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The Marriage of Convenience by TamashaToko

Kagome

 

Working at a grocery store had been perfect for Kagome Higurashi.  Sure most of her co-workers were teenagers making her feel rather old as most other twenty-somethings had gone off to university or to start actual careers, but this job was all she needed.  She knew and had a relationship with most of the customers, never a week went by where she wasn’t offered overtime, and despite the kind of job it was she always made enough to provide for her and her daughter.

Today, however, she was finding it a bit difficult to focus.  All the PLU numbers that she’d once known by heart she now had to look up in a book slowing down her rate, the customers were noting that she seemed very distant and kept asking her what was wrong, and if this kept up her manager, Naraku, would take notice, and she really didn’t need to be called up to his office today.  Even if she was the kind of girl to share what was bothering her she wouldn’t be allowed to.  She’d signed a non-disclosure saying that she wouldn’t discuss what was going on with anybody.

A couple of days ago when Kagome had discovered the drama that was coming her way she’d been convinced that signing such an agreement would only benefit her and her daughter.  It was the right decision as it meant that with all parties involved unable to talk about the issue she could continue living a normal life until her day in court came, but not being able to vent to any of her friends was killing her.  

Her day in court… it was such an odd thing to think about.  Kagome had never even received a minor ticket in her life or carried outstanding debt to anyone, and now she had to spend every second at work thinking about how she was unprepared to fight an overwhelming court ruling that was bound to come her way.  If only a ruling against her favor would result in a major fine or a couple years of jail, but it was worse than that.  She could be losing her daughter.  Her daughter Rin was everything to her, and… that man… that man she was told would never pursue her was threatening to take it all away from her.

“That will be $54.63,” Kagome forced a fake smile after she was done scanning all the items that came her way and began bagging.

“You forgot to ask for my loyalty card,” a familiar voice chuckled, “do I not deserve any savings today?”

Kagome looked up to notice Kouga, an old friend of hers, was her current customer.  She was so out of it she didn’t even notice him standing in front of her this whole time.

“No you don’t,” Kagome grimaced as she waited for him to take his card out of his wallet so she could scan it, “$43.64 please.”

“Bad day today?” Kouga asked handing over the cash, “that smelly guy you waited on before me give you in trouble?  I can probably catch him in the parking lot.”

“I’m not a demon like you so I didn’t smell anything,” Kagome noted rolling her eyes, “and no… I’m just having an off day today.”

“That’s easy to see.  Something outside of this dump?  How is Rin?”

“Her usual self… her last day of preschool is tomorrow so she’ll be home all summer.”

“Ah is that the problem?  In need of a babysitter?  I know a few girls in my pack that will work for cheap.  A first job to become integrated.”

The small suburb town they lived in was a bit of an odd one.  Humans and demons alike shared this country, but normally races didn’t mix.  Demon states were ruled by the strongest demons and had their own ways of dealing with governing that seemed like it was out of a history book of the feudal era, while human states were democratic and quite normal, and most importantly safe with the belief that as long as demons were allowed to do as they pleased in their territories they would leave humankind alone for they feared nuclear warfare.  However, here in Avalon, a border town between a human and demon state the races all seemed to get along for the most part. Humans employed demons in a couple factories using their strength to raise production while demons found interest in earning money and integrating themselves in a human lifestyle.  Kouga was one of those demons.  Pack leader of a demon wolf pack by night, and hospital security manager by day raising money to transform their cave dwelling into an impressive mansion-like living space… as well as buy some actual vegetables to go with their meals that they hunted.

“No that’s not it,” Kagome frowned giving him back his change, “my neighbor Sango works from home and is always happy to watch Rin for me… provided I help her with her job when I have time of course.  I’ve just been thinking about how scary it would be if anything happened to her is all.”

“Why would you worry your little head about such a thing?” Kouga chuckled helping her bag his groceries, “my wolves pretty much are the only threat in this town and if any of them laid a paw on your family they’d be dead.  They know the rules.  Humans don’t taste good anyway.”

