Deathtree

Summary: Years and years after the quest for the Shikon No Tama is complete, Inuyasha lies dying. Guess who shows up at his side, hoping to get in a few last words? Mentions of IY/Kag, Sess/Rin, S/M. KLEENEX WARNING!

Genre: Angst/general

Mojobubbles: *smiles weakly* Hi, guys.....how have you all been? Life has been really....really.....weird.

Oh, yeah, and about the title......Well, you'll see. ^_^

Quick note...... 'nii' is a stem that means 'older brother', and 'sama' shows tons of respect.....so niisama is like 'respected big brother'.

'Nother quick note.....I wrote a good portion of this forgetting that for just about all of the series Sesshomaru has one arm.....^_^ I tried to go back and change all the parts where I wrote it as though he has two arms, but if you find a mistake or two don't kill me for it.....XD

**********************

Inuyasha pretended not to notice the definite decrease in his stamina, but it was hard. He was old for hanyou standards, and impossibly old for human standards, being 177. Of course, it was rather hard to tell; his face betrayed no signs of old age.

Well, there were his eyes.

You looked into his golden orbs, and you saw a soul that had seen the world go by. You saw a soul that had seen much pain and not enough love. That was one of the decisive issues that showed when a youkai (or hanyou, obviously) was close to death's door.

Rather quickly, the condition of the famed Inuyasha, one of the few who'd faced Naraku and lived to tell about it, spread by means of wagging tongues all across Japan.

Eventually, the news reached the pointed ears of a certain lonely old dog- demon, and he set off at once.

**********************

His head told him to fight, but his heart told him to let go, to go be with them all.

Inuyasha missed them all so much he could scream.

After Naraku was defeated, Kagome found she couldn't possibly say goodbye to her friends forever. Maybe it was Kagome's miko powers, or maybe fate was just being nice, but she somehow was able to continue to travel between her time and the Sengoku Jidai.

Inuyasha and Kagome had felt that a relationship would never work. But then, of course, it can be hard to get your heart to listen to your head, and they went and fell in love anyway.

Nevertheless, overall the life that Inuyasha and Kagome shared was wonderful. They even had a daughter, Aiko. Sango and Miroku had a son as well, Kioshi, and the two children grew up together. Kioshi was clearly his father's son, if you know what I mean......

Kioshi matured eventually, however, and he and Aiko had a child of their own.

Life was, for the most part, perfect.

But weeks of bliss turned to months and months turned to years, and slowly the people that Inuyasha had grown to love and trust began to die.

That was when he understood why those of demon blood and humans weren't meant to be.

And now, Inuyasha knew he was dying. He figured death would be a bit of a relief. There was no point in living anymore, really......

Inuyasha walked slowly, like a decrepit old man, through the very woods where he had first met Kagome.

Finally, he came to what he was looking for. He stood in front of the Bone Eaters' Well, feeling the same respect one would feel when facing a defeated enemy who'd fought valiantly.

"You stupid old well...." he smiled wryly. "You went and screwed up everything......" He stepped away from the well and found himself standing in front of the Goshinboku. He took a deep breath.

He mustered up what he was sure was the last of his strength and managed to pull himself up into it's branches.

Breathing heavily, Inuyasha leaned back against the boughs, the leaves blurring and engulfing him in a sea of green. Inuyasha slowly closed his eyes.

"Don't you dare leave yet," echoed a sharp, cold voice throughout the clearing. "I'm not done with you."

Inuyasha smirked and didn't bother opening his eyes. Normally he would've been shocked at the voice, but now he felt almost as if anything was possible. "Leave me alone. Can't you see I'm busy dying?"

"Don't you think it's a bit overly ironic, dying here, again, in this very tree, Inuyasha?"

Inuyasha opened one eye and looked down at this intruder.

"Well, I'm not exactly gonna be going out with a bang, am I, Sesshomaru? So just let me die in peace."

Sesshomaru smirked.

"And what are you so happy about?" Inuyasha asked, his voice rising slightly in anger. "You gonna kill me like this, Sesshomaru?"

