Flesh of His Flesh
Chapter Eleven: Working Through
Notes: Sorry about the length of time between chapter releases! On a completely unrelated note, I got a new puppy. She's a little Boston Terrier and I named her Niku. You can guess why.


"Stop me."

Inuyasha's ear twitched at the distant sound that pulled him from sleep.

"Please."

Behind him, Sesshomaru sat up in bed. Inuyasha turned, blinking his golden eyes sleepily. He watched as Sesshomaru walked to a dresser, pulled out a robe and slipped into it.

"Please please, stop me."

"Sesshomaru?" He asked sleepily.

"Quickly, put clothes on. Follow me." Sesshomaru paused to pick up his sword where it lay on a low table before he stalked from the room.

Bewildered, Inuyasha stumbled out of bed. He turned to make sure that he hadn't woken the children. Rin and Kuniku slept on, oblivious to his little tumble. Once he was sure that they were sound asleep, he felt around to find something to wear. He pulled on a discarded robe and frowned when he realized that it was his brother's and was a little too long. He didn't have the time or patience to find his own robe. Instead, he held up the material as he ran out into the hall to follow his brother's scent. As Inuyasha walked through the halls, he noticed that the voice that had woken him got stronger.

"Help me. Stop me! Somebody please."

It was still only a whisper, but the speaker sounded desperate.

"Please!"

Inuyasha caught sight of Sesshomaru striding down the hall swiftly and he ran to catch up. "What's happening?"

"Naraku," he snarled in reply as he stopped and threw open the door to the girls' room. Kohaku was standing over his sister with his scythe in hand, trembling violently. Tears were running down his cheeks as he whispered to himself.

"Please stop me. Please stop me. I don't want to. Please stop me!" He looked up at Sesshomaru and Inuyasha, his eyes begging them. "Stop me," he called out as his hand jerked towards his sister's body and then struggled to pull back.

Inuyasha felt frozen in place, but Sesshomaru immediately leapt into action. He crossed the room in a burst of speed, grabbing the boy by his neck and pushing him away from the sleeping girls. His scythe went skittering across the floor as Sesshomaru bashed Kohaku's head into the wall. The resounding thump woke the two girls and the two demons sharing their beds.

Sango sat up, immediately alert while Kagome moaned groggily and looked around in confusion. Kilala chirped at Sango's side, looking curiously at Inuyasha standing in the doorway in an overly large robe. Sango turned her head to see what had captured Inuyasha's attention. As she took in the situation, her eyes widened. "Kohaku!" She fought the sheets, stumbling out of bed and approaching Sesshomaru. "What are you doing?"

"He was trying to kill you." Inuyasha said from the doorway, getting over his paralysis and moving into the room.

"But why?" Sango demanded.

"Why do you think?" Sesshomaru snarled. "Naraku," he spat, his hand tightening around Kohaku's throat.

Kagome quickly tumbled out of bed and moved to her friend, supporting her as the other girl suddenly went weak-kneed. "I hoped that was over."

"It is not," he growled. "Now, come here girl," Sesshomaru ordered, glancing back at Kagome.

Kagome blinked. "Me? Why?"

"While I hold him, I want you to take the jewel shard from him."

"But that will kill him!" Kagome protested.

"That is the point!"

"No! You can't!" Sango lunged at Sesshomaru. Inuyasha quickly jumped forward, catching the demon slayer and holding her back.

"Sango, no." He pushed her towards the bed where Kilala chirped in alarm. A frightened Shippo glomped onto the small cat demon and for once stayed silent as he watched with wide eyes.

"Kohaku!" Sango yelled, fighting Inuyasha. She pushed against him trying to break his grasp and move to her brother's side. Inuyasha held her firmly, grabbing at her wrists and trying to avoid getting a knee in the groin.

Kagome looked on in confusion, unsure of what to do or who to help.

"Come here girl!" Sesshomaru snarled, his eyes flashing red with anger. Kagome took a hesitant step forward.

