- Fic: Present Time 1/27
- Fic: Present Time 2/27
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- Fic: Present Time 5/27
- Fic: Present Time 6/27
- Fic: Present Time 7 (Part 1)/27
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- 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
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- Fic: Present Time 18/27
- Fic: Present Time 19/27
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- Fic: Present Time 11/27
Title: Present Time 13/27
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: Be warned Inuyasha and Kagome OOCness in abundance on this chapter. Thanks everybody for your reviews.
Chris-san thanks for your comment/warning there is actually a time table I use to keep everything in perspective and also telosphilos as my editor is doing a great job of helping me keep in track.
Also I want to give special thanks to telosphilos for long hours on the ICQ or the IRC. Playing wall to my ideas and also giving some very good ones of her own, we have fun there! More at the end notes.
Kagome came down the stairs looking tired and sleepy even if she had already taken a quick shower. She had a nightmare again, decided not to go back to sleep, and only laid in bed thinking. The young woman had the feeling those terrible scenes she saw were not just a product of her imagination, they were just too real. And now that she knew there were indeed demons living among humans in her time, she believed things were getting from bad to worst.
One of the victims in her dreams had been a very young crane youkai girl. At first Kagome thought that had been only a product of her overly morbid, at the time, imagination. But after meeting Lieutenant Kojiro Watanabe, the young woman was not so sure anymore. Those thugs were as bloodthirsty as any youkai she’d encountered before. In fact they were probably a lot more, and that scared her because they had definitely been human, the thought made her shiver.
The young Miko had also the time to ponder about accepting Inuyasha’s presence. Her reluctance to accept his stay in her time suddenly had no basis at all. The police already knew about him, he was even going to help them. Now that had really been a shock. But Kagome understood it was important to capture them, and not just for her sake. They could not be allowed to keep killing young women. So she might as well accept the protection he offered and help him not to blunder into dangerous terrains. No one needed to know he was half youkai. Well the neko hanyou knew what he was but she had the feeling he would not divulge that information.
As she walked into the kitchen she saw Inuyasha was already at the breakfast table slowly sipping coffee and talking quietly to her mother. Kagome could not help but feel surprised of how well the rather reticent hanyou seemed to be getting along with her mother. Asami had apprised him of the things she told her daughter the night before and it was up to him to explain the rest. The inu hanyou dreaded it a bit, not knowing how she was going to take the fact that he had been wandering in her time alone for a day. She was probably going to say ‘SIT’ and order him back to the Sengoku Jidai.
‘But there is no way in hell I’ll obey that.’ He thought and winced a little because getting his way was probably going to hurt a lot. ‘No matter how many time she ‘sits’ me I won’t go back until I get those humans.’
As the conversation went on he remembered the large manila envelope. The scroll said it was important that the human helping him had it. He went to get it and gave it to Higurashi-sama. Kagome was mildly curious about the thing but did not ask what it was and why he had it, and they did not explain. Asami wanted him to give the cops a call. They’ll probably be waiting for him to report. After his odd behavior the night before Inuyasha was not looking forward to talking to them any time soon.
The older woman also wanted him to go to the ophthalmologist to get his eyes checked, stressing the fact that she already made an appointment for him. He just shrugged and did not look like he’ll obey, but he did not refuse out loud either. That last part did catch Kagome’s attention, but again none explained.
‘Ophthalmologist? Why would he need that? He is half demon after all. They don’t get sick and such.’ Were the young woman’s thoughts.
Breakfast was eaten in relative silence, only Sota babbled about how happy he was Inuyasha nii-chan had stayed with them and offered to teach him to play with the ‘playstation’ or the ‘computer’. After she finished, Kagome said goodbye and headed to the door, the hanyou on her heels. He was wearing modern clothes and she had the slight suspicion that he was going to school with her, still she asked.
“Where are you going Inuyasha?”
“With you.” He responded as he put on his sneakers.
“You… you can’t go to school with me.”
“Feh! I won’t go in if that bothers you.” He wore a bored expression on his face as he walked outside.
‘Since when is he concerned about what bothers me?’ She looked at him surprised.
“Your Ofukuro explained why I can’t. I’ll leave you there and come later to pick you up. She’s sure you’ll be safe there.” The look he gave her left no chance for argument, but his tone had his normal gruffness. She really did not want to argue that early in the morning so she just nodded.
They left and Kagome felt alarmed when he did not put on the cap to cover his ears, then before her eyes they simply banished. A pair of human ears appeared on the right place instead. His claws and fangs were gone too, giving the hanyou a more human look. But what surprised her most was that even if he wanted to look human he had not changed the color of his hair and eyes. As they walked toward school he told her what transpired the day before, about going back to the cave, finding the scrolls, his mother’s spell book and the concealing spell he was using. He also explained that since the cops had seen him with his silvery white hair and golden eyes there was no point in changing them.
He also related his first meeting with Kojiro Watanabe and talking to him about the existence of youkai in the present. That clearly surprised Kagome, as she had never seen a youkai besides the Nou mask. But as she looked around to people he signaled out, the young Miko began noticing the demons and hanyous around. There were not many, and most were from the larger species although she spotted a centipede/human hanyou. Kagome shuddered, what human would love a bug?
Then he went on relating the tests and all the stuff he had to smell. He even told her about the blast of ink that rendered him unconscious. Then all that transpired at the police kennels including his fight with the cadet and he could not help but tell her that she was wrong. One of the kicks worked just fine, it had not been just acting. Kagome shrugged she was not going to convince him the fights were not real until he probably saw one being staged, and even then she had her doubts.
“No wonder you had a mayor headache.” Kagome commented, still surprised at how much he had actually told her without having to ask about it. In fact she believed this was the longest set of sentences she had ever heard him utter together since they had met. “So they agreed to pretend not to know you?”
