the hell hasn’t he told me? What is he hiding?’ He was brought out of his reverie by Higurashi-san’s voice offering him something to drink. And he did not have more time to keep pondering because the kids came in a few moments later.
‘Aaarrrrggg!!! Stupid, idiotic, clueless, #$%&$#&$# f***ng PUP!!’ Kojiro mentally screamed and cursed when the scents and sounds from hall reached him. ‘There’s no doubt he really grew up all alone. No youkai or hanyou would be stupid enough to play with a human female in heat and expect to leave it at that! It’s hard enough to school oneself to ignore the normal scent. Aroused is nearly impossible! The #%$%#& instincts are too strong! Someone has got to teach or beat some sense into him. Of all the f***ng and idiotic things to do… I’m going to have to go and stop him or I’ll have to leave!’
Just as he was gathering his wits he realized that they had stopped, and only a few moments later he could sniff their scents, hear their breathing and heartbeat go back to normal. The pup was still a bit excited but mostly under control, the girl too was getting an admirable hold of herself. Human females were barely able to perceive the pheromones male hanyou’s or youkai exuded when excited, yet they were equally affected by them. She must be very strong willed. His perception of the pup raised a few notches too.
When they finally came into the room both kids were calm and collected, although Inuyasha’s body language screamed to everyone who could understand his future claim of the girl. And he was not even aware of it. The neko-youkai just shook his head.
‘Kids!’ was the neko hanyou’s only thought.
They went to the living room together. Kagome had not protested about the way he was hugging her, so the young dog demon had not released her. The young couple sat quite close on the couch opposite Nomura; the detective was sipping a cup of coffee and had a tape recorder on the table that separated both couches. The woman was sitting to Inuyasha’s right and the neko beside his partner, pad and pen on the table before him. He also sipped coffee and looked a bit flustered and unhappy. Still there was nothing threatening in his manner, and Kagome allowed herself to relax a bit. After all, Inuyasha was there to protect her.
Kagome’s mother came into the room and gave them glasses with soda. Inuyasha actually looked disappointed and asked why he didn’t get coffee like the rest. The look Asami gave him was enough to keep him from protesting. Nomura and Watanabe looked at her their eyes curious.
“Inuyasha and too much caffeine don’t mix well.” She explained, both men looked at her taking mental notes not to allow the kid too much of it. He looked about to protest, but she again silenced him. Her tone was reasonable. “Not a word Inuyasha, you get way to hyper for your own good.” He clamped his mouth shut, but sulked at her words.
‘He did not argue? Did not even utter a word? I have to ask Mama how she managed to do that!’ Kagome was definitely surprised that her hanyou was not protesting. If the medicine was the cause, perhaps she should make him take a daily dose. It’d give her a respite back in the Sengoku-Jidai.
“Kagome-chan” Detective Nomura’s voice was a nice baritone that surprised the young woman. Now that she was over her initial fright she could observe him better. There was no doubt that he was a handsome man, she guessed him to be around her mother’s age. “I may call you that, right?”
“Yes, Kagome-chan is all right, detective.” He moved to turn on the tape recorder. She looked so different from the scared girl of a few moments ago. Nomura noted she was calm, collected and irradiated assurance.
‘Now that’s an interesting change.’ The police detective thought, deciding to observe the girl.
“Good. I hope you don’t mind if I tape this?” The young woman shook her head. “Your mother called us to report you had an upsetting experience a few days ago. Can you tell us about it?”
“Yes… but can you answer some questions first?” She now had her wits back and since she accepted to report the incident to the police the young woman had been thinking a lot. Some of her doubts and fears were confirmed when the man in charge of the ‘Park Killer’ investigation happened to be the one sitting in front of her.
“Of course, go ahead.”
“You are in charge of the ‘Park Killer’ case are you not?” This was not the kind of question he was expecting from her and it threw the cop a bit off guard, surprise showed in his face. Inuyasha grinned smugly and threw a look in his direction that clearly said: ‘gotcha’.
“Yes, I am. Ltnt. Watanabe and I have been working on the case for some time now.” He decided to answer truthfully, as she could find that out on the news. Besides it was always important to win the witness trust.
“Then why are you here?” She asked calmly and again threw him off guard. In all his experience no young victim acted like she was doing. Not even mature ones did. The cop wondered what had the kid told her to make her change her attitude like that. He really needed to think. Things with these people were getting even weirder than he initially thought. When he did not answer immediately, she went on stating. “I was attacked by two men, not one serial killer.”
“It is our job to investigate anything out of the ordinary that happens at the Sakura Park.” He said but could tell she was not convinced by his answer.
