An Unhappy House


Author: profiler120


Rating: R [Citrus/Lime Content] - It's not overly graphic. I don't think. You be the judge.

Author's Notes: I was reading and somehow I got this idea. It's complete and utter pointlessness, it will not be continued. I wrote it partly to ease the desire I had to get the idea out of my head and partly as a vocabulary exercise. It drops you right in the middle of the story. It's a one-shot. All characters are youkai unless expressly mentioned they are human.

Names aren't mentioned until near the middle/end of the story - can you guess who the main characters are? (Given the pairings I typically write for, I'm sure it won't be hard.)

He watched her silently, eyes tracing her slim figure as she made her way across the large, cavernous room. Small, feminine steps caught his attention, eyes dancing over the figure clothed in the simple, but elegant kimono. She cast a stony glance in his direction, taking quiet note of his current companions, never once stopping her journey. Then just as quickly her eyes darted away from him, the stony look vanishing under a warm, contented smile directed at someone else. He snorted bitterly at the sight.

She stopped, momentarily, waylaid by some nameless, faceless void, and was drawn into a causerie. He ignored the overly touchy male, watching her insincere smiles, and dully-shaded eyes as she feigned interest. She listened patiently, taking in the pointless, irrelevant words of her visitor, sweeping in and then out of her ears just as quickly. She had far too much patience for idiots, always had.

He could smell her, a delicate scent threaded lightly through the room. A flower growing a midst a bed of weeds, he thought somewhat sourly, running his tongue over dry lips. The gentle folds of her kimono could not conceal the dainty white hands that peeked out from the rich cloth, as masses of dark hair tumbled down her back. Her smooth, rose bud lips were turned up into a smile, the benefactor of which was unworthy of it.

Strange how much she was drawing his attention this night, he thought mutely to himself. He quickly refocused upon her as she finally rid herself of the male that had been breathing too much in her air space. He was content to watch her until another male, no less annoying than the first, accosted her. She quietly endured this one too - with the same warm patience that left a bitter taste in his mouth as he was forced to watch it.

Bits of their conversation drifted to his straining ears.

"... how wonderful ... " Her beautiful voice chimed, dribbling on with something inconsequential and he felt his anger rise a notch. His jaw tensed alerting him to his clenched teeth.

Beside him a set of young females on the left and right of him, sat quietly. Willing to take and obey his orders, but he quickly turned his attention away from them as she moved on once more. This time it was she who approached the male, a tall bushy haired, adult kitsune. She adorned him with more bounteous smiles.

This one deflated his anger slightly. He was old, mated with children, touching her would result in serious consequences. This one was not like the others, young, brash, hormonal. This one was instead, a braggart, fond of talking and mostly of himself. She smiled too at this one, bathing him in her pleasantness and his resentment rose again.

There was something about today. Something he'd wanted to remember. Something important, but it was eluding him. It had to do with the woman he was so avidly watching, but he could not quite pinpoint the source of this frustration.

She moved on and into a crowd that obscured his vision, further irritating him. Probably off to suffer more idiocy, he thought with an indignant snort. From behind him, a deep, smooth chuckle erupted, causing his already flustered mood to be inflamed further. He didn't bother turning.

"Amusing, my son, but why do you allow her to move around, enticing the room this way. This is no place for her now."

Something within him was warring for power. Something deep - something he had denied control. Something that growled lowly at him as his eyes so voraciously followed her. The woman who had disappeared into a myriad of these worthless visitors. Each year they came and clogged the halls of his home, stuffing their worthless carcasses with his food, and now they increased their worthlessness to him by blocking sight of the woman.

He stood, body stiff and tense, muscles almost quivering beneath his near perfect control. Where had she disappeared to? The two women at his side rose after him but he motioned silently for them to stay. They would only get in the way and there was no need for them to follow him around anyway.

The man that had been behind him had long walked off, and was forgotten as he made his way into the crowd himself. He passed by one person and then another, people brushing indecently against him and women casting him admiring glances. Some of which were nothing short of scandalous - but tonight nothing could penetrate the veil over him. Something was unsettling - something he intended to find and eliminate. This accursed night seemed to have no end, he thought just as he simultaneously told himself it did not matter. Once he found her.

He paused momentarily in his consuming search to step out on a conveniently placed balcony. Perhaps aerating himself would clear his thoughts of their dangerously narrow focus. Alas, it was not to be. If anything he felt apathetic, as though possessed of a single thought. To locate the vexing woman that had so effortlessly drawn his attention and then disappeared.

