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Where He Belongs

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Koga pressed his body against Inuyasha holding him to the pitted stonewall behind him. The ookami was taller than the inu hanyou by a head and his nose brushed Inuyasha's hair as he moved over him. Koga breathed in, scenting the young pup in his embrace, taking in his dizzying earthy essence, and allowed a soothing growl to rumble in his chest. The growl vibrated into the pliant body beneath him, permeating the wall of shock that was wrapped around Inuyasha's mind.

Inuyasha clung to the shoulders of the Wolf Chief, his clawed fingers digging slightly in to the soft, worn fabric of the wolf's grey sleeping yukata. His breathing was ragged and panting. With, first, the fear for his home and safety, then the shock of Koga's kiss, Inuyasha had to gather his thoughts.

It seemed that he was not going to be run out of the caves with a mob of angry wolves at his back, after all. The relief from this realization caused a knot he did not realize was there to unclench in his chest. In fact, it appeared that the mangy wolf wanted him to stay- badly! He let out a bit of his tension in a sigh, unconsciously sagging in the ookami's arms and resting his head on the strong muscled shoulder in front of him.

He was wanted. It had been so long- decades- since anyone had genuinely wanted him around.

-but… Inuyasha replayed the last few minutes in his mind.

Mine. The wolf had said that Inuyasha was his. What did he mean by that?

Suddenly the words clicked in his mind. Koga had never said what he did to the wolves after he turned full demon. That must be it. I've killed them or maimed them, and I have to pay for it. He's going to make me his slave, or- or something…

Before he could stop himself, he let out a distressed whine. Was it better to be a wanted slave or free and alone?

Koga's arms tightened around his torso, his fingers bunched in the back of his hitoe. "Pup?" When he got no response, he tried again. "Inuyasha?"

Inuyasha's lifted his head from his shoulder and wide, desperate eyes sought out blue. "Wh-wh-wha," he stopped and swallowed hard, pushing his fear down in order to survive as he had done innumerable times before in his life. "What are you going to do to me? I will take it. I know I deserve it, for what I did. I just… I just wanna know what's going to happen now."

Koga watched his puppy break eye contact, his head bowing in shame and submission. The velvety white puppy ears on the top of his head, only a moment ago flickering in time to his agitated thoughts, now slicked back and nearly buried themselves in his downy white hair.

He reached up and placed his clawed fingers under the inu's chin, making him look up and meet his gaze. Koga's expression softened at the sight. Inuyasha's eyes were so wide, they seemed to take over his whole face, but they reflected only innocent fear and wariness.

"What do ya mean 'do to you', Pup?"

Inuyasha searched his face cautiously. "Y-you said I was yours. Does that mean you are going to enslave me for killing them?"

Koga's eyes widened in surprise, his brows shooting up to his hairline and his mouth dropping open. "What? Enslave! Killed who?"

Inuyasha's ears perked up and swiveled in confusion. "Those wolves that attacked me, you said I went full demon! If I did that, I would have killed them. Then you said I was yours!"

Realization dawned on Koga's face and he relaxed back on Inuyasha, once again pressing them into the wall. "Oh! Sorry, Mutt, I should'a told ya I got to you first and stopped you from killin' em!"

"What?" Inuyasha's face reddened in anger and embarrassment. He had just let himself be dominated by the Alpha thinking he deserved it and looked weak in front of him. He put all the strength he could muster into pushing the ookami away from him. "You asshole!"

"Calm down, Mutt face, I said I'm sorry!" Koga urged the steaming inu. He watched from the spot on the furs he had been pushed to as the hanyou began to pace back and forth in perturbation.

Suddenly, the hanyou stopped and spun to face the ookami chief. He buried his hands in his sleeves and tried his best to loom menacingly over the seated wolf. "Wait a minute! What the hell was all that-," Inuyasha paused and blushed furiously, pointing at the spot at the wall they had just been leaning on, "all that stuff over there about?"

Koga chuckled and, quickly before Inuyasha could object, grabbed the front of Inuyasha's obi and pulled the inu onto the furs and into his arms. "That was me letting you know that you ain't going to be leaving here. That you are my family, a partner of sorts. That no one will be allowed to get away with bothering you. That. You. Are. Mine."

Inuyasha's breath was taken from him again as Koga dipped his head and claimed his lips again. Inuyasha tightened his grip on the ookami's arms, as if he was afraid the wolf would pull away. Koga laid them back into the furs, placing Inuyasha above him, resting on his chest. He cradled the back of Inuyasha's head, careful of the still sensitive injury there as he moved his mouth against the trembling lips of his puppy.

Inuyasha gave a sigh, as pleasure washed his objections at being manhandled away. Koga broke he kiss and pressed Inuyasha's head down to rest on his chest. "Sleep, Pup. It's still early yet," Koga's voice suddenly descended to a low growl. "Then we will show them what it means to challenge my word and my family."

