And now back to our regularly scheduled program, Inuyasha and Kagome's trip to the it a good idea? Of course not. But hey, it's fun!

Chapter 8, Relax, the Rabbit Who Would Be King...

Dear Diary,

The results of Chapter 8 were surprising to say the least. Granted I don't think that that poor intern will ever be the same after this. Just leave it to a certain person to make something as dull as going to the hospital, interesting.

But Chapter 8 helped me build up a little bit of my confidence again. And it was interesting to see how people looked at Inuyasha...I mean I know he's a little different, but the way people stared at him was really rude. Even the little kids were staring...granted the doctor wasn't that helpful either. Although I never thought that it would have ended up like this...poor Inuyasha...I'll never look at rabbits the same way again...


It hadn't been that bad in the beginning. She had even enjoyed it for a while...her ankle did truly hurt and she was tired. The throbbing pain had kept her awake for at least two nights. And being toted around like a princess was a point. The point had come and gone as Inuyasha had carried her down the main shopping street near her house in order for her to go to the hospital. Even her mother had been no help, she had even gone as far as to suggest he carry her there...and amidst the screams and death threats from her injured daughter, Mrs. Higurashi had drawn the hanyou a map, smiling all the while.

The worst part was that people were staring at them. It would have been strange enough for a normal boy to be carrying a girl like this, but for a boy with white hair streaming out from under a too small baseball cap in authentic Sengoku Jidai clothing, red no less, to be carrying a girl like that. Well it was a show many people would never again in their lifetime see. And many of them wanted to make sure they had every single detail of the scene memorized, or at least it seemed that way. To stare like that, Kagome growled, it was as if they were foreigners just off the plane from Narita! Still huffing and puffing, her ankle sore and kicking as well as it could in protest, Kagome glared up at Inuyasha.

Said Inuyasha was enjoying this a lot more than he wanted to let on. Finally Kagome was getting a good dose of humble medicine. It was about time that she just chill out and let him take care of her for a while. Anyways, it was easier to think about all the people staring at them than the talk about Kikyou. Sudden as it had been, it had put some very disturbing thoughts to rest for him. Not that he'd ever admit that though. Kagome was straining in his arms again, tugging her coat closer around her shoulders and trying to hide her face with the folds of her scarf.

Oh, god, even the shopkeepers were watching now. They leaned out of the crowded, narrow doorways of their colorful and overflowing shops. The man in the shoe store stared blatantly at Inuyasha's bare feet on the almost frozen tile that lined the shopping street. The woman in the stationary shop, leaned around an outside display, pretending to rearrange her wares as she looked slyly at them through the rim of her glasses. Even the hot chestnut seller in his tiny cart parked at the intersection of the covered road and the real one peeked out of his curtain and whistled. Let me die now! Kagome's mind screamed as her ankle continued to throb in time with her heartbeat. And then, thankfully, he turned and they were on a smaller and wonderfully less crowded side street. The roar of the bikes and footsteps and the weight of the stares finally subsided into the lesser din of normal Tokyo life. A few more minutes and a lot less stares brought them to the entrance of the hospital. The huge rock that marked it's place was scratched with the Hippocratic Oath and also a fair share of faded graffiti. Kagome cringed. She didn't like the doctor on the best of times and the hospital was always dank and dark. There was no place in the world that she despised more than the hospital they had arrived at.

Inuyasha shifted the shivering girl and gently set her down, one arm around her waist to steady her. He answered her question before it even left her throat. "I figure you don't want me to run in there carrying you." He felt her nod and grit her teeth. Lifting off her in waves was the stench of fear. Was this place, this dull building that smelled old and sick, something to fear? His ears perked up searching for sounds that would prove dangerous, but found only the muffled sounds of some kid crying and strange whirrs and beeps.

Kagome took a deep breath. This was stupid. The hospital had never been anything but dull and boring and the time spent there had always ended up with her feeling better. Wither it be a cold or a bump as a child, her doctor had been much kinder than the normal Japanese doctor. She secured herself, testing the weight on her foot and leaned into the hanyou. "Well, here we go." She said quietly. Together they hobbled up the last of the stairs into the frosted glass door that led to the waiting room.

It had been a while since she had been here. Kagome noted that the red nagahide waiting couches had been replaces with more subtle blue cloth things that resembled a long, coiling snake. The walls had a fresh coat of paint that actually succeeded in making the room feel warmer. She let out a breath she didn't realize she had been holding. Inuyasha felt the girl relax into him and then start to make her way to the covered glass window. The nurse waiting there looked at them quizzically but left her opinions to herself which suited Kagome just fine.

