Tadaima : I’m Home Part Two
An Inuyasha Fanfiction by Aoikami Sarah
Note: The Houjou-as-a-reincarnation-of-Inuyasha thing was inspired by Hero in the 21st Century, a doujinshi by Kristine Batey.
Written January 29th – February 14th 2003
As Inuyasha snoozed at long last, Kagome sat down to her homework. Her teachers had already told her that she would have to go to summer school in order to graduate. This hadn’t surprised her. She only wished that she could have spent the summer free and easy with Inuyasha before she’d have to find a job. After completing her math work, she spent a few minutes thinking and watching her lover sleep.
‘My lover,’ she thought and blushed bright red. ‘Too bad we have to live with my family…’
Her mother’s less-than-pleased face in her doorway broke her from her daydreaming.
“Kagome…?” she hissed, complete astonishment in her voice.
Quickly, Kagome took her mother down the hall. “I can explain…” She told her how Inuyasha had a nervous breakdown due to lack of sleep. In order to get a good nights’ rest, he needed to be near her. Maeko didn’t buy it for a second. Kagome begged her, for his sake to let him sleep on a futon in her room. “At least for a little while till he gets used to all the weird noises and stuff, please?”
“He will sleep on the floor.”
“Tonight, I sleep on the floor.”
Maeko and Kagome stared at each other for a moment. Silently, they agreed to trust each other. “Goodnight, Kagome.”
Kagome sighed with relief and went back to her studies. Inuyasha turned slowly in his sleep and muttered unintelligibly. She smiled and began her chemistry homework.
Below her window, in the darkness, someone was watching. Until it went black, he remained hidden behind a tree.
“Good night, Higurashi.”
“Ohayo,” Maeko greeted Kagome as she came downstairs for breakfast.
“Did you sleep well?” she asked, raising a brow.
“Yes, I did, thank you.”
Jiichan and Souta exchanged puzzled looks, but kept their comments to themselves. Inuyasha thudded down the stairs and stopped abruptly, as all eyes were on him. He began to sweat.
“Ohayo, Inuyasha.” Maeko smiled. “Breakfast is almost ready. Come get some orange juice.”
Kagome watched him tentatively pass Mrs. Higurashi and get a glass down from the cabinet.
“I trust you…” she began to say something about last night, but changed her mind, “I trust you know where the OJ is?”
“Y-yeah…” he nearly stuttered, put off by the intense vibe of warning he was getting from Kagome’s mother. “In the fridge.”
Suddenly, Maeko was all bright-and-smiles again and the morning proceeded without incident.
“I’m off!” Kagome called as she tapped her loafers on. Her mother had bought her a brand new school uniform to replace the battle-damaged one she had worn in the Sengoku Jidai.
“Take care!” her mother called from down the hall.
“Oi, wait up!” Inuyasha called, clutching his sneakers in one hand and a sweatshirt in the other. “I’ll walk you to school.” Kagome blinked at him and wondered if he could find his way back home afterwards. His shoes were loosely tied so he could slip them on. He was wearing jeans and a dusty blue t-shirt with the letters AF on the front. He put the hoody on and opened the door for her. “Well?”
“Uh, yeah! Thanks!” She blushed and they left the house together.
It had rained a little in the early morning, leaving the air clean and fresh. The morning commuters’ cars purred along, tires singing in the puddles. Inuyasha watched each one pass.
“How come there’s enough room for five, yet there’s only one person in each car?” he wondered aloud.
‘Yes!’ Kagome thought. ‘He’s asking questions!’ “Uh… you know… that’s a good question! I think it’s because they all have their own jobs to go to in different places.”
“That sounds silly.”
Kagome shrugged. Suddenly, she looked up at him and a thought struck her so hard that she vocalized it. “You’ve changed.”
“Of course I have,” he replied without missing a beat. “I’m human. I don’t have to fight to stay alive anymore. I feel calmer than I’ve felt in my entire life. Even when I was with my mother, there was a tension in her house that even a little kid could feel because I was different. Now, I have everything I ever wanted and after last night…”
Kagome felt her heart jump as he stopped walking. Quickly, Inuyasha wrapped his arms around her waist and kissed her deeply. “I know I made the right choice. I’m so totally, insanely in love with you.”
“Inuyasha…” she beamed up at him. “You’re right. I mean, yeah… I mean…” she laughed, unable to find words. The school’s clock tower chimed the hour. “Oh no, I’m gonna be late!” She looked from the clock tower to the boy and back again before returning his kiss. “This is where you say ‘have a good day.’”
