Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha

Pairing: Inuyasha/Sesshomaru

Warnings: Rated M, Inucest, YAOI, swearing.



It is rather nice to be held like this, Inuyasha decided as the warmth spread across his body. He laid his head back against his youkai sibling's chest and allowed Sesshoumaru to rest his head atop his as Inuyasha told Sesshoumaru the incredible tale of his mother, the late princess Izayoi of Setsuna, the only child of the tennyo, Tsuki no Shizenrin, and mate to the late lord Renshoumaru, ruler of the Western Lands.

Sesshoumaru smirked from his position from above Inuyasha's head, congratulating himself silently. His mother had been very correct; no knowledge was ever truly wasted.

"See this plant Sesshoumaru? No part of this plant is useful in the concoction of any kind of poison or antidote. Nevertheless, this plant is very highly sought after. Useless you say? No Sesshoumaru, this plant is among the most useful plants to have in a conservatory. Why you ask? Well, the flowers of this plant when in full bloom have the ability to force demons into relaxation. You are too young to understand how best to use this plant, but I have faith in you my child. I feel certain that you will understand its significance when you are older."

Sesshoumaru decided that perhaps a flower vase might help add a spot of colour in their shared suite.


Hidden in Plain Sight
Arc 02 – Palace of the Western Lands


Chapter 14

Mating Season: Day 4

"Sesshoumaru this is ridiculous!" Inuyasha snapped rising from his seat on the high-chair; and standing before the mirror. "Tell them to leave me alone! I don't need a hair cut!"

Behind Inuyasha, a male fox (presumably in his late six hundreds according to Mizuiro) picked up a lock of hair, examined their ends and then shook his head in disgust. Inuyasha snarled and snatched his hair back. Two other male foxes (who were in their five hundreds) watched from the sidelines in amused detachment. All three of them were dressed in identical white kimonos with blue linings that marked them as belonging to the Aesthetics – artists whose sole purpose in life was to preserve and beautify; be it living creatures or the inanimate entities like the stones of Koukyo itself.

"There is nothing wrong with my hair!" Inuyasha yelled, as he pulled his hair over his left shoulder and ran his fingers through it caressingly; examining it himself.

"Of course, there is nothing wrong with my hair!" Inuyasha thought irritated. He had been taking good care of it like his mother told him to, growing it long and thick; brushing it out when it got too tangled. So what if the ends were just a little frayed… His hair was a silvery white, frayed ends showed tellingly only in darker hair… so what was the big deal…

Inuyasha looked up to glare at Sesshoumaru who only sighed and stared at him blankly, while Mizuiro stood in the doorway, amused by the proceedings. The original plan had been for Inuyasha to be by himself in the hands of the Aesthetics as they gave him a general skin care routine, a manicure, a pedicure and a hair cut. However, Inuyasha had thrown a fit when left alone with the kitsune, demanding to be "released", screaming that he was not a girl and that he would not stand for being treated like a pampered princess. After several futile attempts at calming the puppy-eared boy and gaining his co-operation, the very annoyed Aesthetic kitsune had summoned their lady, who in turn failing to pacify the silver-haired brat had summoned the hanyou's elder brother.

And right at that moment, the dog demon was feeling severely tempted to cuff the boy. However, that would not exactly help with establishing the hanyou's image as a capable adult.

"Inuyasha, why must you be so difficult?" Sesshoumaru inquired, holding back a sigh with great difficulty.

He was trying to be patient, he really was. But the "Lord of West" needed to attend to his "lordly" duties. Namely figure out how many demon clans he needed to terrorize this coming year for the real or imaginary slights they may have caused their lord Sesshoumaru. Lord Kyoushin had already gone over the RSVPs sent in by all the Upper caste demons of the West, Royals, Warriors and Nobles and had presented the daiyoukai a copy of the guest list upon his entry into Koukyo. However as circumstances would have it, Sesshoumaru still had not had a chance to go through all of the letter scrolls himself, getting barely a glance at a few before Inuyasha had asked to resume the regeneration process. And then there were all the other letters that had come in over the past two months during his absence from Koukyo. He only had until tomorrow when they were going back to Shiyuuchi to receive their guests, and there was still so much that needed to be done.

"I don't need a haircut!" Inuyasha said again.

The male kitsune tiredly rubbed his temples having had heard the same unoriginal line from the halfling brat for over half-an-hour. He looked Inuyasha up and down, his gaze resting briefly on Inuyasha's claws, shuddering noticeably, and then turned towards Sesshoumaru.

"My lord, if I may speak freely." he murmured with a half bow.

"You have my permission, Inji." Sesshoumaru replied.

Inji brightened considerably and bowed lower; glad that his lord remembered the name of a creature of such insignificant station as himself.

"My lord…" he intoned after standing upright once more. "Lord Inuyasha possesses fine thick silver tresses; that is all in all in good condition. However it seems as if the young lord has not gotten his hair trimmed in a very long time, and his front bangs need to be cut thinner and shorter."

Inji moved closer to Inuyasha and forcefully retrieved the long tresses from the hanyou's hands. Inuyasha growled at having his personal space violated, but after a deep growl emanated from Sesshoumaru, Inuyasha submitted and let Inji finger his hair, although that did not stop him from glaring daggers at the offending kitsune.

"The ends of his hair have frayed considerably and two inches of it must be removed to recompense." Inji continued. "Also, it is apparent that lord Inuyasha is not very gentle with his hair when he is brushing it out as is obvious by the torn strands of varying lengths. My apologies, lord Sesshoumaru. My previous estimate was incorrect. Lord Inuyasha needs to have four inches of hair trimmed from the ends, his bangs need to be thinned, and his hair needs to be cut in layers to minimize the appearance of torn ends. After I have completed offering my services, if lord Inuyasha continues to be so brutal with his hairbrush, his hair will need to be trimmed to mid-back length."

