Eggs by Pretty P.


The sharp crunch of snow underfoot broke the muffled silence of the white forest as a young woman passed leisurely through the trees. She wasn't an unusual sight to these woods, but her odd, short skirt and tall, furry brown boots drew attention anywhere she went in the Warring States Era of Japan. Smiling easily, she readjusted the small, purple bag she had slung over her shoulder so it didn't push the hard belly of the bow into her back.

Life had become a lot easier and decidedly more enjoyable since the downfall of the evil hanyou Naraku. It had taken two and a half long years to finally end his reign, but it had been worth it. Kagome had even begun to doubt that they would all make it out alive when he had gained nearly the entire Shikon jewel and things took a turn for the worst. But now, five months after the final battle, everyone was settled and now all that was left to do was live.

After the jewel had been completed and they were trying to decide how to go about getting rid of the accursed thing, it had apparently decided for itself that it was happy right where it was and had stayed with Kagome. They had all been surprised when it suddenly glowed brightly and shot out of the young miko's hands and returned to its original resting place in her side. Kagome had thought Inuyasha would be furious, but he had surprised them all by admitting that he'd decided he would rather just stay a half-demon.

Kikyo's final death had devastated Inuyasha and Kagome had eventually come to terms with the fact that she could never have his full heart. Inuyasha would never see just her, and she accepted that. It didn't make letting go of her first love any easier, though.

Miroku, Sango, and Kirara had left to rebuild the taijiya village shortly after being married in Kaede's village. Shippo usually stayed with them when the futuristic miko left for her own time, but lately had been spending more time with Inuyasha around his forest.

Originally, Kagome had planned to go back to her own era and stay. But, as time passed it became evident that the well was going to allow her free passage through time, despite the completion of the jewel. The young miko had spent a few weeks in community college but had found it to be unsatisfying. How could she possibly sit at a desk and take notes on feudal Japan when she could be living it?

So, after much debate with her mother, Kagome had decided that the best place for her was in the past. She had come to love this wonderful fairy tale of a life and could not bring herself to give it up for a stuffy, underpaying desk job.

An immortal being wielding ancient spiritual powers had no place in the fast-paced world of modern Tokyo.

Lightly, Kagome began to hum to herself a happy carol as she all but skipped through the trees, the soft December snow falling through the bare branches to cling to her purple toboggan like little white spiders. Right now she was on her way to the taijiya village after returning from the future for holiday activities with her family. Normally, Shippo would have been waiting by the well, but she had come back three days earlier than what she had planned, so she would just meet him there.

She had been walking since noon, and already the sky was darkening as the clouds drew closer and the sun sank over the horizon. It would be getting very cold soon. The trees quivered as the winter wind howled through their bare branches and Kagome pulled her heavy coat tighter around her. She estimated it would only take her another hour to get to the village, but now she wished she had left earlier in the morning.

"The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful," she sang softly, her voice ringing through the silent forest. Mmm... a fire sounded really good to her.

She had been walking alone for hours now with no other signs of life, but just ahead she thought she could make out the gray silhouette of a man. Curiously, she squinted but couldn't make out any details other than the fact that he was very tall and very broad. Blinking, she raised a gloved hand and waved, calling out in her friendliest voice, "Hello there!"

When she received no answer, she frowned slightly but shrugged. Perhaps he just did not want to be bothered.

But as the man drew closer, she could see that it was not a man at all. He was dressed in a white kimono with large, spiked armor across his shoulders. Silver bangs framed a blue crescent moon on his brow and his amber eyes chilled her as the freezing wind could not.

"Sesshoumaru," she whispered to herself. Though, even from this distance, she was sure he had heard her.

She blinked and he was upon her, standing but a few feet away, a beautiful splash of gold and silver against the blinding backdrop of pure white.

Nervously, she shifted her weight and ran a hand through her hair. He watched, seemingly fascinated by the telltale sign of unease from the young miko.

She was not the same as he remembered from so many months ago. In battle, with her chin high and her bow drawn, she was a woman. But now she was a girl again. The same girl he had first tried unsuccessfully to obliterate nearly three years ago in his father's tomb. The miko was dressed in heavy, dark purple material and that same ridiculously short kimono, though now it was an odd blue fabric. Her legs were covered in some sort of stretchy black material and brown, fur-trimmed boots covered her up to her knees. It was the strangest sort of dress he'd ever come across.

But that's not what he had come for. No, he had a problem that no other of this wretched human filth seemed willing to help him with.

