InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Sesshomaru's Children ❯ Miroku's Temple ( Chapter 3 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Angellips: In regard to Sesshie's motivation, I have always believed he does things for exactly the reason he states, if he chooses to speak at all. At the end of the story, if I remember, I will add a postscript summarizing my personal take on his feelings for Rin.
Chapter 3: Miroku's Temple
Inuyasha climbed out of the well to find Shippo and Kaede waiting for him.
“What did Kagome say?” Shippo asked. His eyes were twinkling. “Did she notice how much those little ones look like you?”
Inuyasha frowned. “Yes, she noticed. Brat!” He hopped to the ground. “Kaede, no one can find out about Sesshomaru's children. That servant Jaken thinks they might be in danger. They'll be safe with Kagome and I told her to keep them until I come for them, but if we take too long and she comes through the well, you have to make sure she goes right back.”
“Of course, Inuyasha,” Kaede said gravely. “What are you going to do?”
“I'm going to round up Miroku and Sango and go rescue Rin.”
“Why don't you wait for Sesshomaru to do it? It's his problem.”
“Maybe so,” Inuyasha replied with a low growl, “but there's no telling what this demon Bosoporu will do to Rin while he's waiting for Sesshomaru to show up. If he does something bad and Sesshomaru takes on his demon form, a lot of people could die.”
“True,” Kaede nodded.
“”Hey, Shippo!” a girl's voice shouted.
Shippo went pale and he looked around wildly. “What is she doing here?”
Kaede and Inuyasha grinned.
“Good timing, Shouni!” Inuyasha called. He waved at the girl bounding toward them across the grass, her long dark hair streamed out behind her as she ran. “Did you come on Kilala?”
“Yes!” Shouni dashed up to them and bent over, panting. “We just arrived.” She tilted her head to the side and grinned. “I came to see Shippo.” She favored Shippo with a wide, affectionate grin.
Shippo returned her smile with a rather sickly one of his own. “How nice to see you, Shouni,” he said, but he did not sound like he meant it.
Kaede managed to plaster a stern expression over the grin that kept tugging at her mouth. “Shouni, you are too young to wander around the countryside by yourself, even with Kilala. You should have brought one of your brothers to accompany you.”
Shouni straightened up with a frown. “I'm nine years old!” she exclaimed. “That's old enough. And besides, I don't stop anywhere but here, so Shippo can look after me.” She batted her eyes at him coyly. “We can practice being married.”
Every last trace of color fled from Shippo's face. “We are not getting married!” he exclaimed. “You're just a little kid! I'm twice your age!”
“Which makes you just this much older than being a little kid yourself,” Inuyasha said, holding up his hand with the finger and thumb held a small distance apart. “Anyway, you can discuss your wedding plans on the way back. We need to go see Miroku and Sango.”
Shippo turned bright red and his mouth worked silently. Kaede put a hand over her mouth to stifle her laughter.
Shouni beamed and looped her arm through Shippo's. “Father and Miss Sango have been fighting again,” Shouni said. “We had two more siblings show up.”
“Two more?!” Inuyasha stared. “How many does that make now? A dozen?”
“Eleven,” said Shouni. “Father had assured Miss Sango that there weren't any more, but then a woman brought by some twins three days ago that she says are Father's. They just turned twelve. Identical boys. They're really nice.”
“The temple must be getting crowded.”
“Oh, we don't all live in the temple anymore. Miss Sango had a separate house built for her and all the girls to live in. There're five girls and six boys now.” Shouni giggled. “But if anymore boys show up, we'll have to build a wing onto the temple. Father sure did sleep around a lot.”
“Apparently so.” Inuyasha shook himself. “But we need to go, you can tell us about your new brothers on the way.” Then he winked at Shippo. “Right after we talk about the wedding.”
“That's not funny!” Shippo growled. “We're not getting married!”
“Of course we are!” Shouni protested, “just as soon as I get a little older.” She looked down at her flat chest. “And after I grow a little in the chest, maybe.”
Inuyasha burst out laughing. “You're a lucky man, Shippo! Where's Kilala? Kilala!” He trotted away, calling for the demon cat.
Shippo disentangled himself from Shouni's grasp and hurried after him.
Shouni frowned. “Sometimes, I think Shippo doesn't want to marry me,” she said to Kaede.
Kaede managed to keep a straight face. “It is not uncommon for a young man to need to be persuaded to accept the inevitable.”
“I guess.”
“You better hurry, dear. Inuyasha has an important mission.”
“Right.” Shouni ran after Inuyasha and Shippo. She grabbed Shippo by the hand when she caught up with him.
Kaede watched as the three of them climbed onto Kilala's back and disappeared into the bright blue sky.
When Kagome came out of the well house with her four little charges, Souta's eyes went round with surprise.
“Who are they?” he exclaimed. “They look like…”
“They're his brother's,” Kagome said quickly. “Children, this is my brother, Souta.” The children clustered nervously behind her. “It's all right. Everyone here is your friend. We're all going to look after you.” To Souta, she said, “We're getting something to eat, and then we need to figure out where they'll sleep. Is Mom home?”
