It was almost sweet, the way he curled in on himself to preserve whatever body heat he had left after sleeping outside. Childlike, almost, and Kagome almost felt bad about locking him out.
For about three seconds.
She then proceeded to wake him.
With an airhorn.
"Damn, 'Yash. You look like hell."
It ws true. Inuyasha did look like hell. He felt like it too. And it was all Kagome's fault! What was her problm anyway? Two-faced wench. One minute she's nice and almost tolerable, the next she's... well... you know!
"Hey! Watch where you're going with that!"
Inuyasha blinked, noticing for the first time the nail gun that he held in his calloused hand. He looked around slowly.
Nails stuck out of random objects all around him. Apparently he was a pretty good shot, too. Jaken stood off to his right, looking all the world like he was just dodging something, but... oh.
"Are you okay?" Jaken brought his arms down from where they were wrapped around his head for protection.
"Yeah," Inuyasha replied gruffly, dropping the tool at his feet and turning away. He needed something to do!! Anything! Just get that woman out of his head before he killed something!
"Are you sure? Maybe you should take the day off..." Jaken watched nervously ans Inuyasha began working like a madman, looking possessed all the way. 'Twas not pretty.
"Then at least slow down! You're scaring all the guys!"
He paused in his work to glance at his coworkers. They were staring at him wide-eyed, slowly inching away from his general vicinity. Hanging his head, Inuyasha took a deep breath to calm himself. Jaken was right. This was ridiculous.
Jaken approached the man as one who would approach a viper, although no one comes to mind who ever would, approach a viper I mean, "Take the day off. We'll all cover for ya. We can't have a psychotic boss now can we?"
Inuyasha chuckled darkly, "I thought you already did."
"... eh? When did you hear that?!" Jaken began to sweat.
The crazy man grinned widely at the poor guy and merely walked away.
"Sesshoumaru!" Kagome jogged after the stoic man, gaining quickly, "Wait!"
It was lunch, and she was going to get some answers from that man whether he liked it or not! Gall darn it!
The elegant man stopped his elegant stride down the hallway, turning in an elegant manner and arching an elegant eyebrow in the process.
Did I mention he was elegant?
Anywho, as he managed to make breathing seem like the most beautiful thing in the world, Kagome skidded to a not-so-elegant halt and looked him directly in the elegant eye.
"We need to talk."
"Movin' right along, dum de dum dum de dum, footloose and faaaancyyy freeeee!..."
Okay. So he has a couple screws loose.
Inuyasha was currently driving down the road. To where? I am unsure. Therefore, let's look in on the conversation between Kagome and Mr. Beautiful...
"She's at lunch right now, sir, but I believe she could be back now. Here's the room number and a visitor's pass."
Inuyasha scowled at the sticker with the time and his destination scrawled on it in the secretary's loopy handwriting. The expected him to wear this thing?!? The secretary glared at him. Apparently so. He sighed and stuck the thing to his jacket before heading to the heart of the building.
According to the directions he was supposed to take a right, then a left, then a right, then another right, then a left...
"Why are you so stubborn?"
"It's in my nature."
"I refuse to tell you anything."
"Pleeeease? Just a little bit?"
"Come on! Look deep inside! You know you want to!!"
"Well, now that you mention it..."
He was lost. Horribly, completely, does-anyone-have-a-flare-handy lost. Whoever designed the layout of the building was either insane, or insane AND high off black lights. After all, this was the third dead-end he ran into. Wait... that poster looked vaguely familiar...
The cry in itself was innocent, as was the voice behind it. However, to Inuyasha, that was the sound of the devil herself. He turned slowly, making no sudden movements to face the creature that came up behind him. The little girl squealed and ran forward to tackle the man in a bear hug revealing a strength far beyond her small frame.
Well, it was more of a 'throwing-herself-at-his-legs-and-holding-on-for-dear-life' than a bear hug.
"Um.. hi, Rin."
"Did Uncle Inu come all this way just to see Rin? Rin missed Uncle Inu!"
Inuyasha sighed and ruffled the sprite's hair. It seems they didn't quite cure her from speaking in third-person yet. "Aren't you supposed to be in class?"
"No. Rin got a bathroom pass!" She looked up at him with a grin that would melt the stoniest of hearts, "Where is Uncle Inu going? Does he have a bathroom pass, too?"
