Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. I just wrote this story for fun.
Sesshomaru leapt high into the air, easily avoiding Inuyasha's sword swipes.
"Pathetic, little brother," the full blooded dog demon called out, "as always."
Inuyasha seethed at that. Bastard, I'll show him!
He raised the Tetssaiga, preparing to unleash the Wind Scar upon his arrogant older half-brother.
Humph. Let's see you avoid this, jackass!
"Inuyasha!" Kagome called out.
Grrr. What could that wench want now!?
"A little busy here, Kagome!" he called back over his shoulder.
"Shippo is missing!" the girl told him.
He seethed even more, never once taking his eyes off his fiendish sibling.
Sesshomaru was ruthless, and he'd easily take advantage of any distraction.
"What do you mean the runt's missing!?" he asked the girl. "Ain't he with you!?"
"He was," Kagome called out, "but then he just disappeared! Inuyasha, Sango says there are very big demons in these mountains!"
Grrr. Damn that little brat for running off when he knew to stay close to the group.
Sesshomaru smirked at him.
"It seems you have quite the dilemma, little brother," he told him.
"Shut up, you," Inuyasha growled. "This ain't any of your damn business!"
"Perhaps not," the older brother replied, "but you must still decide what you are to do. Continue to fight me without much hope of success or turn your back to help the human—for surely you know the moment you do, I will strike."
"Always knew you were a snake," Inuyasha growled at him. "Thought you were all about honour?"
Sesshomaru gave the barest of shrugs.
"It will be you who shall allow his vulnerable side to be towards me," he reminded him. "If you are so foolish to do so, I would be even more so not to take advantage of it."
Inuyasha gripped the hilt of his sword even tighter, seething.
"Let me take care of this walking piece of trash, Kagome," he called out to the girl, "and then I'll look for the little brat!"
"Come then, little brother," Sesshomaru replied, gesturing with his one and only clawed hand.
Inuyasha raised his sword, preparing to charge but a high-pitched voice stopped him.
"Lord Sesshomaru! Lord Sesshomaru!" Jaken, the little toad, came running up with his two headed staff.
Sesshomaru frowned at him.
"You know never to disturb me in battle, Jaken," the dog demon growled, ominously.
"B-But, my lord," the little toad cried, "Rin is missing, my lord! I have searched and searched, but I cannot find her, my lord!"
Sesshomaru sighed, glaring at the little toad.
"You were told to watch her, Jaken," he reminded him, annoyed.
The little toad cringed. "Yes, my lord," he said, grovelling. "Forgive me, my lord!"
"Jaken," Sesshomaru replied.
The little toad looked up, hope in his eyes. "Yes, my lord?"
The little toad nodded, closing his irritating mouth.
Inuyasha smirked at his older half brother.
"Looks like I ain't the only one with a dilemma," he sneered, "now is it?"
Sesshomaru nodded. "So, it would seem," he said, quietly.
The two brothers continued to stare at each other, neither one moving.
"Would you two just stop it already?" Kagome yelled at them, annoyed.
"Two little kids are missing and you two are just standing there like a pair of morons!"
Sesshomaru raised an eyebrow. "Is she usually like this?" he asked his younger brother.
"Yeah, pretty much," Inuyasha answered, sheathing his sword.
Sesshomaru looked down at his still grovelling servant. "Jaken?"
The little toad looked up at his master. "Yes, my lord?"
"Did you see which direction Rin went?" the demon lord asked.
"Yes, my lord," Jaken said. "She and Inuyasha's little kitsune were heading into the higher mountains, my lord. I called after her, of course, but she did not answer."
"Shippo's with her!?" Kagome asked, surprised. "Inuyasha, go after them!"
The hanyou snorted. "Course, I am," he growled, "and when I get a hold of that little brat..."
"It seems our battle will have to wait, little brother," Sesshomaru stated. "Jaken, remain here."
Moving with the speed that only a dog demon could seem to accomplish, he began making his way into the higher mountains.
"Oh, no you don't," Inuyasha growled, "I ain't trustin' you not to throw Shippo off a cliff or somethin'. Kagome, go back and wait with the others."
He too was off like a shot.
Side by side, the two brothers raced after their missing...uh...kids.
Inuyasha sniffed the air. "I smell Shippo, all right," he muttered.
