A/N: Hey yall! I know it's been literally forever but my freshman year in college was insane and I didn't have time to read fanfic much less write anything. So I know this has been a long time in coming and I apologize in advance if this chapter is a little bit of a let down (I'm kinda rusty). Anyway I'll try to update faster during the summer but I'll still be taking 9 hours of classes this summer and I have to get a job. Regardless, on to the chapter!
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Inu or any other of the awesome characters!
Chapter 10- An Ancient Vendetta
After finding the book that they had spent all day searching for the group headed back to Totosai's cave as the sun set. Kirara had fallen asleep in her arms before they left the village so Kagome had opted to ride on Inuyasha's back while she and Sesshomaru ran. Kagome had once again dozed off as they softly leapt through the trees and shifting her eyes from her priestess friend with a smile she looked down to see Kirara and her ancestor's book both nestled securely in her arms.
Sesshomaru was running slightly ahead of them as she and Inuyasha ran side by side. She couldn't wait to get back to Totosai's so that she could take a nice long bath in the hot springs before spending the rest of the night reading the contents of the ancient tome. Not having to sleep every night was a benefit of her demonic form that she truly enjoyed. Also her eyes adjusting to the increasingly darkening forest was very beneficial itself.
The branches she was using to jump were only barely visible under the scant light of the crescent moon and yet her new eyes could see them easily. She smiled to herself and slowed her gait as Sesshomaru suddenly stopped just outside of the cave. Inuyasha landed a half beat before her and immediately headed into the cave to lay Kagome down on the futon in the "girl's room."
As she landed gently next to Sesshomaru she was barely on the ground for a moment before he swept her gently to him and kissed her chastely on the lips. She knew he'd been longing to kiss her all day and after the way he'd left her wanting more the night before so had she. She laughed though when he pulled back and sneezed due to the dust that was lifting off of her because of her swift movement towards him.
"I guess that means I really need a bath, huh," she said with a smile just before Kirara sneezed cutely and jumped out of her arms to trot off into the cave.
Her laughter was light and soft as she turned back to Sesshomaru and kissed him one more time before walking inside and depositing the book a short ways from the fire. Grabbing a towel and Kagome's bath bag she made her way into the hot springs and was quick to shed her slayer's garb in favor of the soothing warmth of the water.
Too excited to truly enjoy the spring she went through her bathing routine fairly quickly and wrapped the towel around her as she grabbed her things and made her way back to the room she and Kagome shared. However, as soon as she exited the springs she bumped into someone and dropped everything she was holding in favor of scrambling to hold up her towel.
Her face, she was sure, was beet red as her blue eyes rose to meet two smoldering golden orbs. The amusement in those beautiful eyes was almost eclipsed by the burning desire that lit them as his eyes roved her slightly damp and barely clad body.
"Sango," he said as one hand snaked its way around her waste and the other came up to gently cup her cheek.
His thumb was gently stroking the stripes on her cheek causing her eyes to become lidded and her body to relax against him. He drew her into another passionate kiss and just when she thought she'd loose herself in his touch a uncomfortable cough and the scent of Inuyasha hit both of their senses.
Pulling apart only slightly, she suddenly became aware that Sesshomaru was holding their chests together because it was the only thing keeping her towel from falling to the floor. Her face immediately reddened again and she quickly grabbed at the towel and hid her face in Sesshomaru's robes. He merely chuckled slightly and turned his head towards Inuyasha to acknowledge his presence.
"Totosai told me to come tell you two that dinner is ready. I was going to go wake Kagome up but since you need to change could you do that for me Sango?"
Inuyasha's face was very red as well and his eyes were staring strait at the ground in front of him. It was clear that he was embarrassed on walking in on a moment between his brother and sister figure as well as the fact that she was barely clothed. If she wasn't so clearly embarrassed herself then she would have laughed at the look on his face.
"Ok Inuyasha. I'll meet you two in the there in a few minutes."
