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Summer Raindrops (A Truth or Dare Oneshot) by Lucy Morningstar

Summer Raindrops (A Truth or Dare Oneshot)

Disclaimer: Inuyasha belongs to Rumiko Takahashi and its respective owners.

What a good thing we lose

What a bad thing we knew

If I hadn’t touched you, would I still be smiling?

-Ref:Rain, Aimer

“I choose… I choose dare!” Shippo exclaimed, his tiny fist balled up. A sprightly fire burned in his green eyes, a confident smile flickered on his cherub face. As if making that decision, in fact to simply exclaim the word “dare”, was something to be proud of, something that would bolster his delicate pride and prove his courage as a young fox demon.

Sango gently slapped her own face, sighing, as Kagome laughed nervously. Someone needed to tell the little kit choosing “dare” each time his turn came was not an utmost wise idea, all the more especially if the bottle spinner had been Inuyasha. Immediately the hanyou folded his hands and threw his head back, expelling a loud, raucous laugh that made Shippo’s little hairs on his arm stand straight up.

Inuyasha scratched his chin, thinking, humming deliberately.

“Hmmm….” Then suddenly he jumped up and pointed a crooked finger claw at the young kit, his face alight with a dangerous mischief. “Shippo, I dare you to get your ass whooped by me!”

Miroku sighed and leaned backwards on his arm, fanning himself with a straw fan as the whooping started. The ground shook with Inuyasha’s heavy thumping around, and Shippo’s shrill cries piercing the hot, sweltering summer air. Afterwards Kagome was screaming too, and then it was all over too soon, with Inuyasha’s face kissing the ground.

Kagome sat down, grumbling as she did so. She caught a glance at Sango beside her, who was at the same time, studying the priest. Kagome looked at Miroku. His attention seemed to be stolen elsewhere, as he stared ahead to the direction of his north-east, towards a tall jagged cliff, its edge almost obscure in the forested mountains.

Just a few days ago, that cliff had housed Naraku’s castle. Inuyasha and his comrades had managed to perforate through the miasma-based barrier, as it hissed with toxic fumes at the touch of Kagome’s holy arrow. Swiftly, they barged into the spider’s nest, followed suit by Sesshoumaru who had discreetly tailed them from behind, looking more surly than usual. It had been a spectacular entrance—a pair of great swords wielded from each corner, the metal glinting sharply into Naraku’s eyes, momentarily blinding him as he shuffled backwards, a broken curse spilling from his lips.

And then, just when they thought it was over, when the great evil was nothing but a floating pool of rotting bits and pieces, Naraku upped and left. “This is not over yet,” he growled with all the menace he could muster from his decapitated head, his innards swimming around him. The pillars in the castle cracked and splintered under their weight, as the castle started crumbling all around them. Kagome could feel her balance swaying, as the ground beneath her feet began to rumble deeply.

“The cliff,” Sesshoumaru had called out, as if speaking to himself. “It is going to collapse.”

Later, Inuyasha and the others made the unanimous decision to set camp nearby. That area in the mountains still seemed to buzz with a suspicious aura, underlying although invisible. They would sit here and wait. It was not the first time the devious lunatic had performed such disappearing acts, presumably to heal his festering wounds in some dank cave, not after that hacking job the two brothers had given him. Only to return with a new masterplan more frivolous than the last, and a whole cast of incarnations randomly-generated from god-knows-where.

It was a cycle everyone knew, and was sick of, but it provided their lives with a twisted sense of zest, a bitter meaning to strive. Needless to say during that particular stretch of days, no one knew exactly what to do. It wasn’t long before Kagome brought up the idea of filling the lull by playing with games. Inuyasha had snorted at first, before slowly realizing he was too quick to judge. Whether it was hopscotch or charades, very soon it became very plain to everyone that he was the most enthusiastic, although proving to be a sore loser at times.

Kagome turned to steal a glance at Sesshoumaru who too, had taken rest at the same area, albeit with some distance from them with obvious reasons.