He looked down at her with his soft, almost grey eyes. “Have a good day.”
She clutched her bag to her chest and ran up the steps. When she made it to the top, she nearly ran smack into a wall of girls. Her three closest friends, Eri, Yuka and Ayumi stood with folded arms and glowered at her.
“Who was THAT!?” they all cried in unison.
Kagome laughed and practically had to drag them with her or be late trying to come up with a good story.
The school day finally ended. Kagome ran out of the main doors and looked around, but Inuyasha was nowhere in sight. She sighed and hoped that he hadn’t gotten himself lost again. A hand on her shoulder made her jump, but even more surprising was who the hand belonged to.
“Good afternoon, Higurashi!” he chimed.
“Houjou-kun!” Kagome blinked as the boy smiled at her. “What are you doing here?”
“Aw…” He pouted. “Just because I go to a different senior high I can’t come see Higurashi?”
Kagome swallowed hard. “Well…”
“So, how about going to a movie with me Friday?”
“I can’t, I…”
“Aw, then how about Saturday?”
“You see, Houjou-kun, I…”
“Are you still ill?” he asked. She looked around for one of her friends or some other distraction.
Inuyasha shouted from the sidewalk at the bottom of the school steps. “Oi, Kagome!” It wasn’t the best-case scenario, but she was relieved, nonetheless. Kagome waved him over. He bounded up the steps, wearing a cock-sure grin and a purple flower behind his right ear.
“I’m sorry, Houjou-kun. You see…this is my boyfriend, Inuyasha.”
Hearing that word, Inuyasha beamed and put his arm around her shoulder. “That’s me,” he chimed. Houjou went pale.
“I hope you understand…”
Inuyasha raised a brow. “Understand what?”
“But,” Houjou looked almost horror-struck. He stared at Inuyasha and tried to get a grip. “I understand, Higurashi,” he replied and attempted to smile. It looked forced, even for him. “I understand.”
“….” Kagome wondered at him for a moment, but Inuyasha gave her a slight squeeze.
“Come on, let’s go home.” He stared right back at Houjou as if to say, ‘yeah, you heard me. Home. Our home, haha take that!’
“….” He stood where he was as they walked away, his eyes not blinking until they were out of sight. “But… Higuashi’s… Kagome’s supposed to be with me…”
Kagome laced her arm through Inuyasha’s as they strolled home. She stared up at him.
“So, who’s this Houjou guy?”
“Why do you have a flower behind your ear?” She artfully avoided his question.
“Oh!” He grinned and showed it to her. “It’s a crocus.”
“I know what it is. Why are you wearing it around like that?”
“So I wouldn’t forget to give it to you,” he said, sweetly and tucked it behind her own ear. Kagome blushed like crazy.
“You have changed!” she laughed. “So, what did you do all afternoon? Wander around downtown Tokyo?”
“No…” he growled a bit. “I’ve been watching soap operas with your grandfather.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry…” Kagome laughed some more.
Inuyasha put his hands behind his head. “Actually, it’s been educational. I learned a lot about baby formula and vitamin supplements.”
Kagome wondered just what kind of soap operas he was watching. “Oh! You mean the commercials!” She laughed again as they entered the shrine complex.
Later that evening, they announced they were going for a walk. Kagome followed Inuyasha across the dimly lit courtyard to the well shrine. She didn’t ask why they were going there. Quietly, he slid the door closed behind them and embraced her.
“Inuyasha…” she half-scolded him. “This is scared ground…”
“Che, it’s just a portal, you know that as well as I,” he reminded her and kissed her neck. Kagome found it hard to argue with him.
“Inuyasha…” She started to give in, but a chill ran down her spine. “Whoa…” Kagome pushed her hands against his chest. “Wait. Something’s not right.”
“Well, we’re just going to fool around. Nothing serious, I promise,” he whispered and tried to get her to back in the mood.
“I know, that’s not what I mean… I feel something…”
He knew this behavior from years of searching for the Shikon no Tama and Naraku and it made him shudder. “Are you serious?”
Kagome nodded. They both stood in the darkness and listened. She wanted to kick herself again for not having put a bow in the shrine and slowly opened the sliding door. “It’s coming.”
“What is?” Inuyasha asked, for the first time in days cursing his humanity.
Inuyasha gently pushed ahead of Kagome and scanned the courtyard. In the light from the lamppost, he could see well enough but there was no one there. “Are you sure?” he whispered. Kagome pointed to the steps that led to the street below. They both held their breath.
“It feels like…” Kagome struggled to out of what she sensed. “It feels… like…”
Suddenly, a shape crested the top of the steps, clearly illuminated for a moment.
