Urgh! Getting this chapter out was a BITCH! It's a little short. Sorry, Pals. Enjoy!

Chapter 5- The Bond Part II


Did she just say what I think she just said? Inuyasha's mind shuttered to a stop. He stared at the old woman before him. Her milky eyes gazed blankly into the fire before them as a small smile slid onto her face. She nodded at the exclamations, "Indeed, Young Ones."

Inuyasha scowled at her in his confusion. He turned his gaze to Koga when he got no further response from the old woman. Koga was flicking his gaze between the woman and the inu. His expression revealed his shock. With his mouth hanging open and his eyes wide, Inuyasha would have laughed at the stupid look on his face if he wasn't so overcome himself.

"Well who the hell said I even want to be part of his family?" Inuyasha barked, fighting the emotion he felt rising in his chest. He didn't know if it was fear or excitement, but he knew he had to control it for now as he had to participate in this conversation that was seemingly determining the very course of the rest of his life. He occupied his hands by carding them through the young cub's hair, as he leaned against his thigh, the action serving to calm him.

"Little One, you have already bound yourself to the Lord's family when you connected your soul with young Kunio-chan's," the elder calmly explained.

"The mutt is supposed to become part of my family? What, like my son or something?" Koga asked incredulously, somewhat disturbed by that idea. Inuyasha scoffed. He didn't care what the old woman said; he would never allow Koga of all people to parade around as his father.

"He will fill whatever role that would be best for the family," Choshi-sama said.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Koga asked, his voice taking on a wary tone.

"My Lord, this bond is deeply magical. Its effects will be far reaching. Though I do not know exactly what those effects will be, it is safe to say that it will try to further attach its self to the family as a whole. The Little One will truly be a part of you and your cubs and you a part of him," the seer paused, appearing to think for a moment. "I suppose one could say that the bond will guide you to what place you will best fit in each other's lives."

Inuyasha was conflicted. His heart pounded at the thought of being part of a family again, of finally not being alone. They were all demons, too. Even when he thought he would have a family with Kagome, Miroku, and Sango, they were human and he knew he would out live them by centuries. With Koga and his cubs, that would never be the situation. But it sounded horribly like they would be stuck with him, whether either of them wanted him there or not. He was apprehensive that it might be the case that he would indeed be unwelcome here as with everywhere else. But what worried him the most was the talk about these "far reaching" effects. "So, what kind of effects are we talking about here?" he grumbled low, licking his lips nervously.

The baba paused again in thought. "Well Little One," she began slowly, "as I've said before, I have not sensed this bond in many centuries. It is rare magic. The few instances I have been witness to had varied side effects. They ranged from physical changes in bonded members, the formations of emotional connections, to other sensitivities between them, such as needing to touch each other or hearing each other's thoughts. I can not say what you will experience."

"H-how can that be?" Inuyasha was definitely starting to get nervous now. Would he bombarded with their thoughts of how much they hated him now? Would he be able to feel their rage? Would he no longer be himself, but change into what the wolf wanted him to be? He wasn't sure what the wolf thought of him, but he can't be that different than everyone else. He remembered that, after that incident with Naraku's attachment Kagura where the wolf nearly killed him in mistaken revenge, Koga had never really showed that he hated him, but what if he was mad because he drove Kagome away? What if the wolf blamed him?

But he couldn't show his weakness. He masked his fear in anger as he clenched his fists in his lap and shouted, "I don't want this!"

"Hush, Little One," Choshi-sama leaned over and placed a calming hand on his shoulder. She slid it up his neck and up to his cheek where she stroked the soft skin with her thumb. He felt himself calm, a cooling sensation swirling in his chest. "It will be alright. This is where you belong. You would not have bound yourself to a soul that did not need you as much, if not more, than you need it. Do not fear my dear Little One. This is your place, your destiny."

Inuyasha gazed into the old woman's sightless eyes. He wanted to believe her, but nothing was ever as easy as that. Not for him at least.

