Summary: Sesshoumaru makes his entrance and many truths are revealed.
AN: Three weeks after the end of the last chapter.
~ooO The Western Lord Ooo~
Sesshoumaru frowned. The pathetic shinobi had tried to stop him from entering Konoha. Of course they failed. It wasn't worth the effort to kill such cowardly weaklings.
His delicate nose scrunched. He hated entering human towns. They stank of wastes, decay, and other chemicals. Any youkai with sense stayed away from large settlements or slaughtered everyone. Leave a few survivors and they would breed.
He sniffed and made his way in quick effortless leaps towards his adoptive-sister. Her presence was a bonfire that stood out to his youkai senses. Since she wasn't masking it or moving she obviously was busy and expected him to meet her.
Tsunade, Godaime Hokage was confused by the garbled report from the Chuunin patrols. With some effort she managed to drag some coherent information.
White Demon. Facial markings like Naruto. Energy-Chakra whip that tore ninjutsu chakra and flesh to bits. Killing aura that is terrifying even experienced jounin. Moving fast towards the Uchiha district. Only maiming defenders who tried to stop it.
She cursed and pushed herself off.
Itachis fiancée was telling the truth. Her demon companion was not a tall-tale.
She had to get to the Uchiha district before someone did something stupid.
Kagome rose from her delicate writing desk and walked quickly. A few seconds before a mirror to put up her hair and smoothen her cotton kimono. Sesshoumaru was here.
By the time she reached the main foyer she saw the older clan members, retired or off-duty shinobi armed and waiting. The women and genin, including her brother-in-law to be and his team-mates, were to gather the children and wait for the order to move them. Her eyes caught the blood-red eyes of her fiancé.
Itachi nodded slightly and raised his fist, an order for silence that was obeyed.
"There is an intruder in the village." He spoke quietly but was heard by all. "Silver hair, white haori and hakamas, a blue crescent moon on the forehead and red twin strips across each cheek. Godaime has given the order to evacuate but Kagome reassured me this intruder is not interested in killing us. I believe her so we will wait. Follow her cues as you would any team leader. She will be your Lady."
The Uchiha clan members were surprised, perplexed, confused, but they obeyed unquestioningly.
They followed Kagome out of the house and into the open courtyard. They formed semi circles behind the Clan Head and his future wife and waited.
Within a few minutes the intruder arrived. The white clad form bounded over the ten-foot wall effortlessly, then landed a few meters away from the couple.
"Miko." The youkai spoke in clear accented liquid tones.
Several of the females shivered. That voice!
Kagome bowed from the waist. "Sesshoumaru-sama, I have located the Eastern Lord."
The daiyoukai inclined his head briefly. Silver hair slipped from behind one pointed ear. "Good. This one does not wish to stay in this Realm. The ningen here spill blood carelessly. The barriers are dangerously thin."
"Hai hai. I know you hate human towns. The stink of people, decay, pollution, death, yadda yadda yadda." Kagome flapped her hand carelessly.
That beautiful delicate so elegant face smiled; a tiny lift in one corner of his mouth. "You think you know this Sesshoumaru so well little miko?" he asked archly. The exotic beauty was accented by the two maroon markings on each cheek and the blue crescent moon on his forehead.
Kagome scrunched her nose and laughed. "Because I've heard it often enough over the last few months." Her expression turned soft and serious. "I've missed you aniki."
The mask cracked. The cool expression faded. "And I you Kagome," he said in a much warmer and more intimate voice.
With that Kagome ran into the daiyoukais arms. With the ease of much practice she lessened her impact on the hard bone spiked armour.
The slim delicate hands that rested on her back and hair had red vine-like markings, the nails were more like claws. A pale poisonous green aura rose from the white clad form. It twisted and danced with the pink-purple energy from Kagome forming a cocoon of raw power around the pair. The lattice work divided into two ropes of combined energies that receded into each source.
Kagome winced slightly and stepped back. "Thank you. Hopefully it will help in case there is any serious trouble."
One pale brow rose. "Are you expecting it?"
Kagome snorted. "Trouble chases me like a puppy Sesshoumaru. I don't expect that to change."
The daiyoukai considered that information and nodded. "True. Is there anything else you wish to tell me Kagome? Like the male whose scent marks you?"
