Title: Inner Self
Author: Candyland
Fandom:Inuyasha: The touching story of a girl and her dog…demon as they try to recover the pieces of a broken jewel. We also have a demon-hunter with the world's largest boomerang, a fox-demon who…well, he tries, and a monk who sucks. Literally.
Wordcount: 2886
Taunt: My fandom gives new meaning to the phrase "obedience training."


"OSUWARI!!!"

"ACK!!!"

KER-RASH!!!

From their vantage point on a nearby tree branch, several small figures sighed. "Well, there they go again," Angel-Inuyasha mumbled. He was essentially Inuyasha, only far shorter and with a halo floating awkwardly over his dog-ears. Being shoulder-angel to such a person as the half-demon was decidedly difficult, but he rose to the challenge in the true Inuyasha manner.

With lots and lots of swearing.

Devil-Inuyasha actually chuckled. "Aww, I think it's kinda funny to watch him eat dirt." He paused and cocked his head to one side in thought. "But then again, I'm evil, aren't I?"

A hand smacked him soundly on the back of the head—Devil-Kagome was apparently not amused. "Quiet, you." She gestured towards her charge, who was now standing loftily over the comatose hanyou. "When are they going to just 'fess up?"

"Not likely," Angel-Kagome chirped. "Kagome will keep it behind her teeth, even under torture. And Inuyasha…well, that poor guy has to deal with more issues than a politician," she finished delicately.

"I think they need help," Angel-Inuyasha suggested, wincing as Inuyasha apparently muttered something inappropriate and promptly found himself four inches further into the dirt. "Okay, scratch that. Those two definitely need help."

-o-

As usual, the shoulder-angels and shoulder-devils were discussing the matter of their humans. Or rather, they were arguing over the matter of their humans and the lack of romantic happenings and kissing between them. Do not be alarmed—this is all normal.

And one could even be a bit more accurate: Angel-Inuyasha and Angel-Kagome had been engaged in debate, but they had stopped to observe the screaming fight between their more diabolical counterparts. Watching Devil-Inuyasha and Devil-Kagome argue…it was like watching poetry in motion. Only they could make screaming at each other seem an art form.

Currently, Devil-Kagome was nearing the end of a very long tirade explaining exactly what one could do with red hot pokers, hydrochloric acid, and a really really good knife. She finished this lengthy, graphic description by stamping one foot on the tree branch and screeching, "…AND THEN YOU'LL HAVE TO (BEEP) SIDEWAYS!!"

Devil-Inuyasha was momentarily struck dumb; finally, he responded with, "Do I even want to know where your pitchfork is currently stuck?" It was lame, but it was the best he could come up with. Nothing would ever be able to top what she had just said.

Small, black-gloved hands clenched into fists. "Oh, screw you! I'm leaving!" Devil-Kagome snarled, stomping off. She went around the tree trunk onto another branch—and froze in her tracks. "Oh! So sorry, didn't know anyone was back here."

Devil-Miroku and Devil-Sango glared up from their tangle of (currently fully-clothed) arms and legs. "Do you mind?" Devil-Miroku growled. "We're a little busy here."

"Oh, right. Sorry," Devil-Kagome said. "Have a…er, pleasant afternoon." And with that she left them to what they were, ahem, doing. She might have been an embodiment of Evil, but hey, some things were just sacred! And other things were eye-burning. That scene was more the latter, she privately thought.

Their conflict apparently forgotten, Inuyasha and Kagome's shoulder-angels and shoulder-devils scampered off to keep their own counsel about their mortal charges and the utter lack of romance between them. Sango and Miroku's deities had successfully done something for their mortals; it stood to reason that something could be done for the half-demon and the girl from the future.

Meanwhile, Miroku, Sango, and Shippou watched the burgeoning argument between Inuyasha and Kagome impassively, as usual. After all, it was nothing really out of the ordinary.

"Something has to be done about those two," Miroku commented.

Sango nodded in agreement.

But unbeknownst to them, a sinister plot was already in motion to do something about those two…

-o-

The gavel rapped loudly against the table. "Hear ye, hear ye!" Angel-Inuyasha said loudly, employing the small hammer again to emphasize his request for quiet. "The meeting shall come to order!"

