I do not own InuYasha or any of the characters created by Rumiko Takahashi

Chapter 112

Rin had shown up early at Sango's. Before Miroku had left for InuYasha's, he had been coaxed into watching his daughters while Sango and Rin had crawled over a long length of white cloth inside.

Now, after the girls had tired themselves out pretending to be dragons and Miroku had gone off to talk to InuYasha and visit Haname down in the village, the girls were playing more quietly, and Rin looked at long rectangles of cloth laid out in front of her.

"So, Sango-obachan, you really think I'm ready to sew a kosode by myself?" Rin asked. She touched the pile of pieces in front of her and then the two lengths of cloth she held in her lap. "It seems . . . so much." She ran her finger over the little bit she had already sewn. The rest of the fabric spilled over her lap, covering her up as she worked, making her seem even slighter than she was.

"I do," Sango said, smiling encouragingly. "I know I was making one for you, but you're doing well enough you need to start on one of your own." She didn't have any sewing on her lap. Instead she had a comb in one hand, and the other hand was wrapped around her daughter Noriko, who was sitting on her lap, wiggling and playing with a small doll while Sango tried to comb her hair. Her other daughter, Yusuko, was stacking some small wood shapes one on top of the other, and laughing when they tumbled down. Her son Naoya was taking a nap in his basket cradle, somehow able to sleep through all of his sisters' noise.

Noriko leaned forward as her mother worked, babbling a singsong rhyme that neither Rin nor Sango could quite make out.

"Stop moving, Noriko-chan," Sango said, pulling her daughter closer. "The sooner I do this, the sooner you can go play." Noriko pouted, putting the doll in the crook of her arm where she began to rock the doll.

Chika, the small cat Miroku had brought home, jumped on Rin's sewing.

"No, no, Chika-chan. Rin can't sew if you're using the cloth for your bed," the girl said, picking the small cat up and putting her down on the mat beside her. "You need to find another place for your nap. Rin's cloth won't work."

Sango narrowed her eyes and looked at the cat."If she keeps trying to do that, Chika-chan will be sitting outside looking for a nap in the grass."

Shaking her head at the idea, the cat began to lick her paw, then curled up into a ball next to Rin, content for the moment to sleep in a pool of light from the window.

Rin smoothed the cloth back out and began to sew again.

"Undergarments like this aren't that hard to make, since you don't have to match fabric designs or patterns," Sango said. "Putting the collar on can be a little tricky, and I'll help you with that if you need it, but the rest of it's fairly simple sewing. I watched how good you've gotten already at what you do, and I know you can handle that. But fancy kosode are made just about the same way. If the fabric has checks or designs, you just match up the fabric so they look good together. And sometimes you put a lining in. That's a bit more work, but it's not that much more different. So once you do this, you'll be able to make much nicer ones."

Rin looked at the fabric in her lap, then looked back at Sango, looking doubtful. "You're sure?"

The older woman chuckled. "Oh yes. With everybody I have to keep in clothes here, I know. I've had a lot of practice."

Rin gave her an uncertain grin, and nodded, getting back to her stitching while Sango finally got Noriko to sit still long enough to get the girl's hair into position for her hair bow.

There was a knock on the door.

"Could you get that, Rin-chan?" Sango asked. "My hands aren't quite free yet." She began wrapping the girl's hair with a piece of ribbon.

Rin nodded, looking a bit happy as she put down her sewing, glad for a chance to get away from the fabric for the moment. Sliding open the door, she beamed at the person standing there. "Kagome-obasan! Rin was hoping you'd come by today. She missed seeing you yesterday."

"Hello, Rin-chan, I'm sorry, too." Kagome gave the girl a big smile. "Yesterday was so busy that I just didn't get a chance to come over," she said, stepping inside. She put her sewing basket down on the edge of the wooden floor platform as she walked into the beaten earth doma. "But you're here earlier than I thought you would be."

Rin slid the door closed behind her. "Kaede-obaasan was going to check up on Haname-sama and Sayo-obasan and Isao-kun this morning, and thought Rin would like it better to visit Sango than follow her doing her rounds or staying at home. But she was surprised when Kaede told her you were taking the day off."

"You're taking the day off?" Sango asked, looking up at the young miko she sat down on the edge of the raised floor.

"Yes," Kagome said, nodding as she slipped off her sandals, leaving them near the door. "Kaede-obasan thought I could use it after the last two days. With everything that's happened, I think she was right."

"I can believe that," Sango said, letting loose of Noriko, who toddled out of her lap. "I hear yesterday was almost as . . . entertaining . . . as the day before. Miroku had some interesting stories to tell about Aki-kun's behavior." She stood up to get the tea kettle.

"You could say that," Kagome said, stepping up on the wooden platform. "And it wasn't just what happened with Aki-kun, either. I had a rather interesting talk with Haname-obasan yesterday, too."

Noriko made a beeline for the young miko. "Obasan!" She held her arms up, waiting to be picked up.

"Don't let her be too much of a pest," Sango said, filling the kettle and putting it on the fire.

"You're glad to see me, Noriko-chan?" Kagome asked, with a big smile.

The little girl nodded. Kagome bent over, picked the girl up, and carried her next to Sango, where she sat down. Yusuko, seeing what her sister was up to, tried going to Kagome as well, but her mother grabbed her as she passed by.

"Time to do your hair, now, pretty girl," Sango said. "So what happened with Haname?"

Yusuko frowned, but let her mother hold her and begin to work the comb through her hair.

"She was definitely not the person she seemed to be the day before," Kagome said. "It was . . . I don't know the right words. Like she had been possessed by whatever it was that the yamabushi had used on her. But not quite."

"Miroku mentioned something like that as well," Sango said, picking up a lock of the girl's hair to detangle.