“You!” Inuyasha growled.
“Good evening!” a cheerful voiced called as it approached.
“Houjou-kun?” Kagome asked, puzzled. She stayed behind Inuyasha. He turned to her and held her shoulders.
“You stay right here,” he whispered. “I’ll take care of this.”
“Take care of what?” she asked, incredulously.
“Now I know what you feel… I know this feeling well. He’s here for a fight.”
Inuyasha stuck his hands in his pockets and met Houjou in the center of the courtyard. Kagome watched, dumbstruck. “Sorry, pal. You’re a little too late. Kagome’s with me.”
“Funny,” Houjou smiled as he spoke, but his voice carried a hint of malice, “That’s exactly why I came. You see… She’s mine.”
“Houjou-kun…” Kagome put her hands up to her mouth. ‘What’s come over him?’ she wondered.
Inuyasha laughed and repeated himself “Oi, Teme, Kagome belongs to herself, but she happens to be with me,” he began. “If you know what’s good for you, go home.”
“I don’t think so…” Houjou began, but suddenly lunged and planted his fist in Inuyasha’s gut. When he was doubled over, Houjou brought his elbow down on his shoulder, knocking Inuyasha out. He crumpled to the ground.
“Inuyasha!” Kagome cried and ran to him.
Houjou extended his hand to her. “Come on, Kagome. Let’s go.”
She looked up at his silhouette in the darkness. “You’re crazy! What’s happened to you Houjou-kun?!”
“I don’t know, but… All I know is that you’re meant for me. Since this weekend I haven’t been able to get you out of my head. Kagome, come home with me…”
Kagome tried to remain calm. She got up and started backing away from him. “Beating up boyfriends and acting crazy isn’t how to pick up girls, Houjou-kun…” She looked around for an escape route. ‘If I can make it to the supply shed… I’m sure there’s a bow in there. Wait?! What am I thinking!? He’s just a human, I should run into the house!’ She turned and ran, but didn’t get far. Houjou struck her and she too fell to the ground.
“I’m sorry I had to do that, Kagome. You’ll see. Everything will be fine.
The smell of mildew was the first sensation that Kagome registered as she regained consciousness. She was startled to find that hands were bound behind her back with duct tape. A bare bulb brightly lighted the small cellar. She quickly noted the only window was about six feet from the floor.
“Ah, you’re awake. Good,” a voice from behind made her shriek. She turned around to face him. “I was afraid I hit you too hard. I just wanted you to come with me.” Houjou stood in front of the door, his face was sad, but hopeful. She could feel a faint aura of something other than human coming from him.
“You’ve lost it, Houjou,” she hissed and tried to move away from him. ‘What is that feeling?!’ she thought wildly. ‘It’s like he’s got youki all of a sudden!’ “You said you started feeling this way this weekend, didn’t you?”
“Yes, it’s weird,” he smiled. “Since Friday night. I was doing my homework and all of a sudden you were all I could think about. Then I started having these weird dreams. I was with you a long time ago. I think we were lovers in a past life, Kagome, and I’ve just remembered. We must be together!” He tried to put his arms around her, but she pulled back.
“Just last night,” Houjou went on, “I dreamt we were running through the woods. You were on my back. It was like it was real. I could smell the forest…” As he went on, Kagome stared at him in disbelief.
‘Can it be…? That sounds like something Inuyasha used to do. If he started feeling this way around the same time that Inuyasha and I came back and Inuyasha became human…’ She concentrated and stared.
“Kagome? Are you all right?”
“Huh? Oh! Yes. Actually, Houjou-kun, I’m felling a lot better. I don’t think you’re crazy anymore.”
He looked more relaxed. “You don’t?”
“Nope. I think I know exactly what’s going on. You’ve felt different since Friday night, maybe just after dark?”
“Sounds about right.”
She debated telling him the truth, but decided to try to get free first. She moaned and wriggled. “This tape hurts…” she said in an almost sultry tone. The boy blushed. “Could you untie me, Houjou-kun?” ‘If I can just get closer to him…’ she thought as he took out a pocket knife. Both of them were shocked as the solitary basement window was wrenched out of its frame and hurled aside into the darkness.
“Kagome!?” Inuyasha shouted as his head came into view “Are you alright?!”
Houjou snarled and turned to deal with him as Inuyasha saw the duct tape on his girlfriend’s hands. He too snarled and gripped the top of the frame. There was a dull thud as his sneakers made contact with Houjou’s chest. The boy fell back, smacking his head on the thinly-carpeted, concrete, basement floor. He lay still and Inuyasha rushed to Kagome.
