Disclaimer: Inuyasha belongs to Rumiko Takahashi.

A/N: Spoiler warning for manga ch 518.

Arms Away


When Sesshomaru magically got his left arm back, he thought it was great. It meant that he had finally surpassed his father's power, and now he had proof of that. But it didn't take long for Sesshomaru to realize that something about his new arm was… odd.

He tried to tell himself that it was just because the new arm lacked his regular youkai stripes, but deep down he knew that the arm just didn't feel right.

"I do not think," he said one day to himself when he had left his friends behind to be alone, "that this is my original arm."

"Wow, you think?" a sarcastic voice said. "You must be some sort of genius."

If Sesshomaru was surprised, it was twofold, because 1) Someone had dared mock him to his face, and 2) He was fairly certain that the voice trading such insults belonged to his left arm itself, because no one else was around. Sesshomaru thought it best to check, lest he was going crazy.

"Did you just talk to me?" he whispered.

"Hey, pal," the arm said, "I'm only talking to you because there's no chicks around. You think I like chatting up dudes?"

Sesshomaru didn't know what to say to this, but he was fairly disturbed, for there was no doubt now that his arm was indeed speaking to him. There was only one reasonable course of action left: Find Totosai and beat an explanation out of him.

-

Totosai's lair was just as unpleasant as the last time Sesshomaru had come around swinging the Meidou zangetsuha attack at him, all noxious fumes and poisonous vapors that only those with youkai blood could withstand. Sesshomaru found the old crackpot snoozing away at the back of his skeletal cave (part of its roof still missing from his last visit), only this time he no longer had Meidou zangetsuha, so his fists would have to do.

"What the hell did you do to my arm, old man?" Sesshomaru yelled, seizing Totosai by the throat and walloping him on the head. But no sooner had he landed a blow with his right arm than his left arm turned itself on him.

"Why are you hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself, hahahaha!" the arm said as it smacked Sesshomaru in the face over and over.

"WHAT MADNESS IS THIS?!" Sesshomaru bellowed to Totosai as his own arm continued to pummel him. "WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?!"

Totosai was sitting down, staring at the amazing sight of Sesshomaru beating himself up, and scratching his rear idly. "Oh, did I forget to tell you?" Totosai said.

"TELL ME WHAT?"

"Well, you didn't really expect to get your arm back with no strings attached, did you? Especially considering the horrible circumstances that you lost it under in the first place, trying to kill two innocents…"

Sesshomaru's nose was now bleeding quite freely from the repeated punches, and his left eye was turning blueish-green. "JUST TELL ME WHAT TO DO TO MAKE IT STOP!"

"Isn't it obvious?" Totosai said. "That arm is your conscience, your better half, as it were. It's here to make sure you don't abuse your power."

"Yeah, and to tell you to bathe more often, 'cause you STINK!' the arm cried gleefully. "Hahaha!"

"If it's my conscience," Sesshomaru said through a rapidly swelling busted lip, "then why is it saying things like that to me?"

"Hmm," Totosai said, thinking hard. "It appears your conscience is a bit of a dick."

"No kidding," Sesshomaru said. The arm had just forced one of his fingers into his mouth and then proceeded to give him one hell of a wet willy with it, all the while cackling its annoying laugh.

-

This new development was most distressing. Sesshomaru was hardly able to breathe without suffering some punishment, threat, or demand from his arm. Already it had chastised him for picking on Jaken too much, forced him to initiate a "group hug" that included his vassal, Rin, Kohaku, and Ah-Un, and seemed to complain loudly every other day, "And would it kill you to clean underneath your claws every once in a while? I feel disgusting!" Anytime Sesshomaru tried to resist, he suffered the pain and humiliation of having his own, strong arm pummel himself.

But the worst occurrence yet took place when Sesshomaru's group ran into Inuyasha's group, and all hell broke loose.

"What the hell happened to you, Sesshomaru?" Inuyasha said upon seeing him. He had never seen his older brother look so unnerved, as though he hadn't slept for days. His hair was unkempt, his eyes were twitching, his clothes were disheveled, his face was bashed and bruised and splattered with dried blood, and his right arm was mysteriously covered in what appeared to be claw marks and Indian burns.

Sesshomaru did not answer him, but approached with a deranged look on his face, and appeared to be talking to himself. "Don't make me do it, please don't make me do it…" His left arm was held out in midair as though pulling him across the ground.

"But I don't wanna!" Sesshomaru whined most unusually as he neared Inuyasha.

