Chapter 7: The Nightmare

Koga huffed in irritation as he readjusted his grip on Kozue and Kingo. The little boy was twisting in his arms, trying to get a better look at the hanyo that was walking behind him grumbling to the two cubs he was carrying.

Koga grinned inwardly. His cubs where definitely getting to like the inu. I never knew he had this in him. He never seemed terribly fond of that kitsune he traveled with.

It was a good thing though, because it seemed that Inuyasha would be here for a very long time, if not forever. Koga still had to wrap his head around that one. The pup he had feuded with twenty-some years ago, suddenly appeared back in his life and was now practically family.

And yes, he would be staying… no matter what anyone said.

After they had visited with Choshi-sama, he had left the hanyo at their chamber and headed to assemble the council of elders. The council was made up of ten of the wolf elders. There were originally six elders, including Choshi-sama, but four had joined Koga's clan when he and Ayame mated and joined the two clans.

The council soon met in the council chamber, a small room covered in furs from floor to ceiling in order to cut down on echoes and therefore cutting down the chance of being over heard. It was a place where the group met to discuss important matters of defense, diplomacy, and the inner workings of the clan. Ultimately Koga had the final say in all decisions, but even Alphas knew that other points of view never hurt when ruling a clan.

Once they had all gathered, Koga announced the reason for the assembly. "I have assembled us here to inform the council that Inuyasha-san will be joining my House and will come under my protection."

The reaction was not what he expected. Immediately the some of the members of the council protested. The four elders from the neighboring wolf clan were the most vehement, spouting nonsense about "evil hanyo trickery" and "murdering monsters". Koga made a mental note that the one that seemed the most violently opposed was the Elder Michinaga-sama, a venerable and formidable wise man. They had never seen eye to eye and this time appeared to be no different. One of the elders from his original pack, tried to dissuade his decision, saying that it was an inappropriate time to bring the inu into his House while still in the mourning period for his mate.

This argument he could deal with. It was one he had considered himself, but there was nothing he could do about it due to the bond and he told the council that. The venom from Ayame's four elders only increased, arguing that the hanyo had cast spells on him and tricked him. He remembered that he just looked at them in disbelief. These people are nutters, he thought in mild disbelief. His own elders, however, could find no more objections, with the careful explaining of the situation by Choshi-sama. They also remembered well the help the clan received from the hanyo all those years ago and were not adverse to his presence, even if it was a little unorthodox.

So, he had left the council accepting their opinions, but disturbed by them as well. He had not gone to the elders to ask permission, simply to inform, but the cruel accusations and prejudices of Ayame's elders stirred something not entirely pleasant within him. In fact, as he marched to his rooms after the meeting, he was rather furious. His demon rumbled within him. It was furious that they had challenged him. He was their Alpha, his word was law. Inuyasha was his and they challenged his hold on his Beta…or whatever he is, he reminded himself. Not only that but they insulted the pup too. He couldn't believe there was such ignorance out there about his hanyo.

When he reached their rooms, he realized the inu had never been there. He caught the scent of him and followed it to the Den. He was puzzled when it led him to the cub room, but then he heard the mutt speaking. He was telling a story. He walked in and leaned on the entranceway wall. The young Omega made to get up and acknowledge his presence but he motioned him into silence; he wanted to hear the puppy's story.

The always hyper-aware hanyo never noticed the wolf's presence next to him. Koga watched in amusement as the puppy continued to animatedly tell the story of his parents. He recognized it from old tales that had been passed around, but he had never heard the inu talk about it. The pup's eyes shown in the firelight as he voiced the parts of the story, lowering his voice to a growl when he spoke the part of Inu no Taisho and raised it to a hilarious parody of a maiden when voicing Lady Izayoi. Koga nearly had to leave before he disrupted the story with laughter when Inuyasha's voice became that of a whining child when he spoke the part of Sesshoumaru. I bet the bastard would get a kick out of that, Koga thought, knowing the Western Lord would be far from amused.

When Inuyasha reached the part about how mighty the hanyo pup became when he grew up, he couldn't resist teasing the inu.

"Ha! Oh I'd love to hear that story, mutt face!" he barked.

Inuyasha's shoulders tensed at his voice and he slowly turned to face the wolf, giving him his best glare. He huffed, "Well, it's basically true," he growled out.

To Inuyasha's right, Kingo stood on his pudgy legs, his fists clenched to his sides and his chest puffed out, announcing, "I wanna be hanyo too!"

