What a Mess
A Suitable Replacement
Sesshomaru stared dispassionately at Jaken's lifeless mutilated body. Of course he'd avenged the imp's death. It was fair payment for many years of service. And Jaken had died while protecting Rin from hunger-crazed youkai.
It seemed to be an increasingly common annoyance. Lesser youkai were going mad, killing everything in their path.
His thoughts were interrupted by his ward's loud wails and sobs. She had thrown herself over the imp. The girl was ruining yet another perfectly good kimono. He doubted his retainer's blood would wash out.
"Please, Sesshomaru-sama! You can't let Master Jaken die!" she cried.
He didn't bother telling the girl that he'd revived the toad with Tenseiga once already. Sesshomaru found explaining himself far too tiresome. "Come, Rin," he said as he walked away to where Ah Un stood sunning itself on the crest of a grassy knoll.
Sesshomaru didn't want to linger while the stench of death fouled the sweet summer air. He would have to make Rin bathe later he realized with an almost imperceptible frown. Something Jaken had always done.
Though he would certainly never admit it to anyone else, Sesshomaru was quite aware that he made a terrible father. It wasn't as though he'd had the best example. And she was human. And female. He was quite content to let her run around with sticks and leaves in her hair. Rin's grubby feet and sticky hands (how children managed to stay in a constant state of stickiness still confounded him) didn't bother him at all. But Jaken had insisted that as a ward of the great Lord of the West, she should always look her best. Sesshomaru supposed that made sense…if he'd ever let any of his peers actually see the girl.
He knew she would follow. She always did. Sesshomaru heard her shuffling footsteps and sniffles. He also heard her grumbles that they should bury his deceased retainer. Did she expect him to get on his hand and knees and dig in the earth like a common domesticated dog? Fie on that!
Sesshomaru also knew she was resilient and would get over this setback quickly. He didn't want to tarry over the body of his old friend, and yes, in his own way, Sesshomaru had considered Jaken a friend. An equal? Sesshomaru scoffed. Hardly.
He left Rin as she clamored on to Ah Un's back, condensing into a ball of bright light. He zipped over the landscape, anxious to return home. Sesshomaru had been away for three years. He hoped the place wasn't too dusty.
The skin under Sesshomaru's eye twitched once. Then twice. He heard a strange high-pitched whine. In horror, he realized he was making the noise. He immediately stopped.
His palace was a wreck. And that was putting mildly. Apparently, his guards and well-paid servants had thought he was never returning and had used the place to entertain.
Then they decided to never clean up and to rightfully disappear off the face of the earth. Sesshomaru vowed to find them, murder them non-too-gently, and then make a chair or something out of their bones.
A small tug on his empty left sleeve snapped him from his thoughts of dismemberment and slow torture.
"Sesshomaru-sama…this is…this is where you live?" Rin asked, her brown eyes impossibly wide.
He cleared his throat. "Yes."
The girl frowned. "It's messy."
She looked up at him, eyes red-rimmed from her crying. "Are you going to clean it up?"
He froze. What?
Sesshomaru's heated golden gaze scanned the damage. Shoji screens were ripped, the rugs had kami knew what on them, broken pottery littered the floor along with ominous piles of what he hoped wasn't dung, and the smell…he nearly gagged. It smelled like stale piss, vomit and something else. How could he be expected to clean this mess?
A thought occurred to him. "You shall clean this mess."
Rin took a faltering step backwards. "What? But…but…I'm just a little girl! And this is a big, big mess."
He sighed. A gradual headache was forming right between his eyes. Rin was right of course. He was already a fairly dismal father. He did let her get dragged into hell by a huge hell hound where she nearly died. He couldn't make her slave away in his filthy house.
No, he would have to do it himself. "Very well. This Sesshomaru will do it."
She gave him a gap-toothed smile. "I'll help you, Sesshomaru-sama."
