A/N: As always, thank you for your wonderful reviews. I personally never thought Jaken was worth anything and was always soooo mean to Rin. So, putting him at the mercy of Inuyasha is his just reward. Tehehe. Anyway, I know some of you do not like the cursing, but as I said, you don't have to read it. However, I wont be toning it down. It's part of the story and it's Inuyasha we're talking about!
In another note, I probably wont be posting as much for a while. Since, I write multiple chapters at once. Hopefully, though, this will result in more frequent posting once I get more chapters going. Well, hope you like this chapter!
Disclaimer: I do not own nor profit from the characters used in this story. The plot, however, is mine.
"This Sesshomaru will return for the three of you within the next few days. And, Inuyasha," he murmured, pausing to look back at his giggling Otouto. The pup stopped in his attack on his new play mate and looked to where the retreating form of his Aniki's was. Cocking his head, he waited for the Inu to finish what he was saying.
"This Sesshomaru expects his vassal to be in good health when he returns," he muttered, a smirk tugging at his lips. The exasperated cry that the pup gave him made the smirk grow. He knew that the pup would be disappointed at the loss of torturing the Kappa. But, the youkai had his uses and his death would hinder with them.
Inuyasha watched as his Aniki left. He didn't so much mind the Kappa as company, or that he wasn't allowed to chew on him. It was the fact that his Aniki was leaving. No matter how many times he left, the pup always missed him. Even before he was completely gone. Which is what lead to his constant torment of the little green youkai. With a huff, he plopped himself down on the ground, legs crossed and arms stuffed into their opposite sleeves while he watched the last of the Inu daiyoukai's form fade into the heat of the summer haze rising from the lush grass.
These are going to be a long and hot couple of days, he thought to himself before turning to look at his guardians.
"Jaken! Myoga! Can we go play in the river?" Inuyasha asked, getting up to bounce on the balls of his feet before the Kappa, the little flea on his shoulder. Jaken warily eyed the hyper pup. Maybe, he thought, it would be good for him to spend his energy on something other than annoying them both.
"Hm, well. Only if you promise not to push us in or splash us with water," Jaken muttered, raising a finger to the pup in warning while his other arm wrapped tighter around the Nintoujou.
Inuyasha pouted, crossing his arms over his chest, slouching his shoulders and sticking his bottom lip out from his mouth ever so slightly. Part of his plan was to make the youkai swim. He was a kappa after all.
"Fine!" he shouted, waving his arms around his head in defeat. Even if he didn't get to push Jaken into the water, he still wanted to go to the river. At least there was more to do there than there was in the clearing Sesshomaru had left them in.
"Good," Jaken mumbled, then immediately jumped up to chase after the wildly excited pup. Whom of which had already began hurtling towards the little river in question.
After an hour or so of running through the river, splashing anything he could reach (except Jaken and Myoga), swimming round in circles in a calm pool and searching for fish to catch, Inuyasha was barely even out of breath. Though, Jaken and Myoga had decided that he needed a rest, despite his abundance in energy.
"Jaken, where do you think Sesshomaru went to this time?" Inuyasha pondered, staring up into the cloudless sky as he waited for lunch to finish cooking.
"How should I know? Sesshomaru-sama does as he pleases, and doesn't have to explain himself to us. Especially the likes of you," the kappa grumbled, poking at his damp kimono as it dried over the very same fire, completely irritated with the pup. Although it had been an honest accident, he still was not happy about having been splashed with water. That, and being laughed at. Again.
"Now, now. There is no need to make such a fuss. Inuyasha was merely curious," Myoga piped up, offering his own opinion to the Kappa. But, Inuyasha just stuck his tongue out at his green guardian, crossing his arms and looking back up to the sky with a light 'feh'.
I can't believe it's already been three years since Aniki took me in, Inuyasha thought, watching a large, lone cloud pass by above the trees. He smiled lightly at the familiar thoughts of it being his Aniki's tail wrapped around him or harboring the elusive palace of his Sobo. He absentmindedly began scratching behind his ears with his foot as he thought. He had taken his Aniki's advice to heart and kept his ears clean, avoiding dipping his head in the water as much as he could. But, every once in a while he did get a rash or an ear infection. But, for now, he didn't have to worry about that, since his ears were very well taken care of today.
