A thousand apologies and more for the wait. I told myself I'd never take so long to update a fanfic, and I broke that promise...so I apologise to everyone who's waited all this time :(...some of my excuses were valid, others admittedly were not...

With that out of the way...ladies and gentlemen, Inuyasha fans of all ages...

...anyone curious as to where I got the title of this story from? ;)...'cause you're about to find out! After all this time, I've finally reached the point that started this whole fanfiction...the one small idea that sparked it...for that reason, this chapter is a little important to me...I just hope it's turned out alright.

Anyway, that's enough from me...please enjoy! Again, thanks for the wait!

Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha or any of it's characters, only the plot for this fanfiction, and any previously mentioned characters.


Chapter 15: Can't you…?

Metal upon metal sent a shrill screech through the air, either scaring off animals, or making them give their own sounds of protest as their ears rang.

Truth be told though, few critters were still lingering in the area, since the noise had been going on for most of the morning.

Inuyasha grunted from the effort of pushing Tetsaiga against the force opposing it.

"I wouldn't dare think of giving up if I were you, hanyou," Sesshomaru warned over the edge of Tokiji.

"Oh sorry, did it look like I was planning to?" Inuyasha growled back.

He grunted as his nose was suddenly bombarded by the alpha's scent.

"Te…me…"

"Wrong answer hanyou," Sesshomaru growled, and pushed hard enough to make his brother move back.

Inuyasha bared his fangs, but forced quiet over himself. He grasped the first smell that managed to sneak past the alpha scent; some meat that Rin was cooking. He let it absorb him…it was delicious…still a little raw, but well on its way to being ready…

The hanyou snarled and pushed back against Sesshomaru.

The youkai was pushed back about a metre or so, but was quick to correct that.

He was well accustomed to holding Tokiji with one hand, thus his other was free to stretch out as the green whip glowed into view.

Inuyasha gasped and jumped away, leaning back to avoid the tip of the whip as it lashed past.

He regained his balance and flipped back to put more distance between them.

"You take too long to focus hanyou, and you always pick the obvious scents!"

"And how would you know what scent I chose?"

Dissolving the whip, Sesshomaru casually touched the tips of his fingers to the edge of his mouth.

Blinking at the gesture, Inuyasha hesitantly raised a hand to touch his own mouth.

"What the…? Ah Crud…"

The meat really did smell delicious, to the point that he was drooling!

In an instant, Sesshomarus whip had returned, and came around at him. Tetsaiga blocked the blow, but not the force behind it, leaving Inuyasha to stumble back.

"Concentrate Inuyasha!"

"Urasai!"

Rin watched from her perch upon a rock as the brothers continued battling as they had been for hours.

She had no idea what had changed, but ever since that fight between the brothers, Sesshomaru had taken to springing fights on Inuyasha, and to his disdain, the hanyou was never given a choice in the matter; it was fight, or risk having his head cut off.

At first it had been pretty one sided in Sesshomarus favour, but with each day that passed, Inuyashas focus…unbeknown to him…was getting stronger. It was no longer a close call when Sesshomaru turned mid walk to slash at him; he was always ready to either dodge or block.

He kept up with his brother a lot better, and almost never fell for any trick Sesshomaru used to make sure he didn't gain the same fault as that of the eastern plain inu youkai.

Rin was quietly happy to see that they weren't fighting for real. Sure it was too much to say they got along, but besides the regular bicker, they'd been pretty placid around one another.

Her only concern came during the couple of times she'd been ordered to stay with Jaken whilst the brothers disappeared for around an hour or so.

She hoped they weren't leaving just to avoid fighting in front of her. She'd tried asking Jaken about it, but any time she did, the imp just acted weird and stated…annoyingly loud…that he didn't know.

A flash of red and white brought her focus back to the here and now, as Inuyasha was sent flying past her.

He managed to flip and land in a crouch, but barely raised Tetsaiga in time to block Tokiji.

"On your feet Inuyasha, and this time you'd better use the scent of something even I can't see!"

"That's not fair…!"

OOPS!

Inuyasha could've bitten his own tongue off; hadn't he made that mistake enough times yet?

Sesshomaru growled deeply and released another dose of alpha scent.

Any time Inuyasha complained or called something unfair, the youkai only made things much harder. It was getting easier to focus on individual smells, but under pressure like he was right now, it was hard to focus on anything beyond his initial range of sight.

Past the alpha scent…past the cooking meat and individual odours of each travelling companion…even beyond the natural smells around them…

'Come on…come on…'

A scent touched the tip of his nose, a sweet fragrance so faint it vanished before he grasped it.

'Damn it! Come back!'

Sesshomaru wasn't relenting in the pressure, and his rising scent indicated his impatience.

The gentle breeze grazed past again, and this time Inuyasha scrambled to catch the smell before it could get away. It wavered in his clutches like a fish from the stream, but he wouldn't let it go.

Something sweet…fruit…peaches?

"I told you to focus hanyou!" Sesshomaru yelled.

He lifted Tokiji to prepare for a more powerful strike.

