A/N: Only a few to thank for the last chapter: Ryan, LadyCash, and Dragon and Sword Master. And thank you to anyone who put this or its author on their lists. Okay, this is the last of the gift chapters. There will be something as an extra gift, it just probably won't come out as soon as planned.

Disclaimer: I do not own the Inuyasha characters, manga, anime, movies, etc. They belong by copyright laws to Rumiko Takahashi et al.

A Little Vacation

Ch. 18

The "boys" had taken to hiding out in their room which meant that they could listen in on Kagome spilling her guts to her friends. Well, Inuyasha could listen while Miroku pleaded, bugged, and cajoled him into sharing all the details. "What's happening?" the monk asked. He was sitting on the edge of his bed, a cookie in one hand and a sutra in the other. He'd "helped" Mama pack the cookies earlier and his own stash had been his reward. The sutra was so that he could be prepared to "threaten" his good friend if necessary.

"They're being girls, what else?"

"Oh, come on. That can't be all. I know they're talking, but about what?" Miroku pressed. His friend's ears turned swiftly towards Kagome's room and a light dusting of pink suddenly graced Inuyasha's cheeks. "Now I know it's good. Be a good friend and let me in on their secrets. You know my Sango always hates it when I try to spy on their 'girl talk.'"

Inuyasha scoffed and shrugged his shoulders like it wasn't a big deal. "Kagome's just telling them about the time she told me she liked me the way I was." Okay, so she'd said she'd loved him but Miroku didn't need to know that. Thinking he'd gotten away with his half truth, the dog demon belated realized that he'd only whetted his friend's appetite for more.

"Liked, huh? This wouldn't have happened to be one of those times that you weren't with the rest of us, would it?" The cursed man knew it had because he wouldn't have to ask all these questions if he had been there. Miroku was just making things difficult.

"It was during that whole crappy incident with Kaguya," Inuyasha answered honestly then snapped his mouth shut. "And that's as much as you're getting out of me, you nosy cleric."

"Ah… I don't suppose our lovely friend is telling them the real juicy part, is she?" Miroku was sure he was going to get more when Inuyasha started to say something but something one of the girls said must have caught his attention because his face suddenly resembled Shippou's hair. "I'll take that as a yes." The older teen sighed dramatically before polishing off his cookie.

"It wasn't like that! You know she did it just to save me!"

"Sure, in the beginning. However…" Miroku couldn't help the grin that spread across his face. "There were a few moments there where that kiss had nothing to do with 'saving.'" He earned himself a growl in return for his teasing, gold eyes flashing dangerously in the lamp light.

"I ought to hang you from the roof," Inuyasha threatened and turned to lie down so that he could stare at the ceiling. Kagome and he had never talked about the kiss they'd shared in Kaguya's castle. It had been embarrassing to remember at the time and then afterward, there hadn't seemed to be any need. What had happened had happened. There was too much to do to sit and wonder about what it had actually all meant. Now though…

"You're thinking about it, aren't you?" Miroku asked, deciding to press his luck. The thing with Inuyasha was, he really would hang him from the roof if he took his teasing too far.

"Miroku, I swear, if you don't shut up…" Inuyasha hissed the words, wishing that they were somewhere he could draw Tetsusaiga on the monk.

"It was quite romantic. The dangerous atmosphere really added to the affect…" The sutra flew out of Miroku's hand as Inuyasha tackled him. They landed on the floor with a thud, bringing a confused and damp Mama to the doorway.

Mama had been walking by after getting the younger two boys to bed when she heard the loud noise from the room Inuyasha and Miroku were using. Hearing the low growl, she peeked inside to make sure nothing was really wrong. "What on earth… Inuyasha, dear, I don't think Miroku-kun can breathe."

"That's the whole point. Quick, Okaa-san, get me a rope. I have to go hang him outside."

"Hang him…? Why ever would you want to do that?"

"He was spying on the girls." Inuyasha was proud of himself for not actually lying to her and grinned malevolently down at his friend. Miroku glared back, his right hand searching for the sutra that had fallen when he was attacked. He used just enough of his spiritual energy to knock the half demon off of him without actually hurting him. "It's not like I could hear them. That was you."