"Mid-back!" Inuyasha squawked. "You've got to be kidding! No way in hell am I letting you near my hair with those scissors." Pointing at the instrument on the ledge before the mirror.

"My lord." Interjected one of the other kitsune's in the background. "I am Tegakari and this is Shiage. I am able to offer my services in skincare and perfumery. Lord Inuyasha does not need much help in either arena as he is naturally gifted with beautiful unblemished skin and his scent is remarkably alluring and intoxicating by itself." Inuyasha found himself flushing at the praise. "However, a slight peel regime would help bring a radiant glow to his skin. After that simple regular baths will be enough to maintain his fine appearance."

"What's a peel?" Inuyasha asked cocking his head cutely, turning to Tegakari.

Tegakari was about to answer but Sesshoumaru interjected before he was able to speak.

"And Shiage, if you would explain your presence." He murmured.

"I am here to offer the young lord a manicure and a pedicure." Upon seeing Inuyasha's look of confusion he added. "That means I will be filing your nails to make them more presentable. As Tegakari has already mentioned, the young lord does not require much skincare."

"Only girls file their nails." Inuyasha scoffed, remembering the countless times Sango and Kagome would do each others nails. Why a battle hardened taijiya felt the need to keep her nails pretty and shiny, Inuyasha could not fathom.

"What's wrong with my nails staying the way they are anyways?" Inuyasha asked, studying his claws himself.

Shiage wordlessly came forward, and boldly took the daiyoukai's hands and held it beside the hanyou's for comparison. He then held up his own alongside them.

"Oh… " Inuyasha murmured, turning scarlet in mortification, snatching his hands away.

Sesshoumaru chuckled softly causing all kitsune eyes to turn towards him in surprise. The idea of their stoic lord doing something as commonplace as to chuckle, was unheard of.

"Inuyasha, tomorrow we go back to Shiyuuchi to bring our guests back to Koukyo. At that time your appearance needs to be impeccable." Sesshoumaru said addressing his Otouto. "First impressions are crucial when dealing with demons or humans, both familiar and strange. When our guests are here, I will not tolerate them ostracizing you on account of your appearance."

"My appearance… " Inuyasha murmured staring into the mirror. The person that stared back at him had beautiful perfectly symmetrical features; a long sharp aristocratic nose, fine high cheekbones, full coral lips and a pair of large amber eyes with a tilt to them that was considered exotic among both demons and humans.

Then he looked at his reflection again, but this time more closely. For the first time he noticed the too thick bangs that distracted from the beautiful eyes; the skin that although perfect, lacked the radiance that both the kitsune and Sesshoumaru emitted; the random strands of hair that could not be tamed, unless confined within a braid.

Filthy… Uncouth… Unkempt… Barbaric… the words rang within his head.

Because of his mixed heritage, for all of his life, Inuyasha had been called any number of insults; none which he had particularly cared for. But upon hearing Sesshoumaru's words and those of the kitsune it all came back to him. It hurt him to admit that maybe… just maybe… there was a shred of truth within those claims… maybe he really was…

Inuyasha shook his head violently trying to shake free of the vile thoughts, the jeering voices that were all within his own head, his past coming back to mock him. He then made the mistake of looking back into the mirror. Only this time, all he saw was his ears.

"My appearance…" he murmured desolately, garnering looks shock followed by understanding from the assembled demons, when he reached up to touch his ears.

Mongrel… whore-get… filthy creature… Why did you not die the day you were born…

Half-breed scum… corrupting our children with his unnatural presence… kill him!

Dirty half-blood… unholy child, defiling our pure princess…

Inuyasha looked away from the mirror unable to tolerate his reflection and the resounding jeers. He did not realize that he had reached up to fist his hands over his ears in a vain attempt to block the sounds out. Somewhere in the distance, he could hear a female voice asking if a healer needed to be summoned, followed by an authoritative male voice telling the female to not be so hasty… The words made no sense to him in his self inflicted haze of confusion.

"Inuyasha… Inuyasha…" he could hear someone calling his name in the distance over and over again.

"Inuyasha…" the traumatized boy thought in wonder, "that's my name…"

It felt strange to be addressed by his own name, and not the expletives that were so commonly used. Slowly the haze retreated and the voice became louder. It seemed to be coming from right before him. He could feel a hand running gentle circles on his knee.

"Inuyasha…" The voice called again. Only this time, he was able to assign a name to the voice.

"Sesshoumaru…" he asked uncertainly, opening his eyes that he had unknowingly closed tightly. Kneeling before him he saw his half-brother with a look in his eyes that seemed foreign to Inuyasha. Inuyasha discovered that he too was kneeling.

When had that happened?

"Are you well, Inuyasha?" Sesshoumaru asked the hanyou, still rubbing his knee. "Shall I call for the healer?"

Inuyasha continued to blankly stare into the metallic eyes when it suddenly dawned on him what it was he was seeing.

Worry… concern…

"Sesshoumaru was worried about me…"

The realization strangely comforted the distressed boy. Strangely disjointed and echoing, Sesshoumaru's words came back to him.

"When our guests are here, I will not tolerate them ostracizing you on account of your appearance."

Inuyasha put his hand over the hand on his knee, clenching it slightly, stilling its progress.

"I'm fine…" Inuyasha murmured, "I'm fine…", he repeated, this time with more strength in his voice. "It happens sometimes… then it passes… I'm alright now…"

Sesshoumaru stared into his eyes long and hard, before the corner of his lips lifted almost imperceptibly and his gaze gentled.