“What did he do to you!?”
“Nothing! I would have been free in a second if you hadn’t come barging in like that!”
Inuyasha pulled back and looked at her funny. “He had a knife, Kagome!”
“He was going to cut the tape!” she barked back.
He almost looked hurt. “Looked to me like he was going to kill you… I’m sorry.”
“You’re… sorry?” She pursed her lips. “Quick, untie me before he wakes up. I need to get at him while he’s unconscious.”
“Huh?” Inuyasha took Houjou’s pocket knife and freed her. “What are you talking about? Let’s get the hell out of here. Won’t be long before someone sees that I busted open that window.”
“Just hang on.” Kagome knelt next to the fallen Houjou and closed her eyes. “There’s something funny going on. I think I know why it seems like your personality has changed and why Houjou’s freaked out all of a sudden…” She placed her hands over his chest and the boy began to glow faintly. “Come on, Houjou-kun. It’s me, Kagome. Let me in. Let me see your heart.” To Inuyasha’s surprise, as she lifted her hands up over his chest, a glowing, blue orb rose out of him as if being pulled out by the miko’s hands. Slowly, gently, she cupped her hands around the orb. “Thank you, Houjou. You won’t miss it.”
Kagome turned to Inuyasha. “I believe this belongs to you…”
He leaned back a little and stared at the orb then into her eyes. “You’ve gone all weird. Like after you were attacked by Kikyo when she…” He suddenly realized what he was seeing.
“This is a bit of your soul,” Kagome explained. “That’s why I recognized that feeling when he was coming up the steps to the shrine. It felt like youki. It’s not. It’s just a bit of you that must have gotten lost along the way when you swallowed the Shikon no Tama. Maybe Houjou’s related to you somehow. Maybe he was supposed to be your re-incarnation like how I’m Kikyo’s… maybe not. Take this back. You’ll understand.”
“I do,” he whispered and tried to avert his eyes as Kagome pressed the orb straight into his chest. It didn’t feel painful, but it was very warm and not at all comfortable; like being out of breath on a cold day. He clutched her hands when it was done and panted. “Let’s get outta here before this Houjou idiot wakes up.”
Kagome smiled. “You’re starting to sound like your old self already.”
They walked leisurely back to the shrine after running for a few blocks, afraid that someone would see them coming out of Houjou’s broken basement window. The night air was cool, but full of the scents of night blooming jasmine and every house that he passed, Inuyasha mumbled something about what the people inside were having for dinner. He kicked a loose rock and watched it skitter ahead of them.
“Kagome. You think that Houjou idiot will do anything about tonight?”
“Well, I’m hoping that he wakes up with a bit of amnesia. I sort of tried to work on that when I was messing with his heart. I dunno what he’ll think of the broken window though…”
“When you were messing around with his heart, was that the same thing you did to Kikyo?”
She paused before she answered him. “Yes. She tried to do it to me, actually. I learned how to do it while it was happening to me. Fortunately I was stronger. I think because my soul is rooted in a living body. Hers was just sitting in that clay, like a flower in a vase. I just envisioned it like that and plucked it out.”
This, she realized was perhaps too much information for him. He fell silent. They walked like that for three more blocks.
Finally, he broke the silence.
“Kagome,” he began, but didn’t get far. She jumped on the chance to tell him what she had been thinking about for the last few minutes.
“I’m so glad I wasn’t going crazy! I was right. You had changed because that bit of you was missing so now maybe…”
“Will you shut up a second?!”
Kagome stopped in her tracks. “Huh?”
“I was going to say, I don’t feel any different!”
“What… what did you just say?” she asked, squinting at him under the streetlight.
“I said I don’t feel different.”
He furrowed his brows. “What?”
She beamed at him. “You said ‘shut up’!”
“Yeah…” He leaned back, wondering from the happy look on her face that maybe she’d lost it, herself.
“You are back!” she laughed.
“You like it when I tell you to shut up?!”
She play-hit him. “No! But that sounds like you. You wouldn’t have said that yesterday. I mean, the really nice you was… nice… but…”
“But?” he asked.
“It wasn’t you. That boy wasn’t totally Inuyasha.”
“Ba~ka.” He smiled and laced his arms around her waist. “You mean you don’t want me to act like that anymore?”
“Well, no… I want you to be yourself. The hanyou I fell in love with, only human.”
He grinned. “I think I can do that.” Inuyasha bent and kissed her gently.
Kagome traced her fingers along the curve of his smile as their lips parted and smiled herself. “Come on. Let’s go home.”