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Lair, Lair by susie

Inuyasha Nights - The Lost Chapter

Sesshoumaru sat on the floor of the lair with one arm resting comfortably over his bent knee.

Lair? Cave? Wherever he was, it appeared to be deep underground. The setting would serve as his prison for the moment, for all intents and purposes, so all he could do was wait.

He had already searched for an exit. The moment he awoke to find himself in the unfamiliar setting, he scoured his new surroundings for any possible way out, and while doing so, quickly became aware of the fact that his youki was being restrained - tempered, by some unknown force.

But he would not panic; it would not serve him to do so. So, until his captor made his presence known - and he was certain that he would - he would save his energy, and exercise patience.

He doubtless was brought there for a purpose, and now he trying to discern what that purpose possibly could be. There were several reasons to wish to capture one such as he. The Lord of the West had many enemies, and wore a rather large target on his back, but he couldn't think of any fool enough to attempt such lengths to trifle with him. It was dangerously stupid of them.

For impressive enough as it was that they had been able to sneak up on him, subdue him, and relocate him; for a reason he could not possibly fathom, he was still alive. And if his captor had two brain cells at his disposal to rub together, he would have dispatched him when he had the chance.

The question wasn't if he would kill the fool at his soonest opportunity. He was now calmly mulling his options regarding the length, manner, method of pain he would exact upon the audacious individual.

But for now, all he could do was wait.

He was drawn from his violent fantasies when another figure in the lair began to rouse.

That was another curious development.

Upon waking, he had immediately taken note of his idiot half-breed brother and the oddball pack of humans and lesser demons that traveled with him. He hadn't had to contend with them in months, and he had to say; it had been quite a nice stretch of time in their absence he had enjoyed.

But whenever he considered he may inevitably run into the hanyo again, he certainly hadn't predicted it would be in circumstances such as this.

He had initially presumed that Inuyasha had something to do with his abduction, but entertained the notion only briefly before squelching it outright. As much as his brother hated him, he harbored neither the strength of form nor the cranial capacity to carry out such a feat.

Not to mention, he supposed, that he had no real reason to do so.

The days of his designs on his brother's inheritance had long since passed, and without the sword in his sights, the two had reached an unspoken understanding:

Stay out of my way, and I shall have no quarrel with you.

No, whoever had taken him had taken the inutachi as well. Though he couldn't surmise to what end, and he resented that his captor had placed the half-brothers in the same category... whatever that was.

His brother was now up, hopping to and from the sides of each of his companions excitedly, doing his best to assess them, and attempting to rouse them as well. But, to no avail.

He considered that Inuyasha's youki, pathetic as it was, appeared to also be contained. He surmised this because if the half-breed had sensed him, he certainly would have made a scene of it by now.

A dull pain in the back of Sesshoumaru's neck drew his hand to assess the area. It felt as if he had suffered a blow of some kind, but he could detect no physical signs of it. Perhaps it was how he had been subdued - attacked, somehow, impossibly, off his guard. He was furious to admit that he could not remember.

"What's going on, Sesshoumaru?"

He drew his impassive gaze up to Inuyasha who now stood anxiously at his side. He couldn't say he wasn't shocked at the hanyo's even tone. He had fully expected an excited, irrational display.

An almost imperceptible shrug of his shoulder was the only answer the youth would receive before he turned his gaze away from him to the empty wall of their domain.

"I can't remember what happened," he offered regretfully. "Do you know why we're here?"

Sesshoumaru didn't have to answer him - he didn't have to answer to anyone - but the half-breed was uncharacteristically calm, so he decided to reward the mature behavior.

"I do not recall the circumstances of the abduction."

"Keh. Me neither." He looked back to his friends, who were alive but unmoving. His countenance so easily relayed his thoughts that Sesshoumaru felt like he was reading them.

"Were we in battle?" he asked, scratching behind his ear. "I don't remember even seeing you in the last couple of months."

Sesshoumaru's silence was wholly expected.

"But we were abducted. Do you know by who?"

"Naraku is the only enemy I am aware of who despises us both equally." Sculpted lips pursed in thought. "Though I do not suspect he is capable of something like this."

"I don't know. We haven't seen him almost as long as you," the younger inu relayed, and lightly scratched his claws over the back of his neck. "He's collected a lot of jewel shards recently. I wouldn't put it past him."

Sesshoumaru was already standing, and though uneasy, the half demon made no moves to stop him from sweeping his wild silver hair to the side to get a better look.

He willed his hackles back down as familiar poison claws applied soft pressure to his skin.

"See anything?"

Sesshoumaru hummed his negative response and released his brother's scruff. "I feel something."

"I take it your youki ain't working either, huh?"

Movement detected in their periphery could be heard down the wall, putting an abrupt end to the brotherly aside.

Inuyasha's miko let out a groan, and he was kneeling at her side before it finished leaving her lips. Eyelids began to flutter when he flipped her on her back with gentle urgency.

"Kagome! Are you hurt? How are you feeling?"

A few lazy blinks helped sharpen her focus, and then relief permitted a weak smile. "I'm fine," she rasped groggily, rubbing the heel of her palm across her temple as she sat up stiffly. "... I think. What happened?"

"I-"

"Oh my god! Are they okay?"

She'd noticed her other companions laying lifeless on the ground around her. Panic had her scrambling to her feet ahead of her legs, prompting her hanyo to stable her.

"They're alright," he assured her, helping her stand. "Just unconscious. We all were."

Not incredibly allayed, she rushed over to take vitals and inspect for herself. It was not until she was reasonably satisfied that they were at least alive and breathing that she finally stiffened in realization.

From her hovering position over the demon slayer and the little fire kitten cradled in her arms, she rotated warily to find a predator's keen gaze observing her stealthily from the shadows.

"Sesshoumaru?" she uttered nervously. Shifting carefully to Inuyasha, she seemed uneasy to be taking her eyes off him. "What is he-"

"It wasn't him," his brother was quick to assert, making eye contact with him briefly. "He's stuck here, just like us."

There was no part of that statement the inu didn't loathe, but he was unequipped to refute it.

It was not long before the other members of their party came to. With a few more heads to put together, the group of young travelers spoke amongst themselves, trying to make sense of the situation and come up with a plan.

They weren't getting anywhere with their plotting, however, and it did not appear that they would.

Wary of his presence, but attuned to his usefulness, he could see their considering gazes turning to him more frequently. The absence of progress seemed to be cementing the inevitability of relying on him to aid them.

When a rush of power filled the cave wall-to-wall, instincts had them bracing at the unexpected display. It was a subduing show of force that overwhelmed the stagnant atmosphere, causing wind to whip violently, somehow, in the underground shelter.

When a being materialized before them out of thin air, their long-suspected answer was presented to them.

"Naraku!" Inuyasha was first to act. He rose brashly in an instant, and wasted no time for thought before running to the spider with his sword shoved out in front of him in a way that looked all too familiar. Naraku seemed unperturbed by the threat.

His complete lack of concern and overabundance of confidence had Sesshoumaru about 80% sure they were dealing with a puppet – the coward never had the stones to face him properly - but he was more than willing to let his impulsive half-brother test his theory for him.

Even with his youki subdued, Inuyasha made it to him in a flash. He was nearly close enough to run the tip of their father's fang through his putrid form when he simply halted, dead in his tracks.

His opponent smirked, remaining completely still as his would-be attacker appeared frozen mid-lunge - the fang literally a hairsbreadth from giving the spider a well-deserved shave.

He appeared to fit and struggle against nothing, as if encased by some invisible opponent while his friends watched on in confusion.

"Damn it! I can't move!"

"What do you want, Naraku?" the monk shouted, apparently realizing himself rendered immobile as well. They all were, he concluded, as he watched them struggle to accomplish even a small movement. They looked ridiculous, and he refused to join them in it.

Naraku chuckled. "Is that any way to thank me?" he asked smoothly, far too calm and confident for comfort. "You wanted those shards so badly... I thought I would give you a gift."

"What are you talking about?" the taijiya demanded, inspiring a glint of amusement in the pathetic cluster of lesser demons.

"He put shards in your necks," Sesshoumaru's monotone informed them as he realized it. He didn't need to look to see the human warrior falter.

Recalling Kohaku and how he had been controlled, he expected the wash of terror rippling through his sister's form.

Though still present, he was finally aware just how suppressed his demonic youki currently was. It was pointless to move his body, he realized, so he had been focusing his energy on summoning his demonic essence.

His power was crippling and gratuitous when he expended just minimal effort, so the fact that he was unable to even call it forth was indeed troubling. Dulling his enhanced senses was one thing, but his youki had never disobeyed him before. He didn't think the jewel was that powerful, but it had stifled him. He didn't know if that disturbed him more, or the connotations of their newest acquisitions.

"Always the clever one, Lord Sesshoumaru. I hope you do not find it uncomfortable. I tried to be gentle with you."

He was also reconsidering the likelihood that they were dealing with a puppet.

"What games are you playing?" the monk demanded, but Naraku's attention on the demon slayer succeeded in discomfiting him.

"Come now." Even his words seemed to slither out of him like the eels and snakes he was compromised of. "It won't be so terrible, being under my control. Your brother didn't mind it. As long as you do as I say."

"Never," she replied instantly, which only pleased him further.

"Miroku," he called, but his eyes remained on Sango. "Grab Inuyasha's weapon," his breezy cadence – like his soulless black eyes - grew dark with malice. "and slit Sango's throat."

Miroku's eyes widened into large violet saucers when the back of his neck radiated ominously, and he began purposefully striding toward his friend. Trying with all his might to resist the command, he found it was futile as he made his way seamlessly to the half demon.

Inuyasha's face raged with worry as he tried desperately to sheath his sword, but he was still frozen in place, completely unable to resist any impending assault. Miroku plucked the weapon easily from his hand, and without preamble, set off on a new path.

"Alright, Naraku! We get it!" Held out menacingly, he aimed the tip of Tetsusaiga at his beloved as he continued to advance. "You are in complete control. Now stop it!"

"Miroku..." she pleaded timidly, seeing the fear in his eyes as he drew closer. She was paralyzed as well, and in no time, he was upon her. Her eyes glimmered wetly as he approached, shifting from her lover to the fang that shook as he pressed it to her throat.

The longing look they shared was so different to the one Sesshoumaru had witnessed between them in the past. Unrealized hopes and dreams usually drove such glances, but now he could see them crumbling before their eyes as she felt the harsh bite of his father's blade.

As it pierced her skin, her eyes and her jaw all clenched shut with force, and the expected ring of protest and despair disturbed the hollow silence around them. He drew blood.

"Stop." The single word, simply uttered by the evil half-demon, broke the monk from his spell.

No longer possessed, he instantly lowered the weapon's barely blood-stained tip to the stone floor at his feet. A heavy, relieved sigh escaped them both, but Sesshoumaru was more than certain Naraku was not relenting out of mercy.

When he reached protectively for the woman he was almost forced to kill, Miroku found his sandaled feet rooted to the ground, as if gilded there. He would have tumbled over, were it possible.

"What would be the fun in that?" Statuesque figures could only turn their necks warily towards the threatening voice.

"I could easily kill you now, but that would be too kind." Proving his point, Naraku was unrushed as he drifted closer, and circled on them. He placed his face within biting distance. "You each deserve to suffer, and you shall."

The hanyo's gaze drifted lazily to the side where his brother remained stuck mid-attack. He looked ridiculous without his weapon, as if he were a child playing imaginary swordfights.

"I believe I shall start with Inuyasha, but what to do?" Though it was hard to go along with the notion that the conniving schemer hadn't considered it.

Naraku rounded on the half demon next, who eyed him with disdain – his only nonverbal recourse, which Sesshoumaru was actually surprised he was making use of.

"I have already taken from you that which you hold most precious. How I longed to make Kikyo mine, and believe me," placing his vile lips near his ear, he whispered, "I have."

Eyes of gold flashed furiously as Naraku's lips retreated, and smugly twitched. "I shall let her out for a visit one of these days, but as you can imagine, I have been keeping her very busy." He grinned madly as he relished his hateful gaze, breathing it in as if it was sustaining him. "Don't worry, she loves it."

"Bastard!"

Unconcerned, he turned and left the frothing hanyo sputtering in rage and rounded on his next target, who appeared thoroughly disgusted at his leer. He inhaled deeply through his nose yet again.

"But I have had Kikyo in every way possible, and I am beginning to tire of her. I think it is time for someone new." He lifted a lock of the miko's hair to his nose.

"Stay away from her!" her protector shouted at his back.

But his smirk never faltered. His detestable gaze never released her from its diminishing perusal as he wore his sick fantasies on his sleeve. "That would be no fun."

The paralyzed woman didn't seem shaken in the least as she answered his intimidation with scorching blue fury.

"Don't worry, priestess. I will make sure you enjoy yourself." Her obvious disgust only seemed to fuel him further. "And we will let your little puppy dog watch us. How else will he learn how to please you?"