"You are well." Sesshoumaru agreed, lifting his other hand to cup Inuyasha's face. "Your spirit is strong and you will not allow your past to cast a shadow upon your present and future. That pleases this Sesshoumaru."

The words somehow lifted the darkness that had momentarily taken hold of Inuyasha's heart, and the kiss that followed was sweet and chaste and Inuyasha allowed it. He tipped his head to a side unconsciously and leaned further into the kiss, welcoming Sesshoumaru as his arms wrapped around him pulling him into a loose embrace. Inuyasha briefly wondered why he had been fighting Sesshoumaru's attentions. It felt so good to give in just so… Inuyasha parted his lips and allowed Sesshoumaru to taste him, remaining passive throughout the whole experience. He needed this… he needed Sesshoumaru to drive away the loneliness…

A stifled giggle caused him to break free of the kiss. The realization of what he had been doing hit Inuyasha full force and flushing, he gently pushed Sesshoumaru away with his hands on his chest. Sesshoumaru smirked, allowed Inuyasha to pull away somewhat, but kept his arms looped around Inuyasha's hips.

In the doorway beside Mizuiro, stood a young kitsune male who appeared to be about Inuyasha's age perhaps a little younger wearing a dark blue haori atop a cream-coloured kimono, hakama and black boots and a little kitsune maiden who appeared about nine years old in human years. The little girl was holding Mizuiro's hand and was staring at Inuyasha's puppy ears in complete fascination. It was obvious that it was only Mizuiro's restraining hand that was keeping the child from leaping at the hanyou boy and petting his ears as most young females regardless of species were apt to do. The insolent smirk the kitsune male directed towards Inuyasha made the hanyou stiffen which was promptly noted by his overprotective half-brother. Sesshoumaru turned to see who it was that was upsetting his Inuyasha and his eyes narrowed when his eyes met those of the young male who stared back brashly.

"Shinkirou, it seems that you have finally been able to make the time to grace this Sesshoumaru with your presence." Sesshoumaru said sardonically, rising to his feet. Behind him, Inuyasha stood as well.

Mizuiro flushed in mortification on her son's behalf, who only stood there staring insolently at the lord and his hanyou sibling uttering not a single word of apology.

"Hello lord Sesshoumaru. Haha-ue is teaching me to throw senbon. Haha-ue says I'm real good." The little girl chirped from beside her mother. Mizuiro sent her a reprimanding look upon which the child looked thoughtful.

"Oh!" she exclaimed as if struck by an epiphany. "Haha-ue says I am really good at wielding the senbon." The child looked up at her mother for approval, who smiled back indulgently. Chuckles came from around the room.

"Misora." Sesshoumaru intoned amusedly. "It pleases me to make your acquaintance once more."

"Really!" Misora exclaimed happily. Shinkirou lightly cuffed her behind her head, earning him a reproachful look from his mother and a pout from his sister.

Sesshoumaru observed that Shinkirou was preparing to say something to Inuyasha, and judging by the calculating leer in his eyes, it was not something complementary he wished to say. Sesshoumaru dearly wanted to inflict his "Spirit Possession" ability on Shinkirou, but in light of Inuyasha's recent episode, it would be for the best if the hanyou was not excited in any way.

Sesshoumaru immediately wrapped an arm around Inuyasha's waist and pulled him close, making Mizuiro smile and the little girl to giggle again. He then spoke authoritatively; overriding whatever Shinkirou had to say, causing the young male kitsune to glower.

"Lady Mizuiro, I trust that everything is in order and the preparation for the Gathering is progressing as planned."

Mizuiro looked at her lord slyly, conscious of the snub had just been delivered to her son.

"My lord. Everything progresses smoothly. My mate awaits you in your antechamber. With him he has all the letters and scrolls that require your personal attention."

Sesshoumaru nodded in acknowledgement, easily catching on to what was left unsaid. The alpha kitsune pair did not trust Shinkirou with such delicate information as is present within those scrolls. By rights, Shinkirou as the heir to his father as the Steward of Koukyo was sufficiently privileged to have access to such information. The fact that they had withheld this information showed how little faith they had in their son, and how low he had fallen in their eyes.

The kitsune were efficient as always and Sesshoumaru knew he needed to return to the silver dog wing to meet lord Kyoushin, but he was loath to leave Inuyasha alone in his current delicate state of mind. He noted the challenging look that Inuyasha was directing towards the kitsune heir. Sesshoumaru did not want a direct confrontation to take place between Shinkirou and Inuyasha during his absence. Mizuiro seemed to have guessed at some of his thoughts, as she immediately addressed Shinkirou, and commanded him to do go over all of the guest suites and do a check to determine that every suite was well provided for. Shinkirou glowered at his mother then, without a single word of farewell, he stormed off towards the guest wing of Koukyo, his high waist-long pony-tail and haori swirling dramatically about his form.

Sesshoumaru stared after the retreating figure, his jaws clenching at the blatant show of disrespect. Behind him he could hear the shocked and disgusted voices of the Aesthetics as they made disparaging remarks about Shinkirou and his utter unworthiness in regards to his position as heir to the Steward of Koukyo. Even Misora looked ashamed at her brother's less than decorous departure. Mizuiro only looked on stonily, her eyes dark with anger.

"Sesshoumaru..." Inuyasha called tentatively into the silence.

Sesshoumaru turned to look at Inuyasha, anger draining from his features at the concern in those amber eyes.

"Do not concern yourself." He murmured, wrapping an arm around Inuyasha, pulled him close, and nuzzled his head. He was immensely delighted when Inuyasha nuzzled him back, albeit shyly. "He is simply a young fool that has overstepped his boundaries, once too often, in full consciousness of the impending retribution. He will be dealt with soon enough. By disrespecting both you and I; Shinkirou has forfeited his right to security as is owed to the golden fox clan for their services rendered to the silver dog clan."

