Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto and company or InuYasha and company, I'm just playing with the characters.

AN: Dokuga's bi-weekly One-shot theme challenge June 7-17; Prompt 'Conscience', Min 500, Actual 590

AN: The hanyous/youkais from InuYasha are not youkais/bijuus in this cross; they have kekkai genkais (bloodline limits) that mimic their youkai powers.

Summary: Namikaze Minato visits Yama no Kuni to get some advice and make an important decision.

AN: After Sparring Practice (Leather). Kagome and Sesshoumaru are newly weds. Just before Minato became the Yondaime.


~ooO Connections: Spirit of Law (Conscience) Ooo~

Namikaze Minato sighed and doodled absently brushing random strokes on the foolscap paper.

"You sound pensive," a low masculine voice rumbled from behind him.

Giving up on the sealing array equation, Minato put the brush down and turned around to face the other occupant of the room: Nishimato Sesshoumaru.

"I am."

Sesshoumaru waited for more details. The shinobi was soul-burdened. If he was intelligent -as his mate claimed- he would seek to unburden himself. Since Kagome was usually right about these things, Sesshoumaru was not too surprised when Namikaze began speaking, slowly and hesitantly.

"How do you do it? Be so calm and cold about being responsible for an entire country? Knowing you might have to lead an entire nation into war? And when it happens, bear the aftermath? The deaths, the widows, the orphans?"

Sesshoumaru blinked. He had not expected this question from a shinobi. "You lead your squad into the field, do you not?"

"Yes."

"And do you not make decisions to save the most lives? To ensure the mission is completed to prevent future deaths? Haven't you had missions where some of your team died, by choice or chance?"

"Yes, but it's different! In a war I'm making choices for civilians who never signed up to fight, to be shinobi!"

Both of them were aware of the third occupant who had entered in the middle of their conversation. They turned to face her when she voiced her views.

"You do the best job you can Minato-kun. You listen to your conscience, remember they are people; that even your enemies are sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, husbands and wives." She studied him intently. "What brought this on Minato-kun?"

"I was offered the position of Hokage."

"I thought it was something you desired." Kagome was confused now.

"It was! Is." Minato sounded frustrated. Then he tried to explain. "For so long I aspired to be the strongest nin, the best I could be. Now that I am and I've been offered my dreams I'm having second thoughts."

"It is natural to doubt and fear. Only insane lunatics do not doubt or fear. As long as you doubt and fear, listen to your conscience and follow your heart. Ignore the letter of the law to follow the spirit. Break rules if it makes you sleep easier at night." Kagome added encouragingly.

Sesshoumaru shifted gracefully in his seat before sharing his words of wisdom.

"I am cold. I have no problems looking at statistics and numbers and making decisions. That is sometimes necessary but it can be dangerous if used exclusively in making decisions. Kagome keeps me focused on the truth: the numbers are people with lives and dreams of their own. If I must make a choice it must be the best possible choice I can make. She is my conscience," he admitted.

"I'm worried I'll become cold. Think only of profits and benefits. Like the Clan Heads. The Elders. Danzo." Minato shuddered. "It's my worst nightmare. That one day I'll look in the mirror and see Them instead of myself."

Kagome shook her head and laughed softly. "Then find someone who loves living and people," she advised. "And then hold onto her with everything you have."

"If you make a good choice She will be your balance, your anchor, your touchstone, your everything," Sesshoumaru concluded with a rare smile of his own.

Minato bowed his head. "Thank you. Both of you. You have given me much to think about."

Sesshoumaru inclined his head and Kagome smiled brightly.

"Glad we could help."

~ooOoo~ooOoo~ooOoo~

The End.


AN: I know it's for an ancient prompt… but it was sitting around half-finished on my laptop till now.

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