The Silence of Daisies
Fluff with a dash of drama to get the blood goin'.
Hope you guys enjoy! Feedback of all kinds is greatly appreciated.
"Sango! Come look at these peonies!"
Brunette locks tied low in a loose hanging tail swayed with the motion of the woman's body as she turned to answer her young friend's call. Her eyes paused in their tracks to briefly gaze across the gorgeous field of floral that just so happened to be caressing the same path that her companions and herself currently traveled. Breaking her attention away from the amusing sight of butterflies chasing each other within tall stalks of red snapdragons, Sango walked the short distance and crouched down next to the other woman.
Sitting next to her was a small fox kit who dutifully busied himself by weaving a small crown of flowers together in the tall shaded grass. Accompanying as their own personal body pillow laid a large feline demon sleeping soundly behind the two. Ruffling the hair of the red headed child, Sango also made herself comfortable in the soft grass.
"Those are gorgeous, Kagome. I've never seen a flower with such a dramatic design." Sango spoke with awe, admiring the red and white striped petals that the young girl next to her was gushing over.
Kagome hummed in appreciation as she gently stroked the silken petals with her fingertips, almost ashamed of what she was about to do. Mocha colored eyes looked up from her breathtaking discovery in search of the boy who holds the same title in her heart. It took all but a second to find those distinct canine ears atop a mass of white hair, currently hiding amongst the tree line. He found the spot instantly when the group unanimously agreed on taking a break and has been sulking ever since.
Holding her breath to distract her from the guilt, Kagome quickly snapped the stem from the others and stood to her feet.
"I'll be right back, Sango."
Inuyasha hated the location of their most recent rest stop. The damn field of flowers that just had to make itself known to the group of travelers so soon after leaving camp. The hanyou sat cross legged on a thick branch that shook just slightly with the force of his bouncing left leg. He just couldn't help but feel restless. Not only were his senses shot to hell but his thoughts started to venture down a familiar path that he simply was not willing to go down.
"Damn flowers," Inuyasha mumbled while throwing his arms behind his head, "At this rate we'll never catch up to Naraku." The man exhaled a comical 'keh' and closed his eyes against the late morning sun.
Golden eyes cracked open at the sound of his name being called a moment later, though he had heard her light humming long before she had made her presence known. His nose may be useless, but he could always count on his exceptional hearing.
"Whatchya plotting, wench?" Inuyasha said, shutting his eyes after taking in the raven haired miko standing below with something hidden behind her back.
The girl rolled her eyes a bit more dramatically than necessary. Choosing to ignore that comment, Kagome made her voice so sugary sweet that just hearing it would give a person cavities, "I have a surpriiise for youuu."
"Forget it, the last time you gave me a 'surprise' I ended up eating dirt."
"Inuyasha, would you just come down for a second?!"
"Stop being such a baby and get down from there!"
"Make me, stupid!"
As soon as Kagome uttered the command, Inuyasha found himself face first in a very Inu-shaped crater. The futuristic girl heaved a heavy sigh as she bent herself over the hole, the hand holding the flower still hidden behind her back, "You know I don't like using the beads while you're off the ground, Inuyasha."
Golden eyes shot daggers into the wench. He didn't even try to hide his sarcastic response, "Of course, how could I forget?" he groaned, sitting up once the effects of the magic subjugation beads around his neck wore off.
"Now what the hell do you want to show me?"
"Look at this peony, the color reminds me of your robe of the fire rat!" Kagome beamed, jutting the hand presenting the rose in front of the suddenly white faced Inuyasha.
Snapping out of it with an angry snarl, his clawed hand came up and smacked the offending flower to the ground, "Get that shit away from me, woman!"
Kagome gasped at the sudden fury and pain that filled his eyes in that moment before he swiftly leapt back up into the tree line. "Inuyasha..?" She whispered as petals scattered to the ground.
He fled the area.
"I don't know, Miroku. Do you really think it's okay to leave without him?" Sango asked, reading the worry on Kagome's face at the monks mention of leaving behind their missing half demon leader.
"I'm sure he'll be fine, my dear Sango. After all it was he who made the call to get back on the road no later than high sun," The monk replied, rubbing his chin in thought, "besides, it would be quite hard for Inuyasha to loose us with that sharp nose of his."