Noting the pup's dazed look, Jaken began to wonder what the pup was thinking about. However, he decided not to worry about it and returned to tending to his cloths so they didn't burn over the fire. Slowly, the steam of the water was whisked away in the lazy breeze that passed through the sunny forest. Meanwhile, Inuyasha quietly brought his gaze down to look at the sparkling water and began to count the silvery fish that would pass by.
"What are you thinking about Inuyasha-sama?" Myoga inquired, jumping to the little pup's shoulder when his companion stood to pull his cloths from the line over the fire. Peering over to the hanyou before he pulled his newly dried cloths over his head, Jaken proceeding to sit back down when finished.
"Indeed. You are much too silent. What's wrong with you?"
But, Inuyasha just shrugged. Returning back to watching the clouds, and his thoughts. Although it had not been stated, Inuyasha knew that hanyou had been on Jaken's thoughts after he'd asked about Sesshomaru. Whom of which had told Jaken not to use the word. Since it had become a term loosely thought of as a curse. One of which Inuyasha knew all too well.
"Inuyasha-sama?" Myoga called again, jumping up and down on the pup's shoulder.
"I'm not a sama," the pup replied stiffly, brushing the flea off his shoulder. He continued to watch as the clouds twisted and turned in the fast paced dances.
"Humph. That may be so, but you are still the son of the former Daimyou of the Inu clan and The Lord of the West. At least take it with some manner of grace," grumbled the kappa, picking up his little friend from the ground beside the pup. When Inuyasha didn't reply, he merely muttered an unintelligible curse in his youkai tongue. Grimacing at the sound, Inuyasha watched his beaked sitter remove his lunch from the fire and begin to eat. The other of which, had already gorged himself on fish blood. Which he claimed to be rather tangy in a most unpleasant way...
"I'm sorry Myoga, Jaken. I didn't mean to be rude. May I have some fish now, too?"
Casting a speculative eye at the pup, both elderly youkai contemplated his apology. With a defeated sigh, Jaken deigned to give the pup an answer.
"Very well, Inuyasha. You're apology has been accepted. Those fish are for you," he finished as he pointed to three large and plump fish that bent over the end of the sticks they were impaled upon. Grinning devilishly with delight, Inuyasha licked his chops and seized the first of the crispy creatures.
After the size able meal, the little hanyou was allowed to wreak havoc upon the river and its wildlife once more. His two keepers staying as far back from the shore as they could so they didn't get splashed, but could still keep an eye on him.
"Jaken, wha- what do you th- think that wa- was?" Stammered Myoga. The little flea and his Kappa friend had been resting quite peacefully until recently. Shaking rather noticeably, he stood from his resting spot on the green youkai's shoulder.
"Ho-how sh- sh- should I kn- n- no?" Came the shaking reply of the beaked youkai. Together, they gulped down their fear and looked around the dark clearing beside the river Inuyasha had been playing in earlier. As Jaken stood by their tiny fire he had used to teach Inuyasha how to make one, he searched around for said pup. Only, he came up with nothing.
"Why that little-! He left us here by ourselves," Jaken cried, furiously swinging around the Nintoujou as tears of nerves and frustration leaked down his face. On his shoulder, came similar sobs about the cruelty of their Inuyasha-sama.
Boom. Boom. Boom.
"P-per-haps we sh- sh-should try to f-find Inuyasha-s-sama. S-s-some-where else," the flea sputtered, having lost his nerve to remain in the dark clearing. Beside him, Jaken's head bobbed with his eager agreement. Though he was still fuming over their abandonment, finding the pup was much important. For if they survived whatever was making its way towards them, Sesshomaru-sama would surely have their heads for the pup's disappearance.
The deep pounding and the dull thud of heavy feet that were making their way through the dense wood resounded deep within the earth. Growing louder as they drew nearer, Jaken felt the panic rise in his chest, clouding his head with a sharp pain in the front of his mind. Meanwhile, bile raced up the back of his throat and tightened the muscles around his hurriedly beating heart. Practically screaming at the top of their lungs, Jaken and Myoga only vaguely realized that they were drawing the noises nearer.
However, it wasn't until the owner of two great, green feet were standing before them that they realized the error in their ways.
"Hm," rumbled the Oni youkai. "A kappa. What are you doing here?" It asked, leaning down to face the smaller youkai. Jaken swallowed, opening his mouth but closing it when nothing came out. He tried again, but the cycle only repeated for a few more moments.
"What? Can't speak?" cried the Oni, laughing heartily at the quailing thing.
