Summary: Minato Namikaze sees something he should not have and learns something few knew about kekkai genkai (bloodline limits).
AN: I do not own Inuyasha and co, or Naruto and co.
AN: Consider this an AU, some canon elements from InuYasha but more AR near the end of the series. And the split in Narutoverse happens even further back in the canon timeline, before the manga even begins, before the Kyuubi attack, so it is an alternate history to canon-Narutoverse.
...ooO Discoveries Ooo...
Namikaze Minato frowned as he studied the curious array of fuuin jutsus drawn on narrow strips of paper nailed to the trees. Each alone was insignificant, but as a whole it was sheer Genius. It had been pure chance he had noticed how a certain portion of the forest seemed 'masked' to his senses during one of his solo delivery missions to Tea Country. Curiosity had him looking more closely during his free days until he managed to penetrate the outer layers of the 'muffling' seal barriers.
The inner layers were too strong to break through but his current infiltration allowed him to observe the resident of a small residence on the property, a young woman clad in dark green hakamas with a white top and haori and wearing sensible leather boots. She carried a tall staff topped with a brass capped ornament decorated by rings that chimed when the brass capped end struck the ground.
She did not seem quite aware of her surroundings as she wandered towards a tall ancient tree. She knelt on the ground placing her staff across her knees and chanted. As she prayed a soft glow surrounded her hands and then her entire body. At the apex of the spell the energy rose and flew into the tree before her. She fell back to sit on her butt panting heavily.
Minato stiffened as he saw the wood of the tree shift and form an old weathered face that blinked placidly before speaking.
"Who has summoned me?"
"Bokunetsu-sensei, it is I, Kagome." She laughed, a sound torn between joy and sorrow. "It is so good to see you once more."
"Surely you did not Summon me to just to cry on this old mori-youkai, Kagome-chan." There was a brief pause as wise eyes studied the tired young woman. "Why have you Called on me child?"
"I'm running out of the herbs for the potion. I won't be able to feed the kits without a new supply."
That made Bokunetsu concerned. "That is a problem. How many more days can you feed them?"
"Three. Five at best. The kits are greedy gluttons and I had to increase the dose to produce enough milk to feed all four." She sighed. "The recipe was designed to help youkai lactate; I had to experiment to produce a potion that would allow me to breastfeed them. Inarishin is out looking for a local source but the best herbs come from Makai. Most of the youki has dissipated from Ningenkai. Nothing here has the potency it used to. Once upon a time during time of myth and legend." She sighed heavily.
Bokunetsu sighed in response as well. "You are right. It was hard forming the link to answer your Call."
"Please ask Sesshoumaru to hurry. He trusted me to look after the kits but I cannot do anything if I run dry and they starve. I'm stretching the supply by using milk from the village herd between feedings."
Bokunetsu frowned. "Do you have the herbs with you?"
"Hai." Kagome produced a cheese cloth bundle from her sleeve.
"Put it on the ground. I'll try to increase the potency so you can cut it."
Kagome obeyed and stepped back.
Before Minatos incredulous eyes the tree-face breathed a cloud of glittering dust that settled on the bundle making it glow soft green-gold. The action was repeated until Bokunetsu was satisfied.
"You should be able to cut the mixture by thirds. Sesshoumaru will be back in eight days. He is on the last campaign circuit to avenge his vassals. Toshiro is paying a heavy price. So are his allies."
"I hope they are dead. I hope Sesshoumaru poisoned them and dissolved just their limbs so they survive in agony." Kagome hissed viciously.
"That is quite… vicious. What happened to the gentle miko who wanted to be friends with all?"
Kagome picked up the bundle and her staff using the pole to get to her feet. "She died when her allies betrayed her and left her to be saved by her once mortal enemy. I owe loyalty only to Sesshoumaru and the House of Inu no Taisho."
Bokunetsu was disturbed. "He will never love you. It is not in his nature to love a ningen."
Kagome laughed, a true honest laugh. "You are so silly Bokunetsu-sensei! Sesshoumaru is my Pack, my Alpha, my Protector. He will never be my lover or mate. He is too far above me. Besides he has little love to give, it is best he save it for his pups."
