Response to Kirai's Never-ending Title Challenge, though it is most definitely late. As far as plot goes, don't expect much. This is basically just smut and nonsense. Certainly not to be taken seriously.

Warning: This fic contains graphic adult content and course language. No YIMs aloud!

Disclaimer: Unfortunately I cannot lay claim to Inuyasha or any of the characters pertaining to the series. All I have is a closet full of plunnies and a failing, piece-of-crap computer. Bad, bad combination…


"What the hell is your problem?" Kagome demanded, pinning the dog-eared male with a hard glare.

Said male curled his upper lip over one sharp fang, sneering, "My problem is that it's been weeks since we've come across any shards, and you humans have done nothin' but bitch about stopping for the past few hours! We've gotta keep moving!"

The young priestess could feel her control slipping, the urge to 'sit' his ass into the ground nearly overwhelming. Taking a deep, relaxing breath through her nose, she explained in as calm a fashion as she was able, "Inuyasha, we wouldn't be so tired if you didn't insist on overdoing it all the time. Unlike you, we need adequate sleep, time to rest our muscles, and sustenance. For the past week we've been pushing really hard, and our bodies just can't keep up without the proper care!"

Sighing, she added as an afterthought, "Besides, it won't do us any good if we come across a shard, but are all too exhausted to fight whatever being is in possession of it."

The hanyou huffed, crossing his arms and grumbling childishly.

Kagome, knowing how he could be sometimes, coaxed, "Just let us have a break and get something in our stomachs, and we'll head out again. Please, Inuyasha?"

He came undone at the sound of that pleading voice, all of his steely resolve crumbling as he stared into her wide blue eyes. He hated it when she did that. No matter how hard he fought, he could never say no to her when she was wearing that look. Throwing his hands up with a flustered grunt, he snapped, "Fine! Just hurry the hell up so we can get back on the road!"

"Thank you," she sighed, relieved. She didn't think her poor feet could handle another step without a good rest and a nice, relaxing rubdown. Every part of her ached, and her stomach was all but shouting at her to fill it. It had been many hours since they'd last stopped, and several more since they'd had anything to eat. She was pleased that her hanyou friend had acquiesced without much of a fight, because at the moment, she certainly wasn't in the mood for it.

Flopping down in the shade, Kagome pulled off her sneakers and socks, rolling her jeans up and taking one foot in hand. With tedious precision, she began working the tension from the tender appendage, groaning in satisfaction as her thumb found a particularly sore spot.

It was a beautiful day, warm sun and refreshing breeze combining to create the perfect conditions for travel. Brilliantly colored butterflies fluttered low, feeding from the nectar of newly blossoming flowers. Birds sang gaily as they frolicked overhead, filling the forest with music.

Yet… the hanyou's mood seemed to sour it for everyone. He paced restlessly about as the rest of them ate, refusing food and grumbling about how they needed to 'get their asses moving'. The young priestess frowned at him, quickly becoming irritated with his endless muttering. It was bad enough that he ran them all ragged with his unrelenting pace, but the fact that he refused to shut up for even a few minutes while they recuperated was grating on Kagome's last nerve. If he didn't put a cork in it soon, she was going to subjugate him so hard that he'd be pushing up daisies… on the other side of the planet…

She opened her mouth to do just that when he suddenly grew silent, coming to an abrupt halt as his eyes narrowed. He bared his fangs in a silent snarl as he glared fiercely at the unknown source, his fingers crooking inward in preparation for attack.

She was on her feet in a second, Sango and Miroku following as soon as they noticed the hanyou's aggressive stance. Shippou huddled behind the monk, his bright green eyes wide with panic. Hand snatching the bow from her shoulder, Kagome asked, "What is it, Inuyasha?"

He let loose a low growl, seeming to hesitate a moment before responding, "Sesshomaru."

Her insides fluttered anxiously at the utterance of the name, mere mention of the powerful daiyoukai enough to inspire uncertainty and trepidation in even the most seasoned warrior. "Is he coming?"

The dog-eared male shook his head slowly, eyes lowered in contemplation. "I don't think so. He's not far off… but there's another power signature too… one I've never felt before."

"What does it mean?" the young girl wondered aloud, cautious yet curious blue depths following her companion's line of sight.

"Do you think he's fighting?" Miroku inquired lowly.

"It's possible."

Kagome gnawed her lower lip at the speculation, pondering silently over what such a thing could mean. There were few who were foolish enough to take on the terrifying demon lord, and that fact lead her to a single, plausible explanation.

"Do you think it's one of Naraku's incarnates?"

Inuyasha's head swung around at the mention of the vile beast, his nose wrinkling in distaste as he growled, "Could be. If that's the case, then we'd better go check it out."

She nodded, slipping on her shoes and - with practiced ease - swinging herself up onto the hanyou's back. His hands, hard and calloused from swordplay, gripped her thighs firmly as he kicked off the ground. Behind them, the monk, kit, and slayer rode astride Kirara, faces hardened in expectance of the upcoming battle.

Were it truly another of Naraku's unholy children, this would be an excellent opportunity to get some kind of lead on the bastard's whereabouts. There was no way they would pass it up… even if it meant risking Sesshomaru's wrath.

As they neared, Kagome could feel the immense weight of his youki, accompanied by the much smaller aura of his current opponent. It was clear that a battle was being waged, as the sounds of combat were steadily increasing.

Upon arrival, all were shocked to find that his opponent was… not what they had expected.

Tall and slender, the female youkai was a beauty in every sense of the word. Blue hair – paler than the noonday sky – framed her regal face, a gold, four-pointed star just visible through her bangs. Her eyes shone like the darkest sapphires, and a small, dainty set of fangs could be seen peeking from her parted, petal-pink lips.

She was gorgeous… and Sesshomaru was beating the crap out of her. Her enchanting face was smudged with dirt and blood, her once pristine attire shredded and covered in deep red stains. She was clearly trying to fight back… but was having no success whatsoever.

The demon lord looked rather bored, if not slightly peeved.

What on earth was going on?

Kagome slid off of Inuyasha's back and assessed the situation. There was no way that this creature had anything to do with Naraku, as the usual, lingering stink of miasma and malicious aura were missing. So… who was this female? Why was she engaged in such heated combat with the fierce daiyoukai?

Kagome's eyes slid to the demon in question, watching with no small amount of admiration as he performed a graceful spin and easily avoided a sloppy attack from the opposing youkai. He was stunning, as usual, his immaculate hair and the billowing sleeves of his garb swirling about him as he moved.

The miko admitted shamelessly that Sesshomaru was one mighty fine piece of ass. Even as a teen, when she'd thought herself to be deeply in love with Inuyasha, she had always found his older brother attractive. Who wouldn't? A girl would have to be completely blind – or utterly delusional – to not see that. He was a treat for the eyes, and his voice was so sinfully erotic that it made her insides tingle at the mere thought of that silken baritone.

What was more, while he was utterly magnificent to begin with… he was truly spectacular when he fought. She had never enjoyed confrontation; it went against what she stood for as a miko. However, there was no denying that bearing witness to his prowess in combat excited her like nothing else. There was no sight more transfixing and beautiful than watching the mighty dai do battle. Sesshomaru was, and always would be, the master of the art of war.

Kagome couldn't help but feel slightly guilty about the little crush she harbored for the demon male. He was, after all, one of Inuyasha's most hated enemies. Aside from Naraku, there was no one in the world who the hanyou loathed more. Their rivalry ran deep, yet she couldn't seem to shake the infatuation; it simply couldn't be done.

After having dealt with one immature, indecisive young male, she had no intention of doing so again. Sesshomaru was the exact polar opposite of his brother in so many ways. He was calm and calculating, mature and intelligent… not to mention the sweetest piece of eye-candy she'd ever seen.

Not that Inuyasha wasn't attractive in his own right, it was just that no one could hold a candle to Sesshomaru's perfection. Sure, he was a bit of an arrogant asshole, but he made up for that with copious amounts of sexiness.

She was pulled from her silent admiration when the pale inu caught his female opponent in the gut with a devastating right hook, sending her sprawling into the dirt. Kagome winced.

"What is she thinking?" the young miko muttered. "Is she insane? Does she actually think she can beat him?"

Inuyasha, who had been oddly silent the entire time, grunted, "It ain't like that."

Lips pursed, Kagome inquired, "What do you mean? Do you know what's going on?"

"I think he's breeding," the hanyou observed.

She turned ten shades of red while her eyeballs made a brilliant attempt to pop out of their sockets, the breath that had previously been in her throat catching as she started to choke. She glanced at the fighting pair, and then back to the hanyou. "Are you sure? Cuz it looks to me like he's kicking her ass."

The halfling turned to her with a flat, irritated look.

"What?" she hissed defensively. "That's what it looks like to me!"

"Keh, dumb wench," he scoffed, "shows what you know."

A dark look overcame her features, and it had the dog-eared half-demon instantly regretting his choice of words.

"Well then why don't you, in your infinite wisdom, explain to this human what is going on? I don't know the first thing about demon practices, Inuyasha, so give me a bloody break!"

He lifted his hands in a placating gesture. "Calm down, woman! I didn't mean nothin' by it!" He turned away, staring back at the feuding pair. The female looked as though she would pass out from exhaustion at any second, and the fact that Sesshoumaru had yet to kill her only cemented his assumption.

"It's pretty obvious that he outmatches her greatly, so if he wanted the bitch dead, she'd be cold and stiff by now. He's testing her."

"Testing?" Kagome queried, anger forgotten as her curiosity took hold.

He nodded in affirmation. "When youkai males breed, they seek out the most suitable candidate to bear their young. A chosen female must prove her worth by means of strength."

The priestess went wide-eyed, understanding beginning to sink in. "Y-you mean… they fight each other?"

Inuyasha gave her a single, sharp nod. "Yup. There's no way a female could come anywhere close to matching the bastard, so in this case the bitch would simply have to hold her own for awhile until he deemed her worthy. From the looks of things… this one ain't doin' so good."

Indeed she wasn't. The blue-haired youkai staggered gracelessly on her feet, her once beautiful face almost unrecognizable through the thick mask of caked-on blood.

"What… what happens if she doesn't measure up?" Kagome whispered.