"Good afternoon, miss. Do you mind signing in?" The nursed slid a small notepad under the glass partition.

Kagome fished her medical book out of her small purse and quickly wrote her name on the pad in front of her. She briefly considered putting down Inuyasha's name too, but though that it would probably just lead to more questions and stares and decided against it. She finished and led the hanyou to the furthest seat from the coughing old women, the wheezing old men and the mothers with bawling children. The couches were so much more comfortable than they had been when she was smaller. They were firmer but still let you sink a ways into them. Kagome sat awkwardly, her ankle preventing her from sitting normally. Inuyasha sat in a huff beside her, glaring at all the people who were staring at him. This place smelled funny and if anyone tried anything to get at Kagome while she was injured, he'd see to it that they'd pay dearly.

Halfway across the room, a small boy was staring over his mother's shoulder at the hanyou, his thumb tucked securely in his mouth. His wide dark eyes were at war as to wither or not to keep staring or fall asleep. Tiny hand raising up in the air, he pointed and then tugged his mothers shoulder to make her look too. "Mama, lookit."

"Keitaro, it's rude to point at peop-" She got only this far into her lecture before stopping and staring with the rest of the patient in the waiting room.

Kagome had had enough, she stuck out her tongue at the rude woman and promptly shifted to lean against the hanyou. He stiffened beside her but relaxed as the weight of almost all the gazes lifted at the show of affection. Kagome grinned at her triumph.

About half an hour passed before Kagome got bored, even if Inuyasha was warm and comfortable, her ankle still hurt. The people had finally quit giving them the hairy eye-ball and were going about their own business for once. Inuyasha was silent beside her. His arms were tucked in his red sleeves and his eyes were shut. She knew better than to think he was asleep but at least he had relaxed a bit. It would have been much more comfortable to have laid down and just pillowed her head on his legs, but a reasonable amount of decorum must be followed. Inuyasha had the good sense to let her walk in here on her own, she knew better than to screw that small favor up. So instead, she pulled out the travel worn tome of womanly knowledge and began to read Chapter 8...

"Okay, it is important to understand that the flames of passion and love should have time to rest. A blaze can only last for so long and many faithful readers want a long term relationship with this person, I should hope. So understand that it is okay to turn down the heat from time to time.

For instance, imagine that you are having a romantic date, in the most beautiful place in the world. Everything is perfect. There's candlelight, a fancy dinner, romantic music. And most importantly the one you love looking back at you with THAT look in their eyes that lets you know the only thing that exists in that moment is you...But then imagine if you had the exact same date forty times in a row. The candlelight would seem too dim, the food, repetitive. Even the music you once found so enthralling will get on your last nerve. Even your love's eyes would seem dull after wearing the same expression for so many nights.

This is because your idea of a perfect evening and his idea of a perfect evening is always changing and evolving. Sometimes, and don't get me wrong because dates can be quite wonderful and fulfilling, it is better to let ourselves be doted on in the way our honey wants to dote on us. Not all the men out there are the lyrical equivalent of Romeo or Shakespeare. Some are broke and cannot afford such a luxurious display of affection. Even then there are some people who have so much trouble showing emotion that a kind comment can turn into a rap song about brick-like thighs...But there is one common factor that seems to unite all men. If they care about you, they will want to take care of you.

Now for many independent women in this day and age, it is difficult to step back and let your honey try to deal with everything. Especially when you are used to taking care of yourself. But even the most independent of women must let herself lean on the one she wants. Trust, and I cannot say this enough, is a must for any successful relationship.

Let him take care of you. Depend on him for a while. It will let you relax and let him feel like an important and useful person in your life. It might just do the trick to makes him fall for you in more ways than one."

Kagome sighed, it wasn't that she didn't trust Inuyasha it was just that he had a way of messing things up pretty badly sometimes. Of all the things she didn't need right now was for him to pull his Great Defender act in the middle of her world. It was fine when they were in danger, she was smart enough to understand that against particularly strong youkai she didn't stand a chance without him. But here was a different story. Here it was embarrassing. It was unnecessary...

The small voice in her mind started to babble at her. "Well it's hardly his fault! You can't ask him to turn off his instincts as soon as you want him to! That's not fair at all. It's the same thing when he tries to keep you from studying. He can't ask you to not be Kagome, and it's not fair for you to ask him not to be Inuyasha."

