A/N: Characters of Inuyasha do not belong to me as I am only using them for free and guilty enjoyment.

Bastard's Gift 21

Sesshomaru had seen those familiar and wretched tentacles as they went back into Katsutoshi's body, and the cradle that still bore the fresh scent of Nami was empty.

With one hand, he had Katsutoshi in the air, his eyes blazing red as he demanded to know where Nami was. And the wretched brat was smirking at him before his face quickly turned to one of great joy.

"Daddy!"

"What the hell are you doing?" A wet rag struck the back of his head.

Sesshomaru turned to the direction of his attacker and was stunned to see Inuyasha standing there, unaided. A few things were extremely notable.

Number one, he was wearing one of the bath robes that was somewhat big on him. The bottom front lay open enough to show off almost an entire leg that was also proving to be distracting.

One of the shoulders was exposed as the robe was sliding off, giving Sesshomaru a clear view of skin still pale, but not deathly pale. And such a nice collar bone.

Two, his legs and arms were not quaking as much as before, or at least not from fatigue. Anger, on the other hand, was the most likely reason for the minute shaking.

Three, there was a bundle in Inuyasha's arms that was currently moving around, waving an arm, and gurgling.

X

Katsu had been staring at Nami for a bit when tentacles slowly rose out of him, reaching and in picking up the little demon.

The baby smiled and cooed, arms reaching out for him as he brought her down into his arms, retracting the tentacles back.

He still didn't know what to do. He couldn't help but find some truth to what Naraku had been saying. To absorb her now would be simple.

But it would devastate their father, and the biggest dilemma was he didn't want to hurt him.

Nami blinked, her face looking serious.

Katsu gave a start realizing that she was only imitating the look on his own face.

She was rather bright for something so small and unable to move on her own.

He smirked and she smiled, and Katsu clearly saw his father in that smile. And the same twinkle that was in Kouga's eyes when he was being mischievous.

Absorbing her was reckless and out of the question. His sire was just being stupid.

The door opened behind him and he turned around to see his father step from outside.

"Katsu?" he said, in surprise.

"Poppa, you're walking!"

"I wasn't going to stay bed ridden forever," Inuyasha growled. "What are you doing with Nami?"

"No one let me hold her and see her. I'm her big brother so I should be able to protect her, right? At least until she gets big enough to defend herself."

Inuyasha grinned. "That's my boy."

Katsutoshi beamed and Nami squealed.

Inuyasha's grin faded to a fond smile. "It seems she already likes you and trusts you."

"Yeah, she does," Katsu murmured, feeling a bit awed by the sensation of having a vulnerable life depending upon him.

"I'm almost done with the getting the baths prepared." Inuyasha patted Katsu's head before reaching down to take Nami from his arms. "If you want to take a bath with us, go get your clothes."

Inuyasha disappeared into the bath chambers, still a bit unsteady but holding Nami securely.

Katsu glanced at the floor and saw that one of Nami's toys had fallen to the ground. With one tentacle, he picked it up and went to put it back in the crib. He had been in the middle of retracting his tentacle when he heard the bed chamber door opening behind him.

X

Sesshomaru whirled to face Katsu who, out of sight of his father, pulled down on his lower eye lid and stuck out his tongue.

Sesshomaru dropped Katsu who scrambled to his father's side.

"A misunderstanding," Sesshomaru growled.

"Misunderstanding, my ass. You have no right to handle my kids in that manner. Trust me, if I wasn't still feeling weak, it would have been something other than that rag that hit you."

Curse the little brat. Any developments and advancements Sesshomaru felt he had been making with his brother felt as if they were now slipping away like sand in his hands.

"I see you have recovered in more ways than one." Sesshomaru forced himself to be a bit more personal in his speech.

"Tch."

Sesshomaru's eyebrow twitched as he watched how Katsu hugged his father's leg before reaching up with his arms. "Can I hold her again?" he asked.

Inuyasha gave him a smile. "After a bath. Are you going to join us?"

Sesshomaru frowned, leaning forward to pick up the rag that was used to assault him. "I've said before, we have servants who can assist with cleaning the children, and you."

Inuyasha scoffed. "And I've told you I don't need servants for the basic needs of my children. It lets me feel close seeing that I can't nurse them."

Sesshomaru followed Inuyasha as he went back into the bath chamber. The small pool was already filled with warm water, and suds from the bath salts floated along.

