Disclaimer: I do not own the Inuyasha series or any of the characters.
Summary: Kagome probably should have stayed in bed. It's just one misfortune after another! What in the world did she do to deserve this? Rated for Inuyasha's mouth. One Shot.
AN and translations at bottom as per usual.
It was not a promising start to the day.
Shortly after dawn, Kagome awoke to the resonant sound of what she had privately begun to think of as the taijiya/houshi mating call.
The difference was that this time, the cry was punctuated by a rather heavy weight that landed directly on Kagome's ribs, painfully knocking the wind out of her. This was followed by a brief, panicked struggle, during which Shippou, having been rudely awakened, got tangled in her hair in his attempt to flee. Luckily, Inuyasha stomped over, picked the still-dazed Miroku up off of her, and tossed him aside. He rolled twice before he came to a halt against a tree trunk.
"Idiot Bouzu! Next time Sango hits you, fall on someone else!"
Inuyasha turned his eyes to Kagome, who had sat up and was now trying to disentangle Shippou from her hair. "You okay?"
Kagome nodded, too winded to speak yet. Finally she got Shippou free and put him down, where he ran off to a safer vantage point near Kirara.
Miroku picked himself up and dusted off the front of his robes. "My apologies, Kagome-sama. I did not mean to fall on you."
Glaring tiredly, Kagome let it slide. After all, she was pretty sure her elbow had connected with his eye at one point, which helped to assuage her feelings a little. She looked around, noting the dark grey sky overhead. It was way too early to be awake.
"Well, if everyone's up, we might as well continue on," Inuyasha said, which completely ruined Kagome's hopes of going back to sleep.
The overcast sky hadn't lightened very much by the time they had finished breakfast, even though the sun was up, which did not help Kagome's mood. She was still yawning, and her chest was sore. She nearly cried when she tried to lift her backpack up onto her shoulders.
"Look what you did, asshole!" Inuyasha yelled at Miroku. "Your fat ass probably broke her ribs!"
"No, this is all my fault," Sango said worriedly. "I'm the one who hit Houshi-sama and knocked him down." She made Kagome sit back down. "Does it hurt to take a deep breath, Kagome-chan?"
"I'm fine, really," she replied.
Finally, after much poking, prodding, and fussing, it was determined that no one really knew if she had cracked a rib or not. She decided it didn't matter; either way, she was feeling awfully bruised. Miroku was not large in stature, but he must have been about 150 pounds of lean muscle. Still, broken ribs or not, there was no way Kagome could carry the heavy backpack. Even walking around unburdened made her step gingerly.
When they finally set out, Kagome was on Inuyasha's back, and a guilty-looking Miroku was carrying the bag. Sango refused to let him on Kirara's back with her and Shippou, so he had to run, panting under the heavy weight. While Miroku's training allowed him to keep up with Inuyasha for a short sprint, it was not a pace he could maintain for long. This meant the group had to travel slower, which put Inuyasha in a bad mood. Never mind that they didn't have anywhere they had to be right this minute. Never mind that a slower pace was much more comfortable for Kagome, because there was a lot less bouncing involved. Inuyasha still didn't like the idea.
Thus, Inuyasha was already irritable before Kouga showed up. Kouga stupidly planted himself in Inuyasha's path too abruptly for the hanyou to stop or change directions, and the resulting collision sent them both sprawling in a tangle of limbs and angry shouts. The only good thing about it was that Kagome had been thrown clear by the impact, so instead of being crushed, she was treated to a relatively soft landing in a nearby patch of mud.
It still hurt.
Kagome didn't bother to move for a minute, as she was busy getting her breath back for the second time that morning. She just lay there, feeling the mud seeping gently into her clothes and hair. She stared miserably up at the cloudy sky and reflected that she should really just go back to bed and start the day over again. After a moment, Inuyasha and Kouga's faces filled her field of vision as they leaned over her, both looking worried, and slightly frightened.
Calmly, she cut them both off. "Go away."
Something in her expression must have been frightening, because immediately, without another word, they both ducked out of view. Kagome continued to stare up at the sky, weighing her options as she curled her fingers into the mud, feeling it ooze through her grasp. On the one hand, she could get up and take her chances with the rest of the day. On the other hand, she could just stay here. The first option meant not laying in the mud any longer. However, she was already well-acquainted with this mud puddle, and it had already done its damage. It couldn't get much worse.