Seated around the table were a plethora of mini-Inuyashas—his Inner Selves. They looked at the two shoulder-deities at the head of the table with trepidation, curiosity, suspicion, or simple indifference, depending on their respective personalities.

Devil-Inuyasha stepped forward and put his hands on the table, leaning his weight on them. "The order of business today, friends, is our charge's lack of success with the human female, Kagome—"

"MINE!!"

All eyes shifted towards the source of the outburst: Inner Possessive Inuyasha, who was glaring at everyone else and holding a picture of Kagome. "Mine…" he repeated, hugging the picture.

"Ahem. All right. Well, anyway, Inuyasha and Kagome—"

"MINE!!"

"Shush, we all know," Inner Sympathetic Inuyasha squeaked—squeaked, because he was about twelve inches tall. He really didn't get a lot of exercise, hence his size.

"Feh," Inner Indifferent Inuyasha huffed, staring at the wall. "He's got the hots. Big effin' deal."

"But he's not doing anything about it," Inner Angry Inuyasha huffed. "He's an idiot!

"Now, now," Inner Tactful Inuyasha tried to placate; unfortunately, he had to shout to be heard because he was only about three inches tall, which resulted in him frequently being sat on by his fellow Inner Selves. Poor Inner Tactful Inuyasha.

"Feh," Inner Indifferent Inuyasha turned and looked at the one sitting beside him. "Not that I really care, but aren't you gonna put your two cents in? Everyone else is."

Inner Shy Inuyasha blinked owlishly. "Oh…no, that's okay. I'm fine. Really." His hands shook.

Inner Indifferent Inuyasha rolled his eyes.

At this point, Inner Angry Inuyasha pounded on the tabletop with his fist. "What about you, runt?"

Sitting on the other side of the table, Inner Insecure Inuyasha (who was about the size of a five-year-old child) jumped a mile. "Who, me? N-n-no, nothing to say…nothing here." A pause. Then a whimpered, "Please don't look at me anymore…"

"Uhh, hey!! Hey, let's pay attention to the Devil over here, okay?" Devil-Inuyasha shouted, irritated. How dare they ignore him? He was the freakin' Devil in the group! They had no right to ignore him, ungrateful little… "We're supposed to be figuring how to hook them up?"

"But…I do agree," Inner Thoughtful Inuyasha said, drumming his fingers on the arm of his chair. "The puppy feels bound to his promise to Kikyo, but his heart has changed. He longs for the living mortal girl, but his promise holds him back. But the fact remains that the status quo has shifted, and thus the situation should change with it. We can plan accordingly."

Everyone blinked. It was always so strange to hear Inner Thoughtful Inuyasha speak. He was the only one of any of the Inuyashas that could manage any sort of real eloquence.

"So basically, we force 'em!" Inner Possessive Inuyasha yelped. "MINE!!!!"

It went silent as everyone glared.

"…I take it we're all in agreement then?" Devil-Inuyasha asked.

There were nods amidst the glares.

"All right, so it's settled," Angel-Inuyasha rapped the table and smiled cheerily at the now-irate assembly. "Let's figure out a plan to get Inuyasha and Kagome toge—"

"MINE!!!"

There was a loud KER-RASH as Inner Possessive Inuyasha was soundly squished beneath the mammoth foot of Inner Violent Inuyasha—who was twenty feet tall, and fed up with the whole thing. Poor Inner Possessive Inuyasha.

Inner Insecure Inuyasha meep-ed.

And the one Inner Inuyasha who had not spoken merely sat back and smiled at the proceedings.

-o-

They had somehow gotten separated in the forest, and it was starting to rain, rendering Inuyasha's nose virtually useless for the time being. At Kagome's insistence (and she did have a bit of leverage to use to her advantage in cases like this), she and Inuyasha ducked into a convenient cave just as the sky opened up and unleashed the full brunt of its wrath on the earth below.

They stood in the mouth of the cave, watching it fall for a moment. Then Kagome moved further back into the cave. "Looks like we're stuck here for a while."

Inuyasha huffed, "It's just a little rain."

"I'm not moving," Kagome insisted, emphasizing her point by sitting down and folding her arms. She glared at him, just daring him to cross her on this point. "No point in getting wet when we don't have to." She looked out towards the storm. "I hope the others are okay."

