Flesh of His Flesh
Lightning arched across the sky, crackling angrily before ending in a loud boom. Inuyasha's ears twitched as he sat under the safety of the roof, watching the rain fall. Sesshomaru was inside reading and watching Kuniku while Inuyasha enjoyed a little time to himself. The rain was coming down hard, battering away at the earth. The plants of the garden were waving frantically in the wind as they were pushed down by the driving raindrops. Rain was quite violent when you stopped to watch it. Despite the anger of the storm and the volume of the thunder, Inuyasha found it to be quite soothing.
His ear flicked out as footsteps approached from the right. "You're up I see," Inuyasha called, not bothering to turn and look at the wolf that was walking towards him with a slight limp.
"No thanks to that brother of yours," Kouga grumbled loudly as he stopped beside Inuyasha and leaned back against the wall.
"I'm sure that you were just asking for it ya stupid wolf."
"How was I supposed to know that you guys came here willingly? Usually, you're trying to kill each other."
Inuyasha tilted his head, glancing through the corner of his golden eyes at the wolf. "A few things changed."
"Well I can see that. Since when are you your brother's mate?" Kouga stared down at the half demon who sighed and looked out at the rain again.
"I wasn't at first." His ears drooped slightly.
Kouga didn't miss the dejected slump of his shoulders. "What does that mean exactly?"
"Hey, I have plenty of time." Kouga shrugged as he crossed his arms, settling down for the long haul.
"It didn't start out that way," Inuyasha said slowly. "Us being mates, or even wanting to be."
Kouga nodded. From what he'd seen of the siblings' interactions, there wasn't a lot of love between them. At least in the past.
"I don't know why he did it, but suddenly he was fighting with me almost every night, but not trying to kill me. I couldn't figure it out at first. He'd attack me, but it was never enough to kill me. He would go after my weaknesses again and again. Slowly, I started to counter his moves. I finally realized that he was trying to train me! He never stopped and told me what he was doing, he'd just taunt me into a fight and we'd fight. It was weird. To have his attention and realize that he wasn't trying to kill me was like finding out that Naraku suddenly decided to repent or something. Instead of trying to kill me, Sesshomaru was trying to help me. It was confusing."
Inuyasha lapsed into silence. He closed his eyes, tilting his face up to feel the cool storm breeze on his skin. Lightning crackled across the sky, lighting up the garden for a moment. Kouga got the briefest glimpse of the true glory of Sesshomaru's grounds before it plunged into darkness once more. He counted to himself, tracking the progress of the storm while he waited for Inuyasha to continue.
"It was a full moon. He lured me out like he'd been doing for a while. We fought and then all of a sudden, the moon was shining down on us. I felt so hot. Before I knew it, he had me pinned against a tree and he was kissing me!" Inuyasha paused as a blush spread across his cheeks. He softly continued, "The thing is, it felt perfect, like he was supposed to be doing that to me. I couldn't even push him away."
Kouga noted that the half demon had brought his hand up to his lips as he spoke. Another arch of lightning lit Inuyasha's face, highlighting his distant expression as he stared off into the storm and remembered. The look made him seem vulnerable. Kouga had never really thought of the other demon that way. Even though Inuyasha was only half demon, Kouga recognized that he was very powerful in his own right. The dog fought with enough heart, arrogance and determination for ten demons. Kouga had acknowledged Inuyasha's power and strength and thought of him as a worthy rival, even if he'd never admit it outright. Others had misjudged Inuyasha in the past but they usually paid for that mistake with their lives.
As the wolf thought about it, it slowly dawned on him that Inuyasha's life must have been full of such judgments. The life of a half demon was not easy. It must have been a constant struggle, defending himself from the demons that looked down on him and the humans that feared and hated him. Even though Inuyasha had the power required to live this far, he had done so on his own, with no help, not even from his own brother. For a creature of a pack like Kouga, it made Inuyasha's struggle seem even greater. He knew that Inuyasha's brash arrogance was a big act, but until now, he hadn't realized the loud display was a shield that the half demon put up to protect himself. He hadn't actually realized exactly what Inuyasha's bluster was hiding. Kouga wondered how many other people had realized that Inuyasha was putting on a show.
Inuyasha's words snapped Kouga from his thoughts as the half demon continued. "It's a little blurry after that. The moon, it was like it was doing something to us. My memory flashes in and out. Clothes torn. Hands touching. Mouths meeting. Pain. Pleasure. Heat. Moaning."
Kouga shifted uncomfortably. While the description wasn't graphic, the way Inuyasha described it in a breathless voice full of remembered passion, it made the wolf feel a little hot under the armor as well.
"It never really stopped. We did it more than once." Inuyasha blushed, lowering his head. It was so embarrassing. He'd never actually talked about it before, but he felt like he needed to just get it out. "We fell asleep and sometime before dawn, I woke up. It was like my head was clearing of fog. Then...we did it again, but it was different. It was slow and soft and I can remember every part of it. That's when he bit me." Inuyasha touched the mark covered by his robe. "It was so intense, I blacked out. When I woke up, he was gone. He'd put my clothes over me and propped my sword beside me, then he left and that was the last time I saw him."
