It's been a while, and I'm rusty. So forgive me. But for some reason I could not get this particular pairing out of my head. We'll see how it goes, no?

CHAPTER ONE:

"You bastard!" Kouga growled, blood trailing thickly past his cracked lips to curve down toward his chin. His entire body ached and burned. He felt broken, agonized, and bruised. How he could even draw air into his lungs, past his cracked and bruised ribs,and out of his battered mouth and throat was a wonder. Feebly, he tried to bring himself to his knees. But fever was now racing through his system from the deathly toxins in Sesshoumaru's claws and his strength soon gave out on him, sending him once again face down in the dirt. Everywhere he burned as that poison plugged steadily through his blood stream, frying his nerves until they were all raw and screaming.

Pain like this, Kouga was certain, he had never known before. Such pain. And over what? As he looked up into Sesshoumaru's blood red eyes, he let out an involuntary shudder. Somehow, in someway, Kouga had managed to offend Lord Sesshoumaru. Which, on most days, wasn't such a terrible thing. Sure it was dangerous. Sure, you definitely didn't want to fuck with the taiyoukai. But this anger, this festering rage! Sesshoumaru had flown at him from out of nowhere, fangs bared and poisoned claws at the ready. He had given Kouga no reason for the why of his attack, and Kouga hadn't had the time to ask. Without the shards in his legs, the wolf prince was no where near as fast as he had once been. Sesshoumaru however... well that was a different story entirely. Nearly three hundred years older than himself, Lord Sesshoumaru had more skill and more experience in battle than Kouga. He was stronger, faster, older, and much more vicious.

It hadn't taken him long to reduce the poor wolf prince down to the sorry state he was in now. Lying prone on the forest floor. Scratched, bruised, and bleeding out from various wounds inflicted by the tai-youkai. It was pathetic really, if Kouga were to be honest with himself. He was the prince of the wolves, their leader and their alpha. And yet... in a matter of minutes Sesshoumaru had all but spanked his ass before throwing him down into the dirt at his feet.

"What have you to say for yourself, wolf-prince?" Sesshoumaru's voice, despite his blood red eyes and the quick pulsing vein in his neck that denoted anger more than anything else, was deathly calm and reasonable. Most people, when confronted with such a tone from such a demon as Lord Sesshoumaru, would cower, grovel, beg for forgiveness for what ever transgression they had made against the demon lord.

But Kouga wasn't the groveling type.

"Fuck you, Asshole." He growled, his voice holding a slight gurgle as he choked on his own blood. "I don't know what cat demon crawled up your ass and died, but it sure as shit ain't got nothing to do with me." Again, despite his body's weakened condition, Kouga attempted to regain his feet. His attempt was met with a hard, sharp, kick to his already bruised ribs. This time, Kouga couldn't help the pained yelp that escaped him as he crashed back hard to the ground, rolling across the uneven earthen floor from the force of Sesshoumaru's blow.

"Cur!" Sesshoumaru snarled, his voice deadly soft as he bent down to grab Kouga by the nape of his neck. "You dare to speak to this Sesshoumaru-sama with such disrespect?"

The Tai youkai had leaned close, that coolly aristocratic face twisted into a scowl of displeasure. Which, of course, was strange in that Sesshoumaru never showed emotion of any kind. Whatever Kouga did. . .it must have been serious. The thing was, Kouga had no idea what he had done to the Lord of the Western Lands. It had been two hundred years since Naraku was defeated. His pack had been severely reduced in numbers after that fight, and they still hadn't regained the same amount of numbers that they once had enjoyed. Kagome and Inuyasha had gone back to her time, but they still made frequent visits to Kouga, Sango and Miroku. Between trying to survive, fighting off intruders, and barely making ends meet.... Kouga really didn't have a lot of time to fuck with the Taiyoukai. The last time he had even been in the western lands was... well, two hundred and fifty years ago.

Go figure the first time he should set foot over the border he would be met with this type of ferocity.

Kouga knew he was going to die from his wounds. They were too severe, and his normally quick healing body was poisoned and damaged from the inside out. Not to mention that the feral look in Sesshoumaru's eyes denoted that Kouga wasn't long for this world. Which really, really, pissed him off. Kouga had a lot to do, an entire pack to look out for. He was counted on, needed. And this prick bastard of a dog demon was going to end his life, and in the process, screw over his entire pack. How DARE he talk about disrespect? Fuck. Kouga was gonna die anyway, why would he censure his tongue.

Kouga growled lowly, one hand reaching up to grab Sesshoumaru's arm. He was too weak, however, to hold it for long and it flopped down uselessly at his side. Ah but the pain! The pain coursing through his body was immense. It was enough to have the wolf prince want to beg for release from it. Nothing he had ever experienced before was remotely like this brand of pain. And it was all caused by that bastard Sesshoumaru.

