~*Disclaimer: Do I look like Rumiko Takahashi-san?
PG for minor language, just to be safe.
"…" - speech
'…' - thoughts
~*~*~ - change in scenery or time
It was hot.
It was one of those Japanese summer days that had anyone outside in direct sunlight boiling.
Which was why the shard hunt had been postponed.
At first, Inuyasha had, predictably, argued against the pause, claiming that Naraku would be collecting more shards while they were resting. However, as Kagome so adequately pointed out, the day was way too hot for anyone to be doing anything.
As the day progressed, the temperature continued to rise, and in the afternoon sun, even the tough hanyou was lying on his stomach in the shade of a tree not far from the village. His eyes were slightly unfocused, and his rough, pink tongue lolled out of his mouth. Even the ears atop Inuyasha's head were drooping in the heat.
Shippou pointed out that he looked like an over heated dog.
The kit was later found 'cooling off' in a small stream with several new bumps on his head.
Sango and Miroku chose to stay in the shade of Kaede's small hut where they could assist the old woman.
Kagome had taken a break to her time in an effort to escape the heat, and had even invited Inuyasha over, seeing as he was the only one able to use the well, apart from herself. He had refused, saying the heat didn't affect him as much as it did the 'weak humans'.
Tell that to him now.
It was scorching hot, but Inuyasha's pride prevented him from hopping through the well to the modern era, where it was probably cooler.
While Kagome was in her time, laughing it up over him, he was here, being steadily cooked.
A small breeze picked up, and a familiar scent was carried along with it to the hanyou. Surprised, the hanyou lifted his head and watched as the owner of that alluring scent came closer.
Kagome was back, but she had changed out of her sk-ool un-i-form. She was now wearing a strange blue top that was kept up by two thin straps, and a pair of those green sho-rts. Her long black hair was lifted up in a high ponytail to keep it off her neck. In her hands were a couple of those canned beverages that were fizzy. Judging from the water droplets sliding down the cans, they were cold.
Inuyasha lazily called to her from his spot on the ground.
"Oi, wench, thought you were going back to your time."
Kagome, having reached his spot beneath the tree, crouched down in front of the hanyou.
"Well, I felt sorry for you since you chose to stay here where it's scorching hot. So I decided to join you in your suffering." She winked. "I also brought a couple of cold sodas."
The half demon slowly sat up, and crossed his arms.
"Keh. I don't need your drinks. Give 'em to someone who wants them."
Kagome arched an eyebrow, and setting a beverage inches in front of him, popped open the other one and began to slowly drink the cold cola. After she was done, she sighed dramatically, and leaned against the tree trunk.
"So good and refreshing… I guess since you don't want the other one…" She reached for his can.
Grabbing the refreshment, Kagome lifter her other hand to open it, and slowly brought it to her mouth, knowing all the while that Inuyasha's eyes were on her. She tilted the can slightly, and heard a nearly inaudible gulp from the boy. With a giggle, the girl once again offered the drink to the seventeen-year-old boy, and this time, he accepted it with a grunt.
Within a few seconds, the drink was gone, and the aluminium can was crushed. Kagome collected it and put it into her small bag for garbage. She needed to carry it around so that none of the futuristic items would be left behind to litter the feudal ages. The teenager could just imagine an archaeologist finding a 500-year-old chip bag manufactured in the modern era, and winced at the controversial issues it would cause.
Inuyasha spread out his legs and shifted uncomfortably in his fire-rat haori. Having noticed, the girl looked at him questioningly.
"Ne, Inuyasha, why are you still wearing that heavy jacket? It's not like there's any danger out here, so take it off. It'll be much cooler."
With a blush at his stupidity, the hanyou hastily took the heavy haori off, and nearly sighed at the dramatic drop in temperature.
He tilted his head back onto the tree trunk beside Kagome, and closed his eyes as another breeze drifted around him. The white dog-ears nestled in his silver hair twitched every so often, capturing the near silent sounds of the forest. The young miko by his side watched curiously as they swivelled, and found herself wanting to touch them.
The first time she had seen Inuyasha pinned to the great God tree, she had given in to her desires, and had given them several pats, but since he had awakened, the hanyou had blatantly insisted that nobody were to touch them.
Her family had been the exception to that rule.
