Sesshomaru blinked in confusion as he stared at Inuyasha.

"Pardon?" He fumbled.

"Who are you?" Inuyasha pressed earnestly.

Sesshomaru was barely sure of just what he was being asked, recalling the time he had jumped to conclusions when Inuyasha had stated that he did not know him, but he tried to compose himself regardless.

"I am Sesshomaru." He stated. It was one of his fundamental truths after all, and his most used for centering himself through hardship.

"Sesshomaru…." Inuyasha whispered softly, growing contemplative as he nibbled at his knuckle.

"Yes, Sesshomaru.' Sesshomaru repeated, "Your brother." Yet Inuyasha sad nothing, giving away little save for a further furrowing of his eyebrows…and the tinge of worry inside the demon Lord grew. "Half-brother to be exact. We share a Father, not Mothers." He added, feeling odd that this was the second time he had done so, and only hoping that this time turned out to be a misunderstanding on his part like the last. He also hoped that further details would jog the process, much like an addled person after a sharp blow to the head.

With his thumb claw between his teeth Inuyasha turned his eyes to Sesshomaru, and his the corners of his mouth quirked into a small, sheepish smile.

"I take it that I am supposed to know all of this." Inuyasha asked quietly.

"Yes." Sesshomaru informed gently, unsure of just what else he could say.

"Oh."

For a moment they both stood there, each watching the other with uncertainty.

"What of your Mother?" Sesshomaru inquired. "Do you remember her?"

If Inuyasha was pulling some form of prank then such a question should, in Sesshomaru's mind, expose it. Inuyasha had never been shy about extolling his human parentage after all.

"Ah….." Inuyasha muttered, resting on arm atop the other as he tapped at his lips. "Nope."

Sesshomaru found that hard to believe, but there was no deception of nervousness in Inuyasha's manner, and while Inuyasha did have a few talents…lying was not one of them. Sesshomaru's mind whirled, searching for someone else that Inuyasha cared deeply for. What was that first Miko's name? The one who had died?

Yet even as he pondered it he knew that there was no one else who had ever meant more to the boy in front of him then the human their Father had taken.

Which really only left him with one question.

"What do you remember?"

Inuyasha seemed to think on that for a moment, rocking back and forth upon his heels.

"Well…lets see…" Inuyasha muttered. "My name is Inuyasha."

Sesshomaru stared expectantly at the boy for a few moments until he realized that nothing else was forthcoming.

"That is it?"

"That's it." Inuyasha admitted.

Sesshomaru found himself struggling to dissect the issue before him. This was not expected at all. He had never heard of anyone suffering from memory loss before, during, or after a cycle. So just what was going on?

And more importantly…why couldn't his brain finally get a break? Surely the cosmos had to have imposed some manner of law on how many puzzles a man could be forced to endure.

"Yet you can clearly remember how to walk, speak, and the like." Sesshomaru stated.

"Well…yeah." Inuyasha replied, looking at Sesshomaru as if the elder Inu was some manner of drooling fool.

"But nothing of yourself?"

Another pause for thought.

"I suppose not."

"Do you know where you are?"

"No."

"Do you know how you came to be here?"

"No."

"Do you remember the battle that proceeded all of that?"

"No."

Sesshomaru's frustration continued to build but he forced it to the cooler places in his heart. It certainly would not do to lose his temper here and now.

"You were kidnapped by your nemesis. He attempted to violate you." Sesshomaru informed, wincing slightly. The last thing he wanted to do was bring that up, especially considering that he already knew of Inuyasha's past, hidden traumas containing the subject. But it was the truth, and not easily forgotten he would think. "I came to your ad. We battled him, Naraku the vile hanyou…and you killed him."

"Oh…well that's nice." Inuyasha stated with the same amount of recognition and feeling one would have when hearing about the weather.

"…you truly can not remember anything." Sesshomaru whispered, more to himself then anything.

Inuyasha only shrugged with that sheepish smile displayed once more.

"Sorry uh…Sesshomaru?"

"You seem reasonably calm about all of this." Sesshomaru pointed out.

Inuyasha shrugged once more, the tips of his ears flicking.

"I feel fine, heavy, but fine. Panicking won't get me anywhere anyway."

"How pragmatic." Sesshomaru mused. A trait Inuyasha had seemingly never displayed before…and he couldn't even enjoy it.

The hope that this was all just some manner of prank born of insufferably little brother-ness, and Inuyasha would begin to giggle childishly was diminishing by the second. Inuyasha was simply too calm about all of this, lacking even one small bite of the temper he was so famous for throughout their dealings. Not even one snap at a single comment…not just a rarity…but nearly unheard of.

"I…must admit….I am at a loss." Sesshomaru began slowly, only for Inuyasha to snort derisively.

"Imagine how I feel."

"How do you feel?" Sesshomaru asked, truly the only thing he felt he could ask at this juncture.

Another pause, and then Inuyasha shook his head, rubbing at his ear absentmindedly.

"I dunno…just….blank. It's obvious that I've lost something, but I don't feel like I have." Inuyasha informed.

"No sense of loss? Of panic? Unease?" Sesshomaru supplied, having a hard time believing that such a thing could occur without any of the latter.

"Naw…confused…maybe a little unease." The boy stated with a shrug.

Inuyasha's sudden docile, reasonably disposition sparked a thought within Sesshomaru. One that he almost hated to have to question.

"Yet you trust me?" He inquired.

Inuyasha simply had not made a single aggressive move towards him. Had raised neither hand nor voice even when he had flat out admitted that he had no idea where he was or how he had come to be there. In the same situation Sesshomaru knew that he himself would not have been so sedate, and he already knew that Inuyasha would in NO way EVER be so calm.

"S'cuse me?" Inuyasha puzzled.

"You trust me." Sesshomaru pressed. "You do not find me a threat."

"I guess." Inuyasha replied with another shrug. Which was an answer yes, but hardly adequate. He simply could not leave it at that.

"Why?" He asked softly, hating beyond hate to ever have to disturb something he had longed so terribly much for.

"I dunno." Inuyasha muttered distractedly, his eyes roaming the ceiling and walls.

"Not good enough Inuyasha." He pressed. To which Inuyasha shot him a cross look, the first smidge of the boy he had known yet. "A feeling is a feeling Inuyasha." He continued. "What tells you that I can be trusted?"

Inuyasha's brows furrowed, and he looked frustrated for the first time.

"I don't know. Maybe you can't. You smell fine and it doesn't bother me." Inuyasha spat out. "What more do you want?"

"I merely wish to ascertain your reasoning." Sesshomaru explained. "Is it because your blood recognizes me as one of your own? Or is your mind actually remembering, if only faintly."

"I don't' know." Inuyasha growled.

Sesshomaru gave him a slight nod, thinking that perhaps it was best to leave it be for the moment. But if they did that…where did they go from here? It was a puzzle inside a larger puzzle to be sure, one he was granted a temporary time extension with when Daigon suddenly entered the small human hovel.

"Ah! The prodigal prince awakens!" Daigon chirped. "A bit earlier then this one expected. How interesting."

Sesshomaru watched as Inuyasha processed the healer's words in clear confusion. It was the eyes that truly gave it away. The way they darted and scanned, focusing on traits for seemingly the very first time.

So either Inuyasha just happened to be the very greatest actor that Sesshomaru had ever heard of, one extremely dedicated to his role….or there was nothing false about any of this.

"Uh…sure." Inuyasha grunted, crossing his arms as he did so.

Daigon quirked his head in curiosity, but seemed to brush off Inuyasha's deliberately neutral response as he clapped his hands together.

"Well then…one supposes that the first order of business is a through examination. Are you experiencing any difficulties?"

Inuyasha's eyes slide to Sesshomaru, beaming with an clear questioning light, and one of his arms slide up, halting just under his jaw as if to fend off a blow.

Interesting…

Daigon appeared to be making Inuyasha slightly nervous, a reaction that he himself had not provoked. If anything the boy seemed to be desiring his assistance.

"I feel heavy, but fine." Inuyasha replied tersely.

"Heavy?" Daigon questioned. "Heavy how? Are you having any difficulty moving? Stiffness?"

Inuyasha took a step back from Daigon as the healer took one towards him, his eyes not even on the large Inu before him as he rummaged around in his bag for something. But Sesshomaru was watching, and he saw Inuyasha's lips pull back ever so slightly to reveal the faint tips of sharp, white fangs. He tensed, wanting to see just where Inuyasha planned on going, but at the same time preparing to take action to keep Daigon from harm.

Inuyasha had allowed him to place hands on his body earlier, had even relaxed into them. Inuyasha had not rejected his embrace, and had willingly given his back for aid in dressing. Yet now his hackles rose when a visually non-threatening person made a move towards his personal space? That simply had to signify something.

"Who are you to ask me these questions? To approach me unbidden?" Inuyasha snarled.

Daigon stopped his approach and his head rose, a displeased look upon his face. Heaving a long suffering sigh he grumbled.

"One notices that you've managed to figure out the haughty Daiyoukai attitude quickly enough. That really did not take long…just Daigon's miserable luck."

Inuyasha's arms crossed in front of his chest, hands pointed out, knuckles cracking as he flexed his claws at the healer. For his part Daigon merely appeared bored with the entire situation. With a hand on his hip he quirked an eyebrow a the defensive boy. "You were difficult the last time for no reason….please say that you are not going to make a habit of it? This one has enough of that coming from your more practiced sibling."

Sesshomaru watched as Inuyasha's blinked, his eyes darkening.

"He truly does not know what Daigon is speaking of." Sesshomaru thought. "You do not remember him?" He asked aloud, though it was more of a statement.

Inuyasha did not answer, but from the sideways look that was shot his way, it was fairly obvious. "Daigon is a friend." Sesshomaru stated earnestly. "He can be trusted."

The former hanyou's claws dipped slightly, but did not lower completely. Daigon in turn, blinked and scratched as his head.

"Something is being missed here yes? Care to explain perhaps?" The healer inquired.

As Inuyasha's guard was still up, and he didn't exactly appear to feel all that chatty, Sesshomaru took over for him.

"It is a bit of a puzzle at the moment, very few pieces and none of them appear to fit." Sesshomaru began. "But apparently….his memory is gone. He does not remember you, nor does he remember me, and even more startling…he does not remember himself."

Daigon blinked again, looking back and forth between the two Inu for a moment.

"…Memory loss…" The healer muttered to himself. "Truly?"

"No…I just really like fucking with total strangers." Inuyasha growled. While it was certainly meant to be a sarcastic comment, it managed to say much.

"But we are not strangers." Sesshomaru informed once more. "I am your brother, and Daigon is an old family friend, one who has rendered delicate medical care unto you more then once."

