Flesh of his Flesh
"Master! Master!" Jaken came running into the castle gardens where Sesshomaru sat.
"What is it Jaken?" He asked the shriveled demon calmly.
"That evil human has stolen my staff again Master!" Jaken whined.
"That is not my problem, you shall simply have to find it yourself."
"Do not whine Jaken. Send Rin to me. I think that we shall take a walk."
Jaken frowned. "Yes Master."
He sulked as he walked back into the house and soon Rin flew out and grabbed onto Sesshomaru's robes. He gave her a half smile and they walked silently out of the castle gates. He watched as she ran up ahead giggling. After a while they stopped beside a stream where Sesshomaru settled beneath a large tree. Rin ran through the field chasing a butterfly and collecting small flowers in the lazy afternoon sunshine.
After some time, she ran back to him with an armful of flowers and sat by his side twisting the stems together. She handed one garland to him and placed another around her neck before lying down quietly. He put his hand out and gently petted her hair, watching as her eyes slowly closed. He was staring off at the horizon when a noise caught his attention.
"No way in hell. We're not going that way!"
He instantly recognized his half-brother's voice.
"But Inuyasha, there is a castle in this direction. Surely we can get help there." The monk was speaking.
"Inuyasha. Kuniku needs a safe place to stay. We should see if the castle would take us in." The girl, Kagome spoke.
"Not there! Anywhere but there," Inuyasha growled back.
Sesshomaru blinked as he heard a baby cry.
"Look, you've woken up Kuniku!"
Who was Kuniku? Where did they find a baby? He was intrigued. He picked up Rin and slowly began to walk in their direction. What trouble had his brother gotten himself into this time?
Rin woke up at the slow sway of his walking. She clambered up onto his shoulders and sat as he walked in the direction of the voices. Soon, he could smell them. The same group with a new addition, some strangely familiar but new smell. He could still hear them arguing, softer now that the baby had been quieted, but just as heated.
"I will not go there. I am leaving," Inuyasha hissed.
"You can't go by yourself!"
Sesshomaru walked around the bend in view of them just in time to see Inuyasha turn to walk off. His brother froze immediately as he sensed his presence. Miroku and Sango turned on him instantly hands on their weapons.
"What do you want here?" Miroku asked warily. Sesshomaru might not be out for Inuyasha's sword, but that certainly didn't make him friendly.
"I was curious. I heard something strange, a baby. I came to investigate." Sesshomaru shrugged, receiving a giggle from Rin as she was jostled.
"There is nothing to see here," Inuyasha growled without turning.
"On the contrary. I can smell it. What are you hiding?"
"None of your damn business. I'm outta here!" He began to stalk off again.
"Inuyasha." Kagome lunged after him. "Please don't go."
"I am, I do not want to stay in his castle!"
Miroku looked at Sesshomaru. "The castle nearby is yours?"
"Yes, this is where I live."
"Then perhaps we could ask for a few days' lodging. We would not try to impose if it were not so important."
"What is so important that you would beg me to keep you?"
"Don't tell him!" Inuyasha whirled and snarled.
His friends blinked. "Why not?"
"I don't want him to know. I don't want to stay with him. I just want to leave here."
"What is this big secret that you're hiding?" Sesshomaru asked as he fixed his eyes on Inuyasha.
"That's none of your damn business."
"I just made it my business, dear brother." Sesshomaru advanced.
"Stop!" Inuyasha's eyes grew wild. "Don't come near me!" He wrapped his arms around the sling he wore and for the first time Sesshomaru was able to get a glance of the mysterious infant. He stopped. White hair. White hair and tiny dog-ears. White hair, tiny dog-ears and slanted golden eyes.
"Inuyasha?" His voice was hushed and full of questions. Inuyasha turned away and stayed silent. "Inuyasha, tell me, where did the baby come from." His voice was more commanding as he drew closer.
"Your friends were not with child...where did he come from?"
"He's mine! Kuniku is my son."
"You said that already." Sesshomaru ground out, losing his patience.
"Sesshomaru." The demon turned, Kagome stood forward and glared at him. "He said that baby was his, and he is. Kuniku is Inuyasha's son. He had him a week ago."
"What do you mean had him?" Sesshomaru's stomach felt strange, like there were rocks sitting in the bottom of it.
The girl sighed. "Why are you being so dense? Inuyasha was pregnant. He is the mother of Kuniku."
"Inuyasha is male."
"He's also half demon. We believe that it is his unique heritage that has allowed him to bear a child. Some male demons have been known to bear children, though I have never heard of another half-demon doing so. Though we are still unsure of the father and the part that he would have played," Miroku explained.
"Baby." Rin squirmed on Sesshomaru's shoulders and he knelt to let her slide off. Once on the ground, she trotted up to Inuyasha smiling. "Baby." She hopped up and down trying to get a good look at the baby resting in the makeshift sling made of Inuyasha's bright red fire rat coat.
