Hi! Sorry for the long wait. Hope you enjoy.

.oOo.

Inuyasha was stuck. His vision was spotty, darkness was creeping in, and somewhere deep in his mind, his brain recognized the predator in front of him and tried to make him submit.

The hanyou, though, had not survived this long by listening to his stupid brain. So he continued his fruitless struggles.

The dark youkai snickered. "You should know when to give up, Inuyasha. I am far superior to you, in every way."

Inuyasha closed his eyes, mostly to get away from the dark leer in front of him. The golden eyes shot open as he felt something warm and moist drag across his cheek. He caught the bastard pulling his tongue back into his mouth, licking his lips thoroughly.

"Delicious." Banteki grinned hugely at his prey, before bending closer. Inuyasha tried to move his head further back, in vain.

"You will be mine, hanyou. The more you struggle, the more I will enjoy it." The warm breath caressed the hanyous ear, making him shiver in disgust. A growl followed as a warm tongue snaked around the appendage.

The dark youkai pulled back and grabbed a handful of silver hair in his free hand. The hand pulled back harshly, making Inuyasha fear his hair was being pulled out with the roots. Banteki leaned down and captured the hanyous lips in a hard, bruising kiss.

.oOo.

Sesshoumaru was growing tired of waiting for the hanyou. Surely Inuyasha did not need this much time simply to relieve himself. Rin had almost picked the grass bare of wildflowers and was running out of space to store her creations.

He turned towards where his younger brother had disappeared through the trees. He sniffed delicately in the air and growled, growing displeased. Instead of feeling the expected smell of urine, he picked up the slightly sour scent of repressed fear. He also picked up the familiar smell of his hated acquaintance.

Before he knew what he was doing, his feet were caring him towards the origin of the scents. As he spotted the two, his anger suddenly overpowered him.

.oOo.

Before Inuyasha could wrap his head around it, the youkai holding and forcing his tongue into Inuyashas mouth was gone. He gasped for breath, fighting against nausea. His sight was slowly returning to normal as he gulped down fresh air into his lungs.

Curious to see what had happened to his violator, Inuyasha turned towards the sounds streaming across the forest.

There stood Sesshoumaru, silver hair flying around him, surrounded by the smell of youki and holding Banteki by the throat, making the dark youkai dangle from the air like a ragdoll. Poison dripped from his claws, leaking onto the fine silk of Bantekis shoulder, burning through to the skin.

Banteki hissed at the sensation, his cobalt eyes changing to a bright white. Before Inuyashas eyes, the dark youkai started shifting into his animal form. Sesshoumaru let go of the other and stepped back, giving Banteki some space.

"How pathetic, changing from a little poison." When the dark youkai had stopped morphing, there stood a gigantic, black cat. Banteki stared down at the tiny youkai and hanyou, a loud growl sounding in his chest.

He lifted a paw, ready to slice his rival into tiny, miniscule pieces. As the paw swung down, Seshoumaru stepped aside and countered with a lightning fast poison filled strike against the soft underside of the paw.

The big cat hissed and drew the injured paw towards his chest. Sesshoumaru didn't let the dark youkai rest. Leaping onto the back of Banteki, he landed gracefully in a silver flourish on the broad back. He fisted a great deal of the dark fur at the back of the neck and pulled harshly, bringing the large head back at an awkward angle.

The white youkai spoke quickly into an ear pointed towards him. He spoke quietly enough that Inuyasha didn't hear the words, in spite of his sensitive hearing. When the large cat seemed to freeze and the scent of sharp fear coupled with rage, the hanyou knew his brother was serious.

The inuyoukai sailed gracefully back to the ground next to Inuyasha. In front of them the cat was morphing back to his more human appearance. The blue eyes were dark and the hands were constantly twitching at his sides. His eyes slid toward Inuyasha, but a low growl made them focus on the other youkai instead.

"Don't think you've won, dog. This battle might be yours, but I swear the war will be won by me. As you haven't yet claimed the hanyou for yourself it's fair game for anyone." His words were met by an even deeper and more scary sounding growl from Sesshoumaru.

Banteki turned toward Inuyasha. "Don't think I've forgotten about you, little hanyou. I will be back for my price shortly." With those words, the dark youkai vanished into the shadows.

Sesshoumaru relaxed minutely as the smell of youki faded to tolerable levels. Then he turned tail and retraced his way back towards the clearing.

"Wait, what?! You're just gonna ignore this? What the hell was that? I don't need protection! I can handle my own battles!"

The youkai lord didn't even turn his head. "Judging from what transpired here, you do indeed need someone to hinder you from joining our parents."

Ouch. No matter what anyone believed about Inuyasha, his mother was still a slightly sore subject.

When Inuyasha didn't reply, the older brother looked back. The expression on Inuyashas face was somewhere between rage and despair. He sighed.