A snarl ripped itself from Inuyashas throat. He glared furiously up at the youkai, and took advantage of the opening presented to him.

Already crouching, he sprung straight into Sesshomaru, knocking the powerful male right off his feet.

Sesshomaru was clearly caught off guard, but he snarled in return and gripped the back of Inuyashas kimono before he had the chance to move away. He swung the hanyou around, so when they landed, it was Inuyasha who wound up underneath.

The beta had been ready though, and had pulled his legs up before Sesshomarus weight could come down on him. He kicked the alpha right up over his head, and used the same momentum to push himself up, flipping over back onto his feet.

Faster than he could turn though, he found Tokiji resting beneath his chin, the blunt side pushing up to threaten to block his air flow.

Despite a growl, and great desire to keep fighting, Inuyasha quickly halted; this was Sesshomarus way of saying they were finished, and he'd already learnt the hard way that the alphas word was final.

Sesshomaru slowly drew the blade away, and Inuyasha breathed out heavily.

"Better, but still too slow," Sesshomaru muttered as he walked away.

"Yeah yeah," Inuyasha grumbled back.

He knew that had almost been a compliment coming from Sesshomaru, but this was still getting annoying.

"I'm not doing that bad for a beta seeing as I've only been one for a few weeks."

"Most betas learn what they need in their first week."

"Sheesh…excuse me. If you hadn't noticed, my time as a beta hasn't exactly been very organised."

"And whose fault is that?"

"Sure you want me to answer that?"

Sesshomaru swung around to glare at Inuyasha, who just frowned back. A few quiet growls of frustration left them both, but they soon turned away from each other again.

"It's really nice, isn't it Jaken Sama?" Rin spoke randomly with a calm smile.

"What is?" Jaken grumbled.

"That Sesshomaru sama and Inuyasha sama are no longer fighting."

"What're you talking about? Did you just miss what happened all morning?" Jaken almost yelled.

"Yeah but, they were just training together."

"And what about that argument just now? You don't consider THAT fighting?"

"No, they were just bickering. That's what brothers do," Rin answered, her smile only growing.

Jaken just sighed heavily, hanging his head.

'This girl's cheerful attitude is truly wearing sometimes…'

Inuyashas ears flickered as he looked up to a tree, before suddenly springing up into the branches. He disappeared behind the leaves, but there was a quick commotion out of sight, along with a few screeches, before the hanyou dropped back down into view.

"In…Inuyasha…?" Rin stuttered as he strolled back over with a large, dead bird held over his shoulder, "Did, you just kill that?"

"You wanna eat tonight don't cha?" Inuyasha replied almost blankly.

"Oh, yes, of course."

Inuyasha gave a shrug and continued after Sesshomaru. Not five minutes later though, he sniffed the air, and suddenly threw the dead bird at Rin. The child squealed as the hanyou took off through the trees, and soon, another poor creature could be heard meeting its fate.

When he returned, a full grown serow was wrapped over his shoulders.

"Are you quite done?" Sesshomaru spoke without looking around.

"Yeah yeah, I just wasn't gonna give this up," Inuyasha was almost in line with his brother now, only keeping a few feet behind him, "Hey Sesshomaru, those eastern plain inus…does only the lead alpha have short hair?"

More surprising than the training, were the random lessons the alpha sometimes gave the beta. Inuyasha never bombarded him with questions or anything, only an occasional query, but it was still amazing that Sesshomaru was rarely bothered about answering.

"Yes. Cutting their hair is an act of leadership, and it said that once cut, the hair slowly turns gold."

"I guess that's why he was the only one with blonde hair. Would it change back if he grew it out?"

"One would think."

Inuyasha left his question there. He seemed to have learnt fast not to drag his questions out, for which he thanked that he never really had any desire to.

He fell back into a quiet pace, however, his eyes turned up to the branch of an apple tree that was hanging over the path.

Before he could even think about it, Sesshomaru struck out with his green whip, cutting the branch clean off. He scooped up an apple as he stepped over the severed tree limb, whilst Inuyasha bent to grab one.

"Hey, grab a couple of these ok?" He called back to Rin and Jaken after shoving a few inside his kimono.

"And just why should we…"Jaken began.

"Hai, Inuyasha sama!" Rin answered, her happy mood returning.

She shoved the bird into Jakens arms, making him tumble over, whilst she collected as many apples as she could carry.

'Sesshomaru Sama defends the damn half breed once, and now he thinks he can boss us around, as if he were equal to my master! Yet…Sesshomaru Sama barely stops him for it. Things have truly gotten out of hand,' Jaken sighed inwardly, hanging his head once again.


The fire heated the air around them, making sleep very comfortable.

Not a scrap of food had been left, and with full bellies, they all barely moved in their slumber.

Inuyasha had resumed his usual sleeping position; sitting against a tree with Tetsaiga wrapped loosely in his arms.

He was just as deeply asleep as the others, but a sharp flick to his ear made him gasp awake. He held the sore ear, glaring daggers at Sesshomaru, who stood next to him.

