Originally posted to At First Tweak on August 27, 2011 for Prompt #51 Typhoon. Won 1st place.
Title: Of Storms and Doubts
Word Count: 2726
Summary: Inuyasha can sense a dangerous storm approaching. Will he be believed or will his warning fall on deaf ears?
Original Author's note: Glad I finished this before the storm hit. For anybody else like me who are in Irene's path, I hope you stay safe and make it through alright.
Longer author note below.
Inuyasha stilled on the branch he was lying on, senses on alert. Carefully sniffing the air he turned his gaze to the cloudless sky and frowned. “Shit,” he said before leaping down and hurrying toward the village.
He quickly reached Kaede's hut, startling the old miko with his sudden appearance. Kaede's eye narrowed as she took in the worried look on the hanyou's face. “Is something wrong Inuyasha?”
He gave one sharp nod. “Storms coming, a real bad one. You should warn the villagers, hopefully we'll have enough time to prepare.”
Kaede frowned as she looked skyward. “Are you sure?” She saw no sign of an approaching storm, and her miko senses warned of no danger but she knew better than to discount Inuyasha's senses. Seeing the irritated and impatient look on his face assured her that he sensed something amiss. “Any idea how long?”
Inuyasha shook his head. “No, I just know it's coming.”
Kaede nodded. “I'll go warn the villagers. We can begin to strengthen some of the huts. The occupants of any that we can't strengthen in time can share in one that we can.”
“I'll help,” Inuyasha offered, knowing that they would need every able body helping in order to weather the approaching storm.
“Inuyasha? Kaede-baachan? What's wrong?” Kagome asked as she approached with the others and saw the serious expressions on their faces. Inuyasha quickly explained, and they all agreed to help.
News quickly spread throughout the village of Inuyasha's warning and the villagers quickly began to fortify their homes. Inuyasha frowned at a few of the men who laughed off his warning, claiming he was just trying to fool them. But the majority of the villagers took the warning seriously and worked hard to secure their huts, forgoing work in the fields for the day.
As night approached Inuyasha sighed. They had done all they could, hopefully it would be enough. He frowned as he looked at the sky, still clear but he could sense the storm brewing on the horizon. He shuddered as memories of the last time he had sensed such a storm plagued his mind. He hadn't known what he had been sensing at the time, too young to really understand and thus unable to warn anyone. He prayed that this time would be different.
Footsteps drew his attention from his thoughts and he turned to see Kagome approaching. A chill ran down his spine. No, he couldn't allow her to suffer the same fate as-
He shook the thought off as she reached him. “What are you doing out here wench? It's not safe.”
Kagome frowned before glancing at the cloudless sky. “I could ask you the same.”
“Keh! I'm not a weak human like you.” He folded his arms over his chest, then hesitated. “Kagome?” She gave him a startled look at the obvious concern in his voice. “Maybe you should go back to your time until I come get you.”
Kagome's eyes widened. He was really worried. She bit her lip before shaking her head. “No, my place is here, with you. I trust you to keep me safe. If I went home I would only worry about you and the others.”
Inuyasha's eyes softened at her response. On the one hand, he wished she would go home so he could know that she was safe but on the other he was glad she would be by his side. “Come on, let's get inside. No telling when the storm will hit.”
“How can you tell?” Kagome asked before quickly trying to reassure him. “I'm not doubting you. If you say a storm is coming, I believe you. I'm just curious, I mean there isn't a cloud in the sky.”
Inuyasha had stiffened at her question. He took a deep breath before turning to face her once more. “I can just sense it, I don't know how else to explain it.”
“Then you've felt things like this in the past?”
He shrugged. “I can usually tell when a storm is coming by the scent in the air. But I've only felt something like this once before. It was-” He cut himself off, shaking his head. “It was a long time ago.”
Kagome could see the pain on his face. “When you were little?” she hazarded a guess, his strong urge to fortify the village making sense in light of her suspicions.
He sighed and nodded. “I didn't know what it was at the time so I couldn't warn anyone. Not that anyone would have listened to me. It hit suddenly, as if it was the wrath of the kami themselves.” He looked away. “I was the only one to survive, and only because of my youkai blood.”
Kagome reached out and grasped his hand. “That must have been so awful, I can only imagine the pain you must have went through. No one should lose a parent like that or be forced to watch everything they had ever known be destroyed.”
Inuyasha was shocked that she had so accurately deduced what had happened. But he knew he shouldn't be. Kagome was perceptive like that. “Keh,” was all he said as he gently squeezed her hand before tugging her towards Kaede's hut.