Inuyasha lay there atop the Wolf Chief, his cheek resting against the hard muscle of his chest. The rhythmic motion of his deep easy breathing and the beating of his heart, lulled Inuyasha into calm and comfort, but he could not get back to sleep even if he wanted to. His thoughts were entwined in a jumble of confusion.

What just happened? Inuyasha wondered, as he floated in a lake of calm waters, if Koga was making fun of him. He was not sure. He thought one usually kissed girls. Then, that wasn't really true. He had, once when he was younger and in search of water, stumbled across the sight of two Kuma youkai men kissing in a riverbed. The subsequent beating for having the misfortune to catch them at it and search for a decent hiding place, promptly pushed any further thoughts of what he had seen out of his mind. But he had seen it. Maybe it wasn't that unusual. Maybe it was a demon thing. He had certainly never seen any humans do such a thing. Perhaps, Koga wasn't making fun of him after all. Perhaps he liked him like that.

If that was so, Inuyasha was not so sure he disliked that idea. He had never been kissed like that. His mother kissed him every night before bed on the forehead. Kikyou had been a fourteen-year-old virgin priestess. The furthest they had gone physically in the relationship was holding hands once or twice and sometimes embracing each other. They had both been shy innocents, unsure of what to do, neither having ever been taught what love and sex was all about. Kagome had been his first romantic kiss. He remembered the thrill that had run down his spine when she pressed her lips to his.

Koga, however, had invaded his mouth with his tongue. It had caressed his own muscle, probing, licking, and sucking. He had never had someone else's tongue in his mouth, but he flushed and curled further against Koga's side as the thought came to mind that the idea felt better than it sounded. A lot better.

Though he would never, EVER, tell Koga, he hoped the wolf planed to do it again. He felt safe and warm in his arms; had since the very first night they had slept in the same bed. This, now, was something he could get used to.

It was on that thought that the inu drifted off into a deep, restful sleep.

IKIKIKIKIKIKIKI

Inuyasha followed closely behind as Koga led the way deep into the cave system. He buried his hands into his wide sleeves, absently rubbing his cramping stomach through the fabric. He walked with a hard look in his eyes, his brows furrowed, and shoulders thrown back.

To all the world the inu hanyou appeared as if he was every bit as arrogant, confident and carefree as his enemies believed him to be, but if one were to know what to look for, they would see that it was far from true. Those eyes, furrowed and hard, swung from side to side, surveying passages before him for signs of attack. Without conscious thought, he never drifted further than two steps behind the Alpha, mindful to stay within his range of protection. Even his posture of folding his arms in his sleeves, a subconscious habit from his youth, was no careless gesture. Folding his sleeves in front of him caused both lengths of the fire-rat fabric to cross over his torso, creating a strengthened layer of armor over his most vulnerable body parts. Though he knew in his mind he could and would protect himself, his inner demon was apprehensive and now that he finally had one- whether Inuyasha consciously knew it or not- only wanted his alpha to protect him.

Upon waking this morning, the Alpha had informed the hanyou that they were going to be making a little visit to Inuyasha's attackers. The five wolves that had attacked him had been kept tied up and guarded in a small antechamber deep in the mountain. They followed a twisted and narrow passage way into the dark caverns until they reached an entrance way guarded by two armored wolves.

"Chief," they greeted in unison, inclining their head in salute.

"How are they?" Koga inquired.

"Fine. They have been quite the whole night," one answered.

Koga nodded in acknowledgement and entered the chamber. Inuyasha hesitated at the doorway, glancing around the sparsely light room before accompanying the Wolf Chief inside.

The five wolves sat, hunched in various states of consciousness and injury, on the stone floor. Tametoki sat on his knees in the middle of the group- heh, always gotta be protected by his gang. Was a wimp!- his hands tied behind him. He cautiously glanced up at his Alpha, knowing he was angry, but he snapped out of his subservient posture and glared at the sight of the hanyou behind him. His olive green eyes glinted hatefully from beneath the curtain of his stringy black hair.

The mongrel dared to stand in the same room as decent people like him and not have the decency to cower or eve look worried! The hanyou gazed back at the wolf with cold and impassive eyes- well, he learned something from his jackass of a brother- as if he were better than the prisoner. Tametoki choked back the growl that was working its way up his throat and quickly lowered his forehead back to the floor when the Alpha stepped in front of the hanyou.

"What have you to say for your self?" the Wolf Chief demanded. Koga stood tall and powerful, his chest puffed out and his hands on his hips, staring the group's leader down.

"What? We only did what should have been done long ago," Tametoki sprang back up, forgetting just whom he was talking to in a moment of anger. "That beast should have been run out the moment he stepped in our territory!"

Koga ignored the spiteful comment. He spun on his heal and faced the inu hanyou. "Think of how you think they should be punished," he announced, and then strode out the entranceway.

"EHHH?" Inuyasha cried in shock. Behind them, the wolves sputtered outrage.

"Bring them to the Den," Koga instructed the guards before leading a shell shocked Inuyasha back out.