Sesshomaru nodded. "Rin, as well," he stated. "They are close."
Inuyasha agreed, grudgingly, and the two brothers began moving side by side once again.
"Shippo!" Inuyasha called. "Quit playing and get your butt out here, brat!"
There was no answer.
Sesshomaru sniffed, disdainfully. "Were I the kitsune, I would not answer either," he told him, "seeing what little respect I receive."
"Can it, Jackass," Inuyasha growled. "You deal with your brat your way and I'll deal with mine my way. Got it?"
"Rin is not a brat, little brother," Sesshomaru replied.
"Oh, yeah?" his younger brother asked, sneering. "She ran off, didn't she?"
"She is quite simple and easily swayed," Sesshomaru said, without batting an eyelash. "It is obvious she was lured by that unruly urchin of yours."
"Hey, Shippo wouldn't lure anybody," Inuyasha growled, a strong need to defend the kit. "If anybody did the luring, it was your little brat."
Inuyasha was nothing more than a half-breed. He would never understand.
The two brothers stopped, sniffing the air.
"I smell them," Inuyasha replied, "but where the hell are they?"
He cupped his hands around his mouth and called out, "Shippo!"
"Papa! Help!" a frantic little voice was heard and the brothers looked over the side of the cliff they were standing on.
About twenty feet below, dangling above the pointy rocks at the bottom were Shippo and Rin.
The little girl was holding to a small tree that was growing on the side of the rock face while the little kitsune clung desperately to the bottom of her kimono.
Rin looked up and a bright smile came to her face, despite the fear in her eyes.
"Chichioya!" she called out, happy to see him. "You came for me!"
"Shippo!" Inuyasha growled, his heart leaping into his throat. "What the hell are you doin' down there!?"
The little kitsune scowled from where he dangled.
"What does it look like?" he yelled up at him.
Grrr... "Little brat," the hanyou grumbled.
"Well, little brother," Sesshomaru said, raising an eyebrow, "it seems we have an interesting situation."
Inuyasha snorted. "You're the all powerful demon," he told him, sneering, "why don't you go get 'em and haul 'em back up."
"Had I the use of both my claws," Sesshomaru reminded him, "I would certainly do that."
Inuyasha rolled his eyes. "Fine," he said, "I'll go down and get 'em, but you gotta swear to help me back up again."
"Kicking you to your death upon the rocks is beneath me," the demon prince told him, disdainfully.
Inuyasha nodded. "If you're lying," he growled, "I'll kick your ass from here to Kagome's era."
"Would you quit yapping like a mutt and go," Sesshomaru growled, "Rin cannot hang there forever!"
"I'm goin'," the hanyou muttered.
If I didn't know any better, bro, I'd say you actually cared about the kid.
Leaping down, Inuyasha dug one clawed hand into the rock face and began sliding down towards the dangling kids.
Reaching them, he dug deeper to stop himself. "C'mon, you two," he said, "you got some explainin' to do."
With his free hand grabbed the back of Rin's kimono and lifted, unfortunately the little girl stubbornly held onto the small tree she had latched onto.
"Would you let go already?" Inuyasha growled. "I can't hang here all day, either!"
Rin looked up to where Sesshomaru watched and waited. "Lord Sesshomaru?"
The demon prince nodded. "Release your hold, Rin," he ordered, gently.
The girl obeyed instantly and Inuyasha pulled her and Shippo onto his back.
"Hold on tight now," he told her. "Shippo, quit your cringing and climb up onto my shoulder."
The little kit grunted as he obeyed, climbing over Rin to reach Inuyasha's shoulder.
"I wasn't cringing," he whined, as the hanyou started climbing back up the cliff face.
The dog eared half-demon snorted. "Coulda fooled me, brat," he grunted, as he continued to climb.
Upon reaching the top, he found a waiting clawed hand out stretched and found Sesshomaru looking at him expectantly.
"Take my hand, little brother," the dog demon told him, "unless you'd like to hang there all day, of course."
Inuyasha scowled. "You're so gonna get it for this, Shippo," he muttered, taking his brother's hand.
Sesshomaru easily lifted the three of them back upon the ledge, and the moment Inuyasha feet touched the ground Rin leapt from his back to stand in front of him.
"Are you all right, Rin?" he asked her, gently.
She nodded. "I'm fine, my lord," she told him.