Four little beings (two angels and two devils) were hiding in the stones near the stone ceiling, unnoticed by the mortals below. They were watching the scene with a fair amount of interest. After all, it had taken a little bit of work to get these two alone—fortunately, Miroku and Sango's shoulder-angels and shoulder-devils were all for helping out.

Still, there really wasn't a lot to see at this point. Kagome was sitting on the ground, watching the rain. Inuyasha was leaning against one wall of the cave…also watching the rain. They weren't even looking at each other, much less interacting.

They sat like that for a while, long enough for the four mini-thems up by the ceiling to get very, very antsy.

Then Kagome reached into her pocket. Inuyasha watched out of the corner of his eye and she fished around before finally withdrawing a small tube. She fiddled with it for a second before pulling it apart. One side had a white wand-like thing sticking off of it, and she dabbed the end of that against her lips. It left shininess in its wake. After a few seconds of this, she put the tube back together and returned it to her pocket. She rubbed her lips together a few times before she was apparently satisfied.

…but now Inuyasha found he couldn't quite seem to look away from her lips.

He tried to refocus on the rain (which was already slowing), but his eyes kept dragging their way over to her face and zeroing in on the space between her nose and her chin. It wasn't like he'd never noticed her lips before (though it was usually more in the sense that yes, she had them), but now they were the object of his constant, focused study. Whatever that stuff was that she'd put on them had made them shiny and sort of pink in color and why couldn't he look away…

"Inuyasha?" Kagome piped up, and he jumped, realizing exactly how intently he'd been staring.

"I wasn't looking at you!" he said quickly, whipping his head to look back out towards the drizzle.

"…it sure looked like you were," she commented. One dark eyebrow arched skeptically. She stood up and brushed herself off absently before giving him a Look.

He was about to protest that he wasn't looking at her, but to his dismay, Inner Jealous Inuyasha had stepped in to run interference on his disclaimers. "Why shouldn't I look at you??"

Kagome blinked.

"I mean—I didn't!" Inuyasha protested again.

She folded her arms and gave him the sort of look that mothers tend to give their unruly children—the kind of look that demands immediate explanations or else. "…Inuyasha?" Kagome said quietly. "What is it?"

He gestured with his hands for a moment, as though they could convey whatever it was that he was having trouble saying. But finally, they dropped to his sides and he sighed. "I don't know." At that moment, it wasn't Inner Possessive Inuyasha or Inner Jealous Inuyasha or even Inner Romantic Inuyasha. It was all of them and none of them.

It was just Inuyasha.

Kagome stared at him, not quite sure what to say or think.

Outside, the rain had stopped—it seemed to have been nothing more than a cloudburst. The first scattered rays of sunlight were already trying to peek through the clouds.

Finally, he pointed. "It's that stuff! That stuff you put on your mouth!"

"My…lip gloss?" she blinked.

"Now they're all shiny, and it's annoying me!" he half-growled. At that point, Inner Honest Inuyasha stepped in and took the reins of Inuyasha's tongue. "Because I can't stop lookin' at 'em!" By this point his face was as red as his haori.

"You can't…stop…"

"I bet everyone looks at 'em when you wear that stuff!" Inuyasha ranted, no longer in any actual control of what was popping out of his mouth. And then Inner Possessive Inuyasha shoved Inner Honest Inuyasha out of the way and latched on. "But nobody should look at you but me!"

At this point, Inner Romantic Inuyasha bashed Inner Possessive Inuyasha over the head with Inner Tetsuaiga, while Inner Jealous Inuyasha stepped on him. Then Inner Caring Inuyasha, Inner Romantic Inuyasha, and Inner Jealous Inuyasha all grabbed Inner Possessive Inuyasha and shoved him into a special Inner Box and locked it with an Inner Key.

"Guys…let me outta heeeeeeeeere!!!" his whimpers could be heard from inside, but the others ignored him. Poor Inner Possessive Inuyasha. His heart was in the right place…but he was just too annoying for the other Inner Inuyashas to tolerate for very long.

And while Inuyasha was about ready to bash his head against the nearest large rock, Kagome was trying very hard not to laugh. It was sweet and funny and amusing all at the same time. Poor Inuyasha could never quite get those sorts of thoughts from his brain to his mouth without things getting hopelessly messed up along the way.