It was then that he motioned for Inuyasha to stand down, an act that the boy only performed after taking a few more precautionary steps away form Daigon.

"What do you mean medical care? Was I sick?" Inuyasha asked.

"In a manner of speaking yes." Daigon informed. "It has been a…puzzle to say the least. One that has led us here. You truly remember nothing?"

Inuyasha heaved a sigh, sounding both tired and annoyed.

"I already said that I didn't, so enough with the grilling."

"We only wish to aid you." Sesshomaru said. "This is not…normal to say the least."

"Well your aiding is giving me a headache." Inuyasha snapped. "Give me some room to breathe."

Hn…headache…perhaps…

"What sort of headache?" He asked. "Is anything coming back perhaps?"

He only meant well, feeling that the more clues they gathered now when the situation was fresh, the larger the chance they stood of reversing whatever had taken place. But for the first time Inuyasha shot him an unkind look.

"The kind of headache brought on by pestering pricks!" Inuyasha snarled. "Have you always been this annoying?"

It had not been his intention to provoke Inuyasha's anger. Even with knowledge of who he was Inuyasha tended to be free with his fists. Now without said knowledge of Sesshomaru's own status or acknowledgement of their kinship, who knew what Inuyasha would do?

"I am simply trying to help and understand what has happened Inuyasha." Sesshomaru said softly. "It is not my intention to upset or anger you."

He did his best to keep his tone soft and even, hoping it would sooth Inuyasha. But the boy's face did not soften, and his glare remained.

"Well stop." Inuyasha pressed. "Cause I don't see what you're trying to accomplish."

Sesshomaru opened his mouth, wishing to explain his intentions better, but Daigon interjected himself.

"Perhaps it would be best to cease said topic and such lines of questioning for the time being." The healer suggested. "Perhaps some fresh air and a tour of the grounds would help matters. After all, it is known that Inuyasha has spent much time here."

"I did?" Inuyasha muttered.

"Yes." Sesshomaru replied. "Perhaps not in this hut per say, but the village itself."

"Oh…"

"However….it would be wise to allow this one to examine you first." Daigon suggested.

"Which one?" Inuyasha inquired tersely.

"This one." Daigon answered.

Inuyasha's only response was a rumbling growl that sent off a small warning bell inside of Sesshomaru.

"He means himself." Sesshomaru supplied.

"Then why didn't he say so?!" Inuyasha snapped.

"Long story." Daigon informed. "Far longer then yours. But in any case it is advisable that you allow it. There may be further complications that we do not know about. Better to find and solve them now, then wait and allow them to advance."

Inuyasha chewed at his bottom lip, looking pensive. Normally Sesshomaru would have allowed Inuyasha to skip such an activity if it were causing him such clear anxiety. But Daigon was correct, and with Inuyasha's sudden memory loss, Sesshomaru himself was on edge.

"He is correct Inuyasha." Sesshomaru soothed. "He is a friend. You can trust him."

Inuyasha glanced back and forth between them, his expression unchanged. It bothered Sesshomaru more then he would have admitted. Inuyasha tended to be somewhat easy to read, as long as one paid attention, but now? What he would not give to have a look into Inuyasha's thoughts right then.

"I will remain if it eases your nerves." Sesshomaru offered.

In actuality he had not had any intention of leaving, unless Inuyasha insisted upon it…and even then he would have protested. But he doubted that the boy knew that, and as Inuyasha seemed to trust him…

Inuyasha sighed, and crossed his arms, turning his back on the both of them. His tail twitched irritably and Sesshomaru tensed. If Inuyasha so wished, and realized that he could, both he and Daigon would be batted through the hut with ease. Moments passed without a word form anyone, only the sounds of the village filling the air. For the firs time since Sesshomaru had been a pup at his Father's side, he had to still his tongue from what he wanted to say.

As much as he wished to, and as anxious as he felt, he could not afford to press Inuyasha it seemed. The dynamic between them had changed completely, barring the memory loss even. It would have to be glass touches until he understood Inuyasha, and vise-versa, or the boy's memory returned.

It was all rather frustrating actually.

With Naraku dead, the East quelled, and the South under new Lordship, he could see no reason that they could not finally devote time to themselves.

Until this that was.

After what felt like hours Inuyasha finally heaved a sigh and turned around to face them.

"Fine…" The boy grumbled.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Sesshomaru watched carefully as Inuyasha took his first few tentative steps outside of their small hut. The boy blinked unused eyes in the bright sunlight, and Sesshomaru felt the soft fur of Inuyasha's tail brush against his leg before the boy moved forward. The act touched Sesshomaru's heart, and yet puzzled him. It was of course an instinctual method of gauging position and insuring someone was still near…but how did Inuyasha know that? As a hanyou…had Inuyasha possessed the same instincts that Sesshomaru himself did? He had know what of knowing, but the idea didn't sit right. He was sure that Inuyasha's human half had input, but was not sure just what kind of creature the dual natures had molded.

Inuyasha had been a mystery as a hanyou…in that nothing had changed.

In all honesty, Sesshomaru himself was torn. He wanted to stick close to Inuyasha, both to observe and protect. But at the same time he wanted to hang back and learn what, if anything, Daigon had learned.

Though granted Daigon really had not done much. He seemed mostly concerned with Inuyasha's joints and movements. Then again, Daigon had surprised him more then once with just how much he was able to learn from only simple observations.

In the end he decided to simply trail the boy at a modest distance. Close enough that Inuyasha would easily know that he was still there, but far enough to allow them both a smidge of privacy.

Inuyasha hesitated with each step, his eyes scanning his surroundings. Even though he never turned around, Sesshomaru could tell what he was doing. The ears were what gave him away, twitching and quirking this way and that. Now what would be most telling was when Inuyasha inevitably ran into one of his compatriots, something Sesshomaru was rather eager to witness.

There was also the fact that Inuyasha had made no mention of his sword, did not seem to recognize it sitting with Sesshomaru, and currently roamed without it upon his hip. Another telling tidbit there as far as Sesshomaru was concerned. Never in a million years would he had believed that his firebrand sibling would ever leave his weapon behind, let alone leave it sitting upon Sesshomaru's own hip.

It was all very puzzling, and the knot of worry in his stomach continued to grow. But he could smell kitsune…and so it would begin.

"Inuyasha!" Came the child's shriek.

Inuyasha visibly jumped, his face revealing frayed nerves as he turned towards the source of the sound. Any other time it would have been quite humorous, the ball of hyper-kitsune crashing into Inuyasha's legs, and the reaction of the former hanyou. But as it stood, Sesshomaru was far too busy watching Inuyasha's face and body to truly appreciate it all.

"You're awake!" Shippo cried out, and Sesshomaru observed Inuyasha's ears flattening. "Oh that's great! We were all so worried about you!"

Sesshomaru watched tension creep up Inuyasha's spine as the kit rambled on as only a child could. Something about this was raising Inuyasha's hackles extremely fast, something that Sesshomaru found curious.

"Quiet." Inuyasha snapped harshly.

Admittedly there was a part of Sesshomaru that was not thrilled with the idea of just throwing Inuyasha into the wild like this, but he also wanted to tread carefully with matters of asserting his authority. It had never worked all that well with Inuyasha as a hanyou after all.

After Inuyasha's harsh order the kit did fall silent, staring up at Inuyasha curiously. Sesshomaru could not see his siblings face, but whatever was there puzzled the child.

"What's wrong?" Shippo asked. "Still not feeling well?"

"You're too loud." Inuyasha hissed. "Stop screaming.

So it was the noise then? He had known that Inuyasha's hanyou senses had been inferior to his own, but not the extent they were.

"Oh…sorry." The kid muttered.

So it was the noise then? He had known that Inuyasha's hanyou senses had been inferior to his own, but not quite the extent they were. Though he did find it odd that Inuyasha seemed to be continuously bothered by it. While loud or sharp noises did tend to annoy him, the effect appeared to be far more sever upon his sibling. So…not all of Inuyasha had quite adapted to his new form just yet, despite Inuyasha's insistence that he had always been this way.

"So anyway…you're a full demon now?"

Inuyasha snorted, tossing his head.

"Of course I am. What else were you expecting?" His condescending tone seemed to upset the child, who in turn snarled up at the much larger demon.

"Well you were a hanyou you know!" Shippo huffed. "And we haven't been able to see you, so how was I supposed to know what was going on?!"

Inuyasha waved dismissively at the child, rolling his eyes.

"Ridiculous." Inuyasha huffed. "Why are you pestering me anyway? Run along child….go back to your parents."

Sesshomaru did not know much about what had brought the child to the group, but he did know that the parents were long gone, and unsurprisingly the kit reacted to the remark like he had been slapped.

Shippo recoiled, and an accusing finger shot out.

"Hey! That's not funny!"

Staring at Inuyasha's back Sesshomaru had no idea what expression he held, but the muscles within said back stiffened, and his arms crossed.

"What? I'm not trying to be funny." Inuyasha stated coolly. "You are a child. You should be with your parents."

Shippo's eyes grew wide with pain, and somehow Sesshomaru just knew that he was interpreting Inuyasha's comment as a go off and die sort. He had no desire to see the child have his heart ground into powder however. Time to step in.

"But-But-" The kit panted. "-you know what happened! You said that I was your son!"

"What?" Inuyasha puzzled. "How could I-"

Sesshomaru halted him with a gentle hand upon the shoulder. Inuyasha's head turned, revealing a face masked in confusion and annoyance.

"This child's parents were killed. You avenged them." Sesshomaru informed before nodding his head at the kit. "And then adopted him."

Inuyasha's brows furloughed, and he shifted his gaze to the near weeping kit.

"I did what? Are you sure?"

"Inuyasha!" The kit cried out. "This isn't funny at all!"

Tears sparkled in the child's eyes, and Sesshomaru opened his mouth to intervene. But unfortunately Inuyasha beat him to the punch.

"Damn right." The former hanyou grumbled. "You aren't my son. I'm not a kitsune."

Sesshomaru bit back a groan. This was not going well at all.

Pained shock covered Shippo's face, before hardening into a mask of rage.

"You…you bastard!" Shippo sputtered, before starting to sprint away. A quick snap of a tail ceased that, and before another moment had passed Sesshomaru had an armful of angry kitsune.

His squirming and kicking was annoying, but hardly stifling.

"Let me go!" Shippo howled, tears wetting his face.

"Listen to me." Sesshomaru pressed.

If Inuyasha were curious or concerned it did not show, as he began to wander away, something else having apparently caught his attention.

"Stupid, lying dog-shit-" Shippo hissed.

"Listen to me." Sesshomaru ordered firmly, drawing the child to eye level.