Kagome visibly relaxed at Miroku's last statement and released a breath she wasn't even aware she held. How could she forget the marvels their half demon possessed? Molten gold pain flashed in her minds eye briefly before she shoved the thought away. She'll come back to that subject later.
"Miroku's right, Sango. Inuyasha will catch up to us in no time." Kagome smiled at her closest friend for emphasis, knowing the other woman asked on her behalf.
Adjusting her Hiraikotsu more comfortably on her back, the demon slayer gave a firm nod. "Right, we can take care of things until then." A small mew of agreement came from Sango's right shoulder as the once large feline now rested comfortably against her neck.
"We could use the extra peace and quite, anyway. Right, Kagome?" The young fox kit exclaimed from the arms of his mother figure.
"Shippo, don't be rude." Kagome chastised the kit softly, tweaking the boys pointed ear and disrupting the flower crown perched on his head.
"Shall we start off, then?" Miroku began the journey ahead of the group with the oversized yellow sack they used close to his back. The straps of the bag causing his oversized sleeves to pull away from his wrists, showing off the purple cloth and prayer beads protecting his right hand.
"At least we can still enjoy the scenery," Sango said, still admiring the field of flowers that seemed to stretch on for miles ahead of them.
As time went on and the sun made its own journey to the west, worry made it's descend upon the small group. Hours of traveling and Inuyasha was nowhere in sight, only the ever growing field of flowers.
Though the group grew concerned, it was indeed the young school girl from the future who seemed most disturbed at the absence. Was he okay? Did he encounter a demon? Or worse...
Visions of Inuyasha and the woman who currently housed the other half of her soul came to mind and she shot down that thought immediately. Now was not the time for petty jealousy over Kikyou.
"Uhm, M-Miroku," Kagome began to say, only to be cut off by the monk himself.
"Why don't we make camp for the night?" He offered gently, not only seeing but feeling the groups concern, "If Inuyasha is not back by morning we will turn around and start the search."
The thought of searching for the half demon brought anxiety to the young woman, but agreeing nonetheless. Maybe the smell of dinner cooking will lure him out. Kagome couldn't help but hope for his return as she took out some of Inuyasha's favorite ninja foods from her big yellow school bag.
A heavy silence fell upon the group as everyone started on the preparations for dinner. Sango waved Miroku ahead at his unspoken question on Kagome's well being before he walked over to where the girl from the future sat with the fox, "Ready to gather firewood, Shippo?"
"Are you going to be okay, Kagome?" Shippo asked, stealing the air from the lungs of the other two as they waited for Kagome to speak.
With a smile that didn't match her eyes, she nodded softly and shooed the boy toward Miroku, "Hurry back, now."
"Kagome," Sango said gently once the two girls and small cat demon were alone, "what do you think happened to him? Did you guys get into a fight?"
"No, not really," Kagome said, "though he did seem angrier than usual earlier, it wasn't directed so much at me. Yet…" She paused in thought.
"Remember when I left you and Shippo earlier after picking that peony?"
"Sure, we assumed you went to show Inuyasha."
"Yes, but when I showed it to him he got irrationally angry. Like just the mere sight of the thing shook him."
"Oh? How do you mean, Kagome?"
"I don't know, Sango, there had to be something else bothering him." Kagome mused.
But before the girls delved in too deep, the boys returned with an armful of twigs and thick branches each. Plenty to last them the night. Not long after placing the dried wood in a ceremonial tipi shape did the fire burn bright, a steel kettle of water hanging just above it ready for the cupped noodles.
Kagome looked away from her work to briefly observe the horizon as the setting sun bid farewell to the rising moon.
"Please be alright, Inuyasha." She whispered for her ears alone.
If the guilt wasn't already eating away at him, the distress in Kagome's voice as she talked to Sango and brokenly wished him well could have done him in. Little did the humans in the group know, Inuyasha has been slowly tailing them this entire time out of sight.
Earlier that day, after his incident with the woman he was currently eavesdropping on, Inuyasha had secretly lured their feline companion out into a more secluded part of the floral field with a message.
