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defenseless
August 23th, 2021

I.

“You tried to kill me,” Inuyasha says matter-of-factly, to which Sesshomaru does nothing but raise an eyebrow, unimpressed. Still, his hanyou brother learned to read him already. "Last time we met, in the serpent-demon's liar, you tried to kill us.’’ he clarifies, “And now you call me here? You expect us to pretend nothing has happened and we're just... what?"

“I fail to see what the problem is. I tried to kill you multiple times in the past. It hardly stopped you from agreeing to partake in this activity.”

Inuyasha sighs with chagrin. Clearly Sesshomaru understands that this is different. He must understand that their little tryst implied that they would take a break from harming each other. It wasn’t like they cared about one another, not at all – Inuyasha despised his asshole of a brother just as much, and he was sure the feelings were mutual, but he imagined that they would at least tolerate each other more than the few hours they were required in order to make this happen.

“You tried to kill me before we had this… whatever this is.” He made sure to emphasize the word enough that Sesshomaru wouldn't be able to ignore it.

“I didn’t specifically mean to kill you this time. You were just in my way.”

“Shit, why didn't you say so from the beginning? I feel so much better knowing that my death would've been only an accident.”

“I sense sarcasm in your voice.”

Inuyasha's shoulders drop, signaling just how defeated he feels — he doesn't mean to show his emotions so plainly, but since these sporadic meetings have started, he's become more comfortable with letting his guard down around his brother. Perhaps his increasing ability to read Sesshomaru is also to blame. He knows the yokai gets it, but for all he knows he doesn’t care. Inuyasha is just a means to an end to him and it is foolish to think that his behavior and feelings would change just because they were now having sex.

“I gather you would like to leave?” The demon asks with what Inuyasha imagines is a subtle caution that seems so very unlike him.

He could. It would be easy to leave, Inuyasha thinks, and then never return. Not meeting Sesshomaru outside the battlefield is a thought that briefly crosses his mind. It does also seem to be the easiest thing to do, yet he can't seem to simply turn around and leave. Perhaps he wants this just as much.

“I’m staying, but I’m not going to make this pretty for you.”

Sesshomaru's blank stare becomes even more devoid of emotion, if such a thing is even possible. “I don’t understand. If you mean to take me, you must already know that I’m always on the receiving end of our agreement.”

Inuyasha sighs once again. Trying to explain these things to the always proper and meticulous future demon lord was futile, he found out a while ago, so he decides to speak the only language both know fluently. He grabs Sesshomaru’s locks, a bit more forcefully than he intended, and pulls the man into a violent kiss.

As always, the yokai is more than receptive to Inuyasha’s whims, letting himself be manhandled in any way his brother sees fit, even encouraging the roughness.

This is perhaps the reason Inuyasha agreed to having sex with his own brother in the first place. He likes seeing Sesshomaru like this, submissive and apparently defenseless. This is hardly the case, he's aware; if things were to ever go south he would be more than able to defend himself and even kill Inuyasha in the process, but while he is by no means up the creek, the hanyou relishes the thought that his brother is not in control either.

He pushes Sesshomaru to the ground, allowing him little time to accommodate to the damp and cold stone floor of the cave. Just as he promised, Sesshomaru's comfort is a long since discarded thought. Instead, Inuyasha chases his own pleasure and gratification, once again kissing and biting at the yokai's lips, and it feels better than it should. Seeing his brother beneath him, motionless and malleable makes him feel powerful in a twisted and perverse way.

Inuyasha is usually gentle, as gentle as he could possibly be with Sesshomaru , but everything that happened between them lately makes him lose his temper, and the fact that he is finally in this position of power makes his behavior even more erratic and unpredictable. Most of his expected courtesy is now gone; he has no problem drawing blood from Sesshomaru’s lower lip and licking it off, forcing his tongue deep into his mouth and holding him tightly by the back of his neck while doing whatever he pleases.

And Sesshomaru, surprisingly, takes it. And then he does more than that. The moment his brother breaks the violent kiss to catch his breath, he places his hand on Inuyasha’s back and sinks his claws into his skin, pulling them back into another feverish kiss.

It’s intoxicating, Inuyasha thinks, just how much Sesshomaru craves this. He lives for nothing but power, yet he needs the excitement of powerlessness. Above everyone else, he’s chosen Inuyasha to give him this.

These things are not to dwell upon, but Inuyasha can't help it. He tries to make sense of it all, wants to make sense of why, out of all people, Sesshomaru trusts him with his body and his pleasure. The most logical conclusion he's managed to reach is that Sesshomaru doesn't really have anyone else that could service him like this, so he has to resort to the only person who dislikes him enough to hurt him, yet not enough to truly harm him. Or perhaps Inuyasha's presence is nothing but part of Sesshomaru's game. He specifically chose his hanyou half brother for this because he's just as twisted and perverse — he enjoys being defiled by someone lower than him. Inuyasha can't really know which one of them is true, and of course, there are other scenarios passing through his head, but he doesn't think about them often, for they call on motivations that spawn not from hatred and disdain, but other dangerous emotions.

He doesn't allow himself to hope, even though he often catches himself doing it. Whenever he looks at his brother's expression, at his tightly shut eyes and bitten lips, whenever he hears ragged and heavy breaths and feels claws against his skin, he can't help but hope that somewhere, behind all of this, lies Sesshomaru's acceptance. His trust. Maybe his affection even.

But Inuyasha doesn't hope, not out loud. He's not a stray mongrel, feeding on whatever affection his estranged brother is willing to give him, coming back even when he’s been hurt. He's not.

There's simply enough satisfaction involved in this for him to stay. He's not obeying any orders or fulfilling whims, not even when Sesshomaru asks him to go faster or slower, touch him or not touch him in certain places, stay still or be quiet, and he's quick to execute every command. He does so because he wants to. He's clearly not trying to please his brother.

He keeps repeating this to himself.


Sesshomaru doesn't linger on. After the deed is done he is quick to don his clothes and armour and make his leave, usually without any words. He does, however, give Inuyasha one last blank look before disappearing, leaving the younger hanyou to wonder how he can look so properly and put together after being so thoroughly fucked.

This time, however, Sesshomaru stays. He makes no move towards his clothes, deciding instead to lean against the cave wall with his eyes closed and posture relaxed.

“Got tired?” Inuyasha tries as he puts on his undershirt without much elegance, but Sesshomaru doesn't seem like he is in the mood to talk.

They sit in silence for a while, and perhaps it's only Inuyasha that feels awkward about it. He wishes for anything but silence and blank stares. He wishes Sesshomaru would tell him something, anything just to stop these feelings.

Ironic, Inuyasha thinks. He comes here, renders the demon powerless, fucks his brains out for the better of an hour, and after all is done he's still the one that gets to feel inadequate. Fitting for the future Lord of the West to appear powerful even when he's deprived of all control.

“Why me?” Inuyasha hears himself ask when the silence becomes unbearable. “Why did you ask me, out of all people, to do this?”

Sesshomaru merely opens one eye and throws a quick glance towards his younger brother before deciding he's not deserving of more. “Does it matter?”

Does it? Inuyasha asks himself. Would anything change if he knew the answer to this question? Would he just... stop coming altogether? Maybe it would be harder to come back and hurt Sesshomaru the way he demands to be hurt. Perhaps it would be easier.

“It matters to me.”

Sesshomaru sighs almost inaudibly, yet loud and clear for one who possesses youkai hearing.

“If you can't play by the rules, Inuyasha, then perhaps you shouldn't play at all,” he finally says, after a long pause. Then, to Inuyasha's despair, he reaches for his underclothes.

“How come you're the only one who gets to make the rules? How come I have to agree with everything you say and you get to order me around?”

“You should have thought about these matters before agreeing to my terms.”

The hanyou's eyes are stuck to Sesshomaru's one arm that is tying his hanjuban. His movements are just as graceful as they would be if he had both of his hands.

“I'm thinking about them now, and I want to know. Why am I here?”

Silence once again. The only sound that fills the cave is the rustle of fabric.

“Sesshomaru, if you won't tell me why I am here, I swear I won't come back.

Sesshomaru finally raises his head to properly look at him, the obi in his hand getting discarded on the floor. He takes a few steps towards Inuyasha, yet the distance between them remains just as unbearable. It's always like this, Inuyasha realizes. No matter how close they physically get, the distance between them lingers on.

"What about you, little brother? Why are you here?"

Perhaps it is a genuine question, or perhaps it's just a trick. Nonetheless, it does the job, because Inuyasha can't possibly answer him truthfully and Sesshomaru is aware of it.

It would be easy to simply blunt out the truth and never look back.

'Because I want you to accept me,' Inuyasha would say.

'Because you're the only one I have,' Sesshomaru would tell him in return.

But neither of them is ready to render themselves truly defenseless. Neither of them could handle the power they would inevitably get over the other.

So neither of them says anything. Sesshomaru leaves, just as he always does, and Inuyasha stays still for longer than he intends, thinking. He eventually takes a few steps towards the exit, but can’t stop himself from lingering on just a bit more, taking in the remaining of his brother’s sharp scent, hoping he would get to feel it once again.


Next time they meet is on the battlefield.

“Get out of my way, Inuyasha. I have unfinished business with the clan's head,” Sesshomaru warns, and Inuyasha obeys.

At the expense of a jewel fragment, he moves aside, hoping that his actions can speak better than his words, that Sesshomaru would understand. I want your acceptance.

At the end of the day, Sesshomaru throws the fragment at his feet.

“I have no use for this. See that it doesn't get into the hands of other filthy humans,” is all he says before turning on his heels, but Inuyasha understands.

Neither of them is prepared to give up the illusion of control they created, but perhaps both of them understand that it is just that, an illusion.

II.

Sesshomaru’s arrival at their makeshift camp is belated. The moon is already up, lighting Rin’s ever peaceful expression as she sleeps. Jaken is tending the fire, but the job is quickly abandoned when he sees his master approaching.

“Lord Sesshomaru, you’re back!” the toad cries.

Sesshomaru doesn’t bother to say anything back and when Jaken shows signs of meaning to ask questions and make more fuss than necessary, he silences him with a death stare.

He’s hardly in the mood for talking, especially when the conversation partner is the mindless Kappa.

“We leave in the morning,” is all he says before traipsing towards the forest in a slow yet measured gait.

There aren’t many moments in which Sesshomaru is preoccupied with thoughts other than those about power, or about Rin, and said moments are not cherished. For once, he feels imprisoned by his own wandering mind that seems to effortlessly take him back to the evening’s events and to Inuyasha’s question.

The fool demanded to know why Sesshomaru chose him, but he was given no answer. Who does the hanyou think he is to demand information from? He has no right to know Sesshomaru’s mind more than anyone else.

Yet the answer is just as mysterious to the demon lord as it is to his hanyou brother. Why did Sesshomaru ask for this from Inuyasha indeed?

Thinking about his half brother so much is certainly unpleasant, but he can’t stop it. His mind goes back to their heated conversation, replaying it again and again. When it fails to uncover any more truth than he already possesses, he recalls their coupling. Inuyasha was never gentle with him, and gentleness was never required, but this particular evening he was even rougher than usual, angrier, flinty in his actions.

Inuyasha bedded him just like he fought him, with desperation and lack of finesse. Sesshomaru was most pleased by it.

It is something he didn’t see very often, not with his choice of enemies. Yokai, at least powerful ones, fight for honor above anything else and have little regard for their life. No true yokai he’s ever fought made a run for their life, and certainly not one fought in order to survive . Yet Inuyasha, entrapped by his human side, is different. Fighting for his life is as tied to his ill-fated existence as eating human food is. He doesn’t understand the concept of yokai honour; all the power he nourishes he does so in order to survive, rendering him no more than a mindless, savage creature. He’s rather animalistic, despite being stained by human blood.

Every time they clash swords, he can’t help but observe Inuyasha with a mixture of pity and admiration. He’s the prisoner of his own miserable and unfortunate existence, yet he owns it. His power, his fights, they are all a means to an end Sesshomaru can’t possibly understand yet is most curious about.

He observes Inuyasha with the same interest when they meet in musky caves and near sun-drenched riverbanks. At times, he even encourages the animalistic side of his brother and relinquishes his control for a moment, just to see what that brings him.


Sesshomaru makes a point not to accidentally try and kill Inuyasha next time they meet. He even goes out of his way to retrieve the sacred jewel fragment Inuyasha and his merry band are after. When he returns the artefact to him, the hanyou is rendered nonplussed.

“See that it doesn't get into the hands of other filthy humans,” he spits the words with all the malice he can muster before making his exit.

To his surprise, he senses Inuyasha following him. It’s hard to think he simply left his comrades without any sort of explanation right after a battle, but here he is.

“What do you require, Inuyasha?”

“I- Why did you give me this?”

“I have no use for it and your entire life seems to revolve around the trifling artefact. It might as well be better for it to remain in the possession of your miko instead of some power-hungry demon.”

Inuyasha does not further question him on the matter, although his expression shows that he remains unconvinced. Instead, he asks something else entirely, something Sesshomaru couldn’t have predicted.

