A Christmas To Remember
An Inuyasha Fanfiction
Part 2: Sixteenth Century Surprises
Disclaimer: You all know very well that I don't own any Inuyasha. Nor am I completely sane enough to finish what I start, unless it's a holiday fic that I just have to write on the spot, like this one… ^^;; hehehe…
IMPORTANT NOTE!!!: Okay, I'm not Christian, or Catholic, or anything like that… so if I have the story of Jesus wrong, do tell me… I tried to do research on it, but my story may not be perfectly accurate.
Brava! Ah, now that I'm on winter break, I'll be reading fics between my sessions of sleeping. So props out to the wonderful fic writers who keep writing during this stressful season. ^^ By the way, Lazuli, Katra Winner, Crystaline, Sensu… ^^ goodness me, the list goes on and on… but EVERYONE is a great writer…
Duh: I should have mentioned, this is a Romance fic—it involves Kagome essentially getting stuck with Inuyasha and co. during Christmas. Being the 16th century, this brings about problems. ^^ Also, Christmas does exist during this time, just not the way it does today, with Hallmark ® and all that. So Inuyasha, along with any other 16th century-ers, won't have the same perspective as Kagome does on the holiday—but yes, they do celebrate it in Japan.
Recap: I do this just because it takes up space… ^^; just kidding… okay, here's what happened:
The well… it's… broken!
Kagome had started to cry so hard—it was Christmas Eve, and she was stuck here of all places—that she didn't notice the soft padding of feet behind her. The snow crunched loudly, but Kagome's sobs turned into heaving breaths, and she ignored it, her hot tears falling into the cold ice at her feet.
"It's okay. My… my family c-can have Christmas… wi-without me…" Kagome had kept her bearing up for a while, but the image of being trapped outside her own home—just a well away—from Christmas—made her burst into a fresh set of tears.
Inuyasha moved to comfort her, but then heard a resounding squeak of the wood floors—and found everyone leaning forward in anticipation, waiting for Inuyasha to embarrass himself. He retracted his hand from where it had been heading—to rub Kagome's back—and huffed by himself in the corner.
What in the seven hells is 'Christmas'?
Aren't you sick of reading all these notes? Let's get started with the fic!
"Kagome?" Shippou trotted alongside Kagome as they collected what wood they could to keep the village fires going. The town was already awake, preparing for the worst circumstances. The elders of the villages—older than even Kaede herself—said they'd never seen a snowstorm as bad as this one, and hoped their small village would make it through.
In an attempt to bring up her own spirits as well as the villager's, Kagome went from house to house, reassuring everyone that they would be safe. What she didn't say to anyone was how disappointed she was—in herself, mostly. She should have been able to tell that a snowstorm was coming… so that she could leave Inuyasha's side and just go home!
Bah. Humbug… Kagome grouched to herself. She felt a tug on her collar. Kaede had insisted that Kagome wear a warmer outfit than that of her school's—the long-sleeved, short-skirted green outfit with the red tie. Her school had thick, green, wool coats, but Kagome had left hers at home—that is to say, in her own time—for she hadn't in the least expected such heavy snowfall in the Sengoku Jidai. So now, she wandered about the forest in a woven kimono—much like Inuyasha's, but made for a woman, with beautiful winter embroidery, and an obi sash to keep the garment snug. A hood was also attached to the collar-line, much like the wedding kimonos Kagome had seen in her time.
"Ne, what is it, Shippou-chan?" Kagome asked, looking up at the kitsune, who had hopped from the cold, snow-covered ground to her shoulder.
"What is 'Christmas' anyway? I heard you and Inuyasha talking about it… sorta."
What Shippou was referring to was the hysterical outburst Kagome had had earlier—when she had cried about not being able to be home with her family on Christmas Eve. True, Christmas wasn't as big a deal as New Year's was—and the villagers here wanted to have a joyous New Year's Holiday as well—but Kagome treasured any time she could scrounge up with her family nowadays.
