Disclaimer: Inuyasha is owned by Rumiko Takahashi.
Title: "Just a Scar"-One Shot
Theme: This story was written for the lj community InuyashaxKagome's 20 themes writing project. The theme explored in this story is a kind of comfort.
Rating: PG-13 Briefly implied sexual situations.
Summary: While Inuyasha watches over Kagome's sleeping form, he sees a scar near her stomach. In his not so subtle way, he tries to figure out where it came from. Kagome misunderstands his actions as lecherous, but later realizes that perhaps she was making up excuses for not explaining the scar.
Author's Notes: Thank you to lj user"rashiea" and lj user"truthseeker48" for beta-ing and previewing my story. This story was inspired by my own appendix scar (except my dad didn't die and there isn't a half demon who's curious about its origins).
"Just a Scar"
It was rare for them to just while away an afternoon. They were usually hard pressed searching for jewel shards. They all agreed that they had to collect them before Naraku did, and so their searches had a sense of urgency and dedication that had them exhausted by nightfall when all that was left to do was sleep.
But Inuyasha liked the urgency. The need to defeat Naraku. There was no way he was going to allow him to have the last laugh after what he did to him and Kikyo fifty years ago. And yet, at the moment, his thoughts were far away from his usual brooding over sacred jewel shards and maiming Naraku.
They had been walking from the last village since morning and the afternoon sun beat down on them with no intention of relenting. They had finally reached some woods and then stumbled upon a stream.
Shippo waded into the stream and so did Sango and Miroku. Pretty soon they were caught up in a splashing match which looked like Sango won. It was no doubt due to her clever use of her Hirakotsu. Now the three lay out on the grass, sunning themselves.
Kagome had retreated under the shade and had taken out a text book.
Inuyasha had taken Kirara to scout the area for any demons. He knew these humans needed a rest, but he was not tired. In fact, he was anxious for them to get back on the road.
He looked over his friends. Miroku, Sango, and Shippo seemed content laying in the sun. There was light conversation between Miroku and Sango. Inuyasha pricked his ears up and he could only pick out a few words because Miroku's voice was low.
"Sango. . . only one. . . so why don't we. . ."
And then there was the sound of one of Sango's signature hand slaps.
Inuyasha looked over at Kagome and saw that she had her textbook out. When he approached her, he saw that she had fallen asleep. He decided to sit next to her obviously because she was the most vulnerable out of all of them at the moment. Kirara went to lay next to Sango, stretching out in the sun.
He could hear Shippo telling Miroku that he should not talk to Sango that way which Miroku replied, in his innocent manner, "I'm only professing my undying devotion to her."
At which point, Inuyasha wished his hearing was not so great. Still, although he thought Miroku could be a complete idiot, he was a good fighter and had also become a reliable friend.
The idea took him by surprise. Friend. He had not one, but several friends. He smiled to himself. He never thought he'd ever call anyone his friend.
Kagome turned on her side, facing him, but still asleep. Her textbook fell in between them. Inuyasha picked it up and closed it. He placed it next to her backpack which was just above her head.
Was she his friend too? He thought. There was no doubt that Kagome had become his friend, but somehow the title, friend, did not fit either. His eyes strayed, and looked over her sleeping form.
"Hmm," he thought. "She always needs protection."
Kagome figured this would be a good time to cram some studying for a test she had in two days. It was a math test, and she needed all the studying she could get. The only thing she did not count on was how tired she would be. It had gotten warm in the afternoon and they had been walking at a brisk pace the whole time.
She was glad that they had found some shade and a stream. Inuyasha had insisted that they continue their journey, but his arguments fell on deaf ears when Sango, Shippo, and Miroku ran off to jump into the stream. She had walked off to sit under a tree before Inuyasha could start venting at her.
And true to form, he walked off, taking Kirara with him. She was too tired to go after him and she figured he'd return when he cooled off.
Kagome was not sure how long she had been asleep when she felt someone tugging at her shirt. She nudged the arm away, but after a moment, she felt her shirt being pulled up. She opened her eyes to see who was annoying her.
"When the hell did you get that!"
Before she could yell sit, she looked down at where his clawed finger pointed.
"Is this from a battle we fought? Why didn't you say anything?"
"It's not from a battle." She tried to pull her shirt down, but Inuyasha kept a firm grip on her shirt. "Will you let go!"
He ignored her and took a closer look at the scar. It was on the right side of her stomach, just above her skirt. There was actually some of it under the skirt, and he reached for her skirt to pull it down to get a better look.
Kagome slapped his hand away. "You pervert!"
Inuyasha let go and realized where his hands were and how close he was to her bare stomach. "I wasn't-"
"I thought you weren't tempted to look at my body."
"I wasn't trying to look."