"I said. Fuck. You." Kouga growled again, this time unwisely adding insult to injury by spitting blood into Sesshoumaru's face. Sesshoumaru did not flinch, not in the slightest. His cold eyes, despite their fiery red, bore down into Kouga's own cobalt blue unflinchingly. Blood was now splattered across the stoic Lord of the Western Lands alabaster face. The sight garish and strange.

Sesshoumaru scented the air, the flavor of Kouga's blood, and let a cruel smile curl deviously across his lips.

"I see you've been keeping secrets wolf Prince." Sesshoumaru's voice held a hint of cruel amusement.

Kouga flinched. His eyes widened in horror and panic. No! Sesshoumaru couldn't have possibly known. He couldn't possibly have scented that...could he? Just from a little bit of blood? Instantly Kouga's entire body went hot and then cold. Well, he supposed it didn't matter anyway, as he was definitely about to die.

"Go to Hell Sesshoumaru, you over grown bag of fleas. I ain't got got," Kouga stuttered and then coughed, more blood filling his mouth as his insides twisted and burned in agony. "no clue," he finally wheezed. "what you're talking 'bout."

Sesshoumaru shook his head slowly, letting the wolf prince fall in an ungracious heap to the forest floor.

"You know, little wolf, that I was fully intending on killing you. After all, nobody harms what is mine, be they demon or human. However... this, I believe, changes things. Indeed. I have come up with a most fitting punishment for you, wolf prince. One, I am sure, you will most certainly not enjoy."

Again Sesshoumaru's lips quirked up into that oddly frightening smirk.

"Ah, but first." Sesshoumaru raised his hand, allowing it to grow that putrid sickly green as all the poisons raced towards his claw.

"You must die, in order for me to have the revenge I so desperately crave."

Kouga closed his eyes, frightened and confused. He would be damned, however, if he showed it. "Fuck off Sesshoumaru." He growled, eyes flickering open just in time to see the tai youkai descend upon him, poisoned claws coming at him in a downward arc.

Kouga screamed as those claws ripped into his flesh, severing muscles and tendons, slicing into bone. He screamed again as the poison took root in his system, frying his already damaged flesh. Bright sparks of pain exploded in his head, raced through his body. Everything was on fire, blindingly bright as lights went off in his head. And then...

Everything went blessedly dark.

Kouga awoke feeling sore, tired, and badly used. Every muscle in his body ached and his skin gave a ghostly sort of burn. With eyes closed, he reached a hand up to rub at the fierce ache building in his temples, the sort that denoted the start of a rather painful migraine. His hand, however, was cut short of it's intended goal as the hard press of cold iron bit into his wrists.

Kouga's blue eyes flew open in shock and anger. He found that he was still lying upon the forest floor, the hard gritty earth pressing against his back. His eyes winced away from the bright heat of the sun, high up in the noon day sky, and instead fell to his side.

Holy shit!

Kouga was chained to the ground, spread eagle, and staked down by what appeared to be long iron spikes buried deep within the soil. Chains lead tautly from those spikes to end in cuffs around his wrists and ankles. To make matters worse. . . Kouga was as naked as the day he was born. His wolf pelt and Armour had long ago been stripped from him, leaving his front side at the mercy of a grueling sun. No wonder he had burned! His entire body had been scorched from the merciless sun, driving pins and needles through his skin and making Kouga squirm in his bonds in the process.

But how...?

His rather prompt fight with Lord Sesshoumaru cam rushing back to him, filling his ears with a dull roar as he processed what must have happened. Sesshoumaru had killed him, alright. There was no doubt about it. No one could withstand the amount of toxins Sesshoumaru had poured into his body, as well as the gruesome attack that had broken a good many of his bones, and left him pathetically bleeding on the forest floor. No, he had definitely died... only to be brought back by Sesshoumaru's sword. Tensaiga.

But why?

Kouga didn't know what he had done that would enrage the demon lord to the point of killing and then reviving him over and over again. That was the worst sort of torture, and Kouga wasn't sure he was strong enough to withstand any more of that sort of pain without begging out for forgiveness or release. He gritted his teeth at the thought. He would not beg! He was the prince of the northern wolf tribe god damn it all to hell, and he WOULD NOT BEG. Kouga jerked at the manacles securing his arms, trying to rend them from the earth. They would, however, not budge. Which of course, only infuriated Kouga further. His attempts to escape his bonds became desperately furious. He growled, howled, kicked and swore as he struggled to break free. But whatever Sesshoumaru had used to bind him to the ground was too strong for Kouga's demon strength to break or even pull free.

