Hard Sell

Inuyasha ground his teeth together in a silent growl. The walls rose high all around him, shutting out light. There was a noxious vapor in the air, masking all other scents. Even if Kagome wasn't far, he couldn't detect her. He looked up, frustrated at the sight of clear blue sky, knowing if he leapt straight up he would be free, but he'd be in clear view, as well. He wanted to spit out a curse, his frustration so strong it was an acidic taste in his mouth.

There was only one way out, and that was straight in front of him, but that way might as well be blocked, too, for all the good it did him. The walls ended, and beyond them, daylight, but also the shrill sounds of the attackers that made him take refuge here. If he had known he'd be left hugging the rough and dirty plaster, hiding in the shadows and unable to make his escape, he'd have dashed away and damn all consequences. He couldn't fight here, though. Couldn't even draw Tetsusaiga.

Damn it all! He was going to be stuck here until the next feudal era if he didn't figure something out!

Suddenly, a figure moved into view, filling the opening with an imperious stance, a silhouette composed of angles: feet planted wide, hip-shot fists, sharp-pointed elbows .

"Inuyasha! What are you doing? Why are you hiding in this alley? Where's your hat? Let's go!"

"Kagome!" He lunged at her, tried to pull her into the relative safety of the gloom before she was spotted by the two that accosted him, but she yanked her arm out of his reach. She leaned in, however, peering at him.

"What is wrong with you? This isn't the first time you've come shopping with me."

"Those people..." Inuyasha gestured to the street behind her.

"The salesgirls?" She glanced over her shoulder, then turned back to him with a smirk. "Did they try to give you free packets of tissues?"

Inuyasha scowled.

"They jumped me. They were shouting."

He scowled harder when Kagome giggled.

"I'm pretty sure they were just trying to do their job."

She stepped away for a moment, but quickly reappeared. Inuyasha scowled even harder at the sight of that stupid cap in her hand.

"C'mon, let's go. We still have to get you your ramen."

His ears perked up, and he let Kagome push the cap down over them. The place still reeked, and those girls were way too pushy, but he'd go along with her rules if it meant getting more of those packets of dried noodles.

Inuyasha followed Kagome out of the alley, keeping an eye on the salesgirls until they were safely past the obnoxiously cheerful pair. Feh. The demons from his side of the well seemed less dangerous, now. Or, at least, easier to vanquish.

He picked up his pace, sticking close to Kagome's side. He wasn't going to fall behind again, that's for damn sure.

A/N: This story is a work of fan fiction. InuYasha and all InuYasha characters are the property of Rumiko Takahashi and Viz Media, and are used respectfully without permission. No copyright infringement is intended.