January 31, 2004
(Author's Note: I'm unsure exactly if there's a term for ANGER fics as oppose to Angsty fics, but if there is, then this is a little bit of both. Enjoy and please R&R if possible. One shot. Beta-read by Aile Anna.)
A Simple Little Argument
"Nice to see you remembered me."
Perhaps a normal way of saying hello would be to actually just say, "Hi," or "Welcome back," or just plain "Hey." But no, not so for Inuyasha. His words, aside from tasting of flat out resentment, did nothing to hide the feeling of abandonment Kagome continually left him with when she returned to the world beyond the well.
"I can't stay here all the time," she countered instantly, her voice immediately on the defensive as she came clambering out. Dropping her overstuffed backpack onto the ground, she stood there with one leg perched on the well as if she couldn't decide which way she had to go. "I have school. I have my studies. Honestly, I can't stand around babying you all the time."
"Babying? ME?!" The incredibility in his voice, coupled with the widening of his golden eyes spoke countless volumes. Drawing away from the well, standing back so that he could fully fix her with his slitted golden eyes, the look in his eyes read: BACK THE TRUCK UP! "You have a job to do here."
"And I do it. When have I stopped?" Steadying her other leg outside of the well, Kagome rested her butt on the stone as she casually returned his look with one that asked: what the hell is your problem? Not even five minutes back and he was already bitching at her. You would think he would be grateful that she didn't stay away too long, but damn it, if you gave him an inch, he'd demand a mile! "But even I get burned out. I need to have some time to relax, you know."
"Yeah, right." He had crossed his arms, hands disappearing instantly up his sleeves, as he glanced off to the side. In that gesture, like a picture speaking thousands of words, was the simple message: There was no fooling him.
"What's that suppose to mean?" Kagome fixed him with a questioning look. Didn't she go and help him gather the shards, didn't they fight Naraku together, so what the hell was it now?!
"Oh, don't nothing me. What's wrong? I thought we got through this period of-" She'd made to get in front of him, to stubbornly place herself right in his face, but Inuyasha was faster than she was. He had already moved away, keeping his face directly out of her sight, as strands of snowy white blew out behind him.
Is that what she thought this was about? A period of ill-adjustment? He did not need this, especially not today. The person who said men had lousy memories had never met Inuyasha. "Fine. Just shut up, already." As a firecracker prone to go off when the fuse was lit, Inuyasha's temper seemed to go the same way.
"What's wrong with you?" Her tone held that self-directing pain usually associated when Inuyasha picked on and complained about her. It was the sort of thing that suggested the entire world should commiserate for her misfortunate for all this constant aggravation on a moody hanyou. It was not a tone that would open the door and allow room for someone else to be grieved over.
"Keh," he started to pad off, wanting to suddenly put distant between Kagome and himself, as if he found this whole mess distasteful. She obviously didn't care what today meant to him, so why should he?
"Fine, Hihi to you too." Grumbling to herself with that put upon shake of her head, Kagome bent to reach for her backpack. Just leave him alone, her instincts told her, as she watched Inuyasha disappear into the woods ahead. It's just male PMS. Once he has some time to sit in the quietness of the forest, and let the sun warm his sullen face, he'd come around and apologize. Okay, maybe not really apologize, but he'd come around. He always did.
"Kagome-chan!" Sango came racing over, reaching out to hug the startled Kagome who hadn't expected this greeting for only being 3 days AWOL. The Taijiya's grip was fierce, as strong as her pride in the demons she slayed, as she pulled Kagome close
"Hi, Sango-chan, what's with that-"
"Happy Anniversary!" Miroku and Shippo who had been close on Sango's heels grinned at their companion as if the clear amusement in her startled face was something to chuckle over.
"You look surprised, Kagome-sama?" Miroku set Shippo down, allowing the little Kitsune to score a hug from Kagome after Sango released her. "Did you forget that today was the day you first met Inuyasha? Sort of like the start of our little adventure."
As if the world had suddenly been dipped into a vacuum of silence, Kagome's face went rigid with the news. First meeting… between her and Inuyasha… the day when she had first freed him. Oh my God!
When she found Inuyasha later that day, he was slinging rocks over one of the river jetties that fed water to the rice fields. It was needless to even mention, but he still wore that same sullen look from before.
Oh dear, Kagome thought with a wince of nervousness revealed by the way her hands wrung over each other repetitively, he looks really pissed off. The way he was flinging the stones had most of them going wide or beaming themselves off the turf that occasionally poked itself skyward from the water. Several had the misfortune to shatter before leaving his fingers. She had never really found herself in this sort of situation before. Usually it was Inuyasha, NOT her, who was at the root of all the drama – it was a first time for Kagome in realizing that she had hurt HIS feeling.
Quietly, she waited, knowing that he must be aware of her – had to have been ever since she came this way. That overly sensitive dog nose of his always let him know where she was – where she could be found. Kagome had always thought it was a blessing … until now. Why didn't he speak? Staring at him, watching the way the wind blew through his milky hair, Kagome was at a loss at what to do. In the past, he would always say something, even if it was stupid or blunt, he had never let the silence lapse so badly between them before. It wasn't until this very moment that she realized how much he was silently hurting.
"Leave me alone." The words came out with a curtness that did little to hide the pain lurking within. She had once asked him, had even encouraged it, to share his troubled past with her. And now Kagome had forgotten the most important day in his life and hadn't even cared about it.
"But I didn't remember that today was our first meeting. I've been so tired lately, I just didn't even think about it-"
Didn't remember… she still didn't remember.
