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Where He Belongs

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Inuyasha diligently escorted the old woman to her chambers. He offered his arm for her to hold after putting Kazue and Kaishi down to toddle to the room in front of them. Leading her over to her worn cushion by the fire, he assisted her to her seat before joining her on a cushion next to her.

While he had been doing so, the insightful Elder had taken the opportunity to view him quietly with her sightless eyes. Though physically blind, she rarely missed a thing and instantly saw a change in the young Inu’s aura. Comfortable before the fire, she smiled; a worry that had pressed on the back of her mind released.

“Little One, it appears that your life has been rather eventful since you last come to sit with me. I have heard many stories, some good and some not, but it feels as if the load of troubles on your soul has lightened,” she said cheerily in her age cracked voice.

“Yeah, uh, Koga said he wanted to mate with me, so I said why not,” Inuyasha said, hoping that however the old woman saw the things that she did, she would not be able to see the light blush that streaked across his face that belied the casual and bored tone of his voice.

“And how has it been, being mated?” the Elder asked, a knowing smile on her face.

Inuyasha’s blush turned fiery, as he thought of just what he had been doing for the short time he had been mated. Last night had been the most incredible night of his life and a shiver traveled down his spine at the thought of doing it again.

“It hasn’t even been a day. We’ll see how it goes…” he finally answered the old woman, who only smiled wider.

~*~

Koga strode through the crowd of his gathered wolves intent on only one thing: finding and bedding his mate. The gathered wolves parted for him as he walked by, all of them careful to keep their head low and their bodies bent to the ground in subservience. No one wanted to catch the eye of the Alpha who still thrummed with fighting energy, naked and covered in the blood of his opponents, his eyes still red and demonic.

As he passed, the wolves held out their hands, caressing him as he went by. Some took the chance to lick at him in submission, while others simply bowed and scurried quickly away.

“Chief! Sire, please let me wash you!” a lone voice called out from behind him. It was one of the women, holding a wet cloth and a few other strips to wrap any extensive injuries.

Koga ignored her and continued on his way without pause. He knew he was covered in blood sprayed from his enemies. His rational side was disgusted as he felt the thick liquid roll down his face. A greater part, however, the part that had bled his eyes red and sharpened his claws and reflexes, the part that was still so pumped up on adrenalin that he did not feel any of his injuries at all, rejoiced in the gore, in his thorough and undeniable victory.

High on the thrill of the fight and demonic energy or not, Koga remembered one thing; it was all for Inuyasha. He hoped now that he had set things straight, his mate could finally be at rest here in his home. His puppy deserved that, at least, and so much more.

He was still shocked into a daze at how the mutt had become so precious to him. It had not even been a year since the ookami had discovered his nearly frozen body in the distant valley. Since then the Inu had completely turned his life around. This time last year Koga had been leading a slow and uneventful life. At the time he would have been content to live that way for the rest of his days, but he knew now that he had never been truly happy. He had just been; mated to a woman who was nice enough but not truly his match, and Chief of a tribe that hadn’t really needed him for anything.

Now he knew better. Inuyasha had brought with him passion, danger, nostalgia, confidence. He made Koga remember who he had once been- a young prince with joys in life and fight in his veins. He felt fully engaged with Inuyasha, instead of simply existing beside him. While he had loved his family dearly, seeing Inuyasha’s lack, his sorrow, and his devotion to Koga’s cubs had reaffirmed the ookami’s own fervent appreciation of his family.

It all had led to this moment. Here he was, blood dripping between his clawed fingers, his step strong and sure, and a growl in his throat. He was strong and dominant. He was the Alpha. He had not realized just how wrong he had felt not taking on his proper mantel of Alpha.

 He had been concerned with other things, as a carefree prince cub. He had done his duty to his tribe and then gone off to do as he pleased (mainly find and rile Inuyasha into a good tantrum). Now he could see that it had become a pattern that he had fallen into and had never been able to climb out of. Leaving his tribe to mostly care for themselves had worked for decades, but it was not the way that things were supposed to be done.

Koga was an Alpha; both in terms of his social position and biologically. He was born to be an Alpha. It ran through his veins and was built into his body in the form of his highly aggressive youkai. To leave his duties as an Alpha to his wolves was something that had gone against his very nature. But now… now he was the Alpha. He had enforced his dominance over his clan and he felt better for it.

He felt good and right and if he had been focused on anything other than finding and having his mate at the moment, he would have seen the instinctual relief in the faces of most of the members of his clan. Just as he was meant to be the Alpha, they were meant to follow him. The stress of leading themselves was gone now and most everyone was benefitting.

Koga climbed the rock face and landed on the rock shelf that led to the private chambers. His youkai was still dominant and so could easily smell his mate’s scent even through the hundreds of wolf smells that usually overpowered any individual scent. His mate had been here quite recently, along with his cubs. Their trail led down the left hand corridor with Elder Choshi-sama.

Koga slowly felt his youkai retreat and his eyes faded from red to his normal deep azure blue. Even his youkai recognized that he would not be able to taste his puppy again right now, surrounded as he was by his cubs and an Elder.

