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Where He Belongs

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Inuyasha sat cross-legged in the middle of a wide, open field. The flowing fabric of his fire-rat robe pooled around him and fluttered in the light spring breeze. He raised his nose in the air, sniffing out the potent scents of the flora that had only recently sprung from the warming earth. He was surrounded by a sea of rippling grasses and wild flowers that bowed and swayed in the wind, swiping at his hair. The sound of the wind rustling through the grass was soothing and he closed his eyes in utter contentment, basking in the sunlight.

And then the two cubs wrestling in front of him screeched in laughter.

Upon seeing the spectacular weather, Inuyasha decided that he and the cubs needed some time outside. By Inuyasha's view, they had been inside the caves for far too long. He was used to roaming the forests and had only sparingly been invited inside anyone's home- unless it was an abandoned structure- in the past decades since Kaede-baba's death.

Being cooped up in the caves for weeks on end, due to needing to stay with his bonded, had wrecked havoc on his nerves. So, he had taken to pacing around the cave tunnels, exploring and sometimes visiting some of the more friendly wolves (not all of them were, and he was having more and more trouble with the ones that weren't). When not sitting and visiting with Choshi-baba, who he was reluctantly - as was his way- growing fond of, or sitting in the Cub Den telling more tales of his exploits, he and the cubs were seen stomping around the cave.

It usually presented quite a sight. More often then not, two cubs would be strapped to his back with a sling of fabric, where they would peek out, wide curious eyes blinking owlishly over his shoulders from underneath the curtain of his hair, while he carried the other two or let them toddle after him.

But now they were outside enjoying the first good days of spring. The ground was still wet and a little muddy due to the melted snow, but no one seemed to mind. Squirt was being his usual self, flinging himself around in the grass with his big brother.

In the weeks that had passed, Inuyasha had come to learn that his pup was quite the character. He didn't talk yet and he was the only one of the cubs who didn't. It was not unusual to find him twirling about humming tuneless songs to himself or deciding that one of his father's formal yukata obis was a perfect substitute for a shirt, wrapping it around his torso and strutting around like it was an everyday occurrence. He was also known to fall asleep anywhere he landed. One day, Inuyasha had been beside himself, frantically searching the caves for the little cub. He had started to really panic, realizing he had actually lost Koga's cub when the little squirt crawled out one of their ceramic cooking pots, having decided it was as good a sleeping spot as any.

His big brother played with him in the grass. Kingo was crouched in the grass ready to spring at the closed flower bulb that bobbed in the wind in front of him. Squirt, seemed to have the same idea, darting forward at the same time. They crashed into each other, landing in a heap of cub limbs, before breaking out in a play fight, nipping at each other and wrestling around, sometimes getting distracted by stray bits of grass that sway over them.

Inuyasha had taken to calling the oldest of Koga's cubs 'Little Turd' because, well, he was a little turd. The cub spent a ridiculous amount of time following his father around, imitating him. For a while Inuyasha watched the little turd prance around, all cocky attitude and arrogance; his chest puffed out and his hands on his hips in the wide confident stance of his mangy wolf father.

Lately, however, the cub had taken to carrying around a tiny stick 'sword' that he wore strapped to his waist with a small bit of rope made of dried grass. It had been made for him by one of the Omegas after one of Inuyasha's stories. The cub would stomp around, his hand on his sword, putting forth his best imitation of one of Inuyasha's glowers. Any time anyone would address the cub, he would respond with a "Keh!", no matter if it was appropriate response to what anyone was saying or not. Every time he did so, Koga would bark in laughter, finding it just about the funniest thing he'd ever seen. Yep, Inuyasha mentally groused, that kid is a little turd alright.

The Little Turd, however, seemed to hang on his every word. When Inuyasha decided he was bored enough to go visit the cubs in the Cub Den (no he did not specifically think up good stories to tell and hope they would ask him for a story, nor did he enjoy the rapt attention he received- that would just be stupid!), Kingo always sat right in front of him, completely enraptured by the inu's stories of battle and rescue, bouncing on his knees and exclaiming his excitement during the climactic fights.

Usually, Kaishi would take up his now regular spot in Inuyasha's lap during the stories. Even now, as the small family sat in the grassy field, Kai lay in the hanyo's lap, nestled in the cradle of his crossed legs. He sucked his thumb and fiddled with his ever present blanket as he gazed up with his wide azure eyes. He watched complacently as Kozue played with the inu's hair above him.

Inuyasha rolled his eyes in mock irritation as the girl kept up a steady stream of words, only half of which he could actually understand. He had deemed this cub 'princess' because she never quit talking about them, ever since he had told the story of the daiyokai and the princess. He was pretty sure that is what they were having a conversation about now.

