Ashrah awoke at the brink of dawn. Everyone in the hut was still fast asleep. Sango, Miroku, Shippo and Kirara were all huddled together beside the once blazing fire that now was nothing more than a smoldering pile of ashes. Kaede laid in the farthest corner of the hut, sleeping away on the floor, while Kagome laid motionless on her back in what Ashrah assumed was Kaede’s bed. But there was one body missing. Inuyasha was nowhere to be found.
Ashrah jumped up on her feet as fast as she could, following the scent of her twin brother. Inuyasha hadn’t gone far as Ashrah expected.
‘He may have demon blood, but even a full bred demon would have some issues moving very fast with his injuries.’ Ashrah thought to herself as she followed her brother’s scent.
Ashrah found Inuyasha only twenty feet from the hut, lying underneath a small tree. He was breathing heavily with his eyes closed. He seemed like he was breathing in the morning air more than trying to sleep. Ashrah assumed he caught her scent, because as she approached him, he opened his golden eyes and looked directly at her.
“What’re you doing out here?” He asked her bluntly. “Shouldn’t you be asleep?”
Ashrah raised an eyebrow at him, “Shouldn’t you be in bed resting those wounds?”
Inuyasha smirked. “I told you, these are no more than scratches. I’m fine.” As he tried to stand, he fell right back down.
Ashrah giggled lightly and sat beside him leaning her head back against the tree.
“You’re not superman you know. You need to take it easy.” Ashrah sounded honestly concerned for her brother.
“Keh, I’ll be fine.” Inuyasha scoffed.
There was a silence between them for a long while, until Inuyasha finally spoke up.
“Why do you care about me healing anyways, just before Naraku showed up you were ready to fight me with everything you had?” Inuyasha questioned.
Ashrah sighed lightly. “I guess I feel protective of you… You’re my only family…”
Inuyasha looked at her and chuckled a bit, “Well, not your ONLY family.”
Ashrah looked at him confused.
“We have a half-brother. His name is Sesshomaru.” Inuyasha almost spit the half-brother part. “But he hates me, so I’m positive he will hate you too.”
Ashrah raised an eyebrow. “And what makes you say that? You and I are nothing alike.”
Inuyasha looked at her like she was crazy, “Other than the fact that if you had on a red kimono and you were a bit taller and you were a man, you’d be my clone.”
Ashrah looked at Inuyasha and then hands, “Oh… right…”
Inuyasha looked at her; he had never been close with Sesshomaru, so he wasn’t sure how to be a brother that wasn’t trying to kill his sibling. But he could tell that not having a family bothered Ashrah. “It’s not me he hates; he doesn’t even really KNOW me. He hates me because I am a half-demon… why I said he will hate you as well.”
Ashrah sighed, “Even our own family member hates us because of what we are.”
Inuyasha wasn’t sure what to say.
Ashrah looked at Inuyasha, “You have friends Inuyasha… and you have a woman that loves you… in yet you are a half-demon…” She paused for a second. “They know you are a half breed, in yet they stick by your side anyways… and even though I am a half breed, and they don’t even know me, they fought against that demon to save my life.”
Inuyasha looked down at the ground, “They are very unordinary humans.”
Ashrah laughed lightly. “I’ll say.” Ashrah turned to her brother fully now. “Inuyasha… what was she like…?”
Inuyasha looked over to her, “Who?”
Ashrah was dead serious, “Our mother.”
She saw the pain in Inuyasha’s expression. “She was beautiful, and had the personality to match. Mother was the most gentle of all humans I knew.”
Ashrah looked upset, not angry or resentful, but just upset. “Inuyasha, I was the first to be born.”
Inuyasha looked at her totally confused at the change of subject. “So?”
Ashrah was playing with a stick in her hands, carving into it with her long claws. “That’s why mother took you with her and not me as well…”
“I’m confused.” Inuyasha said bluntly.
“I am sure you heard the story of how our father perished.” Ashrah started out.
Inuyasha nodded silently.
“When Lord Takemaru stabbed our mother in the birthing room, he missed you… and got mother and I instead. By the time father reached all of us, I was so innocent and weak that I was easily claimed by the demons of the afterlife that it was too late to save me… but he used Tensaiga to save mother so she would be there to take care of you.” Ashrah said with obvious sorrow in her voice.
“If you died as an infant, how are you sitting here now?” Inuyasha asked Ashrah as he placed his hand on her arm.
“After mother and you escaped from the burning mansion, father and Takemaru battled until their deaths. Father won obviously, even with his immense injuries that he undertook during his battle with Ryukotsusei. Just before father passed through the gate to the underworld, Tensaiga spoke to him, and gave him a simple ultimatum. Father had the choice of returning to the land of the living, or he could sacrifice his life with you and mother to save my life, a life that had not even seen the light of day or breathed its first breath. He looked at me, and without a second of doubt he told Tensaiga to give me a chance at life.” Ashrah concluded.
“So father sacrificed a life with mother and I to save the life of his child, even though he knew she would be a half-demon child that would face the hardships of life.” Inuyasha contemplated.
“Yes, but he believed that I was destined for greater things than even he could imagine, or else Tensaiga never would have given him the option to save me.” Ashrah said clenching the Sounga. “When I was found, I was amongst the rubble of the burned down mansion, I had no memory of what had happened in the afterlife... An elderly couple took me in and raised me until they were murdered by their neighbors for sheltering a half breed when I was thirteen years old. Ever since then I’ve kind of been wandering around the land, running from demons and humans alike…” She looked away from Inuyasha, “I had friends, some demons, some humans, but every time I would get even remotely close to them, they would turn my backs because I was a half breed… So I just stopped trusting people and demons alike.”
Inuyasha understood the way she felt. He didn’t trust anyone either until Kikyo came into his life. And it was even harder to trust Kagome after the biggest betrayal he had ever encountered, but he knew by experience there were good people in the world that accepted half demons, they were just extremely rare.
“When I took hold of Sounga yesterday, I heard father’s voice. It was him who helped me subdue Sounga… it was only when I heard his voice did I remember everything that had happened to me in the afterlife.” Ashrah looked at him. “I am all alone… I am all I have Inuyasha…”
Inuyasha had never been sentimental, but even with his injuries he wrapped an arm around his sister and hugged her to him. “You are not alone anymore. From now on, our group is your family.”
Ashrah hugged Inuyasha back lightly. As she put him on her back much like he had done to Kagome so many times.
“Hey! What the hell?!” Inuyasha exclaimed as she lifted him and tried to fight her off.
Ashrah held him tightly to her. “You’re going back to bed Inuyasha.”
Inuyasha raised an eyebrow, “Oh, what? Story time over?” He remarked sarcastically.
Ashrah walked back into the hut and jumped lightly making Inuyasha hit the top of his head on the door frame. “Yep.”
“Ouch!” Inuyasha complained quietly.
“Oh shut up, you better get used to this LITTLE brother.” Ashrah laughed lightly as she let him down gently on the bed next to Kagome.
“I am never gonna get away from the “little brother” comments.” He said as he lay on the bed looking at the ceiling.
Kagome startled Inuyasha as she giggled lightly, “Welcome to having a family.”
Inuyasha looked back the ceiling and chuckled lightly while he thought quietly to himself about the battle ahead.