"Of course not," Sesshomaru scoffed. "I have honor, little brother."

Inuyasha 'feh'd. "Coulda fooled me...." he muttered.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Sesshomaru asked.

Inuyasha pulled himself up into a sitting position. "Oh c'mon. Don't tell me you've forgotten......"

"Forgotten what?" Sesshomaru asked impatiently.

Inuyasha swallowed. "Have you really forgotten? Have you really forgotten what it was like when I called you 'niisama'?"

Sesshomaru froze. "Of course......you idiot, of course I haven't forgotten....."

*******************

Sesshomaru stood in the doorway, staring down at *that woman*, watching his little brother holding her hand and telling her to fight.

It was hopeless. The wench was so weak, so afraid of pain she simply let go and let herself die. It was disgusting.

Sesshomaru looked down at Inuyasha, his tiny body shaking with sobs, and clenched his hands into fists. What about him? What about her son, her poor hanyou son? He was neither demon nor human......he belonged nowhere. Inuyasha would grow up and face taunts, threats, attempts on his life, and more, just because he was a half-breed.

What-or who-would be Sesshomaru's little brother's safe haven now?

Suddenly, Inuyasha's mother cried out in pain, her whole body going rigid.

Sesshomaru's eyes widened.

"Mama," Inuyasha whispered, shocked out of his crying. "No....."

"I-I'm sorry," she said, smiling weakly. And with that, she lay back on the pillow, her grip on Inuyasha's hand loosening. But before she died, she turned to Sesshomaru. "Keep him safe," she whispered, in such a quiet voice that no one with normal hearing would've been able to pick it up. She groaned softly, and her eyes fluttered closed.

Sesshomaru stared down at her, eyes wide. That was it......she was dead.....

Inuyasha suddenly sprang up, staring at his mother's body.

"N-niisama," Inuyasha gasped, stumbling backwards.

Sesshomaru abruptly darted forward, catching his little brother before he fell.

"Niisama!!!!" Inuyasha yelled, grabbing his brother's arms and squeezing so hard Sesshomaru felt the circulation being cut off.

Suddenly, Sesshomaru heard thunderous footsteps echoing down the hall. Sesshomaru looked down at his brother, still clutching Sesshomaru's arms and breathing quickly.

If their father was coming........they'd have to leave. Sesshomaru knew from experience how their father got when things went wrong, and this thing was the ultimate wrong.

"Inuyasha......come on," Sesshomaru murmured, gently pulling his brother.

Inuyasha stood, however, with his feet firmly on the ground. "No, I'm not GOING!"

Sesshomaru sighed in annoyance. Knowing he was much stronger than his brother, Sesshomaru wrapped both arms around Inuyasha's waist and plucked him off the ground.

"NO!" Inuyasha screamed, trying to shove his brother away. "GET OFF ME!!!!!"

Sesshomaru slowly left the room, Inuyasha still fighting tooth and nail to get free. Finally, his grip on his brother's arms relaxed, and he slumped against Sesshomaru. "Mother......"

Finally reaching his room, Sesshomaru shoved the door closed and set Inuyasha down. The hanyou collapsed to his knees, shaking.

"Why won't she wake up?" he whispered.

"Because she's dead," Sesshomaru said flatly, crouching down on the floor in front of Inuyasha.

"No she's not!!!" Inuyasha yelled. "She's sleeping and she won't wake up!!!!"

"Inuyasha......."

"SHE'S SLEEPING!!!" he screamed, sudden rage coursing through his body. He raised his small fist and threw all of his anger into a single punch directed right at his brother's face.

Sesshomaru held up one hand and caught Inuyasha's fist. He blinked at the hanyou, who stared up at him, his eyes wide.

Without warning, Inuyasha slumped against Sesshomaru and sobbed.

Sesshomaru sighed again in annoyance, resting one hand on top of his brother's head.

But then he looked down at the hanyou, and something stirred deep in his heart.

He remembered the woman's last words to him........

'Keep him safe.'