Bokunetsu was intrigued. "You trust him."
"He will never betray me like my own people; do what my allies and friends did to save their skin. He will cut ties to my face and walk away first."
"You know what the hardest thing is?" By now the mikos voice was shaking. "If they asked me I would have said yes. I loved them Bokunetsu; I would have done anything to keep them safe, even sacrifice myself." She dashed the tears from misty blue eyes. "No more! Now I choose who to serve and it is not Ningens!"
She fell against the tree wrapping her arms around the massive trunk crying her heart out.
Two branches grew from the massive trunk forming make shift 'arms' that wrapped around the young woman. Twigs formed a 'hand' that stroked the black wavy tresses and trembling back.
Minato froze and wondered what sort of sacrifice the young woman had been forced to endure; what would have driven her to hate her own kind.
Twenty minutes passed before another male entered the clearing, an older warrior dressed in samurai garb. His unhumanity showed in cat-slit green eyes, pointed ears displayed by the high horsetail restraining waist-long burnished red hair, and the claw tipped fingers holding a large basket.
The branches moved allowing Kagome to step away from Bokunetsu.
"Inarishin. Did you find any of the herbs?"
"Only maidens tongue and milkweed. There is no Spirits Breath in Ningenkai. None of the apothecaries or herbalists recognized the sample I showed them."
Kagome snorted. "I'm not surprised. Ningens destroy everything for profit or benefits gained right Now. Very few bother to husband limited supplies for future generations. But no matter, Bokunetsu has increased the potency of what I have left. It should last until Sesshoumaru returns." Her eyes softened as they fell on the basket. "Are they awake?"
"Almost." Inarishin put the basket down and removed a wax corked clay vessel. Sharp claws removed the wax plug and handed the container to the miko who drank it without a qualm. As she chugged the fluid down he spread out a blanket and moved the basket onto it. Reaching in took out a smaller blanket that he spread on the thicket spread. Then he carefully removed a small furry form, a tiny fox-cub.
Minato watched as the not-man made a few strange hand seals above the kit. A gold glow bathed the cub that blinked and struggled to its four paws before collapsing and morphing into a naked human looking baby with bright red hair that began to cry.
In practiced motions Kagome wrapped the now-baby in the blanket and turned away from the not-man, and incidentally towards the confused Konoha shinobi.
Minato blushed but did not turn away as she loosened her obi, pushing apart her top to reveal she wore a corset over a flimsy petticoat to support and restrain her breasts. A finger loosened the top lacings to peel apart the heavy linen and reveal lush curves tipped with large dark areoles leaking white fluid.
In practiced motions the baby was resting in the crook of her arm and suckling noisily.
Minato was torn between staying to hear more and leaving to maintain her obvious desire for modesty. What he heard next made him stay.
"Inarishin, your litter mate has been avenged by blood and fang. Her defiler suffered a hundred deaths before the Inu no Taisho was satisfied."
Inarishin shrugged. "That is no surprise Bokunetsu-sama. Tomoe was mated to Sesshoumaru-samas favoured general. He would never let such a slur go unanswered." He sighed. "The only question is what to do with the kits. Our elder brother can raise them but Takashi-sans lineage served the Western Lands for generations. Sesshoumaru-sama will be unwilling to let them go." By now two other now-human babies squirmed in their blanket swaddling clothes.
Kagome pulled her top close before she handed the child to Inarishin for burping and settled the next one against her other breast.
Then she snorted. "Sesshoumaru is a bachelor. Even when he took Rin in she was old enough to look after herself but these ones are too young. He does not maintain a complete household let alone a nursery."
Bokunetsu nodded. "True. Even now he wanders, and his court follows him. That is no life for a kit. Even he was raised in Sugimi-samas mountain stronghold until he was old enough for court life and training."
"There isn't much we can do." She spoke softly. "It is his choice. He might decide to foster one kit who will serve the Western Lands upon maturity. Perhaps one of Shippos sons that have kits of their own."