“Can I see you? Tonight?”

The question is met with a raised eyebrow as time seems to stop for a second.

“We are seeing eye to eye now.”

“Not like that. I mean, can we meet and… you know…”

“You wish to lie with me.” It’s not a question, and for once, Inuyasha doesn’t treat it as such. He simply waits for Sesshomaru’s answer.

He could say no, and he is tempted to. Their arrangement and the agreements that come with it never gave Inuyasha the power to summon him or require his presence. It is always Sesshomaru who arranges their meetings. It is always him who is in control.

“I don’t require your presence as of now. You may leave,” he finally responds, turning on his heels and preparing to make his exit.

“If I leave now, I won’t come back.”

Sesshomaru pauses. “What is it that you want, Inuyasha?”

At that, the hanyou seems to struggle, as if he desperately wants to give voice to something, but decides against it at the last moment.

“It’s not fair, okay? You get to just call me whenever you feel like it and I have to come and satisfy the mighty yokai Lord. I’m not Jaken, I don’t do whatever you want me without any complaints or without expecting something in return.”

The hanyou’s words are most curious to Sesshomaru. Ridiculous as they seem, he can’t help but respond to them.

“I was under the impression that we both gain something from this arrangement.”

“Well, I want more. I want to have a say about when we meet.”

“No. Your service is no longer needed. You may leave.”

“Fuck you, Sesshomaru.”

The last thing Sesshomaru expects is Inuyasha to follow him; he certainly does not foreshadow being pushed against a tree truck by his mindless half brother.

It’s a slip up, a moment of confusion that Sesshomaru foolishly allowed.

Inuyasha’s lips are on his, kissing him with violence. Sesshomaru’s anger engulfs him, so he wastes no time and pushes Inuyasha away before his instincts drive him towards a harsher path of reaction. Why exactly he avoids harming his half brother is not a question Sesshomaru bothers to ask himself at that moment.

“Is that your solution, you filthy hanyou? I refuse to lie with you and you intend to assault me?”

“What? No! N-No.” his voice cracks as realisation creeps onto his expression. Once again he is next to Sesshomaru, holding his shoulders with his hands, preventing him from leaving the rough surface of the tree. “I only want you to- I want you to listen to me, I didn’t mean to…”

“Imbecilic hanyou,” is all Sesshomaru says before he pushes Inuyasha again, this time without holding back. His movements have enough force behind them to send the half demon flying into the nearest tree, but not enough to truly harm him.

Sesshomaru doesn’t linger on. He flies away, not looking back once.

III.

To Inuyasha’s surprise, Sesshomaru calls him again.

When the flickering light touches his eyes, he’s half asleep, leaning against the thin wall of an old temple that Miroku managed to get them a night in. At first, he believes tiredness is to blame for his vision that starts to play tricks on him, but the more he opens his eyes and observes, he realises it’s no mistake. Sesshomaru’s summoning him.

He looks about the room to make sure nobody can question him if he decides for a sudden departure. Miroku is a few rooms away tending to some temple princess and Sango is outside, taking a walk with Kirara. He’s left alone with a sleeping Kagome, and if he’s sneaky enough he will be able to leave without alerting anyone.

But does he want to? He shouldn’t, not after the tone of their last interaction, where Sesshomaru accused him of assault when all he wanted to was to get some well deserved answers.

Still, Inuyasha didn’t think he was going to get summoned again. Their last meeting left him under the impression that their arrangement is over and the next time they will meet, it will be on a battlefield with their swords against each other’s throats.

Wherever this might lead, he’s going to take the chance, Inuyasha decides. As he moves from his spot on the floor, the light does too, showing him the way towards Sesshomaru’s whereabouts.

His brother is not too far. Once the light alerts him of the yokai’s presence, following his scent becomes easy. He expects the meeting to take place in one of their usual spots; a dank cave, an eerily quiet clearing or a riverbank, but the light guides him toward another temple, somewhere not too far from the one they are spending the night in. This one, however, seems long since abandoned.

The tiny light dissipates right at the temple’s entrance, leaving Inuyasha confused and disoriented until his eyes get accustomed to the thick darkness. He can feel the yokai’s smell, but it’s far from precise; it seems to be coming from all directions yet none at once.

“Sesshomaru?”

Silence.

He’s left to wonder about, checking most of the rooms without any luck. His brother is close, his scent unmistakingly tells him so, but there is once again that distance between them that Inuyasha never gets the privilege to cross.

“Inuyasha.”

In normal circumstances, Inuyasha would have been startled, having his brother sneak up behind him, but now his only reaction is a long, annoyed exhale.

“There you are.”

“Here I am indeed,” Sesshomaru responds then turns his back to Inuyasha and heads towards one of the rooms with his younger brother following closely.

“How’d you even find this place?”

Sesshomaru doesn’t regard the question as important enough to answer, choosing to advance through the long corridor in silence. The room he settles for gives the impression that it was once rather luxurious, belonging to a noble or a lady. Now, it is dark and murky, with moldy patches growing over the rot-covered wood walls.

Taking in the details of the room makes Inuyasha miss the haste in which Sesshomaru undresses. The faint thud of his armor hitting the floor is what draws his attention back towards the yokai.

“I imagine you’ll want to undress as well. Unless you intend on wasting my time with frivolous talks yet again.”

“Damn right I want to talk. I can’t keep coming whenever you summon me like a docile dog and do whatever you want me to without at least an explanation.”

“Does it matter so much?”

Inuyasha tries to keep his anger in check, because if he doesn’t he knows he’ll either punch Sesshomaru straight in the face — and he likes to think they’re past that — or sob, and he’s not a little prissy. He’s not that affected by Sesshomaru’s coldness, he just wants answers, dammit.

“It matters to me! Because you… you fucking asshole can have any yokai you want in your bed. You could spit in front of them and fuck knows, they’d lick it, because you’re the future Lord of the West, the strongest, most wanted yokai bachelor or some shit. Yet you chose hanyou half brother that brought shame to your name or whatever. Excuse me if I’m a little confused.”

Sesshomaru eyes him, and this time his expression is so stern and devoid of all other emotions that Inuyasha can’t read him. He feels awkward, wonderingi being this honest to someone who gives no shit about him was worth it.

“The difference between you and all the other yokai is that they do not have Inu no Tashio’s blood running through their veins, nor are they in possession of his legacy.”

“Of course this too is about the cursed sword. I can’t fucking believe you,” Inuyasha yells.

“Your foolishness has no limits, brother. You truly don’t understand a thing I’m telling you.”

“Well, then make me understand! If you have anything to say just say it straight, damnit!”

Sesshomaru does not say anything more. Instead, he kisses Inuyasha hungrily, again and again. His tongue forces itself into the hanyou’s mouth, brushing against his fangs in search of Inuyasha’s own tongue.

“Fuck off!” is the hanyou’s response. He won’t let Sesshomaru ignore the situation like this when this exact course of action was the reason Inuyasha got scolded the last time they met.

“I ask you once again, Inuyasha, what is it that you so desperately want to hear from me?” “

I–,” he tries, but the yokai is not finished.

“That I want you to be my mate?” Sesshomaru spits out the last word so venomously that Inuyasha feels as if he’s been stabbed by his brother’s poisonous claws. “That I mean to take you back to my mother’s castle and marry you? Make you the Lord of the West?”

Blood fills up Inuyasha’s cheeks as he grabs Sesshomaru’s wrist in a death grip.

“I just want to know that the reason I’m here is not only to fulfil your damned power fantasy. I don’t want you to look down on me anymore, like I’m a thing that you can simply use and then throw away after you’re done, you asshole!”

Sesshomaru’s expression does not change, but there is something in his eyes that wasn’t there before, something that Inuyasha can’t hope to identify.

They sit like this for what seems to be a small eternity, Inuyasha still tightly holding Sesshomaru's wrist in his hand, inches away from piercing the soft skin with his claws. They both stare into each other's eyes.

“I do not look down on you, Inuyasha. I stopped doing so quite some time ago. You’re just too imbecile to have realised.”

The yokai’s hand is released, falling at his side, just as Inuyasha’s mouth drops. “You– you mean that?”

“You’re my brother,” is all Sesshomaru says, and it’s enough. It’s all Inuyasha ever wanted— no, needed to hear.

It’s awkward and completely unnecessary, but he throws his arms around the yokai nonetheless, hoping that he won’t be caught teary-eyed.

“Don’t get emotional, foolish hanyou. I know it’s part of your human nature to do so, but it’s hardly fitting – ”

“Shut up, shitface.”

Sesshomaru exhales a long and heavy breath in annoyance, but he wraps his own arm around Inuyasha nonetheless.


It’s not about blood or legacies or whatever stupid shit Sesshomaru makes up in order not to break his image as the supreme asshole of the west, Inuyasha realises. His brother simply trusts him like he trusts nobody else. Of course he won’t ever admit it, but Inuyasha doesn’t need him to. It’s enough, he realises. Sesshomaru’s words can’t seem to leave his mind and there is no doubt about it, Inuyasha is his brother, and it is enough.

They have sex that night. It’s not so different from any of their previous times, except it is. The air is heavier, and whenever Inuyasha gets a whiff of it, it’s no longer the scent of lust that fills his nostrils, but something else entirely. It’s foreign and dangerous, sweet and sharp at the same time. Neither of them can get enough of it.

Sesshomaru doesn’t leave in a haste that night, deciding to simply lie on his pelt and rest. The idea to touch him, maybe embrace him once again tempts Inuyasha, but he doesn’t have enough time to ponder on it before Sesshomaru speaks.

“You may call me, if you wish to. If I’m not otherwise preoccupied, I will come, and we might spend the night together.”

“Took you long enough,” Inuyasha says, seemingly irritated, because as happy as he is, he won’t make it easy on the asshole.

“A simple word of gratitude would have sufficed, hanyou.”

“Eat my ass. Besides, how am I even going to do that? I don’t know how to send you creepy flickering lights.”

“I suppose you’ll have to figure it out on your own,” Sesshomaru says, and there is definitely a glint of amusement in his voice, Inuyasha swears by it.

It feels good, he thinks, as he watches his brother take flight later that night, becoming smaller and smaller the further he flies. As if he was never here to begin with.

Except nothing can deny that he was. His presence left Inuyasha with a warm, fuzzy feeling that he doesn’t remember to have felt too many times in his life. They talked and bickered and had sex, and it was good, Inuyasha realises. He is all that Sesshomaru has, in a way, and the more he thinks about it, it becomes clear that what they have is so unlike any other relationship in their lives.


They don’t meet for the next few months. Time flies faster when Inuyasha’s only occupation is finding and killing Naraku. Still, once in a while, when he is alone with his own thoughts, he can’t help but think about his brother.

“You’re my brother,” he whispers to himself, as if Sesshomaru is here to hear him, or say the same exact words to him once again. The word brother tastes just as pleasant on his lips as Sesshomaru’s kisses do.


shameless
August 31st, 2021

"To think you'd have at least enough decency not to summon me while you're covered in bile and guts," Sesshomaru says, visibly disgusted by the sight of the hanyou’s filthy body.

"Shut up! I thought I'd have enough time to bathe before you appeared. It's not my fault the yokai I just fought exploded and spread his fucking guts everywhere."

"The yokai you just fought? I never thought you were that foolish, Inuyasha. You merely make it alive from the battle and the first thing you decide to do is have sex? Despicable."

"Make it alive my ass! I crushed him. And I don't know, violence makes me pretty horny."

Sesshomaru is clearly not amused by his answer, but he starts to remove his armour nonetheless. Inuyasha takes the time to watch his slow and precise movements. Despite having only one functional arm, Sesshomaru manages to undress as elegantly as ever; his every movement seems effortless.

Inuyasha can't help but notice how different they are in this regard.

After what seems like forever, Sesshomaru is finally naked and ready to slowly lower his body in the cool water of the river.

Inuyasha splashes his face, hoping the jest will ease some of his half-brother’s stiffness but Sesshomaru’s face remains as straight as ever as he decides to completely ignore the unwanted gesture. "Your hair is a filthy, bloody mess."

At the yokai's words, Inuyasha runs a tentative and self conscious hand through his hair to assess the damage. He's right, he realises when his fingers pick up clots of dried blood and bits of unidentified body parts. His hair is fucking disgusting.

"Come here, Inuyasha."

He obeys, slowly swimming towards the side of the river in which his brother rests. The water seems cooler there, or perhaps it's only Sesshomaru's ice cold soul that lowers the surroundings temperature by simply existing.

The hanyou's hair is assaulted by Sesshomaru's claws, who forcefully runs them through Inuyasha's locks in an attempt to detangle them and remove the gore.

"Aw aw aw. Can't you be a bit more gentle? Feels like you're ripping out my hair."

"You should have thought about this before you summoned me in this state."

There’s nothing left for Inuyasha to do but to suffer silently at the claws of his brother as he unceremoniously untangles and cleans his mane. With the exception of the pain and Sesshomaru's lack of any semblance of compassion, it's nice. He doesn't really let people touch his body like that, and certainly nobody ever helped him clean himself. To think that Sesshomaru is the first to do so is certainly odd, but not unpleasant.

