When walking into the clearing, rays of moonlight dancing through the branches, casting a serene blue glow upon the world, the first thing noticeable was the corpse.
A long demonic snake lied coiled and bleeding. Steam lifted from the carcass as its venom leaked out of its bared fangs, hissing when it stuck grass. Its huge yellow eyes, black slits ripping down the middle of the orbs, glared at the world in a glazed rage. Its scales gleamed black and glittering in the light of the stars, blood gurgling down the sides.
A great battle had taken place, or more perhaps just a mere irritating scuffle and the despicable creature had not survived.
What a pitiful beast.
But it had done its share of damage.
For ten feet away, a trail of blood marking the path and the point of collapsing was the snake demon's enemy, slowly starting to bleed to death as well.
In a momentary distraction on yelling to his companions to flee, the demon reptile had taken the opportunity on attacking with its most terrible and effective weapons.
Shooting poisonous spines.
Just mere blurs through the air and able to pump its poison once sunk into the skin in just a manner of seconds. The death to the victim was long and painful where the throat clogged with choking bile and foam and the eyes and ears bled. For humans and lesser demons it was a most horrible death, writhing on the ground, gurgling out screams.
But for witnesses, death comes to the victim in just 60 seconds.
And that is just with one spine.
This poor soul had been struck by three.
In fortune however, this particular victim was a full demon, and a high raking one at that. Though his body was ravaged with gashes and his heart was slowly circling the toxin throughout his veins, he was still clinging to life.
And if he had wanted to, could most likely get up and walk away.
Or at least, in his prideful and stubborn mind, that is what he told himself.
In reality, however, he was in too much pain.
"How pathetic…" he rasped. The effort caused his dry throat to contract and his Adam's apple to bob. He struggled to relax and take a breath.
But breathing was beginning to grow difficult and a sharp pain stung his lungs whenever oxygen filled them.
In the back of his mind was a tiny fear of the moment when he would blow out and not be able to inhale back in.
But fear was not to grow.
Fear was a feeble emotion. Not worthy for this demon to even know of.
But it was there.
All the emotions were there.
He just did not let them control him or even make themselves known on his pale face.
He was always in control.
He must always be in control.
But this time he was not.
Death was weighing down on him, like a plaguing, smothering cloud. He fought back at the darkness with a vengeance. Death was not an option. But as his fatigue and pain grew, so did the overhanging shadow, lowering, blanketing his consciousness.
He had never admitted--will never do so!
But he was afraid of death.
Afraid of what would come on the other side. He was not as you would say--a holy saint.
He had done many of sin.
And that, he could say, was a bit of an understatement.
But I can do nothing…
He had accepted that this was the end.
That for once he was vulnerable and weak.
Death was coming.
And so was someone else he did not want to see in his final moments.
But fate was not on his side.
It was truly starting to piss him off!
His nose was flaring with that damn scent, filling his head and making his stomach flop. His instincts were starting to pain him, repeating over and over within his thoughts that—he must go, he must go, follow scent, help kin—but his damn pride, his other side, that other voice was yelling—why should I? Huh? GIVE ME A DAMN REASON!
Because if you don't you'll regret it.
The victim, not of poison, but of conscience growled and smacked his fist against the bark of his tree, his temporary "bed" at the moment. He winced and flung his head to the side to make sure he had not awakened any of his companions.
No, thank goodness, he couldn't take anymore questions.
Ever since he had caught that scent, he had been edgy. And of course humans always wanted 'to know what's wrong.' Blah, blah, blah!
Inuyasha curled his lip and ground his teeth, his hackles raising as the damn, damn, DAMN voices in his head started their mantra once again!
And after that, they would start again, and again, and AGAIN!
Must not growl, must not growl, must not--
You'll regret it.
"Dammit! Fine, you win! I can't take this anymore!" With his yell, Inuyasha's ears twitched by the snorts of his pack members, jumping out of sleep. The hanyou ignored them and hopped to the ground, jabbing his arms within the enormity space of his haori sleeves and started stomping off into the forest.
