+Emotion Series:

InuYasha

Hurt

If you had asked InuYasha why he was not on his temporal side of the well, he would have looked at you funny and then asked:

"Temporal? What-?"

After you had explained it to him, he probably would have given you a disgruntled "-keh" and then asked why you thought it was any of your business. The thing was, InuYasha didn't really have any idea as to why he was on Kagome's side of the well. Part of him wanted to chalk it up as impatience-yes, impatience, InuYasha wasn't an idiot, just prideful (though he hated to admit it, even to himself); he knew that he was incredibly impatient (among other things) when it came to so many things about Kagome. It was just that InuYasha couldn't put his finger on it, it was like, before he left, something was poking him with a sharp stick between the shoulder blades whenever he thought about Kagome.

Kagome had left three days earlier to study for one of her 'tests.' Oh She and InuYasha had their 'no-you-can't!-yes-i-can!' spats, but for some reason, InuYasha had relented after getting 'sat' only once and told her that she had a week. The weirder thing had been that Kagome had been willing to take the compromise, (she had wanted a full two weeks) though with surprise and reluctance. So Kagome had stayed for the extra week the two had agreed upon and then left.

But here InuYasha sat, under the Goshinboku, wondering why he was here.

-SNIFFSNIFF-

"Hmph, the old man must be burning incense to try and drive me off again. Wonder if he'll ever figure out that it doesn't work."

InuYasha had spent the better part of three hours piddling away his time thinking the past week or two over. He spent so much time thinking about it that he eventually just lost track of time. So needless to say, he was surprised when he heard Kagome coming up the stairs to the shrine (he could tell it was her because of the scent in the air and the way that her foot steps fell). InuYasha proverbially dropped what he was doing, but stayed where he was; after all, he had an image of distance to maintain.

Who am I trying to fool I wonder?

Kagome arrived at the top of the stairs with her head down and shoulders hunched. InuYasha was startled for a second, that wasn't like Kagome. The Kagome that he knew always had a positive attitude and almost never showed any emotion other than happiness (or anger, the two had a lot of arguments after all). He could feel something like depression coming off of her in waves. In fact, he thought that she smelled like she might have cried recently. This had him concerned. Concerned enough, in fact, to go and see what was wrong

"Oi! Kagome! You feelin' alright?" he asked, cocking an eyebrow and managing to sound concerned. Kagome looked up. InuYasha noticed that there seemed to be a sort of haunted look in her eyes. He knew that look and it didn't belong on her. Not ever.

He had seen similar looks on people who had just had their homes destroyed. He hated that look. It always reminded him of his mother when she thought about InuTaisho. 'Kagome should never have a reason to look like that,' he thought, 'she doesn't deserve something as painful as that.'

"I'm not sure right now," Kagome said with a sigh, "right now I just...I need to talk to Mama." Kagome began to walk dejectedly towards the house before InuYasha replied-

"She's not here. She left with Souta about an hour ago and said to let you know that she wouldn't be home until around sunset." Kagome looked crushed. That made InuYasha cringe. Kami, how he hated to see her upset.

Kagome looked up timidly, "Can you listen?" she asked hesitantly. InuYasha seemed almost to ponder this for a second, and then nodded. Kagome heaved a heavy sigh, shrugged off her book-bag, and walked over to the Goshinboku where she sat down and waited for InuYasha to follow suit.

InuYasha folded his hands into the sleeves of his haori and walked over to sit down beside he. For a minute that seemed to stretch for hours, the couple seemed to look at the ground in front of them. The two just sat there and Kagome sat there and basked in the comfort that InuYasha was willing to provide.

After a while, Kagome finally started quietly. "There was a girl in my class, Hotaru Harada, she was killed this morning in a car wreck. A shipping truck ran a stop light and totaled her mother's car." InuYasha didn't know what a car or truck was, but he was smart enough to know that that was really beside the point. All Kagome wanted was to be able to talk this out someone who would listen. Even if they didn't totally understand what was wrong.

InuYasha was silent for a minute before he looked up at the sky, " ...Was she a friend of yours?" InuYasha asked quietly, shifting his eyes over to Kagome. "No," Kagome said, smiling sadly, "I hardly knew her. But she was one of those people that everybody knows about. It wasn't because she was pretty or anything. It was because she was a nice person. There wasn't any one group of people that she didn't have friends in. She was in my class last year, but i never really got to know her that well. We talked a few times, but never really got to know each other. We were always busy with friends that we already had or had other things to do for anything significant to really happen."

InuYasha cocked his head and looked at her pensively. "Why does it bother you then?" he asked, maintaining his quiet tone.

Kagome glanced at him and then looked back down at the ground as she began to fiddle with the hem of her skirt, "I'm not really sure. People die all the time there in the Feudal era, so i should be used to things like this i guess. But for some reason this just seems to hurt more." she stopped bothering the hem of her skirt and grabbed a clawed hand that sat, palm on the ground, next to hers.

At a loss for words, InuYasha looked to the clouds and turned his hand over to clutch the smaller, softer hand that had joined his on the ground at the base of the tree. He didn't know what words to say, but he could tell that the small guesture did something to help.

When the sun had finally begun to fall behind the steps of the shrine, a red ball of light turning the sky orange and pink, Kagome stood brushing the dirt from the back of her skirt.

"Thank you InuYasha." InuYasha wasn't quite sure what he had really done, sitting there like a bump on a log asking dumb questions, but he nodded anyways, his arms folded into the sleeves of haori as he stood again. Kagome turned and walked into the house, hands clasped behind her back. Having watched her go, InuYasha jumped back up to a different branch than the one he had sat on before - near Kagome's window - figuring that she probably needed her space now.

'You know,' InuYasha thought to himself, 'another week really isn't that big a deal...'