Chapter 6: Of Electrical Shocks and Labor
Frowning in her sleep Kagome tensed, then frowned harder, trying to remain asleep and ignore the summons she was receiving to wake up. She'd only just fallen asleep, after all – Sesshoumaru had been fussing and pacing all day, barking at all the servants and driving them all insane by insisting that the palace be cleaned, and then re-cleaned, and then... well, anyway, he was doing what Yume called 'nesting'.
Kagome had heard of this – it meant that she was close to giving birth, and she was quite, quite ready to get it all over with. And if Sesshoumaru ever even hinted that he wanted another pup she'd chain him up in the palace's dungeons.
She didn't think he would, though – because he was no doubt going to be totally humiliated when he woke up from all this and realized just how badly he'd been acting. He would probably spend the next three hundred years being the iciest, most controlled bastard the country had ever seen just to repair his now damaged reputation.
Once again her body tightened, and still fighting all the way she reluctantly regained her consciousness – and promptly gasped in pain, clutching at her belly as it occurred to her what was happening just as a warm, wet, gushing feeling soaked the bedding beneath her. Before she could even call out Sesshoumaru's name said daiyoukai woke up growling and whining, sounding more pathetic than an abandoned puppy. She resigned herself to simply waiting until the contraction had passed, and then once Sesshoumaru stopped whining she managed to get out her orders.
“Send someone to summon Yume, Sesshoumaru,” she growled, beginning to lug her now even heavier body out of the bed so that she could get up and move. “It's time.”
Eyes widening almost comically the daiyoukai looked at her, then his eyes dropped to her belly before he practically dashed from the room yelling loud enough for the entire palace to be woken up.
Kagome sighed and shook her head, moving slowly along the wall and using it to help support her so that she didn't fall when the next contraction hit. With Sesshoumaru's awful bellowing, though, she knew it wouldn't be long before Yume and her assistants arrived and she began slowly making her way out of the room to the birthing chambers that had been prepared beforehand, telling a servant to replace the futon she'd just ruined.
By the time she made it into the birthing room the entire palace was indeed awake and scrambling around like chickens with their heads cut off as the palace's master's bellowing made sure that no one would be able to sleep through the birth of this pup – not even the other pups in the palace. Kagome scowled when she realized Arata had woken and come looking for her – and was now crying with worry and upset because he wasn't being allowed in to find her.
The moment that Sesshoumaru slouched his way into the birthing room she snapped at him, warning him to stay very far away from her – while the newly arrived Yume just chuckled as she directed her assistants to assist the Lady's pacing by supporting her so that she could let go of the wall.
“She shouldn't be walking,” Sesshoumaru snarled at Yume, “she is in labor with my pup! She should be laying down!”
Yume rolled her eyes. “I assure you, my Lord,” she said blandly, “women have been birthing young since the world began without any assistance from the male half of the population. She wants to walk, and that is what we will let her do.”
“Woman, if my pup-” he broke off on a whine as his eyes flashed redly and he doubled over with Kagome's contraction, panting deeply as it reached its peak and then began tapering off, “-falls out and lands on the floors because you wouldn't have her lay down, I will use you to sharpen my claws on!”
“Sesshoumaru, if you don't shut up I'm going to zap you!” Kagome bellowed as the contraction waned. “It's going to be some time before the pup is ready to be born! It hasn't been five minutes and you're already pissing me off,” she growled warningly at him. “If you don't find a corner, sit down, and shut up I'm going to throw you out of here and lock you out with a barrier just like your mother did to your father!”
Sesshoumaru snarled back at her but desisted as her aura began to blow her hair wildly about. He knew that look – and nothing good ever came of it. Doing as she'd said he sulked his way into a corner and slumped down, arms folded across his chest as he glared petulantly at everyone.
The petulance lasted until the next contraction and then he was back to the whining puppy. Kagome rolled her eyes and proceeded to ignore him as she gritted her teeth and forced herself to breathe through the pain. Sheesh... with as loud as he's whining, even if I screamed no one would hear it!
Thus began the longest fourteen hours that Kagome had ever lived through - and if anyone had ever heard how long Inuyasha could whine about something, they'd know just how long that made it. The worst part of giving birth wasn't the 'giving birth' part - it was the 'dealing with the other guilty party in the conception of the reason for all the bitching and whining in the first place' part.
Men should just be kept out of the birthing chambers, Kagome had to agree with the common practice in Sengoku Jidai of forbidding such things.
Common practice if you weren't inuyoukai, that was.
