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Pack Instincts by witchenmoon1

Chapter 1: Nesting

A/N: My first ever Inuyasha fic. Please review and let me know what you think.

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Nesting occurs at all stages of life, from the time you are young brought newly into the world by your mother’s strength, to the day you grow old and fill your heart with the love of those around you.

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Kagome looked around at the tranquility of Feudal Japan reminiscing of the natural beauty that surrounded her. The trees were tall and old, surrounded by the various flowers that were filled to the brim with the color of blooms.

Spring in the Feudal era took on a whole new meaning for the futuristic priestess who was used to the sounds of cars and the shadows of tall buildings. She looked to her small campsite of friends as they nibbled at some food for lunch. They rested in the shade of the tall trees next to a pasture of flowers and tall grass.

A quick and frantic aura brushed against Kagome’s own aura and she stiffened turning in the direction that it came. Spreading her aura she tried to decipher what she felt but found nothing. Whatever it was, it was too far away or too small to sense.

“Inuyasha, did you feel that?” Inuyasha slurping his noodles could hear nothing over the growling of his stomach, but stopped in mild agitation at having been interrupted from his lunch.

“Feel what, wench?” Inuyasha gulped his noodles and twitched his ears, but shrugged when he sensed nothing suspicious. Kagome looked at her protector in annoyance and felt the frantic rush of an aura brush against her again for a split second.

“There it is again!” Kagome exclaimed. She couldn’t tell how far away the aura was but she knew it was across the field in the forest on the other side. She stood up her body trained in that direction as she expanded her aura searching for what seemed to be calling to her.

“I don’t feel anything.” Inuyasha growled. Kagome twitched her eye at this and moved towards the field and the forest where the aura had been coming from.

“Oi wench! Where do you think you’re goin’?” Inuyasha called after her, but Kagome kept moving as she looked over her shoulder.

“I’m going to find out where that strange aura is coming from. It’s too weak to be Naraku. I won’t go far so just stay put and finish your ramen.” Rolling his eyes Inuyasha obeyed and took another mouthful of noodles into his mouth as Kagome moved farther into the tall grass of the field. She crossed the tall grass scaring numerous critters from their hiding place, birds leaping into the air as she came upon them. She sprinted until she reached the edge of the field and the beginning of the dark forest.

For a few moments she stopped and spread her aura and waited. Again there was a brush of another aura against hers and Kagome turned slightly and moved towards the feeling.

“Hello? Anybody there?” She knew she wasn’t too far from camp, but being this far away from Inuyasha made her nervous. With Naraku still at large this could easily be a trap, but nothing had seemed evil about the aura that was calling out to her. It felt troubled and frantic, something that seemed to need help. Kagome knew too that whatever it was that was calling to her couldn’t be human. Humans had such weak auras that they hardly even knew it existed.

No. Whatever was reaching out to her was most likely a demon. Demon or not, Kagome felt compelled to help in any way she could. She could only imagine what would have become of Shippo had she not taken him into her group. What if someone else was in need of such care? Inuyasha wouldn’t like it, but he would just have to deal with it.

Kagome had been standing there for a few minutes afraid she had lost her way and was no longer in the direction she needed to be in. Inuyasha could tell his direction just with a flick of ears, but Kagome had no such luxury. With the sun hidden from her view except the occasional snippets of light that burst through the leaves, she could easily become lost. She was about to turn back when a slight whimpering caught her ears. Turning once more she followed the hushed and quiet sounds until she came to a small clearing. A gasp worked its way through her throat on reflex as she had to look away quickly and regain her composure.

A female youkai lay broken and bloodied against the ground, her body dismembered into different positions. Moving slowly, Kagome went to the demon’s side and placed her fingers to bloodied skin to check for a pulse, but found none. It was no wonder as even a demon could not survive something so horrific. That still left the question as to what had been calling to her and Kagome turned to look at the demoness’ face.

The female looked truly beautiful with long brown hair and teal lightning bolts against her cheeks. Her skin, pale as the moon, looked ghostly as it became transparent with death. Her hair was braided against her back but was disheveled and caked with blood. The blood dragged down her blue dress and onto the soft brown fur that draped against her arms. Even that was shredded and ripped as if she had been attacked.

Sighing, Kagome looked up as a hushed whimper caught her ears again. She turned and looked to a nearby tree when a slight movement of a shadow caught her attention. Turning, she stood up and moved slowly to the roots of the tree where a blue bundle wormed in the ground. Leaning down Kagome uncovered the blue cloth from the squirming being and felt her eyes widen.

A youkai baby no more than a month old looked up to her with golden brown eyes, whimpering as he squirmed. He looked thin and hungry his cries becoming desperate and raspy. Looking to the female youkai off to the side Kagome shook her head and then bent to cradle the infant in her arms. Instantly, the baby adjusted to her looking at her and gauging her. She felt the brush of his aura against hers and knew that his was the aura she had felt earlier.

“Hush little one. Everything is going to be fine now.” She cuddled the baby close to her and then decided it best to leave the morbid area that contained the death of the child’s mother.

Kagome moved slowly and carefully back to camp watching as Shippo came running over to her, hesitating when he saw the bundle in her arms.

“Kagome! What’s that in your hands?” As Kagome made her way to the small makeshift campsite she smiled down to Shippo placing her finger to the infant’s mouth. The infant took her finger in hungrily scrunching his face and becoming upset when no nutrients followed.

“It’s a baby.” Kagome said softly catching everyone’s attention. Inuyasha became interested instantly as he, Miroku, and Sango crowded around her.

“Where did you find him?” Sango asked becoming distrustful of the infant.

