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LoveStruck by Sora-chan

Chapter 2

Welcome back!

Thank you for giving my story a chance. This is a longer chapter, hopefully it gives more insight and provides a little more backstory and personality.

I really hope you guys like it! Let me know if you do or if you have any questions. I’d love to hear from you all.

Chapter 2

-

Bouncing into the kitchen, Kagome pulled her hair in a ponytail. She kissed her grandfather on the cheek while he was mid sip of his tea and reached in the cupboard for a cup to pour her own.

“You’re in a good mood this morning,” Suzuka commented, they had gotten home late last night and was under the assumption that he wouldn’t be seeing his granddaughter for a few more hours at least. And certainly not this chipper.

“Yeah actually, I’m still getting used to the time zone change but we’re still figuring it out.” she paused, biting her lip and tapping her manicured finger against her mug. “Did last night go ok?” she asked hesitantly. She knew her grandfather was a punctual man and hoped he wasn’t mad at her for making them late to the party. Time has always been her enemy and with this move back home, her tardiness has been a lot worse than normal.

“Everything went well my dear.” He assured her a small smile on his face, he kissed her forehead. “You made quite the impression last night.”

She blushed in response and let out a comically deep breath. “I forgot what it was like being the center of attention.”

Her mother, Hitomi walked in, clearly surprised to see her up. 

“Why are you both looking at me like you didn't expect me to wake up ‘til 3 or something?” she groused, taking a tentative sip.

Her mother laughed, “No reason, dear. Do you have plans today?”

“Uhm, yes. I have lunch with Kikyo and Sango, and I wanna get a workout in before that.”

“Perfect, get home by 3, we have tea with Izayoi today.” she watched as her daughter put the reminder in her phone.

Hours later, Kagome speed walked up the stairs to her home, she was late. She had given herself a time to get home so she could freshen up before they left for tea with Izayoi but that didn’t happen, so here she was at home at 3 on the dot, hoping that the dress she wore to lunch and subsequently shopping was ok for tea.

She skidded into the kitchen where her mother was watering the vining pothos plant on the window sill. Hitomi smiled at her wind swept daughter, “Good, there you are, you have 20 minutes to have a shower and change.” she giggled at the shocked look on Kagome’s face, “Did you really think I was going to trust you to be early? No go, you don’t have much time”.

Exactly twenty-five minutes later, the two women were on their way to the Takeda Family home.

The three women sat together in a sunroom towards the side of the house, in view of a gorgeous garden. The room itself was comfortably decorated with furniture and lots of potted plants. Nibbling a small sandwich, Kagome fingered the pendant on her thin necklace while she took in all the different plants. Completely missing the looks that passed between her mother and Izayoi.

“My dear, it's so wonderful for you to be home again, it’s been quite too long.” Izayoi broke the silence. “Did you find what you were looking for so far away from home?”

Smiling softly, Kagome responded; “I did Auntie, it took a little time for me to realize but I did.”

“So then, you know why you’ve been called home.” Hitomi asked quietly.

Kagome looked into her cup for a second, her mind a world away, before she squared her shoulders. “Are you really going to uphold the betrothal? I thought with my leaving, this would have ended. We aren’t in the Warring States anymore, do people really still do Clan betrothals?”

“This is why we wanted to speak with you. We realize that throwing this expectation on you, especially as a teen so soon after your father’s passing, it wasn’t fair to you. Which is why we allowed you to stay away as long as you have.” Hitomi replied, placing her hand on her daughter’s

“But, we must uphold certain traditions and protocols.” Izayoi saw that Kagome was about to react and steamrolled over her, “We’re not demanding that you get engaged tomorrow and married by the weekend. We are however asking that you have a consideration. The agreement was that you would be betrothed to one of the Takeda men. So essentially, that gives you the choice.”

“You want me to speed date your sons?” Kagome deadpanned, looking flatly between her mother and Izayoi.

“Kagome!” Hitomi responded, scandalized at her rude response. 

“Well….yes actually. I guess that is the most succinct way of putting it. But that isn’t the point Dear. We’re not saying you must marry one of them, however we do have to go through the process. You can do this however you prefer and if you decide that none of them are suitable, then we will announce that you are considering other Clans.” Izayoi finished her proposal with a sip of tea.

Kagome took a deep breath, then another. Her eyes glistened as she looked at her mother’s encouraging face to Izayoi’s hopeful one. “Is there more? Do I have to get engaged or married before a certain time? Is there a time frame? A baby clause?” she said, the words become more strained.

Both older women paused, Izayoi nodded to Hitomi who continued to rub her daughter’s hand. “Kagome Dear, no, we’re not putting a time constraint on this, we want you to be happy and to find love as well. I would rather you leave and not come back than force you into a marriage you don’t want.” she said seriously, “As long as we follow the traditions, we will not object to whoever you choose. You will of course, be expected to give your new Clan an heir.”