“Why didn’t you want me to know?” She asked wanting to hear what he had to say about it. Inuyasha stopped dead on his tracks, and she had to walk back to him.
“You’re angry about that?” He asked nervously instead.
“I’m… I’m annoyed… and… hurt. You and Mama kept things from me.” The young woman responded trying to find the right words. “But I’ll still like to hear what you have to say in your favor.”
For a moment all sort of thoughts ran through Inuyasha’s head. And yet in the end the one that remained was the memory of feeling guilty because he was lying to her. So he decided to speak the truth, even if it entailed letting some of his feelings show. It was not going to be easy though.
“You were very frightened by these men Kagome. I… I’ve never seen you like that before… You… I…” He stammered looking everywhere but at her. It was hard admitting to her that he cared enough to worry. “It is enough that I… I make… I risk your life going after the Shikon no Kakera… I didn’t… I didn’t want you to be afraid here too.”
“You care?” Her face looked surprised and she felt a glimmer of hope.
“Feh! Of course I care!” He snapped at her, and then more out of habit than real thought he added. “Who would find the shards if you were hurt?”
“I see…” She could not help but sound and look disappointed. So nothing had really changed. “I’m still just your shard detector.”
‘Fool! Stupid fool! You didn’t have to say that! You don’t mean that anymore.’ He berated himself. He could see he had hurt her, again, and wasn’t he trying to fit in her world to protect her? Instead he hurt the young woman. ‘Can’t I do anything right?’
“I’m sorry Kagome.” He said softly. “I didn’t mean that.” She started walking not really wanting to hear anymore, but he grabbed her by the arm and turned her to face him.
“Inuyasha let go, I’m going to be late!”
“Not until you listen to me.”
“What for? You already said what you had to.” Kagome refused to look at him.
“Would you listen please?” He had never used that last word when asking her something, and it caught her attention. She nodded and looked at him. “I’m… I’m not good with words Kagome, you know that!” He was fidgeting with his shirt’s hem and gulped as he went on. “I sometimes say the wrong thing even when I don’t mean it. I really didn’t mean it. We… argue so much that some things just come out of my mouth without really thinking. You are not my shard detector, you never really were. You’re my friend… my first and best friend. You brought me back to life again, taught me to trust and to care…”
“But I’m not Kykyou.” She blurted out.
‘That again?’ He thought sighing. ‘I thought she understood that I know she is not Kykyou!’ It bothered him a bit, not really knowing why she insisted in comparing herself with her past life. He did not compare them, at least not anymore.
“Why would I want you to be like her?” He snapped at the young woman, letting his annoyance show. “Kagome is Kagome and Kykyo is Kykyo!” He stressed it. “You accept me for what I am, she never did. You’re warm, trusting, happy and selfless. She never was! So don’t compare yourself with her.”
Kagome’s mouth dropped open, those words were the last thing the young woman expected to hear from him. Inuyasha had opened up more than he had intended, but he just could not hear her compare herself with Kykyo. He knew that hurt her, and he did not want the young woman to ever be hurt. After all she was his mate, by inu-youkai tradition if not by fact, and a dog-demon protected his mate against anyone and anything. He surprised her even more by holding her by the shoulders and leaning his forehead against hers before he started speaking again.
“You are yourself Kagome and no one else. No matter what some people say.” His voice was soft. “And that’s fine with me. I… I don’t want you to be like her.” There was a pause before he added. “Now let’s go or you’re going to be late for this school thingy.” He grabbed her hand and started walking. Trying to act like he usually did, but failed miserably, blushing.
“What?” He asked making it sound more like a bark.
“School is that way.” She said pointing in the opposite direction they were walking and twining her fingers with his. Things had indeed changed.
As Lieutenant Kojiro Watanabe entered the police precinct, few if any of his co-workers dared to approach him. The young man wore that less than friendly look that so rarely appeared on his normally cool and collected expression. This bode nothing good to the unfortunate soul that dared to cross in his path. Watanabe had a mean temper when provoked. So most people just let him be until he cooled off.
Kojiro had not slept at all during the night wondering what on earth could the Demon Lord of the Western Lands want with a simple neko hanyou like him. There had been no answer to that question, which only served to increase his foul mood. It did not help that Seijuro called to inform him that Jack Daniels and a long chat with his father on the internet had rendered him useless that morning. That his partner even admitted to that spoke volumes of how he felt. And now that he needed to speak with the pup he was out taking his girlfriend to school, so he could not give him the ‘Oh so gentle’ reaming he deserved. In all it was frustrating and infuriating. As he grumpily sat at his desk the phone rang and he groaned not in the mood to answer, he did anyway.
“Just great.” He grumbled. As it was the pup was the one calling. “This is just great.”
“I need to know where we can reach you today in case something comes up.”
“Won’t I be checking the ‘evidence’ today?” Inuyasha asked instead.
“No, not today. So what are your plans?” He asked again.
“Why not? We are wasting time!” The younger hanyou exclaimed with his typical impatience, besides he believed those thugs could attack again anytime.
“Look pup, Seijuro and I have other things to see to today. We’ll work on it tomorrow. So what are you going to do today?” He explained sounding exasperated, which only served to put Inuyasha on the defensive.
“Higurashi-sama wants me to go to the ophthalmologist before I pick Kagome at school.” He said grudgingly. He was starting to feel angry, Nomura had agreed to protect Kagome if he helped them and he was not seeing them do it. “Save for that I’ll be either here or at the Sakura Park. Are you expecting any trouble neko?” He pretended to be polite for Higurashi-sama’s sake since she was within hearing range.
“More like I’m hoping nothing will happen.” He said in an accusing tone that expressed anger and displeasure. Inuyasha bristled at the tone.
“What do you mean… neko?” The younger hanyou asked in a dangerously low tone of voice.
