You are Lord Inuyasha now. You have my mark. You were there for Diaozuan when I was unable to help her. And you do not deserve any chains around your neck.

It had been days since Sesshomaru had spoken those words, and still he couldn't get them out of his mind. It was ironic, considering the mark on the back of his neck. But after thinking about it, Inuyasha realized that the mark and the beads were quite different.

The mark was reciprocal: Sesshomaru felt Inuyasha's pain or suffering just as the hanyou felt his. There was balance.

The subjugation beads on the other hand…

He'd never really thought too deeply about them. They were just a part of his relationship with Kagome. And when they first met he probably would have killed her for the Jewel of Four Souls, so it made sense that she needed protection from him.

But she'd kept them on even into their marriage. Since he was stronger than her and quicker to anger, he also reasoned that it was only fair that Kagome have something to defend herself with.

And yet.

She had her miko powers. She had her bow and arrow. And she had Inuyasha's love, which assured that she would never be harmed by his claws (with the exception of when he went into one of his demonic blood rages, which hadn't happened in years).

He took the beads out of his pocket and looked them over. Sesshomaru was caring for the older pups while Diaozuan rested, her new kits wrapped tight in her many tails.

He was in Diaozuan's room in case she needed help with the new kits. Inukezi was there as well, dozing by his side. He was in a deep purple kimono with black hakama pants and was snoring lightly.

It made him uncomfortable, thinking about the imbalance in their relationship now that Sesshomaru had brought it to his mind.

He slipped the beads back into his pocket and kissed the top of Inukezi's silky black head lightly.

My new chain is at least, an improvement over my old one, it seems.

An odd feeling of warmth bloomed in his chest as his hand went to the mark on his neck. It was always just slightly warmer than the rest of his skin, and he could feel Sesshomaru's consciousness close by.

He remembered the feeling of being against Sesshomaru's chest when the Daiyokai apologized for the first and probably only time of his excessively long lifespan. He was surprisingly warm for someone with such an icy personality.

He remembered the feeling of being in Sesshomaru's lap, sick as a dog from overeating and feeling once again so protected and safe. Clawed hands on his back and shoulders giving him comfort.

You are my brother.

Those lips against his forehead after Diaozuan had given birth. Weirdly soft for a man's lips.

And he remembered exactly how those feral eyes had looked as he glanced out at the rising sun. A god in human form. His skin ever so slightly transparent, opalescent some might say, pore less and perfect and so unlike his own.

A strong emotion swept through his chest, causing it to tighten as it filled the cavity, hot and fierce and powerful. Inuyasha blinked and set a hand on his chest in surprise, rubbing it slightly, feeling Sesshomaru's confusion as well via there connection.

Weird. Nothing had hit him that strong in a while. Since Kikyo probably.

Luckily it was at that moment that Diaozuan chose to wake up. Purple eyes looked around blearily for a moment before settling on the hanyou. She sat up slowly, making sure none of the kits would be disturbed or go rolling off the bed before saying in a soft tone, "Inuyasha. Could you get one of the servants to bring me some blood broth please?"

"Sure thing. How are the blobs? Do any of 'em need changing?" He asked as he got up, setting Inukezi down gently on the bed so the boy could sleep if he wished. She leaned down and sniffed them, then shook her head. " Looks like we're all right for a while." They were all dry and clean, and already seemed a bit bigger than when they were first born thanks to them utterly gorging themselves on Diaozuan's milk.

Inuyasha looked down at them affectionately and raised a hand and a brow, asking for permission to touch. She nodded after a moment and he petted the little albino gently. He felt a strong connection to that one, though they were all equally adorable.

"I suppose Sesshomaru's not going to allow you to remain in that form after they're weaned." He said with a little amusement. The Daiyokai seemed slightly overwhelmed with the fact he now had seven children(though as always, he was fairly good at hiding it).

"Oh, yes. He's made me promise that I won't go into my female form for another five hundred years." Diaozuan said with a sleepy grin, playing with one of the twin's soft red tails. "I suppose I can't blame him. I didn't expect to have a litter this big either. But.." Her eyes went slightly soft as she glanced down at them.

" I wanted to do this for him. For our family. He deserves to be surrounded by people who love him. Just like you."

