Continuing Tales

Chasing Methuselah

A InuYasha Story
by Sandra E

Part 4 of 13

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Chasing Methuselah

Ah-love-the walks over soft grass, the smiles over candlelight...

the arguments over just about everything else...

Tokyo, 1997.

She was quite ready to kill him.

She'd prepared mentally throughout the night. She was ready. She was. She knew what she needed to do. She'd start off by accusing him of being a big meanie and a liar and a jerk, and then-

"Mhm. You're back," came a soft breath, tickling her ear and sending silky shivers down her spine.

Higurashi Kagome whirled around and... nearly forgot her inordinately righteous-yet classy!-speech.

Miroku, the non-monk one, was standing behind her, blocking the classroom doorway (where Kagome had been staked out, waiting impatiently since early morning, planning how best to commit a vicious murder without extreme witness interference).

Miroku's dark uniform was neatly pressed, with the collar turned up, and the sleeves hanging down. Several thick books were resting in his arms. A defiant lock of black hair bounced across his forehead. Kagome swallowed as he smiled down at her, a pleasantly surprised smile widening his eyes.

"Um..." she began, momentarily lost.

How did that speech start again?

Oh, yeah.

"You lied to me," she growled conspiratorially. Miroku watched her with the most innocent of expressions.

"Did I really? Care to narrow it down?" he asked, amused, and wrapped his fingers around her forearm in an attempt to guide her away from the entrance. For a moment, Kagome couldn't quite remember where her seat was located, but it seemed as though he knew, so she relaxed and let him-


Exhibiting vigilante-like reflexes, Kagome jumped away from Miroku, and poked a shiny button in the middle of his chest. She would not be deterred this time. "Grandfather paradox."

Miroku scratched the back of his head with a sheepish smile. "Crap, I forgot about that. Did he tell you already?"

Kagome didn't have to ask whom he was referring to. "Yes, he told me," she poked again. "Why did you lie to me? Why won't you tell me? Why can't I know if I can't change it? Why can't I change it? Would you want to change it? Why-"

"Kagome," groaned Miroku, placing his books down on his tidy desk. Several of their classmates entered the classroom, giving the two huddled figures remarkably curious glances. Miroku lowered his voice and stepped closer, dipping to her level. "You're giving me a headache. One question at a time, please."

Kagome took a deep, calming breath. "Will you tell me? Not everything, just... minor stuff? Please?"

Miroku watched her contemplatively. His shoulders slumped imperceptibly, as though he'd given up after a long, gory battle with a mantis demon. "Yes."

Kagome squealed happily, but Miroku shushed her. "After school," he said with authority, then grinned wickedly. "Wacdonalds?"

Kagome, her [feeble] murderous rage evaporating abruptly, sighed. "Ice cream."


She wanted to say something else, as she'd begun feeling strangely... unsatisfied letting him have the last word of late, but-

"Kagome-san!" said an extremely cheerful voice. Kagome looked up. Hojou-kun was closing in fast, flanked by Kagome's three friends, who were waving and chattering happily, oblivious to the way Kagome was positioned next to Kazuo-kun.

Quickly, Kagome withdrew her hand from Miroku's chest, and pretended she hadn't seen his annoying, smug smirk.

"Kagome-san!" repeated Hojou-kun, as if everyone in the vicinity hadn't heard him the first time.

"It's too early to deal with this," she whispered under her breath, wondering if she'd ever react like this before meeting Inuyasha. If she'd ever think of a boy like Hojou as, um, a nuisance?

"Oy, him again? Regular Energizer bunny, isn't he?" muttered Miroku grumpily.

Kagome looked up, intent on defending poor, helpful Hojou-kun, who was so very considerate and kind and-


"Do you like him?" asked Miroku suddenly, and Kagome felt a stab of worry over the scheming look in his narrowed eyes.


"Do you like that bumbling idiot?"

"I-as a friend-and-he's not a bumbling idiot-and-"

"Kagome-sama," Miroku warned darkly. Hojou-kun was approaching at a staggering speed. In a second, he'd presumably come swooping down and-

"No!" she insisted hastily, then sagged in embarrassment, certain everyone within a mile-wide radius had heard her and-



"Play along, then," grinned Miroku. Kagome watched him incredulously, a massive pink blush overwhelming her features, because. Her. Hand. Was. Now. Suddenly. In. Miroku's.

Hojou-kun froze two meters away, blocked by a pesky desk, his gushy smile fading instantaneously. Uncertainly, his eyes darted from Miroku to Kagome to their joined hands to the floor. "Uh," he stammered uncomfortably. "Higurashi-san?"

