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Play House by Karichan

play house (part 1)

The mid-summer heat of Edô Japan was blistering. Everything that had an awareness of self-preservation fled for shade or water. Even the most ferocious of youkai were no match to the sweltering, mid-afternoon sun since napping in a cool place being more favorable- a true blessing for the weaker beings out there.

However, not everyone was as fortunate to hide from the heat. Their ire was understanding, because the most horrific part of not being in the shade whilst standing in the sun, was being bored while having to stay out in the unbearably hot sun.

"This is so not fair!"

".....hmm, it's hot."

"Hot? Ha! More like scorching." 

"Yeah, I think that's a better word."

The party of two were interrupted from their rant by another stern, old voice. "Ye have to serve your punishment young kit, so complaints shall only be on deaf ears." Kaede slowly made her way past them going to her hut after coming back from a villager's home. The two trouble makers' uncomfort to being outside did not bother her in the least.

"But ba-chan, me and Shippo have been out here forever!"

"Ye both have only endured the tormenting sun for only three minutes Rin." Kaede's blatant tone matched her stare.

Shippo's tail swished in irritation. "But we're being punished for nothing ba-chan!"

"Plus, we're so bored." Rin's whine was met with a nod of agreement from the Kitsune.

The old miko was not moved by the dramatics at all and her huffed breath showed how she felt. "And that be why neither of you will be entering in my home, because said boredom was the cause of the mess inside of it." Kaede's reasoning was proven when a couple of acorns and mushrooms danced out from the front door of her small abode. The miko's good eye twitched. "Ye both should be grateful that I shall not be saying a word of this to your guardians. "

The young children's arguments died on their lips as the magnitude of what Kaede just said dawned on them. She was saving them from a grounding and lecture- something fierce! With bowed heads, they spoke in unison. "We're sorry Keade Obaa-chan."

Seeing the two children's sincerity, she smiled at them. "Ye both be forgiven, now go on and play." As she watched them run off, Kaede knew time-out would never be a problem for them. The sound of a spinning top zooming past the old miko gave her pause- then again.  "Children shall be children it seems." 

As the kids made there way to a specific area in Inuyasha's Forest, their laughter filld the silent air despite the grueling heat that they seemed to completely forget about. Playing tag and Shippo showing Rin what he had learned from the Kitsune School, their designated spot was reached in no time.

The clearing was surrounded by trees with the inside area looking closely to the modern day parks of Kagome's time. The only difference was that everything was more simplistic, made out of smoothe wood and stone, with a wide shallow brook for the children to play in- without the threat of drowning. A child's paradise. The children sprinted forward, giggling loudly without a care in the world. The one thing slowing them down for only a second was the shimmering warmth of a barrier as they past through, making them outright laugh at the tickling sensation.

"I'm so happy Kagome-sama thought about us and the kids of the village by making this park!" Rin stated joyfully while jumping atop large stone-shaped stars.

"I know! Sesshomaru-sama was cool for helping out and...Inuyasha too." Though it started off energetic, the kit's tone shifted ever so lightly but the young girl noticed. "Hey, why don't we play another game Shippo!" 

"Sure. What do you wana play?" 

The question made her think."Um...we could play tag again?" Shippo shook his head."Nah, let's do a more fair game." The smug look not missed at all.

Grumbling at the barb, Rin looked around the playground untill she spotted the five forts or houses that was built for the kids but large enough for the adults to supervise and play with their children. One of the forts was placed on the other side of the brook with stone tables and benches. That area had a more peaceful air about it. That should work.  "How about we play pretend! " Rin grinned at her idea. Shippo mulled it over and smiled. "Alright! I'm gonna put my new skills to use!"

Glad that he agreed, Rin continued. "Great! So what can we pretend as?"

Shippo, knowing exactly what to play, answered. "House!"

Confused brown eyes met gleaming green ones. "House?"

Seeing her confusion, the kit explained the fundamentals of 'playing house'. As Rin was told what it was her grin grew wider and wider. "That sounds so fun!" As the kids chattered about who would be who, a warm voice startled them.

"What are you guys talking about so adamantly?"

When the shadowy figure with the warm voice emerged from outside the barrier, the children were filled with unlimited joy while shouting a loud "Kagome! "

Before the young woman could say anything else, she was bombarded by two little cannonballs of hair and fur. The miko could only feel the wind get knocked out of her but she smiled all the same. "So, what can my two Wylie coyotes be up to hm?"

