LES: This idea was provided by GodOfStorms in the same review in which they mentioned that Sesshomaru could get fleas from Inuyasha. So far, I've gotten several good ideas, and I think that this idea would connect well to an idea that I've had myself. If bodily functions bother you… come on! It's perfectly natural! Warning: Mention of bodily functions. And, no, I'm not referring to a 'mating mark' of any kind… yet…

Chapter IV: Marked

Miroku and Sango watched from the shadows, staring across the clearing at the strange behavior of their friends. Inuyasha and Kagome were in the middle on one of their petty arguments. But Miroku and Sango both had the impression that they had forgotten what they were arguing about some time ago.

Their argument had carried them all the way to the Bone Eater's Well, where they continued to scream at each other, flipping between different reasons for being angry faster than Naraku changed his body. Kikyo… some guy named Hojo… his rudeness… her having to go back home to take tests… The argument was all over the place.

"Do you notice something odd about them?" Miroku asked his companion.

"Yeah. It's like they are searching for a reason to argue." Sango said. "Maybe… in a strange way… they actually like arguing with each other…"

Their thoughts were cut off when the argument apparently reached a head and Kagome slapped Inuyasha across the face. It didn't seem to hurt him, but he couldn't wipe that shocked expression off his face. "Bitch!" He hissed.

"I'm going home, Inuyasha!" Kagome yelled at him, not wasting a second to jump into the Bone Eater's Well.

Inuyasha snarled loudly, paced past the Bone Eater's Well twice, before he jumped in after her.

Miroku and Sango watched in amazement. "Well… that was certainly odd." The monk commented.

"Yes. I've never seen Kagome slap Inuyasha before." Sango said.

"Yeah. She usually just sits him. It's certainly a much better punishment than a slap. It probably did nothing but shock him."

"Well… we know that she cares about him… so maybe she's trying not to sit him any more…" She trailed off and her face went red as she felt a familiar pressure on her rear. Miroku's cursed lecherous hand was stroking her butt once again. "Hentai!" She yelled as she slapped him, probably a much more effective punishment than the one Kagome had just given Inuyasha.

Inuyasha leapt out of the well on Kagome's side, and saw that she was waiting for him inside the mini-shrine that housed the well. She immediately fell into his embrace and they kissed.

"Do you think they noticed?" Kagome asked.

"I don't see why." Inuyasha commented. "After all, this must've happened a hundred times."

Kagome ran her soft fingers over his face where she had slapped him. "I'm sorry about the slap. But I didn't want to 's' you."

"Feh. It's nothing, wench. Hardly felt it." Inuyasha insisted, kissing her again, more passionately this time.

Kagome buried her hands in his mane, pulling him closer to her. She tilted her head, into an angle that she loved, which allowed her to taste him as their lips massaged each other.

They had been meeting in secret for weeks for private make-out sessions. Even since the 'mirror' incident, which Kagome had kept to herself. But they both discovered that they could have so much more privacy in her time. It wasn't about location, as the Feudal era was full of places where they could slip off for a private moment; it was the people. Miroku and Sango weren't blind or ignorant, and had definitely noticed the number of times they had slipped off, but were tasteful enough not to discuss. Shippo was another matter. He had begun to comment, loudly, on how Inuyasha and Kagome smelled more similar all the time. Even if what the meaning of it escaped him, it was not lost on any adults who were in the vicinity at that time.

Of course, they hadn't joined as mates yet, but Inuyasha had pretty much shown his intentions and staked his claim to her. He cared for her and defended her as if they were mates. Inuyasha did fully intend on making Kagome his mate, but he wanted her to understand fully what that meant before he did such a thing. Not to mention that he wanted her to be ready and comfortable for such an act.

So, for now, they enjoyed their small private moments.

Kagome reluctantly pulled away from Inuyasha, grinning a little shyly as she did at the end of all their 'sessions'. "I've got to go now, Inuyasha."

"You've got to go to that 'school' thing? Do you have to?" Inuyasha begged, acting more like a lonely puppy than anything.

"Yes, I have to." Kagome said. "Nobility, monks, and scholars might be the only ones who are educated in your time, but in my time, if you aren't educated, you are ignorant. And you can't get a good job. I'm probably not going to spend the rest of my life hunting for Shikon shards."

"Oh." Inuyasha said. It was yet another reminder that their lives were still so uncertain. What would happen once all the shards were found? Would Kagome return to her own time, or would she possibly consent to stay with him in his own time? Well… no matter what she picks, I'll go with her. Inuyasha thought to himself.