He remembered how disgusted he'd been watching her give up her life, when her son would be all alone in the world, and be ridiculed and scorned for what he was.

'Who – or what – will be his safe haven now?' Sesshomaru asked himself again, but this time, he knew the answer. 'Who will love him now?'

"'Ssomaru.......I dun wanna be alone," Inuyasha mumbled, his voice muffled.

Sesshomaru suddenly leaned forward and wrapped his arms around Inuyasha and scratched his ear. "But you're not," he said softly. "I won't let anyone hurt you."

Inuyasha said nothing, only snuggled closer to his brother.

*****************

Sesshomaru swiftly and elegantly clambered up in the tree and sat next to his brother, saying nothing.

Inuyasha 'feh'd again. "What are you doing here, anyway?" he asked sharply, turning away.

"I heard you were dying," Sesshomaru said softly, shrugging gracefully.

"Yeah, well, I want to die," Inuyasha replied. "I have nothing to live for anymore."

"I don't doubt that. Your 'friends'.....and your human wench......she's dead, isn't she?"

Inuyasha glared at Sesshomaru. "Don't you dare speak that way about Kagome," he spat.

Sesshomaru didn't say anything.

"Heeeyyy...." Inuyasha paused. "What about that human that always followed you around? Rin, wasn't it?"

Sesshomaru didn't meet Inuyasha's gaze. He stared straight ahead. "She's been dead for years."

Inuyasha shrugged. "....Sorry....."

Sesshomaru shook his head. "I knew she would die....you knew they all would die....."

Inuyasha blinked. "Well, yeah, I guess, but knowing doesn't really make it hurt any less."

Neither said anything.

Inuyasha snorted suddenly. "Do you remember that brown ball? Remember how I'd make you throw it and I'd go chase it and we'd do that for hours....Gods, I must have looked so stupid...."

"And you did," Sesshomaru replied, a rare smile gracing his features.

"Hey....." Inuyasha stared in shock. "You're smiling...." He smiled bitterly and turned away.

"You know, it made me feel like I was king of the world when you'd smile at me like that and tell me I'd grow to be a great fighter. It made me feel.....like I was more than a hanyou. And then 70-some years later you're all, 'Inuyasha, your blows are wild' or 'Inuyasha, you swing that sword like it was a log' or 'Silly half-breed, know your place in the world'.....

"Sesshomaru, why did everything change?! It's been haunting me for so long....! I mean.....it shouldn't have mattered. It shouldn't have mattered that I wasn't pureblood....."

"Are you making this up?"

Inuyasha grinned. "Nope. If you start giving me a hard time, I'll just throw myself out of this tree and die right then.

"That's the whole point of a deathbed, isn't it?" He smirked. "You can say whatever you want and it doesn't matter 'cause you're gonna die anyway."

"Hn," Sesshomaru scoffed. "It's pointless, confessing things one's been feeling for years right before they die." His eyes wandered and came to rest on Tenseiga, at his hip.

Inuyasha observed him warily. "You're not planning to revive me in order to kill me yourself, are you?"

"No," Sesshomaru answered without hesitation. "You're dying, and you wish to die. Inuyasha, I'm not going to go against your dying wish in order to fulfill a silly grudge."

" 'Silly grudge'?" Inuyasha repeated in disbelief. "The Tetsusaiga is now just a silly grudge?"

"The Tetsusaiga doesn't matter anymore," Sesshomaru answered sharply.

"Alright, alright, fine," Inuyasha said defensively. But there was something about Sesshomaru's eyes....he was remembering something.

*********************

Many, many years ago, Rin got sick.

A few years before that, Sesshomaru had set Jaken free after the toad-demon happened upon a clan of his own kind.

Rin had, of course, stayed with Sesshomaru.

Sesshomaru knew he shouldn't have been so hasty, especially in all the wind and the rain. But he had been sure Rin had been staying warm enough.....and yet here she was, only in her mid-twenties, and she was terribly sick.

The two had stumbled upon an empty shack, and although it was a bit too shabby for Sesshomaru's taste, it would have to do.