Kagome opened her mouth, then promptly realized she didn't know what to say. Or do. Or feel.

"Kagome-chan," murmured Miroku in a deep, growling voice Kagome had never heard before (and why were her knees weak all of a sudden?). "Surely, I must be mistaken, but I'm getting the impression Hojou-kun has a certain... interest in you," he continued harshly as several students clustering around Hojou paused to listen. Yuka watched without blinking; Ayumi raised a thin eyebrow; and Erri was beaming brilliantly.

Kagome's circulation cut off.

"You aren't cheating on me, are you?" asked Miroku dramatically, feigning hurt.

Kagome couldn't feel her legs. Did he just-? In front of the entire class?

"N-no?" she heard herself say timidly. What was the idiot thinking?

Miroku nodded appreciatively, smirking. "Then I suppose it shall be quite alright if I allow Hojou-kun a moment of your time." Here, he glanced at Hojou with a charitable little nod.

"Oh, no... that's okay, it-it wasn't anything really important," said Hojou quickly, and Kagome winced, feeling incredibly mean and thoughtless. Miroku swung their joined hands playfully and tugged her closer.

"I just wanted to give her this... um, tea?" said Hojou, observing their hands as though they were evil.

"Oh, tea!" said Miroku boisterously. "Lovely! Thank you. We shall quite enjoy it tonight. Won't we, Kagome-chan?"

Kagome stopped believing in God.

Hojou-kun, on the other hand, eyed Miroku suspiciously for a moment, handed him the patterned teabag, then slowly retreated to where Yuka, Ayumi, and Erri were gaping numbly.

Kagome wondered whether Miroku was aware of twenty-eight pairs of eyes that were boring into the two of them, as they stood so perfectly aligned in the center of the room-

-or, whether he was aware how incredibly fast gossip like this traveled-

And most importantly, she wondered if he was aware that she was about to burst out laughing.

She'd never, ever, heard a funnier, more absurd insinuation. Miroku had implied they were (Kagome cracked up) together. If any of their classmates truly knew him, they'd realize what a ridiculous, preposterous, absolutely insane concept that was. Ha! Kagome dating Miroku. Not in this lifetime!

She wasn't exactly certain why she found the idea so laughable, but since she refused to cry or feel humiliated (again), Kagome wasn't left with many other choices.

"You're the devil," she whispered, choking on giggles and attempting to camouflage her reaction by burying her face in his chest. Miroku casually draped an arm around her, shielding her expression from the startled class, which most likely simply assumed that "strange Higurashi girl" was having another seizure.

"And you just ruined my chances of becoming president," whispered Miroku, though he was grinning mischievously. "Ah, the things I do for you."

Kagome giggled against his chest, completely oblivious to her friends' thirsty, questioning glances. Miroku's diabolical approach to all things performed in public was apparently contagious. It was clearly futile to fight against it. So, she didn't.

Reluctantly, she detached herself from Miroku and slowly located her seat, collapsing into it with a muffled snort. She needed to collect herself. Because, school was important. It was. It was the cornerstone of her future; her reputation; her...

Miroku was sitting somewhere behind her. She could feel him. Covertly, she turned her head, and gave him a small, grateful smile that seemed to fluster him greatly.

For the first time in a long time, Kagome felt elated. The insistent burden and pressure of wanting to be perfect-for Mama, for Inuyasha, for the world-seemed to dissolve. She thought herself quite ridiculous now for worrying so much about such relatively insignificant, meaningless matters. Like societal opinion. And Kikyou. And grades. Why, grades weren't important in the least-

Eep! No. She didn't mean it. Of course grades were important. Very important... and... it was such a nice, sunny day.

Feeling oddly defiant, she turned again, intent on coercing either Yuka or Erri into joining her for, erm, a premature exodus. Perhaps they could window-shop and run from policing senior citizens and drown in ice cream. Yes. She deserved a day off from everything. After all, when was the last time she actually preferred her Tokyo to Inuyasha's Sengoku Jidai?

Kagome paled.


Awkwardly, she realized she hadn't thought about him once this morning. As a matter of fact, she hadn't given him a single thought since yesterday, when she'd stormed off. Without saying goodbye.

"Ohayo," said Mr. Yoshimatsu, the History teacher, belligerently. The door clicked shut behind him, startling Kagome out of her traitorous thoughts.

