The disclaimer still stands; Inu and gang may not be mine but Kei is and don't you forget it! Much love for you all. Keva
"Alright," Kagome nodded as she kneeled down in front of Kei.
He arched a dark brow at her. "What?"
"I want to know what this coming of age thingy with Inuyasha really is about." She demanded.
"He just has to prove himself as an Inu no Taishou." He shrugged dismissively.
She narrowed her eyes deeply. "If it was just that he wouldn't have to worry about being killed and all that."
"Smart girl." He grinned at her. "Though he won't necessarily be killed if he doesn't pass." He shrugged. "It just means he'll no longer have the protection that comes with the name Taishou. If it wasn't for that name and the sibling that comes with it he would have been dead long ago."
Kagome shook her head. "Why would it matter? He's never invoked the use of the Taishou name anyway."
"He doesn't have to declare it verbally." He looked over at the hanyou in question. "Many know of the great dog general The Inu no Taishou and the story of his death."
"So." She shrugged. "What does that have to do with anything or even Inuyasha's coming of age."
"Everything." He glared at the hanyou when they locked stares then smirked when the inu looked away. "You see Kagome," he looked over at her. "Inuyasha's father was very powerful and much like Sesshoumaru kept the lands safe for those who lived here. Any who threatened or now threaten what falls under the control of the Taishou name has to face the consequences of," he shrugged. "Sesshoumaru."
Kagome huffed. "But what does that have to do with Inuyasha?"
He snorted. "Well as powerful as Sesshoumaru is he can't do it all by himself." He chuckled when she looked at him skeptically. "Well maybe he could but it would be much easier to control his lands with another Inu no Taishou; especially since Sesshoumaru expanded them so much after his father's death."
"So what you're saying is that Inuyasha will be given the name Taishou if he passes his coming of age ceremony?"
"That and the power, respect, and honor that comes with carrying that name."
She furrowed her brows deeply. "Wait?" She stared at him completely confused. "Inuyasha doesn't have a last name? He's just Inuyasha?"
He nodded curtly. "Yes; currently the puppy holds no name of his own or title or even power in the sense of standing throughout youkai society. The only thing he CAN claim is that he was born carrying the blood of an Inu no Taishou and nothing else."
"So in order to gain his title he has to fight a lot and beat everyone he faces; you and Sesshoumaru included?" She stared at him worriedly.
"I don't blame you for worrying about the puppy." He smirked at her. "It's highly doubtful he'll make it to myself or even beat me to take on Sesshoumaru." He smiled reassuringly at her. "However winning isn't the point. It's more about showing that he can think first not act."
Kagome's eyes widened hugely as she stared at him.
"And therein lies the problem." He snorted and shook his head. "He's hot headed and acts with his feet." He sighed deeply. "Yet that is only half the problem."
"What's the other half?" She questioned with a worried glance over at Inuyasha.
Kei smirked. "He has to bow down before Sesshoumaru and pledge his loyalty to him."
"NO WAY!" She stared wide eyed at him. "He would never!"
He opened his mouth to respond to that but closed it when she cut him off.
"Does he know he has to do that?" She whispered as she leaned in towards him.
"He does." He nodded. "However he's deluded himself into thinking that he won't have to once he runs the gauntlet. He's sure that it's all about strength and if he proves his power he won't have to."
"And Sesshoumaru's is a traditionalist so he'll have to do it if he manages to quit thinking with his feet."
"Exactly." He nodded.
"We have to do something to help him."
He grunted. "You nor I can do anything to fix his hot head. The best I can do is train him the rest is up to him."
She put her fist to her chin in thought. "Maybe Miroku can work with him or something."
"Perhaps but the question is would he take the monk's advice?"
Kagome slumped like a ten ton weight suddenly settled on her shoulders. "Probably not." She sighed deeply. "He's just so stubborn!" She bit out with a glare over a Inuyasha.
"WHAT?" Inuyasha glared at the two of them.
Kei narrowed his eyes upon the puppy threateningly. "You want to play?"
"Fuck you!" He pointed a sharp finger at him. "I'll kick your sorry ass!"
