Hanyou of the Future
Chapter One: Stuck
Glancing to his right, Inuyasha saw Sango lean into Miroku and giggle happily. Miroku grinned in response, especially since Sango was too intoxicated to notice his free reign on her backside.
Whether or not Sango cared what Miroku did to her, Inuyasha thought the scene was funny anyway. He just couldn't believe that no more than two weeks ago they were all half-dead after the battle with Naraku – the final battle.
Despite having to heal from several injuries, they could at least sigh in relief when the completed pink jewel fell into Kagome's hands, and soon after Miroku's torrent winds vanished from his hand.
Kohaku was put to rest. Kikyou was gone, and Inuyasha's promise to her fulfilled and vengeance obtained. Everyone could smile for real now, even if it felt odd at first. None of them could remember the last time they felt completed, but now their lives could finally move forward.
And as Inuyasha's eyes followed the intimate interactions of his two friends, he couldn't help but feel peaceful and happy. Miroku clutched Sango in his arms, and Sango continued to smile contentedly, her face rosy from the alcohol and her body slack from the day's many exertions.
Miroku chuckled as Sango snored softly in his arms, and he turned to Inuyasha with a satisfied expression.
"You know, I didn't know when I married her that she couldn't hold her liquor." He gave Inuyasha a mischievous grin. "If I would have known that, I would have married her sooner."
Miroku rose from the table at the local Ryokan, and he held Sango's inebriated form closely to him as he prepared to leave. Inuyasha got up with them, automatically supporting Sango from the other side and helping Miroku carry her out. Inuyasha couldn't help but inwardly laugh as he saw the poor girl start to drool.
'But for as much as we went through,' he thought, 'we deserve a little reprieve.'
"So," Miroku said, his voice strained as he heaved Sango along. She really wasn't that heavy, but he was a bit sloshed himself. Inuyasha could tell he was just slightly less drunk than Sango, but drunk enough by the way he slurred his words. After being hauled off to their room, the two of them had started drinking right away after the end of their wedding ceremony, and then coming out later to drink even more.
"So…" Miroku repeated, gaining Inuyasha's attention. Inuyasha looked at him and noticed the sly smile painted on his face. "Are you going to tell her tonight?"
Inuyasha froze as his face paled to Miroku's implication, causing him some discomfort. In fact, his relationship with Kagome had been really awkward and stale for the past four months.
"Feh." He crossed his arms and looked away. "What are you going on about? Tell her what?" Inuyasha denied, looking away with a disgruntled expression.
"Oh, ha ha! You're so funny," Miroku said quite loudly. People began staring at them on the street. Miroku jabbed a finger at him. "You know very well what I mean, my friend. Sango and I got married, and now it's time for you and Kagome to stop being idiots and get together too!" He sighed as if a monkey had just jumped off his back. "It would really save all us you know. The sexual tension is so powerful it could have defeated Naraku in one blow if properly channeled."
Inuyasha's smile contorted as if he was ready to explode. "You…you don't know what you're talking about. Kagome and I are…"
"We're what?" Inuyasha spun his head around to the voice and came face to face with Kagome, who was looking at him curiously as if she just came in on the last part of the conversation.
Miroku lazily looked over at Kagome, and then after a few minutes, something finally hit him and he grinned ecstatically. "Kagome-sama! We were just saying how it's time for…"
"Time for us to get going back to your time…" Inuyasha nervously interrupted, chuckling as he saved himself. Kagome gave Miroku a suspicious eye and then turned to Inuyasha with a pout.
"What do you mean we? I already told you that I'm going by myself because I have to study for all these make up exams my teachers are generously granting me! Do you even realize how much schooling I've missed? I could have dropped out because of this whole thing with Naraku! And if you came back with me, I'd never get any studying done."
Miroku whistled and giggled. Kagome turned her head and glared at him.
"And no, that's not what I mean. He distracts me so much that I –"
Miroku's drunken laughter was getting louder, making Inuyasha even more uncomfortable and Kagome more frustrated.
"Oh forget it! Look, you can't come, Inuyasha, and that's final!" she said, and as she was about to rush off, Inuyasha held her arm back.
"Look, woman, I told you that I'm coming with you because I'm not sure that the well will work once you go back!" Inuyasha gave her a serious stare.
"And I told you not to worry," she countered in a small voice.
"I will worry! What if you go through that well tonight and you can never come back? What am I supposed to do then? Wait five hundred years to see you again?" he shouted, and then realized that people were still looking at him. Everything he was saying was quite intimate, and he started to feel awkward expressing himself in public.