"Oh yeah? Then why were you trying to take my clothes off?"
"What? Why would I want to do that?"
"I don't know. I was minding my own business, and then here you come along, trying to take off my shirt and then my skirt!"
"I told you. I wasn't-" He looked up and saw that he had a captive audience in Miroku, Sango, and Shippo. Even Kirara looked at him with her amber eyes.
"Even I am not so bold as to try and undress a lady in broad daylight in an open field," Miroku said.
Inuyasha's hands fisted. "I wasn't trying to undress her, you lech! And there's no way I would ever do anything like that to Kagome."
Kagome stood up and grabbed her backpack. "What makes you think I'd even let you!"
Inuyasha stood up. "Don't worry because I'm not interested."
"Then keep your claws off me."
"You make it sound like I'm. . . Miroku."
"You're nothing like Miroku." She started to walk off. "He at least attempts to be nice before he grabs Sango."
"What!" Inuyasha said and followed Kagome.
The rest of them followed the pair, but kept a few feet away from them to give them privacy. It was, however, unnecessary because Kagome and Inuyasha remained silent.
The tension was palpable. During the day, Kagome and Inuyasha fought side by side, covering each other's and their friends' back. There was no hesitation. No doubts. They relied on each other when it counted most.
It was when it was evening and they were sharing a meal and preparing for bed that the tension was worse. Inuyasha and Kagome refused to speak to each other and if it ever became necessary that one needed to communicate something, they'd use Shippo as their vehicle.
It had been two days that things carried on in this manner. The others were somewhat relieved that Kagome was going back to her time to take that test.
By the time they had reached the outskirts of Kaede's village, it was very late at night and they decided to camp in the woods. Kaede probably would not have minded if they descended upon her hut so late, but Kagome said they should not disturb her because she most likely would already be asleep. They had camped near the Bone Eater's Well.
After their meal, Inuyasha left them, grunting about wanting peace and quiet. Miroku turned in early. He had used his wind tunnel earlier in a battle and needed some rest. Shippo dozed off as well. Sango stayed up, polishing her Hirakotsu. Kagome lay awake next to Sango.
"Is it alright if I ask you something?"
"Of course." Sango continued to polish her weapon, but she listened to Kagome.
"Have you ever let. . . anyone see the scar on your back?"
Sango ceased her polishing. "My scar?"
"Sorry. If you don't want to talk about it-"
"No, it's alright. I. . . Well, it's not exactly something that can be seen in plain sight."
"True, but. . . I mean, would you let anyone to see it?"
"Well, someday, when I have a husband, I won't have a choice."
Kagome blushed. "Right."
Sango hesitated before she said, "But, it should not be seen as a flaw."
Kagome sat up. "What do you mean?"
"It reminds me of my brother and my family."
"So it causes you pain."
"Sometimes, but mostly, it reminds me how at one time I had a loving family. Being alone. . . it's a strange comfort."
"I never thought that a scar could be seen as a good thing." Kagome lay back on her bed roll. "Thank you, Sango."
Kagome drifted off to sleep, deciding before she went back to her time, she needed to speak to Inuyasha.
Daybreak had arrived and Kagome had awoken. She had to get back to her time, so she could take her test. She woke up extra early so she could pack, but mostly to speak to Inuyasha.
Inuyasha woke up when he heard Kagome stir. His instinct was to ask what was the matter, but then he remembered she had that stupid test to take. It looked like she was going to leave before anyone woke up. That was fine with him. Maybe while she was gone, she would realize that she over reacted and would apologize to him later.
He kept his eyes closed, and expected to hear her footsteps lead away from the camp. Once she was a good distance, he decided that he would follow her and make sure she made it to the well safely.
Instead she stood in front of him and whispered, "I know you're awake, Inuyasha."
He did not answer.
"I saw your ears moving when I was packing my stuff."
He opened his eyes and had a mild scowl on his face.
She knew she had to be quick or she would lose her resolve. She held out her hand. "Come with me."
He looked at her outstretched hand with suspicion. Before he could say anything, she took his hand and pulled him on his feet. She walked in the direction towards the Bone Eater's Well hand in hand with Inuyasha.
They walked in silence for a while. When they were a good distance away from the camp, Kagome slowed to a stop. She let go of Inuyasha's hand and put her backpack down. Then she turned to face him.
"Kagome, why did you-" Before he could finish, Kagome had lifted her shirt a few inches and pulled down the right side of the waistband of her skirt.
Inuyasha's eyes widened with shock. "What are you-"
"You wanted to see this." She felt her cheeks burn. "You. . . can look."
"I wasn't trying to-"
"Then why did you make such a big deal?"
"Just look and then I'll explain."