Kagome winced and blushed. "Well… I'm engaged. I'm going to get married in a few weeks."
Sesshoumaru was bemused. He had expected his little sister to admit she had taken a lover, not that she was going to get married! The first primitive reaction was to kill the intruding male for daring to claim what he protected before his reason prevailed. Kagome was getting tired of Makai life. She had begun sneaky plans to educate and instigate rebellion. She could look after herself against the more irate youkai but that was no guarantee of anything.
"There would be fewer youkai to attack you in this Realm. Humans would still be drawn to taint you but presumably you have chosen a strong mate." He spoke coolly.
Kagome blushed and nodded reaching behind to draw the shinobi behind her forward.
"This is Uchiha Itachi. He is an ANBU Captain and S-class nin; very high in the power-skill rankings of humans. If you wish to test him yourself we can use a shinobi training field."
Sesshoumaru frowned. "Perhaps at a later date. There are other matters of importance." Kagome nodded. Sesshoumaru stared at the cool dark grey eyes of the human male who executed no trace of fear or hate. Interesting. "Your blood."
Itachi started and glanced at Kagome.
"Just make a small cut. He wants to smell it."
Itachi bit his thumb; a practiced action for sealing or opening scrolls.
Delicate nostrils flared. "Aa. Harumi."
"It was rumoured she had a lingering liaison with a ningen."
"I suspected something along those lines," Kagome murmured, "I have sensed traces of jyaki within most of the shinobi. More so in those with kekkai genkai."
"It is very diluted. Probably changed over the generations to differ from youki." Sesshoumaru explained briefly. "Most ningen of power have a youkai ancestor who provided the first power boost in the bloodline. After five generations it is no longer considered hanyou." Cool gold eyes studied the Uchiha clinically. "He should be able to handle lower-mid-level opponents." He turned to his adoptive-sister. "What of Kiyone? There were only traces of his youki on the battlefield, nothing else."
"Well… the data we got from torturing that Akatsuki Mizu nuke-nin Kisame is accurate. The Yondaime sealed him into a newborn boy. The host is currently a genin with too much energy and little focus or control. Shippo on a sugar rush. The boy is stable personality-wise, he isn't self-destructive or raging, and he's handled the power boosts much better than InuYasha ever did."
"Is Kiyone aware?"
"Oh yes. Very aware and raging. He refused to hear my words. Perhaps you can make him listen."
At this point in time Naruto exploded.
"You traitor! How could you tell that Youkai about me!"
Just as he made to run five ropes of green light appeared from the daiyoukais finger tips and wrapped around the genin, binding his arms and legs so he could not run or make hand seals.
Kagome shrugged as everyone was subjected to Narutos repertoire of foul language.
Sesshoumaru sighed. "Is he as brainless as InuYasha?"
Kagome giggled. "I'm afraid so. He picks up fighting techniques very quickly, but he is very dense in regards to anything else."
The daiyoukai pinched the bridge of his nose muttering – a very human gesture that made the audience relax. They were very familiar with the types of reactions the stubborn blonde genin evoked.
"Be quiet and obey." Naruto merely glared at him. "Your cooperation is not necessary."
"Aniki…" Kagome growled.
The daiyoukai smirked. "You are too soft Kagome."
Kagome shook her head ruefully. "Forcing Naruto will not give you any answers. He doesn't know anything. He wasn't even aware he held the Eastern Lord until a few years back." She saw Sesshoumaru was confused, so she expanded. "Kiyone-sama was forced into this human vessel. He has been sulking these thirteen years. Occasionally power slipped through the seal to help the boy survive bad odds. No techniques, lessons, advice, nothing." She frowned. "I don't think he's quite sane anymore. From what I understand kitsunes are very social creatures. Being locked in a jail cell with no outlet is not very healthy."
Sesshoumaru considered the new information. "This is going to take some time. Kiyone never liked being trapped. He is probably half-insane by now."
Kagome shrugged. "Do what you have to. But don't hurt Naruto. I plan on living in this village and marrying his team-mate's brother."
Tsunade, Godaime Hokage, firmly repressed her fear and panic as she made her way to the Uchiha District. The lack of explosions and noise didn't mean anything so the Godaime and her ANBU escort were alert and wary as they entered the Uchiha District Proper.
"Itachi!" She called out hoping for the best.