"No, I do not have a bathroom pass. I'm trying to find someone."
"Rin can help!"
Inuyasha melted like a popsicle that's been sat on during a hot summer day, "Fine." Rin squealed happily once more and grabbed his hand, pulling him down the hallway.
"Wait a second! You don't even know where I want to go!"
"Uncle Inu wanted to see Papa!"
"Uh-huh! Here's Papa's room! Bye-bye!" And with that, the girl was gone. Sure enough, she left the man by the mathematical lair of the ever feared, Dread Teacher Sesshoumaru.
"Are you going to come in, or are you going to stand cross-eyed there forever? You're disturbing my class."
"Miss Higurashi?" A little red-headed boy came running up to her, "Samantha got hurt."
"Where is she?"
The boy pointed to as spot where a group of children were crowding around a unseen child who was obviously sitting on the floor. Kagome rose from the bleacher she was sitting on, grade book forgotten.
She jogged the short distance to the tiy mob and set her sights on the little girl sitting in the center, quiet tears leaking from her eyes. Kagome knelt next to her.
"Where does it hurt?" She directed her attention to the foot the girl pointed at, gingerly touching the ankle, "Here?"
The girl bit her lip and nodded.
"What happened? Did you step on it funny?"
The girl nodded again. Kagome quickly examined the swelling ankle once more, and stood.
"Here, get up on your good foot, okay?" The girl responded by taking Kagome's hand and wobbling upright, balancing precariously. The kids crowded around the two and stepped out of the way as Kagome turned and crouched.
"Get on my back." She felt the girl grab her for balance, and she hooked her arms around the girl's knees to hoist her up in a piggy-back ride. The kids were all too eager to help hold the door open for the two to get through.
"Be good. I'll have someone sent down to watch you."
"Yes, Ms. Higurashi."
"I trust you all to behave."
Famous last words.
The one sound that made him lose his sanity faster than... well, finding out that he was magically married. And that already happened, so this couldn't be good.
Inuyasha had finally arrived at the gymnasium only to find chaos weraking havoc joyfully around the room in the form of children.
Time for cliché calming techniques.
'Ten... Nine... Eight... Seven...'
A red-headed boy came forward from a group of frozen kids, looking incredibly guilty.
"Are you the substitute?"
Inuyasha surveyed the room, observing the rolls of toilet paper strewn about, and the markers that were clenched in small fists.
"What's your name kid?"
Inuyasha put a firm hand on the boy's head and gave him a malicious smile, "Tell ya what. I'll give you one minute to completely clean up and destroy all evidence of this, or I will call Mr. Inuyouki down here to discipline every, single, one of you."
"You wouldn't..." Shippo crossed his arms stubbornly.
"Watch me," Inuyasha leaned down with a toothy smile and lowered his voice so only Shippo could hear, "He's my brother."
The change in the boy's demeanor was visible. Right away he blanched and began ordering kids around, who immediately flew into action. In less than five minutes, the room was spotless and the children were lined up by height, weight, and birthday.
Inuyasha inspected the line closely, choosing to interrogate a suspicious looking kid.
"Where's your teacher?"
"She took Sam to the nurse."
"And left you all alone?"
"She trusts us! We're good kids!"
"Sure... Tell ya what. Count off by twos. Ones go there, Twos over there..."
"There you are, it's just twisted," Kaede rocked back on her heels to give a reassuring smile to the girl in the chair before her crouching self, "It'll get better, but for now, why don't you stay with me for a bit. Okay?"
"Thank you so much, Kaede.," Kagome smiled warmly at the nurse.
"It's no problem, Kagome. But don't you have a class right now?"
Kagome's eyes widened, "Oh no..."
"NO RUNNING IN THE HALLWAYS!" Kagome shouted as she sprinted back to her class. The student joggers in question watched in shock and awe as she skidded around the corner, losing minimum speed.
How could she have been so STUPID?! She had left the class with SHIPPO!! Kagome sped up, nearly colliding with a janitor. SHIPPO! The creator of 'How To Cause Trouble With A Twinkie In 201 Ways'!
She became more and more wary as she came closer to her destination, without hearing tell-tale signs of chaos. She skidded to a stop outside the double-doors and flung them open wide only to witness the strangest sight ever.
