A/N: this is simply a what-if situation with much speculation. please do not go telling me I am "wrong" when we have no proof in the anime or manga concerning this topic.

Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha

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He remembered the last time it had been necessary, though it was foggy. It had been many years ago. People had sent him strange glances and had studied him when they thought he wasn't looking. As soon as he'd sent his gaze their way, though, they appeared trifled with other things, people, tasks, and their food. Gossiping, drinking, serving other guests, watching dancing females- anything but staring at a young boy with a strange purple glove like armlet on his right hand with a string of holy beads wrapped around his wrist and palm. And holding up his bowl of food in that hand while he awkwardly attempted to use his chopsticks with the other. The left hand.

Stupid mantis.

Miroku stared at the cloth covering his right palm, as if it was not there and he could see the Kazaana itself.

Back then, when he was but a boy, the Kazaana had been a tiny hole. At least, tiny in comparison to its current gape. Its howling winds had been no less powerful, though. For a good period of time, the beads had been too long to keep entirely around his wrist. Early on, he'd wound a loop or two around his palm so it wouldn't drag or annoy him. But having that loop or two of beads there along the inside of his thumb had made using chopsticks awkward.

As a result, Mushin had helped him learn to use them with his left hand. Mushin had been the only one who never gave him strange looks. The old drunken lecher had long ago told him to ignore the strange treatment. He must have known little Miroku's eccentricity of necessity would be simply temporary. He probably did, from dealing with the boy's father.

When he'd grown into the beads, he finally kept the whole of them strung about his wrist, just as he'd have preferred all along. With it came the need to retrain himself with the utensils, but his skills had quickly returned, as if not a day had been lost.

He'd never forget those times existed. It was dates and places and people connected to those, but for Mushin, which were hard to recall these days.

Unfortunately, for a short while anyway, it seemed he'd be forced back into the dreaded praxis. Mushin had stitched up the set of nick marks around the hole again, and unfortunately, his hand hurt too much to do really anything with it. He'd gone for Sango's rear once since the mending, but sharp spikes of pain had surfaced, even so far as into his fingers. A quick retreat of his hand had been most welcome. Unfortunately, Sango had seen and slapped him anyway. Honestly, where was her forgiveness? He'd been inches away, for the sake of Buddha!

Miroku held back a laugh at the extremely recent memory, but a smile had made its way through nonetheless and tugged at the corners of his mouth. It disappeared quickly as he set his hand back down upon his lap.

In the midst of the brouhaha once their hanyou companion had vanquished the hordes of youkai coming straight for him where he lay in the crater and Mushin had been de-possessed, the pain in his hand had immediately been his first thought. No matter how careful he might try to be, there was no way he'd be able to use his right hand for tasks requiring much dexterity. Groping Sango when she was unaware didn't require much at all, but enough that he couldn't keep his mind focused away from the ache. His shakujou? Not so much of an issue for switching hands. Chopsticks, however, were out of the question.

He'd hoped he wouldn't be sitting down to any meals that would call for chopsticks usage. As luck would have it, his hope had gone unanswered.

Miroku inspected his traveling companions, who sat around him, uncertain what their reaction would be if he ate left-handed in front of them. At the moment, they were indeed looking at him strangely, but there was an obvious explanation: he hadn't touched his chopsticks or his rice bowl.

"Oi, Miroku, aren't you hungry?" the hanyou questioned, sending him one of those looks, complete with quirked brow, that Miroku had come to recognize as a common occurrence. It was about the most congenial a glare could look.

Kagome immediately chimed in with a line about people even remotely sick having all the more reason to eat. Even though he wasn't exactly sick, per se. But the concern behind her words touched him nonetheless.

The monk smiled and waved it off. "Not particularly, no." His stomach growled, as if to spite him. Inuyasha rolled his eyes and sighed, then muttered something under his breath that was lost in the distance between them.

Both chopsticks stuffed in his mouth, the kitsune swallowed his rice and blurted out, "Maybe his hand's still sore from the Kazaana being stitched up and-"

The monk immediately tuned out his blabbering. Hopefully the others would find it a ludicrous suggestion.

"You know," Kagome broke in, "if your hand does hurt, you can always use the other hand for your chopsticks."

So much for hope of keeping it secret from them. Though, the mere fact that she had suggested it was a refreshing breather.

"Ah, well, even with chopsticks in my left hand," he politely rationalized, "I'm not sure I could hold up my rice bowl with the right. I would not wish to accidentally drop half my meal upon the floor."

"His groping ability in that hand is gone for the time being," said Sango, her tone a bit flat, "so if he can't grope me, I doubt he could do anything with it. Why do you think I'm sitting over here?"

His hopes of the topic no longer being elaborated on must be too hopeful, he thought with a sigh.

"You still need to eat, though." Kagome pouted. Then her face brightened, no doubt with an idea. "I know. Once Sango's done eating, she can hold your bowl for you-"

"I'm not feeding him myself."

"But Sango, it's not like you'd need to do it the way birds do." Sango promptly elbowed him.

The group continued to discuss the possibilities, much to the monk's hidden insecurities and despite his protests and the admonition that he would be fine for the time being.

"Can he even use chopsticks with that hand?"

"It won't matter."

And so on. Miroku stayed silent, waiting for everyone to lose interest in his temporary fast. Unfortunately, his level of hunger was unquestionably high.

Kagome stayed deep in thought while the others talked around them all, until she finally broke in with, "One of us, maybe Sango since she's right beside him, can hold his bowl and Miroku can use the chopsticks himself!" Everyone around the monk in question agreed, even the female to his right. He was still silent. They wouldn't make such a bold suggestion if they weren't comfortable with the left hand usage, and besides, they knew why. These were times when a man could divorce his wife were he to discover that she was left-handed, but these companions were not ordinary people. Rolling the thought around in his mind, he decided he could make do with it for the time being.

"Well, I suppose I can't really argue with that. " He nodded in agreement. "And to answer your question," he said dryly before turning to the still irritable hanyou, "yes, I can use chopsticks left-handed. Just not very well."

Inuyasha rolled his eyes. "Who the hell cares which hand you use?" he commented in an arrogant tone, much to the monk's surprise and to the miko's objection. "Right now you might as well have no right hand in the first place, so just eat."

Both Miroku and Kagome made to vocalize their thoughts on the matter, but the sight of the hovering rice bowl on the border of his vision immediately drew his attention. Turning, he saw that Sango had picked up the monk's rice bowl and was currently holding it up for him. He was about to thank her when she told him, "Just don't take advantage of this. As soon as your hand's healed, you hold up your own bowl." He smiled, asserted he would do as such, and silently ignored the threats in her tone.

While the hanyou and the other girl squabbled over manners, Miroku slowly, and awkwardly, ate his fill using the chopsticks in his left hand.