Disclaimer: Since everyone seems to do this I assume it is important, therefore I will state the obvious: I don't own Inuyasha. Don't own Barnie either.

Author's note: My first story ever shared beyond family and class, please be kind. If you catch an error I will endeavour to fix it.


For the first half hour of Inuyasha's life Sesshoumaru actually liked his little brother...

Sesshoumaru had been too young to notice the difference when his parents split up, had been dubious when his father presented him with a new mother, having never felt the need for one, and had been down-right uninterested when they had informed him that there was a sibling on the way. Nevertheless for those first thirty minutes of Inuyasha's existence Sesshoumaru had declared him to be tolerable. An intelligent and precocious five year old, Sesshoumaru could calculate the many ways in which having a younger brother/flunky/slave could be of use to him, indeed, it might even be fun. So for that precious half hour the hanyou Inuyasha basked in the brotherly approval of the youkai Sesshoumaru...then, of course, it ended.

During the half hour Sesshoumaru had been bestowing his approval upon Inuyasha, Higurashi-san had been coming to the end of a long hard labour to at last deliver her first born child. As per previous arrangement she had been promptly thereafter wheeled into the same room as her dear friend and neighbour Izayoi so that they could share their new joys. None of this interested Sesshoumaru, of course, but the smell that entered the room with the Higurashis, the smell beneath the new baby smell, arrested his attention, and so he went to investigate...

And there she was.

She was tiny. And squidgy, and squished looking, and red, and smelly. And she was absolutely perfect. And as he stared at her, her eyes opened just enough for her to look right back and it was the most beautiful thing he had seen in all five years of his life. For a moment the entire world disappeared but for her. Kagome. Her name, the only word to penetrate his mind in his moment of epiphany...and then it was all torn away.

"...born not even half an hour apart it's like they were destined for each other," Izayoi was saying.

"Yes, wouldn't it be wonderful if they married each other when they grew up?" Higurashi laughed back.

Sesshoumaru froze. No. It could not happen. It could not be allowed. Torn from a moment far too profound for a child of even his precocity, Sesshoumaru took their words far too seriously. For in that moment he had found the world and she was the world, and she was his...and they were giving her to HIM. And he watched as they lay the two babes together in a crib, the one more precious than the world, and the other...the other was hanyou and from that moment on he hated hanyous and his brother most of all.

When she was one, Kagome's first word was Sesshoumaru...

Well actually her first word was Sezmawoo, Sesshoumaru being a bit much for a one year old to pronounce, but everyone knew what she was trying to say. Sesshoumaru was so delighted by this development that his hatred for his brother went on a temporary hiatus (ended some time later with Kagome's first sentence: Sezmaroo leaf Yasha lone). Inuyasha's first word, interestingly enough, was baztaard.

They were talking about the same person.

When they were two Inuyasha kissed Kagome...

It was just a peck on the cheek, the kind toddlers are quite ready to hand out to any familiar personage. Kagome, being both a familiar personage, and of similar height was a natural target for Inuyasha's gesture of childish affection. Izayoi and Mrs. Higurashi cooed over the adorable image, Inutaisho took a picture, Sesshoumaru...Sesshoumaru went ballistic.

His hatred of Inuyasha, long since out of hiatus, was solidified in that moment and prompted him in his first real impulse to kill the hanyou. With a snarl he launched himself across the room at a speed that baffled the eyes of the human mothers and momentarily stunned his youkai father. A moment was all he needed. His hands were wrapping around his brother's throat before his father had time to comprehend the danger, unfortunately he had yet to come to a stop when another set of arms connected to a small body suddenly attached themselves to his leg. Despite the daily dojo training his father had been giving him the past few years Sesshoumaru was not yet equal to the task of adjusting for this drastic alteration in balance. To his dismay he realized he was about to fall – with significant force – on top of Kagome.

With reflexes that would have impressed his father – had he not been preoccupied with catching the carelessly flung aside Inuyasha – Sesshoumaru twisted midair in order to catch, cushion and shield Kagome as he collided with, and destroyed, the sofa, the kitchen island, and the stove beyond. There was instant uproar.

Kagome, when Inutaisho had torn away the remains of the stove to free the children, proved to be unharmed. She was sent home with her mother, who was unsure whether to thank Sesshoumaru for protecting Kagome or to scold him for endangering her in the first place. Sesshoumaru was lucky enough to have sustained sufficient damage as to require immediate care and thereby stay his father's wrath. Izayoi, rather confused by recent events, understood she had a wounded child on her hands and immediately set to nursing him. Inutaisho, meanwhile, was left standing in his ruined kitchen contemplating the rather major problem he had just been confronted with.

When she was three Kagome nearly purified Sesshoumaru...

She hadn't meant to. In fact no one had any idea she was even capable of purifying anything. True her family ran a shrine, but there hadn't been a true miko in the family for generations. No one had considered the possibility, and as near a miss as it was, it had been a complete and utter accident.

The event which triggered Kagome's 'attack' had by that time become a rather predictable occurrence to Inutaisho. Inuyasha had once again done something utterly inexcusable in Sesshoumaru's eyes – such as breathing – and Sesshoumaru had let him have it. This time perhaps Sesshoumaru's 'punishment' was more severe than usual, and Inutaisho had been about to intervene when Kagome beat him to it.

All of three years old, knee high to a grasshopper, and very intelligent, Kagome had already learned that if she demanded he stop, Sesshoumaru would. Thus when Inuyasha went careening past to crash into a tree, Kagome stepped between him and his brother, planted her tiny feet and pushed out at Sesshoumaru with all her meagre strength.

"Sesshooomawoo STOP!" she commanded.

The resulting blast threw Sesshoumaru across the yard and through the kitchen window.