The little girl was perched on his shoulders, one foot on each side of his head, playing with his hair- or played "make Yassa pwetty" as the princess had called it. He grunted and murmured responses to her chatter while she fumbled around on top of his head, occasionally climbing down his back and back up again, her tiny claws securing her hold on the hanyo's hitoe. She made sure to be careful around his puppy ears. Even though they were sinfully tempting to play with, she had learned from experience that her Yassa did not like it when she did. She hoped he would, however, like his hair when she was done. Being outside had inspired her today.

Inuyasha shifted where he sat as he caught a familiar scent. Koga was approaching from his left. The wolf had been running the border and checking in with those watching it for interlopers. He made his way back to the caves to find that his family had decided to spend the day outside and followed their scents to the field. As he approached, he paused just inside the tree line to take in the sight before him.

Inuyasha was sat in a nest of red, his fire-rat robes draped around him. His hands rested on Kaishi, one hand cradled under his head and the other absently scratching his protruding belly. His daughter was making a mess of his hair. She had tied flowers in his tresses and the brightly colored blossoms shown beautifully next to the crisp white of his hair. Tendrils that had not been gathered to support the flowers hung about his face swaying in the breeze. His eyes shown vividly golden in the sunlight and his cheeks, reddened by the cool winds, contracted as his pink lips curved in a small smile at the antics of his wrestling cubs. The vision before him was all at once silly, comforting, domestic, and strangely erotic.

He had been finding lately that everything about the hanyo delighted him. Koga loved Inuyasha's eyes. They were wide and bright like a child's, but they shown with world weariness and intelligence. He loved to rile the puppy up, get his cheeks flushed in anger. When Inuyasha would snarl and bare his teeth at him, the only thing the Wolf Chief would see is how damn cute the pup looked with his nose all scrunched up like that. At night his scent would surround him as he held him in his arms. They had taken to just snuggling up together in bed, knowing they'd end up that way anyway, either after a nightmare or simply gravitating to each other in the night.

His scent had been no less appealing the night of the new moon. Koga had entered his chamber to the sight of a mass of furs huddled in a corner, Kunio whining and scratching worriedly at them, and a foreign scent in the air.

Koga let out a warning growl. "Who the fuck are you and what are you doing in my chamber?"

Wide, frightened brown eyes peeked warily out of the pile of furs. "K-Koga? I-I-It's me."

"Inuyasha?" Koga's eyes widened in shock and he took another sniff of the air. He darted forward and grabbed his cub up, shielding him from whatever magic afflicted the hanyo.

"Yeah" Inuyasha popped his head out of the fur wrapped around him revealing tousled black hair and missing puppy ears.

"What the hell?" Koga took a step forward. "What happened to you?"

Inuyasha took a deep breath as if preparing to do something he knew was dangerous. "It's my human night."


Inuyasha huffed at Koga's incredulous and questioning stare. "On the new moon, I turn human for the night."

"Oh…Oh!" Koga exclaimed, finally catching on and realizing the implications.

"I can't let anyone know! I gotta cover my scent!"

Koga understood. Quickly he calmed his distressed cub, letting him sniff at Inuyasha,to reassure him, before placing the cub with his siblings in bed. He rushed forward and gathered up the fur he used. It was infused with his scent after using it for so long. He gathered up the hanyo and they lay on their furs together. He covered the pup up in his fur and curled around him wrapping him in his scent, in hopes of masking the smell of human.

Inuyasha rested his cheek against the ookami's chest. The wolf tightened his grip around the inu's waist as if he could trap the smell of human in his arms. He gazed down at the inu who stared out into the dark room with sightless human eyes.

Inuyasha wanted to pull away from the mangy wolf. He wasn't some scared pup. He wasn't god damned woman who needed his protection! Before he came here, Inuyasha hadn't slept in the same bed as someone since his mother, nor had he been so physically close to another person since Kagome rode on his back. They lay in the softest and warmest bed he'd had in decades that wasn't a sun warmed patch of grass. This was too weird. He's sleeping next to Koga! Embraced by Koga! But he couldn't help but feel absolute safety in the ookami's arms.

The human let out a great huff. He could feel the wolf's eyes on him "Stop staring, ya mangy wolf!"

Koga's chuckle shook his chest. "You don't make a bad human."

"Shut up, damnit," Inuyasha grumbled.

The pup had laid in his arms the whole of the rest of the night, neither of them succumbing to sleep, both on the watch for anyone who smelled human. Even without the danger, Koga wouldn't have been able to sleep. The tantalizing smell of Inuyasha wafted into his sensitive nose. Before meeting Inuyasha and his gang all those years ago, Koga and his clan had considered human meat a rare and delicious delicacy. Inuyasha's new scent, on top of the scent that was purely Inuyasha, had incorporated the tangy aroma of human. Both scents made Koga's mouth water. He wanted to taste the body in his arms and fought with his instincts all night not to rip off the hanyo's clothes and lick every inch of his soft white skin.