“About last night pup…”
‘Damn it here it comes.’ Inuyasha thought getting ready to be teased
“What about it? You owe me big time neko for saving your ass.” He was no longer caring to sound polite, although he still kept his tone of voice level.
“What? For that?” Kojiro roared on the phone making the dog demon jump in surprise and pain. “I asked for help not if you had a mate!”
“She is the lead female in my pack not my mate you fucking neko.” He almost shouted.
“Ah but you clearly stated she was! Your body language literally shouted it. It was so noticeable that even the humans got the idea there’s something going on between you and the girl!” The meaning of the pup’s words was lost, not really understanding that someone that young could be a pack leader.
“Listen you asshole, there is noth…”
“NO! YOU LISTEN UP PUP!” Kojiro shouted to the phone. “You NEVER set off a human female in heat with other demons around. You NEVER do that either unless you follow through. Understood?” He did not even give a very stunned and confused Inuyasha time to answer. “I really don’t know why her mother didn’t slap you and threw you out then and there!”
‘So that’s what it was, but I didn’t’ do anything!’ His mind screamed in panic. He was starting to feel safe and accepted and then he did something wrong and he’ll be alone again. But he had been feeling oddly relaxed not so much on guard as he was used. ‘Besides Higurashi-sama has not complained about it!’ He did the only thing he knew when he was hurt or confused. He attacked.
“I saved your fucking life asshole! And you owe me for that. The rest is none of your fucking business!”
“Fuck it pup! You let your instincts take control.”
“Feh! I didn’t do more than whisper in her ear and hold her! You scared her out of her wits. Kagome could have easily killed you had you tried to approach her. And she was not in heat a few moments before!”
“That’s no excuse, do you have any fucking idea what you were getting into?” Someone came into the office to talk to him about some reports. “We’ll talk later pup, right now I can’t.”
“Feh! We’ll see about that neko.” Inuyasha said before hanging.
Inuyasha was so furious that he wanted to kill something, preferably a neko hanyou by the name of Kojiro Watanabe. How dare he speak to him like that? He new a little about claiming a mate and he had certainly not done anything remotely similar to that. He had only held her close, ok there was a moment when he began loosing some control but nothing had happened. He would never impose himself on her, never!
Asami saw him holding the headphone in a deadly grip, his face reflecting his anger. What Watanabe had said to him; and she had some idea of what it was; had undone what little ‘acceptance’, she could not say trust, he had for them. He was back to looking wild like the first time she saw him. The older woman shook her head and sighed hoping to be able to repair the damage. She went to him and gently tried to pry his fingers from the phone. If he kept squeezing it as hard as he was doing, the thing would break.
“Come on Inuyasha; let’s have a cup of coffee in the kitchen.” She said gently when his eyes focused on her. He had a dangerous look on his face but as soon as his mind registered who she was it turned into an angry frown. The hanyou let her pry his fingers from the contraption and followed her. “It sounds like Ltnt. Watanabe hit a nerve there.”
He sat by the table while she served them both then was surprised to see her sit beside him. At her words, he had inwardly cringed. That was just not something he wanted to discuss with her. Heck! He did not think he could discuss it with anyone, least of all Kagome. If she had not thrown him out yesterday she might just do so today. He took the mug she offered and performed his first taste antics; sniffing delicately, blowing on it and then taking a small sip.
“I hope he thanked you for distracting Kagome yesterday.” She said half turning to look at him.
“Feh! The ungrateful neko just made some annoying comment.” He answered trying not to sound angry, his bangs hiding his eyes. Asami leaned closer a bit and gently brushed the hair out of his face. Inuyasha froze in surprise and blushed, still unable to look at her.
“It still sounds like he hit a nerve.” She saw him start and tense.
‘So I heard right, he was probably taking him to task. But I can’t allow that demon to make Inuyasha retreat back to his old self.’ Asami thought gauging the situation.
“Want to talk about it?” She asked him gently, and saw the expressions change on his face, as if fighting to decide about something. After a few moments he finally seemed to have reached a conclusion and shrugged.
“I think I should but…” His voice sounds slightly nervous.
‘Damn! I sound weak!’ He thought annoyed and it reflected only for a few instants on his face.
“It’s ok. I’m not angry with you for what you did.” That got her his attention and he turned to face her, a slight look of relief on his features. Asami smiled at him gently trying to convince him to speak up what was on his mind. She knew it was something he was not used to do; the older woman thought he probably never really had someone to listen to him before.
‘Ltnt. Watanabe what did you tell him?’ The woman was starting to feel slightly annoyed toward the neko hanyou.
“You did a right thing, not the best of all possible things, but you were put on the spot, while drugged up on painkillers. No one is able to really think straight on those things.”
‘Ah so those things were indeed making me act odd.’ He thought relieved, now that he knew he had not been going crazy.
“You did the first thing you could think of to distract her and it worked.”
“So you don’t think I deserve to be slapped?” Inuyasha blurted out. “Or thrown out?” He squared his shoulders and turned his head away. Not wanting her to see that the thought of that happening pained him. The young man put on his gruff mask again.
“Is that what he said?” Her voice had that angry tone he heard her use with the old man the day before. “No Inuyasha, I would not do such things to you.” The Ltnt. had overstepped his bounds, he had no right whatsoever to tell something like that to Inuyasha. For a kid in his shoes that was too cruel. That neko hanyou would have a piece of her mind later.
“Hmm… yeah he said that and some other things.” The young hanyou admitted still not looking at her. He was unsure if he should tell her the rest.
“Oh, care to share them with me? It seems like there was something I couldn’t see going on there since I’m human.” She suggested sounding as supportive as she could. He should let that out of his system.
“Ah… it’s… it’s hard to explain.” He stammered a bit flustered, she was being nice, but he could not be sure that she would not be repulsed by his demonic nature. She might still decide to throw him out. “I didn’t realize it myself until he said it.” He admitted cautiously, refusing to look at her.
