Alrighty, so here's another fic that's been sitting around forever and I decided to type up today.  I know I know, I'm giving you a new Inuyasha fic when I've been neglecting "A fragile heart" for, well, ever, but you'll deal.  Besides, this doesn't count as writing new fics, since I'm just typing up an old one and that requires zero brain power from me, so there!*points at self wearing sign that reads "loves loopholes"*

So, I still don't own Inuyasha. . .though I would love to own Sesshomaru. . .in a state where he doesn't speak, because he's pretty much bound to say something obnoxious if he does. . .

So, without further adieu, I present, "Not Even if I Tried",  a Kouga/Sess ficcie!

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"Not Even if I Tried"

by: Banshee Puppet

one-shot

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If you would have told him a year ago, heck a few months ago, that he would be risking his own life to save that of a human child now, Sesshomaru would have looked at you, smiled slightly, and walked away, all the while thinking up new and interesting ways to say you were a few bats shy of a belfry, not all of them nice—actually, rest assured, most of them would be quite the opposite.

But, well, here he was and there she was, and there were those damn birds of paradise, and all he could think was, 'they will NOT touch my Rin.'

"Sesshomaru-sama is really strong!" Rin cheered.

She thought it was over; they both did.  He turned and gave her a smug little smile, as if to say, "well, of course I am," when she gasped.  "Sesshomaru-sama!"

But it was too late, the beast was wounded, but it still hit him hard enough to take down a small mountain, and now, his vision was red with blood, and his legs wobbled before he toppled over, the last words out of his mouth shaky at best. "R-Rin---" and then everything went black.

Those damn birds were at it again, and he'd been chasing this one down for half-a-day.  He was tired, but too blinded by rage to realize it.  He'd injured it twice already, and now, time for the kill.

"Haha! Gotcha!" he pronounced victoriously before getting a look around.

Half-a-dozen others, all very much dead, and the carnage was fresh.

He hadn't noticed the others immediately.

"Sesshomaru-sama, wake up!" the girl was pleading, but the other figure was obviously unconscious, if not worse.

A human girl, but the other was apparently a dog demon, much like Inuyasha, but also, nothing like the hanyou at all.

Curious, Kouga dropped to one knee and rolled the limp form over onto his back.  'Gods he's. . .beautiful!'  He scolded himself for the inappropriateness of the thought.

"Sesshomaru-sama won't wake up," the girl told him, sniffling and looking half-panicked over the situation.

'Alive, but in bad shape.  He won't be waking up for a while.'

"What's your name?" Kouga asked as he lifted Sesshomaru's shoulders off the ground with one arm.  'Can't believe I'm doing this.  Talk about impulsive.'

"Rin."

"Well, Rin.  This guy's hurt pretty badly.  Think I'll fix him up to return the favor of takin' care of these guys for me," he nodded at the fallen birds, knowing full well that wasn't the real reason.  'I'm curious about you,' he thought, looking down at the pale face as his other arm snaked beneath Sesshomaru's knees.  "You wanna come?"

Rin nodded.

"Alright, then climb onto my back and hold on tight."

'How am I gonna explain this to the guys?'

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"Hey Kouga what took you so. . .long?!?"

The pack blinked at him,  One injured dog demon in his arms, and a human girl riding piggyback.

He scowled at them, which was more than answer enough, as far as anyone was concerned.

"This guy killed a couple of those damn birds of paradise.  I'm just returning the favor," he stated authoritatively.

"…and the girl?"

Kouga shrugged a bit, as much as he could with his present burden, which Rin took as her signal to hop down.  It was obvious that she was very scared, staying quite close to Kouga, more scared even then she ought to be surrounded by a pack of wolves.  "She was with him.  We're taking care of her until he's able to do so himself again."

"What?!?  Kouga, you can't be serious!  Babysitting?"

"Rin is not a baby!" the little girl huffed with a stomp of her foot.  "Rin is going to make Sesshomaru-sama better again!"

'Sesshomaru…hey waitaminute!'  It just clicked into Kouga's occasionally underused brain and Kouga said.  "Don't worry Rin.  These idiots know well enough at least not to do anything to piss off the Lord of the Western Lands."