Inuyasha looked confused.

"You're going to punish him?" he asked.

Sesshoumaru nodded in affirmative. Mizuiro looked on grimly at the by-play, a look of cold satisfaction settling onto her features.

"Haha-ue… Is that lord Inuyasha?" Misora whispered softly, tugging on her mother's kimono sleeve.

Mizuiro looked down at her daughter and composed her face into a smile. Misora may look like a small female carbon-copy of her brother appearance-wise, but she possessed none of his pettiness and misguided ego. Some day she would make a fine Stewardess.

"Lord Inuyasha…" Mizuiro intoned, turning to look at Inuyasha. "Allow me to introduce to you my daughter, Misora. She is in training to be Stewardess of Shiyuuchi; heiress to my mate's sister, lady Kyoushou of Shiyuuchi."

Inuyasha looked at Misora and held out his hand in invitation.

Misora gleefully leapt away from her mother, ran forward and put her hand in Inuyasha's, causing the hanyou to chuckle.

"Hey there, brat." Inuyasha greeted with a roguish smirk, taking in the child's long ash-blonde hair that was in a braid reaching to her knees and her pale yellow-gold silk kimono embroidered with leaping foxes.

"I'm not a brat!" Misora insisted. "I'm a lady."

Inuyasha chuckled and Sesshoumaru smirked at the interaction.

"Misora…" Sesshoumaru intoned gravely. "I have a very important task for you. Will you serve me well?"

"Oh yes, my lord! I will, I will!" Misora exclaimed excitedly, happy to be given a grown up task by her revered lord.

Mizuiro looked at Sesshoumaru, a question in her eyes.

"With your mother's permission, I would like for you to remain with Inuyasha while he is with the Aesthetics. After that I wish for you to give my Otouto a tour of the Palace. Will that be alright, lady Mizuiro?" he said addressing the last to lady of the golden foxes.

Mizuiro smiled and nodded her acceptance and Misora gleefully embraced the amused hanyou and bounced. Misora then took Inuyasha by the hand, and led him to the high chair where Inuyasha seated himself. She then transformed into a small golden fox as large as a housecat and leaped onto Inuyasha's lap, settling there comfortably. Inuyasha did not seem surprised to see her transform, confirming Sesshoumaru's suspicion that Inuyasha was familiar with the transformational abilities of noble youkai.

"Easily excited, isn't she." Inuyasha murmured, addressing her mother as Misora playfully nipped at his claws.

Mizuiro chuckled. "She is her father's delight."

"Inuyasha, are these arrangements to your preference?" Sesshoumaru asked addressing his half-brother.

"Yeah… It's all good… I'll be fine…" Inuyasha murmured back, threading his claws through Misora's golden fur, causing her to arch and croon much like Kirara. Behind him Inji came forward and began to brush Inuyasha's hair, gently easing out the tangles. Inuyasha closed his eyes and leaned back, enjoying the attention given to his hair, forgetting his earlier grievances. "See you later, 'kay."

"I'll see you later." Sesshoumaru replied, leaning forward to press a chaste kiss to Inuyasha's lips which was reciprocated, drawing away before he was tempted to do more. Inuyasha blinked and then settled back again wondering at Sesshoumaru's open show of affection in the presence of other demons. He had rather expected Sesshoumaru to be secretive in his affection considering how many would not look favourably upon their lord explicitly favouring a hanyou.

When Sesshoumaru and Mizuiro left, Misora transformed back to her elfin form and tried to reach for the puppy ears only to have her hands captured by Inuyasha. Misora struggled for a bit, but then surrendered good-naturedly. After a few moments, she looked at Inuyasha thoughtfully and innocently asked, "Are you and lord Sesshoumaru lovers?"

Inuyasha flushed scarlet at the question, causing Misora to ask more probing questions inquiring after Inuyasha's health. Behind him, Inuyasha could hear the foxes quietly snickering as they worked away at trying to tame his thick wavy mane.


Sesshoumaru took the pale white feather of a blood crow demon and pierced his thumb with its sharp tip. Within moments, the feather absorbed the daiyoukai's blood and took on the bright red hue of fresh blood. Sesshoumaru applied the tip to an unmarked scroll prepared by the sorcerers' guild as he elegantly scripted out a letter politely demanding to know why the Hyena clan had failed to identify the reasons for their careful declination of their invitation to attend the Gathering. Not that Sesshoumaru did not already have a good idea why more than half of the youkai clans of the West had been "deeply regretful that they could not enjoy the bounties of Koukyo this season"; nevertheless, it would not do for the youkai lord to simply traipse into their lairs and decimate their population significantly in view that their slight had been subtly delivered.

It pleased him to note that all the warrior clans of the West would be attending. Given the nature of Warrior class demons to live nomadic lives, they had seen much during their travels, and were thus more tolerant of the outré. Sesshoumaru was surprised to note that the Brown Wolf clan, the ruling warrior clan of the West had selected themselves a new leader… none other than Inuyasha's brash rival slash friend, the wolf prince Kouga. Sesshoumaru was aware that at one time Kouga had declared himself to be "in love" with the untrained slut priestess Kagome, so he was surprised to note that he would be bringing with him the princess of the Mountain wolves, Ayame. Sesshoumaru briefly wondered who this Ayame person was. He did not recall having ever encountered the girl and according to Kyoushin's research, she was only 179 years old and had not yet experienced her first heat. Even if the wolf princess Ayame did go into her first heat this season, a mating would not be allowed between the two wolves as the girl was still underage.