And on top of it, she was using the "I was tired" spiel again. If he said something about it, she would call him an inconsiderate bastard – well, not exactly in that tone, but close enough. Inuyasha just couldn't win with her.
Angrily his fists slid to his sides, belted there as if he were suddenly afraid of the damage they would do should he let go. "So what did you want to say now?" There was no warmth to his words and his eyes refused to look at her. In fact, his entire face was tilted away so that she could not see it. "You're sorry, huh? Fine, end of story... now go away."
"Hey, I'm trying to apologize here. Why won't you let me?" She reached for a lock of his hair, pulling very hard so that he would jerk down to face her. What she encountered, instead of that furious face she expected, tore at her heart-strings. Crying? Inuyasha had been crying! Though the tears were nothing major in terms of amount of size, it was their very existence that stunned her. There had only been one other time she had caught him crying and that was when he had thought everyone had died.
Abruptly jerking his head back, swaying his face so that she could no longer see it, Inuyasha let out a low curse. "Damn bitch, just leave me alone! If you can't even remember, you have no business talking to me!"
"Inu…ya...sha," Kagome drew back, her lips forming his name at a half pout, as he took off on her… for the second time. Even if she wanted to run after him, she couldn't. He was already gone at this point, his silver hair flaring in the wake of wind caused by his quick departure. "That's not fair. I know now…"
"He usually gets like this come nightfall. It tends to pass, don't be too angry with him."
Glancing down at the sound, she was surprised to see Myoga wearing a thoughtful expression. She hadn't even realized he was there until he spoke. Sometimes size did matter – it got you seen. "Myoga-jiji?"
"His mother died on this day."
And for the second time that day, Kagome felt the world grow cold, enveloping her body inside a mask of silent accusation. Double whammy. How could a day so auspicious mark another day so tragic? "Oh my god. I… I just didn't think. I've had all these exams and school study sessions, and we had to find Naraku… and then there were the shards….oh God." Oh Inuyasha.
"Where are you going Kagome-sama?" Myoga, who had hopped up to her shoulder and was staring at the pale flesh of her throat with something akin to: Lunch, do I dare feed, looked slightly worried. She wasn't going to go chasing after Inuyasha in his current mood, was she? Now that would be foolish, Kagome had to know better, right?
"After him, of course."
"GAIMYOU!" Was perhaps the only sound that registered long enough, as Kagome gave a losing chase after the white-haired hanyou. It was the sound Myouga gave whenever he ran away or fell off of someone.
She had to find him, to apologize about not remembering. She was human, so Inuyasha had to understand that she too was capable of making mistakes. Mistakes. Considering his far outweighed her own, he should have spared her some leeway instead of acting like the injured martyr. Afterall, wasn't he the guy who-
But something stopped her from continuing that condemning thought. That would have been the easy way out. If she were to throw away her faults by simply saying his faults outweighed hers, who would she be trying to fool then? Obviously, it wouldn't be him, but her. GREAT, that would just make her as bad as Kikyou who continually spouted on how much Inuyasha had failed her and needed to go to hell with her. I can't blame him, can I?
Her chest tightened at those thoughts, she found herself slowing considerably, as the instinct to defend her actions grew harder to curtain. It would be only so easy to point out his faults because it beat looking at her own miserable excuses. Sure, she was tired, stressed and exhausted with fighting Naraku and having to live a second moonlighting life as a High school student, but then again… did that invalidate Inuyasha's existence? He fought Naraku too, HE THREW HIS FULL BODY into it and it had nearly killed him a dozen times. He had Kikyou to deal with, a brother who hated him, old feelings to bury, and he had things to contend with like the death of his mother which he hadn't really gotten over.
Oh god. If she looked at it through a rational eye, his problems – though different – were still things that taxed his mind too. Instead of throwing out excuses to him, instead of screaming and arguing, she should have listened to the clues in his words… in his eyes. Unlike Kagome, he had never known friends until late in life so he had difficulty relating and dealing with the things that troubled him. It didn't mean he was right in treating her as he did, but it also didn't mean she was right either. She had made a clear honest mistake and she had to accept it. Accept it and move on.
When Kagome tiredly came trudging back to the village, her limbs sagging at her sides with fatigue, she found Inuyasha waiting by the side of Kaede's hut. He didn't look up, didn't acknowledge that she was there, but he had to know she was here. A roguish lock of hair had fluttered down in front of his face, blowing in the subtle wind to shield his eyes from her, as he leaned against the wooden frame like a gnarled tree branch withering in the evening sunlight.
Perhaps it would be best to leave him alone, Kagome thought as she drew near to him, her brown eyes lifting unhappily to look past him towards the entrance. Inside, she could hear the fluted chatter of Shippo, Kaede and the others as they spoke of food and recent events. Obviously, Inuyasha had not been up to joining them.
And then, as if someone had been controlling her movements until now, she broke free of her thoughts and jumped the last few steps of the way towards him. Throwing her arms around Inuyasha's startled body, pulling him close, Kagome refused to let go. "I'm sorry, Inuyasha. I'm so sorry, I forgot."
For finicky readers who remember the B-day issue:
It might indeed be strange for Kagome to forget these details, but it's not entirely impossible either. Stress can do some mighty weird things with a mind and with the sort of hectic life Kagome lives there's that opportunity for exploration. Although it could also be possible that her family celebrated her birthday early to accomodate her exams and she never did tell the Inuyasha-tachi when her b-day was - I never did say ^^v.
It's not an AU, or AR. I just wanted to avoid the Birthday issue because I felt that would turn the fic into a "Kagome" orientated story and thus devaluating Inuyasha's right to be upset. I wanted something that would focus on a "mistake" made by Kagome - NOT Inuyasha.