He placed his vile hand to rub along her shoulder, and a strong wave of reiki scolded his touch upon contact. The attack seemed to startle him as much as the rest of them; not only in her ability to wield it, but the true ferocity of her power itself.

Had it always been so fearsome? Had she?

Recoiling with a wail, Naraku's eyes darkened at her response. It pleased Sesshoumaru that she'd managed to thwart his plans, and him.

Her ire turned to fear all-too-quickly, as she was instantly reminded she couldn't move in the wake of her reaction.

What was happening? Why wasn't the jewel within her being purified? It shouldn't be able to control her at all.

Though apparently it could not control her completely, or even as much as the rest of them.

Naraku smiled again as he drew his chastised hand back, and smacked her so hard across the cheek that she fell to the floor.

"Kagome!" Inuyasha screamed, then bared his fangs. His neck could only swivel toward his foe, so he put everything he had into his murderous glare. "I'm gonna kill you!"

He clearly desired to rush to her side to comfort her. As soon as he could move, he would kill that vermin, or die trying.

"I'm afraid you will all be dead before you get the chance," the villain taunted. "But not before I've had my fun."

Turning to Kagome, he savored the discomfort his silence bred. His suggestive glare loaded with salacious threat; he issued his demand. "Stand."

She moved instantly, all the while looking horrified at her compliance. She was no better than a puppet as another pulled the strings until at a standing position once more.

"You would do well to obey me, priestess," he warned, prowling closer. "I hold your life in my hands. Now submit to me."

"Never!" she hissed so hotly that it steamed out between her teeth. "I will never submit to you."

But despite her protests, she was indeed moving to him against her will. There was no question then that she was at his mercy, though she did have one threat at her disposal. She was vulnerable, but not helpless, and she would fight him until her dying breath if need be.

"I'll fry any part of you that touches me!" she said, and her progress forward stopped. That bolstered her courage. "And next time, I won't hold back."

Her eyes were fierce, her tone promising. No one present doubted that she meant it, including Naraku. His eyes darkened in a familiar way.

"Do so, and I'll kill you." Another uncontested promise.

But the miko didn't waver. "You're going to kill me anyway."

Her resignation only pleased him, and his smile slowly returned. "You're right."

The finality in his tone resonated throughout the sinister lair, bouncing off stone walls in a deafening echo. It was so quiet after that; you could almost hear everyone's thoughts. The first vestiges of fear splintered through Kagome's confident façade, but corrected as his considering gaze endured.

"It seems that the jewel will not fully contain your reiki," he surmised. "Pity. I could have sent you to the afterlife with a smile on your face." The woman looked rightfully revolted as his grin slithered upward. "But don't worry; I will not let you die a virgin."

Before she could retort, he turned briskly to the frozen half demon. "If she is going to be feisty, that puts a wrench in my plans," he admitted, "but I still fully intend to watch you suffer, Inuyasha. It looks like I will simply need to be creative."

Naraku threw his head over his shoulder to address the neglected demon reclining casually against the hard wall. "Don't think I've forgotten about you, Lord of the West. Come."

Sesshoumaru remained silent as he smoothly rose, startling the others at his quick acquiescence. Once he stood, however, he stilled.

The moment of inaction caused Naraku to turn to him in agitation. "COME," he commanded more forcefully. The dog demon obeyed.

His expression was placid as ever, but the others were looking increasingly worried. The proud youkai lord would never follow orders like a common mutt. The fact that he was doing just that meant this being of supreme evil truly did have complete control of him.

He was far stronger than they feared, and if Sesshoumaru couldn't escape his hold on him, none of them stood a chance.

When the inuyoukai reached as far as Kagome, Naraku halted him.

"You two stay." He turned to his remaining pawns. "The rest of you, sit."

Naraku sauntered over to the back wall just a short distance away and reclined casually against it; the others had no choice but to follow. Against their will, they all sat along the same wall, facing the couple who remained standing.

"Get comfortable," he ordered, leading by example. He shifted and propped his elbow lazily over his single bent knee. "I am going to treat you to a show." Once he had all of their attention forcefully fixed on the standing pair, he grinned. "Remove your clothes, Sesshoumaru."

"No fucking way!" Inuyasha snarled as Sesshoumaru was forced to obey.

He began with his armor, undoing the ties with practiced ease before placing the heavy, bone-plated garment gently aside. He began to undo his kimono next.

Kagome could only watch on, terrified.

"Sesshoumaru," she pleaded, though very aware he had no choice. His focus remained on his clothing as he began to divest it - expertly folding his obi before attacking his haori next with his trademark bored expression. The first glimpse of perfect pale skin caused a surge of panic to flash through her.

"Please fight it," she begged, but the tremble in her voice seemed to acknowledge the futility of the request. "You are stronger than this. You are stronger than all of us. You can resist him."

He didn't respond, remaining impassive, but she could see in his eyes how intensely he was fighting the command. Regardless, his haori soon joined his neatly folded silk on the dirty stone ground, and then he was toeing off his leather boots.

She could do naught but watch as inch by inch of the powerful, taught demon lord was revealed to her, until only one article remained. When he reached for it, she finally averted her eyes.

He simply stood before her after completing his orders, and finally regarded the young miko who was occasionally his ally. She was shaking with fear.

He was all hard muscle - aside from one. But despite that, the intimidating sight of him brought urgent clarity to her dire predicament. The reality of it was coming down the rails fast and hard.

"Kagome," Naraku intoned sweetly. "Undress."

She was horrified to find her hands moving of their own accord. Looking desperately into Sesshoumaru's eyes, her own begged for help as she began to remove her top.

"Damn it, Naraku! Stop!" Inuyasha shouted from the back wall. "I'll give you anything you want! You can have the jewel. Just let her go!"

But he would get no response.

His desperate outburst quickly reminded her that they had an audience just as she finished peeling the shirt over her head. Not so meticulous as her counterpart, Kagome simply tossed the cotton garment aside before reaching for her side zipper.

Threats were made from the hard, stone wall behind her, deals were offered, along with pitiful begging, but they all went unanswered. It was the worse soundtrack to a striptease there ever was, but his brother's yammering faded into the background and the show went on.

After she kicked off her loafers, she looked helplessly back up to Sesshoumaru clad in only her strange, futuristic undergarments, and registered something akin to pity in his warm amber gaze.

It held fast to hers in the lair's deafening silence, as her protector's strained protesting seemed to have petered out. Or maybe Naraku grew weary of his caterwauling and ordered his jaw shut.

Suffocating anticipation and dread replaced all the oxygen around them as if being led to the gallows, and their hangman only seemed to revel in their resolve. Time stretched endlessly while her heartbeat played the death march, and as a lone tear rolled down her cheek, she reached behind her back with both hands.

His gaze never strayed as she shakily rendered her breast bindings - he could give her that much, at least - and he endured stoically as the miko dipped below his line of sight to slide what remained of her modesty down lithe, tanned thighs.

She could feel the unwilling gaze of her companions burning into her thick mass of tight curls, but she could not bear to verify it. She didn't want to, didn't need to confirm that they were staring her in this state - totally exposed for all to see. She found she couldn't even cover her chest; it was as if her fingertips were dipped in lead, and only her master had the strength to lift them at his will.

Instead, she kept her eyes on the sturdy demon in front of her. Always strong and unshakable, she tried to steal some reassurance. But all she found was terrifying resolve.

"Touch her."

Her lip and shoulders were trembling as a few more tears slipped past the gate.

"Sesshoumaru!" his angry brother shouted. "Don't even think about it!"

The threat in front of her was dire enough to steal the bulk of her focus, and concern. It made it easy to ignore the added torment of having an audience, but his brother's intermittent objections were quick to remind her. She had bigger things to worry about right now, however.

Sesshoumaru was able to remain still, fighting the command with every inch of his being. He was almost trembling himself with restraint, giving Kagome a sliver of hope that he could break the spell. But when he made no move to see his orders through, Naraku demanded him again harshly.

"TOUCH HER!"

He was already weary of the powerful demon's defiance, but likely a touch nervous that the frightening inu was able to deny him at all. Fear made him irritable, but the ferocity it lent was all it took to bend Sesshoumaru to his will.

This time, there was no fighting the stern command of his captor. Fluidly, he placed his large, clawed hand over her left breast. She gasped sharply at the contact, as the unexpected warmth relaxed flesh made tight by the cold underground conditions.

Annoyed almond-shaped amber focused on his task as he unwillingly kneaded the softness filling his palm. The sharp points of her nipples had no time to soften before her reiki naturally came to her aid with a sharp zap.

Diminished youki flared at the encouragement of her attack, bringing only traces of pale red to the rims of his eyes, and emboldening his facial stripes – among others – only minutely. That didn't mean he was any less furious.

His body's natural defense mechanism was not a conscious act, but he was able to withdraw.

The smell of singed demon skin filled the dark lair as his palm sizzled violently. Holding it out between them, he glowered as she grimaced at what she had done.

"Sorry," she offered, and her guilt appeared genuine.

He could tell she had restrained it as much as she could, but knew she could no more withhold her body's protective response any more than he could prevent committing the offense on said body.

Naraku had managed to corrupt the Shikon enough so that even she was under its control, but her powers still could not be contained.

If only she had allowed Naraku to touch her, she could have purified him!

But she didn't want to purify Sesshoumaru. She also didn't want him to touch her like that. Neither did he, she was quite surely aware. But then again...

Though his expression did not appear the least bit pleased at the rush of her holy rebuke, another part of him obviously did. There was no ignoring it.

"It looks like we have a stud on our hands." Naraku's taunting merely served as background noise as she assessed the size of Sesshoumaru's threat. "If I didn't know better, I'd say Sesshoumaru was a horse youkai."

His cock had grown semi-hard from their brief contact, and the jolt of purifying energy she forced though him. He was impossibly large at only half-mast, and the connotations petrified her virgin sensibilities.

When she managed to tear her eyes away from the new swelling, the look in his own could be construed as guilt. Perhaps pity.

"Touch her again. Both hands."

Riled, returning amber bore into her furiously as he received the order; he didn't bother to give that vile hanyo a glance. She knew he did not want this, so he did not appreciate the rebuke.

"It cannot be helped," he bit out, moving closer once again.

Her defiant glare rivaled his own. "What am I supposed to do?" she asked indignantly. "Just let you?"

He attempted to compose himself while he swallowed his frustration like a handful of rubble. "Miko, I mean you no harm. Do not purify me."

His stern command was issued right before he covered both breasts, tightly pointed peaks stabbing the center of his palms. Jumping a bit at his touch; her anger spiked, raising her pulse rate and quickening her breath, and making her chest heave more dramatically as a result – jabbing into him even harder.

He squeezed at her soft flesh robotically in complete silence and she let her upset flourish. It was easier to be mad than confront the realities of her situation.

"Your caress is stiffer than your cock, Sesshoumaru." Naraku's teasing distantly registered, but not enough to interrupt the spiteful glare they were sharing. "I'd swear you didn't care for females, but we can all see that is not the case."

That bit of mockery had more effect, as the cold hard proof was standing undeniable between them.

Kagome finally cast a wary glance downward, and his progressing reaction intimidated a portion of the fight out of her. Seeing her so daunted softened only his expression.

"So I shall assume you are just ignorant in the ways of pleasure, but don't worry; I will guide you." The hanyo's smug, condescending tone filled the open spaces behind them, but they refused to give him the satisfaction of a response.

Of course, it could be ascertained that the dog demon's hands awkwardly massaging the miko's full chest against both their will was more than enough to please their odious captor. But only him.

As the daiyoukai continued grabbing at her resentfully, it was clear neither of them was enjoying the contact - despite his body's biological treason.

With resentment came aggression, and Sesshoumaru's handling became rougher – culminating in a squeeze so hard it caused the tiny miko to shriek.

Even without looking, their captor's sickly grin was easy enough to decipher.

"Women need to be touched gently," he imparted. "The virgins, anyway. A ruthless beast such as you likely hasn't the capacity to handle the softness of a woman."

An especially rough squeeze appeared to prove the vermin right, as another involuntary protest escaped Kagome's throat in response.

If he did it to spite their foe, she still did not appreciate it. But Naraku didn't even seem to notice.

"Rub your hands over her," he commanded again, "but be sensual."

Her wordless warning was more than clear as she burned it into Sesshoumaru's retinas - needlessly reminding him of her true scintillating capabilities. But he didn't repeat himself, so tawny eyes doubled her ferocity - his own warning – as his matching scowl relayed his disdain.

But as commanded, his possessed hands began to handle her more tenderly. It wasn't like he wanted to, but she should at least appreciate the mitigated discomfort. Surely, she understood that-

An incensed roar rattled the cave, momentarily deafening the inhabitants as small bits of rock loosed from the walls and fell away.

When she opened her eyes again and removed her hands from her ears, she could see him snarling. Fearsome eyes chased out the deep red as he regained what he had of his control.

"I'm sorry!" she said again, as natural a reaction as burning him was in the first place. "but I can't let you!"

