Perfect

"This is it!" Inuyasha roared, leaping and swinging the Tetsusaiga. The Taiyoukai in front of him blinked, and in that instant was across the clearing, Tokijin unleashing its youki at him. Inuyasha jumped out of the way, and Sesshomaru met him in mid-air, landing a swift punch to the hanyou's jaw. Inuyasha landed on his back and skidded in the dirt as Sesshomaru landed opposite him.

"You are becoming slower, Inuyasha," he muttered. He cast a glance to the taijiya and the houshi watching nearby. He wasn't sure where the miko was, but when he had been coming through these lands, he had passed too close to the village, and his brother had come to once again attempt to settle their age-old feud.

"Oh yeah, I'll show you!" Inuyasha snarled, flicking out a claw. He dove again, and Sesshomaru easily dodged, Inuyasha's claws gouging into a tree. Sesshomaru gave the barest hint of a frown as he evaded his brother's attacks. Those words sounded vaguely familiar…

Hey, Dad, look at me.

Think back and talk to me,

Did I grow up, according to, plan?

"You are becoming slower, Inuyasha," Sesshomaru warned. Opposite him, a much younger inu-hanyou wiped a smudge of dirt off his face. The little whelp had asked Sesshomaru to spar with him and teach him how to fight. So far all he had done was move out of the way. Had he actually fought back, he would have killed him in moments.

"Oh yeah, I'll show you!" Inuyasha laughed, diving. Sesshomaru snorted and casually side-stepped. Inuyasha hit the ground and rolled, coughing. Sesshomaru lashed out his youki-whip and flicked it to throw Inuyasha into the air. He caught him by the scruff of his neck. Inuyasha looked up and gulped, his golden eyes wide. Sesshomaru stared at him and dropped him to the dirt.

And do you think I'm, wasting my time?

Doing things I wanna do,

But it hurts when you disapprove, all along.

Golden eyes flashed angrily as Inuyasha slashed at his neck. Had Sesshomaru been a human, the blow would easily have sliced his head off. The two landed, and Inuyasha dashed. Sesshomaru moved aside and bared a green claw. Inuyasha stopped and spun on his heel, drawing Tetsusaiga and cleaving the sword into the air.

Grey metal clanged to the ground, and Sesshomaru glanced at his broken armor before leaping to avoid a second strike. He lowered his claw and fired a blast of poisonous green smoke. Inuyasha raised the sleeve of his kimono to block out the fumes as he scanned the skies.

And now I try hard to make it,

I just want to make you proud.

I'm never gonna be good enough for you.

"Look aniki!" Sesshomaru stopped and looked over his shoulder. Inuyasha ran up to him, proudly baring a dead hare in his claws.

"I told you, you are to cook your own food," Sesshomaru muttered, turning to keep walking. "This Sesshomaru does not cook human scraps for hanyous."

"It's not scraps aniki, I killed it myself!" Inuyasha said proudly. Sesshomaru snorted and sniffed the air, catching the prey's scent.

"It was old and had a broken foot," He sneered, continuing forward. "Not all prey are so easily overtaken, Inuyasha. You'd best learn how to kill decent meals." Behind him, Inuyasha looked at the dead animal sadly, before dropping it and walking after his brother.

Can't pretend that

I'm alright.

And you can't change me.

A whirlwind of blue energy burst through the cloud, and Inuyasha raised Tetsusaiga to deflect Tokijin's blast. The energy dissipated as Sesshomaru tore through in its wake. Metal clanged against metal, and the two brothers were pushed back from the dissipating cloud of fumes.

Sesshomaru remembered that rabbit. It had been the young hanyou's first kill. He hadn't taught the child any more than the basics of sitting still and patience, but somehow he still managed to fend for himself and deliver a meal. And seeing as how that hare was roughly a quarter his size, it wasn't a bad feat either.

Inuyasha sheathed Tetsusaiga and ran towards Sesshomaru, claws out. Sesshomaru casually raised Tokijin to catch his attack and fling him away.

'Cuz we lost it all,

Nothing lasts forever.

I'm sorry

I can't be perfect.

"Aniki?" Sesshomaru grunted, and the slightly older hanyou behind him continued. "Where's your okaa-san?" Sesshomaru stopped and turned to glare at him.

"What?" He snapped.