A scant few months ago he would never have cared. But that time seemed as if it were a full lifetime ago, lived by a different person entirely. In regards to the kit, Inuyasha had always been very clear on his place in his life, and how things pertained to his care. Not only that but the child had prove an adequate, and protective, playmate for Rin. A pleasing fact considering that they were very nearly step-siblings.

The kit's teary eyes bore into his own, painting a sad portrait of a heartbroken child struggling to wear a strong face. A face that Inuyasha himself had worn for most of his childhood.

"I know that it seems to be a bitter betrayal." Sesshomaru started slowly. "But I can assure you that is not the case."

"He lied." Shippo insisted.

"No…not intentionally anyway." Sesshomaru started "There have been complications. Inuyasha appears to have lost his memory…as frustratingly cliché as that sounds."

"What? What do you mean."

"This Sesshomaru means exactly what he has said." Sesshomaru stated as be set the child down. "He claims to remember nothing of his past save his name. He has not rejected you…he simply does not know who you are."

Shippo started up at him, torn between tears and confusion.

"Take some time to think it through…and imagine how he feels." Was all Sesshomaru could finish with as be began to walk, intent on catching up to Inuyasha.

This was turning out to be a rather poor idea.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

To be honest Inuyasha did not know whether to be annoyed or ill at ease as he wandered through the village. Absolutely nothing that came from sight, hearing, or smell came across as even remotely familiar. Though should it? He wasn't sure about that either.

Sesshomaru had insisted that he had friends here, had dwelt here for years in fact. But…that seemed unlikely. Honestly the only thing that was keeping him from turning and hounding out of the village entirely was the fact that he could not think of anywhere else to go. No home seemed to call to him. No urgent business sprung to mind. That in and of itself did not seem too terribly likely either. Even if he could not remember anything, he knew that the odds did not favor him simply springing to life, as grown as he was, the second he had opened his eyes only a few short hours ago.

"Inuyasha." He thought. "I am Inuyasha."

That was the only universal truth that he held within him, and one of the reasons he was continuing to hold a small bit of trust in Sesshomaru. After all, the other Inu had known his name without having to be told. Granted he had already felt moderately comfortable around Sesshomaru even before his name had been spoken aloud. Which was something Sesshomaru had already questioned, why that was, and Inuyasha supposed it was a very good question.

Perhaps it was because they were brothers? Sesshomaru had insisted that above all else, and Inuyasha supposed it would make sense. But was he going to accept it? It did not exactly feel wrong to him, and he could not see any reason for Sesshomaru to attempt to deceive him, there was still the fact that he did not know the man.

But then again, he did not currently know anyone. Which despite, people had already claimed to know him. That odd boy-healer and…that little kitsune child.

Inuyasha snorted to himself. Him, a hanyou? With an adopted child? Even as he ran it through his mind once more he found it nothing short of ridiculous. Anyone with eyes and a nose could tell what he was, and why would he adopt a child when he was perfectly capable of siring one? Especially one that was not only not of his blood, but not of his kind?

He supposed he should at least entertain that the idea could be true, but that just led to another annoying issue. Nothing around it felt right or wrong. Nothing whispered inside of him, no small clues were bubbling up.

Perhaps in time….Inuyasha growled to himself. The idea of waiting for answers certainly did not thrill him. Still…he paused, ceasing his movements and wandering thoughts as he turned his attention inward.

Nothing.

Stillness. Quiet.

Something around that bothered him, even if, once again, he did not know why. Honestly it was the only thing that felt even slightly out of place.

Inuyasha sighed.

So where did all of this leave him? Was he supposed to wander around hoping that something, anything, would ring the proverbial bell? His common sense told him that he should not be so dismissive, but he could not help but think such actions would be little more then a massive waste of time.

But what else did he have to do?

He wasn't hungry, so hunting was pointless. He wasn't aware of any hobbies or interests. Which in turn unsettled him. Why was he so empty? He felt content yes, but the question was stirring a faint sense of disquiet.

"Well…what do you want to do?" He thought, huffing internally when nothing at all sprang up. None of his base urges demanded satisfaction…so what now?

Was this all he was now? A creature that had nothing more then its own survival at heart? Wait…was now? Did that mean that he had been different before?

He tried to pursue that thought, but neither a yay nor a nay sprang up. Was before…before what? This morning?

Inuyasha growled again, his irritation only continuing to rise. It was not as if answers were bubbling up and slipping away. There was only the quiet. No answers, and not even many questions either, not really. Ones in his mind yes, but none in his heart. But it did grant him drive for something.

For Sesshomaru to be exact. If only for thee other Inu to give him something to do. But it was at that moment, when he decided to return to the other Inu, that his external quiet was shattered.

"IN-YU-YA-SHAAA!" A shrill voice cried out.

Much to his embarrassment the dagger like cry cause him to jump slightly, right before some frail creature latched on to him.

A girl by the scent of it, and he looked down to find just that. A human girl, barely dressed in white and green, seemingly doing its best to wrap its arms around him…and burst his ears.

The noise was a constant stream, painful and pointless. But something did catch his attention. She was fairly well coated in a male's scent, which in and of itself was not odd, had had to belong to someone after all. What did catch him was the scent was queerly similar to his own.

Even as her voice drove sharp daggers into his ears it was the unease creeping up his spine that held his focus. She smelled of him…yet not of him. Now normally, and he recognized the irony there, he did not think a woman smelling of him would set him one edge, although the fact hat she was clearly a young human was an issue. A weak mate would produce weak pups…and simply would not do.

Taking a deep breath he puzzled over just what was bothering him. If only her infernal chatter would cease so that he could concentrate! She had released him, small comfort, though was still invading his space. Still…if she could be so brazen…surely they had to have some manner of relationship.

With a annoying snort he clamped his hand over her mouth, his fingers nearly encircling her tiny head.

"Shut. Up.' He snapped harshly.

She did not seem to appreciate the action, and growled from behind his head. Cute, but hardly a credible threat worth his attention. He could simply crush her skull after all, and it was somewhat tempting…if only to cease the growing disquiet.

But the scent on her was simply too puzzling, and perhaps she could tell him something enlightening. But he wasn't about to risk that shrill voice on his poor, abused ears if he did not have to.

His plan was to examine her further, to find where his scent was the thickest. If they had somehow rutted, how she was still alive was a mystery, then he would be able to smell it within her. That plan went right out the window the second he palmed her tiny butt to lift her higher…and his promptly planted her foot right into his groin.

He grunted, more annoyed then actually injured, and an annoyed swat sent her stumbling. At first her expression was one of shocked embarrassment, which soon reddened into anger.

"You jerk!" She shouted. "I've been worried sick about you and this is the thanks I get?! And where do you get off….you pervert! Sit boy!"

Wait…sit? What? Did she think he was some kind of pet? "Oh wait…the rosary is gone." She muttered.

"You remember that only now human?" Sesshomaru's voice chimed in from behind. An unsurprising event honestly, as the other demon had been following from a slight distance the entire time.

"Force of habit." She snapped.

"Marvelous habit." Sesshomaru remarked dryly.

Okay…what the hell was going on?

"What do you mean sit?" Inuyasha growled. "Just who are you? I'm not some damn dog to be ordered around! How's about I make you sit?"

"Inuyasha!" Came another females voice. "Don't threaten Kagome!"

A shift of the eyes revealed a taller, thicker girl in a kimono with some manner of bone weapon upon her back.

"And who the hell are you?!"Inuyasha snapped exasperatedly. "And what the hell is a Kagome?!"

With a stern face the new girl stalked forward, something he had give her a bit of a nod for. She was obviously very brave…or very stupid. Time would tell.

"What's happened to you?" She spat. "You've never been like this."

Okay…wait…these people did know him? Well then…but why would he…argh!

"What be all the commotion-oh…it is you Inuyasha." Came an older voice.

An old woman with one eye and a bow upon her back had come around the corner, which was only increasing the people currently crowding him. Inuyasha's eye started to twitch, a blood vessel just threatening to burst.

"Now who are you?" He growled. This was getting ridiculous…and he did not like it, did not like it at all.

"We have been concerned about ye." The old woman stated. "Tis good to see you awake and about."

"Okay…" Inuyasha murmured guardedly.

"Okay? OKAY?!" Screeched the first girl. "Is that all you can say?!"

"No…I could point out that for a lady of your occupation, you are terribly rude. You will not get much business that way I should think." Inuyasha shot back.

"My occupation?!" She snapped. "Just what are you suggesting?"

Inuyasha quirked an eyebrow. Seriously?

"Well…it is obvious from you attire alone." Inuyasha retorted. "Clearly you are the village harlot…or is there a brothel around?"

That thought bothered him a little though. Why the him but not him scent all over a whore? Had he found use of her? How could he do so without crushing her? More over…why? Was he that desperate that he would risk filling her with pup? A hanyou pup at that?

Oh wait…wasn't he supposed to be a hanyou?

Jaws dropped at his explanation, and he caught the unmistakable sound of repressed laughter from behind. A glance revealed an amused Sesshomaru, who was covering his mouth as if caught up in thought. Not hardly by the sound of it. Guess he had to be glad someone was amused by this farce.

The girl however…went volcanic.

"ARE YOU CALLING ME A WHORE!?" She screamed.

His ears flattened to his skull from the pain of it, and his face scrunched up in a mask of distaste.

"And a loud one at that." He groused.

As amusing as her enraged sputtering were, this was all getting very tiresome. This could not possibility be his home, nor could these be his people, so why was he here?

Shouts were being focused and directed upon him now, and Sesshomaru was apparently trying to push back against them, but Inuyasha paid little attention. He had done as the boy-healer had asked, and not a damn thing seemed familiar. So enough was enough.

'Yeah…I'm done." Inuyasha muttered to no one in particular.

He crouched low, coiling the muscles in his legs. He still felt so damn heavy that he was surprised at how easy it was to move, and it didn't seem to affect his ability to jump either. The cluttered voices ceased as if a door had been slammed shut as he vaulted into the sky. He hated to be rude but honestly? How much was he expected to take?

Still…he felt a calm sense of peace as he soared through the sky. Maybe it would lead to whatever he had lost. If it was even worth recovering….

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Sesshomaru blinked as he stared at the swirling dust and cracked earth below the space Inuyasha had occupied only moments ago. He was not the only one either, as the assembled humans all wore shocked faces. He had to admit that he had fully expected Inuyasha to flee at some point during the day, but he had not expected it to be quite so dramatic.

When Inuyasha had crouched low Sesshomaru had literally heard the muscles in Inuyasha's legs coil and scrunch, almost like leather being squeeze in ones hands. That coupled with the fact that Inuyasha had kicked off with enough force to crack the earth…impressive to say the least.