The youkai just met his gaze, before moving away.

Pissed that he'd been disturbed, Inuyasha grudgingly got up and followed, passing a short glance back to the others.

Ah Un was the only one to stir. The creature glanced briefly around to them, but soon fell back asleep.


The contrasting heat of his body, and the coolness of the water were making him shiver.

Inuyasha bit back a moan, turning his face into the grass along the bank.

Sesshomaru hunched over him, an arm placed on either side of the smaller body.

"Kuso…" Inuyasha groaned.

"Can't handle it, otouto?" Sesshomaru smirked in his ear, "You want it badly don't you? Well I'm not going to stick it in."

"I don't WANT you to stick it in!" Inuyasha growled, though he failed to hide the hitch of panic, "You're the one who woke me up, remember?"

The tip of Sesshomarus tongue trailed along the edge of his ear, before fangs nipped ever so lightly on the tip.

"Are you complaining?"

"N-no…" Inuyasha tried to beat another groan, "But I didn't…I didn't need to do this tonight!"

He hid his face again. Beneath the water, Sesshomarus member was between his legs, rubbing against his own.

"Either way hanyou, you're too far gone now…" Sesshomaru whispered, his voice turning serious again.

"Yeah and what about you? Is having me around all the time too much for ya?"

The hanyou flinched as claws dug into his thigh a bit.

"That's a given, Inuyasha. You somehow excel in causing irritation."

"And you're just a professional asshole! If you're gonna be like that, you can get off me right now!"

Sesshomarus fangs were resting upon Inuyashas shoulder, whilst a hand slipped down to his backside, causing the hanyou to flinch sharply at the touch to his entrance.

"Ya…yamero!"

Taking a deep breath of the scent of fresh grass, he suddenly snarled and flipped around, pushing Sesshomaru back.

"Unless you're actually gonna do it, then don't tease me!"

It took a moment, but when Inuyasha realised what he'd just said, he didn't dare raise his eyes.

He could feel Sesshomaru smirking again, and grumbled as he blushed and pushed him back again.

But the youkai didn't take it this time, and grabbed Inuyashas wrists. He shoved the hanyou right out of the water and onto his back, quickly pinning him with his own weight.

This time their eyes did meet; arrogance meeting defiance.

"Admit to it, hanyou," Sesshomaru whispered.

Inuyasha just turned redder and glanced away.

"Not exactly much left to admit to is there?" He grumbled, his temper dropping.

Whatever the youkai had expected to hear, it wasn't that. He frowned again, and suddenly grinded hard against Inuyasha.

The hanyou gasped out hard, and had to struggle for a moment to catch his breath as his heart rate picked up.

"Say it hanyou…" Sesshomaru whispered close to his neck, "…say that you want this, and that you want it from me."

Inuyasha shuddered, pulling an arm free to wrap around the males shoulder for support.

"If I say it…" He breathed, "…what'll you do?"

Sesshomarus actions didn't stop, but they did slow a little as if he were contemplating the words.

"I'm not saying what you wanna hear…until you tell me what I wanna hear, and that's what your reaction will be…" Inuyasha breathed heavily.

Sesshomaru kept silent, his eyes open and blank as he kept his face in the hanyous neck.

He suddenly gave another hard grind against Inuyasha, making him moan loudly.

Inuyasha rested back against the grass, knowing he wasn't going to get an answer, and so stuck with enjoying what he could.

Sesshomaru raised his body, deep, dominant growls rumbling from his chest. His claws dug into the hanyous hips, earning gasps but not complaints.

Inuyasha bit his lip, trying desperately to hold on. He wanted to wait until Sesshomaru was ready as well, but much to his displeasure, the youkai gave no clue as to how close he was.

He squirmed and whimpered as control slipped away, and his back suddenly arched up, his head right back as a fierce howl burst free of his throat.

Sesshomarus eyes narrowed as the sound rang in his ears, and his pace sped up at the sudden wetness between their bodies. Thirty seconds later, his own body arched, a furious howl aimed for the moon itself.

Inuyasha was already panting as he felt his brothers cum over his body. He looked up to Sesshomaru as he rested upon the hanyous hips. Not in all their battles did his sheer strength seem so clear. And it wasn't just his physical power; the way he held himself, the calm, always knowing look in his eyes as he turned his gaze down, his mere aura…

Sesshomaru deserved the title of alpha, and not because he was too proud to be anything else.

'Why do I think that maybe I knew what he was when I first met him? I was only a kid, far away from becoming a beta…but…when I saw him, I thought I felt something. I thought it was just the connection of being his brother…of knowing someone in my family was still alive. Now I don't know…'

The youkai watched the hanyou beneath him. His cheeks were burning red, his eyes soft and lust filled, but his mind was away somewhere in thought. The golden eyes drifted closed, every part of his attention on whatever he was thinking.

It was hard to say if he'd ever seen the hanyou this calm outside of sleep, but right now, he almost seemed too peaceful for the youkai.

Sesshomaru lowered his face back against the pale neck beneath, running his mouth and fangs over it, before he pulled the hanyou up and dragged him back into the water. He turned him to face the bank and pushed him to lean over.