“I still don’t see why you are here, Detective.” Nomura looked at her directly in the eyes, and she held his look calmly. The police officer wondered what she was getting at.
“Kagome-chan, unfortunately Sakura Park became the preferred hunting ground for this killer. For this reason we must investigate your report. You haven’t told us yet what happened, so we don’t know if your statement has anything to do with the killings.”
“I see…” Inuyasha felt her tense, before she went on. “What happens if my case is related to your investigation?” The hanyou tightened his hold and managed to rest his chin on the top of her shoulder offering comfort. He was reminding the young Miko that he was around to protect her.
‘So that’s it. This girl is smart.’ He thought giving her an approving look that made the young woman raise her eyebrow in inquiry. ‘She knows, but has not told them. Now it remains to be seen what the kid is going to do about this. I don’t think leaving her in the dark is an option anymore.’
“I think you should not jump into any conclusions yet Kagome-chan.” The neko hanyou spoke for the first time.
Kagome noticed that his tone was soothing and warm. Still, she could not help but give him a look full of mistrust, although there was no fear in her eyes anymore. Which Nomura noticed and pondered about, he reached the conclusion that whatever it was Watanabe told Inuyasha he had not informed her. Now if they were to pretend they were not working together, it was sure she was not going to learn whatever Inuyasha already did. He did not like it one bit the situation was moving in circles, and his best chance to solve it was to badger his partner into speaking up.
“Why don’t you tell us what happened first? Then we’ll see what to do about it.” Ltnt. Watanabe went on, trying to sound reassuring.
“I’ll still like to know, lieutenant. Even if it’s not the ‘Park Killer,’ my life is still at stake. I saw those thugs and I don’t think they are very happy about that.” She made a pause for emphasis. “That is the reason why I decided to speak up.” Nomura looked at her with a hint of admiration; the girl had meditated things carefully.
“If, and I stress it, IF this is an attack by the ‘Park Killer’ you’ll be considered material witness and put under police protection.” Kojiro went on.
“I’ll become his target.” She stated her voice still calm.
In the Sengoku Jidai she was always the target as protector of the Shikon no Tama. This was no change in her present situation, with the exception that now she wasn’t safe anywhere. Over there, the enemies were demons that could be destroyed, while the ones here were humans and she was not allowed to kill even if they wanted to do the same to her. Back there she had Inuyasha and the gang, and here she had only herself and probably the police. The thought of the hanyou staying in the present to protect her did not even cross her mind.
‘Why aren’t they afraid?’ Watanabe thought. Normal human reaction would have them pretty frightened by now, and he could not detect an ounce of fear coming from either the girl or her mother. ‘Are they that confident in the pup’s ability to protect her? Any other human or youkai mother would be frantic with fear, but she is not.’ Nomura’s thoughts ran along the same path, except he could not envision the kid as the family’s protector.
“Yes Kagome-chan IF, again I stress it, that was the case, you’ll probably become his main target.”
“I see…” She said, and then added softly. “That was to be expected.” A small shudder ran down her spine, noticeably only to young hanyou.
Inuyasha growled low in his throat, being so close to him she could feel it. But she could not know that it was because he was not happy with the way things were turning out. He offered to track the murderers for the ‘police men’ if Kagome was kept at the margin of things. He did not want her to worry and be afraid that those men were out for her, she had enough of that back home. But she had already guessed it and Nomura’s words were not helping. The young dog demon wondered if she would refuse his protection on her time now, lying to her would serve no purpose anymore.
‘There was a little fear finally but…’ Kojiro thought. ‘She should be terrified!’
‘She sounds… almost resigned. This is not what I expected… it’s like she’s used to being targeted. Like this is no real news.’ Seijuro Nomura’s brain was working at top capacity trying to analyze and compare with what he’d experienced during his years as a police officer. ‘I’ve seen this kind of attitude only in some politicians or maybe some top notch gangsters. But I could have never expected to see it on a fifteen year old girl. Thing is, her mother and the kid act like this is nothing new for them either.’
“Inuyasha you said this morning you wanted to protect Kagome, and we agreed the police will have to do. Especially after we found out it’s them. You want her safe don’t you?”
“Them? Who are them? And who is this Kagome?” The kid sent him a very distrustful and rather evil look, for a moment his eyes flashed golden like a cat’s.
“They might not be able to keep her safe, I can.” He said stubbornly ignoring the cop’s questions.
“I know you can and you will, that’s why I let her go with you.” She paused to let him recover from his surprise. “But understand that I’m her mother; I want what’s best for her. I believe the police can help us, they have experience on this kind of thing.” The kid seemed about to protest, and then sighed in defeat. “You’ll let me deal with this my way?” He nodded, but still glared evilly at Nomura. That golden gaze was enough to disturb the detective. Tiny goose bumps rose in his arms. This kid looked dangerous and quite creepy.