Sesshomaru had wrapped Rin in a blanket, made sure she was as comfortable as possible, and waited.

"Sesshomaru-sama....." she whispered weakly. He turned to her.

"You should be asleep," he said roughly.

She smiled weakly. "Are you going to be alright without me?"

"Go to sleep, Rin," Sesshomaru commanded, his voice shaking ever so slightly.

"I'm sorry I'm such a nuisance," she continued feebly. "If it weren't for me, you wouldn't be so delayed......."

"No, don't talk like that," Sesshomaru said softly, scooting closer to her.

"Sesshomaru-sama," she whimpered, suddenly fighting back tears.

"What is it?" he asked softly, hesitantly reaching out and touching her arm.

"Don't.....don't revive me with Tenseiga."

Sesshomaru looked at her, startled. "But...why?"

"B-because I'm a human. We die."

"But with Tenseiga......you could live forever...."

"I know, but that's not how things are meant to be. You're practically immortal.....I don't know how I could get you to understand."

She took a shaky breath. "Almost my whole l-life has been borrowed time, Sess.....Sesshomaru-sama......

"Please......i-it's my dying wish....."

"Rin....."

"I-I want you to know......." Suddenly, her frail body shook with coughs. Blood trickled down her chin.

"Rin....." Sesshomaru repeated, wiping away the blood. She smiled up at him and closed her eyes.

"Burn my body, please......scatter my ashes on a windy day, and I promise my soul will always be with you......" she whispered.

Sesshomaru reached out and held her. "Rin, no....."

She took her last breath. "I.....won't forget you.....d- don't....for....forget......"

"I won't forget you," Sesshomaru whispered. He blinked a few times. All the damn smoke hurt his eyes........

Rin smiled, and she was gone.

Sesshomaru held her body close to his heart, and that night, some of the ice around it melted.

********************

Back in the present, Sesshomaru clenched his hand into a fist. Inuyasha looked at him.

"What's your problem?" Inuyasha blinked.

"Nothing," Sesshomaru sighed. "I wasn't even sure exactly why I saved her......I think I understand, now....."

"Who.....Rin?" Inuyasha asked.

Sesshomaru nodded. "She reminded me of someone....."

"Who?"

"You."

Inuyasha looked taken aback. "Me?!"

"She was just like you at that age.....so eager to please, so innocent....."

'I wish I hadn't been that way,' Inuyasha thought. 'Then, maybe, when Sesshomaru came back it wouldn't have hurt so much......'

*************************

There was no doubt about it that Sesshomaru would grow to be a most feared demon.

At fourteen years old, he'd already shown his strength when demons had raided his home, demons that wanted to try their luck at plundering the treasures of the great dog-demon himself.

They said that Sesshomaru had the coldest eyes you'd ever see, and they'd whisper amongst themselves that the violet crescent, a symbol associated with only the strongest demons, was beginning to develop on Sesshomaru's forehead. All of them held the same image of Sesshomaru – a ruthless demon with the thirst for blood and a hatred for all human filth.

All of them, that is, except nine-year-old Inuyasha.

In Inuyasha's eyes, Sesshomaru was the most admirable person on the planet. All Inuyasha hoped for was to someday be at least half as good a fighter as his brother. And Sesshomaru often told him he was well on his way, even though a lot of them didn't even know Inuyasha existed.

But Sesshomaru was nearly old enough to be considered an adult by youkai standards. He was to journey to a secret place in the mountains, where he and other demons of well-to-do families would spend nearly a month growing as youkai.

Sesshomaru would've rather not gone at all, but he knew he had to go. He really had no choice.

Inuyasha would've rather Sesshomaru stayed as well; because he knew the other teenage youkai would take advantage of Sesshomaru's absence and do everything in their power to make Inuyasha miserable.

********************

Subconsciously, Inuyasha reached up and touched a scar on his temple. "When my body was younger, it didn't heal as well," he said slowly.

Sesshomaru looked over at him. "What-?"