Inuyashas only hesitation was in waiting to see what his brother wanted him to do. He moaned slightly as a knee eased his legs apart, whilst the larger body curled around him.

"Sessh…" He whispered, practically sinking into the grass.

Hot breaths in his ear made him shiver. Skin slid against skin, smoothened by water and sweat. Clawed fingers traced the creases and dips of his muscles, wracking the younger with shivers, though he held still otherwise.

Sesshomaru resumed his original position, grinding against Inuyasha from behind. The hanyou glanced to the long hair of his brother as it tickled his hand. He found himself fiddling with it almost curiously. It was perhaps only a little courser than his own, but perhaps that better suited the alpha.

He nuzzled it lightly, before shifting a bit.

Sesshomarus eyes shot open as he felt a strange touch to the side of his arm, and found Inuyasha nuzzling it lightly, a soft, submissive sound drifting from him. Though he may have been going along with it for a while now, the hanyou had never made such a show of…affection…

Inuyasha couldn't stop a small whine as the alpha suddenly pulled his arm away, and flipped him over again. The alpha returned attention to his neck, but Inuyasha didn't find himself pushed right over this time. He glanced down almost shyly, and cautiously moved his hand between them.

A sudden groan broke free of Sesshomaru, before the youkai suddenly pulled back, almost shoving his brother away. Inuyasha was left confused, and wanting to question it, but a sharp growl as he'd moved away told him not to mess with his brother.

Still…what was wrong? He'd just been trying to return the favour. Perhaps there was some rule about betas not touching alphas in the same way, as if it went against the positions of each…?

It was believable, but still made the hanyou frown. Did Sesshomaru have any idea just how much courage Inuyasha had had to build up just to touch him…there…?

As the youkai got out of the water, he followed suit, keeping a stubborn space between them.


He sniffed fiercely, disgusted by the scent he'd caught, but knowing it held the answer he was looking for, he pushed through it.

"Koga! Can you tell us what you're looking for already?" One of his friends sighed as they caught up.

"Can't you guys smell that?" The wolf leader answered, still scanning the area.

"Yeah, we got the same scent you did an hour ago Koga," The other answered, "I still think we should be more concerned about getting caught by those eastern plain inu youkais."

"It's exactly because of them that we're here," Koga threw back, "Those Eastern plain dogs are unforgiving about territory at the best of times, but now we've been attacked three times in one week just for getting too close to the border line, yet now that we're actually inside one of their main territories, I don't see anyone coming to deal out some punishment."

"Are you sure this is their territory? It doesn't smell or look like it…"

"Trust me, I came here once before. I don't know what's happened, but it used to be one of their breeding areas."

They carefully made their way through the forest area, where little light made it through the leaves, and almost everything was dripping in some gross purple ooze.

"K-Koga?"

"SSH!" The alpha hissed.

A sound had caught his attention, and quickly made all three tense up. It was hard to make sense of it, even as they drew closer.

"There," Koga whispered, indicating to a large, moss covered tunnel, "That used to be the alpha's den."

"You're not thinking of going in there are you?"

"Don't make me have to drag your sorry butts along," Koga growled, "If there'd been any eastern plain dogs around then they'd already be upon us for getting this close, but I haven't caught even a hint of their smell in this entire area. I think something else has decided to move in."

As he stepped through the entrance, the others looked to each other.

"Isn't that exactly why we should be heading the other way?"

They sighed in unison, and followed their leader. The tunnel was dark, and the further in they went, the worse an unfamiliar stench became.

Koga inhaled sharply as his foot found a sudden end to the path. He kept his hands upon the low ceiling as he peered below.

"What the?" He barely managed to keep his voice quiet, "No way…here? I mean it would explain everything, but how did they…?"

"Koga…"

He grunted as his friends suddenly bumped into him, having missed him in the dark tunnel. Koga felt a piece of the rocky edge break off under his foot, and could only listen as its path to the ground echoed loudly within the cavern.

As he feared, it drew much attention from below.

"Ok…NOW you guys have permission to run…" He stumbled.

"Huh?"

"RUN!"

The alpha turned and raced past them. His friends stopped only long enough to see something rise up to the cliff before them, before they followed suit.

Koga was first out, and the second his friends were as well, he span around and grabbed their wrists.

"Either of you throw up on me, you'll regret it," He growled quickly, before creating a tornado and disappearing from range of the creature that crawled out of the tunnel.


Inuyasha was up with the dawn as normal. Sure there were times he preferred to sleep in, but generally he found he got uncomfortable if he didn't get straight up, especially now after a night when his beta blood was satisfied.

A quick glance around the camp fire confirmed the usual situation. The only one up before him was Sesshomaru, whose usual absence at first light had been put down to his preferred hunting time…at least that's what Inuyasha had decided, since he never saw him hunt otherwise.

"Chow time…" He groaned as he stretched.

An actual reason to NEED to be up at this time; when the alpha returned, everyone would be ordered up and ready to go, breakfast or no breakfast.