<End of Flashback>
“You wouldn’t understand who I am to decide ‘police man’.” His tone was slightly disdainful. “But let me tell you this, Kagome’s safety is MY responsibility. I’ve been protecting her for some time and I will continue to do so.” By the time he finished speaking his tone was deadly serious.
‘Protecting her? Against what? There’s something odd going on here.’ Seijuro thought.
“Inuyasha I know what you do for her, and I’m grateful. But we must do what’s right.”
<End of Flashback>
‘Now that’s starting to make sense! The only thing is who is he protecting her against? I better run a background on the Higurashi family tomorrow. Might be just a simple stalker, but some how I don’t think so. And living here in this shrine doesn’t give me the impression that they are kidnapping material.’ He mused.
“Let me assure you Kagome-chan, Inuyasha-kun,” he addressed the young man as well. “that if that happened to be the case you’ll be protected at all times.” Detective Nomura added hastily to reassure both that she’ll be in no real danger, noticing the murderous look on the kid’s face. His eyes glinted golden with anger again. That look unnerved him in a way few things could. The kid was just plain strange, no one his age had should have that kind of look. He needed more information on him. He directed his gaze toward the young woman.
“What about my family?” Kagome went on, as another shiver ran down her spine, but her voice remained calm.
‘Sota, Mama and Jii-chan could be in danger too. This is getting worse that hunting shards, at least back then I’m the only one at risk.’ She looked at her mother sitting near the sketcher, the look on her face told her she had expected that problem to arise. ‘My family was safe here… well, that mask demon did threaten them, but that has been the only case so far, and Inuyasha got rid of it. Now Mama doesn’t seem too worried about it. That’s strange, and dog boy is not growling, cursing or threatening… I have the feeling they are up to something.’
“You know I’ll protect you, Kagome, and I’ll do that for your family too.” Inuyasha whispered for her ears only. The young woman’s eyes widened a bit at his statement, and she gently squeezed the forearm around her waist in silent gratitude.
‘I suppose Inuyasha can protect us. He might have told Mama that much and that’s why she’s so calm. She does trust him a lot. But I did not want him to dwell too much in my time… I guess I’ll have to talk to Mama and see what they talked about. We just have to find a way to explain his presence.’ Kagome thought finally realizing the hanyou was willing to protect not just her, but her whole family. She felt relieved. No matter what a jerk he was sometimes, she still trusted him blindly.
Inuyasha started purring very low, the vibration of his chest against her back comforting and soothing. A soft smile appeared on her face, only Kojiro noticed the pup’s purr and he gave him an inquiring look, which the younger hanyou ignored. Inuyasha instead gave Asami a quick look to which she nodded. This did not go unnoticed by the detective.
Detective Seijuro Nomura at that moment wanted very much to push aside any subtlety and ask them straight out what was going on. That of course included his partner. The kids’ behavior toward him was just not normal. As Higurashi-san’s wasn’t either, that woman gave him the impression on the couple of times they had talked before of being a gentle loving mother concerned for her daughter’s safety, and yet… she was not concerned at all now.
He considered himself a good judge of character and quite an observant person. It always helped his job to catch those little gestures and ticks that sometimes gave off the guilty or those that hid something. But with these people, few of their signals made any sense. No matter what he wanted at the moment, Nomura knew of course that confronting them would probably lead him no where, so he refrained.
“They’ll also be protected.” The neko hanyou responded almost immediately. “Until we either catch or kill the murderer. Does that answer all your questions?” She nodded. “Now, how about telling us your experience?”
Kagome told them what happened from the time she left her friends to the moment she arrived home and found Inuyasha waiting for her. Remembering brought the feelings back. The incident was still fresh in her mind, and she could not help but be affected. She looked very distraught and seemed to be shivering slightly. Kojiro noticed that her fear intensified a bit as well as the slight tremors. Her shivers upset the young man, he hated it knowing it was his fault she was scared. He had not been there to protect her.
Inuyasha was at a loss in finding a way to comfort her so he resorted to whisper supporting words, telling her everything would be alright, and caressing her hair. His clumsy attempts had the desired effect, the young woman felt protected and safe. She listed her small amount of injuries, feeling the hanyou cringe at every one of them. That much she understood, the young demon felt guilty for not being there to protect her. Nomura, with as much delicacy as possible, asked her to take a medical exam. They needed medical confirmation of said injuries on the case file. After she asked about the exam and the detective carefully explained as best as he could, the teen agreed hesitantly.
