Disclaimer: I do not own Ushio to Tora. This fic contains Tora x Mayuko and Tora x Ushio, but it is mostly a yaoi fic. That means male x male everyone. Of course, anyone who'd like to see Tora nearly marry Mayuko, please read, but this is a fic about Tora and Ushio's relationship. The second chapter will be a yaoi lemon. This means hot lovemaking between a young man (who is over 18 by the way) and a furry tiger monster lord. Just a warning right now. Ok, think I'm done. All those who aren't scared off by now, enjoy the fic!


My Beast Friend's Wedding



~Well, it finally happened. I knew this day would come, no matter how much I dreaded it.~ Ushio looked out his window at the happy couple. Mayuko was laughing as she chatted with Karani and Kyo. Even Tora was grinning for once as he greeted fellow demons and old friends. It seemed everyone wanted to be there for the wedding. The wedding.


Ushio's eyes grew cold as he watched them. Tora had only recently asked Mayuko to be his bride, and she'd accepted. He should be happy for them, but for some reason he couldn't make himself smile. True, they did look nice together, and they were happier than he'd ever seen them. Even Asako was wandering around, mingling with the rather large crowd that had gathered in his backyard.


The young Master of the Beast Spear stood there at his window and watched the people pass by, unaware of his presence. He could see Kirio, a young boy who wielded a scythe-like weapon, walking through the yard trailed by his ever-present black monster friend. Minoo and Reiko, two lovely young women he'd met up with on his travels, were chatting happily with another girl named Saya.


The boy blinked, focusing upon the pair who had just shown up. Akiba Nagare on his motorcycle, along with Sekimori Hinowa, the comb wielding tomboy he must have picked up along the way. Not to mention that every single bakamono he and Tora had met, fought, and befriended in the past, seemed to be gathering in his backyard. Good thing his father and the other monks had put up a shield around their yard so that normal humans passing by wouldn't notice the strange monsters the wedding had attracted. Lets just say that the groom's side of the family was very... unique.


~I wonder when Mayuko told her parents. They don't even seem to be remotely upset by the engagement.~ It was true. The older couple greeted everyone they met with smiles and friendly handshakes. In fact, the only one not at the party was... Him.


Ushio nearly snorted aloud. Yes, he should be happy for them. By all rights he should be down there celebrating his new freedom, no longer having to baby-sit the tiger lord anymore to the extent of nearly loosing his sanity. The thought of Tora leaving to find his own place, since he could hardly keep Mayuko there after they wed, was strangely haunting. His heart seemed to clench painfully at the idea of the near future. Tora was his... best friend, right? Sort of. They never actually admitted anything out loud, but they got along... to a point. The point where Tora would start being an ass and Ushio would have to kick his butt for the five billionth time.


Still, watching them down there, happy and carefree, the feeling knotted in his stomach. It wasn't fair. Mayuko smiling and fluttering about like a bird who had just been released from its cage, Tora puffed up and proud like the demon lord he'd always been... it made him sick. The strange thing was... he didn't know why the hell he felt that way in the first place. He'd seen the way Mayuko had always followed Tora around, feeding him and trying to take care of him. He'd also noticed that the beast had genuinely seemed to enjoy the attention, despite his grumbles and gripes when she tried to brush his mane. This was bound to happen, he'd known it deep down for the longest time. Yet, seeing them engaged and playing the happy couple made him want to scream. He had to get out of there. Get away from the mood, the heavy laughter and joy that surrounded him, yet could not break through his wall of ice.


Tora happened to glance up just in time to catch a glimpse of Ushio turning away from the window. His eyes narrowed as he took in the frown upon the youth's lips, the hard set of his features... anger. Turning back to the party, he vowed to confront the boy later about that. Despite the fact that he felt nothing for the youth, Mayuko cared for him, and he wanted her to be happy. And what woman would be happy on her wedding day if one of her oldest friends decided not to show, or worse, appeared visibly against the union.


~*~


Ushio sighed and leaned back against the tree trunk. He'd left earlier that afternoon, strode right out the front doors without anyone the wiser. Sure, someone must have noticed by now that he wasn't at the gathering, not that he cared. ~Why the hell is this bothering me? Mayuko is like a sister to me and I want to see her happy. And... if He makes her happy then who am I to stand in the way? I know Tora isn't good enough for her, he's a total jerk. Still, if I skip out on the wedding, everyone will know that I'm upset and will likely try to confront me about it. Hell, I don't even know why I'm feeling this way, how the heck would I be able to answer them?~


The youth stretched his arms behind his head, the spear leaning against his side. Glancing down, he wondered if... perhaps... They would be able to help him. Reaching out, he fingered the Beast Spear and slowly let the blade rest on his forehead, closing his eyes to focus.


