A/N: Another Inu/Kik oneshot. I made this one months ago but didn't think it worth posting...I'm doing it now though. I'd like comments on this one since I want to know if this was okay. I rarely ever ask for reviews but...
I'll let ya read now if you want.
Another successful scavenge, thought the hanyou, taking a bite out of a piece of meat he managed to steal. Of course, he didn't need to eat as much as he used to all those years ago, but he decided it would be best to take what he could while the opportunity was available.
Chewing the tender morsel, Inuyasha's ears twitched and he glanced down, watching a young man converse animatedly with a girl, laughing at whatever the boy said. He snorted.
He was more or less like all boys around his age-despite the fact that he was far older.
The young half-demon, too, had occasionally thought about the opposite gender, wondering what it would be like. The idea never stuck in his mind for too long-for his attitude towards couples drowned out those ridiculous little notions. He had no need to depend on anyone-much less a woman.
Besides, Inuyasha thought, what girl would hang out with half-demon?
But then…there was that girl he met.
When was that? Last year?
No wonder he could remember it so vividly.
The afternoon was lukewarm-not too hot and not too cold-but what else did one expect in the early spring. Inuyasha had been wandering aimlessly that day, searching for something to eat as he had not gotten anything of sustenance in the past two weeks.
The hanyou scoffed and leapt into a tree. There was absolutely nothing around.
Sighing in exasperation, Inuyasha leaned back against the trunk and folded his legs; apparently, he would have to hunt again for his meal. It wasn't that he was horrible at catching food, he was an expert at it actually, but every once in a while he would get bored of the chase and just ask for it to be handed. Was that so hard of a request? No. But there was no one else to feed him either and the animals he would hunt had suddenly disappeared, taking refuge in their holes and nests.
"Stupid animals," he grumbled with annoyance.
Another sigh escaped his lips, and Inuyasha jumped down with ease onto the ground. There was no sense in brooding about it then, he decided afterwards, and continued looking.
It wasn't till the sun began to set that the half-demon was able to catch the scent of a young rabbit. Smirking a bit, he crouched low and waited for it to move a little closer. When it was finally a few feet away, he pounced from the brush and swiped down his claws.
The rabbit immediately dodged the assault, and began to run, glancing furtively with fear as Inuyasha easily caught up with it. Another swipe was thrown, the match over and done in a matter of seconds, and Inuyasha grinned victoriously.
Picking the carcass up by the ears, he wondered decisively whether to cook it or just eat it raw.
Raw will do. He was too hungry to care and he wasn't like humans.
As he was about to skin it, a rustle from behind made him turn around, his golden eyes eyeing the bush curiously when his eyebrows then rose in surprise.
A young girl was standing before him, around the age of eight, standing completely still as if she had just witnessed a murder. Realizing that he was holding a dead animal in his hand, Inuyasha hid it from her view, noticing a glimmer of discomfort in her brown eyes. There was no clue why he felt a little bit of guilt, he just knew that she didn't like the sight and it bothered him-much more than he would've liked to admit.
What did it matter what these human child thought of him? He questioned angrily at himself.
"What are you looking at?" Inuyasha asked after a few moments, getting tired of being watched.
The girl merely kept a vigilant stare on him, the discomfort that was once there, now gone as if it had never happened. Inclining her head slightly to the left, she approached him. Turning her body a little more, she was able to get a peek at the rabbit he held tightly. A growl emanated from his throat, and the child glanced at him indifferently.
What the hell does she want?
"You're going to eat it?" she inquired softly.
Inuyasha cocked his head. "Of course you stupid kid, what else are you supposed to do with a dead rabbit?"
"I figured that as much," she retorted pointedly. "I was questioning the matter of you eating it raw."
"Just like a human," said the hanyou as he dangled it in front of her face. "Can't stomach the thought of eating something like this huh? She gave an elegant sniff and turned her head. "Of course not half-demon, I'd think that was obvious."
Raising a brow surreptitiously, Inuyasha eyed her with interest. She didn't act like a child; no kid had ever had the ignorance to go up and speak to him in such a bold manner. He had to admit, she had spunk for a little thin chit.
