Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha and I make no profit from this.

A/N: Written for Skye's Weekly Challenge, prompt: Victorious.

Glaring a hole in the hardwood floor of his father's manor, Sesshoumaru vowed revenge on the person who had gifted him with demon hearing. He could still hear the brat screaming from all the way over the other side of the manor!

Izayoi – oblivious to his discomfort as her inferior human senses couldn't hear the pup – ushered blandly uninteresting guests into their sitting room, pressing tea cups into their hands and regaling them with apparently hilarious tales of the tiny pup that squalled for attention.

Resignedly taking up a seat on the couch, he shuddered as Izayoi left to bring the pup to them. He didn't want that. No way.

The humans tried to engage him in some kind of trivial conversation that wasn't worth his while so he ignored them completely, focusing instead on his immaculately sharpened claw tips.

Perhaps, if he asked father nicely he'd take Inuyasha back to wherever he'd come from. But Sesshoumaru doubted it.

Though, when his step-mother brought the loud-mouthed insufferable thing into the room, he winced and resisted the urge to clamp two pillows to his poor abused ears.

Plopping the baby into a mosses basket with careful hands, Izayoi fussed over the inconsolable child for nearly fifteen minutes before giving up entirely at trying to get him to calm down.

"Maybe, if I put Kagome with him," the boring new person suggested.

And then, silence reigned.

Sesshoumaru blinked aghast eyes at the two babies, unable to believe that this tiny human pup could possibly have calmed down his hysterical baby brother.

The girl blinked sleepy eyes as she calmly sucked on Inuyasha's left doggy ear. Inuyasha looked sort of perplexed, but calmed enough to drift into a doze-like state where he watched everyone through lethargic eyes.

When the adults had adjourned to the dining room, Sesshoumaru lingered behind. Soft claw-tipped fingers curling over the edge of the mosses basket as he peered at the dark haired child.

She blinked back up at him with large blue eyes and yawned.

"Why aren't you loud?" he asked curiously.

Kagome, as he had learnt her name after listening to her parents, merely waved a pudgy hand and fisted it in his forelock, pulling him closer gradually.

When they were practically nose to nose she released his hair and instead touched his forehead, and thusly his crescent moon, softly.

Sniffing subtly, Sesshoumaru sifted through the scents of baby powder and milk to locate her natural scent. It smelt nice, he realised. Like a summer storm when all the scents were intensified. He could remember being outside in one once and she carried the same nostalgic smell.

Gurgling happily as Sesshoumaru nosed her forehead, baby Kagome accidentally biffed Inuyasha in the head with an excited fist and the pup started to squall... again.

Anxious parents returned to the room to find that Sesshoumaru had ensconced himself and Kagome in an armchair by the fireplace, leaving Inuyasha on his own in the basket.

"Sesshoumaru!" Izayoi scolded softly, "what are you doing? You should be careful with Kagome!"

Scoffing at the suggestion that he had been anything but infinitely careful when handling Kagome, Sesshoumaru glowered at her. "I want this one instead," he replied earnestly and simply as Kagome giggled delightedly in his arms.

Scuffing her shoes in her haste to get there in time, nine year old Kagome threaded her way through the playground full of her classmates. A small cluster of children had gathered in one corner and she knew why.

The reason was always the same.

A huddle of children meant a fight and a fight that didn't involve her best friend Inuyasha was unheard of, in fact, it was laughable.

But his opponent changed from day to day, sometimes he scrapped with kids he'd annoyed, sometimes older kids took it upon themselves to teach the unruly half-demon his supposed place, sometimes it was Kouga because Kouga kept giving Kagome his lunch and sometimes he even picked flowers for her from the garden next to the school, but the worst scenario by far was when his opponent was...


Skidding to a stop on the asphalt, Kagome panted for breath as she began to determinedly push her way through the crowd, impatient to get to her best friend.

When she broke through the closely packed wall of children she groaned; it was Sesshoumaru. He was possibly the only person in their school who would not care if he accidently killed Inuyasha. Sibling rivalry in the Yoshida household was brutal to a fault.