"Inuyasha?" Kagome asked, sitting up and rubbing her eyes. She yawned, slurring her words, "Wh-where are you going?"
Shippo groaned and curled up into her lap, "Who cares? Just tell him to shut up."
Inuyasha looked over his shoulder, back tense, eyes flashing, "Go back to sleep. All of you. I'll be back by morning."
Kagome's fatigue edged off a bit seeing the controlled anger and frustration and perhaps-
--swirling in her hanyou's amber eyes. Her eyebrows pulled down into a 'v'. "Inuyasha?"
"My friend, is there something wrong? Do you smell a demon perhaps?" Miroku's voice was still a little gruff from sleep and so was Sango's when she asked, "Yes, Inuyasha. What has been bothering you?"
Inuyasha whirled around and snapped, "Nothing, got it! Go back to bed!" he snarled out an incomprehensible curse word and stalked through the trees, out of sight.
Kagome turned to the others and all as one, they shrugged.
With another little yawn, the miko lied back down and snuggled deep into her sleeping bag. Shippo was already in dream land by her side.
Everyone else soon followed suit.
Inuyasha continued to curse himself and his damn annoying conscious, to hell with stupid human emotions, demon instincts, dammit!—all along his trek through the woods. His hand wound tighter and tighter around the hilt of his Tetsusaiga, which was still buzzing and humming at his side ever since he had gained awareness of the smell in the air.
It was yet another infuriating addition in which was fueling his already fraying temper.
"I got it alright! I'm going. You can shut up!"
And it was. The deeper he walked past the trees, the calmer his sword became.
And though he did not consciously admit it, so did the voices dancing in his head and the tension within his chest.
Almost to his destination.
And with that, a new tension, started to clench his insides.
He was such a baka.
You know this is stupid right? He has wanted to kill you since you were BORN! And now here you are checking up on him? He's a full demon dammit! He can take care of himself!
But Inuyasha knew, even for a full demon that was a lot of blood rushing along the wind.
If he could sense it, other demons could as well. And with what the congesting stench of blood suggested, the injuries were bad. Real bad.
Who knew how many demons wanted to kill that bastard?
He needed help.
For Inuyasha knew he was alive, there was death in the air…but it was not mixed with his scent. It must be coming from whatever the source was for the injuries.
A demon most like.
Unfortunately, the hanyou's nose was not as skilled or strong enough to know what kind of demon it could be.
So here he was, going to find out.
That was all really, Inuyasha reassured himself. He wasn't checking up on him. No 'course not! He just wanted to know what kind of demon it was so he could protect his companions.
THAT WAS ALL!
Inuyasha groaned, looking up to the heavens.
Oh Kami-Sama, he was such a baka!
But yet his feet kept going.
And soon the hanyou arrived to his destination.
Inuyasha wrinkled his nose, swallowing back nausea on seeing the snake corpse, and turned his head, coming upon the sight in which he had suspected would find.
"Sesshomaru…" he breathed.
The royal dog demon lied upon his stomach. Blood was spanning around his sprawled out form and three huge thorns jutted from his back. Half lidded amber orbs, always cold and emotionless, stared back at Inuyasha. The long strands of his hair glimmered surreal blue, and the black of his blood sparkled red, the true color illuminated by the stars.
Yes. Inuyasha had suspected this.
But it was still alarming.
His hand tightened, fingers turning white, and pulled his blade/fang a centimeter from its sheath. Inuyasha took a few steps forward.
Sesshomaru didn't move.
The hanyou stopped--waited--took another step.
Inuyasha's stance relaxed a small amount and he furrowed his brows, "Sesshomaru? You dead?"
He flinched when Sesshomaru's eyes narrowed and a little growl leaked weakly from his lips. "Stay…away…"
Inuyasha grunted and looked around the clearing, noting the sliced trees, gouges in the earth, and the corpse stinking behind him. He smirked, "Well, well, well, what the hell happened here? Did the all mighty Sesshomaru get taken down by some stupid snake demon? I'm shocked! I though you were better than that." He took two more steps.
