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Crime and Punishment by Serephina of the Kamis

Chapter 1: The Last Straw

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

CHAPTER 1: THE LAST STRAW

Sesshoumaru patrolled the edges of his territory, checking for any sign of intrusion worthy of notice. The moonlight filtered down to him, and the quiet comforted him in ways that companions never could. He checked a final time, and satisfied that the borders were safe, he started to head to his place.

His place was a small, protected area, with wards so powerful that no human or demon could even hope to shatter them. Only he could enter and leave. He was the place he went to calm himself, where he could freely be without worry about who saw and who did not. It was as close to home as he knew.

“Halt, demon!” The sound of a human voice shattered the silence. A human stood before him, a houshi by the robes he wore. “Surrender to my power.”

Sesshoumaru barely spared the man a glance. “You stand in my way. Move.”

“I will not move until you are banished from this Earth!” The houshi shouted. He pulled out a scroll and sent it flying at Sesshoumaru.

But he was no longer there. The houshi stared in confusion, before pain rippled through him. He barely had time to register the pain before he died, the poison whip having cut through him in an instant.

Sesshoumaru walked on, his thoughts on getting to his secret place.

à The Palace of the Gods ß

The doors to the forum burst open, and a very angry human looking woman entered. “Inugami*!” She shouted, sparks of power flying off of her.

The giant white wolf licked his lips nervously. “Why, Zureinoshimei! What brings you to the Demonic Forum?”

“You know very well what!” Zureinoshimei screamed. “Sesshoumaru! I thought I told you to take care of him!”

“I did!” Inugami insisted, ignoring the looks of contempt from the other gods. “I’ve visited him in dreams, I’ve sent him helpers, and I’ve even written the message out in stone! He just won’t listen to me!”

“Do you know what he’s done this time, Inugami?” Zureinoshimei shouted, stomping up to the giant dog. “He killed another houshi. The one I finally found to replace the reincarnation of the replacement of the reincarnation of the houshi that he killed two hundred years ago. The one who was supposed to father Houshigami’s reincarnation!”

Inugami winced. He was still in the doghouse for that slipup of Sesshoumaru’s. “I’m very sorry, Zureinoshimei-sama. I’ll make sure that it won’t happen again.”

“No, it won’t happen again.” Her eyes blazed as she spoke, causing all the assembled to shrink back. “Assemble the Demonic Court.”

ß Sesshoumaru à

When had this village grown here? Sesshoumaru had come this way just a few weeks ago, and it had not been here.

Oh wait. He hadn’t been checking for humans. No wonder he’d missed it. Not that it really mattered anyway.

“Demon!”

“Oh kami, it’s a demon!”

“Run for your lives!”

“Women and children first!”

“Assemble the guard!”

Sesshoumaru nearly rolled his eyes as he walked forward. They were all the same: panicky weaklings who thought the world should revolve around them.

He stopped only when a line of armed humans stood in his way. “You stand in my way. Move.”

“Stand ready men!” A human shouted. “Don’t back down.”

Sesshoumaru smirked as the bloodbath began.

ß Palace of the Gods à

“This just proves my point!” Zureinoshimei shouted, pointing to the globe that showed them Sesshoumaru’s deeds. “It’s not just that he’s doing this. It’s that he’s enjoying it as well. There’s no point!”

The four major gods (the gods of the canines, felines, birds, and fish), a representative of the lesser gods (insects and rodents), and Inu no Taisho looked into the globe as well. And even Inu no Taisho couldn’t argue as he had done every other time.

“I agree that something must be done.” He admitted. The others nodded in agreement.

“I want to be the one to administer justice.” Zureinoshimei continued.

“Wait! Hold up a second!” Inugami shouted. “He’s an inuyoukai. That means he’s under my jurisdiction.”

“And what have you done about him thus far?” Zureinoshimei demanded. He looked down guiltily.

Politics still played a major part in the Demon Forum. Nekogami* hated Inugami, and so sided with Zureinoshimei. Torigami* thought Inugami was too lax, and so sided with Zureinoshimei. Sakanagami* hated Torigami, and so sided with Inugami. Inu no Taisho knew that someone responsible needed to take care of Sesshoumaru, but felt that Inugami wouldn’t do anything correctly, so he sided with Zureinoshimei. Shitappagami* wanted to get on Zureinoshimei’s good side, so he sided with her.