"We were bored and decided to come play at the park kaa-chan!"

"It's been really hot, so we thought we should come play by the brook nee-chan."

The miko smiled at them. "So you two coming out the hot sun...and partly dry heat was both of your ideas? Kagome stare was answered by figiting. She continued. "So it wouldn't be because of...oh I dont know...dancing mushrooms and acorns with a few spinning tops?" The look of shock crossed the two's faces. It was almost enough for Kagome.  "Let's not forget the drawing of flowers on the floor. Some of them even coming to life." The guilt that crossed their faces sealed the deal. Got 'em. Having her fun, Kagome decided to give the kids a break and chuckled under her breath after they made promises to never graffiti Kaede's home ever again.

"So what game were you guys about to play?"

Both children came back to their original mood. "We're about to play house!" After giving her the run down of what they were going to do while playing their game, Kagome knew more materials were in order for the kids to have some more fun. When giving her idea to the kids, they began pulling her towards the village. So enthusiastic, aren't they? 

"You guys know that it's still early right?" Kagome stated while laughing. "No need to run a marathon."

They both laughed at Kagome's words. Rin spoke for them both, not truly realizing what she was saying. "But Kagome-sama, Shippo and I can both call you momma!"

That gave the woman pause in her mind. 'How could I forget.' Rin had no mother figure, though Sesshomaru had tried to date- well court, some female but it didn't really work out. 'Figures, the inu had standards since he has a daughter.' Kagome looked on at the two giggling children, her gaze became softer but the tone of the words she spoke stayed joyful. "That sounds fun Rin!"

Still oblivious to what she had said, Rin gave a heartfelt laugh. "I know! I know!" Too bad Shippo wasn't so oblivious, as the sly fox kit gave a devious smile. It was also unfortunate that his poor mother hadn't seen such a smile. 

The trio had gathered all the supplies they needed to play their imaginary game and now Kagome was packing them lunches and a couple of swimsuits she had commissioned from a frabic yôkai store then, enchanted by a water yôkai. Besides, she did not want to bother with washing clothes in this heat. "I'd like to not be a prune, thank very much." She mumbled.  As the young miko finished and walked to the excited children, she had to smile at their anticipation.They were so cute! Kagome clapped her hands once for attention.

"Okay guys, do you want to start playing now or start back at the playground? "  

Expecting something funny or endearing from the two kids was a given, however; what was not expected from the children was the small heart attack they gave her with their following statement. "But Kagome, who is going to be our pretend Daddy?"

She malfunctioned on impact because of those words, then had to stop her face from going pale in front of Rin and Shippo. Breathe Kagome, just breathe. She spoke as calmly as she could. "Uh...a-and why do you want someone to be my play husband? " 

Rin spoke first. "We thought it would be more fun that way!" The girl had such a smile of joy on her face Kagome couldn't give an answer. Kids: 1. Kagome: 0.

The miko knew they were too young to realize the awkward situation they put her in, so she had to make up some excuse so it could just be the three of them playing. "Well, I get that, but you know....most families are just like how we are now. It's okay to have one parent, right Shippo? " maybe her son will have a change of heart-

"Momma, we just would be...kinda nice to have a whole family...ya' know, just this once." And just like that, make the miko feel a ton of guilt fall on top of her head. 

"Well, you know most of the villagers left for the beginning summer festival, so everyone else here are the older people and families with children to young to travel with this heatwave and we can't have Miroku play or Inuyasha since, Miroku and Sango left with the kids to visit the slayer village and Inuyasha... is helping with the festival in the other village." 

Kagome's information gave the small pair pause. Who could play as their pretend father? Kagome gave a snort. 'They just better not say something crazy like Hachi, Jaken or Kouga. Now that would be beyond awkward.' The miko, while shivering at the thought in her head, missed what Shippo said. "What was that sweetie?" The young woman turned to her kit.

"I said, what about Sesshomaru-sama? " The kit didn't give a crazy suggestion, oh no, it was a demented and warped one. Kagome's head spun. W-who did he just say! Before she could speak, Rin took her turn."That would be a wonderful idea Shippo! Isn't it a good idea Kagome-chan?"

The miko gave out a weak laugh. "You two, I don't think Sesshomaru can be my husband-"

"And why would this Sesshomaru be in your mindset to even be your husband, miko?" 


INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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