“Whatever it is, I promise not to get angry over it. I’m just worried about both of you. You are my foster son.” she told him.
‘This is going to be hard, I need him to tell me the truth and he is so afraid that I will be angry at him and refuse to accept him any more.’ Asami thought, this just gave her a measure of the rejection he had gone through in his life. And how starved he really was for some affection even if he hid it under that gruff mask of his.
‘She’s still so accepting… maybe she really won’t be mad at me.’ Inuyasha thought deciding to tell her. ‘I don’t know why it should be so important that she does not think ill of me. I wouldn’t have cared before… Feh! I’m getting soft.’ Taking a deep breath he said.
“Ok I’ll try to explain.” He said and then added just to get things right. “I’m not good with words though.”
Asami reached to scratch an ear, asking for permission with body language which surprised him, but he leaned to into her hand to accept the scratch. It was his way to show her that he believed her words were true. In that awkward position he sipped his coffee, as Kagome’s mother kept scratching gently enjoying the soft feel of his ears. He too was beginning to enjoy her attentions and relaxed a bit.
“It’s alright really… I know there is a lot I am unaware of about your demon heritage.” She heard him gasp.
‘Hmm… so it’s his demon nature that’s bothering him now. Well it can’t be that bad.’ Asami thought as she kept scratching.
“Well it has to do with it.” He admitted, and she gave him a soft encouraging smile when he turned to look at her face.
“I… ah… I’m an inu hanyou.” He began saying, thinking hard to find the right words. “And even if I’m only half demon I… retained most of the inu youkai instincts.” He paused to take a sip of coffee, he had not said anything risky yet and his mouth was already dry. “Dog demons tend to act a bit like dogs in some things…” Asami started scratching a bit harder on the back of his ear making him purr softly. It worked to relax him more.
“I wish I could purr like that.” She exclaimed wistfully. His purr was a very comforting sound. Kagome’s mother accepting that facet of being a demon made a few of his barriers come down. “I take it that was part of what you did to keep her calm last night, I just couldn’t hear it.”
“Yes, she seemed to like it.” Inuyasha responded blushing ten shades of red. He had liked purring for her too. Asami nodded and sipped her coffee.
“I noticed a little of that… Does that mean you are packs demons?”
“Yes we are. And well I instinctively formed a pack.”
“You may not realize it, but humans are too. We just don’t have the same structure to our packs. And our packs change with social context.”
“Myoga-jiji said something of the sort when I found out.”
“Myouga is your flea right?”
“Yes he is. He’s supposed to be my retainer.” He told her. His tone denoting that he did not really hold the flea in high esteem.
“The thing is I didn’t know what I was doing.” He said a bit ashamed at his ignorance.
“Oh?” Asami exclaimed as she reached for his other ear, making Inuyasha purr louder feeling less nervous. He was enjoying the scratching session; it reminded him a lot of how he used to sit with his mother and tell her what troubled him as a pup. He had not really been aware how much he had missed it until that moment.
“I grew up alone, no humans or dog demons to teach me about many things.” He explained. The youth had not expected the slight constriction of his heart and the feeling of loneliness that came with that comment.
“I know, Kagome told me that.” Her voice was soft and filled with sympathy. “So I take it that Kagome and the others are members of your pack, but it isn’t exactly like a traditional pack.”
“Yes, I didn’t know until the day we met that Nomura guy.”
‘Poor kid everything is just happening in such a small amount of time, he’s probably having a very hard time, dealing with the changes. No wonder he was so out of it yesterday, it was not just the tests after all.’
“In the pack Kagome is my…” he faltered not being able to say the word.
“She is your?” Asami asked but she was beginning to get an idea of what he meant if his pack followed the standards of the animals. His blush told her she was right. This could be a good or bad thing depending on how Kagome takes it. It would be best if she found a way for him to confirm it that he was able to say out loud.
‘She might not like what I have to say. This might make her angry with me. Argh! Why should I care?’ It bothered to feel af… worried that she might be angry. It was also hard for him to accept aloud that he had had a mate and responsibilities for a long time and had not acknowledged them until three days ago.
“My lead female ah…” He moved away from her, shifting uncomfortably on the chair.
“How about you tell me how packs traditionally form?” Asami suggested seeing he was having some kind of inner turmoil. If she did not press the young man, he might keep on talking. “It will help me to understand.” She saw him breathe easier and reached again for his ears to keep scratching.
‘Good,’ she thought, ‘it worked to keep him from feeling like he was on the spot. He must be afraid that I will get angry or try to separate them. They have both been so good for each other. I don’t want to split them up unless absolutely necessary. He is right to be concerned about Naraku and the Jewel; things would really change in this time if he got to keep it.’
“Well a pack is formed by two adults, male and female, then pups come. And other loners or drifters are taken in as members of the family. To help as hunters and with the kids, contrary to real dogs and wolves all the females breed.” At the pace he was going his face would be permanently colored red. Asami smiled encouragingly at him when he turned to see her expression.
‘Inuyasha, underneath that though, gruff appearance you are really a sweet, shy kid.’ Kagome’s mother thought and gave him a motherly smile. ‘I really don’t think I want to know what terrible things made you hide yourself.’
“Ah, I think I see the problem. Neither of you are adults and you have wound up responsible for a pack.” He nodded. “I take it Shippou is the pup? Or cub in this case?”
“Pup. The problem is that other demons have begun to acknowledge Kagome as lead female, and Shippou is… well… I have to take him like he was my own pup.” Asami nods in understanding. The poor young man ended leading a family and becoming the father of a little kid that was not even his own. And it was not only a question of being the provider like in the present; he had to make sure they survived too. It was too much responsibility for someone almost sixteen. “Sango, Miroku, Kaede-baba, Kirara and Myoga-jijii became the rest of the pack.”