Mr. Yoshimatsu wasted no time-Kagome's head was spinning with trivial dates and obscure names within a minute. She sat stiffly, pretending she was paying attention, and thought how angry Inuyasha must have been when she left.

A tree flashed in the distance, and Kagome glanced away from the window. No. Inuyasha wasn't upset. Hadn't been in days. Weeks. Hadn't really looked at her in weeks.

Telling herself she was being unnecessarily angsty, Kagome returned her attention to the lecture, or, more specifically, her empty notebook.


What mattered now was concentrating on the future, not the past.

Which worked out nicely, really, considering Miroku had agreed to tell her. There were certain things she really, really wanted to know, but she wouldn't push. She couldn't. Besides, science was against it.

With a startled yelp, Kagome noticed she'd been doodling circles all over her notes. She flipped her pencil to erase them, but at the same exact moment her eraser touched the paper, something light and feathery smacked into her, then promptly fell on her notebook.

Kagome looked around. Yuka was staring at her, waggling her eyebrows expectantly. With a hesitant wince, Kagome unfolded the crinkled piece of paper and read the note with trepidation.

. Your mission, and you have no choice but to accept it, is to tell us WHY YOU NEVER MENTIONED YOU AND KAZUO-KUN WERE DATING!

Kagome cringed. Hastily, she scribbled her response, though she didn't send it to Yuka.

Miroku blinked at the note that dropped on his desk. He unfolded the tiny, failed experiment in origami, and Kagome watched, fascinated, as his lips stretched into a satisfied grin.

No! Wrong reaction, idiot.

Why was he grinning? Why wasn't he apologizing to each classmate individually? Hff. Kagome needed him to correct the lie before it was too late. Like, before Yuka had her assassinated.

Miroku, for his part, scratched against the crumpled sheet with his pen, then tucked the corners into a neat structure, and nonchalantly flicked it in Kagome's general direction.

. Aww, Kagome-chan. Does that mean I must remain monogamous? How unfortunate. Yuka-san is quite dainty and delicious. And single.

Kagome twitched.

She's not your type, she wrote down, and crossed her arms huffily. With her chin high in the air, she attempted to listen to Mr. Yoshimatsu prattle incessantly about rebellions and skirmishes he had no real knowledge of.

"-and so, the primary cause for the Onin War-"

A note smacked Kagome's shoulder.

. Oh, no! Don't be jealous, my precious flower! I love you and only you! And perhaps that girl that sells crepes near the Shrine. But my love for her is purely appetite-related as she's in the habit of giving me free food. That is-not to say I don't prefer your delicious noodles! ...Don't file for divorce, I beg you! I can change!

Unexpectedly, Kagome giggled.

Mr. Yoshimatsu paused, blinking. "Miss... Higurashi, was it? Are you quite alright?"

Kagome flushed. "I-I'm fine. Gomen," she apologized at once, burning with humiliation. Yuka eyed her contemplatively, most likely still waiting for her missing reply.

A new note bounced across Kagome's desk. Hesitantly, Kagome opened it, checking to see if Mr. Yoshimatsu was still glaring daggers.

. You're preparing to murder me, aren't you, miko?

Kagome smiled innocently. In the worst possible manner, houshi, she wrote.

Impatiently, she found herself waiting for over five, very long minutes for his reply. And when a crumpled piece of paper finally landed in her hands, Kagome couldn't help but gasp.

Worst possible manner? Considering you failed to elaborate, I'm assuming you'd like me to guess the method. Let's see. You could inform the dog, though I suppose that would prove rather useless. Oh! I know. You could withhold sex tonight! (Kagome flushed most violently.) Let me tell you why that would be a very bad idea, scientifically:

1. Intercourse produces a significant quantity of estrogen, which makes one's hair shinier and one's skin softer. You DO want shiny hair, don't you?

2. It also lowers one's chances of contracting dermatitis and other skin diseases. Shall I share this wisdom with your Grandfather?

3. It burns calories. Safest sport, really! One doesn't even reacquire special shoes or hazing;

4. It releases endorphins, which cure depression;

5. Kissing fights plaque and tartar buildup. And you hate going to the dentist, don't you?

6. It's a natural antihistamine. Which will do wonders for your "asthma" and "pneumonic fevers". Just don't tell Hojou that. I'd hate to have to kill him so early in the semester.

So, in conclusion, you can't refuse me, can you? I'm only offering for your benefit. Your health.

I'm a saint, really.

Kagome wouldn't know later how exactly it happened, but as she sat there, dumbfounded and breathing heavily, Mr. Yoshimatsu-a tall, lanky, and extremely annoyed man-strolled past her, spotting the note she was clutching in her fingers.

