A/N: Only a handful to thank this time: xxdarienchibaloverxx, Nocturna Mae, AuthoressAurora17, Rukia's Reflection, and Esha Napoleon. And thank you to anyone who added this or its author to their lists.

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. 4

Kagome returned to the past with the clothing and spell pronunciation clutched tightly in her hand. The others looked up with curiosity when she entered Kaede's hut, Shippou taking an immediate interest in what was in the bags. "Okay, I have it. Mama sent some clothes too because the shrine might be busy this time of day. It might appear odd if you all came out of the well house in period clothing with weapons that are clearly not fakes."

"Is your mother ready for you all?" Kaede asked, taking the slip of paper from the younger priestess. She had to turn it on its side so that she could figure out what it meant. Kagome's handwriting apparently got sloppy when she was in a hurry.

"Almost, she's on her way to the store to pick up more food. By the time we get the rosaries charmed and everyone's clothing changed, she should be all set." Kagome picked up the smallest and motioned for Shippou to come to her. "Let's see what she got you." Pulling out the shirt, she smiled when a small cartoon fox grinned cheekily back at her.

"Keh, Higurashi-okaasan's got a sense of humor." The others chuckled at the design, thinking it very appropriate.

"Mama must have looked all over for this." Matching jeans came out next, a small hole worked into the back to accommodate Shippou's tale. "Go put these on this way and I'll help you do the fasteners." The kitsune child ran behind Kaede's broader back to change. When he came out, the legs were trailing and he was holding the waist band up, a frown crinkling his forehead.

Sango and Kagome giggled, earning a sulky expression from the little boy while the former hurried to rectify the situation. When she went to button his pants, she found that Shippou had gotten a bit of gut on him. "Suck in your stomach, Shippou. It seems someone has been eating too many sweets and not getting enough exercise." The cub did as he was told, standing still so that she didn't pinch him. "Okay, all set. What do you think?" she asked, pulling out her hand mirror so that he could get a look.

"It's neat, Kagome."

The miko smiled before turning to her other friends. "All right, who's next?" she asked standing up.

Sango and Inuyasha exchanged a look before pushing Miroku forward. The monk stumbled and took the bag of clothes held out by his young friend. "Thanks, guys," he said sarcastically and went to the storage building nearby.

Each took their turn, earning odd looks from the villagers and giggles from each other. Sango was the last to change, fussing at the tight fit of the jeans. "Kagome…"

"Don't worry; we'll go shopping after we get there, Sango. Those are mine and I know that your hips are more developed than mine," Kagome reassured when the guys weren't looking. "They're better than the dresses I own in terms of modesty. Mama probably thought you'd be more comfortable in clothes that covered your legs."

Together they watched Miroku and Inuyasha as they tried fighting stances in the new modern clothes. "And safer for my chastity," Sango mused, Kirara agreeing with a mew.

"Sad, but true."

Kaede chuckled from next to them, clearing her throat to get everyone's attention. "If you're ready, children. I will place the spell on the rosaries and place them over your heads. It's best if you don't remove them until you return, just in case."

"Yes, Kaede-sama," Miroku agreed, hoping that the rosary didn't carry any surprises with it that could be detrimental to his health.

The inutachi stood silently while the spell was cast; watching as the beads glowed with power and hummed with magic. One by one, those not already wearing a rosary accepted the gift, tucking it into their shirts so as not to be conspicuous when they reached the other side. Kirara's got wrapped around her twice, so that she wouldn't lose it while Kagome did the same for Shippou when it became apparent that his would fall off the minute he dived into the well.

"Are you prepared?" Kaede asked one final time, shutting the box up with the spell inside. She'd have to burn the paper after they were gone so that no one else could use it to change history or take over the future.

"Yeah, let's just get this over with," Inuyasha groused, not liking the whole idea.

"Very well. Good luck, and rest well," the old priestess said in farewell and watched as they took off for the well. When she turned back to do away with the spell, it was to discover it had disappeared. "This thing gets stranger by the minute."

Kagome stood at the edge of the well, her friends peering down into its depths with curiosity. "I think I should go first, and Inuyasha should bring up the rear. That way we can make sure everyone gets through all right. And I can check to see how busy the shrine grounds are at this time of day."

Sango adjusted Hiraikotsu on her back, the t-shirt riding up her back where it got caught on the straps. "What are we going to do with our weapons, Kagome?"

"Oh, well, I guess we'll have to leave them in the well house until evening when the visitors are all gone for the day. Miroku could probably carry his staff without looking too odd but Hiraikotsu is clearly a weapon. Then again, a monk wouldn't really be wandering around without his robes on so it's best just to keep things hidden. We don't allow anyone in the well house for obvious reasons so it'll have to look like I came to kick you out."

"We don't have all day, you know," Inuyasha said, giving the miko a little push. "Your mother probably has lunch ready. We wouldn't want to keep her waiting."

"Yeah, yeah. You just want to eat her cooking," Kagome teased before jumping over the edge. "See you on the other side!" she called as the blue light of the well swallowed her.