Kouga’s wolves weren’t a threat, but other demons were.  A demon by the name of Sesshoumaru Masaharu to be exact.  Rin’s biological father.  On paper Kagome could never believe a demon like that was the father of Rin… on Rin’s appearance she’d never even believe her daughter had demon blood, but then the case began a blood test was taken and it came back a match.  How did he even find her?  When Kagome adopted Rin she was assured that the father wasn’t the kind to take an interest or look hard enough to find her… none of that mattered of course.  She couldn’t judge this Sesshoumaru for wanting to find and care for his daughter, but he was the still the enemy, because he planned to take Rin away from her, and had the means to do it with a war chest of funds ranging in the millions.

“You’re right,” Kagome sighed unable to tell anybody the truth, “acting like this isn’t going to get me through the day now is it?”

Kouga knew something was wrong, but wasn’t going to push further.  Once he had his receipt he smiled and handed her a candy bar that he’d bought.

“Here for that little cub of yours,” he smirked, “now wipe away your frown and don’t forget what you promised me.  That you’d come visit my place and see how it’s turning out.  Once the project is done not only will my little dwelling be a place all other wolf packs will envy, but it might make a good little bed and breakfast for the community I can make some money on.”

“I will once I have some time,” Kagome promised him with a nod.

Once he was gone she noticed the time.  Her shift had come to an end, and she quickly turned off her checkout lane’s light and grabbed her backpack before picking up tonight’s dinner and making her way to the bus stop.  Among the things she’d purchased was a magazine that she flipped through while waiting for transportation.

“Really I spent $10 on something I could have gotten online for free,” she criticized herself but couldn’t help it as she liked doing her research with something physical.

On the cover was a face she’d seen often as someone who she was forced to always look at magazine covers on the rack while working.  InuYasha Masaharu… she didn’t know why this idiot was still so popular.  He was a half-demon, and probably the only half-demon that was ever in media as it was still a no-no in most of the country to go mixing the races like that.  In a demon society a hanyou would most likely be bullied all their lives or killed for being too weak while in a human society they would be an outcast and be feared.  There must’ve been some luck on Kagome’s side for her half-demon child was living in a mixed town like this, so at least she didn’t fear for Rin’s safety.

InuYasha Masaharu was actually, of all things, famous for being a reality TV star.  It wasn’t hard to see why he was so popular to watch on those shows as they presented him as a bad boy figure with many layers, the type of guy any young girl would go crazy for despite his mixed blood.  Not only was he a hanyou, but he was the bastard son of a very well known demon, and the brother of Sesshoumaru Masaharu… Rin’s father.  News stories and the trashy shows, usually dating competitions, were Kagome’s only way of trying to learn more about Sesshoumaru as InuYasha often gave interviews complaining about the guy.  It was InuYasha’s hook.  If someone criticized InuYasha for being ill mannered he’d remind them about his rich and high standing demon family, and then if he got called on being a rich playboy he’d talk about how grounded he was compared to his ‘stick in the ass’ serious brother.  Any piece of information Kagome could get on Sesshoumaru through an InuYasha interview Kagome would highlight and file away incase it could help her in her upcoming case.  She couldn’t afford a lawyer, so most likely things wouldn’t fair her way, but she wasn’t going to give up.  That wasn’t an option.

When the bus came and she found her seat and pulled a file out of her backpack, the place where she kept everything involving the case hoping Rin or someone else wouldn’t find any of it.  She hadn’t told Rin anything about what was going on, or that she was even adopted.  When it came to time to do the blood test Kagome had told her it was just a check up, but she hated lying like that.  If Rin was going to be taken away from her, away from the life that she’d always known the girl needed to be told.  

She pressed her fingers to her forehead… how could she even have that conversation with a four-year-old?  How could she tell her child that she’d raised and loved that she was someone else’s child and might have to live with their real father.  Would Rin feel abandoned and then grow up thinking she was just used by someone and then given away?  She then covered her whole face.  No she couldn’t do this.  She didn’t want to cry on this bus.  Public transport didn’t deserve her display of tears nor did this stupid file in her lap.

Kagome turned her fear and sadness into anger as she thumbed through all the documents she had.  There was the non-disclosure agreement that all parties had signed agreeing not to talk about the upcoming court-case, Rin’s biological father, or any other knowledge pertaining to how the adoption went down.  Next to that Kagome had a letter… a letter from Rin’s biological mother that stated Rin didn’t legally have a father and gave Kagome parental rights over Rin.

