Unwelcome Surprises

Miroku let out a deep sigh, slowly massaging his temples. 'This can't be happening.'

After so many years of turmoil, fear and life-threatening battles, everything he ever wanted was his. His family's enemy was long dead and his curse vanquished. He had a beautiful, sinfully sexy wife who had birthed him three beautiful children. Even his best friend had a happy ending; Kagome had been back a year, giving Sango the friend she had so desperately missed.

He should have known it wouldn't last.

Miroku looked up, and stared at the small dark head peeking out of the blankets on the futon. If he didn't know any better, he would swear it was his and Sango's son sleeping so quietly… just a few years older.

He thanked every kami he could recall that Sango and his children were gathering herbs with Kagome. The young miko was a couple of months into her first pregnancy, and Sango had been doting on her almost as much as InuYasha. Miroku needed the extra time to figure out how to explain this to Sango…

He and InuYasha had strolled casually into the village that had sent for youkai exterminators. Kohaku had been last seen far in the east; too far to rush to this village's aid. Once peeled away from his wife, InuYasha had been itching for a good fight; Kagome had been increasingly moody and nothing but time would cure that. Miroku, lost in thought of how much he could haggle for slaying the oni, had only vaguely registered that he'd been to this village in the past, before meeting up with InuYasha, Kagome and Shippou.

The kill had been easy, much to InuYasha's displeasure, and Miroku had stepped forward to collect their reward when the headman had uttered the words that would forever change his future: "I'll give you nothing but the thing you should have been burdened with years ago."

A small, somewhat-underfed boy with Miroku's eyes and shockingly short brown hair (a little over five years old, if Miroku had to guess) was summoned curtly. "This is Haruo. He's yours," the headman spat out. "I lost my only daughter to this brat. You'll take him with you or you'll stay here, but either way, I won't be responsible for the little filth any longer."

Thinking hard, Miroku suddenly recalled the woman the headman spoke of: beautiful eyes and long, silky brown hair… she'd been the first virgin he'd slept with, and had come to him in the middle of the night.

Miroku had turned wide eyes to InuYasha, who stared at the child, sniffing tentatively. The look on the hanyou's face said it all: this child really was Miroku's.

Miroku refused to let the child remain in a home that obviously refused to feed him; stuck between a rock and a hard place (and a look from InuYasha, just daring him to leave the boy to a childhood so much like his own), Miroku nodded and reached out for the boy's hand.

For the first time in a long while, Miroku had hung back, wanting to return very slowly to the village. InuYasha understood, but was in quite the hurry; Miroku didn't blame him, he'd been the same way when Sango was pregnant with the twins.

Either way, he'd had limited time to debate how to spring this unwelcome surprise on Sango.

Laughter echoed from the doorway; a few moments later, two energetic girls bounced in the door, followed by Sango, their son in her arms. The noise from the twins woke Haruo, who sat with a start, pulling the blankets up to his eyes.

Confused, the twins turned from the boy to their father. Sango stared at the child, forcing a smile before looking her husband in the eyes.

"Miroku? Who's this?"

"The Eight-Fold Path" is a serialized fic, written based on prompts from the mirsan_fics community on LiveJournal.

"Unwelcome Surprises" was originally posted April 2, 2009

Word Count: 637

Prompt: "Spring"