AN: Read the fic Little Red Riding Miko by Holly Claus. It's in my favorites. Then you'll (somewhat) understand why I wrote this.
P.S. I wrote this listening to the band Monkey Majik. Canadians are invading Japan. Priceless.
Retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, Inuyasha style. Kagome, Kagome...you shouldn't go near the big bad wolf.
"Give me a break."
Thirteen year old Kagome defiantly glared at the warning sign, challenging the wooden board to correct her; it shifted in the wind. She made a little noise of disdain and turned away. Kagome stood stubbornly in the front of the infamous forest, dressed in her bright red traveling cloak and equipped with a basket full of apples and herbs. A gentle breeze tickled her ears, mothering her, calming her before the inevitable temper tantrum.
The forest thrived on the outskirts of Kagome's hometown, the tops of the aging trees just visible from the busy markets. The elders, especially Grandpa, always had tales to tell when it came to the blasted forest.
The sun hovered over this forest the elders claimed cursed and dangerous. For crying out loud, she could even see and hear the jaybirds happily twitter on the branches. As if the wind had read her mind, the branches swayed in the soft wind and the birds scattered into the cloudless sky. Kagome briefly wondered if this was the work of the legendary Wind Witch. She sighed and discarded the idea. The witch was just a myth.
Like the wolf.
Kagome took long, deliberate strides and entered the forest, ignoring the tingling sensation in the back of her head. This was practical, after all. She could make the trip to her Grandma's residence in one day and avoid the unsafe trails outside the boundaries of the forest, which normally required the protection of a small traveling group anyway. Bandits, as rare as they were in this day and age, still frequented outside large towns such as hers.
Kagome stopped and took a quick, reflexive breath. The bush shuffled again then stilled. After a few moments Kagome's shoulders dropped and her tense muscles relaxed. Nothing more than a rabbit, most likely.
She was being silly. There was no such thing as demons—they had died out long ago—and the whispers and gossips she heard while working at the shrine…well, they were just that; tales without proof. This sudden irrational fear of a wolf snatching unsuspecting maidens in their sleep started only because Ayame had come home late after visiting the exterior of the forest. Kagome never found out how the story had evolved, but she had a feeling the lovesick Kouga was involved.
Kouga was definitely a wolf in disguise. He certainly had no problem acting like one. He was also the main reason she'd chosen to go against her better judgment and the collective warnings of the townspeople; Kouga would've accompanied her had she requested a traveling group.
A gust of wind swept her hood down and brushed her raven locks aside. Kagome squinted and ran a hand through her hair. "Stupid wind." Kagome continued her brisk pace without interruption, however, and decided she liked walking with her red hood down. It was a sunny and cool day. If the townspeople weren't so easily swayed by suspicion and myths, Kagome thought, they'd probably enjoy a nice leisurely stroll in the forest.
Yes, she was sure of it.
The wind, on the other hand, thought different.
"Oh," Kagome moaned as another gust picked up the checkered handkerchief draped over the apples and they fell out of the basket. "Wonderful." She sighed and set about following after the rolling apples. She'd have to be more mindful of Mother Nature. The wind was especially temperamental here.
She picked up a stray apple that'd rolled off the beaten path and examined the red skin. The reflection of her nose and the sun shone on the surface. She quickly gathered as many apples as she could find in the grass and, if they needed the care, polished them with her sleeve. Satisfied with the contents of the basket Kagome started down the path again, her free arm reaching across the basket lest they should fall out. Again.
The sound of rustling silk met her ears.
Kagome froze in her tracks. Her head snapped up at an incredible speed and tilted back to—
Gaze into the scrutinizing eyes of burnished amber.
He stood casually, almost bored, arms crossed as he leaned against one of the trees lining the path. He had flowing, silver hair that clung to his silken outfit of brilliant red. Feline eyes flashing with a glint of gold, he stared nonplussed at the girl in the red cloak. Kagome blinked and noticed the canine ears atop his head. One clawed hand held an apple. Her eyes widened in recognition.
His lips slowly twisted into a delighted smirk and he revealed a pearly white fang, too prominent to overlook.
Her heart leaped in her throat and Kagome instinctually stumbled back with a hitched gasp. "Who…" she couldn't find the words to finish. Her voice had left her on a passing breeze.
His cocky smirk grew. His voice was low and rough as it drifted across the space between them. "Who do you think I am?"
Honestly? Her mind couldn't, or wouldn't, register the fact that he was not human despite all the clues and hints. She was listening to the little voice that spoke of the absurdity of the situation. Her chest constricted uncomfortably and she stood rigid as she mumbled, "You…can't be."
In an instant he moved and stopped before her. A blink and she would've missed it. His voice dropped as he leaned down to purr, "Have you never crossed paths with a wolf?"
