Sorry for the wait - moving and getting everything ready for school took quite a while.
Unfortunately it looks like that trend might continue. So much work to be done. :(
On the brighter side, I also have some one-shots in progress, which I will hopefully have up (relatively) soon. Please keep a look-out for them on my profile page!
Disclaimer: I do not own Death Note and Inuyasha.
L's mouth was agape with shock.
He had never.
Been so thoroughly impressed and blown away by a woman.
With Naomi Misora: very impressed by her deduction capabilities, yes.
With Misa Amane: very blown away by her stupidity and her lack of pride, yes.
But Kagome had just completely blown him out of the water, scaring away that shinigami with a mere wave of her hand.
She was the best ally he had in this situation. Forget the NPA, the CIA, or the FBI. All he needed was a certain emotional, easily excitable, stubborn and yet oddly refreshing priestess.
Perhaps there is a god other than a shinigami standing behind me. He thought dryly.
The shinigami flew further and further away, the noise of its dreadful wings flapping becoming a ripple in the night. Despite his normal cynical nature, he could feel the anticipation bubbling in his ghostly chest. L turned back towards the miko, "Kagome, that was-"
"Wh-Wh-What have I just done..." came a terrified squeak.
L gazed upon the stiff board that was Kagome.
"I messed with a god...no, a god of death... am...am I going to die? Silly, of course I am, he's a god of death? What is a god of death anyway? Does that mean he can kill me on the spot?"
Her sinister mumbling under her breath was starting to make an increasingly large dent in his hopes.
He was slightly perturbed by her behaviour; she was never anything less than strong in front of him. To see her so vulnerable, that was...
Actually, it's kind of insightful. He thought, amused, but for once in his life, was unsure how to handle a situation.
"You'll learn." The ghostly detective said aloud, as if to reassure himself, "Let's get going. You'll need as much knowledge as possible to defeat Kira – I'll tell you all I know."
It wasn't before they had stumbled into Kagome's home once more that L realized that Kagome had an extra unwanted guest (apart from him). The boy in her arms had awoken and started sobbing uncontrollably.
"How did I forget about you?" L questioned himself aloud, irritation growing. "This is the worst time to have memory lapses."
"I'm not yoouu." The young boy corrected him childishly, "My name is Ashi."
...He can see me?
Kagome heaved a huge sigh, the after chill leaving her feeling faint. "Does it matter anyway... if I'm going to be-"
"You are not going to die if I have anything to say about it." Came L's airy voice. "And if you were going to be killed by him you would have died already."
He looked directly into her startled eyes, assessing her emotional state. "Do you want to defeat Ryuk?"
Kagome's sapphire orbs reflected rage. "Of course! That guy, his careless attitude over the murder of people, how he taunted you for your death – of course that makes me so mad, L! I don't think you deserved something so terrible!"
L blinked. So her blind fury was partly because 'Ryuk' had been taunting him...
He turned away quickly so she wouldn't see the light dusting of pink on his cheeks.
L cleared his throat, trying to keep the bliss out of his monotone voice. "Well, of course he did. I lost the game, after all."
"You still think that this is a game?"
"If you hadn't noticed, you were offed while 'playing'."
"It's like chess, ne? The Queen comes back after the pawn reaches the end-"
"I'm not the pawn –"
"But don't you think I'm ever so Queenlike-"
The two jumped at the increasingly loud cries of Ashi.
"Oh...don't cry..." Kagome whispered, eyes filled to the brim with hurt, "We'll find your mother. You just have to stay with us until then."
L looked down upon them. "You seem to have a soft spot for children."
"Well, not children...well, maybe a little. But kitsune will always have a special place in my heart." She snuggled the young child, smiling in relief when he started laughing with that laughter only mischievous fox spirit children could produce.
"...And why is that?"
Kagome stiffened. Was she really emotionally ready to spill all the beans? She twiddled her thumbs, slowly trying to come upon a decision.
L crouched down to her level with hard eyes. "I'll figure it out anyway. If we're going to be working together, isn't it important for us to trust each other? And that will only help us catch Kira in the end if you can give me useful information." He hovered there, watching as her eyes showed signs of confusion, wistfulness and finally, heart-wrenching grief.