He stepped back in, the room had an assuasive quality, but he could not seem to enjoy it. Not while he was feeling so unsettled. Aside from that he was betwixt, lost as to where he should again begin searching. Her scent seemed to radiate in all directions, and he was perplexed as to which he should follow.

His feet started forward, leading him through the crowd once more. He passed by more people, one of which he recognized and avoided as he caught the eye of the mentioned individual. He would not be bilked out of his possessions this night, yet even as he thought so the male in question merely raised his glass in greeting. As though not willing or daring to interrupt his search and worse yet, seemed to know he was so possessively searching and not to be disturbed.

That was when it struck him cold. A weak, drifting scent just passing by his way that nearly bowled him over. It could be no other than that bumptious moron, who, thus far had not been so foolish as to venture into his domain. He ignored the growing cacophony around him, this time following the other, less pleasant scent that was making his hackles rise. To one side of the room, he could clearly hear a few carousers but they would be dealt with eventually.

He pressed urgently past the irksome guests, making his way toward one side. A group of shabbily dressed individuals came into sight. Each with strange and ridiculous hairstyles and all dressed in the most horrific shade of brown.

Only the pungent aroma that had been so eluding him drifting toward him managed to stop his rebellious feet. He heard, and saw the chieftain of the poorly dressed group approach her. A snarl erupted in the pit of his belly as he watched her despondent eyes light at the sight of her visitor. Her cheerful exclamation erupted in his ears like a wave crashing violently against the shore.


She all but threw herself into the arms of the man whose throat he was going to rip out. He dared to raise his arms and encircle her amiably.

Conversation drifted out as his ears began to hum with the very snarl that had sparked within him and now continued to grow with a frightening intensity. How dare he?

Her eyes flowed with life as he had seen them before, bathing the object of her affection with amorous glances and smiles. She was still in love with him, he thought angrily, jealously. She still thought of this slovenly fool, completely unworthy of his grand surroundings.

Even now he could see her remembering all her past dalliances with the moron, recalling happy past afternoons. He felt his anger raise another level. His reflexes acted on impulse, reaching, snagging, and tossing an innocent bystander from his line of sight when the poor, bumbling fool wandered into his path. He stalked the last few feet toward his prey and as he neared she turned to him again. The light flowing from her eyes, dimmed, fading immediately.

She moved to stand in front of him, the wolf 'prince' Kouga, almost protectively and he released a feral growl. If she thought he was going to let this pass she had another thing coming and if her blood needed to be spilt to prove it, then everyone would bleed tonight. Him, her, her unkempt past lover - and anyone else that dared to get in the way.


Again, his body acted before his mind could rationalize anything, snagging the front of her kimono dragging her to him, still growling.

He narrowed his aureate eyes at her, claws sinking through her cloth, pricking her skin underneath. She gasped slightly.

"Hey!" The churlish one-stepped forward from behind her, intending apparently to intervene.

"If you value your head wolf mind your own business!" He warned succinctly.

She whimpered slightly but he didn't loosen his hold, but rather, tightened his already painful grip, sinking his dangerously pointed nails into her flesh. He paused but momentarily, narrowed a deadly glare upon the man behind her warning him away from the woman. He said nothing, but for the wolf's own sake hoped the message was received. 'Touch her again your pitiful lifetime and you'll be rendered limb from limb and made to watch your own blood run'.

In a blur of movement, heightened by his overactive senses they were gone from the room. The woman still pouting but the look abruptly faded as he with a capricious toss flung her into a side room. He stepped inside predatorily, eyes glowing with a fatal intensity, ears almost ringing. He almost threw the door closed behind him.

"... I will not suffer such ingrates within my home." He stared down at her, trying to collect herself from the floor. Long, thin white legs poked out from a crumpled kimono as she tried to straighten herself. "... Especially not that one!"

She had yet to speak, an oddity for her so he continued.

"How many times must you be told, woman? Is it necessary to inscribe my name across your forehead, you belong to me!"

She turned her gaze up at him, fire in her eyes. "What about your little bitches? You screw every woman in the castle and yell at me for hugging an old friend? Go to hell!"

"There was nothing friendly about that - he should not be touching you at all!"

