When Sango was eight, she got into a fight.
"I am very disappointed in you, Sango," the young girl's mother admonished as she lead her into the house by the hand. Sango hung her head low as they entered the bathroom.
"I know, mama," she replied sadly. Her mother kneeled to pick her up and plopped her onto the toilet.
"Honestly, I don't know what's gotten into you! This is the third time in two months that I've had to come out of work early and get you from school for misbehaving. But even the first two times were not as bad as this. Just look at you," she complained.
Sango looked herself over, starting with her palms, which were scratched up and smeared with dried blood and grime. Her knees were in very much the same condition. Her uniform shirt was missing two buttons and was torn in various places. She had four long scratches trailing down her left arm. Her chin had a trace of dried blood on it from her split lip and her forehead stung from the gash on it. Her left cheek also bore a gash and under her right eye was a quickly forming bruise.
And as if to top it all off, what had once been a very neat and pretty ponytail was now askew and very ragged. Strands that escaped flopped down over her face and into her eyes. She blew them out of her face and looked up at her mother with a bright smile.
"It was a good fight, mama," she said, her tiny voice filled with glee. Mr. Tsukimoto frowned, jerking her daughter's chin forward to clean if off.
"There are no good fights, Sango. You should not fight, as I've told you before," she said sternly. The girl's smile wavered as she nodded, her doe-like eyes guilty as she looked off to the side.
"Yes, mama. I'm sorry," she said forlornly. She hated giving her mother more grief than she already had. Ms. Tsukimoto sighed.
"Why were you fighting the other student anyway?" she asked as she began to clean her daughter's knees and hands.
"He? You fought a boy, Sango?" interrupted Ms. Tsukimoto, her head snapping up to look at her daughter, who nodded.
"Yes, I did. He was teasing me," she explained.
"What did he say?" she asked the little girl tentatively. Sango looked upward as if in thought.
"Well, he teased me because I couldn't jump rope like the other girls," she said. Her mother's frown deepened.
"Is that all, Sango? That is no reason for a physical fight," she scolded. Sango shook her head.
"And he said Inuyasha was my boyfriend. And he talked about Inuyasha because he's only half a demon. Called him a dirty mutt and a dog turd, too. Inuyasha wasn't at school today so I had to say something," she said with a nod. Her mother shook her head as she put a bandage on Sango's forehead.
"That is still no reason to fight him, Sango. I understand that Inuyasha is your friend, but you have to learn to just... ignore some things people say," she told her.
"But that isn't all, mama! He teased me because I only have a mom and no dad! He talked about papa leaving us!" she told her mother earnestly.
Her mother froze for a moment while re-tying Sango's shoes before she looked up at her, her face softening as she sighed. She leaned forward to embrace her child, and Sango's eyes began to water as she laid her head on her mother's shoulder.
"Oh, my baby. Bless your little heart. Things will get better, you'll see," she whispered into her hair soothingly, the fight at school forgotten as she consoled her.
"I know, mother," Sango replied, rubbing her mother's back in return. Ms. Tsukimoto smiled softly to herself. For someone so young, Sango had a wise head and a good sense of honor. She was the one who had been in the altercation, yet here she was, comforting her mother. Such a big heart in such a little person.
"Are you hungry, love?" she asked Sango as she pulled away from her. Sango nodded, opening her mouth to tell her something when the doorbell rang. Her mother rose to stand and began to put the medicinal things away and Sango hopped down from the toilet.
"Go to your room and play, Sango. I'll answer the door and then I'll bring you something to eat," she told her. Sango nodded.
"Yes, mama," she said as she ran out the door and down the hallway to her room.
She took a new puzzle down from the shelf above her bed and sat down on the ground. She dumped all the pieces out eagerly and was in the process of turning them all over to the colored side when her door opened. She looked up and then sighed before setting about her puzzle once more.
"Don't you ever knock, Inuyasha?" she asked him. He shrugged as he closed the door and sat down cross-legged beside her.
"I rang the doorbell, didn't I? That's enough," he replied.
"Why weren't you in school today? We were learning how to multiply," she told him as she began to apply the boarder. Inuyasha rolled his eyes.
"Then I'm glad I wasn't there. I hate math!" he said to her. She glanced up at him momentarily before returning to her puzzle.
"So? You hate everything we do in school," she replied.
"Nuh Unh! I don't hate everything!" he shouted in protest. Then he grinned. "I like lunch." Sango shook her head.
"How did you know I came home from school early?" she asked him curiously. He fidgeted nervously.
"I was walking past the window when I saw your mom's car pull up," he lied. He had been sitting there for hours waiting for her to come home from school. Imagine his surprise when she arrived three hours early.