And her hopes were answered.
"We're in the back Godaime-sama!" Uchiha Itachi's fiancée called out cheerily.
Warily, the Godaime made her way to the back and private training grounds and was stunned by the sights.
A huge circular seal that took up nearly half the training field etched into the hard packed dirt by some sort of acid.
A semi circle consisting of twenty older Uchiha jounins and police corps standing just outside the seal. They were watching the proceedings warily, but with respect.
Their Clan Leader and his future Lady standing near the centre of the training ground between the outermost rings of the seal. Itachi held his ANBU issue katana and tanto at ready. Kagome bore a tall pole arm topped by a lethal two-foot long leaf-shaped blade.
Sasuke and Sakura standing a few meters just outside the outer edge of the seal.
Naruto being restrained within the seal by glowing energy chains from a white haired form clad in white traditional wear accented by red and yellow. The intruder looked up and Tsunade was stunned by the delicate almost-feminine beauty accented by the crescent moon and maroon strips. This one was cool restrained elegance and power that could easily rival a Hyuuga.
Remote gold eyes took in the newcomers before ignoring them. And then he spoke in cool collected tones.
"Your War Leader is here so We shall begin."
Before Tsunade could protest the White One released the energy chains and began executing a series of hand seals including several unfamiliar ones.
"What is happening?" Tsunade yelled.
Kagome answered though she did not look away.
"Sesshoumaru is partially releasing the Kyuubi. He needs more information before making a choice. There is little risk of him breaking free from a Makaiton Fuuin jutsu but if he does Sesshoumaru and I will restrain him."
Tsunade nearly snapped. "Are you crazy? Kyuubi nearly levelled Konoha last time and it took a Fuuin kinjutsu and a sacrifice to the Shinikami to stop it!"
Kagome looked back with a sly smirk. "Last time you did not have the Western Lord of Makai and the Shikon Miko." And then she laughed. "Kiyone-sama is one of the Cardinal Lords but so is Sesshoumaru. And Sesshoumaru is much older and more powerful than Kiyone-sama."
That bit of information was enough to silence Tsunade.
Sesshoumaru was vaguely aware of the intruders. The most powerful of them was barely enough to even scratch him so he turned his attention to his self-appointed duty.
"Your War Leader is here so We shall begin."
He released his dokkatsu whips and began the Release Jutsu, a technique that required the youki and strength of a daiyoukai to be executed successfully.
The jinchuuriki struggled to get free from the fading vines, but he was not quick enough. The power of the jutsu hit him like a sledgehammer at the waist, where the seal holding the Kyuubi was etched.
And then the power began to flow in reverse; instead of entering Naruto it began sucking chakra out of him, swirling into a huge cloud that roiled red.
He ignored the cries of panic. Only one thing held his attention and interest.
"What is happening?" Tsunade wanted to know.
"Sesshoumaru is pulling Kiyone-sama out." Kagome replied cheerfully. "He'll probably have to cause Kiyone-sama some hurt to get some answers but he doesn't want to damage Naruto-kun."
Occasionally wild surges of raw chakra would lash out and impact upon the semi-sphere barrier anchored by the seal. Sometimes it would be powerful enough to get through the inner shield-layers. When it did it would be neutralized and rendered harmless by Kagome who had charged her weapon with an opposite polarizing energy, her reiki.
After several tense minutes the chakra cloud gained enough energy to form a kage bunshin body of a pony sized fox with nine tails, red-gold fur, and mad red eyes. It was barely connected to Naruto by a thin cord between its chest and Narutos navel.
"KILLL!" It snarled as it leapt upon the one who released it.
Sesshoumaru easily avoided its charge and turned mid air and to strike it with one clawed hand.
The Kyuubi screamed and howled in pain as the green poison from the inu-youkais claws seared into his veins causing pain but not enough to dispel the chakra body. The sight was enough to make the most battle hardened shinobi wince at the thought of facing the White Lord.
Sesshoumaru merely frowned. "You are acting like a rabid animal Kiyone." He spoke in cool level tones easily heard by everyone. "If you do not stop I will destroy you."
The Kyuubi, Kiyone, smiled ferally, madly. "The miko will not like if you hurt the flesh bag." He snarled and charged again. "You will not destroy an ill-trained weakling pup!"
