Just a Rosary

By DQBunny

*****

DISCLAIMER: "Inuyasha" is the property of Takahashi Rumiko and isn't mine. The time frame for this story is after episode 126, but prior to the events in movie #3: Tenka Hado no Ken.

* - denote thoughts

*****

Sometimes the days fell into a very predictable pattern in the Sengoku Jidai. Kagome could tell this just by who they encountered during the day. Most of them wound up giving her headaches, especially when they met up with Sesshomaru.

As usual, whenever they met up with Inuyasha's elder brother, the two began bickering. The bickering quickly escalated into a fight. Everyone seemed to take it in stride, even going so far as to set up a picnic on the edge of the clearing and watch the two go at it.

"It's doing them good, getting some aggression out," Miroku commented while nibbling on some onigiri.

"Besides, at this point they're so evenly matched that they really can't do any harm to each other," Sango added.

Kagome didn't quite believe that. She paced the length of the picnic blanket and watched the brothers. She wished they could get along, even at the degree of tolerability that they had when they fought the neko youkai. She sighed and started to sink down to the blanket when she noticed Sesshomaru's claws turn green. Poison claws, she realized, and bolted toward them.

Sesshomaru loomed over Inuyasha, prepared to deliver the death blow.

Kagome skid to a stop. "OSUWARI!"

Inuyasha crashed to the ground, barely evading the attack.

Sesshomaru's claw halted. Miroku's riceball fell to the blanket as he and the others scrambled to their feet. Everyone stared at Kagome, then at the fallen Inuyasha, then back at Kagome.

Sesshomaru frowned. "What was that?"

"Uhh...what was what?"

"That. That you just said."

"Which one..."

"Say it, girl!"

Kagome thought for a moment as Inuyasha struggled to his feet. "Oh, you mean 'Osuwari'?"

"GAH!" Inuyasha crashed into the ground again.

Sesshomaru stared down at his fallen heap of a younger brother. Seconds passed. Slowly, so slow it was barely seen at all, the corners of his mouth turned up in a slight smile.

Miroku stumbled, nearly falling back over Sango and Shippo. "Is he...is he doing what I think he is?"

Sango squinted. "He's...smiling?"

On the other side of the field, Jaken was having a panic attack. "Sesshomaru-sama is smiling? Oh great spirits. Oh, have mercy on us all!"

Rin clapped with glee. "Sesshomaru-sama smiled!"

Sesshomaru crouched beside Inuyasha and jerked him up by the scruff of the neck. "You mean to tell me that you have torn the arm off this Sesshomaru and proclaim to be the better of the two of us. Yet, you can be defeated by a girl in a harem skirt yelling 'sit'?"

"Hey! I am NOT wearing a harem skirt!" Kagome yelled.

Inuyasha growled at Sesshomaru and swiped his claws at him. "I'm gonna kill you! I'm gonna get Kagome too after I finish you first!"

"Get me?" Kagome glared at Inuyasha, causing him to shrink back slightly. "Get me how?"

"As soon as I finish off Sesshomaru, I'll show you!"

"Is that a threat?"

"It's a promise!"

Miroku smiled. "That could be misinterpreted in so many interesting ways."

"Houshi-sama!"

Kagome clenched her hands into fists and turned her back on the brothers. "Osuwari! Both of you!"

Inuyasha crashed back into the ground, taking Sesshomaru with him.

Rin clapped again. "That was funny! Do it again, Sesshomaru-sama!"

Sesshomaru got back on his knees. "Do you really put up with this on a daily basis?"

"Yeah," Inuyasha groaned.

Sesshomaru got to his feet, turned his back on Inuyasha and started back toward his party. "We're leaving."

Inuyasha stood back up. "Get back here and finish this like a man!"

"I will. When you're man enough to get that rosary removed and not be ordered around by a woman. A human woman at that."

Kagome scowled. "I think he just insulted me."

It wasn't often that Inuyasha was thrown into a situation where he had to placate Kagome, to get her to calm down before they could proceed with any rational thought. But in less than a second after she bit out that statement, he was by her side doing just that.

"Kagome, you know what Sesshomaru's like. He doesn't like humans very much, though I wonder about that Rin girl, and he's just doing it to make you angry."

Kagome turned on him. "Well, he did make me angry! Saying that you're so immature that you need to be 'sat' by a woman constantly."

Inuyasha cocked an eyebrow. "Well...don't you think that?"

"Think what?"

"Think just that. That I'm immature and need to be 'sat' constantly. You don't trust me!"

"Of course I trust you!"

"No you don't!"

"Yes I do!"

"No you don't!"

Miroku pulled out a string of coins from his robes. "Two yen says he gets sat."

"You're on." Sango pulled out her own string of coins and plucked off two.

"If you trust me so much, why don't you take off this rosary?" Inuyasha yelled.

"Hmm...removal of jewelry could leaving to removal of other clothing as well," Miroku commented.

"Don't even think about it, Houshi-sama."

"Okay, fine!" Kagome marched over to Inuyasha, grabbed the rosary and yanked it off. "There. Here. Do what you like with it." She dropped it in his hand and stomped away.

Inuyasha blew out a breath and glared at his friends. "If you follow..."

"I have no desire to see you try to make it all the way with Kagome- sama...just give us the details afterwards."

A loud slap echoed through the clearing. "You know, I wouldn't mind borrowing that rosary for awhile, Inuyasha."

"Too late, he's gone," Shippo commented, pointing to the vacant spot where Inuyasha had stood.

****

Inuyasha knew Kagome hadn't gotten far. She could run fast, but he was even faster. Before she could squeal a protest, he plucked her off the ground and was airborne. He jumped from tree to tree with her in his arms, ignoring her squirming. Satisfied they were a good distance away from their friends, he landed near a brook and set her down. He moved to the water and splashed some on his face before taking a long, cold drink.