Inarishin wiped away the spat up milk with a rag and settled the sated baby into the basket. Some minor illusions to entertain the two remaining kits who were alert and squirming.
"Sesshoumaru does what he feels is best. It is not our place to question him." Kagome said with some finality.
Inarishin opened his mouth then shut it after a sharp glance from the ancient mori-youkai. With obvious care he touched on another issue of contention.
"Kagome-dono, can we please move inside where it is more defensible?"
Kagome laughed. "Why Inarishin? The sutras keep out intruders. No one can see or sense us."
"And neither can we." Inarishin countered sharply. "They work both ways."
Kagome dug in her proverbial heels. "If someone out there is watching they have not attacked."
"It only means they have not penetrated the strongest inner layers."
She shrugged. "It does not matter. Sesshoumaru will come for us and this will be a moot point."
Seeing she was not going to bend Inarishin remained silent.
Bokunetsu sighed. "I must leave miko. I will inform Sesshoumaru of events. Until he comes please try to stay out of trouble."
Kagome laughed. "You worry so Bokunetsu-sensei." She got on her knees to brush a kiss against the weathered bark face. "I am a big girl now."
"A big girl with potential for bigger heartaches." Bokunetsu grumbled.
"I think I've gone through my quota of suffering. If anything the Fates owe me happiness."
Bokunetsu grumbled but he could not counter her point. "You have suffered miko but you are Fates Child. What bonds you form will always be tested. It is the Gods way of ensuring you are always surrounded by true allies."
"Then it is best I return to Makai isn't it? It is only among youkai I find those with honour who will keep their Vows. The Fates must be laughing, I am a miko who can only find Protectors among those I am meant to kill!"
"Kagome-dono!" Inarishin protested aghast.
A soft pink glow surrounded her, a halo of crackling energy that stung and lashed out at Inarishin though the child within her embrace only giggled. The miko shied away in an attempt to create some distance. Unbalanced she fell heavily onto her side though she managed to keep most of her weight from falling on the suckling kit.
She was sobbing now. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry Inarishin! I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to!" The pink glow retreated.
Inarishin hesitantly touched her shoulder before taking the giggling child from her. Carefully he adjusted her top close, loosely knotting the ties before wrapping his arm around her shoulders and tucking her head under his chin.
"My grandsire told me stories of the Shikon Miko who saved ningen and youkai with no discrimination. Of her kindness, generosity and beauty. How she Changed everyone she touched, made them stronger. When the tales described her death saved everyone it felt wrong. The Gods would never create such a creature only to demand her death. Sesshoumaru-sama felt the same way. That is why he looked for a way to bring you back."
"Inarishin is right Kagome-chan. Sesshoumaru felt he failed you. That is why he became the Shikons Protector and pushed for the Treaties that Governed the Splitting of the Realms. By becoming a Cardinal of Makai he gained enough power and influence to rewrite the Rules of Protection."
Kagome smiled hesitantly. "That proves my point Inarishin. He was my mortal enemy, my reluctant ally, and he alone fought for me; out of obligation but for Me! Everyone else pretended I did not exist, that I died and that was the end of it. He Remembered! His capacity for loyalty has exceeded that of his sire, the Great and Terrible Dog General." Misty eyes turned distant. "I saw Sugimi-sama once; when Sou'unga was loose. He spoke to Sesshoumaru. 'Have you someone to protect?'"
She picked up the third kit to feed but this time she threw a shawl over one shoulder to maintain her modesty.
Bokunetsu chuckled. "Sesshoumaru walked the Path of Conquest seeking power by overcoming strong opponents to exceed his sire. Sugimi-sama must be very pleased the son and heir has exceeded the sire by choosing to bestow his protection and loyalty."
"Sugimi-sama believed true strength was gained when you fought to protect someone. Youkais are more durable, but ningens are so fragile, and yet they hold so much potential. He created the two Fangs to Protect, the Sword of Heaven to restore life, the Sword of Man to protect life. It took his heir centuries but he eventually mastered that lesson."