Then with one swift movement she grabbed her things off the floor and used her demonic speed to disappear down the hall and into their room. As she leaned her back against the wall just inside the door flap she heard Inuyasha mumble something followed by a dull thump and a smile came to her face. Her demonic hearing barely picked it up but luckily Inuyasha talked loudly.
"Well good gods Sesshomaru don't you think you could have at least gotten out of the hall before you started trying to take her clothes off?"
She felt their auras fade slightly as they walked back towards the main cave with Inuyasha's low grumblings trailing off the further away they became. As much as Inuyasha's words embarrassed her it brought her mind to her and Sesshomaru becoming mates, something she anticipated and dreaded at the same time. What if he saw her naked form and decided she wasn't worthy? What if she did something wrong? She'd never been with a man before so what if she wasn't good at it.
Her mind was about to go off on a tangent when Kagome's stomach growled loudly and broke her out of her thoughts. A gentle smile broke out on her face as she walked over to the poor girl and set her things beside the futon. Since she'd become a demon she often forgot about her human needs like food and sleep. It only just occurred to her that they hadn't eaten all day and Kagome was the only human left in their group now.
Kicking herself for forgetting her friend's needs and putting her own needs first she sat down on the bed beside Kagome and shook the girl gently by the shoulder to wake her up. The priestess awoke with a groan as she rolled away from Sango and pulled the covers up over her head. Sango merely laughed and stood to get changed.
"Ok Kagome you can sleep but the boys are going to eat all the food Totosai made."
Immediately the girl was up and scrambling to brush her hair before she burst out of the room and ran sprinting down the hall towards the smell of food. She laughed once more before pulling on InuTaisho's robe and tying it so that she could walk freely. Toweling off her hair so that it was only damp she tied it back in her typical loose ponytail and walked in the direction Kagome had run only a few minutes before.
When she entered the main cave Kagome had already eaten an entire bowl and was filling another. Inuyasha was laughing at his mate's ravenous appetite and Sesshomaru merely shook his head and looked up at her as she walked in. Filling her own bowl with steaming stew she sat next to Sesshomaru and began to slowly eat her own meal. Despite having eaten the stew for three consecutive meals now she still savored the robust taste, especially with her new senses.
After dinner Inuyasha and Kagome went to bathe and have some of their own private time and to take a break from training. Sesshomaru had started to insist that Inuyasha go out to train with him, despite the darkness, but she managed to talk him into allowing all of them a break for the evening. As soon as she'd finished eating her hands snatched up the ancient slayer's tomb and began to carefully leaf through the pages. Time seemed to stop as she immersed herself in trying to decipher the cryptic words in the book written in a language she could only partially understand. After quite some time she closed the book in frustration and tossed it away from her while rubbing her eyes with the heels of her hands.
"Have you discovered anything about your powers," Sesshomaru asked as he returned from Totosai's forge where he must have been checking on the forging of her weapon.
"Nothing helpful," she said as she stood and stretched out her stiff joints, "It is written in an ancient slayer code that I can only partly understand. I may even have to go back to the village to find a book on the cipher. Right now though I could use a good workout to get rid of the kinks in my muscles."
The playful smile on her face caused Sesshomaru to raise an elegant brow as he looked down at her attire doubtfully. Catching his expression her brows drew together in question before she looked down and realized she was wearing InuTaisho's huge old robes, since her old kimono was now shreds and could no longer be worn and her slayer's suit was sweat and dust covered. An idea quickly formed in her head and she turned and ran to her and Kagome's room while yelling, "I'll be right back."
Returning shortly in a dark red tank top and a pair of Kagome's gym shorts she blushed at the way his golden eyes roved her form. As he walked towards her she didn't know what to do so she diverted her eyes and tried to quell the rising blush that was coloring her face with each step he took. When he was just inches from her he stopped and rose a single clawed finger to her chin and pulled her gaze up to meet his own.
"You are beautiful Sango, but I much prefer it when you wear your own clothing."