Kagome was horrified. Sure she had been mad but she had never meant, never intended, never... the emotional overload was too much for her young mind so she did what any three year old would do: burst into tears and started screaming for her mother.

Inutaisho, momentarily stuck as to whether he should be comforting her or checking to see if his eldest had survived, was again too slow to act. Sesshoumaru, back on his feet at the first sound of Kagome's cries, climbed out the shattered window and rushed to her side. He looked like hell. He shouldn't even be standing. His attempts to sooth Kagome were covering her with blood, thereby ensuring that Higurashi-san would freak out the second she arrived on the scene. Inutaisho looked from his once again destroyed kitchen, to his injured son, to the crying Kagome and to the now hysterically laughing Inuyasha and, with deep foreboding, predicted much more of this to come.

When Inuyasha was four his mother died...

It was a car accident. Izayoi had insisted on driving despite Inutaisho's superior reflexes. All it had taken was a moment's inattention and a driver asleep at the wheel. The doctors did everything they could but it was too late, she was gone. A hush fell over the waiting room where friends and family grieved...

...for all of fifteen minutes, the time it took for Inutaisho to turf off the tractor-trailer pinning him, make a really quick trip home for Tensaiga, toss all the staff out of the room, and revive his mate. Just like that the family was made whole once more, but the damage had been done. Sesshoumaru looked at Kagome and realized suddenly how fragile she was and how brief.

The ride home was completed in silence as Inuyasha clung desperately to the mother he'd nearly lost and Sesshoumaru wrapped himself around Kagome as if he expected angels of death to come for her at any moment. He probably would have smothered her if he wasn't hyper alert to every nuance of her breathing. Inutaisho watched in the rear-view mirror and mentally prepared himself for the coming weeks, during which his main activity was sure to be preventing Sesshoumaru from destroying the neighbourhood in his attempts to rid it of any perceived threat.

He was not wrong. Sesshoumaru ran Inutaisho ragged before he finally calmed down enough to truly focus on his goal. At age nine Sesshoumaru began to search for a way to extend the human life span.

When she was five Kagome began miko training...

She could have started much sooner. Her accidental almost-purification of Sesshoumaru had indicated both natural talent and a great deal of power inherent within the girl. Unfortunately for her grandfather, however, Kagome stubbornly refused to go to Kaede's for lessons. Traumatized by the near fatal push she'd given Sesshoumaru, Kagome was terrified of what might happen should she begin playing around with her reiki. Indeed she'd developed a habit of keeping her hands clasped behind her back whenever she was in the presence of youkai.

It took two years for Sesshoumaru to convince her that it was ok to learn. That, in fact, it would be safer for her to do so in order to control her powers lest she accidentally zap someone again. Kaede herself watched the final confrontation, adding her weight to the assurances of Sesshoumaru's when needed. She managed to keep a straight face the entire time. Later, of course, she regaled her entire acquaintance with the tale of youkai child who'd had to argue a fledgling miko into learning how to purify youkai properly. She nearly laughed at the irony every time she saw the children thereafter.

When they were six years old Kagome and Inuyasha got married...

It was a school yard ceremony, presided over by a second grader whose father was a monk, with Kagome's new friend Sango as the Maid of Honour. The announcement of which brought Inutaisho barrelling into the room just in time to intercept Sesshoumaru's headlong charge down the stairs, preventing yet another remodel of the kitchen. Higurashi-san and Izayoi, enjoying their afternoon tea, inquired as to the details of the wedding while Inutaisho tried out wrestling restraint moves he'd seen on TV. When asked why she was not wearing a ring, however, they learned that the marriage was over. Inuyasha had used the wedding vows to steal Kagome's ramen at lunch whereupon she'd promptly divorced him.

"Now I'm trying to decide whether I'm going to join Miroku's harem," she innocently confided to the room in general.

Inutaisho manfully suppressed a whimper. Surely – surely – it was too soon for him to have to start safeguarding Kagome against the males of the species (and consequently having to safeguard the males of the species from Sesshoumaru). That was supposed to be years away yet; he was never going to get to sleep again. His thoughts were interrupted, however, when Kagome artlessly continued.

"What's a harem?"

Inutaisho, caught in that deer in the headlights shock parents get when children ask them questions they are not ready to answer, dropped Sesshoumaru. Fortunately for all concerned, Sesshoumaru had long since cooled down and was by then deep in thought. So deep in thought he hardly gave Inuyasha a perfunctory slug before he wandered out of the kitchen.

Back in his room Sesshoumaru started gathering a select collection of scrolls and texts before seating himself at his desk. He had already found references to methods by which a youkai might extend the life of a human. None of these had ever mentioned being tried on a miko but Sesshoumaru was determined that if a way could not be found it would be made. Now, however, he had even more to research. He needed to find out if a hanyou could be capable of the same feat, in case the worst should happen.

When she was seven years old Kagome became a big sister...

Souta's approval period lasted much longer than Inuyasha's. In fact Kagome adored him from day one. Inutaisho waited nervously to see what effect this new male presence in Kagome's life would have on Sesshoumaru, but Sesshoumaru was older and wiser now. He knew it was a matter of time. The difference was subtle at first: a little more understanding in her eyes, a little slower to interfere in the epic brotherly battles, and then finally came the cry of the older sibling...

"I'm gonna kill that little brat!"

When he was eight years old Inuyasha learned to sit...

Kagome, understandably, had had a bit of a slow start with her miko training. Despite her sincere wish to learn to control her powers she remained fearful of what she might accidentally do with them. Frustrated, Kaede finally decide to work at things backward. Instead of teaching Kagome to channel her reiki with her hands, Kaede handed her a bow and arrows and pointed her at a cardboard cut out of Barnie the Dinosaur. Kagome knew the evil being had to be slain at once.