Kagome of course omitted the part when Inuyasha went hunting after the thugs and got shot. In her mind she knew the human cop would not believe it. Who would? There were not supposed to be any demons alive in her time. The neko sitting in front of her was something even she had not believed possible. The young Miko knew the hanyou would understand, he was aware of scents and probably used his senses in his police work, but she could not bring herself to trust another youkai besides Inuyasha, Shippou, Kirara and that cowardly Myoga. Suddenly she realized that she did trust more demons than she originally thought, a wry smile graced her lips fleetingly at the thought.
“We would like to ask you some questions now; they are just for the record.” Nomura said.
“Why didn’t you report the incident on Friday?”
“I didn’t want to worry mama.” She said which was not a lie, but was not the real reason either. “I thought it wasn’t that important, after all, I escaped.”
“Your mother told us you were not aware of the murders in the park, can you tell me why? They are well publicized by the media” Kagome did not like those questions, but she still answered.
“I don’t like to watch the news. I have also been out of the city frequently.”
“Would you mind telling us where?” Kagome froze, she could not just tell them she traveled to the past through the well. Her mind raced for an answer.
“We go to the forest surrounding the city, sometimes farther.” Inuyasha answered for her, at the same time corroborating his own story.
‘Wow! He’s actually using his brains instead of brute force! Perhaps Mama is right in thinking he’s not as dumb as he acts.’ Kagome thought quite surprised. He’d just given her a good alibi, now she had to follow it up.
“Yes, we like camping out and hiking a lot, whenever possible.”
“Some friends, Inuyasha and I. Detective I don’t see where this questioning is going, I am the victim after all.” She was eyeing him suspiciously. And the kid… if looks could kill he’d be dead a thousand times over. The young man was positively fuming.
“This is just to have some background information, don’t worry about it.” The neko hanyou responded, covering for his partner.
“I’d like you clarify a doubt that I have, Kagome-chan.” Nomura said and he got a raised eyebrow from the girl. She had begun to suspect, so they had to look for answers to Inuyasha’s puzzle elsewhere. “You said you elbowed your attacker and he let you go? Don’t take me wrong Kagome-chan but you don’t strike me as very strong.”
“I… well…” She was at a loss for words, as she indeed considered herself the weakest member of their group, so she was greatly surprised when Inuyasha again came to her rescue.
“She’s stronger than she looks.” His words surprised her, was that a compliment? Coming from him it was the closest thing to one he’ll ever utter. That got him a curious looks from everyone around including Asami. “Our trips make for a good physical condition.” As he looked to them he realized they did not believe him, with a sigh he added in a very low embarrassed voice. “She has a mean right punch, Detective.” He had colored beet red. Now he got puzzled looks and Nomura arched his eyebrow. The young man knew he was not going to hear the end of that when he saw them next.
“I gather you speak from experience kid?” Nomura teased him, and this time Kagome blushed along with him.
The kid’s hand left the girl for a moment to close in a fist in a gesture that was promising a beating. It was during that movement that he noticed the change on the hand. That was not what he remembered seeing Saturday night. His fingers looked normal but they had been more like claws then. Add another mystery to the young man’s list.
“Grrrrrrr!” Inuyasha nodded once and glared at the man.
‘Shit! What the f**ck is wrong with me?’ He thought quite annoyed with himself. ‘Well she does hit pretty hard. Miroku agrees, he’s been the recipient of that punch more than once. But still I should not have blurted that out.’
“Actually Kagome practices archery,” Asami said, she’d been quiet only observing the situation and the cops. Inuyasha had been right; they were curious. And by the young man’s look she also realized it was no use anymore to hide the truth from Kagome. She was surprised though to hear that her daughter had actually hit him, and wondered what the young man did to merit it. “I believe she’s quite good, and I’m hoping she’ll make the school club next year.”
“Archery does give you very strong arms Nomura-san.” Miss Yamamoto said speaking for the first time. “I practice it myself, my club is really good. Several national champions have come out of it. Perhaps you can give me a call later, Kagome-chan, and visit the club, we are always looking for converts.” She had a rueful grin, the kind people got when talking about a favorite subject.
“Oh I’ll love to Miss Yamamoto, as I can only practice when we travel.”
“Now, how about describing these men so I can draw them?”
A/N: I know this chapter was a bit shorter than the others. It was actually becoming the longest one I have written. The thing is it was too long and I just kept adding stuff! So I decided to cut it in at least two parts, perhaps even a third. This means I’ll be updating a bit more often that I have been.
* There were obviously some speech mannerisms that differed from the feudal era to the present.