Disclamer: I DO NOT OWN INUYASHA!

Chapter 4- The Bond

Koga ducked into his room with his hands full. In each arm was a fur wrapped bundle. Another one was draped carefully over his shoulder. He paused just inside the entrance and scanned the room. Right where he figured he'd be, Inuyasha lay curled up on top of the furs of the bed. His cub was sleeping in his usual position, spread eagle on his back, next to him. Careful not to wake them, he made his way to the other side of the large room.

He placed the three bundles in his hands into a small cavity in the wall that was lined with furs and soft cloth blankets. He was careful not to jostle them. It wouldn't do to wake them up. It was rather late.

He had just retrieved his three other cubs from the Omega. He was tired and just a little cranky after having to perform the memorial for his own mate and then deal with the questions, well wishing, and condolences of the clan. It wasn't like he didn't appreciate everyone's sympathy, but all the commiserations had done quite the opposite of their intended effect. It only served to make him feel worse. He was supposed to have protected his mate. It was his paramount duty and he had failed it. Having his cubs near would alleviate his guilt and allay his instinctive drive to defend and protect the rest of his family.

Having deposited his other cubs in their chamber, he turned to retrieve his youngest from the side of his inu guest. Carefully he reached over Inuyasha to pick up Kunio. He noticed Inuyasha heave a sigh, unconsciously taking in the scent of the figure standing over him, and relaxed. He turned and tucked Kunio in with his brothers and sister, settling on top of his siblings to find a comfortable spot in the tangled limbs of the puppy pile they created in their cozy sleeping space.

His cubs warm and safe, he once again turned his attention to the inu sleeping on his furs. This would be the third night he would be sleeping with the hanyo by his side. In the back of his mind, he noted that it was strange. Before only four days ago their entire relationship had been made up of fighting or arguing, if not both at the same time. However, he was glad that he had the mutt here with him. His bed would be woefully empty. As an alpha male, his urge to protect and provide was especially strong, and Inuyasha had served as a good outlet for those urges so far. Heh, if the mutt knew that he'd try to gut me.

Koga quietly pulled off his armor and furs, lost in intertwining thoughts of his lost mate and the dog in his bed. He wrapped himself in a short and very old yukata. He normally slept naked with his mate, but he figured Inuyasha would be less than excited about waking up to see his rival in all his glory next to him in bed. Gathering one of the large furs that served as bedding and cover, he slipped in beside the inu, covered them both with the fur, and drifted to sleep.

IKIKIKIKIKIKIKI

He was rooted to the ground. He could not move, but he desperately wanted to.

"Mother!" he shouted. Thick knotted vines reached out and grabbed the woman from his embrace. The vines dragged her away. They twisted and tightened around his mother's waist, pulling at her ankles and restraining her arms.

"My Inuyasha!" she called to her child, "I'm sorry, my precious!" the vines hold became even stronger as they secured her firmly to the tree. Mother was in pain. The vines were squeezing so tight.

Suddenly the boar youkai was thundering toward her. He was angry, grunting in pain and animosity. He lowered his head, placing his tusks at the perfect angle to spear through her chest. The tusks bubbled with deadly poison. As he ran he transformed. Slowly the image morphed into that of a glowing arrow. It shined pink with sacred power. It struck. Speared through the chest, Mother sank into a deep enchanted sleep, imprisoned on the Goshinboku.

He searched for the origin of the arrow that imprisoned his mother. "No. Kikyo, Why?"

The Miko strolled toward him. She was glorious in her beauty. She glowed with holy power. She made no sound as she approached his spot in the grass. Her face was a vision, marred only by the fierce look of loathing in her deep brown eyes that she placed on him.

"Why, Inuyasha? Because you betrayed me! I thought you loved me, but you brought nothing but sorrow with you," she breathed, her voice as calm as her gentle, steady, slow stride toward him. "If you had never tricked me into loving you, I would have lived. I will brig you to hell for this betrayal"

He wanted to shake his head. He wanted to deny the words, to deny the pain. He wanted to step back from the venom in her voice, in her eyes. But he knew he could not. The world turned orange with fire around him.

She walked onward, her hate filled eyes never leaving his. Then, once again, the image began to change. Her Miko robes shortened and turned green. Her face rounded and her deep brown eyes lightened in color. The hate disappeared from them.