"RED ROVER, RED ROVER, LET 'YASHA COME OVER!!"
Kagome face faulted as the bane of her existence left one line of children to jog to the other side of the gym and fake that he wasn't strong enough to break past the joined hands of the other team.
"You've GOT to be joking."
A few turns went by as she stood in open-mouthed awe as Inuyasha schmoozed with the kids like he was a local. She couldn't be sure, but it looked like he was genuinely enjoying himself. If that isn't disturbing, then what in the world is? Besides a giddy Sesshoumaru that is...
Unfortunately, as she was attempting to file away all this new knowledge into neatly labeled and color coded boxes in her mind, conspiracy was afoot. Afoot like a weasel.
"RED ROVER, RED ROVER, LET MISS HIGURASHI COME OVER!!"
She blinked, looking at her challengers. Inuyasha grinned at her wolfishly from his place in line, practically oozing with smug satisfaction. Clean up, Aisle Three!
Kagome narrowed her eyes at him, "I think a change of game is in order. Who's up for some BattleBall?"
Inuyasha tugged at the sash tied around his waist, "What are we doing?"
Shippo sighed. It was the fifteenth time the knucklehead had asked. He had been counting. The boy turned and placed his hands on his hips, glaring at the man impatiently.
"Okay! Listen up and listen good, cus this is the LAST TIME I'm going to say this and I'm not going to say it again! We're playing BattleBall! You throw the balls to try and hit the other team members! If you get hit, you're out! If someone catches a ball that you threw while it's still in midair, you're out! If you get out, you sit. Medics can come and get you back in the game by pulling you past THIS line!" He stomped the line for emphasis, "You're a medic! Save people!"
Kagome watched with great amusement as Shippo lost his temper. Little Shippo was more than a match for Inuyasha. She checked the sash around her waist, and raised her whistle to her lips, giving a short blast.
Both Kagome and Inuyasha both sat on the small cot, Kagome holding an ice pack to the side of her head as Inuyasha nursed a black eye.
"Wench!" Inuyasha muttered, "I can't believe you did that!"
Kaede returned from the back room and approached Kagome. She confiscated the ice pack and examined the goose egg that was slowly forming on Kagome's head.
"It's all his fault," Kagome muttered.
"His," Kagome pointed at the sulking man, "He took out half my team!"
"That was the point, wench!"
"I don't care! You deserved it!"
"HOW DID I DESERVE-"
Kaede shook her head and left the room, closing the door behind her to muffle the indignant outcries.
Shippo squirmed under the cool gaze of the principal. The principal himself calmly adjusted the round wire-rimmed glasses on his nose and folded his hands on his desk.
"Shippo, I want you to tell me what happened."
The little boy fidgeted. He didn't want to be the one to tattle. He would be blackballed from society! He'd be lynched! He'd be jumped on the playground! He'd be made to play dress-up! He shuddered as he received a vision of a frilly pink dress.
With matching hair bows.
The principal noted Shippo's resistance carefully. He could tell he was dealing with an expert. Time for Plan B.
Shippo watched as the principal deliberately reached into a desk drawer and pulled out a large bowl of M&Ms. He began to sweat.
Kagome's patience was wearing thin as Inuyasha continued to tap his feet in an extremely annoying fashion. As he had been doing for the last half-hour.
"Got a death-wish, punk?" She growled.
Suddenly a streak of orange lightning shot into the office and right to where Kagome was sitting.
"I'MSORRYI'MSORRYI'MSORRYI'MSORRY!!" Shippo wailed into her stomach, arms cinched tight around her waist. The foreboding shadow of the principal loomed intthe doorway.
"Shippo..." Inuyasha grumbled threateningly, "What did you do?!?"
"You don't understand!!" The boy yelped, turning his wild eyes to the man sporting a black eye, "He had SNICKERS!!!"
Well, suffice it to say, all's well that did not end well. Inuyasha managed to get himself expelled and Kagome barely kept her job. Which meant she was verry verry unhappy with her husband. That explained why she didn't come home right away...
Inuyasha had constructed a stake-out on the couch. Armed with soda, popcorn, and all of the Lethal Weapon movies, he settled in for the wait. After all, Satan had to come home some time, right?
