School (and a lot of it), work, friends, and the lack of interest in the Inuyasha section has resulted in me...well, not writing. For anything. I can't seem to fall back into the habit of writing every chance I get, which is depressing because whenever I try to write, I spit out a paragraph and move off to something else. My inspiration has gone kaput and my muses have taken the first flight to Hawaii to escape me and my wrath.

If you leave me a review, please do not chastise me for my lack of updating, or order me to update School Daze. I'm fully aware I have not written in a long time, and you have my sincerest apologies. I haven't updated anything because my style of writing has changed so much that I can't bring myself to be remotely interested in the things I've written before. It's like the me of two years ago is completely different from the me now. I do want to continue writing School Daze, and even write a sequel for it (shock!) but my schedule is so bloody heavy that large projects can be very daunting, and School Daze its future sequel are humongous projects.

The only thing I can say is to just...enjoy the fic and worry about me being slow in the updating bit later.




Kaigan
Chapter Two: A Rut
By Clara


Inuyasha frowned. He was still hanging to the tree, of course, but that wasn't what he was frowning about. His ears twitched and his eyes narrowed in annoyance. There was a beat going through his head—he didn't know the words (since he had a feeling it was in a different language), and it had been repeating itself for the majority of the night and into the morning. He didn't recognize the song, but it was so damned familiar and catchy it was beyond agonizing.

Too anyone who knew old English rock, however, they would have immediately recognized the song going through the hanyou's mind as 'Oh! Darling', by The Beatles. Unfortunately, there was no one who knew anything remotely English in the vicinity, so poor Inuyasha was left to suffer on his own. Against his will, he found himself humming the first strains of the song and tapping his fingers against the bark.

Boredom made even the strongest men do the oddest things.

"You are SO weird."

Inuyasha's head jerked up and his lips pull back into his customary sneer. There was that stupid girl again, clad in a pair of comfortable looking pants and a short sleeved shirt with something written in strange letters across the chest. He blinked when he noticed where his eyes were, then pulled them back to her face.

She gave him an exasperated look. "How do you know The Beatles if you've been trapped to a tree for five hundred years?" she asked, and he noticed with distaste that her tone was mocking. There was something jaded about this girl that annoyed him.

"The Bii-tals?" Inuyasha tried experimentally. He didn't like the way those words felt on his tongue. They were foreign and uncomfortable. "And I don't know how I know it. I just do."

She gave him a strange look, then sat delicately on one of the upraised roots. "So, what, you were born with 'Oh! Darling' running through your head?"

The girl had quite a mouth on her.

"No, you idiot, I just.. remember it." He closed his eyes, pulling up the memories that he didn't know existed. Childish laughter rang through his ears, merging with Paul McCartney's gentle voice. Two other pitches of laughter joined the child, one distinctly male and the other definitely female, though both were much older. He remembered… he remembered his eyes opening at the child's laughter as it got closer to him, and the soothing sunlight playing against his face through the cracks of the temple surrounding him. He remembered a shadow darting through the cracks, and a sweet giggle, and...

"Oi. Earth to weird dog-youkai!"

His eyes snapped open. The girl (did the old man say her name was Kagome?) was looking at him even more strangely. The peaceful memory fled with the sunlight that vanished behind a robust cloud.

"You disappeared on me there for a minute."

"If only I were so lucky," Inuyasha shot back, earning a dirty look for a response. "For the last time, will you let me down from this damned tree?"

"We've already been through this before," Kagome sighed, reaching up to brush her bangs from her forehead. They were getting a bit too long for her taste. "If I let you down, you'll kill me and proceed to wreak havoc on my lovely little home. Neither of those sound appealing to me, so up you stay."

He already knew she would answer with that, but he couldn't stop the stab of disappointment that pierced his chest. Heaving a sigh, he looked up at the roof of the shack. It was better than looking at the girl, that was for sure. "Then why do you come here?"

"Would you believe because I'm still having issues believing that you really exist?" Her harsh expression was gone. "You're not supposed to exist. There are no such things as youkai."

"Why are you so insistent on that?" the hanyou asked, genuinely curious. "Aren't I enough proof?"

"I spent all my life convincing myself there was no such thing as magic or youkai or anything like that, so you can't just expect me to believe in you because you're suddenly just...there."

"Why not?"

This seemed to stump Kagome because she just fell into a moody sort of silence, staring at a spot above Inuyasha's head. They both remained hushed for a long time, and outside Inuyasha could hear the birds chirping.

"Let's just say I have too much to accept," Kagome said quietly, before standing up again. She was observing his arrow. "Oi, does that hurt?"

"No," Inuyasha said, as if the very thought of a mere arrow wounding him was beyond ludicrous. "It just...makes it impossible to move." He found his eyes moving upward again. "Do you really plan on leaving me up here for forever, even if I'm awake?"