"Inuyasha, while my hatred of humans is widely known, something can be said about your mother. Not many humans, and even fewer females, can handle a youkai. Add to that a hanyou child to be brought up without their youkai parent, your mother had her share of hardships."

His statement left Inuyasha speechless. It almost sounded likeā€¦ but no, impossible.

"Sessoumaru, are you trying to say you respect my mother?" The youkai stiffened.

"What foolishness are you spouting, hanyou? You never cease to amaze this Sesshoumaru."

Inuyasha grinned, showing all his teeth. "I notice you don't refuse my claim of respecting a human. It's ok, bastard, you're not the first youkai to be dazzled by the humans. Take our old man, falling for a human even though he already had a youkai mate waiting for him."

The growl was anticipated and welcome. Just like that, they were ok. Inuyasha figured he could let todays incident slide, talking about it could wait.

Back at the make-shift camp Rin had picked all the flowers she had found. When Inuyasha planted himself down next to her he suddenly felt a weight on his head and ears, making them twitch irritably.

Reaching up a hand he felt something soft. At the same time he caught the scent of flowers drifting down from the thing on his head.

Flowers. She had put stinking flowers on his head. The smell was going to be stuck in his hair for days unless he found a river to rinse it off.

"Damn it kid, this shit ain't coming out of my hair in forever. Why don't you put this thing on Sesshoumaru?"

Rin smiled. "I tried once, but Sesshoumaru-sama just made them wilt. Sesshoumaru-sama then said I should put flowers on Jaken-samas head. So Rin put lots and lots of flowers on Jaken-sama. He got weird like he was sick with big green things on his skin."

Inuyasha smiled when he imagined Sesshoumaru using his poison to wilt flowers, and a Jaken covered in a rainbow of differently colored flowers. The image that made him chuckle was that of Jaken sniffling and covered in rashes.

When he looked over at Sesshoumaru he saw one corner of his mouth was slightly crooked, like he was smiling and trying very hard to not let it show. It broke the camels back. Inuyasha laughed so hard he had trouble sitting upright.

"Oh, by the way asshole. I figured out that 'secret technique' of yours for dealing with this runt."

The youkai lord turned his eyes towards his little brother, raising an eyebrow. "Do enlighten me, Inuyasha."

He let out a large, shit-eating grin. "You let her ramble the head of the green imp, don't you? Then you talk with her when she hasn't the energy to ramble any longer. Right?"

The other eyebrow raised to match the elevated one. "I am impressed, hanyou. It did not take you quite as long to figure it out as I had anticipated. How do you plan to use this information?"

Inuyasha frowned, not having thought about it before the question. The grin reappeared. "We're going to get the imp. No question about it."

.oOo.

"You know, when I decided that we were going after the green thing, I kinda expected you to volunteer some information about where he could be, not just tag along for the trip."

After three days of wandering, the group had not made any headway at all. Inuyasha was frustrated as hell and tired of constantly travelling.

Sesshoumaru was amused about the whole thing, not forthcoming at all about the whereabouts of his small vassal. The only thing he'd contributed was the direction, east.

Rin was, as always, happy and spent the days chattering away and picking flowers that she was constantly trying to sneak into Inuyashas hair when she thought he wasn't paying attention. She had yet to succeed once more.

"Hanyou, I have already told you that Jaken is located to the east. You will find out when we find him."

"I hate you. I hate you so much right now." Inuyasha grumbled.

The youkai was almost visibly amused. "I did not know there were moments that you did not hate me, Inuyasha. I shall keep this information secret from the rest of the world."

It made Inuyasha mutter darkly to himself, Sesshoumaru could discern different ways to kill, maim and dismember his youkai self from the ramblings.

Thankfully, Rin wasn't paying attention, too wrapped up in her one-sided conversation about how much she was going to play with her Jaken-sama when they found him.

The sun was beating down on them, just as it had been doing the days before, showing them no mercy. Rin appeared to be fine, as well as Sesshoumaru. The bastard was probably never affected by the weather.

Inuyasha was feeling the heat though, all too much. Something was not right with him. He could feel it but he couldn't pinpoint what it was exactly.

By noon, when there was absolutely no reprieve from the heat, the hanyou was panting lightly. The sound was soft enough not to be heard by the youkai, thankfully.

He was hit by a dizzy spell so suddenly he stumbled and almost fell, just catching himself before hitting the ground with his face. He managed to right himself and glanced back to see both of the other members of the group staring at him, one with concern and one with no expression except a lifted eyebrow.

Blushing, the hanyou faced forward and took a step forward. Or it was supposed to take him forward. The leg crumbled under him, and he kind of sat down where he stood.

"Yeah, apparently I'm not supposed to go any further today." He managed a small smile, battling a bout of nausea. "We're gonna have to make camp here today, I'm not feeling topnotch right now."