"Miss Higurashi?" he coughed, holding out his hand. When Kagome just blinked up at him in a daze, he sighed deeply and snatched the note himself. He read for a while, nonplussed, and Kagome watched, horrified, as his eyes widened more and more with every word he absorbed.

Finally, he finished, straightened his tie, tucked the note in his pocket, and cleared his throat. "Who wrote this?"

Kagome finally wished for Inuyasha again. Or, at least... his nice, big sword.

"I apologize, Mr. Yoshimatsu," said a deep voice. "It's my note. Higurashi-san had nothing to do with it."

Mr. Yoshimatsu blinked absentmindedly and walked over to Miroku's desk, lowering his voice, though Kagome could vaguely hear him say, "This-is it true, Yasuo?"

Kagome turned to see Miroku tilt his head in acquiescence. Mr. Yoshimatsu nodded to himself, patting his pocket. "I see. Well..." he said, running a shaky hand through his thinning hair, "the Onin war was preceded by..."

Kagome watched Miroku, open-mouthed, noting-with some annoyance-she wasn't the only one staring at him. Several girls were observing him studiously. Kagome found herself wishing they'd just. Look. Away. Already!

She also found herself scandalized to realize she was almost... disappointed that Mr. Yoshimatsu hadn't kicked them out of class like Mr. Makoto had. She caught Hojou's eye and smiled weakly.

What was happening to her?

And more importantly, what was Miroku doing to her reputation, as sickly and nonexistent as it was?

Suddenly, Higurashi Kagome became the opposite of rebellious. She was a paradigm of conformity and obedience for the remainder of the school day. She ignored Miroku during Japanese, Chemistry, and Geometry (especially Geometry). She even volunteered to clean the blackboard, and managed to solve a few difficult equations without help. She was indeed successful in pretending she couldn't hear Yuka's complaints ("Why didn't you teeeeeell me?"), Erri's support ("He's so cute, Kagome-chan!"), or Ayumi's grumbling ("Don't you think Geometry is a little more important than some stupid boy?").

Unfortunately, by the time the last bell rang and she was ushered out by a sea of eager students-who were very intent on getting home in time for their favorite anime-Kagome couldn't fight it anymore.

She exchanged hasty good-byes with her friends, ducking behind a cabinet to avoid a very confused-looking Hojou, then made a prompt beeline for-

"Took you long enough," said Miroku huffily.

Kagome adjusted her backpack condescendingly. "I'm not talking to you."

Miroku patted her shoulder amiably. "Okay. I'll just go home then."

Exasperated, Kagome fell into step beside him. By the time she felt like opening her mouth, they were already half a kilometer away from the schoolyard, and on their way to the nearest café.

"So, what are you waiting for, Kazuo-kun?" she asked, arranging her features into a sugary-sweet expression.

"I thought you weren't talking to me."

Ooh, that patronizing-

The café loomed before them. Miroku let her step in first, which Kagome suspected wasn't as gentlemanly as it seemed, considering her skirt was riding up in the breeze. Brick-red, she tugged her uniform down, and scurried away into a corner booth, where they-hopefully-wouldn't be overheard. (And in case they were, she hoped it'd be by a stray hobo who no one would believe anyway.)

"Okay," she said impatiently. "Tell me."

"Ch," said Miroku aloofly. "I'm waiting for my ice cream."

Kagome marveled at the sheer aggravation coursing through her body. Argh. She'd never met anyone who could make her so angry one moment, and so giddy the next. Well, aside from-aside from Inuyasha, of course! Inuyasha, yes. Must... remember... Inuyasha.

"Kagome?" said Miroku, concern lacing his voice. "Your ice cream is melting."

Kagome blinked. She hadn't even noticed the waitress had brought their orders. "Sorry," she said sheepishly, twirling her straw around a piece of strawberry. "I was just thinking. Of-of Inuyasha," she added, almost as an afterthought.

"I see," said Miroku oddly.

For the next few minutes, they ate their ice creams in silence. An awkward silence. Without warning, Kagome found herself grasping for conversation starters. Which was odd, because she was used to greeting Miroku as though she came in halfway through an interesting conversation.

"So, what did you want to know?" he asked eventually, nibbling on his spoon. "Nothing specific, mind you."

Kagome nodded coherently. And then-

And then she realized she hadn't... really... prepared any definite questions. Which, well, who could blame her? She hadn't expected Miroku's cooperation! He was just so full of surprises. Jerk.