~*~


'Welcome Ushio,' a female voice greeted him calmly, as he opened his inner eyes. His soul was bonded with the spear in a way that allowed him to travel on the spirit planes to meet the three souls that had inhabited the weapon since its creation. A young woman knelt on the grass beside a beautiful pool of sparkling blue water. The boy soon settled down next to her on the shore, glancing around for the other two who were usually always there to look after her.


'I don't need any protection from you. They have realized that. Even my stubborn younger brother trusts you, despite his words,' the woman answered his unspoken question. They sat there silently for a moment, until he finally glanced sideways at the woman to find her smiling back at him. 'You came to ask something of us, please go ahead,' she whispered, nodding to him. Ushio swallowed and tried to come up with the right words.


'I.. uh... that is... Mayuko and Tora are...' he couldn't bring himself to say it. 'Getting married, yes, we know,' the woman finished for him. 'Well, it's... I just...' Ushio gazed out at the sparkling pool, trying to put his feelings into words. 'Ushio, you don't have to accept it, you know. It isn't your decision whether or not their union will take place,' she told him. 'I know that. I just can't... it feels... wrong. It hurts,' Ushio admitted, looking down at his hands clasped around his knees.


'Ushio... do you love Mayuko?' the woman asked. 'Yes, like a sister,' the boy replied. 'I see... should you not be happy for her? She is young and believes she has found love... even if it was with a monster. We have all seen through your eyes, young Spear Bearer. They are happy together... why are you still so angry? Can you not accept their union even if she has stolen him away from you? Isn't friendship more valuable than jealousy?' the woman's voice shattered the wall around the youth's soul, causing him to jerk around and stare at her.


'I... I... I don't feel anything for Tora. I can't! He's a monster! Why the hell would I be jealous of her just because he loves her?!' The words sunk into his own heart even before they came out of his mouth. He did love Tora. Somewhere along the way, in the midst of all their arguments, their fights, their hatefulness of each other... he'd fallen in love with the gruff tempered monster.


The woman in the ancient kimono watched at youth sort through his feelings, coming to the conclusion she and her brothers had arrived at long ago. Even if he'd hidden it from himself and everyone else for so long, they had seen the bond he'd forged with the demon lord. It was a bond that was returned, even if the monster would not acknowledge it. But now... now it seemed that the boy was going to break, and that couldn't be allowed to happen. Somehow, they had to convince him to stop the wedding, even if it meant trapping Tora for another 500 years with the spear. They would not allow a monster to steal their Bearer away, to shatter him and drain his life out of him... they needed him still.


Two pairs of eyes watched from the shadows. Soon... very soon. They would get rid of the beast that had captured their Bearer's soul.


~*~


~Where the heck is that brat?~ A large body moved in and out of the shadows, waves of orange mane flowing behind him. The monster lord stalked the night in search of the demon hunter who have evaded him earlier that day. 'Geesh, getting' married tomorrow and I'm spending the night searching for that dumb kid. What the hell was wrong with him anyway?' Tora slipped down the walkway unseen by mortal eyes as he mused aloud. ~The pain and anger in his eyes, like something precious had been stolen away from him. As if someone had shattered his very soul.~


A movement from the shadows drew his head up, his eyes riveted on the slim figure standing there only a few feet away from his side. Long waves of black shimmered under the street lights, lowered eyes that refused to look directly at him. Graceful, pale fingertips touching the lamppost as they stood there in silence.


'Baka, where in the nine hells have you been? The girls were worried about you, you moron. Get your ass back home now!' Tora turned away grumbling lowly under his breath about marriage and annoying human boys. 'To...ra,' a strange, yet familiar voice echoed through the night, causing the beast to freeze in place, looking over his shoulder at the youth. White slits widened as they took in the glowing violet orbs glaring hatefully back at him, the Beast Spear floating into pale fingers that curled around its base.


~Not the boy.~ Tora had a chance to realize before he dodged the spear that was suddenly attacking him with a fury. Moving swiftly, he drew the battle into the park, away from the eyes of any humans who might have been out walking at that hour. Violet and black, the hunter attacked relentlessly, intent upon the slaughter of the beast. Orange and white, black stripped face that flashed ivory fangs at the attacker in their mad dance. Prey becomes the Hunter and Hunter becomes the Prey, beast and soul fighting for life.