She pulled out of his arms and gave him a small kiss goodbye. "Stay in the Shrine. I'm sure that Mom will have some Ramen for you."

More likely I'll end up doing some more heavy lifting for your Grandfather. "Sure. Ramen sounds good."

That's an understatement if I ever heard one. Kagome laughed to herself. "Behave yourself." She told him as she took off.

Inuyasha stepped part-way out of the Well house and watched as Kagome skipped down the steps to the street below. Right after her, Sota came out of the house and spotted Inuyasha, who the boy hero-worshipped.

"Inuyasha! How are you? Where's Kagome?" The boy asked, staring up at the hanyou in awe.

Inuyasha had never been a hundred percent comfortable with the awe Kagome's little brother had for him. In his own era, he was used to people treating him like a filthy beast that deserved to be drowned at birth, not treated with reverence by a young boy. And, because of his discomfort, he grew even more silent when the boy was around. He didn't answer Sota's first question, but simply pointed at the shrine steps to indicate that Kagome had already left.

"Okay! You'll still be here after school, right? I wanna show you some of my new manga!" Sota waved at the hanyou as he took off.

Inuyasha sighed and relented himself to spending a confusing afternoon with Kagome's little brother, who always insisted on showing off the newest things his mother bought him, things that Inuyasha didn't understand in the slightest: 'movies', 'videogames', and 'manga'. It all went over his head, but he listened to the boy patiently as he tried to explain even the simplest concepts to the hanyou from the past.

It made the hanyou feel a little stupid. Sure, he was much more educated than most in his era, being able to read and write, but Kagome's era baffled him. But another, more rational part of him knew that he was stupid for thinking that he was stupid for not understanding the things Kagome and her brother did. After all, seven hundred years separated the year of his birth from Kagome's time. Humans had obviously learned quite a lot in that time. How to move giant metal contraptions for carrying people without horses or their own power… how to make magical images appear on the 'box'… how huge metal tubes could fly through the air like birds.

He figured that it wouldn't be long before Kagome's grandfather found him and convinced him to help rearrange the shrine's shed, so he decided to take a nap in the Goshinboku while he waited for the inevitable.

He found his favorite branch, unchanged for five hundred years, and settled down on it. He would be perfectly out-of-sight from any visitors the shrine had, so he settled down and slept easily.

Inuyasha woke suddenly with a burning sensation in his abdomen. At first, he thought that he had become aroused by his dreams, but it only took him a second to realize that that was not the issue. He could not smell arousal on him at all, and he was not hard. A few seconds later, it hit him. It was an overwhelming urge to take a piss, and it simply could not wait!

The idea of using the family's 'toilet' room repulsed him. Sota had one time tried to explain the purpose of the room, and when he had flushed the toilet to demonstrate, the rush of noise had freaked the hanyou out, and thereafter, refused to step into the bathroom at all, convinced that it was a torture room. The 'shower' tortured him with boiling water, and the 'toilet' tortured him with loud noises. Nor did he feel like he had the time to rush back to the Feudal era.

So with little other choice, he jumped down from the Goshinboku, moved across the Shrine too quickly for the humans looking at the Well house to notice, and found himself in the middle of the small grove of trees on the Shrine grounds.

He fumbled with the ties of his hakama until he was exposed and relieved himself on one of the trees. He shuttered, surprised at his own reaction. It was almost like a release, like he would have been driven crazy if he had waited another second to do this.

For as strong as the urge was, it didn't last long at all. Confused, he re-did the ties of his hakama and decided to go and hide in Kagome's room for the rest of the day. But, on the way there, he got… side-tracked.

"Aw! He's so cute!" Kagome squealed. Her friend Ayumi had just gotten a puppy. And, surprise, surprise, the dog reminded her greatly of Inuyasha. It had medium-length silver fur, expressive golden eyes, and cute triangular ears. Ayumi had called the little puppy 'Shippou', which meant 'Silver'. Kagome laughed, thinking of her own little Shippo.

"I know!" Ayumi was, without a doubt, already in love with the little puppy. "I couldn't believe it when mom said that I could get a dog. And then I saw this one… I just knew that he was my little Inu!"

"Well… dogs do have that special way of connecting with someone." Kagome said, speaking both about Inuyasha and little Shippou, thought Ayumi didn't have to know that.