Inuyasha watched her, then slowly knelt down and let the girl approach. She tiptoed up, watching the little face in awe. "His name is Kuniku." Inuyasha was talking to Rin, but his eyes were locked on Sesshomaru.
"Kuniku," Rin cooed as she reached out to touch the fuzzy white head.
Inuyasha looked back down at her. "Gentle," he said as he took her hand and ran it softly over Kuniku's head.
"Gentle." Rin echoed as she stroked Kuniku.
Sesshomaru watched silently. The picture of Rin with Inuyasha and child made him feel strangely warm. Rin laughed and ran back to him. Taking his hand she drew him towards Inuyasha. The baby's small golden eyes were wide and aware and he was surprised as they tracked his progress forward.
"Kuniku. Gentle." Rin murmured as she took Sesshomaru's hand and ran it gently over Kuniku's head. He marveled at the soft velvet feeling of the tiny ears. He raised his eyes to Inuyasha, but his brother's eyes were fixed on his son's face.
"Inuyasha," Sesshomaru said softly. The half-demon's ears twitched, but he didn't look up. "Inuyasha, look at me." Sesshomaru used his free hand to lift his brother's chin. "Come to my castle."
"But I don't..."
Sesshomaru laid a finger on Inuyasha's lips. "Come to my castle...please. We need to talk."
Inuyasha blinked at the word "please". That word was not in Sesshomaru's usual vocabulary. "I..."
"Please Inuyasha? It would make us all feel better if you were safe in Sesshomaru's castle," Kagome added.
Would he really be safe in his brother's castle? It seemed that he wasn't trying to kill him anymore, but did that really make him trustworthy? Could so many years of hatred just disappear like that? But then he looked at Rin, who seemed so happy. Sesshomaru definitely was not the same person that he had known and he did want to get Kuniku into a safe place. There weren't many other places as secure as a powerful demon's castle. He sighed, it appeared that for the safety of his son, the best thing to do was go with Sesshomaru. He pulled his chin from Sesshomaru's grasp. "I will go with you."
Rin, who had been watching their interaction closely cheered. "Yay! Stay!"
Sesshomaru patted her head. "Yes Rin, we will have guests." He stood and took her small hand in his. "Shall we go?" He looked back at Inuyasha.
The half-demon nodded and began to follow as Sesshomaru walked back to the castle. The walk to the castle was uneventful, but their arrival caused quite a stir. Jaken's nasal voice greeted them with a cry of "Welcome home Master," directly followed by, "What are they doing here?!"
"Jaken, we are going to have guests. Get chambers prepared." Sesshomaru instructed.
"Do not question me! Just do as I say."
"Yes Master." The little demon muttered as he walked off to do Sesshomaru's bidding.
"Hungry!" Rin announced.
"Then we shall see about food little one." Sesshomaru turned and motioned for his guests to follow. The party was silent as they moved through the large halls. They were surprised by the interior. The outside seemed dark and forbidding. The inside was actually very tastefully decorated and well lit. There was much evidence of living, such as childish scribbles on the walls courtesy of Rin mixed in among expensive art pieces.
"Looks like you have good decorating tastes," Kagome finally piped up as the passed into a dining hall. A low set table was laid out with a large selection of food.
"Thank you." Sesshomaru nodded as he led Rin to the table and sat her down. Taking a seat at the head of the table, he indicated for the others to do the same. The meal was mostly quiet. Shippo talked to Rin who occasionally spoke back, but everyone else settled for passing weighty glances around the table. Sesshomaru watched Inuyasha closely as he ate small bites of food. Mostly, the half-demon rocked his son and kept his head down. Afterwards, Jaken appeared in the doorway, peering in at the silent diners.
"Master. The rooms have been prepared," Jaken announced.
Sesshomaru nodded. "If you would bring them to their rooms, that will be all Jaken."
"Yes Master." The little toad-like demon motioned for the group to follow him. They got up and left the room with Rin trailing behind them.
As Inuyasha shifted to stand, Sesshomaru put a hand on his leg. "Not you. I want you to stay close to me."
"Sesshomaru." Inuyasha frowned.
"Do not protest Inuyasha. We need to talk."
"What if I don't want to talk with you?"
"It is not an option. We will talk." Sesshomaru stared at him.
Inuyasha glared back. The staring contest would have continued if it weren't for a small cry as Kuniku announced that he was awake. Sesshomaru looked down at the baby as Inuyasha cooed softly and raised him up.
