Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. I just wrote this story for fun.
Damn it, Kagome, where the Hell are you?
Inuyasha sat on his favourite branch in his sacred tree, trying to decide whether to go get her or not.
She had returned to her era three days ago, promising she wouldn't be too long, but not giving a definite time for her return.
He hated when she wasn't with him, and not just because he was impatient to kick Naraku's ass and get back all the sacred jewel shards.
He genuinely missed her when she was away...and he wasn't the only one.
Shippo had been moping about the last few days, not even wanting to go hunting.
His constant sighing and complaining was starting to grate on the hanyou's nerves.
Grr, that little whelp! I can't stand to see him like this any more than I can stand for Kagome to be away!
That decided it. Getting his...uh...that is to say, Shippo back to his usual happy self was more than enough reason to go after the girl.
Hopping up, he made his way towards the Bone-Eaters Well.
Upon landing, he was startled to see Shippo sitting on it.
"Hey, Runt," he grunted, "what do you think you're doin'?"
Shippo turned to look at him, and he didn't look at all like his usual cheery self.
"Hi, Inuyasha," he said, his voice sounding rough and forced. "I'm just waiting on Kagome to come back."
Inuyasha narrowed his eyes. The little whelp didn't look so hot.
Going over, he picked the young kitsune up and felt his forehead.
"Shippo!" he growled. "You're burning up!"
"I do feel a little hot," Shippo said, weakly, "but I'm all right."
"Humph," Inuyasha growled, "we'll let the old hag decide that. C'mon."
Shippo squirmed in his grasp. "But I got to wait for Kagome," he told him.
"Stop that," Inuyasha growled, warningly. "'Less you want your backside to be as warm as your forehead is right now."
The little fox demon quit his squirming and seemed to lean in closer to the hanyou.
"Kaede," Inuyasha called, reaching the hut, "Shippo's sick!"
The old one-eyed priestess looked up. "Bring him," she told him, pointing to the mat beside her.
Inuyasha laid Shippo down and watched while the old woman examined him.
"Oh, my," she said, shaking her head at the little kitsune, "you are indeed quite ill. How long have you been feeling poorly?"
Shippo looking between her and Inuyasha, a guilty expression on his face. He mumbled something.
"What was that?" Kaede asked, puzzled. "I didn't—"
"Four days!" Inuyasha growled, narrowing his eyes at the kit. "You've been feeling bad for four days and didn't say anything!"
"I-I had to wait for Kagome," Shippo said, "and I thought it would go away, but it only got worse!"
Kaede placed a wet cloth on his forehead. "While it would have been better to simply tell us, young one," she soothed, "right now we must get your fever down. Inuyasha, will you watch him while gather some herbs for medicine?"
"I ain't goin' nowhere," the hanyou told the old lady. "Hurry up, will ya?"
The older woman gave him the barest of a smile, and then got up to go gather her herbs.
Shippo looked up at him pleadingly. "Do I really got to take Granny Kaede's medicine?" he asked. "It's tastes terrible!"
"Yeah, whelp," Inuyasha growled, dipping the cloth in water again and placing it back on his forehead, "you do and you're not gonna give her any lip about it, either."
"Humph," the little kitsune pouted.
"Nuh uh, Shippo," Inuyasha told him, firmly, "you should have told us you were sick. I knew you were moping and groaning, but I thought it was just because you missed Kagome..."
"I do miss Mama," Shippo said, sniffing. "I wanted her to come back and take care of me!"
"Well, I ain't your mama," Inuyasha told him, picking him up and cradling him in the crook of his arm, "but I am your papa—more or less—so I'll just take care of you 'til she gets back."
"Okay," Shippo said, "but I still don't want to take the medicine."
"That's tough," Inuyasha growled at him, "you're gonna take it if I have to cram it down your little throat, whelp!"
Shippo made a face at him. "You're mean," he grumbled, frowning.
"No, I'm pissed," Inuyasha told him, sternly. "You've been walking around sick for four days without telling anybody. Don't you know how dangerous that is? We're not mind-readers, Shippo! What if this was something like that influenza Kagome was tellin' us about or that pneumonia she said her grandpa had?"
Shippo sniffed. "I'm sorry," he whimpered, "I just wanted Mama!"
Inuyasha sighed. Grrr, miserable little whelp! I can't even stay mad at him 'cuz he's so sick!
"We'll get you better," he promised, ever so slightly rocking him, "but once we do you and me is gonna have a 'talk'."
Shippo groaned. "You're gonna spank me, aren't you?" he asked, pitifully.