They stood opposite each other, one smug and aloof, and the other angry and determined.

"Inuyasha!" Kagome shrieked, stepping into the fray, pudgy hands on hips menacingly, "don't fight with Sesshoumaru!"

Puppy ears flattened to Inuyasha's skull and he tossed a glare Kagome's way. "Why should I?" he demanded vehemently, "he called me dirty!"

Kagome blinked a few times, looking from her bedraggled Hanyou friend in his rumpled navy uniform to Sesshoumaru who blinked at her impassively with all his eleven-year-old aloofness.

"But, Inuyasha," Kagome began tentatively, "you are dirty."

Inuyasha looked at her in horror for a moment. She thought he was a dirty half breed too?

"You look like you've been rolling round in the mud all day, you've grass stains on your shorts and there are leaves in your hair... not to mention you've got some dirt smeared across your nose!" she chastised, coming at her best friend with a pink polka dotted handkerchief and a determined expression.

Inuyasha backed away and bared his fangs. "Don't touch me with that girly thing!" he protested, his ears flicking back in trepidation.

"Your aversion to cleanliness is pathetic," Sesshoumaru dictated coldly, his polysyllabic vernacular confusing most of the children assembled. But Kagome caught the gist of the insult and had to stifle a giggle.

Sesshoumaru was in the advanced class at their school and already studied at a high school level, his intelligence sometimes allowing him to best his teachers. Kagome, who was actually smart at history, sometimes shared a class with him every now and then; the two were on good terms. Not aided by their differing relationships with Inuyasha. But Kagome thought of him as a friend and he sometimes helped her with English when she got stuck. Plus if anyone ever was nasty to her he was always there to put them in their place and, unlike Inuyasha, he didn't need to actually hurt them to get them to comply, usually a glare was enough.

"What was that, bastard?" Inuyasha snarled, his cussing earning him a shocked yet awed gasp from the watching crowd.

"Inuyasha!" Kagome thrilled, "wash your mouth out with soap!" she recalled Izayoi using that phrase once before and employed it now for effect.

Inuyasha grunted, annoyed at his friend, and pushed her away when she once again tried to attack his face with her handkerchief.

Kagome, put off balance by his shove, shrieked as she fell over onto the asphalt, grazing her hands and her knees on the hard surface.

Inuyasha's eyes widened with horror as he was confronted with a tearful, bleeding Kagome.

Sesshoumaru narrowed his eyes and, moving faster than Hanyou eyes could comprehend, he appeared at Kagome's side and quickly bit her gently on the nose.

A baffled Kagome stared up at Sesshoumaru with wide eyes, her tears all but stopping in her mystification. "Did you just bite me?" she asked tentatively.

"It stopped you from crying," he explained simply, with an elegant shrug, as he prised her handkerchief from her hand and wiped the small stones and gravel from her wounds. He'd always been rather protective of this little human he considered a member of his pack and seeing her bleeding made his chest hurt.

"Thanks," she whispered bashfully, tucking her head inside her collar like a turtle.

Sesshoumaru turned narrowed eyes on his half-brother. "Repent for making her cry."

The resulting fight had destroyed most of the school yard and, when called to come and collect his children, Mr Yoshida had been very blasé about the entire incident, joking around with the teacher about how this sort of thing was always happening at home and such. The headmistress had not been amused.

There was a brief reprieve from sibling rivalry when Sesshoumaru had to leave to go to high school but, at home, the enmity continued and Kagome found herself having to play referee most of the time to stop them from killing each other.

Mr Yoshida delighting in delegating Kagome to the task of peacekeeper and she diligently tried to keep the two boys from dismembering each other.

But her presence often seemed to only make things worse. As Mr Yoshida explained both of his pups were very possessive of her, both wanting her loyalty and for her to ostracise the other. Which Kagome absolutely refused to do. Ever.

So she tried to stop them from fighting to the best of her abilities...

They just didn't seem to want to listen.

