Title: Awaken the Inu
Timeframe: prologues are btw seasons 3 and 4. The rest starts season seven.
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. Poverty is my constant friend. Please don't sue. I make no money from this.
Note: Evil plot bunnies have invaded my brain again, and the demons of writer's block are spreading. Instead of Starting with a Buffy or Star Wars sequel, or adding to 'The One Who Sees", I feel compelled to work on this. Sorry. Blame the bunnies. Anya's right, they're EVIL. I also changed this from a season five idea, to a season seven idea. Just because I hate Caleb, and want Xander to have a bigger role in the proceedings.
Summary: Xander's father is not who he thought. His real father has decided to inform him of his heritage, leaving Xander with some tough choices.
In a room filled with shadows, a figure obscured by the darkness is addressing a woman in a formal kimono kneeling in front of him. All that can be seen of the man is a white kimono, a few strands of silver hair, and the hilts of two swords at his hip. The woman is exceptionally beautiful, with her black hair in a traditional bun, bound be a single, impossibly perfect white feather. Upon closer inspection one would notice that this woman had elfin ears, red eyes, and small fangs in her mouth. These features, however, added to her otherworldly allure. At least in her opinion they did.
"Things have grown dire, Kagura. He has left his home, and still has no idea of his heritage. Without the Hellmouth to mask his youki, he will become a target.", the figure said, his voice the very essence of power and grace.
The woman, now identified as Kagura, bowed her head respectfully as she answered, "With all due respect, milord, he has been fighting without his heritage for years beside the Slayer and her Watcher. Beside three slayers, in fact." The respect in her voice was easy for all to hear.
The shadowed man nodded in response to her reply, but showed no other emotion. "Even so, that was against low level weaklings like vampires. He has truly faced only two demons...the Judge, and the Ascended Mayor. Although I hardly consider a man who desired to become a snake youkai a real threat.", he responded.
Kagura smiled as she said, "Still it is amusing that _both_ threats were handled by Alexander, and not the Slayer. She would be quite lost without him."
"That is what worries me. He may reject our ways because she needs him. Even if the ningen champion does not see it, she needs him, and _he_ will see it. I...worry for him. Since the return of Onigumo at the hands of the First, things have been strained. The war we fight already threatens to spread fully into the ningen world. That can not be permitted. Alexander MUST be protected. Either by the Hellmouth's concealment, or by the power of his blood. I will not let that bastard hurt him. I will NOT let him take the last thing I have of RIN!"
Kagura's cheeks flushed at the show of emotion from her Lord. Since the death of his wife's most recent incarnation, and the subsequent rise in demon activity that forced him to hide the boy with his wife's sister on the Hellmouth, he had retreated almost fully into the emotionless shell that made him the most feared youkai in existence five hundred years ago. In many ways, it was good to see some passion from him again. Over the centuries, she had gone from conspiring with him to kill her 'creator', to being his servant, to becoming his friend.
Still, the insult to Alex's abilities irked her. She had watched him long enough from the shadows to know what the boy could do. "Calm yourself, Sesshomaru. He will survive because he is strong! He is your son, and rightful heir to the Tai Inu-youkai of the West. That bastard Naraku would not kill him even if he _DID_ manage to find him."
Sesshomaru's tone was like ice as he replied, "We both once would have said the same of my brother, Kagura. Inu-Yasha killed Onigumo once. Your 'father' returned the favor when he chose humanity with his mate in this time over his blood right. I do not desire to see the same happen to Alexander."
Kagura bowed her head at that. She had never developed the fondness for her Lord's half brother that he himself had over time, but she still mourned his death from a cowardly sniper's bullet. A warrior capable of besting Sesshomaru on occasion deserved a far better end. The man that freed her from Naraku should not have died without a fair fight.
"I know.", she replied, her voice hollow. "If you desire me to tell him, I will, but it will still be his choice. I will not...no. I /CAN/ not force this upon him. I will tell him everything, but where he goes from there is ultimately his decision.", she replied, showing an unusual amount of resolve against Sesshomaru's orders.
The Lord of the West stepped forward at that, revealing his amber eyes, elfin ears, and demonic face markings, consisting of a purple crescent moon on his forehead, and twin purple stripes on each cheek. He took Kagura's chin in his hands, and peered deeply into her red eyes with his amber ones. After several tense seconds, he said, "You have feelings for the pup." His voice betrayed no emotion as he spoke.
"Yes," Kagura admitted freely. There was no sense denying it. Her control over air currents as a wind sorceress would not conceal her scent this close, even if they weren't trapped in an enclosed room. "When he was small it was as one should for a child. But, as your own experiences with Rin showed, feelings can change over time when one is ageless. I've come to admire him a great deal from afar. Does this upset you, my Lord?" she asked, her eyes daring him to condemn her in an ultimate act of hypocrisy.