A jangling of metal signaled Miroku's appearance in the doorway. "What's going on?" He demanded, taking a low fighting stance.

"Hold her!" Inuyasha yelled as he pushed Sango into the monk.

Miroku caught her instinctively, wrapping his arms around her to calm her wild flailing.

"No, let me go." She cried, elbowing him in the stomach. Winded, but not bested, he tightened his grip on the girl.

"Calm down Sango," he said in a soft voice, trying to judge the situation in the room. He could either interfere or stand back and monitor the unfolding events. Seeing the look on Sesshomaru's face, he decided that it was best to hang back, for the moment.

Inuyasha grabbed Kagome and dragged her towards Sesshomaru. "Take it out Kagome."

"But I can't!" Kagome protested. "If I do he'll die."

"Dammit! That's the point stupid!" Inuyasha yelled, pushing her towards Kohaku, who wasn't even struggling against Sesshomaru's hold. His sad eyes seemed to hold a look of relief as he dangled helplessly from Sesshomaru's strong grasp.

"But-" Kagome started.

"Do it or I do!" Sesshomaru snarled as he turned the boy's body towards her.

Hesitantly, Kagome reached out and touched Kohaku's back. "I can't. It's in him," she whispered miserably.

Inuyasha pushed her hand away. "Show me where." Kagome stared at him and he growled. "Kagome, show me where!" She quickly pointed to a place just under Kohaku's right shoulder. Inuyasha nodded and dragged his claws over the spot. Kagome gasped in horror, but Kohaku didn't even flinch. "There, get it now."

"No!" Sango screamed, bucking against Miroku's grip. He fought to keep his arms around her as he pulled her out into the hall.

Kagome looked ill as she reached out and plucked the jewel shard from one of the bloody slashes in Kohaku's back. She wavered as he went limp. Sango screamed in horror and denial. Kagome winced and stepped away. She turned and pressed the shard into Inuyasha's hand.

"Why?" She asked with tears in her eyes, not even able to bring herself to look at Sesshomaru and the lifeless body in his hands.

He didn't respond. Instead, he looked past her, watching as Sesshomaru laid the boy out on the floor. Sesshomaru drew his sword and brought it down swiftly. There was a brief flash and Kohaku gave a sudden gasp as his eyes flew open. Kagome turned and gaped as Kohaku's hands flew to his throat.

"What?" She looked from Sesshomaru to Kohaku.

"Tenseiga, sword of life." Inuyasha said. His tone, coupled with a roll of his eyes made her feel quite foolish.

"How did you know he was going to do that?" Kagome demanded, trying to cover up her embarrassment.

"I didn't. I saw him pick up the sword when we left the room, but I wasn't sure what he was doing until he asked you to take the shard out." Inuyasha explained.

"If we took the shard out, he would finally be rid of Naraku's control for good. With this sword, there was no fear of actually loosing him." Sesshomaru said as he stepped up and took the small jewel shard from his brother's hand. He held it up and looked at the tiny fleck of crystal, really no more than a splinter. "So much trouble for these foolish things," he muttered, holding the shard out to Kagome.

Kagome hesitantly reached out her hand and Sesshomaru dropped the shard into her palm.

"Kohaku!" Sango sobbed.

Miroku finally released her and the girl stumbled towards her little brother. She dropped to her knees and hovered over him worriedly, tears flowing freely down her cheeks.

"Sango," the boy croaked, struggling to sit up.

"Don't move Kohaku, I'll take care of you." Sango cried, reaching down to gently lift her brother into her arms.

"I should get some medicine. They're going to need bandages." Kagome murmured, moving towards her bags.

"We should leave as well, before Rin and Kuniku wake in our absence," Sesshomaru said quietly.

Inuyasha nodded as he watched Sango care for her brother, but he made no move to leave.

Sesshomaru noticed Inuyasha's eyes glued to the demon slayers and sighed. "Inuyasha." He laid his hand on the small of his brother's back. The touch seemed to draw his attention away from the pair of siblings.