Sesshoumaru sat alone under a pawlonia tree, a white figure of quiet solitude. With his thick, glinting armour of spikes curled dangerously around his shoulder, and that conspicuous, almost plushie-like pelt nestled on the other, Kagome wondered how anyone could appear so intimidating, yet soft at the same time.

It was Shippo’s turn to spin the bottle. He did so while sniffing his bloodied nose, his energy from minutes ago lost.

The bottle slowly descended from its flurry. Its capped end pointed towards Miroku. His usual composed face quirked. Ah the simple dilemma of choosing “truth” or “dare”—invoking an internal battle of wills. He closed his eyes and let out a measured breath. If he chose truth, Shippo would be quick to fire a deadly question, perhaps an insight into his womanizing ways, or his colourful past of which its details he had never thoroughly shared with anyone. With Sango watching him closely, he couldn’t possible make that blunder. For sure, he was not just a priest, but one with many untold secrets.

He gripped his staff on his lap. “Dare!” he said.

Shippo chuckled and rubbed his hands with glee.

“O Great Priest, I dare you to do the chicken dance!”

“Shippo-chan, seriously?” Kagome went.

“It’s alright, Kagome-sama,” said Miroku, sending her a reassuring smile, as he stood up gracefully and brushed against his robes. “This is nothing.” Beside him, Sango chewed on her thumbnail. It was going to be embarrassing, but deep inside she wanted to see it, wanted to see the usually respectable priest perform a wacky chicken dance.

Inuyasha rubbed the soil from his face as he lifted himself up, his head still spinning. Was he imagining things? Yeah, he must be. That head-slam into the ground must have shook his brains a bit. He blinked at the spectacle before him.

Miroku was half-crouching, as he slowly paced around the group, one step at a time. His elbows were bent around his hips. His arms were flapping like a bird, and his head bobbed forward like a….

Buck, buck, buck,” Miroku went.

Shippo was rolling on the ground, roaring with laughter, tears in his eyes. Sango finally casted her eyes down to her lap, biting her lip. It was too much, she could almost feel the embarrassment just watching him, even though she had not been the one to do it.

“Sango-chan,” Miroku said, with slight jest in his voice. “What do you think? Mind you, this is not just some silly chicken dance. I call it the “March of the Elegant Shoukouku Hen.””

Sango looked up, red in the face at the mention of her name.

“Priest! I..I.. I think…”

Kagome and Inuyasha faced each other, before bursting into a fit of laughter, joining Shippo on the ground. Only Sango did not seem to share their mirth, gaping open-mouthed at the priest who seemed to have bestowed upon her some kind of dazzling fowl wisdom.

“What the heck is a Shoukouku hen?” Inuyasha wheezed. “Hey Miroku, that’s about enough, ain’t it? Spin the bottle already.”

“Alright, alright,” sighed Miroku as he sat down briskly. One would think he had actually enjoyed his dare. He spun the bottle, and it settled towards Sango.

Sango sucked in her breath. Why her? She had been very lucky so far since the game started, never being chosen as the victim. She raised her face against the bright azure skies, almost waiting for that far, unreachable breeze to soothe her, but it never quite came. Instead Kirara hopped into her lap, purring as the cat nuzzled against Sango’s hand.

She stroked Kirara’s downy fur, thinking. Should she chose “truth”? She peeked at the smiling priest beside her. Just sitting beside him made butterflies dance in her stomach. But it didn’t mean she trusted him. What if he asked her a silly question? Like asking her again to bear his child? That time when he asked her once, it had been under different circumstances…

“Hey Kagome-chan,” Sango said. “What happens if we choose truth, but we lie instead?”

Kagome gasped, as if Sango had asked a scandalous question. “You have to speak nothing but the truth! Or the great god Bentei will curse you a thousandfold!”

Sango’s shoulders stiffened in reflex. “Well then, in that case I chose dare…” she replied hastily.

Inuyasha scoffed. Why was everyone choosing “dare”? But he would probably chose that as well, to think about it. He did not trust the group when it came to asking him sensitive questions, and god knew they all were always secretly plotting against him.

