Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Inuyasha.
InuTaisho looked down with cold eyes at the body of his son, his heir. He paid no mind to the raging Satori, staring at the tiny pup laying dead before him. Nothing else but that registered in his strangely blank mind as fury roared up around him and his youki began to buffet the palace surroundings, his aura becoming so outrageously intense that even his son's mother was recalled enough out of her own raging grief to back away from him.
His face and eyes were blank, but only at the surface. His mind was raging, and as his youki surged even higher he decided that this was not going to happen. His son would not be lost to him, even if he had to enter hell and conquer it and its master to regain his child.
As his determination surged so did his youki, and suddenly he knew what he had to do. The soul-gatherers had to be stopped from taking Sesshoumaru's soul or there would be nothing for it but to go into the underworld after him. But if he could stop the gatherers before they could harvest his son's soul then he would be returned to his flesh. The only problem was that his body was badly damaged for such a small pup and he would simply die again as soon as he was returned.
He knelt beside his son's body and his eyes fell closed as he lowered his head in thought, only his determination to save the boy keeping him from losing himself completely to his grief and rage and destroying everything around him - and then going and hunting the bastard that had done this down and shredding him.
He shook his head as thoughts of vengeance tried to intrude. No... vengeance is for later - for after I have retrieved my son and returned him to my side.
Gathering his almost out of control youki with a strength of will not many could have matched in that moment InuTaisho jerked his head up and his eyes opened - eyes that weren't his normal gold or even his youkai crimson, but that glowed an azure color and shone like a light, instead.
Slowly he could begin to see the soul-gatherers and his son's tiny soul trying to fight them off. A distant sense of fierce pride went through him that even as no more than two years old his son could fight off the minions of death for so long. But that thought was pushed aside for later consideration - after his pup was breathing again.
A terrible growl bubbled up in his throat as one of the gatherers tried to chain his son's soul. With a sense of wild exhilaration at the feel of the energy surrounding him, heaven's light and energy joining with his own, he slashed his glowing claws through the creatures that had only in that moment taken any notice of him.
"Carry out my will, Tenseiga," he said, his voice deep and commanding as the energy surrounding him pulsed obediently and literally dissolved the now-gawking slaves of hell's master as he slashed through their formless bodies.
With a triumphant expression he watched as the light crept slowly over his pup's body. His eyes flared even brighter for one long moment as the wounds on the boy disappeared as if they'd never even been there, the blood surrounding Sesshoumaru's still form fading as the force surrounding him erased all signs of the attack that had murdered him.
Finally having achieved what had been demanded, the light that he carried inside him and that until now he'd never even realized was there faded away, his youki falling back into him once more quiescent as his eyes returned to their normal piercing gold.
As he returned to his right mind from where his fury and determination had taken him he realized that the entire area had fallen silent, but just as that silence echoed in his still buzzing ears awed voices could be heard as a swell of shocked whispers nearly overwhelmed him.
But those voices faded away to nothing as Sesshoumaru finally moved, his eyes opening slowly in confusion. When he caught sight of his father and his outdoor surroundings he whimpered, but before he could throw himself at his father InuTaisho reached down and yanked his son into his arms and enfolded him tightly, his eyes falling closed with a terrible and beautiful sense of relief.
My son... Thank the kami you are alright now...
After a few moments he felt someone approaching and looked up into another set of golden eyes so like his own and the pup they shared between them. Satori's eyes were shimmering with tears in a manner he'd never seen from her before. Needless to say his wife was very strong, and she wasn't one for showing the more caring emotions very often.
But of course this was her son as well as his, and her reactions proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that she loved Sesshoumaru as much as he himself loved their pup. With one last tight squeeze to his son's clinging little body he stood and handed him to his mother and watched, a little bit of shock beginning to kick in, as she grabbed the child and wrapped him in powerful arms that were going to be keeping him very close for a long time to come after the events of this day.
The Lord of the West observed silently as his wife took their still-terrified and whimpering son back into their home as the shell-shocked guards and servants and members of the court began to return to the palace as well.
However, he didn't move from where he was as he turned in the direction the scent of the guilty party led, and his eyes narrowed with a dangerous hatred.
You will pay for the treasonous act you perpetrated today, Ryukotsussei, this I swear. For killing my son you will feel my vengeance. Today is not that day, but it will come, make no mistake, he vowed silently.
After a few moments spent on that he turned his attention to the energy that he had awakened inside himself and listened to it as it spoke to him. Despite the fact that he'd never known until this very day about the power that lay dormant and waiting to be ready inside him, now that he knew he also knew that it was ready to be born into a new form. He would have to visit Totosai, he decided, because trying to form the Tenseiga himself could cause problems if he didn't direct the energy just right. And with what this sword was going to be for, there couldn't be the slightest miscalculation.
Totosai was a swordmaker, it was his entire life and there was no one better qualified to do what needed to be done. Without a further thought he reached into his mouth and yanked out a fang, ignoring the slight pain and the blood.
He looked at the fang glinting dangerously in the light and a terrible, satisfied smile crossed his face.
You have failed, death. This time, you have failed. And if you come against me again you will fail then, too. At least once for every soul there is now a chance for redemption, and if I cross the path of someone who has fallen and can yet be saved I will do it.
Until you come to take me to the netherworld I will defy your grasp every chance I get...