Inuyasha yawned and looked at his watch. It had been hours, and there was still no sign of Kagome.
"MEN ARE DOGS!!" Kagome yelled, raising her glass high. Rumiko and Mirdoriko followed suit.
All three then took hearty swallows of their drinks and slammed their glasses on the table.
"Man, Kagome," Rumiko sympathized, "I can't believe he did that to you. At work too!"
Kagome nodded, bleary eyed as Midoriko leaned over to rest a comforting arm across her shoulders, "If you ever need anything, dear, just give me a call, alright?"
Kagome nodded again, taking another drink to stare gloomily into the depths of her glass. 'Maybe I should call to let Inu know I'm okay...nah. What would he care?' "Midoriko?"
"Can I stay at your place tonight?"
He was crazed. It was now extremely late, and his paranoid mind was quickly coming up with every possible worst-case scenario known to mankind. Including the one with martians.
And she didn't have a cell phone!! Why, oh, why did she not have a cell phone?!? All SENSIBLE people had a cell phone-
Then the front door swung open with an extreme force to be reckoned with and three upset, inebriated women stormed in. Before he even had a chance to sputter one of his indecent platitudes, they stormed to the back of the house with a mission.
Inuyasha gaped as they entered Kagome's room and began to very neatly trash it as they threw clothes in a duffel bag. Most, however, didn't quite make it in.
"WHAT IS THE MEANING IS THIS?!?"
"GIRLS!" Kagome yelled resolutely, "TO THE BATHROOM!"
In an organized manner, the three grabbed the duffel bag and marched to the aforementioned bathroom only to raid it in a similar fashion to the bedroom.
When finished, they stomped out the door without any further ado, and left Inuyasha standing in the middle of the living room, eye twitching.
"Mmm..." Kagome rolled to her side in an attempt to make herself more comfortable for sleeping. We all know how important that is.
So, she fell off the couch.
And there she lay, sprawled on a rag throw rug, tangled in the blankets, and blinking dazedly at an unfamiliar ceiling.
With a funny feeling building in her throat.
'Great... just what I need.'
In very fuzzy bits, the actions of the night before came back to her. Almost losing her job, getting completely wasted, and camping out on Midoriko's couch.
The next brilliant deduction ended in her scuttling to the bathroom.
After emptying her stomach, Kagome blearily searched through the medicine cabinet in an attempt to stop the ogres from clogging on her brain.
"Mou..." A bedraggled Midoriko appeared in the doorway, "You gonna use that?"
"I think I'm good."
"Good," And with that, Midoriko stumbled to the shrine, knelt, and prayed to the porcelain god.
Grimacing, Kagome left and began to retrieve her belongings, marveling at the utter randomosity of the items involved. When did she need an electric shaver? Or a digital thermometer?
As the sound of retching ceased from the bathroom, Kagome deemed it safe to check on her new bestest friend in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD.
"You okay?" She yelled.
"Do you have an extra toothbrush?"
"Umm..." The sound of drawers opening and closing reached her, "No, sorry!"
Kagome looked hopelessly down at her bag of useless items. She'd have to go home. The idea was not favorable at the moment. Hoisting the duffel's strap over her shoulder, she lurched back to the bathroom. Midoriko was washing her face.
"Mido? I just wanted to let you know that I was heading out. Thanks for letting me stay the night."
"No problem!" She splashed water on her face, "It was fun. But if this ever happens again, no booze."
"I'll drink to that!"
Midoriko laughed, "See ya!"
The house was dark and quiet. It unnerved Kagome greatly. She slipped into her room and dumped her bag on her bed; she'd deal with it later. To the bathroom!
After brushing her teeth, she decided that it was in her best interest to find something to eat. She made a pilgrimage to the kitchen, noting the blinking red light on the answering machine. First, retrieving a glass from the cupboard and filling it with juice, she pressed the playback button and lifted the glass to her lips.
It was her mother.
"Kagome! Call me as soon as you get this! Your grandfather has gone missing! Well, he did leave a note... but, dear, it says he's going to Las Vegas!"
The glass fell from nerveless fingers and shattered on the floor.
Dun Dun Duuuuuun.
Disclaimer: No ownies.
5h1 n0 M1k0