Earlier on, Kagome had spun the bottle and he had been picked. Without thinking, he had blurted out “truth”, for fear that a dare would mean getting “sit” by her. How simple his mind worked, and how equally simple he was proven wrong.

“Who is prettier—me, or Kikyo?”

The whole group had exhaled a loud gasp, before waiting in hushed suspense for his answer. He wanted to kill everyone at that point in time.

“W-well,” he stammered, before managing a flimsy smile, trying to choose his words carefully. Kagome was hurling at him a single glare that beheld the sharpness of a thousand daggers, before he even answered. “Right now, it’s obviously you, of course.”

Kagome seemed to agonize over his answer. What? He had said the truth, somewhat. Right now, she was prettier. And she still wasn’t pleased?

“What if Kikyo was beside me, who would be prettier—“

Suddenly Miroku put up a hand. “Well, well. You can only ask one question at a time, Kagome-sama.”

Sango laughed nervously. “Yes, it’s rather unfair to ask a follow-up question.”

How Inuyasha had sighed in gratitude then. He rubbed his chest, relieved, and never felt so thankful to the pair. There was no way he could possibly answer that second question truthfully. Obviously Kikyo beside her was sooo much prettier…

Looking at Sango now, who had chosen “dare”, something nagged at the back of Inuyasha’s mind that she had made the wrong decision somehow.

Miroku chuckled gently. “Dare, is it?” He glanced down to his staff propped on his lap, and started to stroke along its long pole. “Sango, it would be my greatest pleasure to receive a kiss from you, as a dare.”

Whaaaat?!” Sango shrieked. No, this wasn’t supposed to happen. She had dodged an attack by not choosing to speak the truth. What is this—where did it come from?

Shippo folded his arms and sighed. “It’s a dare, Sango-chan. You gotta kiss him.”

“I possibly couldn’t!”

Kagome rubbed the back of her neck. “I’m sorry Sango-chan, you can’t really go back on this one.”

Sango stared at the ground beneath her, silently beseeching it to open up and swallow her.

“Well, I’m waiting,” said Miroku, as he fanned himself casually.

Sango shuddered, as she tucked her hair behind her ear. He didn’t say exactly where to kiss, did he? Her heart thundering in her chest like a storm, Sango plucked up all the courage within her and closed her eyes, as she swiftly lunged forward to plant a kiss on Miroku’s cheek.

The air around her shifted. She felt the breeze as it reached her, soothed her heated body. Slowly she opened her eyes. Miroku was fanning towards her, an amused, gentle smile on his lips.

“Not the kind I expected, but that will do for a while,” he almost whispered, as if reserved only for her ears.

Kagome clapped her hands together. That was so sweet. Nevertheless she cleared her throat to jolt Sango, who seemed to have had stars shining in her eyes as she stared at the priest.

“It’s your turn to spin the bottle, Sango-chan.”

“Ah, yes.”

Inuyasha mumbled a curse when the bottle pointed to him, for the second time. Everyone started laughing.

“It’s your lucky day, Inuyasha!” Shippo giggled. Inuyasha swatted at him like he was a housefly.

 “Dare!” he bellowed almost immediately.

“Well, well, what should I pick?” thought Sango aloud, as she looked up.

“Don’t twist around it, just be quick!”

“Fine. Inuyasha, say sorry to Shippo.”

“What? Why would I?”

“For giving him that mean ass-whopping he didn’t deserve.”

Shippo sniffed, rubbing his sore butt. “It still hurts,” he said, his voice frail and weak.

Inuyasha sprang up, lifting his fist at the little kit. “It was a freaking dare!” he yelled.

“So is this one,” Sango replied matter-of-factly. “Come on Inuyasha, just one word won’t kill you.”

“Y’all just a bunch of idiots!” And he sat back, folding his arms very tightly.

“Inuyasha, are you going to do it or not?” Kagome asked, glancing at her fingernails.

Inuyasha gritted his teeth. He knew it. They were all plotting against him.

“Sorry,” he mumbled.