Sesshomaru sighed and began to shed his armor and kimono.

"What are you doing?" Inuyasha asked, his cheeks flushing red.

"Making sure that you do not slip and injure yourself. Or your children." He shot a look at Katsu who glowered at him.

"Ah… I see…"

"You act as if we have not seen each other bare."

An annoyed look crossed Inuyasha's face as he shifted the baby from one arm to the other, shedding off his robe.

Katsu leapt into the water, splashing Sesshomaru. The Daiyokai bit back a growl and stepped into the pool.

Inuyasha, barely paying attention to what was happening, carefully unwrapped the coverings of his child and paused.

"Uh, Sesshomaru?"

"Yes?"

"I… I thought… I thought you said Nami was a girl?"

Katsu peered around Sesshomaru to see his father holding his naked sister in the air in front of him, a confused expression on his face. He had not seen the baby undressed and the first thing he noticed, to his amusement, was that Nami had a small, fluffy, wagging brown tail. Oh she definitely took after Kouga.

Sesshomaru moved closer to Inuyasha. "She is."

"But… but…"

"She's a siring female."

Katsu snapped to attention at those words.

"What?"

"Do you not know of the mechanics of a siring female?"

His father's face was red. "No?"

"Humans call their kind hermaphrodites. But with humans, typically one side of theirs is sterile. There have been a few cases in which they were fertile either way. Demons, on the other hand, will be fertile both ways. If you had bonded with a female who had no problems submitting to you, you would be able to father children. Nami, when grown, will either sire children, or birth them. If you look carefully, you will see she has a female opening underneath her penile organ. Male bearers, such as yourself, have it inside the anal cavity, making it easy to miss."

Katsu swam to see a better view of his sister and saw what had dumbfounded his father. Although his uncle's rather cold clinical words probably had been enough to render his father even more speechless than he was… if that was considered possible.

Sure enough, his baby sister had a similar outward appearance to his own from the front. But as she kicked her legs in the water and then raised them into the air in glee, he could also see what the medical scrolls he came across in Sesshomaru's study defined as being female.

With his mind racing, Katsu slowly swam back towards his uncle's direction, deep in thought.

Inuyasha, sank into the water, pulling Nami close to him.

"Siring? Birthing? So… so that's how… I didn't know." So the females that had flirted with him at the ball months ago literally meant mounting their males. He had just assumed they meant taking some type of dominant position and somehow being able to transfer the child into the womb of the male through magic. He clearly felt faint with that sudden knowledge that his uncle called out to Inuyasha in concern.

"I'm all right, I'm all right," Inuyasha murmured. He pulled back to look at Nami's face. The baby cooed and flapped her arm around, splashing water.

Some water splashed upon her face and she gave the water such an affronted look that Inuyasha couldn't help but laugh.

Inuyasha set about to bathing Nami while taking in the amount of information he received. "Katsu, why are you all the way over there?" he called out. "Come here."

Katsu shook his head. "I'm fine right here. I don't want to get too close to her while she's splashing like that."

"You big baby."

"Maybe."

Katsu glanced at his uncle who was frowning but leaning back against the edge, eyes closed.

He slowly approached him as his father focused on Nami.

"What is it?" Sesshomaru murmured, his displeasure loud and clear to Katsutoshi.

"I wonder how the wolves would take that news."

Sesshomaru remained silent, and his expression stayed the same.

"I read a siring female has the same standing as an alpha male. But what does that mean in wolf tribes that forbid females from holding alpha status?"

Katsu watched a slight tension that hit his uncle. Sesshomaru suddenly straightened his body. "This one is done here," he said abruptly, startling Inuyasha and Nami. He demon lord moved to the stairs and walked out, grabbing a bathing robe and throwing it on and stalked towards the exit.

"This one shall see you later tonight, brother."

Inuyasha looked baffled. "Later," he said. He turned to Katsu. "Did you say something to upset him?"

Katsu shrugged his shoulders.

X

Sesshomaru tore through his scrolls that dealt with rules in wolf tribes and regarding alphas. Jaken squawked in despair as he attempted to catch the scrolls flying his way to avoid them becoming damaged.

"Sir, please! Let me know what you are looking for and I can help you find them!"

Sesshomaru refused to answer as he found the one he was looking for. Reading through the lines, a gleam entered his eye. The brat was right. How could he have possible forgotten?

"Jaken! Quills, ink, wax, seal, and two blank parchments!"

