DISCLAIMER: I don't own Inuyasha, Rumiko Takahashi does, so don't sue me.


The light engulfed Sesshoumaru, burning a white-hot energy into his skin. Suddenly, the sword he wore pulsed in its sheath, emitting an energy of its own. It surrounded him as well, but before he could register what was happening, all went black.

When Sesshoumaru woke up, he was in a wooded area, and it was much later in the day. He could barely move. There was also someone coming toward him through the woods. He didn't really want to fight with something else right now, though he would easily kill the human if it confronted him. When the human came near, he sat up and snarled at it, still disoriented and hoping that he looked as bad as he felt. A dirty little girl stood by the bushes, and she jumped back a little, before taking a few hesitant steps forward. Sesshoumaru stared at her, wondering if she would come within killing distance. Then, as quickly as she had come, the girl left again.

Not caring, Sesshoumaru once again lay down, and slept some more. When he awoke, it was dark, and there was a pipe of water a short distance away from him. The stupid human girl must have left it. He looked away, and propped himself up against a nearby tree. For the first time, he noticed how bad his condition really was. His armor had almost completely been blown away, and he had been bleeding. For a moment, he briefly wondered if he would have been killed by the blast had it not been for Tenseiga. The thought repulsed him--how unfitting it would have been to die from Inuyasha. And how unfitting and more unfair still was the fact that Inuyasha had received Tetsusaiga, and not him. He touched the hilt of Tenseiga. Like Tetsusaiga, the sword had a mind of its own, and it seemed that it had chosen him for its master, regardless of how he felt about it.

Ironically, he remembered how pleased he had first been when he had found out about Tetsusaiga. Then he had learned exactly whom it was to be given to. It mattered little to Sesshoumaru that the hanyou would get a sword; however, he felt that it was only fitting that he be given a sword its equal. But his father had left him the Tenseiga. The difference between the two swords was astronomical; calling them equals was a mockery. He often wondered why he didn't simply get rid of the worthless Tenseiga. But it was an heirloom of his father's power, and it was rightfully his. He would not see something that was his in the hands of another, whether he personally wanted the thing or not. However, that didn't prevent him from trying to get Tetsusaiga as well.

Sesshoumaru did not get the sword he wanted, and it was a point of resentment between him and his father. So much so, that his father took the Tetsusaiga to his grave with him, where Sesshoumaru could never get it. Tetsusaiga had the power to kill one hundred with one swing, and Tenseiga the power to do the opposite--a power that Sesshoumaru was not interested in. But it was still a well-crafted sword, regardless of whatever useless powers it might have. His father had told Sesshoumaru little about Tenseiga after he had expressed his disgust. So it was not until Sesshoumaru attempted to use the sword did he find out that it couldn't even kill. And now the cursed thing had just saved him of its own will.

Sesshoumaru briefly wondered what else the sword could do. "A healing sword," his father had said. It was useless to him, but useless or not, he was interested in Tenseiga's abilities after it's sudden display. He knew that it could not kill, and it had saved him, but what else could it do? There was its supposed capability of "one hundred swings," but he had never had the inclination to try it out. Sesshoumaru was still certainly not interested in saving one hundred lives, but he ought to at least test it on the next dead thing he saw.

There was a rustle coming through the bushes. The girl appeared again, this time bringing some food on a leaf. She set it down next to the water pipe, still a short distance away from him. He wondered why he hadn't scared her away the first time. Did the girl have no one to warn her to stay away from stray youkai in the woods? Probably not, he decided, after looking at her carefully out of the corner of his eye. She looked at him, and then turned to leave.

"Mind your own business. Human food doesn't suit me," he said, not looking in her direction. Maybe now she would leave him alone.

The girl left again, but returned the next morning. She had brought more food, this time bringing it up and offering it to him. He was surprised that she had approached him in the first place, but to come so close this time. Did she not realize that it was dangerous? But not particularly being in the same foul mood as when he had first woken up the day before, Sesshoumaru only regarded her curiously. She looked much worse than she had previously (if possible), with bruises on her face and much dirtier clothes. She smelled slightly of blood, probably from an already closed wound. He told her that he didn't need anything, but she persisted. When he told her again, she just sat there, not leaving. Mildly curious and with nothing else do to, Sesshoumaru looked at her and asked what happened to her face. When she didn't answer, he thought at first that perhaps she didn't care to converse with a youkai, even if she would bring food to one. But she had delivered the food and was still there. She looked at him and only smiled. Could she not speak? And why was she so happy about a simple question? Suddenly, she left, going back in the direction that she always came from.

It didn't matter. Sometime today he would go; he was strong enough. Youkai recovered quickly, even from the most serious injuries. If they weren't killed instantly from a wound, there was little chance that they would die afterward.

Later that day, Sesshoumaru left the woods, finding Jaken and the dragon nearby. Thinking that he was alone, Jaken was having an argument with himself, which Sesshoumaru's appearance quickly put an end to. He was about to tell Jaken to get ready to leave, when he smelled wolves, mixed with the scent of a familiar blood. Curious, Sesshoumaru slowly began walking back the way he had come, Jaken scurrying behind him. It didn't take Sesshoumaru long to find the source of the scent, fallen dead in the forest's path and soaked in her own blood. Jaken muttered something, but Sesshoumaru wasn't paying attention to him. His arm was already resting on Tenseiga's hilt. He pulled Tenseiga out of its sheath. It pulsed in his hand. So the sword wanted this done, did it?

"Let's test it."

Suddenly he could see spirits from the next world over the body. Seeing nothing else to do, he slashed at them, watching as they disappeared in a flash of light. The girl remained motionless. So the sword didn't work, or else he wasn't able to use it. Just as Inuyasha had no clue as to what to do with Tetsusaiga, the ironic thought crossed his mind. Sesshoumaru knelt down and turned the girl over with his arm, looking at her. His eyes widened as she abruptly opened hers, staring up at him. He looked at the girl's suddenly alive form for a moment, before pushing her to her feet. Then he turned and walked away. Tenseiga could have its uses, he supposed, even if it had its weaknesses.