Grumbling, she shoved the book back in her purse, flinching as her ankle twinged at the sudden movement. Beside her, Inuyasha opened one gold eye and watched curiously. She'd been toting that thing around with her for a while now. It wasn't one of her textbooks, she never studied THAT hard. This looked like she was practically trying to memorize the damn thing and not the usual studious disdain that was reserved for math, English and literature. Whatever those were. His ears twitched inside the hat, tickling madly. If only this was over with. Kagome was always singing the praises of her 'modern' doctors and the teko-no-roji they possessed to heal wounds, broken bones and other sicknesses. What good did it do you if you had to wait outside for a day and die there waiting? Just as he was about to voice his opinion to Kagome, he heard an unfamiliar voice call out her name.

Kagome was deep in an argument with her mind when she heard her voice called by the nurse at the door. Her mind turned to the more important task of walking to the examination room. Ankle throbbing with red heat, she began to struggle with her weight to shift into a position she could get up from and not scream with pain. With a blur beside her, she found a hand reaching out for her.

"Come on. Let's go."

It wasn't harsh. It wasn't angry or annoyed, it was calm. It was kind. Her face flushed pink and for a moment, her pain was forgotten in the rushing beat of her heart. And in just four words, Inuyasha had convinced Kagome to at least try the idea in Chapter 8...she'd let him take care of her. For a while...

About an hour later, Kagome sighed and put away her diary. She placed the entry after the first part of the exam. During that time, Inuyasha had been the perfect gentle-puppy. Granted she had to swat his face away when they were checking her weight and he had just about attacked the poor intern who had listened to her heartbeat with a stethoscope. Inuyasha's defense had been that the [expletive] had had his [expletive]ing hand on her chest. Kagome had to admit that was true and skimmed her anger away and explained how people could listen to your breathing with the instrument, but only as long as it was actually touching. His response had been the all famous 'keh.'

Now they were waiting for in a small curtained partition. Beside them they could hear the low moans of someone sleeping fitfully and a rasping cough on the other side. Under the cool exterior, tension ran along the boy's body like an electric wire. There were so many sick people here, Kagome ran the risk of dying from the coughing disease if they didn't leave soon. In her weak state, she'd surely catch any of the demons that were inhabiting the people around them.

Kagome, said catcher of demons, was sitting quietly on the clean white sheets of the bed. Her ankle had really started to ache because of the cold and the stress that she had put on it. What if it was broken? She blanched.

After a while the doctor finally arrived, sweeping the curtain back like a magician doing a trick. Inuyasha glared at him from the corner.

"Well, Kagome, it's been a while." The doctor chatted pleasantly as he tried to rip her ankle from her leg.

Kagome gritted her teeth, lest the Great Protector decide to intervene. "Yes it has. Don't know how I didn't see that last step there. I feel so silly." She made an effort to look embarrassed as the pain flared up through her leg again.

"And who's this?" He nodded at the boy crouched on the chair beside the bed, knowing smile on his face.

Kagome quickly thought of an answer. "Oh, that's...uh...Norten, he's an exchange student from uh, Finland. You know, where the Vikings came from?" As soon as the words came out of her mouth, she wished to take them back. Good grief! Finland?! Norten?! VIKINGS!? No one would believe-

"Ah, I was wondering why his hair was so white!" The doctor proclaimed. "I studied in Finland once when I was in College! Wonderful place, such pale hair on the rest of the students, felt kinda out of place if you know what I mean."

Inuyasha grumbled from his perch. "Perfectly."

"Wow, your Japanese is so good! Didn't you think it was a hard language to learn?"

"I only said one word, you moron."

Kagome shot him a look. He was silenced. "Well," the doctor said, "It looks like just a sprain, but let's do an X-ray just to make sure." He twisted her ankle one last time, leaving the girl with sudden smarting tears in her eyes.

Behind her she heard someone growling...

Some doctor this was! Inuyasha growled again, low in his throat. All he was doing was hurting Kagome...and she was sitting there, just letting him. Usually she'd fight back if someone was out to cause her pain, but now she was acting like a meek little lamb, biting her pretty lips (ah, he meant, lips...just lips!) and trying not to let her pain show. Enough was enough! He'd stop had been his idea to bring her here, but still! With all the stealth of a panther and all the tack of a mach truck, Inuyasha vaulted to assault the doctor as he turned his back.

As the doctor left, Kagome all but sprang at the hanyou in an attempt to keep him from attacking the poor physician from behind. Again, the pain in her ankle roared as she moved too fast and left her supported, yet again, only by Inuyasha's strong arms. Then gravity set in and they tumbled to the ground, Inuyasha still trying to remain on the chair, wobbling to and fro. For a moment, she blushed, fought the urge to smack him and relaxed as he settled her into the crook of his elbows. Kagome sighed with relief as her pain eased.