“Final count: 5 for Zureinoshimei, 2 for Inugami. Jurisdiction goes to Zureinoshimei.”

 

à Sesshoumaru ß

The fighters had quickly been decimated, and Sesshoumaru drank in the sights and sounds. The remaining women and children started to flee.

Sesshoumaru chased after them, going after every last remnant of the humans who dared to challenge him. Each woman’s scream resounded in his ears like a symphony of joy. His smile widened after each kill.

“Stop!”

“Please!”

“Have mercy!”

“My children!”

He listened to their pleas only enough to add to the symphony. No begging could touch his heart.

And then the women were gone, and only the children remained. But children were easily disposed of, and not worth his time.

“You evil demon!” A stone smashed into him, and Sesshoumaru turned. One of the girls had gathered the courage to attempt to strike him? Sesshoumaru growled. No one would strike a taiyoukai and live to tell the tale.

 

ß The Palace of the Godsß

“That rotten dog!” Zureinoshimei shouted. “Start the spell. NOW!”

“What about you?” Inugami whined.

“I have children to protect!”

 

ß Sesshoumaru à

Sesshoumaru enjoyed the way the life seeped from the little girl. She struggled for breath even as her eyes glassed over, and she slowly drifted away. . .

“Drop her, Sesshoumaru.” Sesshoumaru turned and saw a human woman standing before him.

Sesshoumaru smirked. “No mere female will order this Sesshoumaru.” He dropped the child and charged at the human.

Zureinoshimei shook her head at his foolishness. With a casual flick of her hand, the ground below Sesshoumaru glowed, and he froze in mid step. “You should be careful who you attack, Sesshoumaru.” Her eyes glowed with power, and the air around her crackled. “I would have thought that the loss of your arm would have taught you that.”

Sesshoumaru’s mind raced. It couldn’t be that he had just attacked a god. . . could it? He tried to speak, but found he could not even move his mouth to speak. “You’ll be dealt with soon enough, pup.” Zureinoshimei continued, ignoring his growls. “For now, you can stand there and think about what you’ve done.”

How dare the woman treat him like an errant puppy? When he broke free, he’d devise a slow and pain filled death for her.

Zureinoshimei walked up to the children slowly. “Come here, my kodonos.” She crooned. The children ran to her, and she embraced each as best she could. She whispered her words of comfort softly as the day became night, and each one cried themselves to sleep. She set them down carefully, and checked to make sure they did not awaken. Then she began to chant.

Memories will die away to nothing

Hurts will heal and scars will fade

The lives lived here will be but a dream

New lives await thee in this night.”

Each of the children dissolved into small balls of light and shot away into different directions. In the morning, they would awaken with new families, new memories, and the pain of this day and their old life would fade to become a mere dream. “Be safe, and be happy, kodonos.” Zureinoshimei whispered. “Live your new lives.”

She turned and watched as the ground around Sesshoumaru began to glow. A beam of light shone down on him, and he began to slowly disintegrate. “You better pray, and pray hard, Sesshoumaru.” She whispered. “Because I am not so forgiving as Inugami.”

 

ß InuYasha’s Group à

“Kagome! Wake up!” InuYasha shouted, standing over her angrily. She opened her eyes sleepily, then saw who it was.

“Ten more minutes.” She rolled over, intent on ignoring him.

It had been three years since the defeat of Naraku, and Kagome had already given up any chance of a life in the future. She’d felt more at home in the past anyway. The village now knew her as Lady Kagome, Lady Kaede’s young apprentice.

Miroku and Sango had been married, and were currently rebuilding the slayer’s village along with Kohaku. The young slayer was slowly making a recovery from his days as Naraku’s lackey, and was even starting to smile. Miroku had lost the kazanna, and now worked as a regular monk who exploited the superstitions of the times. Sango worked off and on as a slayer, mostly on. However, recently she had been forced to take it easy since she got pregnant.

InuYasha still hung around, much to the surprise of everyone. He had kept his promise to Kikyo, or at least tried to. But something had gone wrong while she was dragging him to hell.

“Kagome! It’s already an hour after dawn. Get up!” InuYasha shouted. He tried to shake her, scowling as his hand went through her. He concentrated hard, and managed to push her a little bit.

