AN: Hugs and kisses to all my lovely reviewers who helped assuage my low confidence in being able to write something like this. Now, I only hope this chapter lives up to everyone's expectations.

I've gone back to being undecided about adding perhaps one more extra chapter to this or leaving it as is for fear of ruining it by continuing this further. Heh, maybe I shouldn't have even written this one! Mainly because I haven't been feeling funny enough to write something like this so I can only hope that you all find it suitably humorous. Any suggestions and feedback is much appreciated – so thanks in advance and enjoy!













The clearing was still, the figures within it existing in frozen motionless as silence reigned around them. That is, silent but for the gentle sounds of -




It was an impossibly unbelievable sight.



It was a scene that no living being should be witness to for fear of thinking that the world had gone mad. But for the observers in this little drama that was unfolding, they had no choice but to stare in silent horror as they bore witness to the sight of –

The great Sesshoumaru demolishing the last of their scanty supply of ramen.

For them, perhaps one container might not have been enough for a hungry appetite brought on by days of grueling travel and shard hunting. And two would certainly have been satisfying and most filling to their bellies. Three would have been testing the limits of the capacity of what their stomachs could comfortably hold. But four...

For them, such a thing could only have resulted in...well, a regurgitated mess.

But Sesshoumaru, it seemed, was a different story.

It was almost like the nonexistent magic he'd accused them of withholding from him. One after another he consumed the contents of the odd containers with a surprising gusto that they would never, until this moment, have credited him with demonstrating and with no visible signs of ill effects.

Or stopping.

And the onlookers could only come to two theories as to why and how this could possibly be as he accomplished a feat that they would be in agony after attempting. Either his youkai abilities allowed his stomach amazing recuperative powers in terms of digestion or –

Perhaps, like an ant, he possessed more than one stomach.

There was no other logical explanation.

And up above, gold peered in wide-eyed morbid fascination from leafy green. Frozen stock-still, ramen cup forgotten in one clenched claw, one hanyou as he witnessed the scene taking place below him could do absolutely nothing-

Except gape.

Mouth flapping open like a landed fish, something wanted to be said but it was impossible to make any sound. Skin crawled while every hair on his body prickled as the hanyou felt ominous foreboding settling upon him at the horrible sight that played out before his eyes, one he never in a million years thought he'd see.

His arrogant I-turn-my-nose-up-at-anything-you-have brother was, was –

-was eating HIS ramen!

It was too impossible to believe. He was seeing it and he still didn't believe it. It was hard to connect the image of an always cool and collected brother from his memories to the ramen stealing devourer below. His aristocratic icy relation was acting like – like –

Like HIM!

With a sour expression and something akin to desolate despair welling within him, he watched as the great and mighty Sesshoumaru devoured the last bite left down below. It was a sad, dark day indeed. No matter how much the sun shone on this cloudless day, a severe pall was cast for his beloved food was vanishing into his despised relation who, no matter what breeding he claimed to have, couldn't possibly appreciate the culinary wonder with the same depth that HE did.


He knew he should have stolen all of the ramen sooner!

Oh, no doubt he would have earned a hundred 'sit' commands for his effort, despite his noble intentions, and his back would certainly have killed him for a week. But it would have been worth it in the end. Because...because –

At least then, he would have actually HAD the ramen!

The ramen that should have been rightfully his in the first place!

HIS ramen!

That his brother had stolen from him!

But no matter how much he blamed himself for not swiping his beloved ramen earlier, it was too late now. His precious ramen was gone, residing within the very one who had been the bane of his existence ever since he could remember until the great lord passed it out of his system. And after that...

Well, he didn't really want it back after THAT.


Shuddering at the gruesome image that invoked, he blinked in sudden surprise as he was shaken from his thoughts. Glancing around, his eyes searched the clearing but to no avail.

Where did he go?

No sooner had that last thought formed than a flash of paleness caught his eye, drew his attention, and suddenly he found himself staring -

Into silver and gold.

He almost toppled out of the tree.

The surprise of his brother's appearance before him nearly had him leaping back, a mere fragile barrier of leaves the only thing separating them while an expressionless golden gaze, on eye-level with his, bored into him. As it was he swayed precariously for a moment before he dug a clawed hand into the wooden branch on which he rested within the tree to steady himself, never taking his wary eyes off of his ramen-stealing opponent who hovered in the air near his perch.

Gold to gold, gazes locked and held as one tried to decipher the thoughts behind eyes of the other, unwilling to look away.