"Hey, do you two need a minute?" An intern had chosen that moment to come into the partition with a wheelchair. The bubbly young woman asked her question again, her eyes wide and teasing as Kagome only gaped at her stealthy arrival. "Cause if you do, I can just leave this here and you can take her down..." A small smile was playing on the aid's lips. Goodness, it had been a while since she had seen a couple come in together and then proceed to this so quickly...not that she really thought they were doing anything. She only enjoyed teasing people sometimes, and it was therapeutic to some. For most a little embarrassment could help them forget about pain. But still they made a strange scene, the girl halfway off the bed in the arms of the strange boy who was all but defying gravity balancing on a chair.

With a guff voice, hiding most of what he meant, Inuyasha replied curtly, "Sure, give us a minute." With that, he pushed the woman back a bit and drew the curtain, Kagome still clinging to his shoulders. With a surprised giggle, the woman back up a little more...ah, to be that young again...and said, "Well, take your time! X-ray is on the fourth floor just past the Children's Ward."

Oh, my god...Kagome's face felt like someone had put a 100 watt heat lamp inside her face. But her embarrassment was short lived as she found herself all but mashed into the wheelchair. "Inuyasha, what are you doing?!" Chapter be damned, this was going too far!

"I'm takin' care of you..." He mumbled as he arranged the girl more comfortably into the strange contraption the apprentice had left. After sweeping his eyes over the girl, he stuffed a pillow behind the small of her back and one behind the injured ankle that had caused this mess in the first place. "Just sit there and heal for a while...that damned doctor of yours probably broke your leg just now so be still."

Kagome hesitated, debating on wither or not to turn and look at the boy. She could hardly believe her ears...Chapter 8 was actually working. A flush worked its way up her lithe body and painted the tips of her ears red. Okay, she thought, maybe it's best if I don't turn around...

Looking down at the incriminating ear-tips, the hanyou bent down and brushed her bangs away from her flushed face. "You got a fever too?" Before she could so much as utter a word, his lips were on her forehead.

Approximately 5.2 seconds passed...

Kagome needed a valve...yep, that's what she needed. A release valve for all the pressure that was building up in her body. A way to dump all the heat and return her thoughts to the way they used to be before this strange boy had been planted into her life. A switch even! Just twist and bam! There goes the heat that was impeding her mind. Thankfully, this wasn't a cartoon or else her ears would have been squirting steam like a tea pot and her traitor's body would be whistling Dixie...

Oh, my God...he's actually kissing me. I can't believe it...what do I do? What do I do? Inuyasha is kissing my forehead in the middle of the hospital and all these strangers are staring at'd be better if it was on the lips...what am I saying!? Ohmygod. Ohmygod. Ohmygod. What if he...what if I...what if we...ohmygod.

What do I do? Well, it's not like this is a real first kiss...probly doesn't even count on that score. But still it's nice and why the heck does he have to do it in public!? What do I have to do to get him to do this kind of thing when we are alone? Woah, bad Kagome, down girl! Just take it easy, let him take care of you and this situation. God, I wonder what he's thinking...? Why is it that only my face is this red?! I'm gonna melt...

Inuyasha's mind was considerably calmer. Nope, no fever. She's ok.

And with that, it was finished and Kagome found herself wheeling down the hallway, their speed causing her face to cool. Uh...

"Don't make a big deal about it...that's how we check for fever." He grumbled behind her, catching his long sleeve in the spokes of the wheel. As always, Kagome's silence spoke volumes.

Gee, sure knows how to spoil a mood...Kagome's mind grumbled. Her dark hair flying, she shook her head and looked up at the passing walls. They were turning from the usual infected snot green to brighter, happier colors accompanied by dancing pictures of clowns, unicorns and princesses. They had arrived in the Children's ward...little did they know that would be their undoing.

Inuyasha had not seen the rabbit. But the rabbit had seen Inuyasha. Standing over six and a half feet tall it was a wonder that both Kagome and the alert hanyou had missed it, but the giant pink bunny was of less concern at the moment than the fever testing method of the previous moment. The man didn't exactly love his job, but he took pride in his work. And it seemed that his role of 'Children's Entertainer' was about to be usurped by someone who didn't even have a decent costume. Dressed in red feudal clothing and a very unrealistic, if he did say so himself, white wig this boy was on par with the Power Revengers who came on Tuesdays and play battled in the children's ward. In a word, he was tacky. Everyone knew that the people who wore full body costumes were more apt to entertain children. Who else would allow the small sickly children to romp and roam, climb and tug? Only the well padded could pull off such a feat.