Kagome waited anxiously for him to say something. Honestly, the staring was beginning to unnerve her. When he was not forthcoming with any sort of acknowledgment, she took the initiative and bowed. "Good evening, Sesshoumaru-sama," she recited politely.

His only reply was a slight dip of the head.


The staring again.

Glancing around her uneasily, she asked, "Is there anything I can do for you?"

He continued his perusal, searching her face and eyes over, looking for something. Apparently, he finally came to a decision and prepared to turn around and head back the way he had come. Without throwing so much as a glance over his shoulder, he called back to her in that deep, commanding voice, "You will come with this Sesshoumaru, miko."

Curiously, Kagome watched the retreating form of his back as it moved away through the trees. And then, his words clicked in her brain. Of all the-!

"Miko, I haven't the time for this foolishness. Come!" He had stopped and turned back towards her now, his hair fluttering around him in the wind like a silver mist.

She was about to open her mouth and give him a big, angry piece of her mind when something in his voice caused her pause. He was anxious and impatient, two things she'd never heard in his voice in the three years she'd known the Lord of the Western Lands.

Her brow furrowed in worry as she took a few steps toward him and reached out a tentative, gloved hand. "Sesshoumaru-sama, is something wrong?"

His eyes hardened and his shoulders tensed at the question. Was something wrong? Only that his world was shattering around him...

For a moment, he debated telling her or just slinging her over his shoulder and taking off. What if she couldn't help anyway? What if Rin was doomed to this horrible, slow death she was suffering?

But the concern practically glowing in her unusual blue eyes wavered him. For whatever reason, the girl was genuinely worried about him. Fool...

"Rin is..." it was difficult to say, even for him. Especially for him. He showed nothing in his face, but somehow the miko sensed it.

"Something's wrong with Rin-chan? Is she ill?"

At his curt nod, she drew herself up to her full height and stared straight into his cold, sunset eyes. "We have to help her! Where is she?" Her voice was hard and her eyes held that battle-ready luster he had once seen many months ago.

She was a woman again.

Although he didn't show it, he was startled when she suddenly took off at a run right past him. She had left her bow and quiver propped against a tree and now he could feel her energy flare around her. It washed over the surrounding forest like a river of warmth; he was mildly surprised when it didn't melt the snow.

He caught up with the girl before she had gotten even a few yards away and effortlessly slung her over his shoulder, careful not to impale her on the spikes. She couldn't very well heal Rin with a gaping hole in her stomach. 'Although,' he thought grimly, if she can't help her, that is precisely what she will get.'

In a few minutes, the majority of which the miko spent pounding his back with her little fists and calling him things he'd never before heard come out of a miko's mouth, the trees began to thin and they were in sight of a small thermal spring at the base of a mountain.

He landed softly beside the spring where his ward was curled up on one of the warm boulders surrounding the spring, clutching her stomach in her sleep. Quickly, he set her down and sent Ah-Un and his retainer away with a wave of his hand. Jaken sputtered and was about to protest but was silenced with a glare. He hurried away, throwing a worried glance over his shoulder to the little girl slumbering restlessly by the spring.

Kagome hurried over to kneel by the girl, immediately noting the pained expression and her curled position. She pushed damp bangs away from her face and felt her forehead. She didn't feel hot, but she definitely looked as though her midsection was in agony.

Sesshoumaru stood just a few feet behind her, glaring at her back. Damnit, couldn't she move any quicker? Rin was dying and... He was tempted to just grab her hands and force her to move her healing energy into the little girl's body. This was taking too long.

"Rin-chan," she called softly to the girl, shaking her tense shoulder lightly to rouse her.

Brown eyes fluttered open and she looked up into the face of a woman she had grown to trust. "Kagome-neechan?" She smiled softly, even through the fog of pain. Everything would be alright now.

Carefully, the miko helped her into a sitting position and let her lean into her shoulder as she reached into her purple bag to pull out her first-aid kit. If she had something serious, she might need antibiotics. Gently, she asked "Can you tell me what's hurting you, Rin-chan?"

The girl nodded, her brown hair swaying with the movement. "My belly really hurts and I'm, um..." she cast a nervous glance over the miko's shoulder. Kagome looked back to the youkai lord to see him staring intently at something in the distance. His back was straight and tense. He looked almost... uncomfortable.

"What is it, Rin-chan?"