He released her gently as he replied. "No. It does not. I am not so old, or foolhardy, as to spite you for mirroring my own actions. Just heed your own words, Kagura. _ANY_thing that happens will be his decision."
"Of course. Truth be told, I'd wait until he had a least a couple of more years before I tried to pursue him. People look strangely upon apparent age differences in these times. I would not desire to cause undue trouble, or attention, for him.", she replied, her voice showing she had been considering this matter in private for some time.
"Do you intend to take him as your mate someday?" the dog demon asked bluntly.
"Perhaps, if he is willing. I can't predict the future. That was Kanna's ability. But I will try, when he is ready.", she replied.
"If your feelings are genuine, and he accepts, then you have my blessings. But, for now, I want you to inform him of his heritage and prepare him for the dangers he might face.", Sesshomaru said, his voice totally even once more.
Kagura's eyes lit with joy, but her tone was even and respectful as she stood and bowed to her Lord. "Your will be done, milord.", she said, before turning to leave the room and find her quarry.
She was almost out the door when she heard, "Oh, and Kagura...take Jaken with you. He needs the exercise, and I'd hate to think you were left traveling all the way to Oxnard bored and alone on ningen travel methods.
She left her back to Sesshomaru as she scowled deeply. She should have known he'd get even with her for back-talking to him like that. Lesser demons would have been slain outright. She was stuck with that slimy bootlicking old toad youkai. Life just wasn't fair sometimes. "Yes, milord.", she replied mildly, still scowling as she let the door close behind her.
Sesshomaru let himself chuckle for a second after she left. Nothing like a little petty revenge to lighten his mood in the midst of this war with Naraku. His face sobered as he thought of the danger his son was in. In truth, sending both Kagura and Jakken was more for Alex's safety than just to annoy the wind sorceress. With the Staff of Souls in hand, the ancient toad youkai was surprisingly deadly, and he would defend the pup to his last breath.
That thought made the Lord walk to a small table hidden behind a Japanese style screen in the back of the room. There, in this innermost sanctum of Sesshomaru's current Los Angeles estate, were his most prized possessions. There, displayed proudly, were his brother's sword, the Tetsusaiga, forged from their father's fang, with his brother's fire-rat hide kimono folded neatly beneath it. Next to the blade and clothes were pictures of his wife in the three different reincarnations he had found her in since the invention of the camera, a picture of his brother and his brother's mate at their wedding, and a pair of pictures prized above all the others. The first was Rin holding young Alex on the day of his birth, Sesshomaru standing proudly beside them as the photo was taken. The other was a grad photo for Sunnydale High School with the name Alexander Lavelle Harris engraved in the pure silver frame.
"Be safe my son. Be safe until you are ready to fight at my side, and even then, show a level of luck and skill that would make that bakayaro brother of mine green with envy. This Sesshomaru does not want to see another bearer of the Tetsusaiga dead in his lifetime.", he whispered, before turning and leaving the room himself, intent on seeing to the most recent developments in the war.
Alexander 'Xander' Lavelle Harris had just spent six of the most embarrassing hours of his life in the Fabulous Ladies Night Club of Oxnard California, where he had, until tonight, worked as a dishwasher. One of the male strippers had broken his ankle, and the manager, in near desperation had...well. No power on this Earth was meant to finish that story. One should not defy such a declaration.
Still, the most unsettling thing for Xander wasn't the hooting, and pawing, of primarily middle-aged and older women, while giving him money for actions that would have got him laughed at in high school. No, the most unsettling thing was a strange feeling of familiarity in the air that he couldn't place. It was like he felt a piece of something he had been missing all his life, but hadn't realized he had been without it. And, whatever it was, it certainly wasn't caused by his stripping. It was something internal and external at the same time. In fact, if Xander went with his gut, he would say it had to be what Buffy felt with her 'Spidey Sense', only in reverse. All in all, the whole thing was giving the Zeppo a Wiggins.
He tried to put the comfortable/yet unsettled feeling aside as he made his way back to the cheap motel room he was renting in Oxnard. The one good thing about this trip through the land of the mortally embarrassed was that he could finally afford to pay for a new car, and get back on his road trip. He was getting restless.
He was almost to his temporary lodgings, when the same sensation he felt in the club assailed him again, only much stronger. It was accompanied this time by a gentle summer breeze that seemed to comfort him, and, strangely enough, feel him up at the same time. The young man stood there in confusion at how _wind_ could get fresh with him, when his musings were cut short by a high-pitched and cracked voice behind him, causing him to turn around.
"Kagura! Behave yourself. Have you no shame, to treat someone of his status in such a way. Why, in my day, we had respect for our betters. You had best stop this foolishness right now or I'll...", the rant was cut short as a beautiful woman, apparently named Kagura, rapped what looked like an ancient midget in a monk’s robe on the head.