The devil I know or the devil I don't?
Sango, being female, was the only one there unafraid of Kagome. She made the decision for her by coming over and pulling Kagome to her feet. For a minute Kagome just stood morosely, before turning to a rather alarmed Miroku and advancing on him. He was safe, however, because all she did was dig some clean clothes out of the back pack he had set down beside him. Then she walked off into the bushes to change.
When she re-emerged, she turned to Inuyasha and Kouga, who were being remarkably well-behaved. They looked very wary. She didn't say anything, just continued to stare at them silently.
"Uh, you still have mud… your…hair…hmm…" Kouga's hesitant comment trailed off uncertainly as she turned her full attention on him.
Kagome lifted her hand to her head and felt the mud. She was well aware that it was still there; after all, it wasn't like there was anywhere to take a bath nearby. She walked over to where Kouga was standing as she dug a clump of mud out of her hair. She looked at it for a minute, then wiped her hand off on the fur trim on Kouga's shoulder and turned away with a tired sigh.
"Is there a river nearby?" she asked.
"I crossed a brook about two miles back," Kouga said, "But it really wasn't big enough for a bath."
She turned back towards him, and he took a step back. Well, at least he had a healthy amount of fear in him. She walked over to him again, and pushed the muddy shirt, skirt, and knee socks into his arms. "Go and wash these," she ordered, and went to sit down on a rock without looking to see if he obeyed.
He must have, because he was gone when she looked again. She waited quietly, and Inuyasha kept his mouth shut about the delay. Kouga returned in record time, and handed her clean, damp clothes to her, looking sheepish.
"I tried to dry them in the wind when I ran, but they just got dusty, so I had to go back and wash them again. Sorry they're not dry."
This was a display of intelligence she hadn't expected from the affectionate but clueless wolf leader, and her attitude softened just a little. She thanked him in a tired voice as she took the clothes and stuffed them in the back pack at Miroku's feet. Then she turned to Inuyasha.
"Can we just get going?" she asked.
No one seemed to want to argue with her. Kouga beat a subdued retreat, and the group moved on. Kagome was once again on Inuyasha's back (despite her misgivings), and Sango still wasn't letting Miroku ride Kirara. Miroku was beginning to look really tired, but Inuyasha didn't complain about the slower speed. Given Kagome's position on his back, maybe he was afraid she'd snap and go for his jugular if he started grumbling. He was certainly walking on eggshells now, anyway. After another hour they had to slow to a walk, and while Inuyasha normally would have made Kagome use her own legs at this pace, today he didn't even bother trying to set her down. Smart boy.
Lulled by the smoother pace and grateful for the lack of any other misfortunes, Kagome let her head rest against Inuyasha's shoulder and wondered if she'd be able to sleep without losing her grip. Probably not, but she was tempted to try. Who in their right mind wakes up at dawn — dawn! — to grope somebody, get smacked, and land on an innocent sleeper? Then again, Miroku clearly had never been in his right mind. Eyelids drooping, she mused on this for a bit, before suddenly Inuyasha shifted her weight a little.
"Don't fall asleep," he said quietly, apparently able to feel her grip relaxing as she dozed. "You'll fall off."
She felt tears threatening to well up, but managed to suppress them. Inuyasha's considerate behaviour probably wouldn't last past noon before he lost his patience, but she was having a rotten day, and right now he was being really nice to her. She nodded against his shoulder and tightened her grip again, taking the opportunity to make a surreptitious hug out of the motion.
When they stopped for lunch, Sango voluntarily took over the preparations, Inuyasha didn't try to steal Shippou's ramen, and Miroku kept his hands to himself. Kagome was starting to feel better. Maybe her bad luck had run out. The meal passed without incident.
As they were preparing to continue their journey, Miroku started to swing the backpack onto his shoulders again, and stopped mid-motion.
"I thought I was imagining it before, but this bag is definitely heavier than it was this morning," he said, putting it back down and opening it. He stared for a minute, then lifted his head and said, "Shippou!"
Shippou just smirked. "You deserved it, baka."
Miroku began to lift several large, heavy rocks out of the bag. The scowl he wore as he did so brightened Kagome's day considerably — that is, until the beads on his right arm accidentally snagged a pair of her panties. Panties she'd worn. Not that they were dirty, per se, but… arrghh! If she hadn't been so embarrassed, the surprised expression he wore as he stared would have been comical.