With that he turned and headed outside leaving her to follow at her own leisure. After a few moments in a hormone induced daze she blinked and realized that he'd done it to her again; tantalizing her with his presence and then just walking away leaving her wanting more from him. With narrowed eyes and a low growl she stomped out of the cave in pursuit of her Demon Lord.
She didn't have to look far as she could see him standing looking up at the moon at the opposite edge of the clearing. Deciding to get a little payback of her own she walked to the center of the clearing and without saying a word she went about her normal stretches emphasizing on stretching her back to stick out her chest and facing away from him when she bent to touch the ground to stretch her calves.
She was rewarded promptly as a low growl sounded directly behind her and as she stood and turned she was pulled into the strong muscular chest where the growling was originating. Looking up she put on her best "innocent" face and tried not to smile.
"It is not wise to taunt a demon Sango," he said, his voice husky and deep.
"I don't know what your talking abou-"
A passionate kiss cut off her innocent declaration and before she knew it her arms were around his neck and his around her waste. Kissing Sesshomaru was a type of euphoria she never imagined she would experience. She was so lost in the pleasant feeling of his body against hers that she didn't sense the approaching demonic aura until Sesshomaru tensed and pulled her closer to him before jumping back and out of the range of the mass of acid covered webbing shot at them by a group of over grown spider demons.
The rumbling growl coming from his chest was no longer playful and warm but instead was laced with danger and threat. Pulling herself from his protective embrace she turned to size up the enemy. The group of spider demons before them were nothing spectacular. While they were about twice as big as the spider demons she had previously encountered they did not seem extraordinarily threatening in any way. Why an average sized group of spider demons with low demonic auras would attack two dog demons, especially when one was the Lord of the West, was beyond her. She smiled though, she had been itching for a fight and they were kind enough to bring it to her. She just hoped Sesshomaru wouldn't slaughter them all and ruin her fun.
So before the angry Lord of the West could draw his Tokijin and begin slicing through the spiders she flew forward with her demonic speed and appeared in the middle of the group. Slicing her claws through the spider closest to her she was amazed at how easily her sharp claws cut through its hard exoskeleton as if it were made of paper. Spinning she kicked out with her left leg and sent another of the large spiders flying across the clearing where it smashed through a tree and grew still. This was the first real taste she was getting of her demonic abilities and she had to say she absolutely loved it.
In the back of her mind she noted that Sesshomaru had yet to interfere in the battle but she took that as a sign that she was doing well in her new body. One of the spiders behind her raised it's bony leg as if it were going to strike her but she was too fast and the sharp leg hit the dirt hard before being cut off by her sharper claws. Pausing in her movements she realized that the remaining eight spiders were surrounding her in exactly spaced intervals and she knew they were planning something. Sparing a glance towards Sesshomaru she saw that he was facing an additional group of spider demons and that while he was making quick work of the pathetic weaklings they had him preoccupied.
Icy gaze returning to the demons before her she pulled her yokai into her clawed hands and narrowed her eyes as the temperature began to drop. She didn't understand why the two actions were always correlated but she didn't have time to think about it as suddenly all eight of the demons began spitting yokai enforced webbing at her simultaneously. Slicing and dodging she tried to avoid as much of it as possible but slowly the disgusting fiber was sticking to her and weighing her down. She could hear Sesshomaru snarling in the background but she couldn't afford to take her eyes off her enemy.
Throwing one of her yokai balls she managed to kill three of the spiders but the other five continued to bombard her with webbing until she could no longer remain standing and was forced to her knees. For some reason she could now only barely hear Sesshomaru's snarls and growls and it was then that she noticed that some how a barrier had been formed around her battle and not only Sesshomaru but Inuyasha and Kagome as well were throwing everything they had at the barrier to try to get to her.
Her attention shifted from their attempts to break the barrier to the dark forest in front of her as a new, more powerful, aura approached from within the confines of the barrier. From the darkness appeared a pale skinned woman with hair as black as the night itself and eyes of shining onyx. Her lips were ruby red and her eye tattooing was smoky, accenting her beauty and framing the blood red hourglass upon her forehead. As she stopped a foot away from Sango's bound form the long material of her black dress rustled and she could see small ice crystals forming along its folds.