Color rose to her cheeks as she fidgeted with the hem of her thick, winter kimono. The girl raised her mouth to whisper in the miko's ear. "I'm bleeding." Her voice wavered with fear and her eyes welled with tears when she ducked her head in embarrassment.

Kagome blinked, and understanding lit her eyes. Oh...

She glanced back at Sesshoumaru to see him staring right back at her with those hard eyes. She smiled kindly and nodded her head, trying to reassure him. Rin wasn't ill, she just... ah, how to say this.

"Rin-chan, how old are you?"

The girl raised glassy brown eyes to her and blinked. "I have thirteen winters. Why, Kagome-neechan?"

Instead of answering, she just nodded. "And the bleeding is coming from..." she gestured vaguely in a downward motion.

Rin's cheeks reddened and her eyes averted, but she nodded. Her eyes widened into saucers when the miko threw her arms around her.

"Oh, Rin-chan, this is wonderful!" Kagome squealed happily.

Clearly confused, Rin sat stock still and tense in the older girl's arms. Her voice came out as a tentative, frightened whisper. "Kagome-neechan?"

Pulling back to look into the worried brown eyes of her companion, Kagome beamed at her in an attempt to put her fears at ease. "It's alright, Rin-chan! This is perfectly normal and everything is going to be just fine!"

Rin lowered her head and rested her hands against her stomach as another wave of pain swept through her midsection. "I don't understand..."

'Of course she wouldn't know anything about a menstrual cycle. Being an orphan, she probably never had any sort mother figure to explain these sorts of things to her. Poor girl... she must be so scared.'

Kagome glanced to the side to discover a very intimidating taiyoukai staring intently at her, one elegant silver brow arched in question. She took note of his slightly more relaxed stance, his back less rigid and his boots set slightly apart on the snow-covered ground. She smiled in reassurance to the worried (although she was sure he'd never admit as much) lord and turned back to the frightened young girl beside her.

"It's all part of becoming a woman, Rin-chan," she explained, her eyes sparkling with pride as she sat back on her heels beside the girl. "This happens to all human women around your age. It's natural and it doesn't do any harm."

Rin's brown eyes watered as she raised her head to look at Kagome. "But, I'm bleeding to death. I'm dying!"

Shaking her head, the miko embraced her kindly, pulling back to look into her eyes and grip her shoulders gently. "I promise you, Rin-chan, there is nothing wrong with you and you are most certainly not dying. This is just your body's way of getting rid of unused eggs."

At this, Rin's brows lowered in confusion. "But, Kagome-neechan, I haven't eaten any eggs lately."

Kagome blanched and frantically shook her head. "No, no, that's not what I meant."

"Miko, you are wasting this Sesshoumaru's time," Sesshoumaru growled dangerously, taking a step towards the couple.

Her eyes narrowed in annoyance toward the impatient youkai. "Well, you're the one who dragged me here, so don't get huffy with me, Mr. High and Mighty. Now just keep your pants on and let me explain!"

Even as she spoke, Kagome knew it was the wrong thing to say. But she never had been able to keep her mouth shut.

He wasn't sure where she got the idea that he would be removing his hakamas, but Sesshoumaru knew just by the tone of her voice that she was being disrespectful. The youkai moved towards her with a speed imperceptible to the human eye. Miko of the Shikon no Tama or not, he would show this human who was in charge here.

Kagome gasped and flung her hands out in front of her in reflex, a surge of energy pouring from her palms to surround her in a glowing, pink cloud. Sesshoumaru stopped inches from the writhing surface of the fog, fury darkening his eyes to a simmering amber, but unable to step into the miko's purifying aura.

"You will learn to control your tongue or this Sesshoumaru will insure that you will never use it again." His deep voice rolled through her and raised the hairs to attention on the back of her neck.

Defiantly, she raised her chin and threw back her shoulders. "Your intimidation won't work on me this time, Sesshoumaru. I apologize for being rude, but I am not a child anymore and you cannot speak to me like that."

His eyes narrowed at the notable lack of an honorific after his name. He was very well aware that she was not a child. Truthfully, he was a little too aware to be comfortable.

A pained groan caught their attention and immediately the cloud retreated back into Kagome's out-turned palms as she knelt again beside Rin.

"Kagome-neechan, how can this be normal? It hurts so badly." Rin moaned. Sesshoumaru stepped back, body stiff and tense again with something akin to unease.