“So now you have a son?” He nodded again. “Kagome seems to adore the little kit.”
“She does, but she doesn’t know that by demons standards she’s his mother. It kills him when she leaves, and he pesters everyone, especially me.” That made Asami laugh, so maybe the little kitsune had something to do with him rushing to take her back.
‘Hmm, Kagome might take that part of it well.’ she thought knowing her daughter had that natural mothering streak. ‘But what sort of parents will they make? Are they really mature enough to handle the responsibility? They are very mature for their ages because of their experiences, but still… Perhaps I can help on that point.’ The woman realized that the situation was starting to get complicated, but it was nothing they couldn’t deal with as a family. ‘At the very least, I can give advice and occasionally baby-sit the cub.’ A look at his face told her that he seemed to have accepted his responsibility toward Shippou. ‘So I don’t think it would be wise to interfere. He must really care for the little one.’
“So, she would mother him in her own way. Teach him to read and write and do arithmetic. I take it there is more significance to her being the lead female in relation to you than she is aware of?” This question seemed to deflate him, his shoulders sagged. The hanyou looked completely dejected and she puzzled about it.
“There is more.” He sighed. “But I’m sure she won’t understand.”
“I think if you put it to her in the right way she will understand.” She tried to reassure him, but the young man shook his head.
‘I think it might even be what she wants even if she hasn’t thought it through the way he has yet.’
“She probably wouldn’t listen. It seems we can never talk without arguing. Kagome is so set on modern things. And that’s from the past. By dog demon tradition she’s… my…” Inuyasha moved uncomfortably and turned red yet again.
‘Feh! I just can’t believe myself! Come on stupid say it, she’s your mate. YOUR MATE!’ He berated himself. ‘Why can’t I say it aloud?’
‘Because you’re afraid she’ll turn you down and you’ve already committed. There’s no going back for you. And her rejection would kill you. It’s better this way, not knowing. It hurts, true but you’re alive.’ A voice inside his head told him. The hanyou had to agree that was the reason.
“I think I get what you are going at. She is your “mate” by her placement in the pack?” Inuyasha nodded relieved, observing her reactions, so far she was not taking it wrong. Higurashi-sama was not angry yet. “And she knows none of this correct?”
“Yes, she doesn’t know that she’s already my mate.” He said the last words very softly, and then added to explain. “I have not claimed her yet. I won’t do it.”
“Inuyasha you need to tell her and soon.”
“No.” There was a slightly panicky look on his eyes that was quickly changed to an expressionless one. “I don’t want to tell Kagome.” He said shaking his head stubbornly and moving away from her hands, she could see him building his walls again. If she had not already cared for him this would have done it. There was fear there, well hidden but still there for those who knew what to look for. He was terrified of being hurt, of being rejected by those he cared for. She needed to diffuse his tension and bring the walls back down.
Asami knew Kagome loved him dearly, even if her daughter refused to speak openly about her feelings for the young hanyou. And the sort of commitment he was talking about sounded more like a marriage and family than a casual relationship with perks.
“Kagome needs to know Inuyasha.” She said softly as she stood up to get them both more coffee. She fixed his the way he liked and did hers too. Giving him his mug the woman sat beside him waiting patiently until he was ready to start talking again.
“She might not want me.” He finally said softly again. “I’m still a hanyou, I can’t offer her much and… I have not been very nice to her.”
“Inuyasha I would be surprised if she rejected you. Kagome cares for you too much to do that.”
“I think she cares more about her life here. I can’t give her what she has here. She always leaves me for that school.” Inuyasha allowed a sad look to cross his face.
“She has to go to school; it determines your standing in life here. It sets your status in this huge human pack.” Asami explained. If they were talking about packs perhaps this would make it easier for him to comprehend. The look on his face told her he had.
“I had not seen it like that.” He said. Inuyasha could understand the status thing; it was something ingrained in inu youkai’s instincts. “Why did she never explain?”
“Your time is so incredibly different from ours that she probably never even thought about it.”
“I wouldn’t drag her back all the time if I had known. Status I understand, it is very important.” Finally grasping why it was so important for her to study and take those ‘tests’.
“Yes you would have dragged her back or she would have gone back on her own.”
“Well I might still have.” Inuyasha couldn’t help but smile sheepishly.
He most likely would still have dragged her back, but would have taken into account her status placing. He might not have fought like he did with her every time she left the past. After all he was still fighting to establish his own standing among humans and demons.
“You know? She was extremely upset when you locked her here the last time… It was hard to live with her moping around.” Asami said with a grin at his surprised expression. “Kagome was very preoccupied, pissed off, and more than a little worried.”
“I only wanted to keep her safe.” He explained, still surprised, but he remembered the way she had hugged him when she came back. It had been pleasant, but they had ended arguing like always.
“All of us know that you will never let any harm come to her if you can help it.”
“But I was wounded and could not protect her then. I don’t think even Miroku could and well, Shippou tries but he’s too young.”
“She said something about a stomach wound from a battle with your brother.” He nodded confirming it. That his own brother was set on killing him was something that escaped Asami’s comprehension. “I think she wanted to be able to tend it and see you get better more than anything.”
‘That’s Kagome.’ He thought smiling a bit. ‘She’s always there to tend to my injuries after a fight. But I didn’t want her to get hurt then. That fight with Sesshomaru scared me. He could have killed me first and then her.’ He shuddered slightly at the thought of her dead.
“Higurashi-sama… People die because of me, because they are close to me. All the people who ever cared for me died. I just don’t want her to die.”
“Not all of them. Look at your pack.”
“I’m afraid they might die. I didn’t want them close then. But they stayed because of Kagome, and because they hate Naraku.”
“Death is a part of life dear. You have seen more of it than anyone should ever have to.” Asami said comfortingly and he just nodded.
‘So this is what you hide under your walls. You are so compassionate and can never show it for fear of what would happen if you did.’