Her regret seemed genuine, but it did little for his scalding palms as he held them up between them once more. As he watched the last remnants of her power sizzle away the top layer of skin, he vaguely realized the burst of pain had been enough to allow him brief agency - at least long enough to remove himself from the miko threat. But it left him just as quickly.

"Enough of this."

It was clear whatever sick amusement Naraku was garnering from this little exchange was no longer enough to warrant his patience. When she heard him stand up, her heart sped in panic.

"You are making things difficult for me, miko. Stop burning the poor dog demon and allow him to touch you."

But her countenance remained defiant, and he knew from experience how stubborn the young woman could be. When he could see she wouldn't comply, Naraku made his way swiftly to retrieve Inuyasha's discarded sword.

Its owner was easily forced to stand as the blade was placed beneath his chin, and from his new place behind him, Naraku leaned forward to place his cheek beside his own.

He certainly had her attention now, and glared right into her trembling eyes.

"Let him touch you," he repeated darkly, "or your precious half-breed dies first."

"Inuyasha!" she screamed, and tried rushing to his side.

But she couldn't. Not even when he forced the sharp edge of the blade closer to his jugular, and a thin stream of blood ran down his neck, could she manage to move even one step from where she was anchored.

"Don't do it, Kagome!" he ordered. He was struggling for all he was worth, but couldn't move a muscle below the chin as his nemesis encased him casually from behind. "He knows he's gonna have to kill me to let anything like that happen. As long as you have your powers, nobody can touch you - not even him!"

Inuyasha may have been ignoring him, but his threats were having an obvious effect on the miko. He focused on her, relaxing his possessive hold on the young male, but not removing himself completely.

"Perhaps not," he conceded, "but the rest of you are not so lucky." Tentacles appeared from behind him containing a youki more powerful than he had ever displayed, and her resulting terror was intoxicating as it permeated the intimate dwelling. He wrapped the noxious appendages around Inuyasha like a python's coil, while others extended out to caress each of her friends.

"Let him touch you, or you will watch your friends die slowly. The choice is yours."

As her gaze drifted around the sinister lair, the hopelessness of the situation finally sank in. Unable to do anything but sit there; her friends had never looked so frightened. And Inuyasha... he had never looked so powerless.

Against all odds, he'd managed to get them out of trouble time and again without fail. They were due for a loss, and seeing him in Naraku's clutches; it looked like they'd finally gotten it.

He would never give up fighting to the very end, but that was where they were. By the looks of things, they were going to die in this lair tonight. If he wasn't such a sadist, they would already be dead.

Her only option was to appease him, and hope he gave them an opening. At the very least, it would prolong their fates a little while longer. Maybe long enough to escape...

But probably not.

She Just couldn't stand to watch him die. Not because of her. She would do anything she could to save him. Anything.

She tore her gaze away from her fearful friends, her enraged protector, and let it rest once more upon the stone-face of her fellow pawn. He was the strongest demon she had never met, but even he couldn't get them out of this. She liked to think that if he could, he would save them too. He wasn't all bad.

His stoic mask remained untarnished, but he recognized the resignation in her passionate blue eyes before she lowered them defeatedly and whispered her surrender.

"Okay."

"Kagome, no!" Inuyasha instantly yelled. "He's gonna kill us anyway! Don't give him the satisfaction!"

That was probably true, but she'd made her decision.

What else could she do? And if he killed them anyhow, what did it matter? At least her humiliation wouldn't last long.

"Not I. It is your brother she will be satisfying."

Kagome couldn't bear to look at the pain this was causing her friend, and his brother's deceptively disaffected expression served as a fine distraction. He gave no reaction, and she really appreciated that at the moment.

"Though I suppose, in a roundabout way..."

Inuyasha bared his teeth as Naraku's eyes glazed over thoughtfully, before setting his sights back on the disrobed couple still facing one another.

"Touch her, Sesshoumaru," he ordered again, more casually than before. "And do so sensually. Give the poor girl a thrill. Not to mention yourself. This is your last chance, after all."

He knew she was scared witless, but she lifted her chin all the same. The girl was brave, and he reminded himself of that when looking in her eyes made his gut twist painfully.

"There are certainly worse ways to spend one's final moments, wouldn't you say?"

This time, when he reached for her, she offered no threat, or plea. No resistance. Still, he attempted to assuage her. "It cannot be helped," he reminded, this time for her benefit. "There is no shame in this for you."

She flinched as he covered her breast yet again. This time, however, his ministrations were soft and slow, helping her to relax just a little.

Or maybe it was her acceptance, her forfeit of fight that helped some tension bleed from her body.

"W-what about you?" she asked, unable to look him in the face. "Aren't you grossed out by touching a human?"

She expected a resounding Hnn, but instead felt his other hand wrap around her hip and pull her to him with effortless force. She gasped as his firm grip guided her body to his, trapping his fully engorged member securely between them. Sharp claws bit into her waist as a result, and she responded in kind as her nails dug into the skin at his shoulder.

His body was hard, but unexpectedly soft. And smooth. His skin against hers was disturbingly comfortable – with one jabbing exception – and she distantly acknowledged that the sensation of a naked man gliding against her was a nice one.

Would Inuyasha feel so perfect? So firm, and strong? The turn her thoughts had involuntarily taken had her squirming.

The cave was cold, but he was warm all over. Except his arousal, which burned impossibly hot where it dug into her belly unforgivingly. He held her to him so tightly that she could feel it throbbing in tune with his powerful heartbeat, and growing as it forced their flesh aside to make way for the expansion.

"It cannot be helped," he repeated lowly. Then more softly, he promised, "I will handle you delicately."

She chanced a look, hoping to finally find reassurance in that confident gaze of his, but his slightly bowed head kept it veiled by snowy bangs. The fang peeking out over his bottom lip was so achingly familiar, and if she squinted, she could almost pretend he was the dog demon she wanted. The one who was watching.

She wracked slightly in his hold, but he had her firmly. The heat of his skin and sturdiness of his hand was becoming a welcome comfort. Even if he had no more control over the situation than she did, it felt like he did, and the illusion was enough for now.

"That is up to me," Naraku cruelly reminded them from the sidelines. "Kiss her throat."

In an instant, warm lips were placed just above her collarbone, and her head fell back at the pleasant contact. It was unclear if it was Naraku's will or her own which sought to bare herself to him in compliance, but she did not deny the pleasurable feeling the simple act sent coursing through her.

He began a slow journey upward, grazing the highly sensitive flesh with fangs that could tear through steel, but his precision with the natural-born weapons ensured his intermittent nipping and gnawing did not even break her skin.

To be safe though, his gymnastic tongue smoothed over every area he scraped - and several he did not – shooting a thrilling tickle up her spine, and down to her nipples.

As he fondled the puckered flesh, his slippery, dexterous muscle found the pulse point beneath her jaw, eliciting a soft moan. She grabbed a fistful of luxurious hair in an attempt to urge him closer.

He clutched tighter, and set out on a new tour of her dramatically bared neck, already acutely aware of her preferences and the favorable reactions they had extracted from her.

The tingling sensation had graduated to a raging, impotent throb at her apex, so she bent her knee, sliding it naturally around his hip to achieve better pressure. He took it quickly in his hand and yanked her to him, aiding in that endeavor.

His other hand was still stroking and fondling, roaming attentively over her chest, and down her side, and up to her neck and shoulder where his lips were mapping out each and every one of her sensitivities. Even she didn't know she had so many in just that small area, but her reaction was undeniable. Her passage had become so slick that her juices coated the top of his thigh, making a wet, sticky mess of them both.

The sensations were enough to distract the pair from their familiar audience, but Naraku's unwelcomed voice still did little to temper the lust he had orchestrated.

"You see, Sesshoumaru? The little priestess likes that. I told you I would help you."

"She don't like it!" Inuyasha's voice cracked in distress. "You're forcing her!"

His hands on her body, his lips, that burning need squeezed uncomfortably between them helped dampen her situational awareness just enough to keep her sane. If she had a moment to think about all the sets of unwilling eyes on her, she would die of humiliation and shame. So she clung to him, grateful for the fog he induced, and the mortification he staved off - if only for just a short while.

Distantly, however, she heard her greatest foe tormenting the man she loved.

"Can you not scent it?" he asked. "I suppose you can't anymore, pity. Trust me, she is very excited by your older, more powerful, full-demon brother's touch."

The anguish Sesshoumaru had been numbing with his anesthetic touch began crawling back when she realized the hanyo didn't answer him. No threat, or angry retort, or useless pleas for her to resist.

He had accepted her fate, just like she had. And now he was watching them. All of her friends were...

"Suck on her breasts."

Just as regret and panic started taking hold, Sesshoumaru dipped her slightly, lowered himself enough to do as his puppet master commanded.

That powerful tongue she'd become so familiar with in such a short amount of time was quickly demonstrating a whole new set of talents as it swirled over her aching, pebbled flesh.

Sharp, thick fangs grazed the generous swell of skin beneath before closing gently around the aroused tip of her darkened nipple, and her other hand joined in weaving through his silky strands with mindless abandon.

The rush of cold air on moist skin only puckered her further when he abandoned it to lavish equal attention on her other glorious mound. He closed his lips firmly around the tightened peak, making her scream out when he sucked hard, and licked the tender nerve endings with the top, and then the tip of his tongue.

"Good boy," Naraku smoothly praised, but the dog demon did not seem to hear him as he lost himself in his most recent orders. She wasn't about to stop him either, but even if she tried; he was far too gone for any but one of them to call back, and he did not appear to be inclined, either.

"Such an obedient dog you are. Time for your treat."

When he ordered him to stop, Sesshoumaru tapered his affections, but could not seem to obey completely. He had to rein it in gradually - ween himself - as he reluctantly complied.

His broad chest expanded and retracted against her as he panted doggishly. His bangs hung in his eyes, but did not obscure their intensity as he slowly untangled himself and regretfully pulled away.

He didn't fully release her until he knew she was steady on her feet- until he knew they both were. As she struggled for air, he took the opportunity to comb his fingers once through his obstructing, uncharacteristically haphazard strands. It was only then that he noticed the attractive flush of her skin - and his own.

"The Western Lord has been good to you, Kagome," Naraku declared. "Will you not return the favor?" The malevolent grin he gave filled her with dread, and rightfully so. "Get on your knees."

It seemed her body registered the command before her brain could, for her knees were already smarting from the harsh contact with the stone floor when she realized what Naraku had intended.

Not that it took a genius, but the sudden eyeful of Sesshoumaru's swollen member jutting out proudly just inches from her face sobered her instantly. This predicament was monumental, in more ways than one.

Feeling him excited and throbbing against her belly was one thing, but up close and personal like this forced her to consider him in his entirety, and all that it entailed. He was way too close for comfort, but she knew he was about to get a lot closer. She didn't even look to know where to begin-

"I know this is a lot to take in, but just do your best, my dear," the evil man encouraged with a mocking gleam. His next command was wholly anticipated. "Put him in your mouth."

She eyed his cock warily - both intrigued and amazed by the shape and size of him. Had she never seen a male this close before? Or at all, for that matter? Likely not a demon's.

He briefly wondered what she had been expecting. Was it smoother than she thought it would be? He'd wager much thicker. Not to mention-

"Put him in your mouth."

Sesshoumaru hadn't moved a muscle as the miko followed her commands, but he was no longer capable of respectfully averting his gaze. From his towering height, his large, now fully-stiff arousal obstructed his view of her. Part of her face was eclipsed by his impressive hardness, but not enough to conceal those uncommonly blue eyes staring back up at him.

He'd always considered them remarkable, in their own way. But he never in a million years considered that they would ever regard him with anything outside of fear, or perhaps her special brand of indignant rage. But now, lust from his earlier attention still continued to emanate from them, perhaps even bolster, as she took in his chiseled perfection - every inch of it.

She'd gotten just a taste of what he could do to her, and though he was quite certain she'd never thought of him in such a light, he very much doubted she wasn't now. He knew she was, for that desirous look in a female's eyes was not unknown to him. He simply was not accustomed to it arriving via her unmatched shade of blue.

But there was something else there he hadn't expected. That she remained daunted by the notion of servicing him was clear, and undeniably thrilling to him, making his cock twitch even as the rest of him remained forcefully still. Now, however, as she sat in hushed awe of his powerful demon form, she also appeared anxious, no... curious?

Hell, a morbid fascination with him would be perfectly reasonable, even from her. But that wasn't what he was seeing. This was more than anticipation. She was eager.

Or, at least willing.

A barely perceptible grunt left his throat when she wrapped her small hand around his base; were she not so tantalizingly close, she never would have heard it. She inspected him within her hand with determination and focus – as if he were a difficult puzzle - and he felt himself nearly tremor when he felt her hot breath brushing against his skin with each labored exhale.

She didn't spare him a glance, he didn't blame her, as she plowed forward, and he vowed not to react shamelessly and cause the innocent woman further humiliation... not to mention himself.