"Nani?" He half opened his eyes and turned his amber gaze to her.
Blushing slightly, the girl responded.
"Erm… Can I… touch your ears?"
Now fully alert, the half demon blinked at her in surprise. His voice became suspicious.
"Why? Is that why you brought the drinks? To try and bribe me into letting you touch my ears?"
She immediately turned defensive.
"No! I brought the drinks because it was hot! And…" She blushed somewhat. "And I want to touch your ears because they're so soft and cute."
A pale pink tinged Inuyasha's cheeks and he leaned his head slightly forward.
Taking this as an assent, Kagome happily reached out and started to lightly pet the furry white triangles on his head. They were as soft as she had imagined, and twitched everytime her fingers rubbed it. Growing bolder, the girl scratched the bases of the ears and rubbed a little harder.
There was a sudden rumbling, and Kagome started. She glanced down at Inuyasha's face, and saw that his eyes were closed, and a blissful expression was on his face. She stopped rubbing and the reverberation stopped with it.
Curious, the teenager from the future placed her ear on the half demon's chest. His eyes snapped open.
"Hey, what do you think you're doing, wench?"
Ignoring his protest, Kagome once again started to scratch the dog-ears, and heard, as well as felt, a deep rumbling start from Inuyasha's chest. Surprised, she looked at Inuyasha's face. His eyes were, once again, closed.
"Kawaii! You're purring!"
He snorted and turned away.
"Neko youkai purr. I'm an inu hanyou. I don't purr."
Frowning slightly, the girl once again rubbed down on the furry triangles, and heard in satisfaction, as a growl emitted from beneath her ear. She grinned victoriously at the hanyou.
"Ha! You are too purring!"
Sniffing as disdainfully as he could with a pink tinge on his cheeks, Inuyasha turned his eyes to hers.
"It's not a purr! It's a- a- erm… content growl! Yeah. A content growl."
He smirked at the girl as a frowned crossed her face. She shrugged.
"Call it what you want. It's still a purr."
Keeping her head on Inuyasha's chest, Kagome seemed to be in deep thought. He studied her face as he tried to decipher what she was thinking. Maybe it was her 'tests' or that sk-ool thing again. Either way, it was probably something important.
"Why don't you like it when people touch your ears?"
He would have face faulted if not for the girl's head on his chest.
"Wha-what do you mean?"
The miko looked up at him.
"Well… You called it a content growl, so you must like it when people scratch your ears, yet you never let anybody touch them."
He turned away with a scowl on his face. Sighing, the girl closed her eyes once more, not expecting an answer.
"Not everybody is as gentle as you are."
Startled, Kagome blinked up at him. Inuyasha's face was turned away.
"What do you mean?"
There was a pause before he answered, and when he did, the hanyou's voice was rough.
"Not everybody would touch 'em gently like you did. They mark me as a hanyou. Not human, and not youkai either. When I was a whelp, the village brats would grab my ears and twist 'em. They knew they were sensitive, and took advantage of that. Ofukuro wasn't always there to stop 'em. And youkai would see my ears and attack me. Everybody made fun of me 'cause of them. Usually, anybody who'd reach for my ears would want to cause pain, so…"
Kagome looked at the boy sadly.
"Nobody treated you gently?"
The roughness had faded away from his voice and had been replaced by sadness.
"Ofukuro used to scratch 'em just like you did, but after she died…"
Kagome was surprised. Rarely did Inuyasha offer personal information. She reached up and began to rub the triangles softly. The boy turned around in astonishment to see Kagome smiling gently.
"Well, if you ever want another ear rub, I'll be more than glad to give it." As an afterthought, she added, "So will mama and Souta."
Regaining his composure, Inuyasha snorted, but didn't stop the girl's hands.
"Keh. They're just ears that…"
The rest of his sentence faded away in a 'content growl' emitting from his chest.
Oi - hey
Haori - jacket
Ne - something along the lines of 'hey' when placed in front of a sentence.
Ano - Erm…, umm…
Nani - what
Kawaii - cute
Keh - Feh
Neko - cat
Inu - dog
Youkai - demon
Hanyou - half demon
Miko - [Shinto] priestess
Ofukuro - mom colloquial form
[I could have worked with a smoother ending, but this one's okay, I guess. Just wanted to write one about those EARS!]