The Love Calculator

Kagome's room was quiet, abandoned. The only activity in the room towards sunset was the window sliding open from the outside. With a leap, he was sitting on her floor, looking around.

"Ugh, she's not home yet?" Inuyasha muttered with a sigh. He could swear she'd live at that school of hers if she could. But, then, where was that supposed to leave him? Bored back in his era, that's where. Like hell. If they didn't have their obligations, and she was allowed to stay home, he'd more than likely be spending his days here with her. Kagome would probably think differently considering the demons, but he felt this Tokyo place was far less dull than Medieval Japan.

He leaned his back against the frame of her bed and sulked. He had a few entertaining options, at least. He could go downstairs and say hi to her mother, who would likely stuff him full of all the ramen he could eat. He could see if there was anything her grandfather needed help with, or play with Souta, or Buyo. Or he could sit here where Kagome's scent was strongest and just lounge. Yeah, that sounded good enough for now.

That's when he began looking around the room curiously. He tried to hide it from others whenever possible and act unimpressed, but the things in her time really did make him wonder sometimes. He knew she hated it when he snooped through her things, but as long as he didn't break anything, make a racket or a mess, he figured what she wouldn't find out wouldn't hurt him. Much.

So he rummaged through the drawers of her desk, examining various writing utensils, counting tools, books of information and schedules. He very briefly poked through her pink vanity with the mirror, various makeup, perfumes and jewelry, before he got bored of that too. He knew better by now not to go searching through her dresser, lest he find any personal items he'd rather not. So he instead moved to the side table next to her bed, looking into it, by now not expecting to find much. It seemed the girl never did have too many possessions. Not anything worth toying with in his opinion, anyway, except the cat.

He was right about the top drawer, anyway. As he drew open the middle drawer on the side table, however, he found it filled with a myriad of little knick-knacks that caught his eye.

The first among them was a hand-sized black ball with what he recognized as a "western" numeral eight. (They were about the only things in her books he'd managed to learn while flipping through them out of curiosity; that, and Japan's "future history".) Picking it up, he wondered if it was some kind of counting tool. He noticed a flat plane on the bottom. As he turned it over, a blue triangle appeared, saying "Don't count on it."

He jumped a bit as it seemed to be possessed, read his thoughts and answered him. Though he had enough sense to place it back down gently, cautiously. He'd warn her about the possible threat later. Still wary of it, he noticed a box full of those game cards she had once conned Miroku with into agreeing not to grope any girls for a week. Of course, he didn't keep the deal for as much as a day. There was another one of those devices Shippou liked to play with; a "game boy" or something. Those things made the most annoying noises. Then there was a flat, pink heart-shaped object with the words "Love Calculator" on it.

He blinked at that. How was something supposed to calculate love? More importantly, what was Kagome doing with such a thing? He picked it up to look at it more closely. It was made out of that weird plastic stuff and had buttons like he'd seen on a number counter she often used for her homework.

Turning it over, he found writing on the back. It said something about the importance of names, and people being generally uncertain about whether romantic relationships were destined to thrive or be torn apart. And that this thing was designed to analyze one's chances at true happiness with any potential partner. "Just type in your names and press 'Calculate'." it said.

He knew the people in Kagome's time had come up with unlikely inventions, but a thing that can see into people's hearts, search through fate and destiny, and tell if they're meant for each other? How did they manage to create that? She had told him more than once that humanity didn't use magic here; it's all merely technology that would seem impossible to someone from five hundred years ago. But he had no idea how such a device could promise so much without some pretty powerful magic.

In fact, all the items in this drawer seemed too weird to be normal, now that he thought about it.

He flipped it back over to look at its face. There were several tiny white buttons, each with its own hiragana symbol to spell out a person's name phonetically (If it used the thousands of kanji symbols, the device would have to be about the size of Kagome's bed.), above them in the center was a largish red heart-shaped button with the symbol for "Calculate", to the left of that were two white triangles pointing up and down labeled "Name of person 1:" and "Name of person 2:" and above them was a silver window.

He was very curious about how it worked, so he pressed the red button, and was rewarded as a black square blinked on the top left side of the silver window in the space for person 1. He didn't even need a moment's thought before he pressed the buttons in sequence to spell out "ka-go-me". It was her device after all, he figured. He then pressed the triangle button pointing down to the space provided for person 2, feeling a bit proud that he was able to so easily figure out how to operate such a complex device. After glancing around the room to make sure no one was peeking, he typed into the second box "I-nu-ya-sha". He then pressed the "Calculate" button as instructed.

"45%" appeared in the window beside their names, just above the red button.

'Seems a bit low' he thought with a confused look. Then again, they did have more of a tendency to argue than most, but enjoyed each other's company nonetheless. In fact, the more he thought about it, the more he became convinced that the thing was right.

The inevitable thought came to him then. Pressing the upward triangle, he replaced Kagome's name with "Kikyou". He felt somewhat rotten for using Kagome's machine to calculate his chances with some other girl, but it was just something he needed to know.

