Disclaimer: Rumiko Takahashi owns everything. All I have is the plot.
Author's Note: This is what happens when you read crack. You produce crack.
This is hell. No, this is beyond hell. Kami-sama himself couldn't think of such devious torture. Kagome should take over as mistress of hell. It's her fault I am in such suffering.
It all started innocently enough, two nights ago. Our little group had set up camp for the night in a forest clearing beside a stream. Inuyasha was away from the camp, hunting for any additions to out dinner, leaving me with the ladies. It wasn't my fault that Sango had to bend over and poke the fire like that, her luscious bottom hovering just in front of my face. Surrendering to temptation, I leaned forward and caressed her.
Smack! "Hentai!" she growled, marching away further downstream to bathe, dragging Kagome and Shippou with her. I sighed, rubbing the stinging red welt, her latest addition to my face.
I believe in karma, so it was only right that the few seconds of pure bliss from rubbing that firm ass are to be followed by retribution, swift and painful. And no one could do swift and painful like Sango could.
Ah, Sango. A study in contradiction. Feminine, yet fearsome in battle. Strong and yet so very vulnerable. I would never understand her but I knew I would not attempt to.
"When is Sango going to slap some sense into your thick skull, Miroku-sama?" Interrupting my thoughts, Kagome joined me beside the campfire, keeping a safe distance from me – which for the girls is always at least arm-length when I am concerned. Damn.
"Where are Sango and Shippou?" I asked innocently.
"She said she'd like to bathe longer so Shippou stayed with her. Anyway, I wanted to talk to you about your lecherous tendencies."
"I don't know what you're talking about, Kagome-sama," I said smoothly. "It's this cursed hand of mine." I held it up for emphasis, wiggling the fingers.
She rolled her eyes. "Don't give me that crap. I'm the only girl whose private space you don't violate – and that's only because Inuyasha would rip your head off if you did. Honestly, Miroku-sama – don't even think about it." While we had been talking, I was stealthily inching my way towards her, hoping to get close enough for her bottom to be within groping range. Thwarted, I let out another sigh of exasperation, forcing my mouth into a smile.
"You know me too well."
The young miko snorted.
"Oh, I know plenty of your antics, you lecher. You ask every girl you meet to bear your children. I think Inuyasha put it best when he said that you'd flirt with anything that moved."
I put on a mock hurt expression. "You wound me." Kagome made another derisive noise and busied herself with the ramen that was to be our dinner.
Although I was feigning hurt, her words struck a chord inside. True, I did ask every woman to bear my child, but I was just going through the motions, like an actor goes through his script. I would seize the girl's hands, ask her the question, Sango would come over and whack me. Or I would grope Sango and she would slap me. But couldn't any of them see that I've changed? They never noticed I took no real joy in reciting my lines? Sango is the only woman for me now. The only thing is… I'm not quite ready to give up my ways, even for her. Not yet.
"Hey… Miroku-sama." I blinked and looked at Kagome. She was suddenly wearing a sly expression that should have made me instantly wary.
"Shall we have… a bet?" Her eyes fairly danced with mischief. Looking back, I should have run away as fast as my legs could carry me. But no. Like a fool, I played right into her hands.
"A bet? I have nothing to stake."
"Oh fine… then a dare?"
I stared at her in confusion. "Da – ru?"
Kagome waved a hand airily. "It's this game we play in my time. We set challenging things for the other to perform, like… um… asking Inuyasha to tell Kikyou to get lost. Or getting him to strip."
"It sounds… interesting." Already, my perverted mind was thinking up plenty of dares for Sango, most involving her clothing in some way…
"So… I challenge you!" she said happily. "Do you dare to do what I tell you, or are you a coward?" Kagome placed unnecessary emphasis, in my opinion, on that last word, grinning like a maniac.
I bristled. You can say that I'm a lecher, a con man, a liar and I wouldn't mind. (Because those things are kind of true.) But no one has ever called me a coward to my face!
"I'll do anything you ask me to, Kagome-sama," I replied proudly.