Though he wasn't sure if he wanted to ignore or embrace the slight quickening of his blood that had his cock stretching partially.

Ignore….ignore would be best.

"How is it that you are a part of me?" Sess-youkai whimpered.

"Inuyasha does not seem to be himself…appearance changes none withstanding." Sesshomaru heard Kaede state. For a human the old woman was quite perceptive, and he found her gaze fixed firmly upon him.

"That…that….JERK!" Kagome snarled. "Where does he get off?!"

"Within us…." Sess-youkai whispered slyly.

"I hate you." Sesshomaru declared.

The human child's anger was unsurprising and easily dismissed. Though personally he was till far too amused at Inuyasha's assessment of her attire. If this situation gave him nothing else there would still be that. Perhaps this could also be used to finally push the bitch of a miko out of Inuyasha's life completely.

She would not be missed.

As a matter of fact, once they had returned home, he saw no reason for Inuyasha to have to associate with the human's ever again. Their lives would end in a blink of an eye anyway, which would undoubtedly send Inuyasha into mourning for months.

"You know something." The slayer accused, her eyes narrowing upon him. "Don't you?"

Had he been anyone else, any lesser being, he would have heaved a sigh. This was unlike the situation with the kitsune. He really was not obligated in any way to explain any thing to them. Of course if he did not then they would hound Inuyasha until they gained understanding.

Or until Inuyasha grew annoyed and crushed them like the bugs they were.

Oh one could dream.

"Listen carefully…for this Sesshomaru will not elaborate again."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Inuyasha sighed as he listened to the birds chirping. He had been all over the forest, and not one hint of recognition had been found. He had come across an old, rotting well that was utterly smothered in that sluttily dressed girl's, and another him yet not him, scents. Why this was so he couldn't quite figure out, for there was no water in it. Why would anyone visit it? The damn thing was a hazard for sure, a child could easily take a tumble and in they would go. If the silly humans had any brains they would surely fill the thing in.

Still…he had bigger things to concern himself with then a stupid old well. There was the matter of the scent that covered the forest. It was not familiar in terms of memory, there was no, ah ha I remember that, moment.

Again it was that him yet not him scent, and it was every where. A clearly marked warning to be sure.

It was damn confusing actually.

It barely matched the scent that he could easily test simply by sniffing himself all told, but there was just enough that it did call to him. Maybe…a forth of it seemed like him? The rest was off…and human.

So it was either somehow his…or a child of his. Did he have any pups? Any…hanyou pups? The idea bothered him, but other then the kitsune's claim, nothing sprang to mind. To that point he was certain that if he had sired any children, well how could that be forgotten? Unless he had done it without knowing? But why would he just rut some human woman and then take off? It didn't feel right to him.

Yet he could remember nothing before he had awoken hours ago so…who knew?

"Sesshomaru might." He thought.

That was right…surely a sibling of his would know if he had sired a wayward litter. Provided of course that the demon was telling the truth. He could not be certain he supposed, but Sesshomaru scent was both soothing and familiar in a way that again, had nothing to do with memory.

Then there was the strange pull he felt towards the other man. He could not place it, but it evoked feelings of…ownership, possession, and an odd desire that he couldn't quite name yet. None of which made any sense of course, par for the course frankly.

All of these subjects provoked questions that only Sesshomaru could answer. Which made his leaving something of a poor choice in hindsight.

Inuyasha sighed as he rested back in his chosen tree. It was the largest one around, seeming adequate enough to support his weight. But despite a higher concentration of the him but not him scent, it held no more importance to him then any of the other trees he could see.

Had he, or this person who smelled similar to him, spent time here? If so, why? Because thus far he could not see a single thing that would warrant his attention, or anyone who could possibly be of his flesh's as well.

Speaking of that…was it even important that he remember? If everything was so easily forgotten, then was it even worth anything?

He was young, he could tell that, very much so in fact. Thus his life was only just beginning. So if by some chance the missing pieces never found their way back into place…would truly be any sort of loss?

It was something to consider.

His ears quirked as he detected the sounds of something moving about him, something big perhaps, but no alarms were set off. Just as he began to shift his gaze upward, Sesshomaru landed upon a higher branch. Which so some reason…pleased Inuyasha.

"I thought that you might be found here." Sesshomaru said.

"And why is that?" Inuyasha wondered, although he had a feeling he already knew something of the origin of the comment.

"You often spent time here." Sesshomaru replied. "I assumed that you had been drawn here."

"Nope." Inuyasha quipped. "Just the sturdiest tree around. Didn't think anyone would look for me out here actually."

Sesshomaru made a face before turning his gaze to the sky as if in thought.

"Come." Sesshomaru ordered as he dropped down to the earth.

Inuyasha quirked an eyebrow, considering if he should take offense. Probably had to do with more crap he couldn't remember anyway. With a sigh he pushed himself off of his perch, effortlessly landing on his feet with a muted thud.

"Alright…so what?" He grumbled. He had been hoping to relax a bit, maybe have a little chat about some of the things he remained curious about.

But Sesshomaru said nothing, instead he took Inuyasha by the hand, and proceeded to press it to the trunk of the old tree. Inuyasha withheld complain as he fingered the scar in the bark that he felt there. He did not have to wonder the purpose, but the point eluded him. So he chose to simply stare at the other demon in quiet boredom.

"Nothing at all I take it?"

Inuyasha shrugged.

"Its just a hole in a tree."

It was the truest statement he could make, but the distressed light that flittered behind Sesshomaru's eyes told him there had to be something more. "Oh what is it now?" He groused.

Sesshomaru released him, and turned away to stare off into the forest.

"If there was anything at all in the world…" Sesshomaru murmured. "This I was expect to never be forgotten."

"Fraid you'll have to elaborate." Inuyasha stated.

"You spent fifty years here." Sesshomaru informed.

"What? Why?" Inuyasha asked. "And what do you mean here? Like right here?"

Sesshomaru nodded.

"At this very spot a sacred arrow pierced your heart, and for fifty frozen years you hung upon this very tree." Sesshomaru explained.

Inuyasha blinked, none of that ringing any bells, which was clearly displayed on his face for Sesshomaru to see when he turned back around. "I must tell you…not one single thing that has happened to you as of late has ever been documented a single time. If it has even happened at all." Sesshomaru pressed. "I…am at a loss."

"Sorry." Inuyasha muttered as he dropped his hand away from the scar. "But a sacred arrow? By which I assume you mean a human imbued arrow, how could that ever trouble me? Let alone seal me…hell…let alone HIT me."

"You were a hanyou…and a heartbroken one at that." Sesshomaru informed.

Inuyasha wrinkled his nose. This again?

"Be serious." He chided.

"This Sesshomaru is, that he can assure you." Sesshomaru responded. "You have transformed some how. Your memory loss is but a new piece to this puzzle."

"You're actually serious." A statement, not a question.

Sesshomaru nodded and circled a finger in the air as he spoke.

"I am sure that you have caught the scent that so thoroughly saturates this forest."

Inuyasha nodded.

"Yeah…it's kinda hard not to notice."

"Indeed." Sesshomaru stated. "Yet another reason this patch of woodlands is referred to as Inuyasha's forest. That scent is yours, or it was only a few short weeks ago, when your form was not of a Daiyoukai as it is now, but a Inu-hanyou."

Inuyasha blinked, pondering the words and their implications…if there were any.

"So…this place is my home?" He inquired.

Sesshomaru crossed his arms, and leaned casually against the trunk of the tree.

"I suppose for a time it could have been called that." Sesshomaru admitted.

"But no more?" Inuyasha questioned. "Then where is my home now?"

"With this Sesshomaru." Said Sesshomaru replied. "In our family's ancestral home."

Now that sounded better. Everything here seemed boring and beneath him.

"Can we go there now?" He asked, somewhat eagerly.

"That had been my aim after you had awoken and recovered, but now…" Sesshomaru trailed off.

"What's the problem?" Inuyasha huffed. He certainly did not what to stay here any longer, not with these people, these humans.

"The problem is, as I have said, you were a hanyou. Everyone knew you as a hanyou." Sesshomaru answered. "For you to appear as you are now would raise questions. Questions that without your memory will be unanswerable by you. I fear that whether you truly are Inuyasha, youngest son of Inu-Taisho, will be in doubt."

"Is that why I lived here? In this…place?" Inuyasha wondered.

Sesshomaru shook his head sadly, an odd aura of shame surrounding him.

"No…we…you and I…have never been…close." Sesshomaru slowly stated. "I have been attempting to change things. But there have been so many events transpiring, stumbling blocks one after another, that we have not possessed the time to deepen our brotherhood beyond title."

"So…we just met?" Inuyasha asked.

"We have known one another for almost two centuries, and our paths have crossed many times. But we have never been…united." Sesshomaru answered.

It was clear to see that such an admission pained Sesshomaru, and each word seemed deliberate. Either it was painful, the things had had forgotten, or well…he didn't know what…or why. He supposed it was possible that Sesshomaru was hiding something from him, but why? After all Sesshomaru had seemingly been looking for ways to kick start his memory ever since he had admitted it lost, and if it did suddenly come back then he would know of whatever was being hidden so…that couldn't' be it could it?

Hn…well…

"I suppose that we'll be staying around here for a while then." Inuyasha mused as he stretched his back.

"More then likely…regardless of its distaste." Sesshomaru agreed. "Unless it becomes…troublesome."

Well that was that then, although he did enjoy the distain in Sesshomaru's tone. Nice to see he wasn't the only one displeased with the surroundings. Still…unless he wanted to simply take off, it wasn't like anyone could hope to stop him, he was stuck.

The problem with that idea of course was that he didn't have a single clue as to where he might go, or what he might do. He could always make a life for him self somewhere to be sure, but gone along with his memory appeared to be any sort of drive or dreams. He didn't have any goals…save maybe one.

Just peaking up over the collar of Sesshomaru's clothing sat a trace of color. He couldn't quite make out what it was, but just that little peek made his blood quicken.. He didn't understand it, and it was only a sense of self-reserve that kept him from grabbing at Sesshomaru and pulling the concealing clothing open. It just did not seem…proper.

"Well…" Inuyasha muttered as he slapped his thighs. "I'm hungry. Think I'll go hunting…Guess I'll be around if you need me."

A simple flick of his ankle and he was airborne once more, and when no voice called out to join him he pushed onwards, searching for something that might fill his belly.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Coward.

If a living creature ever dared to utter that word in description of him Sesshomaru had no doubts about what he would do. Yet as he watched as Inuyasha disappeared into the treetops, the word rang out, loud and pounding, within his mind.

Coward. He was a coward.