Kagome sat up with a glare. “InuYasha. It’s my day off. Let me sleep, or I’ll seal you into a tree again!” Then she fell back down and muttered sleepily. “Stupid ghost waking me up every morning.”

InuYasha grinned. Knowing how weird it made people feel when he touched them without making himself solid, he stuck his hand through Kagome’s head. She sat up with a yell. “InuYasha! Sit!”

InuYasha slammed towards the ground, and went through the floor. For reasons no one understood, the subjugation necklace still worked tremendously well.

But by now, Kagome was too awake to sleep. “Thanks a lot, InuYasha.” She grumbled. “Now I have to get up.”

“Serves you right for sticking me through the floorboards.” InuYasha muttered.

Kagome glared but said nothing. Instead, she stood and grabbed her clothes. “Get out. I’m changing.”

InuYasha fled, muttering something about not wanting to go blind. Kagome scowled, but let it go. “And don’t be terrorizing the village again, InuYasha.” Kagome warned.

InuYasha had made it his favorite past time to cause trouble in the village. Only those who could sense power were able to see him, which meant that the villagers didn’t know that InuYasha’s spirit still lingered in the world. He had tremendous fun freaking out villagers. Even more fun was helping Miroku with his false exorcisms.

Kagome emerged from her hut after a quick kiss for Shippou, who still managed to sleep in his little corner. She headed to Kaede’s, ready for another day of training.

She never made it.

 

à Zureinoshimei ß

She watched in amusement as Sesshoumaru continued to check the strength of his restraints. She had to admit, he impressed her with his ability to remain calm despite being summoned before Gods. Asking for evidence of his crimes. That’s a new one. Hopefully, her plan would work. If not, there was always plan B.

Five figures shimmered to life in front of the council: a kitsune cub, three humans, and a ghost. Shippou, Miroku, Sango, Kagome, and InuYasha.

“Where the hell are we?” InuYasha shouted. Then he spotted Sesshoumaru chained inside a small iron box. “You bastard! What the hell do you-”

“Sit boy.” Kagome said quietly. InuYasha plummeted down. Kagome turned to the council and bowed. “What an honor to meet you, Zureinoshimei-sama.”

“It is an honor to be recognized, young miko.” Zureinoshimei said kindly. “I’m happy to meet you, and your friends.”

“Who the hell are you?” InuYasha demanded, only to be sat once more.

“Forgive our ignorance, Zureinoshimei-sama.” Miroku said calmly, standing slightly in front of Sango. “But you are the Zureinoshimei, the Goddess of Fate?”

“Yes, houshi.” Zureinoshimei said with a small smile. She gestured to her left. “This is Inugami, and Torigami. To my right are Sakanagami, Shitappagami, and Inu no Taisho.”

InuYasha froze, his face still several inches in the ground from his last sitting. Kagome gulped, and sent up a silent prayer. Please, please tell me that I have not just sat InuYasha the one chance he has to really talk to his father.

 

Sorry honey. Kagome jumped as Zureinoshimei’s voice answered her thought. Even we can’t do anything about that.

InuYasha stood very slowly and turned his infamous devil-may-care face towards the former Lord of the West. He remained silent, looking almost like Sesshoumaru as he faced his father.

Inu no Taisho smiled sadly. “Hello, InuYasha.”

InuYasha nodded, not sure what to say. Inu no Taisho stood silently, and the air tensed as the silence prolonged. Finally InuYasha nodded. “Hello, Dad.”

Once again, silence filled the room. Really, what could either of them say? “Oh son, I’m so proud of you for letting an evil bitch drag you to hell” didn’t seem to fit the situation. Nor did “wow, Dad, death really suits you.”

Luckily, they were saved from further conversation by a small cough. “As wonderful as all this is,” Inugami interjected, “We should probably get back to the issue at hand.”

Zureinoshimei glared, but nodded. “Very well.” She turned to InuYasha and the others. “Sesshoumaru is here on trial.”

InuYasha stared. “Huh?”

“We’ve been watching him for a while, and the simple fact is that he’s crossed one too many lines.” Zureinoshimei explained. “Something has to be done, and quickly.” She glanced over at Sesshoumaru. “However, we have allowed that we should receive the opinions of others before we make our decision.”

InuYasha stepped forward. “Ask me! Ask me!”