But dammit he was mad, and Kagome wasn't taking this issue seriously. Not much longer after Miroku's and Sango's wedding, Kagome decided she wanted to go home and catch up on school, while maybe coming back to visit once in awhile.
Well, he didn't want that at all. Frankly, now that the jewel was whole and Kagome was toting it around everywhere, he was worried that she'd either get attacked or worse, she'd go through the well for one last time and never return. He certainly didn't want to be stuck without her.
And she had promised to be at his side always, and now he was worried – what with the different times they were from – that now that everything was done, she'd go back home and that was the end of everything – the end of them.
"Look, we're going home," Miroku finally broke the silence. He appeared sleepy, and he was slacking even more under Sango's weight. "You guys can stay here and bicker all day, but I'm beat and Sango is heavy – er, don't tell her I said that. Anyway, we have to go. See you guys later." And then he took off, dragging his unconscious wife home, shaking his head and muttering.
As Inuyasha watched them go, he noticed Kagome began walking back to Kaede's hut.
"Hey! I'm not done with you yet! Can't you wait just a little longer to go home? What if you leave tonight and can't come back? You'll hate it if you were never able to say goodbye to Miroku and Sango. And then what about me? Maybe you don't care if you never said goodbye to any of us!" he yelled to her back, and when he finished, she stopped. He seemed to hit a nerve.
"How…how can you say that?" Kagome accused, turning around angrily. Inuyasha didn't know if she was on the verge of tears or ready to backhand him. He prepared for the worst. He gulped when he realized the rosary was still around his neck. He took a step back as she lashed at him. "Of course I'll say goodbye to everyone when the time is right! The well will be fine and you should really stop worrying so much!"
Inuyasha came up to her suddenly and grabbed her arms. She looked at him, shocked at his forward gesture. "Look, how can you be SO sure that once you're through there you can come back? Huh? Do you have proof?"
Kagome's lip quivered, and she looked up at him, shaking her head when she could come up with nothing.
"Will you at least wait to go back tomorrow?" Inuyasha sighed, releasing his tight grip on her arms but still holding her. She detected sympathy in his voice and nodded. He knew how important her school was to her, but she was so stubborn. He was worried because she really wasn't thinking clearly about this. They had always taken advantage that the well had worked for them during the mission, but now her purpose here was over, and he wasn't sure it would work once she got back.
Truthfully, she didn't belong here, and as close as they were, she really couldn't stay. She had her own time, and even though he didn't care much for her era, he wanted to at least make sure he could see her, no matter what time they were in.
Though, he was really frightened that he may be separated from her, but he would never admit that to anyone. He never had time to think of what would happen to Kagome after they completed their mission and recovered the jewel. And now they had all the time in the world to think about it.
'We have all the time in the world to think about us.'
Inuyasha stared at her pensively, and Kagome blushed in silence under his gaze. Miroku's words about 'telling her his feelings' surfaced in his brain, and then suddenly he felt tense. After their argument, they had moved beyond the village into the forest toward Kaede's shrine. Now, they were all alone.
Then, Inuyasha realized it was the perfect chance to tell her his feelings and possibly expel his fears that he'd never see her again.
Inuyasha knew he was bad saying these sorts of things. He had tried to talk to Kagome affectionately numerous times before, but he had often messed things up; they had argued, and then the 'SIT' treatment had soon followed.
He hoped that now he wouldn't screw up.
"Hey, Kagome... listen…"
"Kagome!" a squeaky voice hollered, making Inuyasha cringe as someone interrupted them. When he realized who their party crasher was, he growled.
"Ah, Shippo!" Kagome cooed, taking the bouncing fox child into her arms. She directed her attention to him, making Inuyasha angry and jealous.
"Is it true you're going home tonight?" Shippo pouted, giving her the ole "big-eyed cute child" stare. Kagome chuckled.
"I was, but Inuyasha convinced me to stay. Miroku and Sango aren't in the best condition to say goodbye either, and I think I can study a little here tonight as well."
"Wah! I wanted you to play with me! Do you have to study?" Shippo begged. Inuyasha clenched his fists at his side.
"Um …well," Kagome stammered, trying to be as nice as possible to refuse him. Finally Inuyasha stepped in.
"Get lost, runt. Let Kagome study!" Inuyasha said, pushing him out of her arms. Shippo looked up at him and glared. He was about to say something, but Inuyasha gave him a vicious stare. "Kagome's tests are important to her. She's missed a lot already, so don't bother her, is that clear?"
Shippo stared up at Inuyasha with disbelief that he was doing something selfless. Kagome seemed just as impressed. Shippo sulked away as Kagome yelled a comforting, "I'll find you later" to him, and then she turned to Inuyasha and smiled gratefully.