By the time he arrived at Choshi-sama’s chamber, Koga was back to normal and starting to feel his considerable wounds from the fight.

“Koga!” Inuyasha hollered in surprised alarm as he entered the room covered in blood and injuries. The inu scrambled from his cushion by the fire to wrap and arm around his shoulders and guide him to the ground.

The old woman who had been sitting silently beside them, with her head tilted to the side as if listening to the cubs babbling to each other where they sat and played just behind her, slowly gathered herself and rose from the ground. While Inuyasha checked over Koga, silently fretting over the wounds he found littered all over his mate’s body, the clan Elder and healer drew a small pot of water from the half-pace wide branch of the cave’s stream that ran through the back of her chambers and placed it in the fire to heat.

Koga sighed and leaned back against his mates chest, letting him check him over. He reached up and rubbed the back of his knuckles over Inuyasha’s soft cheek when the hanyou let out a distressed noise after discovering a particularly nasty gouge in his left flank.

Inuyasha accepted the warmed water from the old woman with a nod and dipped in a bit of cloth. He carefully washed away the blood spattered on his face and leaking from his injuries. Swiping the cloth over Koga’s face, the ookami turned in his arms and stared up at him.

Inuyasha’s eyes swam with emotions. He worried over his injured mate. Another part of him was amazed by the Alpha wolf. What little he had seen of the fight had impressed him and he admired the wolf’s strength. It lit a fire in his belly and his face flushed with lust as he looked at the powerful dominant demon that was his mate.

Their lips met each other with a tender kiss. Inuyasha still could not believe it. This was his mate; his own for eternity.

Koga reached back and held the back of Inuyasha’s head, deepening the kiss. He stretched to further delve into his puppy’s depths but pulled back quickly with a hiss, the motion aggravating his injuries.

“What the hell happened anyway? And where the hell are your clothes?!” Inuyasha finally asked gruffly, his brows furrowed in concern while he wiped at the fresh blood that sprang from the wound.

 Koga flashed his teeth as he was reminded of the fight.

“I issued Challenge. It was time to put my foot down. I’m supposed to be the leader of this clan and it seemed that everyone had forgotten that, including me. They won’t forget again,” he gave a feral smile.

“I see that it has been quite a productive day for you, My Lord. It seems that congratulations are in order for many things,” Choshi-sama said with a smile as she looked unseeingly in their general direction and ground leaves with the large stone mortar and pestle in her arms. She approached the pair and sunk to her knees in front of them. Setting the pestle down, she swiped some of the leafy mash into her hand and began to apply it the worse of Koga’s wounds.

“Yeah! It’s been great! I finally got this ass-face to see reason and come home!” Koga announced cheerfully. Inuyasha growled in embarrassment.

“I see,” the Elder chuckled. She wrapped strips of cloth around the worst of the wounds and chanted a few ancient healing spells, her trembling hands held out just above the injuries, expelling tingling magic and moving from spot to spot. It would not make the lacerations disappear but it would help quicken the healing. She was dealing with the newly mated, after all. She was sure they would thank her for shortening the wait needed to engage in… strenuous activities.

Once she had finished the pair made to get up.

“Please be seated, My Lord. I still must make the potions for the Little One,” she said before rising again and shuffling once again to the back of her rooms where her ingredients were stored.

“Potions? What do you mean?” Inuyasha demanded.

“Wh-what?! What’s wrong with my mate?” Koga asked apprehensively. Koga and Inuyasha gave the old woman twin looks of wide eyed concern.

“For the baby,” Choshi called back over her shoulder, her attention focused on fingering the numerous small pots of various herbs and animal parts that were used in her most frequently made concoctions.

“Baby? What’s wrong with my cubs?” Koga questioned, looking back and forth between the Elder and Inuyasha who only looked back with alarmed bemusement while aforementioned cubs amused themselves obliviously.

Choshi, finally in possession of the required roots and oils sat before the fire again and began chopping, grating, mashing, and mixing the ingredients.

“Nothing is wrong. The young one is healthy and I mean to keep it that way. The pup (or pups) and Inuyasha should get all the nutrients they can get while they grow to make the birth as easy as possible for all of them,” she informed them with an air of nonchalance.

There was silence from the mated pair for a full minute while they digested the seemingly random and nonsensical words of the Elder healer. Finally Koga’s brain seemed to start working. Slowly.

“Inuyasha’s pregnant,” Koga whispered, unsure himself if it was a statement or a question.

“Yes, My Lord. Unfortunately it is still too early to be able to tell just how many there are, but there is no mistaking the small glow of new life within our Little One,” Choshi-sama smiled.

“h-hu-huh?” Inuyasha shuddered inarticulately.

“Inuyasha!” Koga turned to him with a bright smile. He took the young hanyou into his arms and hugged him in joy. “Oh, Inuyasha!”

“What? No! I don’t… I don’t understand!” Inuyasha fought off the embrace in agitation.

“Inuyasha?”

