Title: The Coward

Authoress: Rickashay

Genre: Romance

Rating: T

Word Count: 1,053

Warning(s): none

Character(s): Inu no Taisho, Izayoi, with a brief mention of Sessmom at the end, Sesshomaru and Ryuukotsusei

Summary: 70 days and 94

Note: I'm baaack! I missed you guys. ;) Again, feel free to point out any mistakes you see/suggestions on anything. This is not beta'd and any help is appreciated!

The Coward


Coward…

The word was an angry hiss, stinging and stirring inside his mind, festering like an open wound. Gorged, deeper and deeper inside his heart, blood spewing and staining his fingers.

The word was unprecedented.

For a fiery moment, he considered going after his pup and showing him the true reason why he was the alpha. There was a certain amount of respect given to him, granted to him that should be heeded, which he required, and suddenly his pup was overstepping his boundaries.

It was considered a hostile movement…and yet he could not bring himself to transform, even just briefly to scare his pup into submission. Part of him knew that the outcome would not be favorable for either of them, either by the level of trust or injury.

Part of him simply watched, waiting for his son's back to turn and his cold, golden eyes to flicker down to him for one moment, one moment of regret.

Instead he simply disappeared, his power rolling thickly into waves and colliding with the natural environment. Birds flew, fled from the wrath and watched from the safety of the sky.

The Inu no Taisho growled deeply into his throat, the earth rumbling underneath him.

A twig snapped and immediately his attention shifted, hackles raised.

"Inu no Taisho?" a whisper, timid and more than slightly frightened, welcomed his ears.

Immediately, his mouth closed, hiding his bared teeth as he spotted the bright kimono of the hime. The little child that immediately stumbled toward him, lines of concern on her face, shadowing her sparkly eyes.

"Izayoi," he replied back, calmly.

"Who was that?" there was a brief note of fear in her voice, a tremor as carefully hidden as possible, but it was not quiet enough for the youkai's ears to catch.

"Sesshomaru was merely venting some of his frustrations," dimly, the Inu no Taisho realized that he had kept his voice in forced amusement. Fake.

So obviously fake to her.

Izayoi's thin eyebrow arched, eyes glimmering with knowledge. She did not call him out on it, but merely let it slide with a tilt of her head and a gesture toward the basket filled with goods. "Are you hungry?"

A smile tilted his lips, even as he gently lowered himself against a tree trunk, watching her with suspicious, scheming eyes. Fortunately, it was a thought more to her favor than anything malicious.

Perhaps that was why she gave him such a curious look, despite herself.


The Ryuukotsusei was growing stronger, crackling and hissing with strength. Power…

Revenge.

The words were whispered carefully near her, enough that she could hear and watch her advisors exchange looks of wariness. There was something in their air, something in the way their lips formed words, the way they held themselves, and it bespoke of betrayal, of doubt.

She would not allow her people to doubt her.

Her vapid, disinterested eyes flickered towards them, just at the corner. It was enough to observe, but not enough to draw attention in a way that could guarantee suspicion.

Despite their…misgivings on the Inu no Taisho's wife, they did realize that she was their lady.

Their Lady…

The Lady of the West…

And as she observed them, silently she urged her husband home.

"It is not possible that he could possibly take this long," one of the advisors's snipped.

"I have heard that he has taken up with a human!" a quickly smothered grasp of surprise was heard throughout the room.

Scandals...

Imagine…a soft, bitter smile twisted her lips.

"The Lady is growing soft, more so than the Inu no Taisho would ever be. Everyone knows of her love for the General."

"It was a marriage of convenience, not for…love. The Lady is not that weak," another spoke, white hair glimmering in the light. His green eyes met hers, a smile tugging on his lips.

She was always attracted to powerful men.

Immediately, she discarded the idea.

Perhaps it is so…a weakness.

But let them talk…and even within listening distance, she did not say anything to those poor, political underlings…

It spoke much more than anything else, whether the rumors were true or not.


Even with the silence of the Castle, the Lady's illness was hardly spoken of, only in hushed tones so that the Lord of the House would not hear. It was not to be spoken of, the harsh training of the young master and the hime being considerably upped during the next few weeks. The servants knew that it was more of a way to show some type of anger, aggression that the Lord could indulge himself in.

It was fear…

No one said anything.

Not even when the Lady would sneak outside to watch her young son train with his father, the Lord's sword gleaming in the light while the son was shadowed in his great height. The Lady would watch her daughter retreat into the forest, like a young sprite, ignoring the warnings on the tips of the servants' tongues as they observed her. Not even they would ruin her chance of escape.

So they said nothing, only watching the Lady gaze at them all with a sad, yet adoring smile.

They said nothing, even as glimpses of a white-haired man were spotted in the forest, a protector they viewed him as. They did not hear of any youkai attack, other than the surge of power only a few weeks prior. Instead, they watched the silly smiles that would suddenly erupt on the hime's face, watch the child tiptoe lightly to her window, a muttered goodnight given to the empty courtyard.

They said nothing, but they knew...

The Inu no Taisho was pleased with that.


The Ryuukotsusei could hear the whispers, the pleas of the humans that fled from their territory, and their screams of pain that filled the air so beautifully. Sometimes, he would tremble with pleasure at hearing their fear, knowing that it would one way or another reach the Inu no Taisho.

Now, he would wait.

There would be no hiding in caves, abandoned by the youkai. Instead, he would exact his revenge for his banishment. Those that persecuted him would pay, one way or another.

Silently, he observed the young prince, his fair white hair much too obvious in the night, his lips twisted in hatred.

Utter hatred…captivating, quivering fury that radiated off the young lord.

Inspiring…really.

Yes, the dragon had to wonder where the young prince's father hid.

Coward…the word hissed in his ear.