Since then, the feeling had not dissipated one bit after the hanyo had changed back in the morning, and it was no less right now as he walked toward the inu in the grass.

"Daddy!" greeted Kozue, scrambling down the inu's back.

"What are you doing here, Wolf?" Inuyasha called out gruffly.

"Done patrolling the border," the ookami responded, picking up the little girl as she ran into his legs, "come to see what you guys are doing."

He settled himself beside the inu, facing him and situated his daughter in his lap.

"Daddy, look!" the young cub exclaimed, "I make Yassa pwetty!"

Koga struggled to hold in the laughter at the disgruntled look on the hanyo's face. "Well, a more beautiful vision I have never seen," Koga plucked a flower from the inu's locks and offered it to the blushing pup, wriggling his eyebrows suggestively. "Be mine, Puppy-chan?"

"What the hell?" Inuyasha exclaimed, reaching up and grabbing hold of his hair, "Are there flowers in my hair?" He began to pull at the flowers he could feel. "Hey, you brat! I ain't no woman!"

Koga exploded into laughter. Kozue sprung up from her father's lap, reaching up and attempting to stop the hanyo from destroying all her hard work. "No! No! Yassa, I make pwetty!" she paused and looked up to the inu, her eyes beginning to shine and her lip pouting and trembling, "Yassa no like it?" A solitary tear fell from her large sea foam green eyes.

Oh, hell, thought Inuyasha. "Er… no. I like it." Damn girls and their tears!

"Yassa keep it?"

Inuyasha sighed, "Yeah, I'll keep it in," he grumbled, completely out done by a crying wolf cub.

Koga wiped tears of mirth from his eyes. "I can't wait to show off my dear Puppy-chan around the Den." He ducked just in time to avoid what would have been a painful swipe of the hanyo's claws.

The wolf chief stretched out in the grass, basking in the spring sun, leaning up on his elbow so he could face his family. The ookami and the inu proceeded to chat, talking about the chief's day and the scuffles over territory on the border.

Though Inuyasha had not had as much peace in the last twenty years as he had during the time he cared for the little cubs, he was getting restless. In his frequent visits to Choshi-baba, they discussed the bond often and he knew that the bond was gradually weakening in intensity. Soon he wouldn't need to be in constant and immediate proximity to the cubs. As of now he could leave the cubs with the Omegas all day if he wanted to, but that would leave him bored since he couldn't leave the cave yet without feeling the pull in his chest, so he kept them close. Soon, however, he would be able to go out on border patrols with Koga and maybe even take up a posted position. He never believed in not earning his keep and he was eager to work.

He wondered if he would have to wear the wolf clan's battle uniform. The wolves' outfit of furs and metal or leather armor was worn especially for battle and hunting. Before, he had only ever met the men of Koga's tribe who where staying at the temporary encampment in the cave behind the waterfall, farther south. They were hunting for jewel shards and always wore their battle gear. He had never known that, otherwise, the wolves wore regular clothes.

He had thought that their furs meant that they weren't as high ranking or prestigious as, say his brother, Sesshoumaru, who always wore the finest garments in battle. Now he knew it was because the wolves and his brother were different types of fighters. He and his brother fought upright with swords, much less tactile than the wolf clan. Wolf youkai were very physical; running, crouching, wrestling their opponents to the ground. Koga had explained that simple fur garments were easier to move in.

Inuyasha let his eyes travel down the body of the ookami laid out before him. He wasn't so sure about wearing such an outfit. It was much to short for his tastes. His gaze rested on the wolf chief's lean legs, stretched out in the grass. Though, it's not so bad on him, Inuyasha thought.

Koga's legs were tanned and covered in lean muscle, a product of his love of running. His fur reached the middle of his powerful thigh. Heh, still not as short as Kagome's outfit, the inu thought. He remembered the feel of those creamy thighs in his hands when he held her up as she rode on his back. I wonder if Koga's thighs are as soft as hers.

Suddenly, an image erupted into Inuyasha's mind. He saw his hands running slowly up those muscular legs, feeling the corded muscle of his shapely calf, the coarse hair that dusted his skin. Licking the sensitive skin of the back of the knee, the brushing his claws up the soft inner thigh, making his way up to… HOLY HELL!

Inuyasha visibly jolted in shock at his thoughts. Koga eyed him dubiously, cutting off what he was saying about relations with the tribe of tanuki youkai that lived down the valley.

"You alright, Mutt face?"

"Uh… yeah," Inuyasha stuttered. What the hell was I thinking? "Just a chill I guess."

"Maybe we should be heading back then and sit by the fire," Koga said. Inuyasha watched the bunching and sliding muscle as the wolf got up and dusted off, before he caught himself. Damnit!