This line of thought when with the recent development that some punk from Furinkan High School had taken to bringing a live Panda into the ward. A live panda that could write...If the clientele kept expecting fights and real animals, he would be out of a job! If this upstart was going to try of the children pulled on his tail. "Mr. Rabbit! Mr. Rabbit! Is that your friend?" The little girl, her hair in messy pigtails, pointed one tiny finger in the path of Inuyasha and Kagome.

"No, my dear...that is the evil White-haired Wheeler Man!" He spoke in a hushed voice as the children gathered around him. His large pink arms waved as he weaved his story of intrigue. And wither or not he knew it, the man inside the bunny suit was a fair storyteller and the children were hanging on his every word. "See the girl? He has kidnapped her, the Princess of, uh, Ankle-land!" Inwardly, he groaned, it was obvious that the girl's ankle was hurt by the way she was sitting, but still...Ankle-Land? He shook his head, floppy ears flapping. A job was a job and this job happened to be fun and well paying, he'd be damned if some brat was going to muscle in on his territory.

The children at his feet rose like the tide and raced to block the path of the as of yet unaware duo of 'White-haired Wheeler Man' and 'Princess of Ankle-Land.' With cries of "Halt, fiend!" and "Stop in the name of Love and Justice" it was obvious these children were well versed in the language of fairy tales.

Inuyasha stopped, rolled the chair to an easy rest and stared at the spectacle in his way. Had they just called him the "White-haired Evil Wheeler?" It was then that they both noticed the huge, pink bunny suit that was approaching them with all the menacing likeness of cotton candy. They stared for a minute as the massive hulk of pink fur and padding advanced on their path to the X-ray room. "Halt! Evil One! Return the Princess to us at once or suffer my wrath!" Behind the gargantuan titan of a bunny the children cheered!

Inuyasha raised one dark eyebrow and leaned to Kagome. "And this is what? The other doctor for this place?"

Kagome stifled a giggle. "Uh, play along..." Slightly taken about as to being called a Princess, Kagome blushed again and played it up. It was for the children after all. Behind the rabbit, she could count at least ten small kids who looked as if they had been here for a while. If this was their only entertainment, it was best to help out. "Oh, save me, heroic rabbit!" The last part of her speech came out an octave too high to hide her laugh.

Inuyasha looked down at her for a minute, sighed as the rabbit approached him and pulled out Tetsusaiga. There was a collective "ooooooh" from the children. The rabbit blanched.

"Feh, the Princess wench is mine..." He looked down for a moment and then started to laugh like Naraku. "Bawahahahahaha..." Kagome shuddered momentarily. It was a fairly good impression. The children shuddered along with her.

One brave girl shouted, "Get him, Mr Rabbit!" In turn, the Rabbit nodded and stuck a pose that looked suspiciously familiar to Kagome who's brother still loved Masked Rider and the other superhero shows. The rabbit in fact was quite surprised at the sword...whereas the outfit looked completely bogus, the sword looked surprisingly big, sharp and scary. But the children were cheering him on...

Inuyasha tensed...

The children held their collective breath...

Kagome clasped her hands to her chest and tried to look damsel-ish...

The rabbit hopped towards the hanyou, with all the speed and grace that only the heavily padded and furred can produce and then sprung.

Inuyasha followed suit but collapsed with a considerable amount of good acting as the rabbit glanced him with one huge foot. As he fell, he sheathed the sword and yowled as he struck the floor in dramatic fashion.

Behind them the children cheered. The Rabbit stood victorious. And said Princess of Ankle-land was wondering why it was taking Inuyasha so long to get up...

Later that night...

"Kagome, what happened?" Mrs. Higurashi ran to meet them at the front door of the shrine. "I expected you two home hours ago..."

Kagome looked up from her place beneath Inuyasha's arm. "Well, Mom, the good news is that my ankle isn't broken." She huffed, out of breath as Inuyasha sat down on the stoop. "The bad news is, Inuyasha's ankle is..."

Looking dejected and ornery, the hanyou attempted to scratch under the bulky cast that now encased his left leg. He couldn't bring himself to look Mrs. Higurashi in the eyes.

"Oh, my! How did that happen??"

Kagome looked up, smiled and said, "Well, there was this rabbit..."


Ta-da! See, here it is...I didn't forget you...I just got lazy. I'm sorry. It's 10 pages long...and that's on 10 point type. I still love you all! Please review for me okay? DMM