AN: I went to a community/family get together today and it was horrible. I spoke to almost no one and the conversations I did have were short and awkward. I console myself by writing.
Also my computer is...well fucked is a pretty good word. Updates might be slower
Warrioress of the Fang - the books are good, but they aren't like this story. They're alot more serious and more fantasy oriented
"Something to brighten your day, Kaede-baba."
Inuyasha pushed the door open with his shoulder, as his arms were currently occupied carrying in a young girl. One who happened to have quite a sour expression on her face. Putting her down, he turned to the old miko who had been reorganising her herbs when he had burst in. "She fell and twisted her ankle. Think it's sprained."
"How...nice of you to bring her in," the old woman replied, a curious smile gracing her lips. She woddled over to Kagome and looked at the darkening bruise on her ankle before randomly jabbing it with her finger, making Kagome jump and grimace. "What happened, child?"
"There was a big tree root...I wasn't watching where I was going. But I don't think it's that bad," she said as she experimentallybent the joint.
While Kaede examined her ankle, Inuyasha and Kagome seemed to be having the strangest battle of wills. Inuyasha seemed determined to catch her eye, and the girl seemed equally determined to look anywhere but at him. Curious...
"Well, it's not broken. I'll put on a salve to ease the pain and wrap it, not much else I can do. You'll have to stay off it for a few days to let it heal." Kagome pouted. What the hell was she suppose to do for a few days without the use of her foot. She certainly couldn't ask...Inuyasha for help as he'd done in the village. Not now. Kaede looked up at the young man who was glowering at the back of Kagome's head. "Lord Inuyasha? Thank you for bringing her, but you don't have to stay." She noticed the girl flinched when she said his name.
Curiouser and curiouser...
"I'll stay until your done and help her up to her room."
"That's okay, you can go." This from Kagome who was still having trouble looking it him. "I know you must have better things to do. Kingdoms to lord over, and all that."
"Don't be stupid, wench. How're you planning to get to your room without help? And I'm already here so..."
She didn't respond to that, just watched as Kaede went about the business of fixing her up and wondered if there was a spare crutch or cane lying around that she could use. She had to get around somehow, the last thing she expected was someone to bring her food and such. The room was silent as Kaede wrapped her foot tightly with a think layer of her home spun bandages. Then she woddled off to the corner and brought back a cane that had been used to much the wood had been worn down to a shine and handed it to the girl. In exchange, Kagome gave her the supplies she'd picked up for her and the others in the village and asked that she distribute them.
Inuyasha walked over to her and extended his hand which she grabbed to pull herself up, his other hand going to her waist to steady her. They made the trip to her quarters in silence. In fact, neither of them had spoken much at all since the incident back at the village
"Wait...what did she just call you?"
Kagome turned astonished eyes on the hanyou and let out an indignant huff. The village woman seemed to realize that she had stepped in it so she turned tail, daughter in hand, and returned to her husband before they continued about their day. There was no such exit available for Inuyasha. "Um..."
"Are you Lord Inuyasha? Second heir to the thrown? That Lord Inuyasha?"
"Why...why didn't you tell me that?" she asked pushing away from him and stumbling back, "And here I am, thinking we're friends. But of course that's not..." She trailed off and looked away from, straight into the tree line, a look of concentration coming over her. She seemed to be pondering something but it didn't look like she was going to tell him, did it? Then she turned on her foot and he expected she would have stormed off if she could. Instead she just crumpled onto the ground, nursing her ankle. The one she had apparently forgotten was injured.
"Come on, wench," he said scooping her into his arms with little fight from her, "Let's get you to Kaede's."
That had been almost an hour ago and she hadn't said a single word. Well, he hadn't either but, what was there for him to say. They got to her room and she pushed the door open before hobbling inside and droppin her stuff on the ground, Inuyasha pausing at the door. She turned to him and gave him an appraising look before she said, "Thank you for helping me. I greatly appreciate it,"
She expected him to leave, but he just stood there, staring at her. It was a bit unnerving. "Um...is there anything I can do for you...my lord?" she said, the last as an after thought. She figured she may as well get use to saying it now.
"You don't have to call me that."
"Sorry Lord Inuyasha. What would you prefer I call you?"
"Inuyasha. Just Inuyasha. It's not like I want you to bow down to me or anything."
"What do you want?" Her question seemed to stun him, as he wasn't quite sure what he wanted. The truth would have been that he simply didn't know. He wasn't quite sure why he cared that she wasn't acting like her normal, bubbly self, or that she hadn't made a crack at his expense since she'd found out who he was. He just did. Maybe they were becoming friends. Kami knew he didn't have many. Kagome appeared to still be waiting for an answer but it didn't look like she was going to get one, based on the blank expression on his face. "I should probably get some rest," she began in her attempt to get rid of him so that she could think.