Inuyasha blushed and scoffed, "Keh! I got Inukezi and Ame. That's all I need." But the redness in his cheeks betrayed the tough guy act. He was touched by her words and scrambled to the door to conceal that fact.

After watching the servant run off to get her some well-deserved food he asked quietly, " Hey. What was it like, being pregnant and all?"

He made sure to look off to one side rather than right at Diaozuan as he asked this.

The fox looked up in surprise and her tails shifted a bit.

"Well I … " She blushed a little. " I sort of knew I was pregnant well before I went to Tian. I guess I just didn't believe it. But I started feeling really full, far before the throwing up started. It wasn't a bad feeling though. Just like eating a little too much at dinner or something."

Inuyasha sat balanced on the footboard with a kind of morbid fascination.

The fox gently lifted the little black female to her arms, grooming her tail with a few strokes of a rough tongue before continuing.

" I suppose the scariest thing other than giving birth was when they first started moving. Did I ever tell you that story?" She said, looking a little embarrassed. The hanyou shook his head, his chin in one hand.

"You must have been off taking a run or something. But anyway-"

It had started before the sun had even risen.

At first Diaozuan thought it was just something she'd eaten and sat up, trying to be quiet so she didn't wake Sesshomaru.

But soon enough she began to feel distinct, strong kicks and rolled back over, hugging Sesshomaru tight from behind so try and ignore the feeling. Her hands were shaking and she buried her head in his neck, her arms tight around his wide chest.

Unfourtunately the tight hug and the feeling of her arms shaking were more than enough to wake him.

"Is something wrong?" He said softly, placing his arms over hers only to go quiet as he felt her belly moving against his lower back.

"Ah."

He moved and kicked the sheets off before pulling her flush to him, their bellies tight together. His was taunt with muscle and smooth: hers was round and soft with stirring kits. His mouth went to her ear as he muttered, "It is all right, I was frightened too. I will never forget that moment… And I'm glad that we can share this one."

And he rubbed her back and held her until the shaking stopped.

Diaozuan was careful to omit all the kissing that had happened during that time. She was pretty sure Inuyasha would appreciate censorship in that regard.

"But you know." She added as an afterthought, huffing in amusement as one of the kits attempted a purr that ended with mostly a confused hiccup.

" When its with someone you love, its completely different. You made an entirely new person, together. And I think that's pretty wonderful." She tilted her head a bit as she looked at the little albino kit. He was making pretty good eye contact with the hanyou, but Inuyasha hadn't noticed yet.

"Here. This one likes you." She hummed and set the tiny kit in his arms. He squawked, "H-hey! Don't just throw them at me like that! I-" quieting down when he noticed the kit's face starting to scrunch from his loudness. When he went quiet the kits face relaxed and he went back to making his little attempts at purrs.

Inuyasha huffed with amusement, touching his nose to the kit's forehead and teasing him with strands of his silver hair. "This one's cute. You guys got any names for him yet?"

She shook her head, shifting and beginning to nurse the twins who were starting to mewl and squeak with hunger. "Not yet. We want to wait and see a bit more of their personalities first."

The hanyou nodded, nuzzling the little kit all over who squeaked with happiness. "Heh. Marked him. Sesshomaru won't like that much." He said with a mischievous little grin as he handed the kit back. Diaozuan rolled her eyes, " He'll just put his scent over yours. It's not like you two aren't doing that all the time with Ame and Katsu anyways."

It was true. It seemed every other week the pups either smelled like Inuyasha or Sesshomaru. One of their many ongoing competitions.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

All too soon the kits were weaned.

Sesshomaru thought that when Diaozuan transformed back, it would be as long and painful as hers had been so that he would have time to adjust.

However, he'd sort of forgotten that Diaozuan was a shapeshifter: it was as simple for him as shrugging off an old robe.

He'd also forgotten Diaozuan's mischievous nature, tamped down recently by the kits.

It was just after sunrise.

Sesshomaru had received the rare chance to sleep in: the kits were being taken care of by Wumei, a cat-nurse, and Inuyasha was taking the pups hunting.

The Daiyokai was sleeping deep when he felt a faint sensation, light as feathers on his forearm.

Frosty eyelashes fluttered to reveal a pale, buttery yellow as he looked around.

Diaozuan was beside him but there was something different…

Oh.

It should have been illegal really, to look as handsome as he did just now.