"Yes, sir!" Jaken dropped the scrolls and ran to the supply case, pulling the items requested as Sesshomaru sat down at his desk.

Sesshomaru took the items and began to write. One would go the Council, and the other to the wolves. There was no guarantee that this would work, but it would at least delay handing the child over as the Council would have to convene once more and make a decision.

As for the wolves, well, he would provide an official hand written form, but he suddenly couldn't wait to see the dark wolf's face when Sesshomaru revealed the full state of the baby.

X

Ginta and Hakkaku and two of their four legged kin were patrolling the outer lands . A familiar scent came their way and they stopped, all four of them growling. The two bipedal demons held out their swords as one of the four legged wolf demons let out a howl to signal other wolves and inu around them.

All four were growling as Arashi and a formidable sized pack stopped in front of them.

"Well, well… if it isn't the former alpha's loyal companions. Traitorous demons. Leaving your pack to follow and defend some hanyou bitch that should have stayed put."

"Sesshomaru will not take kindly to you insulting our Lord Inuyasha that way, Arashi."

"Gutsy. I must admit, without Kouga, I thought you two would wither away to nothing. But you have obviously acclimated very well to the dogs. You're even starting to smell like them."

The wolves following Arashi laughed.

"Stand aside."

"You have no permission to be here."

"We are here for only a simple meeting. We aren't here to cause trouble. We just wished to see the pup bitch that will soon come back to where she belongs. A pity you won't be allowed to follow her."

"What is going on here?" Tamotsu leapt down from above, and several inu soldiers emerged from the shadows, surrounding Arashi's group and providing back up to Ginta and Hakkaku.

"They claim they are here without ideas of mischief," Ginta growled.

Arashi bowed. "And to meet our future alpha's mate. Assuming I'm not virile enough when she reaches maturity."

Tamotsu growled.

"How dare you disrespect our Masters' daughter and ward!"

A flash of white darted in between them.

"Lord Sesshomaru!"

"You wolves have come prematurely," Sesshomaru responded, ignoring his men.

"We didn't come here to take the child," Arashi drawled. "We just came to see the future addition to our pack."

"This one won't repeat himself a third time. You have come prematurely. The council will most likely change their decision."

Arashi's face darkened even more with anger. "Are you planning on challenging the council?"

"Informing them of developments that may change their decision."

"What developments? It was clearly stated that a female or male bearer would be ours once her bearer wasn't necessary for her development."

Sesshomaru held out a scroll to Tamotsu, who in turn presented it to one of the wolves standing beside Arashi.

The dark wolf snatched it from his man, noticing the confused look on the demon dog's captain. Whatever was in this scroll was something so new that not even Sesshomaru's men were aware of what was going on.

He rolled it open, and the scroll began to shake in his hands as his anger caused pain to flare up his spine and head.

"The council made the decision for a female or male bearer, and an alpha male. They failed to consider a siring female, of which this one was informed that such a female has no standing in your tribe."

The wolves began to murmur with one another, and Ginta and Hakkaku stepped back in shock before a grin spread across their faces.

"What's going on?" Tamotsu asked the two softly.

"Sir, everyone knows that a siring female has the same standings to an alpha male."

"Yes… so?"

"But never in wolf history has a female sire been allowed to take an alpha role. It goes against tradition. And for that reason alone, a female sire is generally cast away."

"You mean she's abandoned?"

Hakkaku nodded, a sad look on his face. "Lately, many of the younger generations disagree with that tradition, especially the beta females. But most wolf councils are still of the old generation, and as long as they have their say on it, siring females will be ignored or killed."

"Which goes against almost all other demon traditions," Tamotsu murmured in understanding.

"The council will probably modify its decision. Why hand over a cub to be killed when it will be accepted by its bearer and guardian?" Ginta was thrilled. He couldn't help but feel that despite Kouga's heir being a female, their fallen master had had the last laugh and royally screwed Arashi's plans.

"You will not hear the end of this!" Arashi was hissing. "I will have that pup and Inuyasha!"

"Treacherous demon," Sesshomaru snarled, as all wolves and dogs on his side growled. "That is this one's intended that you speak of."

The wolves following Arashi backed up a bit, nervous and appalled that their alpha had lost control like that.

Arashi calmed down, taking a deep breath. "My apologies. But I stand by my words that this will not be the end. Until we meet again, whether it be in the council's quarters, or out on the field."