Inuyasha had inquired around them, about their past, and he, the mighty Sesshomaru, had been far too afraid to tell him the entire story. To tell him the truth, that they had been bitter enemies. That he, Inuyasha, had taken his arm, and that he, Sesshomaru, had ruined the first half of Inuyasha's life with callousness and cruelty.

The words had been there, but his courage had simply failed him. Inuyasha seemed to at ease around him, and only him it seemed, and when Inuyasha looked upon him so openly, completely lacking his former guarded mistrust…it only served to fuel Sesshomaru's cowardly act.

He did not want to lose this.

That gentle, open stare within Inuyasha's eyes gave power to the fear and selfishness that stilled his tongue. Thus far he and Inuyasha had had two perfectly civil, if not slightly affectionate, interactions. It was something so small, so simple and yet…he did not want to lose it.

It was not fair.

This outcome had been his goal from the very beginning, but to gain it like this.

It was not fair.

As it was he was at a complete loss as to what to do. Did he attempt to restore Inuyasha's memory and bring back the boy who were almost always hovering a mere two steps away from despising him?

Or did he leave it be, to return normally or not, only for Inuyasha to become enraged at his -taking advantage- if he ever did snap back.

The honorable choice was clear. It was only proper to restore Inuyasha's memory and allow him to make his own choices with the full breath of experience behind him. Yet he had no idea how to even attempt to do such a thing, let alone how to begin. Thus far Inuyasha had reacted with indifference to every single thing that Sesshomaru knew to hold importance to the former hanyou.

So if landmark events and locations meant nothing…what else was there to try? Beyond that…just what had caused this in the first place? His frustration and despair rose, and he clenched his teeth painfully just to hold back the building whine.

He did not know what to do. He simply did not know.

And it wasn't fair in the slightest.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Using his tongue Inuyasha dug out a chunk of detritus from out of between his teeth, and spat it out. The sun was setting, the day dwellers starting to bed down while the nocturnal stalkers began to rouse.

So where did that leave him? He really did not want to stay in this place, but Sesshomaru said that was the plan. So he supposed that there was no helping it, but what was he supposed to do in the meantime? He wanted to approach Sesshomaru, but the man seemed sullen and distant. It was the reason he had left the other Inu by the tree. Eh didn't want to bother him or something, but then again, if nothing else, boredom would force them together before long.

He snorted, because it wasn't like there was much enjoyment or interest to be found with the humans. Though he could always find a use for the mouth whore if he got that bored.

Well speak of the devils…as he approached the village he noticed the very same humans who had confronted him earlier, all hanging around one of the little huts together. Judging from the scent and wisps of smoke, they had some sort of fire going somewhere.

The glares he received form the two girls when he approached didn't really surprise him, something told him there would be problems between the three of them before long. Not that he cared, though he supposed that they could be…friends of Sesshomaru or something. So he should probably play nice…besides he found their boo-faces to be somewhat amusing.

He would have simply passed on by them without a word, they held nothing he wanted after all, but then the old woman from before poked her one eyed head out and smiled at him.

"Ah Inuyasha. Tis good to see ye again. Mayhaps ye would join us for some stew?"

Stew….stew….hmm….food…yeah he could eat, and it was a pleasant enough offer.

"Sure." He muttered, rocking his head.

He had to duck just to enter the hut, and when he did he saw a large pot with the kitsune from before and some new human girl already seated near it.

"Ah! Lord Inuyasha!" Exclaimed said human girl.

Lord? Well he did like the sound of that.

"Hello…little…tiny girl." He fumbled, to which she giggled, squirming and smiling in that particular little girl way.

"Silly Lord Inuyasha." She chirped. "It's Rin, remember?!"

"Supposedly he's lost his memory or something." The kitsune groused.

"No supposedly about it." Inuyasha stated as he sat himself down, letting himself drop hard enough to shake the floor, bouncing the kit up for a tailbone bump.

But the girl, Rin he supposed, gasped, placing a hand over her mouth.

"Really? Nothing at all?"

He could only shake his head.

"Nothing but my name."

"oh…that's just terrible." Rin whispered. "Lord Sesshomaru must be so sad."

Really? Sesshomaru would be saddened? Just how would she know that? This was all so confusing.

The women filtered in, sitting carefully without a word. Though he did note that they were all watching him rather intently. He purposefully ignored it, which was even easier to do when a bowl with rather pleasant smelling contents was handed to him by the pleasant, though ugly, face of the one eyed old woman. His stomach made a noise, not exactly rumbling, but telling him it desired filling nonetheless, and he dug in with gusto.

Much to the amusement of the old woman the contents were quickly devoured, and without a word she took it for a refilling, before taking her own seat. The second bowl faired little better then the first, but instead of taking another easily drained third, though hell he could probably just eat the entire pot himself, he simply set the empty container to the side.

He heard the skimpy girl mutter something about him 'still being a pig' which served to draw his irritation. Irritation then set words surging towards his mouth, he wasn't about to be badmouthed by some silly human twig of a girl, when the kitsune suddenly shot up. Bowl in hand the kit stalked over to him, before, unbidden and uninvited, the boy planted himself determinately into Inuyasha's own lap. With a stubborn look on his face the kit dug into his food, even as Inuyasha stared down quizzically at him.

"I don't care what you say." Shippo grumbled. "You made me a promise. So I'm holding you to it."

The edges of Inuyasha's mouth quirked in amusement. He did suppose that he couldn't leave the poor kid to be homeless if it did turn out that, in fact, he had somehow adopted the boy. Though he was pretty sure if he had done such a thing it would be only until he could find other family, or at least another kitsune couple, to take the child in. He had no idea how to be a kitsune after all.

"Sure thing kid." He quipped as he stuck a claw into the kit's bowl, spearing a choice hunk of meat.

With a simple flick of his finger he popped it into his mouth, savoring the juices.

"Hey!" Came a small, outraged cry.

The small fangs bared his away amused him, so he made another half-hearted stab at the bowl, only for the kit to evade it as expected. Inuyasha looked down at the snarling kitsune.

"What?" He inquired innocently. " You mean you aren't my portable food holder?"

"No!" Shippo snapped as he shifted to the side, away form Inuyasha's probing fingers.

So it went, much to Inuyasha's amusement. The kitsune dodging non-serious attempts, while shoveling food into his mouth at every opportunity.

"Inuyasha…where is your sword? Where is Tetsusaiga?"

"Hm? Inuyasha grunted. "What sword?"

The empty bowl was flung at his head, only to be easily dodged, and he pinned the struggling fox-boy to the ground with a grin.

"Your Fang, Inuyasha." Came another voice. "The Tetsusaiga…your Father's gift to you."

"Ask Sesshomaru, he's the one who carries swords around. What do I need a sword for?"

Shippo's fangs latched onto a finger as Inuyasha palmed the child's body, tussling him back and forth along the ground. Little feet kicked at his arm, along with tiny claws at dug into the back of said hand. Amusing, hardly a threat, but very amusing.

"With Sesshomaru?" Came a hushed whisper.

"He would never leave it, especially not with Sesshomaru." Came another.

"I know! I was there when they fought over it."

"Then he really must not remember."

Inuyasha was hardly concerned or interested in what all the little human's were discussing, so he paid them no mind. The squirming kit was far more interesting.

"I'm gonna kick your ass!" Shippo snarled, though completely out of breath.

"Ooooh…tough talk from the ankle biter.' Inuyasha teased. "You can't even reach my ass."

"You just wait!" Shippo shot back.

"Oh please." Inuyasha snarked. "You can't even get out from under my hand."

"Cause you're using all your weight fatty!" Shippo grunted.

"Kid…if it was using ANY of my weight, you're guts would be squirting out your butt." Inuyasha quipped.

Without another thought he easily hauled the child up. Despite the squirming it took litter effort to juggle the kitsune in the air, passing him back and forth between his hands like a living ball.

"Stop it!" Shippo snarled as he hit the left hand. "Stop it, stop it damn you!"

Inuyasha's amusement only grew as the kit tumbled and spun in the air, vainly clawing and kicking. Snatching the kit by the head, he swung the boy down and under his arm, releasing him behind his back. The kitsune tumbled threw the air like a jugglers pin, and Inuyasha expected him to come spiraling over his shoulder.

But apparently the boy was more agile then he had expected, and managed to orientated himself, or just got lucky, because the next thing Inuyasha knew all the child's momentum was being halted by his tiny hands clutching Inuyasha's own pointed ears.

Not a pleasant feeling to be sure, but turnabout was fair play.

"Ha!" Shippo exclaimed triumphantly as he planted himself firmly atop Inuyasha's head, leaning back to put all his weight into tugging the furry triangular flaps. "Now what dog boy!?"

The kitsune was probably expecting to play dodge and dance with two groping hands, but Inuyasha had other options available.

"Yeah! What now you dog-faced-mrphmur!"

The kit's cocky taunts were promptly muffled and smothered as Inuyasha's tail snapped up and encircled his body like a fluffy snake. Inuyasha smirked at the boy's flailing limps sticking out of his fluff-ball prison as he was dangled in the air.

"Mrmurmur-ugh!" Shippo raged before Inuyasha let his tail go limp, dropping the boy to the ground.

The squirming and flailing continued as Inuyasha began to flop his tail from side to side.

"Smiphmfa-uh!"

Thud.

"Mafrum-uh-!"

Thud.

"Godflab-!"

Thud.

Personally Inuyasha was having a grand old time, but apparently a certain someone was taking exception to his actions.

"Inuyasha!" The Kagome shouted. "Leave him alone!"

Inuyasha rolled his eyes. The stupid girl seemed to think he was killing the boy, if her death glare was anything to go by. Like a little boy wouldn't appreciate a little wrestling. Hell as cocooned as he was in fur, Inuyasha knew damn well the kid wasn't feeling a thing. It was like tossing a child on a large pillow, no harm, and a lot of laughs.

But apparently the little worm felt the need to butt in, though why she did, he didn't know. Wasn't the child his? What business did she have?

She shot to her feet, glaring daggers at him.

"I said leave him alone you big bully!"

Inuyasha paused, considering his options. He did not see why she felt the need to involve herself, nor why she felt she could talk to him so. It would be so easy to simply snap her in half. Quite tempting…but if he recalled right she was some sort of friend of Sesshomaru, though he couldn't see why.

Scanning around where he sat Inuyasha spotted a small pebble. Snatching it up, he chose to hold it up so that she could see. Rolling it between his fingers for a few moments, Inuyasha snapped them out as her glare narrowed and her mouth opened, shooting it right at her. It cracked against her forehead, and she cried out, sprawling backwards on her ass.

One would think that would be the end of it all, but the outraged cry that tore out form the other girl said otherwise.