She walked forward two steps and wrapped her arms around him for a hug. He tensed, then relaxed and returned it, if somewhat awkwardly. This certainly wasn't the first time they'd hugged, but the situation preceding it was fairly embarrassing on Inuyasha's part.

"Inuyasha! Kagome-sama!"

Miroku's voice echoed into the cave.

Kagome leaned out of the hug as the rest of their usual travelling party wandered in. They were a bit damp, but otherwise no worse for the wear. Since it seemed that the storm had stopped, they left the cave and headed on their way, not noticing four tiny angels and devils (seemingly small copies of Inuyasha and Kagome) fluttering out into the trees.

And Inuyasha didn't really notice that deep in the dark recesses of his mind, Inner Romantic Inuyasha was celebrating his victory. It was a small victory, but it was a victory nonetheless. He was enjoying it with Inner Jealous Inuyasha and Inner Caring Inuyasha (who REALLY knew how to party). The only problem was that Inner Jealous Inuyasha kept insisting that everyone else's party hat was bigger than his.

-o-

Through the rain, a lone figure watched from her perch on a tree branch. The rain did not seem to bother her—her attention was focused entirely on the two in the cave. A moment ago they had hugged, and now they were being reunited with their fellow travelers.

Kikyo frowned. Well, this was interesting…

"You should leave them alone," a little voice said just to the left of her head.

With one swift movement of her hand, the miko batted her shoulder-angel away. There was a satisfying splat as the tiny body smacked into the tree trunk, followed by the sound of miniscule wings fluttering as Devil-Kikyo fluttered down to where her angelic counterpart was now unconscious on the tree limb. Pulling one of Angel-Kikyo's arms around her shoulders, the little devil muttered something extremely uncomplimentary regarding the priestess's ancestry.

-o-

"WHADDYA MEAN, YOU DID ALL THAT? THEY DIDN'T EVEN DO ANYTHING!"

"BUT I GOT THEM THERE! YOU DIDN'T DO JACK!"

Angel-Kagome pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed. She had a headache—quite a feat for an angel.

The two devils were at it again and louder than ever, and this time it was regarding who had done the most work in regards to what had happened in the cave. And the battle was obviously reaching its climax as Devil-Inuyasha surged to his feet and started to shout. "You little bi—"

Devil-Kagome didn't even mean to do it. She didn't mean to say it. But as he started to call her an extremely rude name, the habits of her mortal charge came to the front, and she was startled to hear herself bark a single word.

"OSUWARI!!"

"ACK!!!" Devil-Inuyasha shouted as he hit the tree branch face first, the Rosary of Evil around his neck flaring a bright purple as it pulled him down. He did not move. At all.

Devil-Kagome stared in shock for a moment—she'd never even thought about this before, never made that connection. Then, slowly, a veeeeeeeeery evil grin spread across her veeeeeeeeery evil face. She had a brilliant, brilliant plan…of Evil!!

This was going to be fun…

Meanwhile

On the other side of the branch, the two shoulder-angels watched passively.

"Oh dear God…" Angel-Inuyasha moaned when his counterpart was sent sprawling to the ground. Golden eyes shifted, and he found himself gazing warily at the human-angel beside him.

Angel-Kagome laughed. "Oh, I won't. Not unless you deserve it."

He stared at her for a moment before nodding. "Uh…thanks, I think…"

There was a pause.

Then Angel-Kagome looked at Angel-Inuyasha with a bright smile. "Wanna go make out?"

Angel-Inuyasha blinked at her in surprise. Then shrugged. "Sure."

And somewhere, deep in the recesses of Inuyasha's subconscious, Inner Possessive Inuyasha continued to bang on the inside of the Inner Box, begging for someone to let him out.


PS. So about a thousand years ago I wrote a fic where Sango and Miroku have shoulder-angels and shoulder-devils who enter into a plot to help them along. It works. Sort of. And at the end of it, Inuyasha and Kagome's angels and devils pop up. But to make this different, we introduced the inner Inuyashas to represent all the different facets of his personality.

I credit the awesome and lovelyfireblazie with the idea of Inner Selves, and apologize to her for this fic sort of winding up like one of her 30 Kisses. I have no idea how that happened, and I tried to resist, but the plunnies beat me into submission ;o; And so with this, we have reached ten fandoms on 100fandomhell! WHEE! Thanks for reading, all! Much love!