Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha. Inuyasha & co. belong to the illustrious Rumiko Takahashi. I do not profit from these fics.
Chapter 1 – One Last Lesson from Father
Inuyasha leapt from tree to tree running faster than he had ever run in his life. "Fucking bastard!" he snarled to himself while his eyes searched the distance. "I'm gonna fucking kill him!"
His mind began to supply images of the fight to come. He wasn't going to use his sword. No, this was personal, and he was personally going to slice Sesshoumaru to ribbons with his claws. He wanted to feel the demon's flesh tear, feel the blood as it poured from gaping wounds, quickly draining his half-brother of life. He couldn't wait to hear that last breath. He would never forget that last beat of his ice-cold heart. He had gone too far this time and there was no redemption to be had. Sesshoumaru would die or he would die trying to kill him.
His heartbeat pounded in his ears as he got closer. How dare that bastard kidnap his Kagome? How dare he even think about laying a finger on her? What if she wasn't all right? What if Sesshoumaru had hurt her or worse? Fear overrode his rage, and even though it hadn't seemed possible moments before, he picked up speed. His blood ran cold as he heard her voice echoing through the trees.
He had to have heard wrong. There was no way she had yelled what he just heard, not a chance in hell. When he came skidding into the clearing though, he found that there was a chance in hell and he was there to witness it. He had to be in hell because it was the only explanation for what was going on before his eyes. The rage was back in an instant and he rushed at Sesshoumaru's back. The bastard was distracted and he wasn't going to let such a perfect opportunity go to waste.
Kagome's eyes were pinched tightly closed as she focused only on the sensations he was invoking in her. It was amazing, better than she could have ever imagined. It would have been perfect if not for the tugging of guilt on her conscience. She could almost feel Inuyasha's presence, full of anger and pain, and then she realized that she really could feel his presence. Her eyes flew open and the word fell from her lips. The word he hated, the word that gave her power over him, and sent him slamming painfully to the ground.
The word she used to subjugate him was a word he hated but, at the same time, it was a word he loved. The conflicting emotions always lead to confusion and frustration. He hated that she could subjugate him but he loved how the beads connected them. That connection was something special, something that she shared with no other.
While the ground came rushing up to meet him he couldn't help but see the irony. She was using their beads against him to protect his brother from the punishment he deserved for what he was doing to her. Realizing Kagome was an active participant, Inuyasha was crestfallen. That was something Inuyasha had always thought she would share with him someday, only with him, but his ruthless, violent, bastard of a half-brother was fucking her senseless, and she was loving every second of it.
Sesshoumaru's eyes widened as he heard her speak one of his favorite words. His hips froze mid-thrust when he noticed the all too close sound of someone crashing to the ground, and muttering curses. Had he really allowed himself to be so distracted by the vixen currently crushed between his lightly perspiring body and a conveniently placed tree? The look in her eyes told him more than he needed to know. Yes, Inuyasha was behind him, and yes, she had just sent him slamming into the ground. There was more, though. Glittering in her deep blue eyes pain, guilt, and the worst, regret showed. He should have known better. She would never be completely his. She couldn't be because part of her heart would always belong to the hanyou.
Knowing he only had a short amount of time before Inuyasha would be up and ready for a fight, he regretfully withdrew from the tightest, hottest pussy he had ever had the pleasure to sample. In seconds she was wrapped in his haori, and he was tying his hakama in place while standing between the miko he wanted and the hanyou she belonged to. He watched as his little brother pulled himself up from the ground, his head down, and his hair hiding his eyes. When he finally looked up Kagome gasped, and, while Sesshoumaru showed no outward sign, he was surprised as well. Never before in all his centuries on this earth had he seen a look so full of hatred and rage.
Even with his sword strapped to his side, jagged purple stripes could be seen rising up to the surface of Inuyasha's skin, and his usually golden eyes were almost completely red. "She… is… mine!" he snarled before flying at the one who stood between him and his intended mate. His claws had grown longer, sharper, and more deadly, and even with his usually superior speed, Sesshoumaru was unable to avoid them completely. He fought back a grimace of pain and let go of his beast, his eyes bleeding crimson as well. He wasn't willing to surrender her to the hanyou. He hadn't known how much he wanted her for himself until he was challenged, but the decision was made. He would fight for her.
Kagome had moved further away from the brothers, knowing that a fight was inevitable. She hadn't expected Inuyasha to lose control and when Sesshoumaru released control to his beast she knew this fight wouldn't be like all those she had previously witnessed. There was only one outcome, and she refused to allow it to happen. This wasn't what she intended!
She loved Inuyasha. She would always love Inuyasha, but he made it clear that he would never love her in the way she wanted him to. He couldn't. When her feelings for the elder inu brother began she fought them, denied them, and pretended they didn't exist, but the pull, and attraction was too strong. The feelings were just like the taiyoukai they were for; powerful, determined, and they refused to be ignored or defeated.