"It depends on how merciful Sesshomaru is feeling," Inuyasha told her with a grim tone. "It's pretty safe to say she ain't gonna make the cut. He might let her go. She would be disgraced, and in cases like this, the loser often takes their own life out of shame. Or… he might just kill her."

He had not expected the stretched silence that followed his statement, and after a few seconds curiosity made him turn to glance at the miko over his shoulder.

Kagome was speechless, torn between disbelief and disgust as she soaked up the hanyou's explanation. It couldn't be true… there was no way. It was so barbaric, so completely disturbing that she refused to accept it. This poor demon – who was far outmatched by the big daiyoukai – would live a life of humiliation and shame… or die? Those were her options? It was monstrous!

"That is absolutely, the most repulsive thing I've ever heard of!" she bellowed.

Inuyasha took a hurried step backward, knowing not to get in the little human's way when she was truly upset about something.

"I can't believe that this is actually a practice in demon society! It is totally, one-hundred percent, the sickest, most unfair thing I've ever had the misfortune of hearing about!"

Sesshomaru, who had been growing rather bored with the lack of challenge this particular female presented, paused at hearing the loud declaration. He'd been aware of his brother's arrival, but hadn't paid the boy or his friends any mind. His focus had remained on the task at hand. Now, after what had been the shortest, most pitiful fight he'd ever participated in with another full-blooded, highborn demon, it was painfully clear that this bitch was far too weak to be a match for him.

His eyes captured the tiny, trembling form of Inuyasha's miko as she continued to shout.

"That is twisted! I can't believe that youkai girls have to go through something so despicable! I have never been more repulsed in my entire life, and I have seen some nasty shit!"

"It ain't that big a deal, woman!" Inuyasha growled. "It's just they way things are with demons. Now shut yer mouth or it'll get you into trouble again!"

"I don't care!" she snapped back, crossing her arms beneath her breasts as she fumed. "I cannot believe that's how they find their partners! They beat the crap out of a woman, and if she doesn't get too badly fucked up, they drag her off and force her to have their babies? Youkai males sound like a bunch of chauvinistic pricks with serious control issues!"

She turned from Inuyasha and, seeing the daiyoukai's steely golden gaze settled on her, pointed a finger in his direction and hollered, "Yeah, I'm talking about you, buddy!" She'd known he was a bit of a jerk, but this… was a little much. Foxy he may have been, but beating up girls simply was not cool!

Amber depths narrowing at the disrespectful display, Sesshomaru turned his attention fully onto the group of ragtag shard hunters. He sensed the female he'd been engaged with begin to limp off, but he paid her no heed; it mattered not what happened to her now. The miko's show of insolence, however, could not go unanswered.

Brandishing his claws, he flexed his powerful thighs and pounced.

While Kagome had expected some form of retribution – a sharp glare or a biting remark – she had not expected the daiyoukai to come after her! With his incredible speed, she had little time to react, and only just managed to throw her arms up and erect a protective barrier.

The heavy slam of his aura against the shimmering pink shell of her holy energy made her knees quake, but Kagome refused to give up. Someone needed to put the arrogant dog in his place!

Sesshomaru pressed down against the fizzling barrier, wincing mildly as the sting of her powers skated along his skin. He was impressed that she'd managed to throw up a shield at all, but for her to actually stand against his power… he was intrigued.

Kagome gasped in relief when he pulled back and leapt away, coming to a stop a few yards from their group. His assault had been difficult to deflect for so long, but she was determined to show him that she wasn't one to be trifled with. She had meant every word she said, and refused to let him intimidate her simply because he had a problem with her opinion.

Inuyasha observed his brother carefully, taking in the way his golden eyes had begun a lazy perusal of Kagome's person. He looked as though he was seriously contemplating something, and Inuyasha didn't like the implications of what that something might be. He shifted his worried gaze to his priestess friend, finding her staring back at the daiyoukai with a stubborn, challenging look on her pretty features. He balked. She had absolutely no idea what she was getting herself into.

Kagome was surprised when Inuyasha suddenly stepped into her line of view, breaking her concentration and forcing her to stare up at him in question.

"That's enough, Kagome. There's nothin' here for us, so we should get going."

She was shocked. Inuyasha wanted to… back out of a fight? It was… unheard of. Was he concerned for her?

She gave him a hard look. "If you want to go, you can go right ahead. I'm not backing out of this, Inuyasha. He needs to be taught a lesson!"

"And you're gunna teach it to him?" the hanyou snapped, his tone disbelieving. "You proved your point, okay? Now get on my back and let's go!"

Before she could get another word in, the dog-eared friend was tossed away with incredible force, and she came face to chest with the towering demon lord. His eyes were glowing as he stared down his nose at her, alit with something she couldn't quite place.

"You should learn to control your unruly tongue, miko," he told her crossly.

She scowled, full mouth pulling into a condescending sneer as she bit back, "And you should learn how to treat a lady. It really wasn't necessary for you to beat the crap out of that poor female."

One slim silver brow peaked at that, disappearing behind the cropped veil of his bangs. "Oh?"

Kagome cocked her head upward, chin tilted at a haughty angle as she clipped, "Demon practice or not, it's awful!"

"It is the most efficient way to test the strength of a candidate. What you think on the subject matters not, it is simply how things are done."

"Then would you care to explain to me why you took it that far? It was blatantly obvious that the girl wasn't going to measure up, so why did you drag it out so long?"

Sesshomaru sniffed dismissively, as though it were silly of her to ask him such a question. "She was being punished for her presumptuousness. She should have known better than to approach me with a challenge when she was so clearly unfit. It was an insult."

Hands on her hips in the official 'indignant-woman' pose, Kagome began shouting, "You pompous ass! You think that you can treat people like dirt just because of your station; well I've got news for you, Lord Sesshomaru! Just because you were born into royalty doesn't mean that you can do whatever you please! You have to earn respect, and considering the shitty way you treat everyone-"

The daiyoukai ignored her ranting in favor of enjoying the lovely picture she presented when angered. She was so easy to bait. He barely suppressed a smirk of triumph as he watched the girl glow with holy energy, brilliant eyes sparking with her inner-light. He was intrigued by the way her aura fluctuated angrily, buffeting against his like a mighty gale.

Originally he'd been annoyed, and had simply intended to silence her. Yet, after having felt the painfully erotic prickle of her power against his skin, his curiosity had been piqued. Perhaps there was more to this wench than he'd surmised. She was strong, though he knew not the extent of that strength. There was, of course, one surefire way to find out.

"I do as I please," he interrupted, quirking a haughty brow when her scowl deepened. "You will find, miko, that those who possess power in life are free to act however they see fit. You would do well to understand and accept that, wench."

With a graceful flick of his hand and a surge of youki, Sesshoumaru sent the tiny female flying backward. He was mildly surprised when she rolled and crouched, raising her arms to fend off his attack with one of her own. The immense swell of reiki made his skin tingle and itch, the fur of mokomoko standing on end as his beast stirred. She was proving to be far more of a challenge than he'd expected.

Perfect.

They withdrew simultaneously, and much to Sesshomaru's annoyance, Inuyasha was on the move yet again, Tessaiga drawn and swinging in a wide arc towards him. Unsheathing Toukijin with a single, deft motion, the daiyoukai ducked beneath the strike and twirled, bringing his arm up to block the large fang as it came back around.

"Do not intervene, half-breed. This does not involve you."

"Like hell it doesn't," Inuyasha hissed, teeth clenching as he struggled to match his brother's immeasurable strength. "She doesn't understand what's happening, bastard! Just back off and leave her the hell alone!"

The daiyoukai scoffed, uttering shortly, "I'll do no such thing. The miko is a suitable candidate."

A wicked smile curved his beautiful lips, gaze sliding momentarily to the little priestess. He allowed a small amount of fire to seep into his usually cold eyes, knowing it would rile his brother immensely. As expected, the hanyou snarled and snapped his fangs, and Sesshomaru gave him a lazy, slightly amused look. Slowly, softly, he drawled, "Also…she is fertile."

Inuyasha screamed in rage, one hand leaving the hilt of his blade to make an attempt at the dai's throat.

Sesshomaru sneered as he easily avoided the halfling's claws, tone mocking as he chided, "Too slow, as always."

Inuyasha pressed on, fear for his friend gripping his heart and making his breath quicken. If he could not succeed in dissuading his brother, Kagome hadn't a hope in hell of getting out of this. He had to succeed… for her.

What he didn't truly understand was the fact that his brother seemed to be forgetting the fact that Kagome was a mortal. Sesshomaru hated her kind! Perhaps he simply needed to remind the demon lord of that particular fact.

"She's a human!"

That cruel smirk was back again, and he stared down the slope of his elegant nose at Inuyasha, who was panting and gazing at him with desperation written on his features. "Just as not all youkai are worthy, not all humans are worthless, dear brother. The miko is a rare exception to the rule. A priestess of her caliber may very well be the most promising mother to my pups."

Dark, thick brows furrowed in confusion at the demon lord's words. "What're you talkin' about? They'll be halflings, just like me!"

Sesshoumaru frowned, pushing his brother away as he hissed, "No, nothing like you. You are tainted by the weakness of your mother's blood. The miko is strong, and her power will only add to my own."

Tiring of the pointless prattle, the daiyoukai shoved his brother away and again made for the priestess. His mind was made up. The girl was suitable, and if she proved herself worthy in combat, she would bear him an heir. Nothing the boy said could deter him.

Kagome watched the interaction carefully, angry with Inuyasha for interfering again. Did he have so little faith in her? It wasn't as though she hoped to win a fight against the arrogant lord, she simply wanted to prove a point. Strong he may have been, but that did not give him the right to treat others like insects.

A peeved grunt left her when she realized they were speaking, her left foot beginning to tap impatiently. It was likely the usual threats and petty barbs, but Kagome could honestly say she wasn't all that concerned with the dialogue. All she cared about was the fact that it was cutting into her ass-kicking time, and she did not like to wait.

Whatever the discussion had been about, it was abruptly cut off when the daiyoukai pushed Inuyasha forcefully out of his way and made a beeline for her. This time, Kagome was ready for him.

Gathering her spiritual power into her palms, the blue-eyed woman lowered into a crouch and prepared for his assault. Lethal claws swiped for her middle, but she deflected them with a well placed block and a jolt of purity. The move did little, but gave her enough time to prepare for his next strike.