It was then, in the small spans of the room did it occur to him what had him so on edge. Why his senses were being so easily riled and why he had been preoccupied with her companions. He could smell her completely now and understood what his father had meant about her 'enticing' the room and it being 'no place for her'. That was it, his little beloved was fertile. The anger into his eyes melted into smoldering lust.

That was what he had thought to remember, what his subconscious must have picked up that morning in their chambers that had left him feeling edgy all day. He all but lunged at her, a sweep of movement. The kimono was little of an obstacle, one fistful of the material and a jerk and it ripped clear of his way. She yelped as she was tackled to the floor.

"Hey! Don't rip my clothes!"

He raised his head with a snarl. "I buy your clothes, I will not be given orders on what I can do with them!"

She did not cease to struggle against his hold however as he effectively pinned her to the floor. His hands gripped her shoulders, claws slicing into her flesh, and his teeth following the same path. The woman beneath him froze suddenly as his teeth pierced the slim column of her neck deeply, her blood oozing over his canines.

"Sess-" she choked weakly as she acquiesced.

He raised his head, breathing her scent in deeply, mixing with the taste of her blood in his mouth causing another growl to spill forth. He loosed his hands pulling his blood painted nails from her flesh as he stared down at her, panting.

"You are my bitch. No one touches you when you are in heat, no one will touch you when you are not."

She remained quiet. Sighing softly, threading her hands into his yards of white silver hair holding his head to her as he pressed kisses down her neck creating red streaks across her flesh.

"You're my mate," he whispered possessively against her skin.

"Then stay with me instead of running off to your whores."

He raised his head staring into the beautiful almond colored eyes of the woman he'd been forced to mate with. This was the same fiery female who now belonged to him because of an arrangement between their fathers. The woman he'd all but stolen from the wolf she'd been so in love with in her young teen years before she had been made to come here.

He hadn't liked her then and she'd hated him. He'd first met her by accident. He'd found her frolicking with the wolf in a field, laughing, playing. He'd enjoyed watching her at first, until later that night he'd discovered she was to be his mate. That had caused an unpleasant rumbling through him that led them on a rocky path. His jealousy, her resentment. Their first mating had been dutifully forced and difficult.

His mind traced back to her comment. What that what was causing such a stir? Was she upset with his concubines, again? How many times had they argued? How many times had she gone off in a huff because he still sought enjoyment in the bed of another? Better yet, why did it matter to her? He was not going to abandon her and make one of his lovers the Lady of the Western Lands, as she currently was, and yet she still got angry.

"You want me to get rid of my concubines?"

"That's exactly what I want! I want them gone!" She growled.

He frowned. "No."

"Then I have every right to take my own lover."

"You will not. Even if I were tempted to allow such a thing you have not fulfilled your duties as my mate to bear me an heir."

"Well maybe that's because my mate is always off screwing someone else," she snarled back at him.

"Something easily rectified."

With a swipe of his claws the remainder of her kimono was gone and un-wearble. He loosed his own clothes with a speed that was almost frenzied, and before she could do anything he thrust hard inside her. She cried out, a harsh, sharp sound that seemed to resound in his ears. A familiar sound he'd heard on many occasions on nights like these.

Their mating was a frenetic affair. One that left him collapsed over her, breath heavy against her cheek. He growled, an unfriendly sound.

"Get off me."

He raised his head. "You dare to give me orders?"

"We've mated during my fertile period, go the hell away."

He was tempted to take her again, but her presence angered him more than it caused him to be desirous. Somehow their mating sessions during her fertile period always turned into struggles of power. She got hormonal and bitchy about his concubines and he ended up being rough with her.

That was the cycle of their relationship. Argue. Rut. Growl. Argue. It's all they ever did even when she wasn't in heat.

He pulled away from her sharply, dressing and left. He was too angry to deal with her now.

Kagome remained, laying on the scraps that had once been fine clothing. 'Lady of the Western Lands' indeed she thought bitterly. If this was what being a 'Lady' meant, she didn't want it. She never had. Her stupid father - she wanted to hate someone for her place in life. She wanted to hate someone for being in the position she was. She wanted to hate him for making her feel so unwanted. For things always being the way they were between them. Harsh and hard.

Her bottom lip quivered and she bit it mercilessly trying to bite back her sobs. She couldn't even pick herself up. She heard noise at the door and a quiet knock before it slid open.


A small female voice.


The servant had actually managed to track her down, amazing. Sango was really quite something else. Or maybe she'd just followed Sesshoumaru if that was at all possible.