Thankfully there was a human village not too far. He swiped a couple of oranges and persimmons and returned to camp. Sesshomaru still not in sight, he gulped down his own, and left some for the others; at least they'd be able to eat as they travelled that way.

He returned to the lake from last night, resisting a shiver at the rather vivid memories.

It was definitely too early to be dealing with any stupid lust issues!

He crouched to take a long drink, then splashed some water over his face, chest and the back of his neck. He wasn't hot, it just felt refreshing.

He flinched as footsteps moved through the grass, but calmed when Sesshomaru moved to the river a few metres away.

"How was the bear?" Inuyasha threw out as he caught the faint scent of fresh blood from the alpha.

Generally he didn't talk to his brother in the morning; it's not like the youkai wasn't a morning person or anything, it just seemed best to let him have the first word of the day.

As usual, he didn't receive an answer until Sesshomaru finished having a drink.

"Are the others still asleep?"

"Yeah, I mean the sun's not even over the mountains yet."

Sesshomaru gave a sound of acknowledgement, his thoughts elsewhere; Inuyasha had stopped trying to decipher his poker face.

"Come."

"Huh?"

"Don't make me repeat myself."

Confused by the change in the morning ritual, Inuyasha glanced back to where the camp was, but ran after his brother.

"But Rin and…"

"Will be fine. This won't be long, providing you can keep up," Sesshomaru interrupted, before breaking out into a full run.

Grunting, Inuyasha picked it up, staying on his tail.

They raced over flat land, and into a deep gorge between mountains that sunk further and further until light actually started to struggle to reach them. Eventually the ground rose again, leading them back into day light, and up the side of one of the steepest mountain sides Inuyasha had climbed. More than once he nearly lost his footing, and really had to motor to catch up to his agile brother.

As they reached the summit, he could feel the air had thinned a fair bit, not enough to cause either of them issues mind you, but a human would probably be in trouble.

'Guess they can worry about that when they get up here…' He thought as he looked back down the sheer mountain, proven dangerous even for youkai.

As Sesshomaru led him around a dangerously narrow path, He felt begrudged to realise he must've come to accept his brothers ways a little. By now, he usually would've demanded to know exactly where they were going, but his tongue held back the question without that much difficulty.

The path led them back down what must've almost been halfway, but as he came through a cloud bank, Inuyasha almost lost track of his brother. He calmed down long enough to take a deep breath, and followed the alpha scent around the corner.

There, Sesshomaru had finally stopped. He stood proud towards the valley below, and figuring he wouldn't get an answer by speaking, Inuyasha followed his gaze.

"Whoa…" He mumbled when the clouds drifted apart.

Bellow them was not more mountains or unforgiving, barren land. But instead a valley fresh and untouched, with plenty of flora life, and even a river who's source he couldn't find from here.

"What do you think hanyou?" Sesshomaru more stated than asked.

"It's like an oasis…" Inuyasha replied, still a little caught up in it, "…but…I can't smell any youkai scents. There's maybe only small things like birds…"

"I think the path here made it clear that this isn't a place that just anyone can get to. No human could make the journey, and weak youkai would struggle to do so."

Inuyasha glanced to Sesshomaru.

'Weak youkai would struggle? Did…did he just mean that, he doesn't think I'm…'

"Although, perhaps I could be proven wrong…" Sesshomaru suddenly added with a smirk, his gaze shifting to the hanyou.

Annoyed and embarrassed at himself, Inuyasha frowned in return, and looked away.

"It may not seem it from here, but there is actually enough game down there to support a small village. The location is practically perfect…"

"…for a pack…" Inuyasha finished in a whisper.

He looked back to his brother. He knew Sesshomaru had spoken plenty of becoming a ruler, and whilst he'd no doubt be a powerful one at that, somehow the thought of a small but mighty pack of powerful beings, sounded like it would suit him so much better than a kingdom whose strength came from numbers.

"It's impenetrable, private, and the lands provides. Yeah, you should claim it before someone else gets the idea."

He wasn't entirely sure about the annoyed rumble in his stomach, but it stopped him wanting to look at Sesshomaru again.

This time however, it was the alpha that turned to him.

"So you would readily take this land? Would you be prepared to fight for it?"

"Fight for it?"

"I told you, it is weak youkai who cannot reach this place. If a hanyou can make the trip, then what is to stop a strong youkai? The natural scents of this place are too faint to penetrate the distance within the mountain, but once marked by the scent of an alpha, it will no longer be so well hidden."

Inuyasha sighed a little.

So that's why Sesshomaru hadn't already marked it.

"Will you claim it? When you're ready?"

"Yes," Sesshomaru answered after a while.

Inuyasha breathed in deeply, catching the fresh scents of the leaves. He thought he caught something move down there…a tanuki maybe?

"Why're you showing me this?"

He wasn't sure it was such a good idea to ask, but this didn't seem like something Sesshomaru would share with anyone.

He almost could've predicted that he'd get no reply, but as Sesshomaru suddenly turned and walked back past him, he really felt the need for one.