A chill doused over Kagome's skin. His expression told he knew.
He was the…
So then the tales…
And now she was…
Kagome gulped and parted her lips to lessen the strain in her throat and breathed, "You're real."
He didn't answer. He just leered and lazily tossed the apple in his hand.
As if the unseen hands had released her form, Kagome found her small body suddenly mobile and free. She slowly stepped back and looked down at her shoes, refusing to meet the penetrating gaze of this boy. Her voice shook as she whispered something incoherent.
She whirled around and bolted, dropping her basket and letting the contents spill on the ground as she ran away.
The shiver that traveled down Kagome's spine was involuntary.
The fifteen year old looked over her shoulder and her fright spiked uncontrollably. It had been two years to the day since she had come anywhere near the forest. Two years of denial and not once had she uttered her tale to the town. Yet when she came home running that fateful day, frightened and pale and short one basket, the presumptuous people had come to their own conclusion; naturally they assumed the worst.
Apples became a bane to the town and all shipments and plantings of the cursed fruit were halted for the time being. Security tightened and watchmen continuously scouted the outskirts of town throughout the night. Women were forbidden from going anywhere close to the forest and curious children were deterred by new signs and fences that were added everyday.
Kagome sighed and felt a chill that could not be blamed on her red traveling cloak.
Grandma must have been very lonely for the past two years. Her family had tried to convince her to move out of her beloved manor and live with them with letters and unannounced house visits, all to no avail. She was a spunky old lady and Kagome liked her.
That was the only reason she had made the long trip to the woman's estate. It hadn't been too bad, for Miroku and Sango made great traveling companions, but the wind had been fierce and violent the entire way. When Kagome finally spotted the manor in the distance the group had decided to retreat back to the last town they had passed to rest and restock. Kagome had insisted on journeying the rest of the way by herself.
By the time she was on the front steps night had fallen and the wind had relented, done tormenting her for the day.
And it was just her luck Grandma's estate lay right next to the forest.
With one last peek over her shoulder Kagome turned the cold doorknob. Grandma was never one to lock the door for uninvited guests such as herself. She slowly walked into the dark house and closed the oak door behind her. She smelled something good from the kitchen.
"Grandma?" Kagome softly called, taking off her cloak to hang on the—
A single apple rolled across the floor and stilled on the carpet. Kagome bent down and picked up the ripe fruit. She looked around.
A chillingly familiar voice spoke behind her. "She's out, I'm afraid."
Kagome gave a surprised yelp and whirled around, dropping her cloak and apple. The only source of light was the opalescent glow of the full moon which pooled in through the window blinds. Her eyes quickly adjusted to the darkness as adrenalin filled her nerve endings and her pupils focused on the glowing amber before her.
"It's been a while." The dark form leaned against the wall next to the door, arms crossed and a smirk playing about his lips as always. She could see he had grown taller and his silver hair much longer than before.
Kagome felt lightheaded. Her initial gasp of air left her lungs in a dizzying rush and she desperately tried to regain control of her racing pulse. Kagome's knees buckled and she reached for the stair rails to support her suddenly heavy body.
A soft snort of suppressed laughter greeted her.
Kagome looked up, fear momentarily forgotten as anger and annoyance dominated her being, and loudly demanded, "Why are you here?" She was proud that she'd dispelled any indication of fear from her voice.
Arms untangling he levered himself off the wall. "Am I not allowed to visit a friend?" The demonic eyes gained a wicked gleam as he stepped forward.
"Stop!" Kagome ordered sharply.
He cocked one eyebrow and smiled darkly.
"Don't come near me." Kagome continued as he advanced another step.
"Oh?" He didn't even falter. "What will you do?" His eyes flashed dangerously and it became clear why the townspeople feared him so.
What would she do? Wincing, she staggered back for each of his advancing steps. Kagome recognized the futile nature of her actions. Her hands were shaking uncontrollably and she was sure her heart was going to collapse under to the stress. She fell back against the side wall and flinched at the painful realization; she was trapped.
The man leaned over her, his hands on either side of her head and firmly planted on the wall.
Kagome squeezed her eyes shut with such force tiny fireworks exploded behind her lids. "You…your ears." Her lips trembled. Of all the things to say…
"What was that?"
She opened her eyes to peer into his luminous eyes. Her voice caught in her throat. "Your ears are…"
"Ah…" He understood the unsaid words. "The better to listen to your lovely whimpers." The look on his face was predatory and Kagome was given the distinct impression of the prey.
"The better to look into your pretty face."
"The better to mark your savory neck." His breath was a ghost of a caress against her cheek as he whispered in her ear. "And now you're all mine…"
AN: Why do all my one-shots end up creepy (and suggestive)? At least it is DONE! This bloody thing took two full days.