It was one of those weeks that was almost TOO perfect. Naraku hadn't been doing anything recently, the weather was beautiful, Kagome had scored a 93% on her last math test, Kikyo hadn't been in the area, and even Inuyasha was in a fairly good mood. The fish in the nearby river were large and delicious. To top it off, Sango had managed to get two jewel shards from a local village kid, who was more than willing to sell his "gems" for all of Miroku's accumulated money.

All in all, it had been a very good week indeed.

"Pass the fish, please," Kagome said.

Sango took one of the roasting sticks from the fire and handed it to her friend. "Where's Inuyasha?" she asked.

"Hif onfa dawoods affin," Miroku said around his fish.

"Huh?" Kagome said.

Miroku swallowed hard. "He's off in the woods again. I think he said something about finding a deer, because if he ate any more fish he was going to grow fins and damn gills."

"Good thing you didn't try to say THAT with a full mouth," Sango said with a smile.

"I do my best," Miroku sighed. "But even monks must give way to the needs of the flesh." He paused. "Some are a little more needy than others."

"You are just sick," Kagome said dryly.

There was a thunderous crash from somewhere in the woods. Followed by a shout of "KAGOME! DAMMIT, I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING!"

Kagome turned around as a red streak hurtled into the camp and landed right beside her. Inuyasha's face and chest were smeared with mud, and he looked even angrier than usual. "What?" Kagome asked, startled. "What happened?"

"WHAT HAPPENED?" Inuyasha shouted. "You just sat me for no reason! And I was right over a damn mud puddle!"

"I did not!"

"Did so!"

"Did not!"

"Did so!"

"Did not -- this is stupid!" Kagome burst out. "Miroku, Sango, you heard me. Did I say 'sit'?"

Inuyasha crashed to the ground with a horrified squawk. A little cloud of dust formed around him.

"Sorry," Kagome said, feeling a little guilty.

"No, you didn't," Sango said, looking puzzled. "You just told Miroku what you thought about his 'needs of the flesh.'"

"It's a good thing you're half demon, my friend," Miroku said, as Inuyasha started to get up. "After all, if your skull weren't so thick-"

For the third time, Inuyasha slammed face-down in the dirt. Kagome knelt down beside him, and helped the dazed half-demon to his knees. He clutched at her arm, trying to orient his eyes in the same direction. He wasn't having much luck.

"This is very strange," Sango said. "Except for that one time, no one here has said... that word. We only said th-"

"Don't you say them!" Inuyasha snarled.

"I think there must be something wrong with the prayer beads," Kagome said, grabbing the rosary around Inuyasha's neck. "Every time someone says a word that sounds like... you know... it seems to activate."

"Very strange," Miroku mused. "Perhaps the problem will go away?"

Suddenly Inuyasha, still kneeling, slammed down into the ground in a very undignified position. "Aw, dammit all to hell!" he mumbled into the dirt, trying to scrabble his way upright.

"We have a bigger problem than we thought," Sango said, worried. "There wasn't any word that sounded like you-know-what in what Miroku said."


"Are you sure this is safe, Kagome?" Inuyasha asked nervously, as he leaped over a small hill. Kirara bounded behind him, with the other three members of their little group perched on her back.

His rosary seemed to have quieted down after an hour or two, during which Inuyasha was sure he was going to end up with a broken nose. It'll take me forever to get those damn grass stains off my face, he thought darkly. Now they were off in search of more jewel shards, and Kagome had insisted on riding on his back, as usual. Inuyasha wasn't sure it was a good idea.

Suddenly he felt an all-too-familiar tug at his throat. "Kagome! It's-"

He was cut short as the rosary slammed him headfirst into the ground -- still moving forward fast. Kagome shrieked and tumbled off his back and down the hill, before landing with a loud thump in a ditch.

"Kagome!" Sango shouted. "Inuyasha! Are you all right?"

Kagome answered by crawling up the hill, looking a little dazed. Inuyasha sat up and spat out a mouthful of grass. "It's this damn necklace! Now it's goin' off even when nobody is talking!"

"This is quite serious," Miroku pondered. "We can't fight Naraku if Inuyasha keeps nose-diving into the ground."

"Zactly what I was thinkin'," Inuyasha grumbled. "Can somebody PLEASE make the damn thing stop hurting me?"

Kagome and Miroku both looked over the beads, trying to figure out what could have gone wrong with them. "I think they must be deteriorating," Miroku finally said. "They're deteriorating -- possibly because of the frequent use in the past -- and so the spell is starting to go wild as it loses its power diminishes. That's why it's activating for no good reason."

Kagome frowned and rattled Inuyasha's rosary. "It doesn't look any different to me. They look like they've always looked."