"I don't want to know much," she said, but thought, 'Except, you know, everything.'

"I do admire your self-control," smirked Miroku, but she ignored him.

What should she ask?

How will you die? Does Inuyasha ever get over Kikyou? Do we save Kohaku? Does Inuyasha reconcile with his brother? Do we ever collect all the shards? Who gets to kill Naraku? Does Sango tell you? What happens to Kouga? What happens to Shippou? What happens to me? Why isn't any of this in the history books? What will Inuyasha wish for? What happens to your kazaana?

"The last time you saw us," she said instead, "what were we doing?"

Miroku looked rather surprised with the question. She watched him for a moment. That familiar look of concentration lingered around the corners of his eyes, his profile dark and mysterious.

"Last time I...?" he asked quietly, his expression unreadable.


A tiny, satisfied smile played about his lips. "Okay," he said wickedly. "Let's see if I can remember..."


He blinked wildly at the name. Kagome flushed. "Um... continue, please?"

Miroku gathered himself, poking at the dish. "Well... the last I saw of him, Inuyasha was," here, he averted his eyes-guiltily?-and tapped his fingers on the table as if fearing her reaction. "Inuyasha was happy. In love."

Kagome's eyes sparkled.

Miroku frowned oddly, but continued nonetheless. "And Shippou was copping a feel, as usual," he grinned playfully. "Is he still clinging to your hip all the time?"

Kagome smiled affectionately.

Miroku shook his head, amused. "You know he's only pretending to be all cute and cuddly, right? He's actually worse than I ever was, in that respect."

Kagome kicked him under the table. "Uh huh. And Sango?" she licked her spoon, listening enthusiastically.

Miroku paused awkwardly. "Sango was to be married to Lord Kuranosuke," he said coolly.

"WHAT?" screeched Kagome, accidentally toppling her glass over. Water spilled across the table.

"And-" continued Miroku calmly, dabbing at the spill with a paper napkin.

"No, no, go back," said Kagome, her heart pounding. "Sango was what?"

Miroku watched her with an indecipherable look. "Engaged. To Lord Kuranosuke."

Kagome squirmed. He had to be lying. Had to. If he wasn't... those four words had the potential to change everything. "Um," she coughed, losing all interest in her melting ice cream. "You didn't perchance change your name to Kuranosuke and discover a noble lineage?"


Kagome shifted uncomfortably. "Well, it's just... you and Sango... I-"

"-know," he interrupted seriously. His expression quickly switched from somber to charming. "And you..." he grinned seductively.

Kagome held her breath.

" were naked."


Miroku chuckled, rubbing his calf. "You did ask."

Huffing, Kagome adjusted her little red necktie. Stupid liar. "What about Naraku?" she said, fighting desperately to keep her cheeks nice and pale.

Miroku gripped his spoon, his knuckles turning white. Something within Kagome's ribcage ached briefly, constricting her breathing.

"I don't know," was all he said.

Kagome suddenly felt overly confined. She wanted to know. She wanted to ask. Judging by Miroku's reaction to Naraku's name...

Was it possible he'd... died before Inuyasha or Kouga defeated Naraku?


This not knowing was killing her. She was already making a spectacle of herself back in Sengoku Jidai, fawning over the monk like he was at death's door.


What if he was? What if he died tomorrow? What if she came back tonight and found him gone? After all, like she'd mentioned to him numerous times, a person could die of... of so many things!

Taking a deep breath, Kagome tried soothing herself with the fact that they'd never met this Lord Kuranosuke Sango was supposed to... like (Kagome scrunched up her nose), so the monk clearly wouldn't be dying that soon. Right?

Mildly surprised, she realized-Miroku, he was dropping little hints here and there, wasn't he? And if she bugged him long enough, she might eventually figure out when and where and how it happened... will happen.


"Kagome?" he asked, a shiny spoon dangling from his long fingers.

Kagome frowned. "You keep switching."

Miroku blinked. "What?"

"You keep switching from Kagome-sama and Kagome," she said thoughtfully.

Curiously enough, Miroku seemed flustered. "Oh. Well, eighteen years of 20th century Tokyo do add up to a questionable understanding of social hierarchy."

Kagome grinned. "But, apparently, they had no effect on your vocabu-wait, eighteen years?"

Miroku tapped the edge of his bowl. "Yes," he said with an uneasy cough. "I... spent three years out of school when I was little."

Kagome raised her eyebrows, intrigued. She opened her mouth to ask, but was promptly distracted.

"Are you going back today?" asked Miroku gently.