"Run, Jaken! Run," cried Myoga in the Kappa's ear, hopping up and down to try and make his point. Jaken swallowed once more, breathing deeply through his nose.
"No, I will not run away. What will Sesshomaru-sama think if we were to run away?" Jaken whispered back, gripping the Nintoujou tighter in his hands. In front of him, the Oni was still laughing maniacally at the sight of the terrified Kappa, the flea on his shoulder still unnoticed.
"Very well! You deal with the ugh, Oni, and I'll go, ugh search for Inuyasha-sama!" the flea cried, bounding off his friend's shoulder and racing away as fast as he could.
"Why you! Get back here you coward!"Jaken screamed, his face swelling with anger.
"Who are you talking to, Kappa?" the Oni suddenly asked, peering the tiny youkai over for a moment.
"Ugh, ugh," Jaken managed to squeeze from his contracting throat, his anger deflating in his fear of the very large ogre before him. When he couldn't give an answer, the Oni grew angry and narrowed his eyes in suspicion.
"Take this!" The Kappa suddenly cried, waving the Nintoujou around. "Feel the wrath of the Staff of Two Heads!" He screamed in his panic, the staff belching a great wave of fire.
The Oni roared with anger, pain lacing his screams as he shook his whole body from side to side, covering his burnt face with his hands.
"Ha! That will teach you to mess with Jak-uagh!" he cried out, his triumphant boast cut short when he was sent sailing through the air and into a nearby tree by one of the Oni's feet.
"Idiots," Inuyasha grumbled, smacking his palm to his forehead. He had been watching the kappa and the flea try to find him for a moment. He had initially been tracking the Oni, trying to lead it away from the two so that they didn't get hurt. Having smelled it a mile off (not that it was hard), he had run off without telling the two. In hindsight, that was definitely not the smartest thing to have done. Regrettably, the two had started panicking and begun to scream his name. Leading the stupid Oni right to them.
Next time, I'll just grab the two and put them in a tree, Inuyasha thought to himself grimly. Having heard their pleaded cries, he had raced towards them, but the Oni had reached them before he could rescue their dumb asses. Grumbling quietly to himself, the little hanyou swooped down from the branch he hid in.
Now, standing before the ugly, green Oni with his two, no one, companion behind him, Inuyasha stared the ogre down. He hated the smell of it. Disgusting. Really the only word he could come up with to describe the stupid thing. Whom of which was searching the tree tops to find where he had dropped out of.
"There's only one of me," Inuyasha grumbled, crossing his arms and giving the Oni a disinterested look.
"Inuyasha! Why you-" But, whatever the kappa was going to say next was cut off when the hanyou pup gave him a pointed glare.
He looks just like Sesshomaru-sama! Jaken thought with dismay. It must be from living with the Daimyou for the last three years or so.
"And just who do you think you are?" cried the burnt ogre. Inuyasha had to admit that he was surprised the little Kappa had such fire power in him. But then, his Aniki had given it the weapon. So, it was bound to have some decent powers. However, his admittance was silent as he stared down the ugly ogre.
"Answer me, Hanyou!" it spat, reaching forward to grab hold of the pup.
"Fuck off. I know who I am. I'm the younger brother of the Lord of the Western Lands, Sesshomaru-daimyou-sama. Now get lost before you get killed," Inuyasha snarled in reply. Damn it felt good to call someone on cursing his existence.
"You lie!" cried the Oni, pausing in his action of reaching to grab hold of the pup.
"I don't lie. Now go find something else to eat," he growled, trying his best to sound menacing. To his credit, the cold tone and hard glare he had learned to mimic his brother for, were working to his advantage. Making the Oni think twice on what he was doing. However, it didn't seem to completely deter him from his intention on taking the hanyou in his grasp.
"You lie. The Lord of the Western Lands would never allow such filth to follow him. Let alone claim him as family. Now you'll die for your half witted deception and insult to the Inu Daimyou!" he bellowed and hurled himself forward.
"Oh yeah! Just try it!" Inuyasha roared, cracking his claws. Reaching deep inside him, pulling the anger and hate against the Oni to the surface and willing it to fill his claws, he leaped in the air as he raised his arm.
And brought it down, his golden youki filling the air with a satisfying crackle of energy. Slicing down the Oni with great force, stopping at his hips and cleansing much of the air of its putrid scent as well. Lightly, Inuyasha landed on his feet before taking Jaken into an embrace.