She eyed her mistress, lying there naked and still on the floor. It was nothing new to her; she'd come across her master's mate in this position many times. Kagome always had the same expression, looking somewhere between furious and heartbroken.

"I brought you another kimono."

Kagome forced herself to sit up. "I hate him," she growled at her servant, pulling on the elaborate robe as Sango helped her to fasten the obi.

"Yes, but... didn't you notice him watching you?"

"He always watches me." Kagome replied.

"Yes, but... you knew you were going into heat ... he was bound to be on edge and..." she trailed off, clearly uncomfortable.

"Just say whatever it is. I'm not going to hurt you or anything." She replied, looking down at her youkai claws. She'd wondered often if her human servants were afraid of her as they were of her mate.

"You knew you were in heat and you knew he was watching you and you were 'friendly' with Kouga-sama anyway. He was bound to react this way."

Her shoulders slumped. She couldn't be angry with her servant for telling her the truth. "I wasn't thinking about him."

"You really are still in love with Kouga-sama then?" Kagome shot her a surprised look. Sango shifted. "I...I've heard rumors," she admitted sheepishly.

"He... Kouga, I've known him a long time. He always used to say 'you'll be my woman someday' when I was growing up. He always made me feel beautiful and wanted. I grew up to be the Lady of the Western Lands, the most prestigious title I could get. Every young girl I knew dreamed of it, but if I could, I'd leave here. I would shame myself, my family, him, and his family just for the chance to get away from him. Because it all hurts so much..."

She collapsed down to her knees, and Sango pulled her into an embrace. This too was a scenario familiar to the servant. "It'll be all right Kagome-sama." She always said it; Kagome always replied it wasn't true. Tonight she'd say something different.

"If I thought that Kouga could bear the shame of stealing someone else's mate, let alone Sesshoumaru's I'd go. If I thought we could survive and not be caught by the men he'd send to hunt me down, I'd be gone."

"Are you going back to the party, Kagome-sama?"

"Back to the bastard's gathering? I don't think so."

Sango could only nod, silently sympathizing with her mistress.

Sesshoumaru sat quietly in the dining room, eyes, and ears sharp for sound. Beside him a presence stirred.


He begrudgingly turned to the voice and found his father.

"I would like to speak with you privately."

There was an odd tone to his voice compelling him further to follow his father. He was led to a sidewall that opened onto an expansive balcony. They stepped out, closing the doors and shutting the sound out. Inutaisho walked to the railing, peering over.

"I did not wish to say anything believing it an intrusion upon your personal affairs but ... It does not seem to be improving on it's own as I thought it would."

His father turned back to face him.

"I mean your relationship with Kagome."

Sesshoumaru bristled slightly and said nothing.

"Kagome is a sweet girl, I have known her since she was born, but you are going about relating to her in a bad way. I know how you tend to be, forcing your way with people, but this will only cause her to cling more desperately to her feelings for the wolf. "

Sesshoumaru's eyes revealed the turmoil his relationship with her was causing him when his voice refused to do so.

"Her attachment to him stems from a long relationship from her childhood. She grew up idolizing him and he fed her promises of being his mate when she grew up. He may have meant them, he might not have, but he charmed Kagome. I do not believe she truly loves him, but rather she seems to be seeking something from him you are not providing for her. Remember, Kouga was the first male to shower her with attention."

Sesshoumaru's chin rose up a bit higher. "You mean to tell me there is something that idiot can give her that this Sesshoumaru cannot?"

Inutaisho chuckled and Sesshoumaru shot him a glare.

"Females are females, youkai or human. They require a certain amount of care and attention. My mate, Nijiko, did not growl at me when I retired to my chambers."

The grin on his father's face was beyond annoying. It was condescending in the highest degree.

Sesshoumaru tore his gaze from his father and turned it out into the darkness. This was really the last place he desired to be.

"Be gentler with her," he urged. "Kagome ... Kagome is a woman that needs to be loved. That is the best way to say it. I worry about her stability with you. Although it is impolite of to me to say so, I have overheard her confide in her servant she desired to leave you."

His eyes widened. Did she really hate him that much? Was her growling at him more than an unhappy mood? Perhaps... she truly loathed him?

He motioned to the door. "Go find her. Remember to go slow, be gentle with her, she will guide you. Do not be overly aggressive, drop your guard, and allow her to see you. She is your mate, you should be able to trust her above all others. Remember that, and your situation will improve and Kouga will cease to be a threat to you."