Kaguya Tatsui was Rin’s mother… and was the probably one of the many reasons for the non-disclosure agreement as Kaguya had probably been on way more magazine covers than InuYasha Masaharu could ever hope to get.  She’d been once an infamous escort and madame to all sorts of attractive highly paid prostitutes that always beat every arrest that came her way.  It was most likely because she threatened to expose all of her clients if she ever did a prison sentence, and once she had the platform of the media she actually became both a model, a very beautiful one, and spokesperson for the rights of sex workers and the joys of human demon relationships.

All of that, of course, was only what Kagome knew from magazine articles as she’d never met Kaguya Tatsui.  All dealings with Kaguya were done between her and one of Kaguya’s assistants that had been tasked with giving Rin a good home after she was born.  It had been in the very grocery store that Kagome still worked in when she’d first met Rin.

“She’s adorable,” an eighteen-year-old Kagome’s eyes had lit up when a young blonde came to the register with a cart full of baby formula and diapers as well as a newborn baby in a carrier.

The little girl’s eyes opened for just a moment as she smiled at Kagome with big beautiful brown eyes before shutting them for some rest.

The blonde smirked, “You say that now, but try being on the car ride over here.  She screamed the whole way.”

Kagome gave a small laugh as she continued to scan all the baby products, and of course it wasn’t long before the total was in the thousands of dollars.  This woman had bought so many diapers.  It was kind of odd.  Half the diapers were for newborns where all the others were bigger sizes.  One pack for every size it seemed.

“Stock piling up?” Kagome asked as it was part of her job to have conversations with all customers though it was hard as she couldn’t help but have her gaze stolen by the cute baby.

She couldn’t believe she was only eighteen and had already become ‘one of those women’ the kind that loved babies.  Strange since she never wanted to hold her younger brother when he was born and one of her pet peeves were those distant friends of hers that only talked about their children online constantly.  Maybe it was just this child.

“You could say that,” the blonde had a voice as though she was becoming disinterested, “this one just left the hospital, and since her mother is a procrastinator we don’t have anything for her.”

“Oh,” Kagome felt awkward now that she knew this woman wasn’t the girl’s mother, “well I’d say she’ll be prepared now you probably cleaned out everything we have.”

“I did actually,” the girl nodded not batting an eye when the final total was about three-thousand dollars as she swiped her credit card and signed for it, “Oh… shoot.”

The blonde went through a diaper bag and couldn’t seem to find what she was looking for.

“On the way in it was quite chilly and now that the sun has gone down it’s probably worse.  Would you mind looking after her for just a moment while I get a blanket out of the car.  It will be just a moment I swear?”

Of course, Kagome was not the kind to deny a customer anything, not that she would as she could take a few minutes babysitting and gawking at the cute infant.  Kagome gave her a nod as the blonde left and she came out from behind the register to say to the baby.  The newborn opened her eyes again giving Kagome a smile.  The couple of minutes, however, turned to ten and it didn’t seem like anyone was coming back.  Kagome pulled away from the child for just a moment to look in the parking lot to see there was no cars out there.

“What?” she couldn’t believe what was happening.

Kagome was about to get on the phone to call for Naraku when she noticed a letter peeking out of the diaper bag.  She quickly read it.

To whom this may concern:

I apologize for the stunt I have just pulled, but my employer is not in a place to care for this child nor desires the burden to fall to any of her staff and family.  We are all aware that the hospital would have been more ideal and suitable place to leave this child, but we desired to find a way to leave a temporary caregiver with all the items that they would need to give this baby girl all the care that she deserves.  Though my employer believes she no longer has the right to have a say in how this child will receive care she doesn’t wish her child to be thrown in a mismanaged foster home with only the diaper she came in with.  

Please, whoever is reading this if you are not the one who can provide care please make sure all the supplies gets to somebody who can.  Please prove that there are good people out there who will do the right thing.

Kagome was only eighteen still living in her mother’s house when all of this had happened.  She should have done what the letter said and given Rin over to the authorities, but instead with the permission of some social workers Kagome had taken both Rin and all the supplies home and began taking care of the child.  She couldn’t help it.  There was something about all of this that just seemed like it was meant to be.  It was her after all of all the cashiers in all the grocery stores that Rin was left with… that Rin smiled at.  It had to be her.