“None of them will die without a fight.”
“No,” he allowed himself a small proud smile, “they are good and strong fighters. Even Shippou will do what he can. And they accepted me and to be members of my pack. They are good people.” He surprised himself saying that, but he had to admit it was true. That was what he thought of them.
“I know, even the lecherous houshi.” To that he just nodded but had a dubious look in his face. “When it is all over, you can always just stay in this time you know. Then you wouldn’t have to fight so often.”
“I can?!” A life without being constantly on his guard did appear appealing. And Kagome’s time did not seem so bad now that he was getting to learn a bit more about it.
“Yes, of course you can!”
“You think Kagome won’t mind? She doesn’t want me here much.”
“I don’t think she would, but tell me, am I right in thinking that by claimed you mean made any formal overtures…”
“Ah… ah… not exactly, claiming a mate it’s more… more…” Asami just nodded at his discomfort.
“It’s ok Inuyasha, you don’t have to say it. I see this is hard for you to talk about.”
“If you did wind up claiming Kagome, I would fully expect you to, or at least to visit frequently.” Inuyasha blushed deep red. If she only knew, he’d spent many a sleepless night dreaming of what it would be to mate with Kagome. “I think Kagome has seen that you can handle yourself here quite well.”
‘Is she… is she giving me permission to mate her?’ He thought shocked and his heart stopped for a moment. ‘No, I probably didn’t hear her right.’
Inuyasha was feeling more comfortable talking with Kagome’s mother. She really understood and did not press him. In some ways she reminded him of his mother and well, she was a mother of sorts to him now. It felt good to be able to talk about that kind of things with someone who was so understanding and supportive. So he took courage and decided to tell her about the neko’s comments and his own reservations.
“I hope…” Inuyasha allowed his expectations to show a bit. “But Higurashi-sama would you mind if I slept on the Go-Shimboku?” He asked, not wanting to offend since she was being really generous and he was refusing to stay inside.
Asami seemed surprised by the question, but gathered that this had more to do with the things Watanabe had told him. She thought this might have to do with the remark about Kagome being in heat. It had struck her as odd at the time, but she thought she might have figured it out now. Inuyasha was trying to boost his chances at resisting temptation. She offered to refill his cup of coffee and he accepted with a nod
“Why? Would you be more comfortable on the tree compared to a bed?”
“Not really, this bed thing is really good, I like sleeping in one but… ah… well you see…” He stammered a bit. That much he knew, most females did not like those themes discussed and the fact that he could tell. “Ah… well… Kagome is in…”
“Heat?” She finished for him and he nodded. “I heard something about that when you were on the phone. I take it that bothers you?”
“Other women don’t bother me, but Kagome… well… she does… a bit.” He scratched his head trying to explain his reasons to keep away. It was more for her sake than his actually. “I could always stand it before… she… smells nicer. But yesterday she smelled a bit different and well… my instincts are… a bit hard to keep in control.”
He feared his demon instincts might make him force Kagome into something she might not want. Usually, he slept upwind when she was in heat so that he wouldn’t have to deal with it and the dreams it gave him. If the wind shifted, he would either move or go take care of himself somewhere else while the others slept.
“It’s ok… I’m not mad.” She told him finally understanding the whole situation. He was a still a growing demon and to top that he was also a human teen. The hormones would surely drive him a bit crazy. Add on to that, that by custom and instinct she was his mate and no wonder he wanted to sleep elsewhere for a while.
‘She’s not angry? She’s not angry!’ He sighed relieved. ‘Damn neko he’s going to get it as soon as I see him!’
“I’ll keep away.” He said knowing that Kagome might not appreciate a horny demon hovering around her. She’ll blame him and call him hentai, unaware she was the one setting him off. If she knew he’ll probably never be able to lift himself from the floor. She’ll ‘sit’ him until he became a fixture on the ground.
“I understand that, so you think you can deal with it better if you don’t sleep in the house for the duration?”
“Yes that would probably help a bit; the scents tend to disperse outside.” He responded.
“Then sleep in the tree if it will make you feel better. Hmm… Was she aroused possibly? I think that would be very hard for you to ignore.” She suggested and he shrugged.
“Well it did smell a bit like those girls.” He commented his mind comparing scents and trying to place if he’s smelled something similar before. “But all I did was hold her and whisper in her ear.” Kagome’s mother smiled, the ear could be a very erogenous zone for some people. Her daughter probably inherited that from Yushiro, the ears were always his weakness.
“Which girls?” Asami asked surprised.
“The girls from the alley, there is something that puzzles me about them.” He saw his chance to clear something that had intrigued him since that night.
“Ah, what is it?”
“Well… I could smell the musk of one of the boys but it was not on the girl. And no where around either, that… well that doesn’t disappear.”
“I would guess he was using a condom.” At his puzzled expression, she decided to explain. It was sure that in his time they did not know anything or very little about birth control. This might be a bit embarrassing for the young man. “It is a type of sheath you put over the penis to prevent pregnancy.”
She was right, he was red again and looking very flustered. She needed to find a way to give him some modern sex education before anything did happen with her daughter. It was just finding a way of doing it without making him permanently red in the face that would be a challenge.
“Ah… Higurashi-sama.” Inuyasha muttered, the idea of putting something on his penis did not sound very appealing or pleasant. Especially when it was that sensitive, he’d scratched himself with his claws a few times and that had been very painful. He shuddered a bit at the memory, no, he definitely did not want to try those thingies. His hands instinctively moved to protect said area.
“A condom is made out of latex and is fairly common nowadays. Actually… that gives me an idea… I think I know of a way to keep Kagome’s being in heat from bothering you so much.”
“You do?” He asked a bit hopeful. Asami nodded.
“But it won’t work until next time.” She warned him.