"Hey," he called out suddenly, leaning closer to her, "what happened to your ugly face?"
Then he scented the air, sniffing at her injuries. She scowled as she squirmed away from him a little.
"You're taking up my space," she complained. But he ignored her, scooting even closer to smell her again.
"You smell like that jerk from school. Kouga. What did you do?" he asked her suspiciously. He didn't like the way this looked. Sango sighed, preparing herself for the onslaught that was sure to come flying out of his tiny mouth.
"I had a fight with him, Inuyasha," she explained.
"What?" he shrieked. She immediately clamped a hand down on his mouth.
"Keep quiet! My mama's already mad at me for it; I don't want her to think I'm bragging about it," she whispered. When she removed her hand, Inuyasha frowned.
"It's just like him to wait til' I missed school to attack you," he growled. Sango shook her head, her ragged ponytail swaying as she did so.
"I hit him first," she told him. He scowled at her then shrugged his shoulders.
"So? He ain't got no right hittin' no girl. Especially not you," he told her gruffly. She looked at him, her brows furrowed in confusion.
"But you and me fight when we get mad at each other," she told him. He glared at her.
"Are you on his side or somethin'?" he snapped. She shook her head quickly.
"Then shut up. He shouldn't have hit ya' and that's all there is to it," he said matter-of-factly. Sango grinned suddenly, a mischievous glint in her large, russet eyes.
"Yeah, but you shoulda' seen what I did to him," she laughed. Inuyasha leaned in close as she began to describe in detail how she worked him over. About two minutes later, he was clutching his sides laughing.
"And look," she said as she reached into one of her whiteknee-highs to pull something out. Upon further inspection, he found it to be a wad of brown hair.
"Look what I got," she said proudly as it dangled from her fingertips, "I pulled it out when we were fighting." Inuyasha grimaced.
"Ugh, that's nasty, Sango. Why'd you keep it?" he asked her. She lifted it up to her face to examine it closer before she shrugged then threw it behind her.
"Dunno. I wanted to show you, I guess. Thought maybe we could make a doll out of it and hurt him like they do on T.V," she said as she went back to her jigsaw.
"Why were y'all fightin' anyway? That piece goes there," he said, picking up a puzzle piece. Sango smacked his hand, making him drop it. She ignored the glare he sent her way.
"'Cause he said me and you were boyfriend and girlfriend then he called you a dog turd and a mutt so I hit him in his mouth," she said simply. He looked at her as if she had grown two heads.
"You beat him up 'cause of me?" he asked her. She shrugged.
"Yeah, I guess so. But not just 'cause of you. He talked about my papa. He teased me 'cause my mom's got two kids and no husband. Nobody talks 'bout my mama," she said with a nod.
"Damn straight," agreed Inuyasha with a smack of his fist. Sango looked up at him questioningly, causing him to blush. He began to shake his head profusely.
"Ah, I didn't mean it like that!" he said holding his hands up in defense. Sango sighed.
"How come you always turn red when we talk about my mom?" she asked him. He scoffed indignantly and crossed his arms over his chest.
"I do not! I don't know what you're talking about," he said to her.
"Ow!" proclaimed Sango. He looked at her to see she had been prodding at the deep purple splotch underneath her right eye.
"Stop that!" he hollered at her, reaching over to swat her hand away from her face, "You'll make it spread!"
"How do you know?" she asked him snippily, lowering her hand.
"My mom told me," he said. Then he grinned, cocking his chin upward arrogantly.
"Don't worry, Sango. I'm gonna' get Kouga for you," he told her haughtily. His grin faltered, though, when she laughed at him.
"I won, dookie-head! I don't need you to get him for me," she said with a shake of her head. Inuyasha frowned.
"Well then, I'm just gonna' get him anyway, 'k?" he snapped at her.
"Can one of you children open the door, please? I have a tray in my hands," came Ms. Tsukimoto's voice from behind the door. Inuyasha scrambled to his feet hurriedly and rushed to open the door. Ms. Tsukimoto smiled at him gratefully.
"Thank-you, Inuyasha," she said sweetly. He looked down at the floor bashfully as he moved aside to let her in the room.
"You're welcome, Ms. Tsukimoto," he mumbled, his chubby cheeks ruddy with embarrassment. She bent down to place the tray of food beside Sango's puzzle on the floor.
"Here, you are, Sango. I made you some curry bread, steamed carrots and buttered rice, and a few egg rolls. There's also some candied fruits for dessert," she told Sango as she reached over to ruffle her tousled hair. Then she turned to smile at Inuyasha.