Sesshoumaru did not react other than re-directing the Kyuubi with another swipe of his claws.
"Perhaps. But he is ningen and ningens die. And if Kiyone no longer exists I see no purpose in allowing You to exist. The Council will select a new Lord for the Eastern Lands." He tilted his head. "Right now Kiyones youngest is acting regent; there is no reason why he should not be confirmed as the new Cardinal Lord for the East." There was no emotion or remorse for his words. "And who knows, perhaps what happened to you will happen to-."
The Kyuubi snarled. "NOO!"
Sesshoumaru was not impressed. "Then speak. Tell me why Kurama should not be confirmed."
Kyuubi snarled and paced agitatedly. "Forbidden Summons. Blood Rage." The nine-tailed fox slavered with the urge to rend and destroy. "The vixens asked Kiyone to find the missing kits. The snake ate all the kits and used their energies to force the Call." Red eyes glowed madly. "Kiyone failed to protect the pack litter so he let me out to take vengeance."
Sesshoumaru frowned. "Who is the Snake? How did he Summon?"
Nine tails flicked. "Snake from this pack." The yoko-youkai huffed. "Filthy with stench of blood and youki. Stench of poison and betrayal. Honourless cowardly half-breed." He snarled as chakra claws dug deep gouges in the hard dirt. "All ningen are weak flesh-bags."
Kagome groaned and moved away from Itachi, to stand within the bijuu's field of vision.
"YouRei-Kiyone, do you recognize the power of this priestess?" Her voice was cool, clear, and carrying.
The fox snarled and trembled between conflicting instincts. "Yesss." He hissed after several tense seconds. "The Western Lands Miko." He chuffed in clearly taunting tones. "The one who betrays her 'sacred' calling and consorts with youkai."
The miko merely smiled. "Yes. Some call me Sesshoumaru's Bitch. I have no problems with that as long as they respect my place as Alpha in His pack." She smiled, a cold hard facsimile of her usual cheery expression. "And you know why? Those who don't are dead. Those who still live know better than to challenge This Bitch."
The pony sized fox looked away with a huff. "You are ningen."
Kagomes face hardened. "And you have forgotten what sense and wisdom your saner half held so it will be up to me to beat that sense into you."
The following minutes were a shocker for the Konoha shinobi. She stepped within the inner seal and Sesshoumaru stepped out to stand with her intended in the outer layers.
The shinobis knew Higurashi Kagome was skilled and capable, but none had known she had the will and ruthless mindset required to rip an opponent apart, mentally and physically, upon the battlefield, especially an opponent as powerful as the Kyuubi.
She was lightening and water within the enclosed semi-sphere battlefield. Every strike was designed to hurt and contain but not disable. The power poured into her primary weapon limited her opponents regeneration capacity and in fact destroyed his chakra reservoir every time she got a clean strike. With each strike the pony sized body became smaller as it had less chakra to maintain its original size. Between each strike she spoke in biting, chiding, lecturing tones.
"I don't care if your pack was slaughtered to bait you to enter Ningenkai. I don't care if you were driven into Blood Rage and compelled to destroy an entire community that was for the most part ignorant of the sins committed by one of their own. Ten years is more than enough time for a YouRei to sulk and form enough intelligence to try other tactics.
"If your saner half was not so prideful he would have retained the services of someone familiar with ningens to find out what exactly happened before charging head first into a trap. The only reason why I'm not purifying you out of existence is Kurama-kun. He is a sweet kit who had the misfortune to be born to the weakest vixen in your harem.
"Of all your pups he survived because he has the brains to admit and compensate for weakness and arrogance. Right now he needs some help to clean that imp-vessel you call a court and you are It. You Will return to Eastern Makai with Naruto and Sesshoumaru. The houshi at Mount Hakurai should be able to remove you from Naruto without too much difficulty. You will give up at least three tails and your ability to attain a humanoid form from the procedure. You will no longer be a Cardinal Lord but you Will advise Kurama!
"I will seek the cowardly snake in Konoha, the one who used the blood of your kits to destroy your other half, the one whose scent is poison betrayal and hanyou. If he is in the hands of the Shinikami his pack, followers and blood kin will pay for their sins. However if you or any of your agents dare show your face in Ningenkai I will purify them before hunting you down! No questions asked!"
