A/N: So sorry, but I just had to write this. The idea came into my head and is refusing to leave until I do something about it. Warning: pure humor and stupidity. Not my usual genre, but hey, it had me laughing, so maybe you'll laugh too! Enjoy!

Toothpaste

By: Of Memories Past

For Hanyou-elf: Long time no talk. Busy times right now, but I'm still thinkin' of ya roomie!

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"Hurry up, wench."

Wench, Kagome seethed. Finished with her nightly routine, Kagome whirled around and stomped toward the irritating half-breed, toothbrush and toothpaste still in hand. The day had been stressful to say the least. It should have been relaxing for everyone, but the extreme lack of activity and rumors put Inuyasha on the edge. She glowered. Apparently if Inuyasha was on the edge, everyone else had to be too.

They all dealt with the circumstances differently. Miroku spent his time preoccupying himself with Sango and her various assets, unconsciously adding to the tense atmosphere. Poor Sango did not even have an opportunity to come up with her own way of dealing with the tension. She had her own problems swatting away wandering hands. That pretty much kept her preoccupied.

Kagome sighed, thinking that Sango should actually be thanking Miroku for keeping her blind to Inuyasha's dark cloud. She herself had not known how to deal with his mood earlier that day. She had opted to walk slightly ahead of the others and think of anything under the sun other than the angry being behind her. It had worked for a while. That is, it had worked until Shippou's method of "dealing" came into play.

To an extent, she could sympathize with Shippou. After all, he really was just a baby. It had to be difficult for him to travel around in a group made up of a couple teenagers and young adults. They all tried their best to accommodate him and his age, spending a good portion of their time giving him the childhood that he should have had. They played games, Sango and Kagome babied him when he was hurt, he was brought treats, sung to sleep, coddled and defended by them.

Kagome shook her head with a small smile, stepping over a low bush. She could see Inuyasha up ahead, tapping his foot impatiently as he waited for her. He really was not a patient person, and for a moment she felt proud of him for putting up with Shippou as long as he had. Shippou's way of dealing with the tension was talking. Incessantly jabbering about everything and nothing, never running out of oxygen or things to say, Shippou had started around noon, and as far as Kagome was concerned, he was still going back at their campsite. Her bath had been her only reprieve so far that day.

No wonder Inuyasha insisted on standing guard while she bathed. He needed a break too. Sango had not been quite ready to go, and when Kagome opened her mouth to tell her it wasn't a problem and that she could wait, Inuyasha had snatched her things and her person, his voice echoing behind them that he would be on the look out.

Now, as long as she could be sure that he hadn't peeked, that was all fine and dandy.

"Waiting long, Inuyasha?" Kagome asked a little too sweetly when she reached him. She shoved her toothbrush into her bag and smirked, looking him right in the face. He had called her wench.

"No, not long at all," Inuyasha bit back, his voice dripping with sarcasm. "I think we still have an hour before the sun rises!"

Kagome smiled deviously at his seething form before yawning and stretching. She patted his shoulder as she walked by him on her way back to camp. "Well then, you had better get back and get to sleep. We have to be up soon!" Laughing out loud as she heard him growl, Kagome unzipped one of her bag's compartments and dropped in the toothpaste.

"What's that?"

The leaves behind her crunched only a few moments before he was beside her and reaching into the small compartment where she had put the toothpaste.

"It's toothpaste, Nosy." She took his out of his hands and put it back in her bag. The last time he had been curious about her stuff, some very necessary personal items been missing at a very inopportune time. Kagome glowered. She was still mad about that one, but it would he hell on earth if her toothpaste went missing.

"What's toothpaste?" he asked, trying to reach into her bag again. She slapped his hand away.

"Toothpaste, Inuyasha. Tooth? Teeth? It goes in your mouth." Stopping, she turned to face him and knocked on his head. "Put it together and use the brain I know is in there somewhere, Inuyasha."

As a response, Inuyasha lightly flicked her nose and walked off as she sneezed.

Kagome rubbed her nose and glowered at his back. That had stung. "Hey!"

He said nothing and simply held his hands out behind him as he walked on ahead.

She shook her head and smiled, recognizing his way of making peace. Her nose still stung a bit, but it hadn't hurt her. He would never hurt her. Exhaling in resignation, Kagome sped up and grasped his hands, letting him lead her back to camp. About halfway back, his ears began twitching wildly and his grip on her hands tightened a bit, not painfully, but definitely more firm than before. Kagome wondered what had caused such a reaction in him, but it wasn't until they were almost back that she understood.

She could clearly hear Shippou's story about the three-legged pink pony. He was almost finished and talking more vigorously than he had all day, but poor Inuyasha must had heard it from the very beginning.