“Yes, I think she's in the kitchen.”
“Good, we may as well let her know what's going on right away.”
“What is going on?”
“I'll tell you all at the same time.” Kagome led the way into the house, with Souta bringing up the rear.
Mrs. Higurashi was in the kitchen making lunch. She spoke without turning around. “Is that you, Kagome? Did you finish with that couple?”
“Yes, I'm finished. Mother I have something important to tell you.”
“What is it, dear?” Mrs. Higurashi turned around and then stared in surprise at the four children. “Oh, my!”
“Mother, these are Inuyasha's nieces and nephews. Their mother is in trouble and Inuyasha's gone to help her. He asked me to look after her children until he gets back.”
Mrs. Higurashi's face immediately softened with concern. “Oh, you poor little dears!” she exclaimed. She stepped forward, dropped to her knees and held out her arms. Without hesitation, the children crowded forward and let themselves be wrapped in her embrace. “There, there, you'll be all right here. We'll take good care of you, won't we Kagome?”
Kagome stared as she nodded. The children were showing no trace of fear at all.
“Now,” her mother continued, “I think you all need something to eat. Come sit at the table while I get you something.” She herded the children to the table and got them settled on their heels along two sides. She gestured to Kagome and Souta. “You sit, too. We can all have lunch.”
Kagome and Souta sat side-by-side, leaving the remaining side free for their mother. Mrs. Higurashi had already prepared a rather nice lunch, including several rice balls. The children eyed the food curiously. Mrs. Higurashi gave each of them a rice ball. Sonnemaru picked up her rice ball and sniffed it curiously while the other three watched her. She took a tentative bite and her face lit up with pleasure. She nodded to her siblings and they immediately began devouring their rice balls.
Mrs. Higurashi watched them with an affectionate smile. “What are their names?”
Kagome pointed with her chopsticks as she introduced them. “Sonnemaru, Koshitenba, Kebakushin and Massenmaru. Except I may have gotten the last two backwards. I'm not sure how to tell them apart yet.”
“I'm Massenmaru,” the boy she had identified as Kebakushin spoke up.
“You boys look very much alike,” Mrs. Higurashi said. “I hope you will forgive us if we get you mixed up.”
“That's all right,” Massenmaru said. “Sometimes our mother gets us mixed up, too. She used to tie colored ribbons in our hair to tell us apart.” He grinned wickedly. “But sometimes we'd switch the ribbons for fun.”
“That's very naughty of you,” Mrs. Higurashi said with a chuckle.
Massenmaru and Kebakushin grinned identical grins.
Koshitenba finished her rice ball and Souta handed her another one. She gave him a shy smile as she took it.
“These children look a lot like Inuyasha,” Mrs. Higurashi said.
Kagome flushed slightly, even though there was nothing in her mother's tone to warrant it. “It's because they're half-demons, like him,” Kagome explained. “Inuyasha's brother is a full demon and their mother is human.”
“Oh, really? So humans and demons can have children together? I imagine that humans and half-demons, being even closer together, genetically, should be able to have children together also.” Mrs. Higurashi regarded Kagome with a carefully blank expression.
Kagome's flush deepened. “Yes, I imagine that's true.” She busied herself passing rice balls to the twins.
“Hmm…” Mrs. Higurashi said. “I'll get some water.”
“I'll help you,” Souta said quickly. He had to duck his head to hide the wide grin on his face.
Kagome glared at him.
“Well,” Mrs. Higurashi continued as she brought the water pitcher to the table, “where shall we have the children sleep? I think the best thing might be for Souta to bunk in with Grandpa and we can put extra mats in Souta's room for the children. How does that sound?”
“That sounds great,” Kagome said with a smug smile.
“Sure,” Souta agreed without much enthusiasm as he put cups on the table. “But you know Grandpa snores.”
“I'm sure you'll get used to it,” Kagome said sweetly.
“Yeah, right,” Souta grumbled.
The children were all yawning by the time lunch was finished, so the new sleeping arrangements were put into effect right away. Souta's bed was moved into Grandpa's room and Mrs. Higurashi got four mats from the storage room and unrolled them on the floor of Souta's room. Kagome added pillows and blankets from the hall closet and within minutes, all four children were curled up on the floor sound asleep.
“They are just adorable,” Mrs. Higurashi murmured as she watched them sleep.
“They certainly are,” Kagome agreed. “But I wish I had some idea how long they'll be here. Inuyasha couldn't say.”
“Is their mother in bad trouble?”
“I think so. I just hope Inuyasha and Sesshomaru are able to rescue her. I would hate for these little ones to lose their mother. They're still so young.”
“I hope so, too.”
Kilala swooped in for a perfect landing on the lawn in front of Miroku's temple.
“Wow!” Inuyasha said with surprise. “This place is turning into quite a compound.”
“That's Sango's house over there,” Shouni pointed. “And that's the weaponry and the storehouse. Look! Here comes Father!”