“I found him in the forest. His mother was dead beside him. Look Inuyasha, he is a dog demon just like you!” Inuyasha growled at Kagome’s words and leant to sniff at the infant, his nose scrunching in disgust. He looked so cute prowling on his hands and knees, his ears and nose twitching.  His ears flattened against his head immediately as he scowled.

“He’s not like me, he’s full blooded.” Inuyasha huffed feeling some jealousy at how Kagome regarded the infant.

“What do you think happened to his mother?” Miroku asked with worry, ignoring Inuyasha’s sour mood. Kagome only shrugged and told Miroku and Inuyasha where she had found the babe. Concerned that such an attack could happen so close to their campsite, the two men ventured in the direction Kagome pointed to find out what happened. As they left, Sango and Kagome sat down with Shippo hovering over the baby.

“What are you going to do with him, Kagome?” Shippo asked moving closer to the babe who let out a wail at the site of the kit. Kagome immediately began to rock the baby trying to calm it from its obviously anxious state.

“Well we should feed him first. Do you know if there is a village nearby where we can get some milk for him? He must be starving, poor little guy.” Kagome nuzzled the infant to stop it from whining but the poor thing kept making its high pitched sound.

“I think so. There may be a village within a few hours of here, but Edo is still a few days away.” Sango said softly almost too soft to be heard over the plaintiff cries of the baby. At that Kagome brightened. She had been worried they were too far from any civilization but hopefully once he got something to eat, the baby would trust them more and be happier.

“That’s what we should do. We’ll go to the village and get some milk and then head to Edo. I can go through the well to my time and get some more supplies for him.” Kagome smiled brightly as she bounced the warm bundle trying to get him to calm.

“Are you sure about this, Kagome? An inuyoukai pup is not something you want to mess with. We don’t know anything about them.” Sango had stayed back for a reason. She was worried and hesitant about helping a youkai child. Her instincts told her demons were dangerous no matter how old, but her experiences spoke differently.

“How hard can it be Sango? I mean he is just a baby.” Sango was shaking her head at this.

“Demons are not the same as humans, Kagome. Raising young isn’t something that can be done by almost anyone. There are certain rituals that must be followed.” She whispered her eyes furrowing into distress.

“Like what?” Kagome asked suddenly interested in what customs and rituals her friend spoke of.

“I don’t know. I’m not a demon.” Sango said lifting her nose into the air. It was unfair to believe the taijiya would know the ways of demons when she herself was not one, but any information was better than nothing and it would give them a good starting point.

“Maybe Inuyasha knows?” Kagome raised her eyes in question but Sango merely looked at her befuddled.

“Perhaps, but he won’t know everything. Remember he was raised by a human mother.” Kagome frowned at this as the baby continued to cry becoming louder as he went.

“Oi Kagome, shut that thing up. You want Naraku to find us?” Inuyasha burst into the campsite looking angry and troubled. Miroku beside him bore a more worried and somber expression as he looked at the baby.

“His mother was poisoned and attacked, Kagome. It isn’t safe to stay here. Perhaps whatever attacked her didn’t realize she had a child, but if they did they will be back. We need to get moving.” Miroku began to hurriedly pack his belongings and the others followed suit. Kagome grabbed her bag and swung it on to her shoulders as they started to move quickly at first traveling into the forest and deviating from the site of the attack.

“Sango said there is a village nearby. We need to stop for some milk for the baby.”

“You’re not actually thinking of keeping him!” Inuyasha’s declaration of what she should and should not do did not go unnoticed by Kagome. Her response was a scowl directed at the hanyou and she felt some amount of pleasure watching his white ears twitch at the oncoming reply.

“Well we aren’t leaving him here! He would die without us.” Thinning her lips she watched as Inuyasha sulked in the back of the group. Turning to Sango she motioned for the things on Kilala’s back.

“Hey Sango, give me my canteen, maybe that will settle him down.” Sango handed the priestess her canteen and she brought the container to the baby’s lips and watched the liquid swim down his throat. Even though it was not milk the baby lapped at it hungrily, but remained uneasy and distressed. Still he calmed some continuing to squirm every time Kagome said something.

“I don’t like this Kagome. We don’t know whose brat it is.”

“Hush Inuyasha. Maybe we should find Sesshomaru. He may know…”

“There ain’t no way in hell we are going near that bastard!” Inuyasha showed his fangs in anger as if that would convince Kagome otherwise. As it was the hanyou was absolutely no help forth coming information in how to raise demon babies. It was only logical though since he had never been around demons much to begin with, let alone their young.

“Well we don’t have any other option. We need to find someone to take the baby. Maybe he knows of someone.” Kagome’s reasoning was sound to her alone. Everyone else was still uneasy with the idea of crossing paths with the daiyoukai. Still it was the only lead they had unless they stumbled upon Myoga. The little flea was even harder to find than the daiyoukai and only appeared when he needed to or when he needed a safe place to hide from danger.

“You don’t understand Kagome! He will kill us first before he helps us.” Sango replied, but Kagome shook her head.

“He won’t kill us while we have a baby. I won’t let him. I’ll purify him first.” The others shook their heads not believing her words, but eventually had to consent that it was the only idea they had. Kagome would not relinquish the child to any other but the child’s family. Although her friends loved this side of Kagome, they were worried it would threaten their lives. If other youkai thought Kagome had stolen a youkai baby they may try to attack them and with a baby in her arms Kagome was vulnerable. She had yet to consider that using her powers may affect the baby and could kill it. If that happened she would never forgive herself.

They walked the rest of the way to the village and bought the milk Kagome needed. She fed it to the baby who cried for it hungrily and finally slept after what seemed hours of fussing. The silence was the most welcome thing at the moment and the group breathed a little easier.

 

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