"32%"

He blinked in surprise for a moment. It was lower? That seemed entirely wrong from what he was expecting. He and Kikyou seemed destined for each other all along and never argued the way he did with Kagome. But perhaps it reflected the fact that they both lacked that trust in one another; the reason they were torn apart. He might argue with Kagome, but he never stopped believing in her, because she always believed in him.

No wonder fate had been against himself and Kikyou. They only had a 32% chance of being happy together after all. But what did that say about Kagome? Did that mean he still had less than a 50-50 chance of winding up happy with her when the battle with Naraku was over? He didn't like those odds, no matter how realistic they might seem.

Thinking about Kikyou and Naraku, he began to wonder about something that always bugged him. On a whim, he replaced his name with Naraku's.

"31%"

'Only one less than with me..?' He felt almost insulted. The thought of such a creature desiring Kikyou disgusted him, sure enough, but was he such a disgusting creature as well? 'Maybe in her eyes, I am.'

Wait, it wasn't Naraku who was in love with Kikyou, was it? It was that scum, Onigumo. Typing in the name, he hit the button.

"93%"

"Wh- Wha??" Inuyasha shouted as he dropped the device in surprise. It clattered to the floor; face up. And he simply stared at the results. 'Why? Don't tell me that Kikyou…might've had feelings for that damn thief!' The possible reasons why Kikyou would harbor a vicious bandit and care for him in secret never really crossed his mind. He simply assumed it was because of her generous nature. But then, why would she keep it from him, and why was her compatibility so much better with Onigumo than with him?

'…because he was human.' That had to be it. It was the only thing he could think of. Inuyasha had always known that she couldn't accept him as a half demon. Figures…

He couldn't help the anger that boiled within him. He was willing to give up Kagome for her, swore his life to her, and all the while she'd had a secret fling with the crippled, evil son of a bitch that turned her against him. He just wasn't good enough for her, was he? She would never be happy with him at all unless he became human for her. …or died. …probably both.

At least Kagome accepted him. Or did she? His rating with her wasn't much higher. Was that due to their personality clashes, or would she also rather he become human?

He was reminded of that weirdo at her school who was proclaiming his undying love for Kagome so passionately during his last visit. She told him from the start that it was just a play and he was just a student who had gotten that part, but it still worried him. His "acting" seemed a little too real to him. Was Kagome just acting? What was his name? Oh, yeah, Houjou. He picked up the calculator…

"16%"

His eyes went wide, and then he bust out laughing at the poor shmuck. Well, there goes that theory out the window! Only one question remained, however unlikely: Would she rather him become a full demon instead? He painfully replaced Houjou's name with the one he hated almost as much as Naraku's; Kouga.

"75%"

There it was, his worst fears confirmed. Kagome really would be happier and better off with the full-demon wolf. He had known it all along, but still couldn't believe it. It made him wonder; would she really like him more as a true demon like Sesshoumaru rather than a half-breed?

Oh, gods, not Sesshoumaru; anyone but Sesshoumaru. He typed in the name…

"92%"

Inuyasha wanted to die. His heartless bastard of a brother would be better suited to her than him, Houjou or Kouga!

He growled. No, he wouldn't accept this. He wouldn't let any of them near Kagome; he didn't care what some magical thing told him. But if she would be happier with them, what could he do to stop her? What would he do if she left him?

He desperately paired up his name with that of every female human, demon and hanyou he could think of, and none of them came close to Kagome's 45%. As middle of the road as that number might seem, he always did have a feeling she was the best thing to ever happen to him. Now he knew it was true. There really was no one who could make him happier.

Inuyasha gave a depressed sigh, sitting in her room with his ears drooped. It was taking longer than he thought to absorb all the new revelations. The thing was supposed to reassure him, not bash all his hopes away. He had always figured his chances of being happy with any girl had been next to nothing when he was growing up, just by the virtue of being a half-breed. Things have been looking up for him now that he had met Kagome and he was just starting to allow himself to dream. She was the one that helped him give up the ambition of using the jewel to change what he was, since doing so would change his heart. But was there nothing else he could do to change these results? Why did she even stay with him if there were others who would be better for her?

He picked up the black ball again and asked it "What do you think? Am I just a natural born loser?" Gazing into its base, the words appeared "Most likely."

"You're a big help." he muttered.

He was still sulking, who knows how much later, when he heard Kagome call out from the front doorway that she was home. At that point, being caught snooping was the least of his fears, but he put the things back into her side table drawer anyway.

Kagome walked into her room and wasn't too surprised to see him sitting there. Finding him in her room looking for her, waiting for her so that he could drag her back, had become a natural occurrence; one that she had grown quite comfortable with, to tell the truth. If she didn't know better, she'd swear that he belonged there as much as she did.

Although she wasn't used to the mood he was in. Slouching, head hung like she had beaten him with a rolled up newspaper, looking at her accusingly through the corner of his eye, pouting, ears drooping… She wasn't sure what to make of it. He looked so pathetic and sad.

