Increase Text Size Decrease Text Size Divider Print This Chapter Divider

A Proposal Carefully Refined by Chie

Chapter 1

One shot I wrote for Inuvember, day 28 - Free day.

Prompt for this came from Anon, who requested a sequel for my one shot A Proposal Most Compelling (which you can find in my Miscellany collection, chapter 51).

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A Proposal Carefully Refined

Inuyasha’s hackles rose as he felt the sudden burst of familiar youki. His ears twitched, his nostrils flared, his golden eyes scanned his view of the village, until finally he spotted his bastard of an older brother.

Sesshoumaru marched into the village, his back straight, his head held high, his features stamped with arrogance. And he strode straight and unerringly to the hut occupied by Kagome.

Inuyasha shifted on his perch on the tree branch, and scowled at Sesshoumaru’s back as he entered Kagome’s home.

This was the third time he’d come calling on her.

Inuyasha didn’t like it one bit.

Sure, his and Kagome’s thing hadn’t really panned out but… Well, in some corner of his mind, Inuyasha still considered Kagome his.

They weren’t mates or lovers or anything like that, but she was his best friend.

And that bastard Sesshoumaru had no business at all to be sniffing around her!

Inuyasha hadn’t been in Edo the first time the asshole had come to make his proposal. He’d scented Sesshoumaru the moment he’d returned and had immediately rushed over to Kagome to demand to know what his sad excuse for a brother had wanted.

She’d told him the gist of their conversation, and Inuyasha had spiralled into incredulous shock because apparently Sesshoumaru had lost his damn mind and taken a leaf out of Miroku’s book by asking Kagome to be the mother of his children.

What the hell?

Back then, he’d thought Kagome’s refusal would be enough to keep the bastard away… but Sesshoumaru had returned. With a plan.

And to Inuyasha’s eternal glee, Kagome had send him packing, again.

But Sesshoumaru was stubborn, and was back for the third time to marshal his arguments, to plead his case.

It had got to stop.

Because even though Inuyasha was willing to bet that Kagome would be able to out-stubborn even Sesshoumaru, that small voice at the back of his mind reminded Inuyasha that even Miroku had eventually worn down Sango and nowadays was a happy father of four.

Inuyasha shifted restlessly in his seat, hoping he could sneak over to Kagome’s hut and eavesdrop the conversation… But with Sesshoumaru out there, he was bound to get caught in the act, so instead Inuyasha sat and sulked.

And waited.

The minutes ticked by agonisingly slow, but finally Sesshoumaru emerged from Kagome’s hut, his usually blank features stamped with baffled exasperation.

Inuyasha grinned, then straightened himself and jumped down from his tree branch.

He started to walk towards his brother, but to his surprise, Sesshoumaru was making his way to him.

He stopped to stand in front of him, aloof as he scowled towards Kagome’s little house.

And he must have been very upset over her refusal, because for once he actually initiated the conversation.

“I do not understand her,” Sesshoumaru huffed. “She refuses to see reason.”

Inuyasha shrugged. “You can’t really reason with Kagome. She’s not like you; she’d rather follow her heart than cold logic.”

Sesshoumaru slanted him a glance.

“I am aware of that. It is a quality I reluctantly admire in someone like her, but at the moment it is naught but a source for frustration.” His jaw clenched. “I am not sure how to proceed from here. I made a huge concession today, by informing her I was prepared and willing to take her as my mate. And still she rebuffed me! What more can I offer?”

Inuyasha paled and bristled.

Oh no, that wouldn’t do at all. No way the bastard would ever get to make Kagome his.

It was time to put an end to this madness.

Discourage Sesshoumaru completely, make him see how hopeless his endeavour was.

“Ya said it yourself,” Inuyasha said. “You don’t understand her. That’s the whole damn bottom line. Your difference of opinion’s not just ‘cause she’s human and female. It’s ‘cause she’s not from here to begin with.”

Sesshoumaru frowned, seemed to consider his words. “You claim Kagome and I are misunderstanding one another?”

“I guess, yeah, sort of. She’s from a different time, she has different opinions, different expectations than you do.”