"Hey…"

Sesshomaru continued along, and the hanyou was nearly careless as he followed back down the path.

"Sesshomaru…"

"What!?"

The hanyou flinched, and found both his voice and feet halted.

It hadn't been what made him call out, but now his mind went to last night, and his gut twinged as he got the feeling that's exactly where Sesshomarus had gone.

He was warning not to bring it up.

The hanyou was forced to break into a run as they reached the end of the narrow path, and Sesshomaru took off once more.


"Sesshomaru sama!" Rin called as her master returned to the camp.

"We're leaving now Rin."

"Ok my lord," She answered with a smile, before glancing around to Inuyasha a few metres away, "Inuyasha sama, is everything alright?"

The hanyou glanced to her, not really wanting to answer, but a look from Sesshomaru dared him to rebel.

"Everything's fine," He muttered, and looked away again.


It was evening before Inuyasha paid any more attention to his brother.

The sky was beautiful to gaze at, not something the hanyou generally cared for, but lately it proved to be calming.

Poor Rin was exhausted from a full day of travelling, and was already snoozing by the fire. The hanyou had caught a couple of small birds for dinner, but the child was too tired to wait for them to cook. It was pretty cute really.

Inuyasha groaned quietly and rubbed his stomach. He glanced to the other three around the fire, and figuring they weren't about to wake up, chose to gobble down the food himself.

'After last night you'd think my blood would chill out for a while…'

He glanced over his shoulder as he felt his brother move past him, but looked back to his food, biting a large chunk off in one go.

Sesshomaru cast a short glance to the hanyou, but moved over to the other side of the fire, and sat down.

Inuyasha felt the flame in his stomach flare as the youkais eyes burned into him; his scent must've risen again.

He didn't offer him any visual attention, not that he thought it would fool the youkai, but ignoring him seemed the only effective method of rebellion.

Was Sesshomaru waiting for him to finish his food before he pounced? Considering the youkai had been all too happy to ignore him the rest of the day as well, it was pretty annoying to suddenly have his full attention, especially for the reason that it was.

Growling, Inuyasha threw down his food, stood, and stormed off. He'd thought things were getting better between him and his brother, but obviously not. No he wasn't asking for a miracle, just a step forward!

The hanyou gave a quiet whine and rubbed his forehead as he sat back down.

His beta blood shouldn't have been so bad right now, but he realised it was probably stressing all day about his brother that had riled it up.

"Kuso…" He muttered under his breath, wrapping his arms around his stomach.

All of a sudden, scoffing that food down didn't seem like such a good idea.

With a loud gag, he hunched over, spilling his dinner over the grass.

'Damn it…what a waste…' He thought furiously once he was down to just panting.

He stood a little shakily, and wiped his face. A little pond sufficed as a way to rinse his mouth, though it tasted too terrible to swallow.

"Are you quite finished?"

He tensed as he held a hand over his face. A little of the fire in his belly also seemed to have been chucked up, but certainly not all of it.

"Go to bed Sesshomaru, I'm not in the mood and I don't need it tonight."

"All evidence to the contrary hanyou," Sesshomaru walked closer.

"Did you miss the first part of what I said?" Inuyasha growled, glaring over his shoulder, "I said I'm not in the mood!"

"I hardly recall a moment you needed to be in the mood to enjoy this."

"Could say the same to you, except that having a beta around can't bother you THAT much, or you would've seen me off by now."

He heard the quietest slip of a growl. His mouth flickered in place of the smirk he would've liked to have shown.

"It's true isn't it? Maybe I annoy you almost as much as you annoy me, but you don't seem to hate my presence like you used to."

"There's a difference between enjoying something, and learning to tolerate it."

Ouch…now that really stung.

"Quite acting otherwise. Just look at last night. You don't even wait for me to get to the point that I can't control myself before you advance anymore. I didn't need it last night, but you came on just as strongly anyway."

"And you think an alpha finds pleasure in the scent of a beta fully consumed by their heat?"

"I think that you don't WANT to wait until then! And what I know, is that you enjoy it straight back!"

Now Sesshomaru openly growled at him, but Inuyasha had turned to face his brother head on, and a regular growl could hold no power over him.

The youkai suddenly sprang at him, but for once the hanyou didn't avoid it. He allowed himself to be knocked over, even if the force hurt a little.

Sesshomaru snarled down at him, and Inuyasha returned the expression.

"I should slay you for that tongue hanyou,"

"So you always say, and believe me, there's been too many times that I wish I'd taken your head off with that arm of yours…"

Sesshomaru suddenly halted; with daringness he'd not expected of his brother, Inuyashas hand had slipped beneath the white kimono, and was shyly but rather determinedly caressing the skin where his new arm replaced the old one.

The hanyous gaze shifted to his sleeve, as if he could see the part he was touching. The anger was still there, but now stood behind something else. Sesshomaru had to think himself foolish for believing so, but it appeared to be…regret?

He shifted harshly to pull his arm out of the hanyous reach, but instead of withdrawing his hand, Inuyasha shoved it further into the kimono, wrapping his arm around the alphas back.