Rich caramel skin, speckled with morning sunlight across the bridge of his shoulders. Thick biceps that curled down into well-sculpted arms and fine thin claws which currently rested on his own skin. His dark purple hair flowed down his back like a rich maroon river, branching off and falling into the many beautiful channels and crevices of his collarbones and between his shoulder blades.

A chest that was broad and slightly fuzzy, tapering down to a navel and deliciously narrow hips. Like Sesshomaru, Diaozuan had his own kind of translucence. His skin tone often hid it but this morning, the rich undertones of gold were clearly visible and so inviting. Sesshomaru's heart was suddenly pounding rather hard in his chest and… was that a blush in his cheeks?

"Good morning beautiful." He smiled, and his voice was that sinful low rumble that Sesshomaru remembered and had simultaneously hoped to forget.

Diaozuan's delicate claws were on his cheek and stroking gently, and he felt himself leaning into that rough touch. He'd totally forgotten how handsome he was in this form.

I kind of want to kiss him.

Sesshomaru thought. And the fox wasn't even wearing anything, aside from a silk black robe that covered nothing,really.

Sesshomaru then promptly buried his head in the pillow and groaned. He'd promised to himself never to be swayed into doing anything unsavory with Diaozuan no matter how much the fox begged and pleaded and cried. But right now, Diaozuan wouldn't have to do much begging or pleading.

In fact, all it'd probably take would be a few well-placed kisses.

He heard Diao chuckle and felt him petting Sesshomaru's head lightly.

"Oh come now, little orchid. I know I'm beautiful, but you're allowed to look at your marked one. I promise I won't bite. Much." He whispered and leaned in, nuzzling and nipping Sesshomaru's neck.

Sesshomaru growled and pushed the fox away as the color rose in his cheeks, causing a smirk in the fox. Aha. Now was his chance to slip under Sesshomaru's 'no-sex-in-while-we're-both-male-' rule.

He grabbed those hands and pinned them above Sesshomaru's head, kissing him roughly and rolling so that he was pressing that beautiful silver Daiyokai down with his own body weight.

It was about time the power dynamic between them shifted a bit.

Sesshomaru's growl deepened and his eyes flashed a bit of red. Diaozuan heeded the warning by softening his kisses and his grip, sucking gently on his little orchid's rather full lower lip. When he let Sesshomaru breathe, the Daiyokai promptly twisted, trying to get out of Diaozuan's grip.

And his eyes widened in surprise when he found that it was quite difficult.

"Let me go. Immidiately. Or I will melt your filthy hands off." Sesshomaru snarled, the palms of his hands beginning to glow green as acid rose just under his skin.

"But if you melt my hands off, how will I be able to pleasure my beautiful mate properly?"

The fox asked innocently, slipping his claws playfully and ever so lightly over a particular lower part of Sesshomaru's anatomy.

His smirk widened as he, just for a moment, detected a pause in Sesshomaru's breathing and the light in his palms flickering uncertainly.

"That is of no concern of mine. Get off!" Sesshomaru bucked and twisted hard and managed to get himself free.

Only to be tackled by the mostly-naked fox again. They fought, hand-to-hand, in the silks and skeets and furs of their shared bedroom, panting and growling and swearing but Diaozuan wasn't about to let this opportunity go. They used their claws and teeth. Sesshomaru raked Diaozuan's hide viciously and the fox returned the favor as he silently fought for the right to take him in this form.

His mate.

"Pinned ya." He whispered when he'd managed to gain the upper hand again, his lips brushing Sesshomaru's pointed ear lovingly and his seven black tails wagging behind him in happiness. He'd managed to pin Sesshomaru's hands behind his back and was holding them with one arm.

"If you think that I'm going to let you mate with me in this form then you've got another thing-" Sesshomaru almost finished before those lips were on him again.

His biggest mistake was relaxing and letting himself enjoy the kiss for all of one second. He should have stayed stiff and angry and unrelenting and turned his face as he had before but.. something in him was telling him to relax for just a moment.

His yokai probably. What a slut. First getting the poor fox pregnant and now wanting him in this form as well. As his thoughts tangled he felt Diaozuan's tongue flick inside, just quick enough to not be caught as Sesshomaru's teeth snapped shut.

Damn it.

His taste was in his mouth now, all down his throat.

