Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha.

The Plight of Master Jaken

"Wait up, Lord Sesshomaru!" Jaken cried.

The squat little toad demon was trying his hardest to catch up with his tall lord's long, elegant strides, and wasn't doing a very good job of it. He waddled along, huffing and puffing as his short, thick legs carried him as fast as they could. In his haste, he didn't pay close attention to the ground before him—and ended up tripping over a jutting tree root.

He landed face down in a mud puddle, his robes pulled over his head, his feet flailing about wildly as though they were trying to continue walking along the ground. It was quite a comical sight.

Jaken, already entirely disgruntled, heard a sound that he despised.

Rin was laughing.

The little girl had turned around to look at him. She'd been trailing behind Sesshomaru's feet when she heard the commotion.

Sesshomaru continued walking on, neither pausing nor slowing his magnificent pace for the bedraggled toad demon.

Rin looked back at Sesshomaru, already a fair distance away from her, and then turned back to Jaken, and laughed again at his muddy display. She managed to say, "I'll wait for you, Master Jaken," in between giggles.

Jaken snorted as he picked himself up and began wiping the mud off his face.

"I'm not following you," Jaken said snidely. Then, with his chin in the air, and his eyes lowered, he walked past Rin without giving her a glance, biting his tongue to keep from uttering in pain at the splinter his foot had received from the tree root he tripped over.

It had been six months since Sesshomaru revived Rin using the Tenseiga, and in that short time, Jaken's life turned upside down.

He had followed Sesshomaru alone for many years, serving him obediently. It was a quiet, unassuming life, and Jaken had never had any competition for Sesshomaru's attention.

But now, there was Rin, a little human girl of all things, tagging along at Sesshomaru's heels.

Jaken couldn't stand it—the incessant noise (Rin's tongue never seemed to get tired), the unnecessary inconveniences (Rin refused to do her business within earshot of the men, and so they had to wait a long time whenever the urge overcame her for her to find a suitable spot in the woods), and most of all, the times when Rin was left in Jaken's sole care.

Rin obeyed Sesshomaru without a second thought; it was Jaken whom she didn't take seriously. He always had to run after her, to reprimand her, to try to keep her out of any trouble that Sesshomaru would only blame him for, but he was fighting a losing battle. Rin ignored him in the chain of command.

To Rin, Jaken was just a funny looking little man. But to Jaken, Rin threatened his very livelihood.

What if she got into serious trouble one day under Jaken's watch? If she ended up hurt, or kidnapped—or killed—Jaken knew Sesshomaru wouldn't hesitate to slay him.

Or worse . . . what if Sesshomaru just abandoned him? Jaken couldn't stand the thought of being alone in the world.

The fear was always on Jaken's mind. That silly human girl was going to ruin his life, and Jaken loathed her for it.

And now, here he was, covered in mud, his foot aching unbearably with every step from the splinter he'd acquired from the tree root, his face burning with embarrassment from acting like such a fool in front of Sesshomaru.

He trudged along, completely miserable, each step he took more painful than the last. Finally, he couldn't bite his tongue anymore.

"Ow . . . ow . . . ow . . ." he kept saying under his breath each time his foot landed on the ground.

It wasn't long before Rin noticed. She ran up to him and asked, "What is it Master Jaken? Are you hurt?"

"It's nothing . . . ow . . . mind your own business, you silly girl!"

Rin, as usual, ignored him.

"Come on, Master Jaken, what is it?"

Jaken refused to answer her. But Rin kept watching him and soon realized that he said "Ow" whenever he took a step.

"Oh, it's your foot that's hurt, Master Jaken. Let me see!"

And before Jaken could stop her, Rin had forced him to sit down and was examining his foot in her hands.

"Wow, Master Jaken! You've got the biggest splinter I've ever seen!" she cried.

"Humph," Jaken snorted. "I bet that amuses you. 'Silly Master Jaken' is hurt. Why don't you go run along? Lord Sesshomaru's almost out of view."

It was true. While Rin had stopped Jaken, Sesshomaru continued walking ahead. He was disappearing through the trees.

Rin ignored Jaken, and began working on the splinter.

"Hold still, Master Jaken. This is going to hurt a bit."

Rin proceeded to edge the splinter out of Jaken's sore foot.

"Yowwwch!" he cried.

Rin held up the splinter for him to see. "There, all done!" she said happily. Then she took his foot in her hands, and gave it a little kiss.

Jaken was stunned. He got to his feet, and was relieved to find the pain was gone.

"We better get going," Rin said. "We don't want Lord Sesshomaru to get too far ahead." She smiled, and started walking off. Jaken didn't move.

"Rin," he called. "Why did you help me?"

Rin turned around, and laughed. But this time, Jaken didn't mind the sound of it so much.

"Silly Master Jaken," she said. "That's what family does." Then Rin ran off to Sesshomaru.

Jaken stayed still for a moment, then he started running too, and cried, "Wait up, Lord Sesshomaru!"

He kept running and added, "Wait up, Rin!"

And Jaken hurried to catch up with his family.


Author's Note: Thank you for reading! And thank you to everyone who encouraged me to write again! I hope you enjoyed this little one-shot. I know Jaken isn't a popular character, but I couldn't resist.