Her archery improving rapidly, Kagome soon became quite adept at imbuing her arrows with reiki. Kaede then tried to work backwards to teach Kagome to channel the power through herself alone, but here still her misgivings hampered her, slowing her progress in healing and barrier construction. Not wanting Kagome's learning curve to plateau, Kaede had her work on infusing other objects with reiki: weapons, sutras...rosaries.

On her eighth birthday Kagome proudly strode into the inuyoukai residence to show off her latest achievement: the subjugation necklace. Blithely explaining the theory behind her accomplishment, she was interrupted by Inuyasha's demanding that she give it to him as a birthday present. He hadn't really been listening to her explanation; he'd been far too busy contemplating brotherly one-upmanship. Kagome, happy to give gifts to her friends, promptly placed the rosary around his neck. Inuyasha was just puzzling over Sesshoumaru's lack of response when Kagome was struck with a mischievous thought.



Kagome burst into giggles and was soon joined in laughter by the adults present. Even Sesshoumaru was seen to smirk in amusement.

"What is this?" shouted Inuyasha, prying his face from the floor.

"Subjugation necklace. I told you," Kagome replied.

"Get it off!" he snarled back.

Therein lay the problem. Removing the rosary required Kagome to use reiki – to use reiki channelled through her hands. Hands that would have to grasp a rosary that was around Inuyasha's neck. Kagome flinched, she couldn't do it.

"What are you waiting for? Get this off! Now!"

Kagome tried, the reiki wouldn't come, so she tried just yanking it off. It wouldn't budge.

"I'll just go get Kaede then, shall I?" Inutaisho said, attempting to keep the amusement out of his voice. Sesshoumaru's face was threatening to break into a full scale grin.

"Hurry!" cried Inuyasha, now trying to wrench the rosary off himself. Unfortunately he could not budge it...neither, when she came, could Kaede.

"I'm sorry," she said, shrugging, "she's more powerful than me. Not much control, mind, but infinitely more powerful. I'm afraid you are stuck with it until she figures it out."

"What do you mean I'm stuck with it? Get it off you old bat! Kagome you did this on purpose!" Inuyasha promptly began screaming at Kagome at the top of his lungs. Kagome, already feeling guilty, found it quite easy to take refuge in a more comfortable emotion: anger. She started screaming back until finally...



Sesshoumaru decided it was the best day ever.

When she was nine Kagome's father died...

The term was industrial accident. The reality was that Kagome's father was gone. Beyond even Inutaisho's aid. The family shrine that had always been sunshine became clouded in grief. Ji-chan moved about mechanically, Higurashi-san sat clutching her infant son, and Kagome...Kagome wouldn't say a word. For days she sat about silent and doll-like. If someone asked her to do something she would comply, but quietly, ghost-like, without any of the animation that generally marked her very being. Izayoi moved into the shrine temporarily to help out while Inutaisho and the boys visited frequently. Time passed, Ji-chan and Higurashi-san began to recover, Souta was blissfully unaware of his loss, but Kagome remained locked within herself. Worried glances and whispered conferences had begun between the parents. Then one day Inutaisho arrived at the shrine only to find a note on the table.

Taking Kagome out. Inuyasha came with.


He took them to the fair that was in town. Inuyasha led them from ride to ride as Sesshoumaru walked behind leading Kagome by the hand. They didn't try to talk to her, just let her get lost in the lights, the sounds, and the motion. Ride after ride, sight after sight until finally Sesshoumaru felt her hand tremble slightly in his.

"Go get us some ice cream," Sesshoumaru told Inuyasha then took Kagome over to the Ferris wheel where she could get away from the crowd. They sat in silence, the ride almost reaching the top before Kagome finally spoke.

"My fault," she mumbled.

Had Sesshoumaru not had inuyoukai hearing he would have never have caught the words, "What?" he asked his voice sharper than intended in his surprise.

"My fault," she repeated, "if I wasn't so stupid, so slow, so scared all the time I would have known how to save him. I could have saved him if I wasn't so weak."

Understanding dawned on Sesshoumaru. Inutaisho had worried for a time that Kagome might blame him for being unable to revive her father. He should have known better. Kagome was never good at blaming other people; she was, however, excellent at blaming herself.

"No, Kagome," he said softly, enfolding her in his arms "it's not your fault. There was nothing you could have done. Even my father, for all his power, was unable to do anything. No one is to blame, sometimes these things happen."

"S'not fair."

"No, no it's not. Unfortunately that's the way life works."

They finished the ride in silence, Kagome still not yet able to cry, but approaching ever slowly the place where she could grieve.

They left the Ferris wheel, collected Inuyasha and headed over to the spinning apples. Inuyasha handed Kagome her ice cream and she sat there staring at it as it began to melt. A drop of ice cream slid slowly over her hand, down the cone and dripped onto her dress...and just like that she began to cry.

Inuyasha took control of the wheel and kept them spinning so that Kagome could cry in private. Sesshoumaru worked for a while to keep Kagome from becoming covered in melted ice cream before he gave up, handed the ice cream to Inuyasha to deal with then scooped Kagome up once more. They stayed in the ride for as long as she needed. The attendant did once attempt to shoo them away but a growl from Sesshoumaru warned him to back off. Only when her tears had at last subsided and she began to drift off to sleep did they exit the ride. Sesshoumaru attempted to pay for the extra time, but the attendant looked at Kagome, recognized the grief there, and waved them on their way.

Inutaisho was the only one still awake at the shrine when they arrived. Higurashi-san had trusted Sesshoumaru to bring Kagome back when she was ready and so had gone to bed. Examining the red eyes and tear streaked face, Inutaisho let out a sigh of relief. The grieving would go on for some time yet but the crisis was over.

