Written for the livejournal community iy-no-kakera.
Sesshoumaru's father was sitting on his legs and holding his wrists tightly enough that he couldn't wiggle free, but not so tight that he cut off the circulation. Sesshoumaru squirmed.
"Right," she father was saying cheerfully. "For future reference, loosing your footing makes a bad situation worse. Your opponent now has you immobilized."
Sesshoumaru continued to squirm.
"So - knock that off, Sesshoumaru - what do you do?"
He stilled, running through his options. He tried rotating his wrist, but he couldn't get out of his father's grip. "I could still bite you," he muttered sullenly. His father looked amused.
"That you could."
And then he head-butted him. Sesshoumaru was sort of glad his hands were pinned, or else he probably would have clutched his forehead in pain.
"For future reference, it's not a good battle tactic to tell your opponent what you're about to do."
Sesshoumaru ground his teeth. His father was always doing that - outtalking him, overpowering him. He made him feel so predictable. He knew he should be grateful his father took his time to train him personally instead of pawning him off to some irate teacher, but having fought no one but his father... just once, he'd like to come out the better in a fight.
Struck with sudden inspiration, Sesshoumaru jerked one of his legs free and...
In retrospect, it wasn't a very good idea to knee your father in the crotch.
Sesshoumaru stood outside his father's room nervously. He fully expected some sort of horrible, horribly creative punishment. It was always worse when he had time to think about it. Swallowing, he pushed the door open and went inside.
His father was lying on his bed on his stomach, his face buried in his folded arms. For a moment Sesshoumaru dared to hoped he could sneak out unnoticed, but then his father stirred.
"Sesshoumaru. Get over here."
He hesitated for as long as he thought he could get away with it, then he shuffled closer.
"Closer," his father said, voice somewhat muffled, but not enough for Sesshoumaru to pretend he'd misheard him. Sesshoumaru moved forward a few more steps.
"Closer," he repeated, sounding irritable. Sesshoumaru closed the distance between where he was standing and his father's bed warily.
"Father, I am so so sor-"
"Never mind," he said with a feeble wave of the hand, to which Sesshoumaru blinked, caught off-guard.
"Um - what?"
"Now listen carefully. I want a really, really expensive funeral. And I want a sword, a cow, and the night watchmen burned with my body, so that after I die-"
"All right, that's quite enough of that," Hatsuyo said, coming into the room and ushering her son out. "Don't listen to your father, dear. He's just being melodramatic."
Inu no Taishou made a half-disgruntled, half-pitiful noise. He waited until Sesshoumaru was out of the room to say, "I'm cutting that kid out of my will. He's not getting my land. He's not even getting a sword."
"It can't possibly be that bad."
"You don' know what real pain is!"
"Excuse me?" she crossed her arms. "You sit in labor for forty-nine hours while the kid decides he wants to be fashionably late, and then we'll talk about pain."
"Ow," Inu no Taishou said. "Ow ow ow ow ow."
Hatsuyo's expression softened and she perched on the edge of his bed. "Do you want me to kiss it and make it all better?"
"OW," he said. "No. You're going to have to start seducing the kitchen boys, nympho."
"I just might. A girl has needs, you know."
Inu no Taishou made a series of generally unmanly noises. She sighed and patted him on the head. "I love you, dear, but you are a great big wuss." She pursed her lips thoughtfully. "Would you like me to train Sesshoumaru instead?"
Inu no Taishou made a funny noise. It took Hatsuyo a moment to realize it was a sob of relief. "You are beautiful and wonderful and I do not deserve you."
"Yes, well," she said, stroking his hair absently, "You're lucky we only employ toad youkai."