The challenge on this one was the word "redemption." I actually wrote this back in 2009, during NaNo, hence the references to TiVo and Thurgood. I'd been part of the IY fandom for a long time and it occurred to me that all the characters had too.

My apologies to Mr. Fishburn. He really was great on stage.

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"Last time, on Redemption..."

"Turn the volume up, will you?" asked Sango, setting the bowl of chips down on the coffee table.

"Sure, babe," answered Miroku. "Hey, are those the corn chips from last time, because you know those give me—"

Sango rolled her eyes, "No, they're the regular ones, now shut up before we miss finding out who shot Ruth-Ann's long-lost identical triplet!"

"No we won't. I freaking TiVoed it," snapped Miroku, shaking his head as Sango sat down next to him on the couch. He draped his arm over her shoulder as she half-reclined, touching her temple against the rough cloth of his sweatshirt.

But as the previews finished, Miroku started to get a funny feeling, a very familiar funny feeling.

"Uh, honey?"

"Damn, I thought it was my imagination," Sango answered, putting one hand over her eyes.

Miroku sighed. "Only one thing for it," he said, sliding his hand down off her shoulder.

"You!" Sango reared back and slapped him. Her eyes slid shut as her jaw set, "We're back on duty."

"We should call them," offered Miroku.

Sango shook her head, "No, they'll be back any minute anyway." She turned on her heel and Miroku could hear her rifling through the suitcases. His kesa hit him in the back of the neck.

"Hey!" he protested, "Don't hate the player, baby!"

"Shut up and get ready to go," Sango hissed, slipping off her sweatpants and pulling her yukata around her waist.

"Here, let me," said Miroku, tugging the garment straight.

"Thanks," Sango muttered angrily. "We were supposed to—"

They both turned around at the sound of a key card in the lock.

"Hey! Do not disturb! There's a beautiful naked body in here!" Miroku shouted. Sango smacked him. "Okay, two beautiful naked bodies."

"Hey Miroku," said Kagome, slipping out of her high heels.

"I'm so disappointed," Inuyasha was saying. "All the reviews say it's amazing: go see Lawrence Fishburne in 'Thurgood'! Straight from Broadway!"

"Uh, guys?" interrupted Miroku as he slipped his kesa over his head.

"Oh can't you just sit back and enjoy the spectacle, Inuyasha?" Kagome chided gently, laying her wrap across the back of the kitchenette chair. "You know Broadway style. Even if the play isn't wonderful, the stagecraft's usually good."

"The stagecraft sucked donkeybutt!" snapped Inuyasha. "When Royal Shakespeare Company came to Tokyo, now that was some badass stagecraft! I swear, you thought you were in a medieval forest full of goddamned fireflies. He wrapped one clawed hand around her waist, "It was giving me flashbacks, as you well remember!"

"Inuyasha, we're not alone!" Kagome giggled.

"We weren't then either! I swear, if fucking Kagura hadn't shown up with that cadre of wind corpses—"

"Honey! " she protested.

"Just a minute ago you were saying you wanted to get out of that pantyhose..."

"Guys!" Miroku jumped in.

"Oh fucking hell, Miroku," said Inuyasha. "You guys said you didn't want to go, so we didn't get you tickets, and the show sucked anyway, so don't bitch me out about it n—"

Miroku wondered if he'd looked quite that stupid when it had hit him. He suspected that he had.

"Oh no," sighed Kagome.

Inuyasha was shaking his head, "Weren't they supposed to all be doing that NeeNo thing?"

"NaNo," corrected Miroku. "That's where they take the whole month of November and try to write a—"

"I know what it is!" said Inuyasha. "Fuckdammit!"

"We were supposed to have the month off," seethed Sango.

Miroku nodded, "You and Kagome go and catch a little theater, Sango and I catch up on our stories..." he sighed, tying his sash in place. "Well, duty calls."

"Where are my clothes..." muttered Inuyasha. "Honey, did you put my clothes in the duffel or in the suitcase?"

"In the suitcase," said Kagome, "but don't change out of your street gear yet. Someone's got to go get Shippo." She turned toward Miroku, "Where is Shippo? I thought he was going to be watching the soaps with you guys?"