"Hey, Sesshomaru," Inuyasha said with a weird look on his face as his brother grew very close. "What the hell are you doing?"

"I assure you this means nothing!" Sesshomaru cried, and as he said it, his left arm squeezed Inuyasha close in a bear hug.

"What the fuck!" Inuyasha yelled, trying to push him away. "Get offa me, you crazy bastard!"

When the left arm finally let him go, Sesshomaru appeared to be weeping.

"See, don't you feel better now?" the arm said to him. "Isn't it better to love than to hate?"

Inuyasha heard Sesshomaru suddenly yell out "No!" as though answering someone.

"No what, weirdo?" Inuyasha said, but Sesshomaru was already headed in another direction, right where Kagome and Sango were staring at him in shock over the odd spectacle that had just taken place.

"OoOoOo, ladies!" the arm said. "Finally! It's like a freaking day care center hanging around with you."

"Oh no," Sesshomaru said, helpless as his arm pulled him in the women's direction, "now what?"

"Now THIS!" the arm cried hungrily as it goosed first Kagome, then Sango, then Kagome again to the shrill, surprised yelps of the women.

"I swear I find neither of you sexually attractive!" Sesshomaru pleaded as he allowed the women to bop him on the head.

"What the hell was that?" Sango said to Kagome as they watched the formerly intimidating daiyoukai limp away most pathetically.

"Yeah," Kagome said. "I always figured he was gay."

"He's gone crazy," Sango said.

"Really?" Miroku said, walking over to the ladies in amusement. "I'd say he's finally come to his senses!"

"What's the big idea, anyway?" Sesshomaru said to his apparently perverted arm. "I thought you were supposed to be my conscience. Why the hell are you touching those women?"

The arm shrugged. "I guess I did it because you're too much of a pussy to do it yourself."

"That's it!" Sesshomaru cried. That was the last straw to his wounded pride and body. "You're going bye-bye, mister!"

"Huh?" the arm said.

"INUYASHA!" Sesshomaru yelled. "Come here!"

Inuyasha and the rest of his friends were looking at him with most odd expressions now, but the hanyou tentatively stepped forward.

"What is it?"

"Draw Tessaiga, Inuyasha! I demand that you cut off my arm!"

Kagome, Shippo, Miroku, Sango, Rin, Jaken, and Kohaku, who were standing a ways off from the brothers, all collectively gasped.

"Keh," Inuyasha said, unmoving. "You're crazier than I thought."

"Do it!" Sesshomaru roared.

Inuyasha stood his ground. "No way."

"Ha!" the left arm cried, gloating. "Looks like you're stuck with me, jackass."

Sesshomaru rubbed his bruised brow with his right hand and sighed. "Do it, Inuyasha. Do it, or I shall… be forced to embrace you again."

Another collective gasp from the crowd watching, and Inuyasha's eyebrows raised.

"You're really serious?"

"It's the only way to stop it, Inuyasha. If I don't get rid of this arm, I shall just continue hugging and groping, hugging and groping till the end of my days."

"That is disgusting," Inuyasha agreed. "Well, since it's for the greater good and all…" and he drew Tessaiga from its sheath. "Kagome!" he called. "Cover the kids' eyes! They shouldn't see this…"

Tears of deepest gratitude came to Sesshomaru's battered face. "Thank you… brother."

Inuyasha smiled widely. "Don't mention it, big guy."

And with one quick, mighty swing of Tessaiga, he hacked off Sesshomaru's arm.

It was a good three seconds that Sesshomaru stood there in silence, motionless except for the deluge of blood that now swept from his missing right arm.

Then there was the all too familiar cackling that had driven Sesshomaru so crazy for the past few weeks.

"Hahahahaha! Looks like we're stuck together forever now, huh?" his left arm cackled.

A vein in Sesshomaru's forehead burst. "Inuyasha…" he said. "I'LL KILL YOU!!"

Inuyasha let out a "Yipe!" and took off running, so frightening and deranged his brother looked right now.

"Hey, stop it!" the left arm cried, punching Sesshomaru upside the face. "You can't kill him! That's what got you into this mess in the first place!"

"Watch me!" Sesshomaru growled, and he chased his brother around in circles, the two of them looking like a pair of mindless backyard dogs.

Their friends just watched from afar.

"Aw," Rin said. "Does this mean no more huggy Sesshomaru? I liked the new him."

"Speak for yourself," Kohaku said.

"Should we stop them?" Sango wondered.

"Nah," Miroku said. "They'll grow tired… eventually."