Those Damn Beads


Inuyasha was face-down on the tatami mat in his home. It was silent, mostly. The ceramic jars rattled a little, but didn't fall off their shelves, this time. The kids were quiet – frozen in place in self-defense, most likely, he thought, not missing the humor in the scene – and the only sound in the room was Kagome's harsh breathing. His face hurt. Ugh, his knee did, too. Ume-chan's toy horse must be under it. Hope I didn't break it. He felt the compulsion ease off, but no way was he going to get up yet. Sometimes, it was definitely better to just stay "sat."

He held still, and kept his eyes closed. After a moment, Kagome took a deep breath, then released it with an exasperated puff of air. He listened to her feet pad across the straw, the scuff of her sandals as she kicked them on, and then the welcome rustle of the door screen as she passed through it. He waited until her footsteps had receded a good way toward the hill shrine before easing his body up off the floor.

Yep, it was the horse under there. That'll leave a bruise. He winced as he moved the little wooden toy away from his abused knee, then looked up at the kids.

The two little girls stared at him, their eyes big. He almost laughed at the identical looks they were giving him, fear mixed with uncertainty as they tried to figure out if Daddy was being bad again or being funny. He gave them a big smile, and held out his arms. They broke into bright relieved smiles of their own, and rushed into his lap with giggles.

"Oh boy, did I make your mama mad this time, or what?" He rubbed his head, grimacing hugely as if in great pain, just to make the girls giggle again.

"Papa, Papa, you really, really shouldn't make Mama say the Bad Word!" Chiharu cheerfully scolded her father, looking up into his face. Umeko echoed her big sister, pounding on Inuyasha's leg with a fat little fist and chanting, "Bad Word, Bad Word!"

"No, I really shouldn't." He spoke solemnly, but with good humor. He couldn't really fault Kagome; sometimes she got frustrated, remembering easier ways of doing things from when she was a girl, and sometimes her frustration flared out into sharp anger, and even more rarely, sometimes she said that one particular phrase. And if I could figure out WHEN those times were, my nose would be in much better shape.

Chiharu eeled her way out of his lap, dragging along Umeko in her wake.

"We're goin' to Grandma's now!"

"Oi! Do what Kaede tells you to! Don't go poking into things like last time, got it?"


Inuyasha snorted. He recognized an automatic reply when he heard it. Oh well, the old priestess had more patience than most. Hell, if the kids bug her enough, maybe she'll finally remember how to take off this damn fool necklace.

A/N: InuYasha and all InuYasha characters are the property of Rumiko Takahashi and Viz Media, and are used respectfully without permission. No copyright infringement is intended.