Title: Cursed!
Author: SkyFire

Rating: PG
Characters: Sesshoumaru & co. Slight Inuyahsa & co.
Summary: Sometimes following your nose can get you into trouble, as Sesshoumaru finds out the hard way. Oneshot.
Genre: Humor/angst.
Warnings: Don't drink/eat while reading? None besides that.

Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha or any of the characters therein. Though if someone wouldcare to donate a Sesshoumaru... Also: I am not responsible for any damage caused from ignoring the warning above. ;oP

Cursed! by SkyFire

Lord Sesshoumaru walked toward the meadow where he had left Rin and Jaken, deep in thought.

He had left them there mid-afternoon of the day before, following after an intriguing scent. He could admit it to himself if to no other – the moment he had caught a whiff, he had been unable to keep away, instinct completely overriding conscious thought in a way he had never allowed. There was just something about it–

It was only after he had followed it to its source and conscious thought ruled once more that the realization hit that he had walked straight into a trap, nose-first.

Unfortunately – as far as he was concerned – it was not a trap of the 'Upstart trying to kill off the Lord of the Western Lands, Sesshoumaru' variety. It was not even a 'You killed so-and-so, now I'm going to kill you' trap.

No, this particular trap had been set for him by a kitsune. An older, female kitsune. An older, greying, female two-tailed kitsune who apparently wanted him for her mate and had ever since he was formally introduced in his father's court centuries past as a youth.

Understandably – for one who had desired him for that long – she didn't take too well to his denial of even the faintest feeling in response.

So she cursed him.

"Too proud to even consider me, are you? We'll see how long your arrogance lasts in the face of my curse! Never again will you be called by name or title without a reminder of the humiliation I've suffered this day!"

With that somewhat ominous-sounding proclamation, the old kitsune vanished in a puff of smoke.

Sesshoumaru stared at the spot where she had stood for a long moment, then shrugged nearly imperceptibly and turned away. It wasn't the first time he had been approached by an amorous female, though this one had been the oldest, with the most unique approach to date. As for the curse–

Another imperceptible shrug. What could some disillusioned old woman – kitsune or not – hope to do against a powerful youkai lord like himself? Nothing.

He put the whole incident from him, turned, and made his way back to where he had left Rin and Jaken.

oOoOo

As always, he had barely come into sight of the camp when he was spotted by Rin.

"Lord Sesshoumaru!" she cried happily."You're back!"

And that was how the great dog demon Sesshoumaru discovered that he wasn't as immune to the kitsune's curse as he had thought as the sound of his name caused him to do something he never had before in his life.

Sesshoumaru hiccuped.

Rin blinked, stared. Even Jaken froze where he stood, gaping, eyes wide in shock.

"Lord Sesshoumaru?" Rin said timidly.

Again, that unmentionable sound sprang forth.

The girl stared again. Then, ever so slowly, a grin spread across her face. It was only a moment later when the girl's delighted laughter filled the clearing.

The lord in question was finding it hard to keep a petulant scowl from his face. How dared that old woman do that to him?

Jaken approached cautiously. "Are you ill, milord?"

Yet another time, Sesshoumaru found himself humiliated as a hiccup escaped.

oOoOo

Over a week had passed; a week filled with attempts to break the curse, all unsuccessful thus far. Even the thousand-year-old magnolia tree Bokusen'oh – after his brief (for a tree) expression of mirth – had no answers for him.

To make matters worse, Sesshoumaru had been catching the scent of his half-brother for the past two days. He could only imagine what would happen should they meet.

(Sesshoumaru's Imagination)
/The brothers faced each other across the verdant stretch of grassy ground. Inuyasha's friends stood safely at a distance from them on one side, Rin and Jaken (along with AhUn) an equal distance away on the opposite side.

"Here for the Tetsusaiga again, Sesshoumaru?" Inuyasha taunted, the sword in question held defensively before him.

Sesshoumaru hiccuped.

Inuyasha blinked. "Sesshoumaru?"

Hiccup.

A truly evil smirk spread across the hanyou's face, golden eyes gleaming with unholy glee.

"Don't you–" Sesshoumaru started threateningly.

"Sess!"

Hiccup.

"Inu–"

"Sesshoumaru! SessSessSessSessSessSessSessSessSessSessSessSessSessSess!"

The half-demon roared with laughter as his half-brother, the fierce, powerful demon lord Sesshoumaru, was brought to his knees by a surge of convulsive hiccuping.../
(End Imagined)

Sesshoumaru thought briefly of the abuse he had heaped on the hanyou over the years. Shuddered mentally at the thought of Inuyasha using the curse to get even.

No, better to keep away at all costs. He could not let him find out his new weakness!

"Lor–"

Sesshoumaru glared Jaken into silence before he finished the word. So far, they had found that any variation of either name or title was enough to trigger the curse.

oOoOo

Rin watched by the flickering light of the campfire as Jaken dug himself deeper and deeper into his lord's disfavor.

"My L–"

Hiccup. "Jaken."

"Lor-"

Hiccup. "Jaken."

"Sess-"

Hiccup. "Jaken, be quiet!"