Worst of all… he tasted even better in this form.

Bitter and rich and smooth: a taste that clung to the palette.

And when Diaozuan pulled away that time the fox could tell he'd won from the way Sesshomaru's amber orbs glowed and his lips stayed just the tiniest bit parted as he caught his breath.

" Sesshomaru. I wouldn't do anything as degrading as that to someone of your status." He hummed, slipping a claw down the front of Sesshomaru's kimono, glad that the Daiyokai hadn't worn his armor to bed.

The bittersweet ripping of the illusion cloth was music to his ears, and he felt Sesshomaru's skin contract slightly as that claw brushed so lightly down the center of his chest.

The Foo-Dog bucked and struggled but Diaozuan could tell that this time it was for show, and continued.

His lips dropped to Sesshomaru's skin and he started marking him from the clavicles down, little kisses and licks and bites. The bites were his favorite: the minute he left them, Sesshomaru's beautiful skin started repairing itself. And when he licked the wound, his spit caused itchy tingles that he could tell his mate liked, though Sesshomaru was doing a great job of keeping his expression angry.

"Diaozuan-" Sesshomaru was hissing and growling and doing his best to hide the tiny hints of pleasure that Diaozuan could detect in the tones of his voice.

But they were there. The violence was muted: the lighter, needy tones were beginning to emerge in those vicious growls.

That, coupled with Sesshomaru's heavier breathing and red ears, was more than enough to tell him he must be doing something right.

"I am going to worship every inch of you. My lord." Diaozuan promised as his fangs found the mark he'd left and bit down. Sesshomaru's back arched- and his growls suddenly faded as his pupils dilated and pleasure spread from his chest outwards as Diao lapped at the wound.

His pleasure and Diao's- he was feeling them both at the same time.

Now, Sesshomaru had never been particularly religious.

But what the fox did to him that morning could only be described as worship.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Inuyasha eventually went to check in on Diaozuan and Sesshomaru. It was totally weird that neither of them were up by now.

He knocked first though: god forbid he walk in on them doing any of that lovey dovey crap.

"Come in." He heard from Diaozuan and opened the door.

The fox was half-dressed: his hakama pants and boots were on, as well as the sword on his hip, but his chest and back were bare.

The fox was busy checking out a dove grey kimono, holding it to his skin to see if it clashed.

Inuyasha startled when he saw a set of deep and raking claw marks on his back, as well as a pair that wrapped around both hips. He opened his mouth to comment in concern… and nearly staggered back when the scent hit his nose.

Sex. And a lot of it.

He peeked over to the bed. He could see the top of his brother's head, a radiant silver swath of hair that draped down, and not much else. Shock registered on his face and he opened his mouth, ready to get his brother the heck out of bed.

Diao read Inuyasha's expression and lifted a finger to his lips, whispering, "Let him sleep. He deserves it." As he shrugged the kimono on, starting afterwords with his armor.

Inuyasha walked cautiously over to Sesshomaru, half-curious and half disgusted.

His brother had a blanket over him and was holding a section of it tucked tight under his chin like a kid. Normally Sesshomaru would wake up anytime there was anyone new in a room, regardless of who they were.

This time, he slept on. He took deep belly breaths rather than the short, tense chest breathing that he often did. His hair was mussed and damp and a few strands clung to his neck and collarbones. Yet…

His cheeks held a pale pink flush Inuyasha had never seen before. His skin was faintly damp and seemed to almost glitter. And with those feral eyes closed, he looked so peaceful and happy.

On his shoulder, he saw a jagged pink cut, beginning to fade even as he watched.

"Christ, what did you do to him…" Inuyasha muttered under his breath. He'd never seen Sesshomaru like this in his whole life.

Diaozuan buckled one strip under his armor and then looked over his shoulder at the hanyou with a gloating smugness.

"I think, 'what didn't I do to him', would be a better question to ask."

Inuyasha made a disgusted expression, pretending to barf onto the expensive tiles under their feet. Diaozuan chuckled, ruffling the hanyou's hair. " Awe, pup. Remember you're always welcome to join if you'd like-"

A punch from Inuyasha silenced him, but as he rubbed his cheek, his expression and body language still held obvious amusement.

"No need to be so sensitive. Come: I will be taking over his duties until he is well recovered."