Pinching the bridge of her nose as a tension headache began to form, Kagome stopped walking and pulled on Inuyasha's hands. He stopped and turned to look at her curiously.

"He's just a baby," she whispered, hoping that Inuyasha would get her drift.

Golden eyes burned for a moment before softening in defeat. "He's not that little, Kagome." Inuyasha's whisper was tired. "It's about time he learned how to co-exit peacefully with others!"

"He's doing fine! He's just young!" she whispered back.

"He's driving me nuts!"

Kagome was surprised when he stepped closer and dropped his forehead on to her shoulder, but she would feel the fatigue in his weight. Part youkai or not, even Inuyasha needed a break. Shippou just was not helping.

"Okay," she finally whispered, patting his back like she would a small child. "I'll say something to him."

Apparently that was not good enough, and Inuyasha leaned a little more of his weight onto her, his face still hidden in her shoulder.

Kagome grinned as her balance was broken due to Inuyasha's silent communication. When she didn't say anything right away, he leaned into her more, his weight threatening to topple them both.

"Okay, okay! I'll tell him that the stories have to stop!" she laughed quietly.

Inuyasha looked up and grinned.

"You seriously need a nap," Kagome spoke quietly, poking him in the chest.

"I seriously want one," he returned, laughter in his eyes. The banter felt good after a tense day.

"Goodnight," she whispered, walking back to camp. She touched his face lightly as she passed him, knowing that in front of everyone else he would never let her. All affection, no matter how little, ended when there was a public eye.

"We're back!" she said cheerfully, stepping into the clearing.

"Kagome!" Shippou screeched happily when he saw her.

Kagome smiled and caught him as he leapt into her arms, casting a quick look at her other companions. When she had first stepped into the clearing, Sango had been listening intently to Shippou as he told his story. She smiled. It was not something that Shippou would have noticed, but she could see the tired lines in Sango's face and knew that it was the grace of her patience that enabled her to show Shippou such involved attention. Kagome had seen the grateful smile and the exhaustion in her movement when she returned.

Miroku, on the other hand, had resigned to meditation, hoping that an empty mind would succeed in blocking out the child's stories. Even Kirara had deserted her mistress in hopes of finding peace and was sleeping in Miroku's lap when she stepped back into camp, finding comfort in the silence the monk offered. But now Miroku was picking up Kirara and putting her aside, rushing to meet her. It was more than obvious that he was glad she had come back.

"Lady Kagome!" he said cheerfully, "you look like you're ready to sleep!"

A grin crossed Kagome's lips. She knew what he was really referring to because when she went to sleep, Shippou went to sleep. Well, Miroku was just going to have to tough it out for a bit longer because Sango still needed her bath, and she had been the one giving Shippou the attention he craved even through her tiredness.

"In a bit, Miroku," she yawned, stretching her free arm for emphasis. Scratching Shippou on the head, she put him back on the ground and gave him a little push toward her sleeping bag. "It's time for you to wind down, buddy. I'll be back soon. Sango still needs her bath."

"Yes," Sango piped up. Her interest in a bath and the chance to escape for a little while had quickened her fatigued movements. "I do need a bath. Very badly."

"Okay, Kagome," Shippou conceded with a smile. "I'll get ready to go to bed." His smile turned into a face splitting grin when Kagome smiled back at him.

"I'm going to meditate some more," Miroku grumbled, resuming his prior position.

"Well, it's settled then." Kagome dropped her little carrying bag next to her sleeping bag and grabbed a magazine as Sango quickly snatched up the matching bag that she had given her for a present. It was full of everything a girl needed or could want for a nice relaxing bath. The taijya had been very grateful. "Sango and I will be back in a bit."

"Bye!" Sango called. She grabbed Kagome's wrists and gave a gentle tug.

Kagome got the point and grinned, turning to hurry into the woods with her.

"Where do you think you are going?" Inuyasha asked, looking back into the woods as the two girls rushed past him.

"Bath!" Kagome called.

"You just had a bath!" he roared. When he got no response, Inuyasha kicked a stone and wandered back into camp, barely missing seeing Kirara go scampering off after the girls, her little form kicking up a mad cloud of dust as she went.

"Trader," he mumbled.

"Inuyasha! Let me tell you about—"

"Shippou, it's bedtime," Inuyasha cut off the kit. "Didn't Kagome tell you to go to sleep?"

Shippou grinned. "She told me to get ready for bed."

Woman! Inuyasha clenched his fists and glared back at the woods. He was going to have a talk with her later. For the meantime, he would have to put up with Shippou testing his thin patience. The kit wouldn't give him the time of day if Kagome didn't tell him to do that exactly.