For every being I can.
Taking to the air the Lord of the West formed his orb around him and disappeared into the distance, heading for a smoking mountain and the swordsmith who made his home there.
It was time - the Fang of Heaven was clamoring and eager and ready to be born.
And his son was alive once more. He would have to make sure something like what happened this day didn't happen again - he refused to lose any pup of his to such a fate...
Sesshoumaru stared with blank eyes at the sword that lay quiet and seemingly dead before him. He wished that Rin had left the foolish thing behind - let Inuyasha have it as well. Why not? Tenseiga was useless as a weapon to him, and since their father had obviously cherished Inuyasha above his eldest son and heir, may as well give him this useless piece of metal, too.
He'd been furious but resigned to giving in to his sire's final wishes for the disposition of his swords after fighting Inuyasha one last time to see if he really was Tetsusaiga's true master. When the whelp had indeed proved that the sword was his, he'd deliberately broken Tenseiga over the Tetsusaiga's blade and given him the meidou technique, as well, since apparently that had been meant for the bastard son, too.
Inuyasha had the sword's power, he may as well have the sword, too. And then he would turn his back on the swords and his half-brother, and his father's influence as well and forget them.
He flicked a quick glance at his small group of followers, Jaken curled up nearby with his staff, Rin and Kohaku sleeping against Ah-Uhn for warmth. He sighed quietly as he looked at Rin. If it weren't for Tenseiga, she wouldn't be with him. After a moment he looked away and into the sky. Why had his sire even created such a sword to begin with?
What had possessed the most powerful youkai alive to create... a sword that granted life instead of taking it?
His eyes fell back to the katana lying almost dejectedly on the ground as it pulsed, and he frowned, wondering what the foolish thing was reacting to. There weren't any soul-gatherers here, so why was it glowing and pulsing?
Unable to stop himself he leaned over and grasped the fang from where it lay several feet away, and as his hand gripped the hilt Tenseiga's energy blanketed him and he found himself unable to break its hold as it began speaking to him in its limited manner.
He stiffened as images of him as a pup were thrust into his mind, and he watched with a confused scowl as the dragon his father had sealed the night of his death attacked him. Shocked, he watched himself die - and then what had happened to bring him back to life.
He watched with emotions he'd forgotten he had as his father arrived and found his mother raging and his guards terrified that they would be killed for failing to keep him safe. But it had been his fault, he found, as he watched himself deliberately attempt to sneak away - and succeed. He'd wanted to explore the palace surroundings, and his parents would never let him.
Apparently Ryukotsussei had been a member of his father's court, but a treasonous one. He had nurtured a secret hatred of InuTaisho for some time, but had been very good at hiding it. When the Western Lord's heir had been born he'd bided his time, knowing that taking the boy's life would be the best thing he could do to hurt the inuyoukai, because it was obvious that he loved his son with everything inside him.
As that knowledge swept over him Sesshoumaru was as ashamed of himself as he'd ever been, and watching his parents suffering because he'd been killed due to his own foolishness in wandering away from his guards tore something open inside him that had been festering for centuries. He barely managed to control the swell of intense emotion, absolutely refusing to allow tears to touch his skin.
But they shimmered in his eyes, because even his buried heart couldn't really withstand the knowledge that he'd just gained from the katana he'd ignored and disdained for so long.
Tenseiga really was his sword. It had always been meant for him from the time of its creation because it had been created to save him - because his father had loved him and refused to lose him to death.
Father... why didn't you ever tell me? I had no memory of that day or of the fact that death had claimed me. All this time...
You created it to save me... just as you created Tetsusaiga to save Inuyasha from himself. I understand now.
I do not need the same mercy from you as he does, because I am strong enough to stand on my own. Inuyasha needs your assistance because of what he is...
He stood slowly, still holding the now-silent Tenseiga with a much more reverent hand than he'd ever had for the sword, and with a formal, graceful move, he slid it back into its place at his side.
I will no longer seek the Tetsusaiga, and I will no longer hold my inheritance in contempt.
Tenseiga and all its power over death...
He looked up into the heavens again. Please forgive this ungrateful one for his actions. I swear that from this day on I will honor you and the sword that you gave me and be content with it.
A bright flash of light crossed the sky, and Sesshoumaru smiled just a little, his heart for once at peace.
Thank you, father.
A/N: I was watching a Sesshoumaru AMV of several of his battles and a peculiar thought came to me as I watched him fight. Canon never really says when Tenseiga and Tetsusaiga were created, but what if...? And so here we are. I kind of wondered, you know, what changed in Sesshoumaru between the arc where he fights Inuyasha for the Tetsusaiga one last time inside Byakuya's little arena, and when he fights Magatsuhi and finally realizes his true destiny.
I think this would have definitely had that effect on him, because as I've always said, Sesshoumaru's whole obsession with Tetsusaiga and gaining it from Inuyasha along with his supposed hatred of his brother wasn't really about the swords at all - but about his sire's love and respect.
So this is my idea of what might have precipitated the final changes in Sesshoumaru's character and actions. You all might disagree, but for whatever its worth, here it is.
P.S. For some reason I cannot post anything to either my Ao3 account or Dokuga, either. So I'm posting this here and its the only place this will be found at least until I can figure out why I can't post to those two websites anymore.