"It's... a long story. It's been a while since I've had to tell someone, L." Kagome whispered, eyes wetting. "If I tell you the truth, you might think I'm loony."
"I consider myself special then. Please go on – things with you can't get any crazier than they are now."
She gave a shaky laugh. "I guess it started four years ago... I was a normal girl. Before...I fell down a well and was transported to the time period 500 years in the past."
At his raised eyebrows, she defended herself, "It's true! And I...I found out I was a priestess after I unsealed a half-demon. I was a priestess whose sole duty was to protect something called the Jewel of Four Souls."
"Half-demon, priestess, jewel of four souls. Ok."
"But I...uhm... accidentally split it into immeasurable pieces?"
Silence. "...The half demon, or the jewel?"
"Jewel, wiseguy." Kagome felt her tongue loosening up a bit more at his verbal antics, finding it a bit easier to talk, "Long story short, the rest of my trip there was gathering the rest of the pieces with a demon exterminator, a monk, that half-demon, and a kitsune child."
L nodded, silently taking note of her hands stroking the child's head.
"Along the way, we discovered that there was another half-demon gathering pieces of the jewel to make himself more powerful too. So I suppose our task became to defeat him? But he gathered them much quicker than we did...so we had one final battle and-"
She paused, for what L thought was dramatic effect.
"... I think... he was too strong – they all died..." The heavy weight that was normally in her heart when she remembered their deaths was missing. She couldn't even picture the scene. "...I was sent forward in time again because...of a time...portal that...Inuyasha made with his sword?"
Kagome completely halted her speech, grasping at her remaining memories of the event. There were none. None that she could picture. It was as if someone had taken an idea and crammed it inside her mind, forcing her to swallow its lies. She was getting a nagging feeling that there was something incredibly wrong. It had been a while since it happened, but forgetting something this important...
"Inuyasha?" L questioned.
"I see. So what happened to the Jewel of Four Souls?"
"Oh, that? It-"
Complete and utter silence.
L's eyes grew rounder. "Don't be shy, go on."
Kagome closed her eyes, far more calm than she thought she would be. "...I don't know."
"Are you sure you want to do this Kagome?"
She nodded, her blood streaked raven hair thrown about carelessly. "I won't let it go how Naraku wants. Please, just...do it Kaede." She held out her hands as if begging her to handcuff them.
The old woman looked so very tired. "You've ... you've all said your goodbyes then?"
Around them, her four friends stood with anxious and teary eyes.
"Kagome-chan...Kagome-chan..." Sango whispered, Miroku's arms around her shoulder.
"Kagome-sama... please... take care." The monk brought the demon slayer closer to his side. "Always be on your guard – remember what I taught you... if you can."
And then Inuyasha opened his mouth to say something, but she couldn't quite make out the words...
Kagome let out a cry, disturbing the young one in her lap. What was that? She didn't remember that! Rather, they had all died before she had even gotten a chance to say goodbye... didn't they? Her entire body shook. Had that memory been a figment of her imagination? But the pain, the agony, the smell of blood...it was all so real. What was factual and what was false...were her initial memories even real from the start?
What really happened, that day...?
A jab to her temple brought her out of her reverie. "Don't go dazing off after leaving me hanging." L's soft tone chimed in her ear.
She jumped at how close he was; his lips were so close to hers that if he were still alive, she'd term it sexual harassment. Ignoring her growing blush, she stood up, determined not to look him in the eye, or at least let him see that he was getting to her. "...I don't think I really know what happened that day."
"...One doesn't just get beat by a bad guy and not remember."
"I know that!" She snapped, "But this wasn't a game! This was a life or death situation! What if this was one of Naraku's damned illusions...oh...Sango...Miroku...Shippo...Inuyasha...I'm so sorry for not being able to remember..." The priestess collapsed onto the floor, close to tears.
L was torn between showing mercy or pressing her further for information. One wrong move and she might not agree to help again. Still, despite his ruthless thoughts, a small seed of pity sprouted for the young woman. He hadn't quite been told the whole story, but he could from looking at her that those people had been incredibly important.
After a moment's silence, the kitsune boy in her arms looked up at her with frightened, yet inquisitive eyes. "You know my grandpa?"