After three long hours, not much progress had been made. He'd managed to drag all the rugs out into the courtyard where he promptly melted them. The stench made his eyes water.
Rin coughed and sputtered. "Master Jaken would've cleaned them," she pointed out, waving her small hand in front of her face.
Next he built a large bonfire.
Rin sat with her knees drawn up to her chest. "What are you going to do now, Sesshomaru-sama?"
"Burn the palace to the ground. Perhaps, I shall go live in a cave." His tone dripped with rage and disgust. His headache was almost unbearable.
She jumped to her feet. "No! Master Jaken would clean it! You can't burn down your home! Maybe…," she paused and chewed her lip. "Maybe you can get a maid!" Had he not been in such a foul temperament, he might have laughed at how the child had taken him seriously. Though, probably not.
He arched a brow at his ward. "Are you suggesting this Sesshomaru is not capable of cleaning his own home?"
He heard her swallow. "No! Of course not! I know you can do it, Sesshomaru-sama!"
"Go find a place to sleep that isn't covered in filth, Rin," he said, dismissing her with a wave of her hand.
She eyed the palace dubiously. "I think I'll go sleep in the stable with Ah Un."
After she was gone skipping off to the stable, Sesshomaru put his head in his hand and groaned.
As dawn pinked the horizon, Sesshomaru had developed a grudging respect for Jaken. Indeed, he was a little in awe of the imp. How did he managed this? Sesshomaru thought miserably as he scrubbed a particularly nasty stain on his once lacquered wood floors.
Well, the little bastard had both arms, didn't he? Sesshomaru paused in his drudgery. Both arms. Aha! Yet another thing he could somehow blame InuYasha and his miserable wench for. They should be the ones cleaning this mess.
Tossing aside the wet soiled rag in disgust, Sesshomaru rose to his feet. A sly plan was forming in his mind. A plan where he could simultaneously get his palace in order, annoy his worthless half-brother, and torture his shrill woman.
Without another moment's hesitation, he bounded out of the great hall of his palace and took off in the direction of InuYasha's forest.
Kagome gave the well the dirtiest look she could muster. "Okay, you bastard well, it's my eighteenth birthday, do you hear me? You have to let me go home. Really. It's been almost three years," she paused. "Please!"
Sucking in a deep breath, Kagome launched herself over the lip of the old Bone Eater's Well.
She landed with a thump and a shriek at the bottom. No swirling blue lights. No vertigo. No home.
But she did have a sprained ankle. "Ow!" she cried indignantly. It just wasn't fair.
It wasn't that she didn't love her new home in the feudal era, she did. Her friends were with her. But…ever since she and InuYasha had moved a step forward in their relationship two years ago, all she'd wanted to do was run away to her mother.
It had been her sixteenth birthday in this very spot at the bottom of the dry well. Only then, she'd been balling her eyes out as she realized she may never get to go home again. InuYasha had swooped down, gathered her in his arms, and kissed her in the rain. Really kissed her.
All those years of sexual tension came bubbling to the surface.
And the sex was terrible.
Her love for InuYasha had been…immature. And was promptly destroyed when the sweet fantasy became an awkward bumbling reality. She just didn't love him that way…and the feeling was mutual.
So, it only stood to reason that she'd want to go home and find a nice normal boy in which to continue her romantic life now that her heart was finally free to do so.
Too bad the well had other ideas.
She also had very little interest in men in the feudal era. All that talk of a "woman's place" really got on her nerves. Even poor Sango-chan had fallen for it. Everyone had been so certain she'd marry Miroku. They seemed perfect for each other.
But she picked a farmer instead, saying how she was down right sick of adventuring. That and Miroku's wandering eyes and hands weren't marriage material.
Now her dear friend who had been such a strong and powerful demon slayer was the wife of a farmer and the mother of two. It was cute and all, and Kagome entertained the idea of having kids someday, but maybe she wasn't done adventuring yet.