Before he did any of that though, Diaozuan checked in on the kits.

Wumei was an excellent nurse, servant, and kit babysitter but it wasn't the same as having their real mom… now dad, around.

He smiled at her, "Wumei! How's the litter!" and she blushed faintly, her striped tail curling a bit. She was wearing a simple yellow and orange kimono and her long hair was in a sloppy but cute bun. The orange in her kimono accented the fur on her tail perfectly. She was not immune to the handsome Daiyokai, especially now that he'd returned to his original form. " Oh, they're just fine. I changed them all and finally managed to get them to sleep."

"Good, good. Make sure to remind me to arrange for that human girl, Rin, to come visit the older pups. I can tell Sesshomaru misses her."

Wumei nodded, taking out a small notebook and making a note of it. He walked inside, looking down at the nest and then leaning over, nuzzling each one affectionately. They seemed to recognize his scent and chirped contentedly. A few lifted tiny, chubby fists and ran their fingers through his long hair, attempting to grab it.

He finally stood with a content sigh and said quietly, " I'll be taking over for Sesshomaru this morning. Do please let the guards know that he shouldn't be disturbed. And come get me when the kits wake."

With that, he left to the throne room for the time being. It was crowded with important members of the Royal Family waiting to speak with Sesshomaru as they always were. But they would have to be content with the fox for the moment.

Inuyasha returned to the pups' room. Ame and Katsu greeted him warmly, nuzzling along his legs and hugging him lightly. They were still sleepy from the hunt, and on their best behavior because of their weariness. Toshi followed, hugging him a bit more shyly. He lifted all three of them and hugged them tightly in his arms.

"Love you daddy!" Katsu and Ame chimed, while Toshi added softly, "Love you Yasha." And purred as loud as he could when Inuyasha rubbed his head on top of the little kits'.

"Love you too. Though… you guys are supposed to be napping. Do you want to start memorizing the twelve royal families and their crests and successors again?" He threatened jokingly.

The pups scrambled from his grip and jumped under the covers, feigning sleep.

He tucked in any outlying tails or feet and said smugly, "Didn't think so."

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Sesshomaru did return to his royal duties in the late afternoon.

But Inuyasha noted that he did not partake in sitting.

That worked fairly well for most of his duties, but for the small conferences some yokai were understandably confused as to why Sesshomaru opted to stand rather than rest. Especially when the meetings went for hours or more.

Inuyasha attended sometimes, mostly because it was for the best that he know the families. If Diaozuan and Sesshomaru were unavailable it was inevitable that he might at some point, have to take over a meeting or two.

When asked why he chose to stand the Daiyokai offered no explanation for his actions other than, " I feel a chance of pace is needed."

However, between one of the meetings Inuyasha managed to catch a distracted snippet of Sesshomaru's thoughts once more.

The Foo-Dog was rubbing his hip in irritation and leaning against a corner of the table. In his pain and irritation he forgot to keep his thoughts private. His long tail fluffed and then smoothed out again as he thought angrily,

That accursed fox. I won't be able to sit for a month.

Inuyasha covered his mouth but it did little to cover his snort of laughter.

Sesshomaru whirled on him and snarled, " It is not funny-" which only caused the hanyou to collapse onto the floor, holding his belly as he half-laughed, half-cried from mirth.

The guard Tiao-Wen and the other yokai in the room were, understandably, confused by the hanyou's outburst, and Sesshomaru growled in embarrassment.

"Y-yes it is! Oh, fuck me, I'll have to thank Diaozuan for this one, ohhh god dammit-"

Sesshomaru grabbed Inuyasha by the scruff and set him outside where the hanyou continued to roll around, laughing himself silly as Sesshomaru shut the door behind him.

Well, sort of slammed it really.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

It wasn't more than a week after that that Sesshomaru caught the scent.

At first he was sure he was mistaken: after all Inuyasha wasn't acting strange. But then again, he did have a much better nose.

Diaozuan had smelled it as well, but when pressed, said quietly, " I'm not sure if we should get him involved."

But it was midnight, and all seven of his children were asleep, and he was desperate to find out if that scent was what he thought it was.

So he left: a small note for Diaozuan as he leapt through the delicate shimmering barrier and towards the bone eater's well.

It didn't take him long to find her.

She had obviously been in and out of the feudal era for some time: the air was saturated with her scent near the well.