"That explains why he can use Tetsaiga. Did he get it after InuYasha died?"
"The Fang refused to respond to the hanyou after you were sacrificed. It continued to seal his youkai blood but it would never transform for him. The hanyou was furious but he had broken the Enchantment by betraying you. He gave it to the houshi after a few decades. The monastery was destroyed by roaming bandits. Sesshoumaru hunted them down after a raid on his lands. He found the Fang and it accepted him."
"InuYasha must have been furious when he found out."
"Oh he was. The houshi had to bind and seal him to stop his rampages. After a year of continuous assaults that ended in his thrashing and warnings about his foolish actions Sesshoumaru finally killed him."
Kagome snorted. "That sounds about right. I'm surprised Sesshoumaru didn't kill him after first three times."
Bokunetsu smirked. "He wanted it to be very clear to everyone that it was the hanyous foolish actions that caused his death. Any other tai, even one of the more peaceful ones, would have killed the brat after the first month."
Kagome shook her head. "I cried all my tears months ago. I don't feel the slightest bit of sadness for InuYasha. He made his choice."
"He did. And such bad choices. It was simply one of the last in a long string of ill-considered judgments."
Kagome shrugged. "He was never willing to accept responsibility for his actions and choices." She snorted. "Few ningens ever are."
Both youkai sighed. "Kagome." "Kagome-dono."
"Just don't put down all ningens." Inarishin chided gently. "You cannot live in the Western Lands forever. You will need to find a ningen mate."
Kagome shifted clearly uneasy. "Why can't I find a nice youkai?" She asked carefully as she put down the full kit to pick up the last one settled against her breast and suckling under the blanket.
"Because the union will most likely be barren and short. Your powers would purify any offspring conceived and resist any attempts at a mating bond."
Kagome frowned as she rocked the suckling kit. "But I'm breastfeeding a kitsune. Tamako-chan was not affected when I lost control."
"Young ones are more flexible to accept alien energies. All four will most likely have greater resistance to purification when they grow up. Likewise a human newborn infused with youki will be more resistant and durable when he or she matures."
Kagome considered Bokunetsus words. "So you are saying, if I have a child with spiritual powers, he or she can have a youkai mate if I ask a youkai to mark them when they are young."
Inarishin nodded. "Hai. It is a standard youkai blessing that gifts the child some of the youkai god-parents traits. Many of the shinobi kekkai genkai originated from a youkai Blessing. It has fallen into disuse as ningens forget they are the petitioners and become more arrogant and demanding. The only active youkai Gifts that remain are the Summoning Contracts but even then the Boss Summons can insist on a very high energy price to be called on. Manda-san is very angry with his main contract holder so he insists on human life price. Unfortunately it often ends up being the holders enemies."
Kagome snorted. "If Manda is really smart he would insist on being paid with teeth of a bird, feathers of a dog, tears of a fish, and dew gathered from the heart of morning glory blooms at midnight under the light of a blue moon." Seeing their incredulous looks she explained. "It is from a childrens fairy tale. All of these things are impossible to gather unless you create the species, bird with teeth, dogs with feathers, fish that cry, morning glorys that bloom at night."
Inarishin snorted. "I never thought of that and I'm a fox!" He grinned. "I have to tell Manda that. It just might get that Oro-teme pissed enough to destroy the Contract."
Kagome smirked. "Glad to help. Now lets go in. I'm getting hungry myself." She staggered to her feet holding the last child and smiled at the mori-youkai. "Thank you Bokunetsu. Please tell Sesshoumaru to hurry."
"Of course Kagome-chan." And with that the face faded and the tree was just a tree. With odd lower branches that looked almost like arms.
Namikaze Minato sat there and considered all the information his curiosity had unearthed. Deep inside he knew he had to keep this a secret. If the Council ever found a youkai Blessing could Create kekkai genkai they'd probably try to call on a youkai and force it to do just that. And that young woman, Kagome… He shuddered imagining just what they'd do to control someone like her, someone with youkai allies and protectors.
Review, Review, Review