"You better believe it," Inuyasha growled, "and you deserve it, whelp."
Shippo sniffed some more, but didn't actually start crying. He felt too hot for that.
"I'm thirsty," he said, quietly.
"It's the fever," Inuyasha told him, scooping some cool water into one clawed hand, "here you go."
Shippo drank the water from his hand and leaned more into him. He began to feel sleepy.
"Papa," he said, drowsily, "I don't feel good..." He slumped, falling asleep.
Inuyasha sighed. Wish you'd have said so sooner, kiddo.
"I know," he said, continuing to gently rock the young boy, "and we're gonna get you well. I'll take care of you. Always."
Kaede returned, stopping briefly to watch the hanyou gently rocking the now sleeping kit in his arms.
She smiled. He's really grown up...
"Did you get 'em?" Inuyasha asked, glancing up worriedly. "He's getting hotter."
She nodded. "Yes," she told him, "I'm start mixing up the medicine now."
He nodded, depositing the sleeping fox kit onto the pallet and covering him up.
"I'll go get some fresh water," he said, picking up the now lukewarm water bucket.
She nodded, placing a kettle over the fire to start the water in it boiling.
They woke Shippo up to give him the medicine and a little bit of broth, but the kit soon fell asleep once more.
"That's good," the old priestess told and anxious looking Inuyasha. "His body needs rest to fight off the fever."
"I know," Inuyasha said, quietly, "I just can't stand seeing him like this."
He was once again cradling the little fox boy in the crook of one arm.
Kaede smiled inwardly.
She had seen that same expression many times in the past on the faces of anxious fathers who felt helpless in the face of something they could not keep their child safe from.
It seemed Inuyasha was no different when it came to his own...uh...pup.
She placed a hand on his shoulder and said to him what she always said to them, "He is young and strong. He will be all right. Children are much more resilient than us adults."
He nodded, gratefully. "Yeah, he's a fighter all right," he said, proudly.
Kaede chuckled. "I will return shortly," she said, "a few of the other village children are also sick. I need to see to them, as well."
He nodded, never glancing from the sleeping kit's face.
She smiled one final time and left the hut.
Inuyasha stayed by Shippo's side throughout the night, only falling asleep just before dawn.
Shippo awoke the next morning feeling much, much better. He was no longer hot and icky all over.
He sat up and glanced around. Granny Kaede was asleep on the mat opposite him, but it was the person lying next to him that surprised him.
Inuyasha very rarely slept lying down, he usually just propped himself near the door with his sword in case there was trouble.
Shippo smiled. His papa had stayed with him all night and even slept next to him to keep him from getting too chilled and thus causing his fever to worsen.
Kagome had done the same thing before, but it was different with Inuyasha.
Remembering his 'mama', Shippo hopped up and tip-toed out of the hut.
Now that he was feeling better, he could go wait for her by the well.
That way, Granny Kaede and Inuyasha could get some rest and not worry about him.
It was a very pretty day out, and quite warm for the early morning.
The little fox kit skipped along happily, not a care in the world...
...until a large shadow fell across his path and a large clawed hand scooping him up.
"Hey!" he yelped, finding himself pickup by the tail and spun around.
"What the hell do you think you're doing!?" Inuyasha growled, angrily.
Shippo gulped. Oops...
"I-I was gonna go wait for Kagome," he said, "b-by the well."
"Oh no you're not," the hanyou growled, "you're going back to bed!"
"I'm better now, Inuyasha," the kit whined, "I don't want to go to bed!"
"The old hag will say whether you're better or not, whelp," the silver haired half demon growled, "and I ain't riskin' you getting sicker because you decided to take a little stroll!"
"Humph," the kit grumbled, crossing his arms and pouting, "just wait 'til I tell Kagome. I bet she'll 'sit' you a hundred times."
It wasn't fair!
He was a full fledged fox demon, and that meant he healed quicker than mortal children.
Didn't the hanyou know that? He must...
Inuyasha froze, narrowing his eyes. He spun the kit back around to face him.
"What was that?" he asked, ominously.
Shippo gulped, sensing he was in trouble. "Uh, I..."
"You must be feeling better," the hanyou reasoned, making his way behind Kaede's hut.
Shippo frowned. "Where we goin'?" he asked, curiously.
"To have that 'talk' I promised you," Inuyasha told him, smirking. "Remember?"
Shippo's eyes widened. "Uh, I-I think you're right," he said, "I-I do need to go back to bed!"