When he slid past her pink lips, however, and suddenly found himself engulfed past the crown in her warm, moist orifice, he'd never broken a vow so quickly in all his life.

The sensation was more than he had counted on, even though he saw her coming. He just didn't remember the mouth of a woman ever feeling so glorious wrapped around him before.

Had it really been that long? The fact that he could not specifically recall wasn't promising.

Or was it because she was human?

He'd never had one before, but he assumed it wouldn't feel discernably different. If it did, he of course assumed a demoness' mouth would be superior in every way.

But she was marvelously tight around his turgid girth, and her tongue was unexpectedly soft. No fangs in the way could be considered a plus, but he personally enjoyed a side of danger with his pleasure - but that was just a personal preference. He certainly wasn't missing it now, however.

Perhaps the threat of her reiki was more than enough danger to sate his perversion. Just the thought of her using it on him now was enough to elicit another pathetic groan from him.

He kept it together after that, for the most part. But as he watched her explore his length with that disrespectful mouth of hers, it took all he had not to grab her thick, shiny, fragrant hair in his fist and force her to take him all the way to the hilt.

She kept her eyes closed, but she'd found her rhythm. She quickly learned how far she could take him into her throat, and set to work bobbing on him at a steady pace. She was a fucking natural.

He felt himself spreading her open repetitively, only to retreat right before he hit the back, and the brevity nearly ripped a snarl from his chest each time. The pressure at the tip of his cock was a tantalizing tease, and he wanted more - to go further - until her blunt human teeth were scraping against his lower abdomen, and trapping fine, silvery-white hairs in between until she was choking on them as well.

But that would be greedy. Not only was she unwilling, she was untouched... by anyone but him. The knowledge of that had his claws biting deep into his palm, drawing blood. But despite her inexperience, she was managing beautifully. The way she worked her neck and her tongue in perfect time was driving him nearly wild enough to abandon his legendary composure and let his beast have full rein. What was left of it.

He should stop watching her. The sight of her disheveled black hair fanned out over her naked shoulders as she put her fierce determination to use for his pleasure was undeniably erotic. It didn't matter what race she was. And something about that audacious, disobedient, indignant mouth of hers forced into submission by his battering ram of a cock was beyond gratifying... not to mention educational.

Perhaps he could have made her fall into line sooner- nothing else thus far had worked. He'd been going about things all wrong.

She may have enjoyed being taught her place by him. Beneath him was the only place she belonged.

He should definitely stop. Watching her make him feel those things was sensory overload, and borderline dangerous, but he simply couldn't tear himself away. He would have to settle for not reducing to a worthless, quivering mess at her feet.

"My, what a natural talent. We can all see how much he loves it."

She surprised him by bracing herself atop his muscular thighs with both hands, making them less stable by the second. Her deceptively strong nails dug in as she squeezed, and he had to will the pleasured growl not to erupt from his throat.

With the new leverage, she could take him a little deeper, and his mastodonic manhood forced its way further inside, spearing through the unclaimed territory and stretching it around him mercilessly.

"Look up at him, Kagome. Look how good you make him feel."

She could not deny the command, and he watched her finally pry open her eyes and acknowledge him. He only briefly wondered if she had been pretending he was his brother, but it was hard to hold onto any one thought for long. Her concave cheeks relayed the force of her suction as he glided past her defenses even further.

"How I wish you were not so temperamental with that reiki you possess, but he is enjoying himself so much; it almost looks worth a good singeing."

It was a miracle he could remain upright, for his mind was suddenly bereft any thoughts not of her. His half-lidded gaze remained transfixed and two pairs of firm lips parted as he watched himself nearly disappear inside the defiant miko's body. She returned that drugged gaze fearlessly, staring right into it as she made certain he knew exactly who was accepting his demon cock so perfectly – whether or not she intended to.

When he felt tight muscles constrict all around him as she attempted to swallow some necessary saliva, a deep moan on heavy breath finally managed to escape him. Something had to give, and though he'd fought so hard to contain his wanton reactions, he decided it was far better to keep control of his hands at present. Embarrassing as it was to admit defeat in the form of his masculine cries, it would only take a minuet slip of his perfect control to force himself on her and test the bounds of her submission.

True, they were both unwilling parties to the vile hanyo's sick whims, but it was decidedly less egregious with her setting the pace for them. Not to mention, safer.

"I thought you didn't like humans, Sesshoumaru." Naraku's voice might as well have been miles away. "It's amazing what a talented mouth can do. Perhaps your father should have shared this with you, then the chasm between you would not have become so large and irreparable."

She didn't seem to mind the grunting, or the soft groans, or even the growling he produced as she increased her pace on him suddenly. It was beyond his control at this point, he was beyond powerless as she lavished her attention on him decadently. He considered the newfound ferocity was an attempt to get this over with.

"... but he did not consider you worthy of his sword, let alone his secrets, his trust."

When he distantly recognized the tailored taunting was intended for him, however, he wondered if the miko wasn't simply trying to distract him. Either way, she'd certainly succeeded. He hadn't even realized that cur had been speaking. Not that anything he said could ever hope to damage him.

It was nice to be able to tune out his offensive voice, for certain.

"He did not wish to inform you that a human woman's mouth is good enough to desert your family for. Good enough to die for."

Yes, Naraku barely registered in his awareness at the moment. Far from his thoughts, he resided next to his brother and his pack, and the fact that they were all watching their precious Shikon Miko whore herself out right on his big demon cock.

Despite his aversion, there was a time he would have at least relished the pain he was certainly inflicting. He would seek out the uncouth twit with his arrogant gaze and revel in the anguish reflected in those injured golden pools as he watched the woman he loved servicing him in earnest.

He would have taken pride in dismissing his claim, ignoring his rite, and possessing the powerful young woman before he even got the chance. Defiling her, so that when he was done with her, he could never fully enjoy her. Never have her without the glaring reminder that he, Sesshoumaru, had her first, and in addition to being tainted, she would know the superiority of a full demon he could never hope to live up to.

Even if she had not come to him willingly, he would have enjoyed that. Would have enjoyed degrading this holy woman, their shining savior, their flawless deity, right before her entire annoying, meddlesome human pack.

But all that, along with all of them, were the furthest things from his mind. All he knew was her, the miko, Kagome, and the unreal pleasure of her outrageously and curiously skillful lips, and tongue, and teeth. Her hot little mouth was the only thing in the world at that moment, and he would not tarnish it by involving anyone else. He would not taint the memory with their petty rivalry.

"But it is, isn't it?" Naraku asked from the sidelines. "Let's find out."

She tightened the seal of her lips and pulled up the entire length of him in one firm slide, and by the time she'd reached his cum-pearled tip, his whole body shuddered. He couldn't resist anymore; he reached for her.

"I will let you leave here right now, if you simply tell her to stop."

Naraku's crisp offer froze him still, claws suspended just short of her face.

"You alone, Sesshoumaru, may leave right now, and you have my vow not to give chase."

Kagome didn't stop sucking his cock, likely still couldn't. He was so tight, so full in her mouth, and she knew he was close. She could see his chest heaving quickly, see the red returning to his eyes and the emboldened magenta stripes turning jagged on otherwise pale skin. She could feel his rapid pulse throbbing against her lips and rattling on her tongue like a jackhammer.

He clenched his suspended fingers into a fist between them, his hips jerking ever so slightly as she continued to fellate him. And she could only hold his gaze as ordered while she awaited his spell-breaking instruction.

But she'd never seen that look in his eye before. And though he apparently could talk no easier than she could at the moment, he didn't need words to tell her he was beyond reach. He began to quake tellingly...

"Stop."

Just like that - as promised, the single word freed Kagome from Naraku's control. At least, from the waist up. Though free to pull away, her legs remained paralyzed, making it impossible to stand, let alone run.

Though the owner of the voice was not who she'd expected. It floated through the air between them again.

"Good job, miko. Too good - you almost finished him off early and ruined both of our fun. Join her on your knees, dog."

Crashing lifelessly before her, Sesshoumaru's bowed head created a silvery-white curtain over his inhuman eyes. She decided that was good, because she really didn't want to face him.

No longer wild with the lust she had driven him to, that the fog had lifted to reveal the shame of being serviced by a human was very apparent in his posture.

The proud demon couldn't even stand to look at her in the wake of this ultimate sin, giving the term hang-dog a whole new meaning. Just thinking about what she had done caused shame to flood through her as well, nearly drowning her. And all her friends had seen it...

At least she would be dead soon, because she couldn't face them ever again.

"See how good I am to you? I'm not so terrible now, am I?" their nemesis taunted cheerily. "How many of your companions have arranged that for you, Lord of the West? It is not so bad having friends, is it?"

Her breath hitched when he slowly lifted his head, and she braced herself to see the disgust he obviously felt saturating his handsome features.

It wasn't her fault, but she still felt terrible for what she had done. Felt terrible for getting even a little aroused as she raped him with her mouth. For the extra effort she put forth, even though she didn't have to.

He was hard, but couldn't help it- and he didn't want to be. Her dignity was long gone, but to rip his away with her... just the thought of him disgusted and hated her touch and wishing she would stop was agonizing. And now, the shame... She only hoped he didn't feel as gross as she did.

His body hadn't been the only one to respond to her attentions on him, and the wetness drenching her thighs stood as testament.

His skin was so smooth; she could still taste him. And the sight of those normally collected and calculating eyes glowing red with desire despite his best efforts... she could still see them.

He was still panting harshly when he finally lifted his gaze to hers. Most of the demonic color had bled away, but something inside them as he looked back at her nearly caused her heart to stop regardless.

There was shame, but not the disgust she was expecting. Not even the contempt he had when they began.

His façade was stoic as ever, but his piercing gaze seemed to ask her for forgiveness. He almost looked apologetic, but she'd never seen him look that way before.

That's when she realized that the shame he felt... it was not for her.

"Is that concern, Sesshoumaru?" Naraku sounded amused. "You almost look as if you wish to comfort the poor girl."

She felt herself wishing that he would, strangely. On his knees before her, he was close enough to touch, and the last time he had had been so... comfortable. They'd never been exactly allies, but even without the physical pleasure, his arms were warm and familiar, and in them, she felt secure.

"Well, don't hold back on my account. Give her a kiss."

They could try and block him out all they liked, but his commands rang loud and clear. Now, as they considered each other from this short distance, it was no longer distaste that made them apprehensive.

"I know your senses are muted, but I'll bet you can still taste that potent youkai precum of yours on her tongue. I can smell it from here."

So could he, even with his senses and youki dulled. The scent of him in her mouth reminded him of her natural proficiency with him, making him almost as hard as he was then all over again, and yearning to taste the tongue that had serviced him so beautifully that he nearly spilled himself inside her mouth.

"Kiss Her!"

Lifting his claws to her face gently, he pushed a few hairs back out of the way, and used his other hand to coax her naked body to him again. His desire was thick and tangible, but he still operated with a measure of consideration while he touched her.

It was almost permissive when she rested her palms on his chest, and now she could feel his strong heartbeat pulse in time with the slobbery shaft wedged between them once again. When he dipped down to touch his lips to hers in compliance, she met him halfway.

Cradling her jaw, he pressed their lips together softly. He was bound by his word to be careful with her, but it only seemed right to be respectful as well. She was not a demon - she was not even willing - but unlike her, he was not inexperienced. And though she did not want to lay with him, he could at least keep her comfortable.

But he would do her one better, and make her actually enjoy it.

It looked as if he was going to bed a human woman after all. He swore up and down he never would - no matter how long he lived - but by the looks of things, he would be getting one in right under the wire. So close.

But he was learning quickly what intentions were worth, as well as his word, for despite the vow he'd just made, she slid her tongue softly against his, and the traces of ejaculate being returned to him put his stymied instincts in an uproar.

He clutched her tighter, ground her into him, so she could feel what she had done, and deepened their kiss to something far less honorable. Instead of being angry or frightened however, she moaned softly against his lips. He growled in response and pulled her hips to his even harder.

He didn't need his youki from this distance to tell he was not the only one affected by their contact. The air around them was so thick with her desire that his head was swimming. It was fortunate Inuyasha's senses were not functioning – if you could even call his status-quo functional. If they were, he would certainly not be pleased... not that he in any way was, at the moment.

He assumed not, but he hadn't bothered to check. And he wouldn't.

As a matter of fact, he would not even think of the whelp again, and he would ensure that she didn't either.

His cock rested in the softness of her belly like a cradle, and he was very aware of the course, damp hairs tickling against his thigh. As their kiss continued, he felt his hand drifting toward their call.

"Place your fingers between her-"

"I know how to pleasure a female," Sesshoumaru bit sharply, breaking the heated kiss to do so. "I do not require any instruction."

"Is that so?" He could hear Naraku's vile grin, and only scowled deeper. "By all means, then. If you show me you can handle her, I will allow you to continue as you see fit. Fail, however, and I shall resume issuing orders, and you may not like what they will be. But make no mistake," his jovial tone turned harrowing on a dime, "one way or another, you are going to fuck her."