'Who the fuck are you?!' Tora demanded, evading yet another strike at his life. Violet slits glowed in the blackness, focused on him and only him. 'What's wrong, To...ra? Don't you recognize your old friend?' the voice mocked him from the demon hunter's mouth. 'What did you do to Ushio?' the monster wanted to know, leaping into the air away from the spear. 'Oh, he's safe, for now. You could say he's a bit... en...trapped at the moment,' the youth laughed darkly, a soul chilling sound that rippled through the night.


~*~


~Where am I? Tora, is that you? I can hear you, but I can't... I can't...~


Jiemei ran her feminine fingers over the crystal, gazing at the boy who slept uneasily within its waters. 'Are we right in doing this?' she asked, as a figure stepped out from the shadowed plain behind her. 'It is for his own good. If our brother cannot defeat the beast, our Bearer shall wither and die,' the man replied, his eyes focused on the tanned skinned youth floating unclothed before them. 'But, to trap his soul like this, to take control of his body...' the woman whispered, knowing the pain the youth was in from the memories he was reliving. 'Hunter and Beast are of light and darkness, never the two should meet inbetween. Each has a soul purpose to kill the other in battle. He has broken the silent rule and is suffering for what he has become. To cling to both light and darkness without giving up either, is an endless struggle that will end in his own death,' the man's voice filled the glade in which they rested. 'Will the death of his soul not kill him as well in the end?' she wondered, tracing the crystal glass.


~*~


Gasping for air, the tiger monster turned to face the creature who had taken the Bearer's form. 'Where is he?' Tora demanded, growling low at the hunter. 'He's safe,' the youth replied, fingers caressing the Beast Spear's blade. White eyes narrowed upon the weapon, now things were starting to make sense. The one who had stolen Ushio's body, must be one of the Beast Spear's souls, one of the three that had resided in it since its creation. But, which one?


~*~


'To...ra...' the boy whispered again, eyes closed, body trapped within stolen time. Unmoving, the memories of days long past came to him, haunted his thoughts and tore apart his soul. Tora in the shadows, attacking, fighting with fang and claw against the spear. White eyes that stared deep within his own, seeing the truth and dragging it out between them. The naked, white soul that bled feelings of forbidden desires. Perhaps the monster would fulfill his promise to kill him that he'd made so long ago.


~*~


The demon hunter let out a pitch of insane laughter as he darted forwards, slashing the beast across the chest, blood dripping from the spear blade. Crazed violet orbs danced with wicked intent back at the monster he had cornered. 'This is the end for you... monster,' the youth hissed, attacking. Tora leapt out of the way at the last minute, flying over the youth's startled form and slashing him across the back. The boy went flying into the metal bars of the high fence surrounding the small park, his body slumping defeated to the ground. Tora stepped forward, even as violet eyes turned upwards to sneer at him. 'He's ours now. My siblings will not let you have him back,' the youth taunted, smirking at the fury upon the tiger beast's face. His time of possession past, Giryo felt his soul being drawn back into the Beast Spear.


~*~


~Tora?~ Ushio was sure that for a moment he had been awake again, staring up into the beast's shocked white eyes. He had only a moment to register the pain flowing through his body before he faded into unconciousness.


~*~


Tora blinked in shock as the mad violet eyes became filled with an innocence that belonged only to Ushio, staring up at him in hazy surprise. His arms reached out as the youth's eyes closed and he slumped into unconciousness. Tora picked up the slight form gently, holding him close to his chest as he flew back towards the temple.


Shigure was awake and met him at the door as soon as he came over the front gates. The old man nodded, eyeing his human son in the beast's arms and led him up the stairs into the youth's bedroom. Tora knelt slightly as he laid the boy down upon his mat, noting that the wounds on his body from the fight had mysteriously disappeared when he'd changed back to his human form.


~*~


Tora felt his eyes being drawn back to the boy as he sat on the windowsill, waiting for something to happen. Short dark hair stirred briefly in the wind, black eyes closed in a haunting sleep. He was silent and completely unmoving, as if he had drifted into the sleep of death. Or perhaps... Tora's eyes narrowed at the thought. Perhaps the real reason he had not woken and remained this way was the fact that his soul was still trapped within the spear. Eyeing the weapon the youth had refused, even in his state, to release, the beast wondered silently if his theory was correct. Turning away, he focused once more on the moon.


~*~


A sudden movement drew the monster's attention back to the mat. The youth shifted and sat up, his short hair flowing down around his body. Violet eyes opened slowly, turning to focus on him. An calm, yet cold expression was on his face, as if he had no feeling left in his soul at all. Perhaps this sibling did not, for it was not Ushio who was staring at him. Silently, the bare chested boy got to his feet, his fingers gripping the spear easily as they watched each other.


