Author's notes:
Just a quick one to dedicate this chapter to an excellent writer, dark kitsune. If anyone is looking for a great fic with a flare for wonderful fantasy/description, check out her "Dark Prophecy". Also, look into Thunk's "Venganza". I don't plug fics often, but I can't help it on these two...they're just too excellent.



"Sesshoumaru!!!"

Inuyasha couldn't find his big brother anywhere, although he'd been searching for at least ten minutes. In puppy time, though, that was practically forever, and the hanyou was starting to get frantic.

"Sesshoumaru?" he called again, turning into the west wing. All the blinds were closed, making it a bit hard to see even though the sun was still high in the sky. Warm wind whispered underneath the door cracks though, tickling the puppy's nose and obscuring the more immediate smells of the hallway.

Then, suddenly, he found it. His brother's scent, definitely fresh…and leading straight to their study room door.

"Sesshoumaru!" Inuyasha called, scratching at the door frame. His tiny ears could pick up the faint sounds of breathing behind the screen, and the slight rustle of silk, but no one responded to his cries.

"C'mon, big bro! Open up!" Inuyasha grumbled, tugging at the sliding door. As he expected, it was jammed shut again—his brother did that a lot lately—and he gave it a hard kick. The door lurched violently forward in its tracks, and the wood block stuck between the frames fell to the floor with a loud thump.

"What do you want?" Sesshoumaru snapped, glowering as his brother entered. "I was takin' a nap!" Interestingly enough, his "nap" seemed to involve sleeping on top of his protocol homework again. Inuyasha could almost read the last few lines of his brother's homework from the ink smudges on his cheek.

"You shouldn't wake people up!" Sesshoumaru continued, annoyed.

"But they were picking on me again!" the little hanyou sniffled.

"Who was?"

"Them!" Inuyasha glared, placing his hands on his hips. "Oh, look, it's the puppy! Why don't you go play fetch?" he mimicked, twisting his body around in an exaggerated imitation of the palace girls walking in their restrictive dresses.

"Oh, them again…" Sesshoumaru yawned, revealing two wicked, pointy fangs. Inuyasha couldn't help but be impressed…he couldn't wait 'til he got his adult teeth too.

"What are you looking at?" his older brother snapped, and Inuyasha shook himself back to reality. He had to ask, he just had to! If anybody knew what to do about girls it would be Sesshoumaru. Inuyasha knew his brother could do anything...after all, he was ten. And Sesshoumaru knew it too! Just like all those times they played Cats and Dog Demons…

"Why do I always gotta be the cat?"

"Cauz I'm ten and you're seven, that's why."

And at lunch time:

"Why do YOU get the biggest rice ball?"

"Cauz little brothers get LITTLE things!"

And when Sesshoumaru stayed up late:

"Why can't I howl at the moon too?"

"'Cauz I'm the big brother and I'm priva-maleged!"

Yup, Inuyasha decided, no better person than his big brother to take care of those lousy girls. He was priva-maleged to do all kinds of stuff.

"You gotta help me!" the hanyou quavered, chewing on his sleeve.

"Why should I care?" Sesshoumaru sniffed. "Not my problem you can't take care of yourself."

"But I already tried all that other stuff you told me!" the puppy protested.

"And?"

"And Dad yelled at me." the puppy scowled. "You ain't supposta to bite people in the house, blah blah blah…"

"Oh, fine then." his older brother sighed, jumping to his feet. "So that didn't work out. Well, what did they do this time?"

"They…" Inuyasha gulped and wondered if he could really go through with it. Sure, Sesshoumaru could help him out…but the hanyou wasn't really sure he wanted to tell him what had happened. It was so embarrassing…

"Well?" Sesshoumaru tapped his foot impatiently, looking eerily like their father.

"They was makin' fun of me again, right? Calling me a baby and stuff." Inuyasha began. "And then Yasuka…y'know, the pink-haired one…" Sesshoumaru nodded. "She was all like 'oh, but you would make a good pet!' and then she…" Inuyasha winced, remembering. "She touched my ears!" The hanyou flung his arms up defensively, as if to fend off invisible ear-molesters. "And she called me cute!" He whimpered at the injustice of it all.

"They touched you? Really?" Sesshoumaru's nose wrinkled, and his eyes widened in surprise. "Ewwww…you got cooties all over you!!"