After a few months the blonde assistant had reappeared again having found out that Kagome wanted to be responsible for the child.  She said her ‘employer’, Kaguya, wanted to thank Kagome by making this situation as easy as possible and provided all the paperwork making the adoption go through easily without having to hire a lawyer or having it tied up in the court system.  Of course it was all done with the promise Kagome wouldn’t tell the media or anybody about Rin’s biological mother, which of course she kept.  It didn’t matter to her, and still didn’t that Rin had a famous mother.

Kagome did, however, remember judging Rin’s mother.  Thinking how cruel it was for someone who had the wealth to give a child everything they desire to just toss them to the side, and what if it hadn’t been Kagome who got Rin that night?  About a thousand things could have gone wrong and Kaguya would have been the one to blame.

It all, however, made sense when Kagome went into work one morning and saw the cover of the newest magazine.  Kaguya Tatsui had died one night alone in her bed of an incurable heart disease that she’d kept secret from everyone.  Kaguya must’ve known around the time Rin was born that she wasn’t going to be in the child’s life anyway and around the time of this event a lot of news stories had come out about how undesirable her family and employees were as they fought each other for all the money she’d left behind and even went as far as to sell scandalous private stories about her for profit.  Kaguya would rather take a chance on a stranger to care for Rin than her own family and friends.  It was sad, and Kagome would never judge such a person ever again.

It was after Kaguya’s death did Kagome meet with Kaguya’s assistant for the last time who wanted to make sure Kagome wasn’t going to tell the media anything.  The assistant seemed to be the only one in Kaguya’s life who wasn’t an opportunist.

“You don’t have to worry about me,” Kagome promised the girl after coffee, “I told you last time we talked and I still mean it… all I care about is making sure Rin gets everything she deserves not the fame or the media hounding us.”

The assistant who’s name was Janis smiled, “I knew it… I knew it when I first laid eyes on you in that store that Rin would be okay with you.  Honestly if it wasn’t for just the way you carry yourself I don’t think I couldn’t have done it.   I was going to offer to raise Rin myself even fake a pregnancy to pull it off, but I knew Kaguya didn’t have much time left and things were going to get bad within her circle… and I have my own two children to think about.”

“I’ve read up on what’s going on,” Kagome had sighed, “but it’s okay you know?  Your boss gave you a job and you did it... it worked out.”

“Thanks Kagome.  I was with her the night she passed and she mentioned she could die without worries just knowing her little pup had a chance.  It’s still just a shame.  Kaguya, of course, had her many flaws but she tried to use to those flaws and her attention to make a difference in the world, and now thanks to her family she dies with a horrible reputation.  You and Rin might be the only success that comes out of everything.”

Kagome honestly could have entertained a conversation with Janis all night about how disgusting it was that the good things Kaguya had done were just being thrown out for tabloid nonsense, but this might have been Kagome’s last chance to find out a crucial piece of information that missing.

“What about Rin’s father though?” Kagome asked, “Do you even know who he is?”

Janis sighed as though she knew this was coming, “Oh trust me I know who he is, and despite what the letter Kaguya gave you says about not knowing the father, she is well aware of who he is and the kind of person he is. He is the kind of person someone like you, a normal grounded well hearted person doesn’t need to be involved with.  I know I could trust you, and that I should tell you, but please understand that I can’t, because Kaguya wouldn’t want me to and unlike the other trash she kept around I’m not going to break the promises to dead friend.  It’s probably because she doesn’t want Rin to know him and you’d probably want to tell her… I mean it is her father after all.”

Kagome probably would feel that it was her duty to tell Rin when she was old enough, so Janis had a point, but still…

“Shouldn’t I know something at least?  Like if he is allergic to anything or genetic information just in case I need it?  Or if I should be worried about him coming into our lives.”

“There’s nothing really like that no,” Janis informed her, “and the less information you know the better honestly.  You see he doesn’t even know that Rin exists… and that’s the biggest protection there is. The less information about this whole thing out there the better.  This is a closed adoption.  As long as we all do our part no one will ever know and you’ll never have to deal with him.  Even if he did somehow find out he probably wouldn’t care.  Parental is never a word I’d use to describe him.”