The answer he got, however, was the creaking of the temple's door swinging open then gently closing again. He snapped his head back down in surprise, wondering if the girl was so rude to leave in the middle of a conversation. To his distaste she was still there, but turned to look at the old man from the other day.

"Jii-san," Kagome greeted, then glanced down at his hands. "What's that?"

"I spent all night with all the scrolls I could find in the shrine, and came across one that had directions for what should be done if the seal was broken." He held up a string of prayer beads. "I blessed them and everything. All you'll need to do is say a subduing spell."

"A subduing spell?" Kagome repeated. Inuyasha's ears were flattened.

"Oi, there is no way in hell you're going to put those marbles on me," he growled, shrinking away from the two of them as Kagome took the beads.

"Do you want to be released from the tree?" Kagome asked, hardly paying attention to him. He opened his mouth, couldn't think of anything to say, then closed it again and sighed heavily in resignation. Kagome walked over and put the beads around his neck.

He glared. She glared better.

"Okay now, Kagome-chan! Take out the arrow!"

Inuyasha and Kagome both blinked at the same time, breaking the glaring match. They turned as one towards her grandfather. Well, Kagome turned and Inuyasha just sort of hung there.

"Are you sure, Jii-san?" Kagome asked, slipping into English. She didn't know if she wanted Inuyasha to hear what she was saying. Call her paranoid, but she didn't want the added displeasure on her part to give him more reason to attempt to maul her.

"Just do it, Kagome-chan."

Giving her grandfather an extremely dry look, Kagome slid her fingers down Inuyasha's chest. His eyes opened wide and he frowned with displeasure. He wasn't particularly fond of the feelings those touches invoked, particularly because he had never really felt anything like it.

He scowled at her. She scowled back. He couldn't bring himself to pull his gaze from her face. Thankfully, she seemed to have the same problem as he and was staring into his eyes with as much intensity.

Even as she yanked the arrow out of his heart.

"OW!" he barked, his arms flying up on instinct to grab her. She yelped, he yelped, and the arrow disappeared

There was a long period of silence as everyone stared at everyone else, then Kagome slid her eyes down to Inuyasha's hands that were partially hiding the lettering on her shirt. Inuyasha immediately felt as if the temperature in the shack dropped several degrees.

Uh. Oh.

"SIT!"

Kagome thought, quite reasonably, that when Inuyasha would 'sit' he would land on his, well, behind. She was completely surprised, therefore, when Inuyasha went slamming forward on top of her, sending wood flying everywhere.

"PERVERT! GET OFF OF ME!"

"I would if I could!" Inuyasha shouted back, struggling to get off the hysterical girl. Human as she was, he could have sworn she had claws.

Unfortunately, though, struggling seemed to make it worse.

"Oh my," Grandfather said, hiding a grin behind his hand. "I'll just.. leave you two to get to know each other."

How cliché.

"JII-SAN!" Kagome roared, but it was to no avail. The door of the shack swung closed.

The next few moments were filled with muffled curses and growls. When the spell's effects faded, Inuyasha leapt as far as he could from Kagome, who was panting and looking extremely flustered.

"That..." Inuyasha said, sounding a bit out of breath himself, "...was entirely NOT my fault."

Kagome glowered.

*

"Okay, first thing we need to do is get you REAL clothes," Kagome said, circling the rather frustrated looking Inuyasha. The white haired boy was positive there was something more productive to be doing over being dressed by an obnoxious teenage girl, but unfortunately he couldn't think of anything. Granted, even if he could think of something, he doubted he would be able to do it. After all, he knew nothing about the time he came from.

Hell, they hadn't even ventured into her house yet.

Inuyasha, though, found that he was quite fine with sitting outside. It had been so long since he felt the sun warm his face like so, even though the clouds were starting to get much thicker. The clouds were a welcome sight, too. Everything was welcome, except for the strange, oily smell in the air.

Unfortunately, Inuyasha kept drifting away from Kagome, completely immersed in everything around him. Distantly, he heard something blare and someone shout, and he tensed. Actually, to his annoyance, the burst of sound happened quite frequently.

"..attention, are you?"

He blinked and turned back to Kagome, looking fairly surprised. She grinned, and that surprised him even more. She had a very nice smile. "Uhm, what?"

"I said, 'you're not paying attention, are you?'" she repeated, eyes sparkling. He looked troubled.

"I can't help it! It's noisy out here."

Kagome looked faintly startled, then understanding. "Oh, I get it. You mean with the cars and stuff?"

"Cars?" Inuyasha repeated.

"..Yeah. I'm never going to get used to this. Come on, let's go inside. I guess I'll have to stick you in my room while I get you some new clothes."

