A/N: Before you yell at me, I can explain! Yes, I am still procrastinating on my other stories and writing another one-shot instead, but the fact that I'm actually inspired enough to write anything at the moment is a good sign. And besides that, I've wanted to write this story forever and a day, but it wasn't until last year that I finally came up with a good way to make it work. I'm SO happy that I can finally write it!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything but this overly silly plot that I just couldn't resist writing. And yes, it IS a silly plot, so be forewarned!
A Merry Chase
"Stupid girl..." Inuyasha muttered one of his favorite phrases as he exited the well house to hunt down his errant companion. "I'll teach you not to come back when you said you would..."
Looking around the empty shrine grounds with his sharp eyes and listening carefully with his sensitive hearing, Inuyasha noted with some surprise that no one seemed to be home for once. Not even the old man, who more often than not liked to hang around the shrine steps with a broom (not that he ever did any real sweeping - he normally left that thankless job to Souta or Kagome) and spend his days accosting any unwitting visitors as they tried to enter.
So where the heck was everyone? Kagome had said she was going to return that day and she wasn't even home, dammit!
Of course, it wasn't even noon yet, but Inuyasha refused to consider the fact that his expectations were unreasonable, since she'd never said what time she would return. All she had told him what that her 'winter break,' whatever the heck that was, was supposed to have started that day, so there would be no more 'school' for a while. Which, of course, meant no tests. And that meant that she could spend time on the other side of the well without freaking out over being behind or missing something, and he wouldn't have to get jealous every time she paid more attention to those stupid books than she did him...
Wait, did he really just think something that pathetic?
Scowling, Inuyasha turned his attention to trying to decide what to do in an attempt to forget his embarrassing thoughts of just a moment before. Should he venture out and look for Kagome, or should he just wait? He knew she would get really angry with him if he left the shrine.
Moving away from the sheltering doorway of the well house, Inuyasha shivered as gust of cold air hit him, and he suddenly decided that he would rather wait inside the house for Kagome to show up. Not that he would ever admit that he was actually cold. Because he wasn't! He'd just rather wait inside, that's all.
Setting his chin stubbornly as if waiting for somebody to jump out of nowhere and call him a wimp for taking shelter from the cold air, he headed for the one entrance to the house that was always left unlocked for him: Kagome's bedroom window.
In one swift leap he was up on the roof, sliding the frosty sheet of glass to the other side of the window and creeping in with unnecessary stealth.
As he'd already known because of his abnormally strong senses, the bedroom was deserted save for Kagome's fat and very lazy cat, Buyo. He was curled up on her bed, surrounded by Kagome's half-packed, oversized yellow bag and several strange looking packages that the hanyou had never seen the like of before that he could recall.
"What the hell are these?" He muttered, peering at them curiously.
There was a wide variety of boxes, ranging from ones covered with shiny, colorfully printed paper, to ones that were a single solid color and tied with small, curly strips made out of some kind of stiff material. But for the life of him, Inuyasha couldn't figure out what useful purpose they might have. Could they possibly be new types of food that Kagome had never brought them before?
Picking up one of the mysterious packages that was about the size and shape of one of Kagome's thicker text books (though not nearly as heavy - it was actually quite light), Inuyasha turned the red box over in his hands as he examined it. From the soft thumps and crinkling that occurred whenever the box was moved, he knew there was something in it. Hoping that his original idea had been correct, he held the box up to his nose and gave it a sniff.
"Not food..." he muttered, frowning. It didn't smell like anything identifiable.
Slightly irritated and more puzzled than ever, Inuyasha gave the box a good shake, causing the item inside to shift around again. That's when he noticed a small, fluttering piece of paper with writing on it attached to the box. Maybe that would give him a better idea of what it could be...?
Holding the tag still so he could get a better look at it, Inuyasha squinted while sounding out the symbols slowly and carefully. It didn't take him long to suddenly realize that it was HIS name written on it.
Now, Inuyasha certainly wasn't the most learned scholar in the world, far from it, really, but he did know enough to recognize his own name. But instead of it helping him to understand anything about the mysterious box, it just made him more confused and curious than ever. Why in the world would his name be on the funny looking package?
Grumbling a few choice words under his breath, the hanyou flopped down on the floor in his usual sitting position with his back against Kagome' bed. Placing his sword at his side, he continued to examine the item he was holding with an expression that clearly stated his frustration. Too bad no one was there to see it and offer him any explanations, because he sure could have used them right about then!
Long minutes passed as he pursued the package, and still no luck. Examining the bottom, he could see the seam around the edge where the package could be opened, but unless he removed the green material tying it closed, there was no way he'd be able to look inside.
