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Good Dog by Rose Rogan

A Traveler Goes a Traveling

“That’s it. I’m going home!” Kagome screeched out with every intention of piercing the mutt she called her best friend’s sensitive doggy ears. It was late in the evening when the group of weary travelers had decided to make camp, and all anyone wanted to do was relax and rejoice in the triumphant battle they had fought from dawn to dusk the day before. Their final battle against Naraku. 

Yes, Naraku was defeated, and the inu-taichi were beyond ecstatic. The last few months had been tense. Not only was a perpetual battle to the death looming on the horizon, but the addition of a few new members to the rag-tag group of misfits left the atmosphere rather turbulent to say the least. 

A few months earlier, the Inu-taichi and Sesshomaru’s pack decided to join up in an effort to rid the earth of the scourge known as Naraku. It was a mutually beneficial agreement, which all begrudgingly admitted, but the necessity did not stifle the animosity between the two half siblings. Everyone else got along just fine, but Inuyasha and Sesshomaru periodically exchanged blows, both physically and verbally. 

Of course it was always the Demon Lord who won the scuffles, but it was not only Inuyasha starting these fights. Kagome had noticed that, on occasion, the prideful youkai lord would be the one to insight the hanyou into battle. The young miko did not understand the reason as to why, but she could not miss the hidden delight that glinted in Sesshomaru’s steely gaze when he effortlessly dodged the hanyou’s frenzied attacks or elegantly tossed the mutt’s body across a clearing and into a tree, cliff side, or any other hard surfaces present.       

This caused Inuyasha to be a raging and raving mess of an ‘alpha’ for the pack during this time, and for his relationship with Kagome to all but deteriorate. The young onna tried to handle the emotional abuse as she knew it was due to her friend’s stress, not true animosity towards her, but the straw that broke the inu’s back was what happened after the battle. 

Once Kagome had purified Naraku with her holy arrow (yeah, she was a bad ass bitch now, both with a bow and her mind) the miko made a selfless wish on the jewel to purify it in to oblivion: a wish to release the corpse priestess from the netherworld’s shackles and allow her life once more.

This was risky, mind you, as everyone believed Kagome was Kikyo’s reincarnation so there was a chance her life meant the futuristic miko’s end, but this had not been the case. Instead, a whole soul rose from the ground in pristine purity befitting of a miko yet lacking the radiant light everyone had come to associate with Kagome’s soul. This soul drifted into the clay vessel of the Kikyo animation and as it fussed with the hardened stone the dead priestess’ shell began to crack. Tiny fissures began to crawl along the stony exterior of Kikyo’s clay facade as the light of life seeped out and filled the vessel to capacity. In an earth shattering moment as Kikyo’s once lifeless eyes looked not at Inuyasha but at her supposed reincarnation with disbelief and awe, a blinding light erupted and shards of clay fell to the ground. All stood in in amazement when the light faded to reveal a fair skinned Kikyo, blushing and smiling as her own two hands came to touch her warm cheeks.  

Silence followed and no one knew what to say, but Kagome was satisfied. She had given up on her love for Inuyasha (probably a long time ago) so she only felt happy for her friend’s joy when she noticed the emotional look in the doggy boy’s amber eyes as he looked on his living lover’s visage. She was bolted from her contentment with the outcome, however, when another blinding light began to build behind Kikyo’s chest before shooting out into the sky like a holy beacon. A gasp fell from everyone’s lips as they watched the mere fragment of Kagome’s soul expel itself from the foreign host and into the air before it shot down into Kagome’s chest like a divine lighting bolt.

It was then that everyone realized Kagome’s soul was, in fact, her own and despite their physical similarities, Kagome was not Kikyo’s reincarnation. The young miko who had always valued independence and individuality was overjoyed by hearing such news and everyone else seemed to accept the news with ease and grace. Everyone, of course, except Inuyasha. 

The foul-mouthed brat had been raving about Kikyo’s superiority the entire time the group travelled back to Edo after setting out the following day. Words of disregard and dissatisfaction with the futuristic miko’s past deeds and current self were rattled off like a check list with every step that was taken back towards their home. Kagome’s inaccuracies with the bow upon her arrival to the Feudal Era, her inability to use her powers at first and her slow and clumsy acquisition of them along the way, of her lack of decorum and strength… basically Inuyasha just continued to call Kagome stupid, useless, and weak the entire day. 

For her part, the young miko kept her anger contained as she wanted to allow everyone some time to bask in the delight of their new freedom from the sacred jewel and that bastard Naraku. It was for that reason alone Kagome held her tongue and grit her teeth. It helped that everyone, including both Kikyo AND Sesshomaru attempted to silence the hanyou’s tirade against her. In the end, he just kept talking and Kagome just learned to tune him out. That is, until the fool brought up her past feelings for him. 