"Punishment?" Inuyasha asked uncertainly, catching up to the long angry strides of the Wolf Chief. "I ain't gonna punish 'em! I already beat their asses. I ain't worth much more trouble then that!"

Inuyasha drew up short as Koga suddenly halted in front of him and spun around. "Listen here, Fleabag," he ordered, ignoring the irritated glitter of Inuyasha's eyes at the nickname. "You are worth ten of those pieces of garbage in there," Inuyasha's eyes widened in disbelief, "and it's not just what they did to you but that they dare challenge my word. I am the Alpha here, not them. They will learn that soon enough!" With that, he spun back around and continued the trek to the cave mouth, leaving a bewildered hanyou blinking after him.

IKIKIKIKIKIKIKIKI

In the Den, Koga gathered all his wolves to the raised rock and prepared to speak to them. Inuyasha watched from the ground as the five wolves were brought out and set at the Alpha's feet. The crowd, who had gathered behind him, broke out into whispered mutterings and inquiries as to what was going on. Once all were gathered, Koga stood and demanded silence.

"Yesterday, these five wolves ambushed my kin, Inuyasha," he announced to the crowd. Inuyasha was so captivated with Koga's words- Me? Kin?- that he didn't hear the crowd's gasps of umbrage or other's agreeable comments.

Koga noted those who appeared to appreciate the wolves' brutal efforts and turned to the five bowing before him. "If you show repentance and acknowledge your faults, we can call the beating you received, courtesy of your 'victim' as punishment enough," he offered, emphasizing their humiliation before the gathering.

"There is nothing to repent! I merely tried to dispose of the filthy beast as it should have been done in the first place…er, my Alpha," Tametoki argued before acquiescing his submission under the glower Koga sent him.

Koga stepped forward and let out a ferocious growl. Tametoki and the others, who had been looking on with rising indignation, returned to their submissive postures. "You mean the ally that I brought to the caves? The one who saved my cub's life at the risk of his own? The one that I adopted into my House? The one who I proclaimed was under my protection. That 'filthy beast'?"

The gathered wolves were silent as death as they watched the confrontation. Inuyasha gazed up at the Alpha wide eyed as he defended him before the entire clan.

Tametoki, having realized he had gotten himself way over his head, glanced at his comrades who bowed beside him, but they, only slightly smarter than him, seemed to know that it was best to keep their mouths shut.

"Er…Yes, My Lord. A hanyou has no place he-," Tametoki started cautiously, only to be cut off mid-sentence. Koga looked down to the floor before him where the inu stood in the crowd.

"Inuyasha, they have wronged you and our House," Koga emphasized to all present that he and the hanyou were equally wronged, "how should they be punished.

Inuyasha looked at his attackers. Weak and cowardly as they were, they were just like everyone else. Those who wished to harm him, to throw him out, to chase him away, had marked his whole life. His own human family drove him away from his mother's palatial home upon her death. Then for nearly a century he was an outcast among everyone around him, from human to youkai, even his own demon brother chased him across the countryside in efforts to kill him.

His gaze moved over the strong Alpha, who patiently waited for his decision; his piercing blue eyes boring into his warm golden ones. Koga had never treated him like that. He had never treated him as less. They might not have liked each other or really got along in the past, but he had never thought of the hanyou as lower than he or not worthy. Inuyasha made his decision.

With hardened eyes, he addressed the Alpha. "They have no idea what it's like to be alone and unwanted," he ground out, his voice fierce and strong, "They should know what it feels like to be driven out, to be abandoned and persecuted."

Koga's eyes softened and he looked at his pup with pride. He was strong but he was also fair. "Very well," he turned back to the wolf gang, "You will leave these caves and leave this territory. You will not return until the next full moon."

Various members of the crowd exclaimed in outrage. Their son's were being sent away. And for a hanyou? Others were proclaiming their satisfaction with the decision. How dare those young ruffians attack the hanyou who has been an ally and friend for decades, coming to their assistance more than once through the years?

At the back of the crowd, burning orange eyes glowed from a shadowed recess. They watched the gang of wolves be escorted out of the caves by the Alpha's loyal guards. On their way out that young brat, Tametoki catches those eyes, beseeching them to come to his aid. With a subtle shake of his grayed head, the elder Michinaga warns him not to give the plot away. They were loyal to him, and he would rescue them from their punishment in time, but for now, he had to figure out what to do next about that wretched hanyou.

Finally he saw that dratted young Alpha behave as a true leader should; with an iron fist. He was harsh and powerful, his word was law, but the sight was soured by the knowledge that his actions were simply the results of the hanyou's manipulations. Michinaga watched in disgust as the hanyou sat in the background pulling strings like a puppet master, going so far as to demand that he punish the young wolves himself!

If it weren't for the fact that it was that animal who was doing it, the elder might have admired the cunning and elegance of his handling of the Wolf Chief. He was quickly rising to dangerous levels of power, moving pieces as if on a chessboard. Something must be done to stop this monster from taking over the clan and damning them all to be slaves to the hanyou's evil magic.