Calmed but saddened by the truth of his thoughts, Inuyasha bowed his head. The old woman allowed his face to fall from her grasp. He gathered his cub to him, cradling him in his arms. The cub squirmed in his arms, entirely bored with the adult's discussion. He reached up to play with the inu's soft hair, which fell over his shoulder and tickled the cub's nose.

Inuyasha sighed, feeling the gentle tugs on his scalp. He watched his pup play. He was worth it, he knew. Even if it turned out that Koga and his clan hated him, he knew now that even if he had wanted to, even if he wasn't bound to him, he would never leave the little squirt.

He understood that what that Choshi-baba was saying was truth. When she had gazed into his eyes, he had sensed her power. It wasn't youki, but something warmer, brighter, lighter. He felt it probe at him and surround him. It caressed his mind and in an instant, he saw his life, experienced each emotion, and was jolted by every sensation. She had obviously been able to see what he had seen.

If she said that he was bound to Koga's family, then he believed he was. If she said that this was where he truly belonged, well, he had a harder time believing that, but he would go along with it… for now.

Koga watched the scene in silent wonder. The emotions flitting across the pup's face were upsetting to him. He looked afraid, though of what, he wasn't sure. He supposed he would feel the same way if he suddenly found himself in such an overwhelming situation. As it was, he was in a bit of shock himself. Inuyasha was now his responsibility? The mutt was now his family? The wolf was surprised that he didn't find that idea as repellent as he would have once thought.

He sighed. This was a bit more than he had anticipated when he retrieved the frozen inu from the valley. It worried him that his young cub had so easily attached himself to a stranger. He was lucky it had been Inuyasha. He knew Inuyasha- at least, he new him somewhat from more than twenty years ago. Maybe they could get along without Kagome to come between them. Things seemed to be going alright so far.

The wolf chief was grateful for Choshi-sama as well. Without her and her vast knowledge, this situation could have gotten out of control. He wouldn't have known about the soul binding and might have ended up hurting his cub by letting Inuyasha leave. He frowned at the thought. He didn't like the idea of the puppy leaving.

Koga's eyes grew wide in realization. He didn't want the mutt to leave him and the cubs. Was the bond already drawing him to the inu? He knew that he had developed a protective attitude toward him, but he had figured it was the result of recently loosing his mate. He was an alpha and needed to protect his pack. When he had failed in that, he thought his instincts just intensified those feelings in order to better protect his charges. Could it, in fact, be the beginnings of the formation of the soul bond between him and the mutt? Was his soul already woven with his? He didn't think it was. He didn't feel that different, just a little possessive of the mutt.

If it was the bond, would he have some of those side effects Choshi-sama had spoken of? What did Choshi-sama mean when she said "physical changes"? Would he start to look like the hanyo? Would his hair turn that glorious shade of snowy white? Grow puppy ears? Koga mentally grimaced. As adorable as they were on the mutt, he would not be happy if floppy puppy ears suddenly sprouted from his head… and he was just going to ignore that he had just thought of Inuyasha as adorable.

Koga stood from where he sat on his cushion by the fire. "Well, Choshi-sama, I must say it has been an interesting visit. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us. I think we will be taking our leave now."

"Of course, My Lord," the elder bowed her head in his direction. She turned to the inu who was rising to join Koga. "Little One, I do hope you come visit me sometimes."

"Keh! If I could ever find my way through this labyrinth you guys call a cave," he grumbled irritably, but bowed his head to her in thanks none the less.

The two demons made their way back to the main cavern of the cave in silence, both lost in thoughts of what they had heard. Neither demon noticed the quick speculative glances from the other.

As Inuyasha turned to make his way back to the room he had been staying in, Koga set a hand on his shoulder. "So, how about a quick tour? Maybe we can have lunch with Ginta and Hakkaku."