Zureinoshimei rolled her eyes. “All of you have had encounters with Sesshoumaru in the past. We ask that you step into the circle in front of us. It will show us what we need to know.”

InuYasha stepped forward immediately. “Anything to help get rid of Sesshoumaru.” He said cheerfully. The rest of them followed a bit more warily, but were encouraged by the soft smile the Goddess of Fate sent them.

For the humans, the flow of memories was hard to follow. It seemed to be a barrage of images, disjointed from one another in every way possible. But the general theme seemed to be images where Sesshoumaru had threatened them in some way. Most of them seemed to be from InuYasha’s point of view, very understandably.

Sesshoumaru watched disgustedly. How could it possibly be that the people who knew the most of him were his half-brother and his companions? Surely he wasn’t that anti-social!

Zureinoshimei watched the flow of memories, and her face darkened. Perhaps they had already acted too late. Maybe he couldn’t be saved. . . she shook her head. He’d be saved if it killed her. . . or a certain kind hearted woman.

“I’ve seen enough.” Zureinoshimei said. The circle stopped glowing, and Sesshoumaru’s cage was brought forward. “As executor of this court, I, Zureinoshimei of Fate, give your sentence.” She looked down at Sesshoumaru, and allowed every bit of the disgust she felt for him show. “Your punishment is death.”

Sesshoumaru stared at Zureinoshimei in open shock. Actually, nearly everyone in the room stared at the insane goddess in open shock.

“Furthermore,” She continued. “You will not be reincarnated until I am sure that you have learned to respect the right of others to life.”

Inugami started shouting. “Zureinoshimei-sama! You can’t be serious! That’s harsh, even for you!”

“I second that motion!” InuTaisho called. “I do agree that something must be done. But death? Isn’t that a bit extreme?”

“I’ll kill him for you!” InuYasha shouted.

“Stay out of it!” Inugami and InuTaisho shouted together, causing InuYasha to cringe back.

“Serves you right.” Sango muttered.

Zureinoshimei ignored the arguing around her, and walked down to Sesshoumaru’s cage. “I’m very sorry that it had to come to this, Sesshoumaru.” Her eyes showed that she really did regret it. “Perhaps we should have acted sooner. But we’ll never know what could have happened had we acted before.” She raised a glowing hand, and reached out to Sesshoumaru. . .

“Stop!” Zureinoshimei paused in shock as a body collided with her own. The light left her hand, and she whirled, intending to demolish whoever had dared to strike her.

Behind her, Kagome stumbled back and ran to stand in front of the cage. “You can’t do this!” She shouted.

“Kagome!” InuYasha screeched, running forward to stand beside her. “What do you think you’re doing?”

“I agree with the brash hanyou.” Zureinoshimei said heatedly. “What are you doing?”

“I can’t let you kill him!” Kagome insisted.

Zureinoshimei lifted an eyebrow. “Really. Pray tell, why isn’t death a suitable punishment for one who has caused so much of it?”

“Firstly, he has a daughter.” Kagome pled. “Not a biological one, but a human child that he adopted. Her name is Rin, and she’ll be crushed if he doesn’t return to her.”

Sesshoumaru stared at the miko in shock. Was she actually defending him?

“Secondly, he isn’t completely evil! There were plenty of times he could have finished off InuYasha, but he never did. He even had the chance to take Tetsusaiga, but after he found out it sealed his blood he never tried to take it again!”

How was it that this human girl took perfectly normal actions and twisted them to make him sound good? If anyone found out about this, his reputation would be in shambles.

“He brought his daughter Rin back from the dead, and didn’t kill Kouga the next time they met, even though he’s the one who killed her. And he protected a human castle from an invading force. He even helped out Jaken’s people, though only you kamis would know why anyone would want to help Jaken!”

He’d forgotten about that day. He certainly would have been better off if he had just ignored the little power struggle.

“He was also essential to destroying Naraku.” Kagome continued. “The greatest threat to human and demons, and he helped to destroy it. Now only that, but he saved me, Miroku, and Sango from Mukotsu, a minion of Naraku’s. That has to count for something! And-”

“Enough, Shikon Miko.” Zureinoshimei said, a small grin on her face. “You have made your case. Now move aside. You stand in my way.”

“You can’t kill him.” Kagome said stubbornly. “I can’t just let you kill him when he’s all tied up and unable to defend himself. It’s just wrong.”