He landed a few feet from her, pivoting on his foot and springing neatly into a backward flip. Positioned directly over the miko, Sesshomaru pulled back his arm and unleashed his whip.

Seeing the brilliant, slender extension swinging toward her, the priestess prayed that this would work out as she'd pictured it in her head, and – with a quick intake of breath – forced her reiki into her right hand and lifted it in the air. Something hot wrapped about her wrist, and immediately her fingers clenched shut around it. When there was no searing pain, she ventured a peek up and smirked victoriously.

There, held fast in her grasp, was the daiyoukai's signature acid whip. 'Thank the gods that worked, and that I'm still in possession of all my limbs,' she squeaked mentally, heaving a great sigh of relief.

She glanced over her shoulder to where the towering inu demon stood, the shimmering length still connected to his fingers. Giving a haughty huff, she jerked her arm and watched with satisfaction as it shattered in an array of glittering, yellow sparks.

The big dai crooked his fingers – now freed of the tension of his whip – inward, impressed by the display this little female was putting on. He had not expected her to do something so daring, and the fact that she'd been able to reach out and take hold of his whip without having her hand severed told him everything he needed to know. By proving that she could withstand it, the miko had displayed the strength of her power. While she could never hope to match him, she certainly came closer than any female he'd ever met.

Eyes darkening with finality, Sesshomaru leapt forward, hand clamping around the woman's throat and pushing her to the ground. Hovering above her in a clearly dominating position, the daiyoukai ordered firmly, "You will submit."

Kagome was scrambling to free herself from the iron grip of the large inu, fingers prying at his hand with little success. "I don't think so!" she snapped back, not ready to throw in the towel just yet. The young priestess was determined to get back in the game and show him that she wasn't one to be trifled with. She refused to let him have the last laugh!

Snarling at her defiance, the large male arranged himself so that he was straddling the struggling priestess' waist, using his weight to hold her down. His youki expanded, engulfing the both of them in a whirlwind of light. The daiyoukai reiterated his warning. "Submit, girl."

The suffocating force of his power pressed in on her from all angles, pushing the air from her lungs. Instinctively, Kagome's own reiki rose to the surface to combat the threatening energy, and the strain was lifted minimally. She gulped in a much needed breath, squirming relentlessly in an attempt to free herself from this less than dignified position. The weight of the big demon on her stomach had her gasping, and the hard texture of his armor was scratching her skin. Already irate, none of this was helping cool her temper in the least.

"Get the hell off!" she yelled, forcing her holy energy to swell in order to fend off the youkai lord's power.

It was wretchedly unpleasant – the feeling of her reiki sizzling against his skin – but Sesshomaru would not be deterred. All he needed was for the woman to submit to him, and then it would be finalized. However, he knew that her stubbornness rivaled his younger brother's – if not matched it – so forcing her to admit defeat was likely not going to happen. He would need to take another route.

'If I can convince her to surrender without wounding her pride… yes, that notion seems promising,' he considered, knowing that it was likely the only way to sway her.

Sesshomaru reduced the strength of his youki, moving his hand so that it was not so firmly wrapped about her throat. "You have made your point, miko."

"Yeah, well I – wait, what?" The girl stared up at him with shock and a hint of skepticism. Her struggling had ceased, wide blue eyes searching his face for – he assumed - some sign of deception.

"Your point has been made," he repeated.

"R-really?" Kagome queried, surprised that he would call it quits so soon. He did have the upper hand, after all, and she'd assumed that he would try to force her to apologize for her brazenness. Not that she would have, mind you, but that was beside the point…

"Indeed. However, you must see that continuing to struggle is pointless. There is a time to fight, and a time to stand down, miko – do not mistake foolishness for bravery. If you submit, I shall recognize your worth," the daiyoukai told her, smiling internally when the underlying meaning of his statement bypassed the girl completely. He could see the satisfaction flickering in her eyes, though she concealed it rather well. Little did she know that he would emerge the true victor of this confrontation.

"None of my friends get hurt? You'll just let us leave?" Kagome pressed, eyes narrowing as she gazed up at the big inu.

Sesshomaru inclined his head, assuring her, "No harm comes to your companions, and they are free to go on their way." She, on the other hand, wouldn't be going anywhere.

From a distance, Inuyasha heard the softly spoken words and recognized their meaning instantly, his heart thundering in his chest as panic clogged his throat. He tried to shout, tried to warn her about what submitting would mean, but it was no use, he simply wasn't fast enough.

"That sounds acceptable," the miko affirmed, her voice touched with a hint of smugness. "Very well, Sesshomaru; I stand down."

The daiyoukai was positively preening inside when her holy energy receded, leaving her lying docile and compliant beneath him. With one, final flare of his aura – a signal of both his victory and his position as alpha – he pulled back, rising and extending a clawed hand to help the priestess to her feet.

Kagome took the offer and stood, hurriedly dusting the remnant dirt from her rear and back. Looking up into the expressionless face of the big demon, she gave the hand still holding hers a firm squeeze and did a small, respectful bow. "I'm glad we could come to this understanding," she told him, pleased that she'd gotten her message across. Perhaps now he would think twice about being so rude to someone just because of a difference in class or race.

She turned to leave him, fully intent on returning to her friends so they could carry on their way, but the clawed hand closed around fingers remained in place. She looked back at him, her eyes shifting from their interlocked hands to his face. She pulled again. No change.

Irritated, she huffed, "Come on now, I did as you asked. It's time for you to uphold your end of the deal. Unless you plan on going back on your word…"

Offended that she would even say such a thing, the daiyoukai responded, "Do not dare question my honor, priestess. Your friends are free to go whenever they please, just as I said. You, on the other hand, have an obligation to fulfill."

Alarmed and thoroughly confused, Kagome gave her ensnared appendage another firm tug, frowning when the towering inu remained unmoved. "What are you talking about? What obligation?"

Sango and Miroku, who had been watching the entire debacle with mixed emotions, both came to the same realization at once.

"Oh gods," Sango gasped, hand lifting to her mouth in horror as she watched Inuyasha's elder brother stake his claim on the tiny human miko. She obviously had no clue what was going on, having little knowledge of demon behavior or laws.

The violet-eyed priest shared her upset, the hand on his staff tightening in fury. "He tricked her," the monk uttered lowly, prepared to step forth and defend his friend from the fate that awaited her. Inuyasha beat him to it.

"That was a damn dirty trick!" the hanyou barked, practically shoving his way between the priestess and his half-sibling.

The daiyoukai sneered. "No tricks, boy. I stated my intention, and the girl accepted my claim. She submitted to me of her own free will."

Unsheathing Tessaiga, the dog-eared male positioned himself protectively in front of Kagome, shielding her from harm and Sesshomaru's golden gaze. "She didn't know what she was doin'!"

A disinterested sniff met the flustered declaration. "The girl's ignorance of youkai rites is no fault of mine. As a priestess, one would think she would have a better understanding of the creatures she hunts."

"Uh, guys…" Kagome began, having completely lost track of things.

She was ignored.

"That's a load of shit! You know that Kagome isn't like the others. You knew she would have no idea of what she was agreeing to, and you used it against her! That's just as bad as lying, bastard!"

Miroku, approaching alongside the slayer, spoke up. "Surely you will not force the Lady Kagome to uphold the obligation when she so clearly did not realize what she was agreeing to."

"Guys?" the little miko tried again, entirely fed up with being left out of the loop as well as being ignored.

Again, she was disregarded.

The pale lord glared frostily at the advancing group, clipping, "Indeed I shall. A deal is a deal, no matter the circumstances of its making. I hold the priestess Kagome to her word, and if she chooses to renege, I am entitled to extract whatever punishment I see fit."

"Guys! What the hell is going on?" Kagome demanded loudly, stepping out from behind Inuyasha to glare at both he and his elder brother.

Sango stepped up beside her and placed a hand on her shoulder, explaining, "By submitting to Sesshomaru in the way you did, you unintentionally accepted him as your dominant, and gave him permission to bed you."

Several long seconds ticked by as the slayer's words registered in her mind, but when they did, Kagome shook the forest with her horrified screeching. "WHAAAAAAT?"

"Is there a problem, miko?" Sesshomaru asked coolly, head tipping as he leveled her with a penetrating stare. The look dared her to deny him, promised pain and retribution should she choose to refuse.

"Yes, there is a gods-be-damned problem, you sneaky son-of-a-bitch!" she wailed, eyes wide as saucers as she pointed an accusing finger at him. "If I had known that those were the terms, I wouldn't have agreed!"

"Hn," the demon Lord hummed in a noncommittal tone, continuing in a voice that was less than sympathetic, "I fail to see how that pertains to me. Again, your ignorance is not my concern; my only interest is that you hold true to your word."

How in the hell did she get herself into these things? Never, in a million years, had she imagined that the daiyoukai would hold any sort of interest in her, but somehow she had managed it, and was now facing what was possibly the biggest dilemma in her life thus far.

"I can't!" she insisted, her hands fluttering about in anxiety and shock.

"You can, and you will, priestess. Should you choose to break you word, the promise I made regarding your companions will no longer hold any worth," the inu youkai threatened, knowing that the girl would do anything to keep her friends safe.

Kagome felt her heart stutter at the mention of her companions, eyes shadowing with fear as she slid them toward the small group.

Seeing the expression on her face, Miroku assured her, "Lady Kagome, do not worry for our safety. We would gladly do battle for you."

"Absolutely," Sango agreed, moving her hand to the strap of Hiraikotsu as she spoke.

Worrying her lower lip, Kagome glanced between the daiyoukai and her friends, not knowing what to do. While she had no doubt in their abilities, this was no ordinary demon they would be facing. This was Sesshomaru, and she had never seen anyone walk away from a serious fight with him unscathed. Could she risk doing that to her friends for the sake of something as simple as her virginity?

"You guys, I-"

"Don't even think about it!" Inuyasha bellowed. "I know that damn look, woman, and you can just stop it right now! There ain't no way we're gunna let you leave with that asshole because you're worried about us."