"Oh, alright, I guess," Inuyasha shifted Squirt in his arms nervously. He still didn't know how the wolf felt about him, and that was before he had learned he now had a half breed permanently on his hands.

Koga nodded and led the way. He guided Inuyasha around the cave system, identifying all the important spots and talking with the hanyo. There was the main cavern, where all the wolves gathered together, hang out and to hear his "awe inspiring speeches" and feel his "god-like strength", to which Inuyasha promptly snorted in amusement. He showed him the way to the hot springs again, knowing he wasn't paying attention the last time they went. He was shown a small stream. It ran through the middle of the caves, having run there for millennia, shaping the caves and carving into the rock to form the complex corridors and vaults. It was used by the entire clan as drinking water. Taking the inu's hand, purely to make sure he wasn't lost in the maze, Koga escorted him through the tunnels, showing him various short cuts and hidden passages. He pointed out his favorite secret rooms, wiggling his eye brows suggestively. "The best rooms for a little… fun!" Inuyasha blushed furiously.

The pair finally returned to the main cavern to meet with Ginta and Hakkaku. Koga, always entertained by his own jokes, laughed heartily and guided the inu, whose eyes danced in amusement while he fought a smirk. Inuyasha made his way to the meeting place walking next to the ookami, grumbling under his breath about his stupid jokes and secretly relieved by his behavior. Without knowing it, the wolf chief was alleviating the hanyo's fear that he would be hated and thought of as a burden.

Ginta and Hakkaku, sitting at a small fire by the wall of the main cavern, watched the two approach with interest. They had never seen their chief and the hanyo get along so well before… or at all. They certainly never thought they would ever see the two casually strolling together, so close that their shoulders bumped as they walked. Reaching the pair of beta wolves, Koga greeted them with a "'Sup?" and gently guided the inu to his spot with a hand on the small of his back.

The four demons sat by the fire eating their lunch and chatted. Koga talked animatedly with the two betas about how the border patrols were going and the various affairs of the clan. Inuyasha noted that no one broached the subject of his arrival or what he had been doing before, though he figured it had more to do with avoiding talking about Koga's late mate then not caring about him. He defiantly wasn't going to start that conversation. He wanted to talk about that even less then they did, though for much different reasons. If he truly was going to be a part of this pack now, he wanted to forget the past. It hurt too much.

As the hanyo and the alpha left, Ginta quirked and eyebrow. "What the hell was that all about?"

"Beats me," Hakkaku responded shaking his head in disbelief.

The betas weren't sure what they had witnessed during their time with the chief and the inu. Throughout lunch, Koga had acted weird, and both had been apparently oblivious to it. Koga had sat himself next to the hanyo, placing himself slightly in front of him and had crossed his feet in front of the inu. He had made sure to be touching Inuyasha at all times, bumping against him, patting his knee, or brushing his arm when he played with the cub in the hanyo's lap. All the while Inuyasha didn't seem to mind, if he noticed the ookami's actions at all.

If they didn't know any better, Ginta and Hakkaku would have said that Koga was asserting himself as Inuyasha's alpha and mate. His position was distinctly protective and dominant. The touching spoke of an intimacy that was not shared by distant acquaintances, as they knew the two were.

It was a little worrying. They had no idea why Koga would act that way around the hanyo. He had a mate and it wasn't Inuyasha. Yes, she was now dead but it had only just happened a few days ago. And judging by the reactions they had seen when the clan found out princess Ayame had died, seeing the chief act that way toward a hanyo and seeing that hanyo carry around their princess' cub would not be a welcome sight.

A/N: Well the votes are in… and I'm not telling the results! Just read and enjoy. Of course, if you're desperate to know, you could always just count the reviews yourself.

On a side note, there have been a couple who have said something about the characterization of Inuyasha and they worry that if there is mpreg, that Inuyasha will be overly feminized. That is also a concern I have. I will work hard to maintain Inuyasha in character no whether he gets preggers or not.