"But my–"

Growl.

"Yes, sir."

Hiccup.

Rin watched her lord Sesshoumaru struggling with the hiccups as Jaken continued to mutter under his breath about how inappropriate it was to call the demon lord by anything other than his title. As she watched him wracked with hiccup after hiccup, with barely a chance to breathe between them, let alone time enough to silence the toad, she couldn't help but think back to her childhood – the time before her parents had died – and remember all the cures for hiccups she had been taught then.

Water was out. Even though she had been traveling with him for some time now, she still had yet to see Sesshoumaru actually eat. She still offered him portions, but they were invariably refused with that ever-familiar 'I don't eat human food'.

She doubted the dignified lord would agree to stand on his head and count to a hundred, either, though the mental image sent her into peals of delighted giggles, carefully muffled behind her hands.

That left–

Ah. Rin's typically-innocent grin turned positively evil before she masked it behind a somewhat-sheepish, innocent mask.

Sesshoumaru looked down at the small nudge at his side, saw how Rin had moved in closer while he was preoccupied with the – hic-hic-hic-hiccup "Jaken!" – effects of the curse. "Yes, Rin?" he asked, his voice hoarse. "What is it?"

"I'm pregnant," she said simply. "It's Jaken's."

Golden eyes widened in shock before narrowing, glinting red with anger as he turned to look at the toad, who was staring, open-mouthed, at the girl. "Jaken!" he roared.

Snapping out of the shock at the accusation, the toad backed up, away from his master, who was haloed by a mass of swirling, angry youki. "She's lying, my lord!" Hiccup. "I would never – a human – I – she–"

"Are you all right now, my Lord?" Rin asked calmly, seemingly oblivious to the fact that her beloved Lord Sesshoumaru was barely a hair's breadth from wreaking bloody carnage in the clearing.

A hiccup was her only reply for a long moment, then the words seemed to penetrate the wall of rage. "What? Rin?"

A crestfallen look. "I really thought it would work. Whenever I had the hiccups, my mama would give me a good scare and they'd go away. I really thought it would work. I'm sorry, my– um... sorry."

"You're not pregnant?" It seemed to have trouble sinking in; the rage and blood-lust slow to leave.

"No."

"You're not having Jaken's child?"

"No." A small pause. "Ewwwww! Jaken? Ewwwww."

"What do you mean 'Eww'!" Jaken yelled. "Insolent brat! I'll have you know that in certain circles, I'm considered quite the catc–"

A clawed hand landed on Rin's head, gently stroked her hair. "While I appreciate the fact that you were trying to help me, this is caused by a curse and is not a natural occurrence. So therefore any normal methods are doomed to failure."

"Oh."

oOoOo

In the end, they were unable to avoid running into Inuyasha's group things there played out strikingly similar to how Sesshoumaru had imagined it would.

Despite their words to the contrary, the demon lord had caught them stifling laughter on more than one occasion as Inuyasha took the opportunity and ran with it. Not only was that first discovery as awful as he had thought it would be; now the despicable hanyou chose to call for him at random intervals, invoking that damnable curse.

Despite the ever-growing humiliation, there was one bright light in the dross: the young kitsune Shippou had recognized the curse as the work of fox magic and was trying to figure out a way to break it. Whether the young, partially-trained kit could actually do it or not was another matter entirely, but at least he was trying to help.

When he shredded them for laughing at him, the great Lord Sesshoumaru, he might just leave the fox alive.

And even if he couldn't break the curse, Sesshoumaru knew for a fact that there were full-grown kitsune servants at his palace. Surely one of them could do something about it...

His musings were interrupted by a small cough and low "L-Lo– um... excuse me?"

He looked over to see the young one standing beside him, staring fixedly at the dirt between them. "What is it? Did you break the curse?" The way he was avoiding the demon lord's gaze was indicative enough of failure, but he could always hope...

"About that..." A deep breath, then Shippou raised his head, dared to look Sesshoumaru in the face, if not in the eyes. "I didn't exactly break it." Another deep breath, even as he stood there, shaking to pieces. "I didn't have to."

Golden eyes narrowed in puzzlement, then narrowed more in irritation as a mumbled 'Sess' from Inuyasha pulled forth another unwelcome hiccup. An irritated glare at the half-breed, then he looked back to the fox. "Explain."

"I-I didn't have to break it," Shippou said again. He shook his head. "Whoever made that curse must've been pretty weak; even I could make a curse that lasts longer than that, and I'm just a little kid. Just ask Inuyasha." He gulped as narrowed amber eyes urged him to get on with it. Swiftly, if he knew what was good for him. "Judging from the remnants, I'd say it wore off on its own about two days ago."

It took a moment for that to sink in. then: "Wore off? It can't have. Why am I still making those... noises... then?"

"Habit?"

The next time Shippou was seen he sported a naked tail, the bare skin reddened with minor burns from Sesshoumaru's poison claws.

It took three days of Rin's cures to free Sesshoumaru of the hiccup-habit.

It would take an eternity for Sesshoumaru or Inuyasha to forget it.

END