"Rinse yourself."

Once fully submerged, Inuyasha thinks that perhaps he should stop obeying every command that Sesshomaru gives him, even though they’re not that unreasonable most of the time.

He remains underwater a few more seconds, until his chest becomes heavy and his lungs start protesting for air.

Sesshomaru watches him as he reemerges, then helps move the loose hair strands off his face. The gesture is familial and almost gentle.

"Better?" Inuyasha tries.

"You do not look as repulsive as before."

"That might be the nicest thing you've ever told me."

The words awaken a glint of amusement in Sesshomaru's eyes, but like always, he does not show it any more than that. “Finish your bath. I wish to leave before it darkens.”

“You in a rush? How so?”

Sesshomaru’s life, outside of their occasional meetings when fate makes them share a common enemy, is a complete mystery to Inuyasha. He does not speak of where he comes from or which way he’s headed, not even if he’s asked. It’s as if there’s nothing more than the present moment when he meets Inuyasha.

“It does not concern you.”

“Of course, nothing does.” The reply is bitter, and Sesshomaru picks up on it. Whatever he wants to say — if he even wants to — is interrupted by Inuyasha submerging himself once again.

Cold water fills his ears as he swims about, trying to clear his mind from pointless thoughts of his stuck-up brother. Sesshomaru never cared about him and it’s only natural that he is not going to start doing so just because they’re now physical. He’s an opportunistic little bitch, after all. Besides, it’s not like Inuyasha tells him anything about his life either, so why does he even care?

Before his train of thoughts takes him further than he intended, a forceful pull of his hair knocks him out of it, draging him out of the water.

“What the fuck was that? Do you really mean to rip all of my hair out?”

“You were taking too long to reemerge. I wanted to make sure you did not drown.”

“So you were worried?”

“Rather than worried, I was curious if you were stupid enough to die in such a maner.”

Maybe he’s joking, or maybe the jab is meant to sting. Inuyasha can’t make sense of it. At times, there is a curious glint in Sesshomaru’s eyes that betrays his emotions. Most of the time, however, there is nothing of that sort, nothing that can tell Inuyasha what his brother is really feeling or if he really means the stuff that he says.

He decides he doesn’t care anyway. Whether he’s being made fun of or genuinely pushed around, things don’t really change between the two of them. He finishes his bath in silence, scrubbing every part of his body attentively, trying his best to remove all of the gore that’s still stuck to him. Not even once he looks at Sesshomaru who patiently waits for him.

“You are upset.”

“Thanks for noticing,” Inuyasha bites back.

“I did not mean to upset you, Inuyasha.”

“Holy shit, is this an apology? Are you apologising to me?”

“I was merely pointing out that you misunderstood my intention.”

Of course you did, Inuyasha thinks. He doesn't press the issue any more.

"Come here, Inuyasha."

Sesshomaru slowly rises from the water, enough that the only part of his body still submerged are his legs. He looks at the hanyou expectantly, waiting for him to follow along. Inuyasha, on the other hand, is hesitant. His meetings with Sesshomaru always seem to end up with him getting upset over how much of an asshole the yokai is. The situation makes him question if the sex, as mind-blowing as it is, is really worth it.

"I apologize, Inuyasha. Would you come here now?"

"Whatever. It wasn't even that big of a deal," he responds, trying his best to hide the shock from his expression.

Sesshomaru apologized. There was no hint of malice or scorn in his voice. He genuinely apologized. Sesshomaru. This can’t be real.

“Will you just come here, you stupid hanyou?”

Inuyasha finally obeys, curious as to what is so important that Sesshomaru wants him out of the water so badly. He’s not prepared to be pushed into the shore and rendered almost helpless by Sesshomaru’s hand gripping both of his wrists and pinning them above the hanyou’s head. Dammit, that was his job!

“Umm, what the fuck are you doing?”

“Just stay there and keep quiet.”

“But wha—”

“I said keep quiet!” Sesshomaru cuts him off, tightening the grip of his wrists. “I won’t harm you.”

Inuyasha doesn’t find the words reassuring, not when he can barely move with the yokai’s weight on top of his body. Not when a pair of sharp fangs brush against the sensitive skin of his neck.

Eyes shut tightly, he prepares for the inevitable and painful bite, but it never comes. Sesshomaru merely lowers his trail of kisses and licks, lightly scraping him with the fangs from time to time, never causing further damage.

When going lower becomes increasingly difficult for the yokai, Inuyasha’s wrists are freed with a warning.

“Don’t move. If you squirm around I will stop.”

“Stop from what? You’re not making any sen—”

Inuyasha’s words are cut off by the warmth of Sesshomaru’s mouth around his length. Nothing could have prepared him for this. Sesshomaru is sucking his cock.

Mentally cursing himself for obediently following his half-brother’s orders yet again, he claws at the sand beneath him, trying to brace himself as much as possible. Sesshomaru’s order is fresh in his mind, reminding him that he has to be still. No way in hell will he let Sesshomaru stop.

For someone who fights yokai on a regular basis, someone who just had to wash off the remains of a deadly monster that he killed with ease, the hardest thing to do is to relax and allow the release of tension from every sinew. It's as if every moment he is prepared to feel the roughness of the ground beneath his feet, the cutting gusts of wind on his cheeks, the heavy blows of a foe against his hardened skin.

Leading such a life certainly makes it difficult for him to let his guard down, but the last thing he wants now is to resist. Not out of fear that his brother is going to stop, leaving him with but a memory of the pleasure. No, he has yet to experience it, he has yet to learn how to fully enjoy the moment.

“Why are you so stiff? Don’t tell me it’s your first time…” Sesshomaru says mockingly.

Feeling almost all his blood rush to his head in embarrassment, Inuyasha searches for a snappy response, but everything that’s happening overwhelms him so, that in the end he chooses to quietly accept his defeat. Little can he do now, as Sesshomaru has him stunned.

As the final act of surrender, the hanyou decides to abandon his interior struggle as the yokai’s soft licks become impossible to ignore. Soon Inuyasha realises that all he had to do to let go of his stiffness was something he never truly tried before: to surrender.

He can now feel his brother's surprisingly smooth tongue rolling over his cock, noticing the warmth layer of saliva that completely covers its tip. He feels chills coming down his spine and, steeling himself, he barely halts his body’s impulse to shiver. He doesn’t know if it’s something normal or if his brother will punish him with another deriding remark. On top of this, Sesshomaru ordered him not to squirm and though usually he disobeys just to spite him, this time he accepts his controlled status.

His train of thought is interrupted as he involuntarily lets out a loud moan. The yokai’s lips rest around his cock while he briefly looks up into Inuyasha’s eyes before continuing to tenderly suck his brother’s cock, more erect than it ever was. Sesshomaru's head moves back and forth rhythmically, dragging his mouth across Inuyasha’s length.

The urge to grab a hold of Sesshomaru’s hair and feel his head move under his palm becomes overwhelming, so Inuyasha gives into it. His body becomes a shaky, unreliable mess, and he feels the need to hold onto something, anything. The soft sand underneath him is not much to hold on when Sesshomaru shoves the hanyou’s whole cock inside his mouth. He holds it in for a while, getting closer and closer to Inuyasha’s pubis. All of the younger brother’s senses become hazy except the intense feeling of Sesshomaru’s tongue sliding against the underside of his cock. When Sesshomaru slowly backs away, Inuyasha can see his shaft again, covered in thick saliva.

The yokai then grabs a hold of Inuyasha’s length and lets his hand rub against the shaft while his lips and tongue fully concentrate on the tip. He begins with a soft yet passionate kiss. Afterwards, as his hand starts the back and forth movement, he sticks his lips to his index finger and thumb so the head will move in unison. He must have sensed that it won’t be long until Inuyasha finishes so he shall give no quarter in the next few minutes.

Inuyasha’s pleasure becomes exhilarating, the speed of his brother’s hand just right. And seeing his mouth covered in the spit that was on his cock gives him a certain feeling of power. His length has enjoyed the tenderness of Sesshomaru’s mouth for quite a bit now and the more aggressive hand movements brought Inuyasha in a state of no return. He knows he will finish soon but he wants to drag this moment forever, so he tries his hardest to deny himself the immediate pleasure and hold it in just a few seconds more…

Sesshomaru must be getting absorbed in the pleasure himself. For a moment he forgets to keep up appearances and lets out a soft moan that breaks through Inuyasha’s. As he gets one more taste of Inuyasha’s length, Sesshomaru’s own seed drips leisurely partly on the ground, partly on the hanyou’s thigh. He lets himself enjoy the feeling for a while and then immediately stops to cautiously cover the spillage with a thin layer of sand.

As soon as he lets Inuyasha’s cock out of his hand, the hanyou finally lets out what he’s been holding in for what seemed like an eternity. Thick ropes of come leave his shuddering body under Sesshomaru’s focused gaze. Exhausted by this endeavor, he allows his muscles to untense, rolling on his side to get a better look of his brother with a poorly concealed smile on his face.

Sesshomaru pays him little mind now, seeming rather preoccupied with the state of his hair. Inuyasha realises that he soiled it when he mindlessly grabbed the yokai’s locks after clawing at the dirt. He expects to be scolded for this, but instead Sesshomaru says:

“It seems that you can behave, after all.”

“Sh-Shut up,” Inuyasha says with audible embarrassment in his voice.

It wasn’t behaving as much as it was finally giving up control, the hanyou thinks as he watches his brother scrub the dirt and sand from his hair. It’s what Sesshomaru does every time they have sex; he surrenders to Inuyasha enough that nothing but the pleasures of the act occupy his mind and body.

The realisation sheds little light on why Sesshomaru does what he does, but it certainly makes him understand the reason behind his brother's demeanor whenever they share moments like this. The reason behind Sesshomaru’s surrender is not as malicious and perverse as Inuyasha intuited at first, and the knowledge of that puts him at ease for now.


sleepless
September 10th, 2021

I.

For someone as loud and obnoxious as Inuyasha, he certainly knows how to disappear without a trace, Miroku has to give him that. Neither Kagome nor Sango comment on his frequent disappearances, but Miroku can’t know if it’s because they haven’t noticed yet, or they simply decided to brush it off. Miroku decides not to be the one who points it out to them; Kagome or Shippo might get the idea of following Inuyasha, and the monk feels that whatever demands Inuyasha’s undivided attention once a few nights might be dangerous.

Of course, he takes one for the team and decides to follow the hanyou by himself, because he’s altruistic like that. And maybe because curiosity got the better of him, but that’s not something that he’s willing to admit.

The next time he senses Inuyasha’s restlessness during the day, he spends the night in an alert state, pretending to sleep but listening to the young man’s every movement. He feels Inuyasha’s gaze on him and for a moment he believes that his cover has been blown. Nonetheless,, he keeps still, eyes shut tightly, maintaining the pretense of sleep.

He’s almost waiting for Inuyasha to call his name, but it never comes. The hanyou merely looks at him for a little while, then leaves silently.

Of course, Inuyasha wanted to make sure nobody was awake to question him when he left, Miroku realises.

Once his friend is nowhere to be seen, he does the same thing, looking at every one of his team mates to make sure they are sound asleep. He isn’t in a rush, choosing to let a bit of distance between him and the ever so alert hanyou. There is a possibility that too much distance might make it harder for Miroku to follow him, but he certainly doesn’t want to get caught.

He places an ofuda on the door before leaving, for good measure. If any pesky youkai decide to sneak around, that should be enough to keep them away from Shippo and the girls. If anything, Sango can protect the other two, he reminds himself.

Surprisingly, Inuyasha is not very hard to follow. His haste yet rough movements leave enough clues for Miroku to pick up. His heavy steps left quite some footprints in the tender grass beneath them.

They lead Miroku to the nearby forest, where he manages to get a glimpse of Inuyasha’s red robe behind the trees. He stops once again to let a bit more distance between them and when he deems it enough, he follows along. As he suspected, the forest is drenched in strong, nauseating youki. If Inuyasha wanted to go for a late night stoll and kill youkai, Miroku doesn't understand why the secrecy is necessary.

“You’re late,” Miroku hears. It’s a familiar voice, but very much foreign and it’s coming from behind the trees, somewhere where he can’t see. He makes his mind work overtime in order to remember where exactly he heard that same grave voice. It’s futile, but the closer he gets, the more apparent it becomes that whoever said the words is also the possessor of the youki.

“Cut the crap. I had enough of a shitty day already,” Inuyasha bites back, and Miroku can’t help but lean forward into the bush he’s been hiding in, careful not to make the leaves rustle any more than it would be normal. He can almost get a glimpse of white, flowery fabric, but there is no way for him to figure out who Inuyasha is addressing just from that.

The more Miroku thinks about the situation, the more absurd it becomes. Could this be a tryst? Were all the other nights Inuyasha left in secrecy spent with this youkai lover of his? Never mind the youkai part, Miroku is more surprised by the fact that Inuyasha’s lover is undeniably a man.