Demons of the upper caste, only above the age of two centuries were allowed to consummate a mating bond. Sesshoumaru remembered his own first paramour, lady Kagetsu of the Black Dog demons, and their three month long affair. Lord Renshoumaru, Sesshoumaru's father had forcefully separated the two in light of Sesshoumaru's youth, then only 181 years old, despite Kagetsu's 205 years of age. Since then, Sesshoumaru had on many seasons indulged himself in the charms of the dark-haired, golden-eyed beauty's body, but he had not attempted to foster a mating bond with her. And in light of present circumstances, given that he was the sole surviving Silver Inu youkai, it would have been a grave error to have taken her as his mate.

Kagetsu was not skilled in much other than her feminine charms (which she wielded with finesse), and did not possess a conniving mind. However, her loyalty lay always, first and fore-most with her clan and then with Sesshoumaru; even during their brief affair when she had professed that the silver dog held her greatest regard. It was not difficult to tell that she was lying given that it was possible to detect falsehoods over the mating bond, even in its infant stages. Had he been mated to Kagetsu, heiress of the Black Dog demons, her family would have simply eliminated him (most probably by ambushing him at a time of weakness), and then the reigns to the Lands of the West would have transferred from the hands of the Silver dogs to those of the Black dogs. In retrospect, Sesshoumaru realized that perhaps that had been his father's primary motivation in terminating their nascent mating bond, using his youth as but an excuse. The silver dogs and black dogs had never seen each other eye to eye; hence it was highly suspicious that the clan spent so much energy in trying to cultivate the favour of the then impressionable lord.

Kyoushin tapped on the table with a scroll bringing the inu youkai's attention back to the present. Sesshoumaru regarded the mountain of scrolls present before him, and almost reconsidered taking Kagetsu as a mate and allowing her clan to do away with him. He was reasonably certain that one would not have to do paperwork in the next world. Sesshoumaru turned his gaze onto the lord of the golden foxes and noted the strain present on his face, not all of which Sesshoumaru suspected was because of the impending Gathering.

For the longest time, Kyoushin had been excessively proud of his firstborn and only son, taking immense pleasure in his achievements. However, the simple fact that Shinkirou did not attend to them in the antechamber as he had done the previous year as part of his training as the future steward was a very telling detail. The chore Mizuiro had assigned her son was just that; a chore. Performing routine checks on the guest suites to address any shortcomings was a duty generally assigned to the kitsune children that were still in training, and were too young to be trusted with greater duties. The fact that his own parents had lost faith in Shinkirou's abilities as future clan lord spoke volumes. Sesshoumaru sighed inwardly. Lord Kyoushin was a good man and undeserving of the pain his child was causing him. As were present circumstances, Shinkirou could not be transferred to Shiyuuchi, for that was to be Misora's future domain, nor could he be kept within Koukyo because of the friction his actions were causing amidst the kitsune. Shinkirou at 195 years of age was not too far away from officially becoming the kitsune heir, and was too old to be retrained into any other position within Koukyo or Shiyuuchi. If Shinkirou did not mend his ways soon, the only option remaining would be to execute him; but that too was not a viable option as his impudence was not deserving of so harsh a penalty as a death sentence. Sesshoumaru decided to watch Shinkirou a little longer to see if there was anything left salvageable within the young kitsune.

Sesshoumaru consciously filed away Shinkirou's fate for later consideration as he gave his attention to the scrolls before him. Part of his mind though simply refused to focus as his thoughts went back to the previous evening when Inuyasha had shared with him the story of his mother and the circumstances that had lead to her fleeing her homeland of Setsuna permanently.


In the conservatory, the inu siblings were seated on the folding bench. Sesshoumaru had his arm wrapped around Inuyasha's waist, his palm gently caressing Inuyasha's sides, the other hand stroking his ears. As Inuyasha continued to tell his story, Sesshoumaru took the opportunity to familiarize Inuyasha with his presence, laying soft kisses on his face and neck whenever he got the chance. In the beginning Inuyasha had been very skittish, turning his face away when Sesshoumaru attempted to kiss him, but as the evening progressed, Inuyasha started accepting the caresses, even looking a trifle disappointed when Sesshoumaru withdrew after his brief kisses. Sesshoumaru dearly wanted to do a lot more, but he knew better than to push his luck at this point when Inuyasha was still growing accustomed to his attention.

As it turned out, after Izayoi had been handed over to prince Isagiyoi, she became the prince's most treasured child, favouring her above his legitimate children and potential heirs. Izayoi's beauty became to her, both a blessing and a curse. Her looks and heritage lead her to become the favourite child of the prince and dearly beloved by courtiers and warriors alike. However, this favouritism caused Izayoi to come to be hated by all of her blood kin and the palace concubines, who constantly strived to humiliate her in subtle ways such that the blame could not be traced back to them. Hence, being raised amidst intrigue for all of her life, Izayoi learned to be an exceptional politician, although her father and court turned a blind eye to her political skills. In the court of Setsuna, women were merely ornamental creatures that possessed no voices of their own and served only to exemplify their affiliated lord's prominence.

At the age of four, Shizenrin came in the darkness of the night to visit the baby Izayoi, and recognized Izayoi's growing spiritual powers. Being a Tennyo, she realized the need for Izayoi to learn to control her blossoming powers. However, in Setsuna, women practising the art of sorcery were immediately condemned to a death sentence, before which they are thoroughly and publicly humiliated. Shizenrin, thrilled with the discovery that she would be acting outside the legal bounds of Setsuna, began secretly training her abandoned daughter in the art of sorcery by contacting her through her dreams, always impressing upon her the need for secrecy. In time, Izayoi drew up to be a beautiful young lady whose ability in sorcery was unparalleled in the mortal realm, or so Shizenrin claimed since Izayoi had never engaged in any duels of sorcery since her abilities were meant to be a closely guarded secret, shared between only the mother and child.