'Why the fuck are you trying to kill me?' Tora finally demanded, when the long silence had finally taken its toll on his patience. 'For his sake more than our own. You, Lord Nagatomibaru... must die,' the youth replied, crouching in an attack position. Tora leapt off the windowsill as the spear came at him, just missing his stomach, but not by much. Turning, the boy attacked swiftly, not driven by madness as the other spirit had been. Tora found himself respecting the spirit's determination and calmness even in the midst of their bloody battle. In the end though, the result was the same.


Tora grunted as he pinned the violet eyed youth to the wall of the temple. Their battle had been long, the moon itself nearly departed from the night sky that was lightening. Holding the boy's hand with the spear to the wall, he pushed closer so that his entire body was keeping the youth trapped with his weight. 'Why does Ushio want me dead?' the monster demanded, remembering the spirit's words. 'He does not, that is why it is necessary for these battles,' the man answered.


Tora's eyebrow rose, confused at the words. Ushio didn't want him dead, but the spirits felt that he'd be better off if the monster was dead. 'You think his position as the Master of the Beast Spear is threatened by my presence?' the monster asked, amused slightly at the thought. 'Yes,' came a firm answer. 'He'd kill me himself if he felt I ever got out of hand,' Tora snarled back, glaring down into calm violet eyes. 'No, I think not. You have too much of a hold over him for that to ever happen. The boy is young and has only just realized the truth he's been hiding even from his conscious mind. If you die, nothing will be holding him back. If you live... he will eventually shatter from his own realizations. Do you desire his death?' the man suddenly asked, watching as Tora flinched slightly in startlement at the question.


'Of course I do. He is my meal,' Tora lied with a growl. 'So stupid, both of you,' the boy's face split into a calm grin as he leaned back upon the wall. 'What the hell do you mean by that?' Tora demanded, even as he watched the violet eyes close and the body jerk against him.


~*~


'To...ra,' Ushio whispered aloud, feeling the heat of the demon's full form flush against him. The boy gave into his feelings for once, leaning into the beast, his eyes fluttering enough to catch sight of the orange fur before everything faded into warm darkness.


~*~


Tora's breath caught in his throat as the boy suddenly leaned into him, eyes opening slightly before he slipped back into oblivion. Wrapping his muscular arms around the youth's slim form, he lifted them both into the air. Glancing down, he watched the waves of black float away, leaving the very human form of his demon hunter curled against his chest. ~Yes. Mine. He belongs to me.~ Tora grunted to himself as he flew in the open window.


~*~


~Ushio... Mayuko... wedding...~ Tora blinked open his eyes and yawned, stretching on the hardwood floor before the events from the past night came back to haunt him in more ways than one. In front of him knelt Ushio, clothed only in a long white sheet he'd drawn around his naked body. Tora remember stripping him to throw away the blood stained clothes before tossing that very sheet over him and going to sleep himself.


'Which spirit are you?' the monster grumbled, not pleased to have to deal with such a thing that early in the day. 'The sister,' the boy replied, cracking an amused smile at Tora's widening white eyes. Stroking her fingers through the youth's long black hair, she watched the monster compose himself, standing to glare down at her.


'Well?' he finally asked, as if he had been waiting for her to make a move. 'I'm not going to attack you, if that is what you expected,' she answered, shaking her head. Standing gracefully, she tucked a stray strand of black hair behind her ear and gathered the sheet around her body... Ushio's body. 'You'd better hurry. You don't want to be late for your own wedding,' she stated in amusement, stepping out the door. Tora just stared after the youth in shock.


~*~


'How long are you going to take?' Asako knocked on Ushio's door early that afternoon. Tora glanced over, but the boy refused to let him move until she was completely satisfied with the beast's appearance. Violet eyes looked him over, before a pleasant smile crossed over the youth's face as she announced, 'Are you ready, Nagatomibaru?'


Tora winced at the name. The boy that smiled up at him, the one who was not Ushio but instead a spirit of the Spear of the Beast. If that didn't make things bad enough, the spirit being female made it even worse. The youth seemed amused at his silence and prodded him towards the door. 'We don't want to be late. That lovely young lady is waiting for you to make her your mate. After all, you love her, right?' Tora couldn't quite grasp it right then, but the tone of her voice was almost... mocking, as she said those words. There was no time to think about her any longer though, because Asako was pulling him down the hallway.


~*~


Shigure, after being asked by Mayuko earlier that week, had allowed the wedding to be held in the backyard near the temple. The monsters, friends and acquaintances of Lord Nagatomibaru and Ushio were gathered there, joined by the few humans they had met on their many journeys. It wasn't every day that a demon lord got married to a human after all.