“You seem rather tense, hanyou. Perhaps you would like this Sesshomaru to…”

“I said shut the fuck up,” Inuyasha says, grabbing the man by the kimono and pulling him into a deep, rough kiss.

Miroku summons all the composure he has left in order to prevent any of the thousands sounds that threaten to escape his throat. Nothing could have prepared him for this. Inuyasha having a male youkai lover that he met on a regular basis was pretty hard to digest, but said youkai turning out to be his own half brother was on another level.

Miroku’s train of thoughts gets interrupted by movement in front of him. Sesshomaru pushes Inuyasha off him with a bit more force than Miroku expected, a displeased scowl showing on his face.

“You’re as unmannered as ever,” he says before turning his back to Inuyasha. “There’s a clearing deeper in the forest where some youkai made themselves a hut. I arranged to borrow said hut for tonight, so follow me.”

“I don’t really mind doing it here,” Inuyasha said, totally unfazed by his half brother’s earlier display of aggression. Perhaps violence was just as common in their intimate life as it was whenever they clashed swords.

“I’m hardly surprised. But alas, I already made the arrangements, so come along. And ask your monk if he would like to join us as well.”

“What?” Inuyasha asks, looking around frantically.

Miroku takes that as a sign that he needs to leave as soon as possible, so he turns on his heels and starts running, rustling the bush a bit more than he would have liked.

Inuyasha is right behind him, he can feel it.

“Miroku, you fucker! Come back here.”

“Inuyasha, leave him.” Miroku hears Sesshomaru say, and right on cue, the hanyou stops following him. He keeps running, not daring to look back even once.

He should have known better than to think his presence would remain concealed to Sesshomaru. Fooling Inuyasha was one thing, but trying to fool his aloof brother was very hard to accomplish.


Miroku wakes up to Inuyasha’s piercing gaze on his nape. He turns around to see the hanyou fixating him with a death stare, as if daring the monk to say a word about what he witnessed the previous night. Miroku keeps quiet and decides that the best course of action is to simply ignore Inuyasha for the time being.

Not even Kagome is able to make sense of Inuyasha’s foul mood that day.

Later, when the sun is about to set, Miroku finds himself alone with the hanyou. He dreads the thought of their impending conversation, but knows better than to try and escape it. He simply goes about his business, picking up the necessary plants for his potion and instructing Inuyasha on what other herbs they need to find.

“Say…” Inuyasha begins, but the words get stuck in his throat. Miroku gives him time, going back to the task at hand but signaling that he is still listening. “About last night…”

“I won’t say anything.”

Inuyasha’s ears wiggle at that. He looks at his friend, almost surprised. “Yeah… thanks.”

It’s not his business, Miroku reminds himself, whatever Inuyasha decides to do with his time, or who he decides to spend it with. It would be wiser to let it go and pretend he never saw anything. Yet he can’t. Curiosity gets the better of him, especially since the whole matter is very, very curious.

“Is that where you go? When you disappear.”

Inuyasha stays silent for a bit, making Miroku think that maybe he isn’t ready to talk about this any further, yet he does answer.

“Yeah.”

Miroku hums.

“I gather things between you and your brother aren’t as tense as before?” he tries. Clearly, the urge to kill each other should subside at least while they are engaged in more… carnal activities, the monk thinks, but then remembers the violent nature of their kiss and ever present fight for dominance between the two.

“You could say that, I guess. He’s been… I don’t know, less of an asshole since we started doing it. But he’s still a piece of shit.”

“But you enjoy it.” It’s a very subtle way of asking it, and Miroku hopes that Inuyasha will pick up on it.

“Huh?”

“You enjoy the time spent together, right? He doesn’t… force you into anything?”

His words puzzle Inuyasha.

“No. We both want it.”

Miroku nods, feeling the tenseness in his spine easen.

“Do you think I’m that weak? If he ever tries to force me into anything I’ll just break his other arm. See how he wipes his ass then.”

A laugh escapes Miroku’s lips, and Inuyasha joins him.

“I merely asked out of concern. I did not imply anything.”

“Keh.”

Silence falls between them once again and Miroku is thankful that the conversation didn’t go as badly as he expected it to. Inuyasha is opening to him, much to his surprise.

“Hey, Miroku… You don’t think it’s weird, do you?”

He’s at a loss of words; is he supposed to tell Inuyasha the truth, that yeah, it is a bit weird because humans don’t really have sex with their siblings… But then, Inuyasha is only half human, and Miroku has no idea if this kind of practice is acceptable to the youkai. Moreover, Sesshomaru and Inuyasha have been at each other’s throats for too long. If this is the nature of their reconciliacion, who is Miroku to comment on it?

“I’m judging you just a bit,” is what he settles for.

Half an hour later, Inuyasha is still chasing him through the meadow, shouting profanities at him.


“Hey, Miroku? Do you have any idea where Inuyasha is?”

Kagome’s voice is sleepy, exhaustion apparent on her face.

“He said he couldn’t really sleep so he went for a walk. Said something about looking for any lurking youkai.”

“Gosh, how stupid,”

“I’m sure he’ll be back in no time. You should go back to sleep.”

Kagome nods, crawling back to her sleeping bag. “In any case,” she says before getting in, “You should sleep too, Miroku-sama. It’s late.”

“Thank you for your concern, Kagome-sama. I will go to sleep shortly.”

The lie is bitter on his lips, but he says it nonetheless. Perhaps it’s true, in a way. It’s very unlikely that Inuyasha is sleeping at that moment, and he is certainly quarreling with some lurking youkai.

Miroku’s thoughts take him back to the cursed night in which he followed his hanyou friend. To the two brothers’ rough kiss and to Sesshomaru words, grave and almost teasing:

“Ask your monk if he would like to join us.”

Everything about Sesshomaru screams malice, scorn and danger. Indeed, the youkai is one of the most dangerous Miroku had ever met, but there’s something else about him too, something that Miroku does not want to dwell upon. If he catches himself wondering whether Sesshomaru truly meant for him to come or was simply making fun of Inuyasha’s lack of awareness, he brushes it off.

Still, it seems as if his nights have become just as sleepless as Inuyasha’s.

II.

Miroku is jolted awake by a kick to his shin. He takes a defensive stance even before his eyes open all the way, but immediately relaxes when it’s apparent that the culprit is just his hanyou friend.

“Calm down, idiot. It’s me,” Inuyasha says. “And keep quiet or you’ll wake up Sango and Kagome.”

Miroku spares a quick glance over his shoulder to see their two female companions sleeping soundly along with Shippo and Kirara. He nods.

“So what is it that you need, Inuyasha?”

Inuyasha gets a bit flustered at the question, but Miroku refuses to take his eyes off him.

“Nothing… uhh.. It’s just that Sesshomaru…”

At the mention of Inuyasha’s brother, Miroku can’t help but raise an eyebrow, wondering where exactly the conversation is headed. He signals Inuyasha to continue.

“He asked me to go and… uh… he told me to take you with me. If you want.”

“Does he intend to kill me? If so, tell him that your secret is safe.”

“No, it’s not that.”

Inuyasha’s cheeks get progressively redder as he does his best to stutter the words out, which gives Miroku a clue as to what this is truly about. To say that he is taken by surprise is an understatement.

“He wants to…? With me?”

“I guess.”

“And are you okay with that?”

“I mean… It’s not that big of a deal,” the hanyou says, but it’s clear that most of the confidence in his voice is masterfully faked. “Sesshomaru fucks a lot of people anyway.”

“Is that so?”

“I don’t know. I think so. Are you coming or not?”

He shouldn’t. Sesshomaru’s motivation for inviting a human into his metaphorical bed are too obscure, and whatever game the youkai is playing can’t be different from all his other games — dangerous and twisted. Moreover, Inuyasha hardly seems ready to share his brother with him. But he says yes nonetheless.

His careful movements and timid steps are guided by the vivid memory of Sesshomaru addressing him and the faint shudder it awakens through his body.

Deep breaths are hardly enough to calm him, so he settles for unnecessary conversation with Inuyasha.

“How do you know where to go? Did he tell you before, or…?”

“Can’t you see the light?” Inuyasha asks, not even glancing at him as he continues his stroll.

“What light?”

“I guess only I can see it,” the hanyou says and then remains silent. As if that explains anything about where they’re headed to.

Miroku follows along, and Inuyasha’s path leads into the depths of a nearby forest, which isn’t all that surprising. The tall trees offer both privacy and protection from threats, making it the perfect hideout for a youkai. Sesshomaru can’t be that different in this regard; his instincts draw him towards the peace of the forest.

They advance deeper into the woods, trees becoming more numerous and the terrain less inviting to walk on. Miroku thinks he might have stepped on a living creature while trying to avoid tripping on overgrown roots and fallen branches, but he decides not to think too much about it. Inuyasha doesn’t seem bothered by their surroundings. He keeps following whatever invisible light guides him towards the heart of the forest where they find a clearing.

Sesshomaru is there too, propped against a tree, looking attentively at something between the leaves fallen at his feet. His swords are not at their usual place, tied into his obi, but still within reach. He doesn’t mind their presence one bit, not until Inuyasha draws his attention.

“Hey.”

“You’re late, Inuyasha,” he says, before throwing Miroku no more than a quick glance.

The monk wonders if he is going to be ignored for the rest of the night, simply allowed — or even forced— to watch whatever depravity Sesshomaru is about to unfold.

“Ex-fucking-cuse me for not being able to fly right through the trees.”

Sesshomaru ignores the remark. “You’ve brought your houshi-sama with you, I see.”

Miroku can sense that he’s being derided; the way Sesshomaru addresses him without ever speaking directly to him is telling enough, but he keeps quiet, eager to see where the situation will lead him.

Inuyasha says something, but whatever it is, Miroku can’t focus on it. His undivided attention is on the youkai that’s slowly but confidently diminishing the space between them. His overpowering youki urges Miroku to take a step back, flee and never return, but he does his best to fight it and stand his ground. They lock eyes, and he can see that Sesshomaru is daring him to do just that, but his gaze remains unmoving.

“Have you come to keep us company, houshi-sama?” he whispers, breathy.

Whatever words Miroku was about to say gets stuck in his throat and he manages to let out only a faint whimper. Sesshomaru briefly smirks, not giving Miroku the chance to get his words out. Instead, the youkai leans towards him. It takes a few seconds for Miroku to realize that he is about to be kissed by Inuyasha’s older brother. He closes his eyes and braces himself for the touch that never comes.

“What the fuck.”

Upon opening his eyes again, Miroku sees Inuyasha standing between them.

“What is the meaning of this, Inuyasha?” Sesshomaru asks, but instead of frustration only faint amusement is heard in his voice.

“I… Don’t kiss Miroku, you creep.”

“And why should I not?”

“Because… because it’s weird!”

The monk locks eyes with the youkai once more, both realising exactly what’s happening. Miroku was hardly reading too much into the hanyou’s earlier behaviour. Inuyasha is indeed jealous.

Sesshomaru’s gaze leaves him, settling for Inuyasha. The younger brother takes a step in his direction, effectively blocking Miroku from Sesshomaru’s reach.

“Interesting,” the youkai says. “Monk, be so kind and move a bit to the right.”

Miroku complies, unsure of what Sesshomaru wants to do. He takes a defensive stance, just in case and keeps his eyes on Inuyasha.

With one swift movement that seems effortlessly out of this world, Sesshomaru pushes Inuyasha into the nearest tree trunk, securing his neck with his forearm. “You don’t want me to touch Miroku. I wonder why…”

Hearing his name come from Sesshomaru is a bit startling, but Miroku keeps his cool, trying to assess whether Inuyasha is in immediate danger or not.

“Told you. ‘S weird.”

“Would you find it just as weird if I touched the houshi? Or if he touched me?”

Inuyasha tenses at that and Miroku swears Sesshomaru pushes his forearm further against his neck.

“No,” comes the hanyou’s response.

“Hm.”

With that the youkai releases him.

“Why don’t you sit there and watch, Inuyasha?”

“What?”

Sesshomaru is once again at Miroku’s side. He extends his arm to grab a stray lock of his black hair, rubbing it between his thumb and index finger, slowly scraping his cheek with the tip of his claw. The monk stays still.

“Your houshi-sama anmd I, we can put out a performance for you. And we’ll do whatever you want to see us doing.”

The claw pushes deeper into Miroku’s skin as he speaks, but the monk stays as still as he can. Inuyasha’s once again at the forefront of Sesshomaru’s attention, and the hand leaves his hair all together.

“What the fuck is this supposed to mean?”

“Consider it a gift, little brother,” Sesshomaru says, piercing Miroku with his gaze once again. He can’t help but force himself to swallow all the saliva that has accumulated in his throat and meet the youkai’s gaze. His eyes appear even more golden in the moonlight, Miroku notices. They’re softer, somehow.

“Don’t be so tense, houshi-sama. I’m not going to hurt you. Of course, unless Inuyasha tells me to do so.”

Inuyasha growls at that, but is immediately silenced by Sesshomaru’s piercing eyes.

He extends his only arm to Miroku, patiently waiting for him to take it. “Would you be so kind as to join me, houshi-sama?”