With those words, the wolf turned around and ran back into the woods, followed by his kin.

Tamotsu moved closer to his lord. "Was that a challenge to a battle?"

"So it appears. Intensify training."

"Yes, my lord."

X

Katsutoshi struck down six Samiyoshi simultaneously with his tentacles. It had been another surprise attack from his sire as a way of greetings.

"Excellent job," his sire drawled, grinning with glee. "How is your bearer?"

"Much better."

"Still with the new child?"

Katsutoshi gave his sire a look. "My sister's time with us has most likely been extended to permanent status. If the council agrees with our argument."

"Argument?"

"My sister is a siring female."

"Well then, she certainly will have more power than originally thought. Imagine what you would gain…"

"If I absorbed her, I know. But I will not. She is Kouga's heir and I respect him. She is also Poppa's daughter and I will not cause him harm."

"I didn't mean for you to take it as a suggestion. Just stating the obvious." Naraku mentally grinned. Katsutoshi's defensive remarks hinted that the little one did indeed struggle with taking his words into consideration.

But now he even longed for his plans to come to a climax. Inuyasha was full of surprises. First by providing such a strong offspring in Katsutoshi, but to go as far as providing a siring female. He wondered if by coupling with Inuyasha, would he be able to sire more females like that. The power he would gain would be limitless.

"Come. Let's hunt for a challenging foe."

Katsu sighed and followed his sire deeper into the woods.

X

Sesshomaru had been waiting impatiently to hear back from the council. He knew they preferred to take their time but he couldn't help but watch for a messenger.

What he had not been expecting, although he should have, was that his answer would arrive personally delivered by none other than his own mother.

"What are you doing here?" he hissed, once he was alone with her, away from the servants.

His mother cast cold eyes on him.

"This one told you she would be by to visit once the half-breed has given birth. Although I must admit the birth of a siring female from one such as him did take us all by surprise."

"Why?"

"Because he isn't a full demon."

"Maybe the tales are somewhat true that strong love can produce an amazing child."

His mother laughed. "A secret romantic, are you? Love or not, it was never considered an option when we drew out the contract. But this one can assume the need to cause trouble and headaches is from your father's side. This one met the human bitch once. She was not one to cause mischief."

"If you insist on meeting with this one's brother, it is highly recommended you do not insult his human mother."

"This princess shall do whatever she pleases."

"Mother, I warn you. Cause him stress and I will cast you out of this castle, dignity be damned."

"Oh ho! This one would like to see you try."

A small cough caught their attention.

Sesshomaru glanced over and was not pleased to see that Katsutoshi stood nearby. Knowing how protective the brat was of his father, he could only hope that he had not heard what his mother had said.

While he had threatened to cast his mother out, he wished to avoid any verbal words.

"Is this the dark haired child?" his mother asked, her tone barely masking her distain.

Sesshomaru gave one nod, watching the red eyed brat carefully. He could see that the child was planning something. It had become easier to decipher during those few instances in which they both were in the same room, and he had watched the child focus intently on those books and scrolls.

"Come closer," his mother demanded.

Katsutoshi walked over slowly, and Sesshomaru was a bit surprised. The child never did well with orders outside of training, unless it was Inuyasha or Chie. He tended to balk or grudgingly listened to Sesshomaru's, or sneered at everyone else.

But the look on the child's face was also one he had rarely seen.

Katsutoshi had a look of awe and admiration.

Before his mother had a chance to saw something, the demon child spoke.

"Are you a goddess?" he asked in a soft and childlike tone.

This was not the child Sesshomaru knew.

"Pardon?"

"You're very beautiful, miss. Are you a goddess?"

"Oh ho ho ho! Flatterer!"

Sesshomaru felt an eyebrow twitch at the laugh his mother let loose, as he could feel her vanity increase ten fold.

"You look prettier than my uncle. And even prettier than my father. No one ever looks prettier than my father," Katsutoshi continued to talk, with a shy tone in his voice.

"You are a pleasant one," his mother gushed, cheeks pink. "This princess is but a simple demon." Sesshomaru scoffed. "And mother to this wretch before us."

"You look much too young to be mother of someone like Uncle Sesshy."

"Sessy?!" The lady pealed with laughter, leaving Sesshomaru feeling chagrinned.

And to his annoyance, Sesshomaru realized that the crafty little demon was intentionally playing his mother. For one brief moment, their eyes had met and the brat had smirked.