Yeah, they'd pretty much made their peace with that little tidbit. If there was a way to weasel out of this performance, he certainly didn't see it.

Her reaction so far had been promising, but Naraku's bluntness caused the miko to seize up. Another tear slipped down her cheek, and he stroked it gently away with the pad of his fingers.

"I will attempt to make this pleasant for you," he assured her softly, "if not simply comfortable."

Leaning close and speaking low did not offer even the illusion of privacy, but it did afford the illusion that he cared. That he would even attempt to feign any concern for her was much more than she would have expected, and she actually did appreciate it.

"I don't think that's possible," she whispered back. "Just try not to hurt me."

"You have my word," he vowed.

He attempted to catch her gaze, but when she appeared to be actively avoiding it, he refused to force her. Instead, he held her securely in his grasp to relay she was in his care now – for all that was worth.

"Can we not involve the others?" she asked, but her focus was not on him. "If you want to watch us, we can go off to the side and get more comfortable. It will be more enjoyable for you."

You could hear her straining to rein in her contempt. It was so hard for her not to treat him like the scum he was, but this small concession was important to her. Sesshoumaru knew the answer, however.

"That would defeat the point. They will be watching you," the monster intoned cruelly, "but my enjoyment will come from watching them. Inuyasha especially. That's where the real show is going to be."

Though she refused to acknowledge her would-be lover, Sesshoumaru finally spared his half-brother a glance. Unable to turn away, he – along with the rest of her friends – had their backs against the hard wall, and their eyes unwillingly on them. They'd stopped their useless protesting, likely for her benefit, but the hollow, sickly look in Inuyasha's eyes made it look like the boy was already gone. Dead, without his heart, or perhaps simply disassociated.

He would applaud him, if he were doing it consciously. It would spoil the other, somehow more contemptable hanyo's fun, at least in part.

"Do not mistake me; you two do look very good together. I can tell you're not going to completely hate this," Naraku continued to torment, likely for his arch enemy's benefit most of all. "In fact, you may enjoy it nearly as much as I will." Lowering his voice suggestively, he mused, "You want it almost as badly. Now get on with it, and make it good. I will interfere if you disappoint me."

He could see the moment Kagome had accepted her fate in full when she turned back to him. Nothing more needed to be said, so he reached for her again.

"Remember," Naraku added, "the longer you last, the longer you live." Though by the look in her eye, that was not much of motivator.

But if these were their final moments – if this really was his last go at it, not to mention her only – he was going to make the most of it, undesirable audience be damned.

He used his hands to guide her, and she spun without a word. She was so easily led, so receptive to his direction as she got into position for him. The sight of her bent over before him awakened something primal, arriving with the urgency and subtlety of a strike of lightning.

More than one female had submitted to him thus over the years, but though it had been quite some time, he could not honestly blame the drought for his enhanced reaction to her.

His cock hardened painfully at the view of her moist slit, swollen and quivering and pungent in a way he'd never detected from her before – even with his senses in top form. As she shook slightly, he could not discern if it was fear or the cold causing it, but the urge to allay the reaction in either case was overwhelming.

He moved towards her with measured slowness, nearly shaking himself with restraint as he bit his cheek bloody and reminded himself the fragility of the human form. He never thought he'd need the reminder, but he repeated it like a mantra over and again in his mind as he reached for her.

"No!" a voice barked out behind them. "On her back."

Sesshoumaru snarled over his shoulder at the unwelcome interjection. "You agreed to leave it to my discretion."

"I want her looking at you, knowing it is not her beloved half-breed claiming her innocence, as she so often wished for. And I want you knowing exactly what you have been reduced to, Lord Sesshoumaru. Other than that, I shall keep my counsel."

He wanted to refuse. Thinking to give him orders was outrageous enough, but to do so with his particular brand of smugness was unacceptable. Knowing the defiance of the subdued woman before him rivaled his own; when he felt her shift, he considered she may foolishly and fruitlessly beat him to the punch.

But to his slight surprise, she smartly obeyed.

She winced unsubtly once she was on her back, and he noticed red welts on her knees that her brief stint on them had earned. With a frown, he retreated.

A long, backward stretch revealed the lithe, flexible musculature of his upper body, and she remained fixated on it until he returned to her with the mass of his pelt in one arm.

Coaxing her up against him, she clung on while he used his other hand to arrange the luxurious fur beneath her back. Once satisfied with its placement, he lowered her back down and arranged her atop of it just as carefully.

He watched her for signs of lingering discomfort – at least any he could mitigate – as she shifted experimentally into the comfort he provided. At least she wasn't wincing, but sharp, demonic eyes were not surprised to see the miko was far from relieved.

Aware of their impatient audience, the demon lord took his place between her legs. As she spread wider to accommodate him, firm archer's fingers clutched into the thick rope of muscle at his shoulders.

His attempt at shrinking down their world had their noses nearly touching, and a divine fall of silver served to aid in his illusion. He thought he felt her relax beneath him just a little, but her downcast gaze only made her look deflated.

Bracing forearms spared her the bulk of his weight, but thin, toned legs molded around the hard cut of his torso all the same. Where his chiseled abs rested between them was subjected to her slick heat, swollen and throbbing as she coated him in her arousal.

He did his best not to think of it, forcing his mind to blank nearly to the point of obsession. He focused on her somber eyes to cool his fire just a little.

When he began to get situated, she gave his shoulders a firm squeeze, stilling him instantly and grabbing his attention. He patiently allowed the silence to stretch on for a moment while he waited, then when nothing came of it, thought to remind her of their captor's generous bargain. Without any agency, he shuddered to think what Naraku's foul mind had in store for them - what his powerful body could do to her in the wrong hands.

She was close enough to easily anticipate his intentions, and found her voice, hushed as it was.

"I just always hoped that my first time would be with-"

"Inuyasha," he finished for her impassively. He was surprised when she corrected him.

"Someone who loved me." Though she might as well have said his brother's name. Her foolish attachment to the half demon was clear for all to see, and endured even knowing well that his affection was for the dead priestess whose soul she inherited.

At least in part, anyway. He could not honestly refute that the boy did have a genuine interest in this miko. Not that he was paying attention or anything.

He could feel the shallow rise and fall of her breasts in time with the cool puffs of air sweetened by her lips. Despite the very close proximity, she kept her distance by averting her gaze.

Her regretful lament afforded him a moment to observe the woman he'd met only months ago, and that moment was all it took for him to realize those months had been more consequential than perhaps any of his life. How absolutely absurd.

"If my brother would feel such a thing, it is only his human half which makes him capable of it."

Close like this, he could speak low enough so that only she, and likely Naraku, could hear him.

"Because it makes demons weak?" she asked, chastising in soft tones even as she wiped a tear with disdain. "Is that why you think they can't love?"

She still wasn't looking at him. A gentle coaxing with his claws remedied that, and he shook his head.

"Dependence on another is simply a poor foundation on which to forge attachments, and in truth, a rather insulting marker for determining affections. The well of a youkai's regard is measured by something much more meaningful."

She didn't have the heart to fight, he could tell, but neither did he. It was not his objective anyway. He'd made her a vow, and for some reason, that was not the only thing driving him to see it through.

"Do you recall the day we met?" he asked her softly.

The question out of left field finally managed to steal back her gaze to his, before drifting guiltily down to his recently replenished left sleeve.

"The day you lost your arm."

He smirked. "It should not surprise you to know I think of it quite often." But that was not the reason why.

"I was taken by surprise twice that day because I underestimated my opponent."

Getting his arm hacked off had eclipsed an even more impressive feat. Her accomplishment had sailed below even his notice for some time before he finally became aware. It was not her immunity to his poison which irked him sleepless, though after much analysis, it was likely where it all began.

"You won my respect in that tomb," he admitted to blue eyes that widened, "and have yet to relinquish it. I do not expect you ever will."

Love and affection were of little value in the eyes of a demon – especially him. Nothing so easily given could ever be worth much- it was simple economics.

But what the miko had of his she'd earned, and wrenched away against his wishes so handily and quickly that it had taken months to even realize it was missing, and days more to finally accept it was rightfully hers.

It was a rare honor to bestow on any demon, but for a human, it was unheard of.

Her breathing hitched when he pressed closer, but whether she froze in shock or fear he could not say.

"I cannot give what I do not possess," he rumbled smoothly, brushing warm lips against her ear as he spoke. "but let me show you how much I respect you."

Those warm lips were suddenly below her jaw, and his tongue sliding over her pulse easily detected the spike. A soft gasp left her lips right before she shivered against him, curling her fingers into the long, flowing hair sliding off his shoulder.

He soothed raised gooseflesh the same way he encouraged it, his hot mouth working to remedy chilled, naked skin. His pointed and purposeful journey down her throat was a blur of time and taste, but those initial gasps of shock receded, as well as the bulk of her tension.

As she warmed, she melted back into his decadent furs. The heat of his mouth drifted lower to wrap around first one, then another hardened peak of tender flesh, and soft, reactionary sighs would become those of approval, and encouragement.

By the time he was traveling over her navel, dipping the tip of his tongue into its shallow depths with a preview of its agility, her back arched high off the floor. He was focused intently on his duty until that point, but he finally chanced a look up her body.

Full, generous breasts pointed heavenward, and the high arc of her spine obstructed her expression from his view - which was annoying, but the direction her half-restrained noises ventured let him know that her head was thrown back. He surmised her eyes were closed, as well.

The dizzying scent of her this close caused blood to roar violently in his ears, but he could still detect the cruel taunting of that wretched half-breed somewhere far away. He could not say what he was going on about, only in part because he spoke so softly, but the faint sting of salt in the air was not coming from the miko.

Likely the slayer, though he would not be surprised to learn it was any of them.

She wouldn't be able to scent it, but he hoped Naraku's vile tones would not be loud enough to find her human eardrums and remind her of their audience. Just in case, he endeavored to keep her well distracted until this ordeal was over with.

Her voice wasn't echoing off the walls – not too much – but despite her attempts to bottle them, the sounds she made when his tongue parted her folds were loud enough to conceal his own momentary lapse. A low, appreciative groan rumbled out across her sticky flesh as he took his first taste of a miko's purity.

Scenting her arousal was one thing, but tasting it right from the source, ripe and ready, was too much to hope to contain.

Judging from her reaction, the vibrations originating in the youkai's chest paired well with his slick tongue parting her and playing with the tender, swollen bundle of nerves he found. Deceptively strong thighs sprung like a trap, slamming around his face and locking him in – though it wasn't like he was going anywhere.

It was an instinctual reaction to the stimulation, but he knew what he was doing. With his superior strength, he easily pried her thighs apart using only faint pressure, until she was even wider for him than before.

He continued to flick feverishly with the tip of his tongue, teasing until she finally lifted her weary head just enough. Half-lidded azure gazed helplessly down her body to find the dog demon's slitted pupils already upon her. His razor-sharp focus was paralyzing, and the deep red blotting in through the rims added an edge of raw danger to the burning intensity of his stare.

She remained speechless as her panting became ragged, and only then did he mercifully release her from his hypnotic trance. Shutting his eyes, the feasting demon shifted his angle of attack and ate her with slower, more complete strokes.

Her knees tried to meet again, but he wouldn't allow it this time. With his lips wrapped firmly around her clit, the heavy breaths he pushed out through his nostrils were beginning to come more rapidly, and when he sucked hard, she finally seized.

As she stiffened, her voice cracked, and he hooked his hands around her upper thighs, yanking hard against his mouth and holding her open in an iron lock.

He saw her all the way through her climax with that firm suction and swirling tongue, and did not begin to slow until she reached the other side.

But before he removed his lips, she shuddered once more, and seized. And so did he.

He did not expect, could scarcely register in real time as the process played out against his mouth again, and barely golden eyes widened in astonishment as he looked up to confirm his suspicions.

Seeing her head still thrown back amid a sea of choking sobs and labored breathing, he instinctually snapped back into action and put his tongue back to work, just like before.

He was watching her intently this time. He also did not slow when she came down from her next roaring peak, and the process began yet again.

With renewed vigor, the dog demon closed his eyes and settled in for an extended visit. As the performance repeated several more times in rapid succession, he licked her more furiously, used even more force. He was well aware of her preferences by now, and used his new knowledge to guide her to the brink continuously until at last, she collapsed in a heap of exhaustion.

She fell back into his furs, and hardly seemed to notice when he finally surrendered her flesh and crawled back up to join her in catching breath. Still between her limp limbs, he rested himself gently atop her to watch her recover a bit closer up.

He could practically see the stars flittering through glazed eyes as her vision slowly returned.

"... that's... that's never happened before."

"Have you never brought yourself to climax?" He did a poor job containing his excitement. His ego seemed eager for some accolades.

"I have, just..." she blushed as he arched his brow. "not so many."