"Kirara, I need you to keep my whereabouts a secret until morning. I won't be far behind you, alright?" The dog demon assured, meanwhile rubbing the soft fur of the fully transformed demon.
"I promise to get you extra helpings of fish for the rest of our journey if you help me out, deal?"
His proposal was more than the cat could stand and she agreed with an affirmative mew in Inuyasha's direction, causing the man to smirk.
"Thanks, Kirara. And make sure that runt is in on it too, okay?" With that, Inuyasha took to the sky once more.
Now, as Inuyasha sat there at a safe distance away from the group, he couldn't help the sigh that escaped him. "Thank god for Miroku's annoying staff making all that racket, otherwise I probably would've lost 'em by now."
Looking up at the rapidly setting sun, Inuyasha let out a soft puff of air for what seemed to be the twentieth time in the last half hour.
"I'm sorry, Kagome."
Back at camp, the travelers settled themselves in for a much need night of rest. The monk respectfully giving the woman space this night and sitting himself against the base of a tree to the far side of the area. Sango and a transformed Kirara curled together comfortably as Shippo accompanied the stressed teen in her sleeping sack from the future.
Sleep finally claimed all but one, the day catching up to the poor girl drastically. Unfortunately for her, sleep will not win the battle on this night.
"Oh, Inuyasha," Kagome whispered softly as she felt her eyes sting with the obvious sign of tears approaching, "was it something I did? If it was the command I...I'll never use the damn word again!"
"Keh, is that a promise wench?"
With a start, Kagome snapped open her eyes at the sound of the missing half demon's voice, "Inuyasha?!" She whispered harshly, glaring at the smirking demon's face as his white dog ears perked up at her confession. How dare he just show up out of no where in the middle of the night SMIRKING while everyone spent the entire day worried sick.
Before she had a chance to say anything else, the man hovering over her quickly put a hand over her mouth, "Will you shut up for a second? Geez, are you trying to wake the whole camp? Now follow me, we need to talk."
' You got that right,' Kagome thought, shaking the offending hand away from her mouth.
Without so much as a word from either of them, Kagome quickly and quietly removed herself from the slumbering kit and wiggled her way free from the sleeping bag. Smoothing out her green sailor school uniform, she proceeded to follow Inuyasha as he lead them away from the dying fire, all the while remaining silent.
The two walked for what seemed like eternity before they reached their destination upon a small hillside. Yellow daisies tried to make themselves known to the world as they presented themselves amongst the rest of the more dazzling flowers, standing as tall as their short stems would allow with an air of silent pride. Kagome couldn't help but feel more attracted to them for that alone.
The pair sat in more silence, the woman patiently waiting for an answer to all of her worries and the man trying to quickly collect his thoughts. Where does he even begin?
"Inuyasha, I'm sorry about earlier. I didn't mean to upset you, I just thought-"
"You have nothing to apologize for, Kagome." He interrupted her before the thought could even be finished.
"Then why did you run from me? Do you even understand how scared I've been all d-day?" A sob fell from her mouth at the end of her tirade, not even trying to suppress it. The relief that flood through her veins at just being in front of the man made everything else seem much less important.
"Kagome…please don't cry, not for me." Inuyasha's ears drooped at his last statement, needing to explain before the girl's insecurities completely overwhelmed her.
"It was nothing you did," Inuyasha started as he gazed across the small patch of yellow daisies that reflected the moons rays in the most interesting of ways, "it's just…that flower you had, i-it was my mothers favorite. Her garden was covered in peonies of all different colors," his voice took on a serious tone then, and Kagome dare not say a word as she sat and listened intently to the half demon's tale.
"I was a small child," Inuyasha began, the day coming through as clear as a bell.
The peonies fragrance whisked along the garden in a relaxing balm for the senses as a young boy of about five years or so came bouncing through the garden's path in search of his cherished mother.
Golden eyes scanned the area diligently in his search until his tiny triangular ears perched atop white hair twitched cutely at the sound of a feminine giggle.
"It'll be hard to find me amongst the scent of all these flowers, my little warrior."
Beaming in delight, the boy eagerly bounded toward the sound of his mother's voice in their ongoing game of hide and seek. The garden was the perfect place for the game as it eliminated one of his most important tracking senses.