Inuyasha looked down. The pale smooth skin on her stomach was interrupted by a jagged scar. It was almost three inches in length and was a dark pink color. He touched it with his index finger and felt it was an old scar.
"It doesn't hurt?" He asked.
"No." A small smile pulled at the corner of her mouth. He was still examining the scar. He looked at it with great interest and used a gentle touch to explore it. If she did not know any better, she thought he was trying to memorize it.
It was several minutes before Inuyasha felt Kagome's eyes on him and looked up at her. "Uh. . ."
"Are you having fun?"
He withdrew his hand and she put her clothes back to rights. "You're the one who showed it to me."
She laughed. "I know."
"Then. . ."
The smile disappeared from her face. "I've never showed this scar to anyone."
Inuyasha did not know what to say. He wondered if Kagome never showed it to anyone, then why show him? If it was not a battle scar, then where did it come from?
"I figured the only people who'd ever get to see it was my. . . my husband." She felt her cheeks burn again.
"I know you're not my husband, but since you've seen it. . . I thought. . . I wanted you to know where it came from."
"When I was very young, I had an infection in my body."
"From something called an appendix. If it hadn't been removed, then I would've died."
"But," he looked down at the area where her scar was hidden then looked at her, "You were cut, so it could be taken out?"
His eyes widened with horror. "But, you were only a kid! How could they do that to you!"
"Oh, but it wasn't like that. I guess you could say I was asleep when they did it."
"But, didn't you wake up?"
She shook her head. "They gave me some anaesthesia-a medicine to keep me asleep, so I wouldn't wake up while they cut me."
Inuyasha was disturbed by this. "People cut each other in your time?"
"No. Only doctors. Healers."
He grunted. After a moment, he said, "That's what happened?" He crossed his arms.
"Well, that was part of it." She sat on a log and Inuyasha sat on the ground in front of her. He crossed his legs and then tucked his hands in his sleeves.
Kagome continued. "My parents thought I had a bad cold. I had a fever and I couldn't take anything in. I had been taking medicine for two days, but my health did not improve."
She fisted her hands on her lap. "On the second day, my mother called the doctor and urged her to take me to the emergency room. The hospital. Where sick people go."
Inuyasha nodded his understanding.
"My mother stayed home because Sota was still a baby at the time, so my dad took me." Kagome forced herself to say the rest. "On the way to the hospital, we were in an accident. A very bad one. My dad didn't survive."
The pain she felt was evident on her face. "If I hadn't been sick-"
"You can't blame yourself."
"That's what my mom says."
"I know, but it's hard sometimes. If I hadn't been sick, my father would still be alive and Sota would know our-"
"Don't be stupid!"
"Your dad didn't give up his life to have you feel sorry for yourself."
"He didn't have a choice!"
"And do you think he'd choose to live and have you die?"
Kagome opened her mouth several times and then closed it.
"Don't dishonor your father's death by regretting what he did for you."
"It wasn't like some great battle. We were hit by a drunk driver. Someone who drank too much alcohol and drove their car. It was senseless."
He let out a frustrated sigh. "It doesn't matter if it was a great battle or a senseless reason. He died protecting you so you could live."
Kagome blinked several times at him. "I never thought about it that way."
"Well, it's about time that you did." He stood up. "You're going to be late for that test." He picked up her backpack from the ground and started walking towards the well.
"Hey, wait!" Kagome ran to catch up with him. She wanted to be comforted, but scolded herself for thinking that Inuyasha would ever comfort her.
"You know, you shouldn't be lifting up your shirt like that to people."
"I told you that I've never showed that scar to anyone before."
"Yeah, but now that you don't think it's bad having it, don't get happy showing it off either."
"As if I would! And just because I showed it to you, doesn't mean anything."
"And how did you even see it in the first place?"
"It was right there."
"You had to be really looking to see it."
"Well, it wasn't like you were trying to hide it."
"I was asleep." She gave him a playful smile. "Were you watching me sleep?"
"What! No?" They had reached the well and he dropped her backpack in it. "I wouldn't be doing something stupid like that."
"Oh that's good. I was afraid that you could tell I was dreaming about you."
Inuyasha stared at her. "You. . . dreamed about me."
Kagome stood next to the well and put a finger on her chin. "Yeah, in fact, it was a lot like this." She gave him a small smile. "I was ready to go back to the well, and I was so happy. I wanted to. . . Anyway, right before I went down the well, I was going to. . ."
"Well, I can't say. You'll probably be mad if I tell you what I did to you. You hate that kind of stuff."
"What kind of stuff?"
Kagome turned to face him and gave him a friendly smile. "Sit boy."
Inuyasha slammed onto the ground. "Kagome!"
"This is what you dreamed about?" He grumbled.
"You thought it was something perverted."
Kagome jumped down the well. It was close to any comfort as she was going to get from him.