The young priestess managed a small, half-smile at her hanyou friend, reaching out to take his hand in hers. "Inuyasha… I know that you would fight for me, but… I don't want anyone to get hurt on my account. If anything were to happen to you, or Sango, or Miroku… or Shippou… Gods, if anything happened to any one of you because of something I could have prevented, I would never forgive myself!"

"There wouldn't be anything to forgive," he told her lowly, gripping the hand tightly and pulling her into a hug. "We're friends, right? It's our job to look out for one another. If he thinks he's gunna take you away, it'll be over my dead body."

Oh lordy, she could feel herself starting to tear up. It was a rare occurrence indeed that Inuyasha openly expressed his feelings, and in front of his brother no less! He was truly worried for her… but the fact remained, they could be seriously injured in battle with the daiyoukai. He was not called the killing perfection without reason.

The miko hugged him back, winding her arms about his waist and burying her face into his shoulder. Behind them, the demon lord growled lowly, but she ignored it. "I'm so lucky to have all of you. Thank you, Inuyasha."

She then placed her hands on his chest, infused her palms with reiki… and pushed.

Inuyasha hissed at the painful sensation, the jolt of purity throwing him back several yards and knocking the wind clear from his lungs. Wincing, he dropped to a knee and stared up at Kagome with wide, confused eyes.

Smiling sheepishly, Kagome called, "Sorry about that, Inu! You're not hurt, are you?"

"You zapped me, you crazy bitch; what the hell do you think?" The hanyou growled tersely, rising to his feet and demanding, "More importantly, what the hell do you think you're doing?"

Kagome turned and approached Sesshomaru with small, uncertain steps, squeaking in surprise when he reached forward and grabbed hold of her wrist. She nearly stumbled when he pulled her to him, arm winding about her waist in a possessive manner. Looking back over her shoulder, she answered, "It's like you said, Inuyasha, friends look out for one another. If going with Sesshomaru is all it takes to make sure that none of you get hurt, then I'll go."

Sango sprang forward, skidding to a halt when the big youkai snarled fiercely and bared his fangs at her in warning. "No, Kagome, don't do this!"

"The miko has decided," Sesshomaru drawled, pulling her more firmly against his chest.

Said miko flashed a shaky smile and told them, "Don't sweat it, guys, it's not like I'm going to my death or anything! Just take good care of Shippou while I'm gone and don't worry about me."

Before anyone could get another word in, the demon lord formed a cloud of shimmering youki beneath their feet and rose into the air, the small group scrambling after them. They cried out, but Kagome forced herself to tune out their pleading shouts and reminded herself that she was doing this for them. They would be safe, and that was all that mattered to her.

"Hold on to me."

The sudden order had her staring up at Sesshomaru, who looked back down at her expectantly. Sighing, she did as she was told and clasped her hands behind his back, not sure what to expect, but not wanting to take her chances in defying him. She was completely sour about having to act so submissively, but for her friends, she would do just about anything… even acquiesce to the demands of an arrogant, asshole demon lord.

Sesshomaru, having collected his prize, wished to dally no longer, and without further address, he shot off into the boundless, blue sky. The wayward miko clung to him like he were a lifeline – which, essentially, he was at the moment – cursing softly to herself as she smashed her eyes closed and burrowed her face into his mokomoko.

While his light orb was far faster than this mode of transport, he doubted the girl would enjoy travelling that quickly. It mattered not, since there was no chance that Inuyasha would be able to catch up, and with no trail to follow on the ground, the boy would have no hope in finding them.

He had no doubt the hanyou would search fervently for the miko, but if he was ever able to locate the pair of them, it would be far too late. Did he feel guilty for the way he had used her ignorance against her? The answer to that question was a simple and resounding 'no'. He was a lord, and as such he was entitled to take whatever he pleased… in this instance, he desired the priestess. As a tactician, he knew that not all battles were won by force, and that it was imperative to use any advantage available to gain one's ultimate goal.

And besides, he was certain that – once this was all over – the girl would be thanking him anyway. He was an extraordinary lover, after all.

Noting the small, discrete land markings that signaled their arrival at the desired site, Sesshomaru descended. The glade was well sheltered, nestled in a small, nearly inaccessible crevice-like valley. The cave located at the end of the dell was virtually invisible from overhead, the large stone slab jutting out from above its opening creating the illusion that it was just another rock formation.

Kagome, having felt her feet settle on something solid, detached herself from the daiyoukai and ventured a look around. The clearing was tiny, trees and rocks shooting up all around them to create an earthy wall. She looked toward the cave. "Where are we?"

Sesshomaru placed his hand at the small of her back and gave her a little nudge, guiding her toward the rocky hollow with quick, even steps.

Nearly stumbling at the hurried pace he was setting, the young miko scrambled along beside him until they came to the entrance, slowing her gait after her first few steps inside. It was dark, and from what she could see it was relatively deep, though she couldn't guess how deep. While she trusted he hadn't led her here just to let her get hurt falling down in a cave, Kagome enjoyed being able to see what she was doing. She was clumsy enough as it was, but add virtual darkness to the mixture and bad things happened.

"Uhmmm… you wouldn't happen to have a light, would you?" she asked her guide.

He made a small humming noise at the back of his throat, and immediately the cave was illuminated by an eerie chartreuse glow. Blinking, Kagome peered around him to find the source, pulling back minimally when she noted that it was his unoccupied hand casting off the unearthly shine. She'd seen that before, right before he'd tried to melt her into sludge.

Kagome shuddered, forcing herself to focus on something other than the daiyoukai's first attempt to kill her… like the fact that she could see again! That was a plus!

Now that the cave wasn't so pitchy, she could see that it wasn't as derelict as she'd assumed it would be. There were a few large chests along one side – as to what they held, she hadn't the faintest – and a heaping pile of furs against the other. Further back there was a pool of sorts, surrounded by jutting stalagmites and several boulders. It was well kept, considering the fact that it was basically a hole in the ground, and Kagome couldn't help but wonder aloud, "Is this where you live?"

Sesshomaru sent her a flat look. "Of course not, you foolish girl. My fortress resided west of here, in the mountains."

"Okay, you don't have to get snarky. It isn't like I've ever heard you mention anything about a home, so how was I supposed to know?" she clipped defensively, lips pouting at the condescending look her was bestowing upon her.

"This is merely a den I use if I require rest while patrolling my lands. I have several others like it," he told her, turning and opening one of the chests placed against the cave wall. He procured a small lantern and some flint, and within seconds the cave was illuminated with the dim glow of lamplight. He moved toward her again, his hand reclaiming its position on her back. He steered her toward the furs, eager to get past all this pointless chatter and get down to business.

Kagome, seeing the direction he was taking her, attempted to stall a little longer. If she had enough time to think without being rushed, perhaps she could figure out a way to stop this from happening. "Uhhh, it's a little cool in here. Is there a fire pit or something?"

"No."

"Oh… I guess you don't really need one, huh? You probably don't eat cooked food, or get cold at night." Her mind sputtered pitifully, failing to come up with anything worthwhile that might aid her in solving this predicament.

"I will find you something to eat afterward, and I assure you that you will not be needing a fire to warm you on this night," the daiyoukai promised, his voice taking on a husky quality.

'Red alert! Red alert!' she shouted to herself, heart hammering a rapid tattoo against her ribs. If she didn't think of something fast, she'd be kissing her cherry goodbye faster than you could say 'horny inu demon'.

"Are you absolutely sure you wanna do this? I mean, if you change your mind now I won't hold any of this against you! We could pretend it never happened, and you could go find someone more suitable to assist you with your… needs." Kagome wrung her hands nervously as they came to a stop before the large, luxurious pile of assorted furs, knowing that she was running out of time.

"You are the most suitable candidate, miko," he assured her, unfastening the clips of his armor. Pulling off the weighty breastplate, he set it carefully aside before carrying on, "You should be honored. Any other female would be delighted to be given this position."

Kagome, a trifle annoyed that he thought so highly of himself – but knowing that was how royalty perceived themselves in this era – grumbled, keeping her negative comments to herself. Instead, she responded, "I am flattered that you would think so highly of me, however, I'm not the type of girl who's okay with giving her virginity to some random guy just because of his social standing. Things are a lot different where I come from."

"Even so," the daiyoukai drawled, "I do not understand why it is you are so opposed to this. You are sexually attracted to me, are you not?" His deft fingers had already removed his armor, and were currently working his obi loose.

She paled momentarily before turning a brilliant shade of rose, everything from her ears to her chest colored with the proof of her embarrassment. "Wh-what? How did you come up with such a ridiculous notion?"

Sesshomaru paused, quirking a thin brow at her as he echoed flatly, "Ridiculous notion? If that is so, miko, then why is it that I smelled your arousal when you were watching me do battle?"

Mortified at having been caught gawking, the pretty priestess queried sharply, "How do you know I was thinking about you? I could have been thinking of… of Inuyasha!"

A short chuckle left the daiyoukai's usually mirthless lips. He resumed his task, not bothering to look at the indignant girl as he retorted, "Were you thinking of anyone else, you would have been aroused prior to your arrival."

Long, graceful fingers pulled at the folds of his layered garments, allowing them to slide down his arms and pool unceremoniously at his feet. Bared from the waist up, Sesshomaru glanced at the now silent miko, smiling haughtily when he found her staring slack-jawed at his newly exposed flesh.

Whatever she might have been about to say was instantly forgotten the second that flawless, godlike physique came into view. She watched – transfixed – as a large, clawed hand moved slowly down the length of his torso, from his chiseled pectorals to the immaculately carved expanse of his abdomen. He flexed briefly, making the already well defined groupings of muscle stand out even more, and Kagome had to clench her thighs to alleviate the immediate and nearly overwhelming surge of arousal that shot through her loins at the sight.

"You were saying, miko?"

The smug utterance had her tearing her eyes from the drool-worthy display – though it pained her to do so – and she glared vehemently at the owner of the arrogant voice. "Fine, I admit it, but that still doesn't change the fact that I strongly disagree with this entire situation!"

Sure bad-boys played the leading roles in most young women's sexual fantasies, but they were not the type of men one would want to have children with! Heavens no! For something that serious, the male needed to be loving, considerate, and nurturing, everything the daiyoukai was not.

"Disagree all you like, girl, but you made me a deal. Now, undress," the tall inu instructed, tired of putting this off.