Eyes glittering with malicious intent the woman smiled to reveal two large pincer-like teeth that morphed her once beautiful face into something grotesque and strange. After a moment of silence the woman spoke in a rough voice that sounded like the jumbled mix of hundreds of voices that somehow spoke as one.
"Finally you have come, descendant of Sana the Sorceress. I have waited hundreds of years for you to resurface and use your ancestor's powers. Now I shall finally exact my revenge on your retched family!"
Sango looked up at the demon and could only assume her family had slain the demon's kin or something of that sort to have sparked a hatred that would last hundreds of years. Senses wearily watching the demon before her she allowed her eyes to momentarily flick to Inuyasha and Sesshomaru who were attacking the barrier with the red Tetsaiga and Tokijin with little luck.
"Oh no I did my research on your friends slayer. They won't be able to break my barrier even with that dog's fang," Sango looked up at her incredulously, "You see I've enforced it with a little magic of my own. Black magic."
The last two words were said with a triumphant grin as the demon woman bent and sneered into her face. That gave Sango the shot she needed and without hesitation she slammed her forehead forward into the woman's face. The demon screamed as she fell back and the spiders that held the webs restraining her arms yanked on them so hard that she thought her arms would be pulled out of socket.
The cry of pain that escaped her lips was muffled as she clenched her teeth but Sesshomaru's sharp ears caught it from outside the barrier. She could hear his furious snarls and feel the barrier pulse as he slammed his bare fist onto it in rage. Raising her head she tried to look towards him but her face was met with the backhand of an enraged demon woman.
"You wench! How dare you strike me? Now you will pay with your life!"
Suddenly the woman's fangs grew large and with a violent movement she bit down onto the exposed skin of Sango's neck and injected her with her deadly poison. Sango's scream of pain was torturous as her body slowly started to become paralyzed in the most painful way. Her screams echoed throughout the clearing as her vision went black.
Outside the barrier Inuyasha watched in horror as the spider demon woman sunk her fangs into Sango's neck and his sister screamed in pain. He was about to slam his red Tetsaiga into the barrier to try to break it again when suddenly an explosion of yokai from his brother forced him to grab Kagome and jump to safety as Sesshomaru transformed into his true form.
It truly was magnificent to see his brother's true form towering over the tiny barrier the spider's had somehow created but the snarling howl that ripped from the massive dog's throat sent chills down even his spine. Kagome who was clinging to his chest shuddered and buried her head in his haori. With monstrous teeth gnashing Sesshomaru brought one giant paw down on the barrier with a roar. As his claws slashed the barrier the red orb of energy bent in under the pressure and turned black. The second time the massive paw came down the barrier shattered and an enormous cloud of smoke signaling Sesshomaru's shift back to his human form covered the clearing. A wave of freezing air blew out as the barrier shattered and Inuyasha was forced to raise the large sleeve of his fire rat robe to protect he and Kagome from the frigid blast.
After lowering his arm he could see through the smoky fog as the demons holding the webbing confining Sango fell. The blurred shadow of his barely contained brother slaughtered them all with his bare claws and sent black demon blood spurting everywhere. The woman released her hold on Sango's neck just in time to stand and have her head taken off by the poison covered elongated claws of Sesshomaru. An instant later, without him having seen Sesshomaru move a muscle, the red eyed barely contained form of his brother was standing in front of Kagome, who stood at his side, with a deathly pale Sango lying limp in his arms.
"SAVE HER! NOW!"
His demand was in a tone more feral than human and had he not been holding a dying Sango in his arms Inuyasha would never have allowed his brother that close to his mate in his current state.
Kagome took charge in an instant and told Sesshomaru to get her back to the cave and stoke the fire while she directed him to go for water. In the blink of an eye Sesshomaru was gone and as hesitant as he was to leave Kagome alone with him right now he knew Sango would not survive unless he did as she directed. Taking her to the cave and grabbing two large jugs from her backpack he looked back for an instant before quickly leaping off to a nearby stream.