"Jaken-sama! I was so scared. Use your staff and burn it! Please. Just in case it's still alive!" Inuyasha whined, releasing the Kappa from his clutches and onto its feet.
Jaken swayed, reeling over what he had just seen. No way was the Oni alive. No way could it have survived that! However, dazed, the little youkai walked to where his beloved Nintoujou had landed when he had been kicked. Lifting it from the ground and setting on its blunted end so he could lean against it, he turned to eye the sight of the dead Oni and the little inu hanyou who had slayed it.
"It's dead, Inuyasha," he huffed, tiredly sitting at the base of the tree.
"But!" Inuyasha cried, trotting over to sit on his haunches beside the Kappa. "You never know, Jaken. Please get it with your staff. Please, please please!" he whined, sticking his bottom lip out in a light pout, his eyes growing watery with fright.
"Oh very well. Help me up and then get out of my way!" Jaken grumbled, very irritated. Inuyasha's round features brightened, his watery eyes drying up with eager excitement.
"Yeay!" he shouted with delight, grabbing the Kappa's offered hand and letting him pull himself to his feet. The beaked youkai just shook his head.
"Now stand back, and witness the power of the Nintoujou!" he cried, smugly setting the monster aflame.
"Ick! That stinks," Inuyasha suddenly cried, covering his nose with his sleeve. Jaken's nose wrinkled in his own distaste of the burning flesh.
"Yes, but now it's gone," he muttered, the flames disappearing with the power of Jaken and the staff's youki. The Oni was now nothing more than a pile of ashes.
"Lets go back to the clearing Sesshomaru left us in. It doesn't stink there," the hanyou muttered, grabbing the Kappa's sleeve.
"Yeah, ok," Jaken muttered, following his charge warily.
"Um, Lord Sesshomaru?" Jaken muttered, edging closer to his lord. Now that Inuyasha was asleep, he had finally managed to muster up the courage to speak his mind to the Inu Daiyoukai. Slowly, Sesshomaru opened his eyes to peer down at the green Kappa. Gulping, Jaken wrung his hands around the pole of Nintoujou.
"Well," he began looking down to the ground. "Well, I um. I have to tell you something." Taking a peek up at the Inu, who's face had not changed since he had returned to find Myoga missing, Inuyasha tiered and a large, burnt Oni a small ways off from where they were.
"I didn't kill the Oni, Mi'Lord! It was Inuyasha who saved me after it kicked me into a tree and the Nintoujou fell from my hands. Please forgive me for allowing the pup to lie to you. I should have said something then. I am truly sorry," Jaken sniffed, exasperated tears running down his face while his head drooped in shame.
"This Sesshomaru was aware of what had happened, Jaken. Thank you for confessing. There is nothing to forgive. Perhaps, you should thank the pup when he awaknes for wishing you to be acknowledged, instead of easily taking the credit for his deed," the daimyou murmured softly. Reaching over to the Kappa, he rested one of his clawed hands on its shoulder. "At least you did not run away, like your companion, Myoga," Sesshomaru reminded, snarling the flea's name.
"Yes, Mi'Lord! Thank you for your generosity. I will be sure to do that. Though, I am surprised that he would give all the credit to me, since he is so intent on becoming strong and worthy in your eyes," Jaken confessed, relieved to hear that he was not being blamed for the deceit. Even though they had been found out.
"It is because of his wish to be worthy that he did so. By telling me he had been the one to dispatch the Oni, he would have shown his strength in arms. But, by allowing you to be his savior and leaving you to look the stronger, he proved his loyalty to you and the strength of his character. He allowed you to be the greater warrior, while remaining a child himself. However, with your confession, you have both proven yourselves to be more than worthy of this Sesshomaru's companionship and trust." Running his claws through the inu pup's hair, Sesshomaru finished his speech by nodding his satisfaction to the Kappa. "You are, indeed, a vassal of worth. Now, go and rest. We will depart once you have fully recovered from your... Unexpected flight."
"Yes Mi'Lord!" Jaken sighed, tears of gratitude shining within his eyes as he bowed to his lord and went back to his seat on the other side of the fire.
Good job, Inuyasha. You have proven yourself a most admirable and honorable warrior. Be proud of the respect you have earned from the Kappa this day. Chichi-ue would have been proud, Sesshomaru thought while resuming his work of untangling leaves and branches from the pup's hair. A light smile teasing the corners of his mouth as he thought of what their father would have said. Only vaguely noticing the none too stealthy return of the flea youkai.