Inuyasha considered just cutting it, but flinched when he thought about what Kagome's reaction might be. She was sure to be angry with him for opening it, even if it did have his name on it. She was weird about stuff like that, and he could only figure that it had something to do with Kagome being a girl. After all, he was a guy, and he never got upset about stupid stuff!
Annoyed with the unfairness of not being able to satisfy his curiosity that was burning stronger with every minute that passed, Inuyasha flipped the package back over and glared at the place where the binding was elaborately tied. Maybe he could get it untied without actually breaking it? If so, he could just retie it after he was finished, and she'd never know the difference, right?
Setting his shoulders, Inuyasha started to oh so gently pick at the knot with his claws, being especially careful not to accidentally cut it. Just a little bit of a tug here...and pull that through there...just a little bit more...
Finally, he was finished!
It had taken him almost thirty minutes of intense concentration, but he had finally managed to free the knot holding the packaging closed! Laughing gleefully (well, more like cackling so harshly that he managed to wake Buyo up from a dead sleep), he tossed the ribbon on the bed behind him carelessly and pried open the package as quickly as he could without damaging it. Now he would finally find out what was in it!
Inuyasha dumped out the contents onto the floor and stared at it blankly.
What the hell...?
Reaching out gingerly, he picked up the item with the tips of his clawed fingers, careful not to damage whatever it was. As he did so, the crumpled tissue paper that surrounded it fell away.
They looked...they looked like some sort of...clothing...and from what he'd seen of clothes in Kagome's time, he could even figure out how they would be worn. But...
"Where the HELL is the rest of them?!?!" Glaring at the scrap of cloth, he turned it every which way in an effort to find the rest of it, but to no avail. Surely that couldn't be all of it! Who would wear something that short?!? Kagome surely didn't expect him to, did she?
Disgusted and indignant at the very thought, he tossed them to the side and plopped his chin into his hands like a sulking child. So much for that. All his effort had obviously been wasted on something that wasn't even very interesting. Just weird and kind of disturbing at best. And now he was going to have to go through even MORE trouble just to fix the stupid box so that Kagome wouldn't realize what he'd been doing!
Grumbling to himself, he picked up the box, tissue paper, and the mysteriously short clothing and began setting it back to the way he'd originally found it...or at least as close as he could to the way he originally found it. It was harder to do than he'd first supposed do to the crumply tissue paper, and his frustration and cursing quickly began to mount.
By this time the other occupant of the room was looking seriously put out by all the distracting noise. Buyo was sitting on the edge of the bed, glaring at Inuyasha as he cursed, rustled tissue paper, and cursed some more. All the racket was seriously interfering with his precious sleep. Quickly becoming bored with the annoying creature in front of him, Buyo visually pursued the area around him for some other form of entertainment.
Boring...boring...might be food in it, but too lazy to check...boring...Ah!
Lumbering across the cluttered bed happily, Buyo stopped to pick up the wonderful treat in his mouth before making a decidedly ungraceful leap off the bed and into the floor next to Inuyasha. The hanyou completely ignored him, so wrapped up was he in his attempt to recreate the pristine-looking packaging Kagome has originally put together. Of course, he was failing miserably.
Not caring that he was being ignored by the disturbingly dog-like human, Buyo trotted happily out the door to go find a quieter place to play with his newly discovered toy.
Several minutes later...
"AH HA! Now she'll never notice anything!" Inuyasha proudly held the red box in front of him and gazed at it, knowing that it finally looked like it had before he'd messed with it. Well, minus the bindings...and there were a few faint scratches and indentations from his claws, but as long as she didn't look at it too closely, she'd never know the difference!
Satisfied that he was almost finished, Inuyasha looked around the room for the funny looking bindings that he'd worked to hard to remove what felt like hours ago. He didn't see it anywhere, but Inuyasha didn't panic. Instead, he pushed the other boxes aside, thinking it must have fallen between them somewhere. Still nothing, so he then looked around and even inside Kagome's yellow backpack. After that, he looked under the bed...then under the other furniture...
By that point his already colorful vocabulary had expanded admirably, and the calm he'd previously displayed was only a distant memory.
"Where is it?!?! I know it has to be here!" Darting his gaze around the room furiously, he tried to figure out where else it might possibly be. He'd looked everywhere! But surely he must have missed it somewhere, because it couldn't have just gotten up and walked off by itself, right?
Wait a minute...walked off...
Like the inner workings of a safe, Inuyasha's brain gave off an almost audible click as the sudden realization of what must have happened to the ribbon fell into place. Why the heck hadn't he realized it sooner? It had obviously been stolen, and he knew exactly who the culprit was!