Ah. So this was why she defended him. Some part of her thought it was wrong to attack someone who couldn’t defend themselves. Interesting.

Zureinoshimei sighed. “I swear to you, I will not kill him. My word as a goddess.”

Kagome hesitated, then nodded and returned to her friends, berated the entire way by an infuriated InuYasha. “I can’t believe you’d defend him!”

“As if we’d expect anything less from Kagome.” Sango said with a small exasperated smile. “Someday that will be the death of you Kagome.”

Zureinoshimei had reached her throne once more. “I can’t believe that I’m about to say this, but I was wrong.” The entire room stared in shock, Sesshoumaru included. “Perhaps death is not the correct way to deal with the problem of Sesshoumaru.” An evil grin spread across her face. “I just thought of something much better.” She turned to the witnesses. “Miko of the Shikon, step forward.”

Kagome approached cautiously. “Yes, Zureinoshimei-sama?” She asked nervously.

“Sesshoumaru places no value on the lives of other.” Zureinoshimei began sweetly. “You place so much that you would risk your own life to save your enemy’s. That says something to me. Mainly that Sesshoumaru could learn a lot from someone like you.”

Kagome just kind of stared, a bit afraid to find out the Goddess’s plan. “I’m afraid to ask, but. . . what does that mean for me?”

Zureinoshimei raised a hand, and the chains around Sesshoumaru glowed and expanded. One chain stretched out and wrapped itself around Kagome’s waist, to the protest of her friends. A small shield surrounded them, keeping them away.

Catenas, frenum, adstingos

Duo vitas ligare a fas

Ad glacies feverfacio in flamma

Ac alius esse addo ante ego

Deinde catenas solvo

Ac duo esse eripio denique.*”

The chains faded and dissolved, as did Sesshoumaru’s cage, leaving only Sesshoumaru and Kagome standing. “What just happened?” Kagome asked timidly.

Zureinoshimei answered her question in the most bizarre way Kagome could imagine. “Sesshoumaru, submit to your mistress.”

And Sesshoumaru knelt and bowed to Kagome.

 

à InuYasha and Company ß

Miroku stared off into space as the light around them cleared. She didn’t use that spell. . . did she?

“What the hell!” InuYasha demanded. “Where’s Kagome!”

“Miroku, what just happened here?” Sango asked, worriedly looking at her husband.

“Miroku?”

“I think. . . Zureinoshimei-sama used a binding spell. . .”

 

à Zureinoshimei ß

“Kagome, dear, if you don’t calm down, I’m going to get very cross with you.” Zureinoshimei warned.

“How can I calm down when you’ve placed some weird spell over me, and now Sesshoumaru is bowing to me!” Kagome screamed, on the very edge of panic. She was officially a dead woman. She really shouldn’t have shot off her mouth.

Sesshoumaru for his part, was desperately trying to stop bowing. But try as he might, he couldn’t see to remove himself from the floor so he could kill the human girl. At least InuYasha’s companions and the other gods had left.

“Kagome, if you’ll allow me to explain, I will tell you why this is necessary.” Zureinoshimei waved a hand, and a chair appeared next to Kagome. “Please, sit.” She looked over at Sesshoumaru. “Now, now, Sesshoumaru, sitting like that really is demeaning.” She gestured again, and another chair appeared. “Sit in the chair.”

Sesshoumaru felt the restraints lift as another set took over, leading him to the chair. His growls were obvious even to Kagome’s ears. “Release the spell. Immediately.”

“No.” Zureinoshimei said with a huge smile. “I don’t want to.”

Sesshoumaru snarled and struggled, but found he couldn’t leave the chair. He started attacking the chair, aware that he looked like a complete idiot. The fact just made him more furious.

Zureinoshimei glanced at Sesshoumaru, realizing that perhaps something should be done. “Sesshoumaru, stop acting like a puppy and sit in the chair like a good boy. Oh, and don’t talk unless you’re actually using words. Your growls are giving me a headache.”

Sesshoumaru felt himself freeze, and the growls emanating from him caught in his throat. His eyes went red, but he found he couldn’t transform. Someone was going to die.

“Here are the most important rules you’ll need to know. Firstly, Sesshoumaru, if Kagome dies, then you will die as well. It is in your best interests to keep her alive.”