"I still think my clothes are just fine," Inuyasha huffed. "In fact, they're better than fine! They can ward off a whole hell of a lot more than normal clothes can."

Kagome waved her hand dismissively. "Yeah, sure, fine, they'll save your life—and also attract so much attention that you won't even be able to walk outside without being attacked. You can't live in this era and look like THAT."

Of course, Inuyasha looked more than a little offended. "Hey," he growled, "do you have something against my appearances?"

"Only that you look like you walked out of a history book." She sighed and stood up, then looked expectantly at the white haired hanyou. "We'll also have to give you a bath and whatnot."

Inuyasha looked completely horrified by the prospect. "I haven't even battled or anything! All I've been is stuck to a tree!"

"For around five hundred years," Kagome agreed. "You smell kind of moldy."

"Moldly!" His tone was that of great offense—a hanyou such as he did not smell moldy, no matter how long he was stuck to a tree.

"Yeah, and we totally need to do something about that breath."

Inuyasha's ears flattened and eyes narrowed. "Why you..." He lunged, fingers curled as if he were going to rip out her throat, or something equally necessary.

"Eek! SIT!"

WHUMP!

. . .

"You know..." Inuyasha muttered against the ground, sounding quite muffled, "I really, really do not like you."

Kagome grinned and crouched by this side. "Aw, you're a step up from hating me! I'm flattered."

Inuyasha gave up and just slumped back against the ground.

*

Twenty minutes later, Inuyasha found himself sitting on an extremely soft.. thing that Kagome had called a 'bed'. When he asked her just what you did on these 'beds', Kagome simply responded with 'you sleep on them'. Then, of course, she smacked him for snorting derisively at the weakness of humans.

She disappeared after that, leaving him with a corpulent cat that gazed up at him with large eyes. He glared back.

Fifteen minutes later, Kagome walked back in to a dog demon and her cat having a staring match. She shook her head and moved to stand in front of Inuyasha's eyes, causing him to blink with surprise.

"Oi!"

"You can ogle at my cat later, if you want," Kagome grunted, thrusting a fluffy towel in his arms. "Come on. We have to get you bathed up."

"...What on earth is this for?" He held up what he was handed, examining the large, soft cloth.

"It's a towel. You wipe yourself with it after you bathe." Kagome shook her head, looking almost pitying. He glared at that, bundling the 'towel' up again. "I forget how...savage everyone was back then."

"Savage!" he repeated, offended. He entertained the idea of attacking her for a moment, then just shook his head. "You really don't know anything."

He stood up, finally, untying his top. Immediately, Kagome spun around, the tips of her ears nice and red.

"I know that you don't have any modesty!" she yelped back, hands flying to her cheeks to cover her cheeks. "Really! Don't you know you're not supposed to undress like that with a lady in the room?!"

Inuyasha made a show of looking around, even going so far as to look under her bed. After a few long moments of searching, he came to a halt in front of her and raised his shoulders in a cursory shrug. "Nope. Don't see any 'lady' here."

Kagome stared at him for a complete five seconds with her jaw hanging open, then slowly blinked and shut her mouth, lips forming a thin, angry line. Buyo put his paws over his ears.

"SIT!!!"

There was a crash and a BANG, the door reverberating behind Kagome's retreating form. Buyo peeked at the flattened Inuyasha. The dog demon twitched and looked at the smug cat out of the corner of his eye.

"Shut. Up."

*

Cleaning Inuyasha was a lot harder than it sounded. For one thing, the man didn't like sitting still. Almost as soon as he slipped into the water (Kagome had graciously kept her eyes averted and made sure there were a lot of bubbles to hide anything and everything Inuyasha had that...ah...yeah. You know) he had wanted to get out again, and made quite the mess with all the splashing around he did. Really. Kagome felt like she was bathing a toddler.

"Stop moving, will you?" she ordered, squeezing some strawberry scented shampoo on top of his tangled and matted hair. Apparently, being stuck to a tree didn't do any good for his white locks. Well, she would fix that.

"Oi, woman, what are you doing? What are you putting on my head?" his nose scrunched as she began scrubbing out the grime.

"Shampoo. It's to get all this filth out of your hair."

The unfortunate downside of this situation was that Kagome had a feeling the blush on her cheeks would never fade. Not once had she ever imagined herself in a situation like this, washing a guy's hair while he was reclined comfortably in a bathtub. Lord knew she had never gotten that far with Hojo. Hell, they had never even gotten passed the kissing stage. And then there she was, washing a completely naked boy's hair.

That thought caused her to pause guiltily. Was this considered cheating?

She snorted at herself and began scrubbing Inuyasha's hair again, a bit more roughly than she intended to. His ears flattened slightly, and she grabbed one and began washing it.