Sesshomaru's body tensed but in reaction the dog demon squeezed his eyes shut in pain.
The hanyou froze and a flicker of concern struck him.
He tried to push it away.
This bastard didn't deserve pity.
But yet, Inuyasha still felt dirty for what he had just said.
That had sounded a lot like the dog dying before him. It sickened him.
Inuyasha shook his head. And forcefully relaxing his sword hand, he said tad less gruff, "Wait, Sesshomaru I-"
"Do find joy in this, Inuyasha?"
Sesshomaru glared at nothing, not having the strength to send his withering gaze to the hanyou. He considered closing his eyes, a headache was pounding in his temples, but the fear of not being able to open them again stopped him.
"Do you find joy in seeing me this way?"
There was silence.
An unspoken answer.
He wasn't sure how he felt about that.
"You should be. If I were you I'd take that sword now and—"
Sesshomaru's chest hitched painfully, his words cut off. "Wha—"
"I'm not like you! I don't play dirty, Sesshomaru. I don't doubt that you'd take advantage if I was there, bleeding to death, but I won't!" Inuyasha's fists were quivering with a strange emotion mixed with his anger. That was sick. Sick!
And the thought had actually flittered across his mind.
"I'm not like you." Inuyasha repeated softly.
Sesshomaru's mind was a blank. Not of shock!—no—he was exhausted. Rin…Jakken…get up.
He mentally shook himself and gritted his teeth, swallowing back howls as he painfully brought up his hand and pushed his upper body a few inches off the ground.
Inuyasha jumped by the sudden movement, so lost in his thoughts. He was quickly backed in a defensive position, warily watching as the demon struggled not to collapse.
With the jerk into a sitting position, a waterfall of blood splashed to the grass, reopening his many wounds. Sesshomaru, blinded by agony, forgot about dignity and cried out a burbled noise. The poison spread and his arm all of a sudden went numb.
Snake demons were normally loners but sometimes they could travel in pairs. Rin and Jakken weren't as strong as he.
Sesshomaru pushed beyond anything possible and got to his feet.
Inuyasha was amazed.
He had been grazed by one of those spines before in his youth, the small cut striking him to sickness and a week of torture. Of course he had only been a child, a few years independent after his mother's death.
But to have three in your back…
Inuyasha flinched when Sesshomaru took a step and faltered. But he quickly regained balance and leaned his shoulder against a nearby tree, panting heavily.
His pale face was drenched in sweat and Inuyasha's nose was plugged with the scent of blood, sickness, threat of death, and poison. Although shadowed, the hanyou could make out a ruddy crimson marring the bridge of Sesshomaru's nose, the clearest sign of a blazing fever.
Inuyasha was tortured with that voice of instinct and conscious again.
But before arguing with himself like before, Sesshomaru let out a groan and tilted precariously to the side.
Inuyasha reacted without thinking.
The pain was immense and his head was swimming. The numbness had descended down his side and leg. But the only thing Sesshomaru paid attention to was finding his companions.
Pain was not an option.
But it was there and it was horrible.
Sesshomaru was cold and he was tired and he knew with a blurred recognition that gravity had won.
This was going to hurt.
But the thump of hard ground never came.
His head jerked in midair and then there was a strange feeling of floating. Soon he was lowered down and the scent of grass filled his nose.
He couldn't open his eyes. And fever was meshing his brain.
No words left his lips nor came to his head.
When a sharp unbearable pain split in his back, Sesshomaru cried out and twisted. When the pain lessened and was left with only a dull throbbing, he gave a choked sigh.
And when gravity decided to leave him and he was lifted up against something, nausea slapping him, he groaned.
Then there was a voice, a rumble behind the roaring of blood in his ears, "Stubborn…if you…stab me in the back…rip you to shreds…" the words rippled in and out and made no sense to Sesshomaru. He didn't want to try to decipher them, his head was lying on something rough and the nausea was starting to ebb off. He could tell he was moving, the jumbled steps causing fresh twinges of pain. But his legs were hanging limp, dragging along the grass, he could hear the blades crunching.