The title is still bitter and mocking when Sesshomaru says it, but Miroku can’t seem to care anymore. He looks at the extended arm and weights in the invitation presented to him. He dares one quick look at Inuyasha, who seems just as expectant of his answer as his older brother. The look in his eyes, however, is less clouded by jealousy and flooded by curiosity that mirrors Miroku’s own.

He takes the youkai’s hand, letting out the breath that he’s been holding in at the same time.

Sesshomaru smiles at him, even if only for a second. He leads them deeper into the clearing, where he lays his pelt down and invites him to take a seat. The fur is soft yet firm under Miroku’s body, and it smells just like Sesshomaru’s youki.

“So, what do you say? Inuyasha?”

The hanyou looks at them both with determination. He doesn't scoff at Sesshomaru's idea any more.

“Undress him, Miroku.”

Sesshomaru grins yet again, and when Miroku shows no sign of moving towards him, he takes the monk’s hand into his own and guides it towards his obi. Miroku forces his fingers to move, pulling the end of the obi to untie the knot. The fine and expensive fabric glides easily against itself.

Sesshomaru grabs it, gently placing it on the grass, right next to the pelt they are sitting on. With an ease that shouldn’t be possible, given the fact that he has use of only one arm, he removes his armour, resting it in the same spot on the grass.

Miroku allows himself a moment to truly look at the youkai lord and take it the sight. His furisode is made of the same expensive silk as his obi — perhaps the fabric has magical properties as well, just like Inuyasha’s fire rat robe — and it hugs his frame gracefully, as if tailored for his body and him alone.

Inuyasha’s hoarse voice makes him lose focus for a moment. “Don’t mind if you kiss him. Just… not on the lips.”

Miroku nods at that, then looks at Sesshomaru once again. The youkai’s expression is as blank as ever, but his demeanor is different somehow… less menacing, inviting even. He takes a leap of faith and reaches for his collar, sliding his palm between the fabric of the furisode and that of his nagajuban.

“May I?”

They're the first words he's spoken since meeting Sesshomaru, so he doesn't kick himself over the fact that his voice comes out hoarser and weaker than he intends.

“Go ahead.”

The fair skin on Sesshomaru’s neck glows in the faint light of the moon, looking so very inviting. Miroku gathers up all the courage he can and leans in to brush his lips against it. Sesshomaru moves his head a bit to the other side, giving him more space. His skin tastes just like Miroku imagined it would after inhaling the sharp scent of his youki. Bittersweet and nauseatingly poignant. He slides his tongue up against his neck until he reaches the base of his ear. Sesshomaru leans into the touch and Miroku interprets his body language as an invitation to explore more. It’s risky, but he gives his ear a playful bite, to which the youkai responds with a slow, steady exhale.

“I imagine you should take off the rest of my clothes as well,” he says, reminding Miroku of Inuyasha’s requests. The words cause a ripple of vibration in his neck that reverberates against Miroku’s lips. Removing them from the youkai’s lord's soft skin is the last thing he wants to do, but he complies.

The monk removes Sesshomaru’s hakama with less finesse than he normally would. Most of the seduction skills he takes pride in seem to be forgotten in the presence of the powerful youkai, but he gets the job done. He does his best to neatly fold the cloth and put it away.

“You don’t need to wear so many fucking layers,” Inuyasha complains, but Sesshomaru pays him no mind. The golden eyes are stuck to Miroku, taking in every one of his clumsy movements.

Undressing the youkai lord is a tedious, yet surprisingly intimate task. Each knot he unfastens and each layer he manages to remove gets Miroku more and more excited. He doesn’t let it show, although Sesshomaru is surely able to smell it on him. Instead, he focuses his attention on the fabric, carefully folding every piece he manages to remove, marveling at the softness of the silk.

As he works the koshi-himo of Sesshomaru’s nagajuban loose, Inuyasha voices his impatience.

“Can you possibly undress him more slowly?”

“I hardly think your commentary is necessary, Inuyasha. We’ll get there. Right, houshi-sama?”

“Ye-yeah.”

The rest of the layers come off faster, or maybe time passes faster all together. The more skin Miroku manages to uncover, the warmer his blood gets. Sesshomaru is as beautiful as he is deadly. Each area of his body is marked by mauve marks, slightly raised above the level of his pale skin. Miroku fights the urge to touch them, wondering how they would feel under his calloused fingers. Soft, perhaps, just like the rest of Sesshomaru’s exterior. Stinging, just like his youki.

“May I touch?” Miroku asks, unsure who he is addressing. He expects an answer from Sesshomaru, but the youkai remains quiet and so very still, eyes slightly moving towards the tree Inuyasha is propped against.

“Yes,” comes the hanyou's curt response.

So Miroku does. He places his hand on Sesshomaru’s neck, right above the skin he kissed before and lowers it slowly, taking in the feeling of soft skin. There aren’t any marks for him to touch on the way down, forcing him to remain patient and keep on exploring. His gaze, however, remains stuck to Sesshomaru’s, allowing his palms to do the work. The youkai’s lips are thin, his mouth small and woman-like, Miroku notices, but his cheekbones are strong, just like his jaw and neck. His figure is a perfect balance of feminine and masculine, chiselled where it needs to be and smooth everywhere else. Miroku never wanted to kiss someone more in his entire life. He wants to feel the danger on the youkai's lips, the urgency of the taboo and the thrill that comes with it.

Perhaps Sesshomaru senses it, because he quickly turns his face away from him, presenting his supple neck. Miroku takes the invitation and places his lips back on it, kissing and nibbling at the soft skin, moving towards his collarbone with every lick.

Sesshomaru is by no means tense, responding to Miroku’s every touch and leaning into them, but he’s not relaxed either. Their position is peculiar to say the least, they all know it. A mere human is straddling the youkai Lord of the West, placing kisses on his bare torso under the watchful eye of his hanyou half-brother. Things couldn’t possibly get any stranger.

Brushing against Sesshomaru's groin, he becomes painfully aware of the hardness between the youkai's legs and the one between his own. He longs to touch… Sesshomaru, himself, it hardly matters as long as he gets to relieve the pent up excitement that's causing vibrations throughout his body. Miroku reaches for Sesshomaru's cock, but is stopped before he even gets to touch it. Inuyasha's hoarse voice echoes through the clearing.

"If Sesshomaru wants to be touched there he's going to ask for it. Nicely."

Inuyasha means to torment them both, that much is clear. Sesshomaru growls at his half brother, youki radiating from every pore, hitting Miroku directly. A wave of nausea gushes over him, but he manages to keep himself in check.

As expected, Sesshomaru keeps quiet. It's unfitting for the Lord of the West himself to beg for the attention of a human, or so Miroku thinks.

With nothing else to do, he goes back to exploring the youkai's body, careful to keep his hands away from any place that might generate even more arousal. His hands rest on each hip, prayer beads brushing against Sesshomaru's skin.

He moves slowly, anticipating the touch of raised marks. He holds his breath as his fingers stroke them, taking in the feeling. They are soft, just like the rest of Sesshomaru's skin, but textured unlike anything he's ever touched. He briefly wonders whether Inuyasha's feel the same whenever his demon blood gets the better of him.

"Houshi. I want you to touch me."

Miroku looks at Sesshomaru. His face is flustered, reddened by blood rush and he emanates lust. If he was a youkai himself, Miroku thought, perhaps he would be able to even smell it on him. Still, he moves his gaze towards Inuyasha for confirmation.

"You can do better than that."

Sesshomaru groans. It's deep, echoey and desperate and Miroku wants. He wants nothing more than to touch him and coax other delicious sounds out of him. He wants to kiss him and bite him and make love to him until they both come undone. He wants things that he knows are so out of his reach, but he can't stop wanting them.

"Please, houshi-sama."

Miroku can hardly register all the things that come with these words; for once, Sesshomaru doesn’t use his title mockingly. He’s not pleading, not really, but his voice is tainted by desperation, far less stable from his usual way of speaking.

He is too impatient to hear whether Inuyasha deems it enough. Instead, he reaches for Sesshomaru’s length and gently places his fingers around the thickness. They both moan at the contact, although the youkai is quite subtle about it. Miroku stops for a moment, overwhelmed and unsure of what to do. Sesshomaru is warm against his palm, and his tip glitters with precome. He briefly wonders what that would taste like.

“I’m not going to ask again,” Sesshomaru warns, and Miroku is quick to start moving.

He does his best to read the youkai’s body language and find the rhythm that generates him the most pleasure, trying to keep it slow and steady. Sesshomaru’s breath hitches whenever he brushes against the tip to gather more of the precome and spread it around, so he keeps doing it from time to time. Not after long it becomes too much for both of them. Sesshomaru lolls his head backwards, a low and guttural moan escaping from his lips as he shuts his eyes tightly. It’s perhaps the most beautiful thing Miroku had the pleasure to see while making love.

The monk becomes painfully aware of his own neglected hardness and the fact that while Sesshomaru is completely naked, he still has all his clothes on. He can’t help but wonder whether Inuyasha will eventually allow him to undress as well, or his sole purpose is going to be pleasuring them. The thought doesn’t bother him, he finds out, not if he is allowed to keep on touching the youkai lord.

“Feels good?” he asks, not really expecting an answer from the other man.

He doesn’t get one. Instead, Sesshomaru raises his head to look at him. His rich golden eyes are clouded with lust, mouth half open. A drop of saliva stains his reddened lower lip, painting the most beautiful picture of desperation.

“Miroku.”

His own name grabs the monk’s attention. He sees something in Inuyasha’s hand, but his vision is too unfocused to make up what it is. Nonetheless, it appears that the hanyou intends to throw the object at him.

“Use this,” is all he says before throwing it. Miroku catches it, not daring to remove his hand from Sesshomaru’s cock yet. He keeps stroking him steadily while inspecting the tiny object in his hand. It’s a vial, and by the look of its contents, Miroku understands that Inuyasha gave him lubricant.

“Open him up.”

His own cock throbs at the words, erection becoming almost painful after being neglected for so long.

“Can I at least...?”

“You’ll get to fuck him later. Now get to work.”

Miroku dares to take one more glance towards his partner, searching for consent. Sesshomaru curtly nods at him.

He wastes no time opening the vial and pouring a generous amount of the liquid on his fingers, proceeding to line them against the other man’s hole and gently push in. If the circumstances were different, Miroku would have been more attentive towards his partner. He regretfully thinks about the anticipation he could have built by caressing Sesshomaru’s opening with his fingers, even his tongue before going in. Denying him a bit longer would have made this so much more pleasurable.

He has to make use of the circumstances at hand, however, and he does it as well as he can. Sesshomaru’s insides are warm and soft around his digit. The urge to move around and explore is almost overwhelming, but Miroku keeps his cool and allows the youkai time to get used to the intrusion. Instead, he stares at him once more with obvious curiosity. Sesshomaru is flustered, but still calm and collected. He lets out long, periodic exhales accompanied by almost imperceptible moans.

“Are you comfortable?” he asks, registering the words as he speaks them.

“Are you deriding me?” Sesshomaru asks back, rendering Miroku speechless for a bit. Perhaps the heat of passion made him forget that he’s sharing it with one of the most powerful, prideful youkai there are.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to impose-”

“He’s fine,” Inuyasha cuts off. “You can keep going.”

Just for good measure, Miroku takes out his finger and coats his digits with a fresh layer of lubricant. He then resumes his place, adding another one. Sesshomaru barely flinches, and Miroku takes that as reassurement enough that he can start moving around. When he does finally start, Sesshomaru clenches around his fingers, drawing a surprised, ragged moan out of them both.

He won’t break. He’s not a fair maiden with easily offended sensibilities. No, Sesshomaru is a youkai lord that wants to be fucked, and he’s entrusting Miroku to satisfy him. So the monk does. He pushes his fingers as far inside as they can go, just to take them out all the way and push them back in again. It must burn, he thinks, but Sesshomaru doesn’t seem bothered by it. In fact, his body moves with Miroku’s hand, meeting all of his thrusts and pushing into them. It’s exquisite.

Sesshomaru stops him for a moment by grabbing his wrists. He positions Miroku’s hand himself, fingers almost all the way inside. “Push upwards,” he then says.

Miroku doesn’t question the order, he just complies. He touches something inside Sesshomaru that seems to be especially pleasurable for the other man. The usual collected, blank stare completely breaks into a moan, brows furrowed and mouth gaping. He looks absolutely exquisite, so Miroku keeps rubbing said spot, hoping to get more reactions similar to the one he just witnessed.

He wants Sesshomaru to come undone, to make a mess out of him until there is nothing on his mind besides Miroku. The monk is a selfish lover, he’s very much aware of it, yet he can’t help the urge to ravish beautiful things — in his vast experience, they become even more beautiful when they fall over the edge, drunk on pleasure and unable to form coherent sentences.

Sesshomaru is no different, youkai or not. Miroku knows it, he only has to prove it.