Inuyasha cracked his knuckles as he released the kitsune from his tail-grip. Perhaps he could use a little exercise.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Sesshomaru sighed. He was at just as much of a loss now as he had been before. He did not like it, did not like feeling so lost and out of sorts. Even when he and Inuyasha had just joined he had possessed some semblance of a plan. He had known what he wanted to do, and had possessed several ideas on how to accomplish it. But with this…he knew what he wanted yes, but what was right?

He was torn away from his inner ruminations by the sound of wood breaking. He shifted his gaze, just in time to see the two human girls come crashing out through one the human hut's wooden walls.

Splintered wood tumbled through the air as they hit the ground, the slayer taking the brunt of the impact as she shielded the miko. Said miko was bleeding slightly, a crimson trickle running from a spot on her forehead.

For a moment Sesshomaru was frozen in confusion. Just what the hell was going on?

He received a partial answer as Inuyasha came plowing through the remnants of the small wall the two women had come flying through, widening the hole to the point where there was very little wall actually left. But even that did not answer the what and why of the situation.

Inuyasha marched forward steadily as the slayer stood on shaky legs, and then, before Sesshomaru's disbelieving eyes, she swung her weapon off her back, putting the full weight of it into her swing.

"Hiraikotsu!" She bellowed as she let the weapon fly.

The giant, demon bone boomerang cut through the air, hurtling straight towards Inuyasha. The projectile was fast, but Sesshomaru felt that Inuyasha could dodge it easily enough. After which Sesshomaru fully intended to put a stop to whatever nonsense was going on, and learn exactly WHY it was going on.

The weapon neared, and Sesshomaru tensed, just as if he were the one preparing to dart to the side.

But Inuyasha never moved. He stood tall, back straight, arms at his sides as the demon slayer tool slammed right into him, its curved arch driving across his chest.

A booming thud tore through the air, and the impact was fierce enough to send a shockwave, bubbling blasting over the small area. The slayer stood dumbfounded, her mouth agape as her weapon, its energy spent, thunked uselessly to the ground.

But Inuyasha never moved, nor did blood come spurting out from any wound. He simply stood there, staring at the slayer with a look of bored detachment. His lips quirked, and then he moved, bending slightly to catch the hand strap of the weapon before launching himself into the air with such force the ground shook, a surprising event considering he had barely flexed his legs. Inuyasha's ascent peaked much lower then Sesshomaru would have expected, that was until he realized just what Inuyasha was preparing to do.

The boomerang swung up as Inuyasha's powerful arm began to coil. With the full weight of his body, and all the strength of his arm, Inuyasha hurled the weapon right back at his owner. The force of doing so spun Inuyasha 'round like a top, even as the weapon rocketed towards its target.

All of this occurred in less the five seconds, and if anyone had thought the giant projectile had moved quickly when the slayer launched it…it was little more then a demon bone lightning bolt now.

Even with her face molded in a mask of shock and panic, the slayer's training did not fail sure. She was already surging into motion…but it would not be fast enough, not fast enough by half. She would be pulverized by her own tool of death, and by a demon no less.

Delicious irony to be sure.

The world seemed to slow as it always did as Sesshomaru tensed himself for action, pondering in the last few moments before impact whether he should intervene or not. Despite their efforts against Naraku he honestly was not found of the two women. Nor did he know what had ignited this confrontation in the first place. For all he knew Inuyasha was perfectly in the right. Not to mention they were humans, who were already a pebble a dozen, and died out almost as soon as they were born.

So he really did not care.

However…inuyasha would, should he regain his memory anyway. He would hate himself forever for ending one of his friends lives, and likely hold a grudge against his elder brother for not preventing it. Which simply was not fair in the slightest.

Sesshomaru would never understand how he could be blamed, but not making sense had NEVER stopped Inuyasha before.

Of course if Inuyasha never regained his memory, an outcome that needed to be considered, then he might very well hold a grudge for Sesshomaru saving his prey.

Sesshomaru sighed.

Sango's weapon struck with such earth shattering force that it not only burrowed into the ground like a comet from the sky, it also exploded violently. Shouts of distress rang out as hunks of earth and demon bone were scattered about.

Inuyasha landed deftly, and stared at the slayer who now rested in Sesshomaru's arms. It was almost humorous, that it had come to this. He, the Sesshomaru, rescuing Inuyasha's friends from none other then Inuyasha's himself.

The boy raised an eyebrow as their eyes met.

"I forgot…she's some sort of friend of yours right?"

Sesshomaru released the slayer, who eyed Inuyasha warily while edging away from Sesshomaru, her hand hovering near some blade on her hip.

"Actually, the human's belong to you, your friends as it were." Sesshomaru stated. "Some…manner of pack."

Inuyasha snorted, tossing his head.

"As if I would ever tolerate such."

"You!" Sango hissed. "You're nothing like our Inuyasha!"

The condemnation was aimed to wound, and dripping with venom, but Inuyasha hardly batted an eye.

"Well apparently he's dead. Just me now, and you remember this….Sesshomaru might not be here to save your ass next time human."

"I think Naraku must have done something." Kagome cried out from the sidelines, her voice breaking. "Inuyasha would never act like this!"

Drama aside, her accusation had some minor merit. This could be the result of Naraku's machinations, albeit an unintentional consequence. Sesshomaru had a hard time believing that the vile hanyou would ever willingly increase Inuyasha's power. Let alone give Inuyasha the one thing that he most wanted for himself.

"Please…let us all calm down." Came the old woman's voice.

Sesshomaru spared them a glance, noting both Rin and Shippo's presence.

"I'm perfectly calm." Inuyasha stated. "It's these two who think they can order and threaten me."

"You attacked Kagome!" Sango barked.

Inuyasha looked completely unrepentant as Sesshomaru felt the beginnings of a headache coming on.

"It was barely a tap." Inuyasha scoffed. "Perhaps she should keep her stupid face out of my business."

"Just what happened here?" Sesshomaru inquired, feeling very much the overstressed parent dealing with quarreling children.

"And perhaps YOU should learn not to bow up on me." Inuyasha growled at the slayer.

"What happened here?" Sesshomaru repeated, a little firmer this time.

"I will not stand by idle while you harm others!" Sango shot back.

"And I'll not be dictated to by a couple of little human girls!" Inuyasha barked. "Oh and slayer? Remember this…stand idle or stand active…we both know there is fuck all you can do to stop me from doing whatever I chose."

Sesshomaru sighed, and out of sheer habit glanced at Rin. The poor girl looked as if she was positively ready to burst. No doubt aching to tell the tale, but restrained by the manners Sesshomaru had impressed upon her. Clearly he was going on have to rely upon actual children once more. Sango opened her mouth to speak, but Sesshomaru cut her off.

"Enough slayer." He chided. "I do not intent to fight upon your behalf."

The warning hung heavy in the air, and she glared daggers at him. But she seemed to take steps to restrain herself, unlike Inuyasha who appeared to practically vibrate. It wasn't hard to see that Inuyasha was simply itching for some manner of fight.

That concerned Sesshomaru, though it was comment for nearly awakened Daiyoukai to stretch their new powers. He simply did not want to be the one Inuyasha decided to test upon. In his new form it was highly likely that Sesshomaru would have to bring the full force of his power against the boy. Which was something he did not wish to do. Doing battle with Inuyasha was something he wasn't sure he even possessed the will to do any longer. He was tired of fighting with his sibling, he just wanted, no needed, peace.

There were several tense moments at Inuyasha and Sango glared at one another. For his part Sesshomaru was at a loss. Diplomatically resolving issues such as this was not something he had ever needed to do. There had never been an issue in his life that he could not solve with either an order or a threat.

The human wasn't the problem, but Inuyasha certainly was. Orders and threats had never worked on him before, and Sesshomaru doubted that they would now. His brain was about to tie itself into a third knot when Daigon's voice broke through.

"How many times much this one tell you to stay in bed?! You are not well!"

Attention diverted, everyone glanced at the hut behind Inuyasha just in time to see the monk stumble out. He seemed relieved when he spotted Inuyasha, and tried to walk forward, only to catch his shuffling foot on the other one, or perhaps some unseen snag. Daigon had been steps behind the monk, but his desperate stumbling to save himself gave him a small burst of speed, and Inuyasha was the wall the monk splatted into.

Inuyasha's arms kept the monk from collapsing upon the ground as his shaky legs simply gave out. Despite the puzzled look upon Inuyasha's face the ex-hanyou supported the human's weight, sparing a glance towards Sesshomaru.

"Ah…th-thank you Inuyasha." Miroku fumbled, clearly embarrassed.

"You're welcome." Inuyasha replied, still looking puzzled.

A shuddering sigh of relief rolled over Miroku, and his strength seemed to leave him as he continued to stare at the ground.

"You're alive…" Miroku whispered, which was perhaps all he could manage.

"Yyyes?" Inuyasha drawled.

"Thank Buddha…I was so worried." Miroku rasped softly, and with what appeared to be monumental effort, raised his head to blink bleary eyes at Inuyasha. "Heh…my eyes must be worse then I thought…You-"

Whatever the monk was going to say was lost on the wing as his consciousness faded, and he collapsed into Inuyasha's powerful arms. The former hanyou continued to stare down at the human, puzzled yet contemplative.

Daigon sighed as he approached Inuyasha, shaking his head in disappointment.

"This one keeps telling him to rest, to keep still, but he insist upon being stubborn…when he's not simply passing out that is."

Inuyasha said nothing as he allowed Daigon to take the man, and remained silent as he watched the healer carry the comatose monk back inside, minus a noncommittal grunt when the healer requested that he keep the noise level down to a 'dull roar.'

Even as the other humans began to level noise his way Inuyasha continued to simply stare at the door Daigon and Miroku had disappeared behind, till finally, without so much as a word, Inuyasha began to walk away, heading towards the darkened forest. Sesshomaru in turn watched him, tempted all the while to call out, but curiosity as to what had come over the younger Inu stayed his voice.

He wondered if he should follow after the boy, but he still did not know what had transpired, and such knowledge was needed if he was going to keep this situation from occurring again.

To the side the elder Miko began to tend to the younger's minor wound, and the two children stood not far form that. Rin looked as if she would burst any second, near writhing as if she desperately had to answer nature's call.

Cute…

"Come Rin." He requested as he turned towards where Inuyasha had disappeared. "This Sesshomaru needs to be told the tale of what transpired."

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Koga growled in irritation as he prowled though the bush. The last several days had been utter bullshit. First there had been that giant explosion of youki that had made his head ache for hours on end. What the hell had that been? And how could it possibly be so powerful?