"That's what you think, Mamaaa!" The boy gave the most toothiest of smiles as he spot the elegant pastels of his mothers layered kimono hiding behind a decorative boulder placed along the pathway. Silently he made his way behind the woman and without second thought, pounced upon his prey.
"I found you! I found you!" The boy announced with glee, hugging his mother as tight as his tiny arms could.
"You sure did, Inuyasha. Let's celebrate with some tea." His mother affectionately rubbed one of his pointed ears and lead him towards the castle grounds, away from the garden.
As the two made their way to the doors, one guard of the gates made himself known.
"Lady Izayoi, headmaster Shinjou is here in regards to your halfbreed son." The guard said without shame, dismissing himself before he had a chance to witness the woman's angry glare in his direction.
"Inuyasha, could you excuse your mother for just a moment please? I won't be long."
With that, Lady Izayoi left her son to stare after her with a sour scowl on his face. He was young but very insightful to the actions of others. The guard didn't like him nor did the boy trust the guard. This alone gave him perfect incentive to go after them.
Deciding to put his freshly trained tracking skills to the test, Inuyasha stealthily followed behind his mother and the guard until they reached the main entrance grounds of the castle. Trying to keep as far and out of sight as possible, the young hanyou hid himself at the edge the forest surrounding the area.
Adjusting himself in a more comfortable position within the bushes, the boy trained his canine ears forward to listen to the conversation between his mother and the village man.
"What business brings you to my home, Shinjou." The woman's tone held no room for flattery, knowing full well the reason behind the mans routine visit.
"Izayoi, this is the final straw! My youngest daughter, Seki, has recently approached me in fear of your halfbreed beast. She reports of him glaring at her while she collected herbs in the forest. The girl is scared for her life!" The boisterous man exaggerated, pointing an accusing finger in her direction.
"You need to control that beast,"
"Who my son chooses to befriend is of no control of mine, though I should have a word to him about his choice in character."
"How dare you insult my kin!"
"It pleases me to know that we stand upon similar ground." Izayoi responded, standing tall in the face of prejudice.
The headman laughed out a sarcastic and loud laugh, "You truly believe that we still share same ground, when in reality you and your pathetic excuse for a son are lower than the dirt beneath my feet!"
"GUARDS! Remove this vile man from my sight!" The woman roared out to the armed men before turning to head into the castle, the old head master not worth anymore of her time.
"You grow angry because I speak the truth!" The old man shouted behind the crossed spears the guards carelessly held with no real force. But before anything else could spew from his mouth, the lady of the house was gone.
Small black brows knitted together from the bushes as Inuyasha thought long and hard about the encounter with the young girl that started this whole mess.
'I…scared Seki?' The boy thought with guilt.
It wouldn't be a lie if he said he had the tiniest of crushes on the girl, seemingly interested in medicines and herbs. She peeked his curiosity in a way the young boy did not yet understand.
Scratching his head with a small clawed finger, the boy thought for a moment before clasping his left fist in his right hand.
"I got it!" The boy whispered excitedly, setting off in the direction of the garden.
Later that day~
A young girl sat in a clearing in the forest, collecting the necessary herbs that her mother instructed her to return to their village. Though nervous of being all alone out in the woods, the little girl with midnight pigtails distracted herself from the thought by focusing on her work. That is until she was distracted once more by small clawed feet.
Jumping up in fright, the young girl looked at the intruder. Chocolate freighted eyes met with a pair of similar, but hopeful golden ones. It was that white haired demon boy from the other day! Inuyasha, was it? Did he plan on eating her?
Before the girl had a chance to drop her things and run away, the boy presented a flower in front of her face. The peony's fragrance and drastic red and white design caught the girls attention.
"Is..is that for me?" The young girl asked in confusion, pointing a tiny finger between the rose and herself.
With a blush that rivaled his red fire rat robe, Inuyasha gave a firm nod, "To apologize about the other day, I didn't mean to scare you, Seki."
The boy was visibly shaken by his own actions, this was his first time talking to a girl after all. What if she screamed for help? Or worse, told her father. The more Inuyasha thought about it, the more he realized that this was probably a really bad idea.