He was satisfied with that as he brandished the smuggest smirk he had managed in some time. "You did not know yourself capable of having multiple." It wasn't really a question. But he didn't need answer, and he retreated a bit.

"How- how did you do that?"

As much as he wanted to take credit, it wasn't exactly a science. She was not the first he'd encountered with the ability, but it was rare. And an undeniable excitement he was not prepared for.

"I may have assisted the process; however, such a feat is impossible through the male's will alone," he admitted. "The female must be susceptible to them, which, apparently, you quite are." The hint of a smirk played at the corner of his mouth as he almost looked impressed. "Intriguing, miko."

She blushed again shyly. "But, I never-"

"Clearly, you are receptive to a lover's mouth... or simply This Sesshoumaru's attentions." Seeing as she'd had neither before, it was anybody's guess. "We shall know soon enough."

He shifted himself so their hips were aligned, and she was instantly reminded of the unsatiated cock straining between his legs as he readied himself at her entrance.

"Watch them, Inuyasha."

Simple virginal anxiety graduated to a full-on panic when she heard Naraku's voice. The cruel reminder they were not alone caused a sickly look to mar her features as he saw her realize all that they'd witnessed already. Her heart was beating dangerously fast for a human and her body began to tremble under his.

He let go of his aching shaft to caress the side of her face, and leaned closer.

"Focus on me," he instructed gently.

She did as he said, and after a few calming breaths, he could feel her heartbeat begin to slow back down.

"That won't be hard. You're painfully captivating, even at your worst." With the confession, she lifted a hand and stroked the stripe along his cheekbone, nearly causing his eyelids to flutter closed. "You're so beautiful that it hurts me. It always has."

His answering kiss distracted from the piercing, the parting, the pressure. The deeper he went, the more fiercely he kissed her, and taking her cue from him, she responded in kind.

She could grip him, squeeze him and claw as hard as she possibly could, take out her frustration and pain out on him as harsh as she needed, and he could easily take the abuse.

He seemed to go on forever, and deep crescents of her fingernails drew blood, but did not seem to affect him in the slightest. Once he was nearly sheathed however, he finally broke the supportive kiss to release a long, shaky breath against her lips. "Kagome..."

With his eyes closed, he rested his forehead upon hers, and seemed to focus on his breathing as he trembled slightly in her hold. That was when she felt it.

The power that had tried to burn him earlier in reaction to his unwelcome touch was simmering beneath her skin at the unprecedented intrusion. Ready to go at her command, the palpable charge of her reiki was detectable on every square inch of her, making her feel powerful and alive in a way she never had.

It wasn't unlike what Sesshoumaru's awesome youki felt like right before he transformed. She could barely detect it in him now, and she realized right then how vulnerable he was.

It was quite a sight, and she was tempted to soak it in, but the urge was quickly brushed aside. Her light touch on his cheek once more drew his attention back to her.

"I promise, I won't hurt you."

The whispered oath passed through her lips without an ounce of irony. And amazingly, her attempt to gently reassure him, while unnecessary, was somehow actually warranted. He hadn't truly realized how much danger he was currently in, and even if she did not intend him any harm, she demonstrated earlier that her reiki had a will of its own. But in that moment, her concern for his wellbeing was genuine.

What wasn't was the tight smile she managed even as her virgin walls strained around him, choking his unwelcome cock in her tight little channel while her friends watched on, simply to stay their deaths just a bit longer.

The absurdity had his jaw hanging slightly on its hinges, and even if he found the words to express it, he wasn't certain he had the breath.

Instead, he covered the hand on his cheek with his own, and gazed bewilderedly into her eyes as he tested the feel of her beneath his claws, watching, waiting... And found that with each passing wordless second, that smile appeared less forced.

Something flashed in his eyes, but before it could register, he peeled her hand away and stretched to pin it far above her head.

Her sharp gasp invited his tongue inside, and he wondered if she could taste herself on it. He could still taste her.

He kissed her until she was kissing him back, and once the shock wore off, it wasn't long. Moaning softly into his mouth, she lifted her other hand to his opposite cheek. The sensitive stripe there reveled in the equal treatment until her lungs needed to fill again.

He retreated only enough to allow it, ensuring each choppy breath they withdrew was felt keenly upon flushed, heated skin. He was still hyper aware of her vice grip on his shaft, but remained still as she used her free hand to stroke his exotic, symmetrical features.

He allowed the exploration. Her reverent touch was curious and flattering, and stirred his wildness with her own threat of danger. Such a light, gentle touch, but so... so powerful.

She pushed some dampened bangs out of his eyes as he dragged his hand up the length of her body. Though not so gentle, his touch felt just as reverent. From her thigh past her hip, and then teasingly along the side of her ribs, she arched into it all the way until she was forcing a stiff nipple into the center of his palm.

Her skin had warmed considerably - other parts had grown hotter - and while his strong, warrior's hands familiarized themselves with her supple form, his slow rocking motion quickly became more jostling.

She enjoyed his mouth on her, eventually even his fangs, and when he released her wrist to make use of both hands, she used the opportunity to explore him in return. He soon found much that he enjoyed from her as well.

The first time she called his name, he thought he had gotten too rough with her. The powerful contact he was making with her hips was surely enough to leave a bruise. But if he managed to harm her, he was certain he would learn of it, and be rebuffed in short order. Just the stirrings of her holy powers, however, was a good time he needn't be threatened with.

The miko was strong, and resilient, and apparently, liked to test it.

Funny, that - he never would have guessed. But the harder he went, the faster, the deeper... the pleasure she tinted his name with was all the more satisfying. She'd long given up trying to withhold her reaction, her approval, at times, even her praise. And the more feverishly he fucked her, the farther away from this lair, and her friends, and their fates, he took her.

He wanted it to last forever, because nothing good awaited them when they were through. But the snug fit and her titillating powers ensured that this, unfortunately, might be the shortest rut he'd had since he was a pup. He certainly wouldn't be opposed to another, should their captor desire an encore.

The rhythmic sounds of wet skin and hard muscle slamming together echoed through the room as it bounced from wall to wall and filled the hollow space. Her moaning took on a more desperate edge as the swollen flesh he entered over and over seemed to be building to something big.

Her hips sought him frantically as he took longer strokes, made harder thrusts. Low, animalistic noises were slipping past his lips with more frequency, and he knew he didn't have much time. She slid around him so tightly, so fucking perfectly, that he was not going to last much longer.

Luckily, the way she called him, clutched him, clamped around him told him she was almost ready too.

Kami, how he hoped to send her cascading like he had with his mouth. There was nothing more gratifying than triggering multiple orgasms, and if this was truly his last rut, he could think of no better end to his career.

"Sesshoumaru..."

Pressing his sweaty forehead to hers as he looked her in the eyes, Sesshoumaru hooked his hand behind her knee, and wrapped it around his striped hip.

"Stop."

The smooth command was so soft, but rang in their heads so sharply. Were it simply a request, he would not have obliged – could not have. But the order from their dark master froze his hips mid-piston, leaving only the saturated crown of his thick cock within her shallow entrance.

He could not move an inch, let alone nine or ten, but the raw nerve endings still trapped inside her were going to burn him alive if he could not smother the flame soon. From the way she clenched around what remained of him in emptiness and swollen, unsated lust; he could tell she felt the same. She looked to be in pain from where he was hovering, as the only motion she was capable of at the cruel hanyo's request was the dramatic lift and fall of her chest. Her full, soft, glistening chest...

"What?" she finally managed to gasp. "Why?"

Her frustration was very clear, but it subsided when she heard Naraku rise from his seat against the wall and take a few menacing steps. The faint sounds of breathing around them was evidence her friends were still alive, though how long that would be seemed a pressingly valid concern.

"You're done," he answered as if bored. "Or rather, I am done with you. You may stop."

"What are you talking about?" she asked nervously. Not that he wasn't curious himself, but he had to remain collected. If he had full control of his youki, he would lose it and transform this very moment in blind, white hot aggravation.

Though given leave to move of his own accord, the coil of Naraku's power had been ever looming, gripping him just as tightly as the miko's virgin cunt. He could feel that coil slacken, releasing him from possession and letting him breathe freely. Though Kagome's grasp was not so forgiving.

It was probably for the best that all he could manage to do was close his eyes and bite a hole in his cheek. She may be resilient, but the miko would not survive a dog so brutally teased.

If Naraku was going to kill them now, and send him to hell to be eternally unsatisfied, he was crueler than he ever gave him credit for. He was almost impressed, if he wasn't about to go mad for it.

"Inuyasha is broken," he said with a grin, then shrugged. "I am satisfied. I am not concerned whether the two of you are."

Kagome tensed around him at the mention of his brother, and he nearly cracked a molar. Naraku paused knowingly, "Of course, if you wish to continue, I will not stop you. After that performance, I shall leave it up to you. And you thought I was unmerciful."

Expecting to see him lumbering towards them with something sharp or fatal, Sesshoumaru turned away from panicking blue eyes to evaluate their threat anew. He was surprised to see him heading in the other direction.

His intentions were getting harder to decipher, but he supposed as long as they were still alive, he could count that as a plus... right?

Though it was hard to imagine he kept them breathing for anything short of excruciating torture. Naraku would only deny them death if they were praying for it.

"Well done, both of you," he called over his shoulder. "You have pleased me very much."

By now, both were acutely aware that their agency had been returned. The puppet master had cut the strings, and they were free to disengage. Why that was, they could not say, but Naraku was a malicious trickster to his core.

It was easily rationalized that it was best to stay put until they knew what he was up to - an uneasy glance passed between them in which this was relayed. Her tense fingers still gripped his shoulders as he remained stone-still. That she clung to a statue for comfort spoke of the direness of it all.

"Where are you going?" The monk's voice called after him from the wall where he still sat. "What are you going to do?"

"I have other matters to tend to. You didn't think you were my only prisoners, did you?" Leveling a scolding look, he tsked. "How vain. I do have a life outside of this pathetic troupe, you know."

"You're not going to kill us?" the slayer asked, too wary to be hopeful.

He could feel the miko's distress bolster with each new word from her friends. Through it all, she still chose to keep taking his advice and focused solely on him. It made him want to project strength even more forcefully.

"Of course I am."

Powerful youki – the likes of which Naraku had never displayed – compounded where he stood in a frightening show of force. It would have brought them to their knees if they were not below them already, but they did recoil in the response to it.

It was a show-off move, meant to make it clear that they truly stood no chance against him, and fear for what he would do with that power hung in the lair like an unpleasant musk.

When Naraku's youki had reached its zenith, there was a feeling like it might explode. The ground shook alarmingly to those trapped within its confines, and warning bits of rubble loosed from the walls around them. For a moment, it appeared as if the weight of Naraku's new power would bury them alive and make this lair their tomb – a mass grave for his enemies, and not how the demon lord wished to spend eternity - but it began to taper. And so did Naraku, before their very eyes.

They watched helplessly as pieces him began to disintegrate away, as if becoming nothing.

"But I have other plans for you first. Get some rest." As he continued to flitter away, he shrugged his shoulder right before it disappeared into thin air, and then only his increasingly transparent head remained visible. Cruel lips and evil eyes were all he needed to relay his intent, and mock them just as expertly as he always did - even as they faded. "Or don't, I don't care. But I will return."

And then, just like that, he was gone. The exit he used was unclear, but seeing as he all but transported, it was likely there wasn't one.

His absence took a weight out of the room, and a substantial amount of dread. The sudden silence in the wake of all that chaos was nearly deafening in its acute contrast, like the burn you feel when sticking frozen skin in hot water. It was still too loud to discern any of what his brother's group was murmuring about below its lingering roar, but he was more concerned with bringing his own awesome power to the surface.

He focused everything he had on reclaiming his former strength, but was only able to confirm his suspicions. Sesshoumaru's youki remained locked away, still inaccessible to him, but he would be remiss not to at least try. His only solace was that now, he could once again move about as he pleased.

However, as Kagome was certainly aware, he had yet to. The bulbous, cum-slathered end of his thick cock still parted her opening torturously, and he wanted nothing more than to ram it back inside and pick up right where they left off.

It took work to measure his breathing, but focusing on each heavy gasp of air was all he had to keep himself in line. If he used all his senses to control making each breath just so, he wouldn't have to concentrate on how tight she was, or how wet, or how with a few good pumps, he could be cumming inside her pussy as it rapidly convulsed around him over, and over, and over...

The last breath was shaky as it left him raw and rasping. He felt a heavy bead of sweat roll down his temple as he struggled to remain perfectly still, and then another down his back. The echoes of his previous failure had his last shred of honor screaming for redemption.

He didn't stop her earlier when her mouth was wrapped around him, and he could have. In theory.

There was nothing forcing them to do this anymore, and neither of them wanted to continue. In theory.

But just like then, while his mind knew what was right, his greedy, deprived body was too strong to override. Perhaps if he hadn't denied it for so long, it would have been easier to persuade off this poor woman. This human woman.

'Pathetic.'