"Kagome!" he cried.

Kagome was alight with happiness. She threw her arms open and continued her path toward him, breaking into a run. "Inuyasha!"

They embraced. He was so happy! His world became sky blue in contentment. She was warm. Her skin was soft on his cheek. She smelled wonderfully, comfortably, deliciously of wolf.

"Inuyasha! I have wonderful news!" she said excitedly, as she pulled away. He was always infected with her energy when she was around him. Beaming at him, she continued, "I found the one I love! I will be leaving you to mate with him on the other side of the well!"

He could feel his face fall. His world turned black.

"Kagome! No! NO! We are supposed to be together!" he cried, "Yo-you said! You said you would be back for me. You said I could be happy now!"

"Inuyasha," Kagome growled, her eyes icing over with anger, "you are not happy for me? You are so selfish. Inuyasha… SIT BOY!"

He slammed into the hard earth. "I'M SORRY!" He was rewarded with another sit. He repeated his apology, his plea to be loved, and every time the only response he received was more abuse. Over and over, he was pounded into the ground, until he could only see the black sky above the opening of the deep hole he laid in.

Shippo perched on the wooden ledge, called down to him over the edge of the Bone Eater's well. "Inuyashaaaaa! Aren't you coming out?"

Miroku's melodious voice wafted down the shaft as he appeared at the edge of the well. "You are supposed to protect us, Inuyasha," he gently reminded.

"You are supposed to be strong," Sango had appeared beside Miroku, speaking as if this was an every day conversation about the weather, "You are not worthy to be part of our pack."

"We are leaving," the monk smiled kindly down at him, "You have failed us."

IKIKIKIKIKIKIKI

Koga was awakened by movement at his back. That damn mutt was rolling around in his sleep. He turned toward his bed partner and started. Inuyasha's face was twisted in pain. He looked like he was crying, though no tears fell. His mouth was working out silent words. Over and over his mouth formed the words "I'm sorry". Koga laid beside him, entranced at the sight, until those lips let out a sound. He began to whimper repeatedly, shaking his head from side to side and clenching and unclenching his fists.

Koga's demon called out to him to protect his charge. Slowly he inched his way closer to the hanyo. He placed a hand on Inuyasha's arm and rubbed lightly. The sleeping inu ceased the clenching of his fists, but continued to be distressed. Koga moved closer. He loosely circled his arm over inuyasha's waist and the inu stilled completely. The ookami tightened his grasp on the puppy and pulled him closer, stroking his hand up and down his back. The shaking puppy leaned into Koga's warmth. Slowly his whimpers began to die down. He gulped down breaths of air, jamming his face into the wolf's chest. The puppy pressed himself into Koga, and his body began to relax.

Koga lay there, resting on the top of the inu's head, twin velvet puppy ears on either side of his chin. He didn't know what to think. He never saw himself ever falling into this position. The mutt must have really been through a lot in the time since he had last seen him. There was no way he would have ever seen this side of the inu before. If he were honest with himself, Koga was a little concerned about the pup. But all would be well. For now he was under the ookami lord's attendance. Koga drifted back to sleep with the thought that no harm would come to the pup on his watch, even if the pain came from within.

IKIKIKIKIKIKIKI

"Hehe! You guys should wake the mutt up," a familiar voice laughed.

Inuyasha lay asleep, or at least he was. The haze of slumber swirled in his mind as he climbed back to consciousness. He could sense movement around him and five presences near by, but they did not give off a killing intent so he was otherwise too sleepy to care.

Suddenly two chubby hands grasped his face and a loud squealing giggle sounded. His eyes cracked open. Two winter blue eyes met his, resting only inches from his face. "Heya Squirt," he murmured. He took a breath and shut his eyes, only to snap them back open. Squirt wasn't the only one he smelled beside him. Taking the cub in his arms and sat up slowly, noting that his torn muscles felt much better, thanks to the time spent in the hot spring.