Kagome allowed him to lead her to the relative safety of the hut, all the while her heart was crying out for the little boy that had everything torn away from him in one night.
The next morning the sky remained cloudless and calm. But Inuyasha couldn't help but frown. He knew what he was sensing. There was no way he could ever forget that feeling or confuse it with something else. His sensitive ears easily heard the whispers of the villagers as they began to doubt his warning. He could hear several disgruntled farmers complaining about how they had wasted a day for nothing.
Kagome stepped out of the hut a few minutes later. She glanced at the sky but didn't say anything. He was touched by the trust he could see on her face. “Stay near the village, the storm could arrive at any moment.” She nodded and gave her assurances.
But as the day continued to remain calm, the villagers doubts and whispers grew. More and more began to doubt his warning. He could even see the doubt in the faces of Kaede and the others. The only one who didn't doubt him was Kagome. Frustrated, he leaped off into the forest, leaping high into the trees for a better look.
Kagome sighed as she watched him go. She turned to Sango. “Have you seen Shippou-chan?”
“I think he was going to play near the stream with some of the other children.”
Kagome's eyes widened. “Inuyasha told us all to stay near the village.”
Miroku rolled his eyes. “There is nothing to worry about Kagome-sama. Inuyasha is merely overreacting. Look at the sky, there is absolutely no sign of any storm.”
Kagome could only stare at the two as Sango added her agreement to Miroku's statement. “I can not believe you two! You of all people should know to trust Inuyasha. If he says there is a storm coming, then there is a storm coming!” She turned her back towards them as she began to walk away. “I'm going to get Shippou-chan, it's not safe for him to be so far from the village.”
They watched her go, wondering if she was right before shaking the thought away. Even if a storm was coming, they would have plenty of time to return to the village. The two resumed their previous tasks of polishing their weapons.
Meanwhile, Inuyasha was cursing up a storm of his own. His spot high in the Goshinboku had given him the view he needed to see the rapidly approaching storm. The black clouds were approaching quickly and would be upon the village in minutes. He leaped down and raced back to the village.
As soon as he was in sight of the village he began barking out commands. “Everybody get inside, now! The storm's coming!” He growled at the head shakes and comments he received.
“Calm down Inuyasha,” Miroku called as he and Sango approached. “Look at the sky, there is no sign of any storm.”
Inuyasha growled and grabbed the monk, turning him around as the wind began to pick up. “What do you call that bouzu?!”
Miroku froze as he could now see the rapidly approaching dark clouds, lightning flashing in them angrily. The other villagers saw as well and panicked, dropping everything to race for their huts.
“Keh, believe me now?” Inuyasha gave them frustrated glares before he frowned. “Oi, where's Kagome?”
Sango gasped, then paled. “S-she went to collect Shippou and the other children from the stream.”
Inuyasha felt his heart skip a beat at her words. He glanced from the rapidly approaching storm to the direction of the stream. “Fuck!” He wouldn't make it in time. “Get inside, now!” He ordered, then ran as fast as he could in the direction of the stream without looking to see if they obeyed him.
They watched him go, praying that he was fast enough. Then the clouds reached them and released a torrential downpour of water on them as they ran to Kaede's hut.
In the meantime, Kagome had reached the stream and gathered Shippou and his two friends. None of the children had been happy about being told to return to the village but Kagome had managed to convince them with the promise of candy. Kagome smiled at their antics as the three skipped around her as they walked back to the village. A sudden gust of wind blew between the trees, whipping her hair into her face and causing her to frown. She glanced at their surroundings, taking note of how the wind was getting stronger and the trees were beginning to sway. “Come on,” she said to the children, “let's hurry to the village. Wouldn't want someone else to eat your candy.” She winked at them, trying not to show how nervous she was becoming.
They picked up their speed and were about halfway back to the village when the sky suddenly darkened, becoming nearly pitch black. “It's okay,” Kagome tried to reassure the whimpering children as they clung to her. A sudden boom of thunder had them crying out, wrapping themselves around her, and then they were soaked as the sky released its downpour. Kagome bit her lip as she tried to coax the children along, she could barely see anything in front of her and the wind was making the nearby trees sway. Just as she finally managed to get the children to take a few steps there was a bright flash of lightning nearby, reigniting their fears as it struck a tree and caused it to crash to the ground.