"Do you remember Ryuuji and Hanasaki? Do you remember what they did to me?"

*************************

Eleven-year-old Sesshomaru sighed in slight annoyance as his servants continued to fuss over every detail. They had to make sure he looked completely 100% perfect.

Inuyasha, however, was a completely different story. He was allowed to run wherever he wanted, play with whatever he wanted......His hair was always a mess and his clothes were always dirty.

Maybe Inuyasha was allowed so much freedom because he was six years old, or maybe it was because his mother had died only a year before....but Sesshomaru was still jealous of his little brother.

Suddenly, Sesshomaru froze.

He could smell it. Inuyasha's blood.

"Move!" he cried, shoving away his servants and tearing out of the room.

Meanwhile, outside, behind the huge palace in which the brothers lived, Inuyasha fell into the dirt, blood running down the side of his face.

Ryuuji and Hanasaki, twin demon brothers with a reputation for being spoiled, bossy, and a bit slow on the uptake, stood over him, grinning.

Ryuuji flexed his claws, flicking off a few drops of Inuyasha's blood. Hanasaki smirked a kicked a cloud of dust in the hanyou's face.

Blinded with dirt, anger, and pain, Inuyasha lashed out at them, snarling. "GO AWAY!" he screamed. "LEAVE ME ALONE!"

Hanasaki grabbed his hair and pulled him up so they were face to face. Inuyasha screamed again and flailed. Ryuuji grabbed one of his ears in order to silence him.

"You're a loud little brat, you little asshole," Ryuuji hissed, cracking his knuckles. "Why don't I just rip your throat out?"

But before he could do anything, Inuyasha was snatched out of Hanasaki's grip by an unseen hand.

"What the hell-!?" Hanasaki growled in confusion.

"On your knees," came a cold voice to their right. "NOW."

They turned and stared in horror at the owner of the voice.

"Se-sesshomaru-sama....." they spluttered.

Because there was Sesshomaru, clutching Inuyasha tightly in his arms, looking angrier than he had ever been before.

Ryuuji and Hanasaki, though they were two years older than Sesshomaru, backed away, nearly hyperventilating.

"You will leave right now," Sesshomaru hissed. "You will never dare to show your disgusting faces on this property ever again. Because if you do.....I will *not* hesitate to kill you."

Ryuuji and Hanasaki stared in utter horror for a moment, before turning and running as fast as they could through the woods and away from the enraged demon.

Sesshomaru sighed and looked down at Inuyasha.

"Niisama," Inuyasha whimpered. "My face hurts....."

"I know," Sesshomaru said, smiling slightly, turning around and carrying his brother back to the house.

"Don't let Father see me," Inuyasha whispered. "I-I'm so weak....I couldn't fight them off....."

"No, no, that doesn't make you weak," Sesshomaru assured him. "You'll grow stronger, and more experienced, and no one will dare pick a fight with you."

"You mean that?" Inuyasha asked, lifting a tear-stained face, his golden eyes wide and hopeful.

"Of course I do," Sesshomaru smiled, scratching his little brother behind the ear.

After that incident, the two brothers were inseparable.

Inuyasha was determined to prove his strength, and Sesshomaru was eager to help.

Of course, there were still times when Inuyasha didn't act like a fierce- half-demon-in-training......For instance, during thunderstorms.

(KAWAII ALERT! O.o)

One such stormy night found Inuyasha wrapped in a blanket in his room, squeezing his eyes shut as to block out the blinding flashes of lightning that lit up his room.

He heard the door to his room slide open, and felt his heartbeat slow to a more normal pace as his brother's scent filled the room. He heard Sesshomaru walk over to him and sit down on the floor in front of the hanyou. "Can't sleep?" Sesshomaru asked.

Inuyasha poked his head out of the blanket and shook it.

"Come here," Sesshomaru said simply, opening his arms. Inuyasha scrambled gladly into his brother's lap.

"Father will be angry if you're too tired to concentrate on your studies, you know," Inuyasha murmured.

"I know," Sesshomaru sighed. "But I don't care."