"So, what do ya want me to do about it?" he asked.
"Cook it," she stated with nonchalance.
Standing up, Inuyasha gave another derisive snort. "I don't have to do anything you say kid,"
"I am not 'kid'," she replied evenly, holding his gaze with burning brown flames. "My name is Kikyou, and you would do your best to remember that hanyou,"
"Tell ya what," Inuyasha replied with a smirk. "I'll call ya 'Kikyou' if you call me 'Inuyasha',"
Kikyou kept a close eye on him, inspecting him carefully with her stare. Quirking a thin eyebrow, she pursed her lips and stoically observed him for another few seconds. With a curt nod, Kikyou gestured for him to follow; he reluctantly obeyed and started walking, but he knew that this girl, this Kikyou, was definitely going to be amusing to observe.
Night had already settled, twinkling white dots in the black skies, while Kikyou turned the meat over on the long stick being held above the crackling fire. "It will be ready in a few minutes."
"Won't your parents get worried or something?" questioned Inuyasha, scratching his head while lying on the wooden floor.
"They are in another village south of here," she replied coolly while pouring a cup of tea. "They will not return for another three days."
Inuyasha found it odd and admirable; why would the girl's parents leave her alone like that? She had told him a little about herself-that her mother and father were both spiritual people and traveled the countryside battling demons and aiding the sick while she stayed behind to train her abilities as a priestess.
Though she had spoken about it, he still didn't believe it.
Why not just take her along? The journeys nowadays were treacherous and brutal, but surely they weren't entirely weak that they couldn't protect her from harm. She was left alone-with no one to see to her welfare.
That was what he found odd, but admirable.
She was like him in a sense-she was all by herself and relied on herself to survive, to make it through the long periods that passed by in an instant and in an eternity. But there was a difference to their situations.
He was abandoned by his family who diminished his self-worth to nothing, telling him to leave for he was not meant to have anything. He was a half-demon: a being meant to be unloved and spit at without a second glance. There was a reason to show him animosity and hate.
But what had she done?
She was human, wasn't she? Why would they look down upon there own kind?
The fact was completely nonsensical and in some points, almost cruel and cowardly.
If this was how ningens viewed their own, then what was the point of wishing to be one of them? He thought acridly. In fact, Kikyou might as well be a half-breed too.
"Inuyasha-san," the girl said quietly. "You can eat it now,"
"Yeah, thanks," he said as he propped himself up. Sliding it off, he ripped off a piece and chewed it slowly, savoring every bit of it. Finally, something to eat!
Kikyou sat with her legs folded beneath her, taking a sip of her tea every now and then; but she never averted her gaze from the man in front of her, entranced by the silver hair, the golden oculars and the dog ears…
I wonder if they're soft, she asked herself.
"Hey kid," Inuyasha's voice interrupted her train of thought. "Would ya quit staring? Really, it gets on my nerves,"
"My apologies Inuyasha-san,"
"And no formalities," he continued, pointing a clawed digit at her. "No 'Inuyasha-san', just 'Inuyasha'; also, you don't have to speak with such a grown-up dialect. I know you high-standard types like to talk like that, but why does a kid have to do it? And another thing: ever heard of eating? Honestly, look at you-I've seen twigs look bigger than you. Don't these people feed you at all? You know…"
Kikyou blinked a few times, her mouth slightly parted as she was trying to understand what was happening. There he was-chattering and barking about what she shouldn't do, when they were the very same mannerisms her family and the temple priests had taught her to do since she was very small. It then occurred to her that what they found appropriate, Inuyasha found annoying.
She had always thought that learning manners and polite language was what she should do-that was what everyone kept telling her. And now, just hearing him ranting about not being so 'stiff'…
…it made her laugh.
This caught the hanyou off guard, a tinkling musical sound reverberated in his ears. Inuyasha turned his head, tilting his head way off to the right at her sudden change in demeanor. Kikyou kept laughing, her pale complexion suddenly becoming vibrant with a healthy pinkish hue. She knew what she was doing, and tried to muffle her chuckles behind the sleeve of her keso but to no avail.