Kagome fidgeted nervously, anxiety-shaken limbs lifting awkwardly to carry out the command. Slowly she worked at the buttons on her blouse, the tense quiet making her task all the more difficult to go through with. She needed to fill that awkward silence, and perhaps make one final effort to put an end to this madness.

"So… are you completely, one-hundred percent sure you wouldn't rather have a full-blooded youkai female birth you an heir? Maybe you just didn't look hard enough… maybe you missed someone?"

Sesshomaru watched with interest as the first layer was pulled away from her shapely torso, golden eyes darkening to a dusky bronze as they caressed the swell of her breast and the tapered curve of her waist.

The girl was still going on about nothing of import, and the daiyoukai wondered idly why she was bothering to waste her breath. His decision was final, and he never second-guessed himself. However, she was cooperating, so he supposed he could humor her with a response. "This one does not miss anything, priestess. Were there another more suitable than you, I would have found her."

"Well, maybe your standards are too high," she reasoned, pulling her tank-top deftly over her head before she continued. "Maybe if you lowered them just a teensy bit, you'd have more luck."

He sent her the most bizarre look, staring at her like she had some kind of disturbing growth.

"What?"

"You do realize you are speaking to a daiyoukai? A demon of my breeding settles for nothing but the best in all things," he intoned lazily, a hint of amusement coloring his tone.

She frowned, wishing that – for once in his immeasurably long life – he could be a bit less haughty. 'Wish in one hand, piss in the other…' she grumbled miserably to herself, knowing that she was wasting her time hoping for something that would never happen.

The raven-haired miko gave an exaggerated huff, bending down to pull off her shoes and socks. "What I'm trying to say is, wouldn't it be better for you to look for a female youkai who's slightly less powerful, and then have full demon babies?"

"Pups," he corrected her automatically.

"Whatever. They would still be more powerful than hanyou, right?"

Sesshomaru shook his head once, eyes still trained on the woman's near naked upper half. "Were you an ordinary human, such would be the case. You are, however, a powerful priestess, and that changes everything."

Kagome – who had been making to undo her pants, stopped and quirked a dubious brow. "I suppose this is where you tell me that our offspring are going to be some kind of super powerful miko-demon hybrids?"

A quiet snort could be heard in the relative silence of the cave, and the daiyoukai lifted his upper lip in a sneer. "Such a creature does not exist; the opposing nature of our powers makes such a thing impossible."

Sesshomaru was pleased when the miko resumed undressing, shimmying out of her odd leggings with an enticing wiggle of her hips. She had lovely legs: long, shapely, smooth; he could hardly wait to feel them pressed against his thighs as he took her from behind.

"If that's the case, won't I end up hurting the baby?"

"Pup."

"Whatever! If our powers are opposing, and can't blend, won't my body recognize the demon child inside of me as a threat and eradicate it?"

The girl was down to practically nothing, standing before him in tiny scraps of fabric that had him intrigued and aroused. They were meant to hide the most sacred of her womanly attributes, he assumed, but all they did was make him want to fuck her. She appeared to have forgotten her nervousness, the conversation taking her attention away from her current task and giving him ample opportunity to peruse her body with his hungry eyes.

Ah, but he was digressing, she had asked him a question.

"The more dominant power – mine, naturally – will neutralize the lesser. So, while the pup will be hanyou, your human blood will not dilute its strength, as was the case with Inuyasha. Also, there is another benefit. Because the pup will be housed inside of your body, it will be exposed to your reiki continuously, and - in turn - it will build a tolerance to purifying energies."

Kagome blinked in surprise at the new bit of information, amazed by the prospect, but curious as to how he could be so certain. "How do you know all that?"

Sesshomaru gave a small, one-shouldered shrug. "It has occurred before."

Her face fell into a dubious expression. A demon and a miko had copulated? How often could something like that possibly

She paused, remembering that Inuyasha and Kikyo had been in love, as well as Hoshiyomi and Tsukiyomi. Perhaps the priestess-youkai union wasn't so far-fetched after all. In fact, considering how little she knew of this era, and what she had witnessed in just the handful of years she'd been here, it seemed that it wasn't nearly as rare as one might think.

"So now you see why there is no issue. You are more than suitable for the position," the daiyoukai told her, hands grasping and pulling free the straps holding his hakama in place. They pooled at his ankles, and the girl shrieked loudly before throwing her arms up in front of chest.

She'd completely forgotten his state of undress, as well as her own, having been so engrossed in discussion. The instant she'd seen the billowing white garb fall to the ground with a flutter, she realized with extreme mortification that she was practically naked.

Kagome also realized – with a pretty blush – that Sesshomaru looked delightfully good in fundoshi. 'What a great set of legs… Wait, no! Mustn't be distracted!'

She made herself look away as he toed out of his boots, arms awkwardly poised over her chest as she stammered, "Uh, so, have you considered-"

"Enough, miko." The daiyoukai instructed, pressing a finger to the girl's lips.

She gave a startled 'meep', not having seen him approach until his deep voice was sounding in her ear. His nearness made her tremble in renewed anxiousness, the smoldering of his golden eyes telling her that all of her stalling had gotten her nowhere. Yet, his sudden proximity wasn't the only issue… he was also naked, and no matter how hard she tried, Kagome couldn't stop herself from gawking at his erection.

'Oh… wow.' It was… perfect, but rather large, and that could prove to be a problem for her. Honestly, she should have expected as much. His ego was huge, he was ridiculously tall by anyone's standards, and his aura was so overwhelming that breathing became difficult when one stood near him. So, of course his junk would be synonymous with the rest of him.

"I don't know if this is going to work… physically, I mean."

"Miko," he drawled, "unless you are crying out in rapture, or planning to pleasure me orally, I do not want to see you open your mouth again, understood?"

Horrified and angry, Kagome parted her lips to give him a piece of her mind, but was thwarted when a large hand clamped over her jaw.

The daiyoukai glared frostily at her, his irritation with her disobedience mounting. How could one tiny woman be so obstinate?

"Enough," he repeated sternly, and in a few deft motions he pulled her arms away from her chest and rid her of her lewd undergarments. She gasped in alarm, her cheeks coloring a charming pink. When she made to cover herself again, he took hold of her hands and flicked his tongue over one rosy nipple, purring, "You have nothing to hide."

The sensation of his rough tongue against the sensitive peak of her breast set her blood aflame, her insides twisting and knotting with desire. Kagome swayed on her feet at the powerful sensation, kept up only by his strong hands. Gods, it felt so good, but she knew it was wrong.

While the scent of her arousal was present – brushing against his senses like teasing, caressing fingers – it was sullied by the scent of her lingering nervousness. From the look on the girl's face, he could tell she wasn't exactly thrilled about this entire situation. That did not sit well with him. The daiyoukai would not bed a woman who was unwilling. While it was his right as a lord to take anything he pleased, this was a matter of pride! Females that bedded the powerful inu practically scrambled to get naked and then threw themselves at his feet! He was not used to a partner being so… unreceptive to his attentions. Seemed he would need to do a bit more coaxing.

The big demon maneuvered the priestess to the ground, laying her carefully out on the furred pallet and arranging himself over her. He would change her mind, of that he had no doubt; no woman could resist his sex appeal. Sesshomaru allowed lust to seep into his gaze as he stared down at the squirming miko, a low rumble forming in his chest as he growled suggestively.

While there was no real way to be certain, Kagome was quite sure that her internal temperature had just gone up a few degrees. It was so bloody unfair that he was that attractive. With a face that would make an angel weep and a body that would put any male underwear model to shame, Sesshomaru was the perfect combination of ethereal beauty and pure, virile masculinity.

"Resisting your own body's reaction is a useless endeavor, woman. Letting your conscience get in the way of your pleasure is foolish," he told her.

Kagome frowned, eyes averting from his face as she pondered his words. 'That's easy for him to say… he doesn't even have a conscience. It's hard for me to just shrug my shoulders and go with it, considering my best friend happens to be one of this guy's most hated enemies.'

He could practically hear her thoughts as he watched the emotions parade across her face, knowing exactly what was holding her back… as well as how to stop it from getting in the way any longer. "You worry of Inuyasha."

Her eyes swung back to him, wide with surprise. Was she that easy to read?

Sesshomaru continued, his voice sultry as his fingers traced shapeless patterns across her skin. "Such a selfless thing you are, miko, always concerned for the feelings and needs of others… yet, who sees to your needs? Certainly not the hanyou."

His tongue slid enticingly along her fluttering pulse, up to the smooth line of her jaw and further still to her ear. She shivered, eliciting a pleased growl from the youkai above her. Sesshomaru could see the indecision flickering in her eyes.

"I can give you what he never could; why deny yourself the pleasure you so rightfully deserve?" he whispered beguilingly, claws pricking the tender flesh of her breasts as he filled his palms with the lush, rounded flesh.

Kagome frowned, beginning to wonder if it was truly so wrong for her to enjoy this. It was inevitable, right… so, why not allow herself this little indulgence? Every woman had needs, after all, and if she couldn't fulfill them elsewhere, what should stop her from accepting what Sesshomaru was so generously offering her now?

He could sense that he was getting to her, smell her arousal heightening and her nervousness waning. Soon she would be putty in his more than capable hands. Just one more, small push…

"There is no one here to bear witness to what will happen, Kagome. The halfling need not ever know…"

The quiet utterance gave her pause, and Kagome realized with a start that he was right. What happened between them would stay between them, to a sense. While her friends were aware of the basics, they didn't need to know the details.

As soon as she finished the thought, a small, nagging part of her immediately began with the guilt-trip. 'How could you even consider doing something so sneaky? If Inuyasha ever found out that you enjoyed having sex with is older brother, he would-'

'You know what?' another part of her all but shouted at the annoying voice, 'I'm tired of trying to please everyone else! It's high time I did something for myself!'

This… situation was unavoidable, and the way she looked at it, she had two choices. One: she could lie there – unresponsive and awkward – and feel guilty. Two: she could stop denying the fact that she found him sexually attractive and take what he had to offer. Kagome opted for choice number two. Bolstering her courage, the miko peered up at the demon lord with an expression of finality, placing her hands lightly on his forearms and nodding in affirmation.