"You're the best, Niisama," Inuyasha smiled, snuggling closer to his brother. "I love you."

"And I you," Sesshomaru replied, reaching out and scratching his brother's ear. Inuyasha's eyelids began to droop, and within moments he was asleep.

Sesshomaru smiled and shook his head, feeling sleep overtake him as well.

*********************

"Heh, they almost pissed their pants at the sight of you." Inuyasha smirked at the memory. The grin faded as he looked down at the whitish-pink scars on his knuckles.

"When did *that* happen?" Sesshomaru inquired, pointing at the marks.

Inuyasha didn't say anything.

*********************

(Got your Kleenex ready? This part is brutally sad....)

Sesshomaru did have to leave for the expedition that would mark his coming of age, even though both he and Inuyasha dreaded it. Before he had left, Sesshomaru had told his brother to look up at the stars, and to know that though they were miles apart, they would be looking at the same stars.

When they were alone, Inuyasha had thrown his arms around Sesshomaru's waist, but outside, standing with his father and the servants of the household, the half-demon was much more composed. He watched solemnly as his brother transformed into the huge white dog and drifted away.

Two weeks later, they received a letter from Sesshomaru, saying he would be home soon.

Inuyasha noticed that in his salutation Sesshomaru had neglected to mention his little brother, but Inuyasha was sure Sesshomaru had simply been pressed for time and had forgotten. Still, something didn't seem quite right........

One clear morning, Inuyasha suddenly leaped out of bed, a familiar scent teasing his nose. He jumped up and ran to the window.

"Sesshomaru's back!" he yelled happily, watching the great dog-demon appearing on the horizon. He tore outside to where Sesshomaru had walked up, still in dog form.

"Niisama!" the hanyou cried, running up and snuggling against his brother. But to Inuyasha's surprise, Sesshomaru shoved him away and began to transform.

Inuyasha was shocked at the change in Sesshomaru's features. The crescent moon on his forehead was darker than ever, and his eyes glowed red.

But the worst part was that Sesshomaru's eyes, normally so warm when they were fixed upon Inuyasha, were cold and unfeeling.

"Nii.....sama....?" Inuyasha murmured, staring in fear and confusion. He reached out to take his brother's hand.

However, Sesshomaru's hand flew out, striking Inuyasha across the face and sending the nine-year-old into the dirt.

"Niisama....." he gasped, his mouth hanging open, his cheek stinging.

"I have no time for weak half-breeds, Inuyasha," Sesshomaru said coldly, turning away and walking towards the house.

Inuyasha couldn't think straight. All his life, people had hated him for what he was – he didn't belong with the demons or with the humans. He had known this all along. At first, his mother had protected him, and when she died his brother had taken over.

But now.......Now Sesshomaru was just like them.

And Inuyasha was alone.

"NO!" he screamed, jumping up and running into the woods behind the house. Blinded by tears, he tripped over a tree root. Cursing and yelling, he pushed himself up and swung his fist into the trunk of the tree. He punched the tree with his other fist. Then the first fist. Then the second.

Again and again he hit the tree, each blow getting harder with each tear that ran down his face.

"I hate you," he hissed. "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you...."

His fists were bleeding. He didn't care.

"I HATE YOU, SESSHOMARU!!!! I HATE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

He collapsed to his knees, blood flowing steadily from the gashes on his hands. "I hate you," he sobbed. "I hate what the others must have said to you. I hate my mother. I hate my father. I hate m-myself......"

The next day, Sesshomaru woke, feeling as though something was amiss. He zeroed in on Inuyasha's room, and when he walked in he found a pile of bloody linens and an open window.

Inuyasha was gone, and Sesshomaru knew it was his fault.

*************************

"Where did you get those?" Sesshomaru repeated, bringing Inuyasha back to the present.

"When you came back," Inuyasha whispered. "From that....expedition thing in the mountains.......I hit a tree until I couldn't get my hands to stop bleeding......and then I ran away."

Sesshomaru turned away, pretending to be fascinated with his hand.

