November 21, 2003

Author's note: (This is a one shot. It's not as extensive as some of my other fics and I wrote this as I was between my last 10k count for my Nano novel. That just means, I should have been finishing my Novel, but chose to do this instead. ^-^v Let me know what you think. I'm wavering between pointless fluff or waff, or none of the above.)

By Yashira

Birthday Cake

Gathered together this bright sunny day, over a patch of green turf, Kagome had spread out a marvelous banquet she had prepared for her friends. A red checkered tablecloth covered the ground while a nearby sapling, in spring growth, lent partial shade over the huddled group. With Inuyasha seated by Kagome and Shippo, with the monk and taijiya facing opposite, they sat in a close circle sharing warm words over the meal.

Kagome's face was plastered with a silly grin. "I hope everyone likes it, I know it's not like the other stuff I could have brought. But I worked hard on it." On occasion Kagome would bring special treats with her when she returned from her world. Sometimes they were simple things like chips, pretzels, lollypops and even Inuyasha's favourite, Ramen, but this time it was homemade obento. "I burned the tofu and eggs a little," she was telling her friends with an embarrass hand gesture towards her homemade bento, "But it's still edible. Try this, this is my specialty."

"Well, if it's made by Kagome-sama, I'll still eat it." Miroku replied with that causal, winning smile of his as he broke his chopsticks apart and readied himself for eating. He always looked forward to moments like this because it was a lot less effort being given something for free than having to go trick someone into giving something for free.

"Me too," Sango replied, already forging ahead as the others dived into the huge obento lunch box their friend had brought for them. Occasionally she would lower a dainty morsel of beef or octopus down for Kirara who hungrily devoured the food.

"I wish there was Ramen here," Was not something Inuyasha was going to say twice. The last time he had said it, had caused him to get the worst OSUWARI possible. This time he knew better. This time he would only ask for the ramen AFTER they were done eating the obento. "Oi, what's this funny creamy stuff?" He poked at a piece of white fluff which seemed covered in frosting.

"Oh, mama must have added it." Kagome was flushing even more than before since she hadn't noticed her mother putting it into the Bento box. It made Kagome wonder what exactly was missing and she gave the box a careful sweeping look. Yeah, figures. Souta or Granddad, one or the other or even both, must have raided it for the pickles. She should have wrapped it more securely. There was always a next time. "Granddad just had his birthday, and that's his leftover cake. Mama made it."

"Birthday?" Inuyasha's eyes drifted open as he drew the piece of cake out of the box. Taking a tentative sniff, he lifted the white morsel to his mouth to take a bite.

"Me too!" Shippo cried as he eagerly reached for some of the sugary goodness. Miroku and Sango followed suit.

"Ah, this is delicious." Sango set her chopsticks down a moment and rested a hand to her cheeks as if she were blushing. "Your mother is a great cook Kagome-chan."

Miroku was nodding, tears coursing down his face, as if set in over-dramatics. "This is the best cake I've ever tasted."

"Ah, thank you. I'll tell my mother." Kagome wasn't too sure if there had been cake or some variation of it that Miroku had eaten before, but she didn't want to offend him by being suspicious of his tears. Usually people ATE the food first and then the cake. Not the other way around. And yet she felt she had to explain to them what the purpose of the cake was since Inuyasha had looked puzzled by it. "But when we have Birthdays we celebrate them and have cake as a special treat."

"I like that custom," Sango replied with another sigh, "We had sweets, but nothing as good as this."

Miroku was still chewing on his as he bobbed his head. "I remember some of the birthdays I had at the temple." Laughing, he set down his chopsticks and coughed, "The tanuki got drunk with Ojisan and they sang bawdy lyrics all night. I learned some great "classics" that way."

Sango's immediate first response was to roll her eyes. "Figures. I'm glad my dad wasn't like that. He gave me and Kohaku special treats, like new weapons and would teach us new moves." Sango's eyes glistened as she thought back to those fond memories. Occasionally she would pet Kirara's soft fur and fix her eyes on the youkai cat with firm affection. "We got Kirara like that too."

"Seems like you had some nice memories," Kagome replied, taking a bite of rice and octopus a moment later.

Sango nodded with a flush. Though she missed Kohaku, she would not deny the wonderful memories they had shared with their father. "Yeah, they were wonderful. I wouldn't take any of them back. What about you Kagome-chan?"

"Me, they're mostly all the same. Oh, I loved them all. Usually I'd invite my friends and we'll play some games and then Mama would call us into the kitchen where we would have cake and open presents. It was a lot of fun."

"I like that." Shippo was saying with a child-like longing, "About the presents, that is."

"Nee, what about you, Shippo?" Kagome had sat back and was glancing at the fox-demon with a curious look. "Did you have any good memories to share?"

"I don't remember too much, except that my father would always put me on his shoulders. I remember my dad's fur a lot. It was warm and safe."

Pausing a moment, Kagome glanced over at Inuyasha who sat staring at the piece of cake, yet untouched. It seemed like he couldn't go through with chewing it. "What's wrong Inuyasha?"

He shrugged his shoulders as if he had lost interested in the food and the conversation. "I don't remember having a birthday like that. In fact, I don't think I even know when my birthday is."

"You mean, you never had a birthday party or cake?" Kagome sat back on her heels, giving Inuyasha a startled once over. They were closer than they had been in a long time, but something like this just took her off guard. He had never had a birthday party? What was even worst was that he claimed he didn't even know when his was.

"Well, I'm not upset over it," Inuyasha replied, tossed his head to the side, golden eyes looking suddenly as if he wished to be elsewhere. "Never had one, I can't miss one, can I?"

But that was wrong, Kagome thought, her brown eyes washing over Inuyasha's face as if she knew that just listening to the stories of the others must have been painful to him. Startling Inuyasha and her friends, Kagome slapped her hands together. The idea came so quickly that she didn't even stop to think it through, but just blurted it out. "Yatta, I know what to do! We'll have a party now for you."

"What?" Inuyasha turned to look at her, his golden eyes surprised and wide open. "That's stupid. I don't need one."

"Nonsense. True we had the cake, and ate it, but we can still gather around and have a little bit of fun now."

"Baka, I don't need-"

But Kagome had already pulled out a small battery-powered stereo and set it out. Searching her backpack for some CDs she eventually ended up putting in a compilation by Dream. "This is one of my favourite songs. It's called My Will." Taking Inuyasha's hand, she brought him up for a dance. "Now, don't be shy, and we can dance." Wrapping one of her hands around his shoulder, she placed the other on his waist and pretended she didn't see the flush creeping along Inuyasha's cheeks. It was probably the same one that matched her own face.

"My will, eh? She certainly has a will when it's for doing things she wants," Miroku mumbled as Sango chuckled with amusement. "So, shall we go up and dance with them?"

"Me?" Sango was flushing something awful as Miroku rose and offered gallantly offered his hand to her.

"I don't see who else is here that's my height." Smiling at her, he simply waited. With Sango it would always be a waiting game, but it was one he didn't mind the rules for.

"You just want to feel my butt."

"Nah, it doesn't work when you expect it."