"Huh?"

Sesshomaru reached up and stroked his brother's cheek. "We should return to our room. They will be fine. We have others we must see to."

"Okay."

Inuyasha gave the pair a final glance before allowing Sesshomaru to lead him from the room. His brother slowly guided him down the halls with his hand resting comfortably on Inuyasha's back. As they walked back into their room, Sesshomaru rested his sword against the wall and took Inuyasha into his arms. Startled, Inuyasha leaned into his brother's embrace, wondering what had brought on the sudden display of affection. He looked up at Sesshomaru questioningly.

"I'm sorry." His brother said slowly.

The half demon blinked at those words. His brother was never sorry. Not to mention that he didn't have a clue as to what his brother was talking about. "What? Why?"

Sesshomaru lowered his head, reaching out to caress Inuyasha's cheek as he pressed their foreheads together. "I'm sorry that I was never there for you like that."

Inuyasha's eyes widened. "Wha...you don't have to, it wasn't-" he started, only to be cut off.

"I do. I want to. It's taken me a long time to realize, but I do regret how things have been in the past."

Inuyasha frowned. "Don't. It is the past now. Things are different now."

"Yes and I shall make sure they stay that way. I'll make sure that you remember. I want you to know that I am sorry. In the past, I did not understand. I do now. I understand how important you are to me," Sesshomaru whispered, running his fingers through Inuyasha's hair.

Inuyasha briefly wondered if he was dreaming. Sesshomaru was not one to talk about feelings and regrets. He certainly didn't apologize, yet he was. He was opening himself to Inuyasha in a way that had never really happened before. Inuyasha was at a loss. He didn't know what to do but to confess as well. "I...you never stopped being important to me," Inuyasha whispered back, clutching Sesshomaru's waist tightly. It was true, Sesshomaru had always been a central figure in his life. Whether it was love or hate, his brother had always been one of the most important people to him.

Sesshomaru closed his eyes at Inuyasha's admission. He wondered what he'd done to deserve Inuyasha. No matter what he had done to his brother in the past, the half demon had never stopped thinking of him. Now, he was forgiven so easily that he felt humbled. More than his whispered confessions and apologies, humility was not something that came easy to the demon lord. He was used to feeling proud and superior. When it came to Inuyasha and his forgiving heart, Sesshomaru couldn't but help a little awed. He didn't even regret the feeling, rather he was glad for it. He was grateful that Inuyasha had such a great capacity for forgiveness within him that he was willing to put aside everything he'd known to start over with Sesshomaru.

"Thank you," he sighed as he pressed his lips to Inuyasha's. Inuyasha replied by kissing him back slowly. Sesshomaru slid his hand into the oversized robe, rubbing Inuyasha's bare back. Inuyasha sighed softly, leaning into his brother.

On the bed, Kuniku started whimpering. Inuyasha drew away, his the robe sliding off his shoulder. "I'd better get him," he said, leaning up to press a quick kiss to Sesshomaru's lips. Sesshomaru slowly released Inuyasha as the half demon turned to attend to their son. He watched him scoop up the child and rock him gently.

"Are you hungry? Need a new diaper?" Inuyasha asked softly, checking his diaper.

Rin yawned and stretched out. She sat up slowly, rubbing her eyes with her fists. "Gotta make water," she muttered, moving to crawl off the bed. Sesshomaru stepped forward and collected her. He and Inuyasha shared a private smile. After all the drama and angst was over and done, trust the children to bring them back down to earth again.

"Come little one," Sesshomaru murmured as he carried her off to go to the bathroom.

Inuyasha sat down on the bed with Kuniku. He looked down at his son and smiled. "I think this might work Kuniku. I really do."

Kuniku squawked at him angrily, reaching out to tug his hair. Inuyasha winced, trying to get his hair back from his son's death grip. "Okay! Okay! I get it, you need a new diaper." Kuniku yanked and Inuyasha yelped. Maybe things would work out, he just hoped that his hair would hold out until then.


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