The "gang" in the Sengoku Jidai was like a surrogate family to her, but Kagome was always aware, in some far part of her mind, that they were hundreds of years in her past… and… after the Shikon no Tama was formed, that's all they would be… past—history. Right? Kagome didn't want to think of that just yet, and so shoved the thought farthest from the reaches of her conscious mind.
"Well… It's kind of hard to explain… have you ever heard of England?" Kagome tried. Shippou looked at Kagome with a blank stare.
Kagome sighed, "I guess that's a 'no'…" She had to stop using these 'modern' words, or no one would understand her.
"It's a country far west of here… way far west." Kagome said, stopping as she picked up a bundle of sticks. She looked up and around—they'd wandered pretty far from the forest of Inuyasha, and were now in a drier area of the woods, with all pine trees.
The smell was intoxicating, and it reminded Kagome of the large, fresh trees she and her mother always bought every year. Mother had always wanted the best looking, largest trees for the parties she held—even if they were residents and practitioners of the Shinto religion. Quite a lot of Japan was, actually, but Christmas was just… fun.
"Don't the trees smell wonderful, Shippou-chan?" Kagome inhaled deeply, closing her eyes and smiling. If there was one things she could appreciate about this time and place was that it was all so… natural. No pollution, no nasty smells from plants or cars…
Luxuries and everyday appliances Kagome thought she could never have gone without made this world –the Sengoku Jidai—all the more calming.
Great, so now I'm an escapist.
Kagome smiled anyway, and spun around in a dizzy circle, almost falling and dropping her bundle of wood. Shippou sniffed the air suspiciously, wondering what was making Kagome act so silly. Nothing smelled particularly out of the ordinary.
"It smells like trees." He finally commented. Kagome looked at his plain expression and laughed.
"Yes, it does, but it's so fresh!"
"They smell like trees, Kagome, what's so special about that?" Kagome sighed. Maybe she should tell Shippou about just how much their worlds differed…
[Meanwhile, in the village…]
Inuyasha was pacing about the hut nervously. He didn't like the idea of Kagome being stuck here any more than she did—of course, his reasons were different. It wasn't just that they couldn't search for the shards, it was more like the fact that they would be stuck—together—in the same house, for the next several days. With nothing to do. And she was acting awfully emotional, being away from her family and all that.
He had no idea what 'Christmas' was, and Kagome had left to help out the village women with collecting firewood before he could ask her about it.
"I-Inu-Inuyasha, will you stop pacing?!" The frustrated Buddhist priest sitting at Inuyasha's feet as he paced the hut was annoyed.
"If you want to make her feel better, then you should find out about this… 'Christmas' of hers." Miroku explained plainly.
"How am I supposed to do that, houshi, when she's not here?!" Inuyasha demanded, leaning forward into Miroku's startled face.
"Ask people." Miroku responded, nimbly hopping to his feet. The two were the only ones in the hut, Sango and Kaede having gone with the other village girls, and Shippou having gone with Kagome.
"Geh. The villagers don't like me very much."
"Fifty years is a long time to hold a grudge, Inuyasha. It takes respect to get respect—so maybe you should start being polite to them."
Inuyasha stood silently in the doorway, looking at the throngs of worried people rushing about. Mothers carried their crying children, old men tried to help out their sons as best as possible… everyone was trying to help.
I destroyed this place… the happiness here… for my own selfishness. I was tricked, sure, but…
The dog-hanyou's expression melted into that of a firm resolve. He stepped out into the cold, not even wincing as frost bit into the soles of his human feet.
"Well houshi, are you coming?"
Miroku smiled from the doorway and joined Inuyasha outside.
"…so in my world, it's a lot harder to smell nice things… even if they are 'just trees.' You understand, Shippou-chan?" Kagome asked gently. The little fox demon nodded slowly, and then grinned, tiny fangs showing out of the corner of his mouth.
"Yeah! So, so tell me about Christmas! I wanna know all about it!"
Kagome grinned sheepishly…
The twosome walked back towards the village, bundles of sticks in their arms, as Kagome related to Shippou what she knew were the origins of Christmas.