In retrospect… I had no idea what to expect. It was foolish enough to rush headlong into unfamiliar territory but I guess I was hoping for something easy, like retrieving an article from a mountain, or slaying a demon, or even going around half-naked. If nothing, that would certainly boost my popularity with the ladies, if I do say so myself.
"Alright," she said triumphantly. "Miroku-sama… I dare you to go without groping Sango, asking other women to bear your children – actually, any lecherous behaviour – for one whole cycle of the moon. On your honour as a houshi."
I squeaked, my mouth dropping open in astonishment. Kagome sat back on her haunches, the look on her face reminiscent of the look a spider would have as it contemplated its wriggling prey, snared in its web.
That little… Why, asking me not to flirt is like… asking Naraku to play fairly. Or asking Sesshoumaru to hug Inuyasha. Eew – mental images. But that's my point. This is insanity!
She grinned. "What? Are you backing out? Are you scared?" I grimaced.
"No!" I blurted out before I could stop myself.
"Good. The dare starts… now. And if you weaken…" Kagome gave me the most evil smile I'd ever seen, even compared to Naraku's.
My mouth dropped open again and hung there. That devious little…
"Ramen?" She offered me a bowl, smiling innocently all the while. I took it grumpily from her.
Inuyasha chose that moment to appear, holding out his hand for the ramen. "Now only the food's ready, Kagome? The sun set ages ago! What took you so long?"
She closed her eyes in exasperation, clearly fighting the temptation to sit him. "Just eat, Inuyasha."
He sensed her displeasure, nose and ears twitching but stupidly chose to ignore the warning signals. While I still could, I inched away from the angry girl.
Kami-sama, Inuyasha! Even a human like me can sense the battle aura coming off Kagome!
"Okay, but what's your problem?" That incredibly thick hanyou was only saved by the timely arrival of Sango and Shippou.
"Food! Yay!" shouted the eager little kitsune, taking the proffered bowl from Kagome and tucking in.
"Thank you, Kagome-chan," smiled Sango, taking a seat on Kagome's other side, well out of my range. I heaved a theatrical sigh.
"Really, Sango, there's quite no need to give me such a wide berth. The grass is perfectly fine on this side," I said, patting the spot beside me.
"It's not the grass I'm concerned about, Houshi-sama," she replied, two spots of colour appearing high on her cheekbones. "It's that wandering hand of yours."
I pouted, returning to my ramen.
It's not like I'm dangerous now or anything… That stupid 'da-ru' of Kagome's… I am so misunderstood.
As usual after eating, Kagome and Sango chatted as they cleared away the remnants while in the background, Inuyasha and Shippou fought over the last extra bowl of ramen. I assumed my most bored expression before deciding to make myself useful. Anything to take my mind off the hell that would be the next whole moon cycle.
"Sango, Kagome… is there anything I can do to help?" They exchanged looks, Sango eyeing me suspiciously.
Kagome looked thoughtful. "No, Miroku-sama. But it is nice of you to offer."
I nodded curtly, still slightly annoyed with her. One whole moon cycle…
Once the girls had finished cleaning up, they began preparing for bed, laying out their bedrolls well away from me. Inuyasha hopped into the nearest tree to take the first watch.
"Miroku, you're next," he called from his perch. "Then you, Sango, then Kagome." I nodded grumpily and leaned back, dozing off within minutes.
Even in my dreams I couldn't find respite. After a nasty nightmare about being surrounded by women who kept eluding my hands, I woke with a start, deciding to give up on sleep altogether. Inuyasha was still awake, though he looked quite tired.
"Inuyasha," I said softly. "Get some sleep. I'll take over now."
He yawned widely and bent his head, falling asleep almost immediately. With nothing else to do, I crossed my legs and meditated. The time passed quickly and it was almost time for Sango to take the watch.
I opened one eye and glanced at her. She looked so peaceful, lost in dreams that I hadn't the heart to disturb her.
Come to think of it, Kagome's challenge had one major positive outcome: Sango's trust. Perhaps she might even let me touch her without my getting smacked.
If I could last the full moon cycle, that is.