Kagome nodded, surprised she'd practically forgotten.

"Okay," said Miroku. "I guess I'll see you in...?"

"Two days," said Kagome, mentally calculating the odds of Inuyasha letting her return so soon, and cringing.

"So, a week?" grinned Miroku, and Kagome couldn't help but smile back.

"Oh!" she said suddenly, rising from the booth and looking down at Miroku. "I almost forgot. I need to stock up before I go."

Miroku stood up as well, taking their receipt to the excessively sparkly counter. "On?"


Miroku's eyes widened pleasantly. "Oh! Strawberry?"

Kagome hummed. "Precisely. I decided to stuff some down your throat 'cause you-um... I mean, the... uh, the other you..." she trailed off helplessly.

Miroku raised an accusatory eyebrow. "You know," he said as the girl at the register handed him his change with a shy giggle (which Kagome found quite bothersome for some peculiar reason), "you're the one that got me hooked on those. I consider you the equivalent of a crack dealer."

Kagome looked at him, then at the arm that seemed to be inviting hers. "Impossible. You got hooked on them here. Without my help," she said snootily, linking her arm with his without much thought.

"Nuh huh," said Miroku, as they stepped out into the darkening street. Several older passerby made "aww" faces as they walked past. Kagome suddenly felt extremely self-conscious.

"Yuh huh," she retaliated eloquently.

Miroku's lips were quirking upwards again. "You just said you'd decided to stuff the other me with them, didn't you?"

Kagome cringed, catching on. "So, that's when you got hooked on them? I'd brought them to Sengoku Jidai, you'd tried them, I came here, noticed you like them, decided to bring some with me...?"

Miroku nodded, beaming at her comprehension. She felt oddly proud that she'd made him look at her with such a commendatory expression, then quickly snapped out of it.

"Paradoxes are evil," she pouted.

"I've always thought so, yes," he said, stopping at the avenue that led to the Higurashi shrine. Kagome extracted her arm awkwardly, avoiding his eyes. Which... left her standing there, facing him clumsily and feeling as though she was... expecting something. Expecting what?

"So..." he said, stuffing his hands in his pockets.

"So..." she said, fingering the strap of her unusually light backpack.

Uhn. What the hell was her problem? If she didn't know better, she'd say that... that she was acting as though they'd just been on a-


Were they? Had they? Did they?

"Have... fun," he said as though he'd suddenly realized the same thing, as well.

Warily, she glanced left and right, then fixed her gaze on his face, which seemed lightly flushed even though a lantern was casting a long, thin shadow across it, and with no little surprise, Kagome realized-

-she didn't want to leave. Why?

"I will," she said stupidly. "You, too."

They both cringed. What happened to the easy rapport they shared in Sengoku Jidai? With the exception of a few choice instances, Kagome had never felt this... panicky with the monk. Ex monk. Gah!

"I'm sorry, Miroku-sama," she said sincerely, emphasizing the last word.

He smiled, and Kagome noticed-

His eyes were very pretty. And blue. And human. And pretty.

"Don't apologize," he said softly. "Blame Hojou-kun. It's his fault the entire city thinks we're..."

Kagome flushed. "You shouldn't be so mean to him. He's a nice boy. A little-a little overzealous, but, you know... tea."

Miroku snorted. "Fine. Go. You'll be late."

Kagome nodded, but couldn't move. "Please explain the situation to Yuka while I'm gone. She likes you, and even though she has no taste (they both grinned impishly), she deserves to know the truth. And also, I don't want her to kill me. She knows where I live."

"Right. I'll be sure to tell her we met five hundred years ago and that you're in love with a half demon," he said, but the look in his eyes took the sting out of the words. "And after she has me committed, you can come visit me on Saturdays at the asylum."

Kagome giggled.

Then, realization hit. She was making excuses to stay. To keep talking to him, here, under the street lamp, in the darkening avenue, surrounded by parked cars and frolicking children.

"Do you want me to walk you to the well?" asked Miroku suddenly. Without waiting for a reply, he grabbed her hand and started walking her toward the Shrine. "Tsk. I never knew you were afraid of the dark."

And while Kagome had never been particularly afraid of the dark, she was afraid of how easily she'd surrendered and allowed him to guide her up the long, cracked flight of stairs.

So, it was no wonder that, as they ascended the stone steps, Kagome felt a little twinge of anticipation.

After all, she could talk to Miroku in both worlds.

Chasing Methuselah

A InuYasha Story
by Sandra E

Part 4 of 13

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