"Come now, little Inu. There's enough for you here, also. I know you are hungry," she told him as she motioned him over. His ears perked in delight as he came to sit next to Sango.
"Many thanks, Ms. Tsukimoto," he said with a light bow of appreciation (just as his mother had taught him) before he proceeded to stuff his face with his bare hands.
Sango's mother only laughed as she stood, not at all put off by his meal manners. She was far too used to them to be offended. Sango, on the other hand, was perfectly polite, using her chopsticks and chewing with her mouth closed. That is, until her mother closed the door as she left.
The two children looked up at each other, an unspoken challenge burning in both pairs of eyes. Without a single word, the two of them tore into their meals as an all-out pig-fest ensued. Food flew everywhere; carrots on the wall, rice in their shirts. It was ugly. Within seconds, a winner was drawn as Inuyasha chugged his tea then slammed the cup back onto the tray.
"Done!" he declared as he threw his fists into the air. Sango swallowed her food, a large lump passing down her throat.
"Shoot!" she exclaimed with a snap of her fingers. "I almost had you this time." Inuyasha grinned at her.
"Almost ain't good enough, Sango," he said with a wink as he picked a slice of pear from the dish and bit it. Sango sighed, resting her cheek in the palm of her hand as she stared at him sideways.
"I'm gonna' beat you one day, Inuyasha," she mumbled. His reply came in the form of a loud and rather rude belch. Sango smiled and shook her head.
They had come a long way from leaving death threats on each other's porches. One could even say they were best friends. It had been two years since they had met. And for three whole months after he'd told her he was going to eat her, they were at each other's throats.
Of course, they hid it well from their mothers. So of course, their mother's unknowingly forced them to spend time with each other. But when they were alone, they fought like devils. At first, Sango had been afraid of Inuyasha, being as he was half-demon and all. But that soon fell to pieces when she found out he was more bark than bite. Though they did have their share of fist fights, he'd never seriously hurt her. One particular incident changed their whole relationship.
During one of their many "fights to the death", he'd punched her too hard and busted her nose. Blood spurted everywhere and she went down with a loud thud. Immediately, he was sorry and he ran over to her and fretted over her worriedly as he helped her to stand. But Sango didn't even cry. She didn't say anything as she stared down at her bloodstained shirt.
Hearing the loud noise of Sango hitting the floor, Ms. Tsukimoto rushed up the stairs to check on the two. When she opened the door, she gasped and hurried over to Sango, grabbing her shoulders and demanding to know what happened. Inuyasha was beyond terrified by then and he swallowed audibly as he waited for her to spill the beans. But she just shrugged, scratching the back of her head embarrassedly as she gave her mom a bright smile.
"We were playing tag, mama. Inuyasha was chasing me and I ran into my desk," she laughed. Her mother looked at Inuyasha warily for a moment before looking at Sango again.
"Are you sure, Sango? Are you sure that's what happened?" she asked her slowly. Sango nodded, lifting her hand to wipe at the blood oozing down her top lip with her wrist. Ms. Tsukimoto looked at Inuyasha one last time before she sighed, picking Sango up and walking towards the door.
"Come on, clumsy girl. Let's get you cleaned up," she told her daughter as they crossed the room. Sango looked over her mother's shoulder at the lone boy, their eyes meeting briefly before she was carried out of the room. The next day, Inuyasha came to her door with a single flower in his tiny fist. They'd been close ever since.
Inuyasha looked over at the brown-eyed girl as she chattered on to herself while putting her puzzle together and grinned to himself.
Tomorrow. Tomorrow he was going to kick Kouga's ass.
AN: Sorry about the delay. I'm gonna try and update twice a month. I know it isn't much, but it's what I can do for now, guys.
dudei'mlikesobus: Ah, my first reviewer! Many thanks. :bows humbly: I can't tell you who it is! It'll ruin the thrill of the read. ;) And a VERY belated Happy New Year's to you.
danielle: Thank you, I'm glad you loved it! I aims to please...
Curious-George5498: I LOVED your review! Shit, it's better than the story, lol. It was very witty and cute. I loved it. I don't think I've ever gotten a review like that before... Very original. As for your question... :shrugs: beats me. I find it very odd that I only have six reviews and over 200 people have read it. It's okay though. I don't want to pester people to review as I've done in my other stories. If they think it's good, they'll tell me. If they don't, well then, who needs them, right?
Youkai Hime90: Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it. :laughs: Yeah, it's not a very original line, but I've never heard a seven year old say that, have you? I thought it'd be kinda' funny. If you laughed, then I guess I've succeeded.
Saiyan God: Thank you for the compliment. Ah, I can't tell you that! You'll just have to wait until the next chapter to find out! I hope this update was quick enough for you.