“I can’t hear you,” Shippo replied, still sniffing.

Inuyasha jumped on his feet again. “I said sorry, you pansyhead!”

Miroku laughed. “If that isn’t the most sincere form of apology I’ve came across, I don’t know what is. Well, Shippo, there you go.”

Inuyasha spat on the ground. “Keep your sarcasm to yourself.” Cursing inwardly, he leaned forward and spun the bottle with all his might.

The bottle seemed to spin harder, and longer than usual, a vision of blurred white plastic against the brown, earthy soil. Its speed was fuelled with Inuyasha's anger at being mocked by his friends, and further resentment towards Kagome who still did not completely trust him, after all the things he did for her. The more he stared at the bottle, the more it did not cease to slow down.

When it finally did however, it stopped at a peculiar direction, at the space between him and Kagome. Inuyasha did not realize the large gap between them. He remembered sitting quite closely beside her when the game first started.

Was it she who edged away, or him who drifted apart as the game moved on?

"Hey. It's not really pointing to anyone," Sango called out.

"Well, that's seems to be the case…unless you consider Sesshoumaru to be part of the game as well," observed Miroku.

Everyone turned to look at the said demon, who was sitting a few metres away from them. Sesshoumaru seemed to be oblivious to their quiet stares, resting under the tree as his sharp eyes fixated themselves at something out there in the great distance. The group glanced towards the direction his gaze fell, but there was nothing. Sesshoumaru was simply staring at nothing.

Inuyasha smirked. He knew Sesshoumaru had been listening to their game. He had been sitting there before they even started. He would have been aware of how it was conducted; the rules and its conditions. He cracked his knuckles, before hollering out.

"Oi, Sesshoumaru! Truth or Dare?!"

Kagome smacked her forehead. What in the world was Inuyasha thinking? Getting the high and mighty Sesshoumaru to join in their childish game? He would probably massacre them first. Immediately the demon turned towards them, as he lashed another of his infamous glares, so bright his eyes glittered.

It was like looking directly into the sun—unlike Inuyasha's, his eyes bore a more malevolent and predatory youki that quietly simmered underneath—although to Kagome instead of generating warmth, they invoked images of the distant North Pole.

Sesshoumaru squinted. Inuyasha actually had the cheek to even associate himself with whatever stupendous game he had been playing with his fellow misfits. And what was that smirk on his face? Did the half-boiled egg think all of this was entertaining?

"Um, Sesshoumaru," Kagome voiced out. "You don't have to play you don't want to…"

"Truth," Sesshoumaru answered, his deep voice cutting into her ears. He had nothing at all to hide. This Sesshoumaru did not keep secrets of his own, unlike Inuyasha and his bunch of rag-tag comrades. Yes, truth would suffice. He would rather hang himself on the tree than choose “dare”, and subject himself to unspeakable degrees of humiliation.

Inuyasha spat out a laugh and stood up, facing him squarely. It did not matter what Sesshoumaru chose, he was going to enjoy pulling the metaphorical stick out of the daiyoukai's ass.

"If you're the only demon left in this world, and there is one human left for you to mate, who's it gonna be?"

Sesshoumaru replayed the question in his head, and found a small smile tugging at the edge of his lips. At first he was thrown off to hear something so inane, but he quickly gained his balance. He stared at Inuyasha, who had a triumphant grin pasted on his face. Feeling good, aren't we? This Sesshoumaru will wipe that grin off your face.

"The priestess," he declared. His expression nary a flinch.

Miroku, Sango and Shippo glanced at each other and gulped. They all knew where this was going. Whether it was a lie was hard to ascertain given the circumstances if they really came to be. On the other hand Sesshoumaru did not look like he gave a damn if Bentei really cursed him a thousandfold. The only truth was glaringly obvious: Sesshoumaru had answered that out of spite for Inuyasha.

Inuyasha backed away, sputtering, speechless. His game had completely backfired on him. He turned to look at Kagome, but her face was marred with a pinched expression.