And as he waited in the trees surrounding the well she emerged again.

Like Kagome, she wore a uniform: though hers was trimmed in blues and greys rather than green and red.

She looked very like Kagome: but her scent and her bright blue eyes betrayed a different parenthood.

Looks like Inuyasha is getting one more round with the humans.

He thought to himself as he watched her. She seemed cautious: looking around everywhere before placing her feet on the ground. She grabbed a parchment sketchbook from her bag and leaned against the side of the bone eater's well. Sesshomaru could hear the faint wet sound of a brush and smell the acrid scent of paint.

His tail uncurled from his shoulder and swayed lazily below him as he watched her.

Demons of the night caught his scent and for the moment, left the human alone as she painted. Her hand kept coming up to her face, brushing black hair out of her vision and at the same time, leaving streaks of green and brown on her temples.

Suddenly a strange kind of rage gripped his chest.

What if this stupid miko drew Inuyasha away? What if he did something stupid like trying to take Ame and Katsu and live in some human village somewhere?

Even worse. What if he left? Sesshomaru's teeth gritted. He would never allow it.

Surely he would not be that rash.

The Daiyokai tried to assure himself. They were still just pups after all. And taking them completely from the barrier raised the likelihood of them getting seriously injured from some low-level demon before they were ready.

Inuyasha, out of everyone, should know what kind of life awaited such young an vulnerable pups if he were to take them outside the barrier prematurely. Hopefully he would not subject them to that kind of life.

Perhaps I should kill her.

He mused. It would make things easier for him, certainly. No draw for Inuyasha. No possibility of Katsu and Ame's father becoming suddenly more absent in their lives. He clenched his claws and his knuckles popped, a green glow emerging. He would make it quick so that she did not suffer.

Then he paused.

Am I to take this choice from him too?

His hand went slack, and the light within it faded.

If Inuyasha was going to make a stupid decision and become mates with this human girl then it was none of Sesshomaru's business. He had no right to take the possibility from the hanyou when he had already taken the freedom from his very skull. He would have to show her to Inuyasha, and hope that the hanyou wouldn't allow his stupid feelings to get in the way of being a good father to his children.

If they did then Sesshomaru would beat sense into him.

So be it then.

The human girl packed up her things and headed back down the well, and Sesshomaru headed back to the Palace.

Inuyasha griped the whole way there.

He looked even more disheveled than usual, and his yellow eyes had pale purple bags underneath from having been up all night. For some reason, he couldn't sleep. He'd been plagued by terrible nightmares: nightmares of Kagome and Kikyo and being sealed to the tree over and over until there was nothing left but darkness.

"I'm not happy that you won't tell me where the heck we're going, or why." Inuyasha pointed out as he followed the blur that was Sesshomaru through the forest. His hair streamed out behind him as he leapt through the trees, bare feet scraping off the occasional loose bark or moss.

"Noted." Sesshomaru replied dryly, pausing as he the scent became stronger. Perhaps from this proximity the hanyou would be able to pick up on it.

Inuyasha suddenly slammed into a tree as his nose caught a scent.

Ah. There it is.

Sesshomaru thought, watching the hanyou with amusement as he staggered to his feet and rubbed the side of his head, sniffing every which way.

"What? That can't be right-" He darted off and this time it was Sesshomaru who followed as the hanyou snaked this way and that, eventually ending up in the clearing of the bone eater's well.

He followed his brother to the line of trees around the bone eater's well, and rested with him on the branch of the same tree.

She was there again, getting bolder. This time she was writing something down furiously in a small notebook. Her hand kept coming up like it had before to tuck hair away as she concentrated, a swath of her black mane hiding part of her face.

Inuyasha seemed frozen on the spot. She hadn't noticed either of them yet.

I don't- how? How can this be? I waited for Kagome for fifty years, and its barely been four-

Sesshomaru blinked as Inuyasha used their connection to pester him with such questions. He moved his own hair slightly behind one ear, choking down his own feelings on the subject as well as hiding them from his little brother.

I know not. But she is here and must be dealt with. Will you go to her?

Those wolf eyes turned to him and Inuyasha wilted slightly at the intensity of their gaze. Sesshomaru was stifling something from him, he could tell.

Inuyasha looked out to her, torn.