"Shut-up Inuyasha!" Kagome glared at him. "I am soo sick of your foul mouth. AND if I hear one more dirty word out of you you're going to find out the other side of the world looks like!" She threatened.
Inuyasha picked up the threat loud and clear. "Keh!" He huffed and jumped into a tree to pout.
"I'll talk to Miroku and Sango and see if we can do something to help him." She looked at the neko. "Maybe you could too?"
"Sorry; can't do that." He nodded curtly at her. "My loyalties lie with Sesshoumaru not Inuyasha the best I can do for him is train his strength."
"That's not fair." She huffed.
"It is." He snorted. "Actually," he ran his claws over his chin. "I'm helping out of my own kindness." He locked stares with her. "I don't have to help him at all and I'm sure Sesshoumaru would prefer it that way."
She still couldn't believe that Kei was so loyal to Sesshoumaru. Her mind just couldn't wrap around the fact that someone would side with the great youkai over her best friend. "I just don't get it." She scowled. "Why Sesshoumaru? Inuyasha is so much better."
He couldn't help but laugh at that. "Girl everyone is entitled to a friend no matter what anyone else thinks of them." He stared pointedly at her. "You know I could ask you the same thing. Why are you so loyal to the hanyou? Why not Sesshoumaru since he is so much more powerful and I'm sure a much better protector to you than the puppy."
Well she really couldn't argue with the protector side of things. Since Sesshoumaru joined them in their travels her injuries and kidnappings had dwindled down to nearly none. Well no kidnappings anyway and her injuries were mostly of her own making of her own stupidity. However where Sesshoumaru was a better protector his personality left a lot to be desired. Never once did Sesshoumaru ever make her laugh, or feel better when she was feeling down, or make her so mad she could actually kill. Actually that last one he was good at doing. More times than she could count she had seriously thought about purifying the demon lord until he was nothing but dust.
"Sesshoumaru is sooooo stuck up and he never talks and he so rude and he doesn't have a personality as far as I can tell. He doesn't laugh or joke or comfort anyone or anything." She shook her head. "I mean he's a dog and Inuyasha is so much more dog like than Sesshoumaru ever could be."
"Exactly." He nodded causing her to stare confusedly at him.
"What? What do you mean 'exactly'?"
He smirked at her. "Granted dogs are loyal, fun, comforting and so forth they're not very intelligent."
"Are you calling Inuyasha stupid?" She questioned with a death glare at the neko.
"Well I certainly didn't call him smart now did I?" He antagonized knowing full well he was crawling under skin. It was rather cute how she tried to come across as threatening by glaring deadly at him. "Alright put it this way," he arched a brow at her. "if he's so smart then we wouldn't have to worry about him passing his coming of age ceremony; now would we."
"I guess not." She nodded and scrunched her nose.
"Your precious hanyou isn't as dumb as an ordinary dog but not much smarter either."
"You need to get away from Sesshoumaru for awhile." She huffed. "That comforting insult didn't help at all."
"Now why would I do that?" He questioned with brows drawn. "I find Sesshoumaru's company to be quite pleasant." He said in all seriousness.
"When has Sesshoumaru ever been pleasant?" She shook her head. "I'm not sure he even knows that the meaning of the word pleasant."
"Oh?" He arched a brow at her. "I believe I can produce a little girl that will dispute that and defend her precious Sesshoumaru-sama until the day she dies."
"Rin." Her eyes widened.
"Rin." He nodded.
"Now that's a relationship that doesn't make sense if I ever saw one." She nodded.
He chuckled at that. "True but it just goes to prove that somewhere deep inside that iceberg of an ice prince there is a soft side." He smirked at her. "So you see Sesshoumaru isn't all threats, death glares, and poison claws."
"I guess." She sighed in defeat like she just lost some great battle.
"Now tell me this girl." He stared pointedly at her. "Why are you trying to turn me against Sesshoumaru?"
"I'm not." She defended. "I just don't see how you can be so close to him. I mean what I know…"
"Exactly." He cut her off. "What you know is very little compared to myself who knows quite a lot."
"So tell me."
"Oh no I've already told you enough."
"Nuh huh you said you'd tell me when you knew me better." She nodded curtly.