Sesshoumaru frowned, leaving quietly. He didn't know what to do about her. His father had had two mates, and he could never recall any of them acting as Kagome did. He'd certainly never heard his mother whining over his father's concubines. When he'd had them. He'd dismissed them after he'd taken a second mate who had since died leaving Kagome with the title "Lady of the Western Lands." His father currently had a human mate, who was by law, excluded from bearing the regal title because she was human.

He stepped out of the crowded hall finding his way back to the side room, but found it empty. Her scent lingered in the room, as had another's, her servant. He followed the path of her scent back to his chambers; surprised she would retire there. Usually after a night like this one she avoided him until he came looking for her. He slid the door open, half expecting to find her asleep, but the room was lit. He stepped within completely, she was standing by the window, back to him, but her frame visibly stiffened as she became aware of his presence.

He quietly approached, unsure. She remained turned away, ignoring him. He reached out, fanning his fingers across her head and stroking down through her raven locks gently. She turned slightly, her eyes on him almost suspiciously.

"Isn't it rather early for you?"

He ignored the comment, moving the dangerously clawed hand to her face, running his fingers gently down her skin. It reminded him of one or two rare arguments that had turned into battles. Blood. He remembered her blood. He'd bit her once as he had tonight trying to subdue her only to have her bite him back a move that left him stunned. Things had only escalated into a battle that spotted the floor with their blood and ended with another rough mating session.

Not to say there hadn't been the good times, rare as they were. They were far out numbered by the bad times.

He dropped his hand to her shoulder, pulling her forward and she fell against his chest, face against his clothes. He wrapped his arms hesitantly around her, puzzled by her trembling. She settled, her tension seeming to fade as her chin tilted up to meet her eyes with his.

She silently questioned him, but he had no answer. He willed himself to relax but found he could not. He was unsure of what to do and she was not responding in any way. Moments later he felt her breathing shift, and abruptly glanced down again to find her crying. Sobs reached his ears, and he continued to hold her gently against him.

He stroked her shoulders absently. Her arms came up to wrap around him causing him to stiffen temporarily. Unconsciously he began to relax as her warmth pooled over him. His head lowered of it's own accord breathing in more of her gentle fragrance and he noted her tears seem to have subsided.

"What are you doing?"

Her voice held no malice or even challenge. It was a rather resigned, almost hopeless tone. He didn't know what to say. He shifted, sliding his body away slightly enough to lean down and scoop her up into his arms. He laid her down over their bed, nuzzling his head softly against her, her body finally relaxing completely. A soft sigh escaped her lips and he felt some of his own tension fade away.

His breath warmed her skin as he kissed along her neck, sliding his hands gently over her shoulders finding her collar and pulling weakly at the material. He slid it away slowly, her scent tantalizing him, urging him to stop wasting time but he squashed the feeling. He continued onward, moving the material only far enough for his lips to trace over the still warm skin. He paused to slide his hands beneath her, pulling her up and loosing the tie around her waist, sliding it away and tossing it off to one side.

She seemed mesmerized by him running her hands across his shoulders as though he were new to her. She pressed against the silk and he sloughed it off allowing her to run her hands across his bare flesh. His muscles jumped under her touch as he forced himself to remain still under her ministrations. Her eyes were aglow with warmth, and she was delicately smiling at him. Her hands smoothed back around his neck, fingers through his hair. He could feel the slight pressure of her nails at the back of his neck.

"It's okay, relax a little bit."

It was hard, surprisingly so. He would relax and then tense again in the next moment. He kept worrying her expression would turn stormy and she'd begin hurling words at him, but she was quiet and compliant allowing him to press her into the bedding without challenging his domination of her. As her hands stilled around his neck he lowered himself once more, continuing to slide his lips across her shoulders. Soft, pink red streaks remained over her shoulder from where he'd bitten her a bit earlier. He gently lapped at them, reveling at the sweet taste of her.

He raised himself to kiss the wound he'd so thoughtlessly inflicted upon her. His tongue sliding over the impressions of his teeth. She hissed slightly, but she remained soft, hands even threading through his hair. He pulled the robe open to find she had not redressed from their earlier encounter and was bare to his view. Her chest rose softly and repetitively. He sat back running his hands over her and she seemed to arch up against him. Her eyes shown with a trust that belied their previous encounters. Some painful - usually for her, but sometimes too for him as well as she put those sharp claws of hers to use in his flesh. He'd limped away from their sessions once or twice, but limped proudly having subdued the wild cat in his bedroom.