A rather intricate plan takes form in his mind, and he wastes no time to put it in motion. Inuyasha is still watching them carefully, and his jealousy doesn’t appear to have completely vanished, so he has to be careful. What is allowed and what is not is still unclear, perhaps to the hanyou himself.

“I want to make you feel good,” Miroku breathes, addressing Sesshomaru directly.

A faint moan is the only response the youkai gives him.

Miroku licks his lips, eyeing Sesshomaru’s erection. He wants to resume his stroking, to pleasure him from both inside and out, but he’s sure Sesshomaru would not appreciate the prayer beads rubbing against his length. Whether he would be affected by them or not is hard to tell, given just how powerful he is, but even if the contact doesn't cause any pain by altering his youki, they might still be uncomfortable on the skin.

“Am I allowed to use my mouth?” he asks instead, to no one in particular.

Both Inuyasha and Sesshomaru give him permission, the latter clearly more enthusiastic about it.

The hand hosting the wind tunnel is attentively laid atop Sesshomaru's thigh, caressing the soft skin gently, prayer beads in mind. The youkai tenses for a moment as Miroku lowers his head, both bracing for the contact. The monk takes his time, indulging himself at least in this. He takes a cautious lick across Sesshomaru's length, testing the taste of it on his tongue. It's not so different from the other places he had the pleasure to put his lips on, but it's definitely more poignant.

He dares a few more licks around the tip, coating the length with a thin layer of saliva before actually taking it in his mouth. Sesshomaru remains tense and unmoving underneath him, so Miroku offers him an especially hard thrust of his fingers against the spot that brings him the most pleasure to ease him up.

It works; Sesshomaru lets out another moan, low and guttural and his body softens, losing some of the tenseness.

Miroku does his best to find a good rhythm, coordinating his fingers and mouth as best as he can. He wants Sesshomaru to remember this night, to fall asleep to the memory of his thrusting and sucking, the pleasure he received at the hands of the monk.

The youkai finds leverage on his scalp, tightly grabbing his hair with his sole hand. His hips tense once again, and for a moment Miroku anticipates that he's going to thrust up into his mouth. The idea is not at all unappealing — if Sesshomaru wants to use him like this, take his pleasure without any sort of thought about his partner's, the who is Miroku to say no? Who is Miroku to scoff at the concerningly arousing display of power?

But none of it happens. Sesshomaru remains so very still underneath him, hand clasped tight into the other man's hair, rhythmically tensing and untensing the muscles of his thighs.

Not letting his disappointment be seen, Miroku continues his ministrations with even more enthusiasm. He takes all of Sesshomaru in his mouth, gagging at the feeling of the tip brushing against the back of his throat, which seems to be doing things for Sesshomaru, considering the loud whimpers he lets out. So he keeps doing it and the youkai keeps moaning louder and louder.

Miroku allows himself a quick glance to Inuyasha, but does not break the rhythm. The hanyou is looking at them with a mesmerized contortion. His hand is buried inside his hakama, hastily rubbing at his lenght.

Miroku remembers his own, still as hard as before. He rubs his cock against Sesshomaru's pelt, but the many layers between it and his body make the contact fruitless. He decides not to think about it anymore and focuses all of his attention towards pleasuring the youkai lord.

His fingers once again find the pleasurable spot inside while his tongue slides against the swollen, saliva-coated head of his cock. Sesshomaru tenses again and his grip tightens too.

"I'm going to finish soon, houshi. May I finish in your mouth?"

Sesshomaru is a very attentive lover, Miroku finds out. He imagined himself being manhandled, wrestled around and maimed at the hands of the Lord of the West, but none of it happened. Instead, Sesshomaru submits both to Inuyasha and him, taking everything that is given to him so well, even asking for permission to finish.

Miroku moans around the cock in his mouth, hoping Sesshomaru would consider it permission enough. The death grip leaves his scalp in favour of clawing at his pelt so hard it almost rips a few hairs. His whole body tenses once again, pushing himself forward, deeper inside. The warm liquid fills up Miroku's mouth; he tries his best to swallow all of it. His fingers are still inside Sesshomaru, moving around to allow the youkai to ride his orgasm.

Somewhere around them Inuyasha grunts too.

"Hngh," Sesshomaru mutters, and Miroku takes it as a signal that it's time to get off him. He licks at the softening length one more time, careful to get every last drop of come, doing the same for his lips.

"Was it pleasurable, my Lord?" he asks, taking in the beauty of Sesshomaru's almost languid expression. His cheeks are rosy, his eyelids low, and the entirety of his pale skin is coated with a sheer layer of shining sweat.

Inuyasha cuts in before he gets an answer.

"Fuck him."

Miroku pauses. "What?"

"You're hard, right? So turn him around and use him."

Use him, Miroku mentally repeats, realising that's not exactly what he wants to do. He'd much rather gather Sesshomaru in his arms, kiss and stroke him until he regains his composure, until he whimpers for more, then make love to him.

"Do it," the youkai urges and it's apparent that Miroku can take it or leave it, so he compromises.

His clothes leave his body in what feels like seconds. The cool air of the night brushes against his heated skin leaving behind goosebumps.

He grabs one of Sesshomaru's ankles, spreading his legs further to better look at him. He's beautiful everywhere.

The vial used earlier is discarded somewhere near the pelt, so Miroku retrieves it. He thoroughly coats his own length with the liquid, moaning at the touch he's been anticipating for so long.

"Can you raise your hips a bit?" he asks his expecting partner, observing that he is getting hard once again.

"No," Inuyasha says. "Turn around, Sesshomaru. On your knees."

Of course Inuyasha won't give Miroku the satisfaction of watching Sesshomaru during the act. It's selfish and downright disrespectful, but the monk wishes that his hanyou friend wasn't present. He wants to pleasure Sesshomaru on his own terms, to attend to him as he would to any other lover.

Still, he takes what he is given. The youkai turns around as instructed, allowing Miroku to stroke the smooth skin of his back and buttocks before lining his length to Sesshomaru's hole and gently push in.

Sesshomaru is by no means unprepared; Miroku was quite thorough with his fingers, but he still takes his time to get his cock fully inside.

"He won't break, goddammit. Just fuck him."

Both Sesshomaru and Miroku groan at Inuyasha's words, although for greatly different reasons.

"I'm sorry, I usually attend to my lover's pleasure as much as I attend to my own," Miroku bites back.

“You don’t have to. He’s not your lover.”

Miroku decides to ignore the jab, although it hurts, just like Inuyasha intended it to. He resumes his focus towards making Sesshomaru feel good and release all of the tension he accumulated earlier.

The youkai feels exquisite around him, warm and tight, and the lubricant makes for a nice, easy glide. He bottoms out, allowing Sesshomaru a moment to get used to the intrusion before starting to move.

“Are you alright?” he whispers, after Sesshomaru lets out a particularly low moan.

“Yes. Move.”

He complies, starting slowly. As much as Miroku wants to give in and fuck Sesshomaru senseless, he doesn’t want Inuyasha to get the satisfaction of seeing what he wants. He focuses on how good his length feels, on the pleasure his body is finally receiving after being denied for so long.

And if Inuyasha wants to say anything more, to impose a faster rhythm or a rougher pace, he keeps quiet. Instead, he leaves his assigned place and comes towards them. He pays Miroku little mind, settling in front of his brother instead. They kiss, or rather, Inuyasha grabs Sesshomaru by the throat and presses their lips together violently, forcing a moan out of the youkai.

It is Miroku’s turn to be overwhelmed by soul-crushing jealousy. He’s deep inside Sesshomaru, the intimacy of the act undeniable, but it’s still Inuyasha who has the upper hand and gets to do what Miroku wants the most. Perhaps Inuyasha is aware of this and does it just to spite him.

Sesshomaru is hard again, but makes no move towards pleasuring himself. He obediently takes whatever the two give him and Miroku can’t help but wonder if that would still be the case if Inuyasha was not present. He tries not to think of the hanyou more than needed.

Miroku holds him in place, grabbing his hips as he tries to angle his cock in order to hit the spot inside the youkai that would make him shudder with pleasure. It takes a few tries, but he eventually finds it and that particular thrust makes Sesshomaru briefly lose control of the muscles in his right hand. To prevent him from falling over, Inuyasha grabs him by the hair on a whim. Surprisingly, Sesshomaru doesn’t seem to mind as Inuyasha pulls harder.

They compete for Sesshomaru’s attention, Miroku realises as he hits against the spot one more time.

His pace gets rougher unconsciously, hips slamming against the youkai’s ass with every thrust. He won’t be able to hold the rhythm much longer; Miroku is rapidly nearing his own orgasm.

“I’m going to…”

“Outside.” Inuyasha warns him.

When the time comes, Miroku removes himself from Sesshomaru’s body and spills thick ropes of come on the youkai’s back, overwhelming waves of pleasure gushing over him, leaving them both panting. When the afterglow of it slowly leaves him, he starts to regret that he didn’t get to make the other man come once again.

Inuyasha catches Sesshomaru before he manages to fall, completely exhausted by the strenuous activity.

“Don’t fall asleep, princess,” he mocks, laying his brother on the pelt once again. Heavy-lidded and serene, Sesshomaru does indeed look like a prince.

“Move over,” Inuyasha demands, and when Miroku doesn’t show any sign of following the order, he pushes the monk away, taking his place.

Inuyasha then undresses himself at record speed. Everything he does is hurried and erratic, from the way he almost rips off his kosode, to the eagerness with which he spreads Sesshomaru’s legs.

“I hope Miroku loosened you up enough, cause I’m not going to make this pretty for you.”

“You sputter nonsense,” Sesshomaru remarks, but lets himself be manhandled nonetheless.

Everything Inuyasha does seems to be a direct jab at Miroku, pointing out all the things he wasn’t allowed to do to Sesshomaru. He kisses his brother, long and passionately, making a show out of it. When he finally takes him, he does so facing him, placing both of Sesshomaru’s legs on his shoulders and forcing them against his body. He doesn't leave his brother's eyes for one moment and Sesshomaru indulges him, holding the gaze in return.

“Something tells me you like this. Miroku and I, doing whatever we want to you while you take it like the little bitch you are.”

Miroku feels his blood rushing towards his cheeks. Seeing the two brothers fuck is a rather peculiar experience; they’re anything but gentle towards each other. No love words are spoken and no touch is packed with care and gratitude. Everything that happens before his eyes is animalistic, carnal and obscene.

“If you have enough sense to spit out such filth, surely you can fuck me better than this.”

“Shut the fuck up,” Inuyasha orders, marking the words with a rather rough thrust that leaves Sesshomaru breathless.

Miroku searches for his clothes, completely disoriented and unsure if he wants to further watch the scene that unfolds before him. He looks around, but the moon seems to have hid behind a cloud and the clearing is dark and quiet, save for the sounds made by the two inuyoukai.

He is startled by a rough moan that is so very unlike the sounds coming from Sesshomaru until then. Rather than pleasure, it is expressing pain and surely, when he manages to focus his vision on them once more, he sees that Inuyasha has bitten his brother’s neck, leaving a bloody mess on the pelt and on his fangs.

Sesshomaru doesn’t kill Inuyasha on the spot, much to Miroku’s surprise. Instead, places his legs against the hanyou’s hips and locks them into place, tensing and shuddering underneath him. He is coming, Miroku realises, and it’s the weirdest, most depraved thing he has witnessed.

Judging by the sounds he makes, Inuyasha comes shortly after, deep into Sesshomaru's body. He then collapses over his brother, both shaking and panting.

“Get off. Now, or I’ll decapitate you.”

Inuyasha complies, rolling around until he’s half laying on the pelt, half on the grass.

“Hey,” he says, and Sesshomaru’s ears flicker with interest. “Sorry for biting you. I sorta got carried away…”

“You’re an animal.”

“You’re the one who transforms into a dog, asshole.”

“Yet I'm not the one to behave like a mindless beast. Go get my washcloth. I am covered in semen.”

“Where?” Inuyasha asks, and Sesshomaru points to somewhere in the distance. “It’s where you’ve got the vial from.”

The air between them changes drastically. Perhaps it’s an youkai thing — one moment you fuck your brother like senseless, biting them to the point of drawing blood, and the next you’re all puppy-eyed and sweet. Or perhaps it's only a Inuyasha and Sesshomaru thing.

“I’m also sorry about the mess,” Miroku says once Inuyasha is out of earshot. He takes a gamble, unsure whether Sesshomaru wants to talk to him now that their coupling is over.

“At times I find myself not too displeased by mess. That is if it has a purpose.”

The youkai chuckles at his own line; for once, his laugh lack the usual irony and scorn and Miroku instinctively joins him, but his amusement is far from sincere. There is a question Miroku feels the need to ask, unsure if he is ever going to get another chance to.

“You told Inuyasha to bring me here.”

“I did.”

“May I ask why?”

Sesshomaru seems to think about it, but he doesn’t really have to. The bastard is only trying to get on his nerves. Inuyasha’s voice is heard from somewhere not too far away, and the opportunity is slowly slipping away.

“You followed my brother and discovered us. I could smell the lust on you and I wanted to see what it was that you were lusting after.”