Hurriedly Kagome made her way over to the now almost completely still Sango and examined the wound. Seeing a black liquid dripping from the holes in her neck she touched it with her finger and focused intently. After a moment her purifying spiritual power nullified the poison that was dripping down Sango's neck and the liquid became clear. She was relieved to know she could purify the poison she just had to do it before Sango's barely beating heart was paralyzed as well. Biting her lip she closed her eyes and started focusing on her spiritual power.
Inuyasha returned with the water a moment later and she quickly took it from him and, using the spiritual power she'd summoned within herself, she pulled the water around the palm of her hand and it started to glow blue. Gently she put her hand to the wound on Sango's neck and began to send the purifying water into her body to retrieve the poison. The water acted as a sort of buffer between Sango's demonic cells and the purifying power of her miko powers. As she felt the water absorb the poison she drew it back to the wound with her spiritual power and pulled it from her body with intense focus. The movement of the poison back to her neck, despite the fact that it was surrounded by the water and was slowly being purified, increased the pain in Sango's limbs as the paralysis wore off. As she began to cry out in pain again the low and threatening growls of Sesshomaru from the opposite side of the cave reminded Kagome that he was still there and that he did not like seeing his future mate in pain.
His eyes were still blood red and the purple stripes on his cheeks jagged; Inuyasha couldn't believe that his brother was managing to contain himself in that state with his mate's cries echoing around him. It was then that he noticed the deep bloody rivulets that had been dug into the very stone of the cave floor by Sesshomaru's claws and he could only hope that Kagome healed Sango soon because he didn't know how much longer his brother was going to be in control at this rate.
After a few more minutes of Sango's agonizing screams Kagome fell back with a sigh and released the brackish water from her hand back into the jug where it immediately became black as soon as it lost contact with her spiritual power. Sango was no longer screaming but her breath was slightly ragged and there was sweat covering her forehead. Gathering the clean water around her hand from the second jug Kagome leaned forward again and scanned her system with the water for any residual poison. There were still trace amounts in her blood stream but she could not purify it without the risk of purifying her demonic blood as well.
Withdrawing from the wound and replacing the water she made her way over to her backpack and retrieved her medical kit before returning and tending to the open and slightly bleeding wound. After cleaning and bandaging it she placed a damp rag on her forehead before standing to address the brothers.
"Sango is going to be ok now. There are still trace amounts of the poison in her system but I can't retrieve it without harming her and her own body's demonic healing will be able to fight it off now that there is so little of it."
It was hard for her to keep her eyes on the still red eyes of Sesshomaru as she said this but to her relief her words calmed him slightly and his eyes slowly faded back to gold. The stripes on his cheeks smoothed minimally but did not go entirely back to normal and she doubted they would until it was Sango's voice telling him she was ok. Thinking she was done with their conversation she turned back and was about to begin assessing the poison in the jug when Sesshomaru's deep voice stopped her.
"You purified the poison as you removed it from her body did you not priestess," his question hung in the air until she nodded slowly and he continued, "Why then could her own spiritual power not purify the poison within her?"
At that she had to pause for a moment to really think about his question. She didn't know much about Sango's power but it was true that her friend did have spiritual power; she'd been able to barely sense it when she arrived at the cave a few days earlier. Not sure exactly how to answer she thought back to what Kaede had taught her about her own miko powers and tried to answer as best she could.
"I can't say for sure Sesshomaru but the fact that Sango has not learned to control her powers yet is definitely a part of the reason. However, if what Kaede told me about miko powers is correct the priestess' power is constantly running through her body keeping it in a constant state of purification. That is why I was not affected by Naraku's miasma. In Sango's case this can't happen because her spiritual powers would constantly be clashing with and purifying her demonic aura, which would slowly kill her. Because that isn't happening I can only assume that her body has a special place for her spiritual power to be stored and it only emerges when called upon directly."
