That Old Cliché by inali
Part One: Running for Your Life Makes for an Excellent Cardio Work-out
DISCLAIMER: InuYasha and concepts are the legal property of Rumiko Takahashi. Storyline and other concepts used within are used for entertainment purposes only and no profit is being made.
Part One: Running for Your Life Makes for an Excellent Cardio Work-out
"The thrill of fear that I'd never have made it. The thrill of fear, now greatly enjoyed with courage."
"Kagome, can ye explain to me the importance of this flower?"
Glancing up, the young girl couldn't help blanching slightly at the elder miko looking back at her expectantly. It seemed even in the Sengoku Jidai, Kagome was doomed to pop quizzes.
"Well... the myoga flower is used for cooking, though too much can prove toxic." Kagome answered meekly before perking up. "And in my time there's been some research indicating it could have potential as an anti-carcinogenic." She added, with an astute nod for contributing her own expertise a la five centuries in the future.
At Kaede's owlish blink, and Miroku's slow repetition of the unfamiliar terminology, Kagome's bravado took a nosedive. "It helps fight cancer." She expanded apprehensively, when even that seemed to add no illumination to her would-be mentors. "Sickness? Oh, never mind." Returning glumly to her task of gathering herbs in the small garden Kaede had sown and cultivated over the years, Kagome sighed glumly puffing at her bangs for theatricality's sake. The puny plants even going so far as to remind the futuristic teen of the time she had tried to explain the concept of crop rotating to the group only to be met with blank stares.
Yes, it indeed seemed that she, Higurashi Kagome, was doomed to the epic failure of pop quizzes even in the Feudal Era. Huffing quietly to herself, she glanced back at her gardening companions. "Kaede, would you like me to start preparing these to dry?" She asked, hoping to avoid further questions on the plants they were gathering.
"Aye, child, you may." The elder miko responded with a curt nod. "Then perhaps, you could go into InuYasha's Forest and fetch some shiitake mushrooms for this old one?"
"Oh, sure, not a problem!" Kagome enthused with a bright smile, grabbing up her basket and heading back to the miko's hut with renewed spirit.
It took the young miko no time to press then set the herbs out neatly on a shelf under the window to dry in the afternoon sun. Then she was back out of the hut with basket, bow and quiver in tow enjoying the balmy day. The winds smelled of coming rains, and Kagome couldn't help the contented smile as she waved leisurely to some of the villagers working in the rice fields by way of greeting. It was the quiet moments, such as this, that the teenager enjoyed the most about her time spent here in the past. Just performing the day to day tasks of village life, heralded in a sense of simplistic serenity in the adventurous teen that could not be found elsewhere in her double life. It made her almost believe she could become a permanent part of this world of magic and adventure.
Sighing, she paused just under the Goshinboku, looking up into its branches only mildly surprised to find them empty. "I wonder where he is?" She addressed no one in particular, before shrugging the notion off. With one final moment of paying her respects to the God Tree that stood like a silent sentry in both of the eras she had come to call home, she ventured into the forest. She had mushrooms to find, after all, and at the moment that took precedence over a certain wayward, moody inu-hanyou.
Her quest for the elusive shiitake proved even more tedious and difficult than originally believed. Seriously, how difficult was it to find a few stinking mushrooms at the base of some stinking tree in the middle of the stinking rainy season? Kagome huffed, and sulked to herself, and decided that she spent way too much time around InuYasha. She was even starting to sound like him! Well, her inner monologue was, anyway. Though, at least it was still spoken in her own voice, and not in his gruff mumblings; if that ever became the case, she'd willingly hand herself over to the men in the white coats.
With that decided, and feeling surprisingly at peace with the notion, Kagome continued on with her search for the stupid mushrooms. Enjoying the smells of the forest, which the oncoming rains seemed to enjoy enhancing into an earthy richness, Kagome took in her surrounds with quiet appreciation. Overhead, birds were singing from their roosts, and in the distance, thunder could be heard rumbling.
"I better hurry up and find them." She fretted aloud before giving a shrill bark of victory as she rounded an ancient cedar. "Found 'em!" She clapped, before shedding her bow and kneeling before the small colony of mushrooms nestled in the roots of the tree. "I've been searching all over for you guys." She informed the mushrooms as she began gingerly picking them and placing them into her basket.
As Kagome sat back on her heels, ready to congratulate herself on a job well done and mission complete, she felt something. It wasn't anything she could easily name, it almost felt as if the atmosphere had made a large "pop!" only there was no sound to accompany the sensation. Whatever it was had her on her feet and rushing toward her discarded bow, her basketful of shiitake forgotten, as her fight or flight instinct kicked into overdrive.
"Who's there?" She demanded loudly, proud when her voice remained steady, and even held a tinge of anger. Notching an arrow, she strained her senses to locate the source of the disturbance, eyes darting about her as she was met with nothing. "Show yourself!" She shouted again, this time the ruminations of apprehension tingeing her voice .
To her right came a loud crash, that had Kagome yelping in start and diving out from under the path of a rapidly descending conifer. "Hey!" she shrieked out in her ire. "Are you trying to kill me?"
Honestly, the retort came out before her brain had time to register the idiocy of such a statement, as she deadpanned up at the twelve foot oni. Letting out a nervous tittering of laughter, she gulped out a "Guess you did." Then took off in a dead run, zigging and zagging through the trees, before coming to a graceless halt when a tree root decided to unceremoniously jump up and trip her mid-flight. Really, the local dendrites had absolutely no manners or kindly regard for damsel's in distress.
Rolling to her back, and batting at the errant ebony locks obstructing her view, Kagome let out another shrill scream when she discovered the oni was almost upon her. Huddling into a tight ball, of quivering, scared witless miko, Kagome braced herself for what was no doubt to be her untimely demise. At the oni's ground-shaking roar, she was sure her fate was sealed.
But the next comment, had her wishing it had only been Death by Oni in her cards. Yep, Death by Oni, was definitely more appealing than a grousing inu-hanyou.
"What are you, retarded?" InuYasha demanded, dusting his red fire-rat haori free of imaginary oni viscera. "Some miko you are, even with your bow you couldn't even handle one stinkin' low life oni? What the hell, Ka-go-me?" The ill-manner mutt taunted her cockily.
Opening first one eye, then the other, before pushing herself into a seated position. Her head remained bowed, her long, softly waving, dark hair blocking her expression from the tirading hanyou. That should have been his first clue to shut up.
The second came when Kagome spoke in a disturbingly sweet tone, "InuYasha?"
"Are you even listening to me, wench?" The hanyou in question retorted heatedly, completely oblivious to his impending doom.
The word echoed on a shrill note throughout the forest. Winning one regally arched brow and a nearly inaudible "hn" from the leader of a small and unlikely matched tangent of travelers nearby.
It seemed the hanyou would never learn.
Author's Note: So, yeah, this is meant to be a parody of sorts of all the fics out there. It's kind of a challenge to see how many overused plot devises I can shove into one story, preferably with not-so predictable outcomes. So far I have planned a comparison of Sesshoumaru to a certain Star Trek race, a cave scenario, an InuYasha- you wouldn't!, and who knows what all else, and none of these in any particular order. If you have any requests on overdone scenarios, feel free to shout them out.