Author's Note: This might be a contender for the weirdest thing I've ever written. It's a slightly surreal parody of Rudyard Kipling's "The Cat That Walked By Himself." But it entertained me, so maybe it will entertain some of you as well… ;)

The Dog That Walked By Himself

Hear and attend and listen, O Best Beloved, for once there was a Wild Dog who lived in the Wet Wild Woods. Well, not so much lived really as slept, for he was pinned to a tree by the Miko's enchantment for many long years. That one was a real kick in the nuts, let me tell you.

One day the Miko returned to the Wet Wild Woods with a new face, and she spoke the words that woke the Dog from his silent slumber.

"Inuyasha, you're such a jerk!"

(No, not those words.)

"Somebody help me!"

(Now you've got it!)

"O Enemy mine," the Dog said upon waking, "I shall kill you and eat you for breakfast and take with me that enchanted stone you hide, because you are a fucking bitch. So fucking there!"

The Miko looked at him like he was insane. "Who are you, and what the heck are you talking about?"

"I am the Dog who walks by himself, and all places are alike to me. Now stand still so I can fucking rip your guts out!"

The Dog lashed out at the Miko, who did run and scream and make quite a fuss, for she did not care to have her guts fucking ripped out by the dog.

"Sit boy!" she said.

Now truly, O Best Beloved, you will be surprised to hear that the Wild Dog from the Wet Wild Woods did obey her command. Not because he wanted to, and not even because he was still groggy and weirdly suggestible from his very long nap, but because the Old Miko (not to be mistaken for the Miko, who was an entirely different example of the breed) did place a rosary around his neck that allowed the Miko to make a Magic. The First Singing Magic.

Specifically, upon her command, the Dog would smash his face into the ground, and leave a Dog-shaped indentation as testament to his folly.

That was another real kick in the nuts.

From then on, the Dog was in her thrall. "You shall not call me First Friend," he insisted. "I am the Dog who walks by himself, and all places are alike to me. Bitch."

"Uh…okay, whatever," the Miko said. "Tell you what—I promise not to call you 'First Friend' if you quit calling me Kikyo. Deal?"

The Dog thought this over carefully. "What about 'Bitch' or 'Wench'?"

The Miko shrugged. "Meh."

And so the Dog and the Miko walked the same road. But in the nighttime the Dog still walked by himself among the Wet Wild Woods, and sat by himself in the branches of the Wet Wild Trees, and ran off by himself whenever the Wet Wild Shinidama-chuu appeared because he was a two-timing son of a—

That is, because he was the Dog who walked by himself. And all places were alike to him.

Sometimes he carried the Miko upon his back, because it was faster than waiting for her to stumble her way through the Wet Wild Woods on her own. And that iron cart of hers was such a pain in the ass. "But you shall not call me First Servant, even though I have allowed you to ride on my back. For I am the Dog who walks by himself, and all places are alike to me."

"Oh, jeez," the Miko sighed, "not this again. Fine, Inuyasha, I won't call you First Servant. Now can you talk like a normal person please?"

The Miko and the Dog were joined by the Wild Kitsune from the Wet Wild Woods, who was very tiny, but also very annoying, and the Dog did not like him. (Sort of.) But the Miko allowed him to stay. Then they were joined by the Monk from the Winding Road, who was devious and had a penchant for groping the Miko's butt, and the Dog did not like him (especially the groping part, the bastard). But the Miko allowed him to stay. Then they were joined by the Slayer from the Village, who was strong but sad, and weirdly the Dog didn't mind her so much aside from the fact that she at first tried to kill him. But the Miko allowed her to stay. The Miko called them Friends.

"I don't have any Friends," the Dog said. "I am the Dog who walks by himself, and all places are alike to me."

"Yeah, yeah," the Miko muttered, patting him between his wild ears. "Whatever you say, Inuyasha." And she brought him not-so-Wild Ramen from the not-so-Wild Supermarket on the not-so-Wild Other Side of the Well. And he ate it happily, though he tried to grumble.

"I will not call you Giver of Good Food, even though this ramen is fucking awesome," the Dog said. "I am the Dog who walks by himself—"

"'—and all places are alike to me,'" the Miko finished with a sigh. "Yeah, I get it. Are you sure you don't have a head injury or something? You're really starting to freak me out."

When all the Companions had eaten their fill, they one-by-one curled up around the fire to go to sleep. The Dog got to his feet and glanced up at the Tree, about to spring into its branches—but then he glanced back at the Miko, who was tidying up by the fire, making a Magic by stomping the Styrofoam containers flat and collecting them in her inexhaustibly huge backpack. All places are alike to me, he thought, so why should I not remain on the ground?

He settled at the base of the Wet Wild Tree, at the edge of the warmth of the fire. When she was finished with her Magic, the Miko sat down beside him and gave him a little smile.

"I love you, Inuyasha," she said with her eyes, "even if you are a stubborn jerk who talks like a complete weirdo sometimes." Then she leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.

The Dog's eyes opened wide, and he looked over to her. There, O Best Beloved, was his Enemy, the Miko, his First Friend, his First Servant, his Giver of Good Food. His Best Beloved. She had rested her head upon the shoulder of her own First Friend, her First Servant, her Eater of Good Food, her breath flowing in and out of her with the quiet rhythm of sleep.

The Dog slipped an arm around her shoulders and settled her a little closer, keeping her safe in the warmth of his embrace. I am the Dog that walks by himself, he thought as he watched the Miko sleep, and all places are alike to me.

Except this one.

A/N: Told you it was weird. And if you're completely baffled right now, google "The Cat That Walked By Himself." It's pretty short. Not promising this will make a great deal more sense afterward, but you might find it more entertaining...

I wouldn't exactly say I'm a fan of Rudyard Kipling, but when I ran across this particular story it just sort of begged me for a parody. At first I intended to use the title/theme for an IY fic in a more serious way, but the strange prose style seemed ripe for mocking—so I sorta ended up with a story that tried to do both things at once. Not sure how well it worked, but what can I say? I still think it's funny… ;)