'Everyone's heard stories about you,' he thought as he lay Sesshomaru gently down.  'I've heard you're a cold, heartless bastard…but then there's the kid.  So there's got to be more to you than just that.'

The others had long since fallen asleep, even Rin, who cuddled up against Sesshomaru's tail, which was splayed out beside him.   Kouga was exhausted too, but he carefully, almost lovingly, washed the blood away, cleaned the wound that went through the other man's chest again, brushed fingers through the silken hair.  He was quickly becoming infatuated with that hair, the pale skin, those very kissable lips…

'Heh.  What could it hurt?  No one is awake to see it anyway…'  So he acted on the impulse and pressed a gentle kiss to the dog demon's unresponsive lips, immediately scolding himself.  'Who am I kidding, huh?  You're the Lord of the Western Lands, what could you possibly see in a guy like me?'

So Kouga adjusted himself on the other side of Rin, not daring to pillow himself up against that soft tail as she had done, no matter how much he might like to, and tried, finally, to get some sleep himself, wondering how he can find himself falling for someone he's only ever met whilst unconscious.

A gorgeous day like this, any wolf in his right mind would be out enjoying it, and most were, all really, save Kouga who was bedridden with the injured dog youkai, and Rin, who was so terrified of wolves that she hung onto Kouga like a tick.  And right now, she was telling him a story about Ah-un—whoever, or whatever, that was.  She was a cute kid though, and Kouga found himself listening idly whilst sitting with Sesshomaru's head in his lap as he worked out some of the tangles in his hair.  'A clever excuse to play with this beautiful hair,' he thought, and was glad that only Rin was here to see him doing it.

"Unh.  Rin.  Enough," Sesshomaru half-groaned awake, eyes squinting slowly open.  His mind was swimming; he couldn't seem to get his bearings, and then, it all came crashing back to him and he jolted upright, a very uncultured yelp escaping his lips before he could bite it back.  'Shit.'  He started falling back when he felt a pair of warm hands guiding him carefully back to his previous position.

"Hey careful!" the voice scolded, male, he registered vaguely.  "You're still pretty badly injured, not ready for all that yet.  Just stay still."

As his eyes opened all the way, they focused on Rin, who seemed to be fine, if a little more wide-eyed than ususal.

"Sesshomaru-sama!" she cheered, glomping onto his neck.  He said nothing, as usual, thinking about how degrading this all was, and wondering at the owner of the other voice and the hands which appeared to be studiously checking his wounds.

It was all he could do to contain his surprise—a wolf youkai, and this one was not at all haggard as the ones he'd encountered before.  A bit shaggy—no, that wasn't quite it—rugged, but also young in a just-out-of-innocence sort of way.  Handsome, really.  A little grave, but also a bit charming, the way he offered Sesshomaru an attempt at a comforting smile that was more than a little awkward.  And his eyes… 'his eyes are such a bright, intense blue—stunning, really…what the hell am I thinking?!?'

"Who are you?" he asked flatly.  "Not that I care.  I'm just curious."  'I've said something like that before, haven't I?  When was it?  And to who?' *

"My name is Kouga.  I'm…" 'I'm what?'  "The one who found you and Rin.  Anyway, you're probably hungry.  I'll find you something to eat.  Just sit still for now."

Kouga got up.  "You just sit here and watch after the puppy, alright kiddo?  Don't let him get up," he said.

" 'kay!" she beamed, turning to stare at Sesshomaru.

"Why?" Sesshomaru asked.

"Why what?"

"Why are you helping me?"

"You did me a favor by killing those damn birds.  So just consider it a thank you."

'A thank you?  But is that…the real reason?  I don't believe you.  Why don't I believe you?'…

"Alright.  Help me prop your head up so you can eat something."

"Don't waste your time."

"You'll heal faster if you eat.  Don't be so stubborn."

Sesshomaru sighed to himself as Kouga carefully lifted his shoulders, paying extra attention to the left, where the worst wound was. 

He fished his tail around under his head to prop himself up.  He surprised himself by finding that he genuinely missed the feel of Kouga's warm hands on his skin.