Mama, sensing that things were about to go downhill, clapped her hands sharply, making Inuyasha flinch. "Enough, you two. No spiritual or demonic powers are to be used in this house unless it's absolutely necessary." They bowed their heads in contrition and returned to their respective beds. "It's time you were getting to sleep anyway. Souta and Shippou won't settle down if they hear that you're still wide awake. Seeing as Shippou-chan's hearing is probably almost as good as yours, Inuyasha, that likely means he's heard everything."

"Keh, alright, we'll settle down."

"Good. You two have a restful night and don't worry about the girls. Kirara is in there to make sure all goes well."

Actually, Kirara was in there for the sake of entertainment but there was no reason to disillusion the woman. Inuyasha had heard her feline comments well enough through the walls to know her real motive. Granted she'd never let anything happen to Sango or Kagome but she was a cat and they usually had their own agendas. "Goodnight, Higurashi-okaasan."

"Yes, good night, ma'am." Miroku was more amused at the scolding than anything else now that he'd had a moment to think about it but he kept a serene face until the older woman left. "Now we know where Kagome gets her lecturing abilities from."

"Kind of obvious to me," Inuyasha said and picked up the clothing he'd been wearing to bed. "I'm going to go bathe. I'll leave the water in the tub for you."

"Thank you." Miroku waited until the half demon was gone before creeping towards the room of his friend. He pressed an ear against the door and concentrated hard on what was going on. He heard them finally move off of Kagome's love life and zero in on Sango.

"So, Taijiya-san, were you already engaged to Mushin-kun when you met Inuyasha-kun and Kagome or did that come after?"

He couldn't tell which girl had asked the question and was more than a little surprised that she'd asked something so personal of a near stranger but since he was dying to know how she would answer, he pushed the feeling aside in favor of listening for all he was worth. "What will you say, my dearest?"

Miroku didn't realize he'd spoken out loud until all movement ceased on the other side of the door. Confused, he pulled his head back just in time to avoid falling into the room when the door was pulled open abruptly. A large shadow blocked the bright light of the room, bringing a sense of foreboding to the cursed monk. Glancing upward he found Sango glaring down at him, a ball of some kind bouncing up and down in her hand. "Houshi-sama…"

"Sango, my dear, is something the matter?"

"Why don't you tell me? You've been spying on us for the last few minutes. Is there something we can help you with?"

"No…" he admitted, eyeing the ball warily. It looked like it would hurt if she hit him with it, which was probably the point. "I just thought I'd come see if you needed anything before I took my own bath and went to bed. You girls seem to be enjoying yourselves and Higurashi-san mentioned that Kirara was with you so I think I'll just be on my way…" Miroku noticed the way she clenched the ball and decided it was the perfect time to make a run for it. He crab walked back to his room, Sango's glare speaking volumes. Kagome's classmates had obviously saved him from a beating but she would still throw the ball with her deadly aim and he would rather not find out the damage she could do with it.

Shutting the door with regret, Miroku sank onto his bed and sighed. Inuyasha returned a few minutes later and with one glance knew what had happened. "Idiot. Did she hit you too?"

"Luckily, no, but she has a new toy that I do believe would hurt just as much as Hiraikotsu," the dark haired teen admitted, glancing at the boomerang that leaned in the corner.

"Knowing Sango, it probably would. Well, the bathroom is all yours. Just don't do anything stupid and come back here right away. Don't need to be making any mistakes with that nosy trio around."

"You are correct, my friend." Miroku took his own things and went about his ablutions for the night. When he returned, Inuyasha was already asleep and it startled him just how easily his friend could do so in this unfamiliar environment. Then again, Kagome's home wasn't as unfamiliar to the half demon as it was to the rest of them. This was a safe place and Inuyasha's demon instincts seemed to know that. "I know how you feel, my friend." Sleep tugged at him and he knew he wouldn't wake until dawn.

This vacation was shaping up to be a blessing on multiple fronts.

Inuyasha woke a few hours before dawn, his mind and senses alert and already checking on the occupants of the house and surrounding grounds. Miroku snored lightly, his deep breathing not hampered by pain or nightmares. Mama and the old priest were sound asleep, unaware of what could happen in the hours before dawn. Souta seemed dead to the world but Shippou was restless and the half demon had a feeling he was starting to have a bad dream.

Getting to his feet silently, Inuyasha left the room he shared with Miroku and made his way to the squirt's room. Opening the door without a sound, he crept over to the kitsune cub and picked him up by his pajama top. Bringing him out into the hall, he sat against the wall and gently rocked the kid awake. "Huh?" Shippou uttered groggily, his demon nose finally telling him who held him. "Inuyasha, why…?"

