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Okay, so - this probably needs a little backstory. I currently RP Kurama over at [livejournal.com profile] guysandolls, and he's gotten involved in a relationship with Shoshanna Dreyfus, of Inglorious Basterds fame. A few weeks ago, a meme went around about characters and their children, and an idea was born.

Both Shoshanna's player and I agreed that they would have 2 children, one boy and one girl. The girl is totally a daddy's girl, spoiled rotten by Kurama. She's got a good handle on her powers, and she's learning to fight from her father, and to heal from her father's friends. The boy takes after his mom - stubborn and proud. He's not so good with his powers, so he trains with Yusuke and Kuwabara, turning out more of a brawler than anything else, and fiercely protective of his sister.

Shoshanna's player wrote a little snippet of fic with the kids being rather young, christening them Ilana and Shiro, so I thought I'd try my hand at them once they were older - already training and coming into themselves. This is the result.


Kurama supposes he should probably be used to it - maybe even expecting it, by now - but when Yusuke pokes his head in the front door and looks around furtively, Kurama can't stop the eyebrow that arches toward his hairline or the mildly scolding sound that escapes his mouth.

Yusuke flinches and looks over, but relaxes slightly when he sees it's just Kurama sitting there.

"Oh, hey," he says, obviously attempting to sound casual. It doesn't work out very well, and Kurama just watches him. "I, uh...I brought him back. In one piece," he adds hastily, as if there might be some misunderstanding. Kurama just shakes his head.

"Yes, I figured as much, with the way you're skulking around like that," he says mildly. "So, what's the damage this time?"

Yusuke takes another hasty look around, then gestures to someone behind him - two someones, as it turns out, because Kuwabara steps through the door, followed closely by Kurama's son.

"Not...not too bad," Yusuke says, shuffling his feet with that awkward teenage sheepishness he's somehow never managed to lose. Kurama sees Kuwabara roll his eyes, and then the larger human looks over and shrugs, so Kurama knows it really isn't all that bad.

He stands and gives his son a careful visual inspection - larger than Kurama through the chest and shoulders, he's bleeding from a number of different places, some of which look like they could use some medical attention. But he's carrying himself well, meaning there's no broken bones, so Kurama suspects the oozing cuts and the developing bruises are likely the worst of it. Nothing that he can't recover from. But Kurama knows that's not why Yusuke looks so eager to be gone.

Yusuke sidles towards the door, and Kurama glances back over his shoulder to hide his grin.

"You'd better get going," he says, and out of the corner of his eye, he sees Kuwabara's mouth quirk into a grin. "She'll have heard you come through the door, and she'll probably be wondering - "

He never finishes the sentence - he's cut off by a cry of surprise that makes Yusuke jump and bolt towards the door, only to be caught by the collar by Kuwabara and hauled back around like a kitten caught by the scruff of the neck.

"Shiro!"

Shoshanna has emerged into the front hall, her eyes wide as she takes in the condition of her youngest child, but they quickly narrow dangerously as she spies Yusuke, who is struggling so hard to get away, his shirt rips in Kuwabara's grip.

"I have told you time and again to stop bringing my son home looking as if he's been assaulted on the street, and yet you insist - "

The tirade continues, over the sounds of Yusuke protesting his innocence and Kuwabara stifling his chuckles. At some point, Shoshanna switches into French - deliberately or just because she's so angry that she's forgotten what language she's supposed to be speaking - but the force of her anger doesn't diminish, even though the only person who can understand her is Shiro, who has gone a shade of red that is alarmingly close to his hair as he tries to make an unnoticed escape.

Kurama catches his eye, and Shiro pauses.

"Go and see your sister," Kurama says, almost too quietly to be heard, but he knows his son has heard him by the way his expression suddenly goes indignant.

"Papa - !" he begins, but Kurama holds up a hand to cut him off.

"It will make your mother feel better," he points out, and Shiro's eyes dart to Shoshanna, who has single-handedly reduced Yusuke - who Shiro has always respected for his strength - into a cringing, apologetic mess hanging from Kuwabara's grip.

He turns his gaze back to Kurama and nods. "Oui, Papa."

Kurama smiles and tips his head back towards the main portion of the house.

"Go on, then," he says, and Shiro goes.

__________

He finds his sister in her room. Her door is open, but he knocks on the frame anyway, just...because.

"Ilana?" he calls softly. "Can I come in?"

"Of course, Shiro." She begins to answer before she turns to look at him, and he hates that moment when she catches sight of him and her smile falters.

"Oh, Shiro," she breathes. "Again?"

He shrugs and tries not to bleed on her carpet, wondering if her disappointment is better or worse than his mother's fury.

"Well, come in, don't just stand there, come on," she says, beckoning him to her. He does his best not to track dirt and blood all over her room, but he's getting the feeling he's not doing very well. She doesn't mind, of course, and goes so far as to get out of her chair so he can sit down, and that makes him feel worse than ever.

"Ilana, you know you don't have to - " he tries, but she shakes her head, looking up from where she's knelt beside him to examine his wounds more closely.

"Yes, I do," she answers, and that's the end of that, he knows, because if there's one thing they have in common, it's how stubborn they are. So he just sighs and lets her examine him.

"Nothing too bad," she murmurs, and as Shiro watches, her hands begin to glow. "But I don't know why you insist on doing this, it drives maman up the wall, and you know how she gets..."

"It's the same thing you do with papa," he protests, his wounds closing up in the wake of her glowing hands passing over them. "It's just training."

"Except training with papa doesn't leave me looking like this," she argues, glancing up for just a moment, and Shiro snorts.

"Only because he's smart enough not to leave marks where maman can see them," he retorts, and he sees the flush spread over her face. "I know he doesn't go easy on you during your sessions, I've seen the way you move afterwards."

This time, Ilana doesn't answer, but she chews on her bottom lip the same way their father does when he knows he's been outmaneuvered. It doesn't happen often - with either of them, father or daughter - and Shiro feels a little thrill of triumph. Which is, of course, immediately followed by a wave of guilt - she's his sister, and she's healing him, oughtn't he be a little nicer to her? But when she looks up at him again, she's smiling, and he gives her a tentative smile in return.

"Besides," he says softly, not sure why he feels the need to explain himself to her - other than the fact that she's his sister, and that's usually reason enough - "I don't have powers like yours. I can't do the things you and papa can. But I can train with our uncles, and I can get stronger, and I like doing it."

Going unsaid is his constant desire to protect his sister, even though she's older than he is, and more than capable of protecting herself. But she looks up at him, the glow fading from her hands, and he thinks she understands.

"But why not get healed before coming home?" she asks suddenly, a wrinkle appearing on her forehead. "I know Uncle Kazuma is friendly with that ice-demon, the one who stays in Genkai's temple. Why not just stop there before coming home and spare maman the heart attack?"

He looks down at her, reaching out to rub his fingers gently over her forehead, as if trying to smooth out the wrinkle, and he smiles.

"Because that's what I have you for, silly."

Her face lights up, and Shiro knows that no matter what, that's always worth it.
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