"Which priestess?" she asked Sesshoumaru, almost demanding. A sharp gasp drew out from Inuyasha's breath. Even in this situation, she still felt the need to re-validate herself. Was her self-esteem that low? "There are so many priestesses around. You gotta be clear—"

"You," Sesshoumaru said. "It will be you."

A deathly silence shrouded the group, only to be punctured by the incessant ringing of the cicadas.

“You filthy son of a…” Inuyasha muttered, his hand flying to Tessaiga’s sheath.

Kagome started to laugh, although her voice was cracking at its edges, as she waved a hand dismissively. “Well, well, I’m honoured to say the least…” But it was too late, Inuyasha had unleashed his sword, the fang roaring as it transformed from the rusty steel into a formidable blade.

Sesshoumaru stood up.  Kagome thought it was her imagination, or perhaps a play of shadows under the shade, but his slight smile seemed to grow even disturbing.

“Itching for a fight already, Inuyasha? Now this is my kind of entertainment.”

Inuyasha charged forward with a yell, his huge sword raised above his head. The rest of his comrades began to sigh as the clanging of swords ensued behind them, feeling not the least bit concerned, in fact annoyed even.

“Well I guess this is it, then. The game is over,” Shippo said.

“Let’s wait, shall we?” Miroku replied. “I’m interested to see who is going to win.”

Sango clapped her hands together. “Ah, let’s place bets then. I’m guessing Sesshoumaru would win.” Miroku and Shippo both nodded agreeably before digging for coins.

“Guys, are you serious?”

They looked at Kagome, who was the only one who seemed exasperated. “What?” they went. “Those two are only fighting because of you.”

After a few minutes or so, the fight spiralled into a crescendo. Inuyasha managed to thwart the incoming Bakusaiga aiming for his face, before heaving Tessaiga across it, sending Sesshoumaru’s sword flying out of his hands. The daiyoukai recovered his footing in a split-second however, and then he did something Kagome would never dreamed of witnessing—as if in slow-motion his body twirled, his long, magnificent hair floating in the air like magic, and then he sent a flying kick straight to Inuyasha’s head.

Kagome gasped as Inuyasha’s body landed on the ground like a sack of potatoes. He wasn’t dead, of course, just thoroughly knocked out. Beside her, Sango and Shippo cheered, as they collected Miroku’s money. “Someone has to bet on the poor fellow,” the priest had said.

Sesshoumaru huffed and strode towards the group. Shippo cowered and immediately seeked refuge on Kagome’s lap. This is it, she thought. This is the part where he massacres us all, after he’s had his fun.

Instead, Sesshoumaru crouched and he leaned forward, placing a deadly hand on the empty plastic bottle, a strange anachronism in the ancient feudal era.

“It’s my turn now, correct?”

The group watched with bated breath as the bottle spun. No one dared to say no, that he was not part of the game, because technically, he was now. Who? Who was going to be Sesshoumaru’s victim? And what would one answer when one was chosen? Was Sesshoumaru the type to make one spill his guts colloquially, in the burning search for the truth? Or would he literally have one really spill his guts, for the sake of his pleasure?

Everyone’s eyes were fixed on the spinning bottle, enraptured, their breaths sucked in their chests. Don’t stop at me, each of them whispered urgently in their littlest of hearts. Anyone, but me!

The bottle slowed down, aiming for Shippo. He trembled, until a breeze came from nowhere, pushing the bottle slightly, edging it away. He cried in relief. And then he saw that the bottle had chosen Kagome.

Everyone stared at her. The priest filched out his rosary beads and started to chant a prayer.

“Um… I choose… I choose…” Kagome stammered.

“Take your time,” Sesshoumaru said, his voice grave and solemn, making her feel even worse. “Choose wisely.”

Kagome was perspiring heavily now, and it was not because of the cruel summer heat. Should she go ahead and choose truth as any sensible person would? Oh god, she couldn’t even look at Sesshoumaru in the eyes. What if…what if he knew? He had an inkling, didn’t he? He had silently scrutinized her all this time before reaching his suspicions. Wasn’t that why he had chosen her when answering Inuyasha’s question? Not just to spite Inuyasha, but because he wanted to test her reaction.