"Grrr! I'm going to eat you!"
"Bwuah!" squawked the green youkai as his hyper charge barreled him to the ground. "Ouch! Let me go, you ungrateful brat!" he screamed, trying his damnedest to hit the hanyou upside the head with the Nintoujou. However, this only made the teething pup giggle and nip the Kappa's arms and head all the more. Growling and playfully shaking his head with a mouthful of Jaken while they rolled around on the ground.
"Ow! Ouch! Stop it. Let me go! Why you-! Get back here!" the Kappa screamed, chasing after the pup, who had stolen the youkai's hat and ran off with it in his mouth. But, Inuyasha only turned around, sitting on his haunches, a big and devilish grin on his face as he waited for the Kappa to catch up. The hat still clutched tightly in his teeth.
This had become one of their many games constantly being instigated by the hanyou. Although the Kappa disapproved of the pup always making off with his things, or wrestling with the tiny thing, he always accepted that, until such a time as the pup was big enough to wrestle with Sesshomaru, he would be the designated playmate. Or, the one designated to be tormented, rather. But then, he did prefer to have his hat or staff stolen over being a chew toy or youki practice. Panting heavily, he rested his hands on his knees to rest a moment.
Gosh darn it! When will this brat get big enough to attack his brother for play? Or just out grow playing altogether? The Kappa grumbled to himself, sweat dripping from his brow. Shortly after he had regained his breath, he looked up to see the pup had not moved. A smug, mocking smirk splayed across his face, hat still sticking out of his mouth. Groaning angrily at the hanyou, Jaken shook the Nintoujou at the pup.
"You! Give that back right now!"
"You have to catch me first!" Inuyasha called back, turning on his heel and prancing away smugly.
"Grah! Fine," he called after the pup, racing forward to try and pry it out of the razor sharp fangs before the pup knew he was upon him. He failed. Miserably.
Inuyasha laughed as Jaken fell forward onto the ground. But, instead of running off with the hat once more, he lifted the Kappa from the ground. Setting the tiered youkai on his feet and handing the oddly pristine hat back to him with a bright and innocent smile on his face. Even the five year old pup knew when to stop torturing his guardian.
"Oh, thank you, Inuyasha," Jaken muttered, shoulders sagging from his exhaustion.
The two looked over to where they had heard Sesshomaru's voice, the pup cocking his head from side to side as he took notice of the things in his Aniki's grasp. The Inu Daimyou sat beneath a tree, tall grass and flowers surrounding him in the tree's shade, the haze of the hot weather made his elegant form shimmer and glow. After a moment of walking, the two reached the daiyoukai. A small wooden slab, a blank scroll, ink pot and brush in his hands.
"What's that, Aniki?" the pup questioned, sitting on his haunches beside his brother and craning his neck to observe the odd things. Sesshomaru only reached around him, pulling his Otouto into his lap and setting the items into its lap.
"You will show this Sesshomaru your capabilities in reading and writing, Otouto," muttered the daimyou sternly. However, all manner of cold had ceased to color his voice many weeks ago. Around the time he had saved Jaken from the Oni. Tilting his head to the side, Inuyasha stared blankly at the scroll for a moment, then looked up to his Aniki's face.
"I can't write, Aniki. Okaachan tried to teach me a long time ago, but she got too sick when I was old enough to understand. I can read, though. Since, Okaachan's family made fun of me all the time, I had to learn," he muttered sheepishly, lowering his gaze to look at a pile of scrolls beside him and his brother. Next to them, leaning against the tree, Jaken was still wheezing, but calming considerably.
Sesshomaru's gazed turned hard as he contemplated what he had been told by his Otouto. Although he had not really expected the pup's mother to have had time to teach him, he had assumed Inuyasha would at least know something of writing. Sighing deeply and closing his eyes to calm himself and push away the snarls of anger that had a habit of building when Inuyasha's tortured past was mentioned.
"Then, it is time to teach you, Otouto," he said, gently placing his large paw around the tiny one of his brother's, putting the brush inside it.
"Ok," Inuyasha timidly replied, casting a cautious look over the fine scroll.
Soon, Otouto, you will no longer have the memory of your grandparents and other relatives to taint your Haha's influence and Chichi-ue's blood. Sesshomaru silently vowed.
A/N: Well thanks for reading! Please leave a review, they are great motivations for me to get into writing mode. -^_^- But, there is no warning there. I will post even if no one reads it!