"Right..." he didn't know what he wanted from the conversation so he didn't know what to say. In defeat he turned and left, closing the door behind him.
The next day Kagome managed to hobble her way to the entrance to wait out Sango's arrival. The boys at the stable had taken one look at her foot and sent her off, telling her they'd handle her work load until she was better.
But she was bored.
On her way she'd noticed some unusual activity amongst the guard. It didn't particularly concern her, but her curiousity simply could not be tempered. So she hobbled over to one of the guardsmen and shot him her most brilliant 'you know you want to spill' smile. "So what's going on today? Why is everyone running around like chickens with their heads cut off?"
The guardsmen looked down at her, his silver hair pulled up into a high ponytail and two jagged marks adorning his cheeks, and snorted. "I don't see why you care, but the wolf nation has joined us. We are preparing." And as though that was information enough, he pointedly turned his head away from her and effectively ended the short dialogue.
She stumbled away, her head reeling. The wolf nation? Who from the wolf nation? Are they looking for me? Suddenly she didn't think awaiting Sango's arrival by the front entrance was such a good idea so she made her way back to her room to think things through. Sango hadn't told her where she was going or what she was doing. Now members of the wolf nation were here. What if someone recognized her? Would she have to go back? Maybe she should consider moving on.
Can't do much of anything until my ankle heals. Damn. At least it gives me an excuse to stay out of sight though, she thought as she reached her quarters. Hopefully Sango would come see her when she was done her business and she could pry a bit more information out of her.
"Well, there's not much to go on, my lord."
Sango looked around the room at all the demons staring back at her, awaiting her report. Truth be told, while the nation was equally ningen and inu-youkai, there was a bigger difference in the higher ranks. Lord Tai only had one human general, and he wasn't even present. And as confident in her own abilities as Sango was, it was still a little nerve racking to have a group dogs and wolves staring you down. "Lady Ami is very distraught over her daughters disappearance and she is more than willing to except our help. Unfortunately there are no recent images of the princess. Apparently she did not like to sit for portraits. I have a detailed verbal discription of the girl but I can't imagine it will help very much as many young women of the nation fit the same description. She is roughly 155cm and 49 kg with long raven black hair and cornflower blue eyes. However we do have one thing. Lady Ami has allowed us use of her Hime Higurashi's belongings. I felt if we could get a scent off of them we would more easily be able to recognize her."
"And by 'we' you mean 'us', right?" replied Inuyasha, gesturing to the demons collected.
"Well, not you personally, my lord, as you will not be participating in the search, but yes, I was referring to the youkai."
"Thank you, Sango," Lord Tai said before Inuyasha had a chance to respond, "This has been most informative." He dismissed her, along with everyone that was not involved with the search with a barked order. "Okay go do some work, people."
Sango caught up with Inuyasha outside and scuffed his ear. "Must you be such a jerk?"
"Why do you always ask questions you know the answers to, bitch?"
Sango paused at the insult and took in his sullen expression as they went swiftly down the hall. "What's eating you?"
"Nothing," he replied too quickly
"Well, clearly it's something. You're being quite abrasive, even to your standards." She waited for a response, but didn't get one, so she tried a different approach. "So, what did you do while I was gone? Hope you didn't get into too much trouble."
"Not much of anything. Spent a lot of time in the fields, training,, the stables-"
"OH! Have you met the new girl, Kagome? She is delightful!"
"Yeah...we met. She, uh, sprained her ankle while you were gone, by the way."
"Oh no! How'd she do that?"
"By being a clutz on the path to the village. As far as I could tell she just tripped over a flat surface."
"So you were with her when this happened?"
"Yeah...we, uh, ran into each other on the way to the village. I helped her back. Stupid wench, made me take her all over the village running errands for other people before she'd go to Kaede."
"How did she make the great Inuyasha do that?"
"Well, she would've tried to go around on her own, probably would've broken her ankle instead."
Sango took in that little piece of information without comment, pondering the hanyou's actions. "So how is she now?"
"Keh, how would I know?"
"You haven't seen her since? How come? Since you bothered to make sure she got back okay, I'd think you'd want to make sure she stayed okay. Dog demon, and all."
"Well, yeah I do but..." he trailed off, not meeting her gaze.
"Keh. She's not really talking to me right now."
"Okay, this, I gotta hear."
"You know, brother, I don't even need to scent her things. I swear I can still smell her."
The wolf demon looked at his pack mate with a curious look. "What are you talking about Hakkaku?"
"Nee-san's scent, I still remember it. Like it's hanging in the air."
"Yeah...you've finally lost it."
Sango was oblivious to the silence that was eating the hanyou alive. He had finished his story, making it as short as possible and she just sat there, staring at him like he had grown an extra head. But she hadn't said a word and it was driving him nuts. "Well?" he finally barked at her, unable to stand the silence.