Wait a minute…
He just wanted to sleep. With the nausea disappearing and the headache as well, exhaustion was creeping up on him.
But so was common sense.
This wasn't right.
Sesshomaru, with all the will left to muster, opened his eyes a fraction and saw only blank white. Panic seared through him like a cold knife but when the blurriness of his vision cleared, he saw that it was only hair.
Slowly the wheels in his head started turning, a difficult effort with the fog of fever stuffing his brain. But when it finally hit him, anger and humiliation seemed to almost whistle the fog right out.
For a moment.
"Inuyasha..." his tongue was heavy and the words slurred, a growl started to rumble in his chest. "Put me down." He couldn't raise his voice any higher than a whisper. Sesshomaru cursed aloud.
More colorful words left his cracked dry lips when Inuyasha answered, "No."
He tried to keep a hold on that anger, tried to make his body cooperate, to lift his arm and…
His entire body was numb. He was paralyzed!
The humiliation was squashed under a wave of uncharacteristic fear. He couldn't move. Would his lungs soon collapse as well? What was to happen?
Would Inuyasha take advantage and use that sword?
The cloud was getting thicker.
He had started panting, unable to hold a breath, panic coursing, his self control broken by sickness and pain. The panting soon turned to coughing and his chest contracted, his limp body shook.
Inuyasha had stopped and gone to one knee. "Dammit, Sesshomaru! Breathe slowly, calm down."
Breathe slowly, calm down. If I could I would rip your throat ou—Sesshomaru squeezed his eyes shut and coughed until he thought for sure his stomach would pop into his mouth. When the fit passed, his breathing had grown more labored and his head rested against Inuyasha's shoulder blade, too heavy to hold up. He concentrated on inhaling, forcing the oxygen to go down his throat.
Sesshomaru stiffened when Inuyasha asked, his voice gruff and indifferent, "Are you okay?"
He ignored him.
"Answer me, bastard! Can you breathe okay? Can you even lift your arm? I need to know or you're going to die!"
You're going to die…
Sesshomaru could barely even hear his own wheeze, "Why?"
"Because there's only a short amount of time of when the antidote has to be given, okay?" He was irritated.
For some reason it made Sesshomaru feel better.
The words left him without any realization that he had even thought them up. Consciousness was leaving and leaving fast. "No…why…are you helping…me?"
His brother's back tensed.
It took a few moments, stretched taunt.
Sesshomaru fell into darkness with these final words.
"I don't play dirty."
Why was he doing this?
Why? Why? Why?
Inuyasha's muscles were ready to spring; even a little twitch of his brother's fingers had him ready for those claws to dig through his back. But nothing ever happened. Sesshomaru had passed out a long time ago.
He couldn't relax though.
No way. Like hell!
Sesshomaru gave a little cough and Inuyasha almost dropped him to grab Tetsusaiga. The dog demon never roused. And the hanyou forced himself to calm (a bit) and keep walking.
He was almost to camp. It really was not a good idea to drag his brother's sorry ass to his companions but Kagome had supplies that could be handy on healing the dog. Special futuristic things, Inuyasha guessed. Whatever. He just hoped that Sesshomaru would stay unconscious long enough until after he wrapped his wounds and gave him the antidote. And then he would be off on his merry way.
'Why are you helping me?'
Inuyasha cringed and then rolled his eyes to the heavens. He really had no sudden clue. And really didn't want to know the answer.
Sesshomaru hated him and the feeling was mutual.
No brotherly bond whatsoever.
"Okay, let's change the subject." The hanyou scowled.
And then jumped when Sesshomaru mumbled, "Father."
Inuyasha was shocked and then his expression softened (unknown by him) and he looked back at his brother. Sesshomaru's face was pasty white and covered in sweat. The demon twisted his head and furrowed his brows as if in pain. "Father…"
The old man huh? Wonder what the dream could possibly be about. Guess I could use this against him later o—
Inuyasha breathed deeply, trying to locate where it was. If he found it, this could get a hell of a lot easier.