Sesshoumaru would generally stop himself from disembowelling Inuyasha if she asked very nicely, Inuyasha on the other hand only seemed to get more stubborn the older he became and so she'd had to make him a pretty necklace.

A pretty necklace that face planted him every time she told him to sit.

Inuyasha was livid. Sesshoumaru was gleeful. Kagome was resolute.

Sesshoumaru was adept as subterfuge, stratagem, deception, discretion and he could concoct a ruse on the spot. Which was why he was able to carefully hide his growing obsession.

He had always enjoyed taking things from the Hanyou from an early age and saw nothing wrong with it, after all, Inuyasha had to learn that it was a dog eat dog world out there and that Sesshoumaru was at the top of the food chain. But taking things from the Hanyou had never become an obsession.

Until now. He was obsessed with that girl, the one with the kind smiles, innocent blue eyes that had not changed since her infancy and the terrifying temper – though he himself had never incurred her absolute wrath, Inuyasha had on occasion been sat so hard it had probably broken him. And it was driving him slowly insane.

He had to keep his facade up and his fixation hidden. He refused to lose face in front of his already suspicious father. If his father found out Sesshoumaru knew he'd be teased mercilessly.

The old dog had seen him watching her and now watched his eldest son with a humorous and knowing glint in his golden eyes. It irritated Sesshoumaru to no end but he could not rebuke his father without showing that his sidelong looks and smug smirks were affecting him. His pride was his own downfall sometimes.

Covertly observing the whelp, the girl and her small Kitsune friend playing mah-jong in the front room he smirked as Kagome claimed yet another win.

He was sat in his father's old reading chair, grateful that the observant old coot was not currently in the room, pretending to read his physics text book whilst watching them stealthily. His brother didn't care enough to notice his observation and Kagome seemed to be ignoring him, if she happened to glance his way she would look away immediately.

It was quite amusing actually, but he was a little perplexed as to how, with all of her glances at him, she hadn't realised that he was staring at her, albeit subtly.

Was she really that naïve?

The Kitsune didn't seem to mind; he'd clocked his stares, raised an eyebrow, and shrugged. Shippo was nearly eleven, though he didn't get 'dating' and stuff yet, he understood that Kagome was pretty enough to warrant such interest. He thought Sesshoumaru would make a better boyfriend than the baka-yasha.

"I'm sick of this stupid game." Inuyasha announced sullenly, leaning back in his chair and knocking Kagome's recently stacked tiles back over.

"Because you can't win." Kagome chided gently as she laughed and collected the tiles back into the box.

"And he can't win because the game requires a modicum of intelligence" Sesshoumaru remarked sardonically from behind his book.

"Yeah, Inu-baka's so stupid" Shippo grinned "he put a knife in the toaster yesterday!"

"Shut it asshole!" Inuyasha snapped as he slapped Shippo around the head.

"So articulate."

"Don't fight you two!" Kagome pleaded softly, flicking Sesshoumaru a look that he couldn't resist and glaring at Inuyasha with all her might.

"I will make some tea," Kagome decided, unfolding her long legs from her position on the floor, "would you like some Sesshoumaru."

He inclined his head in agreement and she sparkled at him before departing to the kitchen.

"Sesshoumaru?" Shippo asked tentatively, "do you like Kagome-neechan?"

Sesshoumaru carefully weighed up the pros and cons of revealing his infatuation and eventually decided that it really didn't matter if they knew. The more he hid it the more likely it was that Kagome would presume he had no interest in her at all. "Hn."

"What?" Inuyasha blustered, clearly wrong footed by the revelation, "Since when?"

"You must be blind," Sesshoumaru sneered.

Inuyasha growled lowly. "Over my dead body."

"That can be arranged," Sesshoumaru promised darkly, "besides, I would prefer to court her properly and ask her family first."

"Whatever," Inuyasha was flippant, "like she wants you."

"Little brother, you are indeed an idiot," Sesshoumaru rolled his eyes, "and there is nothing you can do to stop me if she decides to be mine."

"No way!" Inuyasha roared, lunging at his sedately reclining brother, who moved out of the way of his flailing fists effortlessly.