'What's happening to me?'  Sesshomaru wondered.  'I don't even know him,b ut all I want is to be near him.'

"Alright, say aah," Kouga grinned.  'It's a little awkward, but hie's even hotter when he's awake with all that stubborn pride of his.  Whoa—hot?  I think he's hot?!?  Hell yeah!  I can get used to this.  Having him around, even Rin—Ican even get used to having a cute little girl around, even if she is human.  Ya know—bit of a weirdness factor—but I'm sure the pack'll get used to it—whoa, getting a bit ahead of myself.  Ah shit, he just said something.  I'm acting like a total dork.'

"Huh?"

"I said I am quite capable of feeding myself."

"You're awfully stubborn, but that's okay.  So am I.  Now open up."

'Defeated again,' Sesshomaru thought.  'But I'm not trying very hard to win.  It's a good thing Rin is here though.  I wouldn't trust myself alone with him—Kouga—what is it about you?  Am I falling for you?  Me?  Is that even possible?  Do I want it to be possible?  I want…I want him.'…

Waking up in the middle of the night had never been this good.  Rin beside him, Kouga only an arm's length away.  He only wished Kouga was closer, or even…in his arms.  It had been almost three weeks, as best he could judge.  He'd be well enough to leave soon, if he wasn't already, but he didn't want to go.

Once, a long time ago, he'd had a family, but it wasn't real, not the way that Kouga's family was real—warm, loyal.  And he wanted to be part of something like that—with Rin, and with Kouga.  If the dreams he'd been having lately were any indication, he was falling in love with the wolf youkai.  'Who am I kidding?  Falling?  It's too late for that.'  He carefully rolled over onto his right side to better watch his love's sleeping form, the gentle weight of his breath, the way his little shaggy tail would occasionally flop or swoosh in hissleep, the tiny pout on his sleeping lips, so soft and pink in the moonlight.  More than once, Sesshomaru had dreamt of those lips, almost as if he'd tasted them once before and longed to do so again.

'Well, he IS asleep.  What harm could it do?'

He leaned over and brushed his lips over Kouga's gently, then pressed their lips together with just a bit more pressure, lingering for a second.  He gasped, startled, and pulled back when he felt a response.  Shocked and ashamed golden eyes met smirking blue.

"Why did you stop?" Kouga asked after a pause.

"I…" Sesshomaru mentally chastised himself for the blush he could feel on his cheeks.

Laughing lightly, Kouga reached over, inching a bit closer, and brushed the hair from his love's face, resting palm to cheek.  Kouga, rather shamelessly, leaned in and returned the gentle kiss, breaking the kiss, but curing his body up against Sesshomaru's.

"I know that I can't ask you to stay," Kouga said, cuddling into the arms that rested, just barely, around his shoulders and back.  "After all, you have responsibilities, to your lands, and to Rin.  It isn't fair to keep her here when she's so afraid of wolves.  And there are probably a million other things…but…I'd be lying if I said I didn't want you to stay."

"And you have a responsibility to your pack.  I know I have no right to ask you to come with me, Kouga…but…come with me."

"I can't."

"I know. So, since that's the case, let's just lie here like this for a while longer, for as long as we can, or, at least, until I fall asleep."

"Hn.  You'll always be welcome here, you know."

"Hn." Sesshomaru replied.

"…"

"…"

"Please don't forget me," Kouga whispered through a sleepy yawn.

"Kouga, love, I couldn't possibly.  Not even if I tried."

~The End~

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*  :  note—in the episode where Sess first meets Rin, he asks who gave her her bruises.  He justifies the question by saying, "I don't care.  I'm just curious."  This line is a reference back to that.

So, yeah, that's my Sess/Kouga ficcie.  Looking back, it's not terribly impressive, but I think it's what I like to call a valiant attempt.  Uhm, r&r, lemme know what you think, so if and when I try another Sess/Kouga (b/c I think the pairing has promise), I can learn from your thoughts and opinions…and maybe next time I'll be able to keep them slightly more in character.  I'm still working on that. *shrugs*  Ah well, for now, this is what we've got, so deal.  Until next time,

Happy Haunting,

Banshee Puppet