Pausing for a moment her eyes flicked between the two brothers before falling down to the pale and ragged form of Sango beside her.
"I can tell you this though, her power had to be helping her somehow because no one without spiritual power could have lasted as long as Sango did against a poison that is strong enough to return to it's original state even after being partially purified," as she said this her right arm gestured to the still black poison clouded jug beside her.
Two pairs of golden eyes met and steely looks were passed between them. They both knew that they'd nearly lost Sango today and it wasn't even to the demon who was the greatest threat to her safety but instead to some vengeful demon from her ancestor's past.
Sesshomaru clenched his jaw and fists as he watched the unsteady rise and fall of her chest. He wanted to rise and cross the cave so he could be by her side but his demon was still not fully restrained and he wouldn't risk loosing control and transforming again for fear that something would happen to her while he was in his true form.
Quietly Kagome and Inuyasha withdrew to the girl's room leaving him alone to calm down and think. As he looked at Sango's ragged form lying on the futon by the fire her agonized screams filled his mind and made him tense again. He knew that he shouldn't have allowed her to throw herself into a fight by herself without a weapon but he wanted to let her test out her demonic abilities and he didn't notice anything strange about the spider demons until he was already surrounded. Despite their inferiority their sheer numbers had kept him from getting to her until their female leader had already erected the barrier. His inner demon growled at his stupidity and he vowed not to make the same mistake ever again.
A moan of pain had him up and across the room before he could even think of the action. Crouching beside her his golden eyes watched as her small clawed had reached up to gently cup the wound on her neck as her eyes clenched shut tighter and she moaned.
Her mumbled call for him calmed his demon and allowed him to fall into a more relaxed sitting position beside her. Reaching out he gently rubbed his thumb along her cheek.
"I'm here Sango."
Her brows furrowed in relief as the hand that wasn't pressed to her neck reached up and gently held his large hand to her cheek. After another moment her blue eyes opened and looked up at him with only slight pain swirling within her depths.
"What happened? I don't remember anything after that crazy demon woman bit down on my neck."
The image of the spider woman biting down into her neck and the resulting agonized screams filled his head and it wasn't until she squeezed his hand gently that he realized he'd become lost in thought.
"I am fine Sango. After she injected you with her poison I broke into the barrier and killed them all before bringing you back to the cave for the priestess to heal you."
She merely smiled in relief and let the arm that was holding her neck fall back to her side. Her other hand released his and reached up and grabbed the rag off her forehead before trying to push herself up with her elbows. Her body protested weakly but she'd pushed herself through worse and Sesshomaru's strong hand on her back helped her until she was sitting upright. Looking over at him through her damp, sweat covered, bangs she thought for a moment and then put her head down with her hand to her forehead.
His question from beside her sounded worried but he didn't need to worry because it wasn't pain that had her resting her palm across her face. She couldn't believe that she nearly died because she let a bunch of stupid spider demons take her by surprise. Taking her hand she deftly smacked herself in the forehead with the heel of her hand a few times before Sesshomaru caught it gently and halted her motion. Looking over at him she sighed and leaned her chest against his allowing herself to be comforted by his warm embrace.
As the rising sun shone it's first rays into the cave that housed the dog demons Sango allowed herself to drift off to sleep within the strong, protective arms of her future mate and the only man who ever truly loved her with one final thought.
'I was pathetic today and I know Sesshomaru was really worried. This isn't acceptable. As soon as I wake up I'm going to start training harder than I've ever trained. If Inuyasha and Sesshomaru are willing to train and bleed for me then I'd better make it worth their while,' she thought as her mind became hazy and she drifted off to sleep.
A/N: And that's it. I hope yall enjoyed it even if it was a little off because of how long it's been since the last time I wrote anything. Also, I know this seems like a filler chapter but it isn't. Something in this chapter is very important in the battles to come and you will be reading later and be like "oh I see". Lol but ya yall know what to do!
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