“How?” He asked and then shuddering he decided that if those ‘condom’ thingies helped he’ll wear them. “Ah… anything that will do it, even those thingies you mentioned.”
“There’s something called birth control pills.” She said smiling at his antics. “They trick the woman’s body into thinking it’s pregnant and so they don’t go into heat, but they menstruate as normal.” Inuyasha frowned trying to digest that.
“So if a woman mates there’ll be no pups?” Inuyasha could not believe he actually had the guts to ask.
“Exactly.” Asami smiled at him, the kid was quick. “That is what the pills are for normally, but I think in this case it should be able to have the pleasant side effect of allowing you to concentrate.”
“Ah… but wouldn’t she be all angry and shout hentai at me?” That worried him a lot, ‘sits’ were painful. “I don’t think I’ll survive the ‘sits’.”
“I’ll talk to her about that part, but you need to talk to her about the rest.”
“I suppose I should.” He admitted.
“But what would actually having sex with her mean as far as other demons are concerned?”
Asami almost couldn’t believe that she was calmly discussing this with him. But for the hanyou this was very serious, not some kind of game, as far as she understood it seemed like a commitment that equaled marriage. She still wanted to confirm that. If it had been something else she didn’t know what she would have said on the matter.
Inuyasha had been taking a big swallow of coffee when she made the question. He sputtered and coughed the hot liquid almost flipping over. She asked? That was something that was not spoken openly in his time unless the person happened to be one lecherous houshi by the name Miroku. Thing was he did not know much about it, but he did now that mating involved having sex, his instincts told him. That sealed the mating. He took a few careful sips of his drink.
“You really do need to tell her Inuyasha,” she said at his startled look, “if only to tell her of her responsibility to Shippou. And what does that translate to for a human?”
“We’ll be mated and she’ll be my companion for life.” Inuyasha responded not looking at her. “I don’t know the human customs well, I don’t even know about demon customs.” He paused before adding. “What I know about this is what my instinct tells me.”
“Well, human customs are different in our time from yours. So is it something like a marriage?” If it was, then she would just have to see them married. She was almost certain that was what Kagome wanted anyways. But bringing Jii-chan around on that point would take some work, but it could be done. It would settle her mind about the whole matter and how she wanted to handle it.
“I think it’s something like that but more.” He said thinking hard, trying to remember what else had heard about that.
“How do you mean more?”
“There’s a bond that comes between mates. At least for Inu youkai.”
“That doesn’t sound that different from the way things are now.” She said with a small smile. “And what does it do?”
“One can’t be without the other. A demon will die without his/her mate. Female demons will remain until the pups are old enough, then they die to follow the one that left. Sometimes the males remain with the pups if the one to die was the female, but it’s not that common I think. Human mates can survive though, but Ofukuro was always so sad.”
“That must play havoc for demon/human mates.”
“Yes it does. I don’t remember much, but I do remember Ofukuro was always sad. I felt she wanted to be with Oyagi but stayed because of me.” His look turned a bit far away, like he was recalling his childhood. “She stayed to protect me.” That was said very softly and sadly. Asami hugged him from behind, offering comfort. The gesture surprised Inuyasha.
“It’s ok. I was more worried about the other way around.” She told him softly, and he leaned into the hug. It reminded him so much of his mother and how much he wanted to have her comfort him while he was growing up.
“Humans live very short lives compared to demons.”
“Once a human is properly mated some will remain for longer, but I’m not sure about that part Myoga-jiji only mentioned it once I think.”
“Good.” She said and felt him purr again.
“I wouldn’t want to live without Kagome anyway.”
“I don’t want to see you die young. You have done too much good to deserve It.” she told him. She needed to lighten the mood and possibly tell him something that might help him talk to Kagome about everything he had realized.
“Do you want to know human customs when it comes to courtship?”
“Yes. I don’t even know dog demon customs.” He said looking very interested and thinking that perhaps knowing would make things work with Kagome.
“Humans in this era spend a period of time between their teens and their twenties dating. That is getting into surface relationships with other humans to determine if they would make a good spouse. It is a get to know each other stage really.”
“Sounds too long!” He complained impatiently, “I already chose a mate.” he seemed to be coming to terms with that fact.
“It can be long or it can be very short depends on the people involved.”
“Ah… good.” He said with a nod.
“You already chose one for a lot of reasons, none the least of which is how much you like her.” She said teasing him a bit just to see if he would blush, and he did. “Most people date a lot of people before they get engaged. That would be about the equivalent of where you are at right now.”
“So this ‘engaged’ thing is like I know I want her for a mate but we are not mated yet.”
“Yes, something like that. At least by my understanding and the word is engagement. It is the stage where they know they are going to marry each other and are making the arrangements for the ceremony we call a wedding.”
“What is this wedding thing?” Inuyasha asked, and then repeated the word. “Engagement.” Just to fix it in his mind.
“It is a sort of ritual where the lifelong commitment is announced to gathered family and friends. There is some religious stuff involved and there are commitment vows. Because of your bonding as a demon, demons wouldn’t need something of this nature.”
“Ah… Would Kagome like this wedding thing?” He asked thinking that perhaps he could do something to please her for a change.
“You will have to ask her.” She told him grinning a bit mischievously. And he shuffled nervously on the seat. “But if you do mate her while you are back in the past, I fully expect you to marry her here.” There, she said it. She was giving him permission if Kagome agreed. Now she would have to deal with the consequences.
‘She’s really giving me permission to mate Kagome! I’m not imagining things!’ His heart beat really fast and for a moment he did not know what to do or say. He felt happy really happy, even though the hard part would be to tell Kagome.
“If Kagome accepts, I will do that for you Higurashi-sama.” Inuyasha said after thinking about it for a moment.
“I don’t think there’ll be much trouble there.” She told him with a smile. “Once married, we can legally change her surname. And it would be recorded as a legal document. It has property rights implications.”