After several minutes of giggling, Kikyou managed to calm herself and collect her wits.
"Well," Inuyasha said after a while, a grin spreading along the line of his mouth. "Looks like I got Miss Stone-Face to laugh, huh?"
A blush crept to her face and she hung her head, trying very much to hide her chagrin.
"Hey, come on, I'm kidding," he admonished lightly, waving a hand.
When Kikyou still refused to lift her head, the half-demon reached over and gently tapped her head.
"Would you look up? I was joking, and besides, it was good to see your mood lighten up,"
Sighing heavily, the girl gave up on her withdrawal; peeking at him from beneath her dark straight bangs, she found herself looking up at golden suns, but the dog ears are what really got her attention. Reaching up, she took both of them in a sturdy but delicate hold, tweaking them and smiling a little at the softness of the white fur.
"Hey, let go!"
Kikyou then felt him slip away, watching him jump back into a corner and cover his ears. "Why'd you do that for?"
"I wanted to see if they were soft," Kikyou answered readily.
Inuyasha shifted nearer to the side of the wall, watching with dread as she sauntered over to him and reached out another hand. Leaping away, he landed on the other side of the hut, and shook his head vehemently. "When I said 'lighten up' I didn't mean for you to play with my ears,"
"But, they're cute," she said while she rushed over to him again. And again, he managed to divert himself from that threatening palm and deadly fingers.
They ran around in circles for a while, and throughout the whole nightmarish ordeal, Kikyou was laughing childishly-not even minding in the least that she wouldn't get him-and Inuyasha was desperately trying to hide his ears-but couldn't erase the smirk on his face.
I think I preferred it when she was quiet.
The following day, Inuyasha found it difficult to leave Kikyou; he could have left and it would've been so easy-he had been sleeping outside but he made sure it was in a tree that was near her hut. It confounded him. She was capable of taking care of herself, he knew that, but he still didn't know why he couldn't leave. So he stayed and much to his delight-or was it surprise?-she was glad that he didn't leave yet.
Inuyasha explained that he should leave soon, but Kikyou proved that she could be as stubborn as he; she told him that he could stay for a little bit, informed him that he could lend a hand with her daily tasks and in return, she would feed him for the time being.
It was supposedly a work day for her, so they did nothing but scour the forest for food and medicinal herbs, then, when they returned shortly later, Kikyou immediately went on to tackle her tasks and chores. Inuyasha offered his assistance once or twice, but she politely declined, telling him she was used to it already.
Even so, he got up and helped her with the laundry.
They were awake, even before the first rays of a new dawn. Kikyou had gone off to the villagers, asking if they needed any help. They told her that she had done enough work yesterday, that she deserved a break-unaware of the silver-haired male hiding in the thickness of leaves. Kikyou accepted their generous offer without another thought.
She was indeed tired; Inuyasha had helped her, true, but this was the first time she had a break from her duties in months. Some would say it was selfish of her, shake their heads disapprovingly, but it wasn't a lie that she felt exhausted.
So Kikyou roamed the wilderness with Inuyasha at her side-like it was the most natural thing to do.
She didn't complain, enjoying the feeling of having someone right beside her. She never had a friend before; there were children in the village but her responsibilities kept her from fulfilling a normal childhood. She tried not to let it affect her, but she knew that she was greatly saddened at the reality.
This half-demon's presence however was comforting and reassuring; Kikyou peered over shoulder, taking in his long strides while he glanced up at the sound of a bird. He was tall, taller than her father perhaps, and she barely came up to his waist. His scent was a strange one as well, but it was pleasant; he walked past her yesterday while carrying a giant log, and the smell of the forest and salt water filled her nose.
She never smelled that on anyone before, and deemed it his scent.
A cocoon was noticed in her peripheral vision, and her mahogany orbs lit with great interest. Rushing over to where it hung, she gestured for Inuyasha to look at it too. Though he grumbled something under his breath, he joined her and knelt down.