Damn. So he couldn’t kill the woman. Perhaps he could just keep very far away from her.

“Second, you will have to remain within calling distant of Kagome. So don’t try to run away.”

Another plan shot down. Okay, he could threaten her friends. That would make her do anything she wanted.

“Oh, and you can’t harm any of her friends. You got all that?”

Damn the woman. She’d thought of everything.

“What are you talking about!” Kagome screamed.

“Well, you see my dear, Sesshoumaru needs to learn how to value life. You’re the only one who can teach him.” Zureinoshimei laughed at the looks she got from both of them. “It’ll be fun. I promise.”

Kagome sat there with her head in her hands. “Why me?”

Zureinoshimei just shook her head. “Sesshoumaru is now bound to you until such a time he places the life of another before his own. When that happens, the spell will be broken.”

Kagome nearly cried. “So basically, I’m stuck with him forever!”

Zureinoshimei shook her head. “No. Just until he learns his lesson.” Seeing Kagome’s look of doubt, he continued. “On the upside, he won’t be able to bully you.”

Kagome laughed. “Right. Because he’s going to roll over and listen to whatever I say.”

Zureinoshimei grinned. “How’d you know?”

Kagome stared in shock. “You can’t be serious.”

Zureinoshimei gestured. “Try giving him a command. When I had him submit to his mistress, his youkai recognized you as his alpha. He’ll listen to any and all commands you have because his youkai will force him too.” She grinned again. “Although my spell will keep it from challenging you for dominance.”

Kagome shook her head. “This is all a huge joke. Or a really bad dream.”

Zureinoshimei rolled her eyes and nudged her. “Try it.”

Kagome gulped. “Do I have to?”

“Well, you can always reject my idea.” Zureinoshimei said with a sigh. “Of course, that will mean that Sesshoumaru failed, and then we’d go to plan B.”

“What’s plan B?”

“Death.”

Kagome glared. “That’s not giving me a choice! That’s tell me ‘help this dude or he’ll die!’ What kind of a choice is that?”

“My kind.” Zureinoshimei answered with a laugh. “Now, will you take Sesshoumaru as a part of your pack? Or do you want me to kill him?”

Kagome’s glare could have burned holes in Zureinoshimei’s soul. “Do I have a choice?”

“Not really.” Zureinoshimei said brightly. “Now, try giving Sesshoumaru a command.”

Kagome gulped and turned to Sesshoumaru, whose look dared her to try it. He was silently plotting the many ways he would kill her once he could move. “Um. . . lie down?”

Sesshoumaru felt his body try to move, but put all his will into stopping himself. He managed to stop himself. . . barely.

Kagome stared in confusion. “I don’t get it.”

Zureinoshimei sighed. “Kagome, what would you do if someone ordered you to lie down while sounding like they didn’t expect you to listen?”

Kagome shrugged. “Um. . . I wouldn’t do it?”

“Very good.” Zureinoshimei mocked, a small smile on her face as Kagome glared again. “The commands will only take if you are firm. You have to believe that the command will be followed.” She turned to Sesshoumaru. “Sesshoumaru, lie down.”

Sesshoumaru could feel the difference in the command, and struggled to snarl as he felt himself fall. Evil sadistic bitch!

Zureinoshimei frowned. “You know what? I don’t like the tone of your thoughts, Sesshoumaru. Apologize.”

Sesshoumaru felt his mouth open, only to be stopped when Zureinoshimei continued. “You know what. Scratch that. I want a long, flowery apology that emphasizes how much you adore me.”

Sesshoumaru glared as he felt the words leave his mouth. Each word was drenched in sarcasm and unfiltered hate, and said in the most mocking way he could think of. “Oh, Zureinoshimei-sama, greatest goddess of all who dwell upon your best creation, the planet earth, I-”

Kagome intervened. “Don’t apologize, Sesshoumaru.” Sesshoumaru clamped his mouth shut in relief, and almost felt grateful to her.

“Oh, come on!” Zureinoshimei complained. “I was having fun!”

“You stuck him like this, Zureinoshimei.” Kagome glared. “You don’t get to have fun with it. Not when you stuck the two of us together. Do you realize how much of a hell I’m going to go through with InuYasha? Now that he’s a ghost, he can drive me even further insane than when he was alive!”