His disgust in himself sobered him just enough to create a sliver of opportunity, and he took it. Knowing she was waiting for him to remove himself; he finally lifted his gaze to hers. Their chests still pressed together as they looked at one another. Inscrutable, the both of them, for the other to interpret completely, but after what had just occurred between them, what could be said?

Nothing need be said. It was over, for now at least. They had to find a way to get out of there before Naraku came back. They were losing time voluntarily locked within this imitation of a lover's embrace.

He steeled himself with a sunset amber gaze, and retreated.

"Wait."

Her fingers dug into his shoulders desperately, and he forced himself to look at her again. He throbbed painfully as he prayed for her to speak. When she couldn't, he searched her eyes for the answer.

The unspoken things he found there were as startling as they were foreseeable, and gave him dangerous confirmation that would serve as his salvation, and his condemnation. His merciful poison. He had to avert his gaze as he spoke quietly.

"Do you want this?"

They had already come this far. Lines had been crossed; ships had sailed. But this was different.

No one was forcing them now. If they sought release together now, it would be of their own vallation. There would be no excuse to point to. Just personal weakness, and will.

But they had been stoked to dangerous levels. You can only tease a dog for so long before he cannot be blamed for his actions.

His shaft pulsed again within her core, and a fresh wave of arousal gushed down the length of it. She gripped his shoulders tighter as a strangled sound left her throat, and rested her forehead against his in surrender. Relaxing the muscles in his neck, he did the same.

It was settled then. They were past the point of no return.

He pulled out of her completely, causing her to gasp in anguish. When he retreated to his knees, he saw brief panic flash over her features.

"Turn around," he ordered gruffly, and coaxed her hips to comply. He could feel her questioning gaze even as he avoided it. "You do not have to watch as I take you."

The underlying message was clear, and he likely knew who she would pick. As much as it chafed, there was no room for ego in this - which was good, because there was certainly no pride to be had. This was about raw, urgent need. He was simply a tool for her purposes, albeit a pretty damn good one.

His impatience was thinly veiled as he waited for her. He hoped to get this over with before her friends could interfere – knowingly, or not. Thankfully, they'd not drawn attention to themselves since Naraku's departure, but it could be shock or despair as easily as wits keeping them silent, so he wasn't ready to hand over too much credit yet.

"Is that what you prefer?" she asked. Still not moving, she received a curious look.

"Under normal circumstances," he admitted.

Stunning him to his core, a humorless laugh escaped her.

"This doesn't qualify."

She smiled at him, but it wasn't until she touched his arm that he his faculties recovered, and he returned it.

"No," he agreed.

"I'd rather see you." When he lifted a brow, she blushed. It was a pretty color on her, he decided. "I feel better knowing it's you."

He wasn't sure why the admission warmed him. He didn't care for this girl. He didn't care for humans period. And after today – if there even was an after for them – he would never touch, look at, or think about one ever again.

But it was widely known that dogs valued trust above almost everything, and earning it from another was a gratifying feeling. Though, not nearly gratifying enough.

"Just please, try and be quick."

As if he had a choice. When she almost looked amused, he wondered if she could read his thoughts.

Before she settled back against his pelt to let him tend the fire in their loins, she raised her voice, almost like an afterthought.

"Will you guys please look away?" She couldn't bear to look over and see if she needed to ask, but the fact that her companions had not spoken or stood did not bode well for her request.

"We would, but we can't move." Sango confirmed her fears that the others were still under his control - the dark jewel in their necks ensured his orders would hold throughout his absence. He only wanted the miko and himself to have enough agency to make the inevitable decision ultimately theirs. He was still going to make sure they watched them.

"I'm sorry, Kagome," the slayer added, her tone awash with sympathy. She was void any disapproval, Sesshoumaru noted, and he hoped that brought the miko solace.

They didn't have much time, but she was already on the edge - it wouldn't take much. And if they were killed right after, none of it would matter anyway.

Pushing everyone else out of her head completely, she turned her attention to Sesshoumaru once again. The barely restrained passion simmering beneath that normally cool exterior made her task fairly easy.

'Who would have thought,' she mused as he laid her back one last time. 'You think you know a guy.'

There was no preamble this time, no kiss to distract her. She was already so prepared for him, so he simply aimed his cock and entered her again.

His triumphant return had them groaning in unison at the invasion. The ache of denial was instantly soothed and remedied with each long, hard slide through her tender folds. Raw nerve endings gripped him tightly, only to let him slip back out to the tip before he forced himself though that tight opening again. Over and over, he plunged furiously, far deeper than she had ever expected to be breached until his hips were pressing flush with the backs of her thighs.

His torso spreading her wide helped the end of his cock make sharp contact with her back wall, and each time he hit, it made him grunt his pleasured response from the top of his chest.

"Don't stop," she sobbed, pleading when he zeroed in on just the right spot. "Gods, Sesshoumaru, don't stop!"

At her goading, he grabbed her ankle with his left hand. He could crush it effortlessly with just a minimal amount of pressure, but instead he held it up like a trophy, testing the flexibility of those long legs she flaunted so shamelessly.

He found she was fairly limber, holding it high above his head so he could spear through her tight slit even deeper than before, and slam into her willing body just the way she needed him to.

Angling himself to drill her perfectly, he increased his fervent pace, becoming more erratic the closer the got them to their goal. Shame, modesty were long since expired, as all that mattered - that made sense now - was reaching that peak together and tumbling helplessly down the other side.

Coherency left him as instinct drove him forward. The desperate tint to her pleas led him where he needed to go, and as his vision began to sparkle; a familiar rippling sensation fluttering around his cock danced in tune with her cries of encouragement, and in perfect sync with each forceful contact that had her tits bouncing violently.

When she finally broke, she exploded around him, trying to pull him with her, but he somehow resisted the blissful call he hadn't known in far, far too long. She cried out her gratitude in the form of his name, but he withheld his own end for just a moment more.

When she finally came down and the pleasure started to subside, he found what he was waiting for. The process started yet again, setting her off like fireworks, and triggered a chain reaction of orgasms that prolonged their pleasure to towering, unfathomable heights.

Just like when he used his mouth, they ran consecutively, over and over without merciful pause, claiming her with no reprieve only to start again, with no ending in sight.

He lost count after the seventh, but still he continued driving into her, faster and harder in hopes of coaxing at just one more. He couldn't say if she was begging him to release her from her sweet torment, or to never let it end – he wasn't even sure she knew.

All he knew was endless euphoria as her slick heat continuously spasmed around him, her own pleasure manifesting into the generous contractions as if she wanted to share the glorious torture, or perhaps just didn't have the capacity to take it all on herself. Time became meaningless, and he wondered if perhaps Naraku had killed him in that lair - permitting him to slip past heaven's guard by some careless mistake - until finally, he lost his strength, lost himself, when the unrepentant fluttering around his cock became too much to endure, and he felt the familiar rush starting at the base of his spine.

He was bleeding where her fingernails were digging into his back, and she used her purchase there to pull him closer even as his hips kept pumping. The sweat streaming down his back mingled with the blood, entering his wounds and causing him to sting wonderfully. His biceps bulged as he braced himself above her, keeping his leverage to thrust fiercely into her convulsing heat.

She cried her final release into his ear before muffling herself by clamping down in his shoulder. Were she demon, it would have concerned him, but the gesture was meaningless to her kind, so he leaned into it, hard.

A noise resembling a gasp escaped him as his long-denied climax finally commenced, and endured through three, four, five good pumps before reaching its pinnacle, and he softly announced its arrival. A few more solid collisions took him down the other side, drawing it out and slowing him to a stop. When he'd wrung every last ounce of pleasure from the encounter, he collapsed atop the gasping woman.

It hadn't taken them long, a couple of minutes at the most, and just a few seconds more to bask in the serenity and completion as they held to each other. They caught their breath as the euphoria melted away, and enjoyed the last few moments of peace before going back to all that awaited them.

He was still panting when he lifted his body off her to roll slightly to the side. They shared a brief glance of accomplishment, perhaps comradery, and most importantly, relief. No words were needed as the warmness was exchanged. Or so she thought.

Sesshoumaru leaned in again to cup his hand behind her neck, angling her to look up at him; she was paralyzed in his hold.

"I suppose that now we know," he said softly, perhaps smugly.

And then, he kissed her.

She squeaked her surprise, but as wide blue eyes drifted closed, a low contented sound replaced it.

When he tore his lips away, she remained stunned in his hold, before registering a prick on the back of her neck.

The feeling of sharp claws entering her skin was a sickly feeling, but she supposed turnabout was fair play. Though his scratch wounds had already healed, he was still sporting a bit of blood.

But this wasn't payback, she soon discovered, as when he withdrew his poison digits, a very large chunk of the Shikon jewel was pinched between them. He held it before her eyes for inspection until she finally took it.

'It's completely purified!' she realized, inspecting keenly. 'How did he-'

Maneuvering his limber arm behind his own head showcased his musculature very attractively, and she could only sit in awe as each powerful section in his upper body made itself known.

When his hand reappeared, it once again held a shard - but only one, unlike the mass cluster she appeared to have had jammed inside her. He offered it, and once again, she eagerly accepted.

She melded the purified shards together, but it didn't make sense - If she couldn't purify it when it was inside her, how did she do it now?

Creasing her brow in confusion, she turned to ask him, only to lose her breath at the sight that greeted her.

A dashing smile, the likes of which she had never seen, was aimed straight at her. With his back to the others, no one but her could see, and if she were to ever tell of it, she knew they would call her a liar. There was a captivating sparkle in his eye to top it off, mischievous and lighthearted of all things. She couldn't help but be suspicious, but all he did was extend his hand in offering.

Unable to produce sounds, she simply grabbed it, and let him pull her up to her feet. They were both still naked, and without all the sexual charge in the air, it was a bit awkward all over again. But he gathered her to him for both warmth and cover, and she had no recourse but to accept. After all that occurred, modesty felt ridiculous.

"That was quite an impressive display, miko," he mumbled in her ear. She immediately flushed, and tried to turn away, but he wouldn't let her. "This One thought you were formidable when you were angry, but it is nothing compared to when you are pleased."

The bewildered look she gave him them proved his suspicions right - she had no idea what he was talking about. To be fair, he'd had her thoroughly distracted at the time. He couldn't help smirking.

"I must admit, I much prefer the sensation from within your barrier," he hinted further, low enough for only her to hear. "It was my instinct to stay away from a priestess' reiki, but it seems I simply needed to get close enough to enjoy it."

It didn't surprise him that she didn't know. Even he didn't know until after she'd finished rearranging the universe as he stood within it.

If he hadn't seen it for himself, he might not even believe that while reiki exists to put a check on demonic youki in battle, what it does to it in times of... more harmonious activities was simply incredible.

Meant to destroy the likes of him when armed with malicious intent, coming together – apparently literally – as allies lends even more power to her cause. And his.

His youki was never stronger than in that moment, and no matter how powerful he was, her trust and comfort with him could only ever add to it. To threaten her or wish her harm can only stifle him at best, and at worst, it could destroy him.

Trust, respect, pleasure... these were things that must be earned and proven. There was no tricking or thieving that power from her. She had to be inclined to give it to him, just as he did.

Never mind giving him the most mind-blowing orgasm he'd ever had by far; harmonizing their powers instead of warring them made the miko strong enough to break the chains of the Shikon's control, and he strong enough to endure it.

He'd never been that close, certainly never seen so much of it, but he was right there at ground zero.

It had been dangerous - thrilling. For a moment, he thought he might be killed. But it felt so fucking good, he could have died in that moment with no regrets.

But he'd survived. All he had to do now was get out of that lair.

He gathered her clothing and handed it to her, careful to avert his gaze despite being privy to every inch of her by now.

Once decent, they approached their friends one by one. With a simple touch, she purified the dark purple shard in their neck, and his precision with his claws extracted them swiftly and painlessly. Each jewel he took was placed in her care without a thought, cementing her trust in him.

When all was said and done, the jewel was only halfway complete. That meant that Naraku could have as much as another half somewhere, save one or three.

But he didn't have these, and after he killed him, Sesshoumaru would give the miko the rest.

They avoided the elephant in the room, along with eye contact, as they tried to make an escape plan. The rest could be dealt with later.

But even Tenseiga could cut the tension between them – suffocating and oppressive as it was, and it only seemed to bolster. His brother's uncharacteristic silence was almost too aggressive to ignore. He hadn't spoken at all, or even looked at either of them, despite the numerous wary glances that kept darting in his direction.

Sesshoumaru didn't mind that – actually, he was relieved. He was certain the whelp would attempt some foolhardy attack on him the second he had the chance - which he was more than happy to oblige him in, but there simply wasn't the luxury of time to waste... for the moment.

Kagome didn't deserve to be shunned, however. Her compliance saved his life, and again when she purified the jewel in his neck. He could hate him all he wished, but he would not allow his brother to shame the girl any worse than she had already managed on her own. Hopefully, that could be mitigated as well.

