Naraku knew something was up when he saw a large, thick, hairy-hilted sword soaring through the sky unassisted. "What," he said in irate tones, "is that."

Byakuya squinted. "It appears to be Tessaiga, Inuyasha's sword."

"I can see that. Why is it flying." His tone was more of annoyance than inquisition.

Byakuya seemed equally annoyed. "How should I know? Maybe it got an upgrade from Cid or something."

"Cid," Naraku repeated. "Cid. You do realize that this is not Final Fantasy, and even if it were, you cannot make an airship from a sword?"

"With any other sword, I would agree with you," Byakuya said. "However, this one appears to be flying."

"I," Naraku said, "am going to kill the man who made that sword."

*.X.*

Then there was the lightsaber. The Black & Decker expandable drill tip. The laser pointer, which admittedly, was not useful for much more than making Kirara run in circles. The upgrade that made it vibrate, although Naraku couldn't fathom why that was even worth adding. The mp3 player that seemed to play nothing but porno music. The Speedo brand sheath. And oh, the bling. That sword was always flashing or glowing or turning colors or opening unfathomably empty gateways to hell. It was exactly like being in a disco in that regard.

In short, Naraku had had enough.

"Say, Inuyasha," Naraku asked, in the process of having his lungs carved out, "could you tell me the name of the man who made your sword?"

"Hmm? Fuck you," Inuyasha replied civily.

"Now look here," Naraku said crossly. "I was being poli—hey, I need that to talk—"

"Is he dead?" Kagome asked, poking Naraku with the tip of her shoe.

"Naah," Inuyasha said, "just horribly horribly wounded. Wanna go to your place and fool around?"

"Do I!" Kagome replied enthusiastically.

"Um, shouldn't we finish him off, or something?" Sango asked. "Because Houshi-sama is, you know, very close to death, and maybe killing Naraku will release him of his curse...you know, so he can live...and not die..." Sango trailed off lamely. No one seemed to be listening.

"Man, I need new shoes," Kagome said. "I touched Naraku with these. They've got his cooties now. And also I love shoe-shopping. Don't you, Inuyasha?" A groan was heard from Inuyasha's general direction.

"It's a good thing you didn't tell Naraku that the man who made your sword is Toutousai, and he lives five miles north of here on 7 Rock Cut Rd, just follow the main road and make a left on the third light, across from Mick's Deli. It's the gaping hole in the wall by the yellow house. Yup, sure is a good thing," Shippou said.

If he was a double agent, he was doing a terrible job of pretending to be on Inuyasha's side...

*.X.*

So that's how Naraku found himself shoving his lungs back into place while standing on Toutousai's doorstep, which wasn't really so much a doorstep as it was a slab of rock. And once Naraku had the breathing thing going again, the stench emanating from the cave was nearly enough to knock him out.

Instead, he marched in boldly, and found an old man fast asleep, hugging what appeared to be a three-eyed cow. He had no desire to contemplate what other extra organs this beast might be endowed with. Toutousai's cow-cuddling days were over. Naraku allowed himself a brief "Kukuku" in this moment of assured victory.

Dammit, what was that Hakudoushi had always been trying to tell him? "Please don't kill me?" No, the other thing he was always saying. Something about chickens...hatching...don't count your eggs before your chickens...no, that wasn't right. Naraku cursed his ineptitude with metaphors.

Well, no matter. Who needs metaphors when you can have tentacles! Naraku plunged his tentacles into the offending swordsmith with all his might.

"Oh, baby," Toutousai moaned in his sleep. "You're a frisky bull tonight, ain't'cha? And they told me it was a bad idea to give a rutting bull saké. Whaddatheyknow, eh?"

"Die," Naraku said, plunging his tentacles in repeatedly. "Die die die. Die already."

"I think I already have," Toutousai said, blinking the sleep out of his eyes. "Because there's an angel right in front of me."

Naraku gave one last half-hearted stab. "Die," he said, rather hopefully.

"Enough small talk, beautiful," Toutousai said. "Is there something you want, other than to grope my internal organs?"

"Yes. I'd rather like for you to die," Naraku said with a frown, feeling this was self-explanatory.

Toutousai gave a bit of a chuckle. "Well, you don't get to make weaponry that cheats death without being a little immortal yourself, you know?"

"Wait. It cheats death too? So, if I actually managed to kill that Inuyasha, he'd just come back?"

"My guess is that you've killed him several times already," Toutousai said. "It won't take."

Naraku grabbed Toutousai by the collar. "Tell me! Is there any weakness to that accursed sword!"

Toutousai smiled crookedly. "And what incentive would I have to tell you?"

Naraku considered. "I could...give you a fiefdom. When I take over the world."

"Potential fiefdoms are cheap. What about something I can appreciate now?"

"I could...slaughter half a village to scare the other half into cleaning your cave. So it wouldn't smell so much," Naraku offered.

"Bah. Service just ain't what it used to be. In my day, you could kill just a tenth of a village and the rest would do your bidding! And these young people. They don't work like people did in my day. Not even worth the trouble."

Naraku, bless his eighty-year-old heart, found Toutousai's ramblings struck a chord in him. "Yes, young people. Do you know what I caught my Kagura wearing? I told her there was no way I was letting her go outside like that, and the little rapscallion gave me lip!"

"And the music them varmints are listening to these days. I couldn't believe what I heard playing from my sword," Toutousai griped.

"They think they're so smart, always trespassing on my lawn," Naraku growled.

"I could make you a rake," Toutousai suggested. "To shake at the little varmints when they come on your property."

"Oh, could you? Because, you know, it's always when I've just poisoned my lawn with shouki."

Toutousai patted Naraku on the back. "Come, come, right this way. I'll get you set up in no time."

"Thanks so much. Oh, and about Tessaiga's weaknesses..."

Toutousai snickered. "Dunno if this is much use to you in battle, but the old sword doesn't like competition."

"Meaning...?"

"Well, let's just say that while Tessaiga may morph into adamant, it's the only thing on Inuyasha that can get hard."

"You're saying..."

"Like a noodle."

Naraku burst out laughing. "Oh, this is priceless...come, I must buy you a drink."

"It would be my pleasure," Toutousai said. Naraku thought he felt Toutousai's hand brush his bottom, but surely it was just an accident...he was an old man, these things happened.

*.X.*

THE END.