Zureinoshimei pouted. “Fine. Be that way.” She grinned evilly. “You still need a punishment word.”

Sesshoumaru whirled on her. “This Sesshoumaru will not-”

“Oh shut it, Glacier King.” Zureinoshimei said dismissively. “Kagome needs a way to teach you how NOT to act. Kind of like InuYasha and ‘sit.’” She laughed at the snarls that ripped through Sesshoumaru at the mention of InuYasha.

Kagome glanced at the goddess nervously. “Um. . . you didn’t happen to go INSANE did you?”

“I am perfectly sane, I assure you.” Zureinoshimei said with a giggle. “Now, punishment word.”

Kagome glanced at Sesshoumaru, and could almost feel the hate that radiated from him. She has made me a dead woman. No matter what her spell does, I’m going to die.

“Um. . . bad dog?” Nothing happened.

Zureinoshimei coughed. “Firm, Kagome.”

Sesshoumaru’s gaze turned murderous, and Kagome nearly fainted in fear. “Bad Dog!”

With a loud, resounding WHAM, Sesshoumaru fell face first into the ground. Kagome jumped behind Zureinoshimei and he stood and lunged at her. Zureinoshimei merely laughed. “Kagome, use the words. You control him, remember?”

Sesshoumaru charged at her again, and nearly had her throat. . . “Bad dog!” He slammed into the ground. “Bad dog!” WHAM! “Bad dog!” SLAM!

After the last one Sesshoumaru stayed down. It was less of an indignity than being punished multiple times. Kagome ran to the other side of the room and watched warily as he stood.

Zureinoshimei sighed. “Sesshoumaru? Remember rule number 1? If Kagome dies, you die?”

“The rule said nothing about not harming her.” Sesshoumaru growled, stalking forward toward Kagome, who was currently searching for a way out.

“Kagome! I believe in you!” Zureinoshimei shouted, earning a look of disbelief from Sesshoumaru and Kagome. “Okay, let me rephrase. Use your ability to command him. You’re his alpha! Act like it!” Kagome still couldn’t speak. “Pretend it’s InuYasha!”

Sesshoumaru snarled and surged forward. “Bad dog!” His face met the ground again. “You will not harm me, Sesshoumaru.” He stood slowly, shaking with anger, a fact that Kagome noticed and understood. “Do not attack me.”

Sesshoumaru tried to ignore the command, but felt himself back away, to his everlasting fury. Someday. . . someday.

Zureinoshimei smiled. “Now you have the hang of it. Well, that means it’s time to send you back. Remember the rules Sesshoumaru. It really would be a waste to have kill you!”

A glowing circle encompassed the two of them, and they disappeared from the Goddess’s sight. Zureinoshimei felt the presence of another, and turned with a smile to see InuTaisho and Inugami walking towards her. “That was your plan all along, wasn’t it?” InuTaisho asked with a grin.

Zureinoshimei laughed. “Well, I am an expert on human nature. That girl is possibly the only one who will be able to tame Sesshoumaru. He’ll be put through hell once she gets over her fear of him.”

“What makes you so certain she will?” Inugami asked, still miffed that his own plans were not even close to being effective.

Zureinoshimei rolled her eyes. “Please. An evil glare, a threatening growl or snarl? They only work for so long before a person gets used to them. She’ll whip him into shape before long.”

Inugami’s eyes glinted. “Want to bet on it?”

Zureinoshimei grinned. “Of course.”

Inugami’s grin mirrored Zureinoshimei’s own. “If Kagome doesn’t manage to tame him within her first lifetime, then you get the idea of instant ramen out one hundred years sooner.”

Zureinoshimei’s grin widened. “Alright. And when she tames him before she dies, you get reincarnated as a woman, AND you have to eat three hundred pieces of chocolate!”

“Deal!” Inugami said with a laugh. They shook on it, each certain of victory.

 

*

Zureinoshimei: One of my made up names. Zurei: trick. No: of. Shimei: fate. Literally “Trick of Fate”

Inugami: Dog god

Houshigami: Monk god

Nekogami: Cat god

Torigami: Bird god

Sakanagami: Fish God

Shitappagami: Underling god.

Zureinoshimei’s spell:

“Chains, restraints, binds,

Two lives connected by fate

Until ice melts in fire

And another be placed before the self

Then chain shall break

And two shall be free again.”

 

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