Inuyasha kept a modest distance while the rest of them put their heads together, for once having no opinions on which course of action they took. They seemed happy to give the boy his space, but apparently, his obnoxious yammering was something the miko couldn't bear to do without.

Gathering her courage, she called his name shyly, but got no response. He looked distant yet contemplative, and if he didn't know better, Sesshoumaru would accuse the whelp of being deep in thought.

"Inuyasha." Sesshoumaru's cold address put a halt on the discussion, and everyone stiffened.

Ignoring each other was often the best you could hope for between the brothers, and so far, their precarious truce remained intact. Only desperation and direness warranted such cooperation, and the unspoken rule between the clans was a good barometer for how bad things were looking. There was no time for their squabbling now, but every man had his limits.

Touching Kagome, even unwillingly, was very volatile territory, and completely within the realm of places too far to come back from. They could die in there if Inuyasha wasn't willing to look past this, at least for now, but Sesshoumaru had trespassed so egregiously that even his friends' lives might not be enough to sway him.

If it were only his life at stake, there was a really good chance he'd trade it in as spitefully as possible. Everyone had his breaking point, and the jury was still out on whether they'd hit on his. It was an incredibly delicate situation, and steering the helm was a famously hostile dog demon with very few confirmed cases of benevolence- particularly where his brother was concerned. It was clear they were all anxious about what Sesshoumaru was about to stir up.

"If you desire to leave this lair, perhaps you wish to participate in devising a plan?" he ventured irritably. "Of course, if you prefer to find your death in this hellscape, by all means, just stand there."

He could feel Kagome's nervous tension - her annoyance - aimed right at him, but he didn't care. His brother would hate him anyway, and he would not tolerate this childishness. They had to get out of there now. If he wished to punish the miko later for her crimes... he would deal with him on the surface.

Inuyasha finally turned, and Kagome ceased to breath as golden eyes acknowledged him at last. Something was off, however. His impassive expression didn't fit him; disaffected made him look like the undead.

They'd both fully expected his murderous rage, at least at Sesshoumaru, but he couldn't even muster a glare. He was staring good and long at the daiyoukai, but that he'd yet to acknowledge Kagome did not seem lost on her either.

He withstood his brother's scrutiny stoically, chin high, like always. Unapologetic. But the half demon still hadn't moved yet.

Was he broken, or just calm? That look in his eyes aged his soul a good century at least. Matured him, in the way only loss can.

It struck Sesshoumaru that this may be a pivotal moment for his brother. Could it be, he was finally ready to behave like a grown demon?

Without a word, the hanyo drew his sword.

'Hn, perhaps there is some animosity,' he recognized. 'But now is not the time.'

He made no move for his own weapon, or even to defend himself as he calmly watched the younger inu advance.

"Inuyasha, we have to get out of here, now." The voice of reason from the stern but neutral monk attempted to persuade him, but to no avail. He lifted his sword, and Sesshoumaru didn't budge.

Gold met gold in an unyielding hold. Neither blinked.

"Inuyasha-" Kagome tried, but it only made him swing faster.

"Windscar!"

Her friends screamed their distress, but Sesshoumaru didn't even try to get out of the way.

He didn't need to, for he saw that he was not the target.

When the dust and rubble cleared, the underground lair was bathed in bright rays of sunlight. The large hole above them was impossibly high, but luckily the demons of the group would ensure they all got out safely.

It was the usual solution to his problems, but this time, swinging a sword at it was actually the right move. When he carefully sheathed his weapon, it became clear he had no intention of starting a fight. Not now, at least.

A collective sigh of relief chased away thoughts of impending doom and almost certain death, but the excitement the prisoners felt at their newfound freedom was very short lived.

Awkward glances were passed around the lair, but no words.

"I don't know how I'm going to face you all after this." Kagome finally broke the silence, albeit staring at her shoes.

Miroku was quick to step forward and put a reassuring hand on her shoulder. He looked like he felt bad for all the times he'd put them on her anywhere else.

"To warp something so beautiful for his sick, twisted purposes is the definition of evil in my book." She looked up to see a very solemn look on his face.

"Sex is a glorious expression of life when enjoyed in consensual company. What just happened to you is not what it represents, and I am very sorry that was your first impression, Kagome-sama. I only hope it does not spoil any future experiences for you, or taint your opinion of its splendor."

He was about as serious as she had ever seen him, certainly while talking about sex. Of all Naraku had done, befouling the reputation of his most favored pastime appeared to be the most unpardonable to the little pervert. Or maybe he just didn't want women turned off to the idea.

Either way, what just happened certainly wasn't a deterrent. If anything, Sesshoumaru advocated for it pretty well.

If it could be that good with someone she didn't even really like, how great was it going to be when she actually fell in love?

The only thing this experience soured her opinion on was Naraku himself, and it was already at record lows to begin with.

"No, it doesn't...I just wish you all hadn't seen it." She looked around to the sympathetic gazes of her friends before settling on the stoic figure standing slightly apart from the rest of them. She closed the short distance between them.

"I am grateful to Sesshoumaru for being so respectful about it," she announced, but she was looking straight up at him. She rested her hand on his silk-clad arm before turning back to face her friends. "Please don't be mad at him. He had no more choice than I did."

Her friends were overprotective, and none of them liked Sesshoumaru... much. But he was as much a victim as she was. He didn't' deserve their animosity. Not for this, at least.

She looked hopefully at Inuyasha, but he still wasn't talking to her. She felt her heart clench, not even ready to fully consider just what was going to happen with them now. How much this was going to change things, including the way he felt about her.

Miroku joined her beside Sesshoumaru. "The circumstances were unseemly, but none can deny it could have been made a lot worse with a less compassionate party." He sought his eyes meaningfully, and tipped his head- albeit with a grim expression. "Thank you, Sesshoumaru-sama, for taking care with her- emotionally, and otherwise."

Despite the concession, the daiyoukai did not look pleased. He instantly turned away from the gesture, rejecting it, with a furious sneer tempting his lip.

"It should not have been allowed to occur," he finally stated.

And while that was the official consensus, Kagome easily read the subtext. She squeezed his bicep.

"You have nothing to be ashamed about," she assured him. When he looked down, he saw the bright blue eyes of a woman who not twenty minutes ago had been writhing beneath him, and that was a problem.

"There was nothing you could have done. Even the most powerful youkai in the world can't win against the Shikon- that's why it's so dangerous."

He did not like to admit he was powerless against anything, but he knew she was right. He could resist the Shikon, but when weaponized against him – so long as the wielder was competent – he could not defeat it alone.

What is it they say one must do when he cannot beat someone? It was hard to think when she was smiling up at him like that.

"We're all okay, and that's all that matters. If we didn't play along like he wanted, we might not have been. We survived!" An extra shake of his arm was supposed to relay her excitement, but he gave her a flat look.

Barely. They'd barely survived, and only because Naraku was an arrogant fool. It was fortune, not fortitude, that saw them through this. Naraku wouldn't make that mistake again.

That was too close. They had to kill him soon. He was stronger every time he showed his disgusting face, and the power he displayed today was much worse than he feared.

The next time he had them in his grasp, he would not be letting go. All he needed was an edge, and he was the king of angles. They had to destroy him before he got lucky.

In the meantime, there was no room for distractions. This incident was unfortunate, but not worth losing sleep over.

"Let us never speak of it." Sesshoumaru's commanding tone won the attention of everyone present, and he made eye contact with each of them briefly. "I would thank you all not to think of it again."

As far as orders went, it wasn't one he could really enforce. Though it was as much for Kagome's benefit as his own.

"Never again," Miroku assured him with an affirming nod.

Sango joined him. "We promise."

Their eyes cut to Kagome, who looked grateful for that, but they were never her true concern.

Inuyasha continued to stare thoughtfully through the Windscar's path of destruction. The blue skies and warm sunlight looked like a brighter future lay ahead. They just had to pull themselves out of the darkness they'd been dragged into to. It was what everyone wanted.

"Inuyasha..." With his youki back full force, he likely heard the miko's timid approach, but he didn't turn her way until she called him by name. Aged golden eyes finally found their way to hers. She bit her lip.

"Can we just pretend this never happened?"

She never looked so nervous as in those endless seconds that followed. She continued to fidget while he appeared to be considering his response.

"Pretend what never happened?"

Overwhelming relief washed everything else away, and her face brightened in a way that encouraged a smile of his own.

"Come on," he said like a leader rallying his troops. "Let's go get that bastard before he gets too far. I'm going to kill him," he vowed, and no one doubted his conviction. Naraku might have just signed his own death warrant with this little stunt.

A sinister smile tainted the hanyo's lips, but boyish golden eyes were bereft any humor as he glared off into nothingness. "and as much as I'd love it, I ain't gonna make the mistake of drawing it out. He's dead."

Not needing to be told twice, Kirara transformed as the others hopped aboard. It was a steep climb out, so Inuyasha helped Kagome onto the fire cat as well. Before they departed, she grabbed ahold of his trailing sleeve.

"Thank you." She all but mouthed it, but Inuyasha's renewed youki picked it up loud and clear, and her weary expression gentled into something more familiar.

Her aura would never be the same, but at least now, it had just a spark of that happy light it used to. It had been missing for some time, even before all this, and he worried he might never see it again. He smiled back just before they took to the air.

Another set of impressive inuyoukai senses picked up on her clandestine message, and when a different pair of gold eyes flickered in response, they clashed with blue even more brilliant than the skies of freedom above them. He held them bravely, briefly, until a very eager fire cat took to those skies, and carried her out of his line of sight, to safety.

He watched as Inuyasha prepared to parkour his way up the steep vertical tunnel next. The hanyo gave pause, however, when a cursory glimpse out of the corner of his eye revealed his curious observation of him.

Abandoning his leap, he turned to face the elder inu plainly. He did not advance, but Sesshoumaru remained silent as his own considering gaze was returned to him with startling impassivity.

If the boy had something to say to him – and he would bet his inheritance that he did – now was the time to get it out without the ever-present ears of his tagalong group of shard hunters.

There was no one to condemn him for - or be hurt by - his actions now. Just them, brother to brother.

As it should be. He must know he would lose any physical altercation he initiated, but he'd rather he got what he needed off his chest before it festered and congealed until he broke his word to the miko.

In truth, Sesshoumaru had his doubts that his brother could keep such a promise. He wouldn't like it, but if need be, he decided his role in this debacle left him obliged to offer her sanctuary, should Inuyasha fail to uphold his end of their bargain. Forgiveness was never his strong suit, and he was so terribly sensitive.

He thought about asking him if his vow had been genuine.

"You coming?"

Sesshoumaru blinked, but gave no answer. That didn't seem to surprise him.

Apparently, he no longer had patience for dallying, and Inuyasha showed him his back once more.

"You better hurry if you wanna piece of him," he called over his shoulder. "Don't think I'll save any for ya."

With a deep crouch, he sprung like a cork, and a few powerful kicks to the walls as he passed took him higher up towards the light.

Sesshoumaru tilted his head skyward to watch his brother make his way out, but his thoughts were way up ahead of him.

Finally alone, he waited for the ringing in his ears to fade away with the chaos and welcomed the silence of preferable solitude to settle in.

Glancing passively around the destroyed lair, he surmised that Naraku would not be happy when he returned. Perhaps he should wait around to see it.

It made slightly more sense to lay in wait than to charge foolishly after him, but was perhaps slightly less proactive. The look on his face would be sweet, though, and he was not one to waste energy needlessly.

The longer he waited, however, the closer he came to the conclusion that too much silence could prove dangerous, at least for now.

He shifted his attention once again to the future, to the bright light at the end of the tunnel, like he were staring up at it from the bottom of a dark well, and let his mind wander a moment more.

That future the rest of them had already ascended to held a great many things for him – important things - and no room for others.

He had to leave those things behind. Down here, where they belonged.

He was tempted to stay a while longer, wait for his foe to return... but it felt too much like procrastination.

He waited for no one, and when he wanted something, he went after it. If he didn't...

He allowed his thought to run its course as his gazed drifted towards the surface, then gave himself a mental shake like a wet dog drying his coat.

'Never again,' he assured himself, and gave a resolute nod to seal it.

He took a moment to clear away the clutter in his brain, and when his mind was forcefully blank, he leapt.

*********

A/N:  Longest oneshot so far, thanks for making it though!

I started this over a year ago, and kinda gave up on it. Then a few weeks ago, I took another look. Never say never!

It's a frustrating part of writing though – at least for me, and I know for others too – when I have all these fics I really want to write, but can't seem to make progress on. Then, I passively look at something I'm not too serious about, and that's the one that wants to get written lol.

I really wish I could choose what I write, but it is so far out of my hands that I wonder if I'm being controlled remotely. Anyone else ever feel like that? Sometimes, maybe?

Also, I like the idea of Lost Chapters, so I can slip things in between the canon and make it more fun for me.

Lemme know what you think.  I don't really know how i feel about this, so i'd appreciate your input ;)

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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