All in all, Izayoi-hime led a good life, and if she was hated by her blood kin, she was revered and idolized by her courtiers. Her sorcery helped her out immensely as she secretly spied on her kin to learn of their plans, foiling their schemes before they could come to fruition. However, when Izayoi reached the age of fifteen, her perfect life shattered revealing it to be the illusion it was.

Izayoi, when she was very young had thought that her father had loved her, but as she grew older and her eyes became jaded, she came to realize that to her father she was only a prize intended to be sold off to the highest bidder, to further Isagiyoi's avarice for power. Predictably, because of her unparalleled beauty, Izayoi was sought after by many rich and powerful suitors. In the end, Izayoi discovered upon spying upon her father that she had been betrothed to the aging emperor of the neighbouring lands in an attempt to gain a powerful ally in the feudal times. Izayoi had been frantic with worry since the Emperor was renowned for his tyrannical nature and his tendency to share his multiple wives with his allies and courtiers as reward for services rendered. In her panic, she made a very crucial error. In her youth, she made the mistake of approaching her father and beseeched him to reconsider the alliance. When Isagiyoi had refused, she foolishly threatened to runaway or to commit suicide which led prince Isagiyoi to imprison her within a wing of the palace and place her under house-arrest. Once placed in captivity, Izayoi contacted her mother through her dreams seeing her as a last resort, hoping that her situation would appeal to Shizenrin's desire for adventure. However, Shizenrin at that time was suitably entertained by the intrigue of the celestial plane, and refused her assistance in a matter she deemed as trivial. After all, the tennyo herself saw no wrong in sharing her bed with multiple partners and in her view; prince Isagiyoi was wise to act in this fashion in order to acquire such a powerful alliance as that of the Emperor.

At this point, Izayoi was desperate, and she knew that should she remain in Setsuna there would be no escape for her from this engagement. Even if she did leave the small kingdom of Setsuna, no matter where she ran she would be captured and then turned over to the Emperor, and then the consequences would be dire. Izayoi did not dare use sorcery to stage her escape as the Emperor had plenty of sorcerers within his employment, and should her training in sorcery be discovered, she would not only be killed, she would be publicly humiliated in any fashion the Emperor desired, and the Emperor was renowned for his sick sense of humour.

Under these circumstances, Izayoi took an enormous risk, and took the only option left to her. With the help of her most trusted handmaidens, Izayoi gathered to herself her most trusted followers and a battalion of samurai whose commander was Takemaru; an honourable young man that Izayoi at that time did not realize was deeply infatuated with her. On the following moonless night, Izayoi made subtle use of her sorcery and deepened the sleep of the palace inhabitants. She then teleported herself to a secret location in the palace gardens she normally used to practise sorcery and then under the cover of darkness, Izayoi fled Setsuna with a battalion of Samurai and her loyal followers to go to the only place she knew where not even the Emperor would dare send his men – the Demonic Nations.


Suddenly there was a loud shattering noise. Sesshoumaru looked up startled to see the expensive ceramic vase smashed into pieces against the wall. He looked back at lord Kyoushin wide-eyed, who gave him a pointed look, tapping at the scroll in his hand. Sesshoumaru looked down to see that he had spilled most of the blood in the feather onto the scroll, rendering it useless. Sesshoumaru took in a steadying breath and refilled the feather as he took the fresh scroll offered by Kyoushin.

"Right… paper work… focus…" Sesshoumaru thought to himself as he returned his attention to the scroll.

Before him, Kyoushin made loud noises with whatever was available, disrupting Sesshoumaru's train of thought every time he got lost in his own musings.

"Damn kitsune and their efficiency…"


Character profiles of OCs created by oStilloDreamingo

Inji (artistic pursuits)
Species: Nobility - Golden Fox Demon
Allegiance: Western Lands; Koukyo
Status: Aesthetic - Hair
Age Group: Adult - 650+

Tegakari (to scent)
Species: Nobility - Golden Fox Demon
Allegiance: Western Lands; Koukyo
Status: Aesthetic - Skin and Perfumery
Age Group: Adult - 500+

Shiage (finishing touches)
Species: Nobility - Golden Fox Demon
Allegiance: Western Lands; Koukyo
Status: Aesthetic - Nail Care
Age Group: Adult - 500+

Shinkirou (mirage)
Species: Nobility - Golden Fox Demon
Allegiance: Western Lands; Koukyo
Status: Heir apparent to Lord Kyoushin
Age Group: Juvenile - 195

Misora (beautiful sky)
Species: Nobility - Golden Fox Demon
Allegiance: Western Lands; Shiyuuchi
Status: Heir apparent to Lady Kyoushou
Age Group: Child - 90

Lady Kagetsu (bright moon)
Species: Royalty - Black Dog Demon
Allegiance: Western Lands
Status: Heiress to the Black Dog demon clan
Age Group: Adult - 559


Author's Note:

Special thanks to my reviewers: sleepless, IvyLady, Raincurtain, Heidi, Jester08, the blasphemous, MiseryluvsDeath aka Fidele, Silvermane1, TeeDee, EmeraldSnake11, silversnow10, Princess Sin, Shinimegami7, RKInu241, Mirokuluver's Friend, Natasha AKA Tash, Sekre, irat, petpeeves12, SANGO QUEEN OF SLAYERS, DemonGoddess061 and thr3e.

Thanks for liking the class notes and the green house scenario! This chapter is longer. I hope you enjoy it. Happy New Year!

