Disclaimer:I do not own Inuyasha. I did, however, create Rikka and Takara, but I'm not that picky. I also have a theory. No one reads this thing. In fact I'll see if I can prove that. Inuyasha lay on the bank of the river drying from bath. The sun glistened off the moist skin of his naked body. His hands were folded behind his head, causing the muscles of his chest to be more pronounced. The golden orbs of his eyes lay closed as he drifted into a light sleep. His long silver hair fanned out about him in a halo, so to dry more quickly. He looked like a god. And from her hiding place up on the cliff, Kagome agreed. If I get ten people who mention this, I'll turn it into a full-blown lemon.
"So Higurashi… would you like to see a movie tomorrow?" Hojo asked kindly as he trotted along backwards in front of Kagome. Kagome gave an exasperated sigh in her head. The boy was as dumb as a box of rocks. No, scratch that, it wasn't giving the rocks enough credit. For two years she had made it, what she thought was pretty clear that she wasn't interested, but he never got the message.
"Hojo-kun, I…" but her reply was cut off by the sounds of yelling. Not angry yelling, but more like mocking jeers. She looked to see what all the commotion was about, as did Hojo.
They were standing near one of the cities many parks. A small playground was set only a few meters from the sidewalk. Kids, that should normally have been climbing, sliding, and swinging had stopped and gathered into a group around something. It was the middle of the group that was making all the noise. Her face contorted. Something was calling out for help. She could feel it. And it was coming from the center of that mob of kids.
Forgetting Hojo she broke into a jog towards the playground. The kids didn't notice her until she started to push them out of her way. They looked up at her strangely as she pressed through them. As she reach the center a flash a something white caught her eye. Her heart getting faster she pushed the rest of the way through. What she saw made her stomach fall out.
Several boys about 10-years-old were all standing over a little girl who couldn't have been older then 4, 5 at the most. But what caught her attention were the two ears on top of the girl's head. They seemed more fox-like then Inuyasha's, but definitely canine in origin. She had blue-white hair that desperately needed care and fell just past her shoulders. Her clothes were well worn and torn in many places. But above all else, the thing that pulled at her heart, were the cuts, bruises, and the blood coming from her ears. She was sitting on the ground as if she had been pushed. Icy blue, slit pupil eyes stared up at the boys with fear, as claw like nails dug into the dirt under her palms. One of the boys reached down and gave one of her ears a hard yank, making her yelp in pain. The group laughed. Kagome fumed.
"You little brats! Leave her alone!" Kagome yelled. The kids all fell silent, eye turning to the almost adult in their midst.
"This has nothing to do with you." One of the oldest said bravely, "So just leave while we show this freak her place." Kagome gave a very Inuyasha-like growl. In a movement so fast it could only be born of fighting, she had grabbed the offender off his feet and was holding him only an inch from her face.
"So you like picking on those smaller then you? Well you have thirty seconds to get out of here, before I show you what it's like to be on the receiving end!" The kid's eyes got big and she dropped him. He scooted across the ground on his butt, before turning and running for his life. The other kids took the hint and also made a run for it.
Kagome gently kneeled down next to the injured little girl, who, based on her own experiences, was most likely a hanyou. The girl looked back with guarded eyes, the same look Inuyasha's had held when she had first met him. Is this the kind of thing he went through?
"Hi. My name is Kagome. I won't hurt you." She took out a handkerchief from her bag and gently dabbed at the blood leaking from her ears. The girl flinched, weather in pain or fear was unclear, but she didn't pull away. "What's your name?"
"Rikka." She answered timidly.
"Well Rikka-chan, how about I take you home? Then you can get all cleaned up." Kagome offered with an extended hand. The girl nodded and accepted the hand so Kagome could pull her to her feet. "Where do you live?"
"Not far. Just up the street a bit." Rikka answered brightly, her fear fading. Kagome smiled down at the girl, as she was lead by the hand. She walked next to the little hanyou as they headed out of the park. People who passed them turned to look at the girl, some making comments on her odd appearance. Slowly Rikka's eyes became more and more focused on the ground at her feet. Then they passed Hojo, who was still where Kagome had left him.
"Higurashi, what is… that?" He gestured to Rikka.
"She is a little girl, Hojo." Kagome answered sharply, hoping her would get the message to shut up. He didn't.