Shippou hopped up on the ledge, Kirara joining him. With a look of approval from Inuyasha, he went after Kagome, delighted when the light took him through the time slip. When he got to the other side, it was to find Kagome climbing a rope ladder much as she climbed the vines back home. The small youkai jumped to land on her shoulder, Kirara using them both to spring up and out onto solid land.

Kagome hugged both and turned back to the well to watch for her other friends. Hearing a thud and a curse, she thought for a moment that Inuyasha had decided to go next until she recognized the short ponytail of her other male friend. "Miroku, are you all right?" she asked when she noticed that he was rubbing the back of his head.

"Yes, Inuyasha just pushed me," he responded, beginning the climb up, his staff held close in one arm. Before he could get very far, the blue light filled the small space again and Sango appeared, Hiraikotsu dangerously leaning to one side. It tipped the final distance needed to knock Miroku in the back of the head, causing the poor abused man to fall backwards onto the slayer.

"Miroku!" Sango protested, pushing at the fallen man futilely.

"Only he would get hit when he'd done nothing wrong," Shippou snickered lightly before sealing his mouth with a glare from Kagome.

Inuyasha appeared then, calmly touching down in what little space wasn't taken up by a downed slayer and monk. "Keh," he uttered but didn't comment further, choosing instead to lift both up and jump to safety.

Sango brushed off her clothing, setting her boomerang against one wall and opening her arms for Kirara to jump into. The nekomata did so willingly, curling up to take a nap. Who knew that time travel was so tiring? "Now what?" the taijiya asked hesitantly. "It's not like we can hide Kirara's second tail or Shippou's fox feet."

"Uh… I forgot that," Kagome admitted. "Guess we'll just have to tuck them into our arms and deal with it later. If we hold them while going to the house, I doubt anyone will notice."

"Nice planning, wench," Inuyasha snorted and plopped Shippou into her arms. He opened the doors slowly, waiting until no one was looking before exiting. The others followed, making it part way to the house before they were spotted.

"Kagome-chan? Inuyasha-kun?" a trio of voices called and the half demon groaned in frustration.

Kagome visibly started but smiled wildly when she saw her friends from school. "Eri, Yuka, Ayumi," she greeted. Catching Miroku's attention out of the corner of her eye she hissed lowly, "Behave yourself." Sango pinched him discreetly just so that he got the message.

"You weren't at school today and your grandfather didn't know when you'd be back from the hospital." Eri looked over the group around her friend and frowned.

"I just returned, Eri. I'm feeling a bit tired but overall pretty good. The doctor said to rest for a few days before doing anything strenuous. If I feel up to it, I can even go to school tomorrow."

"That's a relief," Ayumi said.

"Yeah, we were really starting to worry," Yuka put in. She flashed Miroku a winsome smile which was frowned upon by Sango.

"Keh, she'll be fine." Inuyasha grabbed a hold of Miroku's sleeve and pulled him away from the three girls. "I think I hear Higurashi-san calling for us," he said and made his escape with the monk in tow.

Sango sent a glare their way but turned back with a smile. "Ah, Kagome-chan…?" she prodded, wanting to know who the girls were.

"Forgive me, Sango. Eri, Yuka, Ayumi, this is Sango Taijiya and her cat Kirara. Sango, these are my friends from school, Eri, Yuka, and Ayumi. I met Sango in the hospital a while ago and she's only now able to leave. I invited her to stay a while to finish recuperating."

The girls exchanged pleasantries and Kagome introduced them to Shippou who pretended to be shy and buried himself into the young priestess' embrace. The others would have laughed if it wouldn't have given their cover away.

Eri studied the little boy closely, wondering how such a young child had come to stay at the shrine. He looked no older than a toddler but Kagome insisted he was older. Shrugging, she went back to filling her friend in on the latest while escorting them to the house. Inuyasha and his friend were already inside, bags of groceries weighing both boys down.

"We'd better get going,"Ayumi said, watching as fatigue entered her friend's eyes. "We'll see you in the morning, Kagome," the kind hearted girl said before dragging the other two away before they could be introduced to Miroku.

"Bye!" Kagome called from the doorway. Closing the door and latching it, she released Shippou from her embrace and sighed.

"Hey, I didn't get introduced," Miroku protested, handing another bag to Kagome's mother.

"Let's keep it that way," Sango said and let Kirara go. "At least they didn't notice anything odd about Kirara and Shippou. It would have been really hard explaining away their demon features…" the demon slayer trailed off, her brown eyes falling on Inuyasha's ears in horror.

"What?" the hanyou demanded, his most notably demon features twitching in apprehension.

"Oh, dear," Kagome said, her eyes also alighting on them. "I wonder why they didn't say anything."

"About what?" Inuyasha asked.

"Your ears," the girls chorused, pointing to the furry white appendages.

"Keh, your friends aren't the brightest stars in the sky, Kagome."

"Speaking of your ears, dear, I meant to ask. How did you conceal them?" Mama asked, coming in from the kitchen. "I can't see them at all."