Sango took a step closer. "And I thought that he was out kitty-sitting," she said coldly.

Miroku looked away.

"You didn't," said Kagome. "Miroku, you were supposed to watch him!"

"He's a fifth-level kitsune trainee, Kagome, and he's been watching himself just fine for some time now."

Kagome snatched her wrap up from the chair and threw it at his head and Sango followed up with a whack. "Do you mean to tell me, my love," said Sango, "that you told Shippo he could go to Ginza today?"

"Oh," Inuyasha put both hands on his head. "Miroku, you moron! What if he gets his fluffy ass arrested? What are we supposed to say? 'Sorry, Shippo's not in this fanfiction because he got cuffed for scamming tourists at three-card monty'?"

Miroku shrugged, "At least it's original."

"Oh God," muttered Inuyasha. "I swear, if he's not on his usual streetcorner, then I am having him lojacked like a freakin' pedigree Shih Tzu." He leaned over and gave Kagome a terse peck on the cheek, "Back in a bit, babe."

Kagome sighed lightly as the door closed behind him.

"Back to teenaged histrionics..." said Sango, shaking her head. "When will the fanauthors realize that we've known each other for twelve whole years?"

"I don't know," Kagome answered with a twinkle in her eye, "sometimes starting over from the beginning has its excitement."

Miroku gave a snort, "Oh, Kagome," he teased, "your sex life has had more beginnings than a frustrated novelist." He didn't even try to duck the slap.

"By the way," Sango changed the subject, hands on her hips. "If Kirara isn't getting cat-sat by Shippo, then where might she be?"

"Don't worry, darling," answered Miroku. "She's perfectly safe."

"I don't have my answer yet, my love."

"She is on loan to the Ueno Zoo," Miroku replied with aplomb.

Sango blinked, "She's what?"

Kagome looked up from where she was shaking out her school uniform. "Oh this I've got to hear!"

Miroku chuckled slyly, "I happened to have a video camera and one of the senior aides to a certain ambassador just happened to be engaging in a certain indiscretion. One thing led to another and now the rugrats are lining up to see the ultra-rare Argentinian leaf cat, on loan from Buenos Aires via the sengoku jidai."

"Kirara is a zoo exhibit?" demanded Sango.

"And nobody noticed that it's pronounced 'Argentine'?" asked Kagome.

"Kirara is having the time of her life," Miroku said in his most assuring tone. "And how do you think we've been watching Redemption on a fifty-inch flatscreen? That shit did not come with the room! Which reminds me," he pulled out his iPhone. "I've got to arrange to have that bad boy shipped out of here before it falls off the back of a truck..."

"Oh, Miroku!" sighed Sango.

The lock clicked again and a familiar pair of feet stomped in. "—don't care how much cash you made, kiddo, you know we only brought you along because you promised to behave—"

"Put me down you big fat corporate drone!" yelled Shippo, all four limbs flailing as Inuyasha held his tail in his fist.

"—yourself and this is why we never get invited back to any nice universes and if you think I'm a corporate drone just because I wore a suit to a crappy play, then I am going to sting your ass until you can't sit down—"

"Kagome, he's being mean to me!"

"—oh no you don't, Shippo. We had this talk and Kagome and I both decided not to spoil you any—"

"I don't wanna go back yet! I was just getting good."

"—more. And part of that is going back to work when people need you." He plopped Shippo down on the coffee table, probably harder than he needed to. "Now get dressed."

"Hey, chips!" Shippo brightened and started to eat.

Inuyasha sighed, "You are lucky I can run in these damned loafers, kid. I got there two seconds before you got made. That guy was an undercover cop or I'll eat Miroku's undershorts."

"Ewwwwwwwwww!" squealed Shippo between mouthfuls.

"Is everybody ready to go?" asked Kagome.

"In a minute," said Inuyasha. "I need to change clothes."

"Hang on," Miroku clicked his phone shut. "Kirara will be meeting us in twenty minutes. Now let me find that two hundred K in cash I stashed around here someplace..."

"Always a scam," remarked Inuyasha.

Kagome stepped up behind him and put her hands on his upper arms, kissing the back of his head. "There's always next year," she said gently.

"Guess so," he answered.

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