And there it was!
Deep amid tangles of brush, at the base of a tree, was a special healing root. A key ingredient to the antidote needed to squelch snake poison. Its leaves were spiky and covered with little whitish yellow barbs. But if successful on pulling out of the ground, it roots were attached to something akin to a potato, white and incredibly soft. Inuyasha was already going over the dusty recollection of what you had to do to make the plant into a healing medicine.
He hurried over, a strenuous task with Sesshomaru's dead weight on his shoulders. And when he came near, he carefully set his brother down to lie against the tree. Inuyasha was just about to go through the daunting and difficult task of pulling the plant up without squashing the potato root, when he noticed Sesshomaru was shivering.
The half breed frowned, another inner argument about to begin. But he quickly pushed it aside with a frustrated grunt and shook out of his outer kimono. The fire rat fur would soak in body heat and quickly slow that damned fever. He wrapped it around Sesshomaru's shoulders, careful of his injuries, and then went back to his task.
He didn't want to think about what he had just done, not more than he had to.
A few minutes later, Inuyasha was sucking another pricked finger from those stupid barbs and was triumphantly holding up the plant.
For some reason, this made a huge grin come across his lips.
And he almost had the urge to turn to his brother and shine that prideful smile to him.
That made it disappear, Inuyasha shook his head.
Okay, so he would have to make sure to not squash the little potato thing and carry his brother. He would need to go to a river and build a fire, as well as also gathering the other necessary items, such as acorns and assorted berries which he knew of no name to.
Inuyasha scowled and spoke aloud, "You owe me big time, brother."
The only response was a little sound from the demon's throat.
And that little noise sent Inuyasha almost in full blown shock.
His big brother, the grand tough dog demon lord, had whimpered.
Man, he wasn't going to let Sesshomaru forget this.
But even though he thought about what sweet revenge he could get from teasing his brother--that whimper had made his chest hurt.
His chest ached and burned. With every breath, it was like thousands upon thousands of needles were pricking deep into his ribs. And the rest of his body was quaking, ripples of shivers running down every nerve ending in almost a drumming rhythm.
Everything hurt. His head was almost ready to burst and his back, oh go—his back!
Sesshomaru swallowed a scream when fire burst forth from deep between his shoulder blades, running down his spine. He tried to writhe, like somehow that would make it better if he could just move, but all he was able to do was shifting his arm up and sinking his claws into dirt.
The pain lessened and Sesshomaru gulped air hungrily, the needles turning red hot. His tense hand relaxed.
He had moved his arm, his fingers.
The strange feeling of being ripped from his body and having his skin enlarged and fat, those bizarre tingles accustomed with growing numb, was going away. He felt more in tuned now with his muscles.
And the pain. It had never gone even with the numbness. But now that that was fading the pain was growing raw.
The fire returned to his back and this time he allowed a scream to ground out. It didn't grow extremely loud or shrill; it was low and thrumming deep in his gut.
Sesshomaru had never really screamed before.
His entire body tensed with the onslaught waves of bitter fire, another twinge happened in his mouth and blood was surging, metallic and thick. He had pierced his tongue with his grinding fangs. He was about ready now to see if he could do a true scream of torment when something cool was suddenly draped on his neck. Cool water dripped in rivulets past the backs of his ears and shoulders.
Oxygen was trapped in his throat and then suddenly released in a rushing sigh, intermixed with a groan. In the distance, Sesshomaru picked up on the sound of water, footsteps, and suddenly harsh and altogether relieving cold was placed atop his entire back. He could feel wet cloth rubbing against his skin and knew that it was some soaked material.
Sesshomaru's muscles went lax and his headaches almost dwindled when his furrowed brows smoothed out. The cold seeped in quickly and the pain was soon a dull ache. It was so relaxing and such a relief that the demon almost fell back to sleep.
