Note: This is a companion piece to my earlier oneshot, Fit For Dogs. It can be read on its own, but may possibly be better appreciated for context-setting reasons by those who have read the other fic.

Warning: Colourful language, strongly-implied Inucest and wildly OTT bickering.

Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha, and make no money or profit from writing this fanfic; Rumiko Takahashi has all the rights to the original manga and anime and the characters in them.

Just Ticking Along

"INUYASHA!!" Sesshomaru roared from the living room of their penthouse apartment.

"WHAT?!?" the half-demon yelled back from the kitchen, where he was sneaking strips of raw beef from the chiller drawer of their refrigerator.

"You've been playing with that damn dog from downstairs like I told you NOT to, haven't you?" the older of the two brothers demanded to know as he strode menacingly into the kitchen, holding something firmly yet gingerly between the pads of his index finger and his thumb.

Inuyasha froze in mid-gulp, staring intently at that hidden something gripped between Sesshomaru's long digits. "Wh- what's that?" he asked.

"This was on my scalp. And I can assure you that it was not something I picked up from outside."

Sesshomaru dropped a fat, rust-brown tick onto the marble kitchen counter and slapped a crystal drinking glass upside down over it, trapping it within the circumference of its rim.

"What makes you think it has anything to do with me and the dog downstairs?" Inuyasha asked nervously.

"Because that bloody German Shepherd Dog has ticks the size of grapes! And fleas! I've told you not to play with him because the damn things will only latch on to you, and you'll carry them home, and then they'll latch on to me! If we weren't youkai, we'd both be dead from tick fever by now!"

"But I'm the only one he can talk to and tell where the ticks are bothering him! His owner's half-blind – he can barely see the bloodsuckers!" Inuyasha protested.

"There are modern medications that one can apply to one's pet monthly to kill these parasites on contact," Sesshomaru growled. "Doesn't his owner know about them?"

"Apparently not."

"Then let's arrange for the pet store to deliver some to him. I'm quite willing to pay for it if it only means that no more of these creatures will end up on my sofa! Now you'd better check to make sure there aren't any more of them in my hair."

"Okay, okay," Inuyasha muttered, hopping up onto the kitchen countertop so he could comb through Sesshomaru's silvery mane with his claws and inspect every inch of his scalp. He scrutinised his neck and the backs of his pointy ears too just to be sure. When he was certain that nothing undesirable was consuming the taiyoukai's precious blood, he said in a satisfied voice: "Done. You're clear."

"Your turn," Sesshomaru said sternly, making his little brother sit cross-legged on the counter while he raked through his thick hair to reveal portions of scalp a bit at a time, looked inside his fur-covered ear flaps and even beneath his claws.

"Anything?" Inuyasha queried as Sesshomaru's inspection tapered down to a general tidying of his crowning glory.

"No, but I'm not convinced there isn't something lurking elsewhere on you," he said, eyeing the rest of Inuyasha's body. "Maybe I should do a more thorough inspection in the bathroom."

Inuyasha stammered: "H-hey, if you want to join me in the shower on occasion that's fine, but I'm not being 'inspected' like a child with cooties!"

"As far as I'm concerned, with your careless and irresponsible ways, you might as well be a child with cooties!"

With that, Sesshomaru threw a furious Inuyasha over his shoulder and carted him off cursing and swearing to the bathroom where a mighty struggle ensued as the taiyoukai attempted to remove the hanyou's T-shirt and sports trousers in order to check that his armpits and other hairy bits weren't infested with lice and the like. Which was a surprisingly difficult task despite the trouser waistband being fully elasticised and the T-shirt being baggy, because the half-demon fought like… well, like a demon.

If their fancy apartment hadn't been so huge and so isolated, not to mention well-soundproofed, their neighbours would undoubtedly have heard what sounded like the start of the Third World War on the top floor of the expensive block of private flats in this exclusive district:


"You're happy enough to have me in your trousers at ANY OTHER TIME, BRAT!! Now take them off!!"

"After FIVE HUNDRED fucking years you're still calling me a brat when YOU'RE the one behaving like a snotty child with a stick up his high-bred ASS!! Get your hands OFF!" the last word being accompanied by the sound of the porcelain washbasin smashing into pieces.

"Obey me NOW or you'll be the one who'll have a big problem with his ass later tonight, you unruly pup! I'll rip that shirt off you if I have to!"

"Don't you dare – it's my favourite T-shirt!!"

"Inuyasha, it's a misshapen piece of ten-year-old TRASH – why the hell do you always have to walk around looking like I can't afford to buy you new clothes?!? In fact, don't you get big enough profits from our company to buy yourself some new clothes? GET YOUR TEETH OUT OF MY HAND!"