Inuyasha began to growl. "When I get my hands on that fat little monster...!"
Not wasting anymore time on threats that obviously couldn't be heard or understood by his intended target, Inuyasha lunged for Kagome's bedroom doorway. His movements were agile and graceful, perfect for playing the predator, and probably far more cat-like than poor Buyo could probably ever manage. In one swift leap he was standing in the hallway, perfectly still and listening for any sounds that might indicate where the furry little thief might be hiding.
It took a moment, but he finally heard it: The soft padding of Buyo's paws on the floor down below where he was along with a soft rustling sound.
Cracking his knuckles and grinning like he might before a battle, Inuyasha began creeping towards the stairs with the intent of getting the drop on his opponent. He knew that a cat's senses were good, but surely his were better. It wouldn't be difficult at all to take the prize, return it to its original place, and thus make sure that Kagome remained completely unaware of his recent activities.
The whole house was almost eerily still as Inuyasha made his way down to the ground floor. The ticking of a clock could be heard from the kitchen, and somewhere far off the sound of a car engine rose before once again fading into the distance. Inuyasha's ears twitched as he blocked out the other noises and concentrated on listening again for Buyo's exact location. He quickly picked up on the sound of rustling ribbon, and immediately homed in on the direction it was coming from.
Ah ha! So the little furball was in the kitchen!
Grinning madly and exposing his fangs, Inuyasha crept up to the kitchen doorway. Just a little bit closer, and then he could make a grab for the distracted prey. One more step...
Suddenly, there came a sound from the home's front entrance, and both Inuyasha and Buyo stopped what they were doing to swivel their ears and heads in that direction. Footsteps?
Inuyasha's eyes widened in horror. Somebody was home and he hadn't even noticed them approaching!
Pressed for time, Inuyasha gave up being cautious and made a dive for the cat, which just happened to be sitting underneath the table and surrounded by chairs. Seeing the half-crazed hanyou coming at him just in time, Buyo managed to make his own dive to safety as Inuyasha crashed into the dining room chairs. It made a lot of noise, and whoever was about to enter the house must have heard it.
Now he really had to hurry!
Scrambling off the floor, Inuyasha shot off after Buyo, and together they made a lap around the room once before the cat suddenly changed directions and made a beeline for the kitchen door leading outside. It was a western style door, and looked solid enough, so for a moment Inuyasha thought he would have the little monster cornered. But imagine his shock when he saw his quarry dart through the covered cat door near the bottom of the door!
Panicked at seeing his last chance practically slipping through his fingers, Inuyasha lunged at the hole and managed to squeeze one arm as well as his head through the opening. Swinging his hand around wildly, he just barely brushed Buyo's tail before the cat made a hasty getaway towards the general direction of the well house and the Goshinboku.
It was all over. Kagome was going to find out what he'd done any moment, and then-
"Inuyasha! My goodness, what have you managed to get yourself into?"
Freezing at the unexpectedly close voice, Inuyasha looked up to see Mrs. Higurashi looming over him with a look on her face that was a mix of concern, confusion, and amusement. She was holding a bag filled with what would later become the family's dinner.
"I'm glad to see that it was you that must have made all that noise, and not someone trying to break into the house." She was suddenly smiling with relief, and made a small gesture to indicate that he should remove himself from his little predicament. He did, and a moment later she opened the door with her key and moved inside to set down her bag. "But really, Inuyasha dear, the next time you want to leave the house, please use the door properly. I know you are used to windows and sliding doors, but doorknobs aren't too difficult to use. See?" She demonstrated, and a blushing Inuyasha nodded to show he understood. "Wonderful!" Mrs. Higurashi cheered. "Now that we have that settled, I'm going to put everything away since it isn't quite time to start dinner yet. You can go ahead and go on outside if you'd like."
Glad to be away from the only witness to one of the stupidest things he'd ever done (of COURSE he knew how to use the damn door! Kagome had shown him!), Inuyasha made a mad dash out the open door and towards the last place he'd seen Buyo headed for. Even if it had been horribly embarrassing, it was still a good thing that it had only been Kagome's mother and not Kagome herself that had caught him. Because that meant he had more time to catch Buyo and set things right before anything worse could happen!
Reaching the well house, Inuyasha began to sniff and prowl around it. He figured that Buyo would have most likely chosen the dark, dank little building to hide in, because the surely the cat was far too fat to ever manage climbing a tree...!
Or so he thought. Several minutes later, after having no luck with his search, Inuyasha was beginning to doubt his pervious assumption.
"Dammit! Where the hell did you go, you little monster!?!"
