Dental Hygiene in the Sengoku Jidai

"Owww…" A pain filled moan drifted down to wash over a young woman trying desperately to sleep underneath a huge tree. The maker of the sound - a silver haired hanyou - tried desperately to keep from making the noise and alerting the rest of the group to his discomfort. He wasn't successful. "Mmm…ooohwww.."

The aforementioned young woman twisted in her sleep and finally sat up, making sure not to disturb the tiny kitsune cub with her movements and she rested her back against the tree. Her blue eyes shifted up into the leaves and shadows of the tree, finding the red tuff of fabric that indicated the hanyou - her hanyou, though she'd never call him that publicly - was there above her. "Inuyasha?" She called softly but knew he could hear her and could picture the little white ears atop his head twitching to catch her voice and had to cover her mouth to stifle a giggle. She composed herself and realized he still hadn't answered. "Inuyasha? Are you alright?"

"I'm fine." It was actually the first full sentence he'd given in three days. His mood had been sour and it had only worsened with each setting sun. Usually his answers consisted with one syllable noises: 'keh', 'heh', 'feh'.

"If you'd just tell me I might be able to help you. Just tell me what's wrong."

"Feh." And back to square one…

He'd already ticked off everyone else in their traveling party. She was the only one still trying to be civil to him, sympathetic even, but they were nearing on the fourth day of this attitude and even she, who had always been patient with his past antics, was beginning to wear. She was down to her last nerve and it was just about to break. "Fine. Do whatever you want, Inuyasha. I just thought you might like some help with whatever is bothering you, but I should have known better shouldn't I? Inuyasha always has to do for himself, can't let anyone else help in anyway." She sighed in frustration and pulled her trump card. "I won't offer anymore then, but try to keep your moaning and groaning down. I can't sleep with all the noise you're making and if I don't get any sleep, your 'shard detector' will be useless. This 'shard detector' can't work when she's exhausted."

He disembarked from the tree branch and knelt down beside her and she felt her heart contract, knowing it was only because of her last statement. She was his 'shard detector' and nothing else. She sighed. "Now, tell me what's wrong."

"My tooth hurth," he replied, lisping his 's' because of the sore tooth.

"Hurts?" Kagome tilted her head and looked at him and squinted to see him better in the dying firelight. Unable to really make out the features of his face, she reached up her hands, cupping both of his cheeks in her hands. He stiffened, not realizing what she was doing and tried to pull back, but she gently held him still and, when she was sure he wouldn't move, she used the tips of her fingers to lightly caress his cheeks along the cheekbone and jawbone with the pads of his fingers. "No wonder it hurts, baka, your jaw's swollen," she said finally. "We're going back to Kaede's in the morning and then you and I are going to go to my house."

He scowled and glared at her, but she'd already turned her back to start digging through the first aide kit for a little white bottle and a bottle of water. "This is Tylenol. It's a pain killer. Swallow these whole with the water - or without if you like and your jaw should stop hurting as bad in half an hour or so. I'll give you some more in a few hours to keep you somewhat comfortable on the trip back. I'm taking you to the Dentist."

"Who thath we're going back to Kaede'th wench," he questioned and tossed both pills into his mouth at once, throwing his head back as he swallowed and then drank the water.

She gave him a smile as sweet as sugar and started to crawl back into the comfort of her sleeping bag. "You can either go back voluntarily or I can say you-know-whattill you pass out and have Kirara carry you back. Your choice." Situating herself, she closed her eyes, signaling the end of the discussion. "Goodnight, Inuyasha."

He growled under his breath. She'd do it too. She was not very giving when it came to that word…or at least, he didn't think so. He thought she used it entirely too much. And since when had she gotten so damn stubborn? And what the hell was a dentist anyway? "Feh, whatever. I gueth we can head that way," he said finally.

She nodded. "Alright then. That medicine should go to work in a bit. Try to relax." He was already preparing to jump back into his tree.

"Mama! I'm home!" Kagome called as she kicked her shoes off outside the door and dropped her packpack on the floor. Despite her chipper disposition and almost constant prattle on the trip back to the well, Inuyasha had only grown sulkier. His mouth didn't hurt as much because of the Tylenol, but it still ached and the knowledge he had agreed to what he was about to do only made him feel worse.