"Cooties?" Inuyasha parroted, turning in a circle. He didn't look any different. "You're making that up!" the hanyou accused.

"Am not!" his brother pouted. "You just can't see 'em 'cause you got wimpy hanyou eyes!" His golden, full-demon eyes narrowed and the puppy gave his brother the good once-over. "Oh, gross! They're crawling all over you!"

"Eek!" the hanyou squealed and shot backwards, beating at his clothing. "Get 'em off!"

"Can't!" Sesshoumaru retorted, keeping his distance. "They spread if you touch somebody!"

"Then you take 'em!" Inuyasha growled, jumping at his sibling.

"Hah!" Sesshoumaru sneered as he easily ducked. "Stupid hanyou!"

Inuyasha wheeled and scratched, but his tiny claws only hit the air where his brother had been. Before he could pull back to defend himself, Sesshoumaru had already jumped on his back and bit into his shoulder.

"Owww leggo!" the puppy squealed, thrashing blindly. A chance flail brought his right arm in range, and he dug his tiny claws into his brother's side.

Howling in pain, Sesshoumaru jumped off his sibling's back and rolled into a defensive position, knocking a vase over. "Hah! I bit ya!"

"Oh yeah? YOU'RE the one who just got the cooties!"

"Wha—" Sesshoumaru blinked, turning slightly green. "Ew!" He pawed at his mouth. "Nasty!" Suddenly, the full demon stopped and grinned. "At least I don't have girl cooties."

"But I just gave 'em to you!"

"No you didn't…these are just hanyou cooties! You still got the girl cooties!"

"No way!"

Brothers launched at each other again, colliding midair in a scratching fight.

"You got 'em!"

"Gave 'em back!"

"YOU got 'em!"

"GAVE 'EM BACK!"

"He-hey wait! No powers, no powers!" Inuyasha cried as his brother summoned a cloud of demonic energy to levitate on.

"Come and get me!" Sesshoumaru taunted, lifting a few feet higher.

"Oh yeah?" Inuyasha growled and jumped--missing his brother entirely.

"Hah!" his full demon brother giggled. "Stupid hanyou—hey!"

Instead of falling to the ground as Sesshoumaru had expected, Inuyasha had sunk his claws into the door screen, hanging on like a spider. "Take THIS!" he chortled, launching himself at his airborne brother.

"Hey, get off!" Sesshoumaru squealed as his brother's arms circled his neck. The levitation cloud trembled violently and began dissolving with its owner's concentration. "No fair—"

Inuyasha only squeezed harder. "Say 'uncle'!"

"No way!"

"Say 'Inuyasha is the greatest warrior ever'!"

"You gotta…be kidding…me--!"

Gasping for air, Sesshoumaru saw his chance—and flew straight backward at the compound's inner wall.

Inuyasha's head hit the wood hard and all the air rushed out of his lungs. "Oof—" An instant later, Sesshoumaru's demon-cloud finally blinked out of existence, sending both brothers crashing down square onto Inuyasha's writing desk. The old wood gave with a loud snap, and the puppies tumbled head first onto the floor.

"Ow!" Sesshoumaru growled, rolling off a stray splintered board.

"WHAT on earth is all that racket?!"

"Uh-oh…" the brother breathed as one.

Sesshoumaru's mother burst into the room, wearing nothing but her sleeping robes. Her eyes were quite bleary though, and her normally well-groomed hair was in disarray—all the hallmarks of a woman suddenly woken from a very peaceful nap. Golden eyes lit upon the wreck of the play room, and instantly turned bright, flame-red. Both puppies whimpered.

"He did it!" both brothers offered in unison, pointing at each other.

"WHAT have I told you two?"

Mother's tongue became strangely forked, and her face was looking decidedly furry.

"No---Fighting---In---the---HOUSE!"

"Oh, shit…" Sesshoumaru moaned.

"And WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE, YOUNG MAN~~~"

A few minutes later, both puppies were forcefully ejected from the main compound.

"And don't come back until you can BEHAVE YOURSELVES!". The screen door slid shut with a bang.

"Stupid girls…" Inuyasha mumbled, and Sesshoumaru was inclined to agree. "And now we BOTH have cooties." the hanyou sighed.

"Don't worry!" Sesshoumaru grinned, golden eyes sparkling mischeviously. "I got a plan…"


So what's Sesshoumaru's plan? Find out next time, but first remember to REVIEW!