Sesshoumaru's incessant growling, snarling, and snapping at everyone finally drove Kagome insane about the time that the labor changed. Just as she was being led to the bedding to lay down once more a contraction gripped her, more intense and deeper than the others. As she doubled over and gasped, the most powerful daiyoukai on the planet folded over and face-planted into the floor, but before Kagome could pant out her concern the contraction wore off and Sesshoumaru practically levitated back off the floor, crimson eyes glaring and lengthened fangs beginning to glow with his poison.
"Lay her down now!" he bellowed loud enough to wake the dead... and Kagome lost it.
Straightening somewhat from the bent position she'd slipped into during the contraction she inhaled deeply in a manner Inuyasha would have instantly recognized and feared, and let loose.
"That is just it!" she screamed, scowling at him so terribly that he blanched. "I've never seen such a ridiculous display in my entire life! You're acting worse than Arata ever has - and he's just a pup! Listen to you! Whining and screaming so badly you sound like you're dying. How would you like it if I just happened to stumble over your brother sometime in the near future and just happened to let this story slip, hmm?" She nodded angrily as he twitched, eyes widening. "Keep it up, buster, and that's exactly what I'm gonna do! I'll make sure that every youkai alive hears this story if you don't shut the heck up, are we clear? You'll never be able to repair your reputation as the biggest ass in Nihon if that happens, you know that, right?"
Before Sesshoumaru could answer that piece of work Kagome doubled over again and Yume, flashing him an irritated glance while she was at it, ordered her assistants to get the lady into bed - as they'd been doing before he'd opened his trap and set the mistress off. Fortunately for her he was too busy at that point trying to keep his cool through the contraction to care, because to his complete horror he could actually see his mate doing just what she'd threatened, and he was pretty sure he'd rather die than have Inuyasha hear this particular story.
Kagome, finally being given some peace to breathe through yet more agonizing pain was pleased that her mate had at last shut up, but was for some reason glumly certain that she hadn't heard the last from him.
She was, unfortunately in this case, right.
Just as she reached the last stages of the labor, while she was struggling to push through hideous pain Sesshoumaru started howling like a dog baying at the moon and then darted over to her side as the pain faded once more.
The terrible din and the close proximity of the jerk that was responsible for all the pain in the first place was just too much for the young woman, and that was when Yume found that a miko in a rage could look much like a youkai in a rage - in other words, scary.
Kagome lunged up from her spot on the futon and grabbed Sesshoumaru by the edges of his yukata, which he'd thrown on when originally going looking for someone to send for Yume, and pretty much choked all his air off with it. When his eyes cleared of their crimson a little and blinked in shock down at her, she let him have it.
Tip of her finger glowing like a miniature sun, she jabbed him in the chest and fired up her reiki. A slightly burnt smell invaded the room from the now-smoking robe Sesshoumaru was wearing along with the very unpleasant smell of burnt hair. To the astonished eyes of Yume and her assistants, their lord's hair could be seen to be slightly charred at the ends - and just as they absorbed that, the ludicrous sight of the Lord of the West flying across the room to ram headfirst through the wood framed walls met their stunned gazes.
A few other stunned gazes peeking through the large hole that now existed on that side met their own, but all that could be heard from Sesshoumaru was a couple of muffled groans as he tried to wake up from his Kagome-induced coma.
Some sharp curses from that same woman was enough to get everyone back in gear, and Yume ordered everything readied for the pup that was about to greet her first day of life. "Also," she called out through the new window in the wall to the servants on that side of it that were still trying to decide what protocol was for staring at their lord as he tried unsuccessfully to get off the floor, "send a servant to ready that room we all discussed - we will most likely be needing it as soon as this pup is born and he-" she tilted her head in their direction in reference to the daiyoukai, "-wakes back up from all of this. Go to their quarters - Kagome-sama was pretty sure we'd be needing the room and she prepared a few ofuda imbued with her power to be applied to the outside of the door so as to keep him inside until she herself frees him."
The servants still staring dubiously at Sesshoumaru heard her words and immediately ran, because it was very obvious that he'd heard Yume's words just fine and was about to start getting angry very quickly. As his first growl made it to the mid-wife's ears the last of them disappeared from Sesshoumaru's sight, not that he really noticed or anything.
No, he was too busy seeing red that his own mate had dared to zap him! He felt like he'd been hit by lightening - and though this wasn't the first time that had happened, this time the lightening had an intelligent mastermind behind its strike - one he could confront, to his glee.
In the end that fact hadn't mattered much, though, because the moment he tried to go back in to the room using the same route he'd taken out of it he was slammed into the wall on the other side of the hall - by the barrier Kagome had placed over the entirety of the birthing chamber as soon as he was on the outside of it.
Yume peered through hole at the daiyoukai's rather distant face and then grunted and turned back to her patient. "Well, he'll live - more's the pity when he remembers what happened here today. We might have to plaster ofuda all over every surface of the outside of that room we set up for him to keep him inside it once that happens."