"Wait. He just left?" Kouga blinked. When demons mated, they didn't just run off like that. Most demons would at least wait until their offspring was born before running off to find another playmate. Those that mated for life simply did not leave at all.
Inuyasha nodded, his hair falling down to obscure his face. "Yeah."
"What kinda guy takes a mate and marks him and then runs off like a coward?" Kouga demanded.
"He was confused."
"Well, he should have stuck around to figure it out!" Kouga growled. "You said that was the last time you saw him. Then when was the next time?"
"Two weeks ago," Inuyasha said quietly. "He found us on the edge of his land right after I had Kuniku."
"Lemme get this straight. He mated with you and marked you and then he just got up and left. He never came back to check on you or anything? You bore his child alone with him never knowing?"
The half demon nodded.
"That bastard!" Kouga spat. The jerk made him angry. As if Inuyasha hadn't put up with enough in his life, his brother mated him and then ran off like a coward, leaving Inuyasha alone and pregnant.
"He didn't know." Inuyasha protested. "I didn't even know. I didn't know that I could get pregnant."
"You didn't know?"
"Nobody ever told me. It's not like I had anyone to ask you know." Inuyasha snapped.
Kouga nodded. Inuyasha grew up alone; of course he had no one to ask. "It's rare, but it happens more than people think."
"Sesshomaru was surprised too."
"A Lord like him should know all about the demon mating process. He was probably more surprised that it was a half demon male. You have to be a fairly powerful demon to be able to bear a child Inuyasha. Not just any male can do it."
"So, my demon blood was strong enough to outweigh the human blood," Inuyasha murmured.
"Yep." Kouga nodded. "Pretty impressive."
Inuyasha looked up at him suspiciously. "Is that a compliment?"
The wolf demon shrugged. "Could be."
"That's gotta be a first."
They lapsed into silence once more. Inuyasha went back to watching the rain while Kouga watched Inuyasha. The half demon seemed almost like another person when he was silent and thoughtful. The change of clothes helped too. Instead of his usual red fire rat robes, today he was in a dark blue patterned kimono. It made Kouga realize exactly how effective Inuyasha's cover was. When he sat with Inuyasha in this silence, the half demon was barely recognizable. It was sad to think that Inuyasha could hide his inner self so well that even friends were put off by it.
"So what are you going to do next?" Kouga finally asked.
"I'm staying here to take care of Kuniku."
"With him? You're staying here with him? Why?"
"He is Kuniku's father. And he wants me here. Nobody ever wants me anywhere," Inuyasha said desperately. To Kouga it sounded almost as if Inuyasha were trying to convince himself just as much as he was trying to convince Kouga.
"That's not really true. Your friends want you around." Kouga pointed out, ignoring Inuyasha's outburst.
Inuyasha sighed. "I know, but it's dangerous traveling with them. I want Kuniku to grow up safe, like I never did."
"There are other safe places besides this castle Inuyasha. You could come live with my pack if you wanted to."
Inuyasha looked at the wolf in surprise. "You'd let me live with your pack?"
Kouga shrugged. "Just case we're rivals doesn't mean that we can't be friends. I can do nice things ya know."
"I know, but I can't leave."
"Why not?" Kouga asked harshly as thunder cracked angrily.
"He is my mate Kouga. I can't leave."
"But he's hardly acknowledged your existence other than to try and kill you and then knock you up only to leave you all over again!" Kouga argued. "What kind of mate is that? Brother or not, he doesn't act like a pack mate should. He marked you and he ran away. Think Inuyasha. What kind of mate is that?"
"Stop it! Shut up!" Inuyasha leapt to his feet, glaring at the wolf demon. "He said I belong to him. He told me that he belongs to me!" Inuyasha whipped his hand towards his chest to drive his point home.
Kouga straightened, turning to glare at the half demon. "Maybe he did, but did he say that he loves you?" Inuyasha froze. Kouga could tell by the look in his eyes that he had hit upon something. He had to keep a triumphant smirk off of his face as he pressed his advantage. "He hasn't has he?" It wasn't really a question. They both knew it. Kouga stared at Inuyasha until the half demon turned away from him. Inuyasha wrapped his arms around himself as his shoulders slumped in defeat. Kouga felt victorious but dismayed. He hadn't meant to hurt Inuyasha; he'd only meant to prove his point. "Inuyasha?"
"Go away," Inuyasha whispered.
"Look, I didn't mean to upset you." Kouga stepped towards him.
Inuyasha tensed. "Kouga," he growled softly. "Go away."
"It's your life. I just want to make sure that you don't waste it on someone who won't appreciate it."
"And who says that I don't appreciate him?" The voice that came from behind Kouga could have frozen the sun. It was certainly enough to freeze the blood in Kouga's veins.