He was about to make his own escape after Seki accepted the rose, but her wide smile stopped him in his tracks.
"Wow! It's beautiful. Where did you find such a flower?" She asked, bringing it to her nose to inhale the lovely fragrance.
Blinking in disbelief, Inuyasha scratched the back of his head, "M-my mother grows them in her garden. I-if you'd like, I could show them to you one day?"
This was incredible! Not only was he potentially making his first friend, but it was with a girl to boot!
With a small laugh, Seki gave a cute nod in agreement, "I'd like to see that, Inuyasha."
"R-really? I mean, great! I'll see you around then!" With a wave, Inuyasha leapt away towards his home while riding on cloud nine.
'She called me Inuyasha! Not halfbreed, but Inuyasha!' The boy thought with excitement as he approached his home for dinner.
Humming softly as she entered her family's respectable sized home, Seki had been too engrossed in her lovely red and white gift to pay much attention to where she was going.
While thinking shyly that the color of the peony resembled Inuyasha's outfit, the girl almost lost her footing as she walked straight into her father, Shinjou.
"Seki! What has you walking in such a daze, girl!" The man scolded his daughter.
Noticing the flower his daughter held in her hands to be one grown only around the castle grounds, Shinjou quickly snatched the wrist of the hand his daughter held the peony in.
"Were you around that demon's castle, Seki?!" The man couldn't control the volume of his voice as he pulled his daughter closer to him.
"N-no, father! I'd never venture so close to that place." The young girl shook under her fathers stern voice, terrified of the repercussions of angering him.
"Then how on earth did you come into possession with this demon's flower?!"
Thinking fast, the girl couldn't possibly confess that it was the young demon himself that presented her with the enchantingly beautiful…That's it!
"Oh, father! It was aweful!" Seki said, crocodile tears brimming in the girls eyes, "That evil halfbreed enchanted me with a terrible fragrance emitting from this demon flower. It came straight from his mother's garden, too!" She lied through her teeth, a twinge of guilt shooting through her at her actions.
Eyes blazing in fury, the headmaster released his daughter from his vice grip on her wrist and turned toward the door.
"Gather the villagers, Seki. This ends tonight."
"Wow, Mama! Did father really have a sword that could defeat 100 enemies in one swing?" Inuyasha asked with excitement in his voice as the two wound down for bed with stories of his father.
"Oh yes, along with that he possessed a sword that could restore the lives of 100 fallen-"
"LADY IZAYOI, LADY IZAYOI! There's a fire in the gardens!" One of her trusted maids entered the room in a panic, causing the young lord's protective instincts to kick in by shielding his mother from the intruder.
"Assemble all bodies on the grounds to round up as much water as they can carry! Everyone meet at the garden's gates with their hands full!" Izayoi took charge, quickly lifting her precious warrior to her chest before taking off towards the gardens herself.
The fires flames reached deep into to nights sky as flocks of guards and maid hands alike worked together to put out the burning inferno. Inuyasha watched in silence as dark smoke clouds rose from the graves of the inflamed peony garden, a bad feeling turning over in his gut. There could only be one explanation for this.
Seki told her father.
"I guess we'll just have to find another place to play hide and seek." The lady of the castle whispered to her beloved son, hugging him tightly and thanking the gods he was not the one caught in those flames.
"I never did tell my mother about my encounter with Seki that day," Inuyasha said in conclusion, looking away from Kagome in the process, "I wonder if she would have been angry with me."
Kagome waited for Inuyasha to come out of his daze before speaking, making sure he had enough time to recover from that devastating memory, "I'm sure she would have understood, Inuyasha. You were just a child."
Looking back at the girl doused fully in the moonlight, the hanyou sighed in what appeared to be relief, "Thank you, Kagome, I've never shared that with a single soul. It feels good to let it out, ya know?"
"You don't have to be afraid of me, Inuyasha."
His left ear twitched in confusion as he gazed into the depths of Kagome's eyes and seeing noting but understanding and something similar to his mothers stare, but so incredibly different.
"Feh! Who'd be scared of a weak human girl."
'At least he's acting more like himself again.' Kagome smiled softly and shook her head while twirling the bud of a single yellow daisy with her index finger.