Oh, how he wanted to. To start again. To have a mother figure for his kits and to have a family unit of his own.

But… wouldn't it be wrong?

Getting involved and lumping those expectations on someone he barely knew?

If he'd learned anything from Kagome, it was that you should fall in love with someone because of who they are. Not who they had been, or could be, or who you thought you could change them to be.

I'm not sure.

He finally muttered back, his ears pinned and his expression uncertain.

Whoever this human was she needed to go home. It wasn't safe here.

A breeze picked up and Inuyasha blushed slightly as Sesshomaru's hair brushed the side of his face. Damn. It was as light as air and as smooth as silk itself. Looks like all Sesshomaru's obsessive grooming had paid off.

Sesshomaru looked his brother over discreetly. The demon flesh seemed to be doing him some good: he was starting to lose that boyish roundness in his face, and the muscles around his biceps and pectorals seemed more pronounced than before. Maybe avoiding that aspect of his diet had somehow stunted his natural growth.

Either way, he looked… more mature. Less of a boy and more of a man.

I will wait for you at the Palace. Return before dark.

Sesshomaru said in an even tone, and was gone, leaving only his scent and goosebumps on Inuyasha's skin from his stupid sleek hair.

The hanyou rubbed his arm with one hand to get rid of the goosebumps and then curled his legs up, crossing his arms over them moodily as he weighed his decision.

He could go to her. Or he could just shove her down that damn well and destroy it once and for all. Or, he could just ignore her, and go home to Sesshomaru and the pups.

Inuyasha could hear the rough scrape of a pencil on paper as she continued to write. The hanyou noted that she was left-handed, unlike Kikyo or Kagome.

He didn't know how long he sat there: but it was long enough for the sun to move in the sky and for her to switch from writing to painting and cross to the other side of the meadow.

The young woman startled when a man suddenly dropped from the trees.

The man was unlike anything that she had ever seen.

Deep silver hair that cut off just above the small of his back. Thick black brows and amber eyes. Tiny, delicate-looking dog ears that contrasted rather oddly with his strong physique and powerful gaze.

She also noted his hands. Large for his frame, and tipped with short thick claws, the nails themselves a slightly darker shade than her own. They matched the claws on his bare feet.

"Who are you?"

The hanyou didn't answer, merely gave a dismissive huff. If he didn't give her his name, then he didn't have to hear it from her lips and so much the better.

The human was going to make a mad dash for the well but she was reading such an odd emotion from him that she stopped in her tracks.

Pain. Stifling, overwhelming pain in his gaze as their eyes met.

She became alarmed. Was he injured? He didn't seem to be. And though she knew she should have been afraid, her instincts led her to his side, the top of one of her fingers touching the rough, tanned skin of his knuckles.

"Are you all right?"

He flinched away from her touch as if she had burned him and she startled back a step. He was like a wild animal that had been beaten: and though she was afraid… she wanted to help.

The knuckles on his right hand cracked loudly, all four at the same time.

And as her scent drifted into his nose he set his jaw, the light of the sun began turning his skin a rich tawny hue.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

CLIFFHANGER LOL

So I couldn't update because I moved and had no internet. But rest assured I'll be posting The Eternal Knot: Interwoven soon which warning, will have sessxinuyasha as well as mpreg, everyone's favorite. But this is the end of this section, so I hope all of you enjoyed! Feel free to message me if you have any more questions/requests for part 2 of this story.

Inuyasha16541: thanks for sticking with me! Hopefully I can get a chapter or two done before school starts OTL

WolfsVine: Yeah no I totally get it haahxD Um, I think you go to the top righthand corner of , where it says Login/Sign up. Then, you can login with your facebook account, or any of your email accounts, create a password, and you should be good to go. I only had Sesshomaru have 2 girls (Ame and the little fox girl) because it seems like they encounter a lot more male demons than female. And nah: besides, back in the feudal era samurai women were expected to be adept fighters, well read, educated, etc. So I figured I'd follow that same model for Sesshomaru's kids Xd And yeah, Inuyasha's a good guy. He couldn't leave her alone through that even though he was having a PTSD moment a bit. Anyhow, I hope you were okay with this ending and will follow me to the next section of the story.

EatEmUp: Haha so you caught that huh? I put one more in there just for you, though the words are switched around a bit ~