Suck it up

By Zab

Disclaimer: you'd think that, by merely having the word there, lawyers would be content, but noooo, I gotta explain how I don't own Inuyasha, Rumiko Takahashi does, despite what my head people tell me. But I do own a very nice toy Tetsuiga that I will use on people who read and don't review!

The sun was setting, painting the rice stalks with a dramatic golden light and making the shallow pools glimmer like the faint stars that had just come into view.

A view that was suddenly blocked by four gruesomely dark shapes.

Kagome was the first to notice of course, her abnormal sensitivities sending a cold twinge down her spine, accompanied by a not-quite-unpleasant tingle in her temples.

"Demons..." she warned her odd little gang of friends who, up till now, had been enjoying (except for Inuyasha, who had been annoyed by,) the reasonably uneventful day.

Not any more.

"And they have jewel shards!" she realized, assessing the tingle she'd felt. "Two, no three of them!"

Inuyasha whirled and locked himself into a battle stance, the Fang out.

"Let 'um come." He grinned, eager for some $$-kicking action. "Tetsuiaga's been getting 'little lonely with out some blood on its blade!" The fur on its hilt flared, as if in agreement with its violent master.

Sango raised her boomerang and her eyes toward the quickly approaching black shadows.

"Are you sure Kagome-chan? They look just like ordinary..."

"...bats." Miroku finished, unwrapping the rosary from his accursed hand.

"Youkai bats." Inuyasha confirmed. "Gah, I can smell 'um from here. Smell like crap, crap and more crap." He snorted, as if trying to rid himself of the stench.

The demon bats were fully into view now, pug nosed faces twisting into fang dominated grins.

Their great dragonish wings extended from the center of their spines, huge muscle-lined contraptions, while their more human-esk arms hung limply from their sides, as if nature had only awarded them enough muscle for two limbs out of three. Each wing had a sickle-like claw in top while the vestal 'fingers' spread and where connected by yards upon yards of leathery membrane. At the ends of these 'fingers' were tiny sharp diamond-like claws that glittered faintly when the sun hit them just right. As the wings pumped they gave an odd sound that sounded familiar to Kagome, who at first couldn't place it.

That thwup sound- she puzzled, drawing an arrow from its quiver. It reminds me of... those stupid paper noisemakers! The thought seemed totally out of place here but she couldn't help but conjure up a mental image of folded notebook paper in the hands of school-kid bullies. Bringing their arms down and snapping their wrists near sleeping student's ears, the paper would flare and produce a particularly annoying thu-pop!

Fortunately for Kagome's sanity, the sound was infrequent, as these beasts seemed to be better adapted to gliding than the continuous flapping motion of say, a goose. But even so, it was frequent enough to be grating on Kagome's nerves.

As they approached she could make out their features and the result was...well they were no Sesshomaru, let's put it that way.

The largest one sneered with a twinkle in its beady little eyes set in a misshapen face.

"The pri-eeeeeestess and her pet hanyou, how c-eeeeeeute." It eeeeee'd most unpleasantly, screeching like a blade against hard rock. "And a ki-eeeeeeeeee-t-eeeee," it said, referring to Kirara, recently transformed to a giant sabrecat. The jewel embedded in the bat's forehead shone brilliantly against its grime-caked black fur.

The second largest, who was wearing huge wooden sandals it had probably stolen off its last meal sqwee'd in agreement.

"Look at the deeeeeemon slayer with her bone!" It laughed shrilly, "Weeeeee aren't like your li-eeeeeetle dogg-eeee, waiting to play fetch!"

The other two bats were identical, right from their bare feet to their flapping triangular ears. Their squealing laugh was identically eardrum bursting as well. All four demons had greenish white patches on their ragged clothing that Kagome suspected was other words...

"Bat shit." Inuyasha wrinkled his nose and flattened his ears at their screechy laughter. "These idiots are covered in bat shit."

Not quite how Kagome would have put it but...yeah.

Then suddenly they were upon them, beating their wings and swiping at the group all while chattering shrilly and snapping their dagger-like fangs. The talons on their feet were small but amazingly sharp, and only Inuyasha's fire rat clothes were saved from at least some tattering.

Kagome cocked her bow, shooting arrows crazily while simultaneously trying to avoid the needlepoint claws. The demon above her screeched and dodged in and out of range. Kagome was soon on her last arrow, with nothing to show for it but a few minor holes in the creature's wing membrane as they passed harmlessly through. The bat, sensing her lack of firepower, dove again, aiming for either the Shikon shards or Kagome's throat, both with equally disastrous results. Either way it didn't matter and Kagome desperately jabbed her last arrow blindly upwards.

Amazingly, it caught the bat's wing as it was gliding past. With a hideous ripping sound, the wing membrane was horribly torn, and the demon crashed unbalanced into the mud of the rice field.

Kagome glanced over at how well her friends were doing with their bats. Inuyasha had cleaved his in two, although it had taken him longer than usual to defeat such a low-class youkai. This was because, in Inuyasha's words, the damn thing wouldn't stay the hell still, it kept flitting about and screeching at his sensitive ears and of course, the smell was driving his nuts. Nevertheless, the hanyou had ended his fight and was keeping a careful eye on the corpse, trying to determine on his own which part was regenerating with the help of the Shikon shard.

Sango and Kirara had had the unfortunate task of taking on the leader who was as fast as he was ugly. Kirara has gotten a good many nasty swipes on the youkai, however. Its dodges weren't quite so lightiningly fast, and Sango was quickly tiring it out with well-aimed throws of Hiraikotsu.

Kagome turned back to her own youkai bat and saw the blue-green flare of Shippo's fox-fire. The bat lay burned and dead, a little dagger it its throat that Kagome suspected was stolen.

"Shippo?" she said, pleasantly surprised. "Did you do this?"

"Yeah." The little kitsune blushed, but kept a small proud smile on his face. "He was injured anyway, 'cause of you, but I thought I'd finish him off for you."

"Heh." Scoffed Inuyasha, ambling up behind Kagome, tossing the jewel shard in his hand up and catching it in a relaxed casual gesture, "Kagome did all the work, twerp. You just flamed it a little to make up your cowardice earlier." Inuyasha held out the fragment out to Kagome, who bottled it automatically. Shippo glowered at him, but the surly half-dog ignored him.

Sango came up with her shard too. "It was almost too easy to defeat this batch," she threw down her boomerang and stretched, working the kinks out of her shoulder, "They even came to us this time."

"Keh, the Shikon shards increase demonic power, not brains. These baka just got greedy." He prodded the bat's remains. "And stupid." He added.

Suddenly Miroku appeared directly behind Inuyasha, startling the hanyou, who then instantly started pretending he hadn't been.

"Feh. And where have you been?" he demanded gruffly, "Picking off the easy shardless one while watching us perform for you?"

"Unlike you Inuyasha, beasts of the air do not usually merit any difficulty for me." He grinned slightly, indicating his sealed hand. "And you seemed to have dealt with your opponents just as easily, so you have nothing to complain about."

Suddenly, Kagome gasped, turning white as she looked over the carbonized body of the demon she and Shippo had taken care of.

"What?" Inuyasha asked, leaning over her, hands folded into his sleeves.

"The shards...." She whispered, "...there were three."


She turned her pale face to Miroku.

"One from Sango, one from Inuyasha...and this one didn't have one..." her voice wavered.

"That means..."


AN: First chapter done! I'll write more if there's any reviews. It has begun....