Giving up on the well house, Inuyasha moved off to the tree and began to sniff around it half-heartedly, the whole time doubting that the fat old cat could have climbed it. But then, he wouldn't have believed that Buyo could out run him either, so better to be safe and check anyway...
Ah ha! Who would have thought? Grinning madly because he'd managed to pick up Buyo's scent near the base of the tree, Inuyasha stepped back a few paces and craned his neck back to peer up into the branches with his sharp eyes. As cold as it was, the tree had somehow not lost all of its leaves, so it took a moment to spot the well camouflaged cat in the fall foliage.
Sure enough, Buyo was peering back at him through a bunch of leaves near the end of a long, thick branch, the green ribbon firmly tucked in his mouth. And luckily for Inuyasha, that particular branch was the perfect size to bear his weight, so the fat little feline taking shelter on it would soon find himself with no where else to go.
Not wasting another moment, Inuyasha scaled the tree trunk with ease, and Buyo barely had time to blink before he was being stared down by Inuyasha on the other end of the branch.
With the same stealth he'd used earlier in the house, Inuyasha began to move along the branch, refraining from making it move so much that it knocked Buyo out of the tree (as much as he would have enjoyed watching it happen). All the while that this was happening, Buyo looked completely unconcerned, though he'd been more than a little frightened earlier from the dog-like human's pursuit.
There was only about three feet between the two of them and a triumphant grin was just beginning to break out upon Inuyasha's face, when again, there came the sound of footsteps. But this time they were coming from the shine steps.
Swiveling his ears around and flattening them in annoyance, Inuyasha's grin vanished like magic and was replaced with a snarl. "Dammit, give me that thing now, you fat little furball, or I'm gonna knock you outta this tree! Then we'll see how much Kagome likes you when you're nothing but a smear on the ground!" Not caring at that point that he would scare Buyo because whoever the footsteps belonged to was about to crest the top of the stairs, Inuyasha lunged for the ribbon-
But it was too late. He could do nothing but watch in horror as the ribbon drifted slowly to the ground beneath the tree as Buyo began to bathe his paws and Kagome appeared at the top of the steps.
Inuyasha knew right then and there that he was doomed.
Humming cheerfully, Kagome smiled as she scaled the last few steps leading to the shrine. It had been a pretty easy day at school, since it was the last day before break. None of the students or even the teachers had really be interested in working, so she'd managed to actually find herself a quiet place in the library and get some studying done once she'd escaped her friends. She loved them and everything, but they could be almost as much of a nuisance as Inuyasha when she was trying to study.
Now that she didn't have to worry about school for a while, she could concentrate on her commitments on the other side of the well, which was sure to make Inuyasha happy. And even better, she would get to introduce them to one of her favorite western traditions, Christmas gifts!
Giggling a bit, Kagome thought of the gift she'd brought Inuyasha after her mother made the suggestion.
'I can't believe I actually got up the nerve to buy a swim suit for him.' She began to blush a bit, though her embarrassment didn't kill her amusement in the least. 'He needs it, though, because I don't think I can take another one of Shippo's practical jokes...' This time her face was beet red, and she didn't seem nearly as amused anymore.
The memory that had her so embarrassed was a time when Shippo had been especially angry at Inuyasha. They had gotten in a nasty fight with a demon earlier that day, so when they had found some water, everyone had wanted a bath, including Inuyasha. So the two groups took turns bathing, and after then women and Shippo were through, the two men went.
That was when Shippo took his plan of revenge and put it into action. Under the pretense of wanting to play in the water some more, Shippo left the camp and joined the two men down at the stream. But before he got there he started crying like something terrible had happened. Making the men believe there was a life or death situation going on at the camp (no one could ever accuse Shippo of being a bad actor if he could even fool Miroku) the two men were in such a panic to get back to camp to 'save' the women, that they didn't take the time to get dressed.
Kagome still couldn't decide who'd been more embarrassed, she and Sango, or Inuyasha. After all, he was the faster runner, so he'd gotten there first. Miroku hadn't seemed too bothered, and had walked back to the stream with a disturbingly cheerful grin after clubbing Shippo with his staff.
Kagome smiled wryly. 'I still can't believe I told Mama about that! Oh well, at least Mama didn't laugh so hard that Grandpa and Souta heard her after I told her that story. And she managed to come up with a good idea for a gift from it, though now my problem is explaining it to him after he opens it...'
As she made it to the top of the stairs her mind was on her dilemma. But as distracted as she was, her focus was quickly broken as her eyes immediately zeroed in on a small patch of bright green in the middle of ground under the Goshinboku. Curious, she altered her direction away from the house and headed over to check it out. What it the world could it be?