She loved them both and she didn't want either to be injured or die in a fight over her. Without another thought, Kagome threw herself between them, determined to stop the battle before it was too late.
But it was too late. It was too late to realize that killing each other would do no good, and neither brother could stop their assault. They couldn't prevent their claws from tearing into her soft human flesh. Once they had ruined her it was too late to stop the bleeding. They could barely hear the last words she whispered over deathly pale lips. "I love you… both."
Both brothers were almost instantly brought back to their senses as they stared at her. The white silk with red accents that covered her was no more, stained with her blood, blood that would never wash out. They each looked at their hands, their claws, also forever stained with her blood. Finally, gold met gold, and each saw the anguish and regret in the eyes of the other. Inuyasha's eyes flicked to the pile of discarded clothing, her school uniform, his brother's armor and pelt, and two swords.
It wasn't too late to save her life. His voice cracked as his whispered a plea to his sibling. "Bring her back." He watched as Sesshoumaru studied his face and then hers. "What are you waiting for? Bring her back! You can have her. I'll leave and you'll never have to see me again. Just bring her back!"
Something flickered in the taiyoukai's eyes before he rose and collected the heirloom he once resented, the sword he had once deemed worthless. It had served him well once before, twice if you counted Jaken, and it would serve him well again.
Inuyasha took a few steps back as Sesshoumaru unsheathed the sword, his eyes full of pain and pleading. His mind was filled with only one thought, 'Please bring her back.' He didn't want to leave her to his brother, but he didn't have any other choice. He would rather her be alive and with Sesshoumaru than not alive at all. He owed her at least that much.
Sesshoumaru looked down at her lifeless body that had, just minutes before, made him feel more alive than he had in the last two hundred years. With the Tenseiga in his hand, he should have seen the pallbearers that would take her soul to the other side if he didn't stop them, however, he could see nothing but her bloody and rapidly cooling corpse. Why wasn't it working? Why weren't they there? Inuyasha had conceded defeat, surrendered any claim he had to her. She would be his if he could just save her! He glared at the sword and shook it with anger. What good was it to him if it didn't work when he needed it most?
Inuyasha watched impatiently, becoming more and more afraid that Sesshoumaru wouldn't be able to do it, and that she would remain as she was. He felt responsible for ending a life that brought so much light into his and the lives of everyone else she touched. The Tetsusaiga pulsed at his side and he looked up in surprise, his eyes locking with his brother's. He felt it, too, as the Tenseiga had pulsed at the same moment, and neither knew what it meant.
Sesshoumaru's thoughts were racing as he tried to figure out why his sword refused his command, and why the two swords had pulsed together. His eyes never left her body and as a thought flickered through his mind they were there, but in an instant they were gone. His eyes narrowed and he retraced his mental dialogue, paying close attention to what thought seemed to cause the sword to respond. His eyes narrowed further as he realized just what it was, and for a few moments he tried to think of any way around it before he realized that there was none. He had a choice. He could let her stay dead or he could…
Decision made, he smirked slightly as the flickering sight of the pallbearers became steady. Before he could change his mind he sliced through them, then dropped the sword to the ground to kneel beside her. It felt like an eternity, however, in less than a minute the sound of her heartbeat could be heard once again. It was weak and fluttering but as both he and Inuyasha listened it grew steady. Neither brother bothered to hide the sigh of relief when she finally took in a breath.
Slowly, Inuyasha rose to his feet. He was a hanyou of his word, after all. His word and his sword were all he had left now that he had given his very heart away to save her. He didn't regret his words, only wished that they hadn't been necessary. He wished he had protected her like he was supposed to instead of helping send her to her grave.
As the color slowly returned to her face Sesshomaru turned from her to watch his brother. For a brief moment he considered forgetting all about the choice he had to make to return her, but banished the thought forever when he heard her heartbeat falter. The concept he had been forced to consider wasn't entirely unheard of, and rather common among demon siblings. The only difference was that he and Inuyasha were far from sharing the close relationship that usually led to the situation they would soon be in. It wouldn't be easy, but as he looked back down at Kagome and watched her eyes flutter open, he decided that it would be worth it.
Seeing that she was waking up, Inuyasha turned to leave. He couldn't handle saying good-bye. He couldn't live with thinking she wanted him to go, and he didn't think he could handle her wanting him to stay. It was better to not force her to have to choose. He was almost to the tree line when he heard his brother speak, though he was certain at first that he had imagined it. There was no way Sesshoumaru had just spoken those words he thought he heard. Inuyasha turned around slowly and studied the face of his only living relative who just so happened to be one of his worst enemies. He was looking for the insult or the trick, but he found nothing but honesty.
"You will not leave. She would not wish it." Sesshoumaru paused, unsure how to speak the words that needed to be said. "She made her choice clear. She chose this Sesshoumaru… and you, as well."
Inuyasha's eyes widened comically and Sesshoumaru allowed a small smirk to show. "You mean…"
"What I mean, little brother, is that we will have to learn to share."