But didn't, not with a that all too familiar voice calling his name.
Inuyasha's heart was just now starting to slow down, pumped into over speed by that disturbing howl of pain. Never once had he heard Sesshomaru ever admit a scream, not even when he had cut off his arm with Tetsusaiga. The hanyou involuntarily looked at the decapitated stump and winced.
He had never admitted it, but he wasn't terribly proud of that act.
You could almost say he was—
Inuyasha shook his head and looked back at his brother's face, he knew he was awake. He needed to make sure that the antidote was working and so he called out, "Sesshomaru?"
The demon tensed and almost seemed to grunt, his eyes opening a fraction. When they interlocked with Inuyasha's, anger glowed within them. "Inuyasha…" Sesshomaru lifted his arm and placed his palm on the ground, ready to lift himself up.
Inuyasha growled, "Don't move."
The dog didn't listen.
Irritation sparked and Inuyasha went over and pushed down Sesshomaru, hand on his back. By the action, a guttural gasp of pain emitted from the demon's lips and he collapsed to the ground, teeth clenched, eyes squeezed shut.
The hanyou's gut twisted with concern and remorse. He could have reopened his wounds, but dammit the bastard was just so stubborn.
It was yet another action he wasn't proud of.
He tried to keep his voice apathetic, "I told you not to move."
Sesshomaru huffed out a curse. "Inuyasha…I'm going…to kill you."
Inuyasha smirked, "I'd like to see you try. And really big brother, you should be thanking me. I just saved you from utter death."
The demon paused and opened his eyes, contemplation shining in them as well as confusion.
There was a silence and Inuyasha knew he was waiting for an explanation of some kind. "You don't remember do you? You were poisoned by a snake demon, three spikes in your back and I found you in the forest. You were dying."
Sesshomaru's eyes glanced over to a nice crackling fire. "I remember…"
Inuyasha unconsciously tried to stuff his arms within a missing haori's sleeves. When he couldn't he awkwardly crossed them. Sesshomaru noticed and decided not to comment on it.
Inuyasha was a little surprised that the demon was so comfortable, or at least looked like it. If they were in switched positions, there was no way he would have felt comfy on the fact his un-protected back was showing. But of course, Sesshomaru knew he was stronger and could take on his pathetic half brother even in this condition didn't he?
The hanyou looked away.
"Is it working?"
Sesshomaru blinked and glanced at his brother, "What?"
"The antidote. Is it working? Can you breathe easier?"
The demon narrowed his eyes, "Are you concerned little brother?" He asked in slight sarcasm and resentment. To have his weak hanyou sibling heal him was certainly eating away at his ego.
But at the same time, the pain was eased and the cloud of death had lifted.
Inuyasha glared at him, "Of course I'm not! But I'm not going to have your death on my conscious." He went back to staring at the fire and muttered, "Stupid bastard."
Sesshomaru blinked again, the only hint to his surprise. Then they narrowed once more. "What is this, Inuyasha? Have you decided you no longer wish to kill me? The feeling is not mutual."
His little brother snarled, "Shut up! I don't even know why I helped you! Why in the hell I went through all this trouble! All I know is that I smelled your blood and-and death and it made me sick, okay? So shut the hell up and try showing a little gratitude! I could have easily left you to die!"
Where had that come from?
There was still more, so much anger and--and hurt.
Inuyasha knew that his older brother wouldn't show any appreciation but still…
He had been hoping.
Inuyasha growled and punched the ground. "I should have left you to die. But I couldn't! Just another one to add to my long list of weaknesses isn't it, Sesshomaru? Just another flaw from my human mother." He was left panting and he was left with a burning lump in his throat.
Sesshomaru stared at him.
"I didn't ask for your help--"
"Then next time I won't help."
The fire sparked.
And no more words were said for quite a time.
But they were surging like a storm in his head. Sesshomaru tried to keep them at bay, this utter babble causing his head to spin and the fire's colors to bleed and intermix like wet paint. He didn't want to think, he didn't want to feel this--this pressure on his heart and gut by his brother's outburst.