"Then come," Sesshomaru said, turning to leave.
Rin nodded, taking a step after him. She winced, a small yelp of pain escaped her lips.
Sesshomaru turned toward her. "What is it, Rin?" he asked her, raising eyebrow.
She shook her head, a smile on her face.
"It is nothing, my lord," she said, "I am fine."
"No, she's not," Shippo whispered to Inuyasha. "She hurt her leg when we fell!"
"No kidding," Inuyasha said, smirking. Anybody could see the girl was hurt and trying to hide it.
Sesshomaru frowned. "You are not fine, Rin," he told her, "are you?"
He stared down at her intently.
The girl looked down upon the ground. "No, my lord," she answered. "My leg is hurt."
Sesshomaru reached down and lifted the girl's chin. He frowned at her, fiercely.
"You must not lie to me, Rin," he told her, firmly. "Ever."
He turned the girl around a little bit and gave her one sharp smack to her behind.
Tears welled in the girl's eyes and she nodded, knowing she had disappointed him.
"I'm sorry, chichioya," she said, quietly. "Please, forgive me."
Sesshomaru blinked. That was the second time she had called him 'father'.
He glanced at Inuyasha, noticing his cursed brother was grinning at him.
"What is so amusing?" he asked, irritated.
"Nothin'," Inuyasha told him. "Just never thought I'd see the day when you actually cared about someone besides yourself."
Sesshomaru narrowed his eyes. "Unlike many demons, little brother," he told him, "I am no monster—despite my feelings for most mortals, Rin is not most mortals."
"Course not," Inuyasha said, rolling his eyes.
"We will conclude our quarrel another time," the dog demon told his brother. "Until then, little brother."
He then picked Rin up and cradled her in his arms. "Come, Rin," he told her, "we will have Jaken tend to your injury."
Rin wrapped her arms around his neck and cuddled into his chest. "Yes, my lord," she said, contented.
The barest of a smile crossed the great and mighty Sesshomaru's lips.
He then turned and began making his way back down the mountain.
Inuyasha shook his head as he watched him go. He then looked down when he felt something clinging to him.
Shippo clung to his chest, sniffling. "I-I was so scared," the little kit wailed.
"Well, that makes two of us," the hanyou told him, patting him on the back.
He then grabbed him by the tail and lifted so that he was staring him in the face.
"What the hell did you think you were doing?" he growled. "You know better than to run off in unfamiliar territory!"
"You and Sesshomaru were fighting," Shippo told him, "and Rin and I were bored, so we decided to go play."
"On the side of a cliff!?" Inuyasha growled, gesturing to the rock face he had just climbed.
"Well, no," Shippo said, "that wasn't supposed to happen."
"Oh, really?" Inuyasha asked, rolling his eyes.
Shippo pouted. "We we're trying to see if we could reach the top," he told him, "but the ground gave way on us!"
"That's exactly why you don't go wandering around in unfamiliar territory!" the silver haired hanyou growled. "You could have been killed!"
"I'm sorry," Shippo said, looking down.
"Humph, you're gonna be," Inuyasha growled, sitting down and propping up one knee.
"No!" Shippo wailed, as he was placed over that knee. "Please, don't spank me!"
"You went wandering off when you knew you shouldn't," Inuyasha growled, lifting the kit's tail out of the way, "and worried everybody!"
He brought his hand down on the little kit's bottom, hard.
"Ahhhh!" Shippo cried. "Please, I'm sorry!"
"Yeah, now you are," Inuyasha replied, sarcastically. "Now that you're gettin' you little rear set on fire."
He continued to spank the little fox boy, letting his worry and anxiety flow out with each smack.
Shippo wailed, cried, and thrashed about but it didn't do his poor bottom any good.
"I'm sorry! I'm sorry" he cried, his bottom aching terribly. "Papa! Papa! Please!"
Inuyasha's hand froze in mid-smack. Had Shippo really just called him that?
Come to think of it, he'd called him that before, too.
Shippo sniffed, tears falling down his face, and he glanced up at Inuyasha.
"I-Is i-it o-over?" he asked, pitifully.
"Almost, brat," Inuyasha told him, bringing his hand down five more times.
He then lifted the little kitsune and embraced him tightly.
"Don't ever scare me like that again, Shippo," he told the little fox. "I thought my heart stopped when I saw you dangling down there."