"Not-" Kagome broke off on a gasp as she pushed, "if he knows-" she panted, "- what'sgoodforhim!" she finally screamed all at once as the contraction crested. Her torso fell back onto the futon in exhaustion as they waited for the next one to start and she sent a deadly glare overflowing with threat towards the hole he could still be seen vaguely through. "If he even says one word in complaint about anything I'll do worse than just zap him - he'll find out what it's like being half-youkai, because I'll purify him into half of what he is now!"
Yume chuckled as she tried to keep herself from telling the lady just how ridiculous what she'd just said was, though she had no doubt if such a thing was indeed possible Kagome-sama would be the one to do it. All she could do was shake her head as she thought back over the antics Sesshoumaru had gotten up to over the course of the pregnancy and hope that neither of them ever decided they wanted another pup. As funny as it had all been, she didn't want to have to go through it again.
Before long - and surprisingly much more quietly, now that Sesshoumaru was out of the room - the pup was breaching her mother's body and it was almost over. Just as the little female slid into Yume's hands she remembered what the lord had said about striking his pup and grinned widely. She cut the cord and then swatted the pup's little bottom just briskly enough to get a good, loud cry before handing her over to one of the two females in the room with her to clean her up and get her wrapped into some swaddling.
She blithely ignored the snarl from outside the room at the pup's cry, although the servants that had gathered round again didn't have that luxury and were forced to run for their lives once more as Sesshoumaru came awake to the sound of his pup crying.
Kagome, too tired to yell as Yume delivered the afterbirth and swiftly got her cleaned up a little from her ordeal just pointed her finger in his direction and let fly with her reiki again, sending him through a few more walls and into a slightly more permanent unconsciousness. The palace's main healer just laughed - really, what else could she do?
Something occurred to her after a moment. Turning back towards the hole in the wall, she shouted for some of the servants to gather their lord while he was knocked out and take him to 'the room' while he was incapacitated. "It'll be easier than trying to drag him in there while he's awake," she finished, turning back to her patient as she heard a weary chuckle.
"I was planning to sneak attack him with something like Shippo's statue trick, but this works better, I guess." She looked up with a smile as the female that had taken the pup to clean and wrap came back and offered her to her mother. "And now I'll have some peace and quiet in which to name my pup, feed her, and sleep. He'd better hope his common sense has woken back up by the time he does and that he doesn't start caterwauling, because if he wakes me up once I fall asleep I'll kill him - and if he wakes my daughter up I'll do worse than kill him."
This was said with a manic grin on a face that was otherwise straight and Yume shivered. How it was possible to display two such opposite things on one face she wasn't sure, but she was very certain she didn't want to find out. She was pretty certain she didn't want to know what was worse than killing someone, either.
With a sigh she looked down at Kagome. "As much fun as all of this has been, please don't ever have any more pups, Kagome-sama. If you do decide to do so, give me some advance warning, if you don't mind," she finished as she pulled the covers up for her lady and helped her position herself to feed the pup now snuffling against her breast looking for its first meal.
Kagome blinked. "Ano, why should I give you advance warning?"
Yume met her bewildered gaze drolly. "So I can go find a sword and fall on it. I'd rather be dead than have to deal with this kind of thing again. Not to mention the fact that all of Nihon will probably be destroyed by an insane daiyoukai the next time this happens, so I'd just be getting a headstart in on the dying anyway."
As Kagome's jaw dropped Yume turned around and sauntered tiredly from the room, pausing to stare at the debris clogging the hall from Sesshoumaru's several meetings with the walls before continuing on with yet another deep sigh.
"Maybe I should just go ahead and get that headstart on the dying now - because this is really all just the beginning. That male's got no idea what he's let himself in for with having a female pup. I guarantee he'll be destroying the country in just a few short months when he hears the word 'no' from her little mouth for the first time, and by the time she's a hundred he'll be hearing the, "I'm going to live my own life without your interference!" speech - and that'll be right around the time the entire world comes to a sudden end."
The servants still lingering in the halls heard her muttering as she passed... and the panicked wave that washed over the palace as her words spread was the first reaction that greeted the newly-born inuyoukai hime's birth.
It wasn't the last time that a panicked wave was the first thing to greet a certain inuyoukai hime's presence, though, because over the years her escapades would drive her father to previously unknown heights of temper, and no one liked being around a Sesshoumaru that was breathing fire after yet another run-in with his daughter.
It was a lucky thing that his heir was of a much calmer frame of mind, because if he'd had to deal with two headstrong pups...
Well, it was just better not to think of things like that.
Much, much better.