"COWARD!" Kouga shouted, his voice raspy. "Do you hear me you sack of crap! You overgrown puppy! You're a worthless piece of-"

A sharp kick to the ribs cut off whatever insult Kouga was about to scream for the entire forest to hear.

"No, no, do go ahead Kouga." Sesshoumaru said, his voice unaffected as usual. "Do continue. This Sesshoumaru would like to hear what else you have to say."

Kouga couldn't miss the sarcasm in those words, or the blatant challenge. Piercing golden eyes bored down into his own, and Kouga felt sweat break out across his forehead as he met those eyes stare for stare.

"I said you're a coward, a piece of shit, and a poor excuse for a -"

The sound of his own ribs cracking echoed in his ears as Sesshoumaru's foot once again collided with his side. Kouga bit off his scream of pain, but could do little to stop the pained wheeze that left his lips every time he breathed. What the fuck was this guy's deal? Hadn't they fought together? Shit. Kouga had thought he was on somewhat friendly terms with the tai youkai. Apparently he was wrong. But what had changed? What had he done?

"Fuckin' Sadistic bastard." Kouga growled lowly, his eyes snapping as he glared at the Lord of the West through his pain.

"How humorous you should think so." Sesshoumaru said coolly. "It seems we have much to discuss, little wolf prince. Perhaps you would like to know why I fully intend to make you beg for death at my hands? Hmm?" The condescension riding in his tone sent Kouga's hackles up.

"Fuck you Sess-"

This time Kouga's words were cut off by a back hand to the face. He spit out the blood from his mouth, wiggling a now loose tooth with his tongue. God Damn, that bastard could hit hard. Kouga couldn't remember the last time he had taken this much abuse. Not since he had been a pup, that's for damn sure.

"You will mind your tongue in my presence wolf. I have little patience for disrespect to this Sesshoumaru."

Kouga merely growled low in his throat. Pegged down like this, completely at Sesshoumaru's mercy, he wasn't stupid enough to completely bait the guy into giving him the beat down of a lifetime.

"A little over two hundred years ago, you and your pack dared to touch what was mine. You killed her, and although I was able to revive her, the injustice has long since gone unpunished. Now, it is your time of reckoning, little wolf prince. It is time for you to learn that what belongs to this Sesshoumaru is not to be touched by one as lowly as yourself."

"What the fuck are you talking abou-"

And there was another hit to the face, this time it did end up knocking that loose tooth out. Fuck.

"My human ward. Your pack attacked the village where she was staying, and killed her. This Sesshoumaru does not tolerate others touching what is his. And retribution for your deeds will be mine."

A human ward? Shit... that was a long time ago. Kouga scrunched his forehead in thought, trying to remember Sesshoumaru's human child. Vaguely he recalled a small girl clutching a bouquet of flowers in her hands, always on Sesshoumaru's heels.

He had killed her? Shit, Kouga didn't even remember. Actually, he usually made it a point to stay well away from humans unless they attacked first. But there was little he could do about the rest of his pack. That thought brought a flush of shame to his face. A true Alpha wouldn't need to worry about his pack obeying his commands. The force of his will through the bond would be enough to keep them in line.

"I didn't kill her." Kouga growled. Which was true. Never had Kouga killed a child, be they human or demon. Though there were many times when the brats were running around his feet and tripping him up that he had been sorely tempted to. But harm a child? No. Kouga just wasn't capable of that sort of abuse.

"No, indeed you did not. But you allowed others in that poor excuse of a pack to do so. And as you are their leader, and they your lessers, it is upon you who the blame and the punishment falls upon, wolf."

Kouga gritted his teeth at the complete unfairness of the entire situation. How long had Sesshoumaru held this grudge for? And hadn't he himself rectified it by bringing the child back to life?

"Then kill me." Kouga said, shocked by himself. "Just kill me and get it over with. Stop pussy-footing around."

"I'm sure you would like that, wolf. And, I admit, that I fully intended on ending your pathetic life the moment you dared to set foot on my lands. But now, you see, I have discovered the secret you have coveted for so long and my plans have, indeed, changed."

A wash of icy cold terror swept through Kouga at Sesshoumaru's words. His secret? But how? No one knew of it! Only his father had, and that old bastard had died a long time ago. His mother hadn't even been aware of the shame she had brought into the world.

"You know, I had always wondered about you wolf. Wondered why a full blooded demon had not dispatched my pest of a younger brother. Wondered why, if you wanted his woman so badly, you did not just take her and claim her for your own. But you couldn't, could you little wolf? Not even that perfectly sweet, submissive, wolf that was following you around for years after the battle with Naraku. It had always struck me as remarkably odd...but now I know why." A ghost of a smile floated across Sesshoumaru's smug face.