"Thanks, um…you didn't have to be so hard on him, but I'm glad you know that studying is important to me." She clasped her hands together and looked at her feet nervously, shifting her shoe in the dirt. "So, thank you."
"Feh, it was nothing. You shouldn't let him get away with everything. Kids have to know that they can't whine for every little thing," he said, crossing his arms and looking away. He said nothing as Kagome beamed at him.
"Oh yeah," she remembered aloud. "Did you want to say something to me?"
Inuyasha looked back at her, surprised and feeling uncomfortable that he was put on the spot again. He tried to remember the words from beforehand, but he couldn't remember them anymore. He looked at her dumbly, and then shook his head.
"Yeah, but it wasn't important. Forget about it and do your studying," he said, trying not to look her in the eyes. He stole a glance at her, only to see that she wasn't budging.
"Oh come on, now, what was it?" She detected he was nervous, trying to tell her something important. She had known him long enough to pick up on his mannerisms.
"I told you it was nothing," he avoided loudly. Then he started to walk away, adding, "I just wanted to spend some time with you tonight, that's all. If you're studying, it's no big deal."
Well, it was a big deal to him, but he didn't want it to appear that way. He was both upset and relieved he didn't confess to her yet, and he could probably spend this night in preparation for another time.
"Oh?" Kagome said, running up to his side. Now she was interested. "And do what?"
Inuyasha scrunched his face up, trying to hold back the anxiety filling the pit of his stomach. He looked at her; more accurately, he looked at her wet parted lips and swallowed awkwardly. He shook away his thoughts and said in a small voice, "Nothing much, I guess. I'm sure you're studying is more important."
Kagome nodded, dissatisfied with his reply. Forcing a smile she said, "Okay." And she walked back with him to the shrine. When he got to Kaede's hut, he left Kagome there and retreated into the forest.
"Goodbye! Come back soon!" Sango said, forcing herself to smile even when her expression noted otherwise. Kagome beamed at her, realizing that her eyes were bloodshot and her hair was unkempt from the night before. Miroku, too, leaned into say goodbye, and Kagome had to shy away from his atrocious breath.
'Gods, what were they drinking?' She giggled, realizing that her friends had a lot of well-deserved fun last night.
Shippo hugged her tightly, and she knew she would only be able to pry him off once she got to the lip of the well. Kaede was there too, smiling softly as Kagome prepared to leave. Inuyasha was at Kagome's side, his face contorting in frustration.
They had gotten into an argument bright and early this morning about him accompanying her, and he had to convince her that once he was sure the well still worked, he would go right back and leave her to her studies.
She seemed satisfied enough with that.
Finally, everyone watched them leave, disappearing down into the well in a burst of blue light. Miroku felt disturbed as the burst of light in the well seemed larger than he remembered, and he wondered if it was something had truly changed or if it was just his hangover.
He shook his head and headed back to town with the others. However, he had the sinking feeling that something was amiss. Inuyasha had warned him that the well might not work after this, and he hoped it wasn't true.
"There!" Kagome said, dusting the dirt off her skirt as Inuyasha helped her out of the well in her time. She took his hand and leaned into him, smiling first and then detaching herself from him.
She turned and looked at him with her hands on her hips.
"Well?" She looked at him impatiently. "Aren't you going to try it out, Mr. Worrywart?"
Inuyasha scoffed and he turned to the well, looking at it hesitantly. He hoped it did work. He wanted all his fears to be nullified, and although Kagome would gain the satisfaction of being right, he would at least feel relieved that he could still see her.
"Well, here goes nothing," he said, sucking in his breath and preparing to jump. He felt silly as if he was mimicking a motion to dive into water.
Inuyasha felt his body drop and waited for the inevitable catch. He closed his eyes, but then, he felt emptiness. The soles of his feet touched the ground, and then he opened his eyes widely to the wooden walls of the Higurashi well.
"What the -?"
"Inuyasha?" He heard Kagome's voice echo down to him, but he didn't respond. Instead, he jumped a few times, desperate for the catch.
"Inuyasha!" she screamed, and he shivered at her shrill tone.
"Gees, don't scream my head off!" he shouted. Then he was silent, and Kagome looked down at him.
"What is it?" Kagome asked hesitantly. She was afraid of his next answer.
He smirked, and a whirlwind of emotions bounced around in his head. He started to feel dizzy at the revelation. He laughed lightly, inwardly disliking that he was right this time.
And this was one time he didn't want to be right.
"Kagome…" he sighed, and she silently waited for his answer. His voice wavered, numbed from shock. "It doesn't work. We can't go back."
He looked up from the well and met her gaze. She saw worry in his expression. "I'm stuck here."
To Be Continued….