"Christmas, eh?" The old man looked to be more withered than even Kaede, but he was still agile enough to be helping his son with water collection.
"Hum… Hum…" Inuyasha and Miroku stood before the old man, awaiting an answer. Inuyasha was far more impatient than the perverted priest, who stood before the old man with a pleasant, calm smile on his face.
"Hey, we haven't got all day, old man!" Inuyasha finally exclaimed, restarting his previous nervous pacing.
"Bah! If I'm old, then you're a peanut!" The old man snorted at Inuyasha. Miroku laughed at that, and Inuyasha turned a vicious smile on him.
"Well, s'far as I can remember, it's some foreign holiday. Celebrates the birth of some kid a long, long time ago. Then just recently, some Western priest," The man looked at Miroku with a grin, "Passed away. He was revered as the saint of children, because of his giving nature. S'bout all I know about it, though."
"Thank you very much, sir," Miroku said quickly, before Inuyasha could open his mouth and insult the man—again.
"Doesn't sound like something Kagome would care much about missing," Inuyasha mumbled. Miroku soundly hit the hanyou on the head with his staff.
"I'm beginning to think that fifty years asleep fried your brain, Inuyasha. People take their religion very seriously, and I'm sure they do even in Kagome's day and age."
"You're one to talk, houshi!" Inuyasha growled, rubbing his head, "You say you're a priest, but you go around groping every female you come in contact with!"
The two started to stare each other down angrily when light laughter interrupted them. Both men turned and faced the entrance of the village that led into the forest, only to see Kagome and Shippou running and laughing. They both carried large bundles of wood in wrapped cloth, so that they would stay dry.
Shippou jumped from the snowy, wet ground into Kagome's arms, but she stumbled and fell into a snow bank. Inuyasha was only seconds from running to her side and shoving the kitsune's tail into its mouth, but when Kagome laughed and started to move her arms and legs inward and out. When she finally hopped up from the ground and wiped the snow crystals from her outfit, she giggled once more, pointing out the 'snow-angel' design to the kitsune who was jumping about on her shoulders.
Village children had watched Kagome as she did it, took one look at each other, and did the same thing. The children laughed and giggled, comparing each other's snow-angels. Some of the rowdier boys decided that throwing the snow was more fun, and an all-out snow-war began.
Inuyasha and Miroku stared, their jaws agape, as Kagome got involved in the snow war, throwing carefully packed snowballs at the other village children. Teenagers looked at their parents with mournful smiles, and the parents shrugged and nodded. Excited adolescents emerged from every corner of the village to play. The village was lively and full of smiles now, quite a change from the white, desolate place it had been only moments before.
Unbeknownst to each other, both the houshi and the hanyou thought the same thing at the same time:
I will never understand women.
"Ne, Kagome-sama, tell us about 'Kuri-su-su-masu!" One of the younger village children stuttered. After a long and length snowball fight, the Kagome taught the children about making snowmen. Some of the more creative teens in the village sculpted angels—which all inadvertently had Kagome's face.
The girl hadn't stopped blushing for almost an hour, and had so stayed away from the teenage village boys; rather, she settled on building "normal" snowmen with the younger children.
When it became colder, they all crowded inside Kaede's hut making designs on the frost covered windows. The fire blazed brightly, over which Kagome told them what Christmas was.
"Well… a long time ago, in a place very far from here—in the Far Western lands, there was a child born. Now this child was no ordinary child—he was very special, because he was the son of God."
"Well, some people believe it to be true, so yes, really. Everyone is allowed to believe what they want, so for the people that believe it, it is true."
"Then what happened?" A boy's voice piped up.
"Well, the child grew up to be very righteous and kind to his fellow man. But the people in power thought that what the boy –Jesus- was doing was wrong; they were afraid that Jesus would overthrow them, or make the people revolt. In those days, everyone had to have the same religion, or you were punished."
"Ooh… so what happened to Jesus-sama?"