"Well, you're a full youkai, and I'm a hanyou, but if my mother was a human, then your mother must be a youkai too," Inuyasha said, saying each statement slowly to confirm the fact of it. "So if my okaa-san isn't yours, where is she?" Sesshomaru glared down at him. His mother had left their father centuries ago when his fondness for humans made him soft. She had taken to visiting him on occasion, until Toga had taken Izayoi as his second mate. Their marks void, his mother vanished. He hadn't seen her in decades.

"It is not of your concern," he snarled. "Learn your place before I teach it to you." Sesshomaru spun around and stomped angrily through the forest. Inuyasha scratched his head and ran after him, tripping on a tree root in the process.

Now it's just too late, and

We can't go back.

I'm sorry

I can't be perfect.

Inuyasha picked himself up and spat a clot of blood in the dust at his feet. He turned and glared at Sesshomaru. Sesshomaru watched his brother as he slowly clutched a bruising shoulder. He remembered a time when those eyes had been filled with adoration and love. There was a time when the hanyou before him had looked at him as if he was a kami incarnate, like he could move a mountain with a blink.

"I'm finished with you!" Inuyasha roared. Claws flashed, and Sesshomaru dodged. This time, however, Inuyasha caught a glancing blow. Sesshomaru winced slightly and looked down at his shoulder. Four red gashes were visible on his skin through the tattered cloth. He narrowed his eyes and looked up at the smirking hanyou.

I try not to think,

About the pain I feel inside.

Did you know you used to be my hero?

Sesshomaru ducked a blast of fire from the gumo-youkai and slashed apart two of the creature's legs. He heard a scream nearby and ignored it. He had warned the moronic hanyou of the gumo-youkai terrorizing this forest. But the child had paid it no mind and continued to follow him. Sesshomaru lashed out his youki whip and cleaved the beast's legs apart. The youkai fell to the ground, weakened. Sesshomaru drew back a claw and prepared the killing blow.

"Aniki, behind you!" Inuyasha screamed. Sesshomaru spun around and jumped just in time to avoid a stream of fire from the youkai's mate. He sneered and lashed out his whip again, lashing it back and forth. One by one, lacerations appeared on the youkai's face, until it howled and collapsed. Sesshomaru landed and slammed a claw through its forehead. The creature let out a dying breath and slumped. Sesshomaru turned to its incapacitated mate and casually followed through with the same blow.

"We were awesome aniki!" Inuyasha cheered, running towards him. Sesshomaru growled and spun, whipping a hand across Inuyasha's cheek. The hanyou fell back and looked up in shock.

"Never interfere with my battles again," Sesshomaru warned.

All the days you spent with me

Now seem so far away.

And it feels like you don't care anymore.

"You cannot kill me, Inuyasha," Sesshomaru said, dodging a clumsy slash from the Tetsusaiga. Inuyasha growled and slashed again, missing, but by a smaller margin.

"Watch me!" he snarled.

And now I try hard to make it,

I just want to make you proud.

I'm never gonna be good enough for you.

"When I order you to stay, I mean it!" Sesshomaru snarled, swiping. A pre-teen Inuyasha dove to avoid the half-hearted attack. The hanyou was becoming a nuisance. Youkai everywhere over the years had gotten word that the great Sesshomaru, the Inu-no-Taisho, was being followed by his hanyou brother. Now those youkai that did not laugh at his name sought him out to fight him. Rumor had it the Inu-no-Taisho had gone soft, followed in his father's footsteps.

"Sesshomaru-chan, stop it! You know you couldn't have handled those koumori-youkai on your own!" Inuyasha protested. "I killed at least as many as you! I saved your life!" Sesshomaru's eyes flashed, and he pounced on the hanyou, grabbing his neck and lifting him into the air.

"Before you save my life, save your own!" he snapped. He slashed, and a quick counter-attack deflected him. Sesshomaru blinked and looked at his wrist. Three small slashes were there. He looked up at the hanyou in his grasp, who was genuinely surprised.

I can't stand another fight.

And nothing's alright.

Inuyasha kept up his attacks, but now Sesshomaru merely dodged them. The hanyou alternated between Tetsusaiga and his claws, but the taiyoukai's mind was elsewhere. That moment was one of the moments with Inuyasha that had stuck in his mind through the decades. It was the moment he knew something had been lost between them, something they would never get back. And the loss of it would quickly become noticeable to the hanyou as well.

In all the years Inuyasha had followed him, whenever Sesshomaru had struck him for whatever reason…Inuyasha often tried to defend himself. But never once had he actually struck back.