NO! No, no, no, no, NOOOOO!!!

His clutch tightened convulsively, protectively, around his still untouched cup of ramen. He drew it closer to his body, his other clawed hand coming up to join its companion in a possessive grip, trying to hide it against his side as if that could shield it from the hungry enemy. His eyes narrowed in a vicious glare while a warning growl rumbled its way from his throat as he staked his claim.

It was a dangerous undertaking, he knew. Perhaps even the most dangerous thing he'd ever done out of all of his previous encounters with past enemies, whose defeat seemed almost easy in comparison to the hardship he had a feeling this would be, but –

He was NOT going to let Sesshoumaru have HIS ramen!

He'd rather die!

Meanwhile, back on a less ramen-crazed earth...

"I have an ominous feeling," a voice commented sagely, "that this will not end well."


"And how did you ever come to that conclusion," responded a saccharine sweet voice as Hiraikotsu was settled back to rest on the ground, "Houshi- sama?"

"Ah, Sango-sama, you wound me," was the mournfully sighed reply as Miroku rubbed his aching head. "And quite hard too."

The observing kitsune merely shook his head over their antics as he turned to the figure beside him. He tapped her on the leg to get her attention while casting an uneasy eye towards the levitating taiyoukai whose complete focus seemed to be centered within the leaves of the tree.

For now.

It was the later that worried him.

"Kagome?" He manfully tried to control the trembling quiver in his voice. "Shouldn't we be running away now while we have the chance?"

"Yes, I quite agree," commented the monk still rubbing his head. "As hungry as this humble one is, I'm not quite ready to see the Buddha in person over a squabble for your ramen."

The kitsune snorted. "You think you'd ever be able to achieve seeing Buddha? With the way you act?"

Miroku's smile made the kitsune flinch. "What was that, Shippou?"


"That's what I thought."

"Now, you two. This isn't the time for that," Kagome broke in. She tilted her head in the taiyoukai's direction. "I think we've got bigger things to worry about."

"Kagome-chan's right," Sango said with a worried expression. "We don't know how long he's going to be preoccupied."

"But he already ate all the ramen!" Shippou cried. "What else is left?"

"Whatever it is that first brought him here," Miroku replied thoughtfully. "And that would no doubt be-"

"The Tetsusaiga," Kagome finished with a sigh. "What is it with inu-youkai and their fetish for big swords?"

"Well, at least he was distracted from his plan," Sango commented.

"Yeah." Shippou pouted. "With our ramen!"

"Careful, Shippou-chan," Kagome chided with a smile. "You're starting to turn into Inuyasha."

The kisune's expression was horrified.

"Kagome-sama, you shouldn't make such comments," Miroku advised. "You'll give him nightmares."

"I heard that!" came an angry yell from up above. "Just wait until this is over Miroku, then we're going to talk!"

Miroku winced and patted his clothes, relieved to feel that he still had a good supply of ofuda left, and called out to the hanyou "Just try not to die until then!"


"Sango-sama!" Miroku cried as he rubbed his throbbing head. "I was only trying to be encouraging."

"Hmph!" The Hiraikotsu resettled back in place. "Kagome-chan, do you think we should help?"

"How?" Kagome asked doubtfully, still staring at the taiyoukai. "Against him, we can't do much. And, for the most part, Inuyasha's always been able to stand up to him on his own. We wouldn't stand a chance against him if he decides to turn his attention our way. And the only thing I've ever seen deter him from his goal so far is ramen and he's already eaten most of it and-"

There was a pale blur that vanished into a sea of leafy green.

"-I think he's going after the last of it," she finished worriedly.

From the ground, the onlookers couldn't see anything but flashes of color, white and red, between the green leaves of the tree. They could, however, hear. And what they heard...

Were they children? Were they adults?

From their vantage point on the ground as they observed the interaction with their ears, it was hard to say.

"Damn you, you pretty boy bastard!" a voice rang out from the tree in an enraged snarl. "You've already had more than enough! So go away or I'll-"

Leaves rustled, a branch creaked, a growl rolled through the air.

"NO!" was the frantic yell. "My ramen, MINE! MINE!"

More violent rustling, more creaking, more growling, the tree seemed to sway alarmingly and then –


A blur of red dropped out of the green to –


-impact with the earth in what sounded like a very hard landing. The onlookers rushed closer to the point of impact and, as the pile of red splashed on the ground shifted and let loose with a pained moan, from up above came the familiar sounds of –




"Inuyasha," Kagome whispered urgently at the red heap as she cast a wary eye up above. She didn't know how long the taiyoukai would be preoccupied but, judging from how quickly he'd devoured the previous batches of ramen, she didn't think it would be for long. Conscious of their limited time, she asked, "Are you alright?"