“And have you found out?” Miroku asks, because it’s easier than to simply blunt out “you,” like every fiber of his body urges him to.

“Perhaps. Perhaps not. What is it that you want, houshi?”

Before he gets a chance to answer, a washcloth is thrown at Sesshomaru’s face. The youkai catches it with ease and starts wiping the come, sweat and dried blood off his body.

“Were your boots around there too?” Inuyasha asks.

“Yes.”

“I think I might have tripped over them and almost died.”

Sesshomaru chuckles, calling Inuyasha a rather unflattering name and expressing his regrets over his failure to leave the world of the living. Miroku tries his best to conceal his own laughter.

“Why didn’t you bring them to me?”

“I told you, shitface, I tripped over them and they fell into some hole. I don’t know where they are. It’s dark and shit.”

It's all but en excuse, as Inuyasha has no problem seeing in the dark.

“Fell into some hole? Are you an imbecile, Inuyasha? Go find them.”

Miroku takes the opportunity to finally find his clothes and starts dressing, occasionally amusing himself at the expense of the two brothers and their infantile fight.

“What? Go get them yourself.”

“I’m not the one who lost them. Go find them before I do and shove them in…”

“Whatever, I’m going. Asshole,” Inuyasha says, showing Sesshomaru the middle finger on his way back into the woods.

With that, they are once again alone. Miroku watches as Sesshomaru finishes cleaning himself and then starts dressing as well, pulling the fine silks onto his body and arranging them with a precision and elegance that should be impossible for an one-armed man. Everything about him is mesmerizing.

“You haven’t answered me, houshi. Before my idiot brother interrupted us I asked you what do you want.”

“Honestly, I don’t know. I came here out of curiosity and… lust, as you pointed out. But then…”

“Then?”

“I could only think about one thing. No matter what was happening, or what Inuyasha made us do, I only wanted to…”

At the pause, Sesshomaru raises an eyebrow, urging him to continue.

Miroku thinks it through, and the deeper his thoughts go, the less he wants to voice them. He’s not about to confess his very questionable and confusing feelings to a youkai lord, not before he makes sense of them. He’s not a flustering maiden, nor an inexperienced young boy that can’t differentiate between the pleasures of the flesh and genuine feelings of love. Yet Sesshomaru is in front of him, half dressed and as beautiful as ever. The moon itself comes out of the clouds to shine its light on him and celebrate his otherworldly charm.

“...To kiss you,” the monk hears himself say, unsure whether or not he made the conscious decision to let out the words.

“Hmm,” says Sesshomaru as he ties the very last knot of his hakama. “Do you still wish for it?”

There are so many words that can be said: I want to know what your lips taste like. I want to feel the danger of your fangs so close to me, or whatever other charming thing Miroku could think of. Yet all the charisma he prides himself with leaves him. He is laid bare in front of the youkai, unable to spin his thoughts into intricate lies and flowery words. So he gives into it.

“I do. I very much want to kiss you.”

Sesshomaru pauses, looking at him. Looking through him. When he makes sure Inuyasha is nowhere in sight, he approaches the monk and places his hand ever so gently on the nape of his neck before pushing him with overwhelming force into the nearest tree. Miroku wails at the contact.

They remain there, barely touching and unmoving. Their lips are so very close, but still too far to touch. Miroku understands that this is a provocation. If he truly wants to kiss Sesshomaru, he will have to close the gap between them. He would have to admit to himself that he is willing to go against his friend’s wishes. Sesshomaru leaves no room for misinterpretation and Miroku hates him for it.

He can have it. If he moves ever so slightly, if he leans forward a bit their lips will touch. And he wants to, damn how he wants to… But Inuyasha is there too; he might return at any moment and Miroku doesn’t want to imagine what being discovered in this position would entail. At the end of the day Inuyasha is his travel companion and his friend. He can’t do this to him. He can’t risk their relationship just for this. Just because Miroku is never satisfied.

He makes up his mind and gets ready to push Sesshomaru away, but stops at the last moment and closes the gap. All thoughts of Inuyasha leave his mind as their lips make contact. Sesshomaru tastes like everything that is forbidden, but so, so good. Like the danger of getting caught and the rays of the moon. Like blood and tears and the sweetness of spring.

Miroku doesn’t dare hold his lips against the youkai’s longer than a few seconds in fear of getting drunk on the taste. His stomach is in knots, his every muscle tensed to a taut.

Sesshomaru’s hand leaves his nape much too soon, his whole body moving away from him. He takes Miroku’s breath away and with it all the desire in the world.

Somewhere in the depths of the forest he can hear the rustle of leaves and Inuyasha's annoyed voice. Somewhere in the depths of Sesshomaru's golden eyes he can see his demise.


faithless
October 20th, 2021

I.

Inuyasha is jolted awake by Kagome’s scream. It takes a few moments for him to register what is happening — the new moon, Kagome standing in front of him, using her body as a shield and the strong youki seeping through the air. He takes a defensive stance and reaches for Tessaiga out of habit. The sword won’t help him much while he is in his human form.

“What’s happening, Kagome?” he asks, but the girl is not paying any attention to him. She’s looking straight ahead, focusing on something— someone.

“I don’t know what do you want, but I think you should leave.”

“I have no business with you, woman. Move along.”

The familiar voice urges Inuyasha to leave his place behind Kagome and confirm his suspicions. It is indeed Sesshomaru, standing tall and proud in front of them. By the looks of it, he is completely alone. His stance is relaxed, the two swords missing from their usual place neatly tied to his obi.

“If you think I’ll let you attack Inuyasha while he’s vulnerable, you're dead wrong!”

“Kagome, it’s okay. He’s not armed.”

Kagome flinches, but otherwise remains unmoving. The commotion wakes up the rest of the team. Sango immediately takes a defensive stance, grabbing Hiraikotsu. Miroku, on the other hand, seems curious about the whole situation. Inuyasha is too, wondering what it is that brought his brother here on a moonless night. Surely he isn’t going to ask Inuyasha to come with him…

“So? What do you want, asshole?”

“I need your houshi,” Sesshomaru says, looking directly at a very surprised Miroku. “I will return him shortly.”

A wave of jealousy gushes over Inuyasha. Sesshomaru didn’t come for him, but for Miroku. It shouldn’t, but it frustrates the hanyou to no end and for a moment, he wishes he’d never asked Miroku to join him that night.

“Hell no. You’re not taking Miroku anywhere,” Inuyasha protests, making Sesshomaru’s brow twitch in annoyance.

“I will not hurt him. You have my word, Inuyasha. I simply require his assistance.”

“You’re not taking anyone,” Kagome says, before Inuyasha manages to articulate a response. “Go away.”

Sesshomaru takes one, two, three measured steps towards Kagome, looking anything but peaceful and relaxed. Inuyasha can see one of his fangs showing, urging him to grab a hold of Tessaiga and stop him.

He was a sentimental fool to think that the fighting was over: fate always seems to put them against each other, but it shouldn’t be so. He doesn’t want to fight Sesshomaru, yet here he is, threatening Kagome.

“Sesshomaru-sama,” Miroku says, distracting the youkai, “Excuse me, but may I ask what do you require my assistance for?”

Sesshomaru remains silent for a bit, but at least Kagome is no longer interesting to him. Inuyasha is waiting patiently to hear the answer, because no way in hell would Sesshomaru admit that he wants to take Miroku into a nearby forest, shove him against a three and fuck him. Not to Inuyasha’s face.

“My human companion is ill. I want you to find what ails her and heal her.”

Inuyasha almost drops Tessaiga in surprise.

“Your human companion?” Kagome inquires. “The little girl that travels with you?”

Sesshomaru nods and the girl’s attention lands on Miroku.

“We should go, Miroku-sama. I’ll bring some medicine in case she’ll need it.”

She starts looking for her backpack in the dark, pissing Inuyasha off to no end in the process. One minute she was her fucking human shield and now all she thinks about is helping Sesshomaru’s brat?

“Wait a fucking minute. Nobody is going anywhere. If you want to help the brat, bring her here. I’m not having anyone go with you.”

Sesshomaru stares at him in silence. Inuyasha does his best to stare back into his very intimidating eyes; they seem even deadlier when he is in his fragile human state. But the youkai’s gaze is tame compared to the words that leave his mouth:

“Don’t you trust me, Inuyasha?”

The question feels like a punch in the gut, paralyzing him on the spot. His mouth instinctively opens but no words come out. He doesn’t know. Despite everything that has happened between them lately, he doesn’t know if he trusts Sesshomaru yet. Not with his friends. Certainly not with Miroku.

It shouldn’t even be a big deal. Inuyasha is used to not trusting his brother; that was their default state of existence until a few months ago, but now things are different. Inuyasha realises that he desperately wants to trust Sesshomaru and he can see that Sesshomaru wants Inuyasha to trust him too.

But he can’t. Because a few almost kind words and decent sex don’t erase decades of scorn and hatred. Sesshomaru can’t simply take back all of the times in which he tried to kill Inuyasha just because he felt like it.

“What kind of question is this—” Kagome says, but Miroku stops her with a hand around her wrist and a stern gaze. This is Inuyasha and Sesshomaru’s conversation.

“I see,” is all Sesshomaru says when the hanyou fails to answer his question. He doesn’t look disappointed, but Inuyasha can tell that his demeanour slowly changes. His stance is no longer open and relaxed and his crimson painted eyelid twitches.

“Rin is currently in pain and I do not wish to subject her to more suffering, as travelling seems to aggravate her state,” he informs Miroku, completely ignoring the others.

“Can you be a bit more specific? Where is the pain located? Does she have any other symptoms?"

"Why does it matter? You will see her soon enough.”

“I think Miroku-sama wants you to tell us a bit more so he would know whether or not we can help. Perhaps we might not be able to do enough and we’ll have to look for help somewhere else,” Sango chimes in. They all completely overlook Inuyasha’s protest.

“Is she wounded?” Miroku tires again.

“She is bleeding, but when I searched for wounds I did not find any.”

Miroku and Kagome exchange confused looks.

“Where is she bleeding from?”

“Her groin, I suppose. Her kimono is soiled whenever she wakes up, and her thighs are smeared with dried blood.”

“And you say she has stomach aches?”

“Yes. The pain is not continuous, however. There are moments of time in which she appears to be fine. She is, however, nauseous and has no appetite.”

Miroku looks in Kagome’s direction one more time, his expression silently asking should I tell him or will you? Sango notices the exchange and bites back a chuckle, but the sound doesn’t escape Sesshomaru.

“Is my misfortune amusing to you, demon slayer?”

Before the youkai decides to turn it into a real fight, Kagome takes one for the team:

“I think I know what Rin is suffering from, but I need to know if there are any other symptoms. It’ll help rule out other possibilities.”

Sesshomaru pauses for a beat, wondering whether or not he should say any more.

“There is another thing… Rin has been behaving rather strangely as of late. I presumed it was because of the pain she is in so I tried to offer my assistance. Normally she would have been delighted to accept it, but now… she lashed out at me. I fear this illness affects her mental state as well.”

Sesshomaru gets out the words as if it pains him to say it and if the situation was a bit different, Inuyasha would have laughed. He does his best not to, but the whole thing is beyond funny; the great youkai lord doesn’t know what a period is. Come to think of it, Inuyasha has no idea if female inuyoukai lack this particular trait or if Sesshomaru is simply too self absorbed to care about anything that doesn’t concern him.

Moreover, he just admitted to being lashed out at by a human girl.

“She’s not ill, not really,” Miroku assures Sesshomaru. The words seem to offend the youkai more than put him at ease.

“She is clearly suffering. If you don’t know what’s wrong with her, don't waste my time.”

“I’m not denying that she is suffering, but her pain will go away shortly and she’ll be back to normal. Her ailment is not severe.”

“How should you know this? You haven’t even looked at her.”

“Because,” Kagome continues, “All human women go through this sort of illness once a month.”

Sesshomaru seems confused at best, ready to murder someone at worst.

“Explain.”

“I can’t believe I’m explaining periods to a youkai…” she mutters to herself. “Rin is having what’s called a period, or menstruation if you want to be technical. Each month her body is preparing for a pregnancy, and when that doesn’t happen, she must, er… expel the… how should I put it? Think of her womb as an empty nursery. A child can’t stay there unless the nursery is furnished and properly equipped, so a woman’s body does just that. The nursery is furnished every month in preparation for a baby, but if the baby doesn’t come the furniture is no longer needed and has to be removed.”

“So you are telling me that Rin has to empty the contents of her womb once a month unless she gets with child?”

“Yes, every fertile woman has to do that.”

Sesshomaru ponders on the new information for a few moments.

“This is ridiculous. Rin is merely a child. She is not ready to become a mother yet.”

“Well, just because her body is ready to accommodate a child it doesn’t mean she has to. It’s not the same for every girl… some get their periods early in life, like Rin, and some later.”

“This does not explain why she is in pain. Or mentally unstable.”

“She’s not menstally unstable. Her body is going through many changes in a short amount of time so it’s normal that she’ll get a bit irritated. It’s not the most pleasant time for her. And the pain is normal too. Her muscles contract in order to expel the stuff from her womb, and that can be painful too. The nausea is common as well.”