Shippo hugged him back. "I'm sorry," he sniffed again.
"Yeah, I know," Inuyasha told him, patting him on the head. He stood up.
"C'mon, Kagome's probably tearing her hair out by now."
They made their way down the mountain, back to where the others were waiting.
"Where's Kagome?" Inuyasha asked Sango.
"Tending to Rin," the demon slayer told him, pointing.
Inuyasha followed her finger and found the girl putting antibiotic ointment and a bandage on the little girl's leg.
"You have to keep it dry..." Kagome was telling Sesshomaru, whom Rin was using as chair.
"...and change it every day until it heals. Maybe let it air out a little bit before changing the bandage."
"I thought the toad was going to do that," Inuyasha said, coming over to them.
"He was," Sesshomaru stated, "but...she...apparently did not think him capable enough."
Inuyasha smirking, understanding. Kagome had obviously butted in and took over.
That's my Kagome, he thought with a chuckle. Kagome sniffed in disdain.
"I wouldn't trust that little toad to hold the bandages much less dress and change them," she replied, glaring at the snivelling toad that stood just behind his master.
"Quite true," Sesshomaru replied, standing up. "My thanks, woman."
"Oh, it was nothing," Kagome told him, blushing in embarrassment.
"We will be going now," Sesshomaru stated. "Jaken, fetch Ah-Un."
"Right away, Lord Sesshomaru," the little toad, glad to be of use once more, replied and instantly ran to obey.
"Bye, Auntie Kagome," Rin called out as Sesshomaru turned to leave. "Bye, Uncle Inuyasha! Bye, Shippo!"
"Bye, Rin!" Shippo waved back. "Bye, Uncle Sesshomaru!"
Sesshomaru stopped and turned around, gazing at the little fox in astonishment.
Inuyasha rolled his eyes. "It could have been worse," he said, sarcastically, "he could have called you 'father'."
Sesshomaru narrowed his eyes. "Too true," he said, every so subtly cradling Rin closer.
"Farewell, little brother. Know that the next time we meet, it will be your last."
"I'll be ready and waiting, you jerk," Inuyasha called after him. "And we'll just see who's last it is."
"Must you be so rude?" Kagome asked, scowling.
"It's Sesshomaru," the hanyou defended himself. "He's a jackass!"
"Humph," Kagome sniffed. "Shippo, c'mere. Are you all right? Are you hurt, too?"
"Well," Shippo said, "my bottom hurts...but otherwise I'm fine."
"Your bottom?" Kagome asked, frowning. "Did you scrape it when you fell?"
Inuyasha snorted, chuckling. Shippo's face reddened with embarrassment.
"No," the little fox kit admitted, shame-faced. "Papa spanked me for wandering off and scaring everybody."
"Papa?" Kagome asked, and then realized who he meant. "Oh. Well, I'm just glad you're all right. Don't ever scare us like that again, okay?"
"I won't, Mama," Shippo replied, hugging her back. "I promise."
"All right, all right," Inuyasha said, rolling his eyes, "if this gets any more mushy I'm gonna hurl. Let's go, we still have to find that shard you sensed."
Shippo looked at him, hesitantly. "Do I have to go to bed early tonight?"
"Yep," Inuyasha told him, without sympathy.
"Ah," Shippo whined. "Right after supper?"
"Yep," Inuyasha told him, smirking, "and you're gonna help me catch it."
"I am?" Shippo asked, excitedly. "We're going hunting again?"
Since the hanyou had started teaching him to hunt, he enjoyed their 'lesson' very much.
"Yep," Inuyasha told him, "but let's wait 'til were out of the mountains. Better game down below, anyway."
Shippo nodded, hopping onto his shoulder. "Think I'm ready to try for a deer?" he asked, hopefully.
"Nope," Inuyasha told him as they started making their way down the mountain.
"Why not?" the fox kit whined.
"Cuz, I said so," Inuyasha told him, ruffling his hair.
"Humph," the kit pouted, crossing his arms.
"Inuyasha?" he glanced at his 'papa' out of the corner of his eye.
"Yeah, runt?" the hanyou asked, sighing.
"How about a bear?" he asked, hopefully.
The others all laughed at this, while the dog eared half demon scowled.
Unfortunately, he too couldn't help but laugh and shake his head at the kit.