Pt 2

'Tonight sleep played the human's harlot,' Sesshomaru thought darkly as he stared over the slumbering slave village. He found it ironic that he owned the humans yet they were able to grasp the very thing that he now wanted most of all.

It was the middle of the night and he was still awake. Hours passed him by but still he was just as alert; sleep refused to come to him. His long silver hair that flowed loosely down to his waist stirred somewhat impatiently with the soft night breeze. Vaguely the young lord pondered waking Naraku out of spite, knowing full well that the dark-lord would do the same should their roles ever be reversed. The walls of this castle were thick, made to endure the long years that yokai live…yet through these very walls an obnoxious sound assaulted the inu's delicate ears…

"Damn it all to hell! Naraku snores!" Sesshomaru winced as the sound receded for a moment, then resumed its initial volume. He slid out of the large, soft bed and quietly opened the door. As expected, the long dark halls were empty. He had to go somewhere, anywhere that was quiet.

Outside a silver half moon glistened down on the countryside. The night animals kept up their music. Sesshomaru wandered aimlessly through it all, his mind elsewhere. Damn it, of all the damned schemes he had let Naraku talk him into in the past, this one was by far the most stupid. It was risky: who knew how the little bastard would respond to civilized life. Right now the person he pitied the most would be the poor baby Kagura.

Before long he found himself at the top of a hill…a hill with a perfect view directly into the half-breed's room.

The large windows were open and the heavy drapes thrown back. Inside the tiny figure lay huddled in the exact center of the bed. Sesshomaru didn't know what force propelled him forward but he blamed it on curiosity. A split second later he stood on the deck of the small porch outside the hanyou's window.

The boy was shivering even though he was under a proverbial mountain of blankets. He's too thin, Sesshomaru thought, eyeing Inuyasha's scrawny arms critically, and too small for a boy his age. The boy's hair was as white as Sesshomaru's but was cut much shorter. I'm going to have to find a handler for him…not a human though. He's been exposed to too many of them already. Inuyasha rolled over and sniffled in his sleep. The inu hadn't known quite what to expect when his father had admitted to having another son…but he was sure that this was not it.

He knew from early on that he would have to kill the runt…even worse when he found out the runt was half human. He had expected a monstrosity…but when the hanyou was asleep like this he could pass for an actual person. Sesshomaru wondered how a child born from sin could appear so… normal. Vaguely he pondered whether or not he could touch it. He felt like a child at a zoo staring at an animal the likes of which he had never seen. One little touch couldn't hurt, could it?

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Inuyasha had tossed and turned for hours. Everything here was wrong. The bed was too soft, the room too big, the walls too pretty, the food too good; the little boy was more than slightly swamped by everything that went on at once. Finally he had been able to fall asleep but now the nagging sense that he was being watched woke him. Like a tiny breath of air he felt something brush across his face and down to his over-fluffy pillow. He sat bolt upright in the bed and then frowned in confusion.

No one was there.

He looked around, then tipped to the side to look under his bed. Still nothing. Maybe he had imagined it. Maybe it was only something in his dream.

He lay back down slowly, just in case the thing tried to sneak up on him again. As he snuggled down into the pillow he caught a whiff of a familiar smell. It was Him, the man that said they were family…but why was he spying on him?

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"I didn't expect to see you out here." Sesshomaru looked back at his friend.

"I could say the same thing about you Naraku. So, you want to explain first?"

"Same reason you are I suppose. I got curious. I've never seen a hanyou before. I was told to expect some bumbling creature twice my size and one eighteenth my sense. The little thing is quite intriguing. I was wondering if it was as stupid as people say."

"Don't believe everything you hear," Sesshomaru responded darkly. "They said humans were stupid as well yet we both know what happens when they're underestimated. We may need to watch him closely…I don't like the idea of keeping him alive." Naraku's chuckle broke through the inu's seriousness.

"Admit it Set-shou, you were just as curious as I was. If I'm not mistaken I saw you in there poking it!" Sesshomaru glared, unable to come up with an excuse.

"The reason I'm out here is because I couldn't sleep, not because of some misguided curiosity." The two headed back to the warmth of inside. Before they separated to go to their rooms Naraku called out to the inu lord.

"Be careful Sesshomaru." A single silver eyebrow arched upward.

"Of what?"

"Don't grow attached to it."

"You're joking! Of course I don't plan to get attached to it! That's ridiculous."

But there was no sign of joking in Naraku's red eyes. "I'm serious. Guard yourself Set-shou…things like this have a tendency to get…out of hand. Remember your father…"

"I am nothing like my father." He responded coldly. "I do not plan to re-commit the sin my father started. My family has been disgraced enough." Naraku nodded, acknowledging the finality in Sesshomaru's tone.

"Good night my friend."

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As Sesshomaru lay in bed he completely dismissed Naraku's pessimistic warning. He knew he could never love anything born of a human.

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Naraku knew what he saw, but thought better of mentioning it. He knew he saw his friend stoking the deviation's face, and it bothered him. He knew the warning signs; this was how it all began. It would start with an insatiable curiosity, a sort of need to know more about the creatures. Then slowly the web would entangle you, dragging you slowly into sin. He had seen it happen to the last lord of the Eastern lands…and many others besides. He could only hope that it wouldn't happen to Sesshomaru…worse seeing as it was a half-brother.

He mentally reminded himself to offer up a prayer the next morning to whichever deity would listen, whichever deity would protect his friend's soul from that black magic of humans and half-breeds.