(For the uninitiated, Ah and Un is/are Sesshoumaru's two-headed thing, the one that Rin always rides. "Ah" and "un" are both ways of saying "yeah"; Shinto shrines often have pairs of statues, one with the mouth formed into "ah" and the other into "un".)

Animal Passion

She is like nothing they have seen before.

It is Ah who first notices her. The despised hanyou is carrying her, as though she were his to possess. The hanyou sets her down in the midst of their group, and she is in the group, and yet hardly of the group, for she stands out among them like the moon among the stars.

Ah speaks to Un in their way of speaking, which is not speech but is like thought and yet not like thought.

Ah, says Ah, that such a flower should be captive among those, the most foul of weeds.

says Un. If one were to pluck such a flower, would it not be a matter of joy to the flower, as well as to the one who plucks?

says Ah, if only one could be the one who plucks.

says Un. If only one could be the hanyou, the despised hanyou, lowest of the low, and yet one would bear that stigma for the pleasure of carrying that flower in one's hands, in one's despised and lowly hands.

If only one could be a glove upon those hands,
says Ah, to touch that flower, that moon, that sun, that goddess, and yet not be that creature of scorn and derision.

says Un, I don't think he ever wears gloves.

Ah is silent for a moment, pondering the tragedy of unattainable beauty, the cruelty of life in a time of unceasing warfare, the unworthiness of the hanyou, and perhaps the occasional frustration of being what one might silently consider to be the smarter half of a creature that is one creature and yet also two creatures, one of whom can't handle metaphor.

How is this to be tolerated, Ah says, after a bit, that one so fair, so gentle, so sleek of form, so graceful of limb, so modest and yet so alluring should be subject in such a way to the rough attentions of such a being as the miserable hanyou?

He has, says Un, that humongous sword.

says Ah.

They fall silent again, both of them, observing their beloved--for indeed, she is their beloved! how her soul cries out to theirs, how her being calls out to their being!--where she stands quiet, arms extended as though pleading, voiceless, for release from her companions, hanyou and human and youkai of the most inferior sort.

Ah sheds a tear. One must weep, he says, for the plight of a woman, alone and defenseless, forced to endure an existence among such as these.

And Un bristles with righteous anger. Has she no protector, no champion, no husband or family to protect her from this indignity?

Light bulbs will not be invented for another 350 years, but had they been invented, would not one be appearing over Ah's head right now? At any rate, the light of realization glows in Ah's eyes, as he says to his compatriot, Are not we her protector. Are not we her champion? Are not we her … husband?

Un had been hoping he would say that last one. We are her protector, he agrees. We are her champion. We are her husband. He refrains from adding, but perhaps murmurs silently in the reaches of his own half of their conjoined soul, Woo-hoo!

And repeats it, because Ah then says, Is it not our duty as her husband to possess this maiden as our own?

Un thinks, You better believe it, but he phrases the thought, Was any duty ever more sweet?

And as one--for one they are, and their thoughts are two but their hearts beat as one and their limbs move as one--they begin their slow, majestic movement (some may say shambling, but some cannot comprehend the many forms that fluid grace may take) toward the flower of their desires where she waits, timid and chaste, for the ministrations of her bridegroom.

As they move, as they flow--and indeed they flow, flow as a river flows, flow as the seasons flow--they are aware, as they are aware of birdsong or the stirring of leaves, that those among whom they move, both those of their lord's party and those who accompany the reviled hanyou, are speaking, are calling out, and yet those voices, even the voices of their own companions, are as nothing, and must not be heeded, for the moment is upon them: the hanyou with his wicked sword looks elsewhere, is occupied by the need to discipline one of his small, furry and contemptible attendants.

She is alone, she is unguarded, she is theirs to possess.

They possess her.

As the sun moves across the sky, they move to claim their own. She sits, passive, a child unfamiliar with desire, and allows them to envelop her, to bring her to the highest throes of rapture. Her forelimbs spread outward in both welcome and supplication, she presents herself to their need, and they begin the dance of love, bend and thrust, bend and thrust. The others are crying out, crying out for they have been thwarted, this woman they thought to hold back has surrendered herself to her husband, her beloved, her soulmate, and although the loathsome hanyou may hold her body in bondage, her sweetness is theirs, only theirs, to own. With a twin cry that is like the blaring of trumpets they shudder and release to her their seed, their precious seed. And then, in the afterglow of passion, they become aware of a noise, a keening, a shriek. Screaming…the hanyou's woman is screaming…

"Kyaaaaaaahhhhhh!" screamed Kagome. "Inuyasha, that thing's got my bike!"

Inuyasha whipped around, sword half-drawn, and then stopped dead, staring. Little Rin had run forward from Sesshoumaru's side and was waving her arms at the creature, crying "Shoo! Shoo!" Jaken was the second person to fully appreciate what was happening. He leaped forward more quickly than would seem possible for one with such tiny legs, taking Rin down as he clapped his hands firmly over her eyes. Miroku, taking the cue, grabbed Shippou and covered the little kitsune's eyes with his own hands. It was Sango, comfortable with the ways of daemons, who grabbed the reins and coaxed the beast off Kagome's metal carriage. The creature grunted and balked, but at last moved on, leaving the fallen bicycle flat on the ground.

Kagome stared at the bike for a long moment, then lifted her head. "In my home," she said slowly, "on the side of my house, there is a metal tube that can be opened and closed using a handle. Attached to that tube is a very long tube, like a snake. When you turn the handle, water flows through the long tube and comes out in a spray. I want one of those right now."

"… Yeah," Inuyasha muttered. Kagome turned to look at him. His face was almost as white as his hair, the amber eyes bugging out of his head. Suddenly her attention was caught by Sesshoumaru. At that moment, the brothers looked extraordinarily alike, the expressions on both faces revealing, in a way words could not, that the Great Dog Daemon, scourge of youkai and human alike, ruler of the Western lands, had somehow never found the time in his busy schedule to sit the boys down for a little talk.

Suddenly Kagome's life made a lot more sense.

She gazed at Inuyasha, who stood by her side, a veritable statue, frozen in an attitude of horror. She made a mental note to herself to throw her sex ed book in her backpack next trip home. She raised her eyes to where Sesshoumaru stood, shaken out of every semblance of cool detachment. Okay, maybe she could borrow an extra copy somewhere.

The vile exterminator holds their bridle and commands them away. They must not disgrace the master by initiating a skirmish. For now, for the time being, until their quest is complete, they must bow to what is, and dream of that which is to be. They glance over their shoulders; she lies still, her passion spent. But they have claimed her; she is theirs. No matter where their paths may take them, no matter how they must labor and suffer, the red thread of destiny has connected them.

Ah, says Ah.

Un, says Un.

They can wait.