"Oh, you're going back to bed all right..." the hanyou told him, going and sitting down on the wood chopping log.
"...but first," he continued, draping the fox kit over his lap, "you're gonna get what you deserve for not telling me you were sick and worrying me half to death."
"No," Shippo wailed, kicking his little legs as he felt his tail pushed outta the way, "please, Papa, don't spank me!"
"I warned you, whelp," Inuyasha growled, baring the kitsune's bottom, "so quit squirmin' and let's get it over with."
Shippo froze. Inuyasha had spanked him before, but he hadn't ever bared his bottom before.
"You scared me, Shippo," Inuyasha told him, raising his hand back, "but more than that you lied to me!"
He brought his hand down on the kit's exposed bottom with a loud SMAC K!
Shippo yelped, squirming even more. "B-but I didn't," he wailed, kicking his feet wildly.
"Keepin' something from someone is the same as lyin' in my book," Inuyasha told him, bringing his hand down again and again.
"Kagome would never forgive me if I let something happen to you and more importantly I would never forgive myself."
Inuyasha spanked the kitsune harder than he had before, wanting him to fully understand that this was an important lesson he needed to learn.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Shippo wailed, tears leaping from his eyes. "I'm sorry, Papa, I'm sorry!"
"You're always sorry, Shippo," Inuyasha growled, "and it's always when you're gettin' your butt warmed. This time you went too far, you could have killed yourself by not telling us you were sick!"
He started aiming for the small under-curve where the kitsune's bottom met his legs.
Shippo wailed, cried, and thrashed but it did him, nor his bottom, any good.
Finally, Inuyasha said, "Five more, runt, and it'll be over."
Those five smacks delivered, he fixed the kit's breeches back into place and held up to him.
"I was so worried last night, Shippo," he told the kid, stocking his hair gently. "You looked so weak and I felt so helpless."
Shippo blinked up at him. "W-Why?" he asked, through his tears.
"Cuz, whelp," Inuyasha told him, smirking. "It was the first time I couldn't really do anything to help you, to protect you. I can fight demon after demon, but I ain't no healer or priestess like Kaede or Kagome. You were fighting a battle against that fever and there was nothing I could do but wait and hope you won."
Shippo smiled. "You stayed with me the whole time, though," he told him, "and even slept next to me so I wouldn't get cold...that was something."
"Maybe," Inuyasha told him, "but I still felt helpless. Someday, you'll be able to fight your own battles, but right now I'd kinda appreciate it if you let me handle it, okay?"
Shippo smiled. "Okay," he said, hugging the hanyou. "Uh, Inuyasha?"
Inuyasha smirked. "What is it, whelp?" he asked, ruffling his hair.
"I-I love you," the fox boy stated, his eyes wide.
Inuyasha blinked. Had Shippo really just said...
He wrapped an arm around the kitsune and hugged him tighter.
He then did something entirely surprising. He bent forward and kissed the boy's head.
"Love you, too," he whispered to him, "but if you tell anybody I said it, I'll..."
Shippo smiled widely. "I know, I know," he said."You'll whack me on the head a couple dozen times."
Inuyasha smirked, standing up. "Actually, I was gonna say I would feed you to Au-Un the next we crossed Sesshomaru's path," he said, smiling wickedly.
"Hey!" Shippo protested.
The hanyou chuckled. "C'mon, you little whelp," he growled, "back to bed."
"Ah," Shippo whined, "do I have to!"
"Yep," Inuyasha told him, firmly, "you'll stay in bed all day. No playing."
"Humph," Shippo pouted. "That's not fair."
"I know," Inuyasha told him, ruffling his hair, "but that's too bad. I'll take you hunting tomorrow to make up for it, okay?"
Shippo smiled at that. "Okay," he said, happily. "Am I ready..."
"No," Inuyahsa told him, smirking.
Shippo glared at him. "You don't know what I was gonna say," he accused, crossing his little arms.
"Doesn't matter," Inuyasha told him. "You'll stick to hunting rabbits 'til I say otherwise."
"Ah," Shippo started to whine.
"You wanna stay in bed tomorrow too," Inuyasha warned, raising an eyebrow at him.
Shippo quickly shook his head, fiercely.
"Then quit the whining, whelp," he growled, "it's gettin' on my nerves."
They headed back inside and Shippo was deposited back onto his pallet.
"Inuyasha?" Shippo asked, gazing up at his 'papa' hopefully.
"Yeah," Inuyasha said, glancing down at him.
"Will you please go get Kagome now?"
Inuyasha smirked, shaking his head at the cheeky kid.