“What are you playing at?” the inu yelled, “I can’t be pregnant! I’m a man!”

Koga looked at him, understanding dawning on his face.

“Oh. I guess you’ve never had this kind of discussion with a youkai before, eh pup?” Koga said in an understanding tone. He realized that his mate had only ever been even remotely welcome among humans and thus would have absorbed only their knowledge. Indeed, he feared that this would be very startling to the young pup.

“What discussion?” Inuyasha barked, fighting to keep his growing hysteria masked behind his more familiar aggression. He eyes shot back and forth between the old woman and Koga. Choshi-baba seemed sadden by his lack of knowledge but offered no interference into the discussion, for now.

“Well, youkai guys can get pregnant sometimes. I never thought about the fact that you might not have known. Besides it doesn’t happen just anytime,” Koga informed the now hyperventilating hanyou. Inuyasha squawked in distress, far beyond the use of even the most basic of words at that point.

The elder woman quickly made her way over to the terrified hanyou.

“Calm, Little One, it will be alright,” she soothed, smoothing her knobby hand over his forehead and flushed cheeks. “You must calm yourself, child. It will do you now good to get so upset.”

“What… what...,” Inuyasha again attempted words, only to realize he had no idea what to even ask. This was never a scenario that had ever crossed his mind and it was clearly overwhelming him.

“Shush, dear child, I will tell you,” she continued speaking as she went back to preparing the required potions and Koga tried again to embrace his mate. Inuyasha slumped into his arms and allowed the wolf to run his fingers soothingly through his hair.

“Male pregnancies are not uncommon among the youkai. It is, however, not a natural thing, that is to say, males are not born with the ability to carry. It is usually provoked by something extraneous, such as the potential extinction of one’s race or prolonged separation from others of their kind.

“For you, it would seem that the formation of the bond between you and Koga and the cubs was what prompted your body to begin to form the necessary organs in order to carry a child. Tell me, Little One, have you been having problems with your stomach lately? Any persistent aches and pains?”

“Er..,” Inuyasha blushed, “Yeah a bit,” he admitted.

“That’s what that familiar scent is that I have been smelling on top of his regular scent, isn’t it? He smells a bit lit a woman,” Koga interjected, only to receive a vicious scowl from the very disgruntled and embarrassed inu in his arms.

“Yes, My Lord, that is right. Inuyasha’s body was preparing him for pregnancy. His hormones were broadcasting his fertility,” the Elder agreed.

Inuyasha sighed.

“I still can’t believe this. This is insane!” Inuyasha huffed, finally finding his words. Despite his words of protest, he laid his hands on his stomach almost reverently.

A pup? He had never thought it would ever happen to him, especially like this. Simply finding a mate had seemed like an impossibility after Kagome had left, let alone having pups. He had never heard of another hanyou having children. Admittedly, he rarely heard much of anything about other hanyous, except that they were monstrous abominations, of course. Still, he had never heard of a quarter youkai being born and had not even considered that he would breed with a youkai, so he figured it was just not possible for him.

But now…

A pup! He was having a child! Or possibly puppies, according to Choshi-baba. Inuyasha was beginning to like the idea. A little piece of him mixed with a little piece of Koga. Yeah, he like the sound of that.

A small smile formed on his face. Koga relaxed at the sight. His mate was happy. He had been worried that Inuyasha would not accept their child, but he should have known. His pup was nothing if not full of love, even if it was buried under a mountain of belligerence. He pressed a kiss to his temple as the inu asked a question.

“So, what happens next, Choshi-baba?”

The older woman smiled at the feel of the hanyou’s retreating waves of anxiety and confusion.

“Well, dear child, as I understand things, human pregnancies take quite a long time, almost a year. That is not the case with most youkai, and certainly not the case with canine youkai. Animal canine pregnancies last only fifty to seventy days. Canine youkai pregnancies take a bit longer, around three cycles of the moon, as they are far more advanced and need more time to develop in the womb.

“Still, it is a relatively short time for gestation. As I said before, humans actually spend almost a year in gestation and they are not nearly as advanced physically as youkai. That, combined with youkai’s longer lifespans meant that infancy and childhood takes a much longer time in order to do all of the growing and learning young youkai need in those impressionable stages,” She continued on a tangent.

She sat back from her work with a triumphant smile.

“There!” she proclaimed, bottling the milky elixir she had been working on. “Here, make sure to take this every morning, child, and I will need to examine you once a week when you come to see me for our little visits.”

Inuyasha took the offered bottle and smiled shyly up at his mate. Koga pressed another kiss to his forehead and let his stand. The inu helped the Wolf Chief up from the floor, as he was definitely feeling his wounds now. Leaning heavily on the hanyou, they thanked the beloved Elder for her assistance and left, each with a cub in hand and the other two bouncing energetically behind them.

Once out in the corridor, the Alpha stopped and pressed his mate to the wall with a searing kiss. He gazed hungrily down at his beautifully blushing inu, a promise swirling in his eyes. Once he was fully healed he would show his mate and the carrier of his pups just how much he loved him and have him begging for more.