Kagome knelt there, holding the children to her as she trembled and prayed for a miracle. Suddenly, she raised her head and tried to look around her. She could have sworn she heard Inuyasha. Praying that she wasn't hearing things, she yelled as loud as she could, “Inuyasha!”
Inuyasha had torn through the forest in the direction of the stream as fast as he could, every sense on alert for any sign of Kagome. He wasn't going to lose her to this storm, he swore. He cursed as the storm hit, taking away any visibility and the force of the wind and loud thunder overrode his hearing. “Kagome! Kagome!” he called, hoping to hear a response. He nearly paused as the sound of screams reached his ears, but knowing there was no time to waste he merely changed direction. “Kagome!” Finally his ears managed to pick up that much sought voice, calling his name and he felt his speed increase in a burst.
Kagome sighed in relief as she was able to spot Inuyasha as he burst through the trees to skid to a halt beside her. “Are you alright?” he asked and she merely nodded. Suddenly she was covered in a familiar warmth as he wrapped his haori around her and the children. “Here, it's better than nothing. Come on,” he offered his back, and she climbed on with the children as they began their mad dash through the forest back to the village.
Inuyasha didn't pause until Kaede's hut was in sight. He could hear the lightning striking more trees, and the wind uprooting others. He forced himself forward despite the wind trying to blow him off course. Finally, they were there. He forced the mat aside, ushering his passengers into the hut before securing it so that it wouldn't blow off in the storm. Kaede and the others immediately leaped up to help, offering towels and blankets. Soon they were all settled before the fire, listening to the ferocity of the storm. Inuyasha watched as Kagome settled the children on her sleeping bag, offering them comfort.
“Inuyasha,” Miroku spoke up, hesitantly meeting his gaze. “I am sorry. I should have known not to doubt you.”
“I am sorry as well,” Sango spoke next.
“Keh, not your fault. You had no way to know. Hell, if I couldn't sense it I wouldn't have believed me either.” He waved off their apologies.
The wind picked up outside, battering at the walls of the hut. Inuyasha was glad he had put extra effort into securing this hut in particular as the walls and roof held strong despite the storm's effort to blow them away. Kagome had returned to his side by this point and he turned his head as she moved closer, leaning against his arm.
“I think this is the worst storm I've ever seen,” she murmured softly. “It has to be at least a typhoon with how strong that wind is.” Her hand sought his, giving it a gentle squeeze. “Thank you for coming for us, I doubt we could have made it back by ourselves.”
“Keh, I told you I'd keep you safe,” he responded, giving her hand a squeeze as well.
They remained that way for the rest of the night, listening to the intense storm as it raged outside. Finally, as night turned to day the storm broke. As the rain began to lighten and the winds ceased, the sun slowly began to peek through the clouds. Once Inuyasha was certain that the storm was truly over he moved to the door, the others following. It was time to check how bad the damage was.
He winced at all of the damage but was proud to note that all of the huts that they had worked to strengthen had weathered the storm in one piece for the most part. The other villagers hesitantly began to exit the huts to begin the cleanup and he watched as Shippou's friends quickly found their families. Thankfully, most of the villagers had taken his advice once the storm had hit and taken refuge in the fortified huts. But as they picked through the rubble he learned that not everyone had listened and he shook his head as they pulled several bodies free from the wreckage, recognizing them as the ones who had been loudest in their doubts.
He sighed, then felt a familiar hand grasp his own. He turned to see Kagome smiling sadly at him.
“It's not your fault. If it hadn't been for you and your warning a lot more people would have died.”
Inuyasha squeezed her hand. “Thank you.”
Cocking her head to the side, Kagome regarded him curiously. “For what?”
“For believing in me. You were the only one who didn't doubt me. You believed in me when nobody else did.”
Her smile brightened and she reached out, hugging him. “Always, I'll always believe in you.”
Slowly, Inuyasha returned her embrace, resting his chin on her head. They had weathered the storm together and were stronger for it. And he knew nothing would be able to tear them apart.
Okay, I know it's been awhile. Sorry that I haven't posted anything. But while we made it through Irene alright, the very next day my older brother passed away. Needless to say I had no inclination to read let alone write anything for quite some time. I posted the pre-written fics to the contests and that was it. Finally, last month several of the prompts jumped out to me and I began to write again. So you can expect a bunch of posts coming soon, though nothing yet for Difference, sorry to all of you I know are waiting for it. But it is coming, I just can't tell you when yet as I have been helping take care of my brother's two young daughters, so my writing time is a little short. Thanks for all of the support and reviews.