Rin picked up her sewing. "Look what Sango-obasan started Rin on today!" she said, holding up the two lengths of cloth she was stitching.

"A kosode! Good for you," Kagome said.

As Rin lifted up her fabric to get back to work, it covered the calico cat. Chika mewed.

"Sorry, Chika-chan," Rin said. The cat, unimpressed with all this activity, walked over to the far side of the room in a dignified huff before laying down and going back to sleep.

"It's all rather interesting, how everything happened," Sango said. Yusuko tried to pull free, but Sango held her in place. "I'm not done yet, baby."

"I'm getting tired of interesting days, I think," Kagome said as she opened her own sewing basket.

As she pulled out the shirt she was sewing, Noriko, still not willing to give up the young miko's lap, showed Kagome her doll, a little wooden figure draped with bright red cloth.

"Is that your baby?" The miko asked.

The toddler nodded. "Aya."

"Aya?" Kagome said. "That's a pretty name." She said, sliding the toddler to the side. "Obasan wants to sew some now, but you can sit here," she told the girl.

"I bet you are," Sango said. "You're due for some regular, plain, boring days." She pulled Yusuko's hair up, ready to tie it with the bow, but the girl wiggled and the hair slipped out of Sango's hands. "Stop that, baby, or I'll never get done."

"Maybe after tomorrow," Kagome said. "Somehow, I suspect between Miroku's little work party and the women gathering at Hisa's, that tomorrow's still not going to be a normal day. Maybe not as exciting as the last two, but still not a plain day yet. I want one where I go to Kaede's, come home, make dinner, and go to sleep without a single exciting thing happening." She laughed a little. "That sound's so boring. But . . . "

"No buts about it, plain days are worth it sometimes," Sango said. She finished tying the bow in Yusuko's hair. "There you go, Yusuko," she said, patting the little girl on her backside. "You can get up now."

Yusuko slid off, then went and picked up her playthings.

"Plain, boring days," Kagome threaded her needle. "The thought of that sounds lovely right now. At least I got my laundry done this morning. InuYasha thought it was strange that I wanted to do something like that today. But after dealing with kami and yamabushi and everything we've done these last two days, washing clothes just seemed so . . . normal, I guess. No magic involved. It was lovely."

Sango laughed. "If you need days like that, you're always welcome to come over here." Hearing the tea kettle beginning to bubble, she got up and went to get her tea makings. "There's always plenty of normal over here to do. With three little ones, it's hard to get away from it."

Kagome smiled at her friend. "I bet."

Normalcy had not yet found InuYasha as he and the two farmers still studied the clearing behind his house.

Tsuneo, holding his chin in his hands was looking at a spot of ground Daitaro was standing at.

"But if you move the shed here," Daitaro said, indicating a spot a good bit closer to Kagome's wash area where the garments she had washed earlier danced in the midmorning breeze, "you'd get summer shade on the roof of the shed."

Tsuneo rubbed his chin thoughtfully, then nodded. "That does have some advantages," he said. "But it might not be so good to have it this close to the house. I believe our friend here," nodding in InuYasha's direction, "has a particularly sensitive nose. And that close to the house, the miso smell would bother me, much less him."

Even though he didn't have his jacket to hide his hands in, InuYasha still crossed his arms and watched the two men as they paced and considered. "Keh," he said, just to let them know he was still trying to pay attention.

The two men had been walking around and speculating on deciding what the best place would be for the last half hour. One spot was too near trees that could fall. One area would work well, but it would probably be too small to make miso, although it'd be good for pickles. One spot would get too hot during August. One spot, too wet during the summer rains. All the discussion was giving InuYasha a headache.

"Well," Tsuneo said. "We've got time discuss this further. First, let's see how much lumber we can get out of InuYasha's trees. Once we get Choujiro up here and see what we have to work with, we can make better plans."

"Yeah," the hanyou said, nodding.

Daitaro turned his head, and looked at InuYasha. The hanyou's ear flicked and he looked a bit dazed. "I think, old friend," he said to Tsuneo, "we may have given our young companion here a little too much to chew on today."

Tsuneo nodded. "You do look a bit overloaded there, InuYasha." He gave the hanyou an apologetic smile. "Sorry about that. It's not often we get to do something like this - have a nice bit of land to really put this type of building in and do it in the right place. Both of us, well, we've just had to squeeze in our outbuildings wherever we could squeeze them in. Excuse two old men who were indulging themselves. I suspect we got carried away."

InuYasha shrugged. "You know more than me. I figure you'll pick out the best way to do it."

"Maybe," Daitaro said, giving the hanyou a friendly swat on the shoulder. "Don't sell yourself so short. That was not a bad place you had picked out, even if the monk helped you settle on it. Anyway, we probably ought to get back down the hill. Chime will be sending my boy Genjo after me pretty soon if I don't show up. She's all aflutter about getting everybody's clothes right for the wedding. I told her it's not me getting married - it's my son. But that's not stopping her. She says it's for luck." He sighed, wearing a fond, but slightly exasperated grin.

"It'll be over soon," Tsuneo said. "Might as well let her have her fun while you can."

"True, true," Daitaro nodded.

"And I need to get back to my place," Tsuneo said. "No telling what ruckus has stirred up since I left. My wife, bless her, is as stubborn as they come, and if I know her, she's not resting like Kaede said." He looked back at InuYasha. "I'll get Choujiro to come by tomorrow or the day after. And then we'll take it from there."

"All right," InuYasha said, nodding. He wasn't sure what else to say.

The two men said their goodbyes and headed down the hill.

He watched them walk away and went to get his jacket. "Didn't know building a shed was going to be so complicated," he said, slipping the garment over his arms. "And I thought Miroku was enough to drive me crazy sometimes. Now I have a whole village."