"What do you think? What are you thinking? Just fuckin say something, will ya?"
"Well...when you realized Kagome was the same girl from the trail, why didn't you just tell her who you were?"
"I don't know, I just didn't feel like it."
"So, did you not anticipate this outcome? She probably feels like an idiot for not realizing who you are."
"I didn't really think about."
There was a pregnant pause during which Sango thought better of asking if the hanyou was now friends with the young girl. "Well, have you apologized?"
"Apologize, for what?"
"I'll take that as a no. For being a jerk, mostly. But also for lieing to her."
"Why should I have to apologize, she's the one that assumed I was someone I'm not."
"And you made no effort to correct her. The girl is probably mortified. But it's probably for the best."
"Why do you say that?"
"Inuyasha, she is a peasant girl that just found out she's been galavanting around with one of the king's sons. On top of that, if word gets out that you are associating with the help, it's not going to look good on you or Lord Tai. I'm sure Lord Sesshoumaru will have a field day."
"I associate with you, and your the help."
"Everyone is the help to you, Inuyasha. I'm one of Lord Tai's advisors, she feeds horses. There is a bit of a difference. I'm not saying you shouldn't be friends with her, I think you should. I'm just saying you have to be careful." She paused to let that sink in before she continued, "But she's not going to talk to you unless you apologize to her. Just talk to the girl. But it's your choice."
Kagome lay on her futon, staring up at the ceiling, lost in her own thoughts. Her mind was refusing to remain on one issue. Sango had just left her room and she had managed to get the required information from the girl. Apparently her mother was so frantic to find her that she had enlisted the help of both the dog and wolf nations. This was a disaster. If she was found out she'd be sent back home and be forced to marry some nobleman and squeeze out his children. This was not a fate she was looking forward to.
So she had to get off the island.
She couldn't really make a clean escape on one foot, but she couldn't leave yet anyway. She'd have to wait until the demon sentries left before she could, which meant staying out of sight for the time being. Then she would have to come up with a plausible excuse as to why she was leaving so soon after she'd arrived. And then say her goodbyes.
That was where her mind always got side tracked. She would start thinking of the people she had made friends with here and she would think of Inuyasha. Or Lord Inuyasha. She couldn't really hold the fact that he had lied against him, seeing as she was doing the same thing. But that logic didn't do much to quel her anger. It had clearly been a little game to him. See how much fun he can have at the peasant girl's expense. He was just like all the other nobility she had met. They thought everyone was simply there for their benefit.
And he'd been so much fun too.
A knock at her door sent her thoughts scattering and, assuming it was Sango, she called for the visitor to enter. Standing in the doorway was the object of her thoughts, looking down at her sheepishly. He stepped into the small room and closed the door behind him before looking around. "This is room is the size of my closet."
"Yes, well, we don't all get to live in palace's in spacious rooms with walk in closets, my lord," she spat back.
"Sucks for you. And I thought I told you to quit that 'lord' stuff."
"What do you want, Inuyasha? Or have you still not figured out the answer to that question?"
He dropped down into a crossed leg position on the floor across from her futon and she reluctantly sat up to face him. "I just wanted to talk, see how your holding up."
"Well, I'm fine, so you can go now."
"Kagome..." his lack of practice was making it extremely difficult to force the apology through his lips, and he cast about for something to say. Fortunately, she started talking.
"Wow, I'm amazed you know my name. You know, I suppose it's my own fault for not realizing sooner. I mean, how many inu-hanyou are there really running about?"
"Not many," he agreed
"So why didn't you bother to tell me who you were?"
"I'm not sure. You assumed I was a soldier, so I just kind of went with it. It made things easier."
"Easier to ignore, I guess. As long as I was Barnabus, you kept coming to bother me, which you wouldn't have done if I was Lord Inuyasha, Second Heir to the Throne. It's just easier to not be me."
That was certainly a sentiment she could understand, and she could feel her anger fading. "So were you planning on telling me?"
"No not really."
"Well, at least your honest," she sighed.
"For what it's worth, I can see why your angry. I probably shouldn't have done what I did."
Her tilted to the side and quirked a queer smile at him. "Is that your idea of an apology?"
"No, I was not apologizing, I was simply saying that-"
"It's okay, I forgive you, sort of. It doesn't really matter though, anyway."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, I know how this works, Inuyasha. Nobility aren't suppose to play nice with the help. It leads to scandal. We can't be friends. We can't associate."
"Well...maybe we could, but away from prying eyes. Covertly."
"You mean we could be like 'secret friends'? Why would you want to do that?"
"Well, it gets pretty boring around here, and you do provide constant entertainment, princess. But we're not friends. We are just two people who hang out. Covertly."
"Yeah, you said that already," she paused, taking only a brief second to think about it.
"Okay, this might be fun."