Miroku had appeared on the temple steps when they landed. He approached them across the lawn trailed by three boys: his sixteen year old son Shozo, whose brief, unhappy inheritance of the wind tunnel had left him introspective and soft-spoken, and two younger boys who were obviously twins.
“Inuyasha!” Miroku exclaimed, a little too heartily. “It's good to see you! What brings you to my temple?”
“Trouble, what else?” Inuyasha replied. “I could use you and Sango.”
Miroku flushed. “Ah, well, you'll have to speak to Sango yourself. She's a little unhappy with me right now.”
“So I heard.” Inuyasha glanced past him to the twin boys. “Are these the new ones?”
“Yes.” Miroku grinned weakly. “This is Kohei and Shohei. I met their mother when I was purifying her village to free them from a marsh spirit that was causing infertility.” His grin turned sheepish. “It seems the infertility was only affecting the men.”
Inuyasha rolled his eyes.
“Anyway,” Miroku continued, “their mother married recently and her new husband wants to move and start over in a different village. They decided to leave the boys with me until they get settled.”
“You bought that?” Shippo snorted. “That's what all the women say, but none of them has come back for any of them yet.”
Kohei and Shohei frowned unhappily and Miroku made a surreptitious shushing gesture with one hand.
Inuyasha shrugged. “They're probably better off here. They'll make better money as demon slayers than they would scratching out a living in some village. At least Sango doesn't take it out on your offspring that you're a lecherous, unfaithful wretch.”
“It's not fair,” Miroku said mournfully. “I have been faithful for years now, but she still won't forgive me. But what did she expect? I'm a normal man. If she won't give me the time of day, what does she expect me to do?”
“Not go around getting other women pregnant?” Shippo suggested.
“It's not like I got them pregnant on purpose!”
“You're hopeless, Miroku.”
Miroku sighed. “So, what's this trouble about, anyway?”
“You remember Sesshomaru's female companion, Rin?” Inuyasha asked.
“Of course.”
“Well, she's gone and gotten herself kidnapped by some demon named Bosoporu who wants to kill Sesshomaru. But Sesshomaru's not around, so I thought we should go sort things out.”
“You want to do something to help your brother?” Miroku raised his eyebrows in surprise.
“It's complicated.”
“Sesshomaru and Rin have children now,” Shippo put in. “They're just little kids. We have to get their mother back for them, in case Sesshomaru doesn't get there in time.”
“Kids!” Miroku was shocked. “Sesshomaru had children with a human woman?!”
“I'm as surprised as you are, believe me,” Inuyasha said, “but his children shouldn't have to suffer because of that. Half-demon children deserve a break.”
Shippo and Miroku exchanged a look.
“All right,” Miroku said. “Sango should be in her house. Why don't you go talk to her? It'll only take me a moment to get what I need.” He turned to Shozo. “You'll be in charge while Sango and I are gone, Shozo, since you're the eldest. Make sure everyone keeps training. I don't want to give Sango any more reasons to be angry with me.”
“Yes, Father,” Shozo said quietly.
Miroku turned to the twins, who still wore unhappy expressions. “I'm sorry to leave so soon after your arrival, but this is important. Your brother Shozo will help you get settled and get you started on a training program.”
“I'll help, too!” Shouni piped up. She grinned at the twins. “I can show you how to use the hiraiku! Come on!” She leaped forward and grabbed their hands. “Come see me when you get back, Shippo!” she called over her shoulder as she dashed away dragging her two new brothers. “We can plan our wedding!”
Miroku turned to regard Shippo with pursed lips. “Your wedding? Just what have you been doing with my nine-year-old daughter?” he asked pointedly.
Shippo shook his head hastily. “It's nothing, really! She's just got it in her head that she wants to get married, but it's just a game, I'm sure!”
“I see.”
“Perhaps we'll discuss this further on our journey.”
“There's nothing to discuss!”
“I'll be the judge of that.”
“I'll get Sango,” Inuyasha said and he trotted off toward Sango's house.
Sango came out to meet him. “Inuyasha! Welcome to the Demon Slayer's village.”
Inuyasha raised an eyebrow. “Not Miroku's Temple?”
“I refuse to say that man's name,” she huffed.
“I don't know why you keep getting offended, Sango. You know what he's like.”
Sango frowned. “But every time I think he's changed, another one of his bastards turns up.”
“He has changed, Sango. You should cut him some slack. He didn't father any of these kids recently, did he?”
“But, never mind that. I've got a task for us.” He explained the mission to rescue Rin to Sango.
Sango immediately became all business. “I'm in,” she said. “Just let me get my gear.” She glanced toward the temple. “I suppose he left Shozo in charge?”
“Good.” Sango nodded firmly. “He's quiet, but he's a good lad. He'll do fine. I'll be right back.” She hurried into her house.
A short while later, Inuyasha, Shippo, Miroku and Sango were mounted on Kilala's back, streaking up into the afternoon sunlight. Below them on the temple lawn, Miroku's eleven children and a handful of servants waved goodbye.
“That's turning into quite a town there, Miroku,” Inuyasha remarked.
“Isn't it, though?” Sango echoed darkly.
Miroku laughed weakly.