“But we shouldn’t worry over that for now. I know it seems harsh and that we are taking over your choices. But remember my dear, we allowed you your time. We could have forced you to marry at 21, you’d have been miserable. We understand your need for independence and allowed you as much freedom as we were able, but it is time to think about the Clan and the Family businesses.” Izayoi said in a no-nonsense tone.

Straightening herself again, Kagome nodded, Auntie Izayoi used her Clan Head voice and there was no getting around it. She would have to marry, but she would at least get the opportunity to choose. She could only imagine the fighting these women did on her behalf to be able to get these caveats and options. She will accept with grace and do what is expected of her.

“Good, now let us discuss…” Izayoi continued.

-

“You wanted to see me, father?” Sesshoumaru asked, entering his father’s study, not exactly surprised to see the Higurashi patriarch in the room with his father, however he wondered what they wanted with him. “Suzuka.” he greeted

“Come in Sesshoumaru, my boy” Touga beckoned him in, pouring himself a glass of scotch to prepare for this conversation. “We’re just waiting on your brother now”

Nodding, Sesshoumaru got comfortable in one of the couches closest to the bookshelf, one arm resting along the back of the couch, one leg resting on the other, ankle over knee. He wondered what the two Clan heads wanted to speak to both of them about and if he would come to regret stepping into the room. 

‘I guess we’ll find out now’ he thought as InuYasha walked in, hair still damp and pulling down his t-shirt. InuYasha also got comfortable at the behest of his father, while the two patriarchs had a silent conversation on the other side of the room.

Deciding to begin, Touga took a sip of his drink before placing the glass on the desk beside him. “We are invoking the Clan Betrothal Agreement.” he said, deciding the best action was to get straight to the point. He was correct and Sesshoumaru sat up rigidly and InuYasha rose to his feet with wide eyes.

“What the fuck?!” InuYasha screamed, panicked.

“As you know, there is an agreement between our two Families that my granddaughter, Kagome, will be betrothed to one of you.” Suzuka began, “We’ve decided to honour that tradition with a few,” he paused, looking for the words, “amendments if you will”.

“What kind of amendments?” Sesshoumaru found his voice, looking from one Clan Head to the other.

“She will remain with the option to choose one of the both of you, and if she finds you unsuitable then she will be allowed to choose from outside our Clan.” Touga continued.

“W-why now? Why the fuck after all this time? Isn’t this the kinda shit you guys put on us in our early twenties? Why make us think we got out of it and then pull the fucking rug from us now?” InuYasha was pacing now, agitated.

‘He’s no doubt thinking of his blossoming relationship, this will definitely put a wrench in their plans. But the whelp is right, why are they bringing this to us now?’ Sesshoumaru thought, watching both patriarchs with narrowed eyes.

“We admit that we may have” Suzuka paused, uncomfortable.

“Jumped the gun, it would seem” Touga added, with a sip

“Yes, we brought this to Kagome too early, we expected a lot from someone so young. And so we allowed her, all of you really, to grow into yourselves.”

Sesshoumaru noted that they looked vaguely uncomfortable.

“And you want one of us to marry her now.” Sesshoumaru murmured.

“That would be ideal.” Touga responded, “but if she doesn’t want to marry you, we cannot force her to.” he sounded fairly upset at that.

Sesshoumaru walked to the wet bar and poured himself a drink, thinking. He understood what they weren’t saying. ‘While they cannot force the marriage, it would dishonour our family name if we are found to be unsuitable matches for the woman declared for us.’ This agreement was in place for decades, when Suzuka and Taisho, Touga’s father, were business partners. When both men only had sons, the agreement was renegotiated to include their grandchildren.

“So, what now?” Sesshoumaru asked finally.

“Kagome will stay here for a while at the estate, to give you all time to get to know each other. You two will move back home as well.” Touga started

“So, there’s a fuckin’ time limit?” InuYasha interrupted

“No, we are just trying to cut to the meat of the matter. It is easier to pretend the other doesn’t exist if you’re not in their presence.”

“You guys have no idea what the fuck you’re doing.” InuYasha said before storming out of the room, slamming the door behind him. Sesshoumaru had to agree, this seemed like a shit show. They all had a lot to think on.

-

On the way home, Kagome sent a quick SOS text to Sango and Kikyo. And now here she was in her bedroom staring listlessly while she waited for both women to come over. She was feeling like a bubbling soup of emotion and needed help sorting out her thoughts. And if she were being honest, she wanted to have a small pity party with people she knew would never judge or look down on her.

She laid on her back in her bed, biting lightly on her long almond shaped nails, a habit she'd broken herself out of years ago, but always seemed to fall back into when she was really stressed. She had hoped, and that was her fault, that this would never have come up again. She had mistaken them allowing her the freedom to do what she wanted as releasing her from Clan obligations.

Her history with the Takeda boys was painfully short. They were away at school in Hokkaido while she stayed here in Kyoto and the one time they did meet; the boys had decided it was better to hide and pretend she didn’t exist than get to know her.

“Kagome. dear, gather your things, we’re ready to leave.” Hitomi called out to her teenage daughter.