For the very first time he ever knew of, he felt Sesshomaru flinch.

The youkai made to pull away, but now Inuyasha held on with a death grip. His other arm darted under the material to aid its counterpart.

"Remove your limbs right now Inuyasha, or I'll rip them both off!"

It may not have shown, but Sesshomaru was shocked by the fierceness of his brother's eyes.

"No."

That was all Inuyasha said before he pulled him down into a kiss. He shoved his tongue past Sesshomarus lips, being careful to pull it back any time he felt fangs try to bite it off.

He knew it was only a matter of time…

An Alpha's blood rarely allowed for dominance from another, and as controlled as he was, Sesshomaru was no exception.

It wasn't long before Inuyasha felt his head pushed back, whilst rolls reversed, and Sesshomarus tongue now invaded his mouth. He allowed it, even welcomed it.

His hands roamed over the skin beneath them, enjoying…yes, enjoying…the curves of every muscle, the way the smooth, clean skin was still firm with just a touch of roughness, like a warriors should have been.

Sesshomaru was now crouching right over him, trapping his legs with his own. He kept most of the hanyous body pinned, but pulled his head up to deepen the kiss as the two fought to see who would pull out first.

Inuyasha ran out of air first, and gasped to the side. He tried to go back in, but Sesshomaru had already moved on to his neck, sucking and biting almost to the point of breaking the skin, but as always he somehow managed not to.

The hanyou had come to the silent conclusion that the youkai favoured his neck, considering how often he paid attention to it.

Oh well, not like he minded; he just stretched his neck even more, and felt the mouth upon his skin take the offer without hesitation.

He let quiet whimpers out as Sesshomarus groin pressed against his own, and shyly rubbed against him.

A deep groan rumbled against his neck, and the pleasurable wave it sent through the hanyou was a strange one. It both made his body relax into submission, and filled his stomach with what felt like electricity.

Sesshomaru ground back against him, and the feeling made Inuyashas hips buck up. Before he could lower them, a powerful hand grabbed his backside, holding it in place.

Inuyasha was going to look up, but his shoulder was pressed into the ground, and his hips raised further.

The youkai kept their groins firmly together as he grinded hard and slow. His hand slipped soothly down the back of the red hakama, groping the skin hard, earning a slight yelp from the hanyou.

He watched the squirming form beneath him. His little brother couldn't hold still, though he put up a fair effort. His hips kept bucking, as if trying to fool the youkai into thinking he was about to cum, but he held on pretty well.

"S…Sessh…"

Golden eyes flashed open. Sesshomarus gaze dropped slowly to the touch upon his leg, or more correctly, the grip upon his pants.

Inuyasha was gripping the white hakama weakly, merely looking for some sort of support when his body was so close to release. But for Sesshomaru…

The shaking hand…the shy, innocent gaze that turned to question why he'd stopped…

'Niisan…?'

Inuyasha gasped loudly as the contact tore away from his body, and when he was able to get hold of his senses, he sat up to see Sesshomaru crouching a fair distance away.

"Sesshomaru? What're you…?" He mumbled, shaking his head.

"Get up!" Sesshomaru growled, and stormed away.

Wow…that had to be the most emotion Inuyasha had ever seen the youkai put into just a walk.

He scrambled to his feet, barely pausing to straighten his hakama as he ran to catch up.

"Wait! You're not seriously going to just leave it like that are you?" He questioned in disbelief.

His face was bright red, and not just from lust. He was rock hard beneath his hakama; it was damn embarrassing and more than a little uncomfortable!

"You were insistent about starting something, but I made no promise to finish it!"

"Me insistent? Look who couldn't keep his eyes to himself at the campfire! And then you followed me away from it…I was only giving you what you wanted!"

"What I wanted? This is coming from the hanyou who didn't know how to let go when told to!"

"DON'T YOU DARE!" The hanyou bellowed as the youkai took another step, "Don't you dare walk away from me again!"

"You actually have more talking to do?" Sesshomaru muttered in annoyance.

"Perhaps I do, in fact yes, and kuso, you're gonna listen for once! I don't know how you feel, but I don't think it's nearly as negative as you say it is. Well damn it, I want to hear the truth! I want you to…!"

The hanyou bit his lower lip, the fear catching up to his anger.

Why was he doing this now? Should he be doing it at all? He hadn't even really sat down and come to terms with it himself properly!

"You want me to what, Inuyasha?" Sesshomaru frowned over his shoulder.

The hanyous stomach rolled over and over. He sort of wished he hadn't said a thing.

'No…no more running…this has to end, one way or another…'

The nightmare of Kikyo and Kagome flashed through his mind, and Kikyos scream rang in his ears more vividly that what would help right now.

"I want you to…" His voice lowered, but didn't waver as he stood straight, "…accept me."

He wasn't sure what response he would get from that, but Sesshomaru slowly turned, his eyes meeting those of his brothers. He knew there was much more to those words than most would understand.

Inuyasha was terrified, but pleading with his voice, he opened his mouth once more.