“Keh, like who could fall for such a klutz like her when I’ve known the love of a real woman like you, Kikyo?” The hanyou’s ears twitched as he held the newly risen priestesses’ hands and stared at her slightly blushing face, but her brown eyes did not meet the amber gaze of her previously lost lover but cast an apologetic glance in Kagome’s direction. Both women had known love for Inuyasha, so both women had a guess as to what he was doing. The dog was posturing as he tried to show Kikyo his loyalty only to her and this was Inuyasha’s way of making it clear that Kikyo was the one he had chosen. It was not done to hurt Kagome, no, that was just a inevitable side-affect that he would try to deal with later. He was a one problem at a time kind of man-child after all. 

“Inuyasha.” A cold and menacing aura began to sweep across the clearing where they had set up camp and the fluffy dog ear’s on the hanyou’s head instantly flattened at his name being called and the reiki tingling against his skin. Amber eyes glanced to the side to see a women he did still consider a friend surrounded in a storm of reiki. Magenta whips of the holy energy where carried on the wind as the young miko’s energy pulsed along with her mounting ire. 

How dare he. It was one thing to talk shit about her past inexperience, basically because it had actually been true, but why did the jerk have to go so far as to mock her first love. To treat her like she had never mattered to him at all. Insults to her abilities, Kagome could take. Hell, Inuyasha could just keep on comparing her to Kikyo for all she cared now that the knew her soul was her own, but to belittle Kagome’s feelings and toss them in her face simply for the sake of mocking her was something the young onna wouldn’t stand for. 

A fierce light shone behind the infuriated miko’s glare as she stepped towards the frozen hanyou, and a twisted smirk pulled at her delicate lips when a whimper of fear escaped the dog’s mouth. “You have gone too far this time, Inuyasha, and you deserve this for so many reasons.” 

Inuyasha’s eyes widened at the realization of what was about to happen as he scrambled to a safe distance away from Kikyo before being ‘sat’ roughly twenty times. Dust floated into the air like a cloud and the particles rode the waves of the wind Kagome’s still pulsing aura was creating. It wasn’t until she stepped forward and saw the hanyou buried in a mini crater that she began to calm down. Her aura was all but settled when Inuyasha managed to claw his way back up to the land of the living and the scowl on his face was met with a haughty smirk from the young miko. He deserved it and everyone there knew it so Kagome would feel no regret for what she had done.

With that in mind, Kagome turned to return to her sleeping bag and finally turn in for the night, only to stop when she heard the damning words spoken be her previous best friend. “See, you’re just a crazy bitch. No man will ever want you, Ms. Second Choice.”

A wave of ebony curls whipped to the side as Kagome turned with near demonic speed back to face the pathetic asshole. An impressive imitation of a growl spilled from her throat as she felt her temper rise to new levels within her. 

Now, Kagome had maintained a decent level of control over her budding miko powers for over a years time, but now that the missing part of her soul had been replaced her power was trying to flow out of her like a river with no dam. As wave upon wave brushed against the barrier of her control, the young miko began to fear she was about to do something she would truly regret—like purifying the idiot hanyou before her. It was this fear that led Kagome to once again hold her tongue. Turning back around she threw her hands into the air and went over to where Sango held Kirara. 

“That’s it. I’m going home!”

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The ever stoic Western Lord watched the miko’s fury rise to unfathomable proportions with his typical stony expression, but inside the daiyoukai was surprised at the scene before him. The older inu had never thought much of Inuyasha’s wench, er, his first wench, uh, well, the younger wench. She had proved a nuisance first in his father’s tomb as she sabotaged the daiyoukai’s quest for his father’s legendary fang, the Tessaiga, and in numerous battles afterwards. In truth, the Inu Lord saw the uncouth woman as one of the most insufferable beings he had ever met. 

Being around the raven haired, blue-eyed wench seemed as repulsive of a notion as joining forces with his half-breed of a half-sibling, but the daiyoukai found himself oddly perplexed after witnessing the dynamics of their pack. Instead of Inuyasha, the miko was perceived as the alpha and respected as such by everyone but the whelp, and she did all the duties of a typical alpha, including aiding in the groups protection. This had been the biggest shock as before he had joined their pack, Sesshomaru hadn’t seen the miko use her abilities in over half a year. Even the proud Demon Lord would have to admit he was shocked when he witnessed her practiced finesse with the bow or her manipulation of the powerful reiki that now flowed through her being as if by second nature. This along with the fact that the blue-eyed miko had been the one to finish off the vile spider-hanyou made the silver inu both wary and intrigued. 

In his many years, Sesshomaru had never seen such raw power dwell in any being, holy or otherwise, besides himself. Because of this, it had come to no surprise to the daiyoukai that Kagome was not Kikyo’s reincarnation as he had already begun to doubt such a possibility. If Kikyo’s soul had manifested such power, Sesshomaru would have known. No, Kagome’s power was raw and untrained but incredibly deadly in its originality. 