"Gran-" Kagome was flabbergasted, toiling over his question in her mind, "Grandpa- you mean Shippo-chan?"
"Shippo-oji-chan!" The child repeated.
Kagome wiped the liquid from her eyes, giving the child an incredulous stare. "Is he... still alive?"
The smallest hope wormed its way into her heart, and she dared not to even question it.
At the kitsune boy's nod, she hit her breaking point, bawling enough water to fill the Pacific Ocean in front of an amused looking L.
(One week later)
Light filtered through the numerous windows as the vehicle began its descent down the highway. Kagome sat in the very back of the bus, with Ashi, and unknowingly to the bus driver, a dead insomniac.
"Ashi-kun, please tell me all about your family then." Kagome inquired kindly, an eager glimmer in her blue orbs.
The kitsune climbed into her arms – just like Shippo had – and snuggled close. Her heart melted at the sight, and she felt like she had just been reunited with a small piece of the past.
"Mama travels around the world." Ashi explained proudly, "She says that what she's doing is important for the future of mankind."
"Is that right..." Kagome mused, wondering whether his mother was a kitsune too. "What about your dad?"
"He stays at home with me!" Cried out the young boy, looking especially exuberant, "He's always telling me I shouldn't go outside." He set his voice low, whispering gleefully, "He doesn't have a tail and ears. He's sooo weird!"
Kagome let out a chuckle. "Is that so? That means your grandpa has both too then?"
"Yup, yup, that's right! Wooow I can see the farms from here!"
L hovered above them, sticking his head through the roof of the bus. As expected, it wasn't very exciting. He observed the rolling hills passing by at a furious speed and sighed. What was the word for this...oh yes.
He pouted like a child. The lack of progress on the Kira investigation frustrated him to no end.
All because of one lost child...
Although thanks to Kagome's little story-telling sessions of the past to little Ashi, he was able to figure out how her powers operated. That knowledge would no doubt come in handy one day – he might even start training her so she got the hang of it. They were really quite amazing – the way they worked, she could do so many things with them. So many things.
And just maybe, I can start eating sweets again... He whined inside his mind. Already he was starting to suffer some mental withdrawals.
Training someone with spiritual powers when he had just started believing in the supernatural...he wondered vaguely if he could do it.
As the bus drove along, he took note of a large building coming up in the distance. Considering it was the only building in the area, he assumed it was their stop.
He floated down, calmly telling the two, "I think we're almost here. Is that your home, Ashi?"
As they exited the bus, L heard Kagome ask the child how he had ended up in a location 40 kilometers from his living quarters.
"Mama forgot me when she teleported back, hehe..."
"...Ne, Ashi-kun, are you sure we have the right place...?"
"Uh-huh! This is my house!"
"...This is rather large."
L's observation was a definite understatement; the main building towered more than 4 stories high, covering a massive amount of land. Surrounding the gate were numerous gold statues of different gods. Kagome eyed them critically, rather impressed at the amount of detail – perhaps Shippo had taken part in their design?
Ashi ran through the front door, yelling for his mother.
Kagome and L stood there, shell-shocked.
"Uhm... I guess we should follow him?" Kagome murmured, still reeling from the effect that the giant mansion gave.
"We came all this way, you may as well get closure."
Kagome flushed fiercely as the detective's words struck home, "This wasn't about the closur-"
Her words died off as L grasped her hand with his own clammy one. "Lies. And I dislike it when you lie." He gave her a minute upturn of his lips, "Be more honest – that suits you much better."
"Oh..." Kagome was utterly sure that her entire face had gone beet red, "Is that right... then... let's go, shall we, you ...uhm..."
She dragged him robotically throughout the hall, ineffectively trying to hide her embarrassed face. L chuckled softly. Too much fun to tease. Well, I suppose this has its benefits too. He thought as he gave her hand a soft squeeze – she squeaked at the sudden pressure.
"Oh shut your trap, you talking corpse!"
He had her laughing again within the next ten steps, and they hardly noticed when they ran into the end of the hallway leading into the first room of the house.