The fifteen-foot-long bathroom mirror came to a sorry end at this point as two dog-demon bodies crashed into it. And if the neighbours had only been able to listen in clearly, they would next have heard the sound of a ripping T-shirt teamed with a stream of vulgarities from its owner, followed by louder and more colourful verbal explosions as Sesshomaru moved on to the trousers.

"Ow, ow, OW! That's your fucking CLAW you've got on my DICK, you sick BASTARD!! If you poison it and it dies you'll live to regret it – what the hell kind of sicko are you to grab my cock without my permission?!?"

"It's not like you expect me to ask your permission in the bedroom, you impossible tyke! STOP CLAWING AT MY HAND OR YOU'LL SLICE YOUR OWN BALLS OFF!!"

"Well they're MY balls to slice off, and I'm not giving you permission now to touch me!!! I'll have you charged with molest!!! Aaargh! AAARRRRGH!!! Let go of my butt! Hey – stop that, you overgrown BULLY – don't you DARE turn me upside-down – OWW!!!"

Here, the bathtub died a swift and horrible death, its demise immediately followed by the now-naked half-demon making his escape from the bathroom into the bedroom, Sesshomaru right on his heels. Some frantic scrabbling of hanyou hands and claws by the messier side of the bed resulted in Tetsusaiga's appearance, a quick unsheathing, and the bloodcurdling yell of "WIND SCA- mmmmffff… OW, OW!! If you've bloody broken my wrist you're not getting a handjob for a whole fucking YEAR!!"

Sesshomaru, sitting on Inuyasha's arm to subdue his attack, and ready to clamp a hand over his mouth again if he tried calling on any of the Tetsusaiga's destructive techniques, growled in his most threatening manner yet: "Inuyasha, if you destroy this whole apartment we'll have to move AGAIN – you DO remember that our beach house is still being rebuilt because SOMEBODY decided to 'Adamant Barrage' the whole damn place after getting pissed off over NOTHING?"

"You call fondling our gardener NOTHING?"

"For the hundredth and last time, I was not fondling the man. I was trying to get him off me without killing him. And we fired him right afterwards so I don't know what the devil you're still going on about that for, especially since you were the one who should have been fired from our company for destroying our home!"

"Well you always hated the layout of the place anyway! So you should be thanking me for tearing it down free of charge! And you can't fire me from the company as I'm your partner!"

Giving Inuyasha's wrist another firm squeeze and hard shake to force him to drop the Tetsusaiga, which he did at last, Sesshomaru got off his naked brother and lay down on the teak floor beside him, breathing a little faster than usual – which was as close to being out of breath as it was possible for him to be. It was only Inuyasha who was capable of challenging him to the point where he ever needed to exert this much effort, whether it was in the dojo, the boardroom or the bedroom.

"I don't know how we've both survived so long," the taiyoukai murmured, staring up at the ceiling.

"Neither do I," Inuyasha replied, panting from the fierce fight he'd put up all the way from the second he'd been hauled out of the kitchen.

"It's a good thing I own this whole building or we'd have some explaining to do to the management committee," said Sesshomaru.

"We'll have to use the bathroom in the guest bedroom for a while," Inuyasha mumbled.

"I'm charging the repairs to you."

"Hey, I'm not the one who wanted to molest me in the bathroom."

"And I'm not the one who brought the tick home."

"It was just one tick."

"It was hardly the first."

"You're grumbling only because they seem to prefer the taste of your blood."

"Let's not start another fight."

"Fine. So are you declaring me cootie-free?"

"Reluctantly, yes. I'll order the Frontline tomorrow. Squeeze it on between your four-legged friend's shoulder-blades. No more de-ticking by hand."


"I'm half-tempted to order some for myself, just to be safe. Heaven knows what else you'll bring home in future."

"In your full dog form, we'll need a fucking truckload of Frontline for it to have any effect. How about we just put some on mokomoko-sama?"

"Try putting any chemicals on my fur and I will have you in a flea collar so fast you won't have time to swear at me."

Inuyasha grinned. "Ooooh, you like the idea of me in a collar, don't you, you closet pervert?"

"Don't tempt me, you little… what the hell is that?!?"

"What the hell is what?!"

"That. On the hilt of your Tetsusaiga where the fur is. Oh, kami, it's another tick. Do I have to disinfect everything you touch?!?"

"Uhh… heh… I, uhm, I'll go call the renovation and repair guys now. Talk to you later!" Inuyasha scooted out of the bedroom, grabbing a bedsheet on the way to cover himself with.