This was a challenge by Chelsea. (http://home.uleth.ca/~pickcd00/)
The situation: two (or more) Rurouni Kenshin characters trapped overnight in a single-room cabin in the middle of a blizzard. Its so cold that falling asleep uncovered will undoubtedly cause hypothermia. One blanket.

Your assignment: create a scenario for posting. Go wild.

I did it... only Inu-yasha.

Disclaimer: I'm sick and fairly well drugged on Ny-quil. Otherwise, I probably would have never written something so sappy. Well, sappy for me. All characters belong to the talented Rumiko Takahashi, the plot line is thanks to this cold. Urm, nuff said. Read now! Bye!

Inu-yasha Blanket Scenario

by Icka! M. Chif

The Shikon no Tama was involved with this storm somehow, Inu-yasha could just feel it. Less then a hour ago, it had been clear skies, and now there was snow almost up to his knees. He'd been in worse storms, but he was starting to get a bit worried about Kagome and Shippou. She after all, was only human. And Shippou, full youkai or not, was still a small child and no where near full power.

Squinting against the wind, he looked around for some shelter for them. To compound his problems, it would also be getting dark soon, and the temperatures would drop even further below what they already were. He growled low in his throat. The Kami really hated him, didn't they?

There. A dark splotch against the white of the snow captured his attention. A shed? What ever it was was small, but it was better than nothing.

"Kagome!" He turned his head to call the other members of his group, the wind whipping his hair around. "This way! I found shelter!"

There was no answer from them. He couldn't spot them either. "Kagome?!"
He quickly turned around and backtracked. About 10 feet from where he had thought they were, Kagome, Shippou and her iron horse lay in a snow bank. Muttering the foulest curses he could think of off the top of his head, he picked them up and headed back for the shed he'd spotted.

The shed was smaller then he'd first thought, he realised once he reached it. Probably built to keep animals warm when it got cold- like now. He opened the door and stepped in. However, it was sturdily built and dry. Inu-yasha sent off a quick mental 'thanks' to whatever had let them here as he set down the iron horse and closed the door behind him.

"Kagome, wake up." He ordered, taking a look at his human companion.
She didn't respond. "Kagome?" He took a closer look at her. Her face was pale, and she there was just a touch of blue around her lips. He tentatively touched her cheek. His hands may not have been the warmest at the time, but her face was even colder. "Damn!" He'd heard about this with humans... it got too cold for them and they froze to death. And all she was wearing was that strange short outfit of hers.

He had to warm her up... maybe there was something in her monstrous pack of hers. Glancing around the small shed, he spotted a small pile of fodder laying in one corner. It wasn't much, but it was warmer than the floor. He lay her and Shippou on it then started going through her pack.

Much to his dismay, everything in there was soaked. Some snow must have gotten in while they were walking and soaked everything. Getting pissed, he turned the entire pack upside down and shook it.

Junk, junk, junk... more crap... He glanced through it as it fell out of the pack. How the heck did she carry all this stuff? Then he spotted it. A blanket, miraculously dry. With a muffled shout of triumph, he grabbed it. It unfolded in his hand, sending her spell books flying out of it.

He would have ignored them, except that one of the spell books had opened to a picture of a person that looked a lot like Kagome right now. Pale skin, blue around the lips. He grabbed it and glanced at the words. At least this one was in a language he could understand.

Hypothermia... he had to get her warm and dry as quickly as possible. Well, that was obvious. But that also meant getting her out of the wet clothes... He swallowed. He could almost feel the 'sits' coming on.

But if she died... Inu-yasha steered himself away from that train of thought. Better to focus at what he needed to do now, not on 'ifs'. He quickly scanned the rest of the page, then threw the book over his shoulder.

'You're gonna get into trouble' a small voice in the back of his head sing- sang as he sat Kagome up to peel the wet shirt off of her. He mentally snarled and told it to go to one of the seven hells. He'd seen Kagome wet and naked before. This was just another time, right? Right.

He got her out of her wet clothes faster than she'd probably ever been undressed in her life and wrapped her up in the blanket. This accomplished, he started to rub her limbs through the blanket until she stopped shivering as much and started to relax.

With Kagome taken care of, he turned his attention to the small kitsune. Shippou had curled himself into a shivering ball next to Kagome's head. With a sigh, he got the wet clothes off of the boy and rubbed him with a corner of the blanket until the kitsune resembled nothing more than a oversized messy bundle of fur. He carefully tucked the kit under the blanket with Kagome.

The danger passed for the moment, Inu-yasha sat down next to them and sat guard.

***

Kagome woke up to the sound of someone sneezing. But she was so warm... so comfortable... she didn't want to move... Until she heard it again.

"Bless you." She muttered, slowly opening her eyes.

"Go back to sleep, Kagome." Inu-yasha growled at her.

She, of course, ignored him and looked up. Inu-yasha was sitting next to her head, look wet and fairly miserable. She blinked trying to remember what had happened. They'd been walking, in search of another shard when... the snow storm had hit. They'd been fighting through the snow banks when... when... she couldn't remember.

"Wha-what happened?" She asked, peering at him.

"You and Shippou decided to take a nap in a snow bank." He informed her rudely. "I brought you here and did what that spell book of yours said to do."