Rin was suddenly right in his face. "Inuyasha-san, are you alright? What hurts?"

Inuyasha squinted at her. "Kid, stop spinning around, it's making me dizzy."

Rin frowned. "I'm not spinning, Inuyasha-san, I'm sitting still." She reached her hand forward to feel the hanyous forehead. "Sesshoumaru-sama, Inuyasha-sans forehead is very warm. Like fire. Do you think we can cook breakfast on his head?"

Sesshoumaru smirked slightly. "Any food we cook on the hanyou will taste vile, Rin. I do not encourage you to try."

Inuyasha had just opened his mouth to deliver a witty retort, but at the same moment he was struck by a muscle spasm. All that came out of his mouth was a strangled yelp which he managed to cut of halfway.

Looking back at the youkai, Inuyasha could see a strange light enter the golden eyes. For a crazy moment he thought it might be something akin to worry, but that idea was too foreign to root inside his brain.

Then there was heat and sweat and no more thought process available for a long time. He was vaguely aware of Rins worried face in front of him and lifted a hand to reassure her. Or he would have lifted his hand, but it seemed to have gotten so heavy it wasn't possible.

He became acutely aware of his skin being on fire. The clothes on his body served only to make his body hotter and cause an itch everywhere it touched him. Rin was suddenly gone and instead he was suddenly swimming in a sea of silver.

The heat was suddenly too much for him and he tried to rip the clothes of his body. His fingers didn't want to cooperate though and he just managed to tangle himself further into the fabric of his robes.

Then calm, blessedly cool hands were upon his own, making them still in their quest. He heard a voice, strangely familiar to him though he couldn't make out what the voice was saying. It didn't matter to him, just as long as those hands kept trailing over his.

Suddenly he felt like he was floating, and the wind was picking up around him, chilling his body slightly. It seemed like just a few seconds had passed before the wind stilled again, to his dismay.

He didn't have much time to be unhappy about it though, as the cold hands returned to help him get the itchy robes of his body and then he was surrounded by something chilly. His body felt lighter than usual, his limbs floating around him leisurely.

He felt the hands feeling his face, lingering at his forehead, before trailing up towards his ears. The light touch made it twitch irritably. It managed to keep the water out of his sensitive ear canals though.

He had no idea how long he was submerged in the lovely coolness, but eventually he could feel his senses slowly return. As his eyes slowly opened, he saw absolutely nothing, making him panic before his internal clock reminded him that it was night. At the same time he could make out stars shining above him.

His mind was returning, registering more things than simply hot and cold. He could feel the water around him and realized he had been lowered into a lake somewhere in the woods. The last thing he saw before his mind spiraled back into darkness was a pair of golden eyes searching his eyes for something.

.oOo.

It was light outside when Inuyasha finally opened his eyes again. Althouh quite shakily, he managed to raise himself to a sitting position, resisting the urge to quietly go back to sleep. His vision was swimming, making him nauseous.

"I see you have returned to the land of living, little brother. This Sesshoumaru is gratified, I would have loathed having to use Tenseiga to revive you, just to kill you. It is far more convenient for you to live so I can off you like I have planned."

Swinging his head around, albeit slowly, the hanyou wasn't as surprised as he should be to find Sesshoumaru walking towards him, holding a limp rabbit in one hand. Despite feeling nauseous his stomach growled, reminding him that he hadn't eaten in too long. He licked his lips hungrily.

"I am surprised you are hungry, my experience with illness is the absence of hunger."

Inuyasha was not really registering the words, just hearing the voice droning close to him. His eyes were fixated on the hare, feeling his instincts take over. He growled at Sesshoumaru, baring his fangs and flattening his ears to his skull.

An eyebrow rose slightly on the icy lord. "Perhaps my assessment of illness is too connected with humans. Eat your fill, Inuyasha."

Sesshoumaru tossed the rabbit at his little brother, watching intently as the hanyou ripped it apart and devoured it, hardly chewing it.

Hunger sated, Inuyasha threw the bones down, clean from meat, at the ground. He looked up expectantly at the one who provided him with the food, waiting for more. Sesshoumaru simply stared back until the hanyou folded in front of him, backing away.

Thinking it the first time the hanyou had ever shown submissiveness in front of him, he turned away, surprised from the scene and trying not to show it. This made him miss the calculating look Inuyasha gave him.

He did not go unaware of the hanyou landing square on his back though. Managing to keep his balance he did not fall down, though it was a near thing with the swaying caused by the constantly moving weight on his person.

Sesshoumaru could not scent any maliciousness in his brothers youki, however he could detect a large bout of playfulness. This illness seemed to strip away Inuyashas personality and left only instinct to guide his actions.