To his credit, he put them back in the bag calmly, closed it, and pretended very, very hard that it had never happened. Kagome dropped her forehead into her hand as the universe made it clear to her that her bad luck streak hadn't ended yet.
Suddenly, Inuyasha drew her attention when he swore under his breath and stood up tensely. "That asshole…"
Kagome watched him curiously. Surely Kouga wouldn't be so foolish as to return so soon, so the other person Inuyasha might be referring to…
As Sesshoumaru stepped leisurely out of the trees onto the road, followed by his unusual little group, Kagome eyed his pristine appearance and couldn't help but feel even more filthy and dishevelled than before. To top it all off, the mud was starting to dry, and her scalp itched like mad.
"Sesshoumaru! What're you doin' here?" Inuyasha called, his hand resting on Tetsusaiga. Kagome knew he was just preparing to draw the sword if needed, but his posture made him look more like a puppy trying to protect a treat from being stolen by a mean bigger dog.
Luckily, the "mean bigger dog" didn't seem inclined to punish Inuyasha for his insolence today. "As we are standing in the middle of the Western Lands, this Sesshoumaru needn't get permission to walk the roads at will, little brother." He drew closer, and came to a stop. "What news of Naraku?" he demanded coolly.
Sesshoumaru had taken to doing this lately. Before, he usually appeared, made nasty comments, attacked Inuyasha, and left again. But as the months wore on, he seemed to have developed just a bit more tolerance, and would often interrogate Inuyasha instead of attacking him when their paths happened to cross. Kagome wondered if Rin's company had more than a little to do with Sesshoumaru's attitude adjustment. She hardly ever left his side these days, and he always seemed slightly less willing to fight his brother in her presence, or at least, less homicidal when he did choose to fight. In any case, Kagome relaxed just a little. A battle between the two brothers was still possible today, but unlikely.
Rin skipped over and sat down beside Kagome, greeting everyone happily. "Rin was going to bring flowers for Kagome-sama, but Ah-Un ate them." She regarded Kagome curiously. "Why does Kagome-sama have mud in her hair?"
Kagome told her.
"Ohhh," Rin said, nodding sagely. "Rin has fallen in the mud before." Her voice took on an enthusiastic tone. "One time, Rin fell in the mud and couldn't get out. So Jaken-sama tried to pull Rin out with the staff of two heads, but he wasn't strong enough and he fell in too and got stuck. Then when Sesshoumaru-sama came to pull us out he got his foot stuck and…"
Rin leapt to her feet again at Sesshoumaru's abrupt (or just possibly: hasty?) interruption. "Well, anyway, Sesshoumaru-sama has got new boots now," she finished. "Bye Kagome-sama! Bye everyone!"
And she raced away after Sesshoumaru's departing back, leaving Kagome feeling a little disappointed that the cheerful girl was gone. But then she pictured Sesshoumaru losing his boots in a mud hole, and felt a bit better. It was heartening to know that even taiyoukai could have their off days.
The group continued their journey, with Kagome riding on Inuyasha's back again, even though they were only walking instead of running. Sango was carrying Kirara to give her a break, and Miroku was looking exhausted after his hard morning of lugging the stone-filled back pack. After a couple hours, Kagome determinedly tried not to think about the fact that nothing bad had happened since lunch time. Judging by the way her day had been going, if she let herself get optimistic, something bad would happen to prove her wrong. So she concentrated very hard on not thinking about it…
Too late, she realized, as the clouds that had been threatening all day suddenly let loose. The first few scattered drops quickly turned into a heavy rain, the sort that doesn't look that bad from indoors but drenches you the moment you step off your porch. Kagome couldn't use her umbrella while clinging to Inuyasha's back, so she just tucked her head down and hunched her shoulders up in a futile attempt to keep the rain from running down the back of her neck, as Inuyasha broke into a run and the others jumped onboard Kirara again to keep up. Kagome eyed them jealously as Miroku and Sango put on their woven rain hats. Shippou was nice and dry on Sango's shoulder, ducking under the brim of her hat. Even Kirara was keeping mostly dry, since her back was covered by the riders.
The cover of the trees did little to protect them from the rain, but luckily Inuyasha knew this area well, and led them to an abandoned hut not far off. As he set her down inside and shook the water from his hair, Kagome was disgruntled to realize that he was not all that wet, since she'd been soaking up the rain that normally would have fallen on his back. She shivered in the cool air as Inuyasha located some dry wood within the hut and broke it up for a fire.