Tora managed a small smile for his beautiful bride, forgetting about the spirits and the beast spear for a moment. ~She's so pretty. Mayuko will make a perfect bride, a perfect... mate.~ Strangely though, the word 'Mate' sounded strangely hollow when he thought of Mayuko. She was only a mortal woman, she could not be his in every sense as another monster could. Mates, in the truest sense of the word, were joined by heart, body, and soul. They hunted together, protected each other, lived every aspect of their lives in perfect harmony. It was a bond between souls. And yet, this marriage would only satisfy his heart, not his soul. He loved her, as much as he could love anyone. But, he did not deceive himself into believing he was in love with her. She was too innocent, too human to ever truly understand his demonic ways. She knew not the thirst for blood and battle, nor the desire to hunt and mate. It was as if she was merely an illusion at times, an illusion of peace and happiness in the darkness.


Tora glanced back to see Ushio leaning against the house, smiling at him in the same strangely mocking way as he had earlier. Turning back around, he tried to focus on his wedding, the sounds of friends and family booming throughout the yard and drowning out the boy's presence.


~*~


~I'm confusing you, aren't I, Nagatomibaru? You wonder why I've helped you this far, approving of your marriage to her. Don't you understand? When Ushio sees you marry her, announce your love for her, he will hide away again, allowing us to keep control of his body. And when that happens, I shall kill you myself with the spear and make you a memory. A pity the boy will be too shattered to realize what his own body has done, he should have killed you the moment he had the spear in his hands. Over time, the Spear of the Beast will continue to manipulate his soul, turning him back onto the path of a true monster hunter. He shall slaughter each and every one of you, giving his soul over to us for all eternity. So, Tora... complete the ceremony. Let him see this with his own eyes.~


~*~


~Wait. What's going on? Where... am I?~ Ushio lifted his head, trying to focus on what was going on around him. So many people, monsters and humans standing and sitting around as they watched... Ushio's eyes widened, a fiery pain stabbing through his heart as he saw them. Mayuko, dressed as beautifully as she had been when she had nearly married Tora all those months ago, and Tora... no, Lord Nagatomibaru, standing at her side before the temple. ~The wedding... They're getting married today.~ His breath caught in his throat as he listened to Mayuko repeat the wedding vows as his own father gave her the words. ~Traitor.~ He couldn't help but feel a stab of anger towards Shigure for betraying him like this. Finally... it was Tora's turn... Tora...


Ushio felt tears prickling at his eyes as he listened, the words slicing him apart piece by piece. Unable to take it anymore, his soul cried out and retreated... back into the spear.


~*~


Tora paused, gazing down at the woman holding his arm. Mayuko had said, 'I do.' This was it... there was no turning back. All he had to do was say those two words and everything would be ok. Mayuko would be happy, everyone would be happy... everyone except... the boy. Tora wondered why he still cared, after all, Ushio wasn't even really his friend, was he? He'd always hated the boy, threatened to kill him and eat him for so long. They fought continuously, neither able to truly dominate the other. True, they had hunted together, even fought to protect each other at times. If Ushio was not such a stubborn human... he'd make a good monster. He knew the thrill of the hunt, the pride of the victory, the pain of losing. He understood the darkness, able to exist within it yet still hold onto the light. Innocent, yet experienced; stubborn and hotheaded, yet calm and gentle at times. He was... special, for a human.


The beast sighed, opening his mouth to say the words. But, something made him look over his shoulder one last time. Wide violet eyes filled with pain stared back at him unseeing, before they slumped closed. The body jerked, like it had when the previous spirits had released their hold on it to return to the beast spear. The only difference was, that this time... the violet eyes that opened were not Ushio's.


~*~


~Yes... it's done. The boy is ours.~ The female could not hide her grin, sure that they had won this battle. That was... until the tiger beast turned and stalked towards her, leaving silence in his wake. Everyone, monster and human, watched him approach who they believed to be Demon Hunter Ushio, still leaning against the side of the house. Even Mayuko looked confused, for Tora had left right at the crutial part of the ceremony.


~*~


Tora stopped directly across from the youth, hiding his own smirk at the slightly guarded and wary expression on the boy's face. The female spirit was obviously confused by his actions, unable to understand what he was doing. 'Why do you want me to marry her? What will you gain through this?' he asked, his voice low in a whisper. 'Poor Tora, you really don't get it, do you?' she smirked up at him, eyes filled with humor. The beast just snarled, crossing his arms over his chest as he waited. 'It doesn't matter now anyway. You've fulfilled your usefulness,' she replied, fingering the spear in her male hands. 'My usefulness?' Tora growled, arching an eyebrow. 'He saw you, heard your words of love and affection. That was enough to shatter his soul,' the female continued, glancing down at the Beast Spear.