Just another flaw…
Compassion is a flaw…conscience is a flaw…
I'm a flaw…he's a flaw…we're all flaws on this earth…just sins who stumble and shout…
Do you have someone to protect…someone to love…to care about you…to care if you die…if you bleed…?
Someone to protect…
"Rin…" all of a sudden, he felt sick, his stomach was clenching, releasing, clenching again. And his back was beginning to burn. Something was wrong. Everything was going fuzzy. And something was flowing up to his mouth.
He didn't feel so good.
Inuyasha hated that antidote. It was the most disgusting kind of medicine. When he had been brushed by snake's poison when a pup, he didn't have it then. But Kaede had used it on him before, on many occasions, it could be used for any kind of dangerous venom.
It was to be poured into the wound on where the toxin had been pumped in, rubbed around the puffing skin. Doing so caused your flesh to burn and feel like it peeling off by flames, the only way to ease it was cool water. After awhile, the pain eased and all is going well.
Until the antidote is fully in your system then it is doing its job by forcing the body to reject the venom and any other toxin, by causing the wounds to ooze it out and the stomach to empty its contents.
Inuyasha had watched, insides clenched as his brother's face paled and then a reddish green hue began to mark out along his cheekbones. His breathing grew short and his eyes went half lidded, little grunts and groans unknowingly spouted out as he started to curl in on himself.
This was going to be disgusting. But it was something that had to be done. After this Sesshomaru was well on his way to recovery and out of here!
Inuyasha stood up and grabbed his brother's shoulders. He lifted Sesshomaru and put his only arm around his neck to support the demon. The dog groaned and tried to stand but his legs crumbled.
"What the hell…is happening…to me?"
The hanyou grimaced, "You're going to throw up."
Sesshomaru looked at him. He had never felt this sensation before but he had witnessed it when Rin had once been sick.
"Dammit to hell…"
And then everything went sideways.
It was over. Nothing more had to be done. Inuyasha wrapped the last piece of bandage around Sesshomaru's torso and walked over to grab his discarded (and damn heavy) haori and dropped it over the sleeping demon's back. Inuyasha picked up his own, slowly beginning to dry and draped it over one arm. He stamped out the fire.
The antidote had done its task flawlessly. Sesshomaru had, well, the poison was gone. And so was his fever. After hacking out his insides at the base of a tree he had sunk into exhaustion and had been sleeping peacefully every since.
That was weird.
Inuyasha yawned and cracked his back, slowly being warmed by the rising sun. He had stayed up of course.
Don't ask why.
It was just habit.
The hanyou looked down at his brother.
Sesshomaru's face was calm and reserved as ever, he breathed serenely, no more harsh gravely notes, and he looked as if there was nothing strange about sleeping near a stream without any protection whatsoever.
Inuyasha knew he was awake.
Or at least a part of him. Some level of his senses honed in on every sound and smell around him.
It was a demon thing.
Inuyasha had that instinct, perhaps a bit dulled with his human blood of course.
He shook his head. Well, it was through. No more questions, no more annoying inner voices. And there was no reason to look back on this.
Inuyasha put on his damp kimono and started to walk away.
His soft gruff whisper of "Stupid bastard" floated over to the full demon's sensitive ears.
And Sesshomaru awoke. He opened his eyes and sat up, only a dull twinge in his back, already his demon blood beginning to close the wounds. Inuyasha was out of sight.
The demon paused, no emotion or any hint of his thoughts showing on his face.
And then he too, put on his haori and walked away.
When these two brothers, two sons of the great dog demon of the Western lands, found their companions and were questioned. They provided no answers.
Perhaps something remarkable had happened.
Perhaps something was finally understood, a bridge had been crossed.
But really, it was just life.
It was over.
They had been two sins who had stumbled upon each other and had tried to muddle their way through a path unknown.
Differences had been set aside perhaps for a moment and decency had been done.
No one liked to play dirty.