"Quiet Jakken. You'll scare the young man. And after that...performance, the last thing I want to do is scare you off.", Kagura said, first as she reprimanded Jakken, then addressed, and winked playfully at, Xander.
Xander, for his part was staring intently at the pair, trying to place the strange sensations their presence created in him. Well that, and fight down the blush Kagura's wink had elicited. The red eyed beauty was certainly stunning. Although, Xander would later wonder why the fact she had red eyes didn't seem at all odd to him, especially after growing up in Sunnydale. "Ahh..l.uhhh, thanks. I guess. But that wasn't a regular thing. Just a one time deal. Uh, I'm Xander, by the way.", he replied, still trying to place what seemed strange, and right, about them.
"And as you may have heard, my name is Kagura, and this irritating toad is Jakken. We are friends of your family sent to discuss something of great importance to you.", she said, her face and tone growing serious.
"You're both demons." Xander said in reply to that, not sure just _why_ he said it. But, somehow, it seemed right, and resolved the odd feeling inside of him.
"Hai. We are. But not the kind of demons you are familiar with. Jakken here is a toad youkai," she answered, removing said toad's hood to reveal his features, similar to Yoda with smaller ears, "and I, am a wind sorceress youkai. We mean you no harm, Xander, but we must speak to you. If you would prefer a public place, I'd understand."
Xander took a step back at what she said, wondering just _why_ he wasn't running in terror like a sane man without a Slayer nearby should. Still, he couldn't shake the feeling that there was something...right about them, and that he should trust them. "I don't know why I trust you, but I do. We can talk in the place I'm renting. It's private," he said finally, motioning for them to follow him.
"Why that is easy to explain. You feel at ease with our youki because we were there when you were sealed, and we mean you no harm. Even without your full strength you'd feel the intent in our youki at this range. Such is your power, milord.", Jakken rambled as he followed after Xander.
"Huh?" the unknown Prince of the West said in reply to the strange answer.
Kagura looked irritated as she smacked the toad, who Xander now noticed as carrying a large walking stick with a burlap sack tied to the top with him. "Idiot. You speak without thought. At least give me a chance to explain what youki is, and why he would sense it before you start trying to shine his shoes with your tongue.", she harped. "Forgive him Xander, he'd old and senile. He forgets how much we have to cover with you.", Kagura said to Alex with a reassuring grin.
"Yeah...sure. Whatever.", Xander replied, wondering again why he wasn't running away screaming, but for totally different reasons. "Anyway, come on in, and let's hear what you have to say.", he said, as he opened the door to his motel room, and held it open for them.
"Why Alex, how forward of you to invite me in. I'll just send Jakken on an errand, and we can...talk all you want.", Kagura purred, trailing a delicately clawed finger across his chin as she made her way inside.
"Confound you woman! Why you were sent on this task when you behave like this is beyond me. You only know of pride and decorum when they suit you. Even Lord Inu-Yasha at his worst would not show such disrespect as you have. Know that I will report this upon our return..." Jakken rambled on as he made his way past Xander, who had to fight down another blush at Kagura's actions.
"Yeah, this better be one HELL of a good explanation. Because even if they weren't demons, I have to crazy to be seen with them.", Xander muttered too low for either to hear as he closed the door and followed them in...
If one were standing across the street that night, one would have sworn they heard a young man loudly shriek "I'M A WHAT?!!!" at the top of his lungs.
Xander sat quietly in his room the next morning, as he pondered all that he had learned. He was apparently some kind of half-dog demon. And a prince of some kind besides. His mom was actually his aunt, and he was sent to the Hellmouth to protect him after an assassin had killed his real mother. Apparently the Hellmouth concealed the little bit of demon energy, or youki, he still let out under his seal with its background radiation of evil, thus hiding him from his father's enemies. It was all so much to take in.
Even greater was what Kagura and Jakken offered, to remove the seal totally, and release his power. Apparently, as a half-demon, or hanyou as Jakken insisted he was called, he was entitled to some mystical weapon his uncle had possessed once upon a time. Xander thought for many hours on the ramifications that could bring in Sunnydale. He also though about his past fighting the good fight with Buffy and the others.
Finally, at around noon, he went to his cell phone and called the number Kagura had given him.
"Yeah, hi, it's me. I've made my decision for now. I'm returning to the Hellmouth, and staying human."
"No, it's not that. I'm not afraid of my friends. I trust them with all my heart. But, the thing is...I keep them grounded. I remind them what they fight for. If I show up demoney and powered, they might forget that, and I can't let that happen. They need a normal guy to keep things in perspective. I'm the key guy for now."
"Yes, I promise that I'll keep in touch in the ways you showed me. And if I change my mind, LA isn't too far to go to do it. You have my word, Kagura."
"You really are a pervert, you know that right? Are you sure my dad knows you talk to me like this?"
"^laughs^ Fair enough. Good Bye."
The story will pick back up in season seven.