Spell book... she'd been studying hypothermia for an upcoming first aid test. She quickly reviewed what she had studied. One had to the victim dry and warm as quickly as possible, getting them out of any wet... clothes...

That's when it hit her that she wasn't wearing as much as a stitch on her. Just the blanket and... She glanced down at the warm bundle in her arms. Shippou. He'd taken care of both her and Shippou, probably saving both of their lives.

Inu-yasha sneezed again, muttering something angrily under his breath as he absentmindedly wiped his nose with the back of a sleeve. He spotted her looking at him and froze in mid-motion. He had that look of panic on his face that he sometimes wore when he knew she was about to say 'sit'.

"Inu-yasha -" She could see him tense at her words "-thank you."

He stared at her in wide eyed shock. "You, ah, you're welcome." He muttered. "Wouldn't be able to find the shards if you'd gone and froze yourself to death anyway."

She nodded. "Right."

He nodded back, seemingly satisfied that she'd accepted his explanation, then muffled a sneeze. She took closer look at him. His clothes were soaked, as was his hair. And she couldn't be sure, but it almost looked like he was paler than normal in the dim light. He shivered, turning away from her. Half-youkai or not, he was sick.

"Get under here." She said suddenly, surprising herself.

He looked at her in something akin to shock. "What?"

"Half youkai or not, you're gonna get sick in this cold. Get out of those wet clothes and get under here. You're not going to be able to fight if you're sick." She said, her stubborn side kicking in and overruling her completely logical side.

He snorted disdainfully. "Yeah, right. Go back to sleep wench."

She set her jaw stubbornly. Sometimes he was just so... arrogant! She stood up, wrapping the blanket around her with the arm that wasn't holding Shippou. She could feel the cold through the folds in the fabric and hid a shiver. It was past freezing!

"What are you doing?" Inu-yasha asked boredly.

"If you're not going to get under this blanket to warm up, then I'm going to bring the blanket over to you, baka." She growled, ignoring the cold that was seeping into her feet as she stepped closer to the half youkai.

He stared at her for a second or two, an unreadable look in his amber eyes. "Lay down." He finally ordered, turning his head away.

"No. Not until you agree." She snapped.

"I will. Just lie down before you freeze again, you stubborn idiot." He growled back.

She paused. She was half expecting to have to say 'sit' before he agreed. "Okay." She agreed, stepping back into the nest she'd woken up in. She lay back down, curling up on her side. After a moment, she heard the sound of wet fabric on skin, then footsteps. The blanket lifted up behind her, then something cold slid in behind her.

"It's just for tonight." He growled irritably, his back to hers. "Don't make a big deal of it."

"I won't." She promised. They weren't touching, but she could feel how cold he was from where she was. He was a giant Inu-cicle. No wonder he'd agreed. Slowly, she turned around and leaned against him, giving the larger youkai what warmth she could. She moved an arm over his shoulders, like she did when they went flying. He tensed, but made no other sounds or movements.

After a while, she could feel him warm up under her, but he remained fairly tense. "I'm fine now. You can let go." He growled softly.

"Alright." She turned back around, so they were back to back again. She was warm now, and getting sleepy. "Good night, Inu-yasha. And thanks again." She murmured, getting comfortable.

He muttered something, but she missed what it was, drifting off to slumber again.

***

Shippou slowly woke up, feeling safe and content in a way he hadn't felt in a while now. He could feel someone's arms around him, and the press of 2 warm bodies, one on either side. He snuggled closer, listening to the sound of their heartbeats. "Otou? Okkaa?" He whispered, opening his eyes and looking around.

No, not his mother and father. Just Kagome and Inu-yasha. He blinked, tiredly trying to force his brain to make sense of what his eyes were telling him.

He was in-between the half youkai and the human. Kagome was curled up on her side, resting her head on the hollow of Inu-yasha shoulder, who had an arm protectively around her. Both were sound asleep. And... he took a quick look under the blanket that was over all 3 of them... they were all in their birthday suits.

Shippou scratched his head. It didn't make sense. He peered at his friend's faces. Both of them looked peaceful and fairly content, an expression rarely found on Inu-yasha's face. It looked... right?

A yawn caught him by surprise and he watched his breath freeze in the air. Oh, yeah. It was cold. That would probably explain a lot. He pulled the covers up closer to all 3 of them, curling back up to sleep.

In the morning, when they all woke up and after the inevitable fight, he'd start a fire and they could warm up the cabin, get dressed and get back on their way.

Kagome murmured something unintelligible in her sleep, cradling him closer to her. Inu-yasha answered back, just as un-understandable. Shippou snorted. How the heck had he mistaken these 2 for his parents? They were dead. But still, Kagome and Inu-yasha took care of him, even when no one else would have. In their own strange way, they were his family now...

The rest of his thoughts faded from his grasp as he to, drifted off to sleep.

Fin.

'Okkaa' and 'Otou' are Shippou's slangy variations for 'mother' and 'father'. Shippou uses it in volume #6, just before they meet Miroku. Thanks to Chris Rijk, who did the translations. (http://www.wot-club.org.uk/Inuyasha/)