"I want…to be your beta."

Sesshomaru was silent. His eyes had widened a bit, but as always, it was practically impossible to tell what he was actually thinking.

"So…" The youkai finally answered, and his gaze turning again, much to the hanyous dislike, "…you want me to finish your change to a beta? To take you whole…?"

"You know I mean more than that," Inuyasha shook his head, "It doesn't have to be prime beta or anything…"

"A prime beta?" Sesshomaru sounded in disbelief.

"…Just more than some awkward fling…more than what we are now," Inuyasha continued, figuring he didn't have to explain the whole prime beta thing, "It's not just about hushing my instincts anymore, any alpha could do that…"

He thought he caught a slight growl from the youkai. Well that hadn't been the most tactful thing to say after all...

"…and it's not just because you're my blood alpha. Hell I don't even entirely know why, but I want…I want it to be you."

His face was burning, and his chest aching. This had to be settled, yes, but he kinda wished they'd just kept making out…he hadn't been ready to jump into this!

"And you think after everything, after all this time, I should simply accept you?" Sesshomaru answered quietly.

"It's not like it's easy for me to accept you either," Inuyasha bit back, "But I'm willing to try…"

"Why?" Sesshomaru growled, "Why would you WANT to accept me? I believe our positions with each other have been proven quite enough."

"If you'd asked me that before I became a beta, then I'd agree I had no reason to want anything to do with you. You've rejected me since the day we met…you've used cruel deception on me, like when you pretended that no face demon was my mother…and I dunno how many times you've tried to kill me. Yet once I became a beta things seemed to change. Yeah at points it was as if you hated me even more, but then at others, it was like you wouldn't let anyone else near me. You've been coming on to me more and more. You can't tell me it's the alpha blood…I know it's powerful, but you'd never react on mere lust no matter how strong it got."

He flinched as there was a sharp snarl, and knew Sesshomaru was baring his fangs without seeing them.

"Our lives may be long, but no amount of time is going to change the past Inuyasha," Sesshomarus voice had softened, but it was still angry, "This time you've spent tagging along hasn't changed our attitudes towards each other, nor has it changed that I am a youkai, and you are a mere hanyou…"

"Then hate that!"

This time the alpha fell silent, unsure about those words.

"Hate that I'm a hanyou…hate that our father left Tetsaiga to me instead of you…hate…that he died to save me. Hate all those things, I won't blame you. But even past all that hate, past everything that can't be changed…can't you…"

Inuyashas heart never beat like it did now. His eyes raised shyly, the rage disappearing from his face as his words slipped quietly…pleadingly…away.

"…love me anyway?"

Sesshomarus body became stone.

Inuyasha was asking him to…?

'But he's…how could I ever…?'

Why was the thought even being considered or questioned? Was the answer not obvious and automatic?

His arm twitched in a long forgotten way…pleading with him to touch, no, to hold…

'Are you…Niisan?'

He could feel the child gripping his hakama again, seeking protection of one he'd never even met, and yet had faith within…

'Do you have someone to protect?'

A spark burst awake in his chest. Hot and violent, like a dry piece of wood that had been left to soak in oil. But why such rage would appear, he didn't know; what did that memory have to do with this?

"I…Sesshomaru…" He spoke quietly.

Inuyashas ears twitched, the younger waiting in silence, his body shaking in fear and hope.

But out of his sight, rage hardened his brother's face to that of the cold, pitiless youkai all believed him to be.

"…could never love a filthy, pathetic hanyou like you."

There was no space for buts or what ifs in the words. They were solid and firm, and slammed into the younger brother like a stampeding demon.

Inuyasha felt he couldn't breathe. He hunched over as his body tried to accept what it had just heard.

'Why…why why…why…?'

Why was the answer no? Why did it hurt so badly? Why did he care?

He couldn't fully think of any of those questions, let alone their answers. Only the simple question of why.

Within the darkness behind his closed lids, he found himself there again; between two choices, and just when he finally made his decision, that choice decided to drift out of his reach…

…Sesshomaru was fading away into darkness, a place he was unwelcome.

The hanyou moved lifelessly, as if possessed. He came to stand straight, but his face stayed lowered.

"…as you wish."

The words were so quiet, but Sesshomaru doubted he'd ever heard such an icy tone from his little brother. It almost made him look around, but even at the rustling of grass as his brother raced away, he kept his gaze where it was…

Forward, focused, undeterred by anything.

"I, Sesshomaru…"

Whatever had been coming, never found its way from his lips.


And there you have it! Chapter 15 done!

Be honest, how was it? *cowers*

As always, sorry for any spelling and grammar mistakes. Also, sorry if anyone was hoping to see Takehiko this chapter, I was hoping to have him return, but it just didn't go that way...but he'll definitely be back next chapter! :D (it was always going to be dependant on how long this chapter was).

Well, I can only hope I don't take THAT long ever again! And if I do, some one please give me a right kick up the booty! so annoyed with myself for it...

Anyway, thanks for reading, will update asap!

Reviews are loved!