A pained moan was the response.

She winced in sympathy. "Can you move?"

There was another groan as the pile of red shifted, knocking away the broken branch that had fallen across him. The figure in red shifted, sitting up stiffly, pale hair sticking up in odd places and riddled with twigs with an agonized expression painted across his features marred with several rows of bleeding claw marks.

"Does it really hurt so much?" Kagome asked worriedly.

"Of course it hurts!" Gold eyes flickered to her angrily. "I'm hungry!"

A rumbling growl filled the air, echoed by several more around her.

"So I see," Kagome murmured in exasperation as she took note of the embarrassed faces around her.

"And now there's nothing left to eat because," gold eyes glared up into the tree, "HE stole it all!"

As if mocking the hanyou's words, the reply that filtered down from amongst the leaves above was –




A strangled inarticulate sound crawled from the hanyou's throat as he bounded to his feet, claws curled. His lips were drawn back in a snarl, gold eyes glinting with rage and promising retribution as coiled muscles tensed and then sprang-



- and a red blur immediately renewed its acquaintance with the earth.

"KAGOME! Why the hell did you do that, you b-?!"

"Inuyasha, calm down. This isn't something you should try getting yourself killed over. It's just ramen."

"MY ramen!"

"OUR ramen. Don't forget who brought it."

"Who cares about that?! What's important is that it's gone now and I didn't get to eat any because HE stole it!"


"I'll show him!" He bounded to his feet and leapt up. "I'll teach him, that -"



"Kagome, you b-!"



"I can do this all day and not get tired, you know," Kagome reminded him warningly before he could open his mouth to voice another protest. "You on the other hand..."

Predictably, the hanyou fell silent.

Kagome sighed in relief and then paused. Aware of the danger in their still precarious situation she tilted her head as she tried to detect the familiar sounds of –




- reassuring preoccupation.

Taking advantage of the moment, Kagome urged, "Let's hurry up and get out of here before he finishes eating, Inuyasha."

"Yeah, I don't want to die!" piped Shippou. His tummy gave a rumble. "Even if I am still hungry."


"We can always buy more food, Inuyasha," Sango interjected reasonably.


"Or," added Miroku, "I could always...charm it from-"



"Quiet, Houshi-sama."

Inuyasha growled. "Look, I don't care what you have to say! He can't be allowed to get away with it – taking the last of MY ramen. I'm pissed off, hungry and-"

"I can bring back a whole backpack full of ramen."

Immediately, all attention focused on Kagome.

"For you, Inuyasha," she tempted him. "Just forget about Sesshoumaru and we'll all leave right now and then I'll bring you back an entire backpack chock-full with all kinds of flavors of ramen – just for you."

She held her breath.

Inuyasha drooled.

Several stomachs rumbled.

And from somewhere up above them-

-the slurping stopped.

An ominous stillness overtook the clearing, the occupants in it feeling a sudden foreboding chill. Nervously, as one, they all looked up-


-only to have a pale blur drop down into their midst!

The ensuing reaction was immediate as the once still clearing became a home to frantic motion. It took only an instant, but within the time span of an eye blink-

Hiraikotsu was readied-

Kazaana was prepared-

Tetsusaiga was drawn and –

A kitsune whimpered. "K-Kagome!"

Said person was frozen in dismay before the taiyoukai standing in front of her a mere arm's length away, his unwavering gaze fixated upon her as he appeared to be wholly unconcerned with the battle preparations of the others around them. No, all of his attention appeared to be completely focused on her.

Lucky, lucky her.

Then he spoke, expressionless words that fell in aristocratic bites from pale lips and gave proof to their earlier foreboding chill. They were words that changed everything and set the tone of what was to come. The enemy who had, for the most part, been content to ignore them until their paths crossed made it now known that the same would not hold true from this point on with a simple phrase that revealed a new and – for them – most unwanted interest as his coldly voiced words hung in the air before them.

"You are able to obtain more of this ra-men, yes?"

Unable to say a word and unable to voice a lie with that golden gaze boring into her, she could nod in assent. And in response –

Sesshoumaru smiled.

Everyone else shuddered.

And the forest echoed and shook with the resounding force of an anguished cry.