"It's just the spell that's deteriorating, not the actual beads themselves," Miroku explained. "If the spell were renewed, then these sudden problems would stop."

Inuyasha's eyes widened. "Ka-" he started to say, right before his upper body plunged down toward the floor. But this time, he landed facedown on something soft and familiar-smelling. Very soft, and very familiar. Inuyasha's head had landed firmly on Kagome's lap.

For a moment, everyone was too stunned to speak. Then Inuyasha shot back several feel, looking flushed and flustered. "I-I-I didn't mean to do that," he babbled.

Kagome straightened her skirt, looking just as flustered as Inuyasha. "I-I know," she said quickly. "Uh, you were saying, Miroku?"

"I was saying," Miroku said as calmly as he could, "we should go to the one who had the beads originally."

"That would be Kaede," Kagome said thoughtfully. "The first time I met Inuyasha, he was pretty wild. He chased me around the woods, trying to get the sacred jewel away so he could be a full demon, and saying that he'd kill me if I didn't give it to him."

"Yeah yeah, throw it in my face," Inuyasha mumbled.

"And then when he was about to take the jewel away," Kagome continued, patting him on the head, "Kaede cast a spell that put the beads around his neck. Then she told me to say any word to activate the spell, and the only one that came to mind was-"

"Don't you dare say it," Inuyasha said ominously.

"It was that certain word that I'm not going to mention," Kagome finished.

"Then it's settled," Miroku said, standing up. "We'll go back to Lady Kaede's village, and see if she can renew the spell on those beads."

"Assuming I don't break my head before then," Inuyasha said sulkily, right before plummeting to the ground.


The malfunctioning necklace gave Inuyasha a headache -- both literally and figuratively -- for days afterwards. Any word that sounded remotely like "sit" hammered him into the ground, and sometimes the miserable string of beads just slammed him for the hell of it. Inuyasha was starting to wonder if even his fast-healing, incredibly strong half-demon body was going to suffer some long-term damage.

The necklace dragged him down out of trees, down a cliff, and even through an inn's wooden floors, depositing him on a supper table belonging to the innkeeper's family. Unfortunately, they had been eating when Inuyasha "dropped in" on them. Fortunately Miroku managed to smooth that out, he thought angrily. And they said the little boy was going to be fine.

And the last thing he wanted was to meet Kikyo, Sesshomaru or Naraku like this. He could bet on Naraku and Sesshomaru taking advantage of his... problem. And dammit, he just didn't want Kikyo to see him nose-diving into the ground over and over. It was embarrassing enough that Kagome saw it, and she was a lot... easier to be embarrassed around than Kikyo was.

After what seemed like years, they arrived at the little village where High Priestess Kaede lived. The old woman was peeling vegetables outside her house when they arrived. "Kagome, Inuyasha, Miroku," she said, standing up and watching them approach. "Why are ye here so soon?"

Inuyasha chose that moment to slam down to the ground.

"That's why," Shippo piped up.

"Inuyasha's necklace is misbehaving," Kagome said, helping the dazed half-demon to his feet.

"Misbehaving?" Kaede said, frowning. "In what way?"

"It's slamming him to the ground when anyone says some of the words that sound vaguely like THAT word," Kagome said. "And sometimes it just activates by itself. If we don't stop it, Inuyasha's going to get brain damage."

"How can you tell?" Shippo asked.

Inuyasha was slamming his fist down to the kitsune's head when the necklace activated again. Shippo's squeal was blocked out as Inuyasha landed on top of him. "Oh dear," Kaede said, looking at the prone half-demon. Shippo's indignant squeals could be faintly heard from somewhere under Inuyasha's chest. "This is quite a difficult situation..."


Inuyasha and Kaede spent most of the afternoon shut away in her house. The sun was setting when they finally came out -- Kaede smiling, and Inuyasha grimacing and muttering under his breath.

"Well, how did it go?" Kagome asked.

"That's six hours of my life I won't get back," Inuyasha grumbled.

"It went quite well," Kaede said, satisfied. "As Miroku suggested, the spell had deteriorated. I renewed it sufficiently that it should not give ye trouble for a long, long time. The prayer beads should give Inuyasha no more trouble."

"Tell me this, old bag," Inuyasha said, yanking at the rosary. "Why couldn't you just have taken the damn spell off?"

"Because it would make things too easy for ye," Kaede said with a hint of smugness. "Besides, Kagome has told me that occasionally it has come in useful for ye, despite its original purpose. So perhaps one day it will come off -- but for the time being, ye will keep it on."

"Thanks for nothin'."

"Aw, come on, Inuyasha," Kagome said, linking arms with him. "It's not that bad. At least now you won't keep hitting the ground whenever I say-"