"You would have woken Souta up. What's wrong, runt, missing Kagome?" he asked. He never directly referred to the nightmares the child had but Shippou knew what he meant.

"Yeah, I guess. Do you think she'd be mad if I went and stayed the rest of the night with her?"

"Probably not. Why don't you go relieve yourself first then I'll take you in so you don't wake up the others. I have a feeling if Sango senses someone in the room she'll throw whatever she can use as a weapon. Don't need to explain to those school girls why we're going into their room right now."

"Sure. Thanks, Inuyasha. I wouldn't have wanted to wake anyone up." Shippou wandered away briefly and met Inuyasha in front of Kagome's door. The two demons opened the door slowly, their enhanced eyesight allowing them to see in the dark. Four girls littered the floor at odd angles so that they'd all fit while Kagome sprawled on her bed. Neither the slayer nor the priestess reacted to their youki, demonstrating just how tiring their interrogation by school girls had been.

"Hop onto my shoulder. I'm going to jump onto Kagome's bed. Hopefully our combined weight won't jar her awake."

"You could just toss me over."

"Thought about it but if she moves wrong, you'll land in her face. We don't want to wake the sleeping miko."

"Yeah, she'd probably hit me with her power on accident thinking she's being attack."

"Not so much her power but she has been known to throw out a fist."

Their whispered conversation ended in a heartbeat when Eri drew in a breath and rolled over into Yuka. They held their breath, praying that neither girl woke up. Once everyone was settled again, Inuyasha inhaled slowly and jumped. He landed precariously on the edge of the bed. Shippou jumped down onto the mattress, narrowly missing Kirara who had curled up on Kagome's pillow. One ruby eye opened as the nekomata studied the cub, concern filtering in when she smelled his scent. The cat's head rose so that she could gaze at Inuyasha, the second eye opening when he continued to wobble.

"Inuyasha, if you fall on Ayumi, I'm not saving you," Kagome muttered, sitting up and looking at the duo. Blurry eyes blinked rapidly as she tried to wake up. "Why are you here before dawn?"

"Can I stay with you the rest of the night?" Shippou asked.

Kagome's gaze sharpened quickly as she turned to the cub. "Of course, Shippou. Make yourself comfortable." She waited until he was burrowing under the covers before looking at Inuyasha. Silently she asked him if it was a bad dream that had made the child ask for her and wasn't surprised when her dog eared friend nodded.

"Yeah," Inuyasha whispered when he realized she couldn't actually see him.

While not as frequent as when his parents died, Shippou still relived their deaths on occasion. It was one of the reasons he had so easily slept with her in the beginning. "You'd better go now, Inuyasha. If Sango finds out you're here, she's going…" The baseball or "new toy" as Miroku had dubbed it, flew towards Inuyasha's head. He dodged just in time for it to bounce off the wall. Unfortunately, Inuyasha landed on Kagome, jarring the mattress enough to almost send them to the floor.

"Rats, I missed," they heard Sango growl before the slayer rolled over and tried to go back to sleep.

"You okay?" Kagome asked, sliding back onto the bed as best she could without laying on Shippou and Kirara.

"Yeah, I better go. If the runt makes trouble, send him to our room."

"Oh, he's no bother." Kagome smiled, smoothing the cub's hair down. He had fallen asleep as soon as his head had hit the pillow.

"Keh." Inuyasha turned to leave before pausing and looking back at her. He knew that she couldn't see him but she always knew when he was near. "You, accepting us; that means more then you'll ever know. Don't ever change the way you are. I… like, I like you the way you are too."

"Inuyasha…" Kagome gasped, unable to believe that he'd just confessed in front of six other people. True most of them were asleep and Kirara would never say a word about it to anyone but the fact that he'd done it floored her. It was probably a good thing she was laying down. "Thank you." It would take a while before he actually said "love" but she now knew that it would happen.

"Keh," he uttered again and caught the blade that had been aimed at his head. "I'm going, Sango."

"Good," the slayer snarled and sat up long enough to make sure he really left.

"Sango, he said…"

"I know, now go back to sleep." Sango sighed, sinking back onto the futon. She smiled gently, a tiny spark of joy lighting her heart as she fell back to sleep. It was good that Inuyasha had come to his senses.

Now if she could just get Miroku to fess up.