"I...I'm just concerned is all." Kouga stuttered, daring to turn his head and glance at the demon lord that had snuck up on him.
"Your concern is noted and might be appreciated if not for the fact that you are upsetting Inuyasha and angering me." Sesshomaru brushed past the wolf as he stalked over to Inuyasha. He pulled his brother against his chest as he turned and glared at the wolf demon. Inuyasha settled into his arms, but kept his head down, not looking at Kouga. "You may stay the night, but you will leave in the morning. Do not attempt to approach him again or I will not be so generous in sparing your life next time."
Kouga nodded slowly. He knew that he had gone too far and he was lucky that Sesshomaru was holding his temper in check. "Inuyasha, I'm sorry. I'm just worried. I hope that you're happy ok?"
Inuyasha sighed and looked up. "Don't worry about me stupid wolf. I'm fine."
Kouga smirked. "Yeah. Fine. See ya 'round then dog breath." He quickly turned and limped away before Sesshomaru could change his mind about letting him go.
Sesshomaru growled softly but didn't pursue the wolf as Inuyasha turned around in his embrace. He looked down at his brother's upturned face. "He is walking a very dangerous line," Sesshomaru muttered.
"If he didn't act that way, he wouldn't be my friend," Inuyasha said with a slight smile.
"You have a strange concept of friendship." Sesshomaru shook his head. "And yet, I must admit my surprise at the loyalty of your menagerie."
"I sure know how to pick 'em don't I?"
"So it would seem." Sesshomaru ran a hand through Inuyasha's hair. "However, that is not what concerns me at the moment. You were wounded by his words."
"How long were you listening?"
"Since he tried to entice you away from me."
"What? He wasn't trying to steal me!"
"Wasn't he? He was trying to convince you to leave me. I consider it stealing when he tries to take what's mine."
Inuyasha licked his lips nervously. "Ah...about that..."
Sesshomaru sighed, tightening his embrace. "You are feeling insecure."
"I know that you said that we belonged to each other and all, but I can't help feeling suspicious. It's a big change, ya know? First, you wanted to kill me. Then, you tried to teach me. We were suddenly together for a night and then you were gone. You say that you want me now, but for how long? How long will it be until you leave again?" Inuyasha looked up at Sesshomaru, his gold eyes seeking answers in his brother's face.
"Inuyasha." Sesshomaru paused, searching for what he wanted to say and considering his options carefully. "Sometimes even I am confused. For many years, I blamed you for things that were not your fault. That was my error, not yours. I have come to realize this. I know that I have treated you unfairly and I know that I was acting the coward when I abandoned you after that night, but I know that the mistakes were mine. I had spent so long hating you blindly that the sudden fire you ignited within me left me at a loss. I did not wish to stay and be tempted by you further when I could not figure out what drove my desires. I chose to retreat. Had I known about Kuniku, I would have stayed."
Inuyasha frowned. "So you would have stayed for our child, but I wasn't enough to hold you on my own."
Sesshomaru frowned. "No, that is not what I mean. Had I known that I'd left you with child, I would have cleared my head faster. I would have made more of an effort to figure out the strange emotions that were running rampant through me. I would have...I should have found a way to let you know that I care." The demon lord sighed into his brother's silver hair. He was making up excuses and they both knew it, but Inuyasha would have none of it and truthfully, he deserved more than a handful of should haves.
The half demon nodded. "Yeah, you should have."
"Then, will you allow me to now? I know that it is late and you are uncertain, but please know that I do care for you. There is a place for you in my heart. At times, it may seem that I do not have one, but it is there and you are there as well." Sesshomaru stared into his brother's eyes, trying to make him see the sincerity of his words. It was important that Inuyasha understood the place that he had in Sesshomaru's life. He was Sesshomaru's brother, mate and the bearer of his child. He was important in ways that Sesshomaru was still having trouble understanding, but that didn't dim his feelings any.
After listening to Sesshomaru's words and searching his eyes, Inuyasha sighed softly and nodded. He rested his head on his brother's shoulder, nuzzling him. "That's all you had to say. That's all I needed to hear."
"So simple to please?" Sesshomaru ran his fingers through his brother's hair, letting his hand linger possessively on his brother's waist.
"Shut up. I know that confession cost you more than you'll admit. Just don't forget, you need to say it more than once so that I won't forget it. Got it?" Inuyasha looked up at Sesshomaru with a serious glint in his eye.
Sesshomaru ducked his head in understanding. "I shall remind you as many times as necessary, until you're tired of hearing me say it."
Inuyasha smiled. "Don't worry. That won't happen."
"Perhaps not, but I think that it's about time you came inside with me so that I may better prove my feelings to you."
"What exactly are you suggesting?" Inuyasha tilted his head.
"You'll see," Sesshomaru promised as he lured his brother indoors.
Or take a detour and read Maybe it was the Moon, the full story about the night Kuniku was conceived.