Fuck…there probably wasn't a single demon in the whole of Japan who had not felt it.

It had taken him all day to make his way to it, and what he had found had infuriated him. The first thing he had come across had been what had been left of Kagura, the wind bitch who had slaughtered his comrades. She had been so mangled that had it not been for her scent he might not have been able to identify her. Her guts and other viscera had been squeezed out of the dozens and dozens of wounds that had littered her body. His only thought as he had stared down at her had been simple.

"What the fuck could have done this?" and "How dare they deprive me of my revenge!"

At that point he had been presented with two options. On one hand the faint scent of Naraku had been off to one side. While on the other hand the ripple of youki had been off in the opposite. Whatever had let it out to begin with was long since gone, but it had still left one hell of an echo.

He had chosen to follow the youki, passing up a possible shot at Naraku for answers. Aggravating enough it had taken another half day just to get to where the ripple had originated from, and even then it brought him not satisfaction, but more indignant rage.

A battle had raged, that much was readily apparent. The earth itself, and miles of forest, had been completely rended asunder.

But that wasn't had had him seeing red.

He had continued to follow the echo of youki away from ground zero until he had come to a slushy, congealed pile of….something that sort of resembled ash.

At first he couldn't smell anything, other then whatever the fluid was, but after some admittedly ill judged poking with a long branch, the goo had gurgled and burst. A pocket of gas had been trapped, and the scent that had spilled out, in addition to turning his stomach, had been unmistakable.

Naraku.

Not just an incarnation but the vile hanyou himself.

Koga had gone through about three dozen pole-like branches before he had stirred up enough gunk to discover there was nothing left. No bones, nor flesh, nor hair…no nothing.

Naraku was dead. Well and truly dead.

Dead by a hand other then Koga's own.

What. The. Fuck.

That was when he had caught other scents he knew. Kagome, the slayer Sango…and he hadn't stuck around after that, choosing instead to follow the women's scent.

Somehow the dog-shit had killed Naraku, though apparently his big brother had come to aid him. Whatever the gunk was, there was enough to Inuyasha's scent mixed in that Koga was betting it had come from him. How he had done so Koga hadn't a clue, but the damn rotten dog seemed to have a knack for just up and gaining new powers.

In his anger Koga tracked the scent to a small sleepy village, though he was unsure just what he was hoping to do at the end of the search. Part of him wanted to challenge the hanyou to restore his honor, as he was in no mood to listen to the hanyou gloat. But after he had arrived there had been no sight of the damn dog, and he had been forced to pull back to avoid detection.

Because for some damn reason Sesshomaru was hanging around, and even though he was a dog, Koga wasn't foolish enough to with to challenge him. Even if he was sure he would win…after all…how could a dog possibly match a wolf?

Still…he also knew that Sesshomaru hated humans…so why would he be hanging around a village full of them? That alone kept Koga from charging in as he normally would. There was also the matter of Inuyasha's scent…it was…different somehow.

So he had waited weeks, with no sight of the damn hanyou, which was even more infuriating. Though it made him wonder if the mutt was seriously injured, maybe even dying or dead. He was just a weak little half-blood puppy after all. Take away that sword of his daddy's and what did he have?

Now there had been some sort of commotion earlier though. Koga hadn't seen it, but he had certainly heard it. Some sort of explosion had filled his ears, and that made him cautious. No need to rush into someone else's battle after all.

Curiously enough, in the time that Sesshomaru had dwelt in the small village, he had been spreading his scent around something fierce. The purpose of which was also damn clear.

Stay the fuck away.

But that also made catching any other scents rather difficult. However now the Daiyoukai had retreated to the opposite woods for some unknown reason, which suited Koga's purpose just fine.

He had seen his target briefly in a window the other night, and the odds were he would find what he wish there again tonight.

So if he was going to do something he had been given the perfect chance.

During the weeks he had dwelt around the place he had been given plenty of time to think. He had made a mistake by allowing Kagome to remain with the hanyou, who in turn had ruined her. By failing to put her in her place as a real man would have, which Koga at first had thought a boon, something that would keep the hanyou from spoiling her with a rut. So he had been denied her.

Then something or someone that apparently had NO scent whatever had up and butchered the FUCK out of Kagura. Thus denying her death at HIS hands.

Then to top that off Naraku had been straight up obliterated. Denying HIM the chance to do just that himself.

All of this comprised a big fuck you to the wolf prince.

"I've been denied everything….all of my revenge." Koga snarled.

Well he would not be denied this. He had been denied his pleasure once already. No more.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Shippo wasn't sure just what had woke him up, but something certainly had. Blinking his tired eyes he gazed around the darkened room. Rin was off to his left where she been since they had bedded down. As Inuyasha and Sesshomaru had both disappeared, their respective wards were left without their guardians, and even though Kagome and Sango had both offered Shippo knew better then to get near either of them when they were as angry as they had been.

So he had offered to watch over Miroku, being somewhat surprised when Rin had offered to join him, who so far was….was….Shippo blinked at the empty bed.

Was missing.

"Shit!" Shippo cursed softly as he shot to his feet.

Daigon had warned him that Miroku apparently was developing a habit of moving around when he wasn't supposed to. But how had the monk gotten past him? The door was still shut, and Miroku would have had to carefully step over both him and Rin to get to it. The window was open sure, but as weak as Miroku apparently was, Shippo didn't' see him hauling himself up and out of it without making any noise.

"Why would he do that anyway?" Shippo thought as he creeped over to where Miroku had been. When trailing a scent it was best to start from the last, or most concentrated source, Inuyasha had told him. Taking a sniff Shippo found not just the monk who should have been there but another scent that shouldn't as well. "Wolf." Shippo whispered.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Miroku didn't appreciate the jostling anymore then his ribs did. As it was he felt like he might just vomit. He did not know what was going on or why, but he knew he didn't want any part of it. All he knew was that he had been sleeping peacefully for the first time in weeks, the nightmares finally relenting somewhat, when something had roused him.

That something had been hot breath on his lips, and unexpected event to be sure. So had the appearance of Koga's face mere inches from his own, coupled with the warm tingling on said lips.

Had Koga kissed him?

It had surprised him to say the least, and he certainly had not appreciated the clawed hand that had clamped over his mouth. At first Miroku had thought it had been to keep him from waking the two children, who had insisted upon sleeping near him it had seemed. But soon he realized it had been to prevent him from calling out for help, as the next thing Koga had done was heave him up and dart out the nearby open window.

Which put Miroku in his current position. Over a demon's shoulder and desperately ill. Bile was heaved up and out of Miroku's mouth as Koga hit a dip, the sudden drop in turn driving his shoulder into Miroku's belly.

"Koga please…" Miroku rasped.

Why was this happening? Why was Koga, a friend last he knew, apparently kidnapping him?

"Shh…don't worry." Koga soothed, though it had none of the effect the wolf wished.

The thought that something had happened and Koga was merely moving him to safety was entertained for a moment, but quickly dismissed. If that was the case then why had the children been left?

"What…are….you doing?" Miroku gasped.

"Claiming what is mine." Koga growled. "I will not be denied this time."

Even as he heard it, and processed it, Miroku still didn't' understand.

"Koga…I am ill." Miroku pushed weakly.

"Yeah…I can smell something weird." Koga replied, but never slowed. "But don't worry, when we get back to the pack we'll get you all fixed up."

Even through the pain and exhaustion Miroku's temper rose. Had he the strength, and it was in his possession, he would have cracked the wolf's skull with his staff. As it was he was reduced to feeble squirming, which hardly fazed the demon's strength. He had no idea what Koga was planning, but with every step the wolf was taking him further from his friends, and the kind healer who had made the pain and nightmares dissipate.

As a last ditch effort Miroku threw his hand out, snagging a tree branch. He could only pray that his grip would be strong enough as his arm drew taunt. He was grateful that the wolf appeared to be favoring stealth over his normal whirlwind bursting speed.

Miroku's shoulder screamed in pain as they were brought up short. It wasn't nearly enough to break Koga's grip, but it did cause the wolf stumble. Miroku would have liked to have seen the branch snap first, but sadly it was his grip that gave way first. But with Koga trying to correct he saw a chance, shifting his weight and pushing away against the wolf's back with all his might.

Miroku knew that Koga could have easily saved, but he would have had to release the monk first, which apparently wasn't something he was willing to do as the both were sent crashing to the ground.

Miroku squirmed in Koga's stilly unbroken grip. It did not matter if the wolf had taken the brunt of the impact for him, Koga still had no right or explained reason to do what he was doing.

"Release me Koga!" Miroku hissed, feeling worse then he had in a while. "Why are you doing this?!"

Miroku was sent unceremoniously rolling along the ground as Koga released his robes. Miroku could only clutch at his stomach in pain as sharp stabs shot through it. Buddha he was going to be sick….

"I suppose we've gone far enough." Koga began slowly as he sat up. "I've decided that you will be my consort."

"Your…what…?" Miroku pushed out through clenched teeth.

Whatever it was he didn't see why the wolf felt he had to abduct him in the middle of the night for it. Unless lives were on the line Miroku did not see cause for any of this. Though…come to think of it….wasn't this just what Koga had done to Kagome all that time ago? "You could have asked if I was…-burp- interested…in this…position." Miroku gasped as another bolt of pain tore through him. The healer, Daigon if he was remembering correctly, had repeatedly warned him against moving or jolting around, as although the poison had been neutralized, his organs and body tissue had sustained damage.

"It is quite an honor." Koga pointed out. "I am pack alpha after all."

Miroku felt a flash of hot irritation at the wolf's puffed up sense of self.

"I am…not interested." He forced out, his body beginning to shiver in the cold night's air. "I refuse you…now take me-"

"I wasn't asking. "Koga interrupted.

Miroku's insides chilled, just as his skin did. What was the wolf suggesting here?

"You can't be serious…" Miroku panted, his teeth beginning to chatter. "I may be ill now…but I will recover. You can't keep me-"

Miroku was halted as Koga began to crawl towards him, a heated look in his eyes. Miroku was more then worldly enough to realize the wolf was trying to be sensual. Not that it was doing anything but increasing the monk's dread. Koga reached him, and easily slid over top of his body.

"When I'm done breaking you in, and binding you to me, you wont care about anything other then servicing me and earning my favor and love." Koga whispered in his ear after running a hot lick up his neck.

Miroku shivered once more, a shiver that had nothing to do with arousal. He had seen enough and survived enough to understand the concept of mind control. What he couldn't believe was that Koga was actually threatening it.

"You can't possibly believe Inuyasha will stand for this!" Miroku forced out.

That was right. No matter what Koga did, or how far he was taken, Inuyasha would come to his aid. Even though some sort of drama had apparently transpired, which he had slept through it seemed, Miroku knew without question that Inuyasha would never abandon a friend.