‘Property rights?’ The young hanyou thought a bit confused.
“That other name you all have right?” Inuyasha asked frowning a bit. “I never had one before.”
“Yes, she would wind up being Shirosenshi Kagome instead of her current name.”
“Ah… sounds… nice.” He said with a small smile, he liked how it sounded.
“I think my husband’s late business partner would be pleased. That was his last name too.”
“Hmmm… He had that same name? Odd.” The young man said thoughtfully.
“He did, that is why it surprised me so much when you said it was your last name at the police station.”
“I didn’t know I had one until I read it in the scrolls. I would do this wedding thing for you then.” Inuyasha scratched his head pondering.
“No, you would do it for her because it is expected in modern times so that the rest of us can know of your relationship. We can’t smell each other the way you can.”
“Ah so it’s instead of the smell! Now I understand. So this would tell humans she’s mine?” He blushed a bit still not comfortable with calling Kagome his in front of her.
“Exactly. And no one but an absolute cad would try anything.” She could see how happy that made him, as the young man had a wide pleased grin on his face. “So… When are you going to tell her?” A little pressure wouldn’t hurt specially with the slight problem of his instinct. She had a wide grin too and could see he really loved her daughter.
“I like this wedding thing then, but I don’t know when I’ll tell her.”
“Can you tell her while she is in heat?”
“I can try.” He understood now. She wanted Kagome to know just in case his instinct won. He would not let it win, but he guessed it wouldn’t be too terrible to talk to her. “She’s not angry at me now, but I just don’t want her to get mad.” Inuyasha was thinking hard, for a way to tell Kagome without making her angry or arguing.
“If she was going to get mad at you for such a thing, I think she would have slapped you last night. I would take that as a note of approval from her.” She told him and then heard the young man mutter something under his breath.
“What was that?” The look on his face was precious and she could not help but smile, so he did have a few ecchi thoughts. Especially now that he realized he had permission, and she caught him, Inuyasha turned red again.
“I… well I was thinking…” He heard her laugh and couldn’t help but stammer. “It might not be a bad idea… ah just… just in case. I should… warn her.”
“You are easily flustered Inuyasha.” Asami laughed delightedly.
“I just never had someone to talk about these things with before.”
“You can always talk with me. Hopefully, you will be my son-in-law one of these days.”
“Thank you Higurashi-sama, you have treated me so well.”
“You should speak to her. If you can’t, tell me and I will.”
“Would you do that?”
“Yes, but only if it became necessary. I think it would be best if it came from you. I know you don’t want to push her into anything.”
“But if I tell her it feels like I am pushing her. Kagome might…”
“You know,” Asami interrupted him, “I might sound like I’m repeating myself. But it is just that she can very easily push you beyond your ability to control your instincts, she needs to know so she doesn’t do it unintentionally.”
“I can see your point.” Inuyasha said with a sigh, knowing she was right. “I’ll try to find a way to speak to her. Even if she refused to be my mate, I would not choose another one.”
“Intentionally is another story.” Inuyasha’s eyes went wide.
‘Would… would Kagome really do that?’ His mind started reeling and a few ecchi thoughts from his fantasies began popping in. He had to shake his head to push them away.
“Then you need to tell me later so we can deal with the consequences.” Asami snickered; she could almost see the thoughts passing through his mind.
With the information girls in that time had, Kagome probably had more knowledge about sex than he did. He might know the rudiments, but well her daughter did read some NC-17 fanfiction that she wasn’t supposed to.
“I like you dear. I think you make a good match for my daughter.”
“Ah… thank you.” He responded unsure how to respond to that.
“Premarital sex is not considered to be so taboo in this age. And I wouldn’t allow it to be premarital for long.”
“Well… in my time she’s old enough to be married. Thing is I’m not yet.”
“Well, here… you can legally marry on your own at 18. You need your parent or guardian’s permission to do so at any age upward of 16 before that, but I still don’t think you want anyone to be confused.”
“That she is yours of course!”
“Demons and hanyous will know. I have marked her with my scent.”
“True, but humans won’t.” He looked mortified and a bit jealous. “And this world is mostly human.”
“What should I do then?” He asked worried that someone might try to take his mate from him. “That hobo, holo, whatever. I don’t want him close.” He said jealousy pouring through every pore.
“Hojo you mean? Oh he is harmless.” She saw him breathe relieved at her comment, and her smile grew wider. Once Inuyasha felt comfortable talking to someone he could be quite expressive. “Kagome barely gives him the time of day. Your walking her to and from school will be enough to get rid of him.”
“Really? I should have done that sooner then.” He said with a nod.
“He was one of Kagome’s dates that definitely wasn’t going to work out.” She reassured him.
“Good.” He said with satisfaction, looking pleased that there was at least one less obstacle. Kouga was still in the past, but if he claimed her, the wolf youkai could do nothing to take her from him. Asami laughed at seeing his expression. He looked happy and quite determined, and she was sure he had seldom let it show, at least the happiness.
“Oh you are so funny sometimes.” She said patting his head between his ears. “I’ll get ready to leave or we’ll be late for your appointment at the ophthalmologist.” He made a face that indicated he was not very convinced about going. “You’ll see the difference, literally.”
A/N: I’ll like to give credit where credit is due.
Telosphilos on IRC contributed many of the main parts of the conversation with Inuyasha as she played the role of Asami while she helped me get his part of the chapter. Thanx! Without your help I don’t think it would have ended quite like this. And I loved how this chapter worked out in the end.
Also in later chapters and to help you get an idea of what is going on when. As there are many things happening at the same time and some people might find a bit confusing.
I’ll add an appendix chapter that will contain a time table of the events that are happening. I’ll see how FF.net responds to the table format; if not good I’ll post an address where you can consult it. It’ll be updated with each new chapter I post, so you can have the info up to date. (Sort of an agenda type of thing)