'Why the hell would Ushio care if I married Mayuko or not? Does he think she's in danger or is it... that he loves her,' Tora asked, blinking when the female spirit suddenly laughed. Ushio's laugh... but so strangely different. 'Oh, he loves her... like a sister. Poor beast, you haven't even had the chance to gloat over your victory,' she whispered, a calm smile on her face. Tora just watched her, confused for a moment. ~Victory? Over what? I haven't defeated Ushio yet, so what...?~


The beast was thrown backwards as the spear shot at him. The onlookers stared, frozen in shock, as what appeared to be the Demon Hunter Ushio, attacked Tora in a fury. The battle raged between them, sweeping them both out of the yard and down the street. 'What's going on?' Mayuko whispered, staring after them. The monsters and hunters glanced around, uncertain at this sudden change.


'That baka. Why the hell did he decide to attack Tora right now? Doesn't he have any common decency...' Asako began to rant loudly. 'I don't believe... that was Ushio,' Rashin's voice drew the girl's attention. Mayuko turned to stare at the dark haired weasel in human form who watched the gates, as if the pair would suddenly come racing back through them.


~*~


'You're fast, Nagatomibaru... but I'm faster,' the woman laughed, dashing out of his reach. Tora snarled and lightning flew from his forelocks as he chased her... back to that park. The female spirit taunted him, even as she moved gracefully in the stolen body of the boy. ~Ushio is mine. I'll never let some she-bitch have him.~ Tora snarled and dove at her, slashing down the front of her black uniform. A thin trail of blood dripped down Ushio's chest, the dark jacket and white shirt torn down the center and flowing out from his body. 'You can't kill me... you'll only kill him. But then again, that's what you always planned to do, isn't it? He's your meal, right Nagatomibaru?' the spirit taunted, slashing at him as they swayed in a deadly dance through the park.


~Kill him... I don't want... not now...~ Tora tried to come up with a way to defeat the spirit, without further harming the youth's body. Why did he care? The beast was confused at his own hesitation. Any other monster would just slice the boy apart, regardless of the soul residing within. ~But, I am not just any monster, and he is no ordinary human boy. If I kill him... I'll lose my soul.~ Tora realized, eyes widening a fraction. It was true. Ushio was his other half, in body and spirit. The boy was the only one who could truly calm his thirst for blood, his anger... the only one who had ever defeated him without killing him, or trying to. True, they threatened each other all the time, but neither had intended upon following through unless the other had been more than willing to retaliate.


The female gasped when she found herself cornered against one of the thick ancient trees in the center of the park. Clawed hands clasped her arms to the bark, the beast's narrowed white eyes glaring down at her. Struggling, she panicked inwardly at how the situation had flown out of her control. 'Release him,' Tora ordered, snapping his white fangs in her face. 'Even if I do... he's too emotionally broken right now to handle the real world. Do you really want him to die?' she asked, forcing the stolen body to remain still as the demon looked her over. 'He is mine. Release his soul and return to the accursed spear,' the beast hissed, claws tightening.


~*~


~T...Tora?~ Ushio whimpered, trapped in his own hell. He could hear the beast's voice, but the words seemed to evade him, confusing him. He felt naked, torn apart. It was as if his soul had been ripped out of his body and shattered upon the cold stone. Crimson tears trickled down his cheeks as he huddled there in the darkness of the crystal. Pain surrounded him, emotionally and spiritually. Nothing could save him from his fate now, he was hurt too badly, wounded too deeply.


~Please... someone... Tora, help me!~


~*~


Tora blinked. For a second, he'd heard... no, he'd felt Ushio crying out to him... the boy's pain touching him for a moment before fading back into the darkness. 'He isn't completely broken. Release him... please,' the beast growled, hating to admit any weakness in front of an enemy. But... Ushio's life was on the line.


'Please? Are you... a demon lord... truly begging me to help a monster hunter? I am shocked,' the female spirit spoke, yet her words held no trace of mocking, just confusion. 'Ushio... is mine. I am his. Return to the spear and let his soul reclaim his body,' Tora whispered, looking away. His eyes widened when pale hands touched his cheeks and turned him back to face the smiling face of his best friend, even if the soul was not his. The female seemed happy, almost at peace from his words as she pulled his head closer. 'Thank you... Tora. Make him happy,' she whispered, pressing their lips together. Tora blinked in shock, feeling the body jerk beneath his claws, slumping slightly into his arms. Black eyes opened as Ushio's soul regained control of his body again.