By this time the pony-sized fox was no longer pony-sized; in fact it was only slightly larger than a regular fox. It snarled and tried to bite her but failed as one small callused hand grabbed the yoko-youkai by the scruff and shook him like she would a cat or dog. She held him up in front of her face easily avoiding the swiping claws and paws.
"Do you agree to my terms YouRei-Kiyone?"
The youkai snarled and hissed but in the end gave in.
"I agree to your terms Shikon Miko. The runt is the Eastern Heir. I will guide him. I will no longer be bound to the ningen brat. I will not seek vengeance, the miko who destroyed the poison-tongued hanyou Naraku will take vengeance."
Kagome smiled brightly and released the fox who fell to the ground awkwardly and snarled before curling up in a puffball and dissipating. The remaining red chakra was drawn into the navel of the awestruck Naruto.
"Can you teach me how to beat up Kyuubi?" The genin wanted to know.
Kagome snorted and shook her head. "Iie. It's a… talent. Besides the Mount Hakurai houshi are as good as Kaede or Miroku and you will not have to worry about YouRei-Kiyone staying in your tummy for much longer." She turned to Sesshoumaru and walked easily past the burnt seal outlines. "Are the terms acceptable?"
Sesshoumaru frowned but nodded. "Acceptable. I will return in five days to collect the brat." Cool gold eyes glanced at the orange-clad genin and winced. "Clothe him in more restrained colours."
Blue eyes widened. "Wha? What are you talking about? I'm not going anywhere!"
Gold eyes bled into red for a brief second. Then he smirked. "Correct. You will not be going anywhere. In fact you will remain within the seal until I return. I do not wish to hunt you down."
With that the inu-daiyoukai stepped out of the seal followed by Kagome and Itachi. Cool eyes ignored the hyper-ventilating ningen and focused his attention on his adopted sisters intended. The ningen was calm and collected. He had not broken in fear for himself or Kagome. There had been moments of concern and tension but they had been few and far between. He turned to the green kimono-clad female. Her clothing was only slightly dust stained and ruffled from her exertions. He approved.
"He is suitable." Sesshoumaru said to Kagome glancing at Itachi. "His scent is not drenched in fear or terror. Prepare a travel-kit for the brat for when I return."
At that point Itachi decided it would be wise to speak.
"Sesshoumaru-sama, the Godaime Hokage is reluctant to allow Naruto to leave the village without at least a jounin-level guardian-companion. There have been several incidents involving other parties interested in the Kyuubi, YouRei-Kiyone." Itachi explained delicately.
Sesshoumaru frowned. "The Council will not tolerate Ningenkai ningen in Makai."
Kagome coughed politely. "Could you bring Kaoru with you? It has been a few months since I saw her and I would welcome her company." Kagome caught the eye of the Hokage. "Kaoru is the daughter of a favoured clan; her ancestress was once his ward. She spends most of her time as part of the Western Lands Court. Once she has more experience she will take her great-uncle place as her clans liaison to the Western Court."
A suitable hostage, a suitable reassurance that Naruto would be returned. Those were the unspoken words heard by those experienced to know.
The Godaime tensed but nodded.
Sesshoumaru did not speak. He simply gathered his youki beneath his feet and floated to a point high enough to be clear of most mature trees. Then the cloud sped off bearing the daiyoukai.
Kagome sighed and relaxed. "Well, that's that. I'm hungry now. Who's up for oden?"
Nearly every sweat-dropped anime-style.
Itachi restrained the urge to smirk. He ignored the shocked audience and sheathed his weapons before placing a hand on his fiancés waist.
"I don't quite understand your fondness for oden." He admitted easily as they walked towards the main house.
"It's what my mother always made when I was younger." Kagome admitted easily. "Whenever I had a spat with InuYasha it always made me feel better. Kaa-san had this recipe, certain spices that made it the best I've ever tasted. She taught me how to make it."
Itachi was intrigued. "Can you make it now?"
"Sure. It isn't that difficult. I usually only make it for special occasions but I guess getting Sesshoumaru's approval would count."
By the time the rest of the audience recovered enough to move the couple had already entered the Uchiha Clan House and their voices were muffled.
At this point Naruto stood up and tried to leave the sealing circle. He went sprawling back, flat on his back.
"Baa-san! Get me out of here!" He yelled in protest.