"Ah… I didn't do anything to them." Confused, the dog demon picked up Shippou from the floor. "Can you see his fox feet or his tail?"

"No, should I be able to?" The matriarch shook her head.

"Hmm, I think I begin to understand. The rosaries must conceal their features and by virtue of proximity Inuyasha's as well. Interesting," Miroku mused.

"Well, I suppose it would be rather pointless to get us here only for us to be discovered," Sango added softly. "I guess taking them off is definitely out of the question." Kirara mewed from her place at her companion's feet, earning a wondering look from Mama. Spotting a potential admirer, the fire cat went to the other woman and sniffed her out.

"She's absolutely adorable," Mama cooed, petting in between two tiny ears. "And your name's Kirara, isn't it? I can see you take great care of these children."

Kirara preened under the attention until she spotted Buyo in the doorway and jumped down to inspect the resident cat. Finding that he was not mating material, she wandered off to take in her new surroundings. The others could introduce themselves; she was more interested in finding a nice soft place to nap.

"Mama," Kagome began with slight amusement at the nekomata's actions. "Let me formally introduce my friends. This is Sango, the demon slayer. I've found a very good friend in her and am so glad we were able to meet. This is Shippou, the little fox demon child we're raising, and this is Miroku," she said, pointing to the taller of the two male teens. "He's a monk, even though he doesn't act like it sometimes."

"I see," Mama said, smiling. She knew who each were of course from descriptions and pictures of the group that her daughter had given her before but she bowed and accepted their profuse thanks for letting them stay. "It's my pleasure to have you here. Now, it will only take me a few minutes to finish lunch so why don't you make yourselves comfortable in the meantime. Inuyasha, dear, could you go get a few more chairs from the shed and Kagome, go get Father from wherever he is?"

"Sure," the half demon said, turning to leave before Miroku's voice stopped him in his tracks.

"Higurashi-san, you have a lovely daughter and I can see where she gets her generous heart and caring nature."

Mama giggled behind one hand and watched as Kagome and Sango's eyes widened in horror. "Thank you," she said, wondering how far the young man would take his praise.

Kagome grabbed a hold of Sango's arm and prayed she wasn't hearing what she thought she was. "He's not really going to say what I think he is, is he?" her friend asked in abject humiliation.

"Probably," the miko sighed.

"Would you do me the honor of bearing my child?" Miroku picked up Mama's free hand and began to bring it to her lips while she laughed at him with her eyes.

"I might have been persuaded to if it weren't for a couple of things," Mama said, watching as the young man looked surprised at her words. It would do him some good to be taken aback. He was always embarrassing the girls.

"And those would be?" Miroku asked weakly. He had expected her to laugh it off or decline prettily.

"Well, for one, you're young enough to be my son, and two, you're already engaged to Sango-chan, am I not correct? It really is bad off you to keep on with that ridiculous request, Miroku-kun," she said.

"Yes, of course, you're right. I apologize."

"You're forgiven. You know, it was quite flattering, really, to have such a young man think me eligible enough to have another child. Of course, things are done differently in this era. Men help out with raising the children, even going as far as changing dirty diapers and feeding the babies in the middle of the night…"

Inuyasha, unable to hold back his laughter, grabbed hold of Miroku and pulled him out of the room towards the back of the house before the other man passed out. He'd had a culture shock on top of having to face Mama's version of a scold so it wasn't any surprise that the monk didn't know what to think. "Come on, lecher. Serves you right for asking Kagome's mother such a stupid question."

The girls for their part were chuckling right along with Mama, having enjoyed Miroku's reaction. Usually the monk got giggles and soft put downs, not agreement and a scold. "Mama, that was priceless. Did you see the look on his face?" By the time her mother had stopped her musings, the lecherous male had had a faint blush on his cheeks.

"I figured he might say something like that," Mama admitted, allowing the girls to help her out in the kitchen. "I apologize for embarrassing you, Sango-chan."

"It's not your fault, Higurashi-san. He hasn't done it as much as he has in the past now that we're promised to each other but it's going to take a while for him to be completely cured. I usually hit him on the head with Hiraikotsu or with my fist if he gets to be too much of a bother. Feel free to employ either method if he hits on you again. Or slap him if he goes for your backside."

"Oh, no dear, I couldn't. You're here to rest, not get injured. Besides, a lecture is all that's really needed. No one does it like a mother, you know and I imagine it's been a while since any of you have had that." Mama smiled, giving the slayer a one armed hug when she saw the girl nod. "Now then, go wash up and we'll be ready to eat. I bet you're hungry."

Shippou, who had climbed up onto a chair to watch the food being spread out nodded. "You bet, Higurashi-san! I could eat a whole deer!" His stomach growled just then, seemingly proving the cub's statement.

"Well, I don't have any deer but perhaps some chicken and fried rice will do," she answered, smiling at his enthusiastic nod.

"I love chicken!"

"I thought you might," Mama said and pulled a pitcher of green tea out of the refrigerator. Watching them troop out of the room to wash up, she smiled even as she sighed. She hoped they could really rest while they were here. They were all such dear children.

Even if one of them was a pervert.