Molten gold flashed with an unknown emotion as the daiyoukai watched waves of reiki whirl around the petite woman in a miniature cyclone, the spicy scent of her purity tickling his sensitive nose. The power within was fighting to be released from the confines of the miko’s person, as probably only Sesshomaru could tell, and he waited for the whelp to be purified. It was what the boy deserved after the disrespect he had shown the onna, and as the alpha bitch of the group she had every right to end him. 

Instead, golden eyes slightly widened in surprise as the miko, yet again, seemed to forgive the foul-mouthed creatures transgressions and turned to walk away. Of course, the whelp never knew when to sit down and shut up, a tactic he should have picked up after receiving countless beatings from the Demon Lord in the past. No, instead he spat such bile that even Sesshomaru, who had come to respect the young onna for her dedication to her pack and the innate strength of her spirit, was offended on her behalf. The release of a human’s version of a growl was what distracted the daiyoukai from releasing his own punishment on the ungrateful whelp. It had been quite…impressive, for a human. 

Sesshomaru watched as the miko stormed away in a desperate attempt to spare the boy’s life, an attempt the older inu knew Inuyasha would not even know to appreciate. The others all directed their reproachful glares at the sulking hanyou after the miko departed on the cat youkai, but Sesshomaru’s intense gaze remained fixed on the onna’s fleeting image. Her magenta light illuminating her like a shooting star as she travelled on towards the well. 

It was time. 

“Jaken.” The word was spoken with no inflection, just a cold command, and as the kappa heard his master speak he bobbled his way over before falling on his knees. 

“Yes, My Lord? How may I be of service, My Lord?” Ugly, bulbous yellow eyes locked on the face of the cold Demon Lord and waited in anticipation to fulfill whatever request the great inu might have. Hopefully, the order would be for them to depart from this pack of filthy ningen that only sullied the air meant for his lord with their pathetic presence. The battle was complete so they should be returning to the Shiro.  

“Take Ah Un and Rin and head towards the Shiro. This Sesshomaru has a matter to attend to.” A silver river of silky hair fluttered in the breeze as the inu made a brisk turn to depart, ignoring the spluttering of his trusted retainer. The toad was useful but most days Sesshomaru wondered if his usefulness outweighed the annoyance caused by his infernal squawking. 

Leaping into the sky as a youki cloud formed under his feet to catch him, Sesshomaru began his pursuit. It wasn’t long until he was landing in front of Goshinboku. He was just in time. There in the clearing sat the miko on the edge of the Bone Eater’s well. Her image was forlorn and the inu’s heightened senses could smell the salt of her tears from his positon at the forrest’s edge. Why did it bother him when the mortal onna cried? It had only occurred twice while traveling with his half-brother’s pack, but each time the smell of her sorrow called forth a primal instinct in the inu to comfort—an instinct he had only ever known around Rin. It was curious, and the daiyoukai was determined to find out what was the cause. 

The weeping onna gave the fire cat one last pet on the head before jumping into the abyss below, a warm blue light shinning out only seconds later. She had left, and now it was his turn.  

As the fire cat ascended into the sky, Sesshomaru was a blur of white fur and silk as he leaped from his previous position to stand on the ledge of the dry well. Looking down, Sesshomaru could clearly see the dirt and dry, craggily bones of long deceased youkai littering the bottom of the well, but no miko. It had come to his attention in passing that the onna was not of this time and that her passage to this era was by means of the well, but it still seemed too fantastical for the logical youkai to believe.  

Nonetheless, Sesshomaru knew his chances of getting through the well were slim, as Inuyasha and Kagome both related that only the half-breed had ever been granted passage, but the inu did have something he thought could act as a ticket in to her world. 

The clawed hand of his recently restored left arm came up to search the inner folds of his haori, searching until deadly fingers grasped cool silk. The daiyoukai pulled the small object out for inspection, and a ghost of a smile played on his lips. Humans were so foolish. In his hand, the big inu held a protective charm, an Omamori, that the miko had distributed to each member of the pack before the final battle. The daiyoukai even remembered the sense of shock and something unfamiliar that settled in his chest when the small onna gave him the clumsily sewn silk pouch for ‘protection,’ like he needed such thing. It was only the lack of time to spare that the inu had not told the miko of her foolishness before tossing the gift to the ground. Instead, he gave his typical ‘hn’ and tucked the blue silk that matched the miko’s eyes away in his inner garments. 

Now, however, the trinket would prove useful (hopefully) as it was indued with the miko’s reiki. Her holy energy was a soft caress that Sesshomaru felt along his skin since he received the object and that still held true. A lulling sense of comfort came over the youkai as he held the small pouch in his bare palm, and the feeling strengthened as his claws curled in to grip the pouch tight. This was the first time in centuries the powerful demon feared his plan would fail, but he had to try. With grace and elegance, as per usual, the Demon Lord took a step off the edge and followed the miko into the consuming darkness of an unknown world. 

 

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