“I can gather some pain relieving herbs. It might help a bit, but Kagome-sama is right, Sesshomaru-sama. Rin is going to be well. She only needs a bit of time to regain her strength and some compassion,” Miroku tries to reassure him but Sesshomaru remains tense. As a last act to soothe him, Miroku lightly grabs his shoulder, expecting resistance, but the youkai leans into the touch. He’s still not convinced, but at least he’s calm.

“You said she’s going to go through this every month from now on?”

“Yes, that’s usually how it goes.”

“May I ask you one last thing?”

“Go ahead,” Kagome urges him.

“I don’t think I will be able to make Rin understand all of this, as I am not well versed in human physiology. May you explain this to her? She must know what is happening to her own body.”

Kagome smiles, genuine and cheerful.

“You’re right, she should definitely know. You can bring her any time and Sango and I will talk to her.”

“Thank you.”

“I’m happy,” Kagome tells him out of the blue.

“Hm?”

“You take good care of Rin.”

Sesshomaru doesn’t bother with an answer. Instead, he follows Miroku into the woods to find the herb mentioned earlier. Inuyasha is ready to follow the two and make sure nothing funny happens between them, especially after their little display of closeness, but Kagome has other plans for him

“Care to explain since when you and Miroku are such good friends with Sesshomaru?”

“Uh… It’s a long story,” he says, conveniently leaving out that it is also one he doesn’t plan on telling.

“We have time. We weren’t planning on sleeping tonight, after all,” she urges, looking up at the moonless sky.

II.

Sesshomaru follows along in silence, matching his step to Miroku’s like an obedient dog. The monk is ready to look behind them to see if Inuyasha is following along, but he decides against it. He has nothing to hide and no ill intentions towards his friend.

The fact that he closed the gap between their mouths that cursed night is not something he can’t deny, not with a clear conscience, but praise Buddha, Inuyasha hasn’t found out about the incident and Miroku tries not to think about it anymore. It was a mistake.

“What sort of plant is it?”

“It’s a small shrub with red, almost round leaves. It has a poignant smell and is quite smooth to the touch.”

Sesshomaru nods. He leaves Miroku’s side for a while, looking for the herb himself. Miroku hopes he’ll have better luck because he can barely see anything through the thick darkness of the moonless night. All he can do is trudge around and avoid stumbling over overgrown roots.

“Is this the plant we’re looking for?”

Miroku jumps at that, placing a shaky hand on his chest in a futile attempt to soothe his racing heart. He’s not easily scared, or that’s what he’d like to think, but there is something deeply unsettling about the way Sesshomaru makes his appearance, and Miroku’s sure he’s not the only one affected by it. One moment he was alone with his clumsy, aimless steps, surrounded by the darkness and quiet of the forest, and the next Sesshomaru was behind him. Were the circumstance different, he'd be dead by now.

“Did I startle you?”

“A bit,” the monk admits. He takes the leaf from Sesshomaru’s palm, briefly making contact with the pale skin and inspecting it.

“Yes. This is it.”

The youkai nods.

“How do I prepare it?”

“You can make tea out of it. It won’t taste very good, but it does the job. You’ll need a bit more than this single leaf, though.”

“Teach me.”

Miroku blinks in surprise.

“To brew tea? Surely you must know how to do it.”

“Teach me,” Sesshomaru repeats. More than a requirement, it is an invitation. If he accepts it, Miroku knows he can’t ever go back and face Inuyasha.

“I’m sure Rin knows how. She’ll teach you.”

“She is in pain. I do not wish to disturb her.”

He’s walking on a thread, that much is true, and Sesshomaru’s firm gaze fixating on him is not helping at all.

“This is not about Rin, Sesshomaru,” he says, dropping the honorifics for once. “What is it about?”

“Are you accusing me of lying?”

“No, I’m not accusing you of anything. I simply think you have ulterior motives, but I fail to understand what your end goal is. You wish to make Inuyasha hate me? If so, what do you gain from it?”

Sesshomaru pauses and thinks. At least that is what Miroku imagines he’s doing. It’s hard to tell in the dark, not that daylight would make the youkai’s any expressions more readable.

“That is not my intention. I want to help Rin, but I do not have the knowledge to do so. I want her to have a human she can rely on and I’m afraid you’re the only one I can think of.”

“How so?” Miroku asks.

Sesshomaru’s answer comes surprisingly fast. “Because I do not feel the urge to snap your neck.”

A confession of sorts, or perhaps a declaration of love in youkai terms. Miroku doesn’t know what to think about it, except that he wished the blood wasn’t rushing to his face, making his cheeks redden like that of a maiden. He briefly considers going with Sesshomaru, all be damned. But this is far from a inconsequential tryst — in the grand scheme of things, it’ll have great repercussions, ones that Miroku has to think about.

“Are you certain Inuyasha’s jealousy has nothing to do with this?”

Sesshomaru shifts his weight from one foot to the other and exhales a little louder than usual. Curious.

“I am not the man to scheme, houshi. I wish to help Rin and I know that you can aid me in this. If you joining Rin and I for a while will teach Inuyasha a lesson, that is only an agreeable consequence.”

“What sort of lesson are we looking to teach Inuyasha?”

Of course, Miroku doesn’t expect an answer so Sesshomaru's lack of one doesn’t affect him that much.

“Surely you must understand, Sesshomaru-sama, that I have a duty towards Inuyasha. Besides… I don’t have much time before Naraku’s curse gets the better of me. I have to carefully measure my steps if I want to live.”

Sesshomaru nods, his eyes finally leaving Miroku’s in favour of the crimson leaf. His lips part in preparation for words, but a rustle of leaves and a crack of what seems to be a dried root interrupts them.

“What’s going on here?”

Sesshomaru looks at Miroku once more, gaze as piercing and cold as ever.

“Nothing that should concern you, little brother,” Sesshomaru says and his words mimic the ice in his eyes. It only takes Miroku a blink to lose the youkai from his line of sight. Before he can register it, Sesshomaru takes flight, leaving him alone with Inuyasha.

The hanyou raises an inquiring eyebrow at him to which Miroku sighs. All of the adrenaline that rushed through his body while being so close to Sesshomaru is slowly dissipating, leaving a general soreness in its wake.

“We looked for the plant he needed and I told him how to prepare it for Rin. Nothing weird happened, I assure you.”

Inuyasha seems anything but pleased with his answer, but he refrains from any more inquiries or comments. When did the things between them get so tense, Miroku wonders. Was their friendship officially ruined when he accepted Sesshomaru’s invitation or did it happen even earlier? It’s hard to tell, and the more he thinks about it, the worse Miroku feels.

They head back to the camp, walking through dried leaves, sharp roots and crushing silence. The sun rises on the fine line of the horizon, its light barely touching them through the vast flora of the forest, but the dim speckles of light pool around Inuyasha nonetheless, changing his very nature. Miroku watches the man in silence; he’s witnessed the very same transformation many times, but it never fails to leave him in awe. The graying hair, the growth of his fangs and claws, the disappearance of every ounce of fragility and doubt from Inuyasha’s body, they’re hypnotizing.

“Kagome started asking some questions,” Inuyasha tells him, matter of factly. He doesn’t spare a look to Miroku, otherwise preoccupied with the state of his claws.

“And what did you tell her?”

The sigh that Inuyasha lets out is heavy and uncharacteristically sorrowful. “I told her that I found you and Sesshomaru together.”

He enunciates the words as if they bring him physical pain, and Miroku gets it, because he feels said pain. Somewhere deep in his chest, his heart aches for an yet to be identified reason. Betrayal, perhaps.

“But that’s a lie.”

Inuyasha stops abruptly. They’re close to the camp at this point, and their talk is not for anyone else’s ears.

“No shit, Miroku. I know it’s a lie, but I can’t possibly tell Kagome that I’m fucking my own brother. It’ll break her heart.”

What about Sesshomaru’s heart? It’s an odd thing to think about, that one of the most powerful demons out there might even have a heart that would get broken so easily, but Miroku saw Sesshomaru — truly saw him and the loneliness he tries so hard to hide behind icy gazes and menacing demeanor.

“I think you should tell her, Inuyasha. She loves you… she’ll understand.”

Maybe it’s not that easy. Maybe Miroku has got it all wrong while trying to make sense of it all, but he still hopes. That Kagome will understand, if not accept. That Inuyasha will confront his feelings and let them out for once. He foolishly hopes for a happy ending, even if he’s not part of it.

“I’m not going to tell her and neither are you.”

It’s a threat, that much is clear, and it’s by no means empty. Not when Inuyasha reveals a bit more of his fangs.

“I wonder what else, besides your mistakes, will fall upon me?” The question is Miroku’s own version of a threat, much more subtle and meaningful. Inuyasha may not fully understand it yet, but that’s entirely on him.

“That’s not what I meant —“ the hanyou tries, but Miroku doesn’t listen to him anymore. He turns his back towards his friend — and how it pains him to do so — and leaves.

He knows he’s acting on impulse and it might not turn out well for him, but he hardly cares anymore. With his destination in mind, Miroku sets a brisk pace.


He finds the light, or perhaps the light finds him. He follows it without much thought and reaches Sesshomaru’s camp before noon.

He’s welcomed with silence and he awkwardly joins it, carefully watching the youkai as he purposefully crushes the red leaves of the shrub besides a well-fed fire. Somewhere not too far away, Rin is peacefully sleeping atop his pelt, snoring evenly.

“Did you send the light for Inuyasha?” Miroku dares, after the leaves have been placed in the boiling water.

Sesshomaru doesn’t acknowledge his inquiry, his presence barely noted. As if once he decided to follow the glimmering light, Miroku forfeited his soul and became a wandering spectrum. He’s hurt, but the pain is not worse than that of Inuyasha’s betrayal.

Admitting defeat, Miroku ceases the futile attempts to break the all encompassing quiet. The two of them, demon and youkai, stand close watching a pot of boiling water.

“It tastes awful.” Sesshomaru says after what feels like hours. His voice is hoarse. Perhaps his throat is dry, or he’s been quiet for so long that speaking feels wrong. They’re all plausible, but Miroku can’t help hearing the faint memory of sobs in it, as ridiculous as imagining the great inuyoukai crying would be.

“I know. But it’s not supposed to taste good. It’s supposed to alleviate the pain.”

“Rin refuses to drink it.”

“Children are like that sometimes. But I’m sure you’ve been firm enough and told her that she should drink it for her own good.”

Sesshomaru pauses for a bit, unsure of what to say, or whether he should say it at all. “I sent Jaken to fetch some honey so I can sweeten the brew.”

A laugh escapes Miroku’s lips, forcing him to hold it back as to not wake Rin. Sesshomaru raises an inquiring eyebrow at his display.

“I did not expect you to give into her whims so easily.”

The youkai looks positively offended and ready to snap back, but Miroku quickly adds:

“I’m not saying this with any malicious intent, just surprise. Kagome was right, you do take good care of her. I suppose it’s only natural to want to care for those you love.”

Sesshomaru flinches, either at the mention of Kagome or at the assumption that he loves Rin. Miroku decides not to press the issue any further.

“Why are you here, houshi? You were quite clear when you told me you had no intention of betraying Inuyasha.”

The word leaves a bitter taste on Miroku’s tongue because that’s exactly what he feels. Except it was not him who betrayed his friend, but the other way around.

He could very well tell Sesshomaru about it, but decides against it. Instead, he settles for a simple, yet meaningful statement.

“I think I understand now.”

Their eyes meet halfway into the fire and the look on Sesshomaru’s face is quizzical. “What do you understand, houshi?”

“You… Inuyasha… the ups and downs, the constant back and forth between the two of you.”

The youkai lets out a ridiculing laugh. “Then you understand more than I do.”

The meticulously placed mask the Lord of the West wears slowly crumbles before Miroku, allowing him a glimpse of all the hurt and sorrow Sesshomaru carries inside him. Amongst all of it, Miroku is surprised to find the innocence of the first heartbreak and his own heart shatters with empathy. He extends a tentative hand, giving Sesshomaru an anchor to hold onto while he’s navigating through the tumults of his inner world and the youkai takes it without further comments. His slender fingers intertwine with Miroku’s into a thigh, desperate hold.

The air between them is heavy and somewhere in the distance the angry rustle of leaves and the sound of small steps announce Jaken’s arrival. At the same time, the pelt on which Rin sleeps moves ever so slightly, indicating that the girl is waking up.

Sesshomaru is about to get up from where they are sitting near the fire and check on her, but Miroku doesn’t let go of his hand just yet, tightening his grip on it. He leaves no room for protests, forcing Sesshomaru to look at him as he says:

“You know… When you start caring about someone, the thought of them not caring about you in return is painful. But then, the knowledge that they do care, just not as much as you do is what truly breaks you.”

Sesshomaru obeys and looks at him. For once he truly looks at Miroku without any sort of guard up, with the entirety of his soul laid bare, and in that moment he appears just as vulnerable as Inuyasha on his human nights.