"I'll show you energetic, you little...ah..." Kagome finally registered where they were, once again amazed at the amount of decor. The tapestries hung from the ceiling gave the room a traditional feeling, wrapping it in their warm colors. "Oh they have writing too." She walked closer to have a better look.
"'To my good friend," she read, "You old dog, your red robe will... always... "
Beside her, L watched in slight alarm as her eyes became as round as macaroons.
"... resound in my heart... as loud as your yells... as thunderous as your Wind Scar..."
Her breath hitched. Inuyasha...
She fully absorbed the room now, her enthusiasm resembling a person dying of thirst. There were four tapestries in all, one draped on every wall. Running to the next one, she found an inscription describing a young woman.
"Your bravery and resourcefulness was my saviour many times over. Your knowledge and expertise deemed you worthy of respect. Your strong will still shakes me to the core... And your deep love for the people around you never lost to anyone."
Sango-chan... oh Shippo, was this all you?
"To the one that needed many heirs, you weren't always moral, but you never failed to be reliable in a pinch." L was on the other side of the room, reading from the third hanging. "The heart and hand that envelops everyone, you will always be a very dear friend."
As one, the two turned to the last tapestry.
"To my friend, my companion, my mother..." L said softly, deliberately keeping his eyes away from the young miko, "Thank you for your sacrifice. I will always be waiting for you and I hope I can see you again someday."
A sound that suspiciously resembled a sniffle echoed throughout the whole room.
The detective stood there awkwardly, completely baffled on what to do next. Women were one of the things in life that could not be understood by reading about them.
How does one comfort a woman in this situation...L pondered as her sobbing became a steady downpour.
But before he could put his master plan 'Hug-to-comfort' into operation, a black and orange blur whizzed by him and knocked the crying miko to the floor, ripping apart his hand contact with her.
"Kagome! Little Ashi told me you were here!"
L took a moment to absorb a young tall, orange haired man with a boyishly handsome face pinning the shocked priestess to the ground. A quiet, unpleasant feeling settled in his gut at their closeness. Completely through instinct, he placed a pallid hand on the stranger's broad shoulders after grabbing Kagome's hand once more.
"I don't think she appreciates that gesture." He said bluntly. "Please get off of her."
The mischievous looking man looked up at L, taking his bizarre features into account. Slowly, he rose to his feet, ranking a good half a foot taller than the spectre. His tails swished to and fro – wait, tails? "Who are you to command me what to do?" He said slowly, emerald eyes piercing through the ghost's deadpan orbs.
L 's frown grew, knowing a challenge when he saw one. "I'm..."
"Ryuuzaki, it's ok." Kagome stood up shakily, not taking her eyes off the man who had practically molested her, "He's not a threat."
The ghostly detective personally did not agree with her statement, but he kept his darker thoughts to himself.
"Shippo?" Kagome inquired, pleading him for an answer with her eyes.
The ginger haired man gave her a toothy grin, freckles and all. His sharp forest green eyes filled with tears. "Kagome-mama. I missed you."
"And then they had their fifth child." Shippo guffawed, gulping down the rest of his sake with vigour, "By that time Sango was swamped with household duties and made Miroku occasionally stay home with the kids."
"Ahh~ That's Sango-chan for you! She probably went out to slay demons herself when she had the chance!" Kagome giggled.
"Probably." Shippo drawled, "Meanwhile Mayuri and I had started to get a bit serious about each other."
"Oh, is that your wife's name?"
"Haha, nope, my wife is Shichiru. It was just a fond memory~ She was my 3rd girlfriend, Mayuri-chan~"
Kagome sweatdropped. As a kitsune adult, Shippo was incredibly naughty and tricky; she had missed the transition between personalities as he grew up. Inside of her, there was a deep regret of not being able to be there for him – especially when he needed it. She gave his outfit another look-over: a crisp, clean suit coupled with a necktie. Such an adult form of dress...
He was so different compared to the small child she had known back then. Age-wise he only looked around 30, but he had had children and a grandchild. Demons really did age differently from humans.
There was a silence as she contemplated what to say.
"Shippo... tell me, what happened when we faced Naraku?"
The hearty smile on the kitsune's face slipped. "You don't remember?" He put the cup back down on the table, his expression bordering on grim. "You still don't remember?"