"Well, he was killed by the soldiers, but since he was a child of God, his body disappeared where it had been…" Kagome tried to think of a good way to describe a bloody crucifixion, "placed." Everyone believed that his Father had taken him back where he belonged, and his spirit would continue to do good deeds on this Earth. Many started to follow the teachings that Jesus had once taught, and honored the day of his birth as a holiday.
"Is that what Christmas is like in your home?" A voice asked from the doorway. Leaning there was none other than the dog-hanyou Inuyasha. He too, was curious about the holiday that could make someone cry and laugh so passionately in the same day.
"Well…" Kagome remembered what Christmas was like last year in her home of Tokyo—bustling, busy, lively… but fun. The thought that this year, she wouldn't even see her family saddened her, but in light of the fact that she had an audience, she kept her nerve up.
"Not exactly," She finally said. "You see, when Jesus was born, three kings from very far away lands brought him gifts. And…" Kagome remembered she was in the 16th century, not the 21st, "Not too long ago, there was a kind saint, by the name of Nicholas, who was also kind to children, as Jesus had been, and gave gifts to them, no matter how rich or poor they were."
"Wow…" The children looked at each other and started giggling, wondering about the kinds of gifts, the food… they seemed very excited.
Inuyasha made his way over to Kagome and gave her a slight smile.
"You're feeling better." He stated, leaving the sentence open, so if Kagome had any objections, she could insert them.
"Well… yeah. I'm sad that I can't be with my family, but I'm here… this… this is like a second home to me." Kagome smiled.
"And the children seem to need the fun. They've all been working since early this morning because of last night's snowstorm…"
Kagome turned to look at them, and when she looked back, Inuyasha was gone.
"Geez… that darn demon." Kagome harrumphed and went back to telling stories to the children.
Inuyasha went outside, where Miroku was waiting. Soon enough, Sango and Kaede joined them, and exchanged glances.
"The whole village seems to be getting into the spirit of this 'Christmas'. Whatever Kagome has said to make the children so happy is rubbing off on their parents." Sango remarked. Kaede nodded.
"Still, I can't help but think she's just covering up how upset she is. The poor girl is only fifteen, and has to juggle being the Guardian of the Shikon no Tama and the owner of Fluffy over here," Miroku added, thumbing towards Inuyasha. The aforementioned 'Fluffy' growled menacingly at the houshi, who ignored him.
"I heard Kagome mention something about decorating pine trees!" A little voice piped in. Shippou jumped onto Kaede's shoulder and raised a paw, pointing to the forest beyond.
"It's a tradition in her land—to decorate the trees."
"Why would you decorate the trees?" Inuyasha grumbled. Still, the idea seemed enticing—and if it made Kagome happy…
"Hey, squirt! Come with me… tell me everything Kagome told you about this 'Christmas' thing." Inuyasha said, breaking out of the group, motioning to the kitsune. The fox demon crossed his arms over his tiny chest and harrumphed.
"Why should I?"
Inuyasha wanted to growl and strangle the little guy, but Kaede and Sango both eyed him warningly. He settled for a fake grin, and said, "Because if you do, I'll let you have a cup of Ramen from Kagome's pack."
The little demon was off of Kaede's shoulder before you could say 'Ramen'.
"Okay, then, let's go!"
Miroku, Kaede, and Sango stared as Inuyasha and the kitsune perched on his shoulder walked off into the forest.
"They're plotting something." Kaede finally remarked.
"They most certainly are." Miroku supplemented. Then he grinned.
"And so should we." The threesome nodded, and went off to the village kitchens, to talk to the women about a feast for tonight.
End of Part 2: Sixteenth Century Surprises
Okay, so maybe I didn't include any 'surprises' in here. I hope I've been theologically accurate—if not, please feel free to correct me so I can revise it. And now, coming up next, in "A Christmas To Remember…"
Part 3: Hanyous and Mistletoe
Oh well, it looks like there's no preview… what with that "juicy" chapter title. You'll just have to wait and read the story when it comes out! Hehe…