On the bright side, most of the mud had been washed out of her hair by the heavy rain.
Kagome searched in her back pack for dry clothes as Inuyasha got the fire going, but she quickly realized that she was yet again out of luck. Whether the rain had gotten into her bag or the damp clothes Kouga had washed had soaked into everything else, there were no dry clothes to be found in that bag. Everything was at least a little cold and damp.
Sighing, Kagome chose the least damp clothes she could find, because they were still much better than the drenched clothing she was currently wearing. She got changed behind a blanket Sango held up in the corner of the one-room hut to give her some privacy. When Kagome emerged, the fire was starting to burn stronger, and she put herself as close to that heat as she could, trying to get warm.
Great, just great. Now she was probably getting a cold. She rubbed her tingling nose with the back of her hand and shuffled slightly closer to the fire, sniffling miserably. She stretched her hands out towards the flames, letting the heat warm her fingers.
When she felt a little warmer, she dug her damp clothes out of her bag and spread them out to dry near the fire, before deciding that if they weren't going anywhere for a while, she might as well do some homework. Her school books had sunk to the bottom of the bag, sending a guilty pang through her at this evidence that she hadn't taken them out in a while. She flipped open her text book to the spot she had marked by tucking her homework between the pages, and stared in horror. What had she done to get such bad karma?
Days… weeks of homework had been neatly written in black pen, which evidently was not waterproof. She held up a damp sheet of paper, staring at the blotchy ink. Had it been the rain? Had it been her wet clothes? She cursed herself as stupid, feeling tears threatening as she riffled through the papers, searching for any untouched sheets.
Something inside her snapped.
"That's it!" she shouted, flinging the ruined pages into the fire. "I can't take it anymore!"
She jumped to her feet and stomped towards the door, only to find her arm caught in a firm grip.
"Where are you going?" Inuyasha asked her. "It's still raining."
"I'm going to find Kikyou!" Kagome retorted loudly, surprising everyone in the hut.
Inuyasha looked at her as though he was concerned for her sanity. "Huh? Why?"
"I want to ask her exactly what I did wrong in my past life to deserve this!"
For a moment, he just stared at her, as she stood trembling with frustration and righteous fury. Then he did something she did not expect. Releasing her arm, he turned partially away from her, and leaned against the doorframe, slightly bent over and shaking convulsively. Confused, and slightly worried, she touched him on the arm.
Straightening up a little, he turned his face towards her, but the moment he met her gaze, he lost himself in helpless laughter again. Kagome stared. She'd never seen Inuyasha laugh this hard or this freely, and his expression was startling. The open-mouthed grin, the eyes scrunched up to mere slits, and the tears of laughter that shone in them… what was so funny about Kagome wanting to track Kikyou down and beat a confession out of her concerning past misdeeds?
On second thought…
The oddness of the situation began to hit her, and Kagome felt a little smile tug at her mouth as Inuyasha finally managed to catch his breath. He was still grinning, but with none of his usual smugness, and he was able to meet her eyes this time without dissolving into giggles.
"So you need to find Kikyou, huh?" he asked, but then started laughing again, catching her off guard when he hugged her. It was completely uncharacteristic of him, although, to be honest, it was more as if he simply collapsed in mirth against her, clinging to her so he wouldn't fall over.
Kagome felt her smile grow a little more at the sight of him, as he clutched her arms just to stay upright. Watching him laugh with his forehead on her shoulder, somehow things didn't seem quite so bad anymore. Sango, Miroku, and Shippou just looked bemused, but then, for all their closeness, none of them were on quite the same wavelength as she and Inuyasha were.
"Oh, Kagome," he continued breathlessly when he was able, laughter still evident in his voice. "Ya want I should just give you a list?"
It was fun to think of all the bad things that could realistically happen to Kagome in the course of a day. I started with the concept of karma, which led to the idea of reincarnation, which led me to Kagome and Kikyou. Why blame Kikyou for her reincarnation's bad luck? Why not?
Everyone has bad days sometimes. Even Sesshoumaru.
Taijiya – exterminator (demon slayer)
Houshi – Buddhist monk
Hentai – pervert (loose translation)
Bouzu – derogatory term of address for a Buddhist monk
Baka – stupid, idiot
Taiyoukai – great demon, especially powerful demon