Inuyasha was now growling playfully and nipping on the white kimono as well as the long hair. Sesshoumaru decided to leave it unless the nipping spread to his skin. There was no danger in the hanyou hurting him or ripping his kimono, however it was fast becoming annoying.

The hanyou tired before long, letting go of Sesshoumaru and sank down to the ground. The youkai heaved a sigh and folded himself gracefully into a sitting position. He'd barely seated himself before he found himself with a lapful of hanyou, pushing his nose into his face and neck.

A strong, firm hand pushed Inuyasha as far away from him as possible without picking him up and throwing him away. The hanyou ended up a fair distance away, looking quizzically at his brother.

His body language was very clear. Together with his youki his whole presence screamed 'don' t come near me'. Apparently the hanyou was oblivious to this or simply didn't care, for he came bounding back and placed his body directly on the lap of Sesshoumaru.

Sesshoumaru tensed, preparing himself for a more forceful removal of the light body invading his personal space, but instead of bothering him, the hanyou stretched out his body, yawning heavily before settling down and simply fell asleep.

The youkai lord let out a breath and relaxed slightly, resigning himself to spending the rest of the day as the personal pillow of his sick little brother.

.oOo.

The first sensation he became aware of was a pounding headache. It felt like his brain was trying to hack its way out of his skull. With a pair of very dull spoons. The second thing he noticed was a soft sensation under his cheek, was more comfortable than the usual grass or stone he was used to.

Inuyasha opened his eyes slowly, squinting against the strong sunlight piercing his eyes. The sight that met him had him leaping from his place. He landed in a heap a good way away from his glaring older brother.

"Oh shit, what the hell happened to me?!" Inuyasha could feel his heart pounding wildly inside his chest and cold sweat began to slowly gather at the small of his back.

"Little brother, it seems you are in full possession of your instincts once again. You are no doubt grateful to be informed that this Sesshoumaru cared for you through the night while you raged in full delirium."

The color drained steadily from Inuyashas face as he listened. What had he done? What actions had he performed in front of the bastard? What humiliation would he be forced to live through from here on out?

Sesshoumaru noticed the pale face of his brother and frowned. "Are you quite sure you are recovered Inuyasha? I have no desire to relive the events of yesterday."

"I'm recovered asshole. I just wonder what the hell got me under in the first place." The hanyou started pacing as he thought. Sesshoumaru traced his eyes along the figure until Inuyasha stopped abruptly and turned towards him.

"You! I must've caught something from you. I've been just peachy all my life, until you came along with your weird youkai germs!"

Sesshoumaru did his baffled look, which for him was a raised eyebrow. "Youkai do not carry these 'germs' you talk about. You must have consumed something inappropriate."

Inuyasha sputtered. "Don't try that card, mister. I practically raised myself, I know perfectly well what's safe to eat and what to stay the hell away from."

"The only thing this Sesshoumaru possesses that could trigger the disease you suffered is youki. However, you would have shown a reaction much sooner. We have been in close approximation for too long for it to be my youki."

The youkai lord watched as Inuyasha suddenly went blank and sank down to the ground. "Banteki. It must have been Banteki."

Seshoumaru nodded. "I believe it to be so. Though you have not had a reaction to his youki before, I believe his youki became too concentrated at the time the claiming mark was placed upon you."

"I'm gonna kill him. The bastard won't live to see another day after I'm done with him."

Inuyasha continued to rant for a while, leaving the youkai to his own thoughts. Although unusual, a bad reaction to different youki was not unheard of. In this case, it merely proved the compability between Inuyasha and Banteki was nonexistent. That made the claiming mark null and void, there would be no mating between two beings where one was basically allergic to the other.

Sesshoumaru chose to ignore the bizarre feeling of relief he got from the knowledge that Inuyasha was unable to mate with the darker youkai.

He realized suddenly that quiet had spread and looked over at his little brother. Inuyasha looked tired, with a vague red tint on his cheeks.

"Perhaps you do not feel completely recovered, little brother. Do not fret, this Sesshoumaru will stay here should you lose yourself again."

Inuyasha frowned. "Bastard. I'm not gonna go under again. I'm just not all ok yet." A faint pounding had started behind his eyes, so he decided to just stop talking.

"I'm so gonna kill him." It was whispered, but carried with it all the dismay Inuyasha felt at that moment.

Well, he might as well make himself comfortable. He pulled off his fire-rat robe and folded it into a make-shift pillow. Lying down, he let out a quiet sigh, hoping he would be all ok when he woke up. He drifted off listening to Sesshoumaru breathe, and tried not to think about how comforting it was to hear someone else breathing, even if it was a person who had tried to kill him on several separate occasions.

.oOo.

Hope you liked it! I'll try to snap it up a bit and be faster at updating. Work is killing me right now however, so don't expect any miracles. Bye! Love you! R&R please, it fills my motivation meter!