'Cuz we lost it all.

Nothing lasts forever.

I'm sorry

I can't be perfect.

"What the hell is your problem?" Inuyasha demanded. Sesshomaru crossed his arms and pretended to ignore him, intent on watching the movement of human troops in the valley below them. "I've done nothing but kiss your prissy ass for years, and you've done nothing but call me names! I'm sick of being called whelp, half-breed, hanyou, whatever! I have a name!"

"It is my right," Sesshomaru replied, standing to move now that the human army was gone. "You are a hanyou, a plague on this earth. Your blood is the source of your pain."

"Yeah, well in case you've forgotten, half your blood is mine too!" Inuyasha snapped, glaring at him as he walked away. "So if I'm so disgusting, what does that make you? What does that make father?" Sesshomaru stopped as though an arrow had been pierced through his chest. He spun around and glared.

"You will never speak of myself, or father, like that ever again," he ordered. Inuyasha folded his arms into his kimono and glared back with equal intensity. The challenge was administered. And accepted.

Now it's just too late, and

We can't go back.

I'm sorry

I can't be perfect.

The two inu-brothers landed across from each other. Inuyasha was dirty, panting and bruised. Sesshomaru looked as if he could attend a formal gala. Inuyasha glared angrily before drawing Tetsusaiga, wincing as his shoulder throbbed. Sesshomaru watched as the swirls of youki around the sword began to collect.

Nothing's gonna change the things that you said.

Nothing's gonna make this right again.

Please don't turn your back.

"I'm not kidding!" Inuyasha warned. Sesshomaru watched as his younger brother with the same impassive look he gave everyone. The hanyou had been spouting this speech for years now. But this time, something was different.

"If I have been so horrible to you, then go. I have done my duty to father by raising you. Your care is no longer my concern," Sesshomaru replied. Inuyasha clenched his claws.

"I'm warning you, Sesshomaru," he snarled. "If I leave, and you let me, then the next time we meet, it'll be as enemies." Sesshomaru snorted. He knew perfectly well the hanyou did not want to leave.

"Then allow me," he sneered, turning. He slowly walked away, listening to the footsteps to follow. Waiting for the hanyou to call out to him and run to catch up.

Instead, he heard silence.

Sesshomaru stopped and looked over his shoulder. The forest behind him stood empty.

I can't believe it's hard

Just to talk to you.

But you don't understand.

First it was aniki. Then Sesshomaru-chan. Then just plain Sesshomaru. Now he was lucky if Inuyasha referred to him as anything other than "bastard." He watched the Kaze-no-kizu form around his sword. The sword his father had left him. Brother to the sword of healing around his own waist. Two swords that placed the power of both life and death in their owners hands. If such owners were ever allied.

Had that be his father's wish, that his two sons learn to work together to oversee his domain? That the Fangs of the Dog Ruler be aligned under one purpose? Was that ever even a possibility? Could he and Inuyasha even be within a few miles of each other before seeking the other out and fighting? Sesshomaru knew perfectly well. There was a time when that happened. There was a time when they fought side by side. And he had debased him for helping when by all accounts, alone he would have perished. Sesshomaru slowly closed his eyes as Inuyasha brought back the sword over his head.

"I'm sorry."

'Cuz we lost it all.

Nothing lasts forever.

I'm sorry

I can't be perfect.

"Huh?" Inuyasha slowly lowered the Tetsusaiga, staring at Sesshomaru in shock. Sango and Miroku gave him looks of confusion. It was so low, even his hearing barely picked up the words. Two words he thought he would never hear from the Taiyoukai before him. "What the hell are you talking about?" Inuyasha demanded. Sesshomaru ignored him and turned, walking away. Inuyasha gritted his teeth and raised the Tetsusaiga again, the Kaze-no-Kizu forming along the fang.

Now it's just too late, and

We can't go back.

I'm sorry

I can't be perfect.

Sesshomaru stopped as he heard the hanyou grunt, and waited. Several moments passed before the silence of the plains was broken. Tetsusaiga imbedded itself in the ground, the blade smoking and changing back to the rusty katana it hid itself as. Inuyasha stared at Sesshomaru's back, thoroughly confused. Sesshomaru shook his head and continued, vanishing into the forest.

'Cuz we lost it all.

Nothing lasts forever.

I'm sorry

I can't be perfect.

Now it's just too late, and

We can't go back.

I'm sorry

I can't be…perfect.