Then the smirk was gone, replaced once more by the look of a child's curiosity as the lady reigned in her laughter and focused on the boy.

"And you were raised by wolves?"

Katsutoshi nodded. "And by my bearer. They taught me that I should always respect a lady. And not to follow their example."

"What?"

Katsutoshi frowned. "They were too set in their ways to break their habits. Or at least that's what they told me. Because several times they had called the older council females grandma when they still wanted to be called aunts or sisters."

"Well this one asks that you address me as Lady Inu."

"Yes, Lady Inu. If you please may pardon me, I was on my way to join my new baby sister. I am honored to have met you."

Katsutoshi then backed away and left the room.

"This one is surprised at such a well mannered brat considering who his sire and bearer are."

Sesshomaru growled. He couldn't help but feel that Katsutoshi attempted to endear himself to his mother as a means to irritate him.

"Now, no more dawdling. Lead this princess to the half breed."

X

Inuyasha was carefully performing some Katas that Tamotsu had shown him to use as a way to regain some toned muscle movement before he threw himself into heavier forms of exercise when someone entered the training area.

Well, two people.

It did not take a genius to realize that the female demon standing next to Sesshomaru was related to his brother. It was hard to tell from her youthful appearance, but his guess was that this was the one and only Lady Inu, Sesshomaru's mother.

"Hello?" he greeted, confused that she would be here.

He could see that his brother was not pleased, and it wasn't because of him. Judging by the way his jaw seemed clenched, it was his own mother's presence that was causing displeasure.

And Inuyasha braced himself. This was the demon that had been spurned by his father for a human female. It was clear that her judgment of him was going to be clouded. Inuyasha mentally prepared himself for the verbal attacks she was sure to start.

"You are tiny."

Inuyasha felt a vein pop near his forehead. He should have expected some comment on his height. "But sturdy," he snapped. "Proof of that are the two offspring that I was able to give birth to, and the fact that I have survived as long as I have without any support."

"Not dainty at all."

"Not a female."

"This one is dainty in appearance only, half breed. You are neither."

"And that's supposed to be an insult?"

"Mother."

"Silence. If you are to stand by Sesshomaru's side, you should at least look the part of a submissive mate, regardless of the truth. It is all about appearance. You do not look fit to be by his side."

"As if I'd try to fit that image. I've been known to stand by myself, for myself. His willingness to be guardian to my daughter won't have me cater to all his whims like some beaten bitch."

"You don't deserve someone like my Sesshomaru!"

"I didn't seek him."

"Mother, do not agitate him even more."

"My precious baby, I fail to see how you can even toy with the idea of keeping him as your mate. He is tainted, both in blood and in body, by not one but two demons!"

"Mother!"

"Bitch!"

"Excuse me?"

"You heard me!" growled Inuyasha. "Kouga was of my own choosing, yes. But don't you make it sound like I was willing to be tainted by the other one. As if you have any right to insult me. You couldn't keep the interest of your own husband! Probably because you sniffed around or allowed others to sniff around you."

"How dare you!"

"But it's true," Sesshomaru said with a sigh.

"Son!"

Inuyasha's jaw dropped. "Sesshomaru!" he chastised, puzzling his older brother. "That's your mother! Whether you disagree with her or not, you shouldn't say something like that in front of company! Actually, you shouldn't be allowing me to say those kinds of things to her."

"This one is confused," admitted Sesshomaru. Why was Inuyasha not grateful that he was taking his side?

"But this one did provoke you," said the lady, pouting, looking at Inuyasha, a slight surprised look in her eyes.

"But you are still a lady. Thank the stars Katsutoshi was not here to see the perfect example of what NOT to do in the presence of a lady."

"You amuse me, half breed. You have a sturdy disposition."

Sesshomaru did not know what to feel. Did his mother just approve of Inuyasha?

"Much too lively and heated blood for this one's passionless son."

Sesshomaru bit his tongue. What was she hinting?

Inuyasha, realizing that Sesshomaru's mother was hinting at something most likely inappropriate, felt his cheeks color as his ears drop low. "Ah…" he stumbled, trying to think of how to remain polite, reflecting on his time with Kouga. Of course he hadn't quiet encountered a compliment, if that was the right word, such as this. "Your words embarrass me, your highness."