Immensely pleased that he'd finally succeeded in swaying the stubborn female, Sesshomaru gave the breast in his hand one final squeeze before trailing his claws down across her trembling stomach. The rough pads of his fingers teased the bare flesh of her mons – a curious trait he'd noted earlier, but had not taken the time to truly ponder. The miko had obviously reached sexual maturity, yet there wasn't a single hair gracing her sex. Then, again, he'd never bedded a human woman before… perhaps their females took longer to mature physically? It didn't really matter, he supposed; he rather liked the way it looked. There was nothing to hinder his view of her ripe, pink flesh, and the scent of her arousal was enough to make him salivate.

Sesshomaru cupped the young woman intimately, withholding a haughty chuckle when she whimpered at the touch. Probing carefully to avoid cutting her on the razor edge of his claw, he slid one long finger into her slick folds, pressing firmly against her clit and watching as she bucked beneath him.

Kagome bit her lip sharply, hips jerking as the daiyoukai began rubbing maddening little circles over the sensitive bundle of nerves. She gripped his shoulders tightly, head thrown back at the overwhelming sensation. It was utterly amazing, totally unlike anything she'd ever experienced. While she was no stranger to self-gratification, this was far more satisfying, the touch of a male igniting a fire in her blood that had never been present before.

The big demon bent his head to take the tip of one full breast into his mouth, gazing through hooded eyes at the lovely miko's face. Her enchanting blue orbs were hazed with lust, lips parted in a shuddering moan.

She was so responsive, every little touch invoking a new reaction in her. A gentle scrape of his fang against her nipple had the girl writhing and raking her blunt, human nails across his back. It was rather apparent to him that the woman had been in need of male attention for some time, if her response to his touch was any indication. Or, it could simply be that he was amazing

'Likely a combination of both,' he surmised.

Kagome decided that Sesshomaru needed to teach a class: How to Please Your Partner: Female Anatomy 101. She'd heard from many of her sexually active friends that a large chunk of the male populace seemed unaware of the existence of the clitoris… or perhaps they simply couldn't find it…? Either way, the daiyoukai clearly didn't have that problem. It had only been a few minutes, and already she could feel her first climax beginning to build.

A naughty part of her wondered if he would be as fierce a lover as he was a warrior. Sesshomaru didn't really come off as the type of guy who liked to 'make love'. No, no, he seemed like the type of male who knew exactly what he wanted, and wasn't afraid to use a little force to get it. She certainly hoped so. She didn't want some wimpy, flowery little romp that was all gentle caresses and softly whispered words. Boring!

Ack, she was over-thinking again. The little miko decided that she needed to stop wondering on it and just let it happen; she was far too analytical about everything. All of her questions would be answered, after all, and with that in mind she told her brain to shut the hell up and let her enjoy herself.

She was wet, the scent of her arousal so heavy he could practically taste it. It smelled utterly delectable, and his thick, straining cock throbbed eagerly at the thought of sampling her womanly delights. However, there was still one little thing he wanted to get out of the way before he indulged in that particular delicacy…

He shifted his hand, lowering his thumb to press against her swollen pearl while his other fingers probed deeper. He pressed one digit into her entrance, feeling the minute resistance of her maidenhead as he did so. With a careful twitch of that same clawed extension, he removed the barrier with practiced efficiency. The smell of her virgin's blood – sharp and metallic – wafted up to his elegant nose, causing his stomach to tighten in anticipation.

Kagome jerked at the twinge of pain, not having expected him to… well, deflower her like that. Then again, it was likely the less painful way to go about it, so – discomfort aside – she was grateful for his consideration.

The big demon above her retracted his hand, fingers stained red with the proof of her breaching. Then, to the young miko's disgust, he lifted the sullied digits to his lips and licked them clean. Now, she'd known that inu demons were quite fond of ingesting blood, but she'd never imagined they would have any interest in that; it seemed so… unsanitary. Curling a lip in distaste, she mumbled a quiet, "Eww."

Sesshomaru quirked a thin silver brow. "Blood is blood," he commented blandly, "the source matters not."

Drawing his tongue against the pad of his finger one last time, the daiyoukai rearranged himself overtop the girl, slinking down her body until he was settled comfortably between her thighs.

"Whoa!" Kagome protested, face turning a brilliant shade of pink as the silvery Adonis positioned himself above her sex. Licking the blood from his fingers was one thing… but he wasn't actually going to do that… down there… was he?

"You can't be serious!" she stammered in embarrassment.

The daiyoukai almost sighed at her continuous protests. Was it even possible for this girl to be silent for more than a handful of seconds at a time? He shot her an annoyed look, and proceeded to explain, "It is imperative that you are adequately prepared for our coupling. The blood does not bother me, therefore it should not bother you."

"It does bother me!" she countered sourly. "It's not exactly a common thing for human men to… well, do that to a girl if she's bleeding! Can't you just keep using your fingers?"

"I am not a human male, and I will not continue to use my hand."

"Why not?"

This time – when the urge to sigh struck him – he surrendered to it, allowing a soft, exasperated breath to pass through his lips. "Were my claws retractable, I would acquiesce to your request, if only to silence your horrid whining. They are not, however, and you would not fare well were I to use them in such a manner."

The priestess instantly quieted when his words processed, and suddenly the idea didn't seem so horrendous. She imagined that getting fingered by someone with lethal, poison claws would be about as pleasant as fucking a cheese grater. So, previous squeamishness forgotten, she cleared her throat and gave an affirming nod, her cheeks heated with embarrassment yet again.

Glad that that was out of the way, the daiyoukai hoped beyond all things that she would shut up for the remainder of their tryst and enjoy what he had to offer. It was not often that he was so generous, and the woman should have been honored that he had chosen her to bear his young. 'Such an odd creature,' he mused. 'With any luck our offspring will not inherit her strangeness.'

However, all thought aside, he had business to finish, and the mingled scent of her blood and arousal was beginning to fog his mind.

Pale lips parted to allow a questing tongue through, the wet muscle seeking the first of a few thin lines of blood slowly trickling down the miko's rear cheeks. She shuddered at first contact, stiffening and arching as he followed the little red trail back to its source. It was like pure ambrosia, her holy essence tingling along his palate. It was unique, like nothing he'd ever sampled before. He couldn't quite name what it compared to, but the slight spice it added to her natural feminine flavor gave it an addicting quality.

Pleased with the discovery, Sesshomaru lifted the woman's slender thighs over his arms, broad shoulders balancing them easily. Carefully parting her slick folds with his fingers, the daiyoukai began his feast on the rare delight, agile tongue flicking deftly over her clit. Her startled shriek and the urgent thrusting of her hips fueled his motions, and within mere seconds the miko was quivering beneath him.

Kagome shuddered helplessly at the overwhelming sensations, unable to stop her body's reaction to the torturous treatment. He changed his pace, switching from quick, incessant little swipes to lengthy, languid strokes. It felt utterly amazing, the firm draw of his tongue against her swollen nub making her twitch almost uncontrollably. She had the strongest urge to clamp her thighs around his silvery head, but she doubted very much that he would approve.

The big dai was nearly purring in delight at the taste of his priestess' sublime essence. She was – after all of that fighting – responding so beautifully, and he had to give a mental shake of his head at the girl for having acted so averse to the idea of being with him. 'Silly human wench.'

Flattening his tongue over her slit, Sesshomaru gave the girl one last, drawn-out lick before sucking her pearl greedily into his mouth. She called out breathily, squirming frantically beneath him. The large male bore down on her, using his significant weight advantage to still her wiggling as he continued his thorough attentions to the sensitive little bundle.

Wanting to sample more of her divine flavor, he pushed the slick muscle into her tight opening, retracting minimally before burrowing deeper. The slow thrusting of his tongue had her shaking in his hold, mumbling a near incoherent mantra of his name as he feasted on her womanly delights. She gave so readily, her feminine flower weeping proof of her pleasure without pause. Greedily he devoured it all, mouth working ceaselessly to ensure that she provide him with more of the delectable nectar.

Judging from the minute trembling of her thighs as well as the sporadic clenching of her sheath, Sesshomaru estimated that it would not be long before she was overcome with her first climax. Then, when he was certain she was adequately prepared to encompass him, he would claim her.

Kagome felt tears prick here eyes as she burrowed her teeth sharply into her lower lip, the unbelievable sensation growing stronger with every passing second. She could feel an orgasm building, twisting deep in her loins and making sweat bead along her brow. It was so much more intense than the self-induced gratification she'd partaken in so many times before, the deep penetrations of his tongue stroking something inside of her she'd never known about.

She was so, so close, the nearness of completion making her thrash. In her passion induced stupor, she began muttering his name and pleading for him to go faster, too far gone to be embarrassed at the fact that she was actually begging the arrogant youkai.

He seemed to take her pitiful little pleas into consideration, however, and swiftly applied pressure to her clit with his previously unoccupied thumb. That one tiny motion – coupled with the delicious feeling of his tongue inside of her – shot her into climax so suddenly that she screamed aloud, the pleasure-laden sound ricocheting off the cavern walls.

His ego and his cock swelled in unison at the satisfying sound, and the daiyoukai growled wickedly. When the miko's heat grew slick with the aftereffects of her orgasm, he reluctantly withdrew and pulled himself up her quivering body. Licking her juices from his lips, Sesshomaru held himself motionless above her form and waited.

Gathering her scattered wits and giving her heart a moment to settle into a normal pace, Kagome peered through her lashes at the angelic looking creature above her, breath coming out in short, quick pants. He was staring at her with a bland, somewhat impatient look on his face, and the young miko thought to herself that he certainly knew how to ruin a mood. She had just experienced the most mind-blowing orgasm of her life… and he looked bored and disinterested.

His expression was enough to spark her temper anew, and she scowled up at him, snapping tersely, "What the hell's with that look?"

A minute frown creased his aristocratic brow. "Patience is not something this Sesshomaru has in abundance at this particular time. Have you had sufficient time to recover?"

Kagome blinked, eyes darting momentarily downward before she gave a slow nod.

"Good."