When they were ten Inuyasha and Kagome had their first sleepover...

It was actually two sleepovers – a proper slumber party at the shrine and a practical lock-in at the mansion next door. Since Kagome was an outgoing, friendly, loveable child and Inuyasha followed wherever she went they both had numerous friends. As a result both houses were bursting at the seams with children and the adults were soon overwhelmed in their task of keeping track of their charges. It was not surprising that each house was soon missing members of its respective party.

Kagome, in fact, ditched her own party. Uninterested in conversations about boys and fashion, she and Sango made their way down the tree covered slope to the inuyoukai mansion. After a night of hide-and-go-seek, kick-the-can-in-the-dark, and ninja assassins they were discovered the next morning in their girls only fort, built in the corner of the living room and protected by their very own guard dog. Not the most restful night ever for said guard dog given that the sofa had long since become too short for his rapidly growing form.

Three boys had made the attempt to crash the slumber party. Miroku got distracted by the arrival of Kagome and Sango, never making it out of the mansion. His evil intentions were effectively thwarted and he was found the next morning locked in a broom closet with the doorknob melted off. Hojo made to the shrine grounds, where he was captured by Ji-chan and subjected to tea and a long conversation about medical complaints before being returned to the mansion. Jakotsu was the only boy to actually succeed. Upon finding him in the girls' room the next day, the biggest concern the parents had was over the fact that Jakotsu had won the beauty contest.

When she was eleven Kagome fell down the old shrine well...

She sprained her ankle and spent the next week being piggy backed around by Inuyasha, riding Sango's pet Kirara, and having unlimited access to Ah-Un.

When he was twelve Inuyasha went insane...

Inutaisho had been expecting it. Indeed, he had been keeping a wary eye out and preparing counter measures, but he hadn't expected it so soon. Inuyasha's demon blood shouldn't have been a problem until at least puberty; unfortunately circumstances had intervened to accelerate the process. Inuyasha would be the first to say it was his fault. It wasn't really, not entirely, just one of those unfortunate series of events that lead to disaster. Who knew a simple game of truth or dare could go so wrong?

Go pluck a flower from the tomb at the middle of the Shikon Cemetery, simple right? Never mind that the cemetery was supposed to be haunted. Kagome, given her own miko powers, was not one to discount ghosts, just that they'd be a problem. She was nervous but she was set on doing it. Inuyasha, of course, flipped out. Unfortunately his diatribe included the words 'weak' and 'helpless' which only served to infuriate Kagome and leave Inuyasha eating dirt. Striding off in a huff, Kagome made sure to step on him...twice. The graveyard was not haunted, however, it was inhabited.

Tsubaki wondered if it was her birthday when the half trained, pint sized bearer of great power wandered so defencelessly into her midst. She was on Kagome almost before the girl had realized something was wrong. Happily, Inuyasha was hotfoot on her trail. Unhappily, despite being hanyou, he was still merely twelve years old, though he had been fighting for his life practically since birth. Tsubaki was untroubled by the new arrival – she had her minions after all and the girl was firmly in her grasp. Life was good...then it all went to shit.

Inuyasha, though an incredible fighter for his age, was soon gravely injured causing Kagome, in fury, to have a bit of a breakthrough regarding her powers and the channelling thereof. Since Tsubaki was human and a miko – albeit dark – herself, Kagome couldn't hurt her. She did, however, do a marvellous job of purifying Tsubaki's shikigami. Inutaisho and Sesshoumaru, meanwhile, had heard Kagome's screams and scented Inuyasha's blood on the wind and were flying to the rescue. Inuyasha, too injured to distinguish youki, only understood two more powerful youkai were drawing nearer. He feared death, his and Kagome's, big time. His youkai blood overpowered him.

Inutaisho got there first, just in time to see a crazed Inuyasha rip through the last of the minions and begin to stalk towards Tsubaki who was now brandishing Kagome as a shield. Inuyasha growled, Kagome shouted – there was no recognition in his eyes – Inuyasha pounced...and Inutaisho intercepted him. Knocked halfway across the graveyard, Inuyasha sprang up snarling and ready to fight his father. Then Sesshoumaru arrived.

Tsubaki wondered, dazedly, as she was sent sprawling through the air, where all the youkai were coming from.

"Osuwari!" screamed Kagome from her new location atop a mausoleum.

Inuyasha face-planted, everyone held their breath, then...

"What the fuck was that for?"

Everyone relaxed, though Inutaisho smacked Inuyasha on the top of the head for language. Inutaisho carried his injured son home while Sesshoumaru performed the same task for Kagome; she'd been scratched after all.

Later that night Inutaisho contemplated the consequences of what he was about to do. He had been afraid it would come to this. In fact he'd only been hesitating because he was reluctant to give Sesshoumaru yet another reason to hate his brother. There was no other option, however, it had to be done. Fortunately, thanks to this night's events, he also had a distraction readily available. Mentally fortified, Inutaisho proceeded to bestow the Tetsusaiga on his youngest son, and a tidbit of knowledge on his eldest.

Tsubaki was soon certain that if it was her birthday it was the worst birthday ever. The youkai that had tracked her down was young, angry...and wanted answers. Wanted them now.

When she was thirteen Kagome pinned Inuyasha to Goshinboku...

Funny story that. Least that was how they phrased it when trying to explain the latest fiasco to their respective parents. Kagome was merely practicing her archery on the shrine grounds when Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha, in the midst of a sparring match (read trying to kill each other), happened by. Inuyasha simply had the misfortune to leap – or perhaps be thrown – into the path of Kagome's arrow on its way to the target.

Luckily for Inuyasha, Kagome had been practicing sealing spells rather than purifying ones. Thus he merely had a nice long nap while Sesshoumaru calmed Kagome down enough so that she could have the control to release the spell. No harm done. More's the pity if you were to ask Sesshoumaru.