Kikyou couldn't comprehend why she liked being with him; he was companionable-once you got used to the rough exterior-but there had to be something else, a deeper reason. He was a hanyou, and should anyone discover that, they'd both be punished; and there was the age difference.
Was it normal to have an adult as a friend? Was it even allowed-especially if it's the opposite gender?
But, when had she ever been considered normal? She thought sadly.
Small little crackling noises caught her ears; Kikyou looked on with awe as a it opened slowly, revealing a pair of wings with the brightest orange and the darkest black painted on it with intricate bold patterns. She had never seen this type before, so she smiled her widest and stared on as it flew away.
The little girl would've liked to touch it, maybe even take it back with her, however it wouldn't have liked being captured and cooped up anyhow, seeing as it had just gotten out. Even more important than that, butterflies were meant to be free.
Inuyasha tapped her on the head, and she pivoted herself to look up.
"Ready to head back?" he inquired, waiting for a response. When she didn't reply for a minute, Inuyasha then asked, "Or do you still want to walk around?"
Kikyou contemplated this for another moment; they had been wandering through the forest for quite some time, the sun had already begun to near the west.
Nodding slowly, they began to head back to Kikyou's hut.
Another early rise, another day to be lugged around, but Inuyasha wasn't going to be here.
The young child rose and stretched her tired muscles, and the first thing she saw was the half-demon's silhouette, his arms crossed as he leaned against the doorframe. Getting up from the futon, he whirled around the second her foot connected with the hard floor. Kikyou said her 'good morning' and like usual, he grunted his.
Kikyou headed over to him, and sat near his feet, watching the dark sky turn a lighter shade. "You're leaving," she stated more than questioned.
"Yeah, I am."
She knew that this wouldn't have gone on forever; her parents would be coming soon and they would most likely cause a scene about a half-demon being here. They would never agree to him residing here, despite the fact he was docile-to an extent anyway.
"Well, I'll get outta your hair," he said as he saw golden beams come out from the horizon. Turning on his heel, he began to leave, trying to do this as quickly as possible.
Kikyou stood suddenly and called his name out, causing him to stop in his tracks. "That was not a proper good-bye, Inuyasha-san," she said heatedly, arms akimbo as she glared at him.
He had hoped she wouldn't stop him; not only that, he absolutely detested the words 'good-bye'.
"Sorry 'bout that. But there's no need for it, is there?"
Kikyou huffed and stood straighter. "You're not going to be rude,"
"That's not it," Inuyasha replied calmly. "We're going to see each other, so why say 'good-bye'?"
This made the child blink and she suddenly felt herself blush under the intensity of his stare. Maybe he was right…but he could be wrong.
"What makes you think we'll see each other?" she asked softly, more to herself than him.
Inuyasha smiled at the child and walked back over, giving her a small but gentle pat on her head. "Well, won't we?"
Nodding, Kikyou relented and sighed. There could be a chance of them seeing each other again, but the possibility of that outcome was not very high. She didn't really want him to leave; she had finally found a friend as lonely as she. This was another reason she was also detached from people: she had guessed that when she made a friend or acquaintance, they would leave. Her assumption was correct it would seem.
Inuyasha watched her carefully, expecting tears to slide down her cheeks, the way a child would behave. Much to his relief, she didn't. Giving her another gentle pat, he stood to his full height, and started to walk away.
Turning his head to see over his shoulder, he waited for her to continue; he knew what she was going to say, but didn't bother stopping her. With another smirk thrown her way, he replied, "Till next time, Kikyou,"
After that, he continued on into the forest. There, he saw the butterfly from yesterday, a reminder about the brief time he had with her. Normally, such things were insignificant, but this was worth remembering. He was never one for sentimentality-which was why he hated the words 'good-bye'.
It sounded too much like farewell.
He knew they would meet again eventually, but unknown to both, it would be at least a decade before they met again.
Their promise is held, but would only silently flutter away like a butterfly...
Like I'd forget, Inuyasha thought with a soft chuckle.