The result of this was a rather surprising rumble deep in Inuyasha's throat. Kagome paused and glanced over at his place, surprised at the completely content look on his features. He had relaxed from his thrashing stage, arms resting against the edges of the tub.

It was like he was purring.

Her blush deepened and she hastily washed his other ear, before checking his hair to see if it had been cleaned to her satisfaction. Deciding it had been, she dunked him.

Looking smugly at his surprised thrashing and curses, she decided that she was feeling guilty for absolutely no reason.

"I'm going to go get you some clothing," she said to his soggy form. He glared at her under sopping, white bangs, then glared even more when she applied the conditioner to his hair. "Rinse this out in a bit, okay?"

Before he could call her some sort of particularly degrading name, she escaped.

Oh dear, she was getting herself into a rut, apparently.

*

It took an hour for Kagome to finish gleefully shopping. Her grandfather had readily agreed to give her a good amount of yen in order to buy all the clothes she deemed fit for Inuyasha, most likely because he did not want to feel the wrath of his only granddaughter. The girl was quite like a youkai herself, when she was annoyed.

Unfortunately, what Kagome 'deemed fit' was much more than any normal girl could possibly carry on her own without pulling a muscle or anything. She solved this problem, however, but giving the bags the evilest glare she could manage. Well, maybe it wasn't exactly solved but it made her feel a good deal bit better.

The shopping experience hadn't gone as well as it should have. Granted, nothing attacked her, but this didn't mean that the trip was particularly comfortable. Almost very turn she made, she was encountered with the strange feeling of something being there, but she wasn't quite sure what this something was.

It felt old.

Actually, it felt rather like those...strange individuals that she had encountered on her way to the temple the first time. The only thing different was that it wasn't focused on a solitary being, but rather felt like it was...just in the air or something.

"It must be Japan," she muttered under her breath in English.

"Excuse me?" a voice answered in Japanese, startling her from her thoughts. The girl who responded to her spoken thoughts gave her a curious look, with a slight quirk to her eyebrows and a pouty frown. "Were you speaking to me, la?"

Kagome smiled a bit nervously. The girl seemed to be one of the strange, beautiful folk she had been encountering lately (with that weird bit of oldness about her), and she was pinning Kagome with a frighteningly intense eyes.

"Ah, no, I'm sorry. I'm Higurashi Kagome," she responded amiably, perhaps hoping for a new friend. "I actually just came back from the States, and please, just call me Kagome."

The girl's eyebrows rose. "Really. And you're from the Higurashi Shrine, la?"

"Yeah. You've heard of it?" She sounded a bit surprised, partially because of the repetition of the word 'la' and a bit because she hadn't realized her family's shrine had become so popular. She shrugged away her trepidation for the time being, focusing on more current problems, mainly how she was supposed to get all the stuff back to her home.

"Yes. My father frequents it and sometimes brings me along. Would you like some help?"

The sudden switch of topics caught Kagome off guard, but she nodded nonetheless. "Thanks. I shouldn't have bought so much, anyway."

The girl smiled, easily grabbing several of the bags. Kagome couldn't help but to be impressed, if a little perturbed. She was petite and looked as if the weight of the bags would break her, but she was holding them as if they weighed nothing. "What do you need with all of this, la? I'm Yura, by the way."

Good question.

What was her answer supposed to be?

"I...uh...well, you see..." She floundered for a moment, trying to think of something better than, 'Oh, well, this hanyou that had been pinned to this tree for hundreds of years just suddenly woke up, and is in need of clothing. As much as I'd like to let him run around naked, however, I have this horrible thing called a conscience, so I decided to normalize him. You know'.

Yeah. That'd be good. And then the girl could help her find the nearest mental ward.

"I, ah, wasn't just buying for me, you see," Kagome explained, giving a helpless sort of smile. It was true, anyway. Just...sort of leaving out certain details.

Yura responded with a mocking smile that simply said, 'You're not fooling me at all'. "Well, you must live with an army then," she teased, starting towards the Higurashi Shrine.

Kagome smiled with embarrassment, rubbing the back of her head. She watched as Yura strolled forward, her smile dropping slightly. The girl

Then it hit her. Inuyasha was there.

"W-wait! Hold on! Nevermind!" she yelped, chasing after the girl ineffectively, due to the ridiculous amount of bags hanging off her arms. Unfortunately, her protests were waved away by a dismissive hand.

"You'll never be able to get home without help. Besides, I really don't have anything to do, and I've wanted to revisit the shrine. I haven't been there in awhile."

"But, ah, we're renovating!"

Yura frowned prettily at her. "I think I can handle a little bit of dirt and mechanics, la. Come on, already." Without further ado, she continued, a worried Kagome trailing after her.

This...was not good.

end chapter two

Hopefully I won't suck anymore and I'll be able to post another chapter soon. Have a happy easter.