Kagome's azure eyes softened as she rubbed the girl's back sympathetically. "I know, Rin-chan. But it's just something we women have to deal with. Here I think I have something that might help." She reached into her small, purple satchel and pulled out an empty water bottle. Leaning over the side of the boulder, she filled it with hot water from the spring and twisted on the cap. Gently, she pressed it to the other girl's stomach.

"The heat will help relax your muscles, okay? It will make the cramps less painful."

Rin nodded and held the strange container against her midsection. "What was that you said about some eggs, Kagome-neechan?"

Kagome blinked, confused for a moment until she remembered what had started this whole scene. Looking over her shoulder to see Sesshoumaru glaring at her again, she sighed and turned back to Rin. Now, how to explain human reproduction to a thirteen-year-old Feudal Era girl with an overbearing youkai lord breathing down your neck?

'How do I get myself into these situations?' she thought with exasperation.

"Well, you see, Rin-chan," she began, searching her mind for a delicate way to put this. When she could find none, she just decided to be blunt. The girl was wise for her age and had seen a lot in her short lifetime. Sex shouldn't be too hard to swallow, right?

"We, women I mean, have a special place right here," she laid her hand on her own stomach just below her naval, "where we keep our eggs."

"Eggs?" Rin looked skeptical.

Kagome nodded. "Yes, but they're not like chicken eggs or duck eggs. They're these tiny little things so small you can't see them."

Rin looked at her blankly.

"Um... well, every twenty eight days your body releases one of these tiny eggs and if it's not fertilized it passes out of your... um," Kagome's cheeks flushed as her eyes slid towards the towering form of the youkai behind her. To her surprise, he was gazing out into the trees again, avoiding looking at the two girls. If she didn't know better, she'd swear his cheeks looked a little pink.

"Well, we'll call it a cup, okay?" the miko giggled nervously.

Rin nodded and continued to gaze up at her expectantly. "So this will happen every month?" she asked worriedly.

At Kagome's nod, she sighed and looked down. Then, something occurred to her. "What do you mean 'fertilized'?"

Oh boy... here's where it got messy.

With a deep breath, Kagome put on a brave face and continued, not daring to look back at Sesshoumaru. "When a man and a woman love each other, sometimes they want to express it in a physical way."

"Like when I bring Sesshoumaru-sama flowers!" Rin interjected, her eyes brightening with affection as she looked over Kagome's shoulder to the stoic lord. He still would not meet her gaze.

"Er- No," Kagome shook her head. "It's a very special thing that a man and a woman do together in private. A man has something," she pointed downwards again, "down there that we don't. We'll call it chopsticks. When he loves a woman very much he will put his chopsticks in her cup and-"

"Eats her eggs?" Rin asked innocently.

"No, no," Kagome waved her hands frantically. "His body releases his sperm, which is kinda like our eggs, but even smaller. And they look like little tadpoles. The tadpoles swim up to the egg inside our body and if they meet then the egg is fertilized."

Kagome sighed in relief as she finished the description. Who knew explaining this to a kid could be so... embarrassing?

'Well,' she reflected, 'it wouldn't be so bad if that arrogant ass would leave us alone for half a second.'

Rin's curious voice pulled her out of her thoughts. "What happens if the egg is fertilized?"

Smiling, Kagome's eyes lit up with joy. "That's the wonderful thing, Rin-chan! When the egg is fertilized, it grows into a baby inside the woman's tummy. It stays there for nine months until-"

"The woman lays an egg?" Rin asked curiously, leaning forward in anticipation. "Does she have to build a nest for it?"

Kagome sighed and shook her head. "No, Rin-chan, the egg grows and comes out of the woman's cup as a baby human," she explained patiently.

"Oh..." Rin nodded and looked down at her hands again, appearing to be deep in thought. Kagome got the feeling she still didn't fully grasp the concept. It was a difficult thing to understand. She took the moment to look back at Sesshoumaru.

He was standing straight and tall, his pristine white sleeves billowing out around his broad figure. The lord's jaw was set and his brows lowered in concentration.

Kagome jumped when his voice came to her across the wind. "Do humans only produce offspring when they love each other?"

Perplexed, the miko mulled over this for a moment before answering. "Where I come from, yes, that is for the most part how it works. But here, humans more often marry and have children to continue their bloodline and strengthen bonds between clans."

He nodded, as if affirming something he had already expected. He still had not looked at her.

She hesitated for a moment before asking softly, "Is it the same with youkai?" She had to know how to explain to Shippo when he came of age. Shippo was a youkai, and she couldn't send him out into youkai society with a warped understanding of marriage and reproduction. She wished she could see him find love one day.