He found himself grinning down at her. This was actually not as difficult as previously thought. He leaned down to her once more, lips against hers, tongue stroking her bottom lip. His breath seemed to hitch slightly as he struggled to hold back the possessive growl he felt welling within him. No growling, he thought. The beaten back sound escaped him despite his struggle against it and to his horror sounded more like a purr than a growl. He immediately frowned, he sounded like a kicked puppy. Her amused laughter snapped him out of his thoughts; he glanced up into her eyes dancing with joy.

"That's cute."

He opened his mouth to tell her he was many things, but never cute and then caught himself. He snapped his jaw closed, dropping his head a bit lower to nip gently at the underside of her jaw, sliding himself down her body. His lips trailed down her neck, sliding down the smooth flesh of her chest.

Her name was on his lips, about to slip when something drifted across his nose. A scent that sent shivers of fury through him like a case of the chills. His body tensed, rising up slightly away from her warmth. His thoughts turned away from his young mate to the presence he was sensing in the hall. Then, sure enough, a knocking came upon the frame and he shot up like lighting.


The growl he'd been trying to hold back broke forth, as he threw the door open, reaching, clawing for the throat of the person before him. Kouga impacted hard with the opposite wall; air unable to reach his lungs as Sesshoumaru's hand clamped around his throat.

Behind him, he heard her movement. Her arms enclosed around him, pressing her warmth against his frame. The gentleness of her hold was a stark contrast with the pressure he was exerting over the wolf.

"Release Kouga-kun, Sesshoumaru."

He ignored her.

"Stop it! You're ruining it! You're both ruining it! What are you trying to do to me?!"

Her arms dropped away from him and he closed his claws on the wolf momentarily and shoved him away. Kouga stumbled and righted himself. Sesshoumaru turned to her. She was several feet away by the door, arms across her chest, her robe loosely tied about her waist. Crying.

"Kagome-" Kouga started forward when Sesshoumaru turned a nasty glare in his direction and a warning growl. The lesser youkai immediately backed away but didn't leave.

"Why do you have to make it more difficult? I'm trying to make this work. I shouldn't bother, but I'm trying anyway, and then you start acting like this again!" She snapped, turning up her teary eyes at him.

"Of course, you'd rather run off so you could screw the wolf!" He accused.

"It has nothing to do with him!" she snarled. "Stop blaming your weakness on him! It's not his fault! It's yours!"

She glared at him, eyes narrowed dangerously in anger.

His entire body tensed. His gaze flickered to the wolf youkai some feet down the hall. "You are intruding upon our conversation, go away Kouga."

There was nothing in his voice. No growls, no threatening tones - it was empty. It was utterly terrifying. Sesshoumaru could almost feel the fear rising off his mate and the wolf. Kouga almost tripped over himself in his attempt to escape the youkai lord who looked about to pounce on him and tear him open.

Kagome however seemed to be able to squelch her fear as she turned her back on him and retreated back into the bedchamber. He admired her ability to do so as he followed her in the room, closing the door behind him.


She sighed heavily. "Go away Sesshoumaru. Your concubines should keep you entertained enough."

"Now you dare to give me orders?"

"I don't feel like bothering with you."

"Do you wish to be cast off? So that you could run off without fear of me chasing after you and then you could rut with the wolf?"

She spun towards him, her hand raised, slapping him hard against his cheek, her claws leaving delicate scratches. He could've stopped her. He could've prevented the 'punishment', but didn't. He stared down icily into her fiery eyes.

"What is it with you? So obsessed with Kouga despite me telling you again and again he has nothing to do with anything! I have never done anything to debase myself. I was a virgin when I first came to you and I have been with no one but you. I have been more loyal to you than you deserve. Always obeying, supporting you in public, never questioning you, but you can't make the slightest effort to make me happy? As if I ask for so much from you!"

The silent standoff continued. No movement. No words. Just silence. Finally her stance slackened and she sighed.

"Just go away. This was a complete waste of time, just like everything else with you."

She turned, intending to move away from him. He reached out, claws piercing through the robe and pricking against her skin.


It was low, soft. As though he wished to convey an apology he couldn't lower himself to offer her. He leaned to her, nuzzling his face at her neck, pushing aside her hair and running his tongue along her soft skin. She didn't tense or push him away. He coiled his arms around her, stepping close, letting all the anger and comments from earlier fade away as her skin warmed his. He reached around, slipping his claws through the tie at her waist and drawing the robe off. He thought off-handedly he really needed to stop ruining all her clothes.