Kagome sighed as next to all the adoption papers in her file were all the court documents she’d been served with by Rin’s father, who she’d been told she’d ‘never have to deal with’.  He was filing for full custody of Rin with no promise of any visitation or anything for her and even a request to the court to repeal Kagome’s adoption.  She would have no rights to Rin at all if she couldn’t put up a fight in this case.  All of it… Kaguya’s wishes, the struggles Kagome went through being a young mother, it’d all be for nothing just because this man who didn’t even know Rin wanted to interfere.

“I can’t do this though,” Kagome cried to herself.

All of it.  Walking into a courtroom where she could lose everything, having to tell Rin the truth, going back to a life where she wasn’t a mother who had someone to care for.  Who was she without her daughter?  While other friends were getting degrees, dating, and building lives for themselves she’d skipped all of those steps and settled into motherhood.  That was all she wanted, and without it what would she have?  An empty clean quiet apartment where she missed her child every night?  No.

On the last page of the court ordered documents she’d been served was contact information.  Information of course to contact Sesshoumaru’s attorney, but under that was another cell phone number.  Sesshoumaru Masaharu’s cell phone to be exact.  It had been made perfectly clear to her when these documents were forced down her throat that this case was being done through his attorney… Sesshoumaru probably wouldn’t even have to go to court to prove he could be a suitable father, but yet she had his cell phone number.

She pulled out her phone.  No… she couldn’t call him.  She wouldn’t even know how to get words out to him.  How could she talk to a man that was literally trying to take her life away?  He probably had text though… who had a cell phone but didn’t text in this day in age?

She wrote a simple message:

‘This is Rin’s mother Kagome Higurashi… I was wondering if we could talk.  Is there any other way to handle this situation outside of a courtroom?  I want to do what’s best for my daughter and explore all the options available and maybe come up with the solution that’s fair to everyone.’

That was the message she sent him.  How could anyone argue with what she did?  There had to be a fair solution to all of this, and if they just used their heads it could be done without spending thousands of dollars on lawyers.  This man just had to see that?  He was a full demon, but if he had a brother that was on reality tv shows and owned a cell phone he was obviously integrated into a modern society and not one of those bloodthirsty animals most ignorant humans made demons out to be.

When the bus stopped at her neighborhood and she’d put all of her paperwork away she’d thought that maybe the text had been pointless.  There would be no way that Sesshoumaru Masaharu would respond to her, and maybe she didn’t want a response.  Maybe it was better that way, because not knowing if he was a man of compromise was better than just learning he wasn’t.

She didn’t get her wish as her phone vibrated.

‘Correction.  You are NOT Rin’s mother.  That much will be obvious in court.  You have no chance.  So if you are trying to find a way to extract money out of me then don’t waste your time.  You were only provided this phone number in the event something happens to my daughter, and be warned if something happens to her in your care lawsuits will be thrown at you until you have nothing.  Do not contact me again.’

So this was Sesshoumaru Masaharu.  No it appeared he was not a man of understanding or compromise.  His threat meant nothing to her.  She would never let anything happen to Rin, and if his suit for custody was completely successful she’d already have nothing.

Kagome once again had to fight her tears as she made her way to her apartment building to see her little girl.  If she didn’t tell her the truth tonight she knew it meant she could never do it.  If she didn’t do it she’d have to stand there silent as an attorney with the police came into her home and took her child away with no explanation.  No she couldn’t let that happen.

(End Chapter)

AN: So if there is any confusion this is a complete remake of Marriage of Convenience one of my old fanfics from forever ago that I find completely horrible.  I wrote it when I was a 15-year-old in high school where I loved all the reviews I got and now I am 28 year-old where I am constantly getting reviews about how sexist and badly written it is.  It’s true it is.  I always had plans to rewrite it and fix it, but a complete remake seemed to be the better solution.  Though it will still have the simple plot of Kagome and Sesshoumaru marry to make things easier for Rin everything else is going to be pretty much different.

Major differences here is in chapter 1 of MoC Kaguya just decided to give up Rin for adoption cause she wasn’t pretty enough or something stupid like that…. Here let’s be more realistic and have a plot of something that could actually happen.  Kaguya is dying and would rather have Rin in the care of a stranger than be in a predatory situation where everyone takes advantage of everyone for money and fame.

    

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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