"No..." Kagome murmured, completely taken aback by the sudden change of attitude, "It's only been two years since I was sent back to this time... in my perspective, that is."
Shippo tugged on his necktie wearily, fiddling with the knot noiselessly.
Beside the two, L hovered above the couch, "Just tell her. She's been kept on the edge for over two years now." His monotone voice cut through the awkwardness. Kagome gave him a grateful look.
Shippo sighed. "Well, you weren't meant to remember anyway." He put his cup down, reverting to a more serious tone. "Kagome-mama, you must have suffered so much. You thought we all died and you were the lone survivor of the battle."
Kagome nodded. When she had seen Shippo, it was like a huge dam of relief had broken within her. And yet, she was so confused and scared – what had really happened that day?
"...You chose to lose your memories, Kagome. You wanted to remember that day as a huge failure."
Kagome bit her lip in surprise and tasted blood. "That sounds like just about the most masochistic thing I've ever heard. Why would I do that?"
"Naraku." Shippo said simply, "We were able to kill him alright. But...when you and Inuyasha were sucked into the jewel, the rest of us weren't sure what happened." He drew in a breath, looking his actual age, "How you got out of there – maybe it was sheer luck, or the love you two had for one another –"
Kagome blushed while L stumbled in mid-air.
"- but you both exited all the same. And then you told me...no, us..."
The priestess waited with bated breath. What had she done? What was the crucial point she was forgetting?
"...That you needed to completely forget what had happened in there."
Kagome fell over, completely not expecting that anti-climactic ending.
Shippo laughed at her slumped form, "You never told us what went on in there! You just said you needed to forget or Naraku would win his sick little game!"
The priestess pursed her lips, the question dancing at the edge of her tongue. "Then...did I tell you what happened to the jewel?"
The kitsune shook his head. "Never did. I think Inuyasha also knew what happened, but well... he disappeared a few weeks after Kaede sent you back to your time with your altered memories. He gave you his fire rat robe because he thought you'd need it more than he did."
"That explains the random vision I had before!" She blurted out, stomach sinking. So only she and Inuyasha had seen what transpired inside the cursed jewel. And he was probably... she shook her head, trying to shake that thought out of her head.
"Not good..." Shippo drawled out, ears twitching in amusement, "The point is, you're not supposed to remember yet. I only wanted you to remember that you've forgotten something. You sacrificed your well being for us."
He sat up and kissed the startled priestess' hand. "You are one of the most noble and selfless people I've met."
"...News flash." L cut in, looking as if he had just swallowed something incredibly repulsive, "You try to remind her that she forgot something, she might end up remembering whatever she had resigned to forget. Kagome, leave it be."
Shippo's emerald eye twitched. "Kagome, who is this guy? Why the hell does he keep butting in?"
"Eh, well..." Kagome started, not entirely sure how to explain the whole Kira situation but L had already opened his mouth.
"I'm her boyfriend." He wasn't sure why he said what he did, but it fell out of his lips before he could fully register what had happened.
Shippo's expression was priceless. It ranged from somewhere in between flabbergasted to knocked-over-the-head-silly. The cup he was holding cracked in his clawed hands and his eye started twitching non-stop.
"Ryuuzaki!" Kagome scolded, cheeks hot as cinders.
The detective's mind grabbed a hold of his tongue, and he reluctantly corrected himself. "...Actually, she's helping me solve a case." He admitted, "Being her boyfriend is cover."
But at that point Shippo had stopped listening, opting instead to shake Kagome's shoulders in denial. "Kaaaagggooommmeeeeeeee! Why are you dating a dead man? Are you secretly a necrophiliac? But you were so innocent before! Was it him? Did he seduce you into agreeing to be with him? Did he force you to do things you didn't want to do?"
Kagome gave the spectre a heated glare that screamed:
After all of the grown kitsune's bawling and L's unnecessary comments (which only served to fuel Shippo's anxieties), Kagome was relieved to find herself stepping out of the front gates. Regardless, she had been completely pleased at their antics. "Shippo-chan...it was so great to see you again. I can't tell you how happy I was to hear about you and everyone..."