“Okay” was the faint response, Hitomi glanced into the other room to see her daughter holding a wrapped package in her hands, staring at it with a forlorn expression. It was a video game that she and her father picked out a few days before his sudden death. It was a belated birthday gift for Izayoi’s son InuYasha. She had never met him or Sesshoumaru and they were home, visiting from boarding school in Hokkaido.

“I know this is the last thing you want to be doing right now, but this meeting has been scheduled for a long time, your father would want us to follow through with it.” Hitomi said softly, cupping her daughter’s cheek.

“Why is it so important? I love Aunt Izayoi and Uncle Touga but do I really need to go?” She tried one last time to get out of this obligation. She remembered her father being very happy, she had been excited too, but she couldn’t find it in herself to be happy anymore. Not when he was gone forever.

“Yes, you do dear heart. We will speak about this more when we get there. Please put Souta in his car seat while I go fetch your grandfather.”

That afternoon was the most miserable time she had ever spent at the estate. She was told that she was going to marry one of the Takeda boys, people she had never even met, but now was expected to get engaged to. Who cared if it was a family decision put in place from way before she was born. This is supposed to be modern society, who got ‘betrothed’ anymore. It wasn’t like they were royalty.

To make matters worse, when she had gone into the room to meet her potential new husbands, they were already on their way out through another door. She called out to them, clutching the game while she watched in disbelief as the younger one looked back at her before running ahead and slamming the door behind him. She was so confused and hurt, why would they do that? She placed the game on the table nearby and walked back to where their parents were and cried into her mother’s arms declaring her hurt and that she would never marry any of them.

It wasn’t too long after that that she was allowed to leave, she initially went to Monaco to stay with her mother’s family and from there she eventually ended up in England. She stayed for semesters all over Europe, which is why it took her so long to get through university. Her mother and grandfather took each change of city with as much grace as they could, while she wasn’t the heir, they really didn’t want her to bring dishonour on the family. And now here she was, back where she started but with nowhere left to go.

Her phone chimed beside her head and she absently reached for it, seeing a message from Kikyo announcing their presence, she quickly replied telling them that she was in her room.

Minutes later, both women waltzed in and closed the door behind them. They took in her sprawled form and both reached into their bags and took out a bottle of wine each. Setting them down on the bed, Sango reached into her bag and gingerly took out three small glasses that she took from the kitchen on their way up. 

“I love you guys, you know that?” Kagome greeted, sitting up and making space on the king-sized bed for them.

“We love you too. Now, what's going on?” Kikyo asked, uncorking the first bottle and pouring heartily in the short glasses.

“They’re invoking the betrothal agreement,” Kagome sighed before taking a big gulp of the wine. She drained the glass and poured herself another while they both took in what she said and realized the implications.

“Oh no,” Kikyo was the first to speak, “does that mean that-”

“I’m not going to date InuYasha, I would never do that to you” Kagome blurted, quickly cutting her off. “I didn’t tell them either, I’ll just say he’s unsuitable. Maybe we can become friends at least, you know? I dunno” she looked into her glass, hoping her cousin wouldn’t hate her. Kikyo and InuYasha couldn’t announce their relationship because of the Agreement. It wasn’t certain what was to become of it, no one knew if it had been dissolved or edited and that left Sesshoumaru and InuYasha as perpetual bachelors, allowed to date around but never being able to get close. 

“So that leaves you marrying Sesshoumaru, you could do worse” Sango laughed, trying to lighten the mood. “At least you can just stare at him.”

“Sango!” Kagome gasped, reaching out to slap the other woman’s leg.

“She’s right, he keeps to himself but he’s respectful at least,” Kikyo said with a small smile. Trying to push past the previous moment.

“I wouldn’t mind sitting on that face.” Kagome said dreamily, the two women laughed out, “but that doesn’t mean I want to marry him! While he does look like he’d be fun to play with, sex isn’t the only part in a marriage.” she cried jokingly, debating if she should tell them the additional part of the new agreement. 

“Fuck it” she said before getting their attention again. She placed her glass to the side and pushed her hair behind her ears, showing her seriousness. “There’s another part, but its super-secret Clan information and I need your word that this won’t go past this room. InuYasha probably already knows but you can’t tell Miroku” Kagome continued, mentioning Sango’s longtime boyfriend. She looked them both in their eyes, so they understood the gravity of the situation.

“You have my word.” Kikyo announced with a nod, grabbing her cousin’s hand. Sango put her hand to her chest, “you have my word. Now, dish.”

She told them about the changes to the agreement and that she would be moving into the estate in a few days. They took it in stride, or they may have been in shock, but they didn’t exclaim like she anticipated.

By the end of the night, they had finished both bottles along with a third that had been in the wine fridge, brought up from the cellar no doubt by Hitomi. The conversations shifted from the serious situation befalling their friend to gossip and more lighthearted conversation. Which in turn lightened Kagome’s heart about the whole situation. She decided that she was going to go into this as open and positively as possible and if it didn’t work out, she promised she wouldn’t beat herself up about it.

 

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