LOL! Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed Izayoi's story thus far. I added another instalment of her life in this chapter. I hope you will find it as captivating. I put in a bit more InuSess bonding in this chapter. Anyways, I hope you enjoy the chapter as a whole! Happy New Year!

Thanks! I'm glad you liked the little details. It's the glue that holds my story together. And you have good observational skills. I did base my flower on lavenders. I looked up flowers that would sorta match what I was looking for, but the closest I could get were the relaxant abilities of lavender oil. Its not really lavender, just based on it. I didn't bother naming it, because every name I came up with were ill-fitting.
And since you asked, yep we will be seeing more of the mage-light in later chapters. It will help make sense of Inuyasha's powers. I wish I had one too! It would be too cool! LOL! Happy New Year!

LOL! Thanks for saying that this is one of your favourite stories and I'm so sorry I disappointed you. I'm sorry, but I needed to put down those explanations so that people would not have a hard time reading my fic. I've seen it done in some fantasy novels I have read. But don't worry, it was a one time thing. I probably wouldn't be posting another one of those for at least seven more chapters. I' glad you enjoyed the story of Izayoi's birth. Hope you enjoy the new piece I've added in regards to her life in Setsuna. Happy New Year!

Thank you so much for your PM. It made me very happy to read your take on my story. I'm glad you liked the InuSess bonding. Thank you for your support. I have more InuSess bonding in this chapter. I hope you like it as well. Happy New Year!

oOo Jester08's PM oOo

The site wasn't letting me leave a review for your latest chapter of 'Hidden in Plain Sight', so I thought I would review this way! I
thought the whole interaction between Inuyasha and Sesshomaru was very well written. I liked how you made Sesshomaru a little more playful and I
love your made up past for Inuyasha's mother! Don't let the the ramblings of people who don't like your story to get you don't because I think
you have an amazing story going. Update soon please because I really can't wait for more!! Keep up the good work!!

Thanks, Jessica
AKA - Jester08

oOo PM End oOo

the blasphemous:
Thanks for pointing that out. I meant that Inuyasha aged like a human till the age of seventeen. And now that he is 200, he appears eighteen years old; i.e., he aged, but not much.
Also, thanks for your question, which was: If Inuyasha is only one-quarter human, and thusly 1/4 mortal (and instead is one one-half demon (1/2 of a ridiculously long lifecycle) AND is one-fourth Tennyo (thus 1/4 immortal), why does he age like a human? It seems to me that he would age much more like a demon than a human. His human heritage seems to have taken a bit of a backseat in a lot of things, so why would it surface in his early-life aging scheme?
My answer to that is: Humans are the most virile when compared to Tenjin and Youkai. It is Izayoi's human blood that made it possible for her to conceive a demon child. Izayoi herself, failed to inherit her mother's immortality, so she could not pass it onto Inuyasha. Since Inuyasha's conception is mainly thanks to his human blood, he underwent growth like a human until the age of seventeen. After the age of seventeen, I made it so that Inuyasha's heat (which began at fourteen) triggered his youkai heritage to take prominence, which is why he now ages like a demon.
LOL! I didn't feel like you were complaining at all. If my story seems fuzzy to you, please do point it out. I want this to be an easy read for most of my readers.
You have my sympathy in regards to the dissection. (marks dissection as taboo topic)
LOL! That was some interesting information about the word "drivel" and its origins. Thanks for enlightening me. If it wasn't obvious already, I adore details and trivia.
Thanks for your well-wishing. Happy New Year!

MiseryluvsDeath aka Fidele:
Your Welcome! I'm glad my fic made you happy! I hope you like the new chapter as well! Happy New Year!

As always, thank you for taking the time to review. I hope you enjoy this new chapter. Happy New Year!

Thanks! I'm glad someone appreciates the realism I'm trying to inject into their relationship. Love at first sight scenarios just don't work for me. I hope you like this new chapter! Happy New Year!

Oh my God! Thank you! That has to be one of the biggest complements anyone has ever given me. LOL! Sadly, I'm a fanfic writer and haven't yet attempted an original work. You're comments are encouraging. I might give it a try, if only to challenge myself. Who knows, I might succeed in my attempt. grin I'm glad you enjoyed the inu siblings playing with the mage-light. I hope you enjoy this new chapter as well! Happy New Year!

Oh does it? I hadn't realized that my fic resembles Naruto somewhat. I'll take that as a compliment. Naruto is one of my all time fave anime too (Although the fillers are grating on my nerves). I hope you enjoy this new chapter. It includes elements of what you like. Happy New Year!

Princess Sin:
LOL! Thanks for liking the story so much. I'm glad my explanations regarding Izayoi seem feasible to you. I hope you enjoy this new chapter. Happy New Year!

Thank you so much. It was really sweet of you to log out just to review. LOL! I know… I know… long author notes are bad, but under the circumstances, it was necessary. I'll try not to inflict such torture on my readers in the future. Thanks for liking the info bits and the InuSess interaction! I hope you enjoy this new chapter. Happy New Year!

LOL! Thanks! Here's more about Inuyasha's heritage as you requested. Also, the answer to your question, the Gathering begins in the next chapter or the chapter after. I hope you like this chapter! Happy New Year!

Mirokuluver's Friend:
LOL! I'm glad my fic made you so happy! grin I hope you enjoy this new chapter. Happy New Year!

