A/N: Minor problem. Lately, it's been frankly difficult for me
to write in my current projects, and I am seriously considering
putting them all on hiatus and just focusing on one or two until
they're complete. It's hard to decide which fics to use for
this, so I kind of need feedback if any of you have a
But for now . . . YES, finally finished this chappie! -^__^-
This is one of my favorite fics- I just love the reincarnation
plotlines. Yes, it's done to death, but . . . I don't CARE! XD
*basks in joy of finished chappie for one brief and shining
Now, where'd I leave that last chapter of "Things Worth Dying
For" . . . *mumblemumble*
Note to warriorGL: If you DO draw that picture, send me a copy,
yah? ^_^ I would love to see it!
415o, |\|o73 700 KevinEC: j35, mj 1337 ]5 qu]73 horr]d, ]5|\|'7
]7. -^__^- Mw4|-|4|-|4. R34d o|\|, mj c|-|]1d!
"The Heroes of the Story"
Hojou was politely puzzled.
To be honest, he spent a great deal of his time in a similar
state- especially whilst in the presence of one Higurashi Kagome-
but this was a different sort of puzzlement. This was the sort
that comes with seeing two little boys and their kitties sneak
into an old wellhouse in your crush's backyard and not come out
Admittedly, this might've been less troubling if said
wellhouse's doorway weren't currently glowing electric blue.
On the back porch of the Higurashi home, Hojou was sprawled, all
angles and the sort of burning curiosity that often renders
those of the feline persuasion inert. He was even cutting
class. If it weren't for his remarkably innocent eyes and
neatly buttoned shirt and jacket, he would've made a perfect
bishounen pin-up for the title page of one of those shoujo manga
with heroines who tend to wear a lot of pink and have very perky
. . . pigtails.
But sadly, this was not to be. Instead, Hojou and his cat-
killing curiosity decided that it might be fun to go see where
those boys and their kitties had gotten off to and why the
wellhouse was currently lit up like a . . . well, like an
ominously lit-up wellhouse, for lack of a more suitable
allegory. Hojou was not known for his creativity, except when
thinking up new and unusual cure-all gifts for Kagome.
So off trotted Hojou to have a look-see. And with drama being
so darn dramatic, and the universe being what it is, he quite
promptly discovered the well as the source of the glow and
hopped right in to see why.
Now, we all remember what the universe is like, don't we? How
everything balances out in the end; how there's always one last
chance? How something pure and good always seems to stumble
across something dark and wicked, or at least always exists with
the possibility of stumbling across them?
Almost everything in the universe has at least one natural
enemy, no matter how kind or naïve they may themselves be. A
hungry wolf will snap up even the fluffiest of bunnies if it
doesn't watch its back.
Yet, Hojou Akito had yet to encounter such a creature. Somehow,
over the years, he had slipped past the bullies and avoided the
gossips on an instinctive level. He was moderately popular-
enough so that none of the really "with-it" kids teased him- and
at the same time, not popular enough to get dragged into the
animosity that existed between the in-crowd and their natural
enemies, the school punks and the "normals."
He would've fit in anywhere, to be honest, if it weren't for
that odd hair . . . Most people assumed he dyed it for some
semblance of rebellion in the perfect student and son.
They were quite wrong.
First of all, Hojou was a natural redhead despite his purely
Secondly, he was far from the perfect son. Oh, he acted the
part well enough, but lately . . . lately . . .
He had been Thinking. Not just a mere observation of events,
but really and truly Thinking.
And he was starting to see the value of taking a mental health
day from reality every now and then- among other things.
And it just so happens that Hojou Akito is getting closer and
closer to meeting that natural enemy of his, and it is not going
to be a pleasant experience- mostly because he's going to find
out that it is, quite literally, himself.
But to be honest, his current situation is more Kagome's fault
than the universe's (meaning that nothing could be proved,
though one might suspect its indirect involvement). Normally
people can't just pass willy-nilly through the well unless
there's a damn good reason. And when I say damn good, I mean
DAMN good- simple things like matters of life and death cut no
ice with the Bone Eater's Well.
But Kagome is the one who dropped a shard of the Shikon Jewel at
the bottom of it the last time she left the Warring States Era
and Inu-Yasha told her something that she really didn't want to
know. So if it weren't for her, random members of the cast
wouldn't have been switching time periods for a lark all day,
Souta and Kirara wouldn't be trapped in Sesshoumaru's fluff,
Shippou and Buyo wouldn't be trudging after an unusually-cheery
Kikyou, and Hojou most certainly would not be about to find
himself cast in the role of the Hero of the Story, complete with
Perky Sidekicks and a Disagreeable-But-Beautiful Love Interest.
Maybe if we're lucky, he'll get really sweaty and lose his shirt
in a fight like Inu-Yasha always does.
Inu-Yasha was impolitely puzzled.
Which is a nice way of saying, "confused and pissed as hell."
"Are you telling me," he began slowly, "that there are Shikon
shards here, that you have known this for a week, and that you
never bothered to TELL me?"
"Well, if you want to blunt about it . . ." Kagome muttered.
Inu-Yasha twitched. "You bitch. Where are they?!" he demanded.
Kouga shrugged lightly. "Here and there," he said dismissively.
"No one really looks for them anymore, but most of the more
powerful youkai know where the larger collections are."
Inu-Yasha looked ready to gut somebody. Indecision over which
of the two people sharing his table ought to die first was the
only thing that kept him from doing so.
"Why did everyone stop looking?" Kagome asked.
"You would be amazed by how fucking quickly a youkai showing off
all his pretty Shikon shard-granted powers gets dead in this
era," Kouga told her, sipping at his lukewarm coffee.
"Nowadays, one miko can easily kick the shit out of almost any
one of us. They've gotten so much stronger while we've had to
hide and fade away. I'm one of the oldest lords left now."
"Are you joking?" Inu-Yasha stared at him. "You're only, what,
five or six centuries old?!"
"Personally, that seems like a while to ME," Kagome said dryly.
Inu-Yasha shook his head. "Not for a youkai lord, idiot," he
replied irritably. "It's a title you come into if you survive
long enough to get strong enough to defeat another lord. And
you have to live pretty damn long to pull that off."
"Not anymore," Kouga said, looking slightly wistful. "There are
hardly any full-blooded youkai left in Japan . . . In fact, in a
few cases, even half-breeds have risen to the rank of lords."
Inu-Yasha bristled slightly. "What's that supposed to mean?!"
he demanded angrily.
"That we youkai are so weakened that even a bastard child
without so much as a magic sword to his name can defeat us,"
Kouga retorted flatly. "I wasn't trying to insult you
personally, I was just saying that logically, most half-breeds
shouldn't be able to outfight a pureblooded youkai- and
certainly not a lord."
"He is right, Inu-Yasha," Kagome pointed out. "I mean, you're
really strong, but surely not every hanyou had parents like
yours. Some of them must've come from . . . well, you know-
ordinary woman and lesser youkai."
"You mean rape," Inu-Yasha translated flatly.
"Well, yeah," she confessed, wincing slightly. "I mean, it's
not like a lot of the humans who hate youkai don't have a REASON
"Mm," Kouga replied neutrally, retreating to his coffee cup
again. "Imagine that." A slightly awkward silence descended
over the table as Kagome ran out of things to say and Inu-Yasha
tucked into the ramen again.
"So," Kagome said finally. "Sixty-three kids, huh?"
"Yup," Kouga answered, nodding slightly.
* tbc . . . *
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