Shippo's fluffy tail wagged in glee. "I was happy to hear about you too, Kagome-mama – I was looking for you in different school registries, but I guess you dropped out."
"Yeah... the demon-slaying demand was pretty high and the amount of butt-whooping given was pretty low."
The older kitsune gave her a sly smile. "Always thinking about everyone over yourself. That's why you're my legendary mama after all."
Kagome gave him a tentative smile. Was she really as great as he had made her out to be? She didn't feel particularly noteworthy or self-sacrificing; she had just done what she thought was best. Or... at least, that's what she thought she did it for.
"We better get going. Last bus leaves soon." L reminded her somewhat gruffly.
"Ah~ Just a minute!" Shippo called out after the two. "I want to talk to Ryuuzaki-san about something!"
Kagome looked apprehensively behind her, but L nodded and made a motion to shoo her off.
"What is it?" He asked as soon as Kagome was out of sight.
"Ryuuzaki-san..." Shippo began, "I'm trusting you to take very good care of Kagome-mama."
"Of course I will, she's my partner."
The kitsune sighed dramatically, shaking his head and shrugging. With half-lidded eyes, L gave a tiny pout. "Please say what you wanted to say already or I'll just take my leave."
"Ok, ok~" And then suddenly, Shippo's emerald eyes became hard and frigid. "Protect her, Ryuuzaki. Protect her with every fiber of the body you don't have. Don't let anything happen to her. Naraku's work here isn't done, there are still demons and scary things running around."
"...I know." L replied, his dead eyes gazing into the distance, a thumb over his lips. "She's had to go through a lot by herself – but I'll be with her now."
"Please." Shippo said eagerly, liking the ghost more with every passing second, "And remember, be gentle with her first time~ She went through a lot with her previous love~"
"...Inuyasha?" The name gave the ghost a bad taste in his mouth. And he didn't even have senses anymore.
"Yes, him. Speaking of him." The kitsune glanced around cautiously, "Don't let him near Kagome-mama as well. If those two got together, who knows what would happen..."
L's hidden eyebrows raised. "Was he an abusive person?"
Shippo pouted. "You're no fun. Can't you have a more over-active imagination, like a hidden affair? But well, in a sense. This is a totally different matter though. If he comes into contact with her...she might end up remembering what she wanted so desperately to forget."
"And if that happens..." L said slowly, starting to understand the tribulations that awaited him and his partner.
"Naraku wins, comes back to life, and he gets the all powerful Shikon no Tama. Don't let them meet under any circumstance, Ryuuzaki. "
A/N: DONE DONE DONE. Now to scurry back to the textbook reading. And maybe sleeping.
L-bus, L-bus~ Probably going to make a picture of L-bus and put it as my avatar later. OTL
Thanks to everyone who read and reviewed! You guys really encourage me to keep going~ I'm not too sure if L was a bit OOC here, but I'm chalking it off as him being dead and...having less inhibitions about things. Like having feelings. And liking people.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Misa-hater, L would just probably find her really... not all that bright.
Also, (not-so) secret question here: would it be a bit squicky for a lemon to happen between the two? I mean, he is kind of dead. But on the other hand, she gives him a completely human body when she touches him. Ehh...thoughts? No promises on having one in detail, but I'm considering it a bit. I'll change the rating if I decide to put a little lime in. But only if enough people are ok with it... *shrug*
If any of this was confusing, please let me know so I can do some editing for this chapter. I'd like for it all to be easily understandable - it's the perfectionist side in me! _
SilverMidnightKitten: Thanks! I'll do my best to update often, though no promises haha.
atanimefreak: Thank you! This chapter was (a bit) longer than normal to make up for away-time.
Sugar0o : Thanks for all your reviews! *happily takes co0kie* It's addictive... must update for more co0kies...
midnight98: Thank you! That he did - he needs to learn to stop taunting people. Especially in front of the so-called underdog miko.
Bloodcherry: Indeed he did! He's terrifying, getting kicks out of turning humans against one another. I hope I have a chance to give him just-desserts later.
Kagome pairing: Thank you for your kind words! Heh, I updated my profile with my gender, but not too much else I'm afraid. x3 Regarding L coming back, I do have a plan for that...sort of. Please stay tuned~