He blinked at the sight that greeted him. The ookami bastard was sitting on the edge of the furs. In his lap sat a cub whose face was mostly hidden with a light blue blanket that draped over his head and wrapped loosely around him. With his thumb stuck in his mouth, the only features that could be seen were a tuft of brown spiky hair and a single indigo eye that stared fixedly at him. Between where Inuyasha and the wolf sat were two more cubs. One, on the left, was a pretty little girl. Bright sea foam green eyes shone at him from beneath thick auburn hair, tied up in short pig tails on the top of her head. She sat next to her big brother. He eyed the hanyo with his sharp emerald green eyes, dark ebony tresses curled at his face and, though his hair was much to short to really pull it off, a small pony tail was tied at the back of his head, much like his father's signature style.

Inuyasha continued to blink stupidly at them. They were all starring at him. "Err.."

"Ahaha! You look so stupid right now, Mutt Face!" Koga laughed.

Inuyasha growled at him but was cut short as the black haired boy before him suddenly came forward. The boy sniffed at him as he crawled to Inuyasha's knees. Seeing that her big brother had not found anything objectionable in the inu, the little girl crawled forward as well. They sat at Inuyasha's bent knees gazing up at him. "Uhh… 'Sup?"

Getting his chuckling under control, Koga began introductions. "These are the rest of my cubs, Dog Breath," he pointed to the cubs at his lap, "That little princess is my Kozue," the pig-tailed girl turned and yipped at her father in acknowledgement, "that little guy is my oldest, Kingo," the black haired boy puffed out his chest in a very Koga-like gesture, "and this tyke here is Kaishi," he pointed at the cub in his lap who shrank away under the attention, "the one you have is my youngest, Kunio," he finished.

Koga addressed his cubs, "Guys, this is Mu- errr… this is Inuyasha."

Inuyasha glared at him, catching his misstep. He turned his attention back to the cubs, and gave them a nod at the introduction. They simply starred back.

"So, uhh, I usually leave them with their mother," Koga paused to frown, "but now we gotta wait for the Omega to come get them. Then-"

"The Omega?" Inuyasha questioned.

"Oh. The Omega is the lowest ranking family in the clan. It's their duty to watch the clan's children," Inuyasha nodded his understanding, "Anyway, after they get here, I was wondering if you would come with me to visit someone."

As Inuyasha was opening his mouth to respond, a call came from beyond the entrance's hide covering. "Chief?"

"Yeah, come in," Koga responded, as he stood from the furs with Kaishi in his arms. The Omega pushed aside the hide and entered. He was young boy, no older than Inuyasha. He had a kind air about him. Smoky grey hair fell over his shoulders and he eyed Inuyasha curiously with violet eyes. He took Kaishi as Koga handed him over, then turned toward Inuyasha, intent on scooping up Kunio.

"Oh, no. Kunio's coming with us." Koga informed, "Come on guys. Say 'bye' to Inuyasha and go with Ichijo."

"Bye Yassa!" waved Kozue. Kingo simply grunted his good bye and together the cubs scampered out f the room after the Omega. Inuyasha simply quirked an eyebrow at them. He didn't know they could talk and he wasn't quite sure how to take being called "Yasha" or the baby variant. Kagome had tried to employ the nick-name a few times, but she was back to "Inuyasha" after a long and very loud tantrum on Inuyasha's part.

"So, you coming?" Koga inquired, breaking the inu out of his thoughts. He grunted his reply, and stood up from his sleeping place with Squirt in hand.

Koga lead the way out of the room and through the many corridors of the cave system. I would never be able to get anywhere around here, Inuyasha thought in wonder. Inuyasha instead turned his gaze to the cub in his arms.

Kunio huh? Inuyasha frowned down at the babe. "I still like Squirt better," he said aloud, seemingly to no one in particular as he trudged behind Koga down a tunnel. When said cub looked up at him and giggled in responds, a small smirk appeared on his face.

"Here we are," Koga said, stopping at an opening in the rock wall. He turned and yelled out to the occupant of the room, "Choshi-sama! It's me, Koga. May we enter?"

A knotted old hand tugged back the bear skin covering of the door. A small and ancient looking woman peered out at them with a wide and nearly toothless, but none the less welcoming smile. "Hai, come in young ones."

Koga followed her in and held the hide open for Inuyasha. Inside was a small low ceilinged room, filled with books, potions, and other varied and seemingly random items of all kinds. The old woman Choshi-sama, sat on a worn cushion near a bubbling pot that sat over a large fire. Beside her were two more worn cushions, at which she directed her guests to sit.