As she got closer, she puzzled over the green object until she was practically standing on top of it.
"Green...ribbon?" Kagome bent over and picked up the green ribbon with a baffled look on her face. "What in the world is green ribbon doing out here on the ground?" Gazing around the yard as if she would find the reason hiding in a corner somewhere, she finally just shrugged and carried it with her into the house. Perhaps checking the gifts on her bed for missing ribbons might be a good idea...
Inuaysha watched Kagome enter the house from his perch in the tree while holding his breath. When she disappeared completely from his vision, he let it all out in a big gust, causing Buyo to stop bathing long enough to stare at him.
"Dammit, Kagome got home before I could fix that stupid box, and it's all your fault!" Inuyasha pointed a Buyo accusingly with a clawed finger, thought it obviously meant nothing to the bored cat.
With a glare that might scare anyone with any kind of sense, Inuyasha cracked his knuckles threateningly. "I know I'm gonna pay for it once Kagome figures out what happened, but I'm not gonna go down alone..." With one last, loud crack, Inuyasha made a sudden grab for other occupant of the tree branch, but amazingly enough, Buyo managed to evade him once again by darting in between his feet and towards the trunk of the tree.
Taken off guard by the sudden evasion, Inuyasha attempted to twist around to follow his quarry, but the branch was too unstable and nearly fell. Grabbing on to the branch to keep from becoming a hanyou pancake, he could only watch angrily as Buyo managed to make his way down the trunk of the tree. Most cats would be too scared to manage such a feat, but one could never underestimate the will of a cat being chased by a violent, angry dog-demon.
In the time it took Buyo to make it to the ground, though, Inuyasha had recovered his cat-like balance, and in a single leap he was on the ground with his foe.
The chase was on once again.
In the time it might take a normal person to walk from the stairs to the front door of the house, the pair managed to make it back and forth across the length of the courtyard about four times. And they were on their fifth lap when Kagome and her mother walked out the door together, though Inuyasha was too angry and preoccupied to notice.
"W-What? Huh?" Kagome stared at the pair in confusion as they ran by in front of her without even noticing her presence and made a couple of laps around the Goshinboku. "I-INUYASHA! OSUWARI!"
Inuyasha came to a sudden stop as he landed face first on the rough concrete, realizing far too late that Kagome must have come back outside after realizing what he'd done. He was going to die.
"I can't believe you, Inuyasha!" Kagome's shoes and socks came just into his line of vision, and he knew without a doubt that she was standing with her hands on her hips, glaring at him. "I know you are a DOG demon and everything, but please, don't you think chasing my cat is a little too dog-like, even for you?" Kagome bent down to pet the cat in question, who had come up to her and started rubbing against her legs while purring. "Poor little Buyo. He's just too old and fat to be running around like that, you jerk!"
Inuyasha's eyes widened as he tried to lift his head off the ground, though the spell didn't allow it. What the hell was she talking about?!?! He wasn't sure if he should be more indignant about the dog comments, or the fact that she thought Buyo was an innocent victim in the matter.
"Oh my..." Kagome's mother had come up behind her. "Was that why you were trying to go through Buyo's pet door earlier, Inuyasha?"
"Whaaaaat?!?! He really did that, Mama?"
Inuyasha winced and tried to tune them out as the two women talked about his earlier embarrassment. So now he was going to get in trouble for that, too? Just great. Why not go ahead and blame every other bad thing that had ever happened in the world on him while she was at it?
"And as for YOU..." Apparently the conversation had moved on while Inuyasha wasn't paying attention, and he managed to sit up just in time to see Kagome bop innocent little Buyo on the head. "Bad kitty! You know you shouldn't steal ribbons! Those aren't for you to play with!"
With that, Kagome stood up, gave him a stern glare, and walked back to the house with her bemused mother following behind her. And he was left staring at the cat, and the cat staring back at him.
That was it? After all that trouble she didn't even blame it on him, she blamed it on the cat instead? He could have just let the stupid cat take it, and he wouldn't have gotten into any trouble?
"Dammit!" Inuyasha crossed his arms over his chest and sulked while glaring at the source of his torment. He was angry, but not angry enough to get into trouble for chasing the little furball again. "If I didn't know better, I would swear you must have been Kouga in your past life, because you seem to go out of your way to get me in trouble with Kagome..."
Buyo just stared at him blankly before beginning to bathe once again.
A/N: I'm done! After a couple of long years trying to decide on a good way to write this goofy little plot (you don't know how hard I had to work to find a legitimate reason for Inuyasha to chase a cat, LOL), I've finally finished it! I hope everyone enjoys reading it and I also hope everyone will have a wonderful Christmas this year! Until next time!