Tsunade blinked and stared at the boy who was beating at the energy barrier, then scratching at the acid-etched seal on the ground. And then she remembered the power of the being who had created the seal and drawn out the Kyuubi without killing Naruto.
"I'm afraid I can't do anything Naruto. Seals are Jiraiyas expertise not mine and he's not due back for a month. Sesshoumaru-sama should be back before the end of the week to release you." Then she smirked. "If you hadn't made a fuss he would not have left without breaking it." Then she relaxed. "Don't worry, I'm sure your team-mates and the Uchihas will make sure you don't starve or die of exposure."
Naruto groaned. He hoped Kagome-san was susceptible to puppy-dog eyes or he'd be camping in the Uchiha backyard and eating travel rations until that Sesshoumaru fellow showed up.
Kagome gave concise instructions to the household staff, to serve picnic-style refreshments for everyone in the backyard. The moment the staff dispersed, to complete their assigned tasks, strong arms wrapped around her waist from behind and a pointed nose nuzzled her cheek and jawline.
She relaxed and sank backwards into the embrace, covering the hands at her waist with her much smaller ones.
"Itachi," she murmured.
"You were magnificent," he told her and she laughed.
"I'm out of practice," she demurred.
He just laughed. "Kagome, you did what Kages failed to do. You beat a bijuu into submission without losing your life or anyone else's!"
She just snorted. "That's nothing!"
"It is to us mere mortals," Itachi murmured, nuzzling her cheek.
Kagome blushed hotly. "I didn't intend to cause offence," she whispered.
"You didn't," he told her firmly. "Naruto was impressed and it takes a lot to impress the brat."
They looked over towards the seal. Naruto was still trapped within it but it allowed for others to enter and leave freely. Right now his genin year mates were keeping him company. They would be doing so in shifts until Sesshoumaru returned and took the blond teen to Makai.
They watched in silence for a while. Then out of the blue, Kagome spoke.
"I want Sesshoumaru to be god-parent to our children. At least a couple of them."
Itachi looked over at her bemused. "How many do you plan on having?" he asked.
"Minimum two. Three or four is better."
Itachi thought for a moment. Usual policy was to ask another clan, or a cadet branch, to be god-parent, to strengthen ties. But Sesshoumaru could be considered an external ally so he voiced his acceptance.
"I am agreeable to asking Sesshoumaru-sama. You should stay in touch with him. He is important to you."
Kagome relaxed against her fiancé's side. "He's my elder brother and teacher. I want him to be happy."
"You can only be happy with people you care for. He cares for you and you will be giving him a reason to visit and stay in touch."
At that Kagome smiled more brightly. "Yes. He will have a reason to visit, won't he?" She giggled. "It will be funny asking Sesshoumaru to baby sit."
Itachi snorted and moved his hand over her waist. "I'm sure all of our children will have lots of babysitters. But right now I'm more interested in practicing to have babies."
Kagomes eyes widened with mock-horror. "But we are the hosts! We can't just leave."
Itachi snorted. "Okaa-san has everything under control. I'm sure no one will notice if we slip away."
Kagome pretended to deliberate before agreeing. She was more interested in having private time with her husband.
They were wrong. Several individuals noticed them leaving though no one said anything out loud for various reasons.
Katou Shizune: Itachi was a really considerate husband to remember his fiancée had just fought a bijuu and was probably very tired.
Hyuuga Hinata: Kagome-san must be tired and Itachi-san is helping her.
Uchiha Mikoto: They deserve to find whatever private time they can before they marry and Kagome becomes pregnant. Once babies come private time will be a luxury.
Senju Tsunade: I really hope Itachi doesn't make Kagome mad or sad enough to run crying to Sesshoumaru. Konoha would never survive someone who scared the Kyuubi.
Hatake Kakashi: Itachi and Kagome definitely deserved some private time since they won't have the option of an extended honeymoon. I wonder if Itachi would like to have a copy of Icha Icha Paradise; for inspirational purposes only.
Inuzuka Tsume: I don't think they managed to get to a room with solid doors. At least they managed to get out of the public eye. Good thing there aren't any little brats running around.
All in all it was a very good beginning to the rest of their lives.
AN: Not going to continue this one. Other plot bunnies are calling.
Review, Review, Review