"Why?" Inuyasha whispered hoarsely. "What did they say to you?"

Sesshomaru didn't respond.

"Sesshomaru, come on!" Inuyasha yelled angrily. "I have to know, before I die!"

He flopped back against the tree's boughs, breathing heavily. "Please," he added, "Niisama."

"Alright, I'll tell you," Sesshomaru said finally, sounding pained. "With those youkai in the mountains......they were determined to do whatever it took to gain power. They said.....they said not to let anything stand in your way of what you wanted. And while I was there, I began to want power. I saw you as an obstacle, Inuyasha. They frowned deeply upon humans and human blood. I saw I could never have absolute power with you in my heart, Inuyasha. So I cast you out. And it was wrong.

"After you sniffed out the Wind Scar and defeated me with it, I realized pushing you away had gotten me nowhere. So when Rin came along, and she was so much like you, I cursed those youkai to hell and saved Rin."

"Sesshomaru......I've been wondering for so long, now......" Inuyasha smiled. "Thank you; I get it now."

"'Course, you did kinda save your ass...." he said slowly. "Because if you hadn't told me why you'd changed, my soul wouldn't be at rest and I'd have to haunt you.....which would be no picnic for either of us, I can tell you that."

Sesshomaru shook his head and smiled.

Inuyasha took a deep breath and leaned back. "I'm so tired," he said solemnly, and Sesshomaru no longer saw his little brother, ill-tempered and quick to anger, but an exhausted man who simply wanted nothing more than to die in peace.

"Go to sleep, then," Sesshomaru retorted.

"I think I will," Inuyasha replied shortly. He sighed and smiled wryly. "I've probably got less than three minutes to live and we're still fighting."

He turned and stared down at the ground below them. "Sesshomaru......" he said urgently. "I see them. Kagome.....Aiko....Sango and Miroku....Shippo....Kikyo....Sesshomaru, Rin's there.....Rin's with them....."

Sesshomaru swallowed. "Inuyasha......I'll give you a proper burial later, alright?"

Inuyasha didn't seem to hear him.

"Inuyasha......INUYASHA!" Sesshomaru yelled suddenly, grabbing Inuyasha roughly by the arm. Inuyasha turned slowly to him.

"N-no need to ye....yell...." Inuyasha choked. "I'm right here......"

"Inuyasha....." Sesshomaru whispered, closing his eyes. "Wait for me, alright? I know you still hate me, but......"

Inuyasha smirked. "Y-you're crying, aren't you.....I don't know whether to be honored or ju....just laugh at y-you...."

"I'm being serious," Sesshomaru said urgently.

"I'll......I'll......w-wait...."

Inuyasha took one more shaky breath, and suddenly went completely rigid. His head drooped slightly, his eyes half-open.

Sesshomaru stared in shock as the sound of his brother's pulse faded into nothingness.

Inuyasha was dead.

Sesshomaru reached out, his hand shaking, and closed Inuyasha's eyes. Sesshomaru stared at his palm for a moment, and traced one claw along it. He let his blood drip onto Inuyasha's face.

"No demons will go near you now," he said softly. "Not with the scent of my blood on you. Inuyasha.....I won't let anyone take you now."

He took a deep breath, and gently leaped out of the tree. He began to walk slowly from the clearing, the last conversation he'd had with his brother drifting through his head.

He turned for one final look at the blur of red and white lying in the branches of the Goshinboku.

"Stupid hanyou," he said, chuckling slightly. He turned and kept walking.

".....Goodbye...."

********************************

Mojobubbles: T.T SO SAD! XD

Yeah, about the title......see, instead of a deathbed, it was like Inuyasha's deathtree....get it? ^_^

I have a theory, though, that with all anime siblings at one time or another they got along......*shrugs* I didn't feel that Inuyasha and Sesshomaru were any exception! ^_^ So I've been trying to write a flashback involving sibling-fluff between the two of them for a while now, and I finally got to do that with Deathree.....

Well anyway, I'll shut up. Lemme know whatcha thought.