He turned her, pressing her against his chest, enclosing her in his embrace. How was he supposed to know how to make her happy? She never spoke to him other than to yell about his concubines or when they were attending to official business together. Half the time she went out of her way to avoid him, being huffy over something he'd said.

If he wasn't being so personally offended by the whole mess he might have just given her up as a lost cause. But this was his mate; he owed her his time as much as he disliked the thought.

"Don't be so possessive and rough. " She reached up, slipping her arms around his neck. "I'm yours... give me a little space, I'm not going anywhere. Stop being so hard on me."

She pulled back a bit to raise her hand gently to his face, tracing the small scratches she'd made there.

"You come in here every night like you just caught me trying to sneak out a window or something. Half the time I end up getting hurt and.. and... I shouldn't feel dirty when you leave me. I shouldn't have to feel like I'm being raped by my own mate and you make me feel that way. Would... would it be so hard for you to go slow? I don't need you to continuously prove to me you're stronger than I am..."

Raped? He almost hissed. Did he really make her feel that way? Disgraced? Shamed?

His father had been right then. He had been handling her wrong. He had not learned, as he should have, how to treat her, he had simply continued to press his own way and she continued to be defiant.

He pulled her back to him, folding down onto the futon, laying her beneath him. His voice hitched on the words. The words he owed her that she deserved to have from him. He leaned close, his lips pressing against her ear.

"I'm sorry..."

A mere whisper, a ghost of a phrase that no one but her would ever have been able to overhear, for she was the only person deserving of it. She wrapped her arms around him again, having fallen away earlier when she spoke and pulled him down against her. A small smile graced her lips.

"Thank you."

"Damn Sesshoumaru? Why isn't he here? He's never late," Inuyasha snapped tossing an irritated glance down at his father. "Not even Kagome's here!"

Inutaisho merely ignored his youngest son and his antics, while they waited. He hoped Sesshoumaru's absence was for the better, but time would tell if they had healed their wounds.

Kouga, also seated at the table was suspiciously silent, not even daring to raise his voice to argue with Inuyasha.

Finally the door slid open and Sesshoumaru stepped inside. Behind him, in stepped Kagome, turning her gaze toward Inuyasha.

"Cease your yapping! I could hear you halfway down the hall, idiot!"

His expression twitched. "Yeah! Well if you hadn't been late-"

"Quiet," Inutaisho urged, cutting Inuyasha off.

"Er... you... you okay Kagome?" Kouga suddenly spoke up, looking at her concerned.

Everyone in the room seemed to turn their attention toward them. She looked back, as though having before not noticed him and smiled reassuringly. "I am all right."

She looked back to find Sesshoumaru's gaze upon her. He was not yet growling or glaring but she could keenly pick up his displeasure. She reached silently for him, pressing her hand in his and smiled, nodding weakly once as though to reassure him she was his. His hand entwined with hers and for once, his eyes didn't fall on the wolf with disdain, but complete indifference. The room seemed to heave a collective sigh of relief as they took their seats together.

Inutaisho watched them, his happiness at their apparent reconciliation unconcealed.

It was almost a different world some short few weeks later. Kagome smiling softly at him, teasing him periodically through the day. Softly spoken words that reminded him of the insatiable passion they had discovered that had not been there before. The overflowing love he'd thought he'd seen in her eyes for Kouga seemed to have vanished and now appeared when she looked at him. More so than that, the young Lady of the Western Lands discovered she had finally conceived, and Sesshoumaru's first heir would be born soon.

He found her outside, staring out over a hill at the setting sun. He approached quietly, quelling the urge he had to tackle her where she stood and instead moved to stand beside her. She looked up at him with a smile.

"So... there's only one thing left you need to do for me," she said with a smile.

"What's that?"

"Get rid of the concubines."

He turned his gaze down at her, a grin spreading over his lips. Amusement lit in his bright gold eyes that had never appeared before, but both now enjoyed. "You dare to give me orders, woman?"

She threw her arms around him. "One way or another." She winked. "I'll have my way in the end."

[The End. ]

Author's Notes: Finished! Yes! I've wanted to finish this for weeks! ^_^ I must have changed the title 15 times... *sigh* Still don't like it, but *shrugs*, it's what I'm keeping. Thanks for reading.