~*~


~Warm... so warm... What is this feeling?~ The boy could feel something gentle pressing against his lips as his eyes fluttered open. As the world came into focus, he was shocked to find himself staring into narrowed white eyes as Tora pulled away. ~Oh My God! Tora was kissing me. Me! What the hell...?~


The beast blinked as the youth tried to lean even further back into the tree, eyes wide. He watched the boy's head lower, his long bangs shadowing his eyes, his fingers tightening on the spear's handle. 'Baka...' Tora barely heard the boy whisper.


'BAKA!' Ushio screamed suddenly, lashing out. His fist connected with the demon's cheek, hard enough to knock him back a few inches. But that was enough. Ushio ducked out of his arms and raced away, shaking his head from the pain that flooded through his entire body. ~Baka. How dare he... How dare he taunt me like this. He's already married to Mayuko, why... Why?~


Grunting, Tora took off after the youth, easily catching up to him. Diving, his arms wrapped around the boy's chest, sending them flying to the ground in a roll. Trying to dodge fists and the spear, Tora growled as they came to a stop, the boy half draped over him. Ushio pushed himself up from the demon's chest, glaring down at him with furious violet eyes, his dark hair flowing on the wind. Tora blinked, no... not just furious. Ushio seemed to be hurting, confused and angry at him for some reason. ~Of course. He must think I married Mayuko... He doesn't know...~


Ushio opened his mouth to yell at the beast again, but his scream was cut off as a clawed hand sifted through his long hair and latched onto the back of his head, dragging him down into a deep kiss. The boy struggled, but the demon's other arm was wrapped around his back, holding him down. ~Baka...~ Ushio felt his body start to relax, his eyes slipping closed.


Tora felt the change and grinned, deepening the kiss even more. Carefully, he rolled until Ushio was laying flat on his back still in a daze, before the monster pulled back, ending the kiss. Violet eyes fluttered open, filled with passion... and confusion. Those feelings quickly turned to hurt as the youth pushed against him, struggling to sit up. 'No,' Tora growled, pushing the boy back to the ground with a paw on his chest. Ushio glared up at him, his own fangs bared in anger. The spear hummed lightly between them.


Tora sighed in aspiration, before leaning closer until they were nearly face to face. 'I know you love me,' the beast stated, watching violet eyes widen in shock at the proclamation. Hurt and panic flashed in them, accompanied by increasing struggles. The monster grunted and moved his entire body over the boy's to keep him on the ground. As suddenly as they had begun, the boy stopped struggling. All Tora could hear was the harsh intakes of breath, the heart pounding beneath him. Ushio's face was hidden by his long hair, his head turned to the side, cheek pressed against the grass.


'Why?' a whisper broke the silence, making Tora's ears perk. Staring down at the half hidden face, the beast waited. 'Why are you doing this to me?' the boy finally asked, raising his emotionless violet orbs to meet his own. Ushio's body was limp under the beast, as if he'd been drained of his energy and was nothing more than a hollow shell. With an expressionless face, the boy awaited his answer.


'Because... you are Mine,' Tora stated, staring down at the youth. Silence stretched between them as the sun began to set.


Ushio laughed suddenly, startling the demon who watched him. The laughter echoed through the park, empty and hollow. Tora finally growled and stood up, glaring down at the youth who sat there, arms wrapped around his knees, face pressed into his jeans. As the sound faded, the youth's head came up and those emotionless eyes met his own. 'I wasn't aware demons were so fond of taking wives... and slaves,' Ushio finally spoke, his voice strangely calm.


'Mayuko is not my bride, and will never be my wife now. And as for you...' Tora watched as Ushio's stare turned confused, before turning his back on the youth. 'When I called you Mine, I had no intentions of keeping you for a slave. I've come to realize that... I have been hunting you since the first time we met. I did not know until now why I became so attached to a human child. However... you are Mine. Monsters do not share their chosen mates. Do not expect me to sit by when you decide to marry someone yourself. I will protect my soul from all who dare to oppose him,' Tora spoke, almost as if he was talking to himself and not the boy.


The beast tensed, waiting for some kind of retaliation. Angry words, or a slash from the Beast Spear would be better than the silence that surrounded them. Tora flinched when fingers touched his shoulder gently, turning him to face the youth. Ushio shook his head, eyes closed as he took a breath, before they opened again to reveal stunning violet. 'Tora... you're such a baka,' the boy whispered, fingers reaching out to touch the demon's smooth cheek fur. Tora didn't waste time thinking or thanking the gods for his gift, instead he leaned down and sealed the boy's lips with his own. A happy sigh reached his ears and he curled the petite body against his own, eyes never leaving the violet ones that smiled back at him.