Natasha AKA Tash:
Your review was just too sweet. It made me so happy to read it. It makes me so happy to know that someone out there has so must confidence in my writing ability that they are willing to nominate me for any fiction awards. LOL! Yes I do a lot of research to make my fic believable. How did I come up with this story? Frankly I have no clue. I originally just wanted to write a sweet brotherly fic where Sesshoumaru acknowledges Inuyasha inu youkai heritage. But as I began writing, more ideas just came popping into my head and the fic took on a life of its own. To preserve my sanity, I had to put it down on paper. To make my fic more believable, I went out and did some research into the Inuyasha anime and myths in general. And thus was born my story. My initial set uup of story plot and characters took about three weeks, which I don't count as very long.
You also asked me how long it took Inuyasha to master his sword and magic. In answer to that I will say that he had training in sorcery since he had become self aware in his infancy, and he became quite proficient by the age of twenty. Currently, his abilities in sorcery are off the chart as will be evident in later chapters. As for the sword, I will be addressing that in the coming chapters, so I will refrain from answering at present. Also, as the story progresses, I will be revealing more of Inuyasha's background and heritage, so will need to be patient.
You assumptions are partly correct. Sesshoumaru had been attracted to Inuyasha for quite a while, but at that time the attraction was not reciprocated. Inuyasha is only just growing attracted to Sesshoumaru now that the Inu youkai is making advances on the hanyou.
Also, as you can see, there will be plenty of kisses between the inu siblings.
LOL! I'm always happy to answer questions, so please feel free to ask away. I hope you enjoy this new chapter.
Happy New Year!

Thanks for logging out and reviewing! grin Thanks for liking Izayoi's tale. Do let me know if you like this chapter's instalment on Izayoi's history as well. Also, as to your comment on Inuyasha being one-fourth god, I'd like you to scroll down to the "PLEASE NOTE" section in the "To all my readers" section. Thanks for liking my story and Happy New Year!

I'm glad you were surprised that Inuyasha possessed Tennyo blood. Also, as I keep saying, I am always happy to answer questions, so please feel free to ask away. As for important information regarding halflings, I will reveal them as the story progresses. I hope you enjoyed this update. Happy New Year!

hmmm… good guess. Not quite on the spot, but very close. LOL! I'm glad you are enjoying my fic. Happy New Year!

LOL! Thanks for saying that. Yep, Sesshoumaru is rather promiscuous. Sticks to a single lover in a season, but has had many different lovers. For my fic, lately Sesshoumaru had been taking a lover once every five or six years as opposed to every year as is the common practice. I'm glad you are enjoying my fic thus far, and I hope you will enjoy the future chapters as well. Happy New Year!

LOL! I can see I have some very perceptive readers (or maybe my idea was just overused in too many fics. shrugs). I'm glad you found Sesshoumaru's responses to be amusing as it was intended to be. I'm also glad that you are enjoying the subtle interactions of the inu siblings as you put it. Most readers just demand that I just leap right ahead to the smut (not my style). Anyways, thanks for your review and a Happy New Year!

LOL! Happens to the best of us.
I'm glad you enjoy my chapter endings. I know for a fact that my chapter openings are weak at best (something I really need to work on), so I try to make up for it by creating a memorable ending. I want my readers to get a just "happy" feeling when they have finished reading my piece. I'm glad you picked up on the fact that Shizenrin thought that Izayoi was ugly although I did not actually spell it out as such. LOL! Yes, I happen to love researching. Theres just so much out there I don't know about, and I just get this "feel good" feeling when I learn something new. grin And thank you for supporting my little info pieces. I hope you enjoy this latest chapter. Happy New Year!

To all my readers:

Hey everyone! Happy New Year everyone! This site is really beginning to annoy me. It seems as if the email system breaks down every other week. sigh.

I'm pretty sure everyone out there is thinking: Finally we see the fox brat. What took this authoress so long to write him into her story. Well, here he is, Shinkirou in all his glory. You will be seeing more of him in the coming chapters. Do let me know what you think of him from what you gathered in this chapter when you get the chance.

I'm glad most people out there enjoyed the previous chapter, but after reading my reviews, I realized a crucial assumption that most of my readers were making, which does not apply at all to my story.

Please NOTE: Tennyo are not Goddesses. In the Inuyasha world I am using, Kami/God is the all powerful spiritual entity that is responsible for the creation of the universe. As I am mostly using Eastern Philosophy, the people in the Inuyasha World follow a very humanistic form of animism. That means that they believe that the shifts in Nature directly affect the lives of humans and demons. The Universe is basically composed of the spiritual energy: chi, whose ebbs and flows basically accounts for everything ranging from fortune/misfortune in everyday life to the changing seasons. The humans and demons do not actively worship this spiritual entity, but hold it in high regard and are thus very eco-sensitive (in tune with nature). This is probably a lot of technical jargon that probably means nothing to most of you, but my main point is that, please, under no circumstance believe that the tennyo in my story are goddesses. They are simply immortal creatures of whimsy.

As a side note, since I do use a lot of elements from already established myths, I'd like to point out that there is no such thing as the blood crow I described. Came up with it to suit the occasion. I did try to hunt up information about something similar in popular mythology, but failing to do so, I relied on the fruits of my imagination.

I guess this particular comment is directed towards all the people out there who are authors on this site or anywhere else for that matter. After proof-reading this chapter, my Beta commented that this chapter lacked a central theme. For example, the previous chapter was about Izayoi's birth, the one before it was about introducing the healer and sorceress. My Beta says that, this chapter lacks a central theme to unite it as a whole. What do you guys think? I wrote this chapter as a means to introduce the long awaited Shinkirou, prime Inuyasha for the impending Gathering, and to get in a little bit more of Izayoi's heritage. This chapter is essentially a primer for the Gathering connecting it to the chapters that have gone before it. Anyone have any suggestions on how I could have better organized this chapter?

Anyways, thanks everyone for reading and reviewing!