He ran his claws over his chin thoughtfully. "And do I?" He looked over at her. "Here-so-far the most I know about you is where you come from and the fact that you think Inuyasha is the greatest thing ever created. AND," he narrowed his eyes upon her. "you aren't the innocent little thing you want everyone to think you are."
"I do not and am so!"
"Don't you and aren't you?" He arched a dark brow at her. "This is the third time you've tried to convince me that I'd be better off taking the puppy's side over Sesshoumaru's. Those are not the actions of an innocent little girl more like the actions of a devil woman."
"Is not!" She scowled deadly at him. "It's only the second and I'm not a devil woman!"
"Ah so you admit you're trying to turn me into a traitor." He smirked. "And just so you know only little vixens try to use their wily charms to turn friends against friends."
Kagome scowled deadly at him and shot to her feet. "I hate you soooo much!" She huffed, turned, and stormed off.
"Oh and you're doing a terrible job of wooing me." He said to her retreating form then laughed when she went stiff in the spine as she continued to walk away from him. "Innocent little girl my ass." He shook his head.
Who ever thought she was some innocent little thing that could be trusted was completely out of their mind. That was a witch woman if he ever saw one.
Kei suddenly shot from his spot under the tree when three green whips came at him from the darkened forest.
"You will die." Sesshoumaru growled and shot for the neko.
Kei chuckled, jumped to the top of a tree avoiding the poison claws coming for him. "I see someone's imagination has run away from him again." He taunted. "I thought you had that fixed."
"Silence neko." He growled deadly and jumped up at him. "You have run your mouth one too many times."
Kei again dodged the attack and stared at the demon lord. "Oh and what have I said?"
"It matters not." He countered. "I know you can't keep your tongue behind your teeth."
"To this day I still find it absolutely astounding this insecurity of yours." He snorted. "So much for your iron clad control."
Sesshoumaru let his eyes bleed red as he stared at his long time friend. "Today you die."
"Oh you mean the same way I was supposed to die a few weeks ago, a month ago, two months…" He trailed off when Sesshoumaru shot towards him with poison claws glowing and instead of running he countered the attack.
"I hope he kills him." Kagome huffed and crossed her arms over her chest indignantly.
"I agree." Inuyasha growled, withdrew his sword, and jumped into the fight. He'd kill two bastards with one swing of his sword and finally be done with the both of them.
"Kagome I couldn't help but overhear your conversation." Sango pointed out. "And he's right you are doing a terrible job of…"she trailed off and drew her brows deeply. "What did you call it? Fitting?"
"Flirting." She sighed and sat down on the fallen tree and completely ignoring the battle raging on somewhere in the forest.
"Flirting." Sango nodded and sat down next to her. "How about instead of trying to get him to tell you all about Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha you have him tell you about himself."
"I agree." Miroku nodded. "You were off to a good start; so what happened?"
Kagome sighed deeply and looked up at her hoshi friend. "It's this coming of age thing with Inuyasha. Something about it just doesn't sit right with me." She nodded at him. "And I want to know what it's all about."
"Have you tried asking Inuyasha?" Shippou questioned from Miroku's shoulder.
"He won't say anything to me." Kagome huffed.
Sango snorted at that. "Probably because there wasn't something in it for him."
Kagome's eyes lightened up. "I know how to get him to tell me what he knows about it." She nodded. "Ramen and two weeks without a single mention of going home."
"I bet that would work." Sango agreed.
"Definitely." Miroku nodded.
Shippou stared wide eyed at his miko friend. "Try it."
"I will." She nodded at the three of them. "As soon as they get done with their pissing contest or whatever it they're doing out there." She pointed in the direction of the loud crashing of falling trees.
"This one may take awhile." Miroku pointed out. "It seems that Sesshoumaru-sama has a lot of issues to work out with Kei and throw Inuyasha in the mix and…"
"We're staying here for awhile." Sango cut him off.
"Guess we better get comfortable then." Kagome nodded. "Maybe I could get some homework done while we wait."
"Yes we should rest while we can." Miroku agreed then turned to go and find a comfortable spot to meditate or more specifically to watch his female companions and their nicely shaped bottoms.