"Are you okay, Inuyasha? What's wrong?"

"Nuthin'..." he muttered as he turned away from her as though expecting that to be enough.

"Oh, come on." she tried to sound good humored as she dropped her book bag and kneeled down to eye level with him. "You're not going to fool anyone with that attitude. C'mon, you can tell me." She playfully nudged his shoulder with her elbow. It prompted him into looking at her again, at least, but now he just looked lost. His expression alone was enough to nearly break her heart.

He was silent for a few moments, and she waited patiently for him to work up the nerve to say whatever was on his mind. She knew it could be difficult for him sometimes. Finally, he mumbled out "You're in love with my brother, aren't you?"

That hit her like a sopping rolled up sock and knocked her for a loop. "KEEEH?!" she shrieked, gaping at him in amazement. "Wha,..? What could..? How..? Inuyasha..!"

He nervously shuffled away from her a bit.

"What in the world gave you that notion?!"

"It's true, isn't it!" he exploded. "He's the powerful one! He's the noble one! He's the demon of your dreams! Admit it!"

She held her gut and fell over backwards, laughing, which only made him fume even more at her. He had to be joking! "Inuyasha, he's the ruthless one! He's the snooty one! Why on Earth would I be attracted to Sesshoumaru??" she managed to gasp out through her laughter.

His anger was mounting by leaps and bounds. "Keh! I don't see what's so funny! You don't have to lie to me and laugh about it in my face!"

She sat up, still gasping for breath. "No, ..no, seriously, what could possibly give you that idea?"

He didn't care anymore if she did get angry at him. He whipped open her drawer and yanked out the mockingly cute device, punched in the names, hit the button and shoved it right before her eyes.

She blinked into focusing on the object a few scant centimeters from her nose, then burst out laughing all over again. "Oh, hey, look at that! Wow! Lemme see that." She laughed as she took it from him.

He couldn't believe it. How long had she been hiding this from him? How could she laugh about it as it tore him apart? Was it one big joke to her all this time? He hung his head again and trembled in an effort to maintain his composure as he felt that unfamiliar prickling sting come to his eyes. He would not give her the satisfaction of seeing him…

"I like this match better." Kagome giggled and shoved the thing right back in his face. He looked up, almost afraid of what she would do to him next. But once it dawned on him what he was looking at, all he could do was stare at it. "Shikon Jewel" and "Toukijin"…

"99%"

A jewel and a sword..? Although they were both cursed manifestations of demonic evil so at least they have something in common, he'd hardly say either one was capable of love. "Uh,.. wha..? But… Kagome… those aren't even people."

"Exactly…" she told him. "Inuyasha, this thing, it's just a silly little game. I don't know what possessed you to play with it or what you did with it, but it can't really tell you who you should be with. It can't even tell if you're a person at all!"

He wasn't sure if he should believe her, though he wanted to. "But it says… Then, what's the point? Why do you even have this thing?"

"My friends got it for me as a gag gift. It's fun to make pairings and laugh at the meaningless results. Sometimes they can be creepy and seem accurate, sometimes they're just funny. Here, I'll show you." She took it back and started hitting buttons while he leaned over her shoulder in curiosity to peek at what she was doing. "I played with this thing for hours when I got it and came up with some real gems!" She typed in the names "Houjou" and "Kouga" and calculated their romantic prospects.

Inuyasha couldn't suppress a chortle when it came up with "93%". Why didn't he think of that? They were made for each other!

"I thought you might like that one." Kagome said with a smile. "Here, you think of one." she said as she handed it to him.

He thought for a moment, racking his brain through all the names of all the people he knew and thought of all the compromising couplings he could place them in. He typed in "Myouga" and then "Jaken" and the thing decided they would have a "44%" chance of living happily ever after. He grinned. The thought of that really was pretty funny to him. Not to mention what they're reactions would be if they knew he was pairing them up together.

"There, you believe me now?" Kagome asked him.

He pouted again, though more for his wounded pride than a wounded heart. "I guess so. You think I'm an idiot now, don't you?"

"Nah… You're just a snoop. Did you really think I was going to run off with your brother?" she asked him incredulously.

"Well, he is 'The Esteemed Lord of the Western Lands', or whatever." He explained in mock respect.

"And that means what to me? You're still twice the man he is, and don't you forget it. And don't worry; I'm not about to run off with anyone but you." She didn't seem to notice the way he looked at her in surprise just then. She was too busy putting the calculator back in the drawer. "Speaking of which, we have a well to catch, am I right? Or do you want to wait until after dinner? Mom's cooking pork chops!"

"Mmm… Pork chops…" he said in a very purr-like growl. As she took his hand and led him out the door, he took one more glance over his shoulder at the drawer with the mysterious little games in it. But when the smell of roasting pig drifted to his nose, he decided he'd wait until later to warn her about the possessed eight-ball.

This fic was based on an actual game I found online and had some fun with. The results of all the pairings seen here come from this. You can try it for yourself here:www.lovecalculator.com.