"But she has ear on top of her head. Is she some sort of mutant, or something?" His voice had a bite to it Kagome had never thought could come from him. Her teeth ground together. Rikka lowered her head in defeat, tears leaking from her eyes. "Look at these things!" Hojo scoffed and reached for an already injured ear. Kagome slapped his hand away before he made contact, then arched up to catch the side of his face. Hojo staggered back, his hand over his cheek, a surprised look on his face.
"I don't think we should speak any more, Hojo. Good day to you." Kagome replied curtly, before scooping Rikka into her arms and marching off. The little girl tucked her head into the crook of Kagome's neck to hide her ears. Kagome whispered comforts to her as she followed the girl's direction to where she lived.
The neighborhood they ended up in was fairly nice. The homes were large and clean, with small, but well kept lawns. Rikka pointed to a house in the middle of the street on the right. It had a high wall and gate, to keep out prying eyes. Kagome pushed open the gate easily and looked in. The yard was empty and not quite as well kept as others. She called, but there was no answer. With a shrug she walked up to the front door and rang the bell. Rikka gripped her shirt more tightly. After several minutes with no answer she rang the bell again. After several more minutes she leaned over and looked in the window. Everything was pitch black inside.
"You won't find anyone there dear." Kagome turned around to see an elderly woman with a huge, bright red handbag.
"What do you mean Ma'am?"
"Place burned out just last month. Very strange event indeed. Everything on the inside burned to ash, but not so much as a scorch mark on the out side. No bodies were ever found. Very strange indeed. Such nice people too." She walked off shaking her head sadly. Kagome felt a cold lump form in he stomach. She could imagine how such a thing could happen.
"Well Rikka-chan, how about you come home with me. Would you like that?" the little girl looked up at her with bright eyes and beamed before wrapping her arms securely around Kagome's neck.
"Rikka never had a nee-chan! Kagome going to be Rikka's nee-chan now?"
"Sure. I'll be your nee-chan. I have a little brother who will just love you too. His name is Souta." Rikka tightened her hold on Kagome to the point it was painful and Kagome had to choke for her to loosen up. As she turned towards the shrine still carrying the little girl.
"Rikka-nee-chan?" the girl beamed at her again.
"Yes, Kagome-nee-chan?" she seemed to take such delight in this small answer Kagome couldn't hide the smile.
"You're a half-demon, right?" the girl's smile fell and tears welled in her eyes.
"Yes. Kagome not want to be Rikka's nee-chan any more?" She sounded so pathetic, as if she feared Kagome would drop her on the spot.
"Of course I still want to be your nee-chan!" Kagome reassured her hastily, "In fact my best friend is a half-dog-demon. I was just wondering what kind you were and what happened to your parents."
"Mommy was an arctic fox demon. Daddy didn't find out until afterwards. But he loved us anyway. Then a little while ago mommy told Rikka to run and hide in the park. When Rikka came back, mommy and daddy where gone and everything was black. Rikka lived in the park since then." Kagome swallowed hard to fight off the tears that pricked her eyes.
"Well no worries Rikka-nee-chan. You can stay with me now." Kagome told her brightly as she climbed the shrine steps. "First we'll get you cleaned up. Then we can go and meet my friend Inuyasha." She carried the small girl into the house and slipped off her shoes. "Mama. I'm home and a brought a surprise." Kagome called. She heard her mother move around in the kitchen before she appeared in the entrance hall. She looked a bit surprised to see the little girl, who was doing her best to be as small as she could. She eyes scanned the bruises and cuts and frown crossed her face.
"Kagome, who is this? What happened to her?" She came forward and examined a few of the cuts she could see.
"Mama, this is Rikka. I found her being picked on in the park. She's an arctic fox hanyou. I tried to take her home, but the place was burned out a moth ago." Kagome answered. "I'm going to clean her up and take her to see Inuyasha."
Inuyasha hung lazily in a tree out side of Kaede's hut. It was a dull day. No Kagome to pick on, no demons to sly, no Kagome to yell at, no shards to hunt, no Kagome to fix him Raman, no exterminating to do in a neighboring village, and no Kagome for at least another day. He closed his eyes and began to drift to sleep. His nose twitched. For am minute he thought he was going crazy. He could smell Kagome's scent, but she wasn't due back until tomorrow evening. Why would she be back so early? She never came back early. But his nose seemed to insist it was really smelling Kagome's scent, and something else too.