"So, I think I'll tell you the story about the deaf dog..."

Shippou rattled on and Inuyasha did his best to ignore him. He started out by counting stars and then when that got boring, he began counting the seconds that Kagome was gone. That held about the same level of interest as counting stars.

"The deaf dog was only half dog..."

Inuyasha raised an eyebrow. So Shippou was making this personal, was he?

"...so he could only do half the things that a dog could do. He could only walk on the left half of his body, smell out of the right half of his nose, see out of the right half of his right eye, and like the half alive dog named Kikyou..."

Inuyasha started twitching.

"...with only half of his heart."

"That's IT!"

Shippou stopped talking at the sound of Inuyasha's outburst and watched with guarded suspicion as the half-breed marched purposefully over to Kagome's small bag and pulled something out

Inuyasha looked down at the toothpaste in his hands, his entire being full of hope. If this stuff worked right...

"Get over here, Shippou."

When the fox remained put, Inuyasha lunged at him. Shippou did not stand a chance. Within moments Inuyasha had the back of his neck hooked in the crook of his right arm, his right hand reaching around and prying Shippou's mouth open. It took Shippou only a moment to realize what the toothpaste was for after that.

"I'll tell Kagome, Inuyasha!" Shippou shouted, struggling in his older guardian's grasp.

"You won't tell Kagome anything if your mouth's glued shut!" Inuyasha gritted out, popping the top off the toothpaste. "Open wide, runt!"

Shippou's mouth flooded with the taste of mint as Inuyasha squeezed a more than generous potion between his molars and then forced him to bite down.

"Ewwww, I hate mint, Inuyasha!" Shippou sputtered, toothpaste flying out of his mouth when he tried to talk.

Unfortunately that just convinced Inuyasha that he hadn't used enough. He squeezed down on the tube even harder than before, pumping more of the minty paste into Shippou's stubborn mouth.

By now Shippou was livid. The tiny fox gnashed his teeth like a wounded animal every time Inuyasha's hand got within biting range and was foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog. He had learned long ago that struggling in Inuyasha's grasp was futile and resorted to more primal defenses.

"Miroku, help!" Shippou screeched, taking another snap at Inuyasha's hand when he began forcing more toothpaste between his teeth. Somewhere in the middle of it all, Inuyasha wedged the tube back between his molars, and Shippou took the opportunity to bite down on the thing as hard as he could, hoping to kill it. Unfortunately, the plan backfired, and Shippou was left gagging on toothpaste.

Once again, Inuyasha made him clamp his mouth shut, hoping that the toothpaste would do its job.

Miroku, on the other hand, was for once truly in a state of meditation, and Shippou's calls for help fell on deaf ears. They would be lucky if an earthquake moved Miroku into action.

"This stuff tastes bad!" Shippou shouted, toothpaste splattering out of his mouth and onto Inuyasha.

Inuyasha growled. "Why won't it work?" He dumped more into Shippou's mouth, ignoring how the kit's biting was becoming more prevalent.

"What on earth are you doing to Shippou, Inuyasha!"

Inuyasha and Shippou both froze, turning to look at the forest's edge.

"Kagome!" Shippou cried happily. When he did, toothpaste and foam flew out from his mouth.

Kagome moved forward, eyes wide with disbelief and Sango following behind her with a similar expression on her face. She stopped just before Shippou and Inuyasha, staring dumbly at the tube of toothpaste in Inuyasha's hand. When she had first stepped into the clearing, the only image in her line of vision was that of Shippou gnashing his teeth wildly like and angry wolf and foaming at the mouth and Inuyasha shoveling something down the poor kit's throat. She couldn't believe it now that she saw what it was.

"Why does Shippou look like he has rabies?" she asked calmly, willing herself to listen to his explanation. It was hard to do with the intense smell of mint lingering in the air. The scent was getting to her, so it must have been killing Inuyasha. If he willingly put up with it, something must have been bothering him.

Meanwhile, over to the side, she could hear Sango kicking Miroku and yelling at him, asking how he could let such a thing happen while he was there. Miroku was completely clueless.

"I just wanted him to shut up, Kagome." Inuyasha sighed and handed over the toothpaste. "He wouldn't stop telling stories."

"Inuyasha!' Kagome scolded, taking the tube from him. "This toothpaste was new! You used the whole thing! How could you...?"

She stopped and stared blankly down at Inuyasha. A headache began forming again as she bent down and plucked Shippou out of Inuyasha's grasp. She tucked him under her arm, his face behind her to avoid the coming mess. The kit immediately began spitting a tube's worth of toothpaste out of his mouth. Toothpaste. Kagome looked down at the empty tube in her hands. Tooth. Paste.