"You know what I was thinking… Shippou's awfully similar to your boyfriend… you know, with the silver hair and golden eyes. And his name… Inuyasha! What are his parents like, to have named their son 'Dog Demon'?"

Well, his father WAS a Dog Demon… in fact, he was the Demon Lord of the West over seven hundred years ago, and his mother was a mortal Princess who died seven hundred years ago. But she couldn't say that, so she made something up. "I've never met them." Well… that's sort of true…

"Oh. You mean that he's spent all that time at your shrine, and you haven't met his family yet?" Ayumi gasped in shock.

Well, I've met his brother, but they are always trying to kill each other… literally. She walked up the Shrine steps; Ayumi followed her up the stairs, still holding the puppy. Kagome was sure that Sota would want to see it too. She just hoped that Inuyasha would be able to contain himself a little more.

Almost as soon as they entered the shrine boundaries, Shippou began to whine loudly and try to escape Ayumi's grip. "Shippou? What's wrong?" Of course, the little pup wouldn't respond beyond whining louder and trying to escape more frantically. "I don't understand… he's been so calm!"

"Maybe it's our cat." Kagome suggested. "Inuya…" She trailed off. She wasn't about to tell Ayumi that her boyfriend chased the cat.

"But there were a ton of cats at that shelter. He should be used to the smell."

"I'll go see what's going on." Kagome said. She ran off, hoping to find Inuyasha. If his howling weeks ago hadn't shown anything, it was that he could speak the Inu language. He probably would be able to tell what was upsetting the puppy. She went around the back of the house, and froze solid in her tracks.

Inuyasha was behind the house, one hand supporting himself against the wall, and the other… Oh God… He was… relieving himself. In fact, Kagome noted, her face going red, there were tell-tale signs of him having relieved himself all over the place!

"Inuyasha!" Kagome gasped.

Inuyasha's business stopped immediately and he froze in place. God-damnit! Why now?! He turned to face Kagome, hastily tying up his hakama. "Um… this isn't what it looks like…"

Oh my God! He's scent-marking! Kagome realized. That's probably why the puppy had freaked out when he got into the Shrine. Inuyasha had effectively 'marked it as his territory'. The puppy realized that a very dominate alpha dog had been all over the territory and freaked out.

"You can stop." For his sake, she didn't laugh, after all, for an alpha dog; it was perfectly natural to mark his territory. "This place is yours now."

Inuyasha stared at her. After the first several times he had pissed on stuff without being relieved, he realized what he was being driven to do, and just let himself give in to his instincts, because it was a lot easier for him to simply give in. But he hadn't expected her to understand. "How…?"
"Ayumi brought her puppy here and it freaked out when it came into the Shrine grounds. This place is yours! Now, can you please come help us take care of little Shippou? He's scared out of his wits."

Inuyasha silently followed Kagome, adjusting his bandana so that his ears wouldn't show. Once he got to Kagome's friend holding the small silver puppy, he took the pup and cooed softly to it in Inu, making it understand that, while he was alpha and this was his territory, he wasn't going to hurt him.

Ayumi stared, for all she could tell, Inuyasha was cooing at that pup, and it was whining back. Kagome butted it. "Inuyasha's worked with a lot of animals before, but he's really good with dogs."

Again with the Inu stuff… Ayumi thought. This boy really lives up to his name.

"There." Inuyasha said, handing the girl back her dog. "All better now."

"Thanks. He's probably just a little nervous. He's met so many new people today. I'll come show him to Sota for you tomorrow." Ayumi left. "Thanks, Inuyasha, for calming him down."

After several seconds, Inuyasha turned to face Kagome. "Kagome, I…"

"I understand, Inuyasha." Kagome said. "As if I haven't learned that you are more like a dog than we thought the last few weeks. As long as you understand that there's no way I'm gonna let you pee on me!"


LES: Learning interesting things is always fun. And, just for fun, I went to my online English-to-Japanese translator to see if 'Inuyasha' really meant Dog Demon. I admit that I was confused before, cause 'Inu' means 'dog', and 'yokai' means 'demon', so if that were true, his name would have been Inuyokai, not Inuyasha. So, I typed in 'demon' and, true enough, 'yasha' does not mean demon… but its close… Yasha really means 'female demon'. So Inuyasha's name really means 'Female Dog Demon', or… to put it simply… Bitch!

Inuyasha: Who cares what my name really means!

LES: That shows what your father thought of you. Either that, or your father really was insane. Anyway, I just thought that it was funny, naming a male Inu-hanyou 'Female Dog Demon'.