Starting when large hands gripped her hips firmly, the priestess' breath froze in her lungs when she felt the tip of his manhood press dauntingly against her entrance. This was it… within mere seconds she was going to lose her virginity to Inuyasha's hated older brother. Could she do this… could she follow through with her promise? So many new fears and unknowns presented themselves in that one moment, and Kagome's head swam with uncertainty. How would her hanyou friend treat her after this? How would her quest for the shards be affected? Would her power respond in the same ways if she was physically 'impure'?

Yet, before she had a chance to voice her concerns, Sesshomaru jerked his slender hips and impaled her, and all that came out of her mouth was a strangled moan.

The daiyoukai let loose a similar, unintelligible sound, groaning throatily at the sensation of her tight heat engulfing his throbbing shaft. She took him in slowly, muscles stretching to accommodate him as he pressed forward with determination. He did not stop until he filled her to capacity, teeth clenching when her molten sheath squeezed his cock like an unforgiving fist. It was utterly delicious.

Kagome was torn between whining in discomfort and shivering in delight. The large, foreign presence inside of her untried body made her feel so very small and fragile, but also seemed to fill the aching emptiness the previous climax had left her with. It felt so very right to have him there, and a slick, coaxing voice in her head told her to forget all of the troublesome thoughts that had plagued her and just enjoy this experience as much as she could. Yes, she deserved it after all the shit she'd gone through. Conscience be damned, she was going to enjoy this!

The big inu's impressive length seemed to fill every inch of her, thick head pressed tightly against her cervix and making her wince. Not really knowing what to do at that point, Kagome peeked up at the silvery male, waiting for some form of instruction.

The western lord took a moment to compose himself. He'd expected the girl to be snug, certainly – she was a virgin, after all – but he had not anticipate just how small she would be. It seemed a miracle he hadn't seriously injured her, and he made a mental note to use extreme care while handling the girl. A bother, certainly - as he preferred unrestrained sex - but it was a necessary sacrifice.

Said girl was currently staring at him with inquisitive, unsure eyes, doing an impressive job at hiding her discomfort. However, he was no ordinary youkai… he never missed anything. "Relax, woman."

She did so immediately, and he felt a slight twinge of surprise at how readily she'd complied. There were no snippy remarks, no scowls or huffs… perhaps he'd finally gotten through to the female. Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, Sesshomaru took hold of one fragile, human hand and placed it on his shoulder. He then repeated the motion with the other, and instructed her, "Keep hold of me, and move as I do."

He growled in a pleased manner when she continued to obey, tiny fingers grasping at his back. With everything finally as it should be, there was only one thing left for him to accomplish.

With that thought fueling him, the big daiyoukai flexed his abdomen and rolled his hips, fangs bared in a soundless hiss as pleasure skittered up his spine. The female reacted in a similar fashion, mouth falling open as her head tilted back, blue eyed widening in wonderment. Sesshomaru immediately swooped down to nuzzle the tender, delicate flesh, inhaling her rich scent and tracing the line of her throat up to her chin.

It had been an instinctual response. His inner beast exulted in the gesture, pleased with the submissive pose of the wench he was rutting. He knew she was no bitch, and it was likely that the meaning of the act was lost on her, but it mattered little to him. For her to expose her most vulnerable region to him during such an intimate moment – whether she realized it or not – showed that she trusted him, and that pleased his animalistic side greatly.

Kagome shivered. The contrast between his warmth and the cool air of the cavern had her skin growing taut, gooseflesh riddling her thighs and arms and chest. The daiyoukai seemed to notice, as he shifted his attention to her bosom shortly after with an inquisitive quirk of the brow. One clawed finger traced the outer curve of a breast, eliciting more of the tiny bumps to erupt across her flesh. He bent his head, hot breath wafting over her sensitized skin, and laved his tongue over her nipple. Gods, it was phenomenal.

As instructed, she moved gingerly along with him, slowly gaining confidence. It wasn't so difficult, she decided, feeling comfortable enough to lift a leg over his thigh. He rewarded her boldness with a gentle nip to the side of the breast, his long fingers trailing up her side and into her hair.

Then, suddenly, she was struck by a thought. She had come to accept this little agreement of theirs, but she had yet to actually touch him. Thus far, he had been doing all of the work, and while she couldn't complain about the quality of said work, Kagome was beginning to feel a trifle uninvolved. That simply wouldn't do. Not wanting to be an awful bed partner, the miko decided it was time to do some exploring of her own.

Sesshomaru noted with a distinct surge of satisfaction that his female had begun to reciprocate his touches, her dainty hands wandering across his flesh with soft, curious strokes. He rumbled appreciatively, the minute petting exciting him further and causing trace amounts of red to filter into the corners of his eyes.

Kagome marveled at the perfection of the large inu, his exquisite physique even more flawless than she had originally imagined. While broad in frame and well defined, the daiyoukai was a sleek creature – his musculature combined with his unusual height giving him a powerful yet graceful appearance. His arms were hard like stone, encased in the velvet softness of pale, faultless flesh. The muscles in his back tensed beneath her fingers as she carefully studied each small grouping with lusty fascination.

Continuing her thorough exploration, the young priestess noticed a slight change in her lover's movements, the once gentle thrusting having increased in both force and speed. She responded in kind, arching herself while flexing her hips upward, curling against him with a delighted, shuddering moan.

While it was a start, they were still nowhere near where she would have preferred to be by this point in their sexual encounter. Kagome had been squashed by beasties, man-handled by bandits, and thrashed by villainous youkai, so it was safe to say she was used to rough handling. She didn't want him to go slow. This was… highly disappointing, and not what she expected from him at all.

Perhaps he was worried he would hurt her… she was a human, after all, and Sesshomaru seemed to think that humans were the weakest, most fragile things on the face of the planet. Now, while she wasn't exactly what one might call sturdy, she was not made of glass. Kagome wanted him to fuck her brains out, and it was time to let the inu lord know that!

She gripped his ass with both hands, using every ounce of strength she could muster to pull herself down on his manhood with a gratified moan.

The daiyoukai grunted at the unexpected action, fangs gnashing in warning as he turned a cold, warning glare in the fiery miko's direction. "Watch yourself, girl."

Said girl frowned right back, frustration crinkling her delicate brow and making her cerulean eyes burn. "Don't you growl at me! You need to stop treating me like I'm going to break, Sesshomaru. I guarantee I can handle anything you can dish out."

His disapproval gave way to disbelief, and he scoffed lightly, "I highly doubt that, priestess."

Kagome had never wanted to hit someone more than she wanted to hit him in that instant… it was a shame there were no large, blunt objects in the direct vicinity.

'What a pretentious asshole!' she groused sourly, before hastily reminding herself that she needed to stay on his good side if she wanted things to go her way. Staying her nasty remarks, she reminded him, "You were so adamant about this happening, so why are you holding back now? Why don't you fuck me like you really mean it?"

She gave another little buck to emphasize her point, lifting a brow pointedly as she awaited his response.

So, the little tart wanted it rough, did she? She believed she could handle him just fine, hm? Well, it wasn't as though he hadn't warned her, and when she started bitching about being sore afterward he would simply remind her that it was she who had insisted he 'fuck her like he meant it'.

Lips thinning, the daiyoukai growled lowly, "So be it."

Withdrawing from her snug sex, the godly youkai sat back on his haunches and maneuvered her so that she was lying on her side, trapping one of her legs between his and lifting the other so that her calf rested on his shoulder. Gripping the latter firmly, he sheathed himself in her slick passage again, the silky skin of her thigh brushing enticingly against his heavy sac. With a deafening snarl, he gave the wench exactly what she had asked for.

Kagome had been rather intrigued with the position he settled her into, but hadn't the chance to wonder over it as he started driving into her with extreme vigor. The jarring force of their hips meeting sent vibrations rattling through her very bones, all the way up to her teeth.

She couldn't help the startled scream that burst from her mouth at that first, unexpected impact, the strength behind his thrusting rocking her violently and pushing it from her lungs. She turned to look up at her demon lover, noting with a start that his eyes were rapidly bleeding crimson and that his markings had grown choppy and thick. Apparently her demand had brought out a little more of the beast in him than she'd realized it would, his carefully crafted mask having been cast off along with his caution.

The young priestess decided immediately that it was a good thing, because what he was doing felt absolutely amazing! There was pain, sure – she had been a virgin – but Kagome was used to pain. The discomfort of her first sexual encounter was easily overlooked by the mounting pleasure.

Sesshomaru watched with lusty fascination as his engorged cock disappeared into the miko's wet heat. It was miraculous that her tiny mortal body could even encompass the entirety of his length – an impressive and daunting tool to be sure – never mind withstand his rough handling. He found himself astonished by her fortitude.

It worked in his favor, certainly. It would have been a rather tedious affair if he'd been forced to exercise caution throughout the entire ordeal.

With a satisfied growl, he took hold of a lush breast, elongated fangs snapping as he plowed into her clenching depths. The daiyoukai roughly pinched one coral nipple before moving to repeat the action to its twin, delighting when the wench gave a startled yip. The wet slap of their flesh was joined with a chorus of deep, animalistic snarls and high, elated moans, the music of their joining filling the cavernous space to a near deafening degree.

The pretty little miko twisted helplessly, writhing on the pile of furs like a woman gone mad. His furious pace was driving her to her pinnacle, he could see it in the dilation of her pupils and feel it in the mild trembling of her legs. Her heart hammered loudly in her chest, her supple body thrashing as he gripped her hips and drove himself faster still into her wetness.

Yet it wasn't enough. He wanted to hear her screaming for her insolence, to have her crying his name to the heavens above! Sesshomaru wanted to put her in her place; he would screw the wench until she could no longer function! The mighty inu would show her exactly what it meant to challenge a daiyoukai, and perhaps when this was finally over she would know better than to flap her tongue so carelessly.

Kagome could feel the warmth of that incredible friction pooling in her lower regions, the beginnings of release making her toes curl and her breath quicken. She felt ready to break, the pleasure tightening inside of her until she was certain it could tighten no further. When the dog demon gave an especially hard thrust and simultaneously pinched one tender nipple, everything came to a screeching, suspended halt… and then she exploded.

"Yeesss!" she shouted jubilantly, stars dancing across her vision. Eyes rolling back, the ebony-haired girl grasped desperately at one thickly corded, magenta striped forearm, human nails scoring deep crescents into Sesshomaru's pale flesh.