"Inuyasha, you idiot."

"Well, they should change the name if that's not what it does!" Inuyasha shouted in his defense. He watched as Kagome walked away without saying anything to him. Shippou still spewed minty foam, producing the stuff like a fire hose produces water. He would spit a mouthful on the ground and then look up at Inuyasha and spit another mouthful his direction.

"Don't swallow any of that, Shippou," he heard Kagome warn.

Shippou wasn't about to. He kept expectorating toothpaste. To Inuyasha, he looked like one of those things in Kagome's time called a fountain, just without water.

Or maybe sprinklers, Inuyasha thought and snickered.

"Why are you laughing?" Kagome asked, turning around and raising one eyebrow.

Inuyasha sobered immediately. "Keh, I should have known it wouldn't work. You use it, and you don't ever shut up either."

He watched at Kagome turned ten shades of red and then a few of purple before shouting the one word he knew was inevitable.

"SIT!"

And he plummeted into the earth, directly in a pile of regurgitated toothpaste. He cursed and thought of nasty little things to do to everyone while he was stuck down there waiting for the spell to wear off. He looked up when he heard Shippou laugh.

The child smirked wickedly, looking devilishly proud with toothpaste from ear to ear as he looked at him from his position under Kagome's arm. But that Inuyasha could deal with. It was what he did next that made his blood boil.

"Kikyou," Shippou mouthed evilly. "Kikyou, Kikyou, Kikyou, Kikyou."

Inuyasha turned red and from his position on the ground made a motion to show Shippou that he was going to get bopped on the head.

Shippou knew it would happen, but this was Shippou's night now. He had suffered the wrath of Inuyasha, survived, and even gotten his offender in trouble. He was going to come out of top, no matter what.

The moment the idea popped into his head, Shippou looked up at Kagome's back apologetically, knowing that he was going to get in trouble for what he was about to do. But the look that would surely be on Inuyasha's face would be totally worth the punishment. Just as the spell wore off and Inuyasha stood to honor his unspoken promise to the kit, Shippou struck and used his tiny hands to lift the back of Kagome's skirt up as high as his short arms would allow!

Inuyasha stopped mid-step and stared in shock at the lacy pink panties that were now fully exposed. Sango gasped, Miroku whistled, and Kagome screamed.

Inuyasha just stared.

Later that evening, after the excitement died down and everyone was settled for bed, Inuyasha took a moment to go and sit with a still miffed Kagome. She was studying by the fire. Earlier she had been upset enough to give Shippou the paddling he deserved, and then had retreated to her books, announcing that she did not want to be disturbed.

"Oi."

Kagome looked up and gave him a half-hearted glare. "You were really terrible to Shippou tonight."

"Shippou was really terrible to you tonight," he said lightly, dropping to the ground next to her.

"Yes, Shippou was, but he just wanted to one-up you." She closed her book and smoothed her pajama shorts down, discreetly tugging at the hem to make them longer as she did.

Inuyasha fought back a smirk.

"I saw everything," he confessed, turning his head to look at her face.

"I know you did," she answered, meeting his gaze.

They remained silent for a moment, simply looking at each other. Finally, Kagome looked away and averted her gaze to the stars.

Inuyasha smirked. "Kagome?"

"Hmmm?" she murmured lazily.

"I like the pink ones."

She turned to look at him once more, an unreadable expression on her face. "Inuyasha?"

The corners of his lips turned up in a small smile.

"Toothpaste is for freshening one's breath. It is not for sealing a talkative child's mouth."

Inuyasha stared for a moment and then frowned. "Keh, Miroku already explained that to me." He tucked his arms inside his haori and assumed the "pout" position.

Kagome smiled at having succeeded in flustering him and stood. "Goodnight, Inuyasha."

"G'night."

She grabbed her book and moved toward her sleeping bag. "Oh, and Inuyasha?" she said before crawling in.

He did not turn around but cocked and ear toward her.

Kagome grinned. "You'd like purple ones better."

At that, Inuyasha snapped his head around and stared at her in shock.

"Sweet dreams!" And Kagome went to sleep.

Inuyasha in the meantime began wondering what he would have to do to Shippou in order to see these purple ones.

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A/N: Almost two in the morning. Just a heads up for everyone. There will definitely not be any updates coming for a week and a few days because I am going to be out of town at church camp chasing around a bunch of middle school kids. I'm on security staff, so I'll be busy and have NO computer. Hope you enjoyed. I wasn't too sure of this story, so please review and tell me what you think, your likes and dislikes. Have a great week all, and I'll see you soon! God Bless! Of Memories Past.