Inuyasha's confession stirred emotions in Kagome that have been bubbling at the surface for quite some time now. Just knowing he trusted her this much with something extremely personal made her spirit soar.
"So please, no more tears, Kagome. It hurts me to see you cry." Inuyasha whispered to her, not noticing the way Kagome silently moved herself closer the the man beside her until he felt the weight of her head resting gently on his shoulder.
"As long as you promise not to run away from me again, I'll keep my weak human emotions to a minimal." Kagome yawned, closing her eyes and giving into the sleep that's been fighting her all night.
With a soft smile, Inuyasha placed a soft kiss on the crown of raven hair tucked snugly against the crook of his neck. That was a promise he had no problem keeping.
Daylight shown down on the still resting campsite as one member slowly emerged from her sleep. Kagome slowly sat up from her sleeping bag, briefly looking down at where the fox kit laid in slumber on her lap.
'Was it just a dream, or did Inuyasha really come for me last night?'
Her questions were answered as the half demon himself suddenly made his way into the middle of the camp, "Alright you lazy bunch, time to get back on the road!" He shouted loud enough for every member of the group to wake up with a start.
"Inuyasha! You've returned." Miroku stated, still half asleep and rubbing his eyes.
"Do you how worried everyone was, you insensitive jerk!" Shippo bounced from his spot in Kagome's lap to Inuyasha's shoulder. Angry at being told to keep such a secret from their companions, Shippo gave the man's cheek a hard pinch.
"Yeah, yeah, I know. You outa know I wouldn't just up and leave everyone behind." The last part of his sentence directed towards the young school girl currently rolling up her bedding.
"It's alright, Inuyasha. As long as you're safe." Kagome said putting away her sleeping bag at the same time pulling out cupped noodles for breakfast, "Now, lets all have a nice breakfast and enjoy the last of the flower fields."
After breakfast was made the gang ate quietly, figuring that if Kagome wasn't worried about the hanyou's disappearance than they shouldn't be either. Though, that didn't stop the young fox kit from badgering Inuyasha on the topic of where he went.
"I bet you ran off to see Kikyou, didn't you?!" Shippo poked Inuyasha repeatedly in his side until the man just couldn't take it anymore and whacked the child on the head. A nice shinny lump started to form on Shippo's head and the water works began right on cue.
"Ow! Kagome, he hit me!"
The half demon froze in preparation to what was bound to happen next.
"Would you like some more Ramen?" Kagome smiled, completely overlooking everyone's shocked expressions and passing Inuyasha another cup of pipping hot noodles.
"Oh wow! Miroku I need you to hold these ones too, please!" Sango shoved the assorted flowers she held into dark haired man's already full arms. It seemed that Miroku was the pack mule of flowers today as he followed Sango and Kirara to the side of the path once more to collect more flowers that the girl didn't already posses in his arms.
Meanwhile, Shippo once again set to work on a new flower crown, this time with more red and blue flowers. From his perch on Kagome's shoulder, the fox grabbed another red one from the bouquet that the girl currently held in her arms.
Smiling over at Shippo, Kagome continued on ahead of Miroku and Sango, Inuyasha trailing right next to her. That when she felt her hair move behind her ear on the same side Inuyasha was walking.
Freeing one of her arms from the bouquet of flowers, Kagome lifted her hand to feel a small daisy tucked neatly behind her ear.
"The yellow daisies from the hillside," Inuyasha affirmed, tucking his arms back into his big red sleeves with a blush tinting the bridge of his nose.
Kagome couldn't help the huge smile that threatened to crack her face open at the man's thoughtful gift.
"Thank you, Inuyasha, I love it." She blushed prettily.
"Keh, s'nothing compared to the rest of 'em."
"Not really, but that's what makes it so special to me."
As the hanyou turned his head away to conceal the blush slowly moving to his cheeks, he noticed the only blue butterfly in the area floating close to his face. It gave him a small butterfly kiss on his nose before gently rising towards the sky once more.
His heart felt a lot lighter after that.
A/N- It's a metaphor.
**Inspired by Racioo and KakiraMinamotou 's fanart "The Inuyasha gang encounter a flower garden".**