Men looked at her like she was an old maid already.
Kagome didn't bother yelling for InuYasha this time. He wasn't even in the village. In fact, she had no clue where he was. Ever since he'd lost his virginity to her, he'd bounded all over in search of some tail.
"He could've at least stopped by for my damn birthday," she grumbled as she hauled herself out of the well.
She limped towards the village, her ankle throbbing. Then she decided that she didn't feel like seeing anyone, so she headed to the hot spring instead to give her swelling ankle a much needed soak.
The snake youkai held out his scaly hands, hissing in pleasure. Sesshomaru dropped several jewels the size of robin's eggs into the demon's waiting palm.
"Now," Sesshomaru began icily, "All you must do is frighten the wench. You must do it while she is alone. I won't have her harmed."
Sesshomaru growled in annoyance hoping he'd never have to hear the lowly youkai say his name again.
Kagome sighed in contentment.
It was easy to forget one's troubles in a nice hot bath.
She should've known better.
As her eyes closed, and she slipped into a light slumber, something slithered through the grass towards her. Then, its scaly body slipped into the water and circled her uninjured slender ankle.
With a hard jerk, it pulled Kagome under the water.
She awoke confused and frightened. Opening her mouth to scream, it filled with hot water. She thrashed and kicked to no avail.
Suddenly, a strong hand gripped her arm and hauled her out of the spring. But whatever was attached to her ankle decided to play tug of war.
Sputtering and wiping her sopping hair out of her eyes, Kagome gasped when she saw who her savior was. Sesshomaru stared at her impassively. She tried to jerk away from him.
"Cease your struggles, wench," he hissed.
With another hard yank that nearly popped her shoulder out of its joint, Sesshomaru hauled her and the youkai around her ankle completely out of the spring and onto the dewy grass.
Too horrified that there was a disgusting snake youkai licking at her calf with its long tongue, she forgot she was naked, and that Sesshomaru was there to see it. Not that he'd like it or anything. It was just humiliating.
"Not on my birthday, damn it!" she snarled, her miko powers flared bright pink between her out-stretched fingers.
But before she could purify the jerk in a satisfying release of energy, Sesshomaru stole her thunder and slashed it to bits with his claws.
She noticed she was naked then. But didn't notice Sesshomaru take his jewels back from the youkai who was now resting in several nasty pieces.
The arrogant taiyoukai wiped his claws on the grass. "It appears, miko," he drawled, "That you are in this Sesshomaru's debt."
Covering herself as best she could with her hands, she blinked at him. "Huh?"
"Are you deaf, miko?"
She frowned. "No. But…I could've killed that lowly youkai no problem. You just barged in while I was taking a bath…and by the way, I'm naked! Get lost!"
He stiffened and rose to his feet. He glowered at her making her shiver a little. "Regardless, you are in my debt. And as such, I expect payment."
"P-payment?" That couldn't be good. What did she have that Sesshomaru could possibly want. Her eyes widened and her gaze trailed down to her barely covered breasts. No…couldn't be. Her cheeks burned as all the blood in her body seemed to rush to them.
A sneer curled his thin lips. "That is not the type of payment this Sesshomaru had in mind. I require a maid."
Forgetting modesty entirely, she sprang to her feet. "A what?!"
She didn't notice the twitch under his eye as he fought to keep his eyes on her face.
"You will clean this Sesshomaru's home, wench. Now."
Without another word, he threw her bundled clothes at her.
Once she was dressed, she expected a good argument to ensue. Instead, he grabbed her around the waist, hoisted her over his shoulder like a sack of dirty laundry, and lifted them both into the sky completely ignoring her screams and kicks of protest.
A/N: This is not a serious story. At NO point will it be serious. There will be lemon-y goodness…as in this will be a very dirty naughty story. You've been warned.
I will say in advance that this won't be updated as quickly as Spark. Mostly because I'm sorta flying by the seat of my pants on this one.