Kagome clasped her face, blushing beet-root red. She must have been so obvious all this time, and he had managed to grasp hints through her body language.

What was it? How she had been slightly intrigued by his smug, inaccessible character right from their first meeting? She had been quietly impressed by that frightening power and strength he wielded in combat. Or maybe it was the way he walked. The way he was always striding around, with his eyes dead on his intent, armed with a remarkable sense of direction. Kagome did not even have to start on his obviously attractive features, an angelic face that otherwise harboured only stoic expressions, those unique markings accentuating his sharp cheekbones. And how could she forget that hair? Glorious, lustrous strands of silver whether it was glimmering under the sun, or exuding an ethereal moon-lit glow. Gosh she could go on forever.

Did Sesshoumaru really discover the fact that Kagome had a tiny, wee crush on him? It was a horrible, embarrassing secret no one must knew. No one!

“D-dare!” she finally blurted out, shutting her eyes.

Her friends looked upon each other in confusion, wondering why on earth Kagome had decided to seal her fate.

Sesshoumaru nodded, as if he had understood. Slowly he pulled up his right sleeve, exposing a bruise forming on his pale, unblemished skin.

“Would you attend to my injuries?” he asked. “If I leave this wound any longer, it might turn into an infection.”

Kagome stared at his arm. It was a simple, harmless bump that would have not required any urgent attention especially on someone like Sesshoumaru, but… She glanced up at his face, before quickly averting her gaze away. He was quietly looking at her, waiting for her answer. At that moment, suddenly the ringing cicadas had gone mute and the air completely gone still.

“Of—of course.”

Inuyasha groaned. It was the second time today he tasted blood and dirt in his mouth. He lifted his groggy head, stars still dancing in his vision. He massaged his left temple, trying to remember. Oh yeah, Sesshoumaru had given him that kick on the head that knocked out the wind out of him. But why exactly?

Inuyasha blinked and rubbed his eyes. Up ahead he was imagining things again, and it was evident enough his head still had not recovered from the shock.

Sesshoumaru and Kagome were sitting under a tree, the latter kneeling before him with a first aid kit.

“This salve will help you to heal quickly,” Kagome was saying as she lightly grabbed on his arm. She rubbed an ointment in circles on his bruise.

Sesshoumaru’s arm jerked. “Be gentle,” he murmured.

“Ah! I’m so sorry. Here, let me wrap some bandages to protect your bruise. You shouldn’t use this arm so much for the next few days, Sesshoumaru.”

He was quiet for a while, as he watched her wrap one complete roll around his arm.

“That is…a considerable amount of bandages.”

Kagome beamed. “All the better to protect your injury, isn’t it?”

“Hn.”

Suddenly the both of them looked up. Wet drops were filtering in through the branches, pattering against their heads. Kagome looked over her shoulder at the sky overhead.

“Well, I never! A hot shower in the height of summer?” Kagome questioned aloud. “That’s really strange.”

“Anything is possible if the gods will it.” Sesshoumaru stood up. Then he quickly glanced towards Kagome beside him, who had picked up her first aid kit. “There is an empty shack nearby. Do you…”

Kagome turned, and this time she wasn’t so scared anymore. She gazed straight into his sharp golden-ochre eyes and smiled.

“Is that another dare?” she asked him.

Sesshoumaru shrugged, as a cool breeze whispered on his face, and he slowly combed his hair with his long fingers.

“Think what you must,” he said. “I just do not wish for us to get wet.”

“Let’s go then!”

Inuyasha dropped back to the ground. It’s just a nightmare, he told himself. Another one of those lucid ones, during the day. There was no way in hell Sesshoumaru and Kagome would ever… He closed his eyes as a feeble sigh escaped from his body, the summer raindrops quickly pelting on his face.

.END.

A/N: Hmmm I haven’t written one-shots in a pretty long time. Whatcha think? Anyways I thought Sess was acting rather pampered at the end, but then again he is a dog…

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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