He was unrelenting in his pace, not slowing even when she began to twitch with tiny aftershocks. Instead, he pulled out and – in a motion so fast that it left her momentarily dazed – flipped her onto elbows and knees and entered her from behind. One large hand cradled her hip and guided her back into every fierce thrust, the other curved underneath her to deftly fondle her clit.

Having only just calmed from her previous release, Kagome suddenly found herself teetering dangerously close to oblivion yet again, the firm rubbing of his long, dexterous fingers giving her no time to recover. However, this time there was no gradual build of pleasure, it was simply there, threatening to send her reeling yet again. The unexpected and sudden force behind it had her grabbing up handfuls of fur and arching her spine, moaning in an almost strangled manner as the daiyoukai manipulated her body with seeming effortlessness.

The dog lord drove his thick staff deeply into the miko's welcoming tightness, fangs bared as he felt the familiar, delicious tug of climax pulling at his loins. A pink film clouded his vision, tingeing everything a pale red as the hold he had on his control began slipping. Growling lowly like the beast he was, Sesshomaru increased his pace, eager to make her come for him one last time before giving in to his own pleasure.

Kagome was swept into her third release so abruptly that she choked on her own breath, the flicker of her previous orgasm – which had yet to dim completely – flaring back to life with a burst of sensation. It was overwhelming, filling her to the point where she could not help but cry out in rapture. She called out to him for all she was worth, chanting his name in worshipful repetition as her body was racked with spasms.

The satisfying sound of her crying his name coupled with the firm, wet sucking of her channel along his cock had the daiyoukai rearing up in rapture, head thrown back as he howled his climax to the world.

For miles around birds took wing, shaken from their perches by the thunderous proclamation. Creatures of all sizes fled for their dens and burrows, and if they had none to flee to, they simply ran. Humans cowered in fear of the sound, and youkai paused in a brief moment of acknowledgement. It seemed the western daiyoukai had finally chosen the bearer of his heir.

Sesshomaru came back to himself slowly, pulled from the haze of passion by the tiny, feminine whimpers of his partner. She trembled beneath him, a lax pile of twitching limbs and unruly raven hair. He indulged in a self-satisfied smirk at the expression on her pretty face.

Leaning down, he licked the line of her jaw, rumbling lowly, "Was that to your liking, wench?"

She gave a jerky, labored nod, panting out, "Y-yeah… it was… alright…"

Lifting a brow at her pathetic attempt at underplaying, he pushed a clawed hand into her hair and gave a mild pull, lifting her head enough so that he could stare into her eyes. Purring in deep, sultry tones, he replied, "This one is pleased to see that you are so capable of handling his attentions. Your fortitude will most certainly be required throughout the next few bouts."

Eye rounding like headlights, Kagome twisted her neck until she was gawking at him from an unnatural angle. She ignored the stiff discomfort in her spine to stammer, "Th-the next few bouts?"

Lips curling in a way that could only be described as predatory, the big inu male gave his hips a gentle thrust, alerting her to the fact that he was still very capable of performing. "Oh yes, little one, the eve is still so young. We have all night to make certain that your expectations are well met."

"You're joking!"

Huffing in an amused fashion, the daiyoukai reminded her, "You wished for me to be enthusiastic, did you not? I believe your exact words were: 'Why don't you fuck me like you really mean it?' correct?"

The priestess swallowed sharply, her mind backtracking to that moment in time with a sharp sense of disbelief. How could she have said something like that? What was wrong with her? Did she have a death wish, or was she simply without sense of any kind?

She was doomed, completely and utterly doomed.


"Damn it all to hell, if we don't stop to rest soon, heads are going to start rolling," Kagome huffed, a sour expression marring her pretty countenance.

"I was wrong."

All members of the travelling party – sans the daiyoukai – turned to stare in disbelief at the hanyou, amazed and confused at the sudden confession.

Thick brows furrowing, he let out a loud snort and elucidated, "I hadn't thought it possible for you to get any whineier than you were before, but now you just don't shut up!"

The miko glared, tiny hands shaking as she stopped herself from sitting him straight to the earth's core. "Shove it, dog-boy. It might not seem like a big deal to you, but carrying around an extra thirty pounds in your uterus is hard work for a human woman! My feet and back are killing me, and if I don't get something to eat soon, I'm going to throw up!"

Inuyasha's ear flattened at the shrill ranting, and he raised both hands in a placating gesture. "Alright, alright, we'll stop in the next clearing we come across so you can take a rest! Sheesh!"

"Miko," the demon lord intoned coolly, "if you are truly in so much discomfort, perhaps you should refrain from travel entirely."

Said miko rolled her eyes, sighing, "We've been through this already, Sesshomaru, and I'm getting sick of repeating myself. The jewel is my responsibility, and - pregnant or not - I'm going to help out as much as I can before the baby arrives! With any luck, we'll get all of the shards and take care of Naraku before that happens, and I'll finally be allowed a modicum of relaxation and peace!"

Pale brows beetled. "Pup, you forgetful, insufferable woman, it is a pup, and you would do well to keep yourself quiet and cease your annoying complaints."

"Who asked you?" she snapped tersely, arms crossing over her rounded, swollen belly.

The stoic inu glared at her from over his shoulder, his long gait generally keeping him at the front of the group. "You insisted on continuing to travel, knowing the difficulties that would be presented considering your current state. Still your tongue and act accordingly for a female of your age."

"Yeah, well no one said you had to come along!" she growled, his arrogant demeanor rubbing her in all the wrong ways.

Sesshomaru scoffed, coming to a halt as he entered a clearing suitable for the group to rest in. The children ran past him, laughing gaily at the opportunity to stop and play. His large dragon-steed lumbered into a spot of shade to nap, and Jaken settled himself nearby to observe the youngsters.

The big inu gave the raven-haired woman a firm look. "On the contrary, foolish one, it is quite necessary that I accompany you. It would be dishonorable to leave you unprotected while carrying my heir."

Kagome stomped over to a moss-cushioned log, plopping herself down and mumbling indignantly, "I wouldn't even be in this position if it wasn't for you."

"You agreed to the coupling."

"Only because you threatened to hurt my friends!"

"None of which would have been necessary if you had kept out of my affairs. It was your own interference that brought this about; you've no one to blame but yourself."

Feeling about ready to pull her hair out, the young priestess hollered, "I wouldn't have felt it was necessary to get involved in your affairs if you weren't such a royal prick to everyone all the time! Your such an arrogant son of a bitch!"

The tall, elegant lord tilted his head minutely, a flat look gracing his features as he said, "Indeed I am."

Kagome, having forgotten the second meaning to the word – a rather inconvenient downside when dealing with inu – grumbled miserably to herself. Unable to think of anything witty to retaliate with, she settled into a firm pout and stuck her nose in the air, choosing to ignore the cause of her upset for the time being.

A short ways away, Sango couldn't help but smile to herself at the sight.

"Are they at it again?" Miroku queried as he caught up to her, Inuyasha only a few strides behind.

A soft chuckle and a nod were his only response.

The violet garbed monk shook his head with a gentle sigh, admitting, "I do not think I will ever understand the two of them. So very opposite… and yet, they seem to compliment one another quite well, despite all the bickering."

"I think that perhaps the bickering only serves to endear them to one another even more so," Sango observed, noting the way the daiyoukai gazed at his sulking mate with an amused light burning in his eyes.

Mate… gods, the idea was still so very strange to her, to all of them. Inuyasha had taken it especially hard, but – as everyone knew – it was impossible for him to remain upset with Kagome for long. He wanted only for her happiness, even if it meant being with his 'asshole of an elder brother'. Yes, life was certainly different.

None had expected for the fearsome dog lord to take interest in their miko companion for the purposes of breeding, but what had shocked them further was his refusal to leave her side after the deed had been done.

Originally they had been about as compatible as a donkey and a bull, constantly butting heads over every little thing. However, over time, they had… grown on one another, and to the astonishment of all, Sesshomaru had stepped forth and proclaimed his desire to have her as not only the mother of his pup, but his mate as well.

They still fought… frequently… but everyone could see the adoration each harbored for the other.

"You're a total jerk!"

"And you are a petulant idiot."

"Yeah, well you were the one who asked for the rights to mate this 'petulant idiot', so that must make you pretty fricken brilliant too!"

"A decision I am beginning to regret every time you open your mouth, wench."

The slayer and monk laughed at the renewed arguing of the unusual pair, being sure to keep relatively quiet so as not to attract their attention. To rile the ire of miko or daiyoukai was a dangerous thing, and neither wished to be on the receiving end of their frustration.

"They're at it again," Miroku sighed, leaning lightly on his staff.

"Keh, typical," Inuyasha snorted, arms tucking into his sleeves. "Those two are gunna kill each other some day, and I say good riddance!"

Sango chuckled, giving her hanyou friend a light pat on the shoulder as she suggested, "Why don't we get ourselves something to drink; I believe I heard running water just a short ways back. They'll probably be awhile, so I doubt we'll need to hurry."

The monk's violet eyes sparkled as a sly smile tilted his lips. Lifting a hand to his chin, he hummed, "I wonder if they will make up in a similar fashion as they did the last time."

The dog-eared male lifted a lip in distaste, recalling the rather startling and passionate display with a mild shudder. Watching those two kiss had made his stomach turn.

Eyebrow twitching, the young woman grabbed her male companion by the ear and began hauling him in the direction they'd come from. "If that is the case, then we most certainly do not need to be here to watch, so wipe that stupid grin off your face, pervert."

"But Sango my sweet, I only-"

"Can it!"

And so, slayer dragged priest from the small clearing - hanyou following closely along, leaving the mated couple to sort out their differences as they always did.

~Fin~

Wow… Longest. Oneshot. Ever.

I sincerely hope you enjoyed it, and sorry if anyone was offended by the crude dialogue or raunchiness of the smut (though I've seen a lot nastier). Warnings are posted for a reason.

Also, to those of you who are thinking to yourselves that Kagome was a mess about the whole 'sex' thing, keep in mind that she was constantly struggling with two very important things. Firstly, her attraction toward Sesshomaru, and secondly, her conscience telling her that she shouldn't enjoy it because he's the enemy of her friend. That would be quite a tricky tug-o-war to be involved in, so I was just trying to keep it real.

Reviews make me happy!