There was a crash and a tinkle from the kitchen and Kagome yelped; effectively distracting the brothers thoroughly from their little tiff.

Sesshoumaru was the first into the kitchen and, upon seeing her tears, he carefully bit her nose, delighting in the sound of her tearful laughter.

"Kagome," Inuyasha whined from the doorway, "you're such a baby, it's only a little cut on your finger!"

Kagome pouted and Sesshoumaru rolled his eyes at Inuyasha's lack of tact, carefully capturing Kagome's bleeding digit he took it to his mouth and sucked on it gently. Allowing his saliva to close the wound.

Her brilliant blush prompted a smug grin.


Kagome's sixteenth birthday had been when everything had come to a head.

Mr Yoshida had insisted that Kagome would celebrate with them at his home, which, in theory sounded like it would be a brilliant idea, but, in practise, it was less than ideal.

This was why Kagome came to be trapped between two Inu brothers, a hand on each chest to keep them from mauling each other, as they argued back and forth above her head.

What really bugged Kagome was that she had no clue what on earth the two of them were even arguing about.

"You can't and that's final!" Inuyasha roared.

"And you dictate this why?" Sesshoumaru asked, quirking a regal brow at Inuyasha.

"Because I'm practically family!" Inuyasha blustered.

"But you are not," Sesshoumaru pointed out.

"So, you still have to beat me before you go anywhere near her!"

"What on earth are you two talking about!" Kagome yelled, shoving them both back from each other and pushing Sesshoumaru back further as she spotted his claws lengthening menacingly.

"Stay out of it, Kagome," Inuyasha snarled.

Sesshoumaru started forwards and, in sheer desperation, Kagome wound her legs around his and tightened her grip on his wrists. Now, if he moved forwards, he would fall over... probably. Hopefully.

Sesshoumaru blinked down at the little Miko and smirked at his half-brother, dropping his face to her hair to inhale deeply her tantalising scent.

Inuyasha snarled in the background.

"Explain," she tilted her head up to gaze at Sesshoumaru imploringly. He couldn't resist that look. He'd never been able to resist that look.

"I have asked your family to court you," Sesshoumaru announced slowly, as he was weighing the worth of every word he spoke, "and Inuyasha seems to think I have to fight him for you, though he technically holds no viable claim over you."

Kagome dropped her head to Sesshoumaru's chest, hiding her blushing face.

"She's mine!" Inuyasha yelled, interrupting Kagome's embarrassment.

"Mine?" Kagome peeled herself away from Sesshoumaru and glowered at her friend, "really? So now I'm a thing to be claimed by you?"

Inuyasha held out his hands pleadingly – he did not want to get sat tonight. "I didn't mean it like that! But if he can't even beat me for you then he's not worthy!"

"Not worthy?" Kagome demanded irately, "since when is brawn the only deciding factor in who I choose to date? I choose for myself for my own reasons, now stop interfering!"

Sesshoumaru chuckled softly and she whirled on him.

"And as for you!" she continued ranting, "what makes you think that just because you have permission I'll date you?"

Sesshoumaru blinked languidly. "I was going to ask, but then Inuyasha butted in."

Kagome blinked, the wind thoroughly taken out of her self-righteous sails. "Oh."

"But..." Sesshoumaru smirked, moving forward to entangle his fingers in her long dark hair, "You have always been mine, from the very first day I ever saw you."

Her bright blush contrasted with her harsh words. "And what makes you say that?"

"You are entirely unable to take your eyes off me."

Her speechlessness was all the answer he needed and he swooped down to claim her lips with his.

When he finally pulled away to allow her to breathe he blinked in shock as she flicked his nose like he was some kind of wayward puppy.

"Ask, don't dictate!" she demanded stonily.

Tilting his head to one side, he allowed his silver hair to shield them from the others and gently bit her nose. Then, releasing her, he uttered in a tone to low for anyone else to hear, "Be mine."

Well, it was halfway there.

She giggled.

He was victorious.

A/N: I hope you enjoyed, drop me a review!