"What's wrong Kuniku?" Inuyasha felt his diaper. "Not that, you must be hungry. Don't worry. I'll feed you." With a soft rustle of cloth, Inuyasha had opened his shirt. Sesshomaru stared at his brother's swollen chest. The soft pale mounds drew his eyebrows up. Normally flat features were visibly rounder and fuller than a typical masculine chest. Inuyasha's nipples looked ripe as they waited at attention. He shifted and Kuniku's little mouth instantly latched onto one of his enlarged nipples. Soft suckling sounds issued from the baby and a smile crossed Inuyasha's face as he caressed his son's silky ears.
Sesshomaru was surprised that Inuyasha had so casually opened his shirt to feed the baby. But then he was a male; he did not have the body shyness that females carried about baring their breasts. It was strangely erotic to have those soft swells shown in such a casual manner and the look that crossed Inuyasha's face was not one that he'd seen before. It suited him, that soft tender look. Sesshomaru's fingers itched. Slowly, he reached out and brushed his hand across Inuyasha's cheek. Inuyasha looked up as Sesshomaru tucked some of the soft white hair over his shoulder.
He began pushing the white shirt down the shoulder, letting it slide down his arm. "What are you doing?" Inuyasha looked at him, not angry, but wary.
Sesshomaru's hand slid back up Inuyasha's arm and rubbed at a small round indent on his shoulder. "I am touching my mate." Sesshomaru replied smoothly, eyes lifting from the mark to meet Inuyasha's.
Inuyasha pulled his shoulder back. "What are you talking about? I'm not your mate!" He snapped.
"But you are, that mark says so. The mark from that night." Sesshomaru stared his half-brother down.
"T-that was a mistake. It means nothing."
"Kuniku means nothing?"
"No! That's not what I mean! What...what you did to me... It was the moon. That doesn't make us mates. You are my brother and you don't even like me. What happened between us was a mistake. But Kuniku is not. He is my son and I will love him like my mother loved me. I'll always be there for him. He'll never have to...he'll never go through what I did." Inuyasha's voice was firm as he cradled Kuniku protectively.
Sesshomaru had no reply. He just watched as Inuyasha calmed himself by switching Kuniku to his other nipple, leaving the first shining and wet. If it weren't for the baby, he might have pushed Inuyasha to the ground and taken that nipple back into his mouth. However, it was obvious that Inuyasha would not welcome any advances he made. So they sat in silence, Sesshomaru watching Inuyasha as the half-demon avoided his gaze, with little Kuniku oblivious to everything but his meal. As the baby drifted off to sleep, Inuyasha began to hum softly.
"I want you to stay in the room next to mine," Sesshomaru said quietly.
"Why? Why should I do what you want?"
"Because I want you near me." Sesshomaru stood up.
Inuyasha frowned. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Take it how you will." Sesshomaru shrugged. "Come with me."
Inuyasha slowly rose, adjusting his shirt and settling Kuniku into his sling again. With one arm wrapped around his son, he walked up behind Sesshomaru and followed him out of the room. They moved down a narrow hallway lined with silk paintings and emerged in a larger and brighter hallway.
"These are my living quarters." He slid a door open and walked inside.
Inuyasha followed. The door slid shut behind him, causing him to tense.
Sesshomaru continued walking through a richly decorated sitting room. "These quarters are separate from the rest of the castle. Only Rin and myself stay here."
He slid open another door panel and led Inuyasha into a large bedroom. A wide bed, draped in deep crimson velvet, was the centerpiece of the room. A matching trunk sat at the end of the bed, a carved and cushioned chair was placed beside the bed and there was a towering wardrobe in one corner. A painted screen stood beside the wardrobe with a finely painted depiction of a story that his mother had once told him, some mushy love thing, but it reminded him of her.
"This is the guestroom. My room is through that door and the bath is through the other. There are also hot springs you might take advantage of. But right now you look tired. Perhaps you should lay down." Sesshomaru waved towards the bed.
"I'm not tired." Inuyasha protested.
"Perhaps not, but maybe Kuniku would like to lay down for a while."
Inuyasha just glowered as he approached the bed, touching the soft coverlet and pressing on the mattress. Slowly, he sat down. "Not bad. I guess being a big bad demon has its perks."
"That is does." Sesshomaru acknowledged, much to Inuyasha's annoyance.
Inuyasha carefully moved up the bed. He removed Kuniku from the sling and laid him gently on the mattress. He dragged down a feather pillow and placed it beside him and laid down on the other side of the baby with his back towards Sesshomaru. He petted the soft white hair of his son and sighed. Inuyasha yawned and soon fell asleep despite his earlier protests. Sesshomaru sat down quietly on the edge of the bed. When Inuyasha didn't stir, he moved closer, putting his hand in Inuyasha's hair. He stroked the fine white strands much as Inuyasha had been petting Kuniku and watched the two sleep.
"Do not worry Inuyasha. Our son will not face the same challenges you did. And you won't have to ever again." He pressed a kiss to the back of Inuyasha's white head and spooned behind him, one arm possessively wrapped around him.