The inu-tachi toiled through the snow, at least a foot deep, that seemed to cover the whole area. Apparently someone had heard that it was said that some demon had taken a shard away to this mountain, and now they had to look for it. They sat down to rest on some stones by a grove of trees, at the top of a long, smooth slope. Kagome leaned against one of them with a sigh. She was glad she had known to bring her snowsuit from those skiing trips with her last time she had gone home. Sango was wearing three pairs of pants, a jacket, and a fur cape over her uniform, and she was still probably colder that Kagome in her nice bright red synthetics. She loved plastic. She was glad she had been born in a time after it was invented. She stared off down the hill.

Inuyasha shifted impatiently. Why did they have to keep resting? He only had a cloak over his ordinary clothes, but as long as he was moving he was warm enough. He was just glad this wasn't the new moon. But whenever they stopped his ears started to hurt with the cold. He ought to have worn that hat Kagome had offered him, but it looked so dumb and besides it interfered with his hearing.

"Let's go sledding!" Kagome suggested.

"What?" said Inuyasha, nonplussed.

"Sledding! You know, get something to slide on, like a big piece of wood, and then ride down the hill on it!"

"But we just climbed up the hill."

"That's not the point!" Inuyasha shrugged.

"Do what you want." She smiled at him.

"Thanks, Inuyasha."

"Feh." Soon enough Kagome was flying down the slope on a large piece of bark. It wasn't as smooth a sled as it could have been, but that was OK. Sango rode down behind her on the third run, and then Miroku started to look interested.

"Get your own sled, houshi-sama," Sango told him. He sighed comically at her distrust and did so. Soon he appeared to be enjoying himself, too, his black and purple robes flapping as he rode. Shippou was sitting on Kagome's lap, but then leapt away as if taking fire at a new idea. Kagome looked after him tolerantly as Miroku went sailing past her, snow flying up in every direction. She sighed. Her legs were getting tired of climbing the hill. She wasn't used to walking in snow, and these snowclothes were bulky. The girl shrugged and started up again. Sledding was worth it.

"Getting tired?" said a voice in her ear as Inuyasha landed behind her.

"Eep! Yeah, a little, actually." Inuyasha picked her up without further ado and reached the top of the hill in two leaps. "Thanks," she said as he set her down.

"Well, if you're going to insist on spending time doing this, I might as well make sure you don't totally wear yourself out," he replied. "We have to walk the rest of the day after this, you know." She smiled at him.

"Yeah, I know. Come sled with me!" Inuyasha looked startled. "C'mon, just one run." She towed the quietly protesting hanyou over to the top of the trail of packed snow and sent her sled down. "Sit down," she said. He did so, a bit sulkily, and she arranged herself in front of him, basically in his lap. She looked up into slightly flustered amber eyes and grinned. "Push us off, Inuyasha." she ordered.

They flew down the slope, Kagome enjoying the solidness of the hanyou at her back, like the bar that holds you in on an amusement park ride. Inuyasha was not so pleased. It was against his instincts to give up control of his movements like this, and he didn't like the fact that if something went wrong he would have to get off the sled before he could stop moving down. It made him nervous, and that annoyed him. His suspicions about this mode of amusement were substantiated as they hit some unseen bump under the snow and became airborne. The people and the sled parted company. Inuyasha held onto Kagome and tucked himself under her as they plowed into a drift of snow, vanishing entirely for a moment. "There, wasn't that fun?" said Kagome, sitting up.

"Fun," repeated the inu incredulously, cleaning snow out of his poor frozen ears. It felt like it was packed in right down to his brain.

"Yeah, that happens a lot. Fun!" she reiterated.

"Keh."

"Shippou, you rotten little fox!" Sango screamed. The two turned. Shippou went whizzing past them at warp speed, perched atop Hiraikotsu, an enraged taijiya in pursuit. The kitsune had apparently realized that the carefully polished immense boomerang would move extremely quickly over the snow. "You had better not have put one scratch on that when I catch you…!" Sango bellowed.

"You had best save your breath for running, Lady Sango," Miroku advised, whipping past her on his bark sled. She growled.

"What now?" Kagome asked Inuyasha.

"Now we will have hot tea and keep going, and I am never," he emphasized his point with a blow to the snowbank, "Going anywhere near a mountain of this stuff again."

By the way, I know they have snow on the mountaintops in Japan. I have discussed it with Erisu Jo and Yukiko Nagata, both of whom are Japanese citizens and have lived there all their lives. Wasn't that silly? I went sledding with some guy-friends of mine today, and this is what happened, only Alec and Janet and I were all crammed onto one sled when we went over the jump, and I swear I am still cleaning snow out of my ears, and my spine hurts. Below is a fic fragment (a ficment? A ficlet?) inspired by a stupid conversation my sister and I had and her habit of doing evil things to my stuff. I couldn't find anywhere else to put it.

He walked into the room and paused at the sight of it lying there. What? He snatched it up. He stood there, turning it over in his hands, his golden eyes narrowed. It was ruined. What had been done to it? That brother of his…. He turned and stalked down the hallway toward a certain room, silver hair fluttering behind him. He threw open the door and loomed in the doorway. His brother looked up from the book he was reading as he lay sprawled on his bed, expression annoyed.

"What is it?" He asked. The other held up the ruined item. He was NOT PLEASED, and his tone made it clear.

"You put my fluffy thing through the wash, Inuyasha?"

Kuku! I hope that amused someone out there!