Inuyasha sat up on his branch and inhaled deeply. The smell was a new one, but definitely demon. In an instant he was rushing towards the well. Had something happened in her time? Had she been attacked and come here to get away? If so why couldn't he smell her blood? His hand went to the hilt of his sword as he neared the well. Whatever it was, he was going to take care of it.
Inuyasha wasn't prepared, however, for the sight that greeted his eyes as he cleared the trees. Kagome was sitting on the edge of the well, her over sized pack at her feet, and a little girl in her lap. Her hair was white but unlike his own it had a hint of blue to it. The girl was dressed in a tiny pair of jeans and a red T-shirt. On her feet were tiny shoes. But it was the tiny claws and ears that gave her away as the demon he smelled. She hardly seemed a threat to Kagome from the way that the girl was looking excitedly around and Kagome's giggles.
Then another thought struck him. Where had this pup come from? She wasn't Kagome's was she? No, the kid was at least four summers old, he would have seen, or at least smelled, her before now. She would also have to have mated, and he would have been able to smell that too. Besides why would Kagome hide something like this? But, that lead him back to where he started: Where had this pup come from?
"Kagome?" He asked uncertainly. Both girls looked at him, the smaller one quickly scrambled to hide behind the other.
"Hello Inuyasha." Kagome said brightly as she collected the girl into her arms. She stood and walked over to him. The girl had managed to climb from her arms to hide behind her back by the time they had made it to the dog-demon's side. "Inuyasha, I'd like you to meet Rikka. She's a arctic fox hanyou." She looked over her shoulder at the white haired girls trying to hide in her black hair, "Rikka-chan, this is Inuyasha. He's the dog-demon hanyou I told you about." Rikka peeked over Kagome's shoulder at him, her icy blue eyes scanning him for signs of a threat. Now that the little girl was closer he could pick up trace scents of blood and see several fading cuts and bruises. He had no doubt why the girl was frightened of him.
"Kagome!" Shippou yelled as the ball of fur came flying at her. Inuyasha caught him by the tail. "Hey you big jerk! Let me go!"
"Feh! Kagome has too much weight on her back for you to be slamming into her. All three of you would end up on the ground."
"All three…" Shippou repeated in confusion. Inuyasha pointed to the pair of eyes and ears stick shyly over Kagome's shoulder. Shippou gave a bright wave and a smile. Rikka timidly waved back.
"Rikka-chan this is Shippou-chan. He's a fox demon. Why don't you go play while I talk to Inuyasha?" The girl nodded and dropped to the ground. Shippou twisted from Inuyasha's grasp and dropped down as well. "You know the boundaries Shippou, so be good you two." They both smiled at her brightly before taking off into the woods hand in hand. As the two young foxes disappeared Inuyasha turned to look at her with a strange look.
"Where did she come from?" He asked still bit nervous that Kagome might tell him the little girl belonged to her.
"I found her in the park. A bunch of older boys were beating up on her." Inuyasha looked away, not wanting Kagome to see the look that he knew had come into his eyes. "I tried to take her back to her parents. But they seemed to have died… under suspicious circumstances. I told her I'd take care of her, and I thought meeting you would make her feel less alone in the world."
"You shouldn't have done that Kagome." He said softly.
"What!" she snapped in shock.
"It's bad enough you're associated with a hanyou on this side of the well. You don't need another on the other side. She's not old enough or strong enough to protect you. You'll get killed to." He said it all flatly and very matter-of-factly. He could see Kagome getting ready to call him names and sit him. "I just don't want you to go through the same thing my mother went through." What ever rant Kagome had prepared die in her throat.
"I can't abandon her." Kagome replied softly but firmly. Inuyasha gave her a strange look; it seemed to study her very soul. Then a strange whisper of a smile crossed his lips for a brief moment.
"You'd both be safer if she stayed here." He said after moment. Kagome's eye widened. Had Inuyasha just said…
"But when I go back…"
"I'd be honored to look after your pup in your absence, Kagome. Just like I look after Shippou. Besides, it will give you incentive to be back on time… or better early." He paused, the whispered smile returning to his face, "You know Kagome, this is the second pup you've adopted. Are you every planning on having any of your own?" Kagome smiled and gave his ear a gentle, playful tug.
"Yeah, I think I will someday. But first I need to find a guy who can put up with two children that are real demons."