Kagome found her mother in the living room, dusting. "Welcome home, dear. Konnichiwa, Inuyasha." Keiko turned and saw the face that was even more sour than usual. "Oh, dear. What's the matter, Inuyasha?"

"Mama," she started, unable to hide her grin, "I think Inuyasha needs a dentist. Any ideas?" The hanyou lay his ears back at the word. She had been explaining what dentists were and what they did on the trip and he had to say, they sounded like torture workers.

"Oh…dear…" Keiko gave him a sympathetic smile, but there was laughter in her brown eyes. His ears only flattened further.

"Yes, thank you, Dr. Kino, for seeing us on such short notice," Keiko said sweetly as she talked to an older, short man with a balding head and large glasses. "The thing is, Dr. Kino, Inuyasha is a bit terrified…of dentists. He's here on a short vacation, visiting my daughter. She actually closer to him than any of us, so would you mind terribly if Kagome goes back with him? It will keep him calmer, I think."

The doctor smiled, eyes twinkling with that elfish sort of effect. "Perhaps Kagome should go ahead and have her exam, to show him there is nothing to worry about. It was almost time anyway."

Keiko smiled brightly. "I think that is a wonderful idea." She bowed to the old man and walked back to where the teens waited in the lobby. They had convinced Inuyasha to dress in Kagome's otou's clothing for a more modern apearance and had used a bandanna to cover his ears. Kagome was practically having to hold him to the chair to keep him from bolting.

"Kagome will go to the exam room with you," she told them. "And Dr. Kino will look at her first to show you that it's not all that bad."

Kagome smiled. "It'll be okay, I promise. Geez, just calm down. " She patted his arm and tried to flip a page of her magazine without letting go of the sleeve she'd been gripping.

"Kagome? Inuyasha? If you'll follow me." A young girl with blue tinted hair led them down the hall and into a small exam room which housed a big black chair and three stools and lots of what looked like weapons to the already skittish hanyou.

Pay attention. He forced his attention back to Kagome who was pointing different items out and explaining their purpose. When the blue haired nurse came back in, she sat in the black chair which magically leaned back until she lay flat and then covered her with a bib. He watched closely as the blue haired woman used various instruments in Kagome's mouth, talking the entire time, sometimes explaining what she was doing, sometimes asking if it hurt to which Kagome would quickly reply that it didn't.

After a while she had her swish some stuff in her mouth and then spit it out before standing and letting Inuyasha take her seat. She sat on a rolling stool on his other side and sighed taking his hand. "Breathe Inuyasha."

Some hours later, Kagome sat on her bed trying to console a miserable hanyou. "It would have hurt worse if you hadn't done it. It would have continued to get bigger and bigger until your whole tooth rotted and then it would have spread to another one."

He sat in the floor in front of her bed, cross legged, hands tucked deep into the sleeve of his haori, pouting. "Feh."

With a sigh, she leaned forward until she was lying on her stomach just behind him. Her finger idly stroked the rim of one ear, brushing up and down in a slow motion. It flicked back and forth as she tickled it. "It wasn't that horrible, was it, Inuyasha?"

"Feh. You didn't get 'drilled' on."

She moved to the other ear. "But I have before, see?" She leaned forward so that she was leaning around his shoulder and opened her mouth slightly, enough for him to see a glint of silver on her back molar. "I had to get a filling a few years ago. I survived and I'm just a weak human. A big, strong hanyou like you - it can't be all that bad." She scooted back and returned to lightly brushing his ears, giggling when they wiggled under her fingers.

"Feh." But despite the numbness in his jaw, he smirked, his ego somewhat soothed.

When he could finally feel his face once more they traveled back through the well to find the others waiting for them at Kaede's hut. Almost immediately after greeting them and being tackled by an ecstatic kitsune, Kagome pulled four packages from her backpack and held them up. "These are called toothbrushes and toothpaste. You use them to clean your teeth and keep from getting cavities…"

As she continued to explain the use and necessity of toothpaste and toothbrushes and the consequences if they didn't begin to use them, Inuyasha could only sit against the wall and nod, silently running his tongue over the newly acquired silver filling.

A/N: This idea came to me while I was sitting at work one day. Kagome's always bringing useful stuff from her era so it would only be a matter of time till she started on this. Inuyasha gave her an excuse. And I can just picture his face when she pulled him into the dentist's office with all the drills and tools and stuff. hehehe.