Fuck! No! Kouga growled, thrashing in his bonds, feeling the iron bite into his flesh as blood pooled out of the lacerations in his wrists and ankles. He didn't feel the pain from those self inflicted wounds, didn't feel the hard bite of iron shredding his skin as he fought desperately to get free. The only thing he did feel, however, was panic. Panic that Sesshoumaru had somehow unearthed his secret, and rage that he had allowed Sesshoumaru to do so.

"You don't know shit! Let me go!"

Sesshoumaru chuckled, but it was a sound that lacked all humor.

"I think not, little wolf. You see, I have much greater plans for you. Perhaps we shall both travel to your pack while you tell them the truth, Kouga."

"No! Fuck you!" Kouga growled, still thrashing wildly against the chains that bound him.

"Yes, you can tell them yourself that you are not really an Alpha wolf. That for all of these years you have been lying to them. That's why your pack is doomed to fail Kouga. That is why you lose almost every battle you enter in to. A pack needs an Alpha to lead them, not a Beta."

"Shut the fuck up!" Kouga screamed, fangs fully bared and rage alight in his eyes. "You don't know shit! You don't know-"

Sesshoumaru's booted foot came crashing down on his stomach, knocking the air from his lungs.

"Do not presume to be aware of what I do and do not know, wolf. I do know that you are a Beta wolf. Not an Alpha, yet submissive to no Alpha. That is why you can not mark a mate, why you could not take Kagome or Ayame. You are not meant for them. No, you, my little wolf," Sesshoumaru leaned down, golden eyes cruelly mocking "were meant to be marked yourself. Like a bitch."

Kouga howled then, all his pain and fury put into the sound. "F-Fuck you! It's a lie! No one's gonna mark me! No one!" Kouga would be thrice damned if he ever let another male chomp into his neck. He didn't want to be marked. Didn't want to play the submissive to somebody else's alpha god damn it! He knew that in large packs, Betas were rare and often treasured. The most beloved of all the wolves. But his pack didn't have an Alpha. He had been his father's only son. Kouga winced at the memory of his childhood. Somehow, his father had known since the moment he was born that Kouga was not an Alpha. That he would never be able to fully lead the pack. His father had never forgiven him for that. Instead, he had always pushed Kouga to be the strongest, the fastest, the smartest. He had beaten Kouga for minor indiscretions, hoping that through pain and strife Kouga would somehow change his colors. Would become an Alpha like his father. Kouga had tried, dammit, he had tried for years to be the wolf his father wanted him to be. But Sesshoumaru was right. He wasn't meant to be a leader. His pack was dying off in slow numbers, and it was his fault.

That didn't mean, however, that Kouga was about to bend over and take it from any strong Alpha male that dared to cross his path. He wouldn't let himself be subjugated like that. Wouldn't allow what his father had most feared to come to pass. How long had he been lying to everyone? His entire life? Did Sesshoumaru have any idea how hard it was to play at being an alpha? He had had to lie to everyone around him, himself included. How else could he have confronted Inuyasha all those times? Took a stand against Naraku? They had both been strong Alpha males, and pushing his will against theirs had taken more of a toll on him then either of them knew. All this time... all these years... and Sesshoumaru had figured it out from a little bit of blood. This wasn't the end. It couldn't be.

"I'm nobody's bitch." Kouga growled, as if daring Sesshoumaru to nay say him. "And I never will be. You've had your revenge, Sesshoumaru. Now let me go."

Sesshoumaru leaned back, a smirk pulling tauntingly on his cruel lips.

"I haven't quite finished with you yet Kouga. You see, I came up with the perfect punishment for you." Another cruel smile sent shivers of dread racing down Kouga's spine. "You are right in one thing. You are nobody's bitch.... Nobody's bitch but mine, that is."

It was then that Sesshoumaru traced a delicate hand across Kouga's neck and shoulder. And there, his fingers trailed over an upraised, swollen patch of skin. Sensation jolted through Kouga's body at the touch, even as he threw his head back to scream his denial.

And through those agonizing wails of defeat and anger, Sesshoumaru simply smirked. For he had marked the young wolf prince as his own while he slept. After all, what better way to give the brash young prince the punishment he deserved? If he ran, and Sesshoumaru had no doubt he would, all would know of his secret. And all would know of his shame. It was the perfect revenge.

At least, that was what Sesshoumaru had thought at the time.

So what do you think? Love it, hate it? Let me know. I'm all ears ^.~ If only you guys KNEW what I went through to get this damn thing up here. Sheesh. I must be technologically slow or something. XP