~*~


Tora entered the yard and was immediately swarmed by a small group of monsters and humans. 'Where have you been?' Asako demanded, hands on her hips. Tora cut off the rest of her rant with a low growl, glancing down at the sleeping body in his arms. As if they had only just noticed the boy, everyone stared. Rashin smiled at his sister Karani as they stepped past to leave. Karani giggled quietly as she eyed them before following her older sibling. Mayuko ended up dragging Asako away from the scene, nodding at Tora with a knowing look in her eyes. Shigure just shook his head, smiling as he led the beast into the house and watched him climb the stairs. No, he hadn't imagined the petite form of his son sleeping peacefully with his arms wrapped around the spear, snuggled into Tora's chest. ~About time those two came to their senses. Maybe things will be more peaceful around here now.~ He doubted it though. The boy and beast loved to fight over anything and everything, and that wouldn't change overnight.


~*~


Ushio came awake to the feel of soft fur against his cheek. A powerful heart beat in his ear as he sat up and stared down in amazement at the youkai beneath him. Tora was sprawled on his back, still lost in sleep and looking so adorable that the boy had to stifle a laugh. Reaching out, he trailed on finger down the beast's muzzle, which twitched in irritation. The monster swatted at his hand lazily, curling around the boy instinctively in his sleep.


Ushio's mouth twitched, and he began to laugh. Tora was just so cute when he acted cat-like like that. One white eye opened to stare at him, a shiver running through the beast's body. 'You'd better run, boy,' the monster growled, a grin spreading over his feline face. Ushio did just that, leaping up and racing out of the room. Tora sat up and stretched, before lumbering off after the youth. He glanced around the corner just in time to see the back of the boy's ripped white shirt billowing down the stairs behind him. 'Brat,' Tora grumbled, standing at the top of the stairs.


'Gomen. You were just too cute,' Ushio told him, glancing over his shoulder when he reached the bottom. 'Tickling is off limits. You're ass is mine, boy!' Tora grinned, flying down the stairs as the youth raced off laughing down the hall.


~*~


'Sounds like those two are getting along,' Karani commented, listening to the sounds echoing through the house. 'It's just so cute how much they love each other,' Mayuko announced next to her, smiling. 'Hey, Mayuko. Aren't you upset at all? You were suppose to marry Tora,' Asako turned to look at her best friend. 'Not really. I knew Tora didn't love me... but I didn't want to say anything in case my suspicions were wrong,' the girl stated, blushing lightly. Asako gapped at her and replied, 'You knew Tora and Ushio had a thing for each other?' The other girl nodded a bit, before the door to the kitchen swung open.


'Ohayo!' Ushio greeted them, looking a bit disheveled in appearance. Long white shirt falling to his sides showing off his chest and wearing only his boxers, the youth looked like he's gotten into some kind of a fight. 'You and Lord Nagatomibaru seem to have had an interesting morning,' Karani giggled, sipping her tea. 'Huh? What do you mean?' the boy asked, glancing around the table. Asako was about to hit him for being so dense, until a familiar orange furred arm wrapped around the youth's body and pulled him back.


'Put me down! Tora!' Ushio could be heard shouting, before the demon walked into the room. Everyone stared at the smirking tiger youkai and the pouting bundle in his arms. 'Getting a bit old, Nagatomibaru?' Karani teased. 'You'd better mark him before anyone else has a chance to get him,' Rashin gazed calmly back at the monster lord who snarled and clutched the boy closer. 'How cute!' Asako and Mayuko squealed in unison, as Ushio blushed brightly and started to struggle against the demon holding him. 'He's mine,' Tora stated simply, turning and walking out of the room. 'NO! Tora, put me down! I'm hungry, let me go!' the boy's words faded into the distance.


~*~


'So much for peace and quiet,' Shigure sighed, even after their guests had left. Glancing up at the ceiling, the old man shook his head and decided to go for a Very long walk. Unlike the usually bickering pair, he didn't intend to spend the day lying in bed. Not that either of them would be getting any sleep for a while, the priest just hoped they'd be too tired to do anything when he returned.


...The End...


Author's Note: Comments anyone? For all those who enjoyed the story and want to get a close up of exactly what those two are doing, please go to the second yaoi lemony filled chapter. Anyone who isn't interested in the love scene should stay as far away as possible, this is the very last warning. Please review if you liked my fic. All of my Ushio to Tora fics (Homo, Hetero, or whatever the case may be) will be posted at my websites at http://shi_tiger.tripod.com/lairofthebeasts and http://wingedtora.tripod.com



My fics can also be read and reviewed at mediaminer.org or fanfiction.net