Sesshoumaru nodded slowly, gave Inuyasha a considering look. “Cultural differences. Yes, I should have realised that. You have experience with her world, you have visited it, seen it.”

“Yeah.”

“You are close to Kagome, as well.”

“Closer than anyone else,” Inuyasha said, puffing out his chest, not quite able to keep the glee from showing in his eyes.

“Then perhaps you can help me. Tell me, what does Kagome expect?”

Inuyasha swallowed his grin. Gotcha, ya bastard; hook line and sinker.

Inuyasha snorted. “She’s a young woman, what d’ya think?”

“If I knew, I would not be talking to you, Inuyasha, you can be assured of that.”

Inuyasha rolled his eyes. “Love, ya dumb asshole. She’s expecting love.”

Sesshoumaru’s face remained carefully blank.

“Love?” He repeated the word, as if it was something foreign.

Which, to the unfeeling bastard, it probably was.

“Yeah,” Inuyasha grunted. “See, in Kagome’s time, people no longer marry for politics. They marry for love.”

“That sounds very… whimsical.” Sesshoumaru commented.

“It is what it is,” Inuyasha said. “And it’s why you have a problem here. You’re offering Kagome a marriage of convenience, when she’s expecting romance, love and partnership.”

“Partnership was implied in my offering today,” Sesshoumaru replied stiffly.

Inuyasha shrugged. “Yeah, well, without the romance it ain’t enough. You want her to agree, you need to sweep her off her feet.”

And a fat chance of that happening, Inuyasha added to himself gleefully.

Sesshoumaru offered no reply. He glanced back at Kagome’s hut, appearing thoughtful.

“Thank you, Inuyasha,” he said at last. “I have to confess I did not consider these aspects. When she argued that we did not even know each other, I figured we would have plenty of time for that later. Now I see she must have expected me to court her, before I could sire any children with her.”

Inuyasha’s face curdled at the mention of siring children.

“I must think on this,” Sesshoumaru declared at last, then turned and left.

“You do that,” Inuyasha muttered, glaring at his back.

And good riddance!

 

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 


A flare of youki disrupted Kagome’s archery practice. Her reiki spiked in response, but she soon reined all her energy in as she recognised the source of the demonic presence.

She put down the arrow and groaned in exasperation.

For a brief moment she hoped Sesshoumaru had come to see Rin – but as he’d paid Kagome three visits in as many weeks, the chances for that were slim.

True enough, his presence didn’t linger in the village but followed her to Inuyasha’s forest.

Kagome sighed. Sesshoumaru was stubborn – and a little scary. How long would she be able to turn him down? And what new plan had he come up with now?

After all, last time he hadn’t only talked about having children together, but had suggested they become mates. He must’ve been either out of his mind or truly committed to his deluded idea to go as far as offering a fricking soul bond!

To her, Higurashi Kagome.

The whole thing was just crazy; mindboggling, ridiculous, and – well, all right, maybe a little flattering.

But mostly crazy.

Kagome stood up and squared her shoulders, schooling her face into a neutral expression. She slung the bow over her shoulder, but kept a grip on it as she watched Sesshoumaru approach.

He moved gracefully and with determination, his white kimono and hakama bright in the sunlight, his armour gleaming.

He made for quite a sight, she had to admit, even as her stomach knotted over.

He was also tall and deadly.

Sesshoumaru stopped to stand a few yards away, and inclined his head – a huge concession from someone as aloof as him.

Kagome’s dread only grew at that. Obviously, he still hadn’t given up on his crazy idea.

“Good day to you, Kagome.”

Oh boy, a verbal greeting as well? He was really laying it on thick today… which did not bode well.

“Hello, Sesshoumaru,” Kagome replied, her smile strained around the edges.

“I would like to apologise to you.”

“You would?” Kagome blinked.

He nodded. “The error of my ways has been pointed out to me, by Inuyasha.”

What?!

Kagome gaped at him.

She must’ve misheard, because if her ears weren’t faulty, Sesshoumaru had not only admitted he’d been wrong, but that Inuyasha had been the one to set him straight.

And that just couldn’t have happened.

No way.

