Disclaimer: Don't own Inuyasha. Will never own Inuyasha. You know it. I know it. The white dog down the streets know it. And now, the lawyers no it too.

Summary: part of "falling over you" story arc. Sess x Kuma, Inuyasha x Kagome. Sesshomaru and Inuyasha have a heart to heart about the women they love.


"Just Breathing"

by: Banshee Puppet


To fill the awkward silence, they decided to.talk. Well, perhaps DECIDED isn't exactly the proper term. It was more like an internal pull that bordered on nervous instinct.

After Rin had driven the two brothers adequately up the wall for the night with her innate cuteness, and gone off to play with Jaken, the threadbare silence became something resembling the threat of an explosion. Inuyasha sat with nervous shoulders, tight-backed and Sesshomaru met his brother's every resentful glance with an equally resentful sneer. But the boys knew, for the sake of the ones they loved, they had to at least tolerate one another, as each individually prayed that the girls returned soon.

Finally though, it had become to much.

"Kuma is like an annoying kid sister to me, so if you hurt her, I'll kill you," Inuyasha had said, dragging Sesshomaru out of frowning thoughts.

"Hurt her? As usual, you couldn't have things more backwards, little brother," Sesshomaru mumbled half-heartedly, only realizing what he had implied after he had said it, and hoping that Inuyasha proved to be as thick-headed as he presupposed him to be.

Unfortunately, Inuyasha understood perfectly. He gaped at Sesshomaru for a long moment, for the very first time noticing the pain in his eyes.

"You.I don't believe it! You really do love her, don't you?" he blurted out before he knew what he was saying.

Sesshomaru turned his face toward the hanyou and eyed him critically for a long moment before sighing. It seemed that they were about to have an important conversation. Mentally, he told himself, 'well, I suppose that there's a first time for everything.'

"I watch her in her sleep a lot, just breathing. Everything seems so perfect in those moments. But lately, she's been distant. I don't understand. I've done everything exactly the same as she seemed to like, everything, down to the last detail. Her meals at the same time she always likes it, just the right amount of .contact.no more, no less. I thought I was doing everything right. Of course I love her. Don't be stupid. I don't even put this much effort into keeping Rin properly cared for."

Inuyasha had met Rin.multiple times actually, and he could tell just by that what a piece of work taking care of her must be. Keeping her clean alone must take half-a-day of careful planning, and he chuckled, imagining Sesshomaru mother-henning the little human girl was nothing if not extremely amusing.

Sesshomaru scowled at him.

"Sorry. It's just.funny. You with a kid. But love, you know, it's not like making a gourmet dinner. You can't put in just the right amount of this and just the right amount of that and expect it all to work out perfectly. Kuma, she's really sort of." Inuyasha remembered the time he spent with the girl as he searched for the right adjective, and after a moment's consideration, he found the word he was looking for. "Hyperactive. She's a creature of change. Most humans are, and you know, she was human for a long time, you don't just get over that. If you want to keep her, you'll have to accept change a little more and just go with it. She's probably just bored."

'Am I actually giving my brother relationship advice?' Inuyasha thought. This felt so easy, but there was no end to how strange it all was as well. He hated Sesshomaru.didn't he? No, not right now. Not when he was like this. His brother, they had one thing in common at least.watching. He had watched Kagome breathe in her sleep as well, many times.too many, really. Sure, he understood what love was. He understood how much it hurt to love, and how good it felt to love. It was really very confusing. Of course Sesshomaru would fuck it up by trying to logic it into some sort of system, to fit it into it's proper place in his life.

"Oh, like you're an expert," Sesshomaru spat defensively.

"I'm not," Inuyasha admitted. "I still wouldn't be with Kagome probably if it wasn't for Kuma. And.I don't know how to make Kagome stay either, but.I know it isn't by turning emotion into ritual."

"Your woman is going somewhere?"

"Not immediately. I know she loves me as much as I love her, but.she has people waiting for her.a home."

"So go with her," Sesshomaru said as if it were obvious. "Have you got something particular holding you here?"

Inuyasha thought about it for a long moment. ".Kikyo."

"The miko? Isn't she dead?" Sesshomaru raised an eyebrow.

"Yes.and no. She's.not at peace."

"Then put her at peace and be done with her. That was fifty years ago. You need to get over it."

"Like you got over father's death?"

Stab. ".that's different."

"How?" Inuyasha accused.

"That's family."

"So am I."


'And the past haunts us even now.' They thought it simultaneously, and the silence dragged on.

".so.what do we do?" Inuyasha asked.

"I.don't know," Sesshomaru answered, more honestly, with more emotion on his voice than Inuyasha could remember ever hearing as he rested tired eyes, leaning back slightly onto his tail.

Inuyasha's shoulders sagged. Sesshomaru didn't have any answers either; deep down, he always thought he did.

".big brother?" he asked. It sounded awkward on his tongue, but also sort of right. They both noticed it.

Sesshomaru lifted his head and half-opened his eyes. ".hm?"

"Talking like this.I.I liked it."

"..me too."

"Why didn't we ever talk like this before? You know, before father died?" Inuyasha asked.

"Because I hated you then too."

"Even then?"

Sesshomaru nodded. "Since before you were born, I hated you," he admitted with a hint of something in his voice that was almost-remorse.


"Because you and that human wo-your mother-were the ones that he loved best. And seeing how happy you were, and how oblivious, made me feel very lonely," he admitted less reluctantly than he felt he should have, but he didn't hate Inuyasha anymore. As of tonight, and he didn't understand why. Inuyasha was really.the only family he had left. "I.didn't realize."

"Of course not. Besides, it doesn't matter. That was a long time ago, and I've decided, I don't feel like hating you anymore."

"Since when?" Inuyasha asked incredulously.

"Since now," Sesshomaru replied with a scowl. Really, Inuyasha could be so annoying sometimes. "I'm tired of talking."

"They'll be back soon," Inuyasha nodded, frowning.


".it hurts so much.being in love," the hanyou admitted.

Sesshomaru sighed, locking his brother's golden gaze with one of his own, sadder and older, but also very similar.

".yeah," he answered.

And the pair sat in silence for a long time waiting for the others to return. Just sitting. Just breathing in the silence that speaks when there are no words.


Alright, well, that's it, that's the end. Uh.I plan to write a sequel that comes after these, but. . . *chews lip*. . . ah, evil evil writer's wall. . . anybody have a sledge hammer handy? R&R. I need thoughts and opinions.