Inuyasha made a choking sound, but did nothing but stare at the cub before another yelled out, "When I grow up, I'm gonna have a hanyo baby just like the princess!"

Koga snorted, "I wouldn't wish that on anyone! Having a bunch of little Inuyasha's running around? Sounds like a punishment."

Several wide eyes turned to the inu, who flushed in embarrassment and anger towards the wolf.

"You're a Hanyo?" one cub whispered in wonder.

"Er…yeah," Inuyasha replied, preparing for the inevitable backlash.

"Woooooow!" the cubs chorused.

"Heh! Looks like you got some fans here, Muttface!" Koga teased, "Well, if you're done basking in the glow of your own ego, it's late and time to go home. Come on, guys," he called to his cubs. Kingo and Kozue toddled over to the wolf to be picked up. Inuyasha rose from his seat, Kaishi and Kunio in hand. Koga watched in surprise as Kaishi snuggled into the crook of the inu's arm. Kaishi never takes to people that well.

The group walked back through the Den room. He suddenly felt the inu shrink himself behind him and he could sense his wariness and agitation spike. His ears perked as he caught the tail end of a whispered comment, "…cubs with the filthy half-breed!"

Koga paused mid-step and his whole body stiffened. He felt a low growl rumble from his chest as he turned in the direction the voice had come from. Behind him, Inuyasha's ears flattened to his head and he kept his eyes on the floor. Damnit! I couldn't even go a day without being run out. He's definitely not gonna keep me around with everyone so upset about me staying here. The cubs in their arms stilled themselves at the sound of the first growl. They knew he was not angry at them and would not hurt them, but they also knew not to get in the way of their Alpha at a time like this.

In front of the wolf, the group of wolves, who dared speak ill of the pup, looked at him in fearful surprise. Koga advanced, slowly stepping towards the wolves. They immediately lowered themselves and crouched to the ground in submission.

"You WILL NOT speak this way about my inu!" Koga growled harshly, his voice carrying around the room. His eyes flashed red. His demon was itching to be let loose and teach his pack a proper lesson but he calmed himself, placated by the immediate acknowledgement of his dominance.

Inuyasha's wide incredulous eyes snapped to the wolf chief. He's not gonna get mad at me? Wait, did he just say "HIS inu"?

Koga huffed again as they found themselves back in their rooms, "Man, I can't believe that shit! How dare they talk like that!"

"Well, I am a hanyo. You kind of have to expect it if you're gonna have me hanging around you," Inuyasha winced, realizing his stupidity. Good job, idiot. Give him more reasons to think you're more trouble than you're worth.

Koga sighed, settling his cubs on his furs and stripping them of their clothes, readying them for bed. "Yeah, well, I guess I never thought of you as a hanyo or what it meant to be one," he confessed, missing the open look of shock on the inu's face, "a youkai that was a bit different, sure, but not like that. I guess it just surprised me. But nobody treats my family like that!"

Inuyasha felt his jaw drop. For a while he simply stood in the room following the wolf with his eyes as he preparing the cubs for bed. Kaishi squirmed in his arms and he looked down at the two cubs starring back at him. He brought them up and buried his face into their bodies, rubbing himself against them and taking in their scents and reveling in the new found sense of belonging. The cubs giggled and wiggled, latching onto his hair and pulling. Inuyasha didn't mind at all. He was too shocked and oh so happy.

The bond may draw us near each other, but he just said he never felt that way, even before the bond. No one has ever seen me as anything but a hanyo first, except Kagome, and that was only because she had never heard of one before she met me. And then he just casually called me "family" like it was nothing, like it was natural. Am I truly part of this family now? Is this really going to be a home for me?

He was called out of his thoughts by Koga's bark of laughter. The giggling cubs played at his shoulders and the inu's face was smoothed into a small smile. Koga pulled one of the cubs off of the hanyo and began to ready him for bed, Inuyasha following to do the same.

As Inuyasha turned and tucked the swiftly tiring cub in the little niche in the wall that they slept in, he noticed his sword resting against the wall. He paused in surprise. He had completely forgotten to take his sword with him. That had never happened. It was never safe enough to go without it, but here he had never given it a thought the whole day. Even though he had convinced himself this morning that Koga would treat him as a burden, he had instinctively known that he was finally safe, even before he had received news of the bond.

It was Koga who, again, broke him out of his thoughts. The wolf laid himself down on the furs, the same furs Inuyasha understood to be his.