Kagome placed her hands on her hips and glared. "Do you mind? You just dragged us who knows how far from the others. What business do you have taking me off like that?"

He paused, his full hands halfway to his lips. "Do you mind? I nearly just had my ass handed to me by my 'dear' brother. And you just finished the job." He gulped down the liquid.

Kagome plopped on the ground. "I don't see how my saving you from certain death meant getting your ass handed to you. If that's the case, remind me just to watch you get killed next time."

Inuyasha swung on her, and she noticed the hurt in his eyes. It startled her into silence and Kagome focused on the peaceful scenery in front of her instead. She drew her knees up to her chin and hugged her legs. She closed her eyes, unable to meet his. Somehow, she could tell that this went beyond the battle.

A subtle jingle caught her attention and she noticed Inuyasha dangling the rosary by a single finger. It surprised her. She thought he'd thrown it away by now.

"You think that I'm immature and need to be 'sat' constantly. You don't trust me!"

It infuriated her that he could even think that. Time after time, their trust in each other had been tested. Kikyo...Tsubaki...Naraku... Even though Kikyo still irked her a great deal, she trusted Inuyasha to come back to her. Though, Kagome supposed, she did use the rosary to take out her frustrations on him. She watched the beads dangle and glisten in the sunlight. It just seemed easier to make Inuyasha conform at times than it did to argue.

Did that mean she didn't trust him?

Maybe I should say I'm sorry, Kagome thought. Suddenly, she felt her hand in his, safe and warm. And the cool glide of the beads as they transferred from his hands into hers.

"I'm sorry." Inuyasha muttered. "I didn't mean to say that."

Kagome blinked, nearly asked him to repeat it. He didn't apologize often. "You don't need to! I should have..."

His hand closed over hers and the beads. "You're the first person I ever trusted," he said softly, his eyes locked on their joined hands. "I should trust you enough to know when to take these off."

Kagome swallowed, surprised by the tears that suddenly clogged her throat. "I really did do it to protect you. I didn't want Sesshomaru to hurt you."

"Keh! You think someone like Sesshomaru's gonna do me in?" Inuyasha smirked at her, but it quickly died away when he saw the tears streaming down her cheeks. "Kagome..."

"When you first turned youkai, I was so scared. Not scared of you, but scared that you would wind up killing yourself or someone you cared about. When you came back to me...when I yelled 'osuwari,' I was so happy. I had been so close just to removing the rosary on my own, but when I realized it was the one thing that kept the insanity from taking over, I knew it had to stay. I didn't think of how you felt about it."

"I didn't realize that's what snapped me out of it."

She nodded and wiped the tears away with the back of her free hand. "Then earlier, when we fought the toad youkai, and I was able to save you by doing that spell...I was glad that I had some way of keeping you out of harm's way. If it'll prevent you from getting killed, I'll do it again. I don't want you to die!"

Suddenly, she was hauled against his chest, his arms holding tight to her. Kagome felt the beads at the small of her back as Inuyasha hugged her tightly. She buried her head in his kimono and wept for all the near misses and close calls they'd had. After a few minutes, he eased her back to look at her.

She jumped in before he could say anything. "I should trust you more. I already do. I was honest when I said that when you go off with Kikyo that I'd be mad but I'd get over it. You deserve that from me. I do trust you. I really really do. Just sometimes I get angry. When I do, sitting just seems to be the best way of saying what I can't. I'm sorry."

He simply looked down at the rosary he held and let it dribble into her hands once more. Inuyasha gave her a small smile. "Then do it. Put it back."

"Why?"

*Because they're a little piece of you I can always carry with me, even when you're not here.* The sudden thought made Inuyasha freeze for a moment, then he relaxed. "Because you're the only one I can trust to help me fight the madness of being a full youkai." It was the truth, he acknowledged, but not the entire truth. "I don't want to ever forget you."

*"I thought you might even forget about me. That scared me."*

He remembered that? Kagome was amazed. Inuyasha had remembered the discussion they had right after he first turned full youkai, when she told him how he reacted and her own fears. She stared at the rosary in her hands.

*"I should trust you enough to know when to take these off."*

*"I don't want to ever forget you."*

Slowly, she lifted the beads up and draped them around Inuyasha's neck. They glowed as they settled against his clothing. Her hands rested on his shoulders for a moment, her eyes fixed on the beads. His hands rested on her waist and he pulled them to their feet. He enfolded her in his arms again and she leaned her head against his shoulder.

*I trust him enough to know that this isn't just a rosary. It's a connection to him and my means of protecting him.*

*I trust her enough to know that this isn't just a rosary. It's a connection to her and a means of keeping the insanity from taking over me.*

*This isn't just a rosary.*

*****

AUTHOR'S NOTE: While chatting with KellyChan85 last night, I started out tapping out a scene of what it would be like to have Inuyasha be "osuwari"ed in front of Sesshomaru. This came in on the end of a dicussion regarding the end of the third movie, which I won't spoil for folks here.

The fic was supposed to have ended with Inuyasha and Kagome yelling at each other, Miroku and Sango betting, Kagome yelling "osuwari" and then stomping off. I thought it would make a cute chapter for "Shikon no Go." But, as authors know, characters often tend to have a mind of their own and Kagome wound up taking off the rosary and tossing it at Inuyasha instead. "Whoa! Where'd that come from?" I thought. Hence the second half of this short story. FYI, they're thinking that last line at the same time.

The line, "I thought you might even forget me. That scared me," was said by Kagome at the end of volume 16 of the manga.