Sesshoumaru turned those frozen-nectar eyes on her once again and she felt her heart stop. "A wise youkai mates to create a strong heir. A foolish one seeks love."

Slowly, she stood and lowered herself from the boulder, leaving Rin to stare into the murky water of the hot spring. She waded through the deepening snow to face the stoic youkai lord. She was close to him now; she could reach up and trace his stripes. She wanted to.

The full moon encircled his head like a glowing silver halo. His perfect lips were still and lax as always, his alabaster skin smooth and unmarred by emotion. But his golden eyes were alight with curiosity and surprise.

"What about you, Sesshoumaru-sama?" She spoke so softly, he may not have known she said anything at all if not for the cloud her words made as they rolled from her lips.

The blue crescent behind his bangs wavered slightly as one delicate, silver brow was raised in question. "When the need for an heir to my lands arises and a suitable bitch is found, I will mount her and give her my pup," he stated matter-of-factly.

The soft moment was broken as Kagome stumbled backward and narrowly caught herself on a boulder before she could fall into the steaming thermal spring. Blood rushed to her face and the ample moonlight cast a glow on her reddened cheeks. Her shock, however, melted into indignation when she saw the mirth dancing in his eyes.

Why that...! He was doing that on purpose!

She was about to tell him what she thought of his little joke when he surprised her yet again.

"Where do you come from?"

It was a simple question with a very complex answer. One she didn't care to explain because she wanted to get to the taijiya village sometime this week and Sesshoumaru probably wouldn't believe her anyway.

So she settled for a half-truth. "My home is very, very far away."

She watched as his eyes narrowed and he looked to the trees again and was relieved when he did not press the issue. "Your home is very strange." There was no inclination in his voice and with his eyes turned away she couldn't tell where he was going with this statement.

She felt as though the sun had turned from her and she was suddenly very cold in the falling snow. Unconsciously, the girl pulled her coat tighter around her small body.

Kagome nodded even though she knew the youkai lord would not see it. "Yes, compared to this place, it is very strange."

The air was silent for a moment, the only sound a rustling of cloth the sound of water behind her as Rin refilled the small bottle with hot water.

The miko felt as though the air around her warmed as Sesshoumaru turned his gaze back on her, those icy eyes from earlier in the evening now smoldering with an intense hunger for knowledge.

Kagome had always felt Sesshoumaru was an intellectual being, driven by curiosity and a need to know. Her initial impression of the powerful lord was correct, it seemed.

"You said the human inhabitants of your lands marry and have children for love." It was a statement, not a question.

Silently, she nodded.

"Then humans must love to thrive as a race." He sounded as though he had just discovered something, as though something suddenly made sense.

Kagome smiled softly. Sesshoumaru, a ruthless, human-hating youkai lord, was beginning to understand humanity. Perhaps not accept it just yet, but you must understand something first to truly appreciate it.

Maybe there was hope for him yet.

"How pathetic," he scoffed, turning again to look into the trees.

Er- maybe not.

Sighing, Kagome moved towards him once again. "Perhaps," she told him softly, "it is not foolish or pathetic to look for love in a partner. Perhaps it is reasonable to look for a strong, worthy partner who you could love. Love isn't a bad thing. Love holds us together, and makes us brave in the face of death."

Sesshoumaru's eyes slid over to her form mere feet from him. Snowflakes clung to her long lashes and sparkled around her glowing, blue eyes. In the moonlight, they had never looked so deep and so wise. He was fascinated.

"And for those of us who will never have to face death?" he asked in the condescending tone of his he always used when speaking to someone he thought lower than himself... which was everyone.

"We'll all have to face death someday, in some form or another. It unites us and makes us equal," Kagome answered, though she could already tell what he thought of this theory when his lashes lowered slightly and he looked to the side, a grim line set to his lips. She supposed this was as close as Sesshoumaru would get to rolling his eyes at her.

There came the sound of crunching snow underfoot from behind her and Kagome turned to see Rin making her way to them. She still clutched the bottle to her abdomen.

When she reached the couple, her long orange kimono dragging over the snow behind her, she stood in front of Sesshoumaru and tugged gently on his empty left sleeve. His head lowered to look down at the determined girl.

"Sesshoumaru-sama, do you like eggs?"

Sesshoumaru's eyes widened almost imperceptibly.

Kagome went into a coughing fit.

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