Inuyasha sat and placed the cub in his lap. His hostess sat to his right. She was a small woman, though squat and rounded. She sat hunched in age, her long grey hair hung, tied loosely at the nape, down her back. Around her shoulders she wore a forest green cotton shawl, under which lay a simple light blue kimono with dark blue obi. She is so much like Kaede-baba, he sighed inwardly at the memory of the woman was like a grandmother to him.

"Now, now, Little One. No need to be so sad." She turned he face toward the shocked inu. It was then that Inuyasha realized she was blind. Her eyes, though a soft grey, were milky and clouded. Inuyasha grumbled under his breath, not sure how she knew his thoughts or how he would respond if he did.

"Choshi-sama, this is Inuyasha. Inuyasha, this is Choshi-sama. She is one of our clan elders as well as a seer and healer," Koga introduced.

"Greetings, Little One," Inuyasha scrunched his nose at the offending title, "My Lord, you have come about this bond I am sensing," she stated knowingly. Koga nodded, not bothered that she was in fact blind and couldn't see it. "It is very strong between them. I can feel its pull."

Koga sighed worriedly. He looked to Inuyasha to see his reaction, but only found him smirking down at the cub who had taken up a game of peek-a-boo from inside Inuyasha's large sleeves. "So this is an actual physical thing? It's not Kunio just being scared?"

"No, indeed, My Lord." Koga watched the pup and the cub play for a moment.

"Well, I understand why Kunio might wish to attach himself to a protector, but what about the Mutt? I've never seen him like this." Inuyasha, who was indeed listening, regardless of appearances, narrowed his eyes at his lap. Choshi-sama quirked her head to the side in thought.

"Little One," she called to Inuyasha, "come nearer to me." She held out her hand as he moved closer on his knees until he was sitting in front of her. She cupped his cheek softly and, despite being blind, locked eyes with him. She reached into his aura, sifting through his memories, thoughts, and feelings. "Oh, Little One," she said with a sad frown, "what suffering you have gone through."

Inuyasha quickly yanked out of her reach and sat back down on his cushion by the cub. He growled in annoyance, folded his arms inside his sleeves, and scowled at the floor. He didn't know why he was so mad at the words of the old woman, but that didn't stop him from being so.

"Who else could it be, but Inuyasha, to bond so deeply with your young cub? His heart is full of love but his life is empty of it. And there was a cub, in need of a protector, having just lost his mother, a situation the Little One can easily relate to." Inuyasha growled louder. It felt as if all of his vulnerabilities were being laid bare to the wolves. And it didn't help that they were talking about him as if he wasn't there. Sensing this, Choshi-sama turned back to Inuyasha, "How do you feel when you are with the young cub, Little One?"

Inuyasha's scowl smoothed as he thought of his time with his cub. "Warm. I feel warm inside. Like it's coming from my chest."

Choshi nodded. "I have not seen this bond in many centuries. What they have is deep. They have connected their souls. It is one lost soul reaching out to another. Kunio must have been felt safe and protected in order to form this bond. Inuyasha's own longing for family only made the union that much stronger."

"So when can we expect this to wear off?" Koga questioned. This was starting to sound a lot more involved than he had thought it was.

"There will be no wearing off, My Lord. When they came together and formed a bond, their souls bound. They entwined their very beings together. While the pull to be together may slacken with time, to be separated would mean to leave them both incomplete. A part of them would, literally, be missing. What I suggest you do, is find a place for the Little One in your family." Inuyasha's head shot up from where he had been glaring at the floor, and Koga's mouth dropped open.

"WHAT?"

A/N: It turns out that creating OCs that you actually like is hard! Four cubs are too many! Now I have to come up with things for them to say and do! Tell me what you thought of the new characters. I'd love to hear what you think!

Also, it seems that a couple of you that have read the review responses disagree with me and think a dose of mpreg would be a valued piece of the story. I'm all for Mpreg and I'm willing to work it in to the loose plot line I have in my brain. So I'd like to put it to a vote. Should I include a pregnancy or no? Send me a review and let me know your opinion. I will count all those who expressed an opinion already, as well. Majority will rule. And if you have any suggestions on why Inuyasha would get pregnant, let me know, I mean, cause of the whole him being a male thing and all!