"Oh, you are too adorable! Not at all like most hanyou's turn out. You are like a diamond in the rough. Although a bit sharp around the edges, both in tongue and action. Then again, maybe you need a solid firm hand to counter that liveliness. Sesshomaru, darling, are you sure you will be able to satisfy such a virile young male?"

"Mother!" Sesshomaru hissed. No, his mother was no longer hinting.

"What? This lady asks in sincerity. There is always the slight possibility he took more after his father and feels willing to seek others out if he is not satisfied. If you are serious about keeping him on as a potential mate, make sure when you rut with him, it's satisfactory."

Inuyasha wished he could combust as Sesshomaru snarled at his own mother. The female inu only turned her face away from Sesshomaru, nose in the air.

Inuyasha hadn't been sure of what to expect at meeting Sesshomaru's mother. Now that it was happening, he didn't know what to think at all.

X

Arashi grabbed his head as another wave of pain struck him, almost sending him to his knees.

The damn Daiyokai needs to be taken down. He needs to be brought to his knees. The pup will not stay with them. The pup cannot stay with them.

Over and over he could hear that voice in his head, the voice that was his but wasn't. It hurt, but it also fueled his anger.

The damn Inus were going to get what they deserved. He would not wait for the council to make a decision. With the birth of a siring female, he knew they would most likely vote to keep her with Inuyasha and Sesshomaru.

He wanted war before that happened.

Siring female be damned. He would castrate the bitch pup and keep her for bearing purposes.

The pain faded away and he was able to walk steady again.

Having left Sesshomaru's castle, he and his kin travelled without stopping back towards his lands.

But he had felt that pressure starting so he sent them further ahead on the pretense of scouting and to give him time to think.

But then he realized another obstacle.

The wolf council… while they may have agreed with him as an alpha male, and were willing to offer Kouga's mate to him, he doubted that they would be willing to go to war with a former ally.

They would need to be taken care of as well.

Arashi could feel the metallic taste of blood in his mouth.

If he wanted to start this war and reclaim his rightful property, he would need to do away with the obstacles in his own tribe first.

He would need to carefully sort through the members and see which ones would be willing to bow down to him and which ones would oppose him. Careful elimination would then have to follow.

X

Rin was brushing Inuyasha's hair as he held Nami on his lap.

It was a task she offered and Inuyasha accepted, wanting to ask her if she knew anything about the Lady Inu.

"She's a bit mean," was Rin's response. "I only met her a couple times and she doesn't like humans. But she tolerates me and Kohaku. I think it's because deep down, she's just happy to see that Lord Sesshomaru cares about someone."

"She is hard to figure out."

Katsutoshi bounded into the room, his damp hair a good indicator that the servants had just finished giving him a bath.

"Are you talking about Lady Inu?" he asked. "I like her. She drives Uncle Sesshomaru mad."

Inuyasha chuckled and Rin grinned.

"That's not very nice," Inuyasha half scolded his son.

"She is very good at making him lose control," Rin added. "Poor Lord Sesshomaru is going to sulk for days after she leaves."

"I hear she won't be leaving for a month," Katsu added.

Inuyasha grimaced. This was going to be an awkward time for them all.

X

Sesshomaru stared out the window as his mother's servants prepared her for bed.

Once they were done, she dismissed them and stepped out from behind the folding screen that shielded her as she was being dressed.

"The hanyou did surprise me," she murmured. "He wasn't hideous at all. But still, he as the appearance of one who does not do well in castle and noble life, yet he's adapting really well by the looks of it."

Sesshomaru didn't say a word.

"But now I wonder about you, son. Do you really intend to court him as a mate?"

"I will do as I please."

"I know you will. I just need to know what your real intentions are. Is this claim just to keep your brother's children safe? Or is because you truly want him by your side? And is he willing?"

Sesshomaru glanced back at his mother.

"He was mated with that wolf for seven years. If it weren't for the child he was carrying, chances are high that he would have followed his mate to the other realm if the stories I hear are true; that you offered to take Inuyasha as a mate if he culled Naraku's brat from his womb?"

Sesshomaru grimaced. Amazing how that demand kept coming back to taunt him one way or another.

"And the wolf was willing to take the hanyou regardless of what he carried in his womb. That's a feat that will be hard to follow. But, blood is thick. And loyalty to the family is a trait that can be fed and grown. I can see and hear how the servants and villagers are fond of him. Especially those two little human children. Are they still children? Humans age so fast. You are the only one that can cement his relations here."