But at the mere mention of the hanyou's name, Koga's entire demeanor shifted. His back stiffened, and a low growl began to emanate. Then the aching pain of his insides was joined by the stabbing pain of Koga's claws digging into his arms. With a tight grip Koga roughly jerked him up, snarling in his face.

"Inuyasha? Inuyasha?! You dare bring that mutt into this? You think I'm afraid of him?! You belong to me now, got it? I don't care how much you like that taste of that freak's cock you-"

"-Fox fire!"

Koga was cut off form his vulgar tirade as a ball of flame exploded in his face. The wolf went tumbling back and Miroku thudded painfully to the ground. Craning his neck Miroku managed to get a look behind him. His terror spiked at the sight of the little kitsune Shippo, sweating and panting harshly, bent over in something near exhaustion, standing there. His fear only increased when he heard Koga growl and start to stand.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Torn between anger and annoyance Koga wiped at his singed face. It had been more startling then damaging, and he wasn't in the mood to play right now. Not when he had a human to put in it's place.

Koga pulled himself to his feet, glaring down at the out of breath child who had placed himself between him and the monk.

"Gutsy. I'll give you that." Koga growled. "I'm surprised you were able to catch up I must say. How lucky for you I wasn't going at full speed."

"I'm not…going to…let you….do…anything….to…Miroku." Shippo forced out between gasped.

Normally it would have been hilarious, a child acting like he was a force to do anything in the world. But after recent events, all it did was serve to piss him off.

Without a word Koga spun forward, swinging his leg in an upward arch. The kick caught the kit right across the chest with a harsh thud. The impact rocked his little body back, careening through the air. Shippo's flight was abruptly halted by a large tree, which he struck with such force that he bounced off.

The kitsune landed face first in a quivering heap, and Koga bared his fangs triumphantly.

"Why don't you tell me again how you are going to stop me, the wolf prince, from doing anything I wish?" He growled.

If not for the fact that Shippo was just a child he would have killed the boy for his impertinence by now.

"Koga!" Miroku chastised.

Koga slide his eyes sideways, which is what he would blame the following event upon. Whether he knew Koga was distracted for not, Shippo pulled himself up, and launched himself at the wolf with a tiny battle cry. Shippo's arms and legs were too small for any sort of counterattack, so instead, like a fox-tailed battering ram, he drove his head right into Koga's balls.

Pain exploded between Koga's legs, and all he could manage was a straggled cry as he collapsed in a heap, clutching himself protectively. Curled into a ball, and seething in rage, Koga turned his head to see the kitsune struggling to drag the monk away.

The little brat strikes him, defies him, and now was trying to steal away what belonged to him?

His wolf blood burning in his veins Koga rose slowly, eyes focused upon his target.

"Shippo, you have got to get away…" Miroku hissed urgently.

Wise advice…but it was far too late for that.

"I'm not leaving you! He's going to ra-"

That was as far as Shippo got before Koga's heel came crashing down on the top of his head in a brutal axe kick that had things in his small neck crunching. Shippo collapsed like a stack of cards, and Koga's next soccer kick had him skittering across the ground like a rock skipping over a pond. Highly satisfying, and Koga couldn't hold back a husky chuckle that spilled past his bared fags as he stalked closer.

Shippo laid exposed upon his back, dazing and pained, as Koga halted above him. Shippo cried out in pain as Koga dropped down, planting his knees upon either kitsune shoulder. Koga was beyond threats at this point. He was tired. Tired of the mutt's mouth, tired of inferiors not knowing their place. Tired of having everything taken from or ruined for him. What was he supposed to do? Return empty handed and inform the pack that a hanyou had destroyed their arch enemy?

Koga reached down and dug his fingers into the kit's hair, brutally yanking Shippo's head back as he cocked his other hand back.

"Think you're a big man huh?" Koga snarled. "That mutt coddled you…kept you from learning the real world of demons. Good thing I like you….so here's lesson one."

"Koga no!" Miroku screamed.

Thwack!

The feel of flesh and bone under his knuckles pleased him.

Thwack!

He could put his hand right through the stupid Kit's fucking skull. But he was going to be nice. Just deliver a little ass kicking for the kid to learn from. Should have learned this already…but no…the mutt had to go and be weak.

Thwack!

"Koga!"

Thwack!

"Koga he's a child!"

No…he was a demon…and a rivals adopted child in any case. By all rights Koga could simply kill him.

Thwack!

"Koga stop it!"

Koga's bloody fist was coming back again, when two huge hands landing on either of his shoulders, halting him. His left shoulder was pushed forward a bit, the right one drawn back.

"Wha-" Koga began as he felt muscles tense.

CRACK!

Unbelievable pain exploded through his body as it was violently twisted, his back snapping like a twig. A terrible numbness replaced what had been sensations from his lower body, and he could smell his own blood.

Koga's eyes glanced downward, trying to figure out why his legs wouldn't move, but the sight that greeted him made no sense whatsoever. He could see his tail, and the feet that he knew to be behind him in such a kneeling position.

"H-how…" Koga gasped weakly, blood bubbling up his throat. Why could he see his own fucking ass?

A large hand palming his head was his only answer.

Wham!

Koga grimaced as his face was driven into the muddy ground, his nose breaking form the impact. The impact that was enough to half bury his head into the ground. Dirt and mud pushed itself into his mouth and up his shattered nose, cutting off his ability to breathe completely.

He had no idea what had happened, but he was cognizant enough to realize he was in danger of suffocating. But he could barely move his neck, let alone roll over.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Inuyasha stared down at the wolf demon who continued to paw weakly at the ground.

"He could die." Said the monk.

Inuyasha spared Miroku a glance, wondering why he seemed to care. Inuyasha certainly didn't, and it had been Miroku's cries that had drawn his attention in the first place.

He had been roaming the forest, wondering all the while why Sesshomaru seemed to be actively avoiding him, when Miroku's voice had reached him. Curious as to why the monk would be so far away form the village, which coupled with the panicked urgency in his voice, Inuyasha had been spurred into motion. He hadn't been sure what to expect, but a wolf demon pinning the little kitsune to the ground while punching the crap out of him had not been on any list of maybe's he had compiled.

Ignoring the suffocating wolf Inuyasha knelt down to inspect the kit. Shippo was unconscious, no surprise there, and his nose was clearly broken, one eye badly swollen. But other then that, and some wicked bruises, he appeared to be alright. Though Inuyasha had some concerns about his neck. A visit to that healer, Daigon, would clearly be in order.

"So?" Inuyasha replied to Miroku.

"He…well he…." Miroku fumbled, appearing weak and ill. "….was a friend…"

"Some friend." Inuyasha snorted.

It pissed him off, what the wolf had done to Shippo. So he had no problem leaving the prick to suffocate, but every action he had taken today had apparently been the 'wrong' one. He could understand why the wolf was beating the piss out of the kit sure, sometimes you had to teach someone their place, but the Kit was supposed to be his…not to mention…well…he didn't know why but it DID piss him off, whatever the unknown reason was.

With a sigh Inuyasha stood, and moved towards the wolf. A handful of hair was his grip to wrench the wolf's head from the muck. The wolf in turn gasped for breath, coughing and spitting earth from his mouth. The gasping pants turned into an increasing groan of pain as Inuyasha hauled the wolf up higher and higher, useless legs dangling in the wind.

"Give me one good reason I don't crunch you right now." Inuyasha stated coldly.

The wolf struggled to focus his eyes on the face before him.

"Y-you…" He rasped. "I'll….I'll…kill you for…this."

The gurgling threat hardly phased Inuyasha, but considering Miroku seemed to care…he supposed he would leave it to luck.

"Wrong answer." Inuyasha stated as he tensed his arm.

Without even moving his body he pulled the wolf back, and then flung him into the air like a child's doll.

The wolf disappeared from sight, the sound of snapping branches lingering as he hurtled over the treetops. He would hit somewhere, then survive or not.

Without another word Inuyasha collected the kitsune and the monk, much to the latter's consternation.

"I…I can walk." Miroku protested.

"You are ill." Inuyasha declared. "You shouldn't even be out here."

"I…I did not consent."

"I know…I dealt with it."

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Avoiding Inuyasha without outright running away was difficult, and only feasible due to Inuyasha no outright seeking him out. Sesshomaru sighed…he did not know what to do. He knew what his blood was calling for yet he was torn. The correct path was shrouded, and he feared making the wrong choice.

CRACK! Whump whump-sssplat!

From the sudden burst of noise he half expected for Inuyasha to come bursting through the treetops. What he did not expect was the broken bode of Koga the wolf prince to splat down on the rocks near him. Normally a distraction would be welcome but…Sesshomaru observed the mess before him.

The wolf was most assuredly dead. His body was twisted 'round backwards, and either his skull was crushed or his neck was badly broken, it was difficult to tell. Sesshomaru pondered just was would do such a thing before the faint scent of Inuyasha reached his nose.

So was that is? Had the wolf run had a run in with his little brother?

If so the ex-hanyou had certainly done a number on the wolf.

He pondered just what might have caused the conflict, granted he already knew that the two were hardly friends. Rivals more like it….yet considering how things had transpired up till now it was probably safe to say that Inuyasha had no idea who the wolf was, and if that was the case then the wolf must have provoked the young Inu somehow.

Sesshomaru sighed as his hand slid down to grasp Tenseiga's hilt. He supposed this gave him another insight into to boy's newfound strength. He had partially drawn his blade when something gave him pause.

Why was he considering aiding the wolf? Koga was no ally of his, and he had no idea of what had provoked his little brother. For all he knew Inuyasha's actions were entirely just.

Sesshomaru allowed Tenseiga to sink back into its sheath with a click. Turning away from the cooling body he chuckled darkly. It wouldn't do to anger Inuyasha by supporting an enemy no would it?

To be continued.

Given the state of my life and lack of computer this update was sponsored and only brought to you all due to the kind generosity of one Tsume Daitaro from Fan fiction dot net.

Would you like to sponsor an update? Feel free to get in contact with me and donate to my . I'm also considering opening a account, which would allow me to purchase a new computer, and perhaps bring more regular updates to you all. If such a thing interests you, please don't hesitate to let me know.

As for the chapter…well I don't like Koga, and consider his actions to be in line with what he originally did with Kagome. Kidnapping her with the intent of raping her if you ask me.

I know some of you were hoping to see a KogaXMiroku pop up, and I was considering it before I thought of an idea that I like even more.

Inuyasha left it to luck, and Koga actually got incredibly lucky to land at Sesshomaru's location. He could have been saved but that luck, but the Lord of the West made a choice.