I want to thank my reviewer trunksgirl for this story idea. I've been sitting on it for a while, trying to make time for it as well as develop the plot. The chapters of this fic will probably come out slower than my previous works, because I'm a bit behind at work and need to get caught up.
trunksgirl's original plot suggestion:
"Could you do a fic about Kagome needing a vacation and leaving Inuyasha and his pups to fend for themselves for a week?"
This is a slight variation on that theme, and I hope you all enjoy it :-)
Five Days to Better Parenting
"You could take Jiro, at least? And Inuko?"
Kagome shook her head, slinging her pack over her shoulder and pressing a kiss to her mate's forehead. "Inu-chan, I already told you Mama's not going to be home all week. Do you really trust Ji-chan with those little terrors?"
"I don't trust myself with them," he mumbled.
She laughed merrily and smoothed her hand over his frowning face. "You should have thought about that before helping make them." She paused in thought a moment before adding, "I'm surprised you aren't trying to push Kano on me."
"Keh," Inuyasha snorted. "This one just sleeps and eats all day. He's the one I'm least worried about." He glanced down at his youngest son, watching as the three-month-old suckled on his thumb, oblivious to the commotion around him.
"Well, It'll only be for five days. I'm sure you can manage. And," she smiled again, starting toward the door at last, "if worst comes to worse, you can always call on Shippou. I'm sure he wouldn't mind giving you a hand." She waved, and was out the door before Inuyasha could protest again. With him carrying Kano, Kagome wasn't about to use her trump card. One badly timed sit and the little one would be smothered. Or worse.
Inuyasha glared at the door, willing some force of nature to bring his wayward mate back home where she belonged. What the hell was he supposed to do with his three-year-old and four-year-old hanyous when he had an infant to concern himself with as well?
Growling quietly, he finally gave up his intense study of the hut's entrance and brought Kano to rest in his crib. Kagome had managed often enough, and she was just a human. Surely with his demon stamina he could do just as well, if not better. Yes, he decided, this week would just fly by.
* * * * *
"Chichi!" Inuko ran up to his father, flinging his arms around the hanyou's legs and clinging for dear life.
"What's wrong now?" Inuyasha sighed as he stared down at his eldest, following his eyes as they focused on Jiro running into the kitchen.
"Jiro's using his claws again!"
The son in question came to a screeching halt, nearly falling on his face as he realized his older brother had taken refuge with their father.
"You're not telling me you're afraid of your YOUNGER brother, are you?"
Inuko sniffled, and nodded. Forget pride, those claws hurt!
The three-year-old slowly approached the older hanyou, his eyes cast downwards in shame.
"Have you been tormenting your brother?"
He shook his head.
"You started it!"
Both boys silenced immediately, and Inuko let go of his father's leg to stand a few feet back in fear.
Inuyasha pointed Jiro. "You," he began, "know better than to use your claws on your brothers."
"But Chichi," he whined, "he got Fluffy!"
"That's no excuse. It's my job to punish him, not yours."
Inuko stifled a laugh, and stuck his tongue out at his younger brother.
"And you," Inuyasha turned to his eldest, barely catching the taunt, "are not to torment Jiro anymore. It's the big brother's job to help care for his family, understand?"
Chastened, the young hanyou nodded and pulled a small dog plushie from his haori, tossing it at Jiro. "Here, take it. It's smelly anyway."
Jiro sniffled, hugging the toy to his chest. As soon as it had started, the commotion was over and now the three males were standing silent in the kitchen.
"Chichi, I'm hungry."
Inuyasha bit his lip, and turned toward the kitchen cabinets. He'd been too busy whining to ask Kagome about mealtime, and feared it would be his undoing. Cooking for himself was hardly an issue. He could just warm up some fish on a spit. His picky young sons, however, were another matter.
"How about some deer?"
As one, Jiro and Inuko scrunched their noses in distaste.
"What? Since when do you guys have a problem with venison?"
"Meat's yucky," Inuko declared, crossing his arms in front of him.
"Blech," Jiro agreed.
"Fine. No meat. What kind of demons are you anyway?" He wracked his brain for a solution to the current dilemma. "Carrots? I think your mother harvested a bunch before she left…"
Inuyasha glared at the two defiant boys, crossing his own arms. Stalemate. "So what, exactly, is your mother feeding you nowadays?"
"Dumplings!" They cried out in unison.
"Dumplings? I don't know how to make dumplings," he grunted in frustration. So, what now? He continued to ponder the situation, hearing the sounds of his sons' rumbling stomachs and feeling his own beginning to twinge. Suddenly it came to him.
To his immense relief, his mate had thoughtfully restocked the shelves before leaving, and it appeared they had enough for all five days, plus a few extra. He'd have to remember to thank her when she got back.
"All right, can my big boys go get water for their dinners?"
Inuko puffed up in pride. "Hai! We can do it." He rushed out the door, dragging a hapless Jiro behind him.
* * * * *
Dinner had gone amazingly well, if you ignored the spilled broth and broken dinner bowl, both compliments of Inuko. Inuyasha quickly sopped up the mess with a rag, conveniently leaving a sticky residue for Kagome. Housekeeping was hardly the work of a demon, after all.
Then it was bedtime. Or so he thought.
"Don't wanna go sleep, Chichi!"
"Too bad, runt."
Jiro narrowed his eyes at the older half-demon, but scrambled under his covers anyway. Across from him, Inuko was biting at his claws nervously.
"Yeah, what?" He heard the harsh tone in his own voice, and forced himself to calm down before further agitating the hyper young quarter demons.
Oh Kami, anything but that…
"Please?" Inuyasha's eldest fairly batted his eyelashes, turning his best puppy dog look on the elder hanyou.
"That won't work on me, squirt. I invented that look. Now go to bed." With that, he blew out the candle lighting their bedroom and closed the door, ignoring the whimpers from within the room.