"You are wasting your time Miko," Sesshoumaru stated.

Kagome looked up from her bathing supplies. She'd been on her way to the nearby hot spring for a little 'me' time, and was therefore surprised to run into Sesshoumaru – and Sesshoumaru not being a danger to the continued existence of herself or any of her friends at that.

"I don't understand," she said, officially confused on more than one level.

"You have interest in this Sesshoumaru's unworthy half-brother," Sesshoumaru said. "You are wasting your time."

Kagome blinked, then frowned. "He's hung up on Kikyo," she said. "I get that, but -"

Sesshoumaru shook his head, cutting her off. "That is not what this one means," he informed her, his tone low. Almost gentle. "InuYasha is incapable of taking a mate, and even if this were not so, he could not fulfil the most essential of roles."

"Why? And what 'most essential of roles'?" she asked, brow furrowed.

"He is incapable of siring offspring. As for the other matter, he lacks this," Sesshoumaru said, raising his hand to trace the blue crescent moon that adorned his own brow. "When any youkai male is physically able to take a mate, the mark of their father's line will appear, if they have such a mark. It is always somewhere obvious like this, though not always the forehead as it is for the house of the Inu no Taisho. When a mate is chosen, the mark is transferred, signifying to whom the female belongs," he explained. "Though the female may reject the mark of an unwanted suitor, this is something usually done only when there are multiple males seeking her."

"So maybe InuYasha just isn't old enough to have the mark yet?" Kagome suggested.

Sesshoumaru shook his head. "He is old enough, but InuYasha is sterile. He may be able to form an emotional attachment, but he will never be able to provide children."

"Are all half-demons like that?" Kagome asked, her sympathy for their plight if such was true carrying through her tone.

Once more, Sesshoumaru silently indicated the negative. "This one does not believe so. It could be that InuYasha's sterility is due to his having been killed on the day of his birth, and that my father had to revive him. It could also be due to an unfortunate accident during a part of his formative years that I am not aware of. Regardless, to pursue InuYasha is folly. You, Miko, I do not take for a fool."

Kagome blinked in surprise. That was practically a compliment! Accordingly, Kagome bowed her head and mumbled her gratitude.

Sesshoumaru nodded, and turned to leave.

Kagome stopped him, calling a question after him. "Why tell me this?" she asked.

Sesshoumaru looked over his shoulder at her. "I have come to learn that not all humans are worthless," he said, "and I can see that you, like my ward, are one of the few who has worth. As such, I would prefer to not see you being overly concerned for my worthless half-brother's opinion of you."

Kagome bowed in gratitude once again, not rising until she had counted five and she was sure he was gone.

It seemed that she would have something else to think about while she bathed tonight.

Like why the heck he'd told her all that, since she had a feeling that there was more to it than just the answer she'd received.

She didn't notice the blue crescent moon fade into view on her brow during her bath.

~The End~