She moved next to her son. "But people will still talk. You, taking on a mate with two children not of your blood? The sooner you fill that hanyou with fertile seed, the sooner your people will be happy."

"He won't go into heat until at least five to ten years from now, mother. People will have to talk until then."

His mother gave him a sly grin.

"There are herbal teas that can induce an early and fertile heat."

Sesshomaru gave his mother a suspicious look.

"You came about that way."

"What?!"

"I wasn't ready and I needed to go in heat quickly when I married your father. I used the teas. Of course, the question will be, do you use them without Inuyasha's knowledge and take him when he's receptive, or will you inform him of them so that he could make a choice?"

Sesshomaru's thoughts ran wild in his head. Inuyasha had willingly allowed himself to be mounted for the safety of his cub, but it certainly felt that there was hesitation at committing to becoming his mate.; Mostly because of Katsutoshi.

To take on Inuyasha as an official mate meant accepting the brat as an official ward rather than just a child under his protection.

But to have Inuyasha as his mate… to have his brother willingly submit himself without any reason other than because he wanted to… it made his blood simmer.

He knew what he had to do, even though it made him… nervous.

"As for the little one," his mother continued, unaware of the mental turmoil she had just thrown her son into. "Do not worry. The Council will rule in your favor."

X

The old wolf was enjoying a quiet walk up the mountain side. Listening to all the squabbles, he preferred to go on his own every now and then, to get rest from the small ones and the reckless adults.

His heart was a bit heavy as he thought about how much worries have increased since the death of Kouga. They had such high hopes with Arashi and several of the council members were heavily disappointed.

The young wolf was willing to go to war for a siring female. Sure, she was the daughter of Kouga, but still…

And while he somewhat understood wanting the former alpha's mate as his own, the old wolf also respected the hanyou. He should be free to choose his own mate, released from the rules of the tribes.

Of course some of the wolves even older than him had disagreed and he was out voted.

But now… now they all wished they had put their foot down on Arashi's demands from the beginning, as the little upstart was taking a turn for the worse. He would be the destruction of their clan. After such a heavy blow with Naraku so long ago, they could not afford another attack such as that one.

And going against Sesshomaru… they were sure to be annihilated.

But the old wolf could only voice his opinions, and hopefully cast doubt upon Arashi's actions.

He was also tempted to bring up the subject of casting out the dark wolf and asking Inuyasha to run the tribe until another wolf was ready to be an alpha.

The sound of a small trail of cascading pebbles interrupted his thoughts.

Glancing up against the sun, he could see the shadow of a bipedal wolf descending towards him.

The old wolf stopped and smiled, waiting patiently.

But then he frowned when he saw that the figure was coming down fast and showed no signs of slowing down or stopping.

Was there an emergency?

"What troubles do you bring word of?" the old wolf called out, hoping that demon would stop.

And the male did stop… but not before the old wolf caught a glimpse of the dark skin and white hair as two hands reached out and shoved him hard over the edge.

Cold yellow eyes watched as the old wolf demon hit rocks below and continued to tumble down the side of the mountain. He watched as the old body came to a standstill, and he observed as a pool of red began to surround the body.

Without a word, Arashi began to walk down the path.

When he reached the bottom, he journeyed to where the old wolf lay, still gasping for breath.

His eyes were shiny in pain and confusion, and Arashi continued to stare down at him as if here were an insect.

Arashi crouched and placed his hand over the old demon's mouth and nose.

The old demon's eyes bulged, but his broken body was unable to put any resistance. His fingers twitched and legs twitched, but that was the most he could do.

Arashi watched as the old council wolf's face grew red, then purple, before the light faded from his eyes and his face began to grow pale.

He grabbed some dirt and rubbed it thoroughly into his hands before wiping it off.

He allowed himself a small smirk as he headed back towards the camp. It would be at least two days before the old wolf was missed, and by then, a tragic epidemic will have raced through the wolf council, eliminating the few old wolves that were starting to question him.

And then the war against Sesshomaru would be ready to commence.

TBC…

A/N: Well that was a bit awkward… and hopefully I confirmed or answered how a female sire works. Lol. Obviously Sesshomaru was too focused on his brother and niece to make the quick connection that Katsu… who had been reading laws of all demon tribes most recently...made. And OMG... I managed under a month! Sadly... that won't be the case with the next chapter... working on a couple things to update.