"What the hell are you doing?"he scowled down at the wolf.

"Umm, going to sleep," Koga responded with a raised eyebrow.

"Aren't those my furs?" Inuyasha questioned, his voice low and hesitant. He didn't know if maybe the wolf had decided he didn't want him around all the time after all. Maybe he would make him sleep outside, only able to come back when Koga allowed him to.

"No," Inuyasha's stomach dropped, "they are our furs."

"What?" Inuyasha asked, confused.

"Oh, I guess you have been unconscious every time I slept with you." Koga said mouth forming a smirk.

Inuyasha huffed. He had woke up alone in the bed both days he was in the cave and he fell asleep right after the mourning ceremony. He crossed his arms and leaned against the wall, starring the wolf down.

"What are you gonna do? Sleep standing in the corner?" Koga chuckled at the glaring pup.

"Maybe!" Inuyasha said childishly.

"Lay the hell down, dog breath," Koga said before turning his back to the inu and settling in for sleep.

"Keh!" he huffed. The hanyo silently debated with himself before finally slinking over to the furs and dropping unceremoniously in a petulant heap. He yanked the furs over himself and crossed his arms, pouted until sleep took them both.


Koga slowly drifted awake. He could feel waves of distress wash over him. Something was wrong but he couldn't tell what.

Suddenly a keening cry sounded from beside him. Koga flipped over, instantly alert. The pup was dreaming again. His face was scrunched in anguish and he trembled in his sleep. Like last time he was tensed and silently mouthed "I'm sorry" and "please". The sight before him made Koga's heart clench in his chest.

With out hesitating, he drew the pup into his arms. He smoothed his hands up and down his back and pressed his face into his chest. The trembling seemed to ease, but the pup still whined his fear and heartache.

"Shhh, Inuyasha, Shhh," Koga soothed. He bent his head down to stroke the pup's cheeks and forehead with his own, his hands otherwise occupied; one wrapped tightly around the pup's waist and the other trailed up and down his back. He roped his legs with the inu's hoping to cover as much of the puppy as he could, encasing him in strength and warmth.

The inu's hands wove themselves in the fabric of Koga's sleeping yukata, fiercely trying to get closer to the warmth in front of him. He whimpered, the sounds growing louder each time.

Inuyasha woke himself up with sounds of his distress. His breath was short and frantic and tears stung at his eyes. He burrowed into the warmth that seemed to envelope him, breathing deep to calm himself his whimpers not subsiding in his disorientation. The warm space seemed to move, get closer and then move away, tighten around him. He took another breath. It smelled like…Koga.

The pup raised his watery eyes and they met brilliant blue. Koga was right in front of him, nose to nose. Koga pressed his forehead against his own and looked into his eyes. Their breath mingled, their lips almost touched when Koga's deep soothing voice said, "It's alright, pup. It's just a dream."

Inuyasha could feel Koga's voice rumble in his chest on his hands that were pressed between them. He could smell the familiar and comforting scent of the Alpha, one he had subconsciously associated with safety. The regular puff of Koga's breath against his face helped to calm him. Koga tucked the inu's face under his chin and the pup buried it into the wolf's neck.

The dreams where horrible every night, some night's worse then other. He didn't remember what this one was about but he definitely didn't need to know. The panic and terror that he felt when he woke up was enough. But here was Koga. He didn't know what was going on really. Was this real? Could the Wolf actually be holding him close? He didn't really know. He was wavering between consciousness and sleep. He decided he would worry about it tomorrow because, for now, he was safe and warm.

A/N: *sigh* I'm not so sure how successful this chapter was. Was it cheesy? Was the sentiment too overt? Did I cram too much stuff in there? Let me know what you thought.

Review responses:

*seto'swifey: no, I don't think Sesshy is gonna make an appearance. Sorry! I love Sessh too! I am currently thinking of several different inu/ses plots, but who knows when I will get to writing it. I think I want to finish more of this first but it is something I definitely want to do in the future.

*Bllove: I actually got my information on Takemaru from .com and he is wearing a distinct samurai outfit. I looked it up for you and it turns out samurai have been around since the Kamakura period with the adoption of the Taiho Code in 702 C.E. Yay! Fun with history! (Uhg! I'm such a nerd…)

*Bibi11: Wow! I actually haven't thought of how the wolves would see him as he walked across, only that he lost the fear to do so. As for the Kotodama issue, well, again, I hadn't thought of it. Would you mind if I incorporated your ideas into the story?