“That’s… quite all right,” Kagome stammered, thoroughly confused.

“I apologise if my approaches have seemed crude to you before. I did not pause to consider your point of view in this.”

… Did that mean Sesshoumaru was considering her point of view now, Kagome wondered. Because generally doing that would require basic empathy and, well, this was Sesshoumaru.

The hairs at the back of Kagome’s neck stood up.

She was really getting creeped out now.

“You are right in that we should get to know one another first,” he said.

Uh-oh, Kagome thought.

“Therefore, I have come today to ask if you would permit me the honour of courting you.”

There was really only one thing she could say to that.

“I beg your pardon?”

Sesshoumaru raised his eyebrows. “You may have all my pardons.”

“No, I mean… Are you serious?”

His bafflement turned to a frown. “Why would I not be? This is a very serious matter.”

“So… you’re saying that you want to date me now?” Kagome rubbed her forehead, scrambling to make sense of this mad mess her life had become.

Sesshoumaru inclined his head. “If that is the sort of courting you would wish of this Sesshoumaru, then yes. I shall endeavour to date you.”

Kagome opened her mouth. Closed it. Rubbed her forehead some more.

Nope, it still wasn’t making any damn sense to her.

“Why? Why me?”

The words were muttered, a rhetorical plea to all the cruel gods laughing at her right now.

But Sesshoumaru thought she’d addressed him.

“I told you why the first time I approached you with my proposition, did I not?” He arched his eyebrow. “You are learned, courageous, loyal and caring. Your spiritual powers formidable. And you are attractive, as well.”

“… I am?”

And here she had thought her mind couldn’t get any more boggled. He definitely hadn’t mentioned that last bit before. Respecting her was one thing, but actually finding her attractive?

“Of course I do.”

Kagome bit her lip.

“What would this courting entail, exactly?”

“We can discuss that at some better time, decide on the proper protocol together. I wish to avoid all misunderstandings and miscommunication between us in the future.”

“Okay.” Kagome paused, adjusted her bow. “That sounds good, actually.”

“I do not need your answer right now,” Sesshoumaru continued. “I understand it is a matter that requires consideration, so take your time.”

“That’s… thoughtful. Thank you.”

And so very bizarre, but then nothing about this conversation was normal.

“You are most welcome,” Sesshoumaru replied, sounding almost polite. “You should also know that even if you were to grant me permission to court you, you are free to withdraw that permission at any time if you so wish.”

“That’s very gracious of you,” Kagome managed.

Much more gracious than she’d ever expected from Sesshoumaru, to be honest. Had he maybe hit his head? Because that would explain a lot about this sudden one-eighty.

Sesshoumaru shrugged his shoulder. “Courteousness is the heart of courting.”

Sesshoumaru paused, looked away from her. “I am not sure I can offer you that which you desire. I am not about to declare my undying devotion to you.”

Thank god, Kagome thought, biting her tongue to keep quiet, because that would be truly disturbing.

“But,” Sesshoumaru ploughed on, “I would like to get to know you better, and I hope that you will grant me the chance, as you already have my admiration.”

That… That was almost sweet. Kagome shifted, fiddled with her bow. And had to concede that Sesshoumaru just might’ve been able to get his foot in the door.

“I’ll think about it,” she promised.

“That is all I can ask,” Sesshoumaru said, and bowed his head.

He turned, and started to walk away.

Kagome stared at his retreating back, wondering if their whole conversation had been some weird dream from which she’d wake up any moment now...

But though it had all been very, very weird, it had also been nice.

She’d probably come to regret giving him a chance, at some point or another, she thought with a grimace.

And yet, somewhere deep inside, an interest stirred. It wouldn’t hurt to give it a try. Could it? If it didn’t work out, she’d just turn him down again, and they’d go their separate ways.

No harm, no foul.

But then again, if it did, by some miracle work out…

Kagome picked her arrow, notched it, and drew her bow. Her mind swirling on endless possibilities, she released the arrow. It glimmered pink as it soared through the air, like a beacon of hope.


End.


 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
No money is being made from the creation or viewing of content on this site, which is strictly for personal, non-commercial use, in accordance with the copyright.