When he was fourteen Inuyasha discovered he had something in common with Sesshoumaru...

They both hated Kouga. New to the area, the wolf prince proved to be arrogant, brash, loud, and intelligent, if somewhat tunnel-visioned in his thinking. His personality was perfectly designed to illicit instant hatred from Inuyasha. Being a mere mangy wolf, in all ways inferior to a son of the Dog General, Sesshoumaru would have ignored the lesser being with indifference if not for one problem: Kouga, on meeting Kagome, liked her and showed it in the time honoured way of his people – he kidnapped her.

Kagome was never in any danger. Although handsy, Kouga had no intention of crossing any lines Kagome chose to draw. He merely wished to declare his love to Kagome, his pack, the neighbourhood, and anyone else who might happen to be listening. That and claim her as 'his woman'. He was clasping her hands and telling her about the wonderful life they would have when someone let the dogs out.

Inuyasha, having been present at school for the kidnapping, arrived first, swinging Tetsusaiga at the joined hands. Sesshoumaru, informed by Miroku, arrived just as Kouga was leaping back and slammed him into the wall. Inutaisho, alerted by Izayoi, arrived minutes later and dutifully took the job of subduing the wolf tribe that was attempting help their leader. Kagome, meanwhile, sat in the corner assuring her newfound friend Ayame that all would be well.

"Does...does this happen often?" an amazed Ayame asked, eyeing the calm Kagome doubtfully.

"Oh yes, all the time. Well, usually Inuyasha and Sesshoumaru fight against each other not with, well sort of," Kagome blithely replied, for indeed Kouga had survived this long only because Inuyasha and Sesshoumaru had spent as much time getting in each other's way as attacking Kouga in their intent to be the one to kill him. "Don't worry, Inutaisho will break it up soon, if not, I will."

"Are...are you sure about that?"

"Sure, watch. Inuyasha! Osuwari! Sesshoumaru don't kill Kouga! Put him down! NOW! Inu-papa that's child abuse!"

Inuyasha hit the floor. Sesshoumaru, who'd been dangling Kouga by his neck from the second floor balcony, dropped the wolf prince. Everyone else froze. Then everyone started yelling at once.

Some time and a great deal of chaos later Inutaisho re-entered his home contemplating how on earth he was going to keep his sons from killing Kouga. The boy was harmless – though annoying – and it really was Kagome's decision who she liked. He had a feeling, however, that his boys wouldn't see it that way, and the wolf seemed the persistent sort...

His thoughts were abruptly interrupted as he entered the kitchen, or rather, what was left of the kitchen. Sesshoumaru had apparently decided, upon hearing the news of Kagome's kidnapping, to take the fastest route out to the house through the wall. The sight reminded him that he also needed to replace his office window. That girl was going to be the death of him.

When they were fifteen Inuyasha took Kagome to the junior prom...

Sesshoumaru paid. Technically it was a loan, but Sesshoumaru never really expected Inuyasha to pay him back and he spent far more money than Inuyasha would have even thought to. In this he was motivated by three things: first, what made Kagome happy, she got; second, it could be worse – she could be going with Kouga; and third, twenty year olds don't go to junior proms. Ever. Except maybe as chaperones, and Inutaisho had been quick to snatch the phone away when the principal had tried to ask that of Sesshoumaru. He was sure that whatever good intentions Sesshoumaru had, they would not outlast a night of watching teenage boys be in close proximity to Kagome.

And so Kagome went to her junior prom, dressed in a kimono borrowed from Sesshoumaru's mother, escorted by a tuxedo clad friend, conveyed in a limo, and every comfort thought of and provided for in advance. Sesshoumaru was aware of the idiocy of setting Kagome up for a perfect night with Inuyasha, he just couldn't help himself. Inuyasha, meanwhile, not one for dancing, spent the night fighting off Kagome admirers while Kagome danced with those that were either deemed harmless or, more often, Kagome sat him in order to get a chance to dance. Inutaisho, roped into chaperoning when he'd saved Sesshoumaru from the same, watched with amusement, and hoped for a happy solution to the problem that was Kagome.

When he was sixteen Inuyasha decided that life hated him...

It wasn't because he was a teenager and moody – though he was. Nor was it because he was a hanyou and instinctively hated by both species. It wasn't even that his childhood friend Jakotsu had developed what was alarmingly like a crush on him. No, it was because Kagome, best friend and light of his life, had fulfilled all promise of becoming, at sixteen, what was generally known of as jailbait. Beautiful, friendly, and outgoing, guys seemed to be running in from all directions to fall at her feet. And it was his self-appointed job to look out for her.

First it was Miroku, though his interest was less in Kagome and more in her double X chromosomes and nice rear. Actually it was Sesshoumaru who took care of that problem. Fortunately they were able to reattach Miroku's arm and Kaede could repair the nerve damage. Another lucky break was that the taijiya in charge of investigating happened to be Sango's father and therefore approved of Sesshoumaru's actions. Miroku never touched Kagome again.

Then it was Hojo. Neither Inuyasha nor Sesshoumaru bothered to do anything about Hojo, he was completely harmless. He ran around oblivious to Kagome's lack of interest, constantly giving her health remedies for illnesses she didn't have. Since anything that might potential preserve or improve Kagome's health was perfectly acceptable, they let him be.

There was also the matter of Jinenji. Malformed, mistreated hanyou that he was, Kagome was the first person to treat him with kindness. It was inevitable that he fall in love with her. However, he knew his place and that he'd never have a chance with her, and was content to spend what time he could in her friendly presence. Even Sesshoumaru didn't have the heart to force him away. Good thing really, since Jinenji had proven that meek though he was, if it was for Kagome he could be quite alarmingly strong.

Then, of course, there was Kouga, who was only still living because Kagome forbade Inuyasha and Sesshoumaru to kill him. Thus it was that the wolf was allowed to run about, clasp Kagome's hands and declare her 'his woman'. Whenever they made a bet anymore, the prize Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha demanded was the winner's right to kill Kouga – just as soon as Kagome got sick of him.

There was also Hojo's cousin the substitute teacher who should not be looking at his student like that in the first place. If he wasn't so shy and conscientious about the matter he'd have been dead before he managed to make a move. The list went on and on...and that wasn't even the worst part.

Nope, worse than his jailbait friend and her multitude of admirers was his angry, jealous, frustrated older brother who had no other outlet than to beat the tar out of his little brother. And to make matters worse, Kagome always ended up intervening which only served to make Sesshoumaru angrier and guarantee Inuyasha another beating at a later date. Life hated him.

When she was seventeen Kagome attended a party she never should have been at...

It wasn't her idea. In fact she didn't even know what Eri, Ayumi and Yuka had planned until they arrived. Plus Yuka's cousin had given them a lift and left before she'd realized what was happening so Kagome was stuck. Gritting her teeth, she had no choice but to enter the sorority house and the raging party going on inside.

The party itself was not the problem, Kagome had no objection to a good time, it was just that she'd been warned about the parties by this particular sorority. She also didn't like being stranded there indefinitely. Not a hardcore party girl, she liked to have the ability to leave if she decided she was done for the night. Still, there was nothing she could do, though she made a mental note to make a strong case for getting a cell phone with her mother when she got home.

Smart girl that she was, Kagome made sure to get non-alcoholic drinks and to not leave them unattended at any time. Unfortunately it turned out leaving her drink in Eri's custody while she made a trip to the bathroom was not the same thing as keeping an eye on it. Eri, a little too intoxicated for her own good and rather over her head in an attempt to snag and keep a college guy's attention, didn't notice the hand that hovered briefly over her friend's glass. Kagome definitely noticed some time later after finishing the drink that she was feeling decidedly dizzy, foggy, and unsteady.

Eri was quite properly alarmed when Kagome suddenly swayed and fell over, only to be caught by a dark haired, unknown college boy. Quite a nice college boy, since he immediately insisted on taking her upstairs where she could lie down and recover. In some distant corner of her alcohol fuzzed brain a small voice clamoured in alarm. Sadly this voice, in the absence of Ayumi and Yuka who had long since disappeared, had no support and was soon drowned in assurances and the flattering attention of a boy. Kagome was allowed to be whisked away and Eri went back to her flirtation.

Foggy and slow though her brain was at the moment, Kagome had a vague idea that life was not going well and was soon to get worse. Her reiki was not reacting well to whatever was now coursing through her system and she was being taken somewhere that was away from the others. She didn't like that, she didn't like that at all, but her limbs just didn't seem to work. A sudden breeze from an open window revived her drugged brain enough for her to realize that the night was about to get very bad, very bad indeed.

The struggle was brief, futile, carried out without the knowledge of the hundreds of party goers' just one floor below...right up until a huge blast of reiki froze every hanyou and youkai in place. The answering snarl from outside froze every human a second later before the door exploded and something moving faster than the eye could track tore through the crowd like the parting of the sea – only more violent.

The door to the room upstairs also exploded as Sesshoumaru burst through to reveal the two figures struggling within. His eyes went red, then so did the room.

A hush had fallen over the party below as the sounds of chaos and destruction rained down from above. Then, all of a sudden, it was silent. For a while nobody moved then at last one brave soul went to investigate...and started screaming.

By the time the cops and taijiya arrived Sesshoumaru had gotten Kagome across campus, cleaned up and tucked safely in his bed. He was enraged and worried, two emotions that were not keeping good company with each other. Physically she was unharmed, but whatever that...hanyou had given her was at war with her reiki, making her twitch and thrash about restlessly. Unsure whether to take her to a hospital or wait out the effects, he hesitated a moment before slipping into the bed with her. Enfolding her in his arms he grasped her wrists and folded her arms across her chest carefully restraining her...the world's gentlest living straight jacket.

Sesshoumaru spent the night watching her, calming her movements and preventing her from hurting herself. He rumbled quietly to her, attempting to sooth her while inwardly he raged at the one that had harmed her. Occasionally an unintentional growl of fury slipped out which, oddly enough, seemed to comfort Kagome, though it sent his roommate, coming back from a late night at the library scrambling back out the door. It was surmised that it would healthier to spend the night elsewhere.

Kagura re-entered the apartment with extreme caution early the next morning. She had recognized the sound of a pissed and potentially homicidal daiyoukai, and the stories she had heard since had given her a good guess as to why. Peering nervously around the door to his room, Kagura's suspicions were confirmed when she sighted Sesshoumaru sleeping wrapped around a vaguely familiar teenage girl as if she were the world's most precious teddy bear. Backing away silently, she crept to her room to get the necessary supplies.

Sesshoumaru, having drifted off when Kagome had at last fallen into a deep, peaceful sleep, woke to the pleasant sensation of having Kagome in his arms and the not so pleasant sight of Kagura staring down at him holding a bundle of clothes and a bag of muffins.

"Heard about last night, I take it it's true?"


"Sesshoumaru," she said, glancing at the girl in his arms – and bed, "that child is underage."

The golden eyes hardened, "This Sesshoumaru has not harmed her, in any way," he said in a voice that would make icebergs shiver.

Kagura never loved Alexander Graham Bell so much as in that moment when the phone rang to divert Sesshoumaru's attention from the reprisal for the perceived accusation.

"Sesshoumaru," Inutaisho's strained voice came over the line, "do you have Kagome?"

"She is here."

"Thank kami. Those...girls are drunk or hung over or otherwise useless, what happened."

Sesshoumaru told him.

"That..." if Sesshoumaru hadn't been in complete accord he would have been shocked at the language his father employed.

"She is ok. I got there in time, and she is not defenceless," the words were calm, the tone was not.

"I...see. You'll be disappointed to learn that he survived."

"That is not possible."

"Unfortunately it is. Apparently Naraku is not your usual kind of hanyou, he's harder to kill. Makes things tidier in terms of law enforcement, mind. Sango's father and his youkai partner Myoga have agreed that the fight between you and Naraku was a youkai matter and thus falls under youkai law. As the wounds you gave him will heal they can let it slide."

"And what he did, tried to do to Kagome?" Sesshoumaru ground out.

"As to that," Inutaisho replied, oddly cheerful, "they have decided that falls under interspecies law, he will be charged, tried and most likely jailed. Though they did say that what she did to him is almost punishment enough. Almost, but not quite."

The conversation did not last much longer. Inutaisho requested Kagome be returned home when she woke, Sesshoumaru countered that she would be returned when she was ready. His father didn't argue, as much as her mother wanted her home she would trust that Sesshoumaru would act with Kagome's best interest at heart.

As he hung up the phone Kagura couldn't help but ask about the small smirk that seemed to be tugging at the corner of his mouth. "What on earth can you be finding amusing in all this?"

"Kagome is a miko, did you know that? Naraku is not going to be of much threat to women anymore; she purified his balls off, along with the adjoining anatomy. What's been purified off doesn't grow back."

Kagura grinned. She watched as Sesshoumaru transferred his gaze back to the sleeping teen, gently moving a stray strand of hair off her face. Understanding dawned on Kagura. She was a little saddened by the knowledge; she had cherished a few hopes regarding the stoic daiyoukai. Watching him with Kagome she knew there wasn't even the slightest chance of that now. Still, she couldn't hate the girl for it. Kagura had her own unfortunate past with Naraku and Kagome had just purified his balls off, she was her favourite person ever.

When he was eighteen Inuyasha's life was over...

Sesshoumaru was going to kill him. Nothing was going to stop him this time, not even Kagome. He'd been in the middle of an important business meeting when he got the call. In real world perspective there was no way the situation was more important than his meeting, but Sesshoumaru had lost that perspective long ago. All he knew, all he cared about, was that Inuyasha had gone to the high school prom...and hadn't taken Kagome with him.

They'd been planning it for weeks and she'd been looking forward to it. Prom was important to girls. Being stood up by their prom date amounted to the end of the world to a teenager. Izayoi had been beside herself when she called. Whatever his boss might have said on the matter died abruptly on his tongue when the phone shattered in Sesshoumaru's hand. Eyes blood red, youkai crackling, Sesshoumaru took his usual shortest route – shattered window – out of the building and raced homeward with all the speed he could muster.

"You did what?" Inutaisho asked, flabbergasted.

"I called Sesshoumaru. He left her all alone. She's sitting up there in her prom dress. Someone needs to talk to her and Sesshoumaru has always been best at that," Izayoi tearfully replied.

"Are you trying to get Inuyasha killed?"


"Sesshoumaru has been completely and instinctively head over heels for the girl since she was born. If he decides Inuyasha has hurt her in any way he's going to kill the boy."

"But...but I always thought Inuyasha and Kagome would make a match of it."

Her statement was met by a veritable explosion of youki as Sesshoumaru passed overhead on route to the shrine.

"Really Izayoi, if you want Inuyasha to live to be much older you have to stop saying things like that."

Fortunately for Inuyasha's continued existence, on Sesshoumaru's list of first things first Kagome always came first.

She felt him coming. Inuyasha had said he would. It hadn't seemed possible; she knew he had more important things to do, so she hadn't even considered asking him. Work trumped prom any day, especially when he had insisted on working outside of his father's businesses in order to prove himself. There was no way he'd skip...except that he apparently had. Inuyasha had said he would. Standing there beneath Goshinboku, feeling Sesshoumaru's fury drawing ever closer on the wind, Kagome wondered just what Inuyasha had done to get him there.

He landed beside the well house and crossed the remaining distance at a slow walk. Sesshoumaru needed the time to compose himself, perhaps she would, too. What she needed, he would give. He stopped a few paces behind her, giving her space, standing silently and waiting.

Kagome could still feel his rage, contained though it was. She also felt the emotion that was rapidly overshadowing it...concern. What had Inuyasha said or done to bring this on? True they'd been planning prom for weeks, initially intending to go together like always, but this particular detail had been left to Inuyasha. He'd insisted. It had been Inuyasha who'd said it would be possible for her to go with Sesshoumaru, Inuyasha who'd planned her night out, and Inuyasha who'd told her to stand under the sacred tree and wait for her date. And now Sesshoumaru was standing there just like Inuyasha said he would be. Seemed kinda upset though. Turning around Kagome saw him standing quietly, his face blank but in his eyes rage and worry vied for dominance. Yikes.

"Inuyasha..." she started tremulously, but was cut off when Sesshoumaru launched himself across the remaining distance and enfolded her in a crushing embrace. Head pressed to his shoulder, Kagome picked up on a rumbling growl emanating from his chest. She knew that growl; she'd heard it countless times whenever she was in danger or distressed. That he was making it now meant...Inuyasha what did you do?

"I'm going to kill him," Sesshoumaru growled against her neck.

Wait! Wait, wait, wait...

"I'm going to disembowel the whelp and present his head to you on a platter," he continued.

Ew gross Sesshoumaru. Do not want. It was obviously time to intervene. Whatever Inuyasha had done had Sesshoumaru very upset, and he was only getting worse.

"I'm going to..."

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, stop right there, Sesshoumaru," Kagome said, trying to push away from him, "You are not disembowelling Inuyasha and I certainly don't want his head on a platter." She struggled a bit more but gave up when it became apparent he wasn't letting go, "There seems to be a bit of a misunderstanding. I don't know what Inuyasha did but..."

"He stood you up," he barked.

Kagome was momentarily speechless. A small portion of her mind wanted to giggle at the thought of Sesshoumaru skipping out on a meeting because he thought she'd been stood up for prom. It was so ridiculous...and yet not. Fortunately for Sesshoumaru's dignity that part of her mind was squashed by the rest of her mind's realization that if Sesshoumaru left a meeting it was because he thought her feelings were more important than said meeting. That was...kinda nice.

"Um, he didn't," she countered in a small voice.

Sesshoumaru's head reared up, "What?"

"Inuyasha didn't stand me up. We haven't planned on going to prom together for weeks now. Inuyasha said you'd take me. I didn't think you would, I mean, you have work and all, so you couldn't even if you wanted to. You can't skip work for prom, I know that. And I didn't think you'd want to, but Inuyasha said you would if it was for me. Told me I should go ahead, get my dress, and stand here under Goshinboku and he'd take care of the rest. And I did, and he did, and you did..."

She quit rambling as Sesshoumaru drew back abruptly and asked flatly, "What?"

Nearly in tears, unsure if she was embarrassed, or upset, or what, Kagome stuttered, "He...here, he t-told me to give you this."

Grabbing the note, caught up in the initial reaction to having been tricked by the bastard hanyou into flying to the rescue of a damsel who was not in distress – though she seemed to be getting there – Sesshoumaru's thoughts were suddenly hijacked by the words on the page.

Sesshoumaru you idiot.

I can't believe you are still hung up on a half joking statement made 18 damn years ago. Everything is taken care of; your carriage arrives at 8:30. Treat her right or I'll have your ass.

PS Tell her you stupid bastard.

Sesshoumaru looked at the note in disbelief. How did he...? A soft sniffle made him glance sharply up at Kagome...she looked upset, that wouldn't do at all. Tell her you stupid bastard. All very well, though Sesshoumaru was less for tell and more for show.

Down the hill, standing in his yard with his head cocked to the side, Inutaisho let out a sigh of relief. "Well, my dear, I am happy to inform you that your son is not to be disembowelled and beheaded this fine evening. I think I'd better give Totosai a call and explain why his star employee just destroyed his office."

"Sesshoumaru would not have destroyed the office," Izayoi protested.

"My dear, I ask you please to recall the number of times I have replaced this kitchen and try to say that statement again with a straight face. He most certainly destroyed the office." Taking one last look at the shrine before moving inside Inutaisho muttered, "She needs to breath, Sesshoumaru."

Inuyasha, meanwhile, was humming as he helped the Band of Seven set up for the dance. It had been the revelation of his lifetime the day he found that home video. He had meant to find the video of Sesshoumaru getting fried in order to win a bet; instead he found the video of his birth. A little disturbing that, but it had explained so many things in his life. He wondered how their parents hadn't noticed. The look on Sesshoumaru's face had been so obvious. Sure, he had only been five at the time, but truthfully a five year old Sesshoumaru was a lot easier to read. The parents might have thought a five year old too young for love at first sight – it was weird – but Sesshoumaru was a youkai, his instincts were different. Their father should have known that at least – he was holding the blasted camera. But nooo, what did they have to do; they had to go and set him up as the rival right from day bloody one. No wonder Sesshoumaru was always kicking his ass.

Inuyasha got another half hour of brotherly approval that night; that was all the time Sesshoumaru was willing to waste contemplating his half-brother at all. The rest of the night was spent focused on Kagome, and, occasionally, pest control. Sesshoumaru had a much more effective way of keeping the boys away than Inuyasha – he danced every dance with her. Kouga did have the gall and sheer stupidity to attempt to cut in. He was promptly stuffed in a nearby trash bin and Sesshoumaru twirled Kagome away before she could protest.

Kagome, in the midst of her fairytale night, couldn't stop smiling, not even to tell Sesshoumaru off about attacking Kouga. Sesshoumaru, who had rarely touched her save in the midst of some rescue, whether emotional or physical, did not seem to want to let go of her. She was radiantly happy, much to the misfortune of the boys, and accidentally ended Inuyasha's latest stint of approval by blowing him a thank you kiss. Luckily, she had the impulse to plant a kiss on Sesshoumaru's cheek immediately after, cutting him off mid growl and returning Inuyasha to a position of indifference in his mind. Deciding to put her lips to better use, Sesshoumaru ensured the rest of the evening was utter bliss while Inuyasha wondered if all the females in the family were trying to kill him.

When Inuyasha was twenty-one he was the best man at his brother's wedding...

He didn't want to be. It was just that Sesshoumaru really wasn't one for close friends, and Inuyasha certainly couldn't be Kagome's maid of honour, so they made do. The arrangement worked well enough, and Inuyasha consoled himself with the notion that, thanks to a little talk Sesshoumaru had with Tsubaki years ago, Kagome was going to be around for a good long while yet. Between her and Tensaiga, a wedding present from Inutaisho, Sesshoumaru really should have a lot less reason to kick his ass in the future. He hoped. Maybe.

When Kagome was twenty-five she gave birth to her first child...

She was tiny. And squidgy, and squished looking, and red, and smelly. And she was absolutely perfect. Sesshoumaru thought